Wednesday, April 2, 2008

CBS cuts news staff across country

Two of CBS' largest O&Os, in Los Angeles and Chicago, have been hit by layoffs.

Also, longtime L.A. anchors Ann Martin and Harold Greene will retire when their contracts expire in May.

Employees at L.A.'s KCBS and KCAL plus WBBM in Chicago got word of the cuts Monday. The local news operation in Los Angeles is CBS' second-largest behind WCBS New York. WBBM is No. 3.

Exact numbers weren't disclosed, but 10-15 people were dismissed at KCBS-KCAL, with eliminated positions coming from both in front of and behind the camera. Reporters Jennifer Sabih and Jennifer Davis were among those who were let go.

In Chicago, Channel 2's high-profile anchor Diann Burns, who was making $2 million per year, was let go in a purge that saw 18 staffers lose their jobs. Also dismissed were longtime sportscaster Mark Malone, health correspondent Mary Ann Childers and reporter Katie McCall.

There were also cuts on the network side, with a little more than 1% of the news division staff dismissed. "The Early Show" lost a handful of behind-the-scenes staffers -- some in the technical and operations divisions -- but "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" took no hits.

"Like many news organizations, we're taking into account changes in technology and newsgathering and utilizing our staff as smartly as possible," said Sandy Genelius, veep of communications for CBS News. "Some open jobs are not being filled, some are being redefined and some are being lost."

Greene is a longtime L.A. news personality. He has been with KCBS-KCLA as an anchor since 2001 after arriving from local rival KABC, where he spent much the 1990s. He currently anchors two newscasts for the duopoly.

Martin, who also anchors two hourlong newscasts, joined KCBS in 1994. Like Greene, she came from KABC and spent 13 years there as a general reporter and anchor.

It's been a rough few days at many of the Eye's local news affils. Last week stations in Miami, Denver, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Philadelphia all sustained layoffs, with about 15 jobs shed in each market. Boston was the worst hit, with about 20 cuts. There could be more to come, as several employees are contemplating buyout packages.

The timing of the layoffs on the network and affiliate side was coincidental and no further pinkslips are planned.

"Every one of our stations is different, but the one thing they have in common is they're always looking ways to operate more efficiently and effectively," said Mike Nelson, VP of communications for CBS Television Stations.

Layoffs at KCBS and KCAL come just less than a year after the news operations moved to their new state-of-the-art facility on the Radford lot in Studio City.

Original here

Tetris Theme

TriggerStreetTV - Episode 39 " '21' a Winner!"

Its a big week at TriggerStreet, and Dana and Evan have something entirely new to discuss: their very own #1 movie! Thats right, "21" is a hit at the box office, but thats not the only thing worth talking about as SAG and AFTRA go their separate ways, "Fanboys" fans are protesting, and Superman has legal troubles...

Want to download and watch this or previous episodes of TriggerStreetTV? You can download them from iTunes right now. Just go to the iTunes Music Store and search for "TriggerStreet." It's free!

While you're on iTunes, please make sure to take a few minutes and write a review of the show. We'd love to know what you think. We hope to broaden the audience for this show to folks who may not be members of this site already, and your reviews on iTunes definitely help to make that a possibility.

SHOW NOTES - Episode 39

Original here

10 Neat Facts About … Rick Astley!

All right, ‘fess up: how many of you were Rickrolled yesterday on April Fools’ Day?

With all the Rickrolling goin’ on these past few months, most of us don’t really know much about Rick Astley, the singer who enjoyed a resurgence in fame and unwittingly become the new face of Interweb prankery (is that a word? No? It should be!)

If you don’t know much about Rick, here are some fun facts regarding the man behind the phenomenon (no Rickrolling, we promise, because Neatorama will never give you up and never let you down!):

1. Rick Astley was born Richard Paul Astley on February 6, 1966. It was a Sunday. Rick shares his birthday with Axl Rose (born Feb 6, 1962), Bob Marley (1945), Ronald Reagan (1911) and Babe Ruth (1895). No wonder he was destined for stardom!

2. Rick left school at the age of 16. He drove a delivery van for his family’s business, a garden store.

3. If you think Rick is clean cut (okay, he did have long hair in Cry For Help … ), that’s because he is: heck, the guy was choir boy at his local church.

Oh, don’t believe me? Here’s a snippet from a 1988 Smash Hit interview:

Have you ever thought about getting your ear pierced?

"I haven’t no. Never once. It used to be trendy and fashionable, but you see, when anything becomes trendy and fashionable, I don’t like it. It’s not because I want to be different, it’s just that I don’t want to be mega-fashionable. I never really fancied a hole in me ear anyway." (source)

4. Rick was a drummer for a local band called FBI. When the lead singer left, Rick volunteered to take on the role - it was a lucky stroke because pop mogul Pete Waterman of Stock, Aitken & Waterman saw him perform. Waterman made him (but not the band) an offer, but Rick turned him down out of loyalty to his friends.

The band FBI in 1984, from left to right: Kevin Needham, Rick Astley, Will Hopper, Peter Dale and Greg Smee. (Photo: Rick Astley’s official website)

A year later, his bandmates felt guilty that they were holding Rick back and let him go to London to pursue his career …

5. … as a gofer for PWL Studios, Pete Waterman’s production company. There, he learned the recording process and the record industry business before he resumed singing.

[Okay, this is only tangentially related: Pete Waterman is a phenomenally rich man. He bought 18 Ferraris at one go, was the first man to purchase the privatized British Rail, and once owned the legendary locomotive The Flying Scotsman (source). Don’t know who he is? If you’re in the UK, just check out Pop Idol - he’s one of the judges]

6. Rick’s first song was a duet titled "When You Gonna", with singer Lisa Carter. It was released under the simple name of "Rick & Lisa" and was a flop. Here’s the YouTube clip (Pwnage at 1:25, 3:28 and 3:45!):

7. Two months after When You Gonna, Rick cut his first solo "Never Gonna Give You Up". The second time using "Gonna" did it for Rick - the song was a big hit. It stayed at number one for five weeks in the UK and was the best selling single of the year. Worldwide, it sold 15.2 million copies. It was 1987 and Rick was 21.

This one’s not the rickroll video that most of you have seen before: it’s a live performance in 1988. Well, you can consider it being rickrolled live!

In the (now famous again) music video, Rick sang in his trademark trenchcoat. Tech writer Mathew Ingram wrote in his column in The Globe and Mail, "In the video, he does his best to strike pop singer poses in a trenchcoat, but only succeeds in looking like a teenager performing in a high-school musical." But I think Mathew is just being jealous.

8. Rick Astley is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the first male solo artist to have his first 8 singles reach the Top 10 in the UK. This feat has never been repeated since.

9. Tired of being hounded by the press and wanting to prove that "there was more to him than being merely a singer" (source) - though some say he developed a fear of flying and didn’t want to tour anymore - Rick left Stock, Aitken & Waterman.

For much of the 1990s and early 2000s, Rick remained largely out of the spotlight, preferring to focus on his family life (Rick’s parents divorced when he was four, and he feared that his career would wreck his family life).

Pete Waterman said this about Rick’s retirement: "Rick walked away right at the height. People look at other artists like Simply Red and say they were big, but he out-sold them two to one." (source)

10. No, he’s not gay. Rick lives with his Danish girlfriend Lene Bausager and their daughter Emilie. Actually, that’s not the only popular misconception about Rick - when he was starting out, a lot of people assumed that Rick was a black man (because of his deep voice). Even after he made appearances, many people still thought that the skinny white guy was lip-synching to a song made by a black guy!

Original here

Music and Life - Alan Watts

April Fools Special: Cracked Gets On 'Judge Joe Brown Show'

In a perfect world, all legal issues would be settled by TV judges--men and women who don't take shit from anyone for a living. But do these shows actually resolve problems or are they feeding off of Jerry Springer rejects for the benefit of viewers who enjoy laughing with smug, ironic detachment? In honor of April Fools Day (and our ongoing journalistic pursuit of truth) we sent correspondent Harmon Leon undercover to infiltrate the shady world of court TV.

I start by submitting a completely over-the-top claim as bait to several shows. As it turns out, all of the major courtroom shows conveniently allow you to submit a case online.

I'm sure to make my case something that might make a housewife momentarily stop vacuuming:

"It was my roommate's bachelor party in Vegas. I gave my friend $700 to hire some strippers for the party. When it came time for the strippers to take it all off, they weren't chicks--THEY WERE DUDES!!"

A few days later, I get a reply from Judge Joe Brown ("Defender of Womanhood, Promoter of Manhood"). He's a TV judge who hasn't taken shit from anyone for over eight years. If not taking shit were an Olympic event, the man would be standing shoulder to shoulder with Samuel L. Jackson representing America in Beijing this summer.

I call the producer.
"I don't think I've ever seen anything like this come across my desk before," he admits, audibly excited. "If you're serious, I'll totally see if we can help you out with this."

Help indeed. I confirm my seriousness, and we roll up our sleeves to examine the sordid details of my case. And showing the legal acumen of, well, maybe a court stenographer, the producer grasps the essential elements of my case within seconds.

"From his point of view, he thinks it was a funny joke," he says. "But meanwhile, you got no strippers."

"Well, we got strippers," I clarify. "But they weren't chicks."

He continues. "They must have been thinking, 'Oh my God! Am I gay now because I just got a lap dance from this guy?'"

This producer is so excited that he sounds like he might wet himself. I dutifully agree that, yes, many of us are now worried we might have turned gay. As he continues to probe me for details, I make up names for my jilted roommate bachelor ("Hal") and the jokester transvestite-rental guy ("Mike").

I agree to fax him some proof that my bachelor party actually took place--"I got to protect the sanctity of our show," he explains. Yes, of course you do.

As it turns out, the Judge Joe Brown producer was right to stake his claim.

Over the next two days, I'm bombarded with offers and counteroffers from some of TV's finest legal issue-resolvers.

A producer from The People's Court calls me in an attempt to derail Judge Joe Brown's inside track. She pleads with me, "Please don't sign anything with the Judge Joe Brown show!" I tell her that I'm still fielding offers.

Next, a producer from the Judge Maria Lopez show e-mails me: "I'd like to strike a deal with you today, considering that other shows are calling you ... I promise I'll make it worth your while."

Worth my while? Well, butter me sideways! I'm hot shit in the TV courtroom world. It was time to give one of these shows exactly what they'd been asking for.

I phone the Lopez producer, ready to play court TV hardball. "Are you guys willing to wheel and deal?" I ask.

She sweetens the deal offered by the Brown people, enticing me with more cash. Yes, cash.

After much deliberation, I decide to go with Judge Joe. His strong, firm courtroom demeanor makes me feel like this is a place where a man wronged by transvestite strippers can truly have his day in court.

I assemble a couple of improv actor-friends to play Hal and Mike, and arrive early to find a line of people waiting for a chance to be part of the Judge Joe Brown studio audience. Wearing a suit, I'm in character and trying out a facial expression I call "I Like to Eat Babies." Faux-jilted groomsman Hal walks by my side.

Hal and I are scrutinized at a security checkpoint. Our picture phones are confiscated--no unauthorized photography on set--and put next to a seized bottle of vodka. Gesturing to the bottle, the guard explains, "It happens more often than you'd think!" We're then herded into the green room.

"It's not your fault that the dog was running in the street!" one of the many producers bellows, as she coaches and fires up a rotund woman about her TV court case.

"It's an arbitration, but it's also television. So you can be animated!" the show's bubbly head producer coaches us. "Work with the judge, okay?"

She hands me a copy of my TV court statement for my approval as the lanky producer--the one I had first spoken to on the phone--comes up to work with me one-on-one.

"Do I have to use the words male genitalia?" I ask, pointing to the words male genitalia.

"Here's the thing with this case. It's a light case, in the sense that no one got killed. You can say, 'In hindsight, it's a little bit funny, but on the day it happened, it wasn't funny.'"

I make my "I Like to Eat Babies" face again and loudly freak out. "It wasn't funny then, and it's not funny now!"

"You see, I was testing you," the lanky producer explains, visibly horrified. "I wanted to see where you were at with this whole thing."

We're led through a maze of hallways to a bustling set, past a courtroom audience paid $60 a day to sit and watch cases. My goal: to see how many times I can get them to say "Ooooh!" in unison. A sort-of-hot TV bailiff, Miss Sonia, calls our case to the stand. Defendant Mike, who has decided to dress like he rides the special bus to school, appears. We walk through waist-high swinging doors and take our respective stands.

Judge Joe sets up our feud by giving it the gravity it deserves. "Every now and then, there's some levity that comes into the courtroom!" he vamps.

Some people are already chuckling. Apparently we're the lighthearted counterpoint to cases like "The Freeloading Roommate That Borrowed Something He Didn't Return."

I start describing the bachelor party scenario: "So I gave the defendant $700 to hire two strippers." Defendant Mike loudly pipes in with, "WRONG! WRONG!"

Judge Joe interrupts. "What was so different about these strippers?" he asks, knowingly setting me up for the big courtroom zinger.

Pausing for dramatic effect, I lean forward. "They weren't chicks, Your Honor, they were DUDES!"

"Ooooh!" erupts the courtroom audience.

The supposedly impartial, entirely fake TV courtroom becomes a free-for-all. Judge Joe fights to get a word in edgewise, while Mike and I constantly interrupt him. He doesn't bother telling us to shut up, happy to just talk over us while we, in turn, talk over him. For no reason at all, Mike starts repeating, "I object!" yelling into his stand's microphone, even though we were told they're just props. "You said 'Get some strippers!'" he barks. "That's all you said!"

"I asked for strippers. I didn't ask for The Crying Game!" I retort. Another moan of "Ooooh!" erupts.

Defendant Mike starts objecting again. "LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!" he keeps yelling. "Like you asked, I went and got some strippers. Hot, Asian strippers!"

"I didn't say that!" I sneer. Throwing a little subtle racist undertone to the whole story, I add, "You know how I feel about them."

"You were the one that went into the bathroom with one of the lady boys," defendant Mike turns the tables.

"Ooooh!" the audience coos.

With classic Jerry Springer talk-to-the-hand timing, I come back with, "I only went into the bathroom because I wanted to throw up!"


This ignites Mike to go off on another round of ranting "LIAR!" and "I OBJECT!"

"Can I see the photographs you brought?" Judge Joe finally commands.

I hand Miss Sonia copies of my photos of the Vegas lady-boy strippers (I live in San Francisco so these weren't difficult to produce) and they're projected on the large courtroom screen. Another big rumble erupts at the authenticity of the San Francisco trannies posed with me and my wide smiling face.


Comforted that I've got the crowd on my side, I slam-dunk my final argument, delivering, "It's like I told him to go buy oranges, and he came back with A BANANA!" The courtroom loses it. Since the crowd seems to eat up analogies, I add, "It's like I told him to buy pillows, and he came back with A BANANA!"

On Judge Joe Brown, I discover, the audience gets to vote on who should win (just like in real courtrooms).

The tabulated votes appear on a large screen: 86 percent to 14 percent in my favor.

"If you hired these people, obviously you might like what they have to offer," Judge Joe bellows, apparently trying to make defendant Mike admit that he's gay, which is weird. "If there was a time for you to come out of the closet, this is the time for you to do it."

Mike declines to take the bait and jump out of the closet, and a visibly disappointed Judge Joe slams his gavel.

"I award the judgment to the plaintiff!" It's a bit of an anti-climax; I was half expecting him to pronounce Mike gay as part of the judgment.

As defendant Mike pretends to wipe away a tear as he's led from the courtroom, I swagger out, yelling, "Lady Liberty must be smiling!"

Original here

Radiohead: the band who rewrote the rules

From their music to their carbon footprint, Radiohead continue to do everything differently. As they prepare for tonight's BBC radio gig, they talk to Craig McLean

  • Radiohead announce remix competition for their new single 'Nude'
  • Portishead are about to release their next album, 10 years after the last one. So are Massive Attack, which will be only their fifth album in 17 years. The good ship Oasis is hoving into view: they've just completed the Los Angeles sessions on their seventh album, the follow-up to Don't Believe the Truth (2005). After some delay, the successor to Coldplay's X&Y is also looming this summer.

    Thom Yorke
    Radiohead's world tour proper kicks off in Florida early next month

    Radiohead took a long time to finish and release their current album, too. Four-and-a-half years passed between the appearance of Hail to the Thief and the (initially) download-only In Rainbows last October. But, unlike their totemic peers in modern British music, only Radiohead spent a huge chunk of that time thinking. Not dithering, indulging, fretting, or spending their rock-star millions. Thinking.

    "You wouldn't believe the amount of meetings we've been having," singer Thom Yorke notes with a dry chuckle. He looks wearied as he says it. Taking nothing for granted, reimagining how bands - especially big bands - operate. It's clearly taken its toll.

    But he's also buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm. Radiohead have been buoyed by the runaway success of the In Rainbows "initiative" - not only in terms of sales, but in terms of the music-industry shift engendered by their pay-what-you-think-this-is-worth moment. Not forgetting the crucial fact that Radiohead's seventh is a beautiful and stunning album.

    For these devil-in-the-detail artist-thinkers, the revolutionary "honesty box" idea was only the start of it. Radiohead then agonised over the bit rate (which affects the quality of the sound) at which the downloaded album should be made available.

    "We spent about six hours talking about the bit rate, looking at graphs and listening to various CDs," says bass-player Colin Greenwood, 38. "With velvet blindfolds," he adds - for comic effect. Radiohead are, true to legend, earnest. But they're not that earnest.

    His brother Jonny, 36, recalls that the band and "sixth member" producer Nigel Godrich decided they wanted the sonic quality to be "better than iTunes and not as good as a CD. So we kind of split the difference and chose a bit rate of 160 instead of 128."

    The younger Greenwood is the most technically gifted and sonically adventurous member in this band of boffins. His recent score for There Will Be Blood, compiled in part from compositions Greenwood recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra when he was their composer-in-residence, was every bit as sensorily staggering as Paul Thomas Anderson's epic movie.

    More prosaic concerns demanded similar cogitation, such as which songs should be left for the bonus disc.

    "We'd get a running order together and suddenly you notice that Nude isn't on there,' says Jonny, "and you think, 'that's insane.'?" Indeed: not only is the ambient future-blues of Nude Radiohead's new single (released yesterday), but, for the band's legions of web-savvy disciples, it's a hallowed "lost" song dating from the OK Computer period. But, having thought about how to record it for almost 10 years, Radiohead finally nailed Nude for In Rainbows.

    Already we are in a post-In Rainbows world, where the boundary between artist and fan has been dismantled. Last autumn, In Rainbows was available to buy only nine days after the band announced its existence. Last week, Jack White's band the Raconteurs rushed their new album into the shops, just three weeks after completing it, wrong-footing industry and media alike.

    "With us, the history element [of Radiohead] gets endlessly rewritten," says Yorke, 39. "It was nice to just dispense with all that and go straight to, 'If you wanna hear it, here it is.'?" He thinks "it's nice to have the privilege" of being able to connect directly and immediately with fans.

    Consider, too, their upcoming world tour. It started, in a fashion, in January: Radiohead announced on their website that they would be performing in an east London record shop - that evening. By the time the band arrived at the Brick Lane branch of Rough Trade eight hours later, there was chaos on the streets and plans were swiftly remade. Radiohead's smallest gig in a decade eventually started two-and-a-half hours late in a 200-capacity club around the corner.

    Last week, the ostensibly like-minded REM launched their new album in similar style, with an intimate show - at the Albert Hall.

    The Radiohead Live '08 experience picks up again today. The band are performing in the BBC Radio Theatre, with the show being broadcast live on Radio 2 at 8pm. It will be preceded by interviews and guest slots on Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music. Even for a band who have previously curated a week of BBC radio programmes (on 6 Music in 2003), with a singer who has guest-edited Radio 4's Today programme (in December 2003), this is an impressive array of pan-BBC activity.

    Radiohead's world tour proper kicks off in Florida early next month, returning to the UK at Victoria Park, London, at the beginning of June. But it won't be taking in this year's Glastonbury: Yorke is worried that Glasto audiences might be sick of the sight of them.

    That said, Radiohead are touring differently. "We're trying to keep the gigs as much as we can, to [venues] where there are facilities for public transport," says Yorke.

    Early last year Radiohead commissioned a report from Oxford sustainability consultancy Best Foot Forward: Ecological Footprint & Carbon Audit of Radiohead North American Tours, 2003 & 2006.

    For Yorke, an active member of Friends of the Earth's The Big Ask campaign, it made for intriguing reading. "One of the big hidden factors that we hadn't looked at," he says, "was the way people travel to the shows. So we need to try and address that."

    Thus, to reduce the carbon generated by fans driving to gigs in large out-of-town arenas, Radiohead will be, wherever possible, playing in city-centre venues, or locations with good public transport links.

    "We also looked into how we travel around," says Yorke. "I was all for going on ships everywhere, but actually that's worse." Crossing the Atlantic, "the engines would be roaring for so long. It takes five days to get [to America]."

    Nonetheless, Radiohead will be transporting their equipment by sea (it's 93 per cent more efficient than air-freight) and travelling as little as possible by air between shows and countries.

    But let's not get too bogged down in the nuts-and-bolts of how CDs are distributed and the mechanics of how concerts are staged. Ultimately - and at base - Radiohead are one of the best live bands in the world, thrilling and moving in equal measure. Experiencing them perform the glorious songs from In Rainbows will be one of the highlights of this summer, and (if you tune in to Radio 2 tonight) of this new spring.

    While he's on stage, giving it his jittery all, Yorke certainly won't be fretting about the carbon dioxide generated by crowds' over-enthusiastic dancing.

    "There's an important element, too, of people getting together for a common purpose at gigs," says this reluctant-but-iconic showman with a grin. "It's not just about the band. There's a benefit there, [so] you can justify the action of doing the gig. That's how I think about it. If it's important to people, not just us, then we should do it."

    Original here

    Exclusive: Halo Movie Has Reach!





    All has been quiet on the HALO movie front lately. Last we heard, the Halo movie came together with Bungie, Peter Jackson, producer Scott Stuber, Fox, and Universal. The script went through at least three writers. I did the first script review of Alex Garland’s draft then D.B. Weiss came aboard, and most recently Josh Olson. Neil Blomkampf was hired to direct and did direct several great Halo short films. But then the plug was pulled last summer and the movie has been in a holding pattern ever since.

    Till now…

    In an effort to get the ball rolling again, I just learned that big time G.I. JOE screenwriter STUART BEATTIE has written a spec screenplay called HALO: FALL OF REACH, and it's based on the best selling novel of the same name by Eric Nylund.

    I hear Beattie is a huge Halo fan, and like most Halo fans, has been frustrated at the progress for HALO to reach the silver screen…

    …so Stuart took action and did something about it on his own in between writing assignments.

    A spec screenplay is when you write a script on your own without being paid a dime for it in the hopes that it could sell hence “spec” or “speculative.”

    Stuart is in that top tier of professional screenwriters that get “commissioned” by studios to write scripts. The top screenwriters don’t spec nor need to spec anymore. They get the big money paying gigs. Stuart was commissioned to write SPY HUNTER, SPLINTER CELL, and GEARS OF WAR for various studios. His G.I. JOE script is the one that got Paramount to greenlight the $170 million dollar movie which is shooting now.

    HALO: FALL OF REACH is a labor of love by Beattie in the hopes of finally getting the movie made.

    So what is the script about? Below is what my source tells me…

    The script is, first and foremost, a character-driven story about a soldier named John who was kidnapped or "conscripted" by the UNSC when he was just six years old, and then brutally trained to become an elite Spartan warrior known as Master Chief 117.

    The script then takes us through the horrific first contact with the Covenant hordes on the doomed colony world of Harvest, and then climaxes with the spectacular fall of the UNSC forward base on Reach, during which every other Spartan is slaughtered.

    The script also gives detailed outlines for the second movie, HALO: RISE OF THE FLOOD, which takes place entirely on the Halo ringworld, and the third and final movie, HALO: BATTLE FOR EARTH, which roughly follows the events of Halo 3, the game.

    One cool advantage of this first script is that (like the shark in JAWS) you don't even see the Covenant until halfway through the movie. And because all the creatures are CGI creations, this cuts the budget down dramatically and makes a first Halo movie that much more viable. For Halo fans, it's like the prequel that provides all the answers to questions they've thought about for years. For non Halo fans, it's an exciting action movie that provides a clear, concise introduction to a world five hundred years in the future with relatable characters and a terrifying alien menace.

    So there you have it folks! If there is anyone at Microsoft or Bungie reading this, call CAA, get the damn script and at least take a read! You guys certainly have nothing to lose by taking a look because the guy’s track record speaks for itself.

    If you’re a HALO fan, harass Microsoft to take action because from what I gathered here in Hollywood, unfortunately the guys that are seriously cock blocking the HALO movie from getting made are those control freaks at Microsoft.

    Again what does Microsoft have to lose by taking a look at a script written by a big time Hollywood screenwriter who decided to take a crack at HALO on his own?


    I will be following this story closely as more develops along with trying to obtain the script myself like I did with Alex Garland’s draft back in the day so stay tuned.

    Original here

    The Ten Best Movie-Related April Fool’s Jokes on the Web

    April Fool's DayThis morning I sent a note out to the FSR Editorial team, letting them know that today was going to be an intentionally slow news day — not because there wasn’t any stories out there in the movie blogosphere, as there are plenty of headlines, but because you just can’t trust what you read on the internet today — it’s all a bunch of bologna.

    So instead of pulling our own gag (and I did have a pretty solid one in my head, I just couldn’t pull it off), we have decided to put together a list of our favorite movie-related April Fool’s Jokes being thrown around the halls of the interwebs today. So thanks to all of our friends and neighbors, as you are making my job quite easy this afternoon.

    10. Cloverfield Monster in Transformers 2 [Giant Freaking Robot]

    This is one of those things that you glance at, start to move along, then glance back at again. Then, on your second glance, you realize that it is as obvious as the existence of the Sun that this one is fake. It is creative though, I will give them that.

    9. Tyler Perry Movies on to Horror [Bloody-Disgusting]

    Tyler Perry’s They Live… I would actually go an see that one.

    8. Colin Farrell to star in a Once Remake [Moviehole]

    One drunk Irishmen taints the work of a seemingly sober Irishmen by remaking his movie and singing his songs. The best part about this one is the alleged Colin Farrell quote: “In our version I’ll of course f&* the girl”.

    7. Wolverine to Make an Appearance in The Incredible Hulk [ComicBookMovie]

    I will admit, this one almost got me. If you take the fact that Marvel is crossing over between Hulk and Iron Man combined with the fact that Wolvie is currently in production, this one almost seems like it could work. On top of that, the guys at Comic Book Movie started this one yesterday, sliding it under the April Fool’s radar.

    6. Art House Movie: There Will Be Farts [RopeOfSilicon]

    Brad and his team at Rope of Silicon really went all out on this one. If you click the link to the official site for this film, one exists (although it is hosted on RoS). On the official site, you will find a pull-quote from Pete Hammond (whose outlet is His Desktop Computer) that says “I can’t wait… Milkshake jokes and pregnant teens are sure to make a hilarious spoof film!” Somewhere, a Weinstein Company Exec is scrambling to secure the rights to this one…

    5. X-Files: Full Moon Rising [IESB]

    Like something from a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, the title of the X-Files sequel came springing from the pages of IESB. Full Moon Rising? Really? They really should have stuck with “Curse of the Werepeople”.

    4. Superman vs. Spider-Man Movie Announced [Slashfilm]

    From our good friend Peter at Slashfilm comes a rumor about a Jake Gyllenhaal Spider-Man facing of with a CGI Christopher Reeve. Oh dear Pete, you had me going until the part about the CGI Christopher Reeve… That is good stuff.

    3. Jake Gyllenhaal is Spider-Man [Joblo]

    Joblo goes after a rumor that is plausible, to say the least. Rumors of a Jake Gyllenhaal takeover in the Spider-Man series have been circulating for some time now, but have never been confirmed. On any other day, the rest of us would be reporting this as well, but today is not any other day. The story really falls apart when they quote Gyllenhaal as saying that he would love to make out with his sister Maggie on-screen. Missed that part? You might want to take another look.

    2. Christian Bale and Brandon Routh Sign on for Justice League [Cinematical]

    To me, this one seemed like the most obvious April Fool’s joke possible — both Bale and Routh have publicly denied having anything to do with the “Justice League” movie, but fans are secretly holding out hope. But while it was obvious to me (and maybe you as well), this one did get one of my staff writers, hook line and sinker. I received an email from a writer on my staff (who will remain nameless) asking if I had seen this yet and whether or not I would like a write-up. Even more hilarious is that this is one of our best writers here at FSR… It gave me a good chuckle.

    1. The Existence of a Justice League Movie [Warner Brothers Pictures]

    You didn’t hear this from me — but the entire existence of George Miller’s Justice League Mortal is a sham. It has been a long running gag on all of the internet writers. You may not believe me right now, but bookmark this moment — did you really believe that someone named Armie Hammer was going to play Batman? Ha…

    Honorable Mention goes to IGN for the Legend of Zelda Movie Trailer. Cheeky bastards!

    So there you have it, a list of my favorite April Fool’s Day gags procured by our friends around the movie webosphere. There are more, in fact Alex at FirstShowing has created a pretty in-depth list, as has Peter at Slashfilm. Have you seen any other good ones out there? Feel free to drop them in the Sound Off section below.

    Original here

    Tom Cruise, Spoofed by Superhero Movie

    The trend of releasing sequences from upcoming films online has taken off over the past few monthsAlien vs. Predator: Requiem did it, Dark Knight did it, Walk Hard did it. But never has it made as much sense than in the case of upcoming spoof flick Superhero Movie, which has posted a two-minute clip that will look familiar to fans of Tom Cruise (or Jerry O’Connell):

    In this excerpt, Miles Fisher does an eerily dead-on impersonation of Cruise’s infamous leaked Scientology indoctrination video. (I think Jerry O’Connell gets the voice a little better, actually, but Fisher’s laugh is just exceptional.) Although the title might lead one to believe that the movie is directed by the same, um, “filmmakers” behind such, er, “films” as Date Movie and Epic Movie, Superhero Movie is actually written and directed by Craig Mazin, who, while credited as a writer on the last few Scary Movies, has a proven track record when it comes to satirizing superheroes in a creative way.
    How this clip actually fits into the film is of course completely unclear — though clues such as “Dragonfly…He can’t even fly! I, I can fly…” indicate it has something to do with the film’s main character. And the overall quality of this spoof is a sign that even if Mazin is following the format of previous pop culture parodies, he’s at least pushing it to the next level — specifically, the funny place.

    Original here