Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movies to come to Cellphone

Privately held digital entertainment provider CinemaNow said on Tuesday that U.S. consumers would be able to use their cell phones to view movie trailers and order full-length movies to watch on their home television or computer through its mobile website.

The service, offered on Web-capable phones at mobile.cinemanow.com, would let U.S. consumers immediately buy or rent a movie when they hear about a new offering while they are out with friends.

"It definitely makes discovery a little more social when you can talk about the movie and do the purchase while you're there," said David Cook, CinemaNow's chief operating officer.

The service automatically downloads movies to a Web-connected consumer electronics device such as a home computer. Having a movie ready to watch by the time a user gets home could also help save time as full movies can take an hour or more to download over the Internet.

CinemaNow, which already competes with services such as Apple Inc's iTunes in Web video rentals, charges about $14.99 for online movie purchases and about $1.99 for rentals.

The technology for the new CinemaNow service is from uVuMobile Inc, which specializes in mobile video.

U.S. service providers are looking to generate an increasing amount of revenue from data services such as video streaming since as many as 150 phone models being sold in the U.S. today can already support streaming video, according to Cook.

He said the company planned to approach U.S. wireless service providers after Tuesday's launch of the site with a view to forging agreements to put the service onto the carriers' main menu of data offerings.

Cook said the service could be followed with video downloads directly to mobile phones as early as 2009.

"I think it's something you'd see next year," he said.

Sex In The City - The Movie to Premiere In London

Sex and the City: The Movie will have its world premiere in London - because of the weakness of the US dollar.

The film - based on the hit US TV show about the lives of four New York women - will be shown for the first time in Leicester Square on May 12, more than two weeks before it gets its premiere in the Big Apple.

All four stars - Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis - will be at the London event, and sources say producers feel London is financially more equipped to cope with it.

Columnist Elizabeth Snead said: "If you had to bet where Sex and the City: The Movie would premiere, you'd probably put money on New York, right?

"That's where the New York Observer columnist Candace Bushnall wrote those spicy columns that the series was based on.

"There are so many fashion merchandising tie-ins with the film that I guess London is seen as vital to the success of the campaign. The American economy and dollar are so weak right now that the studio seems to realise that London was the place to be."

However, the film's makers, New Line, insist the New York event is just as important as the London one.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Harald & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Review by A Remington

George W. Bush: You guys are awesome.
Harold & Kumar: No, you're awesome!
George W. Bush: No, you guys are awesome!
--dialogue from the movie

What is courage? Courage is making a movie called Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay in which George W. Bush is a sympathetic character, especially considering that most of the audience would probably disagree apoplectically with the sentiment. However, that's about as far as it goes, politically; it's about the Global War on Terror to the same degree as Hot Shots! is about the first Iraq war. And, because it's a funny stoner comedy that's the sequel to a popular movie, it's also likely to be the most successful War on Terror movie ever made.

That's not saying much, of course: there has been a glut of movies about Iraq, both fictional and documentary, and nearly all of them have failed both critically and commercially. With the minor exception of Syriana, virtually every movie about the War on Terror, the war in Iraq, or our post-9/11 society has bombed at the box office: Redacted, Rendition, Lions for Lambs, In the Valley of Elah, Grace is Gone, Stop-Loss, The Road to Guantanamo, The Great New Wonderful, Reign Over Me, and even the mindless action flick The Kingdom.

But Escape from Guantanamo isn't really a War on Terror movie, per se, so much as it's a continuation of the first movie's dopily sincere message about how we incorrectly judge people based on their outer appearance. Especially Neil Patrick Harris.

In fact, the title notithstanding, it's one of the most remarkably faithful sequels you'll ever see, in tone, setup, and execution. In other words, if you liked the first movie, you'll like the second. If you didn't, you won't. Escape from Guantanamo begins about an hour chronologically after the last movie ended, and, after a quick encarceration in Gitmo and a quick breakout, our heroes spend the rest of the movie on the lam (chased by insane G-man Rob Corddry, channeling his inner Jon Voight), finding themselves in brief sketchlike comedic situations. This time, the ultimate destination is Texas, where Kumar's ex is marrying a buddy of Harold's who works for the Department of Homeland Security, who has the power and connections to clear their name.

In the meantime, they do a lot of drugs, see a lot of nudity, run from a lot of scary people, and learn over and over not to judge a book by its cover. It's lucky the two stars are so well-cast, because the movie really rests entirely on their charisma. (Well, that, and the knowledge that a good number of audiencemembers are going to come to the theater bombed out of their mind.) The jokes aren't really political, the situations aren't really satirical, and the social commentary isn't really sophisticated. But it has a happy ending, the guys get the girls, our democracy is preserved, and Neil Patrick Harris fans get all the NPH they could ask for, including a Starship Troopers appreciation that I applauded.

On the other hand, it's not a movie that takes a lot of risks, blazes a lot of new ground, or totally lives up to the promise of its title -- there's a lot of Harold and Kumar, but only about a minute and a half of Guantanamo. Like Albert Brooks's Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, it's funny on its own terms, but it fails to take advantage of the chance to comment meaningfully on the great cultural issue of our time. Every little bit helps, and it's far better that the movie be funny but politically demure than unfunny and politically strident. Still, it feels a bit like a missed opportunity.

The movie's directed by the guys who wrote the last one, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. Visually, they do a fine job by keeping the camera on Cho and Penn, though some of the episodes could perhaps be spiced up to interrupt the predictable rhythm of the two of them traveling and bickering and then periodically running into a comedic setpiece. The soundtrack is quite good, and very well-suited to the mood. The house was full on opening night, and the entire theater was laughing, which was both a good sign and a big help -- if at all possible, stoner comedies should be watched with other people.

Other than Neil Patrick Harris and a brief scene with Ed Helms, there are no other celebrity cameos, which is actually a good thing, as celebrity cameos are a frequent pitfall of lazy comedy sequels from Wayne's World to Austin Powers. This movie comes by its laughs slightly more honestly. Hopefully they'll be able to stick to their principles by the time the inevitable Harold & Kumar 3 comes around.

And when it does, my buddies and I will definitely be there to see it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two New Hobbit Movies in the works

Guillermo del Toro is directing "The Hobbit" and its sequel, New Line Cinema announced Thursday.

The 43-year-old filmmaker will move to New Zealand for four years to make the films back-to-back with executive producer Peter Jackson.

Del Toro wrote and directed "Pan's Labyrinth," which earned six Oscar nominations in 2006 and won three awards. He is also the director of the upcoming sequel "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," whose monsters bear the unmistakeable surreal vision of the Mexican-born filmmaker.

"Contributing to the 'Lord of the Rings' legacy is an absolute dream come true," del Toro said in a statement.

Jackson co-wrote, co-produced and directed the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which won 17 Oscar and 30 nominations.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Jordana Beatty Cast for Lead Role of Eloise in Paris


A little-known Australian actress has snagged the starring role in the upcoming Eloise film, beating out more than 4,000 girls who auditioned for the role of the famous children's book heroine.

Producers of Eloise in Paris announced the casting of nine-year-old Jordana Beatty on Wednesday, saying she had been chosen after a search that spanned four continents. Beatty has been a performer since the age of four.

"Jordana is a unique combination of funny, feisty, sweet and soulful," said Charles Shyer, the film's director and co-writer of the script.

"All the qualities that were so much the essence of Kay Thompson's iconic character."

Hollywood star Uma Thurman has also signed on to portray the spunky character's guardian, Nanny, in what is being billed as the first major motion picture about Eloise.

Filming, set to take place in New York and Paris, will begin in August. Planning work for a follow-up (Eloise in Hollywood) is reportedly already underway as well.

U.S. actress, singer, musical arranger and author Thompson introduced her character, who lives in New York's ritzy Plaza Hotel, in the 1957 book Eloise. Subsequent instalments about the precocious six-year-old included Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime and Eloise in Moscow. After Thompson's death, other Eloise books written in the author's style were produced.

The books have also inspired television movies, including two 2003 films that starred Julie Andrews as Nanny, and an animated series.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wesley Snipes could face 3 years in Jail

Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes could be jailed for up to three years when he is sentenced for tax evasion later.

He could also be fined up to $5m (£2.5m). Prosecutors have pushed for the maximum penalty because of a "brazen defiance" of US tax laws.

In February, Snipes was found guilty of deliberately failing to file tax returns, but was cleared of more serious fraud and conspiracy charges.

The Blade star has asked for probation instead of imprisonment.

"Wesley Snipes is not a dangerous man who needs to be imprisoned to protect the public," Snipes' lawyer wrote in his sentencing memo.

"He is contrite, promises that he will never again break the law, and respectfully asks the court to consider not just the jury verdict but also all the good that he has done in his life."

'Brazen defiance'

Fellow actors Woody Harrelson and Denzel Washington have sent letters as character witnesses, as have family, friends and employees.

Snipes was convicted of failing to file tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001, during which time prosecutors say he avoided paying millions of dollars.

US Attorney Robert O'Neill has pressed for the maximum penalty because, he said, the case provided a "singular opportunity" to "deter tax crime nationwide".

"For nearly a decade, Snipes has engaged in a campaign of criminal tax conduct, combining brazen defiance with insidious concealment," a US Department of Justice statement said.

The actor's first role was in Goldie Hawn's 1986 American football comedy Wildcats, and he has also appeared in hit films such as White Men Can't Jump, Passenger 57 and the Blade trilogy.

Megan Fox wins Most sexiest Woman Award

SOURCE : http://meganthefox.blogspot.com

Actress Megan Fox was named the world’s sexiest woman on Wednesday by an annual online poll, while the world’s most Googled woman, Britney Spears, barely scraped in at No. 100 after a shocker of a year.

Fox, 21, who starred in last year’s hit movie "Transformers," grabbed the title from actress Jessica Alba, 26, topping online men’s magazine FHM Online’s (www.FHMonline.com) reader poll of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World for 2008. "Megan Fox is the deserving winner of this year’s FHM title. She’s young, she’s hot, she’s a rising star and her sex appeal has definitely transformed this year’s list. She’s got a great future ahead of her," said FHM Online U.S. Editor JR Futrell. FHM said nearly nine million votes were cast for the 14th edition of the annual poll. Transformers actress Megan Fox is the sexiest woman in the world - at least according to FHM magazine.

FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll is currently in its 14th year with 9 million votes cast this year by FHM readers around the world to choose the sexiest women in music, film, fashion, television and sports. The 2008 list also included reality TV stars such as Heidi Montag at No. 44, Audrina Patridge at No. 80 and Lauren Conrad at No. 95.

On the Net: FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World: http://www.fhmonline.com/100sexiest

"Megan Fox is the deserving winner of this year’s FHM title. She’s young, she’s hot, she’s a rising star and her sex appeal has definitely transformed this year’s list. She’s got a great future ahead of her," said FHM Online US Editor JR Futrell.

Fox debuted on the list at No. 68 in 2006 and was ranked No. 65 last year. But playing the lead female role in Transformers, a blockbuster $US700 million hit at worldwide box offices, markedly raised her profile.

Nearly 10 million across the world voted in the poll, now in its 14th year.

Top 10: 1 Megan Fox, 2 Jessica Alba, 3 Keeley Hazell, 4 Elisha Cuthbert, 5 Hayden Panettiere, 6 Scarlett Johansson, 7 Cheryl Cole, 8 Hilary Duff, 9 Angelina Jolie, 10 Keira Knightley.

Check http://meganthefox.blogspot.com for some pictures of this Beauty

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ang Lee working on a Woodstock Movie within Gay Genre

"Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee is returning to the gay genre with a movie revolving around the Woodstock music festival.

"Taking Woodstock" centers on the colorful life of a Greenwich Village-based interior designer and part-time Catskills hotel manager who headed the Bethel, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce. He issued the permit for the legendary 1969 concert on his neighbor Max Yasgur's farm.

It is based on Elliot Tiber's 2007 memoir "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life," which he wrote with Tom Monte.

The project is set up at Focus Features, and will be adapted by the studio's CEO, James Schamus. Lee and Schamus' most recent collaboration was Focus' Chinese-language drama "Lust, Caution," which earned $66 million worldwide.

The writing-directing pair had their breakthrough indie hit with the gay-themed comedy "The Wedding Banquet" in 1993, and Lee directed Focus' biggest hit, the gay Western "Brokeback Mountain," in 2005.

There have been several Woodstock documentaries, but few narrative films touching on the festival, one of the few being Tony Goldwyn's "A Walk on the Moon."

Tom Cruise's Adopted Son jumps into Movie industry as a Young Will Smith

Tom Cruise’s adopted son Connor has reportedly landed a role in the upcoming Will Smith drama Seven Pounds.

The 13-year-old will make his movie debut playing a young version of Smith, according to People.

However, insiders say that Connor’s famous parents (his adoptive mom is Tom’s ex-wife, Nicole Kidman) didn’t get him the part - he had to audition like everyone else.

"Tom is so proud of Connor," says a source tells the mag. "He's proud of him for really doing this on his own."

Suri Cruise's big bro will earn his acting stripes alongside Woody Harrelson and Rosario Dawson in the film.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ali Lohan to star in new Film "Most Ghostly"

Lindsay Lohan's younger sister is preparing to follow in her big sis's footsteps. Ali Lohan, Lindsay's 14-year-old sister, is preparing to make her feature film debut.

According to People.com, Ali has begun filming the project "Mostly Ghostly." The film, which is slated for release later this year, is based on the pre-teen book series "Mostly Ghostly" written by R.L. Stine. The book centers on an 11-year-old boy who befriends two ghosts.

In the film, Ali will play a popular high school senior. Lindsay played a similar role in her 2004 film "Mean Girls."

Ali appears in the April issue of Teen Vogue, and told the magazine, "I grew up watching Lindsay. It made me want to do what she does. Just the whole vibe. Being there, being on camera, or onstage."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sienna Miller Wears Tight Leather outfit for new GI Joe Movie

Sultry Sienna Miller is sure to set pulses racing dressed in a skin-tight leather catsuit.

But rest assured, the outfit isn't just for boyfriend Rhys Ifans' viewing pleasure.

The stunning actress hams it up in the bondage-style outfit, complete with sunglasses and dark hair as part of her new action movie G.I Joe.

And while it's not known what Ifans thinks of her new look, there's little doubt it has already caused quite a hit with her legions of male fans.

The normally sweet-looking 26-year-old has forgone her nicer side to play gun-toting femme fatal The Baroness, in the blockbuster film, which is due to be released next year.

The 26-year-old plays an intelligence officer for evil arms dealing organisation COBRA.

Her character, based on the classic army comic strip, is an evil but sexy woman with a production insider telling the Sun: "Sienna has had a lot of fun with the movie."

The actress is a force to be reckoned with, and below, a more demurely dressed and blonde Sienna with boyfriend Ryhs Ifans

Depp Filming movie about John Dillinger

Universal Studios plans to film scenes this week for ‘‘Public Enemies’’ at the exact spot in northern Wisconsin that bank robber John Dillinger tried to hide from the FBI.

Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters is also the site of a famous 1930s shooting in the federal government’s chase for Dillinger and his gang of thieves.

It’s all part of the movie that stars Johnny Depp as Dillinger, whose crime spree ended when he was shot to death in Chicago by FBI agents in 1935.

It is being directed and produced by University of Wisconsin graduate Michael Mann, and co-stars Christian Bale and recent Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.

Current owner Dan Johns said Universal Studios closed the establishment to the public in recent weeks to restore the lodge to its 1930s condition. Crews had to move the bar, stain the outer log walls back to their original dark tone, remove trees and build new gravel roads.

Former owner Fred Theisen, 54, bought Little Bohemia from his former high school classmate Emil Wanatka Jr., who inherited it from his father, Emil.

Theisen said he was contacted about using Little Bohemia, which was built in 1931, for a movie about 12 years ago. The director toured the lodge then but never shot any scenes there.

In what amounts to a rarity in Hollywood, Mann chose to shoot scenes for his movie at the original site.

Movie publicist Dave Fulton said Mann is a stickler for historical accuracy.

‘‘The farther you go back (in history), the more unique it is to use the real places,’’ Fulton said.

Universal Studios has compensated Johns for use of his property. Little Bohemia is a supper club and former inn and its on 11 acres next to Little Star Lake.

Producers also filmed in Columbus, Wis. and Crown Point, Ind. and just wrapped up in Oshkosh.

The movie is a screen adaptation of Bryan Burrough’s 2004 book ‘‘Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34.’’

It’s the first to be filmed in Wisconsin since tax incentives for filmmakers took effect in January.

The set will be closed to the public.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hollywood Style Themepark heads for Dubai

Wonder Woman, King Kong and Shrek are heading for the Persian Gulf as part of what could become the world's largest theme-park playground in the United Arab Emirates.

Movie studios, however, are grappling with ways to make their signature characters and amusement parks fly in the conservative Muslim region.

Politically sensitive characters such as Captain America could be left at home. But prayer rooms will join the list of accommodations.

Investors, studios and park operators are aiming to cash in on what some observers call the Middle East's decades-long fascination with American culture.

In recent months, eight major licensing deals have been struck.

The first, a $2.2 billion Universal Studios park based on franchises such as King Kong and Jurassic Park, is set to open in an area dubbed Dubailand on Dubai's desert outskirts in 2010.

Sandra Bullock & Jesse James involved in Head on Crash with Drunk Driver while filming "The Proposal"

While in Massachusetts filming the romantic comedy "The Proposal," Sandra Bullock and her husband were unhurt after a head-on crash with a drunken driver, police said Saturday.

The actress and her husband, Jesse James of TV's "Monster Garage," were being driven in a sport-utility vehicle Friday night when a station wagon crossed the center line and hit them, said Gloucester police Lt. Jerry Cook.

Both vehicles were totaled, but no one was hurt. The vehicles were traveling 15 to 20 mph, Cook said.

The other car was driven by Lucille Gatchell, who registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, Cook said.

She was held by Gloucester police overnight and released Saturday on personal recognizance. She is to be arraigned Tuesday in Gloucester District Court.

Gatchell did not immediately return a call seeking comment Saturday. Calls to representatives for Bullock were not immediately returned.

Bullock, 43, was "gracious" and concerned about whether Gatchell was OK, Cook said.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Salman Rushdie to star in New Movie

Award-winning author Sir Salman Rushdie is all set to make his acting debut -- playing a fertility doctor. The author has signed on to star in the new romantic comedy titled Then She Found Me, after successfully auditioning for the part. The movie will be directed by Helen Hunt and marks her directorial debut.

Hunt revealed that she is thrilled to have Rushdie on board. 'I saw a number of actors, then Salman asked to audition. He was the best, and I was thrilled to have him, it was important to me that although the movie is in part about God, that it not simply be a Judeo-Christian god. I thought if the doctor was Indian it might imply different kinds of prayer,' she added.

Rushdie has played himself on screen numerous times, most notably in the Rene Zellweger starrer Bridget Jones's Diary.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Independent film (Man from Earth) sparks a turmoil of religious contraversy

Imagine, if you can, a movie set it a room. No special effects, just dialogue. The premise, a retirement party for professor John Oldman (The last name in itself is abit funny when you read further into the movie)

Man from Earth is a very thought provoking movie which centres around a conversation in a room. The Main character, John Oldman, is really old... 14,000 years in fact. So a movie about an old guy big deal right.... Well, he also claims to be Jesus.

Labled as a sci-fi film, Man from Earth verges more towards the intellect level of 12 Angry Men in its' ability to carefully illustrate an opinion.

Written by Emerson Bixby


John Billingsley ... Harry
Ellen Crawford ... Edith
William Katt ... Art
Annika Peterson ... Sandy
Richard Riehle ... Dr. Will Gruber
David Lee Smith ... John Oldman
Alexis Thorpe ... Linda Murphy
Tony Todd ... Dan
Steven Littles ... Moving Man #1
Chase Sprague ... Moving Man #2
Robbie Bryan ... Officer

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Disney to go 3-D for all new Animated movies

The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it will jump on the 3-D bandwagon, vowing to release every animated movie in the format beginning with "Up" next year.

Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter made the announcement in New York at a presentation of Disney's upcoming lineup of animated movies from its Pixar and Disney studios.

The lineup includes "Rapunzel," a retelling of a fairy tale set for release for Christmas 2010, and "King of the Elves," set for release around Christmas 2012.

Disney also showed a 30-minute clip of "Wall-E," set for release June 27. It tells a love story between the title character, a robot left alone on earth for 700 years, and another robot named Eve sent to look for life.

"Wall-E" is the first Pixar release since last summer's "Ratatouille," which grossed more than $620 million at the worldwide box office.

"Ratatouille" was the last independent Pixar picture in development prior to Disney's acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios in May 2006 for $7.5 billion in stock.

In a deal announced last month, four studios -- Disney, News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount, and Universal Pictures, which is owned by General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal -- agreed to help finance and equip 10,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada to accommodate 3-D movies.

The conversion will cost as much as $700 million and take three years.

Box office figures have shown that the enveloping feel of 3-D can attract two to three times more moviegoers who are willing to pay as much as $3 more per ticket, analysts said.

Theaters owners and studios hope the offerings will help bring people back to multiplexes for an experience that cannot be matched by increasingly sophisticated home theater systems.

Friday, April 11, 2008

New measures to reduce movie Piracy

Hollywood studios are planning a New Zealand website for legally downloading movies as a way to reduce internet piracy.

The Movie Producers Association representative in this country - Tony Eaton of the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT) - recommended the move in a report to MPA bosses for the Asia-Pacific region, which faces the biggest threat from piracy.

State owned ISP Orcon is developing a download site but it is not clear if these are linked to MPA plans. With rapidly increasing broadband speeds and a revolution in online media, users are accessing pirated copies of films. The effect on studios' revenues is still small.

But Eaton says illegal downloads are increasing and part of the problem in this country is that there is no legal download site for Hollywood movies.

He declined to specify timing for such a site or the pricing structure but confirmed the official site was being considered by the regional bosses.

Australia has five such legal download websites sites - including one associated with Telstra's BigPond - and there are 14 in South Korea.

With New Zealand's slow broadband speeds there is limited demand for movie downloads to computers. But that is expected to change as broadband speeds improve with the growth of IPTV services, such as those being developed by Orcon.

Likewise, television programmes have been downloaded from American websites with youth-oriented shows like TV3's Heroes particularly attractive to downloaders.

Eaton - whose main role is to oversee anti-piracy measures - said that NZFACT had a limited involvement in overseeing copyrights, many of which are made by the same six studios that dominate the movie sector. But he said roles overseeing piracy of TV shows would increase.


Under the new Copyright Act passed this week, the Government has given Hollywood studios extra powers to crack down on internet piracy.

NZFACT convinced politicians to make internet service providers their online police. And the internet people aren't happy about their new role.

Under the act, NZFACT and the record industry body Rianz can complain to ISPs about content available through their services which they say breaches their copyright.

Organisations like the ISP body Ispanz and internet New Zealand said ISPs had not opposed putting complainants and alleged offenders in touch, as occurs in Canada.

But they are furious New Zealand has adopted new obligations similar to those in the United States requiring ISPs to take down sites and make them unavailable.

The requirement puts ISPs - some of which are small companies - in a vulnerable position for claims of lost revenue, said Jamie Baddeley, president of the ISPs body Ispanz.

"We have to make a judgment about who owns copyright - how do we know?"

NZFACT's Eaton says the new ISP requirements are important to halt a tide of pirated film and TV content online.

He said NZFACT and the record industry body Rianz would meet with ISPs soon to hammer out how the new rules are to be applied.


Rianz will also be taking a tougher line on copyright theft under the new law.

Film and TV studios are leading the global push to hold back piracy.

Legal download sites have slowed the rot for the corporate music world. But after decades of soaking up generous margins, illegal downloads have decimated record sales for the big corporates. In the US, the Recording Industry Association of America has undertaken aggressive raids on what it considers to be offenders.

In New Zealand, Rianz chief executive Campbell Smith said the new law provides content creators with certainty in crucial areas after several years of change.

Smith said he was happy with the new obligations. "ISPs will be compelled to take reasonable responsibility for the activity that takes place on their networks, suspension and termination of infringers' internet accounts and the use of filtering technology.

"On behalf of our member labels and musicians, we look forward to continuing discussions with ISPs about their responsibility for protecting copyrighted content on their networks."

But supporters for internet freedom are unhappy they are getting caught up in the copyright business.


Governments are under a lot of pressure to protect copyright, and in this case telecoms companies - many of them local firms - are being held accountable for policing the internet. But Hollywood and the New Zealand record industry are already receiving generous handouts from taxpayers.

Maybe ISPs just don't provide the sort of photo opportunities as Peter Jackson and the annual music awards do.


Australians have cracked down on Hollywood studios using the generous new incentives aimed at developing the Australian business to make American blockbusters.

The Film Finance Corporation decided Justice League Mortal will not qualify for the new incentive, and the production is likely to leave the country.

Producers threatened to take both the adaptation of the DC Comics superhero franchise and the sequel to Happy Feet overseas, probably to Canada or New Zealand, if the company did not qualify for the 40 per cent tax offset on money spent in Australia. TV production attracts a 20 per cent offset.

The Australian newspaper reported that the project was deemed not Australian enough and Arts Minister Peter Garrett's comments last month that to secure the offset films would need to have a "cultural resonance" and "a significant Australian content component to them".

Justice League Mortal leaving Australia would jeopardise more than 100 contract jobs. The film would still be likely to qualify for a 15 per cent tax rebate offset - aimed at attracting Hollywood productions - which is also available as a cash scheme in New Zealand.

There is no word yet whether Justice League has any serious plans to film in New Zealand.


Aussie producers will be pleased that the incentives aimed at boosting the local business and not Hollywood movies have been clarified.

But in this country, the Government-backed industry lobby group the Screen Council has stepped up its calls on the Government to develop a similar scheme here. In a letter last month to Arts and Culture Minister Helen Clark, Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson and Broadcasting Minister Trevor Mallard, Screen Council executive director Tim Thorpe said the more generous Australian product offsets were a good model.

"This letter asks you to urgently consider the introduction of an equivalent producer offset for New Zealand. We are concerned that the Australian screen industry may gain an edge over New Zealand because of the advantages of the new incentive to investors and production companies, who may forsake New Zealand as a result.

"We are also aware of New Zealand production companies who are considering relocating their productions to Australia to take advantage of the offset.

"Already a number of investors, including Australian and overseas banks, are considering financial packages for producers.

"It is anticipated that producers will be able to structure more favourable terms for their productions, based on a stronger equity position, including claims on rights. This will lead to a stronger, more sustainable industry based on better capitalisation."

Presumably we will know if the industry gets another top-up at election time.

Mike Myers to host MTV Movie Awards

Mike Myers is gearing up for his second turn at hosting the MTV Movie Awards. The Oscars, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards have nothing on the MTV Movie Awards when it comes to handing out the awards audiences really care about. The MTV Movie Awards honor the best kisses, fights, and villains with golden popcorn trophies in a very loose and MTV-ish atmosphere.

Myers, who will soon be seen on the big screen in The Love Guru co-starring Jessica Alba, previously hosted the show in 1997.

In a press release announcing Myers' hosting duties, the actor was quoted as saying, "I've spent the last year and a half of my life having the most fun ever working on The Love Guru, and now I'm thrilled to have the chance to work with Judy McGrath, Van Toffler and Mark Burnett. Hosting the MTV Movie Awards is like a party, but without having to do beer runs in your mom's mini van; we do beer runs in Will Smith's four-story motorhome."

"Mike Myers blew us away last time he hosted the MTV Movie Awards with his lord of the dance and over the top musical productions," added Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music, Logo and Films Group. "He keeps creating iconic film characters that have been etched in the minds of MTV's audiences forever. The Love Guru is sure to spur yet another cultural movement, so we're elated to have Mike back as our host."

The 2008 MTV Movie Awards nominees will be announced in May. The show airs live on Sunday, June 1st from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA.

Blockbuster to launch set-top streaming box

Blockbuster has been one of the slowest companies to innovate in the next-gen movie market, but the home video rental giant is supposedly taking a step forward later this month by unveiling its own set-top box for streaming films directly to TV sets.

This would put Blockbuster in direct competition with products such as Vudu and the Apple TV, which received a revamp earlier this year in light of disappointing sales, as well as a similar movie-streaming product by Netflix and LG.

Blockbuster’s device will likely be tied to the Movielink film download service that the company acquired last year for $6.6 million, which included rights to distribute some 6,000 movies. If anything, it’s interesting to see how this video rental behemoth is being pushed forward by the market into movie streaming, in order to pick up its ailing business at the risk of cannibalizing sales at their retail chain.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Johnny Depp Saves some extra's on the set of new film Public enemies

Johnny Depp proved that he is a real-life hero by saving a group of extras from being struck down by an out-of-control car on the sets of his new movie.

The 44-year-old actor was shooting a scene as bank robber John Dillinger in his latest crime flick 'Public Enemies', when a stuntdriver in a 1933 Ford car sped onto a patch of ice and skidded towards six extras.

Oblivious to the approaching danger, the extras were standing with their backs turned, and were finally rescued by the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' star.

The moment Depp spotted the potentially fatal incident, he leapt into air towards the extras and shoved them all away from the speeding car.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Chris O'Donnell Joins cast of Max Payne

Vertical Limit and Batman & Robin star Chris O'Donnell has joined the cast of the game-to-film adaptation of Max Payne. Though O'Donnell will play an executive named Jason Colvins, his exact role in the film, including how or if it relates to the story of the original game, is currently unknown.

Today's revelation marks the fourth major cast member to be unveiled, with Mark Wahlberg playing Max Payne, Beau Bridge serving as his mentor B.B. Hensley, and Mila Kunis as a female assassin--a character known as Mona in the two games.

Directed by John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, The Omen), penned by freshmen writer Beau Thorne, the film is currently shooting in Toronto. No release date has been set.

Despite the expected surge in the franchise's popularity, property owner Take-Two has remained mum on the possibility of another Max Payne game.

Toni Collette to join Maya Rudolph in new comedy

Toni Collette will join John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph in an upcoming relationship comedy from "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes.

Krasinski ("Leatherheads") and Rudolph ("Saturday Night Live") star as a couple who canvas the country to find the best place to raise their unborn child.

Collette ("Little Miss Sunshine") will play a college professor and close family friend convinced that the kid will end up dysfunctional no matter where it's raised. Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") also will appear.

Dave Eggers wrote the script for the untitled Focus Features project with his wife, novelist Vendela Vida. Filming begins this month in Connecticut.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Trailer for 100 Million BC Here

It seems everyone is awaiting the new action packed cross between Alien, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. A scientist from the failed Philadelphia Experiment leads a team of Navy SEALs back in time to the Cretaceous Period to rescue the first team he sent back during the 1940s. Things go wildly awry though, when on his return he accidentally brings a giant, man-eating dinosaur back through the portal and into modern-day, downtown Los Angeles.

So if you just can't wait to go to the Theatres to see it, here is the Trailer for 100 Million BC.

New Bond Flick - Quantum of Solace - Sneak peak

The new Bond movie Quantum of Solace is officially half way through filming, and is due to hit theatres in November.

Bond is well and truly on location, after the initial shoot at Pinewood Studios in London, 007 has been clocking up some air miles with shoots in Panama, Mexico, and now Chile.

And barrelling past the half-way point feels good for 007 Daniel Craig.

“We’re making a movie very different from Casino Royale, that was what we set out to do,” says Craig.

“But without losing all the important Bond things. It is a James Bond movie after all,” he adds.

Quantum of Solace is the first bone fide Bond sequel, where we pick up from where we left him, gun in hand, claiming his license to kill and making Bond his own.

The crew now calls the barren Atacama Desert in Chile home.

And for director Marc Forster this location was the perfect place for 007.

“The locations here in Chile are really really special. The landscapes and what they give to the character of Bond is really good. In a sense, the desert is a reflection of Bond itself, it brings along a certain loneliness which reflect who Bond is at this point,” Forster.

The location has not been without its controversy.

A local mayor was arrested last week after storming onto the set objecting to Chile footage depicting neighbouring Bolivia in the movie.

The film-makers and Bond fans will be hoping Quantum delivers.

Casino Royale is a big act to follow, raking in more than 750 million worldwide, and eclipsing Die Another Day to become the biggest grossing Bond film in history.

Colin Farrel Bosnia Bound to get vibe for new Movie

Irish actor Colin Farrell arrived this weekend in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo to start preparations for a movie by Oscar- winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, Bosnian media reported Sunday. Farrell is to play the male lead in the movie titled Triage, based on the book by US journalist Scott Anderson, which follows the memories of war photographer Mark Walsh, who went through numerous war zones in the world, including Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"Danis (Tanovic) wrote a great screenplay, very original, and therefore I accepted this role," Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje quoted the famous actor as saying.

During the weekend Farrell visited several places across Bosnia- Herzegovina to get a better feeling for what was happening in the country during the 1992-1995 war.

The tour included the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica where Bosnian Serb troops massacred up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men on July 11, 1995, committing the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

Besides Farrell, British actor Christopher Lee and Spanish actress Paz Vega are to co-star in the movie to be filmed at locations in Ireland, Spain and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Tanovic's Triage comes less than two years since another group of world famous movie stars gathered in Sarajevo to film sequences in Richard Shepard's The Hunting Party, a film about a reporter's attempt to catch a notorious Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect.

Richard Gere played the main role in the movie.

Besides working on Triage, Danis Tanovic, who won an Oscar in 2001 for his war drama No Man's Land, has also become active in politics.

Following some hints he gave last year, Tanovic on Saturday formed a political party, named Our Party.

The political goal of the party was to help the country out from a deep political and economic crisis and give citizens an option different from constant ethnic divisions that halt progress in Bosnia, the new party said at a convention in Sarajevo.

Tanovic was elected one of the party's vice presidents.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Charlton Heston Dead at 84

Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing "Ben-Hur" and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the '50s and '60s, has died. He was 84.

The actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said.

Powers declined to comment on the cause of death or provide further details.

"Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played," Heston's family said in a statement. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country."

Heston revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease, saying, "I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure."

With his large, muscular build, well-boned face and sonorous voice, Heston proved the ideal star during the period when Hollywood was filling movie screens with panoramas depicting the religious and historical past. "I have a face that belongs in another century," he often remarked.

Publicist Michael Levine, who represented Heston for about 20 years, said the actor's passing represented the end of an iconic era for cinema.

"If Hollywood had a Mt. Rushmore, Heston's face would be on it," Levine said. "He was a heroic figure that I don't think exists to the same degree in Hollywood today."

The actor assumed the role of leader offscreen as well. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute and marched in the civil rights movement of the 1950s. With age, he grew more conservative and campaigned for conservative candidates.

In June 1998, Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle. He delivered a jab at then-President Clinton, saying, "America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns."

Heston stepped down as NRA president in April 2003, telling members his five years in office were "quite a ride. ... I loved every minute of it."

Later that year, Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life," President Bush said at the time.

He engaged in a lengthy feud with liberal Ed Asner during the latter's tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild. His latter-day activism almost overshadowed his achievements as an actor, which were considerable.

Heston lent his strong presence to some of the most acclaimed and successful films of the midcentury. "Ben-Hur" won 11 Academy Awards, tying it for the record with the more recent "Titanic" (1997) and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003). Heston's other hits include: "The Ten Commandments," "El Cid," "55 Days at Peking," "Planet of the Apes" and "Earthquake."

He liked to the cite the number of historical figures he had portrayed:

Andrew Jackson ("The President's Lady," "The Buccaneer"), Moses ("The Ten Commandments"), title role of "El Cid," John the Baptist ("The Greatest Story Ever Told"), Michelangelo ("The Agony and the Ecstasy"), General Gordon ("Khartoum"), Marc Antony ("Julius Caesar," "Antony and Cleopatra"), Cardinal Richelieu ("The Three Musketeers"), Henry VIII ("The Prince and the Pauper").

Heston made his movie debut in the 1940s in two independent films by a college classmate, David Bradley, who later became a noted film archivist. He had the title role in "Peer Gynt" in 1942 and was Marc Antony in Bradley's 1949 version of "Julius Caesar," for which Heston was paid $50 a week.

Film producer Hal B. Wallis ("Casablanca") spotted Heston in a 1950 television production of "Wuthering Heights" and offered him a contract. When his wife reminded him that they had decided to pursue theater and television, he replied, "Well, maybe just for one film to see what it's like."

Heston earned star billing from his first Hollywood movie, "Dark City," a 1950 film noir. Cecil B. DeMille next cast him as the circus manager in the all-star "The Greatest Show On Earth," named by the Motion Picture Academy as the best picture of 1952. More movies followed:

"The Savage," "Ruby Gentry," "The President's Lady," "Pony Express" (as Buffalo Bill Cody), "Arrowhead," "Bad for Each Other," "The Naked Jungle," "Secret of the Incas," "The Far Horizons" (as Clark of the Lewis and Clark trek), "The Private War of Major Benson," "Lucy Gallant."

Most were forgettable low-budget films, and Heston seemed destined to remain an undistinguished action star. His old boss DeMille rescued him.

The director had long planned a new version of "The Ten Commandments," which he had made as a silent in 1923 with a radically different approach that combined biblical and modern stories. He was struck by Heston's facial resemblance to Michelangelo's sculpture of Moses, especially the similar broken nose, and put the actor through a long series of tests before giving him the role.

The Hestons' newborn, Fraser Clarke Heston, played the role of the infant Moses in the film.

More films followed: the eccentric thriller "Touch of Evil," directed by Orson Welles; William Wyler's "The Big Country," costarring with Gregory Peck; a sea saga, "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" with Gary Cooper.

Then his greatest role: "Ben-Hur."

Heston wasn't the first to be considered for the remake of 1925 biblical epic. Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster and Rock Hudson had declined the film. Heston plunged into the role, rehearsing two months for the furious chariot race.

He railed at suggestions the race had been shot with a double: "I couldn't drive it well, but that wasn't necessary. All I had to do was stay on board so they could shoot me there. I didn't have to worry; MGM guaranteed I would win the race."

The huge success of "Ben-Hur" and Heston's Oscar made him one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood. He combined big-screen epics like "El Cid" and "55 Days at Peking" with lesser ones such as "Diamond Head," "Will Penny" and "Airport 1975." In his later years he played cameos in such films as "Wayne's World 2" and "Tombstone."

He often returned to the theater, appearing in such plays as "A Long Day's Journey into Night" and "A Man for All Seasons." He starred as a tycoon in the prime-time soap opera, "The Colbys," a two-season spinoff of "Dynasty."

At his birth in a Chicago suburb on Oct. 4, 1923, his name was Charles Carter. His parents moved to St. Helen, Mich., where his father, Russell Carter, operated a lumber mill. Growing up in the Michigan woods with almost no playmates, young Charles read books of adventure and devised his own games while wandering the countryside with his rifle.

Charles's parents divorced, and she married Chester Heston, a factory plant superintendent in Wilmette, Ill., an upscale north Chicago suburb. Shy and feeling displaced in the big city, the boy had trouble adjusting to the new high school. He took refuge in the drama department.

"What acting offered me was the chance to be many other people," he said in a 1986 interview. "In those days I wasn't satisfied with being me."

Calling himself Charlton Heston from his mother's maiden name and his stepfather's last name, he won an acting scholarship to Northwestern University in 1941. He excelled in campus plays and appeared on Chicago radio. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and served as a radio-gunner in the Aleutians.

In 1944 he married another Northwestern drama student, Lydia Clarke, and after his army discharge in 1947, they moved to New York to seek acting jobs. Finding none, they hired on as codirectors and principal actors at a summer theater in Asheville, N.C.

Back in New York, both Hestons began finding work. With his strong 6-feet-2 build and craggily handsome face, Heston won roles in TV soap operas, plays ("Antony and Cleopatra" with Katherine Cornell) and live TV dramas such as "Julius Caesar," "Macbeth," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Of Human Bondage."

Heston wrote several books: "The Actor's Life: Journals 1956-1976," published in 1978; "Beijing Diary: 1990," concerning his direction of the play "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" in Chinese; "In the Arena: An Autobiography," 1995; and "Charlton Heston's Hollywood: 50 Years of American Filmmaking," 1998.

Besides Fraser, who directed his father in an adventure film, "Mother Lode," the Hestons had a daughter, Holly Ann, born Aug. 2, 1961. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1994 at a party with Hollywood and political friends. They had been married 64 years when he died.

In late years, Heston drew as much publicity for his crusades as for his performances. In addition to his NRA work, he campaigned for Republican presidential and congressional candidates and against affirmative action.

He resigned from Actors Equity, claiming the union's refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in "Miss Saigon" was "obscenely racist." He attacked CNN's telecasts from Baghdad as "sowing doubts" about the allied effort in the 1990-91 Gulf War.

At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing.

Heston wrote in "In the Arena" that he was proud of what he did "though now I'll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time. On the other hand, I doubt I'll get a traffic ticket very soon."

New Big Budget Dune Movie in the works

Although there were doubts about whether Paramount would obtain the rights to Frank Herbert's science fiction classic Dune, it does look as if a big budget movie with Peter Berg directing is going ahead after all. This will be the second big screen adaptation of arguably the greatest SF novel of all time, a formidable tale set on the desert planet Arrakis, where water is precious, giant worms roam freely, and Great Houses fight for access to a life extending substance called spice.

Most promising of all is that the producers are apparently looking for writers to create a faithful adaptation of Dune. In David Lynch's 1984 adaptation there were numerous differences with the novel; some would probably go as far as to say that the plot was mangled. While I thought there was a great deal to like about Lynch's version, it would be great to see a big budget, big screen version that was faithful to the text.

According to Variety, the movie's producers believe the theme of finite ecological resources is timely given the increasing threat of global warming. Perhaps this will be the start of a series of movies based on Herbert's books? If so, let's hope they can give them the royal movie treatment they deserve.

Paramount’s Dune will be produced by Kevin Misher, Richard Rubenstein and Sarah Aubrey. Kevin Misher spent the past year securing the book rights from the Herbert estate, while Richard Rubenstein produced the two Sci Fi Channel miniseries, Dune and Children of Dune. Sarah Aubrey works for Film 44, Peter Berg's production company.

Peter Berg's directing credits include The Kingdom and Friday Night Lights. He recently completed the upcoming science fiction comedy Handcock with Will Smith.

Friday, April 4, 2008

War Inc. - John Cusak's strike at the Bush Administration

John Cusack is outraged at the right-wing government running America, at an unpopular war in Iraq and at the multinational corporations using taxpayer dollars to support it.

His solution? To co-write, co-produce and star in War Inc., a film that imagines an absurdist near-future that sardonically lampoons the present.

"What's happening in America is so savage and so dark that ... absurdism is the best way to go at it," Cusack said yesterday, following a sneak preview of the movie at Ryerson University. It opens April 25.

Cusack stars as Hauser, a hit man/fixer sent on assignment to a fictional Middle Eastern country where war amputees dance in chorus lines, tanks carry corporate advertising and a popular chicken franchise acts as a front for the evil military/industrial complex.

"What's lacking in America is the sense of outrage at the viciousness of this ideology that would reduce government ... to basically just an ATM for defence and weapons companies," Cusack said.

Cusack lambasted a right-wing ideology that preaches the "free market" while allowing corporations to hire private armies for protection and security, at taxpayers' expense. "It's corporate welfare. So the whole idea that these guys are saying `the free markets,' the hypocrisy is so blatant," Cusack said.

Co-writer Mark Leyner said many U.S. citizens threatened to move to Canada following President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004.

"No offence, but I don't think that's a solution. So I think as an alternative to moving to Canada, we make things like this," Leyner said.

Leyner said that since the war's beginning, the American people have been living in a state of "a suffocating conformity, (told) to just go along ... with this war."

John Cusack, who joked the film was made in Bulgaria with "no money," noted it was not supported by the traditional Hollywood machine.

"It's hard to get something like this made. You're sort of like a salmon swimming upstream. When we made it, there was great resistance in terms of the regular funding routes and people at the very top of the corporate food chain in movies. People just didn't want to talk about it, or `We don't see the world that way' or `It's not that funny.' So I go, `Well, we weren't really making Wedding Crashers,'" Cusack said.

But John Cusack senses a change in the usual complacency among his fellow citizens.

"People are waking up in America and they're grumbling, and I think they realize that parts of the country have been taken and sort of disgraced, and I think they're ready to sort of fight back."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lindsay Lohan to play a sex addicted waitress in new Move "Florence"

Lindsay Lohan is set to play a sex-addicted waitress in a new movie called Florence, according to reports. Lindsay's signing up for the movie comes just days after she agreed to play a member of Charles Manson's real-life murderous cult in The Manson Girls.

According to a report in Star magazine, Lindsay will be paid just 75,000 dollars for the opportunity to play the edgy character. A source of the magazine said that Lohan would be taking up the part only to prove that she can act. She just wants to remind people she can act and she's worth hiring.