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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kung-Fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon, Madagascar Sequels On Their Way

Kung-Fu Panda,  How To Train Your Dragon, & Madagascar Tons Of Sequels Coming

Empire sat down with DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg this week in London, and asked him about the future of the company. But I thought we'd particularly draw your attention to what he had to say about planned animation sequels to Kung-Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon and more. Namely, that we're looking at a total of four Madagascar films, six Pandas (which was already rumoured) and at least three Dragons.

"What our movies and our franchises also share in common with Shrek is that they have a beginning, a middle and an end; they’re not open-ended. Each of the films is a chapter of a story and in every instance we knew what that journey was or could be before we even started.

"So today I can tell you pretty succinctly where Madagascar goes. Ultimately they will come back to New York, and they will come to terms with that, which they will do in this next chapter. Because of the way that movie concludes there’s probably one more for them…"

So a fourth?

Katzenberg: "Yeah, there’s probably a fourth there. Kung Fu Panda actually has 6 chapters to it, and we’ve mapped that out over the years. How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are a least three chapters to that story. There are actually 8 books."

But they’re very different from the film.

Katzenberg: "Yes. But there are elements of them that actually… as you know, there are many islands in the world of Berk, and different things there, so we’ll see. But right now, today, we know that there are three for sure that we want to tell and there may be more. We haven’t thought, you know, how do we continue beyond that."

So, is this good news or bad? Those of you who have been combing Cressida Cowell's book series - can you guess what he's hinting at on those other islands in the Dragon world? And do you want to see six Kung-Fu Panda movies? The first was gorgeously animated and rather likeable, so it might about have the pudgy legs to sustain a few sequels - right?

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Source-Empire
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Friday, December 3, 2010

80's & 90's Stars Singing "Let It Be"

So Wrong It's Right

This has to be one of the weirdest videos I have ever seen. So bad that I should turn it off but you want to see who will be turning up next. Its a music video promoting a Norwegian show called Golden Times. Stars from the 80's and 90's appear. Just a werid mix of people from Roger Moore, Jason Alexander, Dolph Lundgren, Kelly McGillis(didn't age well at all) and many more. Make sure you watch it all the way threw to see all the stars. Just to funny.

They all have a part in singing the classic Beatles song "Let it Be."

Watch the video and check out the list of stars after the Jump..



See if you can name all the stars.

Roger Moore
Huey Lewis
Jason Alexander
Ricki Lake
Josie Biesett
Alberto Tomba
John Nettles
George Wendt
Paul Mackenna
Philip Michael Thomas
Glenn Close
Gorden Kaye
Pamela Anderson
Leslie Nielsen
Dolph Lundgren
Kelly McGillis
Sherilyn Fenn
Daryl Hannah
Lou Ferrigno

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Ben Stiller & James Franco To Star In "While We’re Young"

While We’re Young To Star Stiller & Franco

Noah Baumbach is readying a Greenberg reunion of sorts: Vulture spies tell us that the writer-director is just now setting up his next project, While We’re Young, with Ben Stiller and James Franco already attached to star, and the project on offer to Greta Gerwig and to Cate Blanchett. Longtime Baumbach producer Scott Rudin (Greenberg, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Margot at the Wedding) will again produce.

The script is being kept under tight security, but we’re told that it’s about a free-spirited Brooklynite twentysomething couple (Franco — and, possibly, Gerwig) who inspire an uptight documentarian (Stiller) and his wife (possibly Blanchett, pending the resolution of some scheduling issues) to loosen up — with comedic consequences.

We’re told the role on offer to Blanchett was likely originally intended for Baumbach’s Greenberg co-writer and spouse, Jennifer Jason Leigh, but since she just filed for divorce from the director last week, well, don't hold your breath.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Social Network Best Film Of 2010

NBR Names "The Social Network" Best Film Of The Year

The Social Network has been named best film of the year by the National Board of Review, which announced its year-end awards today.

The New York-based group also hailed the film’s David Fincher as best director, Jesse Eisenberg as best actor and Aaron Sorkin for best adapted screenplay. [For the full list of winners, click here.]

“We believe the film portrays a dramatic story that will stand up over time and appeal to many generations,” said NBR president Annie Schulhof, said.

Made up of academics, film professionals and fans, the NBR will hand out its awards on Jan. 11 at Cipriani’s 42nd St. in New York City.

While the NBR has chosen a couple of eventual Oscar winners like No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire as its best picture winners in the past, its choices don’t usually point to final Oscar wins. Last year, for example, the NBR cast its lot with Up in the Air.

In other categories, the NBR handed its best actress prize to Lesley Manville, who plays a tipsy single in the British film Another Year.

The best supporting honors went to Christian Bale, for his performance in the boxing drama The Fighter, and Jacki Weaver, for her role in the Australian crime tale Animal Kingdom.

Chris Sparling took the prize for best original screenplay for the suspense drama Buried.

The NBR gave its Production Design Award to Dante Ferretti for Shutter Island.

The group also handed out honors for best documentary, Davis Guggenheim’s critical look at the American education system, Waiting for 'Superman'; best foreign language film, Xavier Beavois’ Of Gods and Men, a French film set in a monastery in Algeria; and best animated film, Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3.

Ben Affleck’s Boston crime saga The Town received a prize for best ensemble cast. Jennifer Lawrence, of Winter’s Bone, was singled out for a breakthrough performance award, while Slyvain Chomet and the late Jacques Tai were assigned a Spotlight Award for their animated film The Illusionist.

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington were honored as Debut Directors for their Afghan War-set doc Restrepo.

Sofia Coppola was given a Special Filmmaking Achievement Award for writing, directing and producing Somewhere.

Leonard Maltin was chosen to received the group’s William K. Everson Film History Award.

The NBR Freedom of Expression Award was earmarked for three films: Fair Game, Conviction and Howl.

The NBR also named its 10 best films of 2010. While that list doesn’t include Network, it did embrace Another Year, The Fighter, Hereafter, Inception, The King’s Speech, Shutter Island, The Town, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter’s Bone.

Its five-best foreign language films are: I Am Love; Incendies; Life, Above All; Soul Kitchen and White Material.

Its choices for the five best documentaries are: A Film Unfinished, Inside Job, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Restrepo and The Tillman Story.

It also threw in a list of top 10 independent films: Animal Kingdom, Buried, Fish Tank, The Ghost Writer, Greenberg, Let Me In, Monsters, Please Give, Somewhere and Youth in Revolt.

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Three New Black Swan Featurette's

Oscar Buzz Here We Come

Fox Searchlight has delivered three more new featurette's for their upcoming film Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. The film is directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler & upcoming Wolverine film.)

Watch the clips after the Jump..



A New York City ballet company is producing Swan Lake, and director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) with ballerina Nina (Portman). Nina lives with Erica (Hershey), her overbearing mother and a former ballerina. Nina finds competition in new dancer Lily (Kunis). Swan Lake requires a ballerina who can play the innocent White Swan, which fits Nina, and the sensual Black Swan, which fits Lily. The dancers' rivalry changes into a bizarre friendship, and Nina begins exploring a dark side of herself.





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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Walking Dead Let's Go Of Writers

Major Changes Upcoming For The Walking Dead Season 2

Just when you thought there was nothing that could stand in the way of "The Walking Dead" comes word that some major changes are coming to the smash hit AMC series.

Deadline reports that writer, executive producer and director Frank Darabont has let go of the entire writing staff on "The Walking Dead," which has already been renewed for a 13-episode second season. The decision extends beyond season one, however, as Darabont reportedly doesn't want a writing staff for season two — instead, he's considering assigning scripts to freelance writers.

AMC representatives informed Deadline that no final decisions regarding the show's production team for season two have been made at this time.

The reasons for the writing staff changes are currently unknown, though they're certainly surprising given the massive critical and commercial success that "The Walking Dead" has enjoyed since premiering in October. With everything seemingly on the right path, it seems strange that Darabont and the AMC network would want to tinker with their winning formula in such a dramatic way.
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Source-MTV Via Deadline
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Role Of Jack Sparrow Was Written For Hugh Jackman Not Johnny Depp

Jack Sparrow Role Was Written For Hugh Jackman

As we all eagerly await the fourth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, and the return of Johnny Depp morphing into Captain Jack Sparrow, we learned that Depp was actually not the person originally planned to play the odd pirate.

“I initially wrote that character with Hugh Jackman in mind,” screenwriter Stuart Beattie told Pop Tarts at the Advance Lounge Chair series in Los Angeles. “Hence the name Captain JACK Sparrow.”

At the time, Jackman was a prominent actor in Beattie’s homeland of Australia, but was not yet a big on the international scene, prompting the folks at Disney to dismiss Beattie’s casting contribution and instead hunt down Johnny Depp for the role.

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The Dark Knight Rises Heath Ledger Rumor

Joker Will Not Appear In "The Dark Knight Rises"

Heath Ledger will not appear in The Dark Knight Rises. And we heard it from director Christopher Nolan himself.

At an awards season party last night for Inception, we asked the filmmaker about a report on a New Zealand website saying that Nolan and Warner Bros. were thinking of inserting unused footage of Ledger as the Joker into the movie. As with anything connected to Batman and Nolan, the rumor quickly spread around the globe.

But Nolan and his wife/producing partner Emma Thomas both swatted down the rumor to Heat Vision in a chat last night.

“I heard the rumor,” said Thomas. “We’re not doing that.”

Nolan also denied that Ledger would show up in the new film. The script isn’t even completed yet, he said, and Nolan believes that Ledger’s performance as the Joker should be contained to the 2008 movie.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Christmas Story: The Musical! Ralphie To Produce

Ralphie Parker Returns To The Stage

Had to make sure I put up this article for our hard working reporter HAMMER. Christmas Story is one of his all time favorite movies. He goes on and on about how great this film is. Well this news should give a pep in his step. Peter Billingsley ­-- star of 1983’s A Christmas Story­­ -- has signed on to executive produce the musical adaptation of the film.

“A Christmas Story has always meant a lot to me personally,” says Billingsley, who played 9-year-old Ralphie Parker. “I’m excited to bring this film to the stage because the story and the characters lend themselves so well to the world of musicals.”

With previews beginning Wednesday at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre (and running Dec. 9-30), A Christmas Story: The Musical! will remain loyal to the film adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s short stories and includes an original score from Broadway composing duo Benj Paske and Justin Paul.

After gaining household recognition as the Red Ryder BB Gun-seeking hero, Billingsley went to work behind the camera to produce such films as 2006’s The Break Up and 2008’s Four Christmases. He most recently made his feature-length directorial debut on 2009’s Couples Retreat.

"I am honored to be a part of this project and look forward to bringing the play to more stages," says Billingsley. "Just think about the idea of a leg-lamp kickline."

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Star Trek Screenwriters Talk About The Sequel

Sequel To Follow The lines Of “The Empire Strikes Back

The 2009 reboot of “Star Trek” was a shining moment for fans of sci-fi and spectacle films and the sequel, due in 2012, may well follow the box-office trajectory of the Christopher Nolan Gotham City films — “Batman Begins” earned the credibility with fans old and new and then “The Dark Knight” delivered the billion-dollar payoff. “Star Trek” writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the tandem that also penned “Transformers” and next summer’s “Cowboys & Aliens” and also created the Fox sci-fi series “Fringe,” are back to script the sequel. The LATimes caught up with the screenwriters, who talked about the challenges ahead and also shared a playful aspiration — an on-screen showdown between Captain Kirk and Darth Vader.

LT: It’s early days on the “Star Trek” sequel, but is there anything you can tell us about the story direction, tone or even the types of challenges you’re anticipating with this next-step project?

AK: Well, we have broken the story, which is very exciting. I think one of the weird challenges that we’re facing on this one is that in many ways, with the first movie, I don’t think people knew what to expect, so when we were in the writing process, Bob and I really spent our time going to things that we loved about “Trek” and it was a very unfiltered process. It felt intimate and small. There weren’t a lot of voices other than [producer] Damon [Lindelof], J.J. and [executive producer] Bryan Burke. Now, that first movie has come up and did well and everyone wants to know what happens next. We didn’t have that pressure, exactly, on the first one. That said, part of what we have to do is listen to it all, ask a lot of questions about what people’s expectations are — and then let all of that go when we sit down to write. We need to find our way back to the same kind of vibe that we had when we wrote the first one: What do we want to see here? What moved us about “Trek”? Where can we go from where we left off?

RO: One of the big challenges is all of the characters are together now. A prequel is a pain in the butt, but one of the nice little advantages was that you get to meet the characters as you go through the story and they get to meet each other. That’s fun. We don’t that luxury of not having the entire family there together at the start of the story. So now you want the character stories to be good for everybody but also not just be there to be stories but also fit into the plot and be organic. We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration, still. Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from “Star Trek” and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ “Star Trek” even though it’s a new story.

LT: Well, if you guys need a horta, I’m available. I can send over a head shot …

AK: We already have your head shot on our wall.

GB: Is your approach to this going to follow the lines of something like “The Empire Strikes Back,” where it’s essentially a second act and everything the heroes have built up in the first film is taken away from them and there’s doubt and despair before the resolution of the third film’s final-act story? Or, with that episodic heritage and optimistic spirit of that classic “Trek” archive, do you see these movies as more like self-contained adventures?

AK: It’s a great question.

RO: Yeah, that is an interesting question. I don’t know that we’ve ever thought of it in terms of a trilogy. We thought of the first one as, “How do we tell how this happened the first time and how do we free it so that it can go on forever without stepping on what came before.” So, if you were thinking of this movie as a second act, yeah, you would think of it as an “Empire Strikes Back” sort of story, but I’m not sure we’re thinking of it as a second act. I can’t speak for everybody on that, though.

AK: The movies you’re talking about are movies that we’re still talking about, what, 25 or 30 years later, because they have such emotional impact not just on us as viewers but because they put the characters through the mill in a way that was so primal and visceral. Good sequels do that; they find ways to challenge their characters in ways that they couldn’t have necessarily been challenged with in the first movie because, as Bob said, the first is always, ultimately, an origin story. So now [with the second] it becomes about this family that’s together, so now it becomes about the thing that shakes them up and challenges them.

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Jeff Bridges Talks Playing Duel Roles In Tron: Legacy

Bridges Talks Playing Duel Roles

Today is Tron Tuesday and you know I got something for you. We have a clip where Jeff Bridges talks about playing dual roles in the film. He stars as Flynn and Clu his digital avatar in the film.

Watch the clip after the Jump..


Synopsis:

TRON: LEGACY is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), a rebellious 27-year-old, is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father Kevin Flynn (Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winner Jeff Bridges), a man once known as the world’s leading video-game developer. When Sam investigates a strange signal sent from the old Flynn’s Arcade—a signal that could only come from his father—he finds himself pulled into a digital world where Kevin has been trapped for 20 years. With the help of the fearless warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-or-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe—a universe created by Kevin himself that has become far more advanced with never-before-imagined vehicles, weapons, landscapes and a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to prevent their escape. Presented in Disney Digital 3D™ and scored by Grammy Award®-winning electronic music duo Daft Punk, TRON: LEGACY hits U.S. theaters on Dec. 17, 2010 in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.

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Chloe Moretz & Jackie Earle Haley Join Dance Of The Mirlitons


Hit-Girl And  Freddy Join Bell In The Dance

Chloe Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley and Bailee Madison are attached to star alongside Kristen Bell in indie black comedy Dance of the Mirlitons.

Evan Greenberg wrote the script and is directing with Daniel Dubiecki and Joel Michaely producing. Joe Kline will also be involved in some producing capacity.

The story centers on an ambitious, slightly overweight ballerina with an overbearing mother (Bell) who will stop at nothing to become a star. The girl enters a Mean Girls-type environment when she has to prove her worth in class.

Greenberg and the producers spent months trying to cast the lead for the role, which has the potential for a breakout in the way Billy Elliot and Little Miss Sunshine proved a launching point for actors Jamie Bell and Abigail Breslin.

Madison, who appears in the upcoming Adam Sandler comedy Just Go With It as well as the Guillermo del Toro-produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, has nabbed the role of the ballerina.

Moretz, the breakout lead of comic book movie Kick-Ass, will play the star ballerina who is Madison’s nemesis. Haley is a subtly sadistic Russian ballet teacher of the highest order.

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Joss Whedon Turned Down Buffy Reboot

Joss Whedon Turned Down Chance To Be Involved

The Internet exploded in anger Thursday at news that Warner Bros., Atlas Entertainment and Vertigo Entertainment are planning a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer film without Joss Whedon, maestro of the 1992 film and 1997-2003 TV series.

Whedon himself fanned the flames, advising fans to "leave me to my pain" in a witty missive.

But Whedon was offered a chance to be involved with the new Buffy -- and passed.

According to studio insiders, he was approached last year after Buffy rightsholder Fran Rubel Kuzui and husband Kaz Kuzui began developing a remake with Vertigo. After presented with the opportunity, Whedon decided he'd rather work on other projects (he's making Marvel Studios' The Avengers). Producers then began searching for a writer and late last year hired actress-turned-scribe Whit Anderson. The unknown Anderson, with only bit film appearances to her credit, came up with a take on the Buffy myth that was strong enough after a couple of drafts to lure Atlas, which partnered with Vertigo to set it up at a studio.

Fox, distributor of the 1992 movie, had first crack, but passed, so Warners slid in, betting that Whedon or no Whedon, Buffy can still slay at the box office.

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Frankie & Alice Trailer Starring Halle Berry

Will Another Oscar Be In Her Future?

Freestyle Releasing released the trailer for Frankie & Alice, starring Halle Berry and directed by Geoffrey Sax. Looks like we will have to put her name on the Oscar watch list from her performance alone in this trailer.

Watch the trailer after the Jump..



Frankie and Alice is a 2010 drama film directed by Geoffrey Sax. It stars Halle Berry in the main role. “Frankie & Alice” is a moving psychological drama based on the harrowing true story of Frankie Murdoch (Halle Berry), a woman suffering with multiple personality disorder in early 1970s Los Angeles. Directed by Geoffrey Sax, and shot by by Newton Thomas Sigel (“Valkyrie,” “X-Men,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” “The Usual Suspects”), the film also stars Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd, Phylicia Rashad and Chandra Wilson.

Frankie & Alice opens December 10, 2010 (NY, LA; expands: Feb. 4)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Warriors Way Red Band Clip

Red Band Clip For The Warriors Way

The Warriors Way opens this Friday and I will be making my way out to the theaters to see this movie. We are bringing  you a Red Band clip to show how bad ass one man can be.

The film stars Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston, Tony Cox and South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun. It was written and directed by Sngmoo Lee, and is being produced by Barrie Osborne who also produced Lord of the Rings

Watch the clip after the Jump..



Watch the trailer Here.

Please make sure to stop by their Facebook page
Official Facebook page-

The Warrior's Way, a visually-stunning modern martial arts western starring Korean actor Dong-gun Jang who plays an Asian warrior assassin forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), Oscar®-winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine), Danny Huston (The Kingdom), and Tony Cox (The Hustle).The fantasy action film was written and directed by newcomer Sngmoo Lee, and is being produced by Barrie M. Osborne (Lord of the Rings), Jooick Lee (Seven Swords) and Michael Peyser (Hackers).

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Faster Movie Review By: SandwichJohn

Faster Movie Review
By: SandwichJohn

Going into this movie I was really looking forward to seeing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson laying down the Smackdown and beating up some Jabroni's in the film. This film is Johnson return to adults films since Gridiron Gang ( I don't count The Other Guys) and after seeing this movie he should have passed on this film.


After 10 years in prison, Driver (Dwayne Johnson) has a singular focus—to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he's finally on his mission...but with two men on his trail—a veteran cop (Billy Bob Thornton) just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent. The hunter is also the hunted. It's a do or die race to the list's finish as the mystery surrounding his brother's murder deepens, and new details emerge along the way hinting that Driver's list may be incomplete.

The film starts out with a horrible opening sequence when James Cullen (Johnson) is released from jail. Then they add these 1980 title shots with the word Driver to introduce his character. When I saw this I knew this film might be going down the wrong road and I should have turned around. The music score was something out a dirty old bars juke box. BAD! Then the movie title, again a 1980's title, FASTER. I should have put the car in park and left when they did this cheesy title shot. But I said to myself it's the Rock gotta give it a shot, which I did.

Next, you see Cullen running from the prison down this deserty road and it goes on and on. (Thinking, I know this is a movie but he has got to be tried as shit. I almost died running a 5K on Thanksgiving and he seem to be running at least a marathon length.)



The film also stars Billy Bob Thorton and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Slade Humphries (Thorton) is a cop who is only a few days from retiring from the force and gets the need to have the Driver case as his last one before he retires. Then for some reason they thought this would be a great ideal, lets have a Hitman (Jackson-Cohen) go after the Driver. By adding the Hitman character it made the film even slower, there was no need for this character in the film at all. Why have three different stories when the one story was told so awful?


And the title is deceiving "Faster", you would think there would be some kick ass driving scene in the film. Count them two and neither of them had you jump out of your seat at all. They should have taken some notes when they watched "Ronin."


Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton were the screenwriters of the film and they could have provided more back story to the characters in the film. You really didn't get the feeling like you knew any of them and maybe if they had developed the characters more you would have rooted for them. Some nice action in the film, it was action packed during times. Not the movie I would have chosen for Johnson.

So if you don't have anything to do and you are bored out of your mind, go see something else. Now if you have a dollar theater around you and its playing then I say go for it. I hate to be a hardass on my man The Rock, but this film was just BAD.

3 out 0f 10 sandwiches

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Leslie Nielsen Passes At The Age Of 84

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?

Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.

Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Leslie Nielsen, the actor best known for starring in such comedies as Airplane! and the Naked Gun film franchise, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84.

“We are sadden by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television," said a statement from Nielsen's family released through his rep.

Nielsen died surrounded by family including his wife, Barbaree, and friends.

Nielsen was born Feb. 11, 1926, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He came to Hollywood in the mid-1950s after performing in 150 live TV dramas in New York. His acting career spanned several decades, starting with episodes of series including The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse and Tales of Tomorrow and encompassing several genres.

Moving into film, Nielsen first performed as the king of France in the Paramount operetta The Vagabond King with Kathryn Grayson. The film -- he called it The Vagabond Turkey -- flopped, but MGM signed him to a seven-year contract and he starred in 1956's Forbidden Planet for that studio.

But he became known in later years for his deadpan delivery in comedies featuring absurd situations, including 1980s's Airplane!, a parody of Zero Hour!, Airport and other movies about flying.

Critics argued he was being cast against type, but Nielsen disagreed.

"I've always been cast against type before," he said, adding comedy was what he'd really always wanted to do.

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Irvin Kershner The Director Of Empire Strike Back Passes

Man Behind Empire Passes Away

Irvin Kershner, who directed The Empire Strikes Back, the 1980 landmark sequel to George Lucas’ original Star Wars film, died Saturday at his Los Angeles home after a 3 1/2-year battle with lung cancer. He was 87.

During his four-decade career, Kershner used his eye for photography and his ear for music to helm George C. Scott in The Flim-Flam Man (1967), Barbra Streisand in Up the Sandbox (1972), Faye Dunaway in Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), Richard Harris in The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976) and Sean Connery in the film that returned the actor to the James Bond role for a curtain call, Never Say Never Again (1983).

“He had the most incredible spirit, an exuberance for life,” Streisand said. “Always working, always thinking, always writing, amazingly gifted and forever curious. We met doing ‘Up the Sandbox’ in 1972 and remained friends ever since. I loved him.”

Kershner’s first feature was the Roger Corman-financed Stakeout on Dope Street (1958), which he co-wrote and directed. Other credits included Hoodlum Priest (1961) with Don Murray, The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1964) with Robert Shaw, A Fine Madness with Connery (1966), Loving (1970) with Eva Marie Saint, the 1977 telefilm Raid on Entebbe, for which he earned an Emmy nomination, and RoboCop 2 (1990).

With Paul Coates and Andrew Fenady, Kershner developed the Emmy-winning 1950s documentary series Confidential File, working as a writer, director, cinematographer and editor. He later developed and directed the series The Rebel as well as the pilots for Peyton Place, Cain’s Hundred and Philip Marlowe, Private Eye.

Lucas attended Kershner’s lectures at USC and said that following 1977’s Star Wars, he “knew one thing for sure: I didn’t want to direct the second movie myself. I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humor. That was Kersh all over.

“I didn’t want Empire to turn into just another sequel, another episode in a series of space adventures. I was trying to build something, and I knew Kersh was the guy to help me do it. He brought so much to the table. I am truly grateful to him.”

Kershner told Vanity Fair in October that he tried to give the sequel more depth than the original.

“When I finally accepted the assignment, I knew that it was going to be a dark film, with more depth to the characters than in the first film,” he said. “It took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book.”

Kershner as a youngster studied violin, viola and composition. He studied at the Settlement Music School in his native Philadelphia and went on to attend the Tyler School of Fine Arts at Temple University.

Later, he went to New York and Provincetown, Mass., to study with the Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, then moved to Los Angeles, where he studied photography at the Art Center College of Design.

Kershner began his film career at USC’s School of Cinema teaching photography and taking cinema courses under Slavko Vorkapich, a montage artist who was then dean of the School of Cinema. Kershner next accepted a job as a still photographer on a State Department film project in Iran under the Four Point Program, which led to an assignment as a director and cinematographer of documentaries in Iran, Greece and Turkey with the U.S. Information Service.

In recent years, Kershner continued to produce and write while teaching screenwriting at USC and lecturing in many countries. He created a collection of fine art photographs for exhibition in New York, San Francisco and Mexico, and some of his work now exists as a permanent exhibition at the newly opened Los Angeles County General Hospital.

In June, Kershner received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. At the time of his death, he was working on a documentary about his friend, writer Ray Bradbury, and a musical called Djinn, about the friendship between a Jewish immigrant and an Arab sheik in Palestine before it became Israel, his son David Kershner said.

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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt 1 & 2 Will Be Different Films

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt 1 & 2 Will Be Different Films

Daniel Radcliffe says Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be much different than the penultimate installment in the epic franchise, which is now in theaters.

"The last movie is going to be really, really fast-paced and a load of action in it, and it is like a war film," Radcliffe told Reuters. "If we had done this book in one film, the stuff that would have got cut is most of this film."

However, it's Part 1 that the actor finds more appealing because it contains the most character development.

Part 1, Radcliffe added, is "so sedate compared to what the next one is going to be like. The next film, because you've had all the plot set up already, you can just kind of enjoy the insanity of all the action."

Radcliffe also said that the cast and crew felt a tremendous amount of pressure to get the final two films just right. As a result, some scenes were being rewritten the day before they were shot.

"It was constantly moving and had a less settled feel than the other ones had had," he said.

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