Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first...
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TV

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first collaboration with HBO, the director of "Star Wars VII" is executive producing a new take on "Westworld." Set in the future, the original film depicts a theme park where a cast of androids allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the time and place of their choosing. For two friends and businessmen who visit the park and travel to the Far West, a fun day out turns into a nightmare when a technical malfunction allows the machines to take control. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the 1973 film starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Dick Van Patten. In the new TV adaptaion, Anthony Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant and quiet head programmer and chairman of the board at "Westworld." Rachel Evan Wood will co-star in the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl who begins to realize that her perfect existence is based entirely on a lie. The drama series will be written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the J.J. Abrams-produced CBS series "Person of Interest" and the screenwriter behind the last two movies in his brother Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. TV audiences are familiar with the work of Michael Crichton, who created the long-running series "E.R." The writer and director also penned the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Fashion films of the week: Dior, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Fashion films of the week: Dior, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta

A new campaign from Dior, family fashion at Lanvin and a personalization teaser from Bottega Veneta: here's our latest selection of the hottest new fashion films from three of the biggest luxury labels out there.Christian Dior Willy Vanderperre was on hand as usual to capture his Belgian compatriot Raf Simons's latest campaign at Dior. This video, set to a minimalist techno soundtrack, shows the brand's models, including Aussie star Julia Nobis, wearing Raf's slick, sporty take on luxury. http://youtu.be/rhpR2lJkYao Lanvin Edie Campbell brought her whole family (including architect mother Sophie Hicks and her model sister Olympia Campbell) along with her to star in the latest Lanvin ad campaign. Photographer Tim Walker shot the Campbell clan romping about in this fun three-minute film. http://youtu.be/LXccuFv_0Og Bottega Veneta Based on the Italian brand's famous 'Knot' clutch bag, this short video seems to hint at an exciting new customization project. Titled "When your own initials are enough," the Knot is seen covered in python butterflies and in a glimmering reflective texture. http://youtu.be/O5v2BZxhS58 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'

The TV series, which was canceled after one season in 1983, will be adapted for the silver screen.Just like Bruce Wayne, Dr. Jonathan Chase is a rich lady's man with a secret: he can change into any animal he wants (he prefers black panthers and hawks). Two years ago, Sony bought the rights to the series, which hadn't been as successful as expected at the time. Now, however, it could benefit from the surge of popularity animals are currently experiencing on TV and in films. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who have worked together on "Anchorman 2," "The Other Guys" and "Step Brothers," will produce the film adaptation. They will be working with the original series' co-creator, Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider", "Magnum"), while Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will be in charge of the script. The scriptwriters are currently working on "Get Hard" starring Ferrell. The film will feature both real-life footage and animation. No release date has been announced yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Pinterest is US web users' favorite social media site
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Pinterest is US web users' favorite social media site

The American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows that all web services -- from news to search engines that usually lag far behind their real-world counterparts in terms of satisfaction ratings -- are starting to get better.Indeed, social media websites are usually among the worst-performing companies that the ACSI tracks but over the last year they have seen a steady improvement in consumer satisfaction levels (a 4.4% rise), enough to rank them above airlines, subscription TV, and internet service providers as the fourth worst scoring company type with a 71 point score (marked out of a possible 100). "Even with improvements across the board, e-business -- and social media in particular -- doesn't do well in terms of user satisfaction," says Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and founder. "It is rare to see strong growth in an industry with such low customer satisfaction. However, several of the major players seem to have realized that their long-term prospects may be in jeopardy unless they do better." As such, both Facebook and LinkedIn have made big improvements in terms of consumer satisfaction over the past year. Both have achieved scores of 67 (both up 8% on 2013's results) yet are still bottom of the social media pile. Above both, with a score of 69, is Twitter but occupying the top spot is Pinterest with a score of 76 (up 6% on last year) which, according to the ACSI, has been achieved in part by improved search and better, more comprehensive features. Wikipedia received a satisfaction ranking of 74 (making it the only web destination ranked to actually lose ground over the past 12 months), YouTube got a 73 ranking and Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram and Google + all tied at 71. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

CBS says Colbert keeping CBS' 'Late Show' in NYC
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
CBS says Colbert keeping CBS' 'Late Show' in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert will not only be following in David Letterman's footsteps, he'll be doing it on the same stage. CBS said Wednesday that Colbert, who is replacing Letterman as the "Late Show" host next year, will keep the show in New York City's Ed Sullivan Theatre. Colbert's debut date is still uncertain, dependent on when Letterman officially retires from late-night TV. "Tonight" show host Jimmy Fallon already tapes his show in New York, and fellow competitor Jimmy Kimmel at ABC is based in Los Angeles. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said CBS is eligible for up to $11 million in tax credits for keeping the show in New York. The state is also making up to $5 million in grant money available for renovating the theater. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first collaboration with HBO, the director of "Star Wars VII" is executive producing a new take on "Westworld." Set in the future, the original film depicts a theme park where a cast of androids allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the time and place of their choosing. For two friends and businessmen who visit the park and travel to the Far West, a fun day out turns into a nightmare when a technical malfunction allows the machines to take control. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the 1973 film starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Dick Van Patten. In the new TV adaptaion, Anthony Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant and quiet head programmer and chairman of the board at "Westworld." Rachel Evan Wood will co-star in the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl who begins to realize that her perfect existence is based entirely on a lie. The drama series will be written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the J.J. Abrams-produced CBS series "Person of Interest" and the screenwriter behind the last two movies in his brother Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. TV audiences are familiar with the work of Michael Crichton, who created the long-running series "E.R." The writer and director also penned the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'

The TV series, which was canceled after one season in 1983, will be adapted for the silver screen.Just like Bruce Wayne, Dr. Jonathan Chase is a rich lady's man with a secret: he can change into any animal he wants (he prefers black panthers and hawks). Two years ago, Sony bought the rights to the series, which hadn't been as successful as expected at the time. Now, however, it could benefit from the surge of popularity animals are currently experiencing on TV and in films. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who have worked together on "Anchorman 2," "The Other Guys" and "Step Brothers," will produce the film adaptation. They will be working with the original series' co-creator, Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider", "Magnum"), while Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will be in charge of the script. The scriptwriters are currently working on "Get Hard" starring Ferrell. The film will feature both real-life footage and animation. No release date has been announced yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Steve Carell agrees to lead 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Steve Carell agrees to lead 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'

From "Foxcatcher" to family comedy, Steve Carell underlines his versatility by taking the main role in Disney's "Brooklyn Family Robinson."Carell will not only play the Robinsons' dad, who swaps his clan's urban pad for island living, but will also act as producer for the Disney movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also named in a production capacity are Charlie Hartsock and Vance DeGeneres, of Carell's production company Carousel, who came up with the idea with the help of the film's scriptwriter, David Reynolds of "Finding Nemo" fame. Carell's current gig, "Foxcatcher," retells the true life story of philanthropist turned wrestling coach John du Pont and his two Olympic-grade protégés, Mark and Dave Schultz; the tense and sinister film was given a rapturous reception at the Cannes Film Festival in May and goes on general release from November. Prior to that, the American comic appears alongside Jennifer Garner ("Juno," "Dallas Buyers Club") and the young Ed Oxenbould ("Julian") in another Disney movie, October's storybook adaptation "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to team for 'By the Sea'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to team for 'By the Sea'

For the first time since meeting on the set of the 2005 movie "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be seen together on the silver screen in "By the Sea."Jolie is the driving force behind the production: after writing the screenplay, she will direct the film and star alongside her spouse. In a press release announcing it has acquired the rights to the screenplay, Universal describes the story as "an intimate, character-driven drama." No further details were revealed. "By the Sea" will be Jolie's third film as a director after "In the Land of Blood and Honey" (2011) and the biopic "Unbroken," which is due for release on December 25, 2014. Adapted from the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, the new film is based on the life of Olympic athlete and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini, who died on July 2 at age 97.  In addition to placing the finishing touches on "Unbroken," Jolie is working on her next role as Cleopatra in a historical biopic that recent rumors suggest could also include appearances by all six of her children. The feature's release date has not been announced. Brad Pitt, meanwhile, will return to US theaters on November 14 in the war drama "Fury." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Sinister Six' spinoff to come next for Spider-Man
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
'Sinister Six' spinoff to come next for Spider-Man

NEW YORK (AP) — The Spider-Man franchise will detour next with a "Sinister Six" spinoff in 2016, pushing "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" to 2018, Sony's Columbia Pictures said Wednesday in announcing an updated schedule. By ordering "Sinister Six" ahead of the next "Spider-Man" movie, the studio hopes to expand the franchise with the group of Marvel super-villains. Released in May, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" accumulated $706 million worldwide and only just surpassing $200 million domestically. That was considered a disappointing result, since it failed to top its 2012 predecessor, which made $758 million. It was also less than all of the box-office hauls for Sam Raimi's trilogy. "Sinister Six," to be directed by Drew Goddard, is one of two spinoffs planned for the Spider-Man universe. No date has been set for the other offshoot in development, "Venom." Sony had previously pegged "Spider-Man" sequels for 2016 and 2018, but "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" will now be pushed to 2018. In its place, Sony has slotted in "Uncharted," an action film based on the PlayStation video game. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Review: La Roux returns with sexy, sassy second LP
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Review: La Roux returns with sexy, sassy second LP

La Roux, "Trouble in Paradise" (Interscope/Cherrytree) Coming off an artistic hiatus after a widely acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning debut, La Roux returns in force with an off-beat, electrifying and synth-pop second album. "Trouble in Paradise" showcases the new La Roux, singer-songwriter Elly Jackson minus producer Ben Langmaid, who left the duo during work on this follow-up to their 2009 self-titled debut. Jackson paired with producer Ian Sherwin to finish off the job and the result is a nine-track collection that, while retaining the band's original sound and charisma, adds a sexy edge. It starts off with a disco mirror ball of a tune, "Uptight Downtown," a gentle dance session in the making. It moves into strum-friendly "Cruel Sexuality" and the light touch "Sexotheque" where the instrumentals convey a childlike wonder in stark contrast to lyrics that tell the story of a couple where the man is a bit of a dog. "Silent Partner" turns from a Michael Jackson tribute to a nightmare scenario of an abusive relationship, while "Kiss and Not Tell" spins another tale of romantic woe. Slow burn track "Let Me Down Gently" sounds so vintage that La Roux should be paying royalties to the 1980s. However, Caribbean-sounding electro party-starter "Tropical Chancer" comes as the front runner of the album — the perfect balance of rhythm appeal and sass — a bit like this entire endeavor. ____ Follow Cristina Jaleru on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cristinelle7 Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Americans aplenty as UK's Booker Prize goes global
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Americans aplenty as UK's Booker Prize goes global

LONDON (AP) — The Americans have arrived in force for Britain's Booker literary prize. Five U.S.-based writers are on the 13-book long-list for the prestigious fiction award, announced Wednesday. This is the first year writers of all nationalities have been eligible for the Booker, previously open only to authors from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies. The roster includes Americans Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers, as well as Irish-born, U.S-based writer Joseph O'Neill. Also on the list are Britain's Howard Jacobson, Neel Mukherjee, Paul Kingsnorth, David Mitchell, David Nicholls and Ali Smith, Ireland's Niall Williams and Australia's Richard Flanagan. Some British writers have expressed fears that the change in eligibility may lead to U.S. dominance of the 45-year-old award, officially named the Man Booker Prize after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC. This year Britons are still in the majority, and there is only one writer — Flanagan — from a Commonwealth country other than Britain. Only three of the nominated authors are women. "After all the fears about a U.S.-dominated list, the number of British writers comes as a surprise," said Jonathan Ruppin, a spokesman for bookstore chain Foyles. "Although the absence of any authors from Africa or Asia is perhaps the more striking aspect of the spread of nationalities." Philosopher A.C. Grayling, who chairs the judging panel, said that in a "vintage year" for fiction, the judges were looking only for quality. "It didn't matter to us if they were written by men or women, by Americans or Australians or Brits," Grayling said. "Fiction in English, no matter who written by, no matter where published, is now part of kind of a global scene. Fiction is fiction, and good fiction will always stand comparison with good fiction." Bookmaker William Hill made O'Neill the early favorite to win with "The Dog," the story of a disillusioned lawyer, followed by Mitchell for decades-spanning saga "The Bone Clocks," which will be published in the fall. A six-book shortlist for the 50,000-pound ($85,000) prize will be announced Sept. 9, and the winner unveiled at a ceremony in London on Oct. 14. ___ Online: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'The Last of Us 2' a definite possibility
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
'The Last of Us 2' a definite possibility

A sequel to 2013's PlayStation hit "The Last of Us" is certainly in the cards, says a rep for award-winning studio Naughty Dog.The game was originally released for PlayStation 3 in June 2013, just a few months before its successor was released, and a PlayStation 4 edition is now due the week of July 29. With a week to go until the PS4 version emerges, Naughty Dog was never going to rule out the possibility of a sequel at this point, as community strategist Arne Meyer outlined the studio's process. "All of our games are self-contained stories so they don't have to continue if we don't want them to or if there's no reason for them to continue," Meyer told VideoGamer.com. "It really comes down to is there something interesting in this universe we've created that we want to continue to explore? Is it something that we can get the entire team passionate about? Is it something we can get the creative directors excited about and then we could continue it?" "We're just starting to explore ideas of what more could there be in this universe and starting that decision process," though "that doesn't mean the end result is guaranteed," he cautioned. At the same time, the game is making its way to theater as a free (but limited-space) live read at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. "The Last of Us: One Night Live" is to take place on July 28, with the principal cast reunited to recreate select scenes from the game's script. That's to be livestreamed on YouTube, Twitch.TV and the PlayStation Network. And speaking of creative directors, it would appear that a "Last of Us 2" may be a while off, as lead pairing Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley have been attached to confirmed PlayStation 4 title "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End," continuing the adventures of smart-talking treasure-hunting swashbuckler Nathan Drake in 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Nathan Lane: Straight actors can play gay roles
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Nathan Lane: Straight actors can play gay roles

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Gay actors shouldn't have a monopoly on gay roles, award-winning stage and screen actor Nathan Lane said. Lane, who is gay and has played both straight and gay characters, was asked the question at a TV critics' meeting Tuesday. He was there to discuss PBS' presentation of the Broadway play "The Nance," in which he stars. "We just had 'The Normal Heart' (with) Mark Ruffalo, fantastic job. I think who's right for the part and most talented" should be hired, Lane said. Ruffalo, who is straight, starred as a gay man in the AIDS drama for HBO. "That way only madness lies. ... I wouldn't have played Nathan Detroit or Max Bialystock" if casting followed such rigid rules, Lane said. He won a Tony Award for his Broadway portrayal of larcenous producer Bialystock in "The Producers" and was a nominee as gambler Detroit in "Guys and Dolls." Lane is an Emmy nominee this year for his guest role as wedding planner Pepper Saltzman in ABC's sitcom "Modern Family." Hollywood has been criticized for casting white actors as ethnic characters and, as gay characters have become an increasing part of movies and TV, giving such roles to straight actors. "Will & Grace" came under fire for casting straight actor Eric McCormack as a gay man. "The Nance," which earned Lane another Tony bid this year, is about a gay burlesque performer in 1930s New York. It airs Oct. 10 on PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center" as part of the series 40th anniversary season. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Toronto Film Festival unveils lineup
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Toronto Film Festival unveils lineup

NEW YORK (AP) — The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled a star-heavy lineup amid increased festival jockeying for the most plum premieres of Hollywood's fall season. Toronto's slate for Sept. 4-14, announced in a press conference Tuesday, features anticipated performances from Denzel Washington, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as films from directors including Chris Rock, Noah Baumbach and Jon Stewart, making his debut behind the camera. But much of the drama to this fall festival season is about the competition for that most sought-after label: "world premiere." Toronto, now in its 39th year, has long been a sprawling annual event that helps set much of the agenda for Hollywood's award season. It's where recent best-picture winners like "12 Years a Slave" and "Argo" were effectively introduced, although both of those films sneak-peaked first at the smaller Telluride Film Festival days earlier. As a result, Toronto earlier announced a new mandate that only true world premieres will play during the festival's first four days, during its most desirable first weekend. "There needed to be clarity," said festival director Piers Handling on Tuesday. This year's Toronto still boasts an incredible breadth of selection. Handling expects as many as 300 features at the festival, for which more films will later be added to the 59 galas and special presentations announced Tuesday. Among the highlights are: "The Equalizer," a crime film that reteams Washington with "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua; Mike Binder's "Black and White," a custody battle drama with Kevin Costner; "The Judge," starring Downey as a big city lawyer; Jason Reitman's Los Angeles crime journalism drama "Nightcrawler," with Jake Gyllenhaal; and "The Imitation Game," with Cumberbatch as World War II code-breaker Alan Turing. While festival programmers have yet to name an opening night film, Alan Rickman's "A Little Chaos," starring Kate Winslet as a Palace of Versailles landscaper, will close the festival. The festival will also feature the directorial debut of "Daily Show" host Stewart, "Rosewater," a drama about the imprisonment of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari. Other notables include two films for Witherspoon (the addiction recovery drama "Wild" and the Sudanese Lost Boys drama "The Good Lie"), two for Al Pacino ("Manglehorn" and "The Humbling"), as well as films starring Jennifer Aniston ("Cake") and Jessica Chastain ("Miss Julie"). Rock will premiere his "Top Five," about a comic-turned-movie star. Baubach will present his "While We're Young," with Ben Stiller. Handling said Toronto's new premiere policy will only impact scheduling, not selection. Several of the biggest movies this fall have already gone to other festivals. Opening at the New York Film Festival will be Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" and David Fincher's "Gone Girl." The Venice Film Festival will kick off with the premiere of Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," starring Michael Keaton. Two of the top films at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" and Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner" will also make a stop in Toronto. ___ Online: Toronto International Film Festival http://tiff.net/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.