Worst of all worlds for Miley Cyrus

Another "wholesome" teen icon gone bad? Or was U.S. television star Miley Cyrus' blunder in allowing herself to be photographed wrapped only in a bed sheet simply a mistake that will be forgiven by her young fans?

The 15-year-old star of the Disney Channel hit TV show "Hannah Montana" laid low on Tuesday as the furor over her Vanity Fair photo shoot left some commentators wondering if she would ever live it down.

"If you are Miley Cyrus you can't really lie low. She is a phenomenon," Us Weekly editor in chief Janice Min told Reuters. "This magazine is going to be on newsstands for an entire month."


Director Vadim Perelman comes back to life


Vadim Perelman had the sort of feature film debut most filmmakers dream about but rarely are able to realize. An acclaimed director of commercials, he optioned the novel House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, adapted it for the screen with Shawn Lawrence Otto and co-produced the film with Michael London.

The tale of a young woman evicted from her house and her subsequent encounter with its new owners - immigrants from Iran - received critical kudos and respectable commercial returns. He clearly established himself as a talent worth watching and chief among his promoters was Steven Spielberg. Perelman was put to work adapting the Stephen King novel Talisman for DreamWorks and some feared he would descend into the industry's commercial abyss.

That was five years and several projects ago. Now he's resurfaced with The Life Before Her Eyes, a story one might ascribe to an episode of The Twilight Zone that like the bygone anthology has serious things to say about life, family and social issues told within a phantasmagoric frame.

(Movie City News)

The Passion of John Cusack


It's not that John Cusack isn't trying.

In his latest film, "War, Inc.," the 41-year-old actor plays a corporation-hired hit man charged with assassinating the CEO of a competitor. In his career, he's also played a beleaguered playwright ("Bullets Over Broadway"), a lonelyhearted record store owner ("High Fidelity"), a U.S. marshal ("Con Air") and Nelson Rockefeller ("Cradle Will Rock").

But ask many people -- including some moony-eyed CNN.com staffers -- about their image of Cusack and they immediately respond, "Lloyd Dobler": the good-hearted, boombox-holding, kickboxing hopeful the actor played in 1989's "Say Anything."

But Cusack said he doesn't mind being most closely associated with a role he played when he was barely out of his teens.


Will Online Platforms Save Documentary Film?


Film festivals can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows.

A premiere can be an ecstatic experience, but there’s a bit of a hangover the next day. Now what? Will the movie get in more festivals or is this it? Is this movie going to sell? Will we make our money back?

Similarly a documentary film festival celebrates and elevates our work. This is a common vibe here, one that I heard at the Conference Session “How Online Platforms Will Save Creative Documentary”.

(Independent Magazine)

The Out and Proud Neil Patrick Harris Loves Playing Comedy’s Favorite Pussy Hound


In the four years since Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was released, the movie's fans have all asked themselves the question at least once: What would NPH do? Neil Patrick Harris, the one-time child-star from television's Doogie Howser, M.D., drifted from the spotlight after it was canceled in 1993 after more than four years on the air. And while he never stopped working, shifting between the Broadway stage and small and big screens--remember his Gestapo-dressed mind reader in laughable bug-fest Starship Troopers?--it wasn't until writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg wrote the actor himself into their first produced screenplay, Harold and Kumar, that people began to weigh decisions based on how the hyper-reality version of Neil Patrick Harris might handle the situation.

In Hurwitz and Schlossberg's universe, he'd probably pop a few mushrooms and then race 50 miles to the state line with the hood down, a naked stripper straddling him, and four more in the backseat doing lines off of each other's tits.

(City Paper Online)

Jeff Bridges shaves it all off for Iron Man role


Long-maned actor Jeff Bridges got into a little method acting to play Obadiah Stane, the flinty elder warmonger of Iron Man.

He happily shaved his head bald for this character of highly questionable ethics, who stands opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the latest Marvel Comics superhero movie, opening Thursday.

"It was wonderful," Bridges says on the wire from California.

(Toronto Star)

New Coen Brothers film to open Venice Filn Festival


The Coen brothers’ “Burn After Reading” will open the 65th Venice Film Festival.

World preem of the dark spy comedy, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, will launch from the Venice Lido Aug. 27, ahead of its U.K. release Sept. 5 via Universal Pictures.

Pic goes out Stateside via Focus Features Sept. 12. Medusa is its Italian distributor.


Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Plans Web Sites For TV Content


Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) Warner Brothers television studio announced plans Monday for a group of Web sites that will air its shows, including those from the now-defunct WB television network.

The plans, announced at a press event in New York, will bring back the WB as WB.com, aiming TV shows like "Smallville" and new series made for the Web to young adults and teens. Warner Bros. also is launching a youth Web site as KidsWB.com.

Free to Web surfers with advertisements, the sites will provide a new revenue stream for Warner Bros.' television group, which relies on selling TV shows like "Two-and-a-Half Men" and "ER" to television networks.

(CNN Money)

Summer movies drive toys full-speed to shelves

Forget the battle of the box office. This summer will mark a showdown of movie toys.

More than 2,000 toys and 6,000 other merchandising tie-ins — from fast-food trinkets to life-size, limited-edition busts — are flooding stores to coincide with summer's biggest movies, including Iron Man, Speed Racer, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Dark Knight and The Incredible Hulk.

And for now, Speed is in the lead. Mattel has begun its largest movie-related toy launch by releasing 1,500 action figures, race tracks and versions of the TV show's famous Mach 5. Nearly 3,000 items, including blankets, underwear and video games, will arrive in time for the movie May 9.

(USA Today)

“Chipmunks” help revive movie soundtracks

For years, the soundtrack business was a sleepy corner of the industry.

Apart from the occasional standout hit -- think "Titanic" -- most compilation soundtracks seemed irrelevant. But of late, a reawakening has occurred, and Robert Kraft, as president of Fox Music, has been on the front lines. Three of Fox's soundtracks reside in the top 10 of Billboard's Top Soundtracks chart: "Alvin and the Chipmunks" at No. 1, "Juno" at No. 2 and "Once" at No. 7.

Kraft, who released two albums as a solo artist and two as part of a band, Robert Kraft & the Ivory Coast, was nominated for the 1993 Academy Award for best song alongside Arne Glimcher for "Beautiful Maria of My Soul" from "The Mambo Kings."


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