April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: television

Websites Offer Exclusive Hollywood Access

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
“Don’t Miss this Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Meet Miley Cyrus.”
That’s just one of the “celebrities for hire” listed on a website called Millionaire’s Concierge out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., that also dangles the opportunity for its presumably rich clientele exclusive entre to major movie premieres, awards shows, walk-on roles “in the Hottest TV Shows or Films,” and many other luxury experiences.
“The World’s Biggest Stars Come to You!” the website exults.
“Hiring a celebrity for your next party won’t just provide you with the opportunity to meet a beloved star—it produces enormous entertainment value for you and your guests. Whether you’re planning a sweet-sixteen birthday party, celebrating a recent accomplishment, or simply painting the town red for the sake of it, a celebrity performance will turn your special occasion into an unforgettable experience.” Celebrities can also help “get your message across” at corporate events, the website notes.
It then lists such “celebrities for hire” as the Beach Boys, Blink 182, Jethro Tull, Julio Iglesias, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Jim Carrey, Sylvester Stalone (sic), Oscar De La Hoya, Jenny McCarthy, Donald Trump, Patrick Stewart “and many many more.”
It’s all about the public’s insatiable desire to be close to celebrities and big events, if you’ve got the money.
“It never goes out of style,” Doug Turner, owner of Millionaire’s Concierge, told HollywoodNews in a brief phone interview.
“I serve rich people all over the world,” he added, noting that he started his company 17 years ago.
The website includes a video segment that appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show which detailed how his company caters to its wealthy clients, like the time Turner said they dropped 50 dozen roses into a swimming pool from a helicopter for a client’s anniversary. The Oprah segment does not mention celebrities for hire.
A spokeswoman for Trump said that while the famed billionaire businessman may have met the owner of Millionaire’s Concierge years back in Florida, in any case, she has asked that Trump’s name be removed from the website.
“(Trump) has no affiliation with Millionaire’s Concierge and he does not do these kind of things,” she said. “He works with speaking engagement bureaus. Mr. Trump is one of the highest paid speakers in the world. These are legitimate organizations. He would never do this.”
HollywoodNews reached out to representatives of DiCaprio, Cyrus, Stone, Stallone and Carrey and have yet to hear back.
Millionaire’s Concierge also offers access to special Hollywood [...]

Audiences are flocking to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ at the Box Office

Happy Sunday everyone (my birthday weekend, if you haven’t heard too), here’s the weekly box office report for you fine ladies and gentlemen! Leading the way in a somewhat close race on this kind of quiet weekend was the holdover Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which rose from number two to number one with an estimated $12.2 million, taking advantage of a lack of particularly enticing new releases at the multiplex. At number two we had last week’s top grosser 300: Rise of an Empire, which hauled in an estimated $19.1 million this time around. Number three was the new release Need for Speed, which stole $17.8 million from paying customers, while Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club was number five with $8.3 million, and we also had one other new release in the top ten, which was Veronica Mars, transitioning from Kickstarter to theaters with about $2 million. I’ll have something to say about the great expansion for The Grand Budapest Hotel in a moment, but among the limited release openings, there was a nice mix. The best of the bunch was Bad Words, but also taking in a few bucks we had indies like Enemy and Le Week-End, though neither were hits.
I didn’t care one bit for Need for Speed, as it’s lacking even for video game adaptations, but it was notable that it didn’t do better. You’d think that with the popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise that this would have been like printing money, but no. It also likely won’t have legs either, which could make this a bit of a failure in the end. This weekend also saw audiences begin to send a message to Tyler Perry that he needs to try a little harder, as Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club made a fraction of what Perry’s movies usually do. Finally, Veronica Mars was aimed just at hardcore fans and that’s who showed up, so I can’t really say it did anything other than what was expected.
Among the notable holdovers in theaters, we have to discuss Wes Anderson’s flick. The Grand Budapest Hotel. Still playing in well under 100 theaters, it cracked the top ten, hitting number eight with $3.6 million. The big number though is the per theater average of over $55,000. Any which way that you slice it, Anderson has another hit on his hands, so we’ll be talking plenty more about [...]

The Oscars® were no enormous shame, a few good jokes, no great shocks

I’m a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres and her understated, often brilliant humor. This was most evident when she hosted the 2001 Emmy Awards after the horrific events in New York and Washington that year. The show was postponed twice, and when it finally aired a couple of months later the big question was how it could be entertaining?
Almost from the outset Ellen delivered. To paraphrase what she said, it was something like the terrorists could not break our spirit. Then she paused and deadpanned that only network executives could do that.

It was funny, unexpected yet absolutely true. It related to the events just passed, but broke the ice and allowed the show to go on to its true purpose after the long delay.

The Oscars Rate a B-Minus.
I wish I could say Ellen’s performance last night rose to that occasion. Though it generally retained the dignity and glamour that audiences expect, something lost in last year’s show hosted by Seth MacFarlane, it was mostly bland with repetitive jokes and occasional good moments. Having said that, I cringed a bit when Ellen repeated out loud and very slowly a compliment to Nebraska supporting actress nominee June Squibb, whom Ellen had termed the oldest Oscar nominee ever, as if the actress were almost deaf and needed careful attention to hear her remarks.

Throughout the ABC show, Ellen drew from a past playbook and redid bits from the last time she hosted in 2007, often appearing in the audience, talking with this celebrity or that and taking photos. In one segment she asked if anyone was hungry, which drew very few responses and went on much too long. However, when a pizza man arrived later in the show, though only with three pizzas, it was amusing to see how many celebrities accepted a slice, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford. And that no one initially responded to Ellen’s request for donations to pay the man.
To read Michael Russnow’s latest book, “Hollywood on the Danube,” go to www.createspace.com/4497564

I’d thought sometime later it would have been funny if the delivery man, denied payment, started taking back the pizza slices from Meryl, Julia and the others. However, they eventually paid the bit off when Ellen passed a hat into which producer Harvey Weinstein threw two hundred dollars and several celebrities forked over twenty or more dollars each. By my count that was over three hundred [...]

Jennifer Lawrence to Present at the Oscars®

Oscar® winner Jennifer Lawrence will return to present at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.
Lawrence took home the Oscar for her lead performance in “Silver Linings Playbook.” She is nominated this year for her supporting role in “American Hustle.” Previously Lawrence was nominated for her leading role in “Winter’s Bone.” Her other credits include “X-Men: First Class” and “The Hunger Games” series.
Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Gravity dominates the Visual Effects Society Awards

Yesterday night, the Visual Effect Society held their 12th annual awards show, and surprising no one, Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar hopeful Gravity was the big winner. The film took home six VES awards, making it by far the dominant feature on display. This obviously furthers the chances of it taking home the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but we can all agree that it was already pretty much a lock to win there. The only other feature competing in that category that made any dent at the awards was The Lone Ranger, which won Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture.
As for Gravity’s half dozen wins, they were in the categories of Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture (their version of Best Picture, basically), Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture. A big haul indeed for Gravity.
Here are all of the winners from the VES Awards last night:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Gravity (Tim Webber, Nikki Penny, Neil Corbould, Richard McBride)
Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho, Lino Di Salvo)
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Game of Thrones (Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Jörn Großhans, Sven Martin)
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Shari Hanson, Kevin Martel)
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Banshee: (Armen Kevorkian, Mark Skowronski, Jeremy Jozwik, Ricardo Ramirez)
Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Mark Rubin, Richard Kriegler, David Johnson, Alessandro Nardini)
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
Call of Duty: Epic Night Out (Chris Knight, Daniel Thuresson. Nick Tayler. Dag Ivarsory)
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Space Shuttle Atlantis (Daren Ulmer, John Gross, Cedar Connor, Christian Bloch)
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Smaug (Eric Reynolds, David Clayton, Myriam Catrin, Guillaume Francois)
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Frozen: Bringing the Snow Queen to Life (Alexander Alvarado, Joy Johnson, Chad Stubblefield, Wayne Unten)
Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
PETA: 98% Human (Vince Baertsoen, Jimmy Gass, Dave Barosin)
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Gravity: Exterior [...]

Next year’s Golden Globe Awards will air on January 11th, 2015

We’re not even finished with this year’s awards season yet (still just about a month to go until the Oscar winners are revealed), but scheduling is already underway for next year’s big events. Today, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made the announcement that their 72nd annual Golden Globe awards will be held on January 11th of 2015. For comparison, that’s one day earlier than when the 71st Golden Globes were held, so the HFPA is basically keeping the exact same Sunday on the calendar for their big night.
For those who don’t already know, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are once again returning to host, as they’ve proven to be immensely popular choices. There’s no way of knowing what films and performances will be in contention for awards, but over the next 11 months or so, we’ll try and figure that out. In the meantime, we at least now know when one of the big awards shows will be, so there’s that. As always, it’ll be one to certainly look forward to.
Here’s the press release announcing the date:
HOLLYWOOD, CA, February 5, 2014 – The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and dick clark productions (dcp) will present the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 11, 2015. Hosted by Golden Globe Award winners Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for the third year in a row, the ceremony will air on NBC live coast-to-coast from 5-8 p.m. (PT) and 8-11 p.m. (ET) from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.
“Not only do we have the privilege of announcing the date of the 72ndAnnual Golden Globe Awards, we are very appreciative of Tina and Amy for hosting the ceremony for a third year in a row,” said Theo Kingma, president of the HFPA. “There is no doubt they will once again host a memorable Golden Globe Awards celebration!”
“We are delighted to have Tina and Amy back. They create an environment where anything can happen in a room full of the world’s biggest stars,” said Allen Shapiro, Executive Producer of the Golden Globe Awards and CEO of dick clark productions.
“Tina and Amy certainly helped us garner the highest rated audience in over a decade and we are excited to have them back next year,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.
Produced by dick clark productions in association with the HFPA, the Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 160 [...]

Maureen OHara, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien Join Lineup for 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss.
Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974).O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance in Neil Simon’s romantic comedy The Goodbye Girl (1977) and his Academy Award-nominated role in the music-themed drama Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995).
In addition, the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will feature a 50th anniversary presentation of Walt Disney’s classic Mary Poppins (1964), plus world premiere restorations of The Beatles’ hit A Hard Day’s Night (1964), the Frank Capra comedy-drama Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), with Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur; the classic musical Stormy Weather (1943), starring Lena Horne and Godzilla: The Japanese Original (1954). The festival will also host recent restorations of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (1931) and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927), which will feature the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra performing their original score for the film.
Among the many previously announced events slated for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM will honor legendary actor, filmmaker and humanitarian Jerry Lewis with a multi-tiered celebration of his remarkable career. Lewis will have his hand and footprints enshrined in concrete in front of the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. In addition, Lewis will be on-hand for a screening of one of his most memorable [...]

“Enough Said” with Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Toni Collette – VOD

Enough Said. Rating: 5 (out of 5). A divorced single parent, Eva, is dreading her daughter’s departure for college. She then meets Albert, a funny, sweet, like-minded man who is also facing an empty nest. As their romance blossoms, Eva meets a new friend in her new massage client, Marianne, who constantly rags on her ex-husband. Eva finds herself doubtful of her new relationship when she learns that Albert is Marianne’s former husband. “Enough Said,” starring James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, premieres on VOD on Tuesday, January 28. The New York Times calls it “one of the best-written American film comedies in recent memory.”
Starring: Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Toni Collette
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
For more reviews go to www.hereistv.com

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2014 Winners Are…

SAG-AFTRA presented its coveted Actor® statuette for the outstanding motion picture and primetime television performances of 2013 at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® in ceremonies attended by film and television?s leading actors, held Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® was simulcast live coast-to-coast by TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT). A live stream of the SAG Awards® was also available for viewing online at sagawards.tntdrama.com and tbs.com, as well as through the Watch TBS and Watch TNT apps for iOS or Android. An encore presentation was telecast on TNT at 10 p.m. (ET)/7 p.m. (PT).
More than 100,000 active members of SAG-AFTRA nationwide were eligible to vote for the recipients. Honored with individual awards were Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey and Lupita Nyong?o for performances in motion pictures and Ty Burrell, Bryan Cranston, Michael Douglas, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith for performances in television. The Screen Actors Guild Awards originated awards for the outstanding performances by a motion picture cast and by television drama and comedy ensembles. The Actor® for a motion picture cast performance went this year to ‘American Hustle,’ while the Actors® for television drama and comedy ensemble performances went this year to ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Modern Family.’
The honors for outstanding action performances by a stunt ensemble in film and television were awarded to ‘Lone Survivor’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’ The stunt ensemble honors were announced during the SAG Awards Red Carpet Pre-show which was webcast live on sagawards.tntdrama.com, tbs.com and PEOPLE.com
Morgan Freeman presented Rita Moreno with the union’s highest honor, the 50th Annual Life Achievement Award, following a filmed salute. Tom Hanks introduced a filmed ‘In Memoriam’ tribute to the members lost in the past year.
PEOPLE magazine and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) hosted the Screen Actors Guild Post-Awards Gala for the 18th year. This exclusive event, immediately following the SAG Awards on the back lot of the Shrine Exposition Center, honors the philanthropic causes and good works of the members of SAG-AFTRA. The gala benefits the SAG Foundation.
The complete list of recipients of the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® follows:
20th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® RECIPIENTS
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Ron Woodroof ? ?DALLAS BUYERS CLUB? (Focus Features)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading [...]

Oscars® to Celebrate Movie Heroes

The 86th Academy Awards® will be a celebration of movie heroes, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. Offering their first preview of the upcoming Oscar broadcast, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the producers said the show will honor big-screen real-life heroes, super heroes, popular heroes and animated heroes, both past and present, as well as the bold filmmakers who bring them to life. The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.
“We wanted to unify the show with an entertaining and emotional theme,” said Zadan and Meron. “People around the world go to the movies to be inspired by the characters they see on the screen. By celebrating the gamut of heroes who have enriched our movie-going experience, we hope to create an evening of fun and joy. And that includes the filmmakers and actors who take risks and stimulate us with provocative subjects and daring characters. They are all heroes in the cinematic landscape.”
“Of course, there will be no shortage of comedy with Ellen DeGeneres as our host,” the producers added. “There may also be a few musical surprises along the way.”
To coincide with the Oscar telecast theme, the Academy will present “The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes,” an exhibition in the Grand Lobby Gallery of its Beverly Hills headquarters. On display Friday, January 17 through Wednesday, March 5, the show will feature still photographs and posters from 70 titles spanning nine decades, as well as video montages comprised of excerpts from classic and contemporary films. The exhibit will include films centered on real-life heroes (“Gandhi,” “Silkwood”), super heroes (“Superman,” “The Dark Knight”), animated heroes (“Shrek,” “The Incredibles”), action heroes (“Seven Samurai,” “Gladiator”), literary heroes (“To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Grapes of Wrath”) and more.
The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:35 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater by Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Chris Hemsworth.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished [...]

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