February 26, 2009

Dollhouse Episode 2- The Verdict

So two weeks into Joss Whedon's new sci-fi turn drama 'Dollhouse', what have we learnt exactly? Well we know that any amount of meddling on FOX's part in the creation process puts the show back a week (thanks to the ordered rescripting of the pilot), we know that a lone FBI agent is on the trail of the Dollhouse and we know that Eliza Dushku can really kick ass, although didn't we know that before?

Many fans of Joss remember the days of 'Buffy' and 'Angel' when between some decent vampire butt kicking there would be plenty of wit and punch from the fellow 'Scoobies'. But that doesn't seem to be the way of the 'Dollhouse'. Instead, some may view the show as an easy way for Dushku (who plays the heroine, Echo) to dress up each week in a different costume and a different character, seemingly wasting our time with lovely organised stories which may as well have been individualised to each episode.

There may, even, be very little reason to care for Echo and her predicament, along with the rest of the 'Dolls' but I was captured by the pilot (despite the bias of being a previous Joss fan) and thankfully episode two showed the beginning of a developing story, something which may in the end give back to the audience what they are craving for.

In recent seasons, the serial has taken a bad slapping across the face with a fish. Shows like Heroes have lost viewers and despite several attempts at starting again (after the disruptive WGA strike last year), it just hasn't returned to the former sci-fi royalty was it of Season One. Lost has returned with Season Five, bigger and better than ever but it wasn't until there was a definite ending that the writers pulled themselves together and finally started moulding a story which could, and I use the next word with both hands tied behind my back, easily! Although after recent episodes JJ Abrams and the gang seem to be moving away from sci-fi and more towards pure science.

So it lands upon Joss Whedon's door to return the sci-fi serial to the popularity it once was, hopefully after nearly a decade of vampireverse we would hope he had learnt something. 'Dollhouse' serves two sorts of audience, sci-fi friendly in regards to the history of the Dolls but also fans of action drama (think 24 mixed with Quantum Leap) with lots of guns, running and shouting.

Episode Two saw flashbacks starting to come back to Echo, what of her past and how did she get to the Dollhouse? But so many other questions arise in my mind, like how do they get the memories of those people they use as imprints, why did the Alpha goes on a rampage and who else knows about the Dollhouse? Cleverly Joss does the exact opposite to that of the pilot, where we saw emptiness in the character, Episode Two saw some emotion (when Echo tells Boyd to trust her), something behind the character and the repercussions that Echo is having throughout the company. So please, writers, lets have more of that.

Hopefully over the next few episodes, the charm of the Whedon program (especially 'Buffy' and the recent 'Dr Horrible' come to mind) comes to light and he will return to the top of the TV charts with a much needed, well missed, good quality sci-fi show.

February 23, 2009

The Oscars 2009

Coming into school this morning, I was amazed at how many people were actually talking about The Oscars- of course, I realised that some would be talking about the spectacle and others, the pure celebrity base instinct that some seem to have inbuilt but instead, today, people were talking about the films.
Whether they liked them, whether they thought the right person won and in the very rare occasion, listening to a conversation between boys over whether the winners should be based on their look (in regards to actresses), of course none of this geared them up for the machine that I was when people were getting the winners wrong or they hadn't heard of Sean Penn!!!
Last night, marked the beginning of the new film year and while sitting in assembly today, our Deputy Head spoke to us about the Oscars. I wondered on first impressions, whether in our traditional chapel, the talk would be purely sensationalist and celebrity, thankfully I was wrong. Instead we were given The Oscars as a window of opportunity, take away from this what you will, but she started talking about opportunity and accomplishment.
What have you done with your life which can place you where you are now? What are you going to be doing with your life, your days and your attitude to people and work that will get you where you want to be? These are all accomplishments and at the end of the day- these are what people can and will judge you on.
Whether you want to be a vet, a singer, a lawyer or an actor, they all need work and accomplishment to get to where you want to be. During one of my breaks today, I sat on YouTube watching the Oscars from last night and was inspired by every single person in the room. There was a spark in there which collectively shows the accomplishments that these people have made and the actual difference they make to people's lives. Now, don't get me wrong, I defiantly understood where my Deputy Head was coming from when she asked a very simple question. "I bet most of you know the winners from last night, but who knows who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year or who are the nominations this year?" (By the way, last years winner was Martti Ahtisaari for "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts") and yet that hit a nerve with me.
I reckon 99% of the people listening didn't know the answer and yet were enthralled by the shiny glamour of last night's event which leaves me to question where the peace prizes of the future will be going because if my generation don't have an understanding of the process but are instead charmed and fascinated by the glitz and the glamour.
The sad truth is that as time goes on, it will lay upon those who do have an understanding to stand up and guide the rest of those before they get left in the storm- becoming just another person. People are always saying that everyone wants to become a celebrity but instead why don't we change the definition of celebrity? Why not look upon this person as someone who stands out from the crowd but also understands the moral practices behind something like the Peace Prize- someone who leaves their positive mark on the world is a celebrity. Not just someone who sleeps around and then sells their story to the media!

So back to last night, take a towel and rub away the shiny, vulgar glitz attracted to such an event and instead look at that little man- Oscar. Look at the accomplishments that people have made to be awarded that little man and what he means to those who have the blessing of holding one. The prestige which comes with him is something that only those in the exclusive group of winners will ever understand and it will never be able to come out in a media article. Did the right people win the awards? That's down to personal opinion.

Britain certainly had something to celebrate with homegrown talent turned international star overnight, Danny Boyle directing a film which has equaled the Oscar success of 'Ghandi' starring Ben Kingsley. 'Slumdog Millionaire' which I covered in my previous post went on to win eight out of the 10 nominations including Best Director and Best Film. Director Danny Boyle, 52, bounced up and down in delight as he received his award, telling the audience: "I swore [to my children] if this miracle ever happened I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger."

The film, set in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay) also won awards for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, film editing, best original score and best song.

As anticipated - after years of waiting, Kate Winslet, 33, won her Academy Award for playing a Nazi prison officer in The Reader.
"I'd be lying if I hadn't made a version of this speech. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror," she said.
"I feel very fortunate to have made it all the way from there to here."

In a night of predictable outcomes, Sean Penn's best actor triumph for his portrayal of gay rights activist Harvey Milk seemed to win the A-list audience's approval. "You Commie, homo-loving, sons of a gun," said Penn, addressing his fellow performers.
"I did not expect this, and I want to be very clear that I know how hard I make it to appreciate me," said the 48-year-old, who often attracts criticism for his outspoken views.
In an impassioned plea - and to rapturous applause - Penn called on "equal rights for everyone".
"I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame," he said.
His thoughts were echoed by Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who won best original screenplay for Milk.
"I heard the story of Harvey Milk and it gave me hope ... that one day I could live my life openly as who I am. And that maybe I could even fall in love and one day get married," he said.

Here is the full list of winners at the 81st Academy Awards, which have been held in Los Angeles.

Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Frost/Nixon; Milk; The Reader
Sean Penn
Sean Penn shook as he used a scrap of paper to thank people for his award

Best director: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: Stephen Daldry - The Reader; David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon; Gus Van Sant - Milk

Best actor: Sean Penn - Milk
Also nominated: Richard Jenkins - The Visitor; Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon; Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Best actress: Kate Winslet - The Reader
Also nominated: Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married; Angelina Jolie - Changeling; Melissa Leo - Frozen River; Meryl Streep - Doubt

Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Also nominated: Josh Brolin - Milk; Robert Downey Jr - Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt; Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Also nominated: Amy Adams - Doubt; Viola Davis - Doubt; Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Best original screenplay: Milk
Also nominated: Happy-Go-Lucky; Wall-E; In Bruges; Frozen River

Best adapted screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Doubt; Frost/Nixon; The Reader

Best animated feature film: Wall-E
Also nominated: Bolt; Kung Fu Panda

Best animated short film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Also nominated: Lavatory - Lovestory; Oktapodi; Presto; This Way Up

Best foreign language film: Departures - Japan
Also nominated: Revanche - Austria; The Class - France; The Baader Meinhof Complex - Germany; Waltz With Bashir - Israel

Best documentary feature: Man on Wire
Also nominated: The Betrayal; Encounters at the End of the World; The Garden; Trouble The Water

Best documentary short subject: Smile Pinki
Also nominated: The Conscience of Nhem En; The Final Inch; The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306

Art direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: Changeling; The Dark Knight; The Duchess; Revolutionary Road

Costume design: The Duchess
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Australia; Milk; Revolutionary Road

Make-up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: The Dark Knight; Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Changeling; The Dark Knight; The Reader

Best live action short film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Also nominated: Auf der Strecke (On The Line); Manon on the Asphalt; New Boy; The Pig

Visual effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: The Dark Knight; Iron Man

Sound editing: The Dark Knight
Also nominated: Iron Man; Wanted; Slumdog Millionaire; Wall-E

Sound mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; The Dark Knight; Wanted; Wall-E

Film editing:Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; The Dark Knight; Frost/Nixon; Milk

Best original score: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Defiance; Milk; Slumdog Millionaire; Wall-E

Best original song: Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: Down To Earth - Wall-E; O Saya - Slumdog Millionaire

Over ten of my predictions were correct, check the next post to find out what I said yesterday!

So after the sparkle from the dust has settled, one can look upon an event which ultimately changes the directions of so many people in the industry who have tried and accomplished for years to get to where they are today. For me? This is an inspiration for things to come, I don't want the celebrity status but what I do want and what I now understand is that it's work, hard work which is not always beautiful but will always help get to where I want to be, wherever that is...

Why have I written about The Oscars in this way? Because everyone else has written in the same way and... because I can.

By the way, congratulations to Hugh Jackman on hosting the event and this musical number made me smile-

February 22, 2009

The Academy Awards, Oscars 2009

In case anyone has been living underneath a rock for the past six months, let me explain. This evening at 5PT/8ET, Live on ABC, the film event of the year is broadcast celebrating and awarding the best actors, actresses, directors and films of the past year.

Here's a quick lowdown on the biggest nominations-

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Total Nominations 13
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in David Fincher's new feature based on the 1921 short story by F.Scott Fitzgerald which itself was based on a quote by Mark Twain, "Life would be infinitely happier if only we could be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18," where the protagonist, Benjamin Button is born with the appearance and physical maladies of elderly man. Covering almost an entire century, we are taken on a journey stretching from New Orleans to Russia and back to New York City. Following Button as his mind matures but his body seemingly ages backwards and while he wrestles with changes both physically and mentally he is always drawn back to Daisy, played by Elle Fanning (the young Dakota) as a young girl and Cate Blanchett from her 20's till the end. This is the first time that Fincher has directed a love story, albeit an unconventional one, but it's certainly not what we have come to expect from the man who bought us 'Panic Room', 'Seven' and 'Zodiac', and yet he hits the note perfectly, showing a real relationship over time and the deterioration of both Button (in a gut wrenching scene as a baby in the elderly Daisy's arm) and Daisy herself as she goes back to her love.
This film was my favourite of the last year, and I feel it deserves to win Best Picture but also Best Cinematography and Best Make Up.

2. Slumdog Millionaire
Total Nominations 10
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) returns to form after a couple of years with a love story, based on Vikas Swarup's book 'Q & A', set in Mumbai. We follow Dev Patel's (one of the stars of the UK's teen drama, Skins) character Jamal as he is being questioned by police as to how he has managed to get one question away from winning India's 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'. At the very beginning of the film the audience are given a choice- did Jamal A. Cheat B. He's lucky C. He's a genius or D. It's written? As the film continues we are taken to the slums of Mumbai in Jamal's story explaining how he knows the answer to each of the questions asked. Jamal, along with his brother Salim and a girl who Jamal gradually falls in love with, Latika, the audience are shown the history of the magnificent city and how the children survived for so long. Boyle's best known work, Trainspotting, showed that he was not scared to show the dark side of life and again that is seen in 'Slumdog'. He doesn't shy aware from showing the trauma that these children went through whether they are trying to get away from a man who blinds children to get more money on the street or gangsters who want to sell women- it's all in here. But what you have to remember is that it's not all doom and gloom, instead, 'Slumdog' is being hailed as one of the 'Best Feel Good Movies of the Decade', whether you agree with that is up to you but there are plenty of laughs and romance along the way. The children who played the three characters showed some of the best child acting the cinema has seen in a long time as they captured the characters just as they were written.
The decision to advertise the film as if it were a Mamma Mia! 'feel good' movie is an inspired one, even if it totally misrepresents the film and the director is unhappy with the deception. Audiences who will likely be shocked at the torture scenes that appear at the start of the film, but feeling beholden to stay to the end because they've already paid, will by the end feel they've been on a journey and seen a worthy film, even if it wasn't the one they'd been sold.
Personally, I thought 'Slumdog Millionaire' was a very good film, but not my film of the year.

3. Milk
Total Nominations 8
Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic, racked up eight nominations after being virtually ignored by the Golden Globes. 'Slumdog's' status as the presumptive winner doesn't seem to deter the 'Milk' men, "It's a clean slate... and what will happen now- unlike with the nominations- is all of the Academy will vote for all the different Oscars, so it's a completely different voting pool," says Bruce Cohen who produced 'Milk' with Dan Jinks. Van Sant returns after quietly releasing 'Paranoid Park' last year with an Academy friendly film based on a controversial subject. Audience's everywhere are likely to be drawn in half over this biopic about the first openly gay man to be elected in public office in California. With big stars such as Sean Penn and Josh Brolin connected to the work, it certainly shows that Hollywood is not the institution it once was but instead is accepting of everyone what ever their colour or sexuality- it has finally come into this century. The film has received widespread acclaim from film critics.
A.O. Scott of The New York Times called Milk, "A Marvel", and wrote the film "is a fascinating, multi-layered history lesson. In its scale and visual variety it feels almost like a calmed-down Oliver Stone movie, stripped of hyperbole and Oedipal melodrama. But it is also a film that like Mr. Van Sant’s other recent work — and also, curiously, like David Fincher’s Zodiac, another San Francisco-based tale of the 1970s — respects the limits of psychological and sociological explanation."

4. The Reader
Total Nominations 5
After being away for a while, Kate Winslet returned with not one but two highly acclaimed films. 'Revolutionary Road' sees the Brit returning to the screen with her 'Titanic' co-star, Leo DiCaprio, based on the 1961 novel by Richard Yates. The other film was 'The Reader' based on the 1995 novel by Bernhard Schlink. It tells the story of Michael Berg, a German lawyer who as a teenager in the late 1950s had an affair with an older woman, Hanna Schmitz, who then disappeared only to resurface years later as one of the defendants in a war crimes trial stemming from her actions as a concentration camp guard late in the war. Michael realizes that Hanna is keeping a secret she believes is worse than her Nazi past, a secret that may cost her at the trial.
Winslet has been picking up awards everywhere for this film, beating competition like Meryl Streep (Doubt) and Angelina Jolie (The Changeling). Directed by Stephen Daldry who is best known for 'Billy Elliot' and 'The Hours', the film is hard hitting and it's deep tones resonate still today.

5. Frost/Nixon
Total Nominations 5
Frost/Nixon is a 2008 historical drama film based upon the play of the same name by Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen, which dramatises the 1977 televised Frost/Nixon interviews. The film version is directed by Ron Howard and reunites its original two stars from the West End and Broadway productions of the play, Frank Langella as former President of the United States Richard Nixon and Michael Sheen as British television broadcaster David Frost.

As for predictions this evening, in bold (the people I believe deserve to win) and in italics (those I believe the Acadmey will award).

Actor in a Leading Role-
Sean Penn (Milk)
Sean Penn (Milk)

Actor in a Supporting Role-
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

Actress in a Leading Role-
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)

Actress in a Supporting Role-
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Animated Feature Film-

Art Direction-
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Costume Design-
The Duchess

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Documentary Feature-
Man on Wire
Man on Wire

Film Editing-
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

Foreign Language Film-
Waltz With Bashir
The Baader Meinhof Complex

Make Up-
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Music (Score)-
Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Picture-
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Visual Effects-
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Writing (Original Screenplay)

February 18, 2009

Brit Awards 2009

It's only the most prestigious British Music Award... no biggie.
So, there I was sitting on my chair, pen in hand and brain in full gear- ready for some musical celebration and boy, did they receive. Although it may not always have been in their favour, unfortunately The Ting Tings and Estelle did just not replicate The Klaxons and Rihanna of last year, condolences to fans of both.
U2 started the show with a heavily made up Bono saying it was good to be back, and believe us Bono, you never left. "Get on your Boots," is great promotion for their new LP, "No Line on the Horizon," due next month. After two rather turbulent years of presenting, a somewhat unconventional tradition of the BRIT's, with Russell Brand and the 300 phone complaints plus The Osborunes last year, producers felt they needed to be safe this year, enter James Cordon, Matthew Horne and Kylie. A clearly scripted evening and I take my hat off to all of them, they gave us what we expected, clean cut happiness. Kylie looked dazzling in her many costume changes and the harmless flirting with Matthew, added to the clean family fun!
Duffy left this evening with three awards, Best Female, British Breakthrough and British Album- coming from someone who is just not a fan of her, each of her speeches were dignified and she was clearly happy to win. Other big winners of the evening were Kings of Leon winning International Group and International Album, looking ever so composed for the first thanking but clearly they started drinking too early before the second... Shame The Killers didn't completely beat them!
International Male went to Kanye West, deservidly, unfortunatly he wasn't at the event. So you can complain when you don't win, but when you do, don't come to the event, the thinking someone? Internation Female went to the beautiful Katy Perry who looked as though she was going to throw up on stage (obviously making it clear that she was ill)! Other winners of the evening included the surprising win of Elbow for Best British Group, just weeks after winning Mercury Music Album of the Year (it seems years of hard grafting do the job), Paul Weller for British Male (although his main competition was Will Young, the industry thought they would stay with tradition, shame really) and the other surprise was Iron Maiden for Best Live Act.
Best British Single went to Girls Aloud for The Promise, what were people thinking? Sorry but against the likes of Coldplay??? It was all the more dignifed as Sarah Harding screamed, "I've wet myself on stage."
Now, Coldplay? Nominations 4 Wins 0, this is a catastrophe! I mean had the Brit Academy really thought that others deserved to win over Coldplay? With a release like last years 'Viva La Vida', they deserved to win at least Best Album... (Duffy, tut tut)!
And Outstanding Contribution to Music? No other than Pet Shop Boys, the best British electronic band of the last 20 years. They performed a fantastic medley of their greatest hits including 'West End Girls', 'What Have I Done to Deserve This?' and their new single, 'Love etc.'. Guest vocalists included Lady GaGa and Brandon Flowers of The Killers who did brilliantly with what they were given.
So what have we learnt after this year? Not only are the movie awards becoming more and more obvious, it has finally happened to music. Where was the wins for Adele, The Killers or Coldplay? Surely missed out to winners like Girls Aloud and Duffy? Yes, people are right when they said music is getting stronger and last year was no different, shame the Brit's didn't acknowlege that!

February 16, 2009

The Simpsons New Titles???

So has anyone else seen the new titles for the 'recently switched to HD' Simpsons? If not, they go a little something like this...

So what do you think? Personally, after 20 years, if something ain't broken there is no need to fix it. The original titles were iconic and one of the remaining specialties of the show but since the ratings dive, have FOX latched on that things need to change? I hear most of you commenting that mostly the new credits are the same, but my problem is, they are so much clearer! Yes, that should be better but it just seems that the show is going further and further away from it's traditional, original roots. The show that was always known for breaking boundaries has now given in as it used to be one of the last remaining shows with a continuous title theme but not anymore.
Let's just hope the quality of the writing has started to improve as well...

February 11, 2009

Green Day reveal new album cover: 21st Century Breakdown

The band released a teaser of one of the new songs on their official website on February 10th, 2009. At the beginning of the song there is a crackling, radio-static-like noise followed by Billie Joe singing the line "Sing us the song of the century." Then a repeated progression of the same two acoustic guitar chords follows for one minute and twenty two point eight three four seconds, seemingly on a loop, before fading out and starting again. It seems that the teaser stops right before the real part of the song was about to begin.

21st Century Breakdown is the upcoming eighth studio album by the American pop punk band Green Day. The album can be pre-ordered at GreenDayMusic.com. This will be Green Day's first album to be produced by renowned alternative producer/Garbage drummer Butch Vig.

Rihanna suffers 'horrific' injuries

Rihanna suffers 'horrific' injuries

Rex Features

Rihanna has reportedly suffered "horrific" injuries after her alleged altercation with boyfriend Chris Brown.

The singer is believed to have major contusions to both sides of her face, a split lip, swelling, bruising and a bloody nose, according to TMZ.

The website reports that the singer was heard screaming in Brown's vehicle, prompting a passer-by to call the police.

"Rihanna was clearly very upset by what had happened and I could hear her screaming," an eyewitness told radaronline.com.

"Rihanna was trying to get her point across about something. She sounded like she was crying as she tried to get her point across."

Rihanna was admitted to hospital after allegedly being beaten up by Brown following a row at the pre-Grammys party in Los Angeles.

Police have reportedly dusted Brown's Lamborghini for finger prints after impounding the vehicle yesterday.

Source: DigitalSpy

Two new characters join 'Gossip Girl'

Two new characters join 'Gossip Girl'

Two new characters will reportedly be joining Gossip Girl later this year.

According to TV Guide, theatre star Aaron Tveit has been cast as Nate Archibald's (Chace Crawford) wealthy cousin Tripp Vanderbilt, while Holley Fain will play Tripp's fiancée Maureen.

The couple will appear in two forthcoming episodes which will show Nate attempting to reconcile with his mother's family.

Tveit is most famous for his role as Fiyero in Wicked on Broadway, while Fain has made guest appearances in Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Lipstick Jungle.

Last month, it was announced that Michelle Trachtenberg would be reprising the role of scheming Georgina Sparks later this year.

Source: DigitalSpy

Co-star: 'Heigl, Knight exiting 'Grey's'

Co-star: 'Heigl, Knight exiting 'Grey's'

Grey's Anatomy stars Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight are exiting the ABC show, according to their co-star.

James Pickens Jr., who plays Dr. Richard Webber, told Us Weekly that the duo had opted to leave in order to focus on other projects.

"Wherever Katherine goes, I wish her nothing but the best," he said, adding that Knight was "going too. He just wanted to pursue other career paths."

However, a source told Access Hollywood that Pickens had "jumped the gun" in announcing their departures and that no official decision had been made yet. A representative for the actor admitted that he had made the remarks in good faith thinking that the news had been confirmed.

Heigl, who has become a Hollywood star thanks to roles in Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, previously criticised the show's writers, while Knight was reported to have asked to leave the programme last month.

Representatives for Heigl, who plays Dr. Izzie Stevens, and Knight, who plays Dr. George O' Malley, have declined to comment.

Source: DigitalSpy

February 09, 2009

Slumdog Enjoys More Victory at the BAFTA's

Highlights from this year's Bafta Film Awards

British movie Slumdog Millionaire enjoyed a stunning night at the British Academy Film Awards in London, winning seven prizes including best film.

In a good night for UK talent, Kate Winslet won best actress for The Reader - effectively beating herself, as she was also up for Revolutionary Road.

The late Heath Ledger was named best supporting actor for playing The Joker in Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight.

The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke took home the best actor trophy.

As he collected his award, he made the audience laugh by swearing during his acceptance speech.


He then dedicated his award to late actor Richard Harris, adding: "It's such a pleasure to be back here, out of the darkness."

It is the second time Winslet has won a Bafta, having previously been named best supporting actress for Sense and Sensibility in 1995.

Her latest victory comes hot on the heels of a double win at January's Golden Globes.

Best film: Slumdog Millionaire
Best British film: Man on Wire
Leading actor: Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Leading actress: Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Supporting actor: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionare)

As she collected her Bafta, Winslet paid tribute to the late producers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, who both worked on the film.

"You are much missed today, and you will be much missed for many years to come, and this is for you. Thank you. Thank you," she said.

She also thanked her friends and her parents, who were with her at the ceremony.

However, the actress said she could not look at them for fear of bursting into tears.

Penelope Cruz said she was "honoured and grateful" to be named best supporting actress for her role as Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.


Danny Boyle, who directed Slumdog Millionaire, was named best director.

On stage he told the audience he wanted to thank everyone who had helped put in an extension cable so his father could watch the show at home.

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet had been nominated twice in the best actress category
As he thanked his family on stage, his son stood up and shouted from the audience: "I love you, dad."

The rag-to-riches movie - largely set in the Indian city of Mumbai - is hotly tipped to win best picture at the Oscars.

The film, starring former Skins actor Dev Patel, also won awards for its editing, cinematography, music and sound.

Slumdog writer Simon Beaufoy was awarded the prize for best adapted screenplay, saying it was a "great privilege" to have won.

"I have two pretend Baftas at home, so it's great to have a real one," he said.


He revealed one Bafta was made of chocolate, while the other was a plastic replica he purchased online.

He added that the whole cast were "genuinely thrilled" at how people have been reacting to the film.

Danny Boyle being named best director for Slumdog Millionaire

Asked whether he thought he was in line to win an Oscar, however, he said: "There's no sense of entitlement."

He also revealed that at one point he thought the movie was going "straight to DVD".

Heath Ledger had been favourite to take the best supporting actor award and duly did so for his performance in the latest instalment of the Batman series.

The star, who was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in January last year, also won a posthumous Golden Globe last month.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, had been nominated for 11 awards but walked away with just three.

Pitt, who arrived at the ceremony with his partner Angelina Jolie, missed out on the best actor award.

The movie, which tells the tale of a man who ages backwards, was recognised for its production design, its visual effects and its make-up and hair.


Documentary Man on Wire scooped best British film, while dark comedy In Bruges won the original screenplay trophy.

Elsewhere Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park was on hand to pick up the short animation prize for their latest adventure, A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke was a popular winner of the best actor award
Doctor Who star Noel Clarke was named the winner of the Orange Rising Star Award, which is voted for by the public.

The star and director of urban drama Adulthood quoted President Barack Obama as he accepted his prize, telling his young fans: "Yes, we can."

French movie I've Loved You So Long, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, beat Waltz With Bashir and Gomorrah to the best foreign language film award.

The final prize of the night went to filmmaker Terry Gilliam, who received the prestigious Bafta Fellowship.

Earlier the former Monty Python member had joked he would be "blubbering" as his name was called and that he would have to be carried on stage.

Culture secretary Andy Burnham has praised the "talented individuals" who won this year, saying it had been "a brilliant night for the British film industry".

"I hope that in a fortnight's time we will be celebrating fresh triumphs on the biggest international stage there is, at the Oscars."

Source: BBC NEWS

Kate Winslet win Best Actress for The Reader!

February 06, 2009

Christian Bale Speaks Out Over Terminator Rant

Source: BBC News

Film star Christian Bale has called a US radio station to apologise for a tirade which was leaked onto the internet, calling it "inexcusable".

The actor spoke to Los Angeles-based station KROQ, and admitted that "I acted like a punk".

He added: "I was out of order beyond belief. I make no excuses for it."

Bale, 35, launched into his three-minute rant on the set of his new film Terminator Salvation when a crew member walked into his eye-line during a take.

He was heard screaming threats and swearing at Shane Hurlbut, who was in charge of the film's photography.

Speaking to presenters Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter, an embarrassed Bale admitted he had taken things too far.

He said: "The thing that disturbs me so much is that I've heard a lot of people saying that I seem to think that I'm better than anybody else.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a very lucky and that is why I put so much into what I do, and why I care so much about it and why sometimes my enthusiasm just goes awry."

In the new movie, Bale plays the main character John Connor who is battling to save humans in the future being wiped out by robots.

Bale insisted the scene that was interrupted was key to the story and he was "trying to convey" the madness his character had inherited from his mother, Sarah Connor, from 1991's hit movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

He said: "I completely mixed up fact and fiction, I'm half John Connor, I'm half Christian there."

Bale dismissed his threats of getting Hurlbut fired as "hot air" and told the station that they had reconciled since the showdown.

He said: "I've not only talked with him, we have resolved this completely.

"That very day we kept working for a number of hours. And we worked together for at least a month after that. There is no problem whatsoever.

"I've seen a rough cut of the movie and he has done a wonderful job. It looks fantastic," added the star.

And the rant in question? (Beware strong language)

For those of you in a humorous mood, Despair,Inc. have created this T-shirt which says 'Christian Bale and I are done professionally.'

Click to buy

Also, the remix of the BaleOut.

February 04, 2009

Angelina Jolie on Good Morning America

Recently Angelina Jolie gave an interview to ABC's 'Good Morning America' where she told us, just how important her children are to her (in case we didn't already know!)

February 01, 2009

Kyle XY Cancelled!!!!!

As of yesterday (31 Jan), ABC Family have ordered additional seasons of Greek and Lincoln Heights.

Now the bad news: Kyle XY has been shut down!

Although a rep for the cable net could not be reached for comment, sources confirm that Greek has been renewed for a 20-episode third season. Additionally, Lincoln Heights has been greenlit for a fourth season, although a specific episode count wasn't immediately known.

Meanwhile, Kyle XY's current 10-episode third season -- which debuted on Jan. 12 -- will be its last. Some are blaming the decrease in viewers by almost 1 million from the Season 2 Premier to the Season 3 Premier.

Fans on the Kyle XY board are outraged at this decision and have already started their petition for their belly-buttonless hero. I saw we do a Jericho and send bathtubs round the offices of ABC Family!

User Cnith says,
"Please write your postcards/letters and mail them to:

Mr. Paul Lee, President
ABC Family
500 South Burna Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

requesting that he sign the contract to renew Kyle XY for a new season. I hope all the fans will join together in supporting the show. If ABC can't see ratings correctly, maybe they will listen to our letters!! Come on y'all let's DO this thing!!"

Now the question left is how Season Three is going to end? Will it be the traditional Kyle XY cliffhanger or will they have rounded the story up? Many fans think it will be the cliffhanger and truely believe the show has been prematurely cancelled. If they end it here, what about a movie to finish it off, some fans have been asking. But we all know what we really want, SEASON 4!

What do you think?