Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Lindsay Lohan's Secret 'F**k U' in Courtroom

Lindsay Lohan Sentenced to 90 Days in Jail, 90 Days of Rehab

It seems no one noticed at the time, but while tabloid starlet Lindsay Lohan was making an impassioned speech to a California judge about respect for the court and taking responsibility for her actions, she was also apparently sending a secret, defiant message hidden by tiny type in her fingernails: "F**k U." 
Magnified images of Lohan's fingers revealed the words today, casting doubt on her remorse over her parole violation for a 2007 DUI conviction for which she was on trial Tuesday. Regardless of the nails, Beverly Hills judge Marsha Revel leveled a 90-day prison sentence followed by 90 days of in-patient rehab for the 24-year-old.
It's an unusually harsh sentence for a relatively minor offense, California defense attorney Mark Geragos said today.
"I just think this sentence is utterly ridiculous," Geragos, who is not involved in the case, told "Good Morning America." "The fact remains that if she was anybody else, Lindsay Smith, that she wouldn't be treated this way. ... This is a completely outrageous sentence in terms of her violation."
Before learning her fate, Lohan pleaded her case to the court -- aware that she might be shown special treatment, one way or the other.


Mary J. Blige Gives Command Performance At Essence Music Festival

The 16th annual Essence Music Festival ended in triumph in the early hours of Monday morning, as Earth Wind & Fire closed out the weekend with hits like "September" and "Reasons."
For several days, Essence magazine — celebrating its 40th anniversary this year — and its 20-plus sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Olay and Ford, drove home messages of empowerment, self-esteem and self-awareness. By day, thousands hit New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where dozens of companies had set up booths and where acts like Keith Sweat and El DeBarge performed. Those passing through the convention center were also treated to good old celebrity sightings like T.I. and comedian/author Steve Harvey, who led relationship talks.

At night, of course, it was all about the music at the Louisiana Superdome. Trey Songz, Estelle, Kid 'N Play, Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, Jill Scott, Joe, Gladys Knight and Keri Hilson were among dozens of performers who opened both on the main stage and the smaller lounge stages. And the headliners were big guns: Janet Jackson kicked things off Friday, Saturday belonged to Alicia Keys and on Sunday night, though Earth Wind & Fire were last on the lineup, it was all about Mary.
Mary J. Blige walked away with the performance of the weekend, showing a definitive command of the audience. The queen of hip-hop soul had the New Orleans crowd in a frenzy like a Reggie Bush touchdown, opening up her catalog and doling out cherished ditties such as "Real Love." When Blige brought out Trey Songz to sing on "We Got Hood Love," Trigger, of course, got another resounding ovation from the ladies.
"Thank you for helping your big sister out," Mary told Trey.
"Sweet Thang" was huge, likely going over heavy because of its sing-along factor, and the audience was so enthralled on "I'm Going Down," Mary only had to sing one line to tear the roof off the Dome.
"Time on my hands, since you been away boy," the female fans roared, taking over the reins of the record. "Sleep doesn't come easy," Mary soon joined in, but the hypnotized spectators kept singing the lyrics. After the record, Blige struck a b-girl pose with her fist balled almost all the way up and her thumb touching her chin.
"Let me say this, the Mary J. Blige fans are in the building. I'm having a great time," Mary said before complimenting the ladies on how good they were looking and how great they sounded.
"We've reached that point in the night when we have to address some things," she continued. The Queen then advised the women that some people will try to push them down, and that there's only one way to handle those people: Tell them you're trying to get up. "We will have no more drama," she insisted, following up with "No More Drama."
"I may not be perfect for you, but I'm perfect for me," Mary told the ladies. She also said she was cool with her imperfections. "It can only make me better to know I am imperfect. ... It's only one you baby. It's only one you, original, baby."
The tempo soon changed up: "I wanna keep y'all hype right now. Keep y'all right," she said. T.I. then came onstage for "Good Love" and the fans went crazy. Mary hugged Tip and he saluted the crowd. Blige's set ended with her smashes "Family Affair" and "Be Without You."
The night before, the highlight on the bill was Alicia Keys, who was introduced by Jada Pinkett Smith. The five-months pregnant singer, who appeared to be standing on six-inch heels, slipped and fell onstage during "Love Is Blind," but she never missed a beat (her vocals were nearly flawless) or a lyric. She got right back up and went to the piano and played.
Keys' set had several signature moments, including "You Don't Know My Name" and "Fallin'." And though she did show her skills on the piano for cuts like "Diary," A.K. got up and danced on several selections, including "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)."


Levi Johnston apologizes to Palins

Levi Johnston has acknowledged telling lies about Sarah Palin and her family after splitting with the former Alaska governor's daughter last year.
The 20-year-old tells People magazine Tuesday that he "publicly said things that were not completely true," and "I owe it to the Palins to publicly apologize" for his "youthful indiscretion."
It's unclear which statements he was referring to, and Johnston could not immediately be reached for comment.
Johnston tells People he was "unhappy and a little angry" after breaking up with his former fiance, 19-year-old Bristol Palin, after their son's birth in December 2008. He says that he said false things against his better judgment.
"Part of co-parenting is creating healthy and honest relationships between the parents," he said. "Tripp one day needs to know the truth and needs to know that even if a mistake is made the honorable thing to do is to own up to it."
Johnston says he has also privately apologized to Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and her husband, Todd.


‘Titanic’ Star Gloria Stuart Turns 100

Gloria Stuart, who played the ever-lovable Rose in James Cameron's mega motion picture Titanic, celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday with more than 100 members of her family and friends, according to USA Today.

"Gloria's so alive, and her creativity, her artistry and the sparkle in her eyes is a challenge to all of us to live as fully and richly as she has and will continue to do as she heads into her 101st year," said Cameron, who's converting Titanic into 3-D for re-release in April 2012, the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

Among the star-studded guests at the Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills were Frances Fisher, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Arnold. The party was hosted by Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis.

The actress was born July 4, 1910, in Santa Monica into one of California's early families, which can trace its roots to the gold rush town of Angels Camp, reports the Los Angeles Times. Her career has spanned over 70 years in both television and movies, most notably in films such as and The Three Musketeers.

Stuart was honored by the Screen Actors Guild on June 21 for her many years of service. In response to receiving the Ralph Morgan Award, Stuart replied by saying, "I'm very, very grateful. I've had a wonderful life of giving and sharing."


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A total 'Eclipse' at the box office

The latest 'Twilight' movie opens with $175.3 million domestically, more than double No.2 finisher 'The Last Airbender's' take.

The only thing that could make the opening of the new "Twilight" film look less than spectacular is the last "Twilight" film.
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opened to an estimated $175.3 million in the United States and Canada from last Wednesday through the Monday holiday, $3.6 million short of what November's "New Moon" collected in its first six days. The shortfall is a bit surprising because the new vampire romance starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner had the advantage of playing in the summer, when more young people are out of school on weekdays, and on Imax screens, which charge more for tickets.
Nonetheless, "Eclipse" still enjoyed the most successful first six days for any movie this year and grossed an additional $104 million overseas, making it an instant success for studio Summit Entertainment.
"The Last Airbender," a 3-D live-action adaptation of a Nickelodeon cartoon, had a strong start as well, collecting $70.5 million from its opening day Thursday through Monday.
The two films helped drive total box-office receipts up 19% from the July 4 weekend in 2009, providing a much-needed boost to what has been a soft summer for the Hollywood studios. Box-office revenue compared with last year has been down for most of the summer blockbuster movie season that began in early May, according to, but is now up 1%. That doesn't account for rising ticket prices, however, and actual attendance is still down 5%.
Despite its huge opening, "Eclipse" is an unlikely candidate to beat "Toy Story 3," which is already at $301 million and appears to have plenty of life left in it, for the most successful movie so far in 2010.
Like the last two films based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling vampire romance books, "Eclipse" had a huge opening day and saw its ticket sales decline rapidly thereafter, with sizable drops from Wednesday to Thursday and Friday to Saturday.
Fans seemed to love the new movie even more than "New Moon," however, giving it an average grade of A as opposed to A- for November's picture, according to market research firm CinemaScore. In addition, "Eclipse" drew a more diverse audience that was 35% male, instead of 20% for "New Moon," and 55% over 21, as opposed to 65%.
Summit is hopeful those advantages, along with summer playtime, will help give "Eclipse" a higher total gross than "New Moon."
"We can make up a lot of ground with midweek grosses because unlike the last two titles, we have got schools out across the country and kids available to us during the week," said Richard Fay, Summit's domestic distribution president.
"New Moon" dropped 70% on its second weekend and ended up with total domestic receipts of $296.6 million.
Regardless of whether it beats that mark, "Eclipse" is certain to be a hugely profitable title for Summit, as it cost $68 million to produce.
It's too early to tell whether the new "Twilight" film is on track to exceed the $413-million foreign gross of "New Moon" as it has yet to open in key countries such as Great Britain, France and South Korea. However, this weekend it enjoyed strong starts in 42 overseas territories including Spain, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Romania.
While the opening of "Eclipse" was right in line with what pre-release polling had indicated, "Airbender" beat expectations, giving Paramount good early news for its only event movie of the summer. The fantasy adventure, which cost $150 million and is the first big-budget picture directed by M. Night Shyamalan, of "The Sixth Sense" and "Lady in the Water" fame, drew a younger, more male crowd than "Twilight."
Initial ticket sales weren't hurt by overwhelmingly negative reviews, but opening-night audiences gave the movie a C, indicating that they agreed with reviewers. That fact, combined with a decline in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday, point to bad word-of-mouth and a short box-office run.
But Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said that CinemaScore may not have captured how well "Airbender" is playing to families and said prospects for the picture are bigger overseas, where it has yet to open.
"[Shyamalan's] track record is that his movies do much better internationally, as do action-adventure movies with lots of visual effects," said Moore. "And so far this year we have seen international audiences respond even more to 3-D than domestic audiences."
Several films already in theaters held on fairly well even though many people headed to fireworks and not movie theaters on Sunday. "Toy Story 3," "Grown Ups," "Knight & Day" and "The Karate Kid" all saw their ticket sales decline by about 50%.
In limited release, "Cyrus," the comedy starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, continues to do well. It expanded from 60 theaters to 77 and took in just over $1 million for the four-day weekend, bringing its total to $1.7 million. Fox Searchlight will attempt to build on its momentum by expanding "Cyrus" to about 160 locations on Friday.


Pregnant Alicia Keys takes a tumble onstage

Pregnant R&B star Alicia Keys gave fans a scare during her performance at the Essence Music Festival when she fell on her backside while on stage.

The Empire State of Mind hitmaker was one of the headliners at the annual three-day event in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, sharing the bill with superstars such as Janet Jackson and Mary J Blige, but she had concert-goers fearing for her and her unborn baby's safety when she tumbled backwards and fell while singing Love Is Blind, Contactmusic reported.

The fall prompted gasps from the crowd but Keys, who had been wearing stiletto heels, refused to let the mishap disrupt her show, climbing back to her feet and taking her place at the piano to continue the song.

A source close to the star insists mother and baby were unharmed in the incident.

The performance is one of the singer's last scheduled shows before she takes maternity leave to prepare for the birth of her first child with her fiance, producer Swizz Beatz.


Katy: How I 'tamed' lusty Russ

Sexy songstress Katy Perry claims she cured fiancé Russell Brand of his womanizing ways -- by making him wait for their first red-hot romp.
The "California Gurls" singer said she shot down the British comic the night they met, telling him, "You've met your match mother - - - - er" and hurling a water bottle at him.
"Can you imagine the horrible feeling he had when he was used to getting everything he wanted?" she told the British edition of Esquire for its August issue, where she also appears in a provocative pictorial.
While admitting they hit it off instantly, Perry said she demanded the "Get Him to the Greek" star win her affections, sparking a whirlwind romance that led Brand to abandon a promiscuous life that reportedly had him bedding up to 80 women a month.
"He was a heroin addict, and now he's not. He was addicted to all kinds of things, and now he's not. And he basically used to be a professional prostitute, and now he's not," she said.
Perry, 25, called the 35-year-old Brand an ideal match because "I always needed someone stronger than me and I am, like, a
f - - - ing strong elephant of a woman.
"I say that, hopefully, in the humblest way I can. When we have an argument, he knows I'm not just gonna throw my hands up and say, 'OK, you win,' " she said.
The couple plans to marry in October.

Lindsay Lohan to face triple threat: Judge, possible jail time, and Dad Michael Lohan

Lindsay Lohan faces a triple threat today - a fed-up judge, possible jail time and her estranged father.
The "Mean Girls" star has a Beverly Hills court hearing on whether she violated probation for her 2007 DUI conviction.
Dad Michael Lohan will be front and center as Judge Marsha Revel mulls Lindsay’s alcohol class absenteeism and a missed court date.
If guilty, she could get six months in the pokey.
"I’ll be there to support Lindsay. And if the judge wants to give her jail time, I’ll say that’s not what she needs. Recidivism is so high when someone with a drug problem goes to jail," he told the Daily News.
He insists Lindsay is addicted to prescription meds.
"As long as prescription drugs are in the mix, she’ll never be 100% and have her career back," he said. "She can get off them with proper treatment, not jail."
Revel slapped an alcohol-monitoring SCRAM anklet on the sassy starlet, 24, in May and ordered weekly drug testing that allowed for prescriptions.
Lindsay reportedly isn’t sweating the legal showdown.
"It’s no big deal to her, even though she totally believes Judge Revel hates her guts," a source told

Monday, July 05, 2010

'Eclipse' ebbs

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’’ is waning at the box office but still has gotten off to a blockbuster start with $161 million in its first five days, according to studio estimates yesterday. The third chapter in Summit Entertainment’s vampire romance fell off sharply after debuting Wednesday with $68.5 million. That was the second-best opening-day haul ever, behind its predecessor, last year’s “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,’’ which opened with $72.7 million. Summit estimates “Eclipse’’ will climb to around $181 million domestically by today. The weekend’s other new wide release, Paramount’s “The Last Airbender,’’ opened well with $40.7 million to finish at No. 2 for the three-day weekend. The movie took in $53.2 million since debuting Thursday. Disney’s animated smash “Toy Story 3,’’ which had been No. 1 the previous two weekends, slipped to third place with $30.2 million, raising its total to $289 million. (AP)


'Harry Potter' Star Receives Death Threats from Family

Harry Potter star Afshan Azad received death threats from members of her immediate family.
The father and brother of Azad, who plays Padma Patil in the films, are being accused of threatening to kill the actress. Her brother, Ashraf, is also accused of assaulting the star in her home.
Azad was reportedly attacked on May 21. The reason for the assault is that her Muslim family does not approve of her relationship with a Hindu man.
A hearing was held for the men, and they were released on bail. Neither Ashraf nor Abdul Azad, Afshan’s father, is allowed to travel to London. They have also been placed on a curfew.
The two are expected to attend another court date later this month. It is believed that both will plead not guilty.
The lawyer for Azad’s brother is quoted as saying that "I hope for the whole family's sake this matter can be resolved quickly and happily."


Justin Bieber and His Ex Remain Close

Hollywood News is reporting that just because Justin Bieber and Caitlin Beadles aren’t an item anymore, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t “still adore him.”
Bieber and his girlfriend broke up last year, shortly after his career began to take off, when Bieber tweeted, “IM SINGLE and READY TO MINGLE!! Haha.”
But the two have apparently stayed close. When Beadles was in a boating accident last August, Bieber flew out to see her, and in December, during his Georgia concert, he sang to his ex-girlfriend.
Last month, when Bieber was doing a photoshoot in the Bahamas, Beadles flew out to meet him, tweeting, “Bahamas here I come! Gonna be an awesome week!” A week later she added “What happens in the Bahamas stays in the Bahamas!”
When Bieber returned to Canada, Beadles tweeted to Bieber “I hate when you have to leave. It’s like half of me is gone. I miss you already!”
That was later removed.


Jessica Simpson Dating Another Football Player

Jessica Simpson is dating ex-San Francisco 49ers tight end Eric Johnson.
TMZ reports Simpson, 29, and Johnson, 30, began dating back in May and have been keeping a low profile until recently. A source close to the couple said that the new couple is “very happy.”
Simpson, who starred in The Dukes of Hazzard, dated dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and singer John Mayer after her split from husband Nick Lachey in 2006.
Johnson was drafted by the 49ers in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL draft after attending Yale University. He had his best year in 2004, when he led the team in receiving with 82 catches for 825 yards and two touchdowns.
Simpson is best known for the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, which she starred on with former husband Lachey.


Lindsay Lohan seen out and about with female Israeli soldier Eilat Anschel

Is she LiLo's new sapphic squeeze or just her smoking hot bodyguard?
Troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan has been spotted cozying up to Israeli military veteran Eilat Anschel quite a bit lately - and tongues are wagging.
The gossip site reports that Lohan has turned to Anschel for a "shoulder to cry on," as she deals with the legal woes stemming from a Los Angeles DUI that require her to wear an alcohol-monitoring anklet everywhere she goes.
The pair was first snapped together gallivanting around the Los Angeles club scene last month. TMZ reported yesterday that La Lohan is now "totally obsessing over the chick."
Lohan, Anschel and Lohan's parents did not return messages for comment.
Anschel, who is from Israel, completed her compulsory military service just recently, TMZ said, which makes her more than capable of fending off any overzealous paparazzi.
Friends, however, warn that "it's not the healthiest relationship in the world," which would certainly not be a first for La Lohan.
The fiery 24-year-old siren had a long-running, stormy relationship with deejay girlfriend Samantha Ronson that served as tabloid fodder for years. The actress went in and out of rehab more than once during her relationship with Ronson.
The pair broke up in April 2009, but Lohan continued to make headlines with her hard-partying ways.
On Friday, Lohan - who continues to hit the club scene despite not being allowed to drink - got into a dustup during her 24th birthday party in which she claimed she was slugged by a waitress at an L.A. hot spot.
The waitress has denied the accusation.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

New “Twilight” Movie Eclipses Box Office Competitors

The most recent “Twilight” film sailed over the $100 million tag during its third day at the North American box office, and was predicted to deal with a record-breaking $200 million by the end of the U.S. Independence Day holiday weekend, based on quotes released on Saturday.
“The Twilight Saga: The Eclipse,” the excitedly envisioned third installment in the vampire love series, sold about $121.4 million worth of tickets from Wednesday to Friday, stated distributor Summit Entertainment.
For the conventional Friday-Sunday part, the privately owned studio predicted sales of $80.2 million, and a four-day total of $106.1 million with addition of the Monday holiday. That would take its six-day run to $198.9 million.
The record for an Independence Day launch is presented by “Spider-Man 2,” which gained $180 million in its first six days in 2004, having also opened on a Wednesday.
As for the other movies in the “Twilight” series, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” gained $179 million in its first six days during a nonholiday time in November. A year before, the six-day haul for the first movie, “Twilight,” was $88 million.
The actual weekend sales sum for the new movie could change largely when further quotes are issued on Sunday and Monday. Studios sometimes make a mistake on the traditional side when issuing estimations. Ultimate data will be unveiled on Tuesday.
If primary quotes hold, “Eclipse” would rank No. 3 among all-time six-day openers, behind “The Dark Knight” ($222 million) and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” ($215 million), based on Box Office Mojo.
The movie orbits about the love between teen Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson ), as werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) attempts to take her heart away. Critics loved the movie more than they did the first two, based on Web site Rotten Tomatoes.
The family movie “The Last Airbender” from “Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan was another new launch. The two-day total for the Thursday launch was $32.95 million, stated distributor Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.
After two weeks at No. 1, the Pixar cartoon “Toy Story 3″ was predicted to fall to No. 3 for the weekend. It gained $10.5 million on Friday — vs. $28.6 million for “Eclipse” and $16.6 million for “Last Airbender” — taking its North American total to $269.3 million, stated Pixar parent Walt Disney Co.


People Go Along With Critics On ‘Last Airbender’: It’s A Stinker

The good information for Paramount going into this great holiday weekend is that its M. Night Shyamalan-directed “The Last Airbender” has gained a big upsurge in critical excitement. Well, perhaps big would be placing it a bit too powerfully. The movie, which on Thursday was embedded at a surprisingly lowly 6 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has maintained to slide up to a 9 on the critic aggregation site. At this rate, the movie could strike double results by the end of the weekend.
The bad information for Paramount is that contrary to a movie like “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which was drubbed by the critics but appreciated by the people, “Last Airbender” is acquiring the identical poor evaluations from rank-and-file moviegoers as from the critical mandarins. Relating to CinemaScore, the corporation that monitors opening-night response from moviegoers in a lot of cities around the nation, first-night moviegoers — the folks most excited about viewing “Last Airbender” — gave the movie a woeful C.
Based on studio marketers, a C level from CinemaScore is a portend of gloom and doom, since it’s a very clear indication that even a cinema’s most devoted viewers believed the movie was a stinker, a viewpoint they are sure to share with their buddies and family just before the weekend is out. So while box office prognosticators like my coworker Ben Fritz have estimated that “Airbender” could produce approximately $50 million over the weekend, the C level is a fairly trustworthy indicator that the cinema will have a sharp dropoff in its grosses in the weeks to come.
In the run-up to the movie’s opening, Shyamalan has been preaching about rapidly getting to work on a sequel, but if I were him, I’d be keeping my choices open. This film, to quote one of my father’s favorite expressions, seems like a dog that won’t hunt.


4th Of July Concerts Include Justin Bieber, B.o.B, The Roots

The Fourth of July weekend. A time for potato salad, backyard barbecues, trips to the ER following fireworks mishaps and patriotic concerts headlined by Canadian tween stars.

Yes, Ontario's own Justin Bieber will headline this year's Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on Sunday. The show will be broadcast on NBC and also feature appearances from Enrique Iglesias, LeAnn Rimes and a few yet-unnamed "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" castmembers. Nick Cannon will host the night's festivities, which will beam out from the deck of the Norwegian Epic cruise liner.
Rapper B.o.B will also be in New York, performing at the third annual Brooklyn Music Festival along with a host of reggae stars, including Shaggy, Shabba Ranks, Barrington Levy, Marcia Griffiths, Yellowman, Gregory Isaacs and Lady Saw.
The Independence Day holiday coincides with Chicago's massive Taste of Chicago event, a gastronomic mecca that this year will host Passion Pit, Carney, Alejandro Escovedo and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
In St. Louis, John Legend will warm things up on Saturday night under the famous Arch before new-wave favorites the B-52s headline on Sunday. Rockers Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will do the honors at the San Diego County Fair, and Mary J. Blige will top the bill at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans as part of the Essence Music Festival, which will also feature sets from Jill Scott, Estelle, Earth, Wind & Fire and Trey Songz.
One of the day's biggest celebrations is A Capitol Fourth in Washington, D.C., which will be hosted by actor Jimmy Smits and feature sets from Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight, Darius Rucker, David Archuleta and a number of military bands. In Boston, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will get a hand from country icon Toby Keith, while the Roots, Goo Goo Dolls and Chrisette Michele will hold it down in Philadelphia at Ben Franklin Parkway, which organizers are promising will be the biggest free concert in the United States on Independence Day.


Alicia Keys unlocks pocket full of dreams at Essence Music Festival

Alicia Keys didn't need a cadre of dancers or an arsenal of special visual effects to capture the hearts of the crowd at her headlining concert Saturday at the 16th Essence Music Festival. All it took was her powerhouse laser beam voice soaring through a strong collection of hit anthems and her face beaming from beneath a mound of shoulder-length curls.
After actress Jada Pinkett Smith introduced her about 25 minutes past midnight (the program was running nearly an hour late), Keys launched into Love Is Blind from her 2009 album The Element of Freedom and kept the intensity steady and the mood uplifting all the way through to show-closer No One an hour later.
Keys, who recently announced that she was pregnant, hid her baby bump beneath a roomy emerald green-and black dress but couldn't disguise her pleasure in performing before the loyal, but less-than-capacity crowd.
Switching frequently between several types of keyboards (including a baby grand piano and a strap-on electronic keyboard), she worked her way though signature tune Fallin', Diary, Like You'll Never See Me Again, Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart and a dozen other inspirational torch songs. For Till You See My Smile she climbed atop the baby grand and sang while reclining, leading an "oooh oooh'' sing-along on the chorus.
Current hit Empire State of Mind Part 2, played against a video backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, illuminated the affection that New Orleans has for New York and earned her some of the loudest applause of the night.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

M. Night Shyamalan Reveals 'The Last Airbender' Deleted Scenes

"The Last Airbender" hit theaters this week, offering moviegoers a live-action adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon animated series — or more accurately, its first season.
In order to cram 20 episodes of cartoon story into 103 minutes of movie, however, some parts of the "Airbender" tale had to be left on the editing room floor. And when I spoke to director M. Night Shyamalan about the film, I asked him about the scenes that didn't make the final cut.

"The single most difficult decision was [cutting] the Kyoshi Warriors," he said of a chapter in the story that involves Aang, Sokka, and Katara encountering a group of female warriors along their travels.
"We shot [the scene] and they were amazing, and we spent an unbelievable amount of time choreographing them," he explained. "And they just distracted from the movie, because the movie wasn't about them."
According to Shyamalan, the decision to edit out the Kyoshi Warriors had a lot to do with their lack of involvement in the final chapter of the first season — and therefore, the finale of the film itself.
"It was like introducing these great characters who had nothing to do with the third act," he explained. "That's what happens in the series, but in the short form of the movie, it becomes blatant. Where did they go? Why aren't they in the third act?"
"So I made the very difficult decision of pulling them from the movie and introducing them in the second movie if we have the opportunity," he added.
Along with the removal of the Kyoshi Warriors, Shyamalan also admitted to cutting much of the slapstick humor of the story.
"I did it naturally in the first draft, and as the drafts went on, I kept on doing it more," he said of cutting out the jokey side of the trio's adventure. "Then when we shot it, I did it even more, and then when we were editing it, I kept on reducing it."
"What I found was... the audience wants to take this seriously," he explained. "They want this to be real and important to everyone, and if a character is being too silly, they go, 'Okay, I guess he's not very upset. I guess there's not a big threat. I guess the fact that an entire culture's been wiped out is not a big deal.'"
"When everyone has the same threats and value systems going on, you really start to lean in more," continued Shyamalan. "You have to be really careful — a slapstick moment can really drain a movie."


The casting of 'Spider-Man 4': Who's Andrew Garfield?

The new "Spider-Man" movie finally has a leading man and it is… Andrew Garfield?

Sony Pictures made the announcement on Thursday that Garfield would take over for Tobey Maguire as the new Peter Parker, reported, and ever since fans have been furiously googling this little-known actor.

Garfield, who was born in Los Angeles, may not be a familiar face in America, but across the pond he is popular for his starring roles in the British television series "Red Riding," a crime drama, and the movies "Boy A" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus."
The new Spider-Man movie's director, Mark Webb, who directed last summer's hit "(500) Days of Summer," told that, "Though (Garfield's) name may be new to many, those who know this young actor's work understand his extraordinary talents. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker."

Earlier this year, Sony said the movie's plot will take Parker back into high school and will focus on, "A teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises." Spider-man will begin filming later this year and is set to be released the July 3, 2012.


Lindsay Lohan punched on birthday

What a birthday.
Lindsay Lohan, who was celebrating her 24th birthday early Friday morning at Voyeur nightclub, was allegedly punched by a waitress, according to multiple reports.
The actress tweeted about it at around 1 a.m. Pacific: "A waitress just hit me - punched me for no reason."
A witness who was there told Us Magazine that the waitress was jealous Lohan was hanging out with Doug Reinhardt, Paris Hilton's ex-boyfriend.


Lady Gaga nears 10 million Facebook fans

Lady Gaga is on track to soon become the first living person to log 10 million Facebook fans, according to British website Famecount.
Gaga overtook Barack Obama as the most popular living person on Facebook on June 25. Only five entities, none of them living people, now have more Facebook fans than Lady Gaga, including the late Michael Jackson, Texas Hold 'em Poke, the Family Guy TV show, the game Mafia Wars and Facebook itself.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

'The Last Airbender': An Inside Look At Five Cool Powers And Weapons

Last summer, MTV News took a trip inside M. Night Shyamalan's mad-scientist brain when we visited the Philadelphia set of "The Last Airbender." The hyperkinetic director was in the midst of bringing "Airbender" out from the animated small screen and into real life, and the results were big, big, big — sets twice the size of football fields, massive green screens, hundreds of extras in elaborate costumes and a production budget two and a half times the size of any of his other movies.

"I'm scared to death," he admitted back then.
Yet, at the same time, Shyamalan knew exactly what he was doing. Now the results of that focused anxiety have arrived in theaters. Set in an imaginary world in which various tribes can control the elements of the planet, the film follows the century-long war that the Fire nation has been waging against other nations until a young boy named Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the only person capable of controlling all four elements and bringing about peace.
As the tribes go at one another, the audience gets to sit back and take in all manner of badass weaponry and cool, CGI-assisted powers. Visual-effects supervisor Pablo Helman ("War of the Worlds") and set decorator Larry Dias ("Transformers") walked MTV News through the creation of these various features to give us the inside scoop about five cool weapons and powers.
Manipulating Fire
The Fire nation is one committed to ceaseless warfare. Their weapon of choice, obviously, is all manner of wicked flames — flung in various ways at the enemy to cause maximum damage. It's fantastical stuff, no doubt, but Shyamalan wanted that computer-generated power to be grounded in reality. Helman's source of inspiration? The annual Burning Man festival in Nevada.
"Night wanted something that no one had seen before," Helman said. "And he wanted the fire to look different every time it was used. At Burning Man, they've got a bonfire there, and they put a bunch of fans around it so the fire looks like a tornado fire. That was the main inspiration. We showed it to Night and said it's a cool look, and he loved it."
Manipulating Water
The Water nation, meanwhile, is a more peaceful tribe — until they're challenged by the Fire folks and have to fight back. Their ability is controlling water and using it every conceivable way to eliminate the aggressor. Helman looked to the U.S. space agency to come up with something that would work for computer animation.
"We looked at NASA footage. They did some experiments with liquid water in zero gravity," Helman said. "If you look at the water in zero gravity, it behaves in a specific way. It stays together, it forms balls, and there's all this interesting stuff that happens inside the balls of water. That's what we showed Night, and he loved it. So we had to come up with a piece of software that allowed us to manipulate water in the same way."
Fire Balls
The Fire nation doesn't just hurl fire. They also build huge, spiky metal spheres that they launch from their warships. Think of them like the scariest, flame-assisted catapults you've ever seen.
"The Fire nation is the only one of the nations that has industrialized, and we needed to create something that would work for them," Dias explained. "So for the military ships, we manufactured these giant orbs — basically a metal framework that would have fire put in digitally. They have huge spikes, they're flaming, they're intense. They inflict a lot of damage."
Zuko's Double Swords
"Airbender" features a slew of weapons, from Aang's powerful staff to the various swords of the warring tribes. But ask star Dev Patel what his favorite weapon in the movie is, and of course he's going to choose one that his character — the Fire nation's Prince Zuko — gets to wield in a seriously badass fashion. Too bad Patel himself didn't actually get to swing those double swords.
"I actually didn't use the two broad swords," Patel told MTV News. "Most of the other action I did. With two big, sharp swords in my hand, they had an amazing stunt guy called Stephen Oyoung, and he is brilliant with these two swords. He deserves lots of credit."
Fire Braziers
Here's the thing about the Fire nation: While they maintain a mighty army capable of manipulating fire, they can't create enough fire themselves to rein terror on their enemies. Instead, they have to cart around huge fire carriers that give them the raw material.
"We built these big fire baskets called braziers that are really ornate," Dias said. "We built them in different sizes. They have these poles that are decorated with spearheads, and four soldiers carry them. The Fire nation can't go to war without them."


Twilight sequel sets new box office record

The latest film in the Twilight series has broken the record set by its predecessor for takings from midnight screenings in the US and Canada.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse made more than $30 million (£20.1m) from midnight screenings on Wednesday, according to its distributor Summit Entertainment.

That exceeded the $26.3m (£17.6m) New Moon made when it opened last November.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart star in Eclipse, the third instalment in the vampire romance series.
The film has its UK premiere later, with advance screenings to follow this weekend ahead of its official UK release on 9 July.

Neither Stewart and Pattinson will be at the London premiere, although it will be attended by director David Slade and other cast members.

Twilight fans - dubbed "Twi-hards" by some - lined up hours ahead of the first midnight showings.

Experts expect Eclipse to have a record-breaking US debut over the traditionally lucrative Fourth of July weekend.