Monday Oct 20, 2014

Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The joke was on Jay Leno as comedians saluted the former "Tonight Show" host Sunday when he received the nation's top humor prize. Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes celebrated Leno's famous work ethic and poked fun as he received the Mark...
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TV

Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The joke was on Jay Leno as comedians saluted the former "Tonight Show" host Sunday when he received the nation's top humor prize. Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes celebrated Leno's famous work ethic and poked fun as he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks and Chelsea Handler paid tribute. The show will be broadcast nationally Nov. 23 on PBS. Fallon, who replaced Leno this year on "The Tonight Show" after Leno stepped down for the second time, said it was a good time to honor Leno, "a man who has done so much for NBC, so much that we had to celebrate his career on PBS." On the red carpet before the show, Leno, 64, said "The Tonight Show" years were the best of his life. He said Fallon is bringing "a new dynamic" to the show, and "it's fun to see it change." "The truth is, my time was done," Leno said later in accepting the prize. "When I left 'The Tonight Show,' I didn't leave dead broke like Bill and Hillary. I was able to save." The award honors people who have had an impact on American society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer, satirist and social commentator better known as Mark Twain. Past honorees include Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby. Leno said he had no idea this award was coming and that other honors are phony because people campaign for them. Leno built his career in standup comedy and still makes more than 100 live performances each year. He inherited the "Tonight Show" from Johnny Carson in 1992, beating out David Letterman, and was the top-rated late-night host for years. Handler and Sykes, two leading female comedians, thanked Leno for giving them wider exposure on late night TV. But some ribbing also was in store. Handler said Leno visited the Smithsonian over the weekend and tried to donate a zip drive of all his jokes, but the museum wouldn't take them. "When I first heard that Jay was getting this Mark Twain Prize tonight, which is a huge honor, I found out it was for humor, and I was a little bit confused," she said. "I wasn't sure what the connection was." Sykes said she nearly didn't make it to Washington. "On the plane, I sneezed twice, and everybody gave me the stink eye," she said. "This Ebola stuff is getting a little out of hand. It's a little scary. I'm going back to just black. I'm not African anything." Seinfeld said he's been friends with Leno for 38 years and that the longtime NBC funnyman was his idol. "There's no one more deserving to get this wonderful award obviously than Jay," Seinfeld said. "No one — except and I really don't want to sound bitter here — except maybe me? I mean come on." Garth Brooks said standup seemed pretty easy after tossing a few zingers at Leno. "I love Jay," he said. "I love Jay because success didn't give him a swell head. Nature did that." Leno didn't leave TV for long. Last week, NBC announced that he's developing a new show from his Los Angeles garage about his other great passion: cars. "Jay Leno's Garage" will premiere on CNBC in 2015. ___ Follow Brett Zongker at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'New Girl,' 'Cosmos' win Environmental Media Award
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
'New Girl,' 'Cosmos' win Environmental Media Award

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — TV's "New Girl," ''Parenthood" and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" have been recognized for supporting green initiatives by the Environmental Media Association. The organization presented its Environmental Media Awards on Saturday during a gala dinner that also celebrated its 25th anniversary. Board member Ed Begley, Jr., lauded the Environmental Media Association for encouraging entertainment media to serve as a vehicle to educate the public about environmental concerns. Guests at the dinner program at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, included Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Sara Gilbert, Jeff Goldblum and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Other winners announced Saturday were the feature film "Disneynature Bears," the documentary "GMO OMG," the children's program "Paw Patrol" and the digital video "Should We All Be Eating Insects?" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

William Hurt for 'Real Humans' remake
Saturday Oct 18, 2014
William Hurt for 'Real Humans' remake

The American actor has landed a role in the English-speaking version of Swedish TV series "Real Humans." The remake is scheduled to arrive on AMC in the US and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015, says The Hollywood Reporter.Also taking part in the remake of "Äkta människor," better known as "Real Humans," are Katherine Parkinson, Tom Goodman-Hill and Gemma Chan. First broadcast in Sweden in 2012, the sci-fi drama tells the story of a world in which human-looking robots are an integral part of society. That is, until they start getting rebellious. William Hurt will play a widower who treats his robot Odi more like a son than a machine. "Real Humans" will mark Hurt's return on TV. After receiving an Academy Award for Best Actor for 1985's "Kiss of the Spider Woman," he took part in legal TV series "Damages" and also played in TV movies such as "Moby Dick," "Bonnie & Clyde" and "Too Big to Fail." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Rahman brothers sue US boxer Mayweather
Saturday Oct 18, 2014
Rahman brothers sue US boxer Mayweather

Unbeaten world champion Floyd Mayweather is being sued by two boxing brothers involved in sparring sessions shown in a television reality show, according to court documents.The documents posted online by Las Vegas television station KTNV show that Sharif Rahman and his older brother Hasim Rahman Jr. are suing Mayweather, his fledgling promotional company and cable telecaster Showtime over the TV show designed to promote Mayweather's last fight against Marcos Maidana.The brothers -- sons of former heavyweight world champion Hasim Rahman -- claim battery, false imprisonment and negligent hiring and supervision, and say they never consented to be included in the "All Access" shows telecast by Showtime prior to the September 13 Maidana bout.The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, claims that Mayweather forced 18-year-old Sharif Rahman to spar against Britain's Donovan Cameron for several rounds lasting five to seven minutes each, and that when Rahman asked for shorter rounds the request was denied.When he tried to leave the ring, Mayweather "responded by telling Mr. Cameron and others that if Sharif left the ring to beat his ass outside the ring," the plaintiffs claim. "Sharif feared for his safety and was forced to continue to fight."Hasim Rahman Jr., arriving later at the gym, then fought Cameron in a session that lasted 31 minutes without a break, with Mayweather and others betting on the outcome.The "All Access" programs had already caught the attention of Nevada boxing authorities.The Nevada State Athletic Commission called Mayweather, who was licensed as a promoter in the state earlier this year, to explain what appeared to be potentially unsafe practices.They voiced concern about the apparent 31-minute sparring session, but Mayweather told the commission that neither the fights nor the betting were real -- just as "All Access" scenes that showed people smoking marijuana at his home were staged to portray a "lifestyle" that would drum up sales for the pay-per-view Maidana fight.The commission accepted that explanation and no further action was taken."Defendant Mayweather knowingly misrepresented facts while testifying before the Nevada State Athletic Commission," according to the lawsuit, in which the Rahman brothers are seeking punitive damages.Neither of the Rahman brothers has fought professionally, although Hasim Rahman Jr. is scheduled to make his pro debut on November 13. Copyright (2014) AFP. All rights reserved.

Bono says he wears sunglasses due to glaucoma
Friday Oct 17, 2014
Bono says he wears sunglasses due to glaucoma

LONDON (AP) — U2 singer Bono says his ever-present sunglasses aren't a rock-star affectation — he has suffered from glaucoma for 20 years. The condition — a buildup of pressure that can damage the optic nerve — can make the eyes sensitive to light. Bono told the BBC's "Graham Norton Show" that he had the condition, but "I have good treatments and I am going to be fine." He said people would now think of him as "poor old blind Bono." He also acknowledged that some people had been annoyed when U2's new album, "Songs of Innocence," was sent unsolicited to millions of people with iTunes accounts. In comments released Friday by the BBC, Bono said, "We wanted to do something fresh, but it seems some people don't believe in Father Christmas." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The bloody World War II drama "Fury" blew past "Gone Girl" at theaters this weekend. "Gone Girl" was tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and his rag-tag group of tank mates in "Fury" blasted the film to second place. Sony's "Fury" captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Fox's "Gone Girl" followed with $17.8 million. The week's top two films are R-rated adult dramas, followed by two PG family films. "The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. The animated Fox feature "The Book of Life" opened in third place with $17 million, followed by Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with $12 million. "We're now in full adult movie-going season and we'll see a lot more adult-skewing fare," said Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson, who added that the colorful "Book of Life" suits any audience. Another new film rounds out the top five: Relativity's Nicholas Sparks romance "The Best of Me," starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, debuted with $10.2 million. "Birdman," the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu drama starring Michael Keaton, opened in just four theaters and boasted a per-screen average of $103, 750. It opens in additional locations next week. Overall box office is up almost 25 percent from the same weekend last year, Dergarabedian said, and the strong fall showing at cinemas is making up for a year-to-date box-office deficit that dropped from 6 percent to 4 percent in the last month. ___ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. "Fury," $23.5 million. 2. "Gone Girl," $17.8 million ($20.2 million international). 3. "The Book of Life," $17 million ($8.6 million international). 4. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," $12 million ($1.3 million international). 5. "The Best of Me," $10.2 million ($1.1 million international). 6. "Dracula Untold," $9.9 million ($22.5 million international). 7. "The Judge," $7.94 million ($6.5 million international). 8. "Annabelle," $7.92 million ($19.2 million international). 9. "The Equalizer," $5.4 million ($8 million international). 10. "The Maze Runner," $4.5 million ($17.1 million international). ____ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak: 1. "Guardians of the Galaxy," $23.1 million. 2. "Dracula Untold," $22.5 million. 3. "Gone Girl," $20.2 million. 4. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," $20 million. 5. "Annabelle," $19. 2 million. 6. "The Maze Runner," $17.1 million. 7. "Breakup Buddies," $10 million. 8. "The Book of Life," $8.6 million. 9. "The Equalizer," $8 million. 10. "The Judge," $6.5 million. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Brad Pitt war film wraps up London Film Festival
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
Brad Pitt war film wraps up London Film Festival

LONDON (AP) — Brad Pitt was bringing the London Film Festival to a storming conclusion Sunday with "Fury," David Ayer's mud- and blood-splattered tale of a tank crew in the closing days of World War II. The film offers a brutal depiction of combat, but Pitt says filming it has made him a better father to his six children with Angelina Jolie. "This role is a real study in leadership and learning to command respect and because of this, I am now a better father," said Pitt, who plays a hard-bitten sergeant in command of a Sherman tank crew played by Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal. "This film is about the soldiers' exhaustion from the cold, hunger and the accumulative effect on a daily basis," Pitt told reporters before the movie's black-tie European premiere. "We took that to heart. I hope ... soldiers will walk away from this and feel they are recognized." "Fury" is an appropriately unflinching finale for a festival that awarded prizes to films that tackled corruption, gang violence, honor killing and war. Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan," a tragic satire of small-town Russian corruption, was named the festival's best picture. Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy won the first-feature award for "The Tribe," a teen-gang drama set at a school for the deaf and performed entirely in sign language, without subtitles. Actress Sameena Jabeen Ahmed was named best British newcomer for her performance as a British-Pakistani teenager on the run from her family in "Catch Me Daddy." The documentary prize went to "Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait," a searing look at the country's civil war by Paris-based director Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a schoolteacher who filmed life in the besieged city of Homs. Director Stephen Frears was awarded the British Film Institute's Fellowship, in recognition of a career that has traveled from the battered streets of Margaret Thatcher's Britain in "My Beautiful Laundrette," to 18th-century France in "Dangerous Liaisons," seedy Los Angeles in "The Grifters" and Buckingham Palace in "The Queen." The 73-year-old director said that he'd become a filmmaker by accident, and quoted playwright Joe Orton, subject of his 1987 film "Prick Up Your Ears." "I've got away with it so far," he said, "and I'm going to go on." ___ Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Frears, 'Leviathan' honoured at London Film Festival
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
Frears, 'Leviathan' honoured at London Film Festival

Director Stephen Frears was honoured with a fellowship of the British Film Institute (BFI) on Saturday at a ceremony at the London Film Festival, where Russian movie "Leviathan" won the event's official award. The 73-year-old filmmaker behind movies such as "Philomena", "The Queen" and "Dangerous Liaisons" joked that the fellowship award made him feel "geriatric". "It's not over yet," he told the award ceremony at Banqueting House in London, adding that had "almost finished" his latest work, a biopic about cyclist Lance Armstrong. Playwright and screenwriter David Hare paid tribute to Frears, saying: "I can't think of anyone who's made a richer, more diverse or more consistently intelligent contribution to British film in my lifetime." The awards ceremony, on the eve of the closing day of the festival, saw the top prize awarded to Andrei Zvyagintsev's harrowing drama assailing abuse of power in today's Russia. "Leviathan" had already won best screenplay at Cannes in May and Russia has put it forward as its nomination for the best foreign language film at the Oscars. "Its grandeur and themes moved all of us in the same way," said Jeremy Thomas, president of the London competition jury. The Sutherland Award, given to the most original and imaginative first feature, went to Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy for "The Tribe", a violent, silent drama set in a school for deaf-mute teenagers. The Grierson Award for best documentary went to "Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait", Wiam Simav Bedirxan and Ossama Mohammed's film about the seige of the Syrian town of Homs. Sameena Jabeen Ahmed was named best British newcomer for her "fearless" performance in thriller "Catch Me Daddy", about a girl on the run from her family in northern England. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Twenty minutes with French icon, Catherine Deneuve
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
Twenty minutes with French icon, Catherine Deneuve

After a glittering half-century career as a French cinema icon, Catherine Deneuve is well used to strangers' attention. But the past few years have thrown up a trend she cannot abide."Everybody wants to do these horrible things called 'selfies'," she tells AFP in a rare interview in Mumbai, elegantly reclined on the sofa in her hotel suite. Once a target of the paparazzi, septuagenarian Deneuve says today it is fans with smartphones she contends with, who regularly ask to snap her in their self-portrait photographs. "I think it's awful, a 'selfie'! I mean what do they do with that?" she asks, baffled. Deneuve, who turns 71 next week, has earned a formidable reputation as the "ice queen" of French films since her breakthrough role in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" back in 1964. But, frustration at selfies aside, she is relaxed and quick to laugh as she talks in India's entertainment capital, where she was presented this week with a lifetime achievement award at the Mumbai Film Festival. Puffing on slim cigarettes and wearing a short gold-green and black dress, she describes the recognition as "very nice" -- but jokes that such lifetime honours can have the air of a distinguished "burial". "It's for something that you've been doing, it doesn't mean that it's stopped." With roles in the 1960s in films such as "Belle de Jour", in which she played a young housewife who works as a prostitute in the afternoons, Deneuve became known as a seductress and one of the world's most beautiful women. Now the grand dame of French cinema with more than 100 films to her name, she still appears in two or three productions each year, but she believes her reputation abroad is more about her image than her acting. "In France I'm an actress, I'm still working," she explains. "When I arrive in some foreign countries I'm seen as a French symbol... A blonde French woman," she says, breaking into laughter again. She is heading a delegation to promote her country's films at the Mumbai festival, which is holding its fourth annual "Rendez-vous with French cinema". For the first time this year, the group uniFrance Films is holding special screenings to try and sell French screenplays to Bollywood producers, a lucrative market for remakes of foreign movies. - 'Curious' about Bollywood - Deneuve admits to not having seen many Indian films, although she is "curious" and would consider acting in one herself. "The cinema is so different. They love romantic stories, love dancing," she says. "I'm sure there are young directors who do films which are not fairy tales or musicals, I didn't have a chance to see that yet." She is big fan of "a lot" of US television series, with her favourites including "Breaking Bad", "Homeland" and "House of Cards". Younger actresses she admires include Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Kristen Stewart, but Deneuve herself is in no rush to have a more prominent place in Hollywood. "I've been offered things that I didn't think were more interesting... than what I'm shooting in Europe, so there's no reason for me to come to America just to shoot in English." While older women in Hollywood have lamented the lack of good roles for them, Deneuve thinks this is less of a problem in European cinema, where there are fewer "conventions about the appeal of women of a certain age on screen". "Because cinema is such a big thing in America and it costs so much, they cannot take the same chances as they do in Europe," she adds. The actress, who has been nominated for a dozen Cesar awards in France and won two of them, secured her only Oscar nomination for the 1992 film Indochine, in which she played a French plantation owner with an adopted Vietnamese daughter. She was "very pleased" with the nomination, particularly for acting in a French film, but describes the legwork required to get a nod from the Hollywood Academy as "very peculiar". "If you want to have an Oscar, or to be nominated for an Oscar, you have to do a lot of work and be very much in America to meet people and do a sort of lobbying," she says. Deneuve, who now has five grandchildren, says she still has goals she would like to achieve but insists she is more interested in scripts and directors than playing any particular parts. Despite being the daughter of two distinguished theatre actors, she is yet to follow them on to the stage, although she says "maybe one day" it will happen. "I suppose also the stage fright is something I fear very much," she admits. "It's a nightmare I have often." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Medical examiner: Body that of missing actress
Saturday Oct 18, 2014
Medical examiner: Body that of missing actress

SEATTLE (AP) — The King County medical examiner has confirmed that a body found in a ravine in the Seattle suburb of Auburn is that of missing actress Misty Upham, known for her roles in "August: Osage County," ''Frozen River" and "Django Unchained." In a statement, the medical examiner's office said Friday that the 32-year-old woman died Oct. 5. That's the day her family told police that the Native American actress was suicidal. Relatives reported her missing the next day. The medical examiner said the cause and manner of death are pending investigation. Auburn police spokesman Steve Stocker said the body was found Thursday near the White River. Items with Upham's name on them were found nearby. He said there was no evidence of foul play. A family friend found the body while a group of friends and family were searching in the area. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC
Monday Oct 20, 2014
Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The joke was on Jay Leno as comedians saluted the former "Tonight Show" host Sunday when he received the nation's top humor prize. Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes celebrated Leno's famous work ethic and poked fun as he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Garth Brooks, Kevin Eubanks and Chelsea Handler paid tribute. The show will be broadcast nationally Nov. 23 on PBS. Fallon, who replaced Leno this year on "The Tonight Show" after Leno stepped down for the second time, said it was a good time to honor Leno, "a man who has done so much for NBC, so much that we had to celebrate his career on PBS." On the red carpet before the show, Leno, 64, said "The Tonight Show" years were the best of his life. He said Fallon is bringing "a new dynamic" to the show, and "it's fun to see it change." "The truth is, my time was done," Leno said later in accepting the prize. "When I left 'The Tonight Show,' I didn't leave dead broke like Bill and Hillary. I was able to save." The award honors people who have had an impact on American society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer, satirist and social commentator better known as Mark Twain. Past honorees include Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Bill Cosby. Leno said he had no idea this award was coming and that other honors are phony because people campaign for them. Leno built his career in standup comedy and still makes more than 100 live performances each year. He inherited the "Tonight Show" from Johnny Carson in 1992, beating out David Letterman, and was the top-rated late-night host for years. Handler and Sykes, two leading female comedians, thanked Leno for giving them wider exposure on late night TV. But some ribbing also was in store. Handler said Leno visited the Smithsonian over the weekend and tried to donate a zip drive of all his jokes, but the museum wouldn't take them. "When I first heard that Jay was getting this Mark Twain Prize tonight, which is a huge honor, I found out it was for humor, and I was a little bit confused," she said. "I wasn't sure what the connection was." Sykes said she nearly didn't make it to Washington. "On the plane, I sneezed twice, and everybody gave me the stink eye," she said. "This Ebola stuff is getting a little out of hand. It's a little scary. I'm going back to just black. I'm not African anything." Seinfeld said he's been friends with Leno for 38 years and that the longtime NBC funnyman was his idol. "There's no one more deserving to get this wonderful award obviously than Jay," Seinfeld said. "No one — except and I really don't want to sound bitter here — except maybe me? I mean come on." Garth Brooks said standup seemed pretty easy after tossing a few zingers at Leno. "I love Jay," he said. "I love Jay because success didn't give him a swell head. Nature did that." Leno didn't leave TV for long. Last week, NBC announced that he's developing a new show from his Los Angeles garage about his other great passion: cars. "Jay Leno's Garage" will premiere on CNBC in 2015. ___ Follow Brett Zongker at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
'Fury' blasts 'Gone Girl' from top of box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The bloody World War II drama "Fury" blew past "Gone Girl" at theaters this weekend. "Gone Girl" was tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and his rag-tag group of tank mates in "Fury" blasted the film to second place. Sony's "Fury" captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Fox's "Gone Girl" followed with $17.8 million. The week's top two films are R-rated adult dramas, followed by two PG family films. "The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. The animated Fox feature "The Book of Life" opened in third place with $17 million, followed by Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with $12 million. "We're now in full adult movie-going season and we'll see a lot more adult-skewing fare," said Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson, who added that the colorful "Book of Life" suits any audience. Another new film rounds out the top five: Relativity's Nicholas Sparks romance "The Best of Me," starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, debuted with $10.2 million. "Birdman," the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu drama starring Michael Keaton, opened in just four theaters and boasted a per-screen average of $103, 750. It opens in additional locations next week. Overall box office is up almost 25 percent from the same weekend last year, Dergarabedian said, and the strong fall showing at cinemas is making up for a year-to-date box-office deficit that dropped from 6 percent to 4 percent in the last month. ___ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. "Fury," $23.5 million. 2. "Gone Girl," $17.8 million ($20.2 million international). 3. "The Book of Life," $17 million ($8.6 million international). 4. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," $12 million ($1.3 million international). 5. "The Best of Me," $10.2 million ($1.1 million international). 6. "Dracula Untold," $9.9 million ($22.5 million international). 7. "The Judge," $7.94 million ($6.5 million international). 8. "Annabelle," $7.92 million ($19.2 million international). 9. "The Equalizer," $5.4 million ($8 million international). 10. "The Maze Runner," $4.5 million ($17.1 million international). ____ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak: 1. "Guardians of the Galaxy," $23.1 million. 2. "Dracula Untold," $22.5 million. 3. "Gone Girl," $20.2 million. 4. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," $20 million. 5. "Annabelle," $19. 2 million. 6. "The Maze Runner," $17.1 million. 7. "Breakup Buddies," $10 million. 8. "The Book of Life," $8.6 million. 9. "The Equalizer," $8 million. 10. "The Judge," $6.5 million. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Brad Pitt war film wraps up London Film Festival
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
Brad Pitt war film wraps up London Film Festival

LONDON (AP) — Brad Pitt was bringing the London Film Festival to a storming conclusion Sunday with "Fury," David Ayer's mud- and blood-splattered tale of a tank crew in the closing days of World War II. The film offers a brutal depiction of combat, but Pitt says filming it has made him a better father to his six children with Angelina Jolie. "This role is a real study in leadership and learning to command respect and because of this, I am now a better father," said Pitt, who plays a hard-bitten sergeant in command of a Sherman tank crew played by Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal. "This film is about the soldiers' exhaustion from the cold, hunger and the accumulative effect on a daily basis," Pitt told reporters before the movie's black-tie European premiere. "We took that to heart. I hope ... soldiers will walk away from this and feel they are recognized." "Fury" is an appropriately unflinching finale for a festival that awarded prizes to films that tackled corruption, gang violence, honor killing and war. Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan," a tragic satire of small-town Russian corruption, was named the festival's best picture. Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy won the first-feature award for "The Tribe," a teen-gang drama set at a school for the deaf and performed entirely in sign language, without subtitles. Actress Sameena Jabeen Ahmed was named best British newcomer for her performance as a British-Pakistani teenager on the run from her family in "Catch Me Daddy." The documentary prize went to "Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait," a searing look at the country's civil war by Paris-based director Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a schoolteacher who filmed life in the besieged city of Homs. Director Stephen Frears was awarded the British Film Institute's Fellowship, in recognition of a career that has traveled from the battered streets of Margaret Thatcher's Britain in "My Beautiful Laundrette," to 18th-century France in "Dangerous Liaisons," seedy Los Angeles in "The Grifters" and Buckingham Palace in "The Queen." The 73-year-old director said that he'd become a filmmaker by accident, and quoted playwright Joe Orton, subject of his 1987 film "Prick Up Your Ears." "I've got away with it so far," he said, "and I'm going to go on." ___ Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Frears, 'Leviathan' honoured at London Film Festival
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
Frears, 'Leviathan' honoured at London Film Festival

Director Stephen Frears was honoured with a fellowship of the British Film Institute (BFI) on Saturday at a ceremony at the London Film Festival, where Russian movie "Leviathan" won the event's official award. The 73-year-old filmmaker behind movies such as "Philomena", "The Queen" and "Dangerous Liaisons" joked that the fellowship award made him feel "geriatric". "It's not over yet," he told the award ceremony at Banqueting House in London, adding that had "almost finished" his latest work, a biopic about cyclist Lance Armstrong. Playwright and screenwriter David Hare paid tribute to Frears, saying: "I can't think of anyone who's made a richer, more diverse or more consistently intelligent contribution to British film in my lifetime." The awards ceremony, on the eve of the closing day of the festival, saw the top prize awarded to Andrei Zvyagintsev's harrowing drama assailing abuse of power in today's Russia. "Leviathan" had already won best screenplay at Cannes in May and Russia has put it forward as its nomination for the best foreign language film at the Oscars. "Its grandeur and themes moved all of us in the same way," said Jeremy Thomas, president of the London competition jury. The Sutherland Award, given to the most original and imaginative first feature, went to Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy for "The Tribe", a violent, silent drama set in a school for deaf-mute teenagers. The Grierson Award for best documentary went to "Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait", Wiam Simav Bedirxan and Ossama Mohammed's film about the seige of the Syrian town of Homs. Sameena Jabeen Ahmed was named best British newcomer for her "fearless" performance in thriller "Catch Me Daddy", about a girl on the run from her family in northern England. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'New Girl,' 'Cosmos' win Environmental Media Award
Sunday Oct 19, 2014
'New Girl,' 'Cosmos' win Environmental Media Award

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — TV's "New Girl," ''Parenthood" and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" have been recognized for supporting green initiatives by the Environmental Media Association. The organization presented its Environmental Media Awards on Saturday during a gala dinner that also celebrated its 25th anniversary. Board member Ed Begley, Jr., lauded the Environmental Media Association for encouraging entertainment media to serve as a vehicle to educate the public about environmental concerns. Guests at the dinner program at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, included Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Sara Gilbert, Jeff Goldblum and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Other winners announced Saturday were the feature film "Disneynature Bears," the documentary "GMO OMG," the children's program "Paw Patrol" and the digital video "Should We All Be Eating Insects?" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.