January 31, 2008

David Beckham is proud of his naked wife

Victoria Beckham is appearing nude on t-shirts for American fashion designer, Marc Jacobs in an initiative to raise awareness about skin cancer. Victoria (looking all tanned up...lol) is seen in the US$35 t-shirt that bears the slogan "Protect The Skin You’re In".

"Since we have moved to California, I have realized how important it is to practice safe sun for myself and to keep the skin of my three boys well protected as well," Victoria said. "Skin cancer is a huge problem and I really wanted to help raise awareness by taking part in Marc and Robert’s initiative." (yeah, right!)

Anyway it didn't take long before hubby David donned the shirt himself.

Photo scandal rocks HK entertainment industry

Variety Asia Online has just released the following press release:
HONG KONG (31 January 2008) – A series of obscene photographs that appeared online seemingly featuring various local celebrities has sent shock waves through the Hong Kong entertainment industry.

On Sunday, pictures of a young man and woman seemingly taken during sexual intercourse, appeared on a popular news discussion forum. Images bear close resemblance to Edison Chen, a Canadian-born Hong Kong singer and actor who has minor roles in Hollywood pics such as "The Grudge 2" and the upcoming "The Dark Knight," and Gillian Chung, one half of Hong Kong pop duo Twins.

The images were quickly removed from the site, but copies quickly circulated through email and were reposted to some 400 other Websites.

A day later more appeared. These seem to show Chen receiving oral sex from television actress Bobo Chan and others with Chen and Chung in different positions. Still others apparently showing award-winning movie actress Cecilia Cheung at Chen's apartment have slowly been released on various Internet forums in the following days.

Representatives of the stars in question insist the photos are doctored and are seeking legal advice. The Hong Kong Police say they are investigating two reported cases of publishing indecent materials on the Internet. Local papers reported that the Police are working with Interpol as well as Internet forum administrators and Internet service providers to provide information on users who have posted the photos.

Many in the Hong Kong biz have publicly denounced the pictures and their publication. The Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild calls the incident not only "tragic for the entertainment industry, but for all Hong Kong people. Such immoral behavior is poison to the minds of youth today."

The Guild is also calling for the government to take more action in curbing indecent and obscene behavior in the media. In 2006 naked photos of Chung taken in the changing room of a Kuala Lumpur concert venue appeared in a Hong Kong tabloid paper caused an uproar in the industry.

The photos of Chen and his 'conquests' have captured the attention of Hong Kong, with many people apparently trying to prove the authenticity of the photos. Although the more responsible newspapers are still describing the photos as 'doctored,' many experts and industry insiders believe the photos are unlikely to be fake.

The incident has political ramifications too. As Police have issued warnings that distribution of such photographs is likely to be in breach of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, which could carry a jail sentence and heavy fines, operators of Websites and Forums have moved quickly to delete pictures. But many sites have engaged in blatant self censorship and removed any discussion of the incident. That of course has got the free-speech brigade riled. "Nothing is allowed to be discussed, whatever happened to freedom of speech? When did Hong Kong become China?," one forum user asked.

Over the border in China distribution of the pics is spreading like wildfire, despite a recent SARFT initiative to crack down on Online obscenity. A file purportedly containing all the photos is reported to be being downloaded at the rate of 10,000 times a minute.

'Lost' is finally back

It has been more than six months since we saw the Season 3 finale of 'Lost'. The series is finally back. The 2-hour Season 4 premiere will kick off today in the US at 9pm ET/PT.

For those of you who have forgotten what happened previously, here's a video recap of the previous 3 seasons at YouTube.

For your info, due to the writers' strike, only 8 episodes have been completed so far out of the original 16 episodes planned.

January 30, 2008

'Forbidden Kingdom' posters

The following posters have just been released for the movie 'Forbidden Kingdom' starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

Shot on location in China, 'Forbidden Kingdom' marks the historic first-ever on-screen pairing of martial arts superstars Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and features the awe-inspiring action choreography of Yuen Wo Ping.

The story is about a modern-day American teenager, Jason (Michael Angarano - 'Sky High', 'Black Irish') who gets sent back in time to ancient China. There, Jason is charged with a monumental task: he must free the fabled warrior the Monkey King, who has been imprisoned by the evil Jade Warlord. Jason is joined in his quest by wise kung fu master Lu Yan (Jackie Chan) and a band of misfit warriors including Silent Monk (Jet Li).

The movie will be released on April 18th, 2008.

January 29, 2008

'Hud' on location in Cloverfield

After a show at The Slipper Room in New York City's Lower East Side, comedian/actor TJ Miller (better known to everybody as 'Hud') steps outside and points out locations from the blockbuster monster movie, 'Cloverfield', to his friends.

January 28, 2008

Will Smith is an alcoholic superhero

This summer, Will Smith is back to form in then new comedy 'Hancock'. In the movie, Smith plays an alcoholic superhero despised by everyone. Edgy, conflicted, sarcastic, and misunderstood, Hancock’s well-intentioned heroics might get the job done and save countless lives, but always seem to leave jaw-dropping damage in their wake. The public has finally had enough - as grateful as they are to have their local hero, the good citizens of Los Angeles are wondering what they ever did to deserve this guy.

One day that he saves the life of PR executive Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), and the sardonic superhero begins to realize that he may have a vulnerable side after all. Facing that will be Hancock’s greatest challenge yet - and a task that may prove impossible as Ray’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), insists that he’s a lost cause. The superhero eventually begins an affair with Mary.

'Hancock' is directed by Peter Berg (The Kingdom, Friday Night Lights). The movie rolls out in theaters on July 2.

You can watch the trailer here:


For the editors of AMBP, here's the answer to your questions:
i) Will Smith plays the eponymous character in the movie Hancock.
ii) In a bid to save a whale, Hancock heaves it out to sea, only to see it smash a sailboat.

Bond 22

The 22nd installment in the Bond series has finally got a title - 'Quantum of Solace'. The title is based on one of Ian Fleming's short story in the For Your Eyes Only compendium. However, producers and writers have mentioned that the story will be original. Producer Barbara Broccoli says it accurately sums up Bond's inner turmoil with regards to Vesper, who betrayed him in 'Casino Royale'.

The movie picks up minutes after the close of 'Casino Royale' and will be a continuation of the story established in 'Casino Royale'. Here's the full synopsis:
Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, Bond (DANIEL CRAIG) fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M (JUDI DENCH) interrogate Mr White (JESPER CHRISTENSEN) who reveals the organisation which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

Forensic intelligence links an Mi6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille (OLGA KURYLENKO), a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene (MATHIEU AMALRIC), a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organisation.

On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano (JOAQUIN COSIO). Using his associates in the organisation, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in a Latin American country, giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land.

In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists and even M, to unravel Greene’s sinister plan and stop his organisation.
The movie will be directed by Marc Foster whose credits include 'Monster's Ball', 'Finding Neverland', 'Stranger Than Fiction' and the critically acclaimed 'The Kite Runner'.

'Quantum of Solace' is currently in production and is tentatively scheduled to be released on 7 November 2008.

Here are some pictures from the recent press conference of 'Quantum of Solace'.

Daniel Craig and the Bond girls - Olga Kurylenko (l) and Gemma Arterton (r)

Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Daniel Craig, Gemma Arterton

Michael G, Gemma Arterton, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Marc Foster, Barbara Broccoli

January 25, 2008

JJ Abrams' next movie

After the tremendous success of 'Cloverfield', producer JJ Abrams has started working on his next project. The following article comes from MoviesOnline:

JJ Abrams' monster movie Cloverfield destroyed the box office over the weekend and JJ is no fool... he's already begun work on his next as of yet Untitled film. Once again he has tapped a relatively unknown director to helm the project while he sits as Executive Producer. Joshua Marston will direct the project which is being called a Supernatural Thriller.
Just like what happened previously for 'Cloverfield', details of this new movie are being kept under wraps. I hope he comes up with a superb marketing campaign for the movie. As of now, we just have to sit and wait patiently.

The movie is set to be released in 2009.

January 23, 2008

Secrets of CLOVERFIELD Revealed

I have been putting off writing a review for 'Cloverfield' since I saw the movie last week. I mean what else can I write about the movie that dozens of other reviewers have not written. Some critics have even gone as far as calling JJ Abrams a genius. As for me, I believe this is the most brilliant and imaginative movie I have ever seen in a long time.

The ingenuity of 'Cloverfield' is not only in the movie itself ... it's the whole viral marketing campaign surrounding it. If you go in the theaters expecting to see a Godzilla-like movie, you will be greatly disappointed. There are so many hidden messages and stories outside of the movie which gives a more in-depth explanation of the storyline. The downside is that the campaign gives the internet-savvy fans a much more entertaining experience than those who have not checked out the history or participated in the fun.

Based on research from various other websites, I have come up with a summary which will try to explain the 'Cloverfield' story in more detail.

(*Spoilers alert*)

Slusho is a fictional Japanese soft drink company which makes the Slusho! icee drink. The secret ingredient in Slusho is something called Seabed's Nectar. This ingredient was discovered on the deep ocean floor, under amazing pressure and in the most extreme cold.

Interestingly enough, this is the company that Rob is going to work for as Vice-President when he goes to Japan. You might not have noticed it, but during Rob's farewell party, Jason was actually wearing a Slusho t-shirt. (See picture above.)

Tagruato is a fictional Japanese oil drilling company. It is also the parent company of Slusho. A press release on Tagruato's website mentions that a debris have fallen off of the Japanese Government 'ChimpanzIII' satellite. Tagruato's scientists and engineers are assisting to track and recover the fragment. According to data, the satellite piece disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean.

This ties in to what was shown at the end of the movie. When the film cuts back to the footage of Rob and Beth in Coney Island at the end of the movie, the camera pans over towards the ocean. On the right hand side of the screen, it looks like something fell into the water and made a splash. That was the satellite debris! (See picture above.)

Apparently, the monster was buried in the mid-Atlantic ridge millions of years ago. While searching for the satellite, they woke up the monster.

Now going back to Slusho, the ingredient (ie. the nectar) which makes Slusho has signs of steroid drug-like effects, hence explaining how the monster came to be. And also recall how Marlena was bleeding profusely from the bites and she finally exploded.

T.I.D.O Wave is a environmental activist organization which is fighting against Tagruato because they claim Tagruato’s research and practices are destroying the oceans. One of the comments posted on the website mentions that Tagruato has found something during one of their deep-sea drilling experiments. "Something that nobody wants people to ever know about, and something that if people were to find out about it, they most definitely would NOT be happy."

Chuai station, which lies in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (very near to New York), is believed to 'harbor a dark secret' implying that Tagruato is already aware of the existence of the monster and that the station was built for some purpose related to it. When Chouai station was destroyed and sank, Tagruato suspected that it was sabotaged by Tidowave.

At the end of the credits of the movie, an audio cackles from the videocam which sounded like "Help us". But when played backwards, it says, "It's still alive!".

The following is the link to the MySpace pages of the movie characters. This is part of the marketing campaign and had been created to introduce each character:

Rob Hawkins
Jason Hawkins
Jamie Lascano
Lily Ford
Beth McIntyre
Marlena Diamond
Hudson 'Hud' Platt

I have found a very interesting in-depth look at the marketing of Cloverfield titled The Tale of Two Cloverfield Campaigns.

Jamie Lascano, one of Lily's friend, has been posting videos online for her boyfriend, Teddy at her website jamieandteddy.com. The password to the website is jllovesth. If you remember the movie, Jamie was the drunken, passed out girl on the couch at the party.

A few months ago, she fell in love with Teddy and started posting video messages online to him. There are 11 videos posted on the website. After the first few videos, Teddy stopped calling Jamie and hasn’t been answering her messages. We find out that Teddy has been investigating the Tagruato corporation and their drilling operations. In Video #5, we see Jamie opening a gift that Teddy has left her - a Slusho hat and a mysterious substance with the label "Primary Evidence - Jamie, don’t eat this". In a recording, Teddy tells Jamie that if she receives his message, that means that he’s been abducted by Tagruato. Unfortunately, Jamie, thinking it’s Teddy’s way of dumping her. She does not heed the warning and proceeds to eat the substance. The remaining videos show Jamie acting strangely, seemingly affected by what she ate. In the last video, Jamie gets ready to go to "this thing that Lily put together" - referring to Rob's farewell party.

Originally, 'Cloverfield' was just a codename for the untitled movie, derived from the name of a street that JJ Abrams has an office near. However the name stuck when everybody on the internet started referring to the movie as 'Cloverfield'.

A four-part prequel manga titled Cloverfield: Kishin was released by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten between Jan and May 2008. The story centers around two teenagers, Kishin Aiba and Aiko Sasahara, trying to find out more about an incident in what may seem to be the events before the Chuai incident and the New York City attack.

More recently, director Matt Reeves explained in a USA Today article that - within the context of the story itself - 'Cloverfield' is the codename of the military operation dispatched to battle the monster.

January 22, 2008

Nominations for the 80th Annual Academy Awards

Here are some of the nominations for the 2008 Academy Awards. Winners to be announced on Sunday, February 24th.

No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Michael Clayton

Daniel Day Lewis, There Will Be Blood
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Viggo Mortenson, Eastern Promises
Tommy Lee Jones, In The Valley of Elah

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away From Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Diablo Cody, Juno
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Ratatouille (written by Brad Bird; story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird)
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Sarah Polley, Away from Her
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Fälscher, Die (Austria)
Beaufort (Israel)
Mongol (Kazakhstan)
Katyn (Poland)
12 (Russia)

Surf's Up

Atonement, Dario Marianelli
The Kite Runner, Alberto Iglesias
Michael Clayton, James Newton Howard
Ratatouille, Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma, Marco Beltrami

August Rush ("Raise It Up")
Enchanted ("Happy Working Song")
Enchanted ("So Close")
Enchanted ("That's How You Know")
Once ("Falling Slowly")

Heroes 3 spoilers

We all can't wait for the writers strike to be over and we can get our lives back to normal again...meaning watching (or downloading) our favourite series, Heroes every week.

For those of you who have been wondering what's in store for Season 3, here's a sneak peek (spoilers ahead):
  • It has been reported that Niki will not be coming back. But that doesn't mean we've seen the last of Ali Larter. The plan was for Niki to be dead and an alter ego to take over. Not Jessica, not the whipped-cream chick from Varsity Blues, and that leaves... someone we've seen before.
  • Adam, Hiro’s sworn nemesis will return.
  • Jamie Hector (best known for his role in HBO's The Wire) will play Benjamin "Knox" Washington, one of the new villains for Season 3. Nothing has been confirmed on what his powers will be.
That's all for now.....

January 21, 2008

Cloverfield sequel?

SpookyDan from Bloody Disgusting was on the 'Cloverfield' red carpet for the premier of the film. While chatting with director Matt Reeves, the subject of a sequel came up. This is what he had to say:
"Only time will tell. While we were on set making the film we talked about the possibilities and directions of how a sequel can go. The fun of this movie was that it might not have been the only movie being made that night, there might be another movie! In today's day and age of people filming their lives on their iphones and handy cams, uploading it to youtube...That was kind of exciting thinking about that."
Cloverfield has raked in with $41 million on its opening weekend.

January 18, 2008

Headless Statue of Liberty

In conjunction with the release of 'Cloverfield', Paramount has gone all out to promote the movie. Below are some pictures of a decapitated Statue of Liberty in front of Paramount Studios where the premiere will be held. So far, critics who have watched early screenings of the movie has been raving madly about how good it is.

January 17, 2008

Social networking for movie buffs

Forget MySpace. Forget Facebook. Filmcrave is the new social networking website for all you movie buffs out there.

If you hate the movie reviews written by professional critics, then you can view the 'Quick Movie reviews' section written by the other members. You can even rate and share your thoughts with the other members. One interesting feature is creating 'Movie Lists' which lets you rate your top 10 favourite movies in different genres.

Like IMDB, the site also provides details of the movies like director, cast and synopsis.

Recently, FilmCrave has added movie trailers, so you can check out the promo for a film that is of interest to you.

January 16, 2008

First Look at Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Walt Disney Pictures has just revealed the first official image from the upcoming animated movie 'The Princess and the Frog'.

This will be the return of Disney's traditional 2D animated movie since their purchase of Pixar. This will also be the first time that Disney is featuring an African-American princess. The fairy tale will center on a young girl named Princess Tiana who lives in New Orleans' French Quarter during the Jazz Age.

The movie will be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (the duo who brought us 'The Little Mermaid'), with music composed by Randy Newman. Anika Noni Rose ('Dreamgirls') will voice the lead character, Tiana. It is currently scheduled for release in 2009.

January 15, 2008

High School Musical 3 is coming

According to TV Guide, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman are all now officially confirmed to reprise their roles in High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

The script was originally slated to have a Haunted/Halloween plot. However according to the latest press release from Walt Disney Pictures, the script has been changed to a more serious theme. The story finds seniors Troy and Gabriella facing the prospect of being separated from one another as they head off in different directions to college. Joined by the rest of the Wildcats, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.

Production begins spring 2008 and tentatively will be released on October 24, 2008.

And guess what? This time round, the movie will be shown on the big screen instead of TV.

For your info, the premiere of High School Musical 2 last year brought in a total of 17.2 million viewers in the United States alone - almost 10 million more than its predecessor - making it the highest rated basic cable broadcast in U.S. history. In Asia, the premiere brought in a total of 17.5 million viewers, making it the highest rated international cable broadcast in Asia.

January 14, 2008

What is Cloverfield?

What is Cloverfield?

This is the question on everyone's lips since the teaser of the movie debuted last year. The plot of the movie has been shrouded in mystery since its inception and is one of the most carefully guarded secrets in Hollywood right now.

Directed by J. J. Abrams of 'Lost' fame, 'Cloverfield' is one of the most anticipated movie right now. If you have seen the trailer, you would know that the movie is about a big monster on a rampage in Manhattan, shot with a hand-held videocam (similar to 'Blair Witch Project').

The movie opens this weekend.

Getting subtitles for your torrent movies

If you are like me and does not have a good sound system connected to your PC or TV, you are likely to turn on the English subtitles when watching a movie.

If you download your movies or TV series via bittorrent, you might want to get the subtitles to go with them. I have discovered this website called Opensubtitles.org, which claims to have the largest database of subtitles around. The website is only a couple of months old, but already one of the most popular subtitle resources. It also has subtitles for different languages.

To view the subtitles, first of all make sure that you have DirectVobSub installed in your PC. Then, all you have to do is to download the subtitle file (which normally has a SRT file extension) and put it in the same folder as the AVI movie file. Note that both the SRT and AVI file must have the same name (eg. movie.srt and movie.avi). When you play the AVI file through Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic, the subtitles will be displayed automatically.

The following are a couple of other sites which you can get your subtitles:
http://www.kloofy.net/ (asian movies)

Hope this tip is useful. Enjoy.

Hidden Disney in 'Enchanted'

Disney's 'Enchanted' swept the box-office over last Thanksgiving weekend making it one of top earners for a Disney live action movie. As of January 2008, the movie has earned a domestic gross of over $121mil and over $258mil worldwide.

Did you know that numerous references to Disney's past and future works are included in the film? A lot of scenes, actions and dialogue were purposely included by the filmmakers to be specific references/tributes to classic Disney films.

Here's the list that I picked up from Empire Magazine Online:

Cartoon intro

* Like most Disney animations of yore (anything before about 1960), Enchanted starts with the opening of a storybook. The hall the book is in is inspired by Evind Eryle's artwork for Sleeping Beauty.

* The ogre captured by Prince Edward wears a loincloth made from scraps of the dresses of Disney princesses. It's made of the costumes of Snow White, Belle (Beauty And The Beast), Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. He also wears Ariel's (The Little Mermaid) shell bra as earrings.

* Edward dances with his sidekick Nathaniel in the same way that Prince Philip danced with his father in Sleeping Beauty.

* When the troll is catapulted into the next kingdom, his scream is Goofy's.

* The rose in a bell jar from Beauty and the Beast can be seen in Giselle's tree house.

* Giselle and Edward ride into the sunset in the same way as Snow White and Prince Charming at the end of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves.

The Queen

* The Queen disguises herself as an old hag to trick Giselle, just as the wicked Queen did in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

* The Queen attempts to kill Giselle with a poisoned apple, just as the Queen does in Snow White And The Seven Dwarves.

* During the film's climax The Queen turns into a purple dragon, just as Maleficent did in Sleeping Beauty.

The Lawyer

* The last name of the divorcing couple that Robert (Patrick Dempsey) is working for is Banks, in reference to the bickering husband and wife from Mary Poppins.

* Sam, Robert Philip's assistant, is played by Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She is also named Sam, after Prince Philip's trusty steed in Sleeping Beauty.

* A muzak version of the The Little Mermaid song 'Part of Your World' plays in the office while Giselle looks at the fish tank.

* Robert works for the law firm Churchill, Harline and Smith. These are the surnames of the songwriters of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith.

* A pregnant mum in Robert's apartment building is played by Judy Kuhn, the voice of Pocahontas.


* Giselle arrives for her wedding in a carriage reminiscent of the pumpkin carriage used by Cinderella.

* During Giselle's performance of Happy Working Song, which is written to directly mimic 'Whistle While You Work' from Snow White, the following references occur:

* Birds make Giselle's dress into an apron, as birds put on Cinderella's apron in Cinderella.

* Giselle's reflection appears in bubbles as Cinderella's do in Cinderella.

* Animals wash the dishes as they do in Snow White.

* The ending mimics the endings of 'Under The Sea' from The Little Mermaid and 'Be Our Guest' from Beauty and the Beast.

* Giselle makes a dress out of curtains, just as the mice help Cinderella make a dress out of household items in Cinderella.

New York

* In Times Square, a woman with a bag of seed can be seen in homage to the bird woman in Mary Poppins. She also appears later in the movie feeding birds in Central Park.

* The bus driver who confronts Edward has hair styled like Mickey Mouse ears.

* Billboards can be seen for the Broadway versions of Tarzan and Beauty and the Beast.

* The restaurant, The Bella Notte, is named after the song in Lady and the Tramp that is sung while the dogs eat at an Italian restaurant.

Central Park

* Rapunzel is being performed in the park when Giselle dances past. Rapunzel is an upcoming Disney animation. The square trees in the production are reminiscent of Eyvind Earle's designs for Beauty and the Beast.

* Giselle and Robert take a boat ride in a scene framed in a way reminiscent of Kiss The Girl from The Little Mermaid.

* A group of old men dance in the same kicky way as the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins.

* Giselle runs up the hill in a shot that is almost identical to a shot of Belle running up a hill in Beauty and the Beast, which is itself a reference to The Sound of Music.

The TV

* Prince Nathaniel (James Marsden) refers to the TV as 'Magic Mirror' in direct reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

* The soap opera shown on the TV stars Paige O'Hara who voiced Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Her character is called Angela after Angela Lansbury who voiced Mrs Potts in the same movie. She's having an affair with Ogden, named for David Ogden Stiers who voiced Cogsworth. The male soap star is named Jerry after Jerry Orbach who voiced Lumiere. The soap is scored with music from Beauty and the Beast and is set up to look like the bandaging scene from the movie.

* The TV newswoman is called Mary Ilene Caselotti. This is a combination of Mary Costa, Ilene Woods and Adriana Caselotti, who voiced Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White respectively.

The Ball

* The song 'So Close' is based on the title song from Beauty and the Beast.

* Giselle and Robert's eyes lock in the same way as Cinderella and Charming's in Cinderella.

* During the dance sequence there is a sweeping overhead shot that directly copies one from the ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast.

* Robert and Giselle dance in the stars, which is a tribute to Snow White and Cinderella.

* The sequence where Giselle eats the poisoned apple directly mimics the editing of the same sequence in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

* Giselle can only be woken by true love's kiss, as in Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, and must happen before midnight, as in Cinderella.

The Climax

* Giselle pulls a sword from the floor, as in The Sword in the Stone.

* Giselle loses her glass slipper, as in Cinderella.

* The glass slipper fits Nancy (Idina Menzel) perfectly, just as it did Cinderella.

* The battle on the tower that takes place in a thunderstorm takes inspiration from Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

* Giselle and Robert enjoy true love's kiss, as in every Disney animation ever.

2008 Golden Globe Award winners

The winners of the 2008 Golden Globe was announced this morning (6pm Sunday January 13 in Los Angeles) via a press conference. Here's the winners:

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Julie Christie for Away from Her

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There

Best Director - Motion Picture
Julian Schnabel for Scaphandre et le papillon, Le (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Into the Wild ("Guaranteed")

Best Animated Film

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Television Series - Drama
Mad Men

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Jim Broadbent for Longford

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Queen Latifah for Life Support

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
David Duchovny for Californication

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Jon Hamm for Mad Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Tina Fey for 30 Rock

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Glenn Close for Damages

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jeremy Piven for Entourage

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Samantha Morton for Longford

January 11, 2008

In search of sex offenders

I'm sad to see Richard Gere's career going down the drain. His last four movies ('Bee Season', 'The Hoax', 'The Hunting Party' and 'The Flock') have all bombed commercially at the box-office.

Gere's latest movie, 'The Flock' will not even be shown in the US theaters and will be going straight to DVD release. Directed by Hong Kong's Andrew Lau ('Infernal Affairs'), the movie is a psychological thriller that delves into the dark and shady world of sexual sadism. Gere plays a case worker assigned to keep an eye on 'registered' sex offenders. Clair Danes co-stars as his assistant. When a 17-year old girl gets abducted, Gere is convinced that one of his charges is responsible and goes looking for the sex offender responsible.

Although both Gere and Danes turn in great performances, the pace is pretty slow and takes a while before the suspense is built up. The 'fuzzy' editing, full of flashes and freeze-frames makes it all the more distracting to enjoy the movie. Overall, the film is just a run-of-the-mill thriller and lacks any indication that it’s been directed by a man as talented as Andrew Lau.

January 9, 2008

Golden Globe Awards cancelled

This year's much anticipated Golden Globes ceremony has been cancelled after actors vowed to boycott the event in support of striking Hollywood writers, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website today.

The Times, citing an email sent by broadcasters to studios today, reported that the traditional televised dinner and prize-giving had been scrapped in favour of a press conference and scaled back red carpet event.