There was an error in this gadget

Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Exceptionally Inappropriate Pokemon Videos

Published by Sub-Zero

pokemon.jpg

I grew up watching Pokemon, but little did I know all the dirtiness that had been cut out or subliminal slipped through into each of the episodes. It took some work, but here are ten pretty WTF Pokemon videos that will have you questioning it’s classification as a kids show. Enjoy:

1) Wow, Looking Good There James

What the…? I had seen stills of this (above), but I always figured it was some sort of bizarre fetish fan art. But apparently it’s an actual scene that was banned from an episode for the most blatantly obvious of reasons.

2) Pikachu Grope

Because even little electric rats need a little love.

3) Meowth’s WTF Boss Fantasy

Now this is all in Japanese, but let me see if I understand. Meowth is getting really excited about an oiled up muscular male who runs across the desert only to end up getting humped by a thousand insect Pokemon? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

4) Ash Sneaks a Peek

Come on, you walk around with a girl all day every day and she’s wearing those shorts, you’re bound to get caught looking at least once.

5) Get Off My Lawn!

You can’t even show a gun pointed at the screen in a movie without it being rated R (true story), so I’m pretty sure you can’t do it in a kids’ show. Who knew they even had guns in Pokeworld? I thought all disputes were resolved through monster fights.

6) The Seizure Scene (WARNING, WARNING AND MORE WARNING, DON’T WATCH IF SEIZURE PRONE)

This is the scene that put 700 Japanese kids in the hospital when it first aired. It doesn’t look anything too out of the ordinary to me, but fortunately my brain appears to not be negatively affected by rapidly alternating colors.

7) Jynx Being Racist

This entire episode was banned just because Jynx looks like she’s in blackface. I’m sure the Japanese didn’t even know what blackface was, but whatever, Jynx sucks ass.

8 ) Please Stop Sabrina

Don’t know the context or the reason for the subsequent remixes, but yeah.

9) Jesse Beats the Hell Out of a Pokemon

Pokemon has always face allegations of animal abuse, but this is the first time I can remember a human actually beating the hell out of one of them. I always wondered why they didn’t do that more often, or how come the Pokemon didn’t realize they could kill all the humans with ease using all their elemental powers because only one guy on the planet owns a gun (see four above).

10) Brock Gets Frisky with a Tree

If you watch Pokemon, you know that Brock is the horniest dude alive. In this video after getting none from anyone for nearly a decade, he breaks down a molests a tree Pokemon.

Original here

Singing Spiderman Swings into a Broadway Musical

Posted by Michael Pinto

Spiderman comes to Broadway

On February 2010 we’ll find out what happens when you mix up Spiderman, Bono and a Broadway musical together. The website for Spider-Man, Turn Off The Dark has gone live and come June you’ll be able to sign up for tickets for a show that promises a new take on the story of Peter Parker, whose life is turned upside down when he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider.

While I have my doubts the show is being put together by Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor who worked on The Lion King, so if anybody can pull off bringing a cartoon character to life in a fanboy friendly musical setting it’s going to be Julie. Here’s a local take from my favorite local news channel NY1:

Update: Best comment from Digg on this story: “Since when did Fanboy start re-posting articles from The Onion? This is an article from The Onion, right?”

Original here

NBC orders Jerry Seinfeld reality series

Jerry-seinfeld-thr Jerry Seinfeld is reteaming with NBC to launch his first reality series.

The comedian's project is tentatively called "The Marriage Ref" and features celebrities, comedians and athletes who will judge couples in the midst of marital disputes while recommending various strategies to resolve their problems.

Seinfeld is partnering with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" veteran Ellen Rakieten on the project, which reunites the comedian with the network that aired his hit sitcom "Seinfeld" for nine years.

NBC co-chair Ben Silverman said Seinfeld pitched the show as a companion piece of sorts to his classic sitcom. The comedian increasingly has used married life for material in his stand-up act. So while being a bachelor inspired "Seinfeld," the comedian's married years will inspire his unscripted program.

"Some of the greatest comedies in the history of television have been around marriages," Silverman said. "The concept is so universal and accessible, and obviously it works so well when it comes from somebody with a point of view -- and nobody has a stronger point of view on this subject than Seinfeld."

Six one-hour episodes have been ordered for a planned fall release.

Seinfeld appeared on the network in a series of interstitial shorts two years ago to promote his DreamWorks Animation film "Bee Movie" and appeared on an episode of NBC's "30 Rock." But this deal marks the first series Seinfeld has committed to since his sitcom aired its series finale in 1998.

Seinfeld's role is behind the camera as an executive producer and creator, but given the show's celebrity-guest format, it's not too difficult to imagine an occasional on-camera appearance. Executive producer Rakieten said Seinfeld's voice will be evident in the show's commentaries.

"Every single person in a relationship can completely relate to this show," Rakieten said. "We all have the same fights, and there's a bottomless well of content."

Added Seinfeld: "This is not a therapy show, it's a comedy show. After nine years of marriage, I have discovered that the comedic potential of this subject is quite rich."

The Seinfeld news comes on the heels of NBC nearing a deal to bring the U.K. series, "I'm Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" to the U.S. as a summer weekday strip.

"We're very excited about the possibility of that show, and the commitment would be a big one for us this summer," Silverman said.

Original here

Top Ten Twitter Songs of All Time

Top Ten Twitter Songs

In Twitter's short 3-year lifespan, the rapid-growing microblogging platform has spawned over 6 million followers who not only blog in 140 characters or less, but have also penned and performed songs in its honor.

In addition to being a staple for rapid-fire communication amongst technophiles and a merchandising tool for tech-savvy companies, Twitter has inspired would-be songwriters to write music and pen lyrics about the obsession that has swept the nation. And while celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Jane Fonda have graced our presence in Twitter-ville, the real celebs are the those "unsung heroes" who are now singing their hearts out on YouTube. It's high time to acknowledge and give props to their bravery and musicality.

So in honor of these innovative souls, I would like to award the "first-time-ever" Top Ten Twitter Songs of All Time.

So in true David Letterman's top-ten list style, this year's 10th place award goes to Alana Taylor, a 20-yr old native of New York City, attending NYU who is a true troubadour-ess, lauding the praises of Twitter to the discredit of Facebook, because after all "140 characters are all you need to say." While she knows there are now a lot of Twitter songs on YouTube, she claims that she was the first to write a tribute song to Twitter, posting her's as early as March, 2008. Alana blogs for Mashable.com, PBS.org and her own at alanataylor.com.


In 9th Place...Ms. Krystyl Baldwin, who is quick to warn you that the only thing she will harm during her video performance is "your ears" due to an "out of tune guitar" and a voice that is somewhat "off key." Versus singing for a living, her self-titled website, krystyl.net lists her current vocation as a fashion event producer. However, if you like what you hear, Krystyl has informed me that her "Twitter, Part 2" video will be out in mid March. Stay tuned...



Keaton Branch, a 23-yr old Apple Store Manager, out of Houston, Texas is number 8 in our countdown. His whimsical refrain describes the Twitterverse as "somewhere between blog posts and emails" where someone still says, "hey man, what's up? Keaton amusingly notes that although the top brass at Twitter HDQ haven't gotten wind of his song, he is hopefully "waiting for a DM (Direct Message) from them one day!" @kbranch also has a music blog at AudioADD.net.


7th Place goes to Mary Hodder & Joshua Levy who work for TheUptake.org, a non-profit citizen journalism organization focused on video. Adapted from Lee Hays and Peter Seeger's classic folk ballad "If I Had A Hammer," Hodder's and Levy's parody not only extols the virtues of Twitter, but also promotes cell phone texting and Flickr photo pasting. Sing a long, if you like...




Allen Williams is our 6th place winner.He is a 47 yr-old ( "going on 15", according to Allen) writer, public speaker and self proclaimed "terrible guitar/piano player and song writer." Williams teaches part-time at two universities in Nagoya, Japan. His Twitter tune has a catchy beat and his lyrics are quick to warn the twitterati about the hazards of just "following" anyone on Twitter. As he puts it, "Just heed these words carefully, or it just could be your loss, that silly @work follower, just might be your boss."




The "Tweetbomb Song" by Camille Israel, a 21-yr old student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver comes in at Number 5. "Tweetbomb" according to the @tweetbomb bio forewarns all followers that following @tweetbomb can result in an onslaught of tweets. Inspired by this, Camille assures you that she will retweet you "by Tweetdeck or Twhirl" cuz as she sings: "she just might be your kind of girl"





Our 4th place winner goes to the lovely Justine Ezarik (also known as iJustine) and Zappos.TV. Billing herself as an Internet Superstar, Justine can be found on blogs.YouTube, and Ebay. When she's not performing online, she works as a freelance graphic/web designer and video editor. Zappos, an online shoe and handbag company that will generate more than $1 billion in sales this year contracted Justine to perform their homage to Twitter, called "I Tweet Myself." Warning: A toilet scene and one naked man are truly hilarious!




When Chris Pirillo, who touts himself as a "Shameless self-promoter" asked his friend Dave Ryder to write a Twitter song, what came out of it became my pick for the Number 3 Twitter Song. Dave has since written and produced another Twitter song, but that one just missed this year's deadline. While several versions of this year's song exist on YouTube, I chose this version based on the clever editing that incorporates the cartoon character, Felix the Cat.






In second place, I selected Ben Walker and his song entitled: "You're No One if You're Not on Twitter." Since YouTube is a social network and social networks are based on visitor feedback, the visitation to Ben's video has remarkably racked up tallies just shy of 300,000 views and over 450 user comments. When asked if his song has been performed by others, Ben noted: "Apart from crowds of drunken Twits singing along at various gigs and Twestivals, I don't think anybody else has performed the song. Twestival Paris almost got somebody to sing it in French (the lyrics were translated by a couple of fans last year) but they backed out at the last minute." Ben's day job keeps him busy as a web developer at torchbox.com and his personal website featuring all of his music can be found at ihatemornings.com.




There are also a number of songs, that are not truly "Twitter" songs per se and were actually written prior to the existence of Twitter. Songs that contain the word "follow" in the title come to mind; e.g. "Follow Me " by Pain, "Follow Me, Where I go" by John Denver, "Won't you Follow Me" by Rory Gallagher and "Follow Me, Gangsta" by 50 Cent.

However, my all time favorite "Follow" song and the one worthy of being our Number One Twitter song this year has got to go to "Follow You, Follow Me." This song has a definite big-band-rock sensibility that can get even the most complacent listener a little jiggy! So this year's Top Number One Twitter Song of all time goes to Phil Collins & Genesis, and their rock anthem: "Follow You, Follow Me." Sit back enjoy their live performance filmed at one of their concerts held in Dusseldorf.
Germany.




Perhaps a little bit of a cop-out regarding my Number One selection, but we all deserved to end this blog on a high note (pun intended)! However, if you don't agree with any of my choices, please take our Poll and select your own Top Ten. Final Poll numbers will be tallied and posted by April 15, 2009, so your vote counts! (see TOP TEN POLL at the end of this article) Also feel free to follow any of these songwriters on Twitter and extend a hearty congratulations to them while you're at it! Don't forget to use the hashtag: #twittersongs in your tweets!

So there you have it... this year's Top Ten Twitter Songs of All Time. If you don't take our poll, I'd love to hear your comments and feedback. After viewing all of these great artists, what do you think? Which one tickled your fancy? Or perhaps you know of one I missed? Or maybe you are a songwriter and just finished writing one yourself? If so, comment here, as there is always next year! In the meantime, see you in Twitter-ville, and remember to keep it under 140 characters!

Who wrote and sang your favorite Twitter Song?

McCartney Hopes Beatles Rock Band Game Will Keep His Music Alive

McCartney reveals the project will span every musical twist and turn the Beatles took during their Sixties heyday.

Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney hopes a new Rock Band game based on the Fab Four will help to introduce his music to a new generation of kids.

The "Hey Jude" hitmakers' record label Apple Corps. signed a deal with Rock Band manufacturers MTV and Harmonix last year to create a new interactive game based on the Beatles' music.

Rock Band allows users to play along to music, virtually, using replicas of instruments.

And McCartney reveals the project will span every musical twist and turn the Beatles took during their Sixties heyday.

He says, "It will feature different periods of the band you get early days, Liverpool, then psychedelic, and on from there.

"It's very cool. And I like the idea that the game introduces kids to music, you know?"

Photo Copyright Getty Images

Original here

Eminem sues Universal over digital royalties

Sean Michaels

Eminem and Dr Dre

Eminem and Dr Dre ... the trial is the first major legal test for digital royalties. Photograph: Brian Rasic/Rex Features

Eminem's lawsuit against his label finally went to trial this week after two years, in a case worth hundreds of millions of pounds to artists worldwide.

Eminem's publishing company, FBT Productions, is suing Universal Music Group for $1.6m (£800,000) in alleged unpaid royalties. But what's at stake is not just an unpaid bill – it's the definition of digital royalties.

When a song or ringtone is bought online, at the iTunes Music Store or anywhere else, the artist receives a royalty. The amount of this royalty is governed by a contract between labels and artists. For many artists, however, that digital royalty is not explicitly stated – millions of contracts, after all, predate iTunes and did not anticipate the boom in digital music sales.

Eminem's lawyers argue that downloads should fall under the "licensing" agreements that cover physical releases such as CDs and vinyl records, but Universal Music Group says they are governed by "distribution" arrangements, which have lower royalty rates. Whereas an artist might split licensing royalties 50-50 with their label, under distribution rates they often earn less than 30%.

"If you give the music to a third party without cost to you, like manufacturing or packaging, that's the same as a licensing agreement," a member of Eminem's legal team explained to The Wrap magazine. "[Universal] are characterising it as something else."

FBT Productions's court papers cite numerous instances of the words "licence" and "licensing" in comments by Universal executives and their digital distribution partners.

"Steve Jobs ... discussed his company's relationship with UMG as that of a 'license' in an essay titled 'Thoughts on Music' dated February 6, 2007," the papers read. "Although he consistently referred to Apple 'licensing' music from 'the big four music companies', when deposed in this case he claimed not to know whether his company's relationship with Universal was, in fact, a licence."

The trial is the first major legal test for these issues and the witness list is appropriately star-studded. Although Eminem will not likely attend, UMG founder Jimmy Iovine will probably take the stand and Steve Jobs, CEO at Apple Computers, is scheduled to testify by video.

Relapse, Eminem's first album in five years, is expected early this year.

Original here

Jazz man is first African-American to solo on U.S. circulating coin

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States Mint launched a new coin Tuesday featuring jazz legend Duke Ellington, making him the first African-American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin.

The District of Columbia coin honoring Duke Ellington was introduced Tuesday in Washington.

The District of Columbia coin honoring Duke Ellington was introduced Tuesday in Washington.

Ellington, the composer of classics including "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" appears on the "tails" side of the new D.C. quarter. George Washington is on the "heads" side, as is usual with U.S. quarters.

The coin was issued to celebrate Ellington's birthplace, the District of Columbia.

U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy introduced the new coin at a news conference Tuesday at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Members of Ellington's family were present at the ceremony, and the jazz band of Duke Ellington High School performed.

Ellington won the honor by a vote of D.C. residents, beating out abolitionist Frederick Douglass and astronomer Benjamin Banneker.

Also on the coin is the phrase "Justice for all." The Mint rejected the first inscription choice of D.C. voters, which was "taxation without representation," in protest of the district's lack of voting representation in Congress.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington received 13 Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, among numerous other honors. His orchestra's theme song, "Take the A Train," is one of the best-known compositions in jazz.

Ellington was born in the district in 1899 and composed more than 3,000 songs, including "Satin Doll," "Perdido" and "Don't Get Around Much Any More." "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" helped usher in the swing era of jazz.

Ellington performed with other famous artists, including John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, and he traveled around the world with his orchestras.

He died in 1974 at the age of 75.

The first African-American to appear on a circulating coin was York, a slave who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their "Corps of Discovery" adventures across America at the dawn of the 19th century. The 2003 Missouri quarter features the three men together in a canoe on the obverse.

The U.S. Mint distinguishes between circulating coins, which are intended for daily use, and commemorative ones, which mark special occasions.

African-Americans including Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier, have appeared on commemorative coins. Educator Booker T. Washington, botanist George Washington Carver and the first Revolutionary War casualty, Crispus Attucks, all of whom were black, have also appeared on commemorative coins, according to the U.S. Mint.

Original here

Why the Music Industry Hates Guitar Hero

By Jeff Howe


Nobody expected the number-one-with-a-bullet rise of the music videogame—least of all the music industry. Armed with little more than crappy graphics, plastic guitars, and epic hooks, play-along titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have become an industry in their own right, raking in more than $2.3 billion over the past three years. Album sales fell 19 percent this past holiday season, but the thrill isn't gone—it just moved to a different platform.

The success of these games is good news for the music biz. They're breathing new life into old bands (Weezer, anyone?) and helping popularize new ones. They're even becoming a significant distribution outlet for new releases. So the record labels ought to be ecstatic, right? Nope. They're whining over licensing fees.

"The amount being paid to the music industry, even though [these] games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small," Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman told analysts last summer. The money Warner receives for the use of its songs is "paltry," he said, and if the gamemakers don't pony up more cash, "we will not license to those games." In response, Rock Band publisher MTV Games is now boycotting Warner artists, according to a source close to the negotiations.

This is a fight no one can win. Putting the brakes on music gaming would hurt everyone in the ailing music industry. Instead of demanding greater profit participation, Warner should be angling for creative participation. Thirty years ago, Hollywood took a similar threat—the VCR—and turned it into a new source of revenue, building customer loyalty in the process. The music industry could use new games the same way—but its track record suggests that it won't.

How does this play out? Gamemakers could respond by using cover versions of songs from the Warner catalog, but Bronfman already has that move blocked. He also runs the giant music publisher Warner/Chappell, and he could deny the game companies access there, too. From Bronfman's perspective, the record labels got ripped off when MTV was sold in 1985 for $690 million ($1.4 billion in today's dollars) on the strength of videos it received for free, and then ripped off again when Apple initially denied the labels control over pricing on iTunes. He won't get fooled again.

To be fair, Bronfman has a point. Game publishers generally sign low-cost synchronization licenses—as if the music were being used incidentally, in the background. Compare this to Electronic Arts' Madden NFL franchise, from which the football league collects some 30 percent of gross revenue, and you can begin to feel his pain.

But there's better money to be made by playing together. Music games are proven earners—Aerosmith has reportedly earned more from Guitar Hero : Aerosmith than from any single album in the band's history. The labels ought to push for more such titles and integrate them into their promotional strategies. They might not maximize profit on the licensing, but who cares? With more entries to come in the play-along genre, and networked hardware to play them on, the games themselves could even become an online music retail channel to rival iTunes. Or what about a game for turntable artists? Labels could provide the stem tracks for songs (in which each instrument's recording is isolated) and let players mix their own versions. Users could vote for their favorites through online services like Xbox Live, and Warner could sell the winning mixes back to customers using the very platform on which they were created. Call it Wii-Mix.

If the company wants a case study, it need look no further than Universal Music Group. Rather than cavil over licensing fees, Universal parent company Vivendi simply bought Guitar Hero's publisher, Activision. Look, the labels know that recorded music is in irreversible decline. Warner has actually led the industry with a policy of signing bands to so-called 360 deals, in which artists give the label a cut of everything they sell, be it ringtones, merchandise, or concert tickets. On the strength of such foresight, Bronfman has styled himself as the man who will reinvent the music industry. But part of that reinvention must be an end to petty haggling over fees. Going PvP against gamemakers isn't going to solve the industry's problems. At this point, Bronfman still seems intent on dragging his business kicking and screaming back to the 20th century.

Original here

Discuss: Good Music From Mediocre Films

by Elisabeth Rappe

In the wee hours of the morning, one has little energy to do anything constructive -- which is how I ended up exchanging YouTube music links with Dave Chen and then realizing, "Hey -- this would make a good post for a slow news day!"

Like any film fan, I love soundtracks. When I was a young teen, I bought nothing but film soundtracks because I thought it was cooler than buying popular music. I wasn't discriminating, and bought soundtracks whenever I had enjoyed a film or a bit of flute music that played. This resulted in my owning a few appalling choices like The Man in the Iron Mask, but hey, we've all bought embarrassing albums.

But over the years, I have found that some really lovely pieces of music have been wasted on middling films. I thought I'd list a few of them here so they receive a small moment of recognition -- and in order that you'll share a few lost themes with me. Or you can just chide me for liking really obvious, sweeping pieces.

If there's a piece that defines what I'm talking about, it's probably that oft-used theme to DragonHeart -- the film wasn't great, the piece might even be a little cheesy, but it gets used for every trailer with mountains or a sword in it. I think they even played it at President Obama's Inauguration:



A completely forgotten piece is John Williams' theme for Seven Years in Tibet -- I believe I bought the score thinking the theme would actually be what played in the trailer. Probably a bit "typical" of Williams and a little repetitive, but undeniably sweeping:


Another one I find rather hypnotic is the Kyrie for the Magdalene from The DaVinci Code. I find it amazing that someone (Richard Harvey, apparently, not Hans Zimmer) actually wrote a kyrie prayer for a Dan Brown adaptation:



So, those are some of my selections -- time to share yours. Remember, we want to rescue scores from mediocre or forgotten films, not just highlight good ones from films that deserved them.

Original here

George Lucas to produce first post-Star Wars film

By Noam Friedlander

USAF General Benjamin O Davis Jr and Charles Bailey - George Lucas to produce first post-Star Wars film
USAF General Benjamin O Davis Jr, the leader of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and the first black general in the Air Force, and Charles Bailey (r), a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Photo: EPA / AP

Lucas's project ‘Red Tails’, a film on the Tuskegee Airmen, who were America’s first black military airmen, as been in development with the director since 1990.

Lucas wrote the story, but will not be directing the project as Anthony Hemingway, who has worked on gritty TV shows such as The Wire and Oz has been signed up to helm the project. Lucas had previously discussed the project with Samuel L Jackson, who was being considered as both director and actor in the film.

"It's a pretty good script," Jackson said. "At one point (Lucas) was asking me if I'd ever want to direct anything. I said, 'I don't know, man. I'm trying to find things.' He said, 'Well, let me send you this thing. Maybe you might want to direct it.'"

However, when pressed if he would seriously consider helming Red Tails, Jackson replied, "I don't know. I don't have a year and a half of my life where I want to stop acting."

Red Tails is set in suburban California, in the 1950s and offers have apparently gone out to Oscar-nominated Terence Howard, NeYo and British actor David Oyelowo.

Lucas, who is one of the American film industry's most financially successful directors/producers, has an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion (£2.73 billion) and might be financing the project himself through LucasFilms because, as yet, no studio has lined up to sign up the film.

The last major film to explore the airmen was a 1996 HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne.

Original here

Report: 'Slumdog' child star beaten by dad

Director Danny Boyle holds his Oscar for best director for his film "Slumdog Millionaire" backstage at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 22, 2009.   (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen)
Director Danny Boyle holds his Oscar for best director for his film "Slumdog Millionaire" backstage at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 22, 2009. (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen)

A 10-year-old actor who appeared in the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" was allegedly beaten Friday by his father in Mumbai, witnesses claim.

Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, who played young Salim in the movie, attended the Oscars in Los Angeles earlier this week. He and his co-stars charmed Hollywood's elite at the awards ceremony and parties afterward, then went to Disneyland the next day.

Azharuddin and his 9-year-old co-star Rubina Ali have received additional media attention because they are still living in the slums of Mumbai after the worldwide success of the movie.

Indian housing officials have offered the two child stars' families new free homes but have said they aren't sure when they will be able to move in. Rubina's family reportedly lives in a one-room shack and Azharuddin's in a tent.

The Sun newspaper said Azharuddin allegedly suffered a vicious beating Friday at the hands of his father when he complained he was tired from the long flight from Los Angeles and all the excitement and said he didn't want to talk to well-wishers and media anymore.

Azharuddin's father, Mohammed Ismail, allegedly kicked and slapped the child in the face, as his mother pleaded with him to stop. Azharuddin cowered in a corner, then ran off crying, the newspaper said.

"Azharruddin's father was upset that he was asking to be left alone because he was tired," an onlooker told The Sun. "He didn't attend school today so that he could recover from his long flight from LA and simply wanted all the attention to stop. However, when Azharuddin put his foot down and said that was it and there was to be no more talking, Ismail just flipped.

It was like a scene out of 'Slumdog Millionaire.'"

Original here


How 9/11 Changed Watchmen


By Meredith Woerner

The horrific visions that open the final chapter of Alan Moore's Watchmen haunt you long afterwards. But Zack Snyder's movie tones down that imagery, and screenwriter David Hayter says it's because of 9/11. Spoilers below.

As you probably already know, there's no giant squid at the end of Snyder's movie adaptation. But that's not the only thing that's missing. The film leaves out the gut-wrenching images that fill nine pages of the graphic novel, at the start of Chapter 12

In the book, a doomsday clock dripping with the blood of massacred New Yorkers is followed by in-your-face carnage. There are no words, just page after page of silent faces frozen in despair. Bodies are piled on top of bodies, hunched over street corners and splayed outside of windows. If you're familiar with the book, you know that the world, for New Yorkers, has just ended. The visually arresting images push forward the final issue that the entire novel hinges upon: Is it okay to kill millions to save billions? It's violent and necessary... but it's not in the movie.


Apparently these images were deemed too graphic for Snyder's Watchmen. We asked Hayter why the movie doesn't depict the dead bodies in the aftermath of Ozymandias' scheme, while he was doing press for the film:

When did the ending change, and who was responsible for that?

I changed it. Because it was just me, and I didn't have Zack Snyder. [When I was working on the script] the pressures were being put on me. "Six main characters. Can you cut it down to one? Can you cut all the flashbacks? We don't like all this history." And I'm like it's...[laughs in disbelief] What I would always say is, "Yeah, I can write that movie, but it's going to be a different movie, and you're going to have to pay me again." And they didn't want to do that.

I did understand the ending of the book, [but] there are a few issues that apply to the pressures of filmmaking. I'm always cognizant of the fact that when you're dealing with the studio and you're asking them to put up 100-plus million dollars, that that's a big thing. You can't just say, "I'm an artist and whatever." You're never going to work, and that's not a smart way to make movies.

The ending of the book shows just piles of corpses, bloody corpses in the middle of Times Square, people hanging out of windows just slaughtered on a massive scale. To do that in a comic book, and release it in 1985, is different from doing it real life, in a movie, and seeing all of these people brutally massacred in the middle of Times Square post 2001. That's a legitimate concern, and one that I shared.

If you're doing the movie for $40 million, fine - bloody bodies everywhere. And that's fine, and it's a niche film, and only the hardcore fans would go see it. But if you're doing it on this big of a scale, I just don't think that's... I understood their reticence to putting those images on screen.

So the studio had reservations about the ending, because of September 11 and because people wouldn't be ready for it. But weren't you worried about changing the ending, as someone who loved the graphic novel?

Well no, because what I did, the way I sort of convinced myself - And I don't really know what it looks like, because I've only seen a rough cut of the film, without all the FX in the end - But what I did was say, "What if they were all blown into the Hiroshima shadows, which are already set up in the book?" Then you can see the death on a grand scale, you see all the particles floating in the air, but it's not so ugly. It's almost beautiful in its way. This destruction that is done in an artistic way, and it's also fed by the themes of the book and set up in there.

I would have liked to have seen the squid. I would have loved to have seen it exactly the way it was in the book - but I also felt the same pain everyone else did living here when [September 11] occurred. My primary years working on it were also 2000 to 2005 [and 9/11 was a lot fresher in people's minds right afterwards]. So it wasn't just the studios. That was something I did for the studios with out having to be pushed on it."


How did artist Dave Gibbons, the gifted artist behind the graphic novel, feel about those images disappearing from the movie? We asked him:

You drew these panels that were full of carnage and bloody streets, and they're not in the movie. How did you feel as an artist, about not being able to see the actual destruction?

It relates to the whole question about violence in the whole thing. I think the consequences of violence should be shown graphically, just to show that violence is unpleasant. It isn't just [that] you get a little spot of blood, and then you put a band aid on it and you're all better. You know I haven't seen the final cut of the end of the movie, the version that I saw the ending wasn't finished so I don't know precisely what we do see but my remembrance of it was, I did get a sense of this wholesale destruction.

I suppose you also have to say that in a way, post 9/11, it's a very tender area anyway. So I think that might modify how you would treat it, if you were going to do it.


All in all, using 9/11 as an excuse to change the ending of the movie doesn't sit right with me - especially since the film already shows a little girl in a dog's mouth and plenty of gore earlier in the film. Why spend so much time remaining true to the book, only to drop the ball in the final act? I sympathize with film-makers who have to work with the studios, but they could have tried harder to meet them halfway. Perhaps it didn't have to be as graphic as the novel, but there must have been some way the filmmakers could have demonstrated the lives that had been taken. The loss of those images creates more confusion, and dilutes the seriousness of the movie's grand finale.

Original here

The boy who shaped a Tory leader: Tributes to David Cameron's disabled son Ivan

By James Chapman

The night before, their home was filled with laughter as they made pancakes with their children.

As always, David and Samantha Cameron's disabled son Ivan was at the heart of the family celebration.

Yesterday the Tory leader and his wife were facing life without their six-year-old first-born child.

David Cameron

David and Samantha Cameron on Wednesday, just hours after the death of their eldest son, Ivan

Ivan, who had cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, died in hospital at 6.30am after suffering seizures during the night. Doctors are understood to have tried for 45 minutes to resuscitate him.

The Camerons returned home from hospital to mourn with their two other children, Nancy, five, and Arthur, three.

Though the couple had lived every day with the knowledge that Ivan's life expectancy was low, the death of their 'beautiful boy' had been devastatingly quick. Mr Cameron told friends the only comfort he could draw was that he was with Ivan when he died.

David Cameron

David Cameron with son Ivan at their home in 2004

At Westminster, the knockabout of everyday party politics came to a sombre halt.

Gordon Brown led the tributes in the Commons close to tears. In the bleakest of coincidences, Ivan's death means both main party leaders now know the pain of losing a much-loved child.

The Prime Minister and his wife lost their daughter Jennifer Jane, who died in 2002 at just ten days.

Mr Brown took the extraordinary step of offering to suspend Prime Minister's Questions - the first time since the death of Labour leader John Smith in 1994 that the weekly session has been abandoned.

Instead he made a statement about Ivan, telling MPs: 'I know that in an all-too brief life, he brought joy to all those around him and I also know that for all the days of his life, he was surrounded by his family's love.

'Every child is precious and irreplaceable and the death of a child is an unbearable sorrow that no parent should ever have to endure.'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, whose wife gave birth to their third son at the weekend, said: 'My heart goes out to David and Samantha at this incredibly difficult time for them and their family.'

Buckingham Palace said the Queen had sent a private message of sympathy. The Tory leader is expected to take at least a fortnight off work, with Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague assuming his duties.

Mr Hague told MPs he had spoken to Mr Cameron, who wanted to pass on the family's thanks for many messages of condolence and say how 'hugely grateful' they were to the NHS staff who had helped Ivan throughout his life.

A friend of the family said: 'It all happened so suddenly.

'It had been a normal day. David had been in the office, in high spirits, and in the evening they had a family pancake day at home.

'Ivan had a bad night. He was having fits, but that is not unusual for him. But it became clear this was particularly severe and they knew they needed to get help fast.

'Then at the hospital it was obvious he wasn't going to pull through. They are shattered.'

Samantha Cameron

Samantha Cameron with her son Ivan at a Yoga Centre in October 2007

The Tory leader said Ivan's smile 'could light up a room'

The Tory leader said Ivan's smile 'could light up a room'

The Camerons' first child, Ivan was born in 2002 but by his second week, was losing weight and suffering jerky movements.

Though the couple were initially told by doctors he was suffering a kidney malfunction, Ivan was eventually diagnosed with Ohtahara syndrome - a rare neurological disorder characterised by seizures.

Doctors told the couple that some children with Ohtahara syndrome die in infancy, while others live for years but with profound disability. Mr Cameron ensured Ivan was christened at the 'earliest opportunity' because of the lack of clarity about his prospects.

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown makes a statement in the House of Commons after Prime Minister's Questions was suspended following Ivan's death

Genetic experts told the couple there was a one in 20 chance of future children being born with the condition, though happily Nancy and Arthur are healthy.

The Camerons had to adapt their home in West London to accommodate Ivan, who needed a special lift to get him in and out of his bath.

Though his condition meant he could not move his limbs or speak, the Camerons drew strength from the fact that he appeared to respond to their love and care.

'Ivan's only self-conscious movements are to raise his eyebrows and to smile,' Mr Cameron said.

'And his smile - slightly crooked, sometimes accompanied by a little moan - can light up a room. It never fails to make me both happy and immensely proud of him.'

But asked once if he thought Ivan enjoyed his life, he replied: 'Oh, not really, I think his life's very tough.'

This Cameron family photograph was used for their Christmas card this year

This Cameron family photograph was used for their Christmas card last year

The Camerons' Christmas card last year showed the Tory leader and his wife with all three of their children, Ivan cradled in his father's lap. Mr Cameron insisted that to hide his son from the public gaze would have been to deny a crucial part of what had shaped him as a man and as a potential Prime Minister.

Relying completely on the NHS for his son's medical care, colleagues say, focused his mind on the importance of the state-funded service. 'When your family relies on the NHS all the time - day after day, night after night - you know how precious it is,' he said.

Mr Cameron also voted in favour of controversial embryo experiments in the hope that they might lead to treatments for his son and others like him.

Tory schools spokesman Michael Gove, a close family friend, said: The interaction between David, Samantha, Ivan and the other children was something that anyone who came into contact with them found uplifting.'

David and Samantha with daughter Nancy (on shoulders) and sons Ivan (left) and Arthur shopping in Portobello Market in London

David and Samantha with daughter Nancy (on shoulders) and sons Ivan (left) and Arthur shopping in Portobello Market in London

Mr Gove said coping with Ivan's disability had been a 'huge and wrenching change' for the Camerons.

But he added: 'David and Samantha coped amazingly. I saw them at difficult times maintain the strength of their relationship.

'David and Samantha often had to take Ivan to hospital for treatment. It was often the case that they would have to spend the night or long days with Ivan in hospital while he was getting a very, very high quality of treatment.

'They would spend nights sleeping on the floor alongside him.'

Tributes

The Camerons asked that, rather than sending flowers, wellwishers should send donations to Mencap, the Friends of St Mary's Hospital or one of three other charities - Friends of Jack Tizard School; Helen & Douglas House, Twickenham; or Shooting Stars House, Hampton, Middlesex.

Original here

EXCLUSIVE: Megan Fox and Actor Brian Austin Green Call Off Engagement

Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox attend Maxim's 8th Annual Hot 100 Party on May 16, 2007.
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli

Megan Fox and fiance Brian Austin Green have split, Usmagazine.com has learned.

"The relationship had run its course," an insider tells Us exclusively. "It's completely amicable, and they are remaining friends."

Fox, 22 (who’ll reprise her role as Mikaela in this June’s sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), and Green, 35 (a regular on Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), now “are both focusing on their careers," the source adds.

Us Weekly has more details on their shocking split. Pick up the new issue, on stands tomorrow.

See photos of other stars who are single

The couple -- who have tattoos of each other's names -- met in 2004 and, as Us first reported, got engaged in November 2006.

Find out the hidden meanings behind celeb tattoos

Last November, Fox told Us that the wedding plans were still on.

"It's not going to be a big wedding," she told Us at a GQ bash. "I'm not one of those girls. If it happens, it will be very low-key and quick and unplanned."

See what Megan Fox and other stars look like as Disney cartoons

She said she and Green -- who has a 6-year-old son, Kassius, from a previous relationship -- haven't talked about wanting more kids.

"I feel like I need to set my career and do a movie other than Transformers," she said. "Then I’ll explore family."

See photos of Megan Fox and other stars who hot updos

Green laughed off split rumors last year.

"The last thing we do is get upset," he told Us. "We usually go have dinner and have a glass of wine and laugh about it."

See then-and-now photos of your favorite 90210 stars

Asked last July what he loves most about Fox, he told Us, "Everything is my favorite thing about her."

Original here


7 Celebrity Careers That Launched by Accident

By Fitzgerald Smith


Hollywood is filled with plenty of rags to riches stories. Jim Carey worked as a janitor, Demi Moore was a debt collector, Brad Pitt used to wear a chicken suit while handing out fliers and Sharon Stone worked (works?) at a McDonald's.

But some actors' beginnings can be attributed to not hard work, but sheer chance or accident. Such as...

#7.
Mel Gibson

Even though he's turned into a walking punchline the last few years, there's no denying Mel Gibson will go down as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood history. His movies have made two billion dollars in the US alone and he's got two Oscars to go with it.

But Gibson's accidental stumble into stardom started in New York, where he was born (not Australia, as it turns out). Gibson's father, Hutton, filed a lawsuit against the city and won. After collecting his money, he moved his family to Australia. It was in this dingo-infested continent that a young Mel started to dabble in acting, and would get his big break due to a ridiculous, drunken stroke of luck.

What Happened?

Gibson went to the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. There he would perform in some stage productions, including the male lead in Romeo and Juliet, with Judy Davis as his co-star.

However, Gibson didn't consider a film career until a friend told him he needed a lift to audition for a movie. It was about a desolate, waste of a world in which gasoline is hunted by gay bikers.

Apparently, he still wasn't considering a film career, because the night before the audition, Gibson got into a drunken brawl at a bar. He dragged himself to the audition sporting a face full of fist shaped bruises. The director happened to catch sight of his sorry ass. Deciding that he already looked like he was living in a dystopian future, he asked him to come back because, as he put it, the film "needed freaks."

When Gibson did return, his wounds had healed into an unrecognizable mask of handsome manliness. The director asked Gibson to read for the only character who doesn't look like a blistered freak, and he landed the titular role in Mad Max , the franchise that would make him known around the globe.

#6.
Evangeline Lilly

LOST is widely thought to have become a hit for two reasons: a twisting, confounding plot and an often-moist Evangeline Lilly.

After LOST debuted, Lilly immediately shot to the top of every list ever made to chart hotness, including Maxim's (twice) and FHM's. We guess she's a pretty good actress too, since she was nominated for a Golden Globe. Of course, all the fanfare could be short lived. Lilly announced that after LOST is over, she intends to put her career on hold and become a humanitarian.


Yeah. A boner humanitarian!

What Happened?

Now usually when an actress claims to be a "humanitarian," it's because her agent had to explain to her that "vegetarian" is no longer socially-conscious enough, and "planetarium" is a type of building, and therefore also out of the question. But becoming a humanitarian isn't a stretch for Lilly. Before she was an actress, she was doing missionary work in the Philippines. After declining a two-year post, she became a flight attendant with Air Canada.

Things, however, changed one day when she was walking around Kelowna, British Columbia, and was spotted by a scout for the Ford modeling agency. She almost declined, but decided she needed the money to pay for school. While not actually doing any modeling for the company, she did do some acting for them. Like this tasteful ad.

That's right: Kate, from LOST, used to star in phone sex ads in Canada. For a young ex-missionary, we'd imagine that starring in Canadian phone sex ads was as lonely and existentially terrifying as anything the LOST writers can think up to throw at her.

#5.
Marilyn Monroe

The quintessential blonde bombshell, Monroe was married to baseball great Joe DiMaggio, and romantically linked to the penises of men as famous as John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra (if you'd like to imagine an interlinking chain of penises here, we won't stop you). She posed nude for the first issue of some up-and-coming gentlemen's magazine called Playboy and showed up in some movies, too.

What Happened?

The original blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe was neither blonde nor named Marilyn Monroe, though her early career was closely linked to bombshells, oddly enough. Born a brunette named Norma Jeane Mortenson in LA, she spent her childhood moving between foster homes and orphanages.

When she grew up, Monroe worked at a munitions plant where she inspected parachutes and sprayed airplanes to make them fire retardant. It was at this plant that a photographer for YANK magazine (a publication intended to boost morale of troops overseas apparently through the magic of double entendres) snapped a photo of Monroe for the cover.

The photographer pointed out to her that she was smoking hot and had the kind of breasts that could change the world. So she took acting classes, cut and dyed her hair blond and became a legend.

So let that be a lesson: If some random guy shows up at your job and takes a picture of you, you should absolutely do whatever he says. He only wants what's best for you.

#4.
Rosario Dawson

If you're asking who Rosario Dawson is, then we feel sorry for you. Very sorry. But despite the misfortune of landing roles in The Adventures of Pluto Nash, The Rundown and Josie and the Pussycats, Dawson's built a pretty solid career.


Her star isn't the only thing on the rise.

Those shitty roles allowed her to later pick up parts in MIB II, Rent and she even showed us the goods in Alexander. Unfortunately she was wrestling a greased up Colin Farrell at the time, but the goods were, nevertheless, delightful. More roles in movies like Sin City, Grind House and Clerks II solidified her spot as an actress with some decent range.


The other thing on the rise was our boners, by the way.

What Happened?

Born in New York City to a 17-year-old mother, Dawson grew up in the Lower East Side, living by the ethos, in her own words: "If you wanted something better, you had to do it yourself." She may have picked up this ethos from her mom, as the apartment they grew up in was initially abandoned, and only became home when her mother broke into it. She may have a New York accent, a kickass body and a distinct absence of moonshine on her breath, but until the age of 17, Rosario Dawson was basically a hobo.


There's oddly no shortage of pictures of Rosario Dawson eating things.

It should be noted, though, that when "something better" did come along, it had nothing to do with Rosario getting it herself. Rather, it had everything to do with her sitting on her extraordinarily sculpted ass in front of her (stolen) apartment.

While she was sitting on her front stoop, a photographer named Larry Clark, and a young screenwriter named Harmony Korine, walked up to her and told her that she would be perfect for one of the characters in his new screenplay. Try to keep in mind a few things about this exchange: Dawson had no acting experience whatsoever. Harmony Korine is the cracked-out mess in this Letterman interview. Larry Clark is a 66-year-old photographer whose favorite subjects are teenagers taking drugs and having sex. And guess what that screenplay she was just "perfect for" was about: One hundred odd pages jam packed with teenagers getting high and boning.


See?

Instead of calling neighborhood watch, Dawson showed up to an audition, got the role and the movie ended up being Kids, launching her and Chloe Sevigny's careers at the same time. To any little girls reading this, we really can't stress enough how unlikely the ending to that story is. Forget a movie career, she's lucky she didn't end up in some impossibly creepy inter-generational version of Bang bus.

#3.
Pamela Anderson

For years, Pamela Anderson graced the television screen as a lifeguard in Baywatch who saved lives thanks to the buoyancy of her boobies.

If Marilyn Monroe was our fathers' blonde bombshell, Pamela Anderson, no doubt, was ours. Many a young man remembers where they were when they first watched that glorious rack on a swing in Barb Wire (in their bedrooms with doors locked and shades pulled). As do they remember how many countless hours it took to download the grainy 10-second bits of her sex tape that were available online, only to witness Tommy Lee honking a boat horn with his dong.

Okay, okay, there's more to Pamela Anderson than her boobs and her questionable taste in men. She's worked with PETA on their anti-fur and vegetarian campaigns, and has participated in fundraisers to raise money in the fight against AIDS. So even if you still think she's just a big ol' pair of boobies, she at least has used said boobies for good and not evil.

What Happened?

Born somewhere in Canada, probably to a pack of Molson-drinking timber wolves, Anderson actually became famous for being Canada's Centennial Baby in 1967--the first baby born after the clock struck midnight on Canada's 100th birthday in which they celebrated banding together under one lunatic. Or something like that.

Upon graduating from high school, Anderson moved to Vancouver and became a fitness instructor. It was here that during a CFL game (that's Canadian Football League for anyone who cares) Anderson's image graced the jumbotron while she was wearing a Labatt's t-shirt. The crowd got one look at her legendary chest and freaked the hell out. She was brought down onto the field where she received a huge ovation. It's unclear if they kept playing the game at this point, or if anyone was coherent enough to notice, but we like to think that Canadian football games are called all the time for "crowd's inability to handle wicked hot girl shown on jumbotron."

Labatt's quickly signed her to a modeling contract and, soon, Hugh Hefner was knocking on her door to pose for his magazine. So, we guess there's something we can actually thank Canada for.


That's what we're talking aboot!

#2.
John Wayne

If Marilyn Monroe was the quintessential Hollywood Bombshell, John Wayne was the quintessential badass. Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Sly Stallone; all of them took lessons from The Duke.

Wayne would make himself a staple in the Western genre by starring in such films as The Searchers, The Alamo and True Grit. He also made his rounds in the War genre with films like The High and the Mighty, Island in the Sky and The Green Berets, a pro-Vietnam film. That's right; he just didn't give a shit.

By the time he was done, he would appear in 171 movies over 50 years. That's like one movie every three months.

What Happened?

Born Marion Robert Morrison (we'd go with John Wayne, too), the Duke grew up in California after his family relocated there. Having a natural athletic ability, he played football for his high school team which won the state championship in 1924. He attended USC on a football scholarship and would've continued, if not for an unfortunate injury sustained during the impressively unmanly activity that is bodysurfing. Injured and unable to pay for school (he lost his scholarship), he dropped out of USC.

To make ends meet, Wayne applied for jobs at the local film studios in the area. Not as a silver screen badass, just doing any damned thing. He wound up getting a job working with the props department at Fox.

Whenever they needed extras for movies back then, they apparently just grabbed whoever was standing around. Because Wayne had the build of a football player he got early roles like "football player in background" and "football player on sideline." In 1931's The Deceiver he played a corpse.

But then he caught his big break. And as it often happens, his big break wasn't a role, but a person. Wayne became friends with legendary director John Ford, who pulled some strings and got Wayne his first leading role, and later cast him in Stagecoach. That movie made Wayne a star and gave birth to "The Duke," the drawling caricature Wayne would play in movie after movie after movie after movie (just repeat that 150 more times).

#1.
Johnny Depp

Edward Scissorhands. Captain Jack Sparrow. Raoul Duke. Mort fucking Rainey. All legendary roles that probably wouldn't be quite as legendary had they not been played by Johnny Depp.

Initially, Depp had no intentions of being an actor. When he was younger, his mother gave him a guitar as a gift and he had his sights set on being a rock star, and even ended up performing in various garage bands. Eventually, Depp dropped out of school to dedicate more time to his music. When he tried to return, his principal actually advised him against doing so, and to follow his dreams instead.

Despite having the world's coolest principal, his hopes for a career in music began to dwindle. Depp married a make-up artist who introduced him to Nicolas Cage, who told the young hopeful to try acting (advice we continue to offer Cage to this very day). Instead, Depp divorced the make-up artist, probably because she introduced him to Nicolas Cage.

What Happened?

Just like Gibson, one day, for no discernible reason, Depp accompanied a friend named Jackie Earle Haley to an audition for a horror movie about an ugly janitor who kills children through their dreams.

It was there that Wes Craven spotted Depp and asked him to read for the part of the protagonist's boyfriend who dies in the most vomit-inducing way possible. Depp nailed the audition and went on to become an iconic movie actor, while his friend was doomed to roles as smelly hippies, smelly perverts and smelly psychopaths.

The lesson? If a friend asks you to drive him to an audition, fucking do it.

Original here