Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oprah To Rihanna: “Chris Brown Will Hit You Again!” (Video)

by Castina

Oprah Winfrey is sending pop tart Rihanna a very stern warning about her allegedly abusive boyfriend, Chris Brown: “He will hit you again!”

The family of the Barbadian-born singer has been unable to prevent her from going back to Brown following his alleged vicious attack, but maybe she’ll listen to a word of advice from the Queen of Talk.

“You need somebody to tell you the truth in this moment. And the truth is guys, both Chris Brown and Rihanna, if I were your friend, I would call you up and I would say ‘Give it some time, get yourself some counselling, take care of yourself, heal yourself first,” Lady O said during a roundtable discussion on her Emmy Award-winning chatfest Friday.

“And also, ‘Love doesn’t hurt’. I’ve been saying this to women for years - love doesn’t hurt. And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again. He will hit you again. I don’t care what his plea is, he will hit you again.’”

Chris Brown has been charged with two felony charges following his violent bust-up with the Umbrella hitmaker last month. If convicted, he faces up to four years and eight months behind bars.

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YouTube stands by UK video block

By Darren Waters

Premium music videos will not be accessible to UK YouTube users

YouTube will not reverse its decision to block music videos to UK users despite a plea from the Performing Rights Society to change its mind.

It is removing all premium music videos to UK users after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the PRS.

Patrick Walker, YouTube's director of video partnerships said it remained committed to agreeing terms.

But such agreement needed to be done "at a rate which is sustainable to all", he told the BBC.

Thousands of videos were made unavailable to YouTube users from late on 9 March.

Patrick Walker, YouTube's director of video partnerships, told BBC News that the move was "regrettable" but that it continued to talk to the PRS.

"The more music videos YouTube streams, and the more popular those music videos are, the more money YouTube will generate to share with the PRS and its song writers. It's a win-win arrangement.

YouTube, however, cannot be expected to engage in a business in which it loses money every time a music video is played - that is simply not a sustainable business model." he said.

Steve Porter, head of the PRS, said he was "outraged... shocked and disappointed" by YouTube's decision.

In a statement, Mr Porter said the move "punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent".

The PRS has asked YouTube to reconsider its decision as a "matter of urgency".

This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties
PRS statement

The body, which represents music publishers, added: "Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing.

"This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties."

The Music Publishers Association (MPA) joined with the PRS is urging Google to rethink.

"Music publishers are in the business of getting their music heard by as wide an audience as possible, and websites such as YouTube rely on this music to attract traffic. It is difficult to see how anyone's interests are served by denying the YouTube community the content they most enjoy," said MPA chief executive Stephen Navin.

Lord Carter, the UK's Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting, has also waded into the debate.

Giving evidence before the Business Select Committee the minister said he suspected a degree of "commercial posturing on the part of both parties" but said the row was indicative of a wider issue.

"It is an example of the question of how do you price and fund content in the digital world?" he said.

"We have had decades of content being funded in one way - via the license fee and advertising - and that model is changing at a rapid speed," he told MPs.

Mr Walker told BBC News the PRS was seeking a rise in fees "many, many factors" higher than the previous agreement.

He said: "We feel we are so far apart that we have to remove content while we continue to negotiate with the PRS."

"We are making the message public because it will be noticeable to users on the site."

Consumers must be scratching their heads in amazement at such obstacles to delivering legal content in a timely and straightforward fashion.
Darren Waters, Technology editor, BBC News website

The majority of videos will be made inaccessible over the next two days.

YouTube pays a licence to the PRS which covers the streaming of music videos from three of the four major music labels and many independent labels.

Stream online

While deals with individual record labels cover the use of the visual element and sound recording in a music video, firms that want to stream online also have to have a separate deal with music publishers which covers the music and lyrics.

In the UK, the PRS acts as a collecting society on behalf of member publishers for licensing fees relating to use of music.

YouTube stressed that it continued to have "strong partnerships" with three of the four largest record labels in the world.

Mr Walker said the PRS was asking for a "prohibitive" rise in the cost of a new licence.

While not specifying the rate the PRS was seeking, he said: "It has to be a rate that can drive a business model. We are in the business for the long run and we want to drive the use of online video.

"The rate they are applying would mean we would lose significant amounts of money on every stream of a music video. It is not a reasonable rate to ask."

New deal

YouTube has also complained of a lack of transparency by the PRS, saying the organisation would not specify exactly which artists would be covered by any new deal.

"That's like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it," a statement from YouTube UK says on its official blog.

YouTube is the world's most popular online video site but has been under increased pressure to generate more revenue since its purchase by Google for $1.65bn in 2006.

"We are not willing to do this [new licensing deal] at any cost," said Mr Walker.

He said the issue was an industry-wide one and not just related to YouTube.

"By setting rates that don't allow new business models to flourish, nobody wins."

Services such as Pandora.com, MySpace UK and Imeem have also had issues securing licence deals in the UK in the past 12 months.


Why is YouTube blocking UK music videos?

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Guess Who's Back-O

Michael Jackson's career seemed all but over. Molestation charges, rumors of multiple mysterious illnesses and odd photographs of him wearing a face mask, dangling his child over a balcony or obliging his children to wear face masks have all conspired to put a huge dent in the King of Pop's image. Now, eight years after his last performance and just in time for the 25th anniversary of his megahit album "Thriller", Jackson has announced a series of shows this summer at London's O2 arena. The gig is no doubt a decision made necessary by Jackson's recent monetary struggles: an almost-auctioned Neverland Ranch, a contested auction of his personal memorabilia and even a lawsuit brought on by a Bahraini prince who says Jackson borrowed $7 million from him. Jacko says it'll be his last time performing — in London — which leaves the door open for a few more comeback and/or farewell shows.

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Thor will be mighty, says Marvel's Joe Quesada

Owen Vaughan speaks to comic book supremo on Marvel's next superhero blockbuster


"There's so much cool stuff in the mythology of Thor that it's just going to be a huge blockbuster," Joe Quesada told Blockbuster Buzz in a recent interview. "Kenneth Branagh gets the Marvel history of the character, he gets the overall flavour and tone of the Marvel universe. He gets that it's not just about action and adventure and costumes, it's about what's at the heart of the character. It's more about what motivates Thor and Loki and Odin than just Thor swinging a hammer and smashing things."

The Mighty Thor has been a mainstay of the Marvel universe for almost 50 years - he first appeared in August 1962 in issue 83 of Journey into Mystery - but he has never had the same following or exposure as Spider-man or the Fantastic Four. Stan Lee came up with the idea of a superhero version of the Norse god of thunder while wrestling with problem of how to create a character that was stronger than the Hulk. He decided the only solution was to make his new hero a god, so went delving into Norse mythology for a suitable candidate. He then commissioned the artist Jack Kirby, with whom he had created much of the Marvel universe, to bring the hero and his hammer to life.

Kirby gave Thor a winged helmet, flowing blonde locks, a red cape and a blue tunic attached to which were six white discs and that distinctive look has pretty much survived over the decades. In addition to his pop art garb Thor was given a human alter ego. In the comic, Thor's father, Odin, teaches Thor a lesson in humility by wiping Thor's memory and spiriting him into the body of a partially disabled medical student, Donald Blake. Thor eventually discovers who he really is, learns to change back and forth into his superpowered self and embarks on a career of hero. It is this version of Thor that Branagh is attempting, although there is no word yet on who he has cast as Thor/Donald Blake.

Quesada is hoping that Branagh will transform and reinvigorate Thor much the same way Jon Favreau did with another much neglected Marvel hero: "Before the Iron Man movie Iron Man was an also ran character. In the mass market it was all about Spider-man, Hulk, Batman and Superman but now you count Iron Man as major mainstream character." He already has Babylon Five writer J. Michael Straczynski, who was recently nominated for a Bafta for his screenplay for Clint Eastwood's film Changeling, laying the groundwork in the comic. Check out issue 600 in the comic stores - it will knock your socks off.

If the film is successful, Thor is expected to appear alongside his buddies Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America in an Avengers movie.
Quesada also mentioned Branagh's Shakesperean background as being a big bonus, although I suspect he doesn't want Thor to utter: "To clobber or not to clobber" anywhere in the film.

Thor is scheduled for release in summer 2010. The full interview with Joe Quesada will appear in Blockbuster Buzz next week

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...Stop With The Bad Concert Films!

... stop with the bad concert movies!
by Sturdy

What the hell is Disney doing with these concert “movies” (it kills me to call them movies)? I thought we had a flash in the pan with HANNAH MONTANA/MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT TOUR, but then we’re hit with JONAS BROTHERS: THE 3D CONCERT EXPERIENCE. Has the recession hit Disney so hard that they’re forced to turn kiddie-concerts into movies? Do kids actually appreciate these movie-concerts? If you’ve seen either of these “movies” and you feel that they’re crowning achievements in filmmaking and I’m way off, then please let me know.

I’ll let you write your own inappropriate captions.

Hopefully, we can all agree that most adults aren’t going to get anything out of these films and with the disappointing box-office figures for the Jonas Brothers, it seems that kids aren’t that interested either. But don’t get fooled that the less than stellar opening will dissuade Hollywood from picking another cheesy band and giving them their own concert movie. I think the only question now is when are the latest rounds of American Idol rejects going to get their own movie (again) and when is Nickelodeon going to jump on the bandwagon and factory-make their own annoying pop star.

These guys should be spending their puberty years stuffed in gym lockers, not in theaters.

Maybe this is just part of my ongoing quest to rid the world of children, or at least confine them to a tiny island until they’re old enough to vote. But the biggest problem I have with these “movies” is that they’re not really movies at all. They’re concerts. You can’t just set up a camera in front a musician and call it a movie. It’s still a concert, it just happens to be captured on film. And why the hell are they putting this shit in 3D? Do people really want to see musicians attack them in a theater?

What exactly is there in a concert to merit having it in 3D?

And I’m not sure I would feel any better about this if the filmed concerts were with people or groups that actually had talent. I would definitely be more interested if it was Bob Dylan or The Killers, but even then, I don’t think I’d bother going to see it in a theater. However, the fact that its Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers makes it that much more sickening. You know that in three years, these guys/girl will either a) be doing construction jobs or b) fall out the bottom of the porn industry. Oh and this is a little off topic, but have you ever watched part of Miley’s TV show? It’s unbearable. And not in that little kid kind of way, but in that I-want-to-rip-her-throat-out kind of way. Don’t kids these days have any standards for what they watch or listen to?

Of course, there’s no reason Disney (or any other studio) should listen to me. A concert movie is a quick and easy way to make some cash. Basically, you set up a few cameras and push ‘record’ and you have yourself a movie. And apparently, that’s enough to get kids into the theater. But these aren’t movies and filmed concerts should go straight to DVD. Let’s stop with the unnecessary theatrical releases and save the theaters for actual movies.

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How to Save Money on Movies during the Recession

by Serena Whitney

at-the-cheap-movies-6001I know it’s not the most rousing subject to be discussing right now, but no one can deny the rapidly increasing negative effects the Recession have been making in our world today. Everyday, people are either being laid off left, right and center, forced to work in dead end jobs because there are no other opportunities out there for the moment, or all “sitting ducks” and waiting for when the termination papers will be handed to them. It is a very scary time and because of that, everybody is trying to save every penny, which in turn is putting us in an extremely dangerous “catch 22” situation. This is because if nobody spends money, the economy is just going to get worse.

Despite 2009’s lucrative list of movies like Terminator: Salvation, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Transformers 2, and James Cameron’s long awaited 3-D feature Avatar, no one seems all that excited about spending money on seeing them this year. This is a change of pace considering everybody last year was going to the theatres every weekend because of 2008’s jam-packed schedule of blockbusters.

This to me is very depressing considering how any form of entertainment right now is very important for people’s states of minds during this stressful year. People long for an excuse to escape right now, even if it’s just for ninety minutes. (How else can you explain how Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail made so much money opening weekend?)

Going to the movies has always been unreasonably expensive, but there are ways of still being able to enjoy your favourite form of entertainment without breaking the bank and also being able to help out our poor economy. Here are my suggestions:

Movie Watcher’s Cards

There are a number of theatres out there, such as AMC that provide movie watcher’s cards that allow you to collect points towards free tickets and concession items every time you go to theatres. In Canada, (where I happen to live) they have a similar card called Scene. It works just like the movie watcher’s card, but you could also get Scene debit and credit cards with it that will let you accumulate points whenever you use the cards towards any purchase. It doesn’t hurt that by joining the program, you get up to SIX free movies on your cards! These are sensible cards for it allows consumers to save money at the movies and encourages you to make purchases. Visit www.moviewatcher.com and www.scene.ca for more details.

Support Your Local Theatre and Video Stores

By this, I don’t mean go to the local multiplex that charges you an arm and a leg or the Blockbuster down the street that sends you to collections if you forget to return a rental in a week. I’m talking about the obscure and neighbourhood-friendly theatres and video stores that carry cult movies on 16mm print or titles that even Amazon.com won’t have in stock for cost-effective prices.


These establishments are owned by true film buffs and without supporting them through this difficult time, they are the ones that will suffer the most because of it. Plus, a lot of old theatres have cash bars in them now. (Sweet!)

Go to Morning and Early Afternoon Matinees

Why do we live in a society which thinks movie watching is only hip, fun and tolerable after 6PM? Why not go to an early bird show? Did you know that if you go to an AMC theatre on the weekend or a holiday before noon, you can see any movie for six dollars? It is a little known fact because most theatres know that people usually will not get up early to go to the movies. Most theatres also offer discounts before 6PM on tickets, so why not take advantage of these cheap prices and try something a little more creative for a first night date for a change?

Eat Beforehand

As appetizing as those pricey fast food lard products that will quickly clog up your arteries and send you to an early grave may look at the concession booths, why not be sensible and make some food before going to the theatre?


This is what costs the most money anyways when going to the movies and a lot of people already know this for I always hear a cough trying to disguise a crack of a pop can being opened every time I go to the movies. (Don’t act like you haven’t done it before!)

Hold Movie Nights

This is something I would recommend any film buff to do. For almost two years now, I have been hosting monthly horror movie nights at my place with my close friends and acquaintances. For successful nights, make sure to have themes and try to make your picks fairly obscure and entertaining. (For example, I have hosted foreign zombie nights, French home invasion horror nights, morgue horror nights and so forth.)

Don’t underestimate your mainstream film buff friends; they will appreciate you trying to make them more knowledgeable of other cinema.

This allows you to reconnect with your friends, have fun, drink, and eat for low prices. You can also shop at your local video store for selections as well. (See you kill two birds with one stone!)

So that’s my list for cost-effective movie-watching tips. Why did I not mention “illegal downloading” you may ask? It’s not because I think it’s highly immoral. EVERYBODY has watched or burned a movie off the net, but during these hard times, the more downloading that happens, the worse the economy will get. Let’s try to be more responsible.

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Experts tell Chris Brown to sing 'sorry' song for Rihanna to save career

BY Corky Siemaszko

Chris Brown a Los Angeles courtroom. Chamberlin/Pool

Chris Brown a Los Angeles courtroom.

It's not over - if he keeps singing.

With R&B singer Chris Brown's career on the brink and his good name shredded by charges he thrashed his glamorous girlfriend Rihanna, one of Manhattan's top reputation rehabilitators recommended that Brown do what he does best.

"Come up with a soulful song about what happened," said Davia Temin, CEO of Temin and Co. "I would use my fame to say, 'Look we are all human and make terrible mistakes.'"

The idea, said Temin, "is to embrace the thing that hurt you the most and turn it into something positive."

If Brown "were a company," said Temin, "I would say, 'Start a foundation on nonviolent resolution to family squabbles.'"

But Brown, who is just 19, sings for a living, and he needs to understand that "coming back is possible," she said.

"You can come back from pretty much anything," said Temin. "Our country loves people who come back from the brink."

That said, Brown has to do "some serious repair work," especially since prosecutors released a damning document based on what Rihanna told them about the beating she suffered on a drive home from a party on Feb.8.

"The first thing he has to do is apologize again, sincerely," Temin said. "He needs to say, 'Look, I am so sorry any of this happened, that's not who I want to be. I take my role as a role model very seriously.'"

Then, said Temin, "You start to put in fixes."

While Brown has yet to plead to the criminal charges, in the court of public opinion, he's already guilty, she said.

"The reputation is already tarnished, and perception becomes reality," said Temin.

The success of Brown's public rehabilitation also depends a lot on what Rihanna, 21, does, said Marilyn Puder-York, a psychologist who works with another group with shaky reps - Wall Street workers.

"The fact that she is standing by his side is significant," she said. "That she went back to him takes him off the hook a little."

Puder-York quickly added, "It does not excuse what happened."

"But for the public, it raises the question, 'Who am I to condemn him if the person he is accused of victimizing is not condemning him?'" she said.

Still, even having Rihanna onboard is not enough to erase what happened from public memory.

So Puder-York recommends that Brown stick to singing - and leave the public hell-raising to other celebrities.

"People are very forgiving, but he needs to exhibit almost perfect behavior going forward," she said. "For the next few years, he has to be off the radar, behaviorally."

Last month, Brown hired a public relations firm and issued a public apology after word of his fight with Rihanna got out. He also said he was committed to becoming "a better person."

Brown has not made any public statement since his court appearance on assault charges Thursday. His handlers have denied a Chicago Sun-Times report that they have launched a career-saving campaign dubbed "Project Mea Culpa."

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