Mar 30, 2008

Stop-Loss (2007): Back From Iraq, on a Road Going Nowhere


“Stop-Loss,” Kimberly Peirce’s long-awaited follow-up to “Boys Don’t Cry,” arrives in theaters in the wake of some dispiriting milestones. We have just marked the fifth anniversary of the United States-led invasion of Iraq and the 4,000th American military death since the war began. The level of violence appears to be creeping up again, and troop levels are likely to stay where they are, at least until the next president’s inauguration.

So in some ways, there is a grim, accidental timeliness in the release of “Stop-Loss,” which focuses on the ordeal of American soldiers in and out of combat. Not that the movie’s topicality will necessarily draw crowds. For many viewers (and some critics as well), the prospect of another Iraq movie, like so much else about the war, is likely to be more wearying than galvanizing. The commercial failure of last autumn’s crop of high-profile Iraq-themed movies — Paul Haggis’s “In the Valley of Elah” and Brian De Palma’s “Redacted” among them — has hardened into conventional wisdom about the moviegoing public’s reluctance to engage the war on screen. But those movies did not necessarily deserve their fate, and it would be a shame if “Stop-Loss” were to follow them into oblivion.

I say this partly because Ms. Peirce’s movie, which she wrote with Mark Richard, is not only an earnest, issue-driven narrative, but also a feverish entertainment, a passionate, at times overwrought melodrama gaudy with violent actions and emotions. The sober, mournful piety that has characterized a lot of the other fictional features about Iraq — documentaries are another matter — is almost entirely missing from “Stop-Loss,” which is being distributed by Paramount’s youth-friendly label MTV Films. Not that the movie is unsentimental — far from it — but its messy, chaotic welter of feeling has a tang of authenticity. Instead of high-minded indignation or sorrow, it runs on earthier fuel: sweat, blood, beer, testosterone, loud music and an ideologically indeterminate, freewheeling sense of rage.

Most of these elements are present in the very first scenes, which show mock-amateur video of young soldiers at rest and on duty. Their teasing is raucous and rude, and it is clear from the start that they are neither saints nor monsters, but rather the impure products of American pop culture. With exaggerated bravado, they sing “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” Toby Keith’s anthem of 9/11 payback, which threatens righteous whuppings for America’s enemies: “And it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you.”

Instead, the world comes crashing down on the soldiers. Staff Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe) and his squad, supervising a checkpoint in Tikrit, are drawn into a firefight that leaves some of them dead, others horribly wounded, and the rest badly shaken, both by the loss of their friends and by the deaths of Iraqi civilians. After the trauma of that battle, Brandon and his best pal, Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum), are especially relieved to be done with their tours, and they return home to Brazos, Tex., looking forward to a normal life of Lone Star hell-raising.

As their fellow Texan Steve Earle — the Toby Keith of the left — puts it in one of his songs, somebody somewhere had another plan. Brandon discovers that the military has invoked its stop-loss policy, extending his contract and requiring him to go back to Iraq for another tour. Enraged at this betrayal, he goes AWOL. Following in a long movie tradition, he responds to his troubles by hitting the road, in a vintage Detroit muscle car with a beautiful woman, in this case Steve’s fiancée, Michele (Abbie Cornish).

At this point you might feel that “Stop-Loss” is beginning to lose its way. Brandon and Michele’s road trip provides some cinematic and dramatic opportunities — resonant encounters in run-down motels; tearful arguments and episodes of random violence; a frisson of sexual tension — but it is, literally and metaphorically, a journey to nowhere. Mr. Phillippe seethes and worries beautifully, and Ms. Cornish, in spite of some accent trouble (her native Australia is a long way from Texas, geographically and phonetically), gets every nuance of her character’s toughness and bewilderment exactly right.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also very good as Tommy, a member of Brandon’s squad whose postcombat anguish is especially acute. But the logic of the story and the motivations of the characters seem increasingly confused, as Ms. Peirce and Mr. Richard struggle to control the film’s pace and momentum.

Yet this confusion can be seen as a measure of its honesty. Among the many strengths of “Boys Don’t Cry,” Ms. Peirce’s amazing 1999 debut, are its feel for the rhythms of small-town life and its sense of the emotional risks of friendship, both on display in “Stop-Loss,” which is more interested in character and in place than in narrative housekeeping. A cleaner plot would suspend the audience, and the characters, between equally plausible happy and sad endings.

But as “Stop-Loss” progresses, it becomes clear that, especially for Brandon, there are no good outcomes. He can live as a fugitive or return to combat. And the dispiriting open-endedness of the story, confirmed in its wrenching, hectic final scenes, mirrors the larger reality of the war itself, whose end grows harder to imagine with every passing day.

“Stop-Loss” makes no argument beyond the recognition of that fact. It is an imperfect movie — marred, if anything, by its sincere affection and undisciplined compassion — about the imperfect young men who keep returning to a war the rest of us would prefer not to think about.

“Stop-Loss” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has profanity, heavy drinking, some sexuality and intense combat violence.


Opens on Friday nationwide.

Directed by Kimberly Peirce; written by Mark Richard and Ms. Peirce; director of photography, Chris Menges; edited by Claire Simpson; music by John Powell; production designer, David Wasco; produced by Ms. Peirce, Mark Roybal, Scott Rudin and Gregory Goodman; released by Paramount Pictures and MTV Films. Running time: 1 hour 53 minutes.

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Movie of the Week: Anchoress


In this week's Movie of the Week, Anchoress, an illiterate young peasant girl becomes obsessed with the Virgin Mary and, supported by the local priest, claims special powers to communicate with her.

Anchoress (1993)
Director: Christopher Newby
Producers: Paul Breuls, Ben Gibson, Judith Stanley-Smith
Starring: Natalie Morse, Gene Bervoets, Toyah Wilcox, Pete Postlethwaite, Christopher Eccleston
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 105m

In a 14th century British village an illiterate young peasant girl becomes obsessed with Virgin Mary and, supported by the local priest, claims special powers to communicate with her. According to custom, and much to the dismay of her skeptical and often profane mother, she is enclosed in the wall of the local church, becoming an "Anchoress" in the life-long service of God.

Watch the Film

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American Idol Elimination Recap: Chikezie Knocked Out, Carly Knocked Up?


Fans send easygoing Chikezie home, while a new rumor forces Carly Smithson to set the record straight and make an embarrassing admission.

After Wednesday's episode of American Idol, I don't know which is the bigger story: Chikezie Eze's elimination, or Carly Smithson's pregnancy scandal.

In the interest of getting you to read my entire blog, I'll start with Chikezie. After this week's less than stellar performance, Chikezie earned the fewest votes and a trip home. Fortunately, he only has to go to Inglewood.

Let's face it. His singing the last few weeks has been a little like the stock market. Up one week, and down the next. Unfortunately, viewers seem to have treated him the same way investors dealt with Bear Stearns.

It's kind of too bad. Chikezie struck me as one of the friendliest of the group. Laid back. You might even say, "Eze" going. Not that the rest of the Idol-ites aren't friendly. They all seem nice. But you get the feeling that some of them are more worried about winning than making friends. Which is, I guess, how it should be, since it is a competition.

I had Chikezie in my bottom three this week, and I don't think he would have lasted very much longer. But I don't feel he deserved to go home just yet. Jason Castro was definitely the worst of the lot as far as performances went Tuesday night. And looking at track records, Ramiele Malubay has been consistently poorer week after week.

But, of course, that's not how it works. Someone had to go, and Chikezie's number was up. As Clint Eastwood famously said in Unforgiven, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

Okay, now the second big story to come out of Wednesday's show. Carly Smithson is NOT pregnant. That's right, the Irish lass who many think could win the whole competition is NOT going to have a baby. At least not in the next nine months.

As a journalist I'm aware that, generally speaking, it isn't news when something is NOT going to happen. Unless you're reporting that the sun is NOT going to come up tomorrow. That WOULD be news. But otherwise, when something is NOT going to happen, that pretty much means it is NOT news.

In this case, however, it seems to be news that Carly doesn't have a bun in the oven. The Internet is abuzz with rumors that she had a "bulge" Tuesday night, and it was apparently reported on at least one TV news program that Carly is expecting. So she felt inclined to set the record straight and tell America that she is NOT knocked up.

As a journalist I'm aware that, generally speaking, when someone denies something, they are probably lying and whatever it is that they're denying is more than likely true. So forgive me Carly if I don't believe you quite yet.

Let's also remember that Carly doesn't have the best track record when it comes to honesty. It took festering Internet rumors to finally get Carly and American Idol producers to admit that she had a professional record deal years ago, something many people think should have disqualified her from the competition.

Frankly, I didn't think that was much of a scandal. And I don't think a Carly Smithson pregnancy would be either. After all, she's an adult, she's married, and if she became pregnant now, it almost certainly wouldn't interfere with the competition. So who cares?

But the whole thing did force Carly to make an embarrassing confession. Explaining why she seemed distracted Tuesday night, Carly said it was because she was wearing lots of Spanx, some new-fangled, fancy-dancy brand of so-called "body-shaping" clothing like tights and hose. (I guess they don't like to call them "girdles" anymore.)

Carly may not be pregnant, but she apparently has negative body image issues. Listen, Carly, if you think you're fat (and you're not!), forget the Spanx. Just ask Chikezie for his diet secrets. He's been shedding pounds like crazy since the competition began.

But you better ask him fast before he heads back to Inglewood.

Nine little Idols left and counting. See you next week.

This article written by Ethan Morris, at

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Mar 29, 2008

Should Dutch film "FITNA' be banned?


This is a discussion in digitalpoint forums.

A section of Muslims in the city (Mumbai) has asked the Government to ban the controversial film 'Fitna' that is shceduled to be released on 28 March.

This 'Fitna' is produced and directed by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, the 15 minutes film claims to offer a 'critical view of Islam and the Quran'.

My personal view on this issue is to ban the film not only in India but also all over the world, because the basic funda is that no religion of the world neither promote terrorism nor hatred. It is simply the misinterpretation of the Quranic Versse. Which the author might have failed to understand with right spirit.

Read more about this topic at

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Anti-Islamic Film Taken Offline Following Threats


Fitna, an anti-Islamic film made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders that equates Islam with violence, debuted on Thursday at Web site, only to be taken down a day later following threats to LiveLeak's staff.

LiveLeak on Friday afternoon issued a statement explaining its decision: "Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill-informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

"This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realized is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.

"Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one another's culture. We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high."

Initial efforts to detail the film proved less successful. Network Solutions on Saturday suspended the Web site where Wilders had been planning to premiere the film, citing complaints about the then unseen film's content.

During the day that the film was available, it prompted widespread condemnation. On Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decried Fitna as hate speech.

"I condemn, in the strongest terms, the airing of Geert Wilders' offensively anti-Islamic film," said Ban in a statement. "There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free expression is not at stake here. I acknowledge the efforts of the Government of the Netherlands to stop the broadcast of this film, and appeal for calm to those understandably offended by it. Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility."

Ban said that the real fault line is not between Muslim and Western nations but a minority of extremists eager to stir strife.

The Organization of The Islamic Conference also denounced the film as blasphemy. OIC Secretary General Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said, "The film is a deliberate act of discrimination against Muslims, incitement for hatred and an act defamation of religions which is solely intended to incite and provoke unrest and intolerance among people of different religious beliefs and to jeopardize world peace and stability."

In the day that Fitna played, it was viewed over 420,000 times. More than 280 comments were posted on And many chose to reply through countervideos, which are still online.

The word "fitna" in Arabic means strife or conflict within a group.

The film may also generate a lawsuit. The BBC reports that Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, known for his cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban, plans to sue Wilders for using his cartoon in the film without permission.


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Anti-Islam film fails to provoke Dutch Muslims


Amsterdam - The release of a controversial anti-Islam film by a Dutch legislator had been expected to cause turmoil among Muslims in the Netherlands and abroad.

But on Friday, a day after the 16-minute film entitled Fitna, which criticizes the Koran and warns of the 'Islamization' of the European country, Muslims in the migrant neighbourhood of Lombok in Utrecht did not appear shaken.

There was virtually no reaction throughout the Netherlands to Geert Wilders' much-anticipated film, that was watched by more than 2 million people within the first two hours of its release on the internet.

The vast majority of Dutch viewers, Muslims and non-Muslims alike appear not to have found the film particularly provocative towards Muslims.

In Eindhoven, several Muslim organizations distributed special forms in the city's seven mosques enabling everyone to file a complaint of discrimination against Wilders with the Dutch police.

But in the crowded shopping streets of Lombok in the fourth largest Dutch city, Muslims appeared much less motivated to take action against Wilders. Friday's shopping continued as usual.

'No, we are not talking about Fitna,' a man standing among a large group of Muslims standing outside a local mosque after prayers on Friday, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

'We are talking about my new car. That's really more important than some film by a Dutch legislator about the Koran.'

Another man, who identified himself as Ahmed, 27, added, 'Of course we watched the movie. But the truth is Wilders showed nothing new in his film. What does he think, that I agree to the horrific executions he showed in his film?'

In a local grocery store, a woman wearing a black burka responded confused when approached by dpa. She said she cannot talk to the media. Asked whether she had seen Wilders' movie, she apologized and walked away.

Another Muslim woman, wearing a headscarf had apparently witnessed the encounter, and approached dpa on her own initiative.

'It is a pity she did not talk to you,' said Fatima, a 32-year-old mother of two. 'Her refusal to talk to Western media confirms the ideas of people like Wilders.'

'The truth is that the vast majority of us, Dutch Muslims, do not identify with terrorist and fundamentalist ideas such as those expressed in the movie.'

'We just want to live our lives,' she said, 'but it's people like Wilders who polarize society and make us feel estranged. He says he sees a lot of integration problems in the Netherlands. The sad truth is that he himself contributes to them too.'

The umbrella organization of the Jewish community in the Netherlands, CJO, released a statement on Friday expressing a similar view.

'The film is counterproductive,' the CJO statement said. 'The expressions about Jews originating from the Koran, and referred to in the movie, demonstrate that some Muslims have horrific ideas about Jews and also indoctrinate children with such ideas. However, the way Fitna portrays reality polarizes society.'

Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he was 'proud' of Dutch Muslims and praised their calm reactions following the film.

The Dutch parliament is due to discuss the film on Tuesday.


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Fitna is just a really bad film


This is a reportage from The Observers.

A few months ago we announced that Dutch politician Geert Wilders was preparing an anti-Islamic film that would "add fuel to the fire". Yesterday, the long awaited video made its debut online. We ask our Observers what effects it might have in their countries, from Holland to Pakistan. After all the fuss, maybe not that much.

The film was supposed to be released on a specially created website, but the American company Network Solutions, which manages domain names worldwide, refused to allow Wilders to use So the rightwing party leader decided to use the viral method instead. The film was released at 7pm last night on several internet platforms. "Non-censored" video sharing site LiveLeak was the first to host it, followed by Google Video. Rightwing blogs then posted the URLs so that people could find it. Wilders knew to use peer to peer networks (Kazaa, eMule etc) so that the video was soon all over the Internet in various formats. His was a clever move, as such networks are notoriously difficult to censor. In just three hours, the film had been watched more than a million times on LiveLeak alone, and three million by the following afternoon, which probably makes it one of the fastest selling videos on the net.

For more information, visit

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Anti-Islam film likely to provoke violence


When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist in September 2005, the Muslim world was in an uproar, to say the least. In the months that followed, Muslims from Islamabad to Jakarta participated in violent and sometimes deadly protests, embassies were set on fire and leaders from several Islamic countries condemned the publication of the cartoons.

Other past events have shown that criticism of Islam is usually met with violence from radical Muslims. Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the murder of British author Salman Rushdie for his 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses." Director Theo Van Gogh was killed for his 2004 film "Submission," and the film's writer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, receives death threats to this day.

And it is likely that we will see a similar replay of violence in the days to come. Yesterday, after months of trying to secure a media outlet to broadcast his controversial anti-Islam film "Fitna," far-right Dutch party leader and adamant critic of Islam Geert Wilders finally succeeded. The film was posted on the Internet and, according to the Europe Channel, was viewed by more than 200,000 people within the first two hours.

Among other things, the film likens the Quran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf," declaring that Islam is a form of fascism. Undeniably, Wilders' film presents offensive and intolerant material; arguably as extreme as the supposed Islam he criticizes. Wilders himself is a right-wing extremist. According to the Guardian, the Dutch leader said, "Islam is not a religion, it's an ideology … the ideology of a retarded culture."

While in office, Wilders has argued against immigration from Muslim countries and to have all Muslims stripped of their Dutch citizenship and deported. Wilders' goal with "Fitna" is to rescue his country from the supposed dangers of Islam, to spread awareness that Islam is the enemy.

The controversy surrounding Wilders' film is all too familiar. Should we, as free societies, encourage tolerance among people of different races and religions or encourage tolerance of intolerance by upholding the values of free expression?

Central to this issue is the battle between radical Islam and free speech. As the aforementioned events have clearly shown, the two are incompatible. Much of the Muslim world, from the Wahhabist regime in Saudi Arabia to the Taliban government that ruled Afghanistan until 2001, violently restricts free speech. Fundamentalist Islamic societies cannot tolerate free expression, least of all expression that involves blasphemy.

The actions and beliefs of these fundamental societies not only damage the name of Islam as a religion, leading to the misconception that Islam is inherently opposed to free expression, but they also hinder Islam's progression in today's modern world.

While moderate Muslims protested peacefully against the messages conveyed by the Danish cartoons, radical Muslims reacted violently. This is proof that in much of the Muslim world today, Islam - or rather, the Islam as invoked by fundamentalist regimes - is stuck in the past. These regimes are holding Islam back.

This is why "Fitna" should be broadcast to a wider audience. Though the film is insulting and inaccurate, and though spreading false and hateful information about Islam could lead to increased prejudice and strife in today's sensitive post-9/11 world, it still seems that not screening the film would be more irresponsible than screening it.

With Islamic terrorism on the rise across the world, major media outlets are exercising caution for fear of provoking violence and anger. Indeed, many Islamic governments have already threatened violence if the film is widely shown.

But rather than giving in to the radical Islamist regimes that misinterpret Islam and suppress their people, free societies across the world have the obligation to maintain the rights of free speech.

Radical Islam must be continually challenged in different ways with hopes that it will eventually disappear.

This is not to say that more and more people should create films like "Fitna." Rather, it means that when such films are created, or similar books are written, they should not, in any way, be censored for the sake of appeasing Islamists.

This article written vy Elham Khatami, originally published at E-mail Elham at

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Netherlands' PM sends letter to NU on Fitna film


The Netherlands' Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has sent a letter to the Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) chairman Hasyim Muzadi, saying the upcoming controversial Fitna film produced by Dutch politician Geert Wilder did not reflect his government stand on Islam.

The letter was delivered by the First Secretary of Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Alexander Kofmanke to the NU office on Wednesday.

In the letter, Balkenende said he understood the disappointment of the NU and other religious organizations in Indonesia over Fitna, which has been touted as a misleading critique of Islam and the Koran and may spark a new religious tension.

He said his government could not ban a film which has not been aired yet. However, once the film is available to the public, state prosecutors could investigate whether or not the film incites crime.

Balkenende agreed that violence should be avoided should the film be released on the Internet.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Indonesian Religious leaders reject Fitna film


Religious leaders rejected Thursday the Dutch film Fitna to be featured in Indonesia, saying it was offensive to Muslims.

The joint refusal statement was signed by Nadhatul Ulama chairman Hasyim Muzadi, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsudin, chairman of the Bishop Council of Indonesia MD Situmorang and chairman of the Indonesian Communion of Churches AA Yewange.

The leaders sent the statement to the Netherlands' Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Netherlands' embassy in Jakarta.

"We are worried this film will be interpreted as an attack on Islam," Hasyim said. "All religious leaders see this film could destroy the harmony among religions in Indonesia. We don't want
this to happen."

Fitna, produced by Dutch politician Geert Wilders and scheduled to be launched later this month, presents a critical view of Islam and the Koran.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country with more than 200 million Muslims living in the archipelago. (***)

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Mar 25, 2008

The New Terminator Movie


When Terminator 4 was announced, the title was obviously way too long. Who wants to see Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins cluttering up a marquee? So it was no surprise when the title was recently changed. What did they come up with? Terminator: Return of the Terminator.

Wow. Obviously the result of a good old brainstorming sesh at the studio when the writers were out on strike.

First of all, is there really a big need to use the word Terminator twice? Do they already know this is going straight to the video store, so they want to make sure people can find it in the "T" section? Return of the Terminator would be dull, but not terrible. Except that to the 5 billion people who saw the first three, no matter how many other robots pop up, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Terminator. And he's not in it. Absence of the Terminator? That probably wouldn't fill seats.

Here are my top options for the fourquel, all of which also wouldn't fill seats. Hmm. Maybe I can copyright the word "fourquel," like Pat Riley did with "threepeat" when he was coaching the Lakers.

Terminator 4: Turns Out, He Will Not Be Back After All
This one gets it out of the way up front. Hasta la Vista, Baby (For Reals) would work just fine, too.

Terminator and Terminatorer
Terrible movie buffs may recall that neither Jim Carrey nor Jeff Daniels would touch the sequel to Dumb and Dumber.

T4: The Phantom Menace
Apparently, they're planning to make Terminator 4 the first in a whole new trilogy. Is it just me, or does this sound familiar?

Terminator Chronicles: Sarah Connor's Son Also Has Chronicles
The show's a hit, just sit back and ride the buzz! And, if the director's really sold on using the same word twice, this one's all chronicley.

T4: We Know, We're Trying to Get Him to Do a Cameo
Hell, maybe they can at least get Maria Shriver to play his robot wife. Wouldn't even need a makeup artist. HEY-OOH!

Terminator X
Sure it's only number four, but the letter X is still hip with the kids, right? And it's not like the series has ever let itself get hung up on logic. Besides, xXx wasn't the thirtieth movie in that series. And hey, maybe they can get the old Public Enemy DJ to do the soundtrack. Actually, that would rule.

Terminator: He Had to Split
It's always a good time to resurrect a line from The Running Man, another Schwarzenegger classic chock-full of great post-kill one-liners. Right before saying this, Arnold cut a guy in half with his own chainsaw. And it works because, you know, the whole thing about him not being in T4. Yes, I'm disappointed.

Terminator Fore
Why not follow in the grand tradition of Teen Wolf Too?


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Britney Spears Guest Star on How I Met Your Mother


How I Met Your Mother has banked a lot of goodwill over the last three seasons, so I'll forgive this bit of stunt casting they are engaging in with tonight's episode (CBS, 8:30), a contribution to the Britney Spears Cheeto Fund.

I don't know why a show that is apparently still on the cancellation bubble would want to feature someone almost all of us have seen too much of over the last two years, but sometimes you just have to trust the experts. Spears plays a receptionist at Ted's dermatologist's office who steps in to offer romantic favors when Ted strikes out with the doctor. I suppose if anyone wouldn't think twice about wanting to date someone with bad skin, it's Britney Spears. What I'm most interested in right now regarding this series is the rumor that we might getting an answer soon to the question of who "your mother" is. It's got to be someone even more awesome than Cobie Smulders, which is quite an exciting thought.

How I Met Your Mother Preview: Britney Spears

How I Met Your Mother Preview: Britney Spears - That's Funny

America the Wright Way (Travel, 8 PM): Exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago. Don't worry, it's supposed to smell like that.

Dancing With the Stars (ABC, 8 PM): A two-hour episode which features all twelve of this season's dancers giving it one more shot before the first two eliminations. My Kristi Yamaguchi prediction is looking pretty good right now, not that you had to be Kreskin to pick her.

Greek (ABC Family, 8 PM): A new semester for the show that gives its young viewers something to aspire to without the stereotypically trashy approach of an MTV show. Newly-single Casey tries to bring her sorority back into everyone's good graces by arranging a carnival featuring the Plain White T's.

Little People, Big World (TLC, 8 PM and 8:30 PM): Both episodes deal with Matt and Amy going on a cruise geared towards little people just as prime pumpkin season at the farm approaches.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 PM): Leonard tells a white lie to avoid having to hear tone deaf Penny sing again, which leads to bigger and bigger lies.

Top Gear (BBC America, 8 PM): Racing through central London at rush hour -- what fun for pedestrians. Also, Simon Cowell makes a return appearance.

America's Prom Queen (ABC Family, 9 PM): The girls learn some new dances in an attempt to impress guest judge Sean Kingston.

Cities of the Underworld (History, 9 PM): Exploring the hidden history of Jerusalem, which is literally an underground history, much of it linked to prophecies.

Flavor of Love 3 (VH1, 9 PM): Past Flavorettes Saaphyri and Buckwild are back to host a calendar shoot; Shy makes the trip to the dentist that everyone in the house has been urging on her.

Intervention (A&E, 9 PM): Rather than an hour focused on one person with an intervention at the end, this is a special episode covering the toll of heroin on young people in the suburbs of Boston. Donnie Wahlberg narrates.

Jon & Kate Plus 8 (TLC, 9 PM and 9:30 PM): At 9 PM, the kids are taken to a crayon factory. Hey you never know what toddlers might find engrossing. At 9:30, both Joel and Leah get individual attention geared to their specific needs.

New Amsterdam (Fox, 9 PM): Amsterdam looks into the death of a homeless man who is believed to have been murdered by his friend; Amsterdam recalls his own past with substance abuse in the 1960s.

Paradise Hotel 2 (MyNetworkTV 9 PM; Fox Reality 1 AM): An argument between two former roommates leads to the revelation of a twist -- and to someone eventually leaving.

Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (CW, 9 PM): Even though the group hasn't been picked yet, it's never too early to start recording the Girlicious album. Nicole "I Know My Solo Career Is In Here Somewhere" Scherzinger provides vocal advice.

Two and a Half Men (CBS, 9 PM): Charlie has a bad cold and gets a unique brand of love and attention from the returning Rose.

The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS, 9:30 PM): Christine tries to forbid Matthew and Barb from seeing each other after their fling, so they pretend to be madly in love just to freak her out.

CSI: Miami (CBS, 10 PM): And now, even the hour-long dramas are returning from the strike. A woman is murdered on the eve of her wedding and the investigators look into the strip club where the groom's bachelor party took place. Also, some more developments in the pre-strike cliffhanger involving Horatio's ex (Elizabeth Berkley) and the woman she sent to a swampy death.

High School Confidential (WE, 10 PM): Jessi struggles to stay on track despite what seem like constant obstacles.

Medium (NBC, 10 PM): First of two parts: Cynthia (Anjelica Huston) has not really been the most sympathetic character thus far, but that might change tonight as we find that her own daughter has been missing for years. Also, Joe's work on Bridgette's science project has some surprising benefits for him.

The Bachelor: London Calling(ABC, 10 PM): The final fifteen each get a different group reward, with some getting to be models in a fashion show while the others go on a Las Vegas junket. You know this guy is British because no self-respecting American bachelor would send a woman packing after she gave him her panties.

The Hills (MTV, 10 PM): One hour tonight. The Hills is alive, not with a new season per se, but an extension of the previous season. As you recall, Lauren and Whitney are on their way to Paris to meet boys -- er, work for Teen Vogue. But if you were hoping -- er, if you were concerned that this means no Heidi and Spencer, fear not: America's most vapid couple will still be around.

The Salt 'N Pepa Show (VH1, 10 PM): Pepa gets Salt to come to Mardi Gras with her, using the excuse that it is really a charity trip to New Orleans. Salt should have asked why, if they were going to help rebuild the city, they weren't packing any clothes. [ url:]

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Mar 24, 2008

Meet the Browns (2008)


Genre: Comedy, Drama
Duration: 1 hr. 40 min.
Starring: Angela Bassett, Sofia Vergara, Jenifer Lewis, Rick Fox, Tyler Perry,
Director: Tyler Perry
Producer: Reuben Cannon, Tyler Perry
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 21, 2008
Writer: Tyler Perry

A funny, moving romantic drama about the power of love and family, Lionsgate’s TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS marks another winning portrayal of life by writer/director/actor Tyler Perry (DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION) and features a return to the big screen by Madea, the indomitable, law-breaking, fun-loving grandma.

A single mother living in inner city Chicago, Brenda has been struggling for years to make ends meet and keep her three kids off the street. But when she’s laid off with no warning, she starts losing hope for the first time – until a letter arrives announcing the death of a father she’s never met. Desperate for any kind of help, Brenda takes her family to Georgia for the funeral. But nothing could have prepared her for the Browns, her father’s fun-loving, crass Southern clan. In a small-town world full of long afternoons and country fairs, Brenda struggles to get to know the family she never knew existed…and finds a brand new romance that just might change her life.

Based on the popular stage production of the same name, TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS is a charming story about the joys of family, and the possibility of second chances. TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS was written and directed by Tyler, and produced by Reuben Cannon.

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Mar 23, 2008

Angelina Jolie Expecting Boy & Girl


Angelina Jolie is reportedly expecting a boy and girl.

The 32-year-old actress and her partner Brad Pitt - who already have three adopted children and one biological daughter - are thrilled with the news and can't wait to introduce their kids to the twins when Angelina gives birth this summer.

A source said: "They are having a boy and a girl. Because Angelina took fertility treatments to help her ovulate, her babies are fraternal. They're ecstatic. She can't wait."

Although Angelina is enjoying the pregnancy, she is said to be finding the strain of carrying two babies hard work.

The source added to In Touch Weekly magazine: "It has been a bit difficult for Angelina. She is out of breath a lot but loves every second of it."

The actress plans to raise her baby in France, to honor her late mother Marcheline Bertrand - who was of French-Canadian descent on her father's side - and Brad is said to be fully supportive of the big move.

The source said: "He told her he loves going along with her crazy plans. He has learned to live with a messy house with toys everywhere."

The couple have reportedly bought a chateau in the south of France which they plan to make their new family home.

Marcheline died of ovarian cancer in January 2007.

Source: BANG Showbiz

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Pamela Anderson is taking a break from dating to concentrate on motherhood.

The former "Baywatch" actress – who recently filed for divorce from third husband Rick Salomon – wants to focus on 11-year-old Brandon and 10-year-old Dylan, her sons with ex-spouse Tommy Lee.

She told US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres: "My attention is devoted to just kids at the moment. That's taking up a lot of time."

"As for men, I don't even know what my type is. I think men are like books – with a beginning, a middle and an end."

Pammy – who was also briefly married to musician Kid Rock - also revealed she has been working as a patrol crossing warden outside the boys' school.

She said: "I get a lot of high fives. People think it's quite funny that I'm there doing that! But, I'm a mom, and you have to do it and I love it."

Source: BANG Showbiz

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Mar 22, 2008

Top 5 films this week


"Horton Hears a Who!" knocks "10,000 B.C." out of the No. 1 spot this week. Here are the top-grossing films from last Friday to Tuesday, with totals to date in parentheses.

1. HORTON HEARS A WHO! $52.6 million ($52.6 million)

2. 10,000 B.C. $19.6 million ($64.4 million)

3. NEVER BACK DOWN $10.1 million ($10.1 million)

4. COLLEGE ROAD TRIP $9.2 million ($25.6 million)

5. VANTAGE POINT $6.5 million ($60.3 million)

Reported from

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Upcoming Movie: American Zombie (2008)


wo documentary filmmakers, Grace Lee and John Solomon, train their cameras on the shambling zombie culture that's just trying to co-exist with the living in Los Angeles. They manage to profile a convenience store clerk who really wants to work in publishing, a forgetful florist and committed zombie activisit fighting for equal rights for the living dead.

Cast Austin Basis, Suzy Nakamura, Al Vicente, Jane Edith Wilson, John Solomon (more)

Director(s) Grace Lee

Writer(s) Grace Lee, Rebecca Sonnenshine

Status Upcoming (limited)

Genre(s) Horror

Release Date March 28, 2008

Running Time 91 minutes

Web Site Official Site for American Zombie

Keywords Comedy, Horror, Zombies


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10 Most Historically Inaccurate Movies


The 10 movies that make high school history teachers everywhere cry.

10,000 B.C.
Director Roland Emmerich is usually a stickler for realism (see: sending a computer virus via Macintosh to aliens in Independence Day). So we hate to inform him that woolly mammoths were not, in fact, used to build pyramids. Heck, woolly mammoths weren't even found in the desert. They wouldn't need to be woolly if that were the case. And there weren't any pyramids in Egypt until 2,500 B.C or so.

Emperor Commodus was not the sniveling sister-obsessed creep portrayed in the movie. A violent alcoholic, sure, but not so whiny. He ruled ably for over a decade rather than ineptly for a couple months. He also didn't kill his father, Marcus Aurelius, who actually died of chickenpox. And instead of being killed in the gladiatorial arena, he was murdered in his bathtub.

Though this paean to ancient moral codes and modern physical training is based on the real Battle of Thermopylae, the film takes many stylistic liberties. The most obvious one being Persian king Xerxes was not an 8-foot-tall Cirque du Soleil reject. The Spartan council was made up of men over the age of 60, with no one as young as Theron (played by 37-year-old Dominic West). And the warriors of Sparta went into battle wearing bronze armor, not just leather Speedos.
The Last Samurai
The Japanese in the late 19th century did hire foreign advisers to modernize their army, but they were mostly French, not American. Ken Watanabe's character was based on the real Saigo Takamori who committed ritual suicide, or "seppuku," in defeat rather than in a volley of Gatling gun fire. Also, it's doubtful that a 40-something alcoholic Civil War vet, even one with great hair, would master the chopsticks much less the samurai sword.

This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migraines. Sure the Maya did have the odd human sacrifice but not to Kulkulkan, the Sun God, and only high-ranking captives taken in battle were killed. The conquistadors arriving at the end of the film made for unlikely saviors: an estimated 90% of indigenous American population was killed by smallpox from the infected Spanish pigs.
Memoirs of a Geisha
The geisha coming-of-age, called "mizuage," was really more of a makeover, where she changed her hairstyle and clothes. It didn't involve her getting... intimate with a client. In the climactic scene where Sayuri wows Gion patrons with her dancing prowess, her routine - which involves some platform shoes, fake snow, and a strobe light - seems more like a Studio 54 drag show than anything in pre-war Kyoto.

Let's forget the fact that kilts weren't worn in Scotland until about 300 years after William Wallace's day and just do some simple math. According to the movie, Wallace's blue-eyed charm at the Battle of Falkirk was so overpowering, he seduced King Edward II's wife, Isabella of France, and the result of their affair was Edward III. But according to the history books, Isabella was three years old at the time of Falkirk, and Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
In 1585, when the movie takes place, Queen Elizabeth was 52 years old - Cate Blanchett was 36 when she shot the film - and was not being courted by suitors like Ivan the Terrible (who was dead by then). And though the movie has her rallying the troops at Tilbury astride a white steed in full armor with a sword, in fact she rode side saddle, carrying a baton. She was more of a regal majorette than Joan of Arc.

The Patriot
Revolutionary War figure Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion was the basis for Mel Gibson's character, but he wasn't the forward-thinking family man they show in the flick. He was a slave owner who didn't get married (to his cousin) until after the war was over. Historians also say that he actively persecuted and murdered native Cherokees. Plus, the thrilling Battle of Guilford Court House where he vanquishes his British nemesis? In reality, the Americans lost that one.
2001: A Space Odyssey
According to this film, in year 2001 we would have had manned voyages to Jupiter, a battle of wits with a sentient computer, and a quantum leap in human evolution. Instead we got the Mir Space Station falling from the sky, Windows XP, and Freddy Got Fingered. Apparently the lesson here is that sometimes it's better when the movies get the facts all wrong.

For more information, visit

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Vanity Fair: Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?


The idea that women aren’t funny—and which male said that?—seems pretty laughable these days. TV has unleashed a new generation of comediennes, who act, perform stand-up, write, and direct—dishing out the jokes with a side of sexy. Annie Leibovitz photographs a dozen of the wittiest dames in showbiz, from 30 Rock’s Tina Fey to Sarah Silverman, to S.N.L.’s current stars, while the author learns why the setup has changed.

Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey. “You still hear” people say women aren’t funny, Fey comments. “It’s just a lot easier to ignore.” Photograph by Annie Leibovitz; styled by Michael Roberts.

This is an article written by Alessandra Stanley, Vanity Fair April 2008.

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Mar 20, 2008

New Star Trek XI Set Photos Online


California State University Northridge is, apparently, the final frontier.

That's the good word from Ain't It Cool News, anyway, where they're running spy photos taken at the CSU Northridge campus of what appears to be extras in preparation for scenes from Star Trek XI.

The shots were technically taken of a film titled Corporate Headquarters, but as you'll soon see, they've got Starfleet written all over them -- nice try, J.J. Abrams! -- and even though there aren't any super-exciting pictures, they will give you an idea of what to expect from the newest crop of Academy grads, at least in terms of what they're wearing. (There's also a nifty shot of what looks like a car shaped like a feminine razor.)

To see the gallery (at least until it's lawyered off the Web), click on the link below!

Source: Ain't It Cool News

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Paramount Confirms Peter Berg as New Dune Director


It's official: Peter Berg is headed into the desert to take a crack at getting filmgoers excited about Frank Herbert's Dune.

Variety reports that Paramount has signed Berg to direct the latest adaptation of Herbert's novel, with Kevin Misher, Sarah Aubrey, and Richard Rubenstein (who produced the Sci Fi Network's Dune and Children of Dune miniseries) attached as producers. From the article:

Herbert's 1965 novel is a sweeping, futuristic tale set on the remote desert planet Arrakis, which produces the interstellar empire's sole source of the spice Melange -- used for distant space travel. An empirewide power struggle ensues over the control of the spice. Berg would be the latest helmer to take a crack at the property, which spawned a 1984 David Lynch film as well as a 2000 Sci Fi Channel miniseries starring William Hurt.

Herbert's Dune, originally published in 1965, spawned five sequels written by the author; since his death in 1986, Herbert's son Brian has co-written a number of prequels and sequels with Kevin J. Anderson. Naturally, if things go the way they're supposed to, Paramount wouldn't mind adapting the lot of them; as Variety puts it, the studio "envisions the project as a tentpole film," and certainly has an eye toward turning it into a franchise.

The always-busy Berg, who directed last year's The Kingdom, helmed this summer's Will Smith/Charlize Theron/Jason Bateman superhero comedy, Hancock.

Source: Variety

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Mar 19, 2008

La Cintura Waist Purse


Hey Girl, did you bring your wallet in your hand while shopping, didn't you get annoyed should bring something in your hand indeed you should try a pair of shoes? Or if you are a biker, you want to have a trip, you'll will look stylish with the La Cintura Waist Purse.

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You'll feel enjoy this pack for your Day trips, horsebackriding,amusement parks,travel,biking,hiking, motorcycling, evenings on the dance floor. Believe me, people around you will agree to say that you are now so cool with this bag. So, what are you waiting for, let's order now at

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European Union Film Festival


The 11th European Union Film Festival continues Friday, March 14, through Thursday, April 3, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2800. Tickets are $9, $7 for students, and $5 for Film Center members. Following are selected films screening through Thursday, March 20; for a full festival schedule visit

Darling An enjoyable if paper-thin Swedish drama about a vain young beauty (Michelle Meadows) whose callous indifference finally catches up with her, causing a precipitous fall in her social and economic standing. Forced into a job at a fast-food restaurant, she’s befriended in the workplace by an aging divorcee (Michael Segerstrom) whose optimism and kindness in the face of his own trials prompts her to reevaluate her priorities. Writer-director Johan Kling rescues the story from sentimentality with a welcome dose of ambiguity toward the end, and Meadows turns in a subtle performance, finding complexity beneath her character’s chilly self-absorption. The movie’s one misstep is Segerstrom’s unlikely character, whose decency borders on saintliness. In Swedish with subtitles. 90 min. (Reece Pendleton) Arrow Fri 3/14, 8 PM, and Wed 3/19, 6 PM.

The Inner Life of Martin Frost Relaxing at a friend's empty country house, a reclusive New York novelist (David Thewlis) is inspired to write a new story and the next morning wakes up alongside a mysterious and seductive graduate student (Irene Jacob) who quickly becomes his muse and lover. Paul Auster, who made his directing debut with Lulu on the Bridge, provides the voice-over narration for this 2007 second feature, which was drawn and expanded from an interpolated story in his own novel, the engrossing Book of Illusions. The sad irony is that his storytelling gifts, Thewlis's resourcefulness, and Jacob's beauty only postpone one's awareness that the material is too literary to work as cinema. The plot becomes increasingly arch (with the arrival of characters played by Michael Imperioli and by Auster's teenage daughter, Sophie) and self-consciously metaphysical, and mannerism gradually overtakes visual and narrative invention. 94 min. (JR) Arrow Sat 3/15, 7 PM, and Tue 3/18, 8:15 PM.

It’s a Free World . . . Writer Paul Laverty and director Ken Loach have produced some powerful dramas—My Name Is Joe, Bread and Roses, Sweet Sixteen—but this 2007 feature doesn’t compare with them despite its timely subject, the exploitation of illegal aliens. Newcomer Kierston Wareing is strong as the lead character, an unscrupulous but not entirely unsympathetic single mother who loses her job at a London employment agency and then partners with a flatmate (Juliet Ellis) to open her own such establishment. But Loach and Laverty’s didactic side ultimately becomes obtrusive, even as they challenge our identification with the heroine. I emerged from this story feeling sadder and wiser but was never fully engaged. 93 min. (JR) Arrow Sat 3/15, 7 PM, and Thu 3/20, 6 PM.

The Rest Is Silence Nae Caranfil, whose Philanthropy (2002) satirized contemporary Romanian capitalism, leaps back to the early days of cinema for this ambitious but rather unwieldy 2007 historical drama. A young movie director in Bucharest wins the financial backing of a vainglorious theater owner to shoot an epic about the Romanian struggle for independence against the Ottoman Empire. Caranfil based his script on the true story of Independenta Romaniei (1912), a two-hour film that at the time was the longest movie ever made, and clips from the real-life film are sprinkled throughout this fictionalized tale. The comic scenes are deftly handled, but a subplot involving the director’s relationship with an aspiring theater actress goes off the rails, and chronicling the birth of a national cinema proves too weighty a burden. In Romanian with subtitles. 140 min. (JJ) Arrow Sat 3/15, 4:15 PM, and Thu 3/20, 7:45 PM.

Roman de Gare After a series of missteps (e.g. The Courage to Love), French New Wave veteran Claude Lelouch bounces back smartly with this masterful and constantly surprising thriller (2007). The multilayered plot involves a celebrated crime novelist (Fanny Ardant), her missing ghostwriter, and a serial killer. Slyly exploiting audience expectations and prejudices, Lelouch calls into question our very ways of seeing, even as he and his longtime writing partner, Pierre Uytterhoeven, craft an elegant meditation on loss and rebirth. With Audrey Dana and Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen). In French with subtitles. 103 min. (AG) Arrow Sun 3/16, 3 PM.

The Sky Turns Distinguished only by Alberto Rodriguez’s impressionistic cinematography, this 2004 documentary by Mercedes Alvarez surveys her hometown, the fading rustic village of Aldealseñor in northern Spain. The filmmaker makes some ambitious thematic leaps: the Roman conquest of nearby Numantia is compared to the imperial ambitions of George W. Bush (as bombers soar overhead to Baghdad), dinosaur fossils are likened to elderly villagers, and a medieval Moorish castle being redeveloped as an upscale hotel is linked to new Moroccan immigration. But Alvarez’s pacing is tortured, and her metaphor of a nearly blind painter recording a dying culture is heavy-handed. In Spanish and Arabic with subtitles. 106 min. (AG) Arrow Sun 3/16, 3 PM, and Tue 3/18, 6 PM.

Summer ’04 Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others, Mostly Martha) powers this unnerving 2006 drama as a woman vacationing on Germany’s Baltic coast with her husband (Peter Davor), her teenage son (Lucas Kotaranin), and the boy’s much younger girlfriend (Svea Lohde). Their idyll is disrupted when the young woman goes sailing alone with a handsome new neighbor (Robert Seeliger) and the mother, feeling responsible for her underaged guest, confronts the stranger, only to plunge into deeper waters than she imagined. Stefan Krohmer directs with remarkable sophistication and dexterity, particularly in his quicksilver shifts from nature’s allure to its menace. In German with subtitles. 97 min. (AG) Arrow Sun 3/16, 5:15 PM, and Mon 3/17, 6 PM.


Autumn Ball Arrow Sat 3/15, 4:30 PM, and Wed 3/19, 8 PM.

Dying in Athens Arrow Fri 3/14 and Mon 3/17, 8 PM.

Ex Drummer Arrow Fri 3/14, 6 PM, and Tue 3/18, 8:30 PM.

56 Drops of Blood Arrow Mon 3/17, 8:15 PM, and Thu 3/20, 6 PM.

Return of the Storks Arrow Sat 3/15, 9 PM, and Mon 3/17, 6:15 PM.

Saturn in Opposition Arrow Sun 3/16, 5 PM, and Thu 3/20, 8 PM.

Tell No One Arrow Sat 3/15, 9 PM, and Tue 3/18, 6 PM.

To the Limit Arrow Fri 3/14, 6 PM.


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Jackie Chan and Jet Li Plan Another Movie Together


This a good news for Asian movie lovers. Jackie and Jet Li will soon be come back.

Anyone who has any appreciation at all for the Kung-Fu genre can’t help but be at least a little excited (even if only in principle) about the notion of a Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie! Yeah… The Forbidden Kingdom doesn’t look like it’s going to be all that good (we’ll see soon enough), but it’s still Chan and Li together, so a lot of us will be there.

But for those of you who lament the fact that Forbidden Kingdom looks like it will suck… THERE IS GOOD NEWS! Apparently Chan and Li liked working together so much, they’re already planning on doing another film together. Yahoo News gives us this:

“The first day we started filming, it felt like we had worked together for many years,” Chan said, adding, “after filming this movie, we didn’t have enough fun.” “In four months (of filming), we went from friends to becoming brothers,” Li said. Chan said their fight sequences went so smoothly that cinematographer Peter Pau told them to slow down.

He said “The Forbidden Kingdom” is not the movie he wanted to make his first collaboration with Li, but he signed on when the project came along because “if I had kept waiting, who knows how long I would have had to wait.” Chan and Li said they want to shoot another movie together based on a script they started working on 15 years ago, but both stars refused to give details. Both actors were lukewarm in earlier comments about the “The Forbidden Kingdom,” which was shot in China but largely targets U.S. audiences.

The good news is that they seem to love working together and that it does appear another (hopefully better) Chan/Li film is on the way. The bad news is that they seems to be less than thrilled with Forbidden Kingdom. Yikes! When the stars seem lukewarm about an upcoming movie, you know there’s trouble ahead!

But who cares… I’ll still be there to see it, and I’ll anxiously await the next one they do… hopefully it WILL NOT be an American production.


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Paris Hilton Caught in Paparazzi Photo with New Lover


I found this funny picture at As stated by the admin, this picture was made for a new site Circus Hour. But this site still in process of redirecting URLs, but in the meantime. This site will provide the debut of Paris Hilton's official Freak Show Poster.

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Compare UK mortgages online


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Mar 17, 2008

Tears of The Black Tiger


I first heard of this movie by way of a trailer and immediately thought, "I have GOT to see this." I mean, how can you go wrong with a violent cowboy shoot 'em up made in Thailand? Well, in some respects, the movie fell short of my expectations. It is not all crazy western gunslinger action; the film's primary story is an almost overwhelming romantic tragedy. That does not cut it for me (not a word from all you "Lonesome Dove" fans out there). However, mixed with Rumpoey's despair over her lost love, there is a bit of insane gunfighting.

A group of bandits named the Tigers is the bane of law and order where the film takes place. The Tigers do as they please, including shooting people, much to the frustration of Captain Kumjorn. He sets out to destroy the bandit horde. Unfortunately, the Tigers have two secret weapons. One is a cache of M72 rocket launchers. The other is the Black Tiger, a gunfighter with no equal. The police are defeated in a furious battle that includes machineguns, grenades, submachine guns, and the aforementioned rocket launchers. The bandit's leader orders the Black Tiger to execute the captured police captain. Instead of killing the young officer, the Black Tiger lets him go, and there is a reason why (but I am not going to tell you).

The Black Tiger is a man named Dum. Years ago, he fell in love with Rumpoey, daughter of the local governor. Unfortunately, Dum made a mistake while trying to protect Rumpoey's honor from three bullies. Boys should avoid making mistakes that embarrass their fathers. Almost drowning somebody's daughter is one of those things. The bloody caning administered to Dum as punishment made him wary of women. Rumpoey, on the other hand, became hopelessly smitten with her guardian angel.

Years later, Dum came to Rumpoey's defense again when the same three bullies tried to assault her. His trouncing of the men ensured he was kicked out of college. Dum's travails (avoiding Rumpoey would have been a good idea, she seems to bring Dum bad luck) eventually resulted in his becoming a member of the Tigers.

The final battle between the government and the bandits is fought at the Governor's mansion. It is everything you ever wanted in a crazy Thai western shoot 'em up. There are bandits with submachine guns, a policeman hit by a rocket (yikes), and even a final face off between Dum and the second best gunfighter in the Tigers.

Something I failed to mention is that the musical score often seems terribly out of place and rather amusing. A composer trying to create Thai music with a southwest flavor is not a stress-free composer, nor a sane one.

Thi movie Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger, read more this review

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Flash Gordon Movie Review


Some movies leave you amazed that they were ever made. Even more perplexing is how entertaining they can be, despite (or due to) their constituent parts. "Flash Gordon" falls into this category. They must have spent millions making this film look as gaudy as possible. That sort of behavior might pay off if you are a male bird looking for a mate or the city of Las Vegas, but it usually spells trouble for movies. Not so in the case of "Flash Gordon." Sparkling and gaudy works perfectly once the cast's to-the-hilt acting is added. The film really is a comic book story come alive.

Read more review toward this moviae at

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Mar 16, 2008



Craig David wants to record the theme song for the new James Bond film.

The British singer is desperate lend his voice to the opening of the latest 007 adventure "Quantum of Solace," but accepts he will have to get past current favorite Amy Winehouse.

He said in an interview with "I think trying to do a themed song for a film is great, a song that encapsulates what the whole film is about."

"Bond would be a great one. To be honest I know Amy Winehouse is being hotly-tipped for it, which would be great if she gets to do that, but the Bond films are an institution in themselves and you'd love to, as an artist, get involved with something like that. It would be great to be involved".

Paul McCartney - whose band Wings created classic Bond theme "Live and Let Die" for the movie of the same name in 1973 - recently tipped Amy for the job.

He said: "I think Amy Winehouse would do a really good job with the Bond theme. My advice to her would be not to try and rhyme 'Solace' with anything - that's too hard."

Other singers who have recorded Bond themes include Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Tom Jones and Duran Duran.

Source: BANG Showbiz

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Madonna is planning to perform at a series of intimate venues this year

Madonna is planning to perform at a series of intimate venues this year.

The multi-millionaire singer - famed for her spectacular stadium concerts - says it is her dream to sing to smaller audiences, but is worried she wouldn't make any money.

She said: "I have always wanted to do intimate performances. My dream is to go around doing shows in opera houses but who makes money in opera houses?"

"When I create my shows they are usually quite intricate. They don't expand and collapse to varying stage sizes. I have always wanted to do grand shows but in really intimate venues, which never seems to be possible."

Madonna, 49, insists the main appeal of playing slimmed-down shows for her would be getting up close and personal with her audience.

The mother-of-three said: "I just love theater and the magic of theater. You can hear people breathing and you can see their sweat, you can see the work. And yet you can still be pulled into the magic of everything and be tricked by the illusion of one spotlight and also the danger of it being live."

"Each audience that you have changes your performance. I love that more than anything."

Source: BANG Showbiz

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Mar 15, 2008

Weekend Boxoffice: Slim Pickings


It looks like yet another animated family film, Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who (which grabbed a 70% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) will own the weekend. (Horton co-director Jimmy Hayward lists his top five animated faves.) And John Anderson's Variety review leads off with some Seuss verse:

A story of Horton, and people called Who -- but how many movies? It seems to be two! There's one that's quite Seussical, gentle and charming. The other stars Jim Carrey, brash and alarming! What auds will attend? Who has what it takes? Wee innocent children -- and moms with headaches!

Truth is, there's not much worth seeing. March is the dog days, when the best you can hope for is a smarter-than-average spring break picture like 21, Kevin Spacey and Robert Luketic's upcoming Vegas fantasy. Theater owners beg the studios to give them more pictures, and the indies complain that there's too much competition, but here's an open season, should anyone care to step in.

On the other hand, it doesn't make sense for two mid-market action thrillers without stars to chase after the exact same young male demo. (There's nothing aimed at women this weekend.) It looks like Rogue's Doomsday (which did not screen for critics) will win that unnecessary game of chicken against Summit's Never Back Down (33% Rotten).

Anne Thompson,

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Mar 13, 2008

Now Showing in Theathers: College Road Trip


Genre: Comedy
Duration: 1 hr. 23 min.
Starring: Brenda Song, Martin Lawrence, Raven Symone, Donny Osmond, Vincent Pastore,
Director: Roger Kumble
Producer: Andrew Gunn
Distributor: Buena Vista, Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: March 7, 2008
Writer: Carrie Evans, Cinco Paul, Emi Mochizuki, Ken Daurio

Choosing which college to attend can be the most exciting and thrilling time of a young woman's life…unless your overprotective father isn't quite ready to let you go. In the Disney family comedy, COLLEGE ROAD TRIP, Melanie (RAVEN-SYMONEì) is eagerly looking forward to her first big step towards independence when she plans a 'girls only' road trip to check out prospective universities. But when her overbearing police chief father (MARTIN LAWRENCE) insists on escorting her instead, she soon finds her dream trip has turned into a hilarious nightmare adventure full of comical misfortune and turmoil.Movie Reviews:

a movie review by: Linda Cook

1 ½ stars

You know you're in trouble when a potbellied pig upstages the human actors.

"College Road Trip" is a throwback to the live-action Disney drivel from the late 1960s and 1970s . Its brainless, almost non-existent plot is padded out with lots of singing, bright costumes, dancing and appearances by Disney Channel stars.

Martin Lawrence stars as Chicago-area police chief James Porter, who just doesn't want to let go of his 17-year-old daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné , television's "That's So Raven"). Melanie wants to attend Georgetown University to study law. But her dad wants her to attend Northwestern University because it's so close to home.

Melanie lands an interview at Georgetown. Of course, she wants to make the journey with her best friends Katie and Nancy, who are heading to the University of Pittsburgh.

James has other ideas. He'll just drive Melanie to Georgetown himself. Melanie is more than disappointed, but James is ecstatic to have some "bonding time" with his daughter. Naturally, her little brother Trey (Eshaya Draper) hides in the car and is discovered there along with his pet pig Arnold (I like the reference to the "Green Acres" TV character. There's also a reference to "Charlotte's Web" in which the words "Some pig" are spelled out near Arnold).

Disaster ensues, and not just because a police chief is using an official vehicle to haul his family (this seemed to be an unethical thing for a law-enforcement officer to do). They lose their way, end up wrecking the car, and become acquainted with the most annoying father/daughter team ever: Donny Osmond and Molly Ephraim. Of course the Porters need to hitch a ride with the ever-singing duo.

What passes for acting here is a lot of yelling. This is bound to be the loudest movie of the year. Perhaps the director encouraged the cast to yell and move around a lot so that the audience wouldn't notice this really is just a bunch of slapstick skits thrown together. Lawrence always is loud and outrageous, but the rest of the performers top him in the scenery chewing department.

Oddly, right at the end, there's a really sweet moment that works beautifully. It's too bad that the rest of the movie is so obnoxious. But four different people concocted this erratic screenplay, so it's not surprising that it lacks cohesion.

Its message is in the right place, but its delivery isn't passable.


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Mar 12, 2008



The "Material Girl" singer - who turns 50 in August - doesn't feel threatened by pop stars who are half her age because she enjoys competition.

She said: "Getting older is an advantage in terms that you've got a lot more experience and you tend to not make the same mistakes. And you feel a bit wiser and less impulsive."

"It's great to feel experienced. But I also work with people who are half my age, so I feel like I have to work even harder to keep up with everybody."

"But the fact of the matter is I can kick all of their a***s! I guess I'm OK for now. It does keep the flame under my foot, though."

The mother-of-three - who released her debut album, "Madonna," in 1982 - also revealed she barely recognizes herself in old publicity shots.

She added to Dazed and Confused magazine: "Sometimes, I see a picture of me and I really remember that moment - and it brings back memories, very specific memories."

"And other photographs that I see, I just think - who's that? I don't know that girl!"

"I don't regret any of it, but I do sometimes think, 'Oh God, what was I thinking? Why did I wear that, why did I do that?' All kinds of things."

Source: BANG Showbiz

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Director : Steven Spielberg
Cast : Cate Blanchett, Harrison Ford, Natalie Portman, Sean Connery, Shia LaBeouf

Synopsis :

Our favorite globe-trotting archaeologist returns for another adventure as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg team with screenwriter David Koepp to bring Indiana Jones back (Harrison Ford) to the big screen nearly 20 years after "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

Shia LaBeouf is rumored to be the son of Jones and Marion from "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Official Site

Source: Paramount Pictures

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David and Victoria Beckham want to quit Los Angeles, it has been claimed.

The pair, who moved with their three children to the US city when soccer star David signed a contract with team Los Angeles Galaxy, are said to be "disillusioned" with life Stateside.

A source close to the family told America's OK! magazine: "David is very close to his family and would much rather be living in the UK."

"A lot of things haven't gone the way they thought it would and they are both feeling a bit disillusioned."

"David keeps saying he is hoping someone buys out his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy so he can go home."

Victoria's representative has denied the couple are unhappy in America, saying: "They couldn't be happier here. They aren't having second thoughts."

David's representative added: "He is there to fulfill his contract."

Victoria - who recently finished a reunion world tour with her band the Spice Girls - is said to be desperate to move back to London to concentrate on her fashion range dVb.

She recently announced she is launching a denim line for men, and revealed she prefers David in big, baggy jeans.

Victoria said: "I think guys should wear jeans big and baggy, with a big pair of boots or flip-flops - exactly how you see David when he's out in his jeans and T-shirt."

"Do not pull them up tight and have your bulge showing. Let it hang! I didn't want anything too tight around the crotch."

"That really repulses me. It might be fashionable, but you are not going to get that from dVb."

Source: BANG Showbiz

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Now Showing in Theathers: The Bank Job


Genre: Thriller
Duration: 1 hrs. 50 min.
Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, James Faulkner, Daniel Mays, Stephen Campbell Moore,
Director: Roger Donaldson
Producer: Charles Roven, Steve Chasman
Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Release Date: March 7, 2008
Writer: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais

Inspired by the infamous 1971 robbery that took place at the Lloyds Bank in Marylebone London, LIONSGATE's ® THE BANK JOB stars Jason Statham (TRANSPORTER, SNATCH, CRANK, THE ITALIAN JOB) and Saffron Burrows (KLIMT, ENIGMA). The highly-charged heist thriller tautly interweaves high-level corruption, murder and sexual scandal in 1970s England. A car dealer with a dodgy past and new family, Terry (Statham) has always avoided major-league scams. But when Martine (Burrows), a beautiful model from his old neighborhood, offers him a lead on a foolproof bank hit on London's Baker Street, Terry recognizes the opportunity of a lifetime. Martine targets a roomful of safe deposit boxes worth millions in cash and jewelry. But Terry and his crew don't realize the boxes also contain a treasure trove of dirty secrets - secrets that will thrust them into a deadly web of corruption and illicit scandal that spans London's criminal underworld, the highest echelons of the British government, and the Royal Family itself...the true story of a heist gone all the right ways.

Movie Reviews:

a movie review by: Joe Williams

Special Screening of Lionsgate's 'The Bank Job'

Jason Statham is a bare-knuckled Brit who has muscled into a marketplace dominated by Hollywood hulks and Asian martial artists. Like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson or Jet Li, he doesn't need critics in order to reach his fan base, so it's noteworthy that for his latest movie, Statham has teamed with respected director Roger Donaldson ("No Way Out") and given the press a sneak peek.

But unfortunately for fans of either cranked-up action flicks or brainy thrillers, "The Bank Job" is just as generic as its name.

It claims to be based on the true story of the biggest bank heist in British history. Although it's shoehorned into a groovy historical context, the 1971 crime is unsolved, so the details — and thus the characters — are a little fuzzy.

Statham softens his image ever-so-slightly as Terry Leather, a London car dealer with a family to feed and a petty-criminal past. That past catches up with him in the person of Martine (Saffron Burrows), a leggy ex-girlfriend who says she knows about a bank whose security system is being deactivated for repairs.

In reality, Martine has been recruited by British intelligence to find some dupes who can break into the bank and steal a safety-deposit box with photos linking a naughty member of the royal family to a black revolutionary.

As Terry, Martine and some colorful cronies use the old trick of tunneling from a rented retail space and up through the bank-vault floor. But what should have been a crowd-pleasing caper lacks both tension and invention.

The getaway is just the beginning of "The Bank Job," as the gang is pursued by spies, cops and a cutthroat porn king, all of whom have dubious reasons to retrieve the loot.

Action-movie geeks who expect Statham to go bloody ballistic will end up feeling robbed.

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Mar 8, 2008

China likens film ratings to porn


Classification system 'too sensitive' for public

Implementing a film classification system in China would be like legalizing porn and the country won't do it until the market has been "completely standardized," according to an exec for the local film regulator.

Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP), was quoted on the Xinhua news agency on Tuesday as saying the topic was "too sensitive" for the public.

Liu also said that China had yet to build a mature and orderly film market -- an argument often cited as to why China does not have democracy.

"Under the current circumstances, a film rating system equals legalizing the mass production of pornographic publications," Liu said.

GAPP has a lot of influence in setting up a ratings system but the final greenlight will lie with the State Adminstration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

Chinese filmmakers and filmgoers have been calling for a rating system for many years.

Anyone can go to see any movie in the cinema, which parents often complain about, although there is little erotic content.

Anything viewed as even slightly dodgy is banned, including films about supernatural topics or sex.

Strangely, Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" was given a general release, although seven raunchy minutes were excised from the version that screened on the mainland, making the plot a bit difficult to follow.

Film ratings may come up for discussion at China's annual parliament, the National People's Congress, which is taking place in Beijing now. Actress Zhang Yimou is one of the delegates attending the consultative session of the meeting.[]

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Ben Stiller's Biography


Nationality: American
Born : November 3, 1965

Trying to cast the lead role of Mel Coplin, an adoptee searching for his biological parents in the wake of his own son's birth in the comedy "Flirting With Disaster" (1996), writer-director David O. Russell knew what he wanted: "a young Dustin Hoffman type, who was kind of urban, kind of smart and ethnic." Ben Stiller, the only son of the venerable husband-and-wife comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, convinced Russell that he could fill the bill. Increasingly busy before and behind the camera, the curly-haired, quirkily handsome actor-writer-director seemed well poised to become the poster boy for Generation X era comedy--regardless of his stated discomfort with such a designation. With decisive roles played by nepotism, "Saturday Night Live" and MTV, Ben Stiller's swift career trajectory may be somewhat paradigmatic to those for whom the name "Barrymore" evokes "Drew" before "John" or "Lionel".

Stiller utilized his connections to land his first professional acting job in the 1985 Lincoln Center revival of John Guare's dark comedy "The House of Blue Leaves" (his mother was in the original production) after two years of struggling. During its run, he made a short comic film with the play's cast (which ended up airing on "Saturday Night Live"). In 1987, Stiller reprised the role of the son, Ronnie Shaughnessy, a would-be papal assassin, for the play's PBS "American Playhouse" production. In that same very productive year, he also made his film acting debut in Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" and his TV writing and acting debut in a ten-minute short parody of Martin Scorsese's "The Color of Money" for NBC's "Saturday Night Live", in which he offered a devastating caricature of Tom Cruise. He subsequently remained as a featured player and apprentice writer on "SNL" for about a year. (Stiller reportedly left due to creative frustration; the show had limited interest in him directing film clips.)

In 1989, he was given his own half-hour comedy/variety show on MTV entitled "The Ben Stiller Show". A prototype to his more elaborate network effort, the series suffered from music video interruptions and the lack of proper format that would have allowed Stiller to showcase his considerable talents. He also continued working in films, playing supporting roles in such diverse misfires and mediocrities as "Hot Pursuit" (1987, with his father), "Fresh Horses" (1988), "That's Adequate" (1989, with his parents and sister Amy), "Next of Kin" (1989), the Bette Midler weeper "Stella" (1990) and "Highway to Hell" (1992, another family get-together).

A career turning point came when Fox TV signed him for "The Ben Stiller Show" (1992-93), a sketch comedy program with an emphasis on pop culture parodies. An inspired spoof combining "The Munsters" and "Cape Fear" to create "Cape Munster" (which featured Stiller skillfully evoking a hybrid of Robert De Niro and Eddie Munster) was fairly emblematic of the show's irreverent sensibility. Other sketches, featuring skewerings of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Cruise, The Pig-Latin Lover, the amusement park Oliver Stoneland and the evil sock-puppet Skank made the show one of the hippest and funniest on TV, but it was canceled in its first season. Nevertheless, Stiller shared a writing Emmy for his efforts.

Stiller segued to the big screen as a filmmaker making his feature directorial bow with "Reality Bites" (1994), an old-fashioned romance marketed as a "Generation X" comedy. Co-starred with Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke, he played a neurotic, workaholic music TV exec who occupies one point in the love triangle. The film received some positive notices--especially for Ryder's performance--and Stiller was commended for his skill with actors but his command of narrative storytelling was deemed shaky in some quarters. In any event, the ostensible target audiences largely steered clear.

Though it still remains too early to make any sweeping generalizations about Stiller's screen persona, one may note that, in his choices, he has eschewed conventional romantic leads in favor of problematic eccentrics. Though occasionally (and from certain angles) quite handsome on camera, Stiller has tended to undercut or lampoon his looks. As a sketch performer, he delighted in mocking such presumed studs as Cruise and U2's Bono. A not atypical film role had him playing an obnoxious fitness guru, the baddie, in the inferior Disney comedy "Heavyweights" (1995). This project was notable for reuniting him with Judd Apatow, here a producer-writer and formerly Stiller's collaborator on his Fox series.

Stiller returned to the director's chair for (and played a small role in) "The Cable Guy" (1996). Though budgeted at a formidable $40 million (half of which went to its ascendant star), this Jim Carrey vehicle dared to offer a change-of-pace as the rubber-faced comic played a darker, more menacing variation of his usual persona. Though the film has its share of admirers, "The Cable Guy" proved to be the first flop of Carrey's career as a superstar and stalled Stiller's behind-the-scenes work.

Also in 1996, Stiller enjoyed a solid art-house success with the starring role in "Flirting with Disaster", a rare straightforward romantic lead. He also brought manic energy to his portrayal of a conceptual artist with designs on Sarah Jessica Parker in the unsuccessful romantic comedy "If Lucy Fell". He finished out the year with a (shrewdly?) uncredited turn in fellow "SNL" alum Adam Sandler's feature vehicle "Happy Gilmore", as the smarmy operator of a nursing home.

1998, however, proved to be Stiller's breakout year as a performer. He began with an understated turn as the partner of a reclusive investigator in "Zero Effect", directed by Jake Kasdan. On the heels of that comic portrayal, he played a nebbish haunted by his high school prom date who hires a private detective to track her down in the Farrelly brothers' low-brow surprise blockbuster "There's Something About Mary". Ironically, he was not the studio's first choice for the role and had to fight for it. But he proved to be perfect, willing to go to any lengths for the part. He captured the awkwardness of a gawky teenager (especially when he caught his private parts in his zipper on the night of the prom) and the odd, forlorn adult version of the same character. As an actor, he was willing to undertake potentially embarrassing scenes and mine them for their humor. Applying a similar technique to dramatic material, Stiller essayed a weaselly college professor who embarks on an affair with his best friend's wife in Neil LaBute's "Your Friends and Neighbors" and capped the year with an all-out tour de force portraying drug-addicted screenwriter Jerry Stahl in "Permanent Midnight".

Stiller was next featured alongside longtime friend Janeane Garofalo in "Mystery Men" (1999), a disappointing comedy centered around a band of off-kilter superheroes. He rebounded the following year with a starring role in the oddly charming sleeper romance "Keeping the Faith", playing a rabbi who finds himself falling for the same childhood friend (Jenna Elfman) his best friend (Edward Norton as a Catholic priest) is also in love with. That same year he had a bona fide box-office hit with "Meet the Parents", starring as a man driven to desperation by the overprotective and overbearing father (Robert De Niro) of his would-be fiancée (Teri Polo). The feel-bad brand of slapstick comedy connected with a large audience, and Stiller proved not only as lovable a loser as he had in "There's Something About Mary", but a worthy screen partner of De Niro. Acting turns in the independents "The Suburbans" and the aptly named "The Independent" rounded out 2000 for the actor.

Stiller returned to the big screen in 2001 as a director and actor, helming and starring in the often riotous though somewhat poorly received "Zoolander", a send-up of the modeling world at once smart and silly. Released shortly after the tragic events of September 11th, the film lost some of its comedic steam but would find life as a cult favorite. He rejoined his "Zoolander" nemesis and frequent co-star Owen Wilson in "The Royal Tenenbaums", a masterful serio-comedy co-written by Wilson and director Wes Anderson and starring Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stiller and Luke Wilson as a family with great potential that slowly falls apart as they separate. Stiller's portrayal of anxiety-plagued, rage-ridden, red Adidas warm-up suit-garbed widower Chas featured some of the film's most honestly moving moments and garnered the performer critical accolades.

In 2002, after a cameo in Jake Kasdan's comedy "Orange County," Stiller appeared onscreen in "Run Ronnie Run", a feature adaptation of a popular sketch from the off-kilter HBO comedy series "Mr. Show Starring Bob and David". He next co-starred with Drew Barrymore in the flop "The Duplex" (2003), a black comedy about the lengths one will go to in order to rent the perfect apartment in New York City directed by Danny DeVito, but rebounded with mildly amusing and modest hit comedy "Along Came Polly" (2004), in which he played a risk assessment expert who, after his wife cheats on him during their honeymoon, learns to take chances when he falls for a free spirit (Jennifer Aniston).

Stiller had an amusing recurring stint on the 2004 season of the HBO sit-com "Curb Your Enthusiasm" playing himself as bedeviled by Larry David when the two are tapped to co-star in a stage production of Mel Brooks' "The Producers," and then he took on the role of TV cop Dave Starsky in the parody-minded 2004 version of the ABC cop drama "Starsky & Hutch" opposite his frequent collaborator Owen Wilson. While merely mildly amusing, that film was head and shoulders above Stiller's next effort, "Envy" (2004), an epic misfire co-starring Jack Black and directed by Barry Levison. Unfunny and incoherent in the extreme and begging the question why so many talented people agreed to make the film, "Envy" also relied too heavily on the most played-out elements of Stiller's now-familiar comedic persona.

The actor was slightly more amusing as the puffy-haired, mustached White Goodman, the ruthless if undereducated head of the Purple Cobras team, in the sports comedy "Dodge Ball" (2004). By this time, Stiller was clearly established as a central figure in what many characterized as a comedic Rat Pack-style clique of actors who frequently teamed up and/or cameoed in each other's films--the group also included Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Owen and Luke Wilson and actor Steve Carell. The actor rebounded successfully at the end of the year with another stint as Gaylord "Greg" Focker in the popular comedy sequel "Meet the Fockers" (2004), which added his character's doting parents (played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) into the family fold. Stiller then lent his distinctive voice to “Madagascar” (2005), Disney’s animated adventure about four zoo animals who escape and inadvertently find themselves in Africa where the city slickers struggle to survive in the wild. His next project was "A Night at the Museum" (lensed 2006), a family comedy about a night security guard in the Museum of Natural History who unwittingly unleashes a curse that brings to life the bugs and animals on display.

See more information, his award, photo, cinematography, and more at

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