Indie Film Executive Bingham Ray Dies at 57

Bingham Ray, a veteran of the independent film scene, died Monday in Provo, Utah, following complications of a stroke. He was 57.

His death was announced by the San Francisco Film Society, where he took over as executive director in November.

Ray, who began his career as manager/programmer of the Bleecker Street Cinema in 1981, left his mark on the independent film scene, where he helped bring such movies as Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies and Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves to American audiences.


Classic film and TV star Harry Morgan dead at 96

Although he is primarily remembered today for his role as Colonel Potter on the long-running television series, “M*A*S*H,” Harry Morgan, who died Wednesday, December 7, 2011, also appeared in many classic films. The Michigan native was particularly known for his appearances in classic Westerns, including an important early role in “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1943). He worked mostly in supporting roles, but Morgan always made his characters memorable, holding his own against iconic stars like Henry Fonda, John Wayne, James Stewart, and Gary Cooper. Here are a dozen classic movies where you can see Morgan in action and learn more about his career before “M*A*S*H.”

Continue reading on Classic film and TV star Harry Morgan dead at 96 - National Classic Movies |

Brett Ratner Resigns as Oscar Producer After Gay Slur

When Brett Ratner looks back on what killed his once-in-a-lifetime chance to produce the 2012 Academy Awards, it'll boil down to one sentence -- just a handful of words -- that he really, really shouldn't have said. During a Q&A for "Tower Heist" Friday night in Los Angeles, he dismissed the notion of rehearsing with his actors, claiming at one point "Rehearsal's for f*gs." And with that simple, stupid, homophobic comment, Ratner had to have known that it was merely a matter of time until the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would decide to extricate themselves from Ratner and his comments.

At first it seemed like the embattled director would get off with just a stern warning from the Academy -- even after Ratner made things worse with a raunchy appearance on "The Howard Stern Show," where he talked explicitly about dalliances with Olivia Munn and Lindsay Lohan. But apparently the organization has decided to take it one step further: He's "voluntarily" stepping down (as first reported by, which sounds an awful lot like being canned.


Stuntman Dies after Explosion on ‘Expendables 2’ Set

One stuntman was killed and two other stunt people were injured following an accident with an explosion on the Bulgarian set of The Expendables 2, according to the Bulgarian Sofia News Agency's website.

The accident took place during shooting at the Ognyanovo reservoir near the town of Elin Pelin, near the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, the report said. Bulgarian television confirmed the casualties but did not identify them, saying only the stuntman killed was "a foreigner," although a separate report by the Sofia Echo newspaper said that both men were "of Chinese origin." There was no word if any of the film's stars were involved in or present at the accident.

The Expendables 2 is filming at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia, and features action legends Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis,Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Jason Statham.

The Lionsgate sequel is set for release Aug. 17, 2012.

Mark Wahlberg Falls Out With ‘Fighter’ Director and Friend David O. Russell

One of the most enduring friendships in Hollywood -- and one that led to the Oscars this year -- has dissolved in acrimony.

Hollywood heavyweight Mark Wahlberg has fallen out with his buddy director David O. Russell over the director’s decision to cast someone else in the lead of his new film, “The Silver Linings Playbook,” according to two individuals with knowledge of the relationship.

“They went with Brad Cooper because they felt he was hungrier and would work for cheaper,” Matt Muzio, Russell’s cousin and frequent collaborator, told TheWrap.


Universal Pictures abandons ‘Tower Heist’ early VOD release

Following staunch opposition from theater owners, Universal Pictures has abandoned its controversial plan to make the movie “Tower Heist” available to consumers via video on demand just three weeks after it opens in theaters.

"Universal Pictures today announced that in response to a request from theater owners, it has decided to delay its planned premium home video on demand (PVOD) experiment,'' the studio said in a statement Wednesday. "Universal continues to believe that the theater experience and a PVOD window are business models that can coincide and thrive and we look forward to working with our partners in exhibition to find a way to experiment in this area in the future."

Universal did not say when it would attempt to launch another similar VOD release.

Universal recently said it would make “Tower Heist,“ which opens in theaters Nov. 4, available to about 500,000 cable subscribers of Universal's corporate  parent, Comcast Corp., in two markets, Atlanta and Portland, Ore., for $59.99 via video-on-demand.


Brad Pitt’s New Movie Set Raided by SWAT Team

Quiet on the set! That means you too, SWAT Team.

Hungarian police raided the set of “World War Z,” a zombie action flick that stars Brad Pitt, and seized 85 weapons from a warehouse.

According to People, there was some serious firepower in the warehouse, including AK-47’s and sniper riffles. Oh, and they were rigged with live ammunition. The police told People that they were seized because the weapons “were not fully inoperable as they were supposed to be.”

Hungarian police added the situation was “a disaster waiting to happen.” cited the movie's publicist, who said that the movie’s production company was working with Hungarian authorities to iron out the mess.

You can catch Brad Pitt battling the undead in December 2012.

16 zombie actors injured on new ‘Resident Evil’ movie set

Sixteen actors dressed as zombies were injured Tuesday when they fell from a platform during filming of a new movie in the "Resident Evil" series, officials said, and rescue workers at first were startled at the seemingly catastrophic scene.

"I could see the look on the first paramedic, saying 'Oh my God,'" Toronto emergency medical services Commander David Ralph said with a laugh.

Officials said none of the injuries were considered life-threatening, but that was far from apparent when rescue workers first arrived at what appeared to be a horrific scene. The victims' gory zombie costumes made it difficult for crews to assess the severity of the actors' injuries, said Peter Macintyre, Toronto emergency medical services spokesman.


Sony acquires rights to Steve Jobs movie biography

Coming just two days after the death of Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs, Sony Pictures is reportedly ironing out a deal for the feature rights for the upcoming biography of the innovator, the simply-titled Steve Jobs. The authorized look at Jobs’ life has been penned by Time managing editor (and former CNN chairman) Walter Isaacson. Mark Gordon (Source Code, Saving Private Ryan, Speed) will produce the project. The film will hopefully only further Sony’s recent track record of spinning real-life business-based bios into massive popular and critical hits (a la The Social Network and Moneyball).'


‘Tower Heist’ to be offered on VOD three weeks after theatrical release

Universal Pictures is taking on huge gamble with Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist by releasing it on Video-on-Demand three weeks after its release for $60 dollars. The battle between studios & theaters and the release of movies on VOD has taken a new turn. Recently Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox launched Home Premium, a VOD service that offers studio movies two months after their release at a price of $30 per movie. The drop in DVD sales played a major factor into VODs and now with the rising cost of theater ticket prices and concessions, studios believe that consumers will turn to VOD.

Obviously, theater owners are furious over this plan since it not only reduces the window between theatrical release and home viewing, but because Tower Heist, which has proven to be a success at some test screenings, could be a huge hit. The experiment “will be offered in Atlanta and Portland, Ore., to approximately 500,000 digital cable subscribers of Universal’s corporate parent, Comcast Corp., marks the first time a major studio movie will be available to watch in-home while still playing in thousands of theaters,” reports the LA Times.



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