Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Superman found?

Superman Finally Found
Director Bryan Singer has finally ended his quest to find an aspiring star capable of transporting Superman into the 21st century - he's settled on little known actor Brandon Routh. X-Men film-maker Singer signed up to direct Superman Returns in the summer and announced he was searching for an unknown actor to fill the Man of Steel's red boots - a role made famous by the late Christopher Reeve. And he deems 25-year-old Routh - whose resume is limited to a number of appearances in TV shows like Will & Grace - the perfect choice to reprise the comic book role, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper. Meanwhile, The OC star Mischa Barton and Topher Grace from That '70s Show are also reportedly in negotiations to play Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen respectively.

Gibson Most Powerful Man in Hollywood
Mel Gibson has been named the most powerful person in Hollywood following the success of his controversial movie The Passion Of The Christ. American magazine Entertainment Weekly's annual power feature says Gibson's religious film made more than $610 million and prompted international debates, making it one of the greatest "power plays" in Hollywood history. The magazine explains, "What once seemed like a zealous bit of risky business has proved to be one of the most successful power plays in Hollywood history. We were interested in the people who had the most interesting power stories to tell." Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore and Elf actor Will Ferrell also topped the power ranks while Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein and Janet Jackson, were named this year's "power losers".

Gellar for Buffy Movie?
Hollywood beauty Sarah Michelle Gellar has refused to rule out reprising her role as vampire slayer Buffy Summers in a big screen adaptation of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as long as the script is good. The actress, married to Freddie Prinze Jr., said goodbye to her Buffy character last year after seven years, and although she was happy with the series ending, she does believe there is scope for a movie version. She says, "Clearly, you're going to disappoint people. I mean, I was very happy with the finale, but I still believe that it should have been two hours. I believe there wasn't enough Xander (Nicholas Brendon's character). I believe that certain things get left out, and when you make a film you're setting yourself up to disappoint people. I say that now, and in a year someone could send me the script and I could think it's great and we could be at the junket a-year-and-a-half from now. But I will say that I have a lot of hesitations about it and it is not something I particularly want to do at this time." Before Gellar landed the role of Buffy, Kristy Swanson played the sexy assassin of the undead in the 1992 film Buffy The Vampire Slayer opposite Luke Perry.

Britney Uses Old Photo
Britney Spears has reportedly used a two-year-old photograph on the cover of her new greatest hits album - because she's unhappy with the way she looks now. According to sources, Spears' head was airbrushed over an old body shot for the front of her Greatest Hits: My Prerogative CD. But she's still not happy with the result. She is quoted in British magazine New! saying, "I look like a porn star. And why the blonde hair? I am so over being blonde."

"The Most Sexually Explicit Film Ever" Is Passed by U.K. Censors
What Britain's Sky News has described as "the most sexually explicit film ever in British cinema" has been passed by British censors. On Monday the British Board of film Classification gave director Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs an 18 rating -- allowing moviegoers 18 and older to attend it -- commenting that the numerous sex scenes in it are actually "sensual, not sexual" and that they are "exceptionally justified by context." It concluded: "Some people may find such explicit images shocking or unexpected in a cinema film. The Board is sensitive to public concerns, and its guidelines are based on extensive consultation ... The Board has concluded in this case that adults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film." The film follows a young couple from their first date to their break-up. Their relationship is punctuated by nine concerts that they attend -- hence, the title.

Alien 5?
In Hollywood no one can hear you scream: fanboy writer-director Paul WS Anderson has been asked by 20th Century Fox to pen the fifth film in the Alien franchise. According to reports on Ceefax, the critically-derided British helmer is getting ready to write the next instalment in the long-running franchise on the back of his work on upcoming monster mash crossover flick AVP: Alien Vs Predator.
That may come as something of a surprise to anyone who recalls Anderson telling The Daily Telegraph back in August that he would probably turn down any offers to get involved in the Alien movies. Fickle? Who, moi? However, one question remains: will Sigourney Weaver be coaxed back for another entry in the bug hunting series? The jury's still out.
AVP: Alien Vs Predator is unleashed in the UK on Friday 22 October.

Godzilla Returns
The monster mashing green lizard with a habit of stomping all over Tokyo is heading Stateside later this month as the University of Kansas holds a special conference to celebrate Godzilla's 50th anniversary. "I would like people to take Godzilla more seriously," says Bill Tsutsui, a history professor at the University of Kansas and author of the book Godzilla On My Mind. That no doubt explains why the conference will feature papers on American-Japanese relations after World War II, nuclear anxiety and a series of free screenings. Just don't mention the 28-foot inflatable Godzilla sitting on top of the movie theatre...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

'Passion' donates...Arine and Danny together again

Gibson Donates 'Passion' Profits to Hospitals
Movie star Mel Gibson has donated a staggering $5 million from the proceeds of hit film The Passion Of The Christ to help underprivileged children. Gibson split the sum between Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital. The money will specifically help pediatric patients from poor countries where the necessary medical care isn't available or affordable. A source close to the 48-year-old say he also donated in excess of $1.5 million to cover the 23-hour operation to separate conjoined twins Maria De Jesus and Maria Teresa Quiej Alvarez at UCLA in 2002

"Twins" Arnie and Danny Battle Runaway Production
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger greeted his Twins costar Danny DeVito on a location set of DeVito's new film, Relative Strangers, Wednesday to congratulate him on his efforts to produce the film in California, rather than succumb to the tax lures and lower labor costs offered by other states. DeVito acknowledged that he had to persuade the film's cast and crew to take pay cuts in order to offset the lower production costs that other states offered. They're "working for much less than they normally work for," DeVito told reporters Wednesday.

Johansson's Tonsils Removed
Movie beauty Scarlett Johansson dashed home to Los Angeles from South Africa last month to have her tonsils removed. The Lost In Translation star was visiting her boyfriend Jared Leto on set in Cape Town, when she was struck with tonsillitis. Upon consultation with doctors, Johansson was rushed into surgery immediately to have the troublesome body parts removed. A friend says, "Scarlett has been working really hard, but she needs to slow down."

Oscars To Rock
In an apparent effort to attract younger viewers, Academy Awards producer Gil Cates has called on Chris Rock to host next year's Oscars telecast. "I am a huge fan of Chris Rock," said Cates. "He always makes me laugh and he always has something interesting to say. Chris represents the best of the new generation of comics. Having him host the Oscars is terrific. I can't wait." Nevertheless, Rock's hosting stint is almost certain to generate controversy. Critics have sometimes criticized his humor as heavy-handed and sophomoric. Presenting a sound-effects award at the 1999 Oscar ceremonies, at which Elia Kazan was presented the academy's Lifetime Achievement Award, Rock was booed when he referred to Kazan's decision a half century earlier to cooperate with the congressional investigation of Communists in the entertainment business. Saying that he had just seen Kazan and Robert De Niro backstage, Rock commented: "You better get Kazan away from De Niro, because you know, he hates rats." Later, when Kazan received the award, he was accompanied onto the stage by De Niro.

Zeta-Jones Looked After Pregnant Roberts
Catherine Zeta-Jones made sure pregnant co-star Julia Roberts was well looked after on the set of movie sequel Ocean's Twelve. The Welsh beauty - herself a mum of two - admits expecting actresses receive extra special treatment on film sets, and she was only too willing to join her colleagues in ensuring Roberts' time working on the Ocean's Eleven follow-up was a relaxing experience. Zeta-Jones explains, "Julia's been well looked after by all of us. You get really spoiled when you're pregnant on a movie set. I remember what it was like when I was pregnant with Dylan and I was making Traffic. I had people running around doing everything for me, my feet were getting massaged, my toes were getting rubbed, and people would even come over and rub my belly from time to time."

Britney Stops Singing To Start a Family
Pop superstar Britney Spears is putting her singing career on hold to have a baby with new husband Kevin Federline. The 22-year-old star makes the frank admissions in "letter of truth" published on her official website, warning fans that her body is changing and that they won't be seeing much of her for a while. She wrote, "Being married is great and I can't wait to start my family. There's so much change going on in the world right now... not only with me, but with the world as well. I am going to take some time off to enjoy life." Spears also used the letter to have a cheeky dig at her pop rivals: "My prerogative right now is just to chill and let all of the other overexposed blondes on the cover of Us Weekly be your entertainment... good luck girls!" Spear's record label Jive are far from pleased with her recent decision - having just poured millions into promoting her Greatest Hits album.

Bloom and Bosworth: Not Engaged
Hollywood couple Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth have lashed out at reports they are engaged to be married. The British Lord Of The Rings heart-throb allegedly proposed to the pretty Blue Crush actress with a $315,000 diamond engagement ring. The handsome pair met on the set of a Gap advertisement in 2002. But Bloom's publicist insists, "I don't know where the rumor started. They are not engaged." Bosworth will be seen onscreen later this year in Beyond The Sea, while Bloom's upcoming Kingdom Of Heaven is slated for a 2005 release.

Brosnan Says Bond Producers Aren't Interested in Him Anymore
Pierce Brosnan's days as James Bond are over. Appearing to end speculation about whether he will return to the role, Brosnan has told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: "I had a contract for four Bond films. ... I did them and told them that I'd like to continue. But suddenly, in the middle of negotiations, they changed their minds. They said that they weren't interested any more. I was shocked, perplexed. I loved Bond. He's given me so much, mostly a face out in the international market. Afterwards, I was happy. Now it feels like a relief."

Elizabeth Taylor Sued Over Painting
Movie legend Dame Elizabeth Taylor is being sued by the family of a victim of Nazi persecution in Germany over ownership of a Van Gogh painting. The Cleopatra actress bought Gogh's View of the Asylum and Chapel at Saint-Remy, for $257,600 at London auction house Sotheby's in 1963. But now the heirs of Jewish Margarete Mauthner are seeking to recover the masterpiece and say Taylor should be aware it was stolen from their late relative by Nazis in 1939. Mauthner's great-grandson, Canadian lawyer Andrew Orkin, says, "We are asserting that Ms. Taylor was negligent and careless when she bought the painting. Our complaint charges that she ignored numerous conspicuous 'red flags' in 1963 that the painting had likely been confiscated from a victim of Nazi persecution." Mauthner fled Berlin to South Africa in 1939 after her property was confiscated by Adolf Hitler's armies during the beginning of World War II. Her descendants are entitled to reclaim the artwork under the 1998 US Holocaust Victims Redress Act. In May Taylor submitted a claim to a Los Angeles court, asking officials to declare her the legal owner of the piece.

Damon, Newman, De Niro and Bing Boost Kerry Fund
Hollywood heavyweights Paul Newman, Steve Bing, Robert De Niro and Matt Damon have boosted Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign as he bids for the White House next month. The Democrat hopeful is currently neck and neck with current US leader George W Bush in the opinion polls in the run-up to polling day on November 2. Over 850 celebrities and businesspeople have contributed to Kerry's campaign fund, of which a recent investigation in New York has revealed Bing, Damon, De Niro and Newman have all given money. Film producer Bing, who famously denied paternity of Elizabeth Hurley's son Damian and was later forced to admit he was the father, has written many cheques to the Democrats of up to $9 million. De Niro has generously contributed $28,800, Kevin Bacon $18,000 and Michael Douglas $15,300. The Bourne Supremacy heart-throb Damon has donated $27,000, while film legend Newman has given $54,000. Chevy Chase, who like Damon has also donated $27,000, fumes, "There's something venal and arrogant about Bush and it drives me up the wall." On Wednesday the Bush camp tried to downplay the celebrity connections and donations the Democrats have received, saying, "The world doesn't revolve around Hollywood."

Caviezel Wants Superman Role
Jim Caviezel is struggling to land the lead role in the new Superman movie - because director Bryan Singer wants an unknown actor. The Passion Of The Christ heart-throb admits he is in talks to star in Superman Returns - but looks set to miss out because he's too famous. Caviezel tells American website IESB.Com, "It appeals to me a great deal, but I haven't seen a script yet. I like to play iconic characters, and I see the role of Superman as a big responsibility. Playing Superman would be a great challenge. I have had no direct, face-to-face talks with Bryan Singer. All talking has been done through mediators." But Singer recently told Ain't-it-cool.Com, "James Caviezel is a wonderful actor. But I'm committed to casting an unknown." Caviezel, meanwhile, knows if he manages to persuade Singer to change his mind, he could never outdo the original Superman, Christopher Reeve - who passed away on Sunday. He says, "Christopher Reeve is the greatest Superman ever in my mind. The original movies transcend what is common in film because they mix comedy and drama so well."

Director Raimi To Film New Scenes for 'Spider-Man 2.5'
Not only does Sony plan to release the Spider-Man 2 DVD in November, but it also plans to release Spider-Man 2.5, with additional action and effects scenes next year, director Sam Raimi has told the website It is really not a matter of his wanting to release a director's extended cut of the film, Raimi indicated. "Sony said to me, 'We want to release a 2.5,' because they want to make more money. It's not really that I had some scenes to put in. The movie really was the best I could make it. It's not like I think I could make it better." Asked why the studio is waiting until next year to release the extended version, Raimi responded: "It's just a financial decision by the studio. They know that people who liked the second movie would want to own it as it is on DVD, and then it's just a gamble. 'Oh, if we spend another four million dollars, can we make another ten million dollars?' I think that's how it works."

Indian Bureau Halts Production of Jackie Chan Flick
One day after its was reported that Jackie Chan had enlisted community members living near an ancient temple near Hambi, in the Indian state of Karnataka, to join him in cleaning up the temple grounds where he planned to film scenes for his new movie The Myth (also known as Time Breaker), the Indian Archeological Department has halted the filming. Indian press reports said that while the U.S.-based producers of the movie had received permission to shoot in the area from other government agencies, it had failed to seek permits from the state Archeological Department. Moreover, visitors to the temple have reportedly complained that their access to it was being limited by the production.

Reeve Film To Go Ahead
A computer-animated movie being made by Christopher Reeve at the time of his death will be completed, producer Morris Berger has vowed. The paralyzed actor - who died on Sunday, aged 52 - was midway through making Yankee Irving, about a father and his baseball-playing son who overcomes obstacles to realize his ambitions. Reeve had described the project as "captivating, with the perfect blend of warmth and wit". And IDT Entertainment CEO Berger insists production will continue - despite the Superman star's death from a heart attack, nine years after a horse riding incident left him paralyzed. He says, "We've just been addressing personal issues and the great loss and reassuring our staff that the production will go on. Tomorrow we'll think those things through." The movie is scheduled for release in 2006.

Carrey Becomes an American Citizen
Canadian comedian Jim Carrey has fulfilled a longtime ambition to become an American citizen. Following in the footsteps of fellow Canadian Pamela Anderson and Irish actor Pierce Brosnan, the star will make the most of his new status to vote in the upcoming presidential elections - but he's insisting on holding on to his Canadian citizenship. He says, "I have no intention of giving up my Canadian heritage, and all those who loved and supported me. My upbringing in Canada made me the person I am. I will always be proud to be a Canadian." While Carrey became a US citizen last week, it is not known if he made the October 4 deadline to register to vote in the November 2 showdown between President George W Bush and Senator John Kerry.

Pfeiffer Won't Work with Husband
Hollywood beauty Michelle Pfeiffer refuses to work with her husband after making a rule not to mix their professional and personal lives. Television show creator David E Kelley - the mastermind behind TV hits like Ally McBeal and Boston Public - is desperate to persuade Pfeiffer to feature in his The Practice spin-off series Boston Legal, which stars James Spader and William Shatner. However, Kelley jokes this will only happen if he's fired from the project before Pfeiffer enters the show's set. He confides, "She would be great. The trick would be convincing her to ever work with me. Even though I might be able to persuade her that other people are running the show, she might not quite believe that I would completely stay out of the process. We made one rule that we would try not to work together if possible. For example, I wrote a feature a year ago that I thought she would happen to be right for. She read it, she liked it, and the next day I was fired off the project."

Lopez Cried, But Still Failed To Avoid Sex Scene
Jennifer Lopez once broke down in tears in front of director Oliver Stone in an attempt to avoid having to film a raunchy sex scene. Lopez was terrified of shooting a love-making sequence, in which she appears topless, with co-star Sean Penn in Stone's 1997 movie U Turn. But, despite her theatrical protest, Lopez still ended up having to endure the uncomfortable moment. She says, "Urgh. Yeah, the sex scenes were bad. It was hard being the only woman on set with those strong men. I just started crying and fighting. But Oliver was like, 'Take off your top.'" Last week Lopez admitted her first on-screen sex scene in 1995 film Money Train with Wesley Snipes was "horrible".

Ziyi Ran Away From Dance School
Chinese star Zhang Ziyi ran away from the dance school she attended as child and only returned when the police picked her up. The shy Hero actress found the other pre-teen pupils' habit of backstabbing too hard to live with. Wishing to avoid a confrontation, she simply upped and left. The 25-year-old recalls, "I didn't like the other girls - the way they would band together and give you a knife in the back. They loved to run to the teachers and say bad things about each other. I didn't want to fight with them, so I just ran. The teacher called the police because I disappeared for a while. I think I cried every day when I was there. If I'd had more courage I would have run away again."

Gere Interview Horrifies Reeve Fans
Richard Gere shocked American viewers of morning TV show Live With Regis And Kelly by joking about a horse-riding accident, only days after Christopher Reeve's death. The Chicago actor recorded an interview about his recent horse-riding injury with hosts Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin last week, which was aired on Tuesday. When asked if he broke his hand by falling off a horse, Gere joked, "Men are not thrown off horses." Viewers were horrified to what appeared to be Gere's "insensitivity" to Reeve, who was paralyzed from the neck down after he was thrown from his horse in Virginia in 1995. Superman star Reeve died on Sunday after suffering cardiac arrest.

Williams' Fond Farewell to Pal Reeve
Robin Williams has gathered with best pal Christopher Reeve's family for a personal ceremony at the late Superman's New York state home. Williams joined Reeve's widow Dana, daughter Alexandra and his sons Will and Matthew for an emotional farewell in Bedford, and the funnyman admits it was the perfect send off. He recalls, "It was one of the most beautiful New England days and leaves were turning and the wind's blowing and you're going, 'It feels like he's here, and that's a great thing.' There was a spirit of sadness but there's also a spirit of great joy all of a sudden. After the service, all of a sudden kids started to play football - it's what happens. Life goes on but that's what he'd want too." Williams claims the private family service helped him recover from the shock of hearing his pal and former school roommate had died on Sunday. He adds, "Chris dying was like I didn't think it could happen. Like him, I thought that he was going to walk because about a year ago he was moving his fingers."

Ying xiong : The HERO
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin's three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory.
In ancient times China was divided into seven kingdoms. Qin, the king of the northern province, is under permanent threat of assassination attempts. His greatest fears are the warriors "Broken Sword", "Flying Snow" and "Sky". One day one of the magistrates of his kingdom enters the palace, claims that he defeated all three of the emperor's adversaries and tells his story; how he beat "Sky" in a duel and used the love between "Broken Sword" and "Flying Snow" to subdue them
*At the height of China's Warring States period, the country was divided into seven kingdoms: Qin, Zhao, Han Wei, Yan, Chu and Qi. For years, the separate kingdoms fought ruthlessly for supremacy. As a result, the populace endured decades of death and suffering. The Kingdom of Qin was the most determined of all. The Qin King was obsessed with conquering all of China and becoming her first Emperor. He had long been the target of assassins throughout the other six states. Of all the would-be killers, none inspired as much fear as the three legendary assassins, Broken Sword, Flying Snow and Sky.
To anyone who defeated the three assassins, the King of Qin promised great power, mountains of gold and a private audience with the King himself. But defeating the killers is a near impossible task. For ten years no one came close to claiming the prize. So when the enigmatic county sheriff, Nameless, came to the palace bearing the legendary weapons of the slain assassins, the King was impatient to hear his story. Sitting in the palace, only ten paces from the King, Nameless told his extraordinary tale: For ten years, Nameless studied the way of the sword and resolved to challenge the three assassins. Using the secrets of swordsmanship; Nameless defeated the mighty Sky in a furious showdown. Following this initial victory, he destroyed the famed duo of Flying Snow and Broken Sword. This time using a weapon far more devastating than his sword - their extraordinary love for each other.
The King hung on every detail of this curious story. But then something most unexpected happened - the King has a different story to tell of how Nameless really came to sit there, face to face with the King! It appears that everything was not so simple. In the centre of the intrigue sits Nameless -a solitary ranger and the King of Qin - the ruler of the Kingdom, with only ten steps between them. Within those ten steps holds an earth-shattering tale of love, honour and duty, a story that moves beyond the reaches of history.
Crew and Cast
Directed byYimou Zhang Writing credits Feng Li Bin Wang Starring: Jet Li .... Nameless, Tony Leung Chiu Wai .... Broken Sword, Maggie Cheung .... Flying Snow, Zhang Ziyi .... Moon, and Daoming Chen .... King of Qin

Monday, October 11, 2004

Christopher "Superman" Reeve Dead At 52

Christopher Reeve Dead At 52
Superman star Christopher Reeve died Sunday from a systemic infection at the age of 52. The infection was reportedly caused by a pressure wound, often described as a "bed sore," a common complication for immobile patients. Reeve was paralyzed in a riding accident on May 27, 1995. As recently as Tuesday, he was campaigning in Chicago on behalf of embryonic stem cell research, and his efforts to persuade the Bush administration to reverse its policy on such research were alluded to by Senator John Kerry during Friday night's presidential debate. Reeve celebrated his 52nd birthday on Sept. 25. ____________________________________________

Is Superman Cursed?

It has now become a generic term to refer to the 'curse of the superman', whenever tragic happenings strike those associated with the movie. The death of Christopher Reeve, yesterday, at the early age of 52 years is the latest case in point. In fact all heroes who have played the role and even many people connected to the movie have had unnatural deaths and rather unhappy lives. Running From Superman Superman symbolised the ultimate American dream - the greatest American hero - a man who came from a different planet and overcame all odds to become the hero of the people. All Superman films have been world-wide hits. Expectedly the role of the Superman should be a much coveted role. But that is not so. In fact Josh Hartnett and Paul Walker have already turned down this role and Warner Brothers are having a tough time finding a hero to play the role. Yes the 'curse of the Superman' - call it supersition if you will - but it is an undeniable fact - a living reality, that actors are now fighting shy of the role. A look at the heroes who played Superman down the ages: Alyn: Caught In The Mould Kirk Alyn was the first person to be cast as superman. Alyn loved the part of Superman, but it was a role that led him to disappointment. When in 1951, actor George Reeves was cast in the superhero's role and later starred in the television series "The Adventures of Superman," Alyn was greatly disheartened about losing the role. He also later found that the role had hampered his career. He felt he was typed and he couldn't seem to break the mould of Superman he had got caught in. He died at the age of 88, suffering from a lingering disease. Reeves: Cut Off From Life George Reeves, the next Superman, was just 45 years old in 1959, when he was found dead in his home from a single gun shot. The cause of death was listed as suicide, though controversy swirled around the death: Reeves' prints were never found on the gun, and he'd been having an affair with the wife of Eddie Mannix. It was however put down as suicide as he was believed to have been suffering from depression, due to lack of work; as he too found himself caught in the mould of 'Superman'. Reeve Paralysed "Superman" Christopher Reeve – the last hero to date to play the role of Superman, had been paralyzed since a horse riding accident over nine years ago. He died of heart failure in New York, yesterday at the young age of 52. Cursed Some of the other stars who were apparently star-wrecked due to their association with Superman were, Margot Kidderr who suffered a nervous breakdown and Richard Pryor who was struck by multiple sclerosis. There also many others connected to "Superman" who suffered. So the curse of ‘Superman’, so far, seems to be for real. Let’s hope the next superman can break this jinx.
More news ...HOLLYWOOD, California (Variety) -- With Paul Walker the latest to drop out of the running to play the title role in the new "Superman" movie for Warner Bros. (Josh Hartnett turned it down earlier), a question comes to mind: Isn't this supposed to be the role actors would die for? Not if you talk to talent agents. Frequently suspicious, they are rarely superstitious -- and yet, some raise the "Curse of Superman" as a reason the Brett Ratner-directed picture seems to be having trouble finding the Man of Steel. What is the curse? While everyone knows the misfortune that came to paralyze Christopher Reeve, the nervous breakdown suffered by Margot Kidder and the multiple sclerosis that struck Richard Pryor; many others connected to "Superman" have suffered. Kirk Alyn played bit parts and minor supporting roles in several low-budget films before getting his big break playing the title role in the 1948 serial "Superman." But after the serial ended, he failed to sustain a film career and retired to Arizona. George Reeves, who played the role of Superman in a TV series and several movies in the 1950s, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in 1959. The cause of death was listed as suicide, though controversy swirled around the death: Reeves' prints were never found on the gun, and he'd been having an affair with the wife of MGM exec Eddie Mannix. The first cartoon "Superman" was voiced by Bud Collyer from 1941-43. He went on to have a fine career in TV, creating and hosting the game show "To Tell the Truth." But he returned to the role to voice "The New Adventures of Superman" for CBS in 1966 -- and three years later, he was dead of a circulatory ailment.

Scorsese: No Such Thing As Pointless Violence
Veteran director Martin Scorsese refuses to accept onscreen violence can ever be gratuitous, because it forms an integral part of the human experience. The 61-year-old legend, who has captured some of cinema's most graphic violence in movie classics including Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and Casino, says blood is an essential ingredient of daily reality. Scorsese says, "There is no such thing as pointless violence. City Of God, is that pointless violence? It's reality, it's real life, it has to do with the human condition. Being involved in Christianity and Catholicism when I was very young, you have that innocence, the teachings of Christ. Deep down you want to think that people are really good - but the reality outweighs that."

Sheen Lasers Off His Bad Boy Tattoos
Reformed Hollywood hell-raiser Charlie Sheen is further distancing himself from his bad boy past by having some of his 13 tattoos removed. The actor, now a happily married new dad, insists he has no connection to the days when he was a prostitute-using party animal, and so most of his skin art has no relevance. He says, "I had some tattoos lasered off my chest. They don't represent the lifestyle I thought I would always have. So now I have to go through the very slow and painful process of having them removed." But his wife Denise Richards has reservations about her husband's bid to clean up his skin. She explains, "I think tattoos are sexy. I told him he could leave them on, but he wanted to get rid of them." ____________________________________________
Eminem Rampage
Eminem's hilarious new video features the rapper poking fun at Madonna, Michael Jackson, Pee Wee Herman and MC Hammer. The fun-loving rapper's new video "Just Lose It" features Paris Hilton, Eminem's 8 Mile co-star Mekhi Phifer, Erik Estrada and Bad Santa star Tony Cox. In one hilarious scene, Eminem, as Jackson, dashes into the toilet featured in the opening scenes of 8 Mile in an attempt to douse the fire in his hair - after an onstage pyrotechnics accident with Madonna. When the Jackson character comes face to face with the real Eminem, the rapper vomits all over him. Poking more fun at Jackson, Eminem, playing the pop superstar, accidentally knocks off his own nose during a disco scene and has to scramble around on the floor looking for it. Eminem also calls in a double, Ryan Shepard, to play a streaking Eminem, chased by Pee Wee Herman and TV star Estrada as a motorcycle cop, who eventually arrests him. Dr Dre, who also appears in the video, admits he doesn't understand why his pal is always naked in promos. He says, "I have no idea what's wrong with him, man, he always shows his a**."

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Taxi Without Sami Naceri

Taxi ? Where is Samy Naceri?
Taxi doesn't fare well at all in the hands of the critics. Dave Kehr in the New York Times describes it as "a bland, half-finished film that seems to have been conceived as off-peak cable fodder." Calling the movie "dismal," Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times writes that appears to be made "without ambition, imagination, or purpose." Bob Townsend in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that a line in the dialogue sums up the movie: "Crazy and stupid is my style." Saturday Night Live's Jimmy Fallon, making his first appearance in a movie, is being ragged by critics. Peter Howell in the Toronto Star comments: "By inadvertently living up to his SNL billing as one of the Not Ready For Prime Time players, Fallon demonstrates in his first lead movie role just how difficult it is to play an idiot." Tom Maurstad in the Dallas Morning News is even harsher: "Jimmy Fallon wastes little time showing that when it comes to the big screen, he's strictly small screen," he writes. Michael O'Sullivan in the Washington Post observes that Fallon is funniest in the outtakes shown behind the closing credits of the movie. "It's a shame that the movie, couldn't capture that sense of joyous, on-the-fly wisecracking," he writes. Queen Latifah, who co-stars in the movie, receives mostly sympathetic comments from the critics. Jan Stuart in Newsday writes: "Queen Latifah is a persuasive screen presence, to be sure, but nothing in her bag of brassy tricks can persuade freshness and spontaneity out of a jerry-built comedy such as this."
Cast : Queen Latifah as Belle, Jimmy Fallon as Washburn, Henry Simmons as Jesse, Jennifer Esposito as Lt. Marta Robbins, Gisele Bundchen as Vanessa /Gisele Bündchen. Directed byTim Story Luc Besson (earlier screenplay) Ben Garant (screenplay) PLOT: Belle (Queen Latifah) is a NASCAR-loving speed freak who has just received her taxi license. Aggressively driving her tricked-out cab around New York City, Belle rules the road. Washburn (Jimmy Fallon) is a brainless cop (and a poor driver) who has a habit of screwing up everything he touches. When a team of Brazilian supermodels (led by Gisele Bundchen) begins a series of bank robberies, Belle and Washburn are the only witnesses to the team's true identities and pair up to break the case, hoping to restore Washburn's good name in the force and to his captain (Jennifer Esposito) in the process.
Law Plans for Hamlet
Hollywood star Jude Law is planning a break from Hollywood, to return to the London stage. The actor enjoyed a successful run in the Christopher Marlowe play Doctor Faustus at the city's Young Vic theatre in 2002 - but this time he has a bigger role in mind. According to sources, Law wants to play Shakespeare's Hamlet for a limited run next year. ______________________________________________
Angelina's Special Note for Billy Bob
Angelina Jolie has congratulated her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton on his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, by taking out a full-page advertisement in a trade publication. Thornton received a star on the Tinseltown walkway Thursday, and has been honored by a range of studios and professionals with congratulatory ads in Daily Variety. But most noteworthy of all was a special message from Jolie. The sexy actress, who split from the Monster's Ball star in 2002, writes, "Billy, I love your brilliant mind... Congratulations! With love and respect always, Angie." Thornton's Bad Santa co-star Bernie Mac writes in his own full page ad, "You deserve it! There is no Badder Santa than you!" ______________________________________________
Duff Blasts Lohan on New Album
Teen singer and actress Hilary Duff has reportedly hit out at arch-rival Lindsay Lohan in a song on her latest album. The Lizzie McGuire blonde, 17, has been enemies with the 18-year-old redhead since they both discovered they were dating pop heart-throb Aaron Carter at the same time last year. In Duff's eponymous second album, the singer's track "Haters" is aimed at the Mean Girls actress, according to gossip site The Scoop. One insider says, "Hilary thinks that Lindsay has been directing negativity at her for too long." One verse of the song reads, "You're queen of superficiality/ Keep your lies out of my reality." At a later point, Duff sings, "You say your boyfriend's sweet and kind/ But you've still got your eyes on mine."

Spears Attacks Paparazzi Again
Newlywed pop babe Britney Spears' war with the paparazzi is heating up - she's been throwing soft drinks at them. Britney's relationship with the photographers has grown increasingly worse over the year; In June her mother Lynne injured snapper Calum Reavley in an accidental collision in Santa Monica, California, leaving the singer in tears. During her honeymoon with husband Kevin Federline in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, Britney and her family had an enjoyable time last month pelting journalists and paparazzi with milkshake. On Wednesday Britney went crazy at photo-journalists as she left a Kentwood sandwich shop, and hurled cola at them. Laughing hubby Federline smirked, "That's what happens when you get too close."
Zellweger To Take Year-Long Break
Actress Renee Zellweger is taking a year-long break from Hollywood, so she can spend more time hanging out with her friends. The Bridget Jones star plans to take a complete career break now she has finished filming sequel The Edge Of Reason, because she is sick of working long hours. Zellweger says, "The work is all-encompassing and there are so many things that you are not allowed in your life, because of it. Conventional friendships, unconditional friendships. I'd like to have coffee every day with my friends. I envy my friends who have that. So I'm stopping, I'm not really considering anything until this time next year."
Zellweger Sick of Weight-Obsessed Media
American actress Renee Zellweger has attacked the media, accusing them of starting a worldwide obsession with her weight. Since the star was required to gain weight for her roles in Bridget Jones's Diary and the upcoming sequel The Edge Of Reason, the press has delighted in watching her weight yo-yo - and she is growing tired. She says, "Every day I get asked for advice about how to lose weight. I hate discussing food. I hate discussing gaining weight to play Bridget as if it was martyrdom. It really disappoints me. I got chased through Heathrow airport a few months ago because a guy wanted to get a photograph of my backside. He wanted to document the revisitation of the Bridget Jones bum. I'm either too skinny or my bum's too big. Whichever way you look as a woman you'll be made fun of." Of piling on the pounds, she adds, "I was just the same girl. It felt different, not better, not worse."

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Hollywood News

Gere in Horseriding Accident
Hollywood veteran Richard Gere is nursing a broken hand after a horse-riding accident, following his failure to heed his wife's good advice. Carey Lowell told the Chicago actor to take a cell phone with him when he went on a horse ride around the couple's estate in Westchester, New York, but he ignored her. Gere was unaware that the saddle was loose until his horse's foot got caught in the straps, causing it to buck. Gere decided to jump off before things got too hairy and unfortunately landed on a rock, breaking his hand. The 55-year-old had to endure a painful walk back to his house where he was finally able to use the phone to call for help.

Gibson Obtains a Restraining Order
Movie mogul Mel Gibson has obtained a restraining order against a 34-year-old fan. A judge in Santa Monica, California, issued the temporary order after Gibson filed a complaint declaring Zack Sinclair sent him "alarming, harassing and annoying" letters requesting that the religious actor pray with him. According to the actor/director, Sinclair also followed him to church and trespassed on his Malibu, California, property. The Passion of the Christ filmmaker explained he was beginning to fear for the safety of his wife Robyn and the couple's seven children.

Britney's Married Life in Malibu
Britney Spears will start married life in Malibu, California, after buying a $6.9 million, eight bedroom home. The home, which was billed as the perfect place to stage a wedding in among its sales points, features an outdoor kitchen, spa, gym and landscaped gardens. It's likely to become Spears and new husband Kevin Federline's main home after the pop star sold her other Los Angeles mansion and put her New York apartment on the market. Spears' mother Lynne enthuses, "Britney and Kevin have a brand new beautiful home which they are going to be moving into. Besides being a gorgeous house, the location is actually what we love about it most. It reminds us of the kind of landscaping you would find in rural Mississippi with the creek, trees and overgrown greenery."

Benigni To Shoot Iraq Comedy
Acclaimed Italian director and actor Roberto Benigni is about to begin work on a comedy movie set against the backdrop of war-torn Iraq. The Oscar-winning star hopes La Tigre E La Neve will do for the war in Iraq what his Life Is Beautiful did for the Holocaust. In the film Benigni will take the lead role of a poet who gets caught up in events in Iraq in March 2003 when the US launched its attack on Saddam Hussein's regime. He tells Italian radio. "War naturally is the background of the film and my character is directly involved in it after this poet ends up in Iraq by pure chance. What is extraordinary is his vision of the world. This is one person representing all the people in the world." Benigni also makes a veiled attack on the West's role in Iraq: "Westerners are running the show, all of those doing these things have studied in the West, it is not the Easterners. We know how many dreams the East gives, and how grateful we are to the East and love all its beautiful things."

DiCaprio Case Thrown Out of Court
Leonardo DiCaprio has been cleared of long-running charges that he incited a group of friends to attack a love rival outside a Manhattan restaurant. Actor and screenwriter Roger Wilson filed a $45 million lawsuit against the Gangs Of New York star and two of his friends after the alleged incident in 1998. Wilson accused DiCaprio of telling his friend Todd Healy to beat him up after an argument over Wilson's then girlfriend, actress Elizabeth Berkley. Judge Paula Omansky ruled that Healy did not hear the 29-year-old actor's alleged remark, "Go out there and kick his a**!" The judge also ruled that only a restaurant security guard heard DiCaprio's say it, so the actor could not have aided and abetted Healy in his assault on Wilson. The case against Healy, who has admitted to punching Wilson in self-defense, continues.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Terminator Will Be Back Without Schwarzenegger
The next installment of the Terminator series will hit cinema screens in 2005 - but reportedly without Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger recently ditched acting for politics by becoming governor of California and, according to sources, his part in Terminator 4 will be reduced to a cameo role, while a new robot takes the limelight. A draft of the screenplay has just been completed by Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris. Sources say it is about what happens when the world's computer systems are infected by viruses.

Jackie Chan: 'I've Been Typecast'
Martial arts legend Jackie Chan blamed Hollywood for the failure of his recent movies, claiming they limited roles for Asians and said it was time to hang up his kung fu shoes and become a "real actor like Robert DeNiro" a local newspaper reported Friday."It's all the same, cop from Hong Kong, cop from China. Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat and I all face the same problem, our roles are limited," said Chan, 50, referring to other Chinese action stars who have sought roles in Western movies."Yes, I get treated like a king over there but I'm not happy. I get frustrated when I see them doing things the wrong way but I can't say anything," he told The Straits Times in an interview.The acrobatic, high-flying action star was in the city-state to promote "New Police Story," a sequel to a crime-fighting role that catapulted him to international stardom.Chan's last Hollywood film, an adaptation of the Jules Verne classic "Around the World in 80 Days," was a summer dud. Three others -- "The Medallion", "The Tuxedo" and "Shanghai Knights" with Owen Wilson -- also received lukewarm response at the box office.And despite his return to the United States for the filming of "Rush Hour III," Chan said he wants to move away from similar-scripted movies."I've always wanted to change, to become a real actor, like (Oscar winner) Robert DeNiro. I don't want to be seen as an action hero anymore."

Spelling Mistake To Blame for Cat Stevens Terror Scare
Yusuf Islam, the British singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, was refused entry into America because of a spelling error. The 57-year-old singing star - who abandoned a successful solo career in 1977 to become a Muslim - was on a flight from London to Washington on Tuesday when his name was spotted on a US security 'watch list' and his flight was diverted before officials deported him back to Britain. Aviation sources, with access to the "no-fly" list, now insist there is no entry on the list under the name 'Yusuf Islam', but that there is a 'Youssouf Islam' on the list. The US Transportation Safety Administration alleges that Islam has links to terrorist groups, which he has denied. In a statement Islam says, "We have now initiated a legal process to try to find out exactly what is going on, and to take all necessary steps to undo the very serious, and wholly unfounded, injustice which I have suffered. The amazing thing is that I was not given, and have still not been given, any explanation whatsoever as to what it is I am accused of, or why I am now deemed an apparent security threat - let alone given an opportunity to respond to these allegations. I was simply told that the order had come from on high."

Thornton's a Dad Again
Actor Billy Bob Thornton has become a father for the fourth time, after his girlfriend Connie Angland gave birth to a baby daughter. Baby Bella weighed six pounds one-and-a-half ounces and both Angland, 39, and her newborn girl are doing well, their publicist has confirmed. The baby is Angland's first, while five-times married Thornton, 49, already has two sons, William and Harry, with fourth wife Pietra Dawn Cherniak and a daughter, Amanda, with first wife Melissa Lee Gatlin. The couple have been together since meeting on the set of 2003 movie Bad Santa - following Thornton's split from fifth wife Angelina Jolie. ______________________________________

Lopez: "I'm Softer Now As Mrs. Anthony"
Jennifer Lopez is revealing all about her surprise third wedding at last, admitting her new status as Marc Anthony's wife has softened up her personality. The singer/actress appeared on last night's Primetime Live news show in America, and confessed to interviewer Diane Sawyer she was "a little nervous". Then, she opened up about her June wedding, and vowed her latest trip down the aisle will lead to a lasting romance. She said, "What do I know about marriage? I think I've learned that both people have to really wanna be there. It's how you treat each other when you're hurt. I think that's the most important thing - because it's all great when everything's fun and great and lovely, but I think in the hard times is when a marriage becomes a marriage or it just falls apart." But the biggest shock in the candid chat came when Lopez revealed she's ditched her tough girl image. She added, "I was always so Bronxy in a way - gutsy and ballsy and 'I don't care what anybody thinks...'" Lopez also confessed she didn't think she'd ever be happily married after breaking up with Ben Affleck earlier this year: "There's always a part of you that doesn't believe everything once you've been through a lot." ______________________________________

Hayek and Lucas Split
Salma Hayek has split from her boyfriend of a year, actor Josh Lucas. The couple have been dating since August 2003 - after Hayek split from long-term lover Edward Norton. But Hayek's representative reveals they separated three month ago. Lucas - who stars in new movie Around The Bend - confirms, "We're not still together." ______________________________________

Lucas Keeps Indiana Jones Fans Waiting
Hollywood director George Lucas is refusing to rush pre-production work on the fourth installment of his Indiana Jones franchise - because he'll only set cameras rolling when the script is "really good". The eagerly awaited return of the adventurous archaeologist - played by Harrison Ford in all three previous releases - has already been delayed after Lucas reportedly rejected The Shawshank Redemption film-maker Frank Darabont's script. But the Star Wars legend insists a new writer is now on board to fine tune the plot. And Lucas and director Steven Spielberg are in no hurry to start shooting the movie, because their perfectionist approach to movie-making means the fourth Jones will only hit cinema screens when it's deemed good enough to do the series justice. He tells website, "We are working on the next script. Another writer has started working on it. We're just not going to make it unless it's really good. One of the reasons I'm able to work with Steven so well is because every time we come to a disagreement we'll yield to the other one, which means we'll come up with a compromise that considers both sides, and one person isn't determined to have his way. It's what's best for the movie."

Costner To Wed
Kevin Costner will wed longtime girlfriend Christine Baumgartner this Saturday - just a week after Britney Spears wed in Los Angeles. Tim Allen, Bruce Willis and Oliver Stone will be among the celebrity wedding guests at the big day, which will be held at the actor's Aspen, Colorado, ranch, according to American news show Hollywood Insider. More than 500 guests are expected. Academy Award-winner Costner is next set to be seen on the big screen in The Upside of Anger opposite Joan Allen and Evan Rachel Wood. Costner's Wedding Guests Treated To Day of Outdoor PursuitsCelebrity guests at Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner's wedding were treated to a day of outdoor adventures on Friday - including a rodeo. Costner hosted a lavish wedding at his ranch in Aspen, Colorado, Saturday, with such guests at Oprah Winfrey, Tim Allen, Bruce Willis and Oliver Stone jetting in for the nuptials. And rather than just treat his guests to the usual entertainment, Costner transported in extra horses and give them all the opportunity to enjoy such activities as horseback riding, canoeing and baseball on the baseball diamond he had installed on his sprawling property. They also had a some rodeo fun with the cattle on the ranch. Costner says, "Our home always been like the YMCA. We play hard. We work hard, but we're always about how much fun we can have."

Joaquin Phoenix Breaks Down
Actor Joaquin Phoenix broke down on the set of his latest movie and started banging his head against a wall - because a scene reportedly sparked memories of his brother River Phoenix's tragic death. The Village star - who was 19 when his brother died of a drug overdose outside Los Angeles nightclub The Viper Room in 1993 - is currently filming Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. Sources say Phoenix had to be taken away in an ambulance after references to the horrific death of Cash's younger brother Jack in an electrical tool accident caused him to freak out. Phoenix's publicist denies that the star is having a breakdown, but there are rumors the film's location may have to be switched from Memphis, Tennessee to Hollywood, to make Phoenix more comfortable.

Spears' Halloween Honeymoon
Pop beauty Britney Spears has an unusual method of avoiding the paparazzi during her honeymoon - she disguises herself as the masked killer from horror film Scream. The "Toxic" star and her husband Kevin Federline have just returned to Kentwood, Louisiana following their Los Angeles wedding last Saturday and the star was determined to settle quietly into married life, but when her unusual disguise failed, she threw milkshake at the bemused photographers. One journalist complained, "Britney shouted 'Trick or treat?' and then sprinted straight at us with her drink. we all got totally drenched." ______________________________________

DiCaprio Buys Las Vegas Home
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has developed such a huge affection for American gambling haven Las Vegas, he's now purchased himself a home there. The 29-year-old actor, who stars as Howard Hughes in the upcoming biopic The Aviator, has bought a $1.5 million abode in the city which was once one of Hughes' haunts. The new pad, which is actually two apartments put together, is in a 33-storey glass high-rise called Panorama Towers. ______________________________________

'Shawshank': Best Film Never To Have Won an Oscar
Moviegoers participating in a poll conducted by the BBC publication Radio Times have voted the 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption the best movie never to have won a major Oscar. The film had been nominated in seven Oscar categories including best picture and best actor (Morgan Freeman) but was shut out in the final tally. The film received more than a third of the votes in the Radio Times online poll. Its closest rival was the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life, which drew 12 percent, followed by ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Great Escape, and The Wizard of Oz. Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont told Britain's PA News that he was truly "blown away" by the vote. "Making this most meaningful is the fact that it's voted for by those whose opinions count most -- the audience," he added. ______________________________________

'Star Wars' DVD
'Star Wars' DVD Set Becomes a Potent ForceIn just one day, Tuesday, $115 million worth of Star Wars Trilogy DVDs and the LucasArts videogame Star Wars Battlefront was plucked off retail shelves worldwide, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment said Wednesday. Today's (Thursday) Daily Variety pointed out that most of the $115 million goes to Lucas's companies which pays a flat fee to Fox to distribute all the home video versions of the Star Wars movies except the original one. (It was not explained how profits are shared for the current set, given the fact that the original film, Episode 4, is included with Episode 5 and 6.) The three-film set is priced at $69.98, but it has been discounted by many retailers. (Amazon has it listed for $41.99.) ______________________________________

BBC Kills Animated Series That Might Offend Catholics
The BBC has confirmed that it has yanked an animated comedy series titled Popetown for fear of offending Catholics. The channel's controller, Stuart Murphy, said on the BBC website that "the comic impact of the delivered series does not outweigh the potential offense it will cause." Ten episodes had been completed, but Murphy said that they sometimes crossed he line "between the scurrilously funny and the offensive." The series is set in the Vatican. Alan Marke, managing director of Channel X, the independent company that produced the show, said that he was "incredibly disappointed" with the decision, "but I understand the world has changed since the series was originally commissioned and sympathize with the difficult decision the BBC has had to make." The decision was applauded by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

More for 'Rings' The four-disc set DVD
The extended version of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, due to be released on Dec. 14, will add 50 minutes to the original theatrical version of the film, the Hollywood Reporter reported today (Monday). "With even more added footage than the special extended editions of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, this new version of The Return of the King is truly a landmark cinematic experience," New Line Home Entertainment president and COO Stephen Einhorn told the trade publication. The four-disc set will have a suggested retail price of about $40.