Header Test


"Shrek 3" Movie Assembling Gigantic Cast of Stars

"Shrek 3" Movie Assembling Gigantic Cast of Stars

from detnews.com:

Every actor ever has seemingly signed up for next summer's "Shrek the Third."

Mike Myers , Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz will all return for the ogre tale's third go-round, DreamWorks announced Thursday, along with Antonio Banderas , Julie Andrews , John Cleese and Rupert Everett .

Newbies joining the cast include Justin Timberlake , who'll play Fiona's teenage cousin Artie (gee, how did he get hooked up with that gig?); "SNL" stars Cheri Oteri , Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Rapunzel, respectively; Amy Sedaris as Cinderella; Eric Idle as Merlin; and creepy "Deadwood" star Ian McShane as Captain Hook. Meanwhile, Gary Busey is simply hoping to voice one of Shrek's belches; we'll let you know how that develops.


Eminem assaults man inside strip club bathroom

Eminem assaults man inside strip club bathroom

from detnews.com:

A local man who identified himself only as Miad J. said he was using the urinal in the men's room at Cheetah, a gentleman's club on 8 Mile, when Eminem and his entourage came in at around 1 a.m. Thursday. Another man started hassling Eminem for conversation, J. told WXYZ-TV. J. said that after he told Em's bodyguards to leave the overzealous fan alone, he was then hit in the face about five times by the rapper.

"I was just minding my own business, taking a leak, next thing I know, the punches start coming in," J. told the TV station. Detroit Police are investigating his claims.

"There was a report made of assault and battery," said Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell of the department's Public Information Office. Officials at Cheetah had no comment.


Entertainment Weekly lists "Best Sidekicks of all Time"

Entertainment Weekly's "Best Sidekicks of All Time" includes Seinfeld's George Constanza, Star Wars' Chewbacca, Lord of the Rings' Samwise Gamgee

from msnbc.msn.com:

LOS ANGELES - Greatest sidekick of all time?

According to Entertainment Weekly, it’s Johnny Carson’s longtime couch-warmer, Ed McMahon. The magazine picked what it deemed an all-time top-50 of second bananas.

Rounding out the top five, in order: Robin (Batman’s boy wonder), Jerry Seinfeld’s pal George Costanza, Han Solo’s buddy Chewbacca and Lucy Ricardo’s partner-in-crime and sometimes slime, Ethel Mertz. No. 6? Elementary, dear reader: Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes’ faithful companion.

Frodo Baggins' sidekick Samwise Gamgee was No. 7, followed by Ed Norton from "The Honeymooners" (No. 8), the diminutive Tattoo of "Fantasy Island" fame (No. 9) and Dwight Schrute of "The Office" rounds out the top 10.

A few others who did make the list: Howard Stern’s second-in-command, Robin Quivers (13); Napoleon Dynamite’s best bud, Pedro Sanchez (22) and Art Garfunkel, of Simon & Garfunkel (25).


NEW TRAILER: "The Prestige" starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale

NEW TRAILER: "The Prestige" starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson

Click HERE for the trailer


NEW TRAILER: "American Hardcore" A History of American Punk Rock

NEW TRAILER: "American Hardcore" A History of American Punk Rock

Click HERE for the Trailer

NEW TRAILER: "The Oh in Ohio" starring Parker Posey

NEW TRAILER: "The Oh in Ohio" starring Parker Posey

Click HERE for the trailer


New Movie Trailer from Hit TV Show "Reno: 911"

Click HERE for the trailer

NEW REVIEW: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"

NEW REVIEW: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"

by Wayne Francis
Jacksonville, Florida


Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest isn't so much a movie as it is a collection of cheesy swashbuckling action scenes. The film is like the boat ride at Disneyland; the music and atmosphere is good fun, but there isn't enough connection between the segments to constitute a meaningful narrative. The ride works best this way, but for a full-length feature film, I expect drama.

On the upside, Pirates is chock full of great special effects, and in many cases, good CGI can rescue a weak screenplay (Constantine, King Kong), but this movie's flaws are so blatant that by the time a good effects shot occurs, it's difficult to care about the characters or their motives to follow the action with any emotional investment.

Additionally, the action scenes are painfully redundant; in one scene, characters try to escape from the inside of a ball by rolling it down hills while inside. Later, a different set of characters fight atop a wheel, and it rolls and rolls, and goes down hills too. There is a faceless sea creature that evil pirates loose on unsuspecting ships, and the shots of giant tentacles are magnificent, but by the third time we see a ship get sucked underneath by the same creature, the sequences have lost their mystique, and it's obvious that the effects shots are just fillers for empty storyline, and not supplements to enhance a gripping narrative.

The film would seem to derive its inspiration from Saturday morning cartoon shows that deliver great visiuals, but with cliched dialogue that usually restates what is already obvious. In some of the film's more excruciating scenes, a character loosely based on a Miss Cleo psychic makes attempts to sound like a sexy, mysterious Jamaican, and what results is easily the worst Caribbean word pronunciations attempted in movie history. I winced as she butchered what is ordinarily a pleasant-sounding Jamaican accent.

As for Johnny Depp's character, Jack Sparrow, he doesn't really exist as a character so much as a representation of one. The first half of the movie, random people make random statements about "Jack Sparrow" and it leads nowhere except to force us to recognize that, in this universe, everyone knows "Jack Sparrow" and that means he's important. Instead of actually showing us Jack Sparrow doing things that earn him the title of infamous pirate, we're slugged over the head with narration to accept that he's significant.

Depp is wonderful when given the chance to perform, but this movie doesn't create the suspense necessary to require Sparrow's quirky, comedic relief.

Another problem that needs little explication: the film contains too many villains. There is "Davy Jones" and then the "Kraken" sea creature, and then a British General who arrests Will Turner and his fiancé, and all of these villains want different things, and pursue their objectives independently, and none of them are particularly interesting, or worthy of any emotional reaction.

What a complete disaster of film. I wanted to enjoy it, and for a summer popcorn fantasy blockbuster, I'm can forgive a movie that makes up for in visuals what it lacks in story or drama or suspense. Not here. 'Pirates' is probably the emptiest, dullest film of the summer, and this is quite a feat considering the talented cast and enormous budget.


Upcoming film "The US vs John Lennon" mocks Drudge Report

Documentary film "The US vs John Lennon" creates promotional website with same design as mega-famous political site "Drudge Report"

Click HERE for the Drudge Report look-a-like website

Michael Moore nearly finished with next major film "Sicko" set for 2007 release

Michael Moore nearly finished with next major film "Sicko" set for 2007 release

from michaelmoore.com:

We've spent the better part of this year shooting our next movie, "Sicko." As we've done with our other films, we don't discuss them while we are making them. If people ask, we tell them "Sicko" is "a comedy about 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on earth."

But like my other movies, what we start with (General Motors, guns, 9/11) is not always what we end with. Along the way, we discover new roads to go down, roads that often surprise us and lead us to new ideas -- and challenge us to reconsider the ones we began with. That, I can say with certainty, is happening now as we shoot "Sicko." I don't think the country needs a movie that tells you that HMOs and the pharmaceutical companies suck. Everybody knows that. I'd like to show you some things you don't know. So stay tuned for where this movie has led me. I think you might enjoy it.

At this point, we've shot about 75% of "Sicko" and will soon begin putting it together. It will be released in theaters sometime in 2007.


MySpace.com now the most visited website on the internet, edging out google and yahoo

from techcrunch.com:

JULY 12, 2006

Hitwise is reporting that MySpace was the website most visited by US internet users last week. This is the first time that’s happened, the company reports.

Yahoo and Google traditionally lead the pack, but Hitwise’s Bill Tancer points out today that MySpace attained a market share figure of 4.5% of all the US Internet visits for the week ending July 8, 2006.

Recent numbers for MySpace put the service at 75 million plus users, 15 million daily unique logins, 240,000 new users per day, and nearly 30 billion monthly page views - that’s 10,593 page views per second.


PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN SCANDAL: Screenwriter slaps Disney with lawsuit for stealing 'Pirates' ideas, drawings, copyrighted materials

from imdb.com:

JULY 12, 2006

The global success of the Pirates Of The Caribbean sequel has been tainted by a Hollywood screenwriter, who claims the whole idea for the franchise was his. He claims he created "drawings" and a "screenplay" for a project he called Supernatural Pirate Movie - and now he fears his ideas have been turned into a Disney blockbuster. Royce states he even called the pirate ship in his film treatment the Black Pearl - the same name used for Johnny Depp's craft, and the subtitle for the original film. And he also created a lead characters called Will Turner - the same name as Orlando Bloom's swashbuckler in the Disney films - and Elizabeth - the Christian name of Keira Knightley's character.

The screenwriter insists he registered the drawings and his screenplay with the US Copyright Office, and is now suing the The Walt Disney Company, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Touchstone Home Video and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, claiming movie bosses used his ideas as a blueprint for the Pirates of The Caribbean films.



Film Camp for Kids

from mercurynews.com:

JULY 11, 2006

Perhaps somewhere among junior high school students in the South Bay is the next Spielberg or Tarantino -- but how will they get the instruction to start a budding career in filmmaking?

Cinequest, which holds a film festival in San Jose every winter, is offering an answer in Camp Cinequest, an interactive summer camp for 20 seventh- and eighth-graders interested in making movies. The camp runs July 31-Aug. 4 at San Jose State University.

Students will learn to develop movie ideas, shape them into stories and screenplays and receive instruction on camera operation, film editing, lighting and sound. The camp will culminate in a screening of the student films at Cinema San Pedro on Aug. 16.


NEW TRAILER: 'Rocky Balboa'

Click here for the trailer.


NEW TRAILER: 'Night at the Museum' starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams

No pictures, posters, nothing yet for this movie

Click here for the trailer

Business Week: "Female Stars Don't Boost Ticket Sales"

from businessweek.com

JULY 10, 2006

BusinessWeek.com attempted to assess female stars, but validated one of Hollywood's darkest secrets: Women stars don't necessarily help boost ticket sales. Certainly, some actresses are sure things at the box office, especially Julia Roberts. But Roberts and Angelina Jolie have been virtual no-shows since 2004, headlining only one movie apiece as both started families. And some other major actresses had wildly uneven years: Reese Witherspoon helped turn Walk the Line into a huge hit last year, but didn't do much for Just Like Heaven. The best of the group may well be Jennifer Anniston, who is riding a hot streak with her current film The Break Up and in 2004 starred with Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly, which grossed $87.9 million on a $42 million budget. However, Anniston's other two films during the same period, Rumor Has It and Derailed, either lost money or were break-even propositions. With a sample of films this uneven, BusinessWeek decided instead to sit back and watch their coming performances.

As for some other Hollywood big money players, next on the list were Tom Cruise and Will Smith, who both posted a 53% return on investment for films they've starred in since 2004. (Sandler, by the way, chalks up a 16.8% return for the four films he has starred in over that period, including a projected $110 million box office for Click.)

Among other major actors with hefty returns on investment: Tom Hanks, who showed a return of 43% for the his three films since 2004, which included the mega-hit The Da Vinci Code, and The Terminal, where his box-office draw helped make a ho-hum film with a $60 million budget into a $218.7 million worldwide hit. Hanks just edged Ben Stiller, with a 41% rate of return for the five films he has starred in over that same three-year period, including the low-budget blockbuster Dodgeball, cheapies like Along Came Polly, and the outsized hit Meet the Fockers.

EXPENSIVE EFFECTS. The rankings may well validate the lofty status that Hollywood affords some of its Grade A stars, like Cruise, who commands $20 million or more in salary and a cut of the profits. But it also says a great deal about the kinds of film projects that they choose to create for these biggies. Cruise and Smith share the top spot in large part because of the gigantic special effects and other expenses that go with their films, making them into mega-events with well over $100 million price tags. Cruises' last film, Mission Impossible III, cost $150 million to produce and another $50 million or so to promote. Same for Smith's 2004 flick, I, Robot, which cost $120 million to make.

But the films in which they star in also sell well overseas, where a growing percentage of Hollywood's revenues are now generated. I, Robot sold $347 million worth of tickets worldwide, on top of millions of DVDs in both the U.S. and abroad. When Cruise made War of the Worlds, sales more than doubled overseas and totaled $588.9 million worldwide, according to imdb.com, in no small measure because Cruise shared the film's top billing with director Steven Spielberg. Another ROI finalist, Brad Pitt, had a 30% return on equity for his three films since 2004, which included the sexy shoot-em-up Mr. & Mrs. Smith. That film doubled its $186.3 million U.S. take in large part because of the steamy romance between Pitt and co-star Angelina Jolie.

By contrast, actors like Perry and Sandler, who stars mostly in comedies, rarely get the huge boost from sales in overseas markets, which have traditionally been less receptive to U.S.-style humor. Sandler's film 50 First Dates sold about half the amount of tickets overseas that it sold in the U.S., where it was a $120.7 million blockbuster on a $75 million budget. (Of course, credit his co-star Drew Barrymore, whose name certainly didn't hurt the film.)



Hollywood Wins Court Decision over Companies that Sell "Clean-Edited" DVD's

from washingtonpost.com:

JULY 9, 2006

A federal judge in Colorado has handed the entertainment industry a big win in its protracted legal battle against a handful of small companies that offer sanitized versions of theatrical releases on DVD.

The studios involved in the suit are MGM, Time Warner, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. The directors named in the initial August 2002 filing included Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Mann, Robert Altman, Curtis Hanson, Betty Thomas and DGA president Michael Apted.

The summary judgment issued Thursday requires the companies -- Utah-based CleanFlicks, CleanFilms and Play It Clean Video, Arizona-based Family Flix USA and the separate entity CleanFlicks of Colorado -- to turn over all existing copies of their edited movies to lawyers for the studios for destruction within five days of the ruling.

Utah's CleanFlicks, which describes itself as the largest distributor of edited movies, through online sales and rentals and sales to video stores in Utah, Arizona and other states in the region, said it would continue its fight against the guild and the studios. CleanFlicks and the others make copies of official DVD releases and then edit them for sex, nudity, violence and profanity.


First Cell Phone Film Festival

from english.people.com:

JULY 9, 2006

The first Cell Phone Film Festival will be kicked off in September in Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shanxi Province.

The event is not only the first one of its type in China, but also the first in Asia. Wang Jun, a senior official of Xi'an, said here Saturday at a press conference that the annually held event marks a breakthrough in China's film industry.

The festival, according to Wang, will invite Chen Guo, a well-known director in Hong Kong to chair the jury committee. Anyone interested in making film can join the competition by submitting their 10-minute film products via the official website Sina.com, from July 8 to Aug. 25.

"Any subjects will be welcome," Chen said, noting that details of awards have not been decided. Statistics show that China so far has more than 400 million cell phone users.



'PIRATES' BIGGEST OPENING EVER--beats Star Wars, X-Men, and Spider-Man

from boxofficemojo.com:

JULY 8, 2006

RankTitle (click to view)StudioOpening Day / % of TotalTheaters / AverageDateTotal Gross
1 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest BV $55,500,000 100.0% 4,133 $13,429 F 7/07/06 $55,500,000
2 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Fox $50,013,859 13.2% 3,661 $13,661 Th 5/19/05 $380,270,577
3 X-Men: The Last Stand Fox $45,102,265 19.5% 3,690 $12,223 F 5/26/06 $230,718,000
4 Spider-Man 2 Sony $40,442,604 10.8% 4,152 $9,741 W 6/30/04 $373,585,825
5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire WB $40,118,363 13.8% 3,858 $10,399 F 11/18/05 $290,013,036
6 Spider-Man Sony $39,406,872 9.8% 3,615 $10,901 F 5/03/02 $403,706,375


XBox 360 might add HDMI port to new consoles

from endgadet.com:

JULY 8, 2006

We've been wondering when we'd see HDMI for the Xbox 360. Partly for the future HDCP needs of HD DVD (though for now we're safe on that front), and partly for the sheer convenience of it. Microsoft has stayed fairly silent on the subject, but this week's blurry image-based rumor points to its inclusion in a future version of the console. Tipped by an anonymous source, the image shows an HDMI port firmly ensconced on an Xbox 360 motherboard. If it's real, this probably rules out the possibility of an HDMI cable adapter providing this functionality, leaving current 360 owners SOL. But minus the fanboy outcry, it could be a nice little jab at Sony if Microsoft has an HDMI version of their console just in time to compete with the high-end HDMI PS3.


REVIEW: "The Devil Wears Prada"

'Prada' contains a few stumblingblocks on its runway, but compensates with strong performances from its lead characters.

By Wayne Francis
Jacksonville, Florida


I enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep communicates a humanness about her character, Miranda, that is mostly responsible for the film’s’ success. She is evil—the “devil” who wears prada—but her devilish behavior is semi-justified. Miranda runs a popular magazine, and is responsible for millions of dollars and hundreds of employees. On her back rests the success of Runway magazine, and for the company to win in business, she must take her job very seriously.

When she hires a new assistant, Amanda, we see her belittle the young recent college grad. Miranda calls her by another name “Emily” and tosses her coat and bag on the assistant’s desk as she walks by each morning. Miranda asks for extreme devotion from her assistant, once calling Amanda one weekend night ordering her to organize a flight so Miranda can get home to see her twins perform a musical. The assistant vows to be strong throughout, but she eventually breaks down, considers resigning, but does not, and by film’s end, she joins Miranda in her appreciation and dedication to fashion culture.

There are unnecessary scenes outside the offices of Runway magazine; we see some of Amanda’s personal life, her boyfriend, etc., and this bored me silly. It’s obvious that Amanda is transformed from her experiences; she starts to dress differently after her first weeks on the job, and she mingles with the fashion elite, so it’s unnecessary to insert trite, one-dimensional characters outside the source of Amanda’s transformation to indicate what is already apparent. The excruciatingly banal scenes involving Amanda’s social life, such as the scene where a friend catches Amanda being too friendly with another man during an art exhibit, and a scene when Amanda’s boyfriend chastises her for being too similar to the runway models that she mocked beforehand, did little to add significance to an otherwise solid narrative with snappy dialogue, a decent score, and a modern, interesting setting at a New York Magazine company.

As it stands, there are quite a few stumbling blocks on the Runway, but the drama surrounding Miranda and Amanda is too devilishly fun for me not to recommend the film.

9/11 Documentary Film premiering in Long Island

from longislandpress.com:

JULY 8, 2006

A documentary film dedicated to raising awareness about chronic physical illness among 9/11 rescue workers is being screened this month at two Long Island locations.

The Sept. 11 documentary, Vito After, directed and produced by Maria Pusateri of Syosset, provides an intimate portrait of Vito Friscia—a Brooklyn homicide detective and one of the 40,000 rescue and recovery workers who contributed to rescue efforts after the terrorist attacks.

“I was inspired by him and awed by people like him,” Pusateri says. “He put his own life at risk and didn’t think twice about it.”

The film follows Friscia for two years, starting in April of 2002. It is an unflinching account of how Friscia, Pusateri’s brother-in-law, has dealt with physical, emotional, and spiritual changes since the tragedy.


Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Truth" now third highest grossing political documentary of all-time


JULY 8, 2006

Since the Al Gore global warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," opened in the Bay Area five weeks ago, approving audiences have left the theater murmuring a similar refrain: "I hope the people who need to see it, see it."

In the region's politically blue vernacular, that translates as "red state audiences." And so far, those audiences are seeing it. The film is playing in the nation's top 185 markets, getting off-the-chart audience recommendations in conservative bastions like Plano, Texas, and Orange County. "Truth" is the third-highest-grossing political documentary of all time, behind Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" (which grossed $119 million) and "Bowling for Columbine" ($21 million).

So far, the science in the movie has survived scrutiny. In June, as the film opened to a wider audience, 19 climate scientists who had seen the film or read the accompanying book told the Associated Press that "Truth's" depictions are accurate.

Artistically speaking, the Web site www.metacritic.com compiled the weighted average of 31 reviews from national critics and gave "An Inconvenient Truth" "generally favorable reviews" -- a score of 74 out of 100, 15th-highest among films in theaters.

More critical to the film's continued theatrical run: 87 percent of the respondents said they'd recommend the film to a friend; the industry average for a successful film is 47 percent, he said.

"For people who are motivated to see the film, they're saying that it is entertaining and inspirational," Schulze said. "We're very enthused about its performance and see it staying in theaters all summer."

But last summer, Guggenheim and Gore realized the challenges behind the phrase "for people who are motivated to see the film" -- especially, as Guggenheim termed it, "a movie about a slide show on global warming that features a man who was at the center of a highly charged political election."


Pirates of the Caribbean expected to break all-time biggest opening record

from washingtonpost.com:

JULY 8, 2006

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" sailed into more than 4,000 U.S. movie theaters on Friday seeking a box office treasure that industry watchers think could beat the $114.8 million record opening of "Spider-Man." "Dead Man's Chest" already ranks as the third-widest film release ever in the United States with a debut in 4,133 venues, just behind second-place "Spider-Man 2," which opened in 4,152 theaters, and "Shrek 2," which holds the record at 4,163, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Both of those films were 2004 releases.



ABC to eliminate DVR fast fowarding from its programming

from publications.mediapost.com

JULY 7, 2006

ABC HAS HELD DISCUSSIONS ON the use of technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, according to ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw, with the primary goal to allow TV commercials to run as intended.

"I would love it if the MSOs, during the deployment of the new DVRs they're putting out there, would disable the fast-forward [button]," Shaw said.

While MSOs risk losing some of their DVR customers if fast-forwarding were blocked, Shaw said the cable operators--who are beefing up their own local ad sales operations--"are in the same business we're in." "They've got to sell ads too," he said. "So if everybody's skipping everybody's ads, that's not a long-term business model for them either."

"I'm not so sure that the whole issue really is one of commercial avoidance," Shaw said. "It really is a matter of convenience--so you don't miss your favorite show. And quite frankly, we're just training a new generation of viewers to skip commercials because they can. I'm not sure that the driving reason to get a DVR in the first place is just to skip commercials. I don't fundamentally believe that. People can understand in order to have convenience and on-demand (options), that you can't skip commercials."


Google now officially a verb

from pocket-link.co.uk:

JULY 7, 2006

Now Merriam-Webster has added google, without the capital "G" as a generic term, as a verb to its 11th edition released this autumn.

"It's a consequence of us finding the word used in print so frequently that we feel it's appropriate to add it in our dictionary", said Merriam Webster Associate Editor Peter Sokolowski. "When we find it in print, it is usually used without any definition at all so it is becoming naturalised."

It only took 5 years for the word to gain its official status, which is remarkably quick; usually it takes 10 to 20 years.

According to one report, Google alerted investors to the problem in its 2005 annual report, saying that "there is a risk that the word Google could become so commonly used that it because synonymous with the word 'search'. If this happens we could lose protection for our trademark, which could result in other people using the word 'Google' to refer to their own products."

Other new words that have made it into the new edition of Merriam Webster include, "spyware", "mouse potato", "soul patch", "ringtone", and "himbo".


Boy struck by lightning while mowing the lawn and listening to iPod

from tuaw.com:

JULY 7, 2006

The Denver Post is reporting that Bunch, a 17-year-old teenager in Castle Rock, CO, was struck by lightning while mowing the lawn and listening to his iPod. While scientists aren't laying any money down on how likely it is that lightning sought out the teenager's iPod, the boy and his mother suspect Apple's little white player acted as a sort of lightning rod in this most unfortunate of accidents. The strike traveled all the way down his earbuds, burning his ears and the side of his face, causing Bunch to lose some of his hearing.


Cinemark and Regal Movie Theatres raising $1 billion to upgrade to digital projector systems

from bloomberg.com:

JULY 7, 2006

Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment Inc. and Cinemark USA Inc. may borrow $1 billion to transform 13,000 U.S. theater screens to digital film from reel- to-reel, according to people involved in raising the money.

The financing would fund the expansion of digital technology to one-third of all U.S. screens. Theater owners plan to spend about $75,000 per screen to rip out film projectors and replace them with digital systems that promise higher-quality pictures and lower costs, and faster delivery of films over cable or satellite connections.

The theaters and studios such as Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co., the two biggest U.S. media companies, are moving closer to adopting the technology. Making the transition will save money on film print-making, reduce theft and illicit copying and improve picture quality, Mulligan said.

``If the theater owners can get the financing in place, it would be very significant because digital cinema is the next step in the evolution of the theater experience,'' he said. ``There are benefits to both parties and the consumer is the ultimate winner.''


NEW TRAILER: "Deja Vu" starring Denzel Washington, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer

Click here for the trailer

It is déjà vu that unexpectedly guides ATF agent Doug Carlin through an investigation into a shattering crime. Called in to recover evidence after a bomb sets off a cataclysmic explosion on a New Orleans Ferry, Carlin is about to discover that what most people believe "is only in their heads" is actually something far more powerful--and will lead him on a mind-bending race to save hundreds of innocent people.

Release date: November 22, 2006


NEW TRAILER: Snakes on a Plane

Click here for the new trailer

"Superman" director Bryan Singer considering "Batman vs Superman" movie

from mtv.com:

JULY 6, 2006


...Routh added that while he enjoyed sparring verbally with "Batman" star Bale recently at the MTV Movie Awards, he'd prefer to see the two heroes work together. "I don't think we should go toe-to-toe, unless one of us is deranged somehow by some mind-altering drug," he laughed.

"We shouldn't be fighting each other; we should be combining forces." Singer said he'd consider directing a "Batman vs. Superman" flick, but only after the Man of Steel establishes his identity a bit more thoroughly. "I've thought about it for a long time — even a longer time ago, actually," the director revealed. "But I don't know who would be the villain. I guess Batman would be the villain, but then he can't be too bad, because he is Batman.

So not quite yet. ... I think Superman needs to have his own movies for a little while before that happens." Either way, Singer insisted that "everybody's excited to do more ... and I'm sure we'll do another one." And Routh had this word of warning for Bale: "I don't think Batman really, really wants to go and mess with Superman."


NEW TRAILER: "The Illusionist" starring Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel

JULY 6, 2006

Click here for the trailer

A supernaturally talented magician attempts to undermine the rigid social structure of turn-of-the-century Vienna by using his powers to win the love of his upper-class, childhood sweetheart in director Neil Burger's cinematic adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser's short story. Though the ill-fated childhood romance between cabinetmaker's son Eisenheim (Edward Norton) and upper-class Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) eventually resulted in the heartbroken young man leaving Austria to explore the world, his dreams of one day reuniting with the beautiful duchess never faded. Upon returning to Vienna fifteen years later as a talented and renowned illusionist, Eisenheim's hopes of a reunion seem dashed when he learns that Sophie is currently engaged to the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). As the tensions between the Eisenheim and Leopold elevate, urbane Chief Inspector Uhl (Pual Giamatti) finds his sympathy toward Eisenheim growing despite his formal obligations to the powerful prince. When the duchess' lifeless body is discovered and suspicions fall upon the increasingly insubordinate Eisenheim, the dejected magician attempts to use his powers to reveal the true murderer before he takes the fall for a crime he did not commit. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

NEW TRAILER: "Hollywoodland" starring Ben Affleck, Adrian Brody, Diane Lane

Click here for the trailer

A uniquely compelling exploration of fame and identity. The drama, inspired by one of Hollywood’s most infamous real-life mysteries, follows a 1950s private detective (Academy Award winner Adrien Brody) who, investigating the mysterious death of “Superman” star George Reeves (Academy Award winner Ben Affleck), uncovers unexpected connections to his own life as the case turns ever more personal. The torrid affair Reeves had with the wife (Diane Lane) of a studio executive (Bob Hoskins) might hold the key to the truth.

Emmy Nominations Released Today. HBO tops list with 95. 'Sopranos' up for best drama

from variety.com:

JULY 6, 2006

HOLLYWOOD -- The TV Academy has decided that old is gold this year, with voters deciding to honor a bevy of departing shows and actors -- and snubbing hot young 'uns such as "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives."

And in another shocker, Fox's critically-praised hit "24" landed more noms than any other series, with 12 nods. Overall, TNT's mini-series "Into the West" was the highest scoring show with 16 noms.

Noms are the first to be produced under a new nomination process designed to give more obscure skeins a better shot at a statuette. The process didn't seem to work, however, as many of the noms went to folks who've been around forever.

"Arrested Development", FOX, Imagine Television and The Hurwitz Company in association with 20th Century, Fox Television
" Curb Your Enthusiasm", HBO, HBO Entertainment,
"The Office", NBC, Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille, LLC in association with NBC Universal Television Studios
"Scrubs", NBC, Touchstone Television
"Two And A Half Men", CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions,Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television Productions, a Division of WB Studio Enterprises Inc.

"Grey’s Anatomy", ABC, Touchstone Television
"House", FOX, Heel and Toe Productions, Shorez Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions in association with Universal Television Studios
"The Sopranos", HBO, Chase Films and Brad Grey Television in association with HBO Entertainment
"24", FOX, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Real Time Productions
"The West Wing", NBC, John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television

"Bleak House" (Masterpiece Theatre ), PBS, A BBC WGBH-Boston Co-production in association with Deep Indigo
"Elizabeth I", HBO, Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films
"Into The West", TNT, Dreamworks Television
"Sleeper Cell", Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Cardboard Guru Productions

"Flight 93", A&E, A David Gerber Company Production in association with A&E Network and Fox Television Studios
"The Flight That Fought Back", Discovery Channel, Brook Lapping Productions in association with Discovery Channel
"The Girl In The Café", HBO, Tightrope Pictures and BBC Wales in association with HBO Films
"Mrs. Harris", HBO, Killer Films and Number 9 Films and John Wells Productions in association with HBO Films
"Yesterday", HBO, Exciting Flms/Distant Horizon/Videovision in association with HBO Films

"Antiques Roadshow", PBS, WGBH Educational Foundation
"The Dog Whisperer", National Geographic Channel, MPH Entertainment, Inc. in association with Emery/Sumner Productions for National Geographic Channel
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", ABC, Endemol USA
"Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List", Bravo, Picture This Television, Inappropriate Laughter, Inc., Bravo
"Penn & Teller: Bullshit", Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Penn & Teller, A Division of Buggs and Rudy Discount Corporation, Star Price Productions, The Wolper Organization

"The Amazing Race", CBS, Amazing Race Productions, Inc. and Touchstone Television Productions, LLC in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and WorldRace Productions, Inc.
"American Idol", FOX, FremantleMedia N.A., Inc. & 19TV Ltd.
"Dancing With The Stars", ABC, BBC Worldwide Productions
"Project Runway", Bravo, Magical Elves for The Weinstein Company/Miramax, Full Picture, Bravo
"Survivor", CBS, Mark Burnett Productions in association with SEG Productions

Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO, HBO Entertainment
Kevin James, "The King Of Queens," CBS, Sony Pictures Television
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk," USA, NBC Universal Television Studios in association with Makeville Films and Touchstone Television
Steve Carell, "The Office," NBC, Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille, LLC in association with NBC Universal Television Studios
Charlie Sheen, "Two And A Half Men," CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television Productions, a Division of WB Studio Enterprises Inc.

Lisa Kudrow, "The Comeback," HBO, Working Class and Is Or Isn’t Entertainment in association with HBO Entertainment
Jane Kaczmarek, "Malcolm In The Middle," FOX, Regency Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures Of Old Christine," CBS, Kari’s Logo Here in association with Warner Bros. Television
Stockard Channing, "Out Of Practice," CBS, CBS Paramount Network Television
Debra Messing, "Will & Grace," NBC, KoMut Entertainment in association with NBC Studios and Three Sisters Entertainment

Christopher Meloni, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC, A Wolf Films production in association with NBC Universal Television
Denis Leary, "Rescue Me, FX Network," Apolstle, The Cloudland Company and Dreamworks Television in association with Sony Pictures Television
Peter Krause, "Six Feet Under," HBO, Actual Size and the
Greenblatt/Janollari Studios in association with HBO Entertainment
Kiefer Sutherland, "24," FOX, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Real Time Productions
Martin Sheen, "The West Wing," NBC, John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television

Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer," TNT, Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television
Geena Davis, "Commander In Chief," ABC, Touchstone Television
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC, A Wolf Films production in association with NBC Universal Television
Francis Conroy, "Six Feet Under," HBO, Actual Size and the Greenblatt/Janollari Studios in association with HBO Entertainment
Allison Janney, "The West Wing," NBC, John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television

Charles Dance, "Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS, A BBC WGBH-Boston Co-production in association with Deep Indigo
Donald Sutherland, "Human Trafficking," Lifetime, Muse Entertainment for Lifetime Television
Ben Kingsley, "Mrs. Harris," HBO, Killer Films and Number 9 Films and John Wells Productions in association with HBO Films
Jon Voight, "Pope John Paul II," CBS, Lux Vide Productions
Andre Braugher, "Thief," FX Network, Regency Television

Kathy Bates, "Ambulance Girl," Lifetime, Patricia Clifford Productions in association with von Zerneck- Sertner Films for Lifetime Television
Gillian Anderson, "Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS, A BBC WGBH-Boston Co-production in association with Deep Indigo
Helen Mirren, " Elizabeth I," HBO, Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films
Judy Davis, "A Little Thing Called Murder," Lifetime, Grand Productions and Stonemade Entertainment in association with Fox Television Studios for Lifetime Television Annette Bening, Mrs. Harris, HBO, Killer Films and Number 9 Films and John Wells Productions in association with HBO Films

Will Arnett, "Arrested Development," FOX, Imagine Television and The Hurwitz Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage," HBO, Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Bryan Cranston, "Malcolm In The Middle," FOX, Regency Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Jon Cryer, "Two And A Half Men," CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television Productions, a Division of WB Studio Enterprises Inc.
Sean Hayes, "Will & Grace," NBC, KoMut Entertainment in association with NBC Studios and Three Sisters Entertainment

Cheryl Hines, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO, HBO Entertainment
Alfre Woodard, "Desperate Housewives," ABC, Touchstone Television
Jaime Pressly, "My Name Is Earl," NBC, An Amigos de Garcia production in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds," Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lions Gate Television and Tilted Productions
Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace," NBC, KoMut Entertainment in association with NBC Studios and Three Sisters Entertainment

William Shatner, "Boston Legal," ABC, David E. Kelley Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television Studios
Oliver Platt, "Huff," Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Sony Pictures Television, A Bob Lowry Television Show Production, A 50 Cannon Entertainment Production
Michael Imperioli, "The Sopranos," HBO, Chase Films and Brad Grey Television in association with HBO Entertainment
Gregory Itzin, "24," FOX, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Real Time Productions
Alan Alda, "The West Wing," NBC, John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television

Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal," ABC, David E. Kelley Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television Studios
Sandra Oh, "Grey’s Anatomy," ABC, Touchstone Television
Chandra Wilson, "Grey’s Anatomy," ABC, Touchstone Television
Blythe Danner, "Huff," Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Sony Pictures Television, A Bob Lowry Television Show production, A 50 Cannon Entertainment Production
Jean Smart, "24," FOX, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Real Time Productions

Denis Lawson, "Bleak House (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS, A BBC WGBH-Boston Co-production in association with Deep Indigo
Hugh Dancy, "Elizabeth I," HBO, Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films
Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I," HBO, Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films
Robert Carlyle, "Human Trafficking," Lifetime, Muse Entertainment for Lifetime Television
Clifton Collins, "Thief, FX Network," Regency Television

"The Colbert Report," Comedy Central
"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central
"Late Night With Conan O'Brien," NBC
"Late Show With David Letterman," CBS
"Real Time With Bill Maher," HBO.

Complete List and More...


Ben Stiller teams with CBS for TV comedy series

from washingtonpost.com:

JULY 5, 2006

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Ben Stiller is teaming with CBS for a comedy project to star his wife, actress Christine Taylor.

Stiller is set to direct and executive produce the pilot and will play a recurring role on the potential series.

CBS has committed to a pilot for the as-yet-untitled project, to be written by Ajay Sahgal. The network is fast-tracking it for potential summer production as part of its aggressive push to court new projects outside the traditional development cycle.

The comedy, being considered for single-camera treatment rather than the three-camera sitcom approach, is based on Taylor's life.

"She is a small-town girl who has found her way into Hollywood but still retains a lot of the values and humility (of her upbringing)," CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said. "There are times when she is befuddled by her status -- being an actress married to a big movie star."


Madonna to direct films: "It's easier to be a visionary as a director."

from fametastic.co.uk:

JULY 5, 2006

Madonna might have given up on her acting plans but she’s not turning her back on movies completely: she’s now decided she wanted to work on the other side of the camera.

Speaking to the New York Post, Madonna revealed: “I’m more interested in directing now. I’ve so many tales to tell.”

“Making movies for me was never about being a big movie star, it was about being a good actress.”

“But it’s not easy with critics going after you before the movie is even released. It’s easier to be a visionary as a director.”


A good movie trailer can sell an awful movie

from blogs.smh.com.au:

JULY 5, 2006

While there are plenty of trailers that get the juices flowing about new movies, there are also those that cheat fans. They include ...

* The trailer that's better than the movie

Oliver Stone's Alexander looked promising from the trailer. Even Battlefield Earth looked half decent. The obvious lesson: a good trailer does not necessarily mean a good movie.

Impressive visuals and the odd strong line of dialogue can cover for a shambolic story.

* The trailer that's really for a different movie

King Arthur seemed like a Pirates of the Caribbean style romp in a trailer that had Lancelot looking across at the murderous Saxons as he prepares for battle.

"There's a large number of lonely men out there," he says to the young Guinevere. "Don't worry," she answers coolly. "I won't let them touch you."

In the movie, Guinevere actually says "I won't let them rape you", which more accurately reflects the bloodthirsty movie that director Antoine Fuqua delivered.

* The trailer with a great gag that isn't in the movie

The trailer for Miss Congeniality famously had an exchange in which Sandra Bullock's father says: "Honey, are you a lesbian?". She replies, "Dad, I wish!" Those lines weren't in the movie.


New CBS Movie Studio "We're not looking to do Superman"

from chron.com:

JULY 5, 2006

NEW YORK -- CBS Corp. is exploring a possible entry into the movie business, with a view toward producing a handful of smaller-budget films annually, Chief Executive Les Moonves said Wednesday.

"We are exploring it," Moonves said at a PricewaterhouseCoopers media event in New York. "We're not looking to do Superman."

"We could get in in a small way, doing six to eight movies a year in a risk-free way," Moonves said.


Spider-Man 3 Plot Twist Spoiler

from ainitcoolnews.com:

JULY 5, 2006

Holy Plot Twist! Big Big Spoiler from SPIDER-MAN 3! Read at your own peril!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Some of you will not want to know this. It could be something small, but all signs point to this being a huge twist on the entire SPIDER-MAN movie franchise, one radically different from the comics. So, if you want to keep the surprise, for the love of all the movie gods don't read below. I wish I could go into theaters next summer not knowing this...


"Best Movie Dads of the 80's"

from sptimesphotos.com:

JULY 5, 2006

Our favorite flicks in the 80s had many common elements: great music, daring teens who made light of life's most trying rites of passage and parents who were usually completely out of touch with reality.

But we if forced your feet to the fire, and made you pick one, whaddya say: Who was the best movie dad of the 80s?

Here are four top contenders:

Jack Walsh, Pretty in Pink (Harry Dean Stanton):
Upside: Completely devoted to daughter Andie (Molly Ringwald).
Downside: A jobless alcoholic.
Signature line: "Just because you love her doesn't mean she's gonna love you back. Doesn't mean she won't though."
Also known as: "Brain" in Escape from New York (1981); Bud in Repo Man (1984).

Jim Baker, Sixteen Candles (Paul Dooley):
Upside: Makes it through a wedding, in-laws, a drunken exchange student and 16th birthday without going homicidal.
Downside: Lest we forget, he forgets Samantha's (Molly Ringwald) sweet 16 birthday.
Signature line: "That's why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they'd call them something else."
Also known as: the reluctantly loving dad in Breaking Away (1979); Claude Elsinore in Strange Brew (1983).

Rev. Shaw Moore, Footloose (John Lithgow):
Upside: Gives in and allows the town's youth, including daughter Ariel (Lori Singer), to attend a dance. Fights against book-burners.
Downside: Hits his daughter; convinced rock music causes fornication.
Signature line: "If our lord wasn't testing us, how would you account for the proliferation, these days, of this obscene rock and roll music, with its gospel of easy sexuality and relaxed morality?"
Also known as: Roberta in The World According to Garp (1982); George in Harry and the Hendersons (1987) and Dr. Dick Solomon in Third Rock from the Sun.

James Court, Say Anything (John Mahoney):
Upside: Willing to commit crimes to give his daughter (Ione Sky) a better life.
Downside: Hates her boyfriend (John Cusack) and ... ummm ... willing to commit crimes to give his daughter a better life.
Signature line: "I'm incarcerated, Lloyd!"
Also known as: Martin Crane on Frasier; Good Morning Grant in Reality Bites (1994); Kid Gleason in Eight Men Out (1988).

Dads barely missing the cut: Lyman Ward in Ferris Bueller's Day Off; David Ogden Stiers in Better Off Dead; John Ashton in Some Kind of Wonderful; Jeffrey Jones in Beetle Juice; Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom.



Strong films like "Da Vinci Code" and "Superman Returns" help Hollywood rebound from slump

from cinemablend.com:

JULY 4, 2006

2006 box office receipts are marginally ahead of where they were at the same time last year. Total yearly revenues sit at $4.6 billion, 5% higher than they were in 2005. Superman Returns’ $84 million in five days was a help. Of course when you factor in still rising ticket prices (because the best way to get audiences back is to charge them more of course), attendance is only up by 1.7%.

Still after last year’s movie going nose dive, any rebound is probably a good one. What’s disheartening for moviegoers though, is that Hollywood learned almost nothing from last year’s bad attendance numbers. They’ve raised ticket prices, they’re still burying original scripts in favor of remakes, sequels, and re-imaginations of already done ideas. I suppose there have been halfhearted efforts from some theater owners to curb the bad behavior of audiences and improve the overall movie experience, but then they ought to give me gold plated seating accommodations if I’m paying $10 or $11 a ticket.

Now that things seem to be on the upswing, any possibility of Hollywood changing their ways seems slim. Instead, they’ll probably attribute their marginal rebound new efforts to curb piracy (which by the way don’t work). Or maybe they’ll point to their new policy of barring critics from screening bad movies in order to fool audiences into seeing more crap. That last one might actually be working.


TV Channel broadcasting "50 Films To See Before You Die"

from brandrepublic.com:

JULY 4, 2006

LONDON - On the eve of the relaunch of FilmFour as a free-to-air film channel, Channel 4 will showcase its list of "50 Films to see before you die", which includes films ranging from John Ford's 'The Searchers' to Sofia Coppola's 'Lost in Translation'.

The selection is likely to cause much disagreement, omitting recognised classics such as 'Bladerunner', 'Star Wars' and 'Citizen Kane'.

The list has been voted for by a panel of film experts including Lord David Puttnam, film critics Jason Solomons and Karen Krizanovich, Channel 4 head of film and drama Tessa Ross and the film director Menhaj Huda.

Channel 4 says each film has been chosen for its unique and creative approach to filmmaking. The season begins at 9pm on Sunday 23rd July with the showing of Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning 'Lost in Translation', starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, and the FilmFour production, 'Sexy Beast'.

The full list:
2001 - A Space Odyssey
A Bout De Souffle
Aguirre, The Wrath of God
All About Eve
The Apartment
Apocalypse Now
Black Narcissus
Boyz N the Hood
Breakfast Club, The
City of God
Come and See
Dawn of the Dead
Donnie Darko
Erin Brockovich
Fanny and Alexander
Fight Club
Heavenly Creatures
The Ipcress File
King of Comedy, The
The Ladykillers
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Lost in Translation
Mulholland Drive
Night at the Opera
North by Northwest
Pink Flamingos
Player, The
Princess Mononoke
Pulp Fiction
Raising Arizona
The Royal Tenenbaums
Searchers, the
Secrets and Lies
Sexy Beast
The Shawshank Redemption
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
This Sporting Life
Three Colours Trilogy
Touch of Evil


"Lost" TV Show to be turned into movie?

from pr-inside.com:

JULY 4, 2006

The makers of LOST want to end the hit TV show after a maximum of five years and are planning a feature-length movie spin-off.

Co-creator DAMON LINDELOF is so worried producers and studio executives will drag the show out he is making his opinion on the matter clear now.

He says, "We'd love to end the show after four year, five years tops and do a movie."


NEW TRAILER: 'The Ant Bully'

Click here for the trailer.

Click here for the official website.

Film Festival shows "10-second" movies

from sfgate.com:

JULY 4, 2006

About 100 similar films broken into 10 different categories will be screened Tuesday for about one hour on the back wall of the Soap Factory art space for the second Ten-Second Film Festival.

Filmmakers weren't allowed to create their movies with real video cameras. Rather, they used digital cameras and camera-equipped cell phones to create the unedited films that last no longer than 10 seconds.

Last year, 450 people watched films under themes including "Arthouse,""Old Timey Silent,""Most Special" and "Most disturbing."

Pennington has gotten more than 300 movies sent to his e-mail since April and narrowed those down to a lucky 100 that'll be shown at the festival.

Pennington received six movies from Gale Shiftman, a 59-year-old secretary at North High School in Minneapolis.

On the Net:

Ten Second Film Festival:


Travis Coleman can be reached at tcoleman(at)ap.org


The Sundance Kids: How the Mavericks Took Back Hollywood

from theaustralian.news.com:

JULY 4, 2006

New book tells how independent filmmakers function in shadow of Hollywood studio system

The Sundance Kids: How the Mavericks Took Back Hollywood
By James Mottram, Faber, 480pp, $35

THE year may be barely half over but already far too many of us have suffered through the pervasive hype and subsequent let-down of bloated cinema blockbusters such as The Da Vinci Code, another frenetic but empty-headed Mission Impossible sequel and the sheer superfluity of Poseidon, a lame remake of a 1970s disaster classic. So it's not surprising that a cursory glance at a book called The Sundance Kids: How the Mavericks Took Back Hollywood may ameliorate the sinking feeling I experience so regularly while walking out of multiplexes.

But you know what they say about books and their covers, or in this case, their titles. Dip into the pages of this mostly thoughtful and well-written tome and it's obvious that its author, British journalist James Mottram, should have come up with a less misleading moniker. That interesting things have happened in Hollywood over the past decade is, mercifully, not in dispute. But mavericks, however defined, haven't taken it over, even if some have forged productive relationships with studios that have allowed some interesting films to be made.

As Mottram says in his conclusion, the group of film-makers he labels the Sundance Kids isn't ready to hold Hollywood hostage, even if the studios have opted to augment their annual avalanche of formulaic fodder with a roster of projects financed and produced to varying degrees through their specialty divisions.


CinemaNow and Movielink now selling downloads of major studio movies

from citizentimes.com:

JULY 4, 2006

The DVD has been a hit with movie fans because it delivers both convenience and quality at a reasonable price. But in the future, all movies could be downloaded at home, eliminating the need for discs

Selection: “The Hills Have Eyes,” “8 Below” and “Syriana” ($19.95 each) became available the same day they arrived on DVD. CinemaNow has more than 370 download-to-own major studio titles, including “Rumor Has It,” “Firewall” and “Chicken Little.” Older films, such as “Spider-Man 2” and “Sophie’s Choice,” are as low as $9.99.

What you need: A Windows XP PC with Windows Media Player 10, Internet Explorer 6.0 and a broadband connection of at least 300 kilobits per second.

What they promise: Typical download times of one hour to 90 minutes. You can usually begin watching minutes into the downloading process and can watch an unlimited number of times. CinemaNow movie files can be burned onto DVDs and played on up to three PCs with Windows Media Player.


Hollywood Celebs to join Cindy Sheehan in hunger strike

from iol.co.za:

JULY 4, 2006

By Stephen Collinson

Washington - Hollywood actor-activists including Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon and anti-war campaigners led by bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan plan to launch a hunger strike on Monday, demanding the immediate return of American troops from Iraq.

As Americans get set to fire up their barbeques in patriotic celebration of Independence Day on July 4, anti-war protesters planned to savour a last meal outside the White House, before embarking on a "Troops Home Fast" at midnight.

"We've marched, held vigils, lobbied Congress, camped out at Bush's ranch, we've even gone to jail, now it's time to do more," said Sheehan, who emerged as an anti-war icon after losing her 24-year-old son Casey in Iraq.

Despite polls which show the Iraq war is unpopular and many Americans are sceptical of President George Bush's wartime leadership, peace protests have not hit the opinion-swaying critical mass seen during Vietnam War.

"We have been continually sheltered from the actual cost of war from the beginning," said Meredith Dearborn, of human rights group Global Exchange, explaining how anti-Iraq war protests have stuttered.

The hunger strike will see at least four activists, Sheehan, veteran comedian and peace campaigner Dick Gregory, former army colonel Ann Wright and environmental campaigner Diane Wilson launch serious, long-term fasts.

"I don't know how long I can fast, but I am making this open-ended," said Wilson.

Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a "rolling fast", a relay in which 2 700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.



Jennifer Aniston taking course to learn how to direct films

from entertainmentwise.com:

JULY 3, 2006

Actress Jennifer Aniston has revealed she plans on becoming a film director alongside acting.

The former ‘Friends’ actress has reportedly enrolled herself in a film directing course and is deadly serious about making it behind the camera.

According to The Bosh she said: "I plan to direct. In fact, I'm taking a course now. You have to be multi-skilled in this job."

Aniston did set up a production company with ex-husband Brad Pitt called ‘Plan B’ which has produced ‘Troy’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’; Pitt took over the running of the company as part of their divorce settlement.


Denzel Washington joins Peter Jackson for secret project

from canada.com:

JULY 3, 2006

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Actor Denzel Washington will occupy the director's chair when he collaborates with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on a forthcoming movie project, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Oscar-winning actor confirmed he had discussed the project with Jackson during a four-day visit to Wellington this week, contradicting earlier denials by his publicists.

Washington told Wellington's Dominion-Post newspaper he would direct and Jackson would provide special effects for the movie, which would likely be released in two years.


Analysts say "Pirates of the Caribbean" could be the only true summer blockbuster

Thus far, no film has dominated summer. Though several movies came out of the gate quickly, including The Da Vinci Code and X-Men: The Last Stand, none has approached $300 million, the gold standard for a summer smash.

from usatoday.com:

JULY 3, 2006

Last summer, Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith racked up $380 million and was the biggest movie of the year. The year before that, it was Shrek 2 with $441 million.

"It's been a very blah summer so far," says Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo. "There's no Shrek, no Star Wars, no Finding Nemo. We need something to invigorate audiences."

His bet is on Pirates, out July 7. Gray says the first Pirates, which made $305 million in 2003, built an appetite unrivaled by any other movie.

Gray says ticket sales for the sequel should surpass the original, "and it could very well be the biggest movie of 2006. It's the only one that really stands out."

Early tracking has been so strong that some analysts say it could challenge Spider-Man's record $114.8 million opening in 2002.



Click here for the trailer.

Theatrical Release Date: Aug 18, 2006 (Wide)

Cast & Crew:
Tom Sizemore, Stephen Baldwin, Jesse James, Robert Costanzo, Dallen Gettling directed by Rocco Devilliers

MPAA Rating: PG-13 - for war action violence and some sexual content

Aint It Cool News celebrates 10 years on the web: Lists "Greatest Movies About America"

Harry Knowles, Moriarty, Hercules, Quint, and others name their 'Greatest Movies About America'

JULY 3, 2006

from aintitcoolnews.com:

Big subject, I know. And no one’s list of ten is going to be the same as anyone else’s, which is one of the reasons this prospect entertained me. I wrote to a list of our past and present contributors and said, “Imagine you’re trying to explain America to someone. What ten films would you show them, and why?” The responses I got are fascinating and illuminating and, in some cases, hilarious, but I think they make for a great read. I want you guys, the talkbackers, to participate, too. Please... tell us what you like or don’t like about these lists. Share lists of your own with us.


KING KONG (1933)

Exploitation. The entire country was built upon it.

Exploitation of the land, the resources, the indigenous peoples, the animals and the people you claimed to be exploiting it all for. To me – this film is a metaphor for the very thing that so often dooms us. Best intentions gone wrong. The dream of capturing something that nobody had ever dared to dream of, and unleashing the nightmare on the world.


Why the really great men will never be able to change anything. This film shows how a man that had the best intentions, the financial independence to truly make a difference nationally – could be crushed by the dirty politics of political smear campaigns – and forced to pursue a life in Entertainment and self-indulgence – when he really wanted to help the common man.


Top Box Office

Showtimes and Tickets

    Movies In Your Area
    (zip code, city, or state)


Subscribe to FilmSmack!
What's this?
About RSS Feeds

Google Reader or Homepage Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add FilmSmack to Newsburst from CNET News.com Subscribe in FeedLounge Add to Bitty Browser Add to Plusmo Subscribe in Rojo Add to My AOL

Enter your email address to get FilmSmack Headlines sent to your inbox each day!

Delivered by FeedBurner

Search FilmSmack

Contact FilmSmack

    Got a tip? Send it to filmsmack@gmail.com


© 2006 filmsmack.org