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Sunday, November 2, 2008

End Of The Line For King Of The Hill

By Kelly West

End Of The Line For King Of The Hill Looks like it’s the end of the line for the Fox animated comedy series King of the Hill. While Fox did choose to pick the series up for an additional thirteen episodes, which are currently wrapping production, the network has opted not to continue the series any further than that.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series’ thirteenth season will be it’s last. King of the Hill, which premiered in 1997 was created by Greg Daniels (who has since moved on to creating The Office) and Beavis and Butthead mastermind Mike Judge, who has also drifted away from Hill and is now working on another TV project (the upcoming ABC series The Goode Family).

I suppose with Fox’s upcoming new animated series, Sit Down, Shut Up and the Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show, the network may have felt they’d outgrown King of the Hill or perhaps the viewers did.

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Affleck mocks Olbermann on 'SNL'

While hosting "Saturday Night Live," Ben Affleck offered his impression of left-leaning MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann. The result is an eight-minute-plus insanely pompous tirade railing against perceived injustices of the world -- such as his co-op board denying his request to have a cat ...

... Maureen Ryan called the Affleck's take "scarily intense," but Aaron Barnhart said Affleck's impression was "a real letdown ... like Ted Baxter on Thorazine."

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The Beatles, “Rock Band” Makers To Release New Video Game in 2009

Photo: Getty

As predicted yesterday, MTV, Harmonix and the Beatles’ Apple Corps. LTD. announced today that they will partner to create a video game based on the music of the Beatles, slated for release before the end of 2009. Representatives from the three companies said that the game — which was conceived with input from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison — will aim to feature the entire Beatles catalog and will offer an “experiential journey” off the band. This is the first time the Beatles music has been presented in an interactive, video game format. “This game will take you on a journey from the Beatles first album Please Please Me until the last album at Abbey Road,” said Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones. “It will span samples of the whole catalogue all the way through.” The three companies would not clarify whether Beatles content would be available for Rock Band or whether the game would feature avatars of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of the Beatles and their music,” McCartney said in a statement. “I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out.” The acquisition of the video game rights to the Beatles catalog is a major, scale-tipping coup for Harmonix and MTV Games as they fight for music video game dominance over the like-minded Guitar Hero.

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Was Howard Replaced On Iron Man 2 For More Than Just Money?


By Graeme McMillan

Why was Terrence Howard dropped from the future of the Iron Man movie franchise, and why has he claimed to be so surprised by the announcement? The answer to both of those questions may have been revealed by a new story in this week's Entertainment Weekly - or it may just be a sign that we're heading into a war of publicists over the controversial decision.

The first big surprise in the EW story is that Howard was the most highly paid actor for the original Iron Man movie - and that Marvel had asked him to accept a substantial (somewhere between 50 - 80%) paycut for the sequel. The reason for the paycut? His behavior during shooting for the first movie:

It didn't help that, according to one source, Favreau and his producers were ultimately unhappy with Howard's performance, and spent a lot of time cutting and reshooting his scenes. (Favreau could not be reached for comment, while Howard's publicist says: ''Terrence had a tremendous experience working on Iron Man.'')

As such, when Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux went to map out the sequel they found themselves minimizing Howard's story line. Once Marvel learned that Favreau was thinking of curtailing the role, the studio went to the actor's agents with a new and drastically reduced offer — a number that's similar to what supporting cast members were paid for the first movie.

It's at this point where the story gets murky - Did Howard walk from the project because of the low offer, or did Marvel replace him before he had even responded to the offer? No-one seems to be sure, but the latter is definitely hinted as a possibility, which may explain Howard's comments about finding out about Don Cheadle taking over the role when it was announced to the press.

This new version of events certainly casts new light on the story - but also suggests that we may hear another version from more Howard-friendly sources in weeks to come, taking us back to the "Marvel are meanies" narrative that we started with... before Marvel's sources leak more "Howard was insufferable" rumors. After all, this one has the potential to run and run.

'Iron Man 2': How Terrence Howard Lost His Metal [EW.com]

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'Spider-Man 4' lands Pulitzer pen

Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire swings to sequel

By Borys Kit

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire got out of a rabbit hole, only to be ensnared by a spider's web.

Lindsay-Abaire, who won a Pulitzer in 2007 for his drama "Rabbit Hole," is in final negotiations to write "Spider-Man 4" for Columbia.

Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire are back as director and star, respectively, as are series producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad. Kirsten Dunst also is expected to return for the latest movie featuring the Marvel Comics character.

Plot details are under lock and key.

Columbia always has gone off the beaten path during the development process when hiring writers for the "Spider-Man" movies. Alvin Sargent, a veteran scribe best known for 1973's "Paper Moon" and 1980's "Ordinary People," served as a writer on the second and third films. Michael Chabon, another Pulitzer winner, also worked on "Spider-Man 2."

James Vanderbilt previously wrote a draft of "Spider-Man 4."

Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole," which starred Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly, hit the Broadway stage in 2006 and won four Tonys, including best play. The writer also is known for the play "Fuddy Meers."

Lindsay-Abaire has said in interviews that his plays tend to be "peopled with outsiders in search of clarity," which would put his work on sympathetic terms with Peter Parker, who in his classic incarnation is the perpetual outsider.

The choice of scribe also signals that that filmmakers are intent to focus on character, something that critics said got lost in the third installment.

Gersh-repped Lindsay-Abaire, now writing the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical adaptation of "Shrek," has dipped his toe in Tinseltown before, with his adaptation of "Inkheart" due in January. He is also adapting "Rabbit" for 20th Century Fox and Nicole Kidman.

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Quantum Of Solace Review

by Niall Browne

Short version: Quantum of Solace is the best James Bond film in over a decade.

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (review)
Screen Rant’s Niall Browne reviews Quantum of Solace

As a life long James Bond fan I always look forward to new adventures from the super-spy. My very first cinematic memory is watching Roger Moore’s final outing as Bond in A View To A Kill, and my teenage years and early twenties were filled with Pierce Brosnan’s daring-do.

When the Broccoli family ditched Brosnan in favor of the younger, more rugged Daniel Craig I was a bit annoyed (to say the least). Although I was a tad skeptical that Daniel Craig had what it took to slip into the tuxedo, I will admit that I was more worried about EON’s idea to reboot Bond for the Bourne generation. Over the years the character of James Bond has been constantly reinvented, without having to start all over again.

In my opinion Casino Royale was an adequate beginning for a harsher and more realistic Bond, but its bloated running time; generic soundtrack and tacked-on finale left me hoping that the next film in the series would deliver the type of James Bond film that I wanted.

So… how does Quantum of Solace measure up?

It surpasses its predecessor in almost every way and delivers the best Bond film in over a decade.

Shorter and more action packed, Quantum of Solace is a James Bond film for the new millennium. Unlike Brosnan’s swan song Die Another Day, the CGI is limited, and unlike Casino Royale the film doesn’t try to be too hip and trendy. From the pulsating opening car chase - you know that you are watching Bond, and like the older movies in the series you feel that it is the end of another adventure (it is) and not a piece of grandstanding from the second unit and stunt departments.

Picking up mere minutes after Royale’s climax the film hits the ground running (literally) and delivers action sequence after action sequence. Don’t worry though, unlike many action movies today this doesn’t feel like sensory overload - just damn good entertainment.

The plot is simple: Bond wants to discover more about the mysterious Quantum organization following his capture of Mr White. He also wants to get revenge for the death of his one true love Vesper from the previous film. Jet-setting across the Atlantic he finds that rogue environmentalist Mr Greene (Mathieu Amalric) has an affiliation with the evil group and whilst tailing Greene he meets Camille - a beautiful but deadly killer who wants revenge on one of Greene’s associates.

It feels like Marc Forster went into directing Quantum of Solace with a checklist of greatest hits from other Bond movies: car chase - check; boat chase - check; roof top chase - check. There are a couple more I could add but I don’t want to spoil the film - in any case you can bet they’re in there. What’s miraculous is that it all feels fresh and very real.

Forster also manages to bring back Bond’s weapon of choice - the Walther PPK for the first time in years. There’s even a death of a character that harkens back to Goldfinger. It’s all classic Bond, but it all feels relevant, despite what Mike Myers says.

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Top 10 Car Chase Scenes

Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso chooses his 10 favorite car chase scenes of all time.

By Chuck Tannert of MSN autos
Chase Scene (© Paramount Pictures) Click to see more pictures

Actress Michelle Monaghan pilots a 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo through the streets of Chicago in Eagle Eye.

A spectacular car chase can turn a run-of-the-mill action adventure-flick into an instant classic, revered by moviegoing gearheads around the globe. Filmmaker D.J. Caruso, director of the blockbuster Eagle Eye starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, is a true student of these classic high-speed pursuits. “We used scenes captured by John Frankenheimer (French Connection II, Ronin), Peter Yates (Bullitt) and others as models for the action in Eagle Eye,” says Caruso. Curious about which films he found most influential, we asked the director to come up with a list of his top 10 favorite car chase scenes.

For an insider's look at modern-day car chases, read an interview with Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso about the art of motorized mayhem.

The French Connection (1971)
In pursuit of a drug suspect, grubby New York detective Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) appropriates a civilian car and chases an elevated subway train, barreling beneath the tracks at 90 mph.
YouTube Video Clip of The French Connection

Bullitt (1968)
Steve McQueen steers a Mustang fastback through what many consider to the standard-setter for all car chase scenes. Hard-boiled cop Frank Bullitt (McQueen) races the bad guys' Dodge Charger up and down the streets of San Francisco at speeds up to 110 mph in a sequence that helped earn the movie an Oscar for its innovative editing.
YouTube Video Clip of Bullitt

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
In his attempts to babysit impetuous John Connor (Edward Furlong), The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) must avoid having his motorcycle run over by an 18-wheeler piloted by the metal-melding T-1000 (Robert Patrick).
YouTube Video Clip of Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Ronin (1998)
This multi-car chase through the narrow, steep streets of Nice, France, in this Robert De Niro spy thriller is one-upped only by the sheer lunacy of an against-the-traffic pursuit through tunnels under the Seine in Paris.
YouTube Video Clip of Ronin

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
A band of punk-biker pirates pursues a tribal convoy, led by Mel Gibson's Mad Max, that's escorting a precious fuel tanker to safety. Fighters clad in studded leather spar atop moving cars, motorcycles and trucks, picking each other off with shotguns and crossbows.
YouTube Video Clip of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

The Blues Brothers (1980)
Jake Blues (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) leave a 106-mile path of destruction as they speed toward downtown Chicago in the Bluesmobile (a converted Dodge Monaco police cruiser).
YouTube Video Clip of The Blues Brothers

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
Obsessive sheriff (Vic Morrow) in a Bell Helicopter pursues a ’69 Dodge Charger driven by bad guys. The chase takes them through a citrus orchard and ends with the Charger colliding with a locomotive.
YouTube Video Clip of Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

Vanishing Point (1971)
The movie opens with Kowalski (Barry Newman) in a white 1970 Dodge Challenger sparring with the California Highway Patrol. And the excitement keeps building, crossing median strips while just missing cross traffic, sliding along dirt roads, and running at what are obviously true high speeds.
YouTube Video Clip of Vanishing Point

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
A South American drug lord pays Maindrian Pace (Toby Halicki) $400,000 to steal 48 specific cars for him, and all but one — a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with a code name of "Eleanor" — are successfully stolen by Pace and his associates. The film is famous for having wrecked and destroyed 93 cars in a 40-minute car chase scene.
YouTube Video Clip of Gone in 60 Seconds

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
As the life of a Secret Service agent (played by CSI star and legit car enthusiast William Petersen) slides into anarchy, he takes greater and greater chances with his own life and the lives of those around him, including pursuit with Petersen piloting a Chevrolet the wrong way down the freeway.
YouTube Video Clip of To Live and Die in L.A.

To purchase a DVD of your favorite car chase movie, go to MSN Shopping.

For nearly two decades, New York-based writer and editor Chuck Tannert has covered everything from automobiles to gadgets to travel. Before joining the MSN Autos team, Tannert served as senior automotive editor at Popular Mechanics, and his work has appeared in many outlets, including Cargo, Men's Journal, Penthouse, Popular Science, and Wired.

In the market for a new car? MSN Autos is pleased to provide you with information and services designed to save you time, money and hassle. Click to research prices and specifications on any new car on the market or get a free price quote through MSN Autos' New-Car Buying Service.

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Ex-Scientologist Says Tom Cruise Bribed Judges

By Hamilton Nolan

A former Scientologist named Peter Letterese is suing Tom Cruise and his favorite religion for $265 million. According to Fishbowl LA, Letterese's charges include allegations that "Cruise and Scientology bribed and improperly influenced a federal judge, a Florida state judge and a federal bankruptcy trustee to tie up his original law suit in bankruptcy court." Those are serious charges, and there's no word of proof, so you might be excused for thinking Letterese is a wacko. Then again, there was that earlier incident when Scientologists tried to convince Letterese's wife that he was gay, allegedly:

Back in July, Paul Barressi, a private investigator who works for Tom Cruise, gave the Daily News court papers of Letterese's allegations, including this:

[ex-Scientologist Peter] Letterese claims a member of the church phoned his lawyer at home, and when the lawyer's wife answered, said he was her husband's homosexual lover.

So you can see why he holds a grudge. [FBLA, Previously]

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