// archives


This category contains 158 posts

Exclusive: Fantastic Mr. Fox Preview

Guest post by Steven Wilson-Beales, Entertainment Content Manager (http://twitter.com/stevewb)

Greetings. Whilst our Movies Editor Ed is away trying to scale Nepalese mountains, I thought I’d take the opportunity of introducing some preview images we’ve just received from the forthcoming Roald Dahl flick. Hope you like them.

Check out the film trailer and more here

foxy lookout brians blower scoundrel therotter

Patrick Swayze dies. The web reacts

Guest post by Matt Ball, MSN UK editor-in-chief (http://twitter.com/thisismattball)

Patrick Swayze died on Monday September 15 2009, 20 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Here is how the web is reacting to the news of the actor’s death:

The Times begins its tribute by stating that “every male who grew up in the eighties at one point wanted to be Patrick Swayze. He was the classic all-American ‘beefcake’ who could also channel his more sensitive side – in real life, his mother was a choreographer – thus giving him almost supernatural powers with the opposite sex.” patrick-swayze

The Guardian also focuses on Swayze’s looks in its obituary, saying that the actor was “a beefcake leading man with rugged, unpretty looks and a lean dancer’s physique, who enjoyed staggering success in Reagan-Bush-era America with two classic movie roles”.

According to BBC Online, the actor always rejected the notion of himself as the sexy lead. He once said: “It’s the cult movies that have given me a career for 30 years. It wouldn’t have been worth it if I had been stuck as the leading man or the dance guy.”

The Independent recalls the Oscar winning song from Dirty Dancing and the dance move Swayze performed with co-star Jennifer Grey, suggesting with a touch of hyperbole that “no wedding reception is complete without ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ and a drunken attempt at that lift”. I suddenly feel like I have attended some quite tame wedding receptions.

MSNBC.com says Swayze was “the ultimate romantic lead” and explains why one of his lines in Dirty Dancing became so well known, repeated and even parodied: “There’s a reason “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” became an iconic line: it combines someone loving you, someone insisting upon your freedom, and someone defending you from your parents — what could be dreamier? Swayze was just the right guy for that scene and that story; it’s a more effective version of a knight in shining armour than you’d get from a slicker, harder-edged actor.”

The Movies channel on our US sister site MSN.com offers an inspiring gallery of Swayze’s life. The site also provides a gallery of celebrities’ tributes posted on twitter.

CNN.com reminds us he could still makes young ladies’ hearts flutter in his later years, citing 22-year-old Scarlett Johansson, upon receiving Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Award in February 2007. “She said her dream date was ‘probably Patrick Swayze, my dream come true’.”

Reaction on forumsMovies_RIP_Patrick_Swayze_trending_topics

On twitter this morning RIP Patrick Swayze is the top trending topic. Dirty Dancing is second and Ghost is seventh.

On Digital Spy some members are expressing their shock at the number of high profile celebrities who have passed away recently. Others express their feeling that Swayze always came across as one of the good guys in celebland. CJ Marlowe, for example, comments: “I’m genuinely moved by this one. He came across as such a nice guy and I grew up watching his films. This feels a bit more of a personal loss to me than the majority of celeb deaths ever do. I’m so sad for Patrick and his family.”

You’ll find similar sentiments on TMZ.com where Christy says: “Awesome Dancer, Great Actor, and Fantastic Horseman! We will miss you, wished you had done a western. Happy Trails, Patrick.”

Your memories
You can share your thoughts and read others’ tributes on MSN’s message boards.

Jack Tweed charged with rape

Jack Tweed the widower of Jade Goody has been charged with the rape of a 19-year-old girl.
According to a report in The Sun, the girl, who remains anonymous, accused Jack of forcing her to have sex with him whilst his friend also joined in. She met Jack in a London nightclub and was later taken back to his bachelor pad in Woodford Green, Essex. Last week his home was stormed by police and he was arrested and taken to a London Station.  Jack was remanded in custody until September 21 and he has now been transferred to Pentonville Prison, North London where he is awaiting trial. He’s reported to be in a cell on his own with guards monitoring him in case he is attacked my inmates. A close friend was also arrested, but was later released on police bail.                                                                                                                                                                  
Ever since his wife Jade died his attitude and behaviour seems to be spiralling out of control.  There have been various reports of wild behaviour which includes all-night parties, heavy drinking and sleeping with an array of girls. The 22-year-old was also criticised by Jade’s family as he failed to turn up to a special memorial service for her.  Both friends and family are stunned by his behaviour, one friend told The Sun: “I can’t believe they’d be so dumb. They’ve got their whole lives ahead of them with privileges most people can only dream about. We’re all shocked".
This new allegation of rape seems to be the final straw and Jade’s Grandfather John Caddock said: “I can’t believe he’s been charged with rape. It would’ve left Jade heartbroken had she still been alive".
If found guilty, how do you think he will cope with prison and what do you think his sentence will be?

Disney Buys Up Marvel’s Superpowers

The long arm of Disney gained yet more muscle today as it purchased Marvel in a $4 billion deal. Spider-Man, X-Men and Iron Man are only a few of the thousands of characters who now belong to Mickey Mouse.

Franchises such as the these have gained extraordinary mass appeal over the last decade or so thanks to blockbuster adaptations. But it’s the hardcore fans who have really fuelled the recent success of Marvel. Will those same fanatics stay on board now that their beloved vigilantes are in the same stable as Pluto and Daffy Duck?


A sweep of the forums suggests not. Fans have already had to let go of any sense of “niche” they might have enjoyed when scouring comic-book shelves. Now the most powerful entertainment company in America has lined them up alongside Hannah Montana and The Jonas Brothers. You can imagine Mickey in his office with Iron Man – you know the evil version out of this South Park episode – giving him a stern induction into the Disney line-up.

“Go out there and make me some f******’ money ha ha!!”

But before we become too enraged, it is worth pointing out that these characters were intended for broad mass entertainment at the outset. Spider-Man set sales records throughout the seventies and the superhero concept was at the very least a national obsession for American teens and at most a global phenomenon.

Furthermore, Marvel does deal in a more “cartoonish” brand of superhero. They tend to wear bright, tight costumes and have happy endings. Spider-Man feels a long way away from Disney but The Fantastic Four, for example, do not. Rival company DC Comics – that owns the Batman franchise – is certainly not so well suited to Disney.

The thought of Mickey’s ears appearing behind the batman logo does just feel so wrong, particularly in the light (or dark, rather) of Christopher Nolan’s impact on that franchise. The lighter, brighter characters of Marvel are certainly better suited to Disnification.

Admittedly, the purchase of Pixar in an even bigger deal was a smoother fit and an easier way of accessing grownup credibility for Disney. But this is ultimately an empowerment of Marvel’s many brands allowing them broader reach and perhaps the type of domination they originally enjoyed on paper in the middle part of the twentieth century.

Disney is becoming almost uncomfortably huge. But something with as much leverage as this mega-company has to buy something and this an obvious and immediate way for them to re-connect with the young male audience. It’s the big-business antidote to Hannah Montana et al and the fans will have to hope that Spidey vs Pluto is not in the works.


Rihanna’s ex sentenced

Chris Brown was sentenced to six months of community service in an LA courtroom on Tuesday, for his assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna earlier this year.

Chris Brown (PA Photos) The singer was also ordered by the Superior Court judge not to have any contact with Rihanna – verbal or physical – for five years. This means no phone calls, texts or emails. If the pair are at the same showbiz event, Chris can’t come within 10 metres of Rihanna, and at all other times, the minimum distance between them should be 100 metres. A violation of this order could see Brown go to prison.

Brown, who also has to pay fines and attended domestic violence classes, attacked Rihanna, his girlfriend of over a year, in March. When asked if Rihanna was upset about the ruling, her lawyer said: "There were no surprises today. The decision was up to the court, not Rihanna."

Last month, Chris apologised for the attack, admitting he could have handled the situation better and that he is "truly sorry".

His sentence might seem harsh to some, especially the five year probation, but is it enough for the crime? Does Chris deserve such a strict order, or do you think he got off lightly considering Rihanna’s injuries? Leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter!

Avatar: Bringing Games And Movies Closer Together

Today is Avatar day: The day that James Cameron unveils a preview of his space age adventure to fans and snooty media types like me. It was only ten minutes or so. It felt like I was straight back on the tube actually.


So a hostile alien world is unveiled to us, filled with vicious beasties. And our human expeditionary force appears to be turning recruits into Avatars – the local humanoids – who are blue, bulgy-eyed and about nine feet tall.

Then we’re out in the half-CG half-action world, being chased through forests by gigantic beasties. I’m not the first to comment that it feels very much like a cut-scene in a videogame. The similarities to Japanese video games such as the Final Fantasy series are marked and obvious to anyone who’s nerded their way through one of the games.

That said, you’ve got to commend Cameron for using the 3D glasses to give a sense of depth unlike anything yet seen. The highlight is set on top of a cliff far too high to be anywhere near earth and you do feel the size of the space.

Even so, it lacks a “blow your head off” moment thus far. Remember the fight scene between the big gorilla and the T Rex in Peter Jackson’s King Kong? The bit where you were kind of impressed, slightly amazed but also a bit bored? I was strongly reminded of that.

Even if it might leave us a bit flat when the full product is released, we have to credit Cameron with making such a massive investment in completely original and sometime whacky sci-fi. How do you tame the giant flying lizard? Stick your pony tail in its ear! I’m not even going to try and explain that one.

The man that introduced the clips said that James Cameron is telling a great story here and that it’s not all about the jazzy 3d fx. All I can say is that I hope he’s right. It may be pushing the tech barrier but, from the looks of this, it’ll be judged by the same criteria as regular old fashioned 2D movies: story is king.

Follow me on Twitter!

Britney for US president?

Britney Spears took time out from her hectic schedule this week to appear on David Letterman’s Late Show, hosting the popular ‘Top 10’ segment.

Britney Spears on The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) The singer starred in Tuesday night’s episode of the show, in a pre-recorded video where she counted down the top 10 ways in which the United States would be better if she were president. Perched on the edge of a desk wearing nothing but a tiny black bikini, she mocked both previous presidential candidates and herself in the skit.

Her make-believe campaign promises included “being the first president to wear eye-shadow since Nixon”, “free pie for everyone” and having P Diddy as her vice president. Her appearance was very well received by both Letterman and the audience. The biggest laugh was gained, ironically, from the most serious of all her statements: “America might have a more coherent fiscal strategy”.

Perhaps Britney is the way to go in these tough times. We’ve seen her hit rock bottom (several times) and rise back up again. Maybe she could do a good job as president! Although, maybe the free pie for everyone might not be such a good idea in America…

Follow me on Twitter!

Do I need a reason to post this?


Kerry Katona ditched by Iceland

Kerry Katona has been dropped by Iceland as the face of their advertising campaign, after allegedly taking Class A drugs, as reported in Sunday’s News of the World. News Of The World

Katona had been the face of the brand for four years, despite numerous public battles with her health, drugs and alcohol. A spokesperson for the supermarket chain has said: “We have always stood by her, as an example of a normal person and mum who has experienced some of the modern-day culture of fame, and how difficult it can be to deal with.” But now it seems her latest shenanigans have crossed the line, with the company claiming it is now “impossible” for them to keep her in their adverts.

The News of the World have footage of the ex-Atomic Kitten and reality TV star reportedly snorting cocaine with a rolled up £20 note in her bathroom, despite the fact that two of her children and nanny were also in the house in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

After reports in the Daily Mail that her fly-on-the-wall MTV series is to be axed due to poor ratings, this dismissal from Iceland must come as an even bigger blow to the star.

Follow me on Twitter!

Tron Legacy: The Bit With The Bikes!

Wow, wow and double wow!

This looks ace – tribute to the original (particularly in the audio) and lots of twists. This might be the best bit of the whole thing!