Monday, December 1, 2008

Start the Campaign: ‘Wall-E’ for Best Picture!

Courtesy of Disney/Pixar and AMPAS

Well, the first major-media reviews are in for Wall-E, and — as we suspected — it looks like Wall-E might be the best Pixar movie ever: As entertaining as every other Pixar movie, but even more artful and visually arresting than usual. "Breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate," says the Voice's Robert Wilonsky. Pixar "has just topped itself. Again," writes The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt. And the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips calls Wall-E "the best science-fiction film so far this year, the best romance so far this year and the best American studio film so far this year."

So, let the debate begin, as it does every year: Can Wall-E become the first Pixar film — and only the second-ever animated film — to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture? Could this be the year that the Academy finally realizes that Pixar movies are the closest Hollywood comes anymore to the great, classy populist entertainments that used to be nominated for a gazillion Oscars — the kinds of movies that everyone complains have disappeared from the Academy Awards?

Without even having seen Wall-E, we can easily say that nominating it for Best Picture would be the smartest thing the Academy's done in years. Wall-E will be critically beloved: We'll lay money on no major-studio release earning a higher Metacritic score this year. Wall-E will be popularly beloved: It will definitely make more at the box office than last year's five Best Picture nominees did combined. And think of the audiences you would get for an Oscar ceremony in which lovable Wall-E faces off against whichever quasi-indies get the other four slots. It could be a return to the glorious ratings (and popular relevancy) of yesteryear.

Make it happen, Academy! Nominate Wall-E for Best Picture!

by mynag

Friday, November 28, 2008

Madonna, A-Rod Make Beautiful Music Together

Madonna, Alex Rodriguez Photo by AP, Getty Images

Madrod has finally made its public debut.

As Madonna completed her second song before a sell-out crowd in Miami's Dolphin Stadium Wednesday night, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez handed her a bottle of water.

"It was easy for him to hand it off because he was sitting in the front row," a witness tells E! News. "He was all excited watching her perform."

And, just like that, Madonna acknowledged in public, less than a week after her quickie divorce from Guy Ritchie, that A-Rod is indeed the superfan (and waterboy) he's reportedly been for most of this year in private.

The two arrived in town together on Monday and spent most of Wednesday hanging around town with pal Ingrid Casares, a prominent Miami party promoter, who introduced the pair.

Madonna, 50, hit the stage of her last Sticky & Sweet American concert two and a half hours after the show was supposed to start. The Material One played from about 10 p.m. to midnight, including a guest appearance by Pharrell Williams during the closing set.

A-Rod, 33, who very publicly spent Tuesday with his family at a local restaurant, stayed throughout the entire performance.

by E!

Lynne Spears: Britney Is a 'Wonderful Mother'

Photo by: Finalpixx, WireImage

Lynne Spears: Britney Is a 'Wonderful Mother'
Lynne Spears certainly has plenty to be thankful for.

In the past year, she has watched her famous daughter Britney crawl back from the brink.

Just how did the 27-year-old singer rebound from her pair of forced hospitalizations and a long string of erratic behavior, including her quickly annulled Vegas wedding in 2004 and her infamous head-shaving in 2007?

"With a lot of love and care and help," Lynne said Thursday, speaking to the U.K.'s GMTV via satellite from New Orleans. "Sometimes you have to just settle down. You have to stop, think. And there's a lot of people that care about Britney and love Britney – and Britney's doing great now."

And while the singer still hasn't regained custody of her two sons, Lynne had nothing but praise for her daughter's parenting skills.

"Oh she's a wonderful mother – she's funny, she's extremely affectionate," said the Spears matriarch, who was promoting her memoir, Through the Storm. "[At] home, where there's nobody around, she's very normal."

Britney – fresh off the success of her first single, "Womanizer" – is currently in Europe promoting her new album, Circus. And she's scheduled to go on a worldwide concert our next year.

"I think Britney's just ready to get started again," said her mom. "I think this is when she's most in her element."
by People.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who Dominated American Music Awards 08?

Photo by: Getty
Chris Brown Dominates American Music Awards | Chris Brown

Chris Brown!
He was the big winner at the American Music Awards on Sunday night, surprising himself most of all.

"I don't know what to say. I would have given it to Coldplay," said Brown, who won artist of the year, male pop/rock artist and male soul/R&B artist.

Kanye West, still sore at losing male rap/hip-hop artist last year, won the trophy this time – then said Lil Wayne deserved it more.

"I want to give this award to Wayne," he said. "If it was last year it would have been my award."

It was West's second trophy of the night, following his win for rap/hip-hop album, for Graduation.

"It's our responsibility as musicians to push music to the point it was in the '60s and '70s," he said. "I want to be Elvis."

Host Jimmy Kimmel, who had made West's ego a running joke, quipped: "Elvis died on the toilet with half a jelly doughnut in his mouth. You may want to rethink that."

More Winners

Alicica Keys, who captured two awards for her As I Am album, winning for both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories, let out a loud "Woooooooo" after picking up a trophy, then dedicated her victory "to all the super women who struggle every day to make it through."

The show climaxed with Keys performing "Superwoman" with Queen Latifah and opera star Kathleen Battle, and ending with a large photo projected on a screen of incoming first lady Michelle Obama.

In a big night for American Idol alums, Daughtry – winner of three trophies last year – picked up another this year for pop/rock group, while former Idol champ Jordin Sparks won for adult contemporary music, and Carrie Underwear won for country album for Carnival Ride.

Taylor Swift, uncomfortably sharing L.A.'s Nokia Theatre auditorium with ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas, won for female country artist, and Rih Anna got two awards for pop/rock female artist and female soul R&B artist.

Rascal Flatts picked up their fouth American Music Award – and third in the last three years – for country band, and Brad Paisley won for male country artist, getting a laugh from the audience as he turned over the pyramid-shaped trophy and said, "Made in China?"

Music's A-listers were out in force as the show featured blockbuster performances by Tinaguilera, M. Carey, Beyonce, Rih Anna, West, Smiley Cyprus and Johan Brothers, who also won the breakthrough artist award.

And Justin Timber Lake made a surprise appearance to introduce award of merit recipient Annie Lennox.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Britney Spears Calls Her Life Worse Than a Jail Sentence

Photo by: Courtesy MTV
Britney Spears Calls Her Life Worse Than a Jail Sentence | Britney Spears

Britney Spears says that since her breakdown, her life has been worse than a jail sentence – but that she's slowly healing one day at a time.

"I have really good days, and then I have bad days," the singer, 26, admits in a new fly-on-the wall, 90-minute documentary, Britney: For The Record, to air in the U.S. Nov. 30 on MTV and in the U.K. Dec. 1 on Sky1.

Struggling to gain control of her life again after her public meltdown earlier this year, she says candidly: "Even when you go to jail, y'know, there's the time when you're gonna get out. But in this situation, it's never ending. It's just like [the Bill Murray movie] Groundhog Day."

She adds, "I'm having to pay for it for a really long time."

Spears was hospitalized for mental evaluation in January, which resulted in her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, being granted sole custody of their sons, Preston and Jayden. Her father, Jamie Spears, also gained legal control over her affairs.

Britney Spears, in Britney: For The Record Photo by: Courtesy MTV
Britney Spears Calls Her Life Worse Than a Jail Sentence| Britney Spears

Not Being Heard
"If I wasn't under the restraints that I'm under right now, I'd feel so liberated," she says in the film, which follows the singer as she records and promotes her new album Circus. "When I tell them the way I feel, it's like they hear me, but they're really not listening."

A camera crew followed the singer for three months as she moved to pull her life back on track. "I wanted to make this film because I started to feel like I wasn't being seen in the light that I wanted to be seen in," Spears said. "This is an opportunity to set the record straight and talk about what I've been through and where I'm headed."

Overall, she says, "I think I've learned my lesson now, and enough is enough."

by People

Natasha Bedingfield Calls Romance 'Female Viagra'

Natasha Bedingfield Calls Romance 'Female Viagra'  | Natasha Bedingfield

When it comes to love, Natasha Bedingfield says skip the little blue pills: romance is even better than a pocketful of sunshine.

"Romance is female Viagra!" Bedingfield beams to PEOPLE, referring to her relationship with fiancé Matt Robinson, who proposed on Sep. 7.

The British pop singer, 26, who is the face of Cosmopolitan magazine's "Star launch: The Search for the Next Female Rockstar," says the couple revels in romance, from love letters to flowers to chocolate. "In reality, relationships have ups and downs. If someone is worth enough to you, then you both fight to stay true through the tough times. Advice to guys: Keep the romance alive. Simple things like giving flowers or remembering special dates may sound cheesy but they do work."

It doesn’t hurt that Bedingfield is absolutely ga-ga over her future husband’s good looks: "My fiancé Matt is hotter to me than David Beckham! He is honest, funny, charming and hot."

On December 5, the three remaining contestants of "StarLaunch" will open for Bedingfield during a December 5th show in New York City. The winner will receive $10,000 and the opportunity to record a three-track demo with a big music producer.

by People.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Britney, Obama a Big Deal at MTV Europe Awards

Britney Spears x17online

Britney Spears didn't even have to show up to come back in Liverpool.

The again-viable pop star was named Act of 2008 in absentia at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, which were handed out Thursday in the Beatles' hometown.

Fittingly so, considering Paul McCartney was on hand to collect his Ultimate Legend award from a reverent Bono. McCartney thanked his "mum and dad," the people of Liverpool, his former bandmates and Americans, "for voting in Senator McCain."

Spears also snagged a trophy for Album of the Year for Blackout, making her and 30 Seconds to Mars (Rock Out and Video Star) the most winning artists of the night.

But while Spears taped a video thank-you message ahead of time, she was otherwise engaged tonight. Sources tell E! News that the "Womanizer" songstress is headed to Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium, where she and Justin Timberlake are supposed to reunite onstage with Madonna, whose Sticky & Sweet tour touched down in SoCal Tuesday.

Other big winners included girl-kisser and the evening's host Katy Perry, who was named Best New Act and sported a dress emblazoned with Barack Obama's face; Artists' Choice Lil Wayne; Best Act Ever Rick Astley; and Pink's "So What," which was named Most Addictive Track.

Also sharing the political love was 30 Seconds frontman Jared Leto, who sported an Obama T-shirt and urged the crowd at Echo Arena to chant the U.S. president-elect's name.

Beyoncé, the Killers, Pink, Kanye West—who didn't try to pilfer the Best Video statue this time—and British singer Estelle all performed.

Details on awards:

Britney reunites with Madonna on stage

Fans turning up for the Britney Spears and Madonna reunion would have been expecting to see the 26-year-old in a typically raunchy outfit.

But instead the 50-year-old Material Girl was the one wearing the more revealing clothes as the pair performed a duet on stage.

The pop megastars looked like they should have swapped outfits as they sang together at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles during Madonna's Sticky and Sweet tour.

Britney Spears

Megastars: Britney and Madonna perform a duet together on stage at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles last night

A demure looking Britney, dressed in a simple white blouse and black trousers was invited on stage by Madonna and joined in with one of her songs.

And Madonna was also joined by Justin Timberlake to join in with another of her hits.

Rumours that the former couple, who split in 2002, would perform together with Madonna proved unfounded though as they did not appear together on stage.

Madonna and Justin Timberlake show off some moves during the concert

It's a bit different from the last time Britney and Madonna appeared on stage together.

The pair caused a stir in 2003 when they shared a steamy lesbian kiss live on stage during the opening performance on the MTV Music Awards in New York's Radio City Music Hall.

It's not the first they have collaborated together, with Madonna appearing on Britney's track 'Me Against the Music' on her In The Zone album.

The Material Girl kisses Britney, on the hand this time, during their performance

The comeback Queen was pictured last week dressed up as a witch as she took her two sons Jayden James and Sean Preston trick or treating.

She posted the shots on her website, along with the cover art for her new album Circus, which is due out on her birthday on December 2.

And the 'Womanizer' singer is set to appear on the X Factor show in two weeks' time to meet the contestants and perform her new single.

Back on song: The pop stars put an arm around each other as they perform

Madonna has thrown herself into her 32-concert Sticky and Sweet tour of the Americas after the announcement of her divorce with Guy Ritchie.

She faces a bitter divorce battle with the film director, with Kabbalah leaders demanding a quick out of court settlement.

Flashback: Britney and Madonna share a lesbian kiss during the MTV Video Music Awards at New York's Radio City Music Hall in 2003

by Mail Online

Britney, Justin To Play With Madonna In L.A.?

Madonna will get a lift from Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at her show tonight (Nov. 6) at Los Angeles' Dodgers Stadium, according to KIIS-FM personality Ryan Seacrest.

Spears and Timberlake have rarely been in the same place, much less seen together, since their messy break up in 2002. But both have collaborated with Madonna; Spears on the song "Me Against the Music" and a short film airing as part of Madonna's stage show, Timberlake on songs from Madonna's most recent album, "Hard Candy."

There was some concern that the concert would be postponed due to technical issues with the stage, but Madonna says the show will go on.

"Even though my stage roof was damaged and some lights and effects aren't working, I want to do the show anyway because I don't want to disappoint my fans," she said in a statement to the Associated Press.

The Americas portion of Madonna's current tour wraps Nov. 30 in Mexico City. It resumes Dec. 3 with the first of four shows in Buenos Aires.
by Billboard.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Britney's Circus Cover, Track List Come to Town

Image:Britney Circus hiresRGB.jpg
Spears' Circus

From the looks of it, there's not much clowning around in Britney Spears' Circus...despite the "Come one, come all!" lettering and primary-color palette.

Here lies the cover of the pop princess' sixth studio album, which boasts the No. 1 single "Womanizer" as its first track and will almost certainly help the reinvigorated songstress start her 27th year off right when it drops Dec. 2 amid birthday wishes and intense scrutiny.

And with song titles like "Lace and Leather" and "Kill the Lights," it appears as if the video for "Womanizer" barely scratched the surface of the kind of sexcapades Britney's all up into now.

Coming on the heels of the record-breaking, chart-topping single—which gave Spears the biggest digital debut of any female artist since Nielsen SoundScan started keeping trackZomba Label Group has revealed that Circus' title track will be the next single released to whet your appetite for the main event.

Check out the complete track list and decide whether you're planning to partake in Brit's big-top adventure:

1. "Womanizer"

2. "Circus"

3. "Out From Under"

4. "Kill The Lights"

5. "Shattered Glass"

6. "If U Seek Amy"

7. "Unusual You"

8. "Blur"

9. "Mmm Papi"

10. "Mannequin"

11. "Lace and Leather"

12. "My Baby"

Bonus Track:

13. "Radar"

by E!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gwyneth Paltrow: I'm helping Madonna over split

 U.S. actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives for The Times BFI London Film Festival screening of 'Two Lovers' in London, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/MJ Kim)
by AP

Gwyneth Patrol is helping her friend Madonna through breakup of her marriage.

The actress told reporters that she's supporting the pop star following Wednesday's announcement that she's separated from filmmaker-husband Guy Ritchie.

"She's a very good friend. I'm supporting her in all the ways that I can. I'm just there for her. I speak to her a lot," Paltrow said as she attended the premiere of her film "Two Lovers" at London's Film Festival.

Like Madonna, Paltrow who's married to Coldplay singer Chris Martin lives partly in London.

Madonna and Ritchie, who were married at a Scottish castle in December 2000, have two children: Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted in Malawi in 2006. Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from a previous relationship.

Madonna's publicist said Sunday that details of a divorce settlement are yet to be finalized, dismissing reports that the couple had agreed to a custody arrangement for the couple's children.

The couple own homes in London, Los Angeles and New York, and a 1,200-acre retreat in Wiltshire, England.

by Y!News

Friday, October 17, 2008

Spears Scores Record-Setting Hot 100 Jump

Another week, another record-breaking jump to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Britney Spears makes a near-maximum 96-1 rise with "Womanizer," returning to the top of the list for the first time since her debut single "...Baby One More Time" hit No. 1 in January 1999.

This is the third time in the past two months that the mark for the biggest jump to No. 1 has been shattered. On the Hot 100 dated Sept. 6, T.I. soared 71-1 with "Whatever You Like" and last week he sprinted 80-1 with "Live Your Life."

Spears' single is spurred by first-week download sales of 286,000, the biggest opening-week tally by a female artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital downloads in 2003, besting Mariah Carey's take for "Touch My Body" by just over 200 units.

In between her nearly 10-year gap between No. 1s, Spears has placed four other top 10s on the Hot 100, the last being "Gimme More," the first single from her last set, "Blackout." That song jumped 68-3 last October with first-week download sales of 179,000.

"Womanizer" previews Spears' sixth studio set "Circus," due Dec. 2 via Jive.

by Billboard

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Madonna and Ritchie to announce divorce

FILE ** In this Sept. 1, 2008 file photo, British director Guy ...
Photo by AP

Madonna and filmmaker Guy Ritchie are to end their marriage after nearly eight years, British newspapers reported Wednesday.

Citing unnamed sources, The Sun and Daily Mail said the couple hoped to have a divorce finalized by Christmas. The Sun said that Madonna, 50, had wanted to wait until her latest world tour wraps up in Brazil in December before announcing the split.

The singer will perform concerts Wednesday and Thursday in Boston as her "Sticky and Sweet" tour continues.

Barbara Charone, Madonna's spokeswoman in London, declined comment on the reports. Ritchie's mother, Lady Amber Leighton, told reporters the family wouldn't be making any statement to the media.

This is the second time this year that the superstar couple's marriage has come under the media microscope. Over the summer, Madonna was linked — unfairly, she said — to the breakup of New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez and his ex-wife Cynthia.

In July, Madonna's U.S. publicist released a statement that said the singer and Ritchie had "no plans to divorce."

Madonna and Ritchie married in December 2000 at a Scottish castle. The couple have two children: Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted from Malawi in 2006. Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from her relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.

The couple are reportedly worth some $525 million, the bulk of that belonging to Madonna. Ritchie has an estimated $35 million fortune. They own homes in London, Los Angeles and New York, and a 1,200-acre retreat in Wiltshire, England.

Alan Kaufman, head of family law for London firm Finers Stephens Innocent, said he would be surprised if Madonna and Ritchie hadn't come to some arrangement before they were married.

Kaufman, who isn't involved in the case, also said he doesn't expect the case to end up in court because the couple would likely prefer to come to a private agreement both custodially and financially.

"They both had substantial assets and don't really need any money from each other," Kaufman said.

"This is not like the McCartney divorce," he said, referring to the acrimonious split between former Beatle Paul McCartney and Heather Mills earlier this year.

By Y! news

Janet Jackson's Mystery Illness Revealed – Migraines!

Janet Jackson onstage in Vancouver Sept. 10
Photo by: John Darch / JDJ, Inc.

Janet Jackson's Mystery Illness Revealed – Migraines!
After much speculation, the cause of Janet Jackson's mystery illness – which caused her to cancel a trip of tour dates – has been revealed.

The 42-year-old was suffering from vestibular migraines, her rep said in a statement, an unusual condition that creates the sensation of vertigo.

But Jackson is now receiving treatmet – and she's anxious to get back on stage.

"[Janet is] a world-class entertainer and needs to be at the top of her game to give her fans the show they expect," manager Kenneth Crear said in the statement. "She's feeling much better and is ready to hit the road again."

She is scheduled to resume her Rock Witchu Tour Wednesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Jackson's show at Madison Square Garden, originally slated for Thursday, has been rescheduled for Nov. 1.

New dates for the other postponed concerts are being worked out and will be announced shortly, her rep said.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Double Debuts Beyonce

by Sony

Beyoncé's Double Debut | Beyonce Knowles
After recording more than 70 songs for her upcoming album – due out Nov. 18 – Beyoncé debuted, count 'em, two new singles on the radio Wednesday morning.

In the ballad, if I were a Boy, Beyoncé, 27, sings how she'd "chase after the girls" and "put myself first," and belts out in the chorus how she'd "be a better man" because she knows "how it hurts when you lose the one you wanted/cause he's taken you for granted."

Beyoncé's second single, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" aired on Z100's sister station Power 105.1.

In the song, the secretly married performer croons, "We just broke up/I'm doin' my own lil' thing/And you decided to dip/ Now you wanna trip/Cuz another brutha noticed me/I’m up on him/He up on me."

Check 'em out for yourself!

Beyoncé's Double Debut| Music News, Beyonce Knowles

by People

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Angelina Jolie Says, 'Everybody's Great'

Photo by: B. Ach / INF
Angelina Jolie Says, 'Everybody's Great' | Angelina Jolie

Having landed in NYC earlier in the week, Angelina Jolie arrived with Brad Pitt and walked the red carpet at the New York Film Festival for Saturday night's premiere of her movie Changeling, a 1920's thriller directed by Clint Eastwood.

Asked if she felt nervous to be back in the spotlight, Jolie told PEOPLE, "Not nervous as much as I just took a deep breath because it¹s been so long. It felt a little strange."

The Manhattan visit marks the first time since the birth of the twins, Vivienne and Knox, that Jolie and Pitt have been in the city with their children.

"Everybody's great," she told PEOPLE. "The babies are getting big and healthy and developing personalities."

Breastfeeding Helps

As for being in the city that never sleeps, Jolie, 33, said, "We are a little bit [sleep deprived]. We have some help a couple of nights a week, so on those nights we catch up on our sleep."

Still, as ever, she looked ravishing – decked out in an Atelier Versace dress, Sergio Rossi shoes and Mikimoto pearl earrings and ring – after a day of taking her three eldest kids (Zahara, Maddox and Pax Thien) to Lee's Art Store midtown, while Brad went downtown to see photographer Jerry Spagnoli at his studio.

"I run around with all the other kids, and I'm breastfeeding, which I think is a part of your body's recovery," Jolie said. "I feel great [and] feel very happy that they're healthy."

On Her Movie

Of her new movie, in which she plays a mother whose son is kidnapped, Jolie said, "Your worst fear is anything happening to your kids. The reason I didn't want to do the film for a long time … every day I came home, and I was so clinging to my kids. I was grabbing them. And checking them in the night. It scares me."

As for adopting more children, she said, "I think we're going to wait a little while."
by People

Saturday, October 4, 2008

O.J. Simpson: This Time He's Guilty!

O.J. Simpson Getty Images

Oct. 3, 1995: O.J. Simpson acquitted of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.

Oct. 3, 2008: O.J. Simpson found guilty of a dozen of crimes, including armed robbery and kidnapping, that could put him away for life.

Exactly 13 years after he skated on the murder rap, and after 13 solid hours of deliberations, a Las Vegas jury convicted the Hall of Fame running back and erstwhile Naked Gun star of masterminding a raid on two sports memorabilia dealers.

Tasked by District Court Judge Jackie Glass to reach a verdict or work through the weekend, the nine-woman, three-man panel stayed late at the Clark County Courthouse, even having dinner delivered, before reaching the verdict shortly before 10 p.m.

About 40 minutes later, Simpson entered the room to learn his fate. After the judge read the verdict, Simpson, 61, and codefendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, were cuffed and hauled away. They will remain locked up until their Dec. 5 sentencing.

Simpson's daughter, Arnelle, and sister, Carmelita Durio, clutched each other as each count was ticked off. They cried as Simpson was led out by officers and then Durio collapsed, prompting a call to paramedics.

Simpson attorney Yale Galanter—who in Thursday's closing arguments called his client "stupid" for staging the so-called "sting" operation but said he did nothing criminal—has already vowed an appeal.

Jurors declined to talk to the media about their reasoning.

According to authorities, Simpson and five other men barged in on the two memorabilia collectors, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, at the Palace Station, an off-Strip Las Vegas hotel, on Sept. 13, 2007. Simpson believed the two men had items that had been swiped from him.

Several of his accomplices cut deals, leaving Simpson to stand trial with Stewart, a Vegas mortgage broker.

All told Simpson and Stewart were convicted of 11 felonies (conspiracy to commit kidnapping; conspiracy to commit burglary; burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon; and two counts each of first degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon; robbery with use of a deadly weapon; assault with a deadly weapon; and coercion with use of a deadly weapon) and one gross misdemeanor (conspiracy to commit a crime).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Leonardo DiCaprio: I Want Marriage and Kids

Photo by: Tony Barson / WireImage

Leonardo DiCaprio: I Want Marriage and Kids | Leonardo DiCaprio
Once the poster child against romance – professing he feels "few emotions," has "never been in love" and "does not believe in marriage" – Leonardo Dicaprio is now singing a different tune.

"I want to get married and have children," the star of the upcoming Body of Lies and Revolutionary Road , 33: "In saying that, I realize I am contradicting everything I've said before. I absolutely believe in marriage."

Linked for the past two years with 23-year-old Israeli model Bar Refaeli – in a relationship that has run both hot and cold – DiCaprio says, "What I definitely feel a need for is to make my life about more than just my career. Just last night I was thinking to myself how little of my life has been lived normally and not spent on some far-off movie location."

As for his declarations of the past – and shooting an arrow through Cupid's heart – he says, "No, I don't agree with any of that. It sounds like the ignorance of youth to me. When did I say that? Three or four years ago? Hey, we grow up real fast."

Looking for Love

A one-time child model and actor (Growing Pains), DiCaprio says, "My parents never tried to steer me in any direction. I wanted to be an actor, but I never thought it was a real possibility, ever. I thought I'd be a marine biologist, because nature and evolution fascinated me."

His reason for entering the profession, he admits, was because "[w]e're all after love, aren't we? Love is what people are hungry for. That's absolutely why I became an actor."

And, having starred in the most successful box-office hit of all time, 1997's Titanic, a reflective DiCaprio (who is also lamenting the recent loss of his beloved grandmother, Oma), says, "I do appreciate it. I know how lucky I am."

He adds, "I hope I never get cynical. I think you need youthful energy, excitement and optimism in life. There is a lot I want to do, and the more cynical you become, the more you sit on your butt and do nothing."

Emphasizing what he finds important, DiCaprio lists family and environment, then says, "What I want is to be known as someone who stood for something."

By People

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman Dies at 83

Paul Newman AP

Butch Cassidy, Hud Bannon, icon. Paul Newman excelled in all those roles, and more.

Newman, the Academy Award-winning leading man who specialized in iconoclasts and outsiders, but whose aqua-blue eyes and box office prowess made him one of Hollywood's biggest stars, and whose eclectic interests saw him pursue car racing and salad dressing with equal vigor, died Friday of cancer. He was 83.

Newman succumbed to the disease at his farmhouse near Westport, Conn., publicist Jeff Sanderson said.

In the end, he was, Sanderson said, surrounded by family and dear friends.

Survivors include actress Joanne Woodward, his wife of 50 years, and his professional collaborator for nearly as many.

In a 52-year screen year, Newman earned the 1986 Best Actor Academy Award for The Color of Money, and pulled in 10 overall nominations—nine for acting, and one for producing 1968 Best Picture contender Rachel, Rachel, which starred Woodward, and which he directed.

Additionally, he received two honorary Oscars, in 1986 and 1994, won one Emmy, for 2005's Empire Falls, and rated one Tony nomination, for a 2002-03 Broadway revival of Our Town.

More impressive than the awards was the work. His essential films include:

  • Hud, the 1963 career-definer about an angry young cowboy;
  • The Hustler, the 1961 pool-hall drama;
  • Harper, the ground-breaking 1966 detective drama that made the gumshoe almost as troubled as his clients;
  • Cool Hand Luke, the oft-quoted 1967 chain-gang movie;
  • The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, his two crowd-pleasing period team-ups with Robert Redford.

Other key roles:

  • His Oscar-winning return as pool shark "Fast Eddie" Felson in The Color of Money, the 1986 sequel to The Hustler;
  • His shattering portrayal of an alcoholic, ambulance-chasing lawyer in the David Mamet-penned legal drama The Verdict;
  • His run through a trio of Tennessee Williams plays turned movies—The Long, Hot Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Sweet Bird of Youth;
  • His cult-favorite turn as Reggie Dunlap, the scrappy player/coach of the Charlestown Chiefs, in the 1977 minor-league-hockey classic Slap Shot;
  • His latter-day supporting work in Road to Perdition and Empire Falls.

Newman last appeared onscreen in Empire Falls. A year later, in 2006, he supplied the voice of wily Doc Hudson in the animated hit Cars.

A no-show on the night he won his first and only competitive Oscar, Newman was not the sort of movie star who defined himself by the usual trappings. Rather, he was the sort of movie star who redefined what an offscreen life could, or should, be about.

Newman raced cars, placing second in the 1979 24-hours-at-Le Mans endurance test, and helping run one of the most successful race-car teams in motor sports. He sold popcorn, spaghetti sauce, cookies and other treats through his phenomenally successful, charity-funding Newman's Own brand. He led anti-drug campaigns following the 1978 overdose death of 28-year-old son Scott Newman.

"Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humor, and humanness," Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman's charity organization, Newman's Own Foundation, said in a statement today.

Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Jan. 26, 1925, Newman came of acting age in the era the Method made famous by Marlon Brando, James Dean and himself. He worked steadily on Broadway and in live TV in the early 1950s.

He made his film debut in 1954's The Silver Chalice, a would-be sword-and-sandals classic. Although the movie bombed and its star was mocked, Newman and his career recovered. Nicely.

The state of Newman's health had been the subject of speculation in recent years. The actor once batted down a report of cancer by issuing a statement he was actually being treated for "athlete's foot and hair loss." But pictures of a thinner-than-usual Newman fueled headlines in June of lung cancer. As the summer wore on, the reports only got grimmer.

Newman announced his retirement from acting in 2007. He cited not his health, per se, but his aging-out memory banks.

"I'm not able to work the level that I would want to," Newman told Good Morning America. "So I think that's pretty much a closed book for me."

But what a book it was.

by E!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Total Request Dead

Start the countdown clock on MTV's countdown era: "Total Request Live" will soon shut down after 10 years on the air.

The music video show will conclude in a two-hour special on a Saturday afternoon in November, Dave Sirulnick, executive producer of "TRL," said Monday. He stressed that the show wasn't ending for good, but felt now was the right time to give it a break after an unprecedented run on the cable music channel.

"We want to close this era of `TRL' in a big celebratory way, and 10 is a great number," Sirulnick said. "And 10 is the number that `TRL' counted down every single day for 10 years, and we hit this 10th (anniversary) and we thought, `You know what? This feels like the right time and let's celebrate it and let's reward it. And let's let it have a little bit of a rest for a minute.' Let it catch its breath! Been working hard — for 10 years!"

"TRL" debuted in September 1998 and became the splashy center of the teen pop music scene with Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync and other acts. From its heydey until 2008, it's been a destination for musicians, movie stars and celebrities promoting their new music, movies and other projects.

Sirulnick said "TRL" — which airs weekday afternoons from MTV's Times Square studio — lost some luster as it aged. It peaked in 1999 with 757,000 viewers tuning in daily, according to Nielsen Media Research.

"It becomes more of a mainstay and more of an institution than — pardon the pun — the new kid on the block," Sirulnick said.

For the finale, Sirulnick said he hopes to celebrate with many of the "folks who helped make `TRL' what it is — whether that's Justin (Timberlake) and his guys in N'Sync, the Backstreet Boys, Britney, Eminem — I think we would love to see all of them here." That includes former host Carson Daly.

In a statement, Eminem said: "I'm going to miss `TRL.' ... Where else will I be able to start feuds, defend my honor vigorously and act like an angry teenager on national TV? Oh wait ... The VMAs!"

MTV found a replacement of sorts with "FNMTV." The show debuted over the summer in a 15-episode run hosted by Pete Wentz, bassist for rock band Fall Out Boy. Taped in Los Angeles, it aired Friday nights and televised exclusive music videos and performances by such diverse acts as Slipknot and the Jonas Brothers.

MTV said it was bringing "FNMTV" back for another run in mid-November. Like last time, there will be no video countdown with the 10 viewer favorites.

by Y!News

Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Oscar for Heath Ledger? Knight Cast Thinks So

The Dark Knight DC

Heath Ledger's costars from The Dark Knight, including two-time Batman Christian Bale, took turns at a press event this weekend praising and remembering the late actor's intense style. A few of them are even lobbying for a gold statue on his behalf.

"Definitely," said Aaron Eckhart, who plays doomed district attorney Harvey Dent to Ledger's droll and very creepy Joker. "Why not?"

Fellow cast member Gary Oldman was more pointed about it.

"Heath had this frequency none of us could hear," said Oldman. "The Academy tends to overlook movies like this, but this acting is so good it's going to be very hard for them to avoid it."

His other Gotham cohorts marveled at Ledger's obsession with detail:

He patched together influences ranging from A Clockwork Orange to ventriloquist dummies to Charlie Chaplin. The result: a Joker so demented and creepy he makes Nicholson's 1989 version look like Elton John in a bad mood.

"He called me during preproduction from time to time to tell me what he was working on," director Christopher Nolan recalled. "He told me he was researching the way ventriloquist dummies talk. It was a bit peculiar."

But when Nolan finally saw Heath's Joker onscreen, he got it. Ledger was trying for a vocal style that would match the Joker's chaotic character; even his pitch would be unpredictable, the same way that ventriloquists' voices would suddenly switch from low to high.

"He's raised the bar," said Bale.

If the Academy does honor Ledger for his Joker character, it would be only the second posthumous acting win ever. The first went to Peter Finch for the 1976 movie Network.

by E!

Ledger Video's "Jane Doe" Tries New Lawsuit Tactic


Jane Doe is adamant about keeping her Heath Ledger lawsuit alive.

Weeks after a judge dismissed 11 of 12 claims in her invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against celebrity photo agency Splash News, the unidentified plaintiff has revised her complaint by downplaying her role as a working reporter at the time she supposedly saw Ledger get suckered into being filmed while in the presence of cocaine.

The woman, who has identified herself only as "Jane Doe" in court documents, alleges that two photographers—one of whom she was dating at the time—purchased coke specifically for the night of the 2006 SAG Awards, then invited Ledger back to a room she had booked at the Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood and secretly filmed the Brokeback Mountain star drinking what looks like a beer and talking about drug use.

In dismissing a number of claims, L.A. Superior Court Judge John S. Wiley Jr. cited the plaintiff's job (People magazine has confirmed that she was working as a freelancer at the time), ruling that she voluntarily inserted herself into the situation.

Besides that, Wiley said, Ledger was the only one who could rightly claim emotional distress and unjust enrichment from the illegal footage on the part of Splash News because his was the only face and voice on the tape (the plaintiff's face was blurred) that made the footage valuable.

The only claim the plaintiff had left to pursue after the judge's dismantling was trespass.

In a revised nine-count complaint filed Thursday, the woman says that she was only assigned to observe the Brokeback Mountain and Capote afterparties taking place at the hotel. She was not authorized to conduct one-on-one interviews with the celebrity guests, her suit states.

Ledger didn't agree to go back to her room in the company of reporters; rather, he was tricked into joining a guy who had befriended him at the party, the new complaint reads. The Splash News employee then invited her back to the room with them and did not include the other photog who later filmed the group.

Jane Doe's camp, emphasizing that she was not angling for a scoop at the time, states that she was "excited and almost could not believe that she was going to 'hang out' with the person who was nominated for a SAG award."

Splash News hasn't yet commented on the revision, but the agency said in its original motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Ledger's actions in that hotel room were newsworthy and fair game for Splash reporters and that the plaintiff had "improperly attempted to assert the rights of a dead celebrity within her complaint."

by E!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scarlett Johansson Calls for Recycling

Scarlett Johansson, EMA PSA Lionsgate

Scarlett Johansson wants you to get in the spirit of recycling your cell phones.


Playing off posters for Johansson's upcoming comic-book thriller The Spirit, the Environmental Media Association and Lionsgate studio have created PSAs encouraging folks to recycled thier used cell phones. The ads feature one of the movie's taglines, "Answer the call!"

The magazine ads—first appearing in People on Friday—will also include Johansson's costar Eva Mendes.

EMA's goal is to lower the amount of carbon dioxide emissions created by the production of new phones.

This isn't the only good deed Johansson has been up to recently. She just completed a four-day visit to Rwanda, where she visited AIDS clinics with (RED), Bono and Bobby Shriver's initiative to raise money for women and children affected by AIDS in Africa.

by E!

Five Things You Didn't Know About Sarah Palin

Photo by: Ron Edmonds / AP
Five (More) Things You Didn't Know About Sarah Palin

After having famously joked at her party's convention, "You know what they say about the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick," what sort of lipstick does Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin prefer?

The Insider spoke to Palin's closest friends and found out, uncovering these 5 things you may not know about her:

She's frugal. "Sarah gave me a thank-you card after I helped her with her lieutenant-governor race," said her friend, Kristen Cole, who has known the Alaska governor since childhood. "She liked the card so much that she didn't sign it so I could give it to someone else."

She's a techie. Palin prefers texting to phone calls.

She's a rock fan. She named her son Trig Paxton Van Palin because it sounds like the band Van Halen. Says friend Judy Patrick, a former city council member who has known Palin for 12 years, "How cool was that to have a kid named Van Palin?"

She's adaptable. Palin used to wear Mary Kay lipstick, but she now prefers MAC.

She's a traditionalist. Palin is against waxing. Cole recalls: "I remember that one of her girls wanted to get her legs waxed, and Sarah said, 'Are you kidding me? What's wrong with a razor?' "

by People.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Britney to Release New Album on Her Birthday


Britney Spears has arranged a wonderful birthday present for herself: her sixth studio album, Circus, due for release Dec. 2 – the day she turns 27, her label announced Monday.

Coming so soon after her triple victory – for video of the year, best female video and best pop video for "Piece of Me" – at MTV's Video Music Awards on Sept. 7, Circus follows up her well-received 2007 album Blackout and continues the upward spiral the sometimes-troubled pop star has been experiencing.

The Outsyders, described by Spears's label, Jive records, as an up-and-coming Atlanta production team, have produced the first single from the album, "Womanizer," which will drop Sept. 22.

Other producers and writers with a hand in the album, according to Jive, include Dr. Luke (writer-producer of the title track, "Circus"), Danja, Max Martin, Bloodshy & Avant and Guy Sigsworth – who's collaborated with such other artists as Madonna, Alanis Morissette and Bjork.

Overtakes Paris's Record

In all, Spears has sold more than 62 million albums internationally, including 1999's Baby One More Time, 2000's Oops! … I Did It Again, 2001' Britney, 2003's In The Zone and the previously mentioned Blackout. Her sales records include eight No. 1 worldwide singles and four consecutive No. 1 albums.

Also on Monday, Guinness World Records revealed another accolade for Spears: she has replaced Paris Hilton as the Most Searched Person on the Internet in 2007.

by People.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Britney Wins Big at the VMAs

by WireImage

It was Britney's night!

The pop star made a triumphant return to MTV's Video Music Awards, winning three Moonmen, including the night's big honor, video of the year, for her hit "Piece of Me."

"I'm in shock," the grateful singer said after accepting her third award of the night from NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Happy Birthday MTV

Spears, of course, was the subject of much speculation and excitement after word spread that she would be opening the ceremony.


She looked a little nervous at first, but proved to be in fighting form in a vintage silver Versace mini-dress. After being escorted from her dressing room, Spears took center stage, clutched the microphone tight, and announced, "I'm here tonight to celebrate a very important birthday." Continued Spears: "This is the 25th Video Music Awards – and it starts right now."

With that, the pop star was gone, ceding the stage to a futuristic-looking Rihanna, who launched into her hit "Disturbia" with a goth-themed entourage touting glow sticks and leather.

by GettyImages

Moments later, Spears was back to accept her first VMA ever.

Nominated for 16 Moonmen in the past, the pop star nabbed the first award of the night, best female video, for her song "Piece of Me." Spears gave a brief speech, thanking God for "just blessing me like this," calling out her two sons and dedicating the award to her fans. "This is for you," Spears said.

And her fans were everywhere Sunday night. Haley Williams from Paramore saw Spears backstage and was overheard remarking to a bandmate, "Man, Britney looks really pretty."

by WireImage

Spears later picked up her second award for best pop video, also for "Piece of Me." "I'm speechless," chirped the pop star as she offered thanks to manager Larry Rudolph, who accompanied Spears to the show, and her fans.

And finally, she was equally succinct in her Video of the Year Award acceptance speech.

"Wow. I'm in shock right now. I was not expecting this!"

Other winners of the show are: (photos by WireImage)

Chris Brown (Best Male Video for With you)

Linkin Park (Best Rock Video for Shadow of the day)

Lil Wayne (Best Hip Hop Video for Lollipop)

Pussycat Dolls (Best Dancing for When I Grow Up)

and Tokio Hotel (Best New Artist's Video for Ready, Set, Go)

Host With The Most

Host Russell Brand seemed to stun the audience with his high-minded, political comedy, making jokes at the expense of President George Bush ("In England, George Bush wouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors") and remarks about nominees the Jonas Brothers and their purity rings. His remarks caused a bit controversy, and the host was forced to apologize later in the night.

An Assortment of Performers

One unique factor about this year's show: The diversity of performance spots.

by WireImage

The Jonas Brothers offered a stripped down, acoustic version of their song "Love Bug" on a city street set, before launching into an electric finale on a stage that was mobbed by adoring teenage fans.

by WireImage

Rockers Paramore performed from legendary rock club Whisky A Go Go, but were bested by Linkin Park for best rock video honors.

by WireImage

New mom Christina Aguilera also made an appearance. She slinked onto the stage, performing a techno-inspired remix of her hit "Genie In A Bottle" to promote her upcoming greatest hits album, which then segued into her new song "Keeps Gettin' Better."

by Wireimage

And Kanye West closed down the evening with an intense outdoor performance of an unreleased song before the stunned masses.

by People,, WireImage and Getty Images.

Daniel Radcliffe Wows in First Broadway Performance

Photo by: Walter McBride / Retna
Daniel Radcliffe Wows in First Broadway Performance

Some might even say it was a magical evening. Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe appeared in his first preview performance of the Broadway drama Equus Friday, earning raves from fans.

"I thought that he was terrific," Mandy Menaker, a college student who attended the performance at New York's Broadhurst Theater, told PEOPLE. "He had a lot to offer. So I thought it was great."

Danielle Manente from New Jersey agreed that Radcliffe was wonderful. "He was really good. He captured the character [and] he was so into it. He never broke character. I believed everything he said."

In the revival of the 1973 Peter Shaffer play, which was also staged last year in London, Radcliffe stars as Alan Strang, a distressed and hostile teen who commits the horrifying act of blinding six horses, while a psychiatrist (played by Radcliffe's Harry Potter costar Richard Griffiths) tries to get to the heart of why he did it.

Radcliffe first entered stage embracing an actor playing a horse. One of his first lines was singing an ad jingle, "Milky bar kid is tough and strong …" – a demonstration of the character's hostility towards his psychiatrist.

His very emotional performance, which reveals Strang's anger and fear, was met with enthusiastic applause from the audience. Not to mention wowing the crowd with the nude scene, which comes toward the end of Equus.

"Oh my God! That was nice," said Manente of Radcliffe's character fully undressed himself in an attempt at lovemaking with a young woman. "I'm not gonna lie. He looked pretty good."

"By that point he was so in the character," Menaker added, "that you don't think of it as Harry Potter naked. He's naked as a character emotionally, so you're not at all thinking that he's physically naked. You're so involved in the scene by that point that you don't even notice."

Not one to disappoint, Radcliffe signed playbills for the mob of camera-wielding fans waiting outside the theater's stage door. "It was really exciting to see him to do something so different," said Harry Potter fan Alexa Haines after the show. "He was amazing."

Opening night is scheduled for Sept. 25, and the production will play through Feb. 8, 2009.

by People.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's Official! Britney Spears Will Appear At VMAs This Weekend

'I'm excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans and to be nominated,' singer says.

Will she or won't she? For weeks, that's been the buzz, and some of the most hard-core Britney Spears watchers have weighed in with opinions about what an appearance at this weekend's VMAs might do for the singer's career.

Well, now it's official: Britney will appear at Sunday's VMAs, which take place at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and begin at 9 p.m. ET. Although the pop star will not be performing, she will open the show.

The singer — who has been nominated for many VMAs but has not yet won one — will be on hand to see if this year is her year. She's nominated for three awards: Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year for "Piece of Me."

"MTV has long played an important role in my career," Spears said in a statement. "How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs? I'm excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans and to be nominated."

It's unclear exactly what Britney has up her sleeve, but based on the singer's previous VMA appearances (check out some of Britney's past VMA performances right here), it's sure to leave people talking.

"Britney has done everything from perform with a snake, lock lips with Madonna and prove that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas," said Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music/ LOGO/ Films Group. "I can't wait to see what she does to kick off this year's show."

(Check out video of Britney shopping for the VMAs in 1999, John Norris' recollections of visiting the singer in her Louisiana hometown that same year, and MTV News correspondent James Montgomery's predictions for a big Britney VMA win this weekend.)

Earlier this week, MTV News had some longtime Britney observers weigh in on whether the singer should appear at the awards, and nearly all of them agreed that, as in previous years, if she wants to make an impression, the VMAs is the place to do it.

"If you want to make a big splash," Carson Daly said, "what better platform than the VMAs?"

Perez Hilton agreed, saying that all Britney needs to do is show up and smile. "That's what people want," he said. "They want to see her smiling. Even if all she does is smile and wave, I say that's mission accomplished."


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Big Knight, Downsized Summer

The Dark Knight

The second-biggest movie in Hollywood history. Sky-high ticket prices. Put them together, and what do you get? Surprisingly, not a record.

From the first weekend in May through Labor Day, the Dark Knight-led summer movie season raked in $4.13 billion, Exhibitor Relations said today, down a tick from last year's all-time figure of $4.16 billion.

The problem, if that's the word, since 2008 goes down as the second-biggest summer on record, was twofold: dwindling attendance; and, lack of a late-summer blockbuster.

Per Exhibitor Relations, Hollywood movies combined to sell about 580 million tickets, the least since 2000, and 25 million fewer admissions than last summer, when gas was cheaper, and, oh, yes, so were tickets, which, on nationwide average, topped $7 for the first time ever.

Despite economic realities, the summer might have been able to pull off another record take if only it had another Jason Bourne.

"After The Dark Knight, it was pretty limp," said Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock.

Where 2007 had a bona-fide August blockbuster in The Bourne Ultimatum, which grossed $228 million, this summer's August could do no better than the solid, but unspectacular The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which has wrapped up about $99 million so far.

The Batman evidently casts a long shadow.

Here are more box-office highlights—and lowlights—of the summer, per Box Office Mojo stats:

  • Twelve summer-launched films made at least $100 million. Another five have a good shot at passing the milestone.
  • Six films made at least $200 million. The group included: Kung Fu Panda ($214 million); WALL-E ($218 million); and, Hancock ($227 million).
  • Three films made more than $300 million. That group included: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($316 million); and, Iron Man ($318 million).
  • One film—The Dark Knight—made more than $500 million, and took second place behind Titanic among the all-time domestic box-office champs.
  • As it turned out, what Hollywood needed more than one $500 million hit was one more $300 million hit. Last summer's top four movies (Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) actually outgrossed this summer's top four movies, despite no 2007 summer movie making more than $336 million.
  • As it turned out, woman-fronted movies can make money. Both Sex and the City ($153 million) and Angelina Jolie's Wanted ($134 million) made the summer Top 10. Another movie, the Meryl Streep-led Mamma Mia! ($133 million), just missed the cut, and should pass Wanted shortly.
  • When does a Top 10 finish mean diddley? When you're The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ($142 million), and you made half as much worldwide as your predecessor, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
  • The Incredible Hulk won the battle of the Hulk movies…or did it? The new movie made $135 million from a reputed $150 million budget. The 2003 movie made $132 million from a reputed $137 million budget. Also, old Hulk grossed slightly more worldwide ($245 million) than new Hulk ($244 million).
  • Last summer as this summer, Steve Carell starred in a $100 million-plus-grossing comedy. The difference is last summer's vehicle was the upside-down Evan Almighty ($101 million gross; $175 budget); this summer's was Get Smart ($128 million gross; $80 million budget).
  • Assuming You Don't Mess with the Zohan ($99.9 million) can eke out another $110,000 or so, Adam Sandler will be spared his first sub-$100 million-performing mainstream comedy since Little Nicky.
  • In the department of small victories and possible turning points, M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening ($64 million) wasn't Lady in the Water.
  • Mike Myers dropped a digit, going from $323 million for last summer's Shrek the Third to $32 million for The Love Guru.
  • Nominees for the bust of the summer include: Speed Racer ($44 million gross; $120 million budget); and, well…
  • No film ran a bigger deficit—$76 million, reported budget versus domestic gross—than Speed Racer. Prince Caspian—$58 million in the hole on the domestic ledger—rates an honorable mention.
  • Rain Wilson's The Rocker was something of the Speed Racer of low-budget comedies. No film opening very wide on more than 2,700 screens made less money in its opening weekend ($2.6 million).
  • In the age of the record ticket price, how do you not make money (at least not yet) on a movie that only cost $35 million to produce? You gross $21 million, a la The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
  • Based on the performance of Fly Me to the Moon ($7 million gross; $25 million budget), the future of Belgian-produced CGI movies about insects doesn't look bright.
  • Tween girls giveth, and tween girls taketh away, which is one way to explain why The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 ($42 million) clicked, and Kit Kittredge: An All American Girl ($17 million) didn't.
  • If you didn't release a movie this summer, then the dumped Clive Barker horror film, Midnight Meat Train, only made $83,361 more than you.

And here's a rundown of the summer's Top 10 movies, per grosses through Monday:

  1. The Dark Knight, $505 million
  2. Iron Man, $318 million
  3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, $316 million
  4. Hancock, $227 million
  5. WALL-E, $218 million
  6. Kung Fu Panda, $214 million
  7. Sex and the City, $153 million
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, $142 million
  9. The Incredible Hulk, $135 million
  10. Wanted, $134 million
by E!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Madonna Kicks Off World Tour in Knee-High Boots

Photo by: Kevin Mazur / WireImage
Madonna Kicks Off World Tour in Knee-High Boots

Sitting on a diamante "M" throne in a fringed black leotard and over-the-knee leather boots, Madonna kicked off her Sticky and Sweet tour Saturday night at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in Wales, opening with "Candy Shop."

The 40,000-strong audience was in for a night of treats, including onscreen appearances by Kanye West, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, who dueted on "4 Minutes."

The image of rapper West encircled the stage for "Beat Goes On" as fans screamed and Madonna cruised through on a white vintage convertible car.

Spears made her virtual guest spot during "Human Nature," writhing while trapped in an elevator as Madonna played the guitar. The popster departed with her trademark line "It's Britney B–!"

Madonna sưitched themes multiple times, going sporty for "Into the Groove" in diamante-encrusted shorts and a hoodie, and invoking the Far East for a segment that had her in a cage with computer-generated water gushing around it. "La Isla Bonita" turned the stage into a Mediterranean street party with Greek dancing and a flamenco solo performance.

While fans went wild, husband Guy Ritchie was lending support backstage, according to the singer's rep, who also said Madonna had spent the day rehearsing. "She's been putting the finishing touches to some of the dance routines today, in a good way, she's a perfectionist!"

The 50-year-old singer pulled out all the stops, even using a video interlude to send a political message with images of peace campaigners, Al Gore, Bono and Barack Obama mixed with scenes of war-torn continents and poverty.

Religious messages flashed on the screens behind her for a remixed house version of "Like a Prayer," which was met with mass cheers.

At one point the singer shouted to the crowd, "This is the bit where I take requests," and started singing "Express Yourself" – then changed her mind. "F– that s–. I choose the songs."

After two hours, Madonna left the stage as the screen flashed "Game Over."

The singer heads back to London before traveling to France to continue the tour around Europe before arriving in New Jersey on Oct. 4.
by People.