Recent Entries in Film

A series of trade ups over the internet involving a red paper clip and the town of Kipling, Sask. has resulted in a Hollywood movie role for one of the town's residents.

It all began with Kyle MacDonald of Montreal, who placed the paper clip on eBay last summer, hoping to trade up to a home. After 14 trades â.. which involved a keg of beer, a cube van, a recording contract, a snowmobile and a snow globe from rock star Alice Cooper â.. MacDonald got his wish.

CBC Arts: Paper clip turns into film role for Sask. resident

I was just in the middle of writing a long and tedious essay, about how to tell a real anti-Semite from a person who too-loudly rejects the charge of anti-Semitism, when a near-perfect real-life example came to hand. That bad actor and worse director Mel Gibson, pulled over for the alleged offence of speeding and the further alleged offence of speeding under the influence, decided that he needed to demand of the arresting officer whether he was or was not Jewish and that he furthermore needed to impart the information that all the world's wars are begun by those of Semitic extraction.

Call me thin-skinned if you must, but I think that this qualifies. I also think that the difference between the blood-alcohol levels -- and indeed the speed limits -- that occasioned the booking are insufficient to explain the expletives (as Gibson has since claimed in a typically self-pitying and verbose statement put out by his publicist). One does not abruptly decide, between the first and second vodka, or the ticks of the indicator of velocity, that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are valid after all.

The fall of a Hollywood hatemonger

Sanitizing movies on DVD or VHS tape violates federal copyright laws, and several companies that scrub films must turn over their inventory to Hollywood studios, an appeals judge ruled.

Editing movies to delete objectionable language, sex and violence is an "illegitimate business" that hurts Hollywood studios and directors who own the movie rights, said U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch in a decision released Thursday in Denver.

"Their [studios and directors'] objective ... is to stop the infringement because of its irreparable injury to the creative artistic expression in the copyrighted movies," the judge wrote. "There is a public interest in providing such protection."

Matsch ordered the companies named in the suit, including CleanFlicks, Play It Clean Video and CleanFilms, to stop "producing, manufacturing, creating" and renting edited movies. The businesses also must turn over their inventory to the movie studios within five days of the ruling.

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Judge rules against film sanitizers

  Donnie Darko: Terrorist?

According to his official biography, Richard Kelly is the director of the acclaimed Donnie Darko, the writer of the less acclaimed Domino and a contender for the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes film festival. According to the Department of Homeland Security he is a suspected terrorist who may now be prevented from travelling to Cannes next week.

Kelly, 31, appears caught in bureaucratic limbo after his passport was reportedly "held under review" by the US government. Sources suggest that the film-maker has been confused with another man, "James Kelly", who is on the terrorist watch list. Kelly's full name is James Richard Kelly.

Born in Virginia, the son of a NASA technician, Kelly made his feature debut in 2001 with the black comedy Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. His latest picture, Southland Tales, is set in a dystopian Los Angeles paralysed by economic and environmental collapse. Ironically, the film is implicitly concerned with security measures taken by the US government after the events of September 11 2001.

Guardian Unlimited Film | News | Donnie Darko director investigated for terrorist links

... you can consider yourself "movie literate".

Seen it, seen it, seen it.... only 10 more to go.

:: rogerebert.com :: Editor's Notes :: 101 102 Movies You Must See Before... (xhtml)

Hollywood tongues are wagging over the weekend's less-than-expected box-office tally for Mission: Impossible III â.. and asking if Tom Cruise's image may be to blame.

With an estimated $48.025 million in its till, M:I3 fell below industry expectations and nearly $10 million below the franchise's previous installment, reports the Associated Press.

Traditionally tight-lipped about his private life, Cruise suddenly shifted gears last year and starting posing for paparazzi while kissing his then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. Other public displays included jumping up and down on Oprah Winfreyâ..s couch while professing his love for Holmes and also spouting his Scientology beliefs on the Today show.

Tom's Mission Falls Short of Expectations | Tom Cruise : People.com

Umm, "seminal"? Like this was some ground-breaking film...? Why in God's name would you remake this film?

CNN.com - 'Revenge of the Nerds' being remade - May 1, 2006

Kyle Newman has signed on to direct "Revenge of the Nerds," a remake of the seminal 1984 teen comedy.

The project is being developed by Fox Atomic, the new young-adult genre division of Fox Filmed Entertainment. The studio is eyeing a summer start date.

Well, it's about time.

Star Wars: Episode IV | This September: Original Unaltered Trilogy on DVD

Fans can look forward to a September filled with classic Star Wars nostalgia, led by the premiere of LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy video game and the long-awaited DVD release of the original theatrical incarnations of the classic Star Wars trilogy.

In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you'll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.

See the title crawl to Star Wars before it was known as Episode IV; see the pioneering, if dated, motion control model work on the attack on the Death Star; groove to Lapti Nek or the Ewok Celebration song like you did when you were a kid; and yes, see Han Solo shoot first.

Police say the Grateful Dead leader's commode was stolen recently from a driveway along with three other toilets and a bidet.

Garcia's salmon-colored toilet was the subject of a legal battle before it was finally moved to Sonoma, to await shipment to a Canadian casino.

It's unclear if the toilet was swiped by a wayward Deadhead or a thief remodeling a bathroom. Police said they have no suspects or leads.

CNN.com - Wanted: Jerry Garcia's toilet - Apr 4, 2006

Paul Verhoeven, director of the first "Basic Instinct" (which scored $353 million worldwide) as well as the widely ridiculed "Showgirls" (now regarded as something of a camp classic), attributes the genre's demise to the current American political climate.

"Anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States," said the Dutch native. "Look at the people at the top (of the government). We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends."

Scribe Nicholas Meyer, who was an uncredited writer on 1987's seminal sex-fueled cautionary tale "Fatal Attraction," agrees, noting that the genre's downfall coincides with the ascent of the conservative political movement.

"We're in a big puritanical mode," he said. "Now, it's like the McCarthy era, except it's not 'Are you a communist?' but 'Have you ever put sex in a movie?' "

CNN.com - Whatever happened to the erotic thriller? - Apr 3, 2006

We have no idea why they chose today to do it, but today seven major movie studios announced they'll be selling movies online through Movielink and CinemaNow. Warner Bros, Universal, Sony, Paramount, Fox, and MGM will all be distributing first-run titles online -- definitely something they've never done before -- through Movielink for between 20 and 30 bones (way, way too much if you ask us), with older movies going for between $10 and $20. Lionsgate (and Sony) also announced distribution through CinemaNow.

Seven major studios line up to sell movies online - Engadget

I didn't even know he was sick... or still alive, for that matter.

Stanislaw Lem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stanislaw Lem (September 12, 1921 â.. March 27, 2006) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical, and satirical writer. His books have been translated into 41 languages and sold over 27 million copies. At one point he was the most widely read non-English language science fiction author in the world. Lem's writing is full of intelligent humor, puns, and neologisms, and Michael Kandel's translations into English have been praised by many for capturing Lem's style.

Interesting speculation on what happened to this film.

Cold Fusion Video Reviews: Slipstream

Here's what I like to imagine happened: Producer Gary Kurtz (of American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Dark Crystal, plus others) came to director Steven Lisberger (who also directed Tron, and who hasn't been in the director's seat since Slipstream) after two-thirds of principle photography was completed.

"Sorry," says Kurtz, "we ran out of money. The investors dried up. No more aerial photography. No more location shoots."

"But -- but -- but," stammers Lisberger, "we can't just scrap it. Look at what I've done so far! Look at the beautiful aerials! Look at the message of friendship! Look how mean I've made Mark Hamill look! There's got to be some way to finish the picture."

"Well," says Kurtz, "here's what I've got: A big, opulent museum set, and a whole bunch of '20's costumes. And I think we can get F. Murray Abraham for one day of shooting. Maybe you could do, like, a Boy and His Dog thing."

Lisberger goes into deep thought, furiously reviving the plot, as Kurtz walks away.

"Casino Royale" could be the first art-house-style 007 movie.

For one thing, the man chasing a terrorist through the tropical undergrowth on the film's set this week doesn't look much like the ultra-smooth James Bond that fans have come to adore over the course of four decades. He's bleeding, ragged -- and nowhere near a tuxedo, martini or gorgeous woman.

Beyond Bond's gritty characterization are other techniques and details associated with more low-budget productions. The opening sequence will be in black and white. And even after the movie goes to color in the first act, there's restless camera movement that gives this Bond an almost documentary feel.

delawareonline - The News Journal - Shaken and stirring: A grittier, less suave 007

The episode, "Trapped in the Closet," first aired in November. It was scheduled to repeat on Wednesday (March 15), a week before the show's new season begins, but it was quietly pulled in favor of "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls," a showcase for the Chef character voiced by Isaac Hayes, who quit "South Park" this week over what he called the show's "intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs."

Which leaves the last word with Stone and fellow "South Park" creator Trey Parker, who released, no kidding, the following statement to the trade paper (emphasis and exclamation points all Parker and Stone's):

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bit do save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!! [Signed,] Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu."

Did 'South Park' Get Cruised? - Rumors swirl around yanking of 'Closet' episode - Zap2it

Neat. Hey, for $200 I'll be a pre-op transgender lesbian.

GayNZ.com - News

The success of â..Brokeback Mountainâ.. at the Academy Awards has provided a new opportunity for gay and lesbian tourism in Canada. The film, a love story about two Wyoming cowboys was shot almost entirely in and around the town of Fort Macleod, Alberta.

A travel agency in Taiwan is the first to offer package holidays to the region. While not marketed solely to gay travellers, if you can illustrate youâ..re gay or lesbian, youâ..ll receive a $200 discount. Holidaymakers have long visited Southern Alberta, with its wide-open countryside and spectacular vistas.

The town of Fort Macleod is divided over the prospect of gay people visiting in greater numbers, but according to Gordon MacIvor, the local economic development officer, â..visitors to the town will be welcomed and not judged.â.

Just as Casino Royale looked as if it was finally ready to move ahead without any of the cock-ups that have dogged production, James Bond had his teeth punched out by an overzealous henchman.

It's just another in a long line of mishaps for James Bond, Casino Royale and Daniel Craig. But at least some people are sticking up for him. Christopher Lee - the only actor in the world to play Dracula, a Star Wars baddie, a Lord Of The Rings baddie and a James Bond baddie - has lashed out at those who have prematurely condemned Casino Royale. We should watch it, he says, and then say how crap it is.

James Bond Loses His Teeth, Gets Defended By Dracula

Everyone remembers the exact moment when they realized that their Phanom Menace sandwich was filled with shit. For me, it was the scene on Tatooine where Qui-Gon is talking and Jar Jar is snatching fruit from the bowl with his tongue, eating like an insect. Annoyed, Qui-Gon reaches out and snatches his tongue out of the air and holds it in his fist while he talks. That was when I realized I was watching a cartoon.

Worse, it was a cartoon I already knew the ending to.

The Top Ten Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed

  Star Wars: Deleted Magic

Cewl. This site's got some shots that didn't make the final cut in "Star Wars IV, The New Hope". Or as we liked to call it: "Star Wars".

Tech stuff for the slacker: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

The New Montreal FilmFest will not be returning after a disastrous inaugural year, the festivalâ..s organizer announced.

Cultural events company Spectra, which also runs the cityâ..s popular jazz festival, sent out a news release late Friday pronouncing dead the festival that debuted in October 2005.

â..Considering the 2005 experience, we want to avoid at all costs that Montreal once again projects an incoherent image on the international scene with several concurrent festivals,â. said Spectra head Alain Simard, acknowledging the effects of competition with two other film festivals in the city.

Spectra officials had sought to merge with a rival festival, the Festival du Nouveau Cinema, which turned down the offer. The 35-year-old Festival du Nouveau Cinema is smaller but highly regarded. Its executive director, Bruno Jobin, has continually dismissed attempts by FilmFest to amalgamate, saying heâ..s never been in negotiations with Spectra.

CBC Arts: New Montreal FilmFest folds

Oh, this is precious:

"If America isn't watching these films, why are they winning the awards?"

The Australian: No Christian hoorays for Hollywood [January 19, 2006]

Christian groups have launched a furious campaign against Hollywood, claiming the Golden Globe Awards promote films with gay or "leftist" themes to serve a political agenda.

The criticism was made after Brokeback Mountain, a film about the forbidden love between gay Wyoming cowboys that stars Australian Heath Ledger, won four awards on Tuesday.

Other winners included Philip Seymour Hoffman, named Best Actor for his portrayal of the homosexual writer Truman Capote; and Felicity Huffman, the Desperate Housewives star who played a transsexual with a gay prostitute son in Transamerica.

"Once again, the media elites are proving that their pet projects are more important than profit," Janice Crouse, of Concerned Women for America, said.


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