Friday, December 31, 2010

Madhuri's sons, husband visit 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' sets

Madhuri's sons, husband visit 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' setsMumbai, Dec 30 (IANS) It was family time for actress Madhuri Dixit on the sets of "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4" as her sons, husband and parents came as audience members on the dance reality show.

Her sons - Arin, 7 and Ryan, 5 - and husband Shriram Nene are here for their Christmas and New Year's break and seemed visibly happy to see Madhuri in the judge's chair on the show.

When the children were asked whether they liked their mother's show, one of them replied: "It is good", while Nene said it was a great experience.

Madhuri had left her children with her husband in the US before she came here for a three-month break from household chores to make a comeback to showbiz. She has also shot for an advertisement during her stay and plans to go through some scripts as well.

The episode featuring Madhuri and her family will be aired Monday.

Amitabh Bachchan to narrate again for Aamir Khan

Amitabh Bachchan to narrate again for Aamir KhanNew Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) He lent his voice for Aamir Khan's first production "Lagaan" and now taking forward his newly-found fondness for the Bollywood perfectionist, Amitabh Bachchan has loaned his rich baritone for the latter's "Delhi Belly".

Big B takes on the role of a narrator for the first trailer of "Delhi Belly", that comes attached with another Aamir production "Dhobhi Ghat" Jan 21.

"Couple of days ago, Aamir and Kiran (Rao) were seen visiting Amitabh Bachchan on sets. After a long closed door meeting and catching up, they left almost after two hours. And yesterday morning Amitabh Bachchan dubbed in a suburban studio for 'Delhi Belly'," read a statement from the movie's publicist.

"It's an introductory piece and what's interesting is that Aamir has written the piece."

Aamir couldn't stop raving about the megastar.

"Amitji is just too cool... He has once again been most generous and loving to me," he posted on his Facebook page.

Starring Aamir's nephew Imran Khan with Kunal Roy Kapur and comedian Vir Das, the movie has been directed by debutant Abhinay Deo.

Salman Khan appointed first brand ambassador of Mountain Dew

Salman Khan appointed first brand ambassador of Mountain DewMumbai, Dec 30 (IANS) "Dabangg" Salman Khan will now send out a new message to his fans - ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai' - as the newly appointed brand ambassador of Mountain Dew soft drink.

"I love the high-action imagery of Mountain Dew and more importantly the fact that it's not mindless action but there is a message at its core ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai'. I have spent time with the Mountain Dew team and I eagerly look forward to working with them," Salman, who has been appointed by PepsiCo India as the brand ambassador, said in a statement.

This is the first time that a brand ambassador has been appointed for Mountain Dew.

Speaking about the association, Deepika Warrier, marketing director, Pepsico Beverages, said: "Mountain Dew is strongly anchored in the relevant consumer insight of ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai'. Salman Khan embodies this philosophy and he has strong national appeal. We look forward to the partnership and are confident that it will be mutually rewarding."

Apart from this, Salman endorses brands like Chlormint, Wheel and Dixcy Scott among others.

Danny Boyle's '127 Hours' to hit Indian screens Jan 28

Danny Boyle's '127 Hours' to hit Indian screens Jan 28 New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Danny Boyle's thrilling biopic "127 Hours", about a rock climber, is going to release in India Jan 28.

Having already created a stir across the festival circuit, the biopic has also bagged three nominations at the forthcoming 68th Annual Golden Globes awards including Best Score for Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman, best actor (Drama) and best screenplay.

"We are delighted with the response and buzz that '127 Hours' is garnering across the world. It is a very special film and the awards are a testimony to its brilliance. We believe that the Indian audiences will appreciate this outstanding film, just like they did 'Slumdog Millionaire'," Vijay Singh, chief executive officer, distributors Fox Star Studios India, said in a statement.

Produced, co-written and directed by Boyle, the movie stars James Franco as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, who became trapped by a boulder in Robbers Roost, Utah, for more than five days in 2003.

Ralston, however, battled his demons to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, descend a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued.

The film, based on Ralston's autobiography "Between a Rock and a Hard Place", was written by Boyle and Simon Beaufoy and produced by Christian Colson, who previously teamed up for "Slumdog Millionaire", and John Smithson. Premiered on Sep 4, the film saw limited release in New York and Los Angeles Nov 5.

Spice Girl Geri Halliwell turns designer

Spice Girl Geri Halliwell turns designerLondon, Dec 31 (IANS) Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell made her fashion designing debut with the launch of her own beachwear range.

The 38-year-old singer's collection is called "Geri by Next" and will be on sale at high street retailers or through the website next.co.uk starting next month, reports dailymail.co.uk.

Commenting on her collection, Halliwell said: "It's about inspiring confidence with great looking swimwear for all body shapes."

"It's for real women of all shapes and sizes. Everything is mix and match, so you can choose the exact shapes and styles that suit you. This is a collection that makes you look good and feel fabulous."

Apart from bikinis and monokinis, her range will also include some beach cover-up pieces.

According to a source, the singer has been involved at every stage of designing the collection and also posed for a shoot to show off the range in Miami last month.

"She's been through the whole process and signed off every single style. It's very much her baby," the source said.

Lindsay Lohan to settle in secret location after rehab

Lindsay Lohan to settle in secret location after rehabLondon, Dec 31 (IANS) Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan will move to a secret location with her mother and siblings soon after being released from rehab.

"Lindsay will be staying at a secret location starting January 4, with her family, mother and siblings. She also has the support of me and her other friends. As long as she doesn't fail any tests - and everyone is going to make sure she doesn't - she'll be put on summary unsupervised probation on February 25," a friend of Lohan was quoted as saying by contactmusic.com.

The actress' father, Michael Lohan, too is happy that she isn't returning to her west Hollywood home.

"Being away from her old so-called friends and haunts in Hollywood would only behoove Lindsay as long as when she gets to New York, she stays away from the old haunts and friends, as well," said Michael.

The 24-year-old star was told to enter rehab after breaching the conditions of probation set for a 2007 conviction for driving under the influence.

Christina Aguilera to celebrate belated birthday on New Year's Eve

Christina Aguilera to celebrate belated birthday on New Year's EveLondon, Dec 31 (IANS) Singer Christina Aguilera is planning to spend New Year's Eve by belatedly celebrating her 30th birthday.

The singer-actress reached the landmark age Dec 18 but was too busy at the time promoting her movie "Burlesque" to celebrate properly. So she is making the turn of the year a double celebration, reports showbizspy.com.

"My actual birthday was in December and I turned 30! It was a big one - the next chapter of my life. I'm a Sagittarius. But, because I was working so much on the movie, I postponed my birthday party, so New Year's Eve is my big 30th birthday party," she said.

Rather than be worried about turning 30, the pop star insists she is pleased to leave her 20s behind her because she now knows so much about life going into a new decade.

"Being 30 is better than being 20, I'll tell you that. The lessons I've learned and how I've grown is incredible," she said.

Ashton Kutcher wins battles with porn bosses

Ashton Kutcher wins battles with porn bossesLondon, Dec 31 (IANS) Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has won a fight with a porn company as the firm agreed to remove his name from promotional material for a sex tape.

The "Spread" actor threatened to sue after Vivid Entertainment bosses named him in a press release for their forthcoming adult video featuring Brittney Jones, who claims to have bedded Kutcher.

The press release declared: "Ashton's fans will undoubtedly enjoy seeing what the star himself may have experienced."

The firm's boss Steve Hirsch initially dismissed the actor's complaint as "without merit" but after a number of legal exchanges, Kutcher has been distanced from the controversy, reports tmz.com.

"We decided not to use the A-lister's actual name in connection with the sex tape," said a representative from Vivid Entertainment.

Tobey Maguire's supportive message to 'Spider-Man' replacement

Tobey Maguire's supportive message to 'Spider-Man' replacementLondon, Dec 31 (IANS) Tobey Maguire has sent a supportive message to his "Spider-Man" replacement Andrew Garfield.

The British actor, who is taking on the titular role and his alter ego Peter Parker in the next movie in the franchise, was relieved to get the backing of the American star, who played the character in the last three films in the series, reports contactmusic.com.

Garfield said: "Tobey sent me a lovely message through a mutual friend. He gave me his support, and it meant a great deal, of course, because part of the reason I love and have continued to love this character was because of his portrayal."

"To step into those shoes is no mean feat. It was generous of him to reach out and say something, so I'm thankful," he added.

Garfield is enjoying filming the movie, being shot in 3-D, alongside Emma Stone but admits it is harder work than he expected.

"It's wonderful in theory, isn't it? You kind of go, 'Well, this is going to be great.' But then, of course, in practice, it's obviously a great deal of hard work and a great deal of pressure, but wonderful. It's incredible," he said.

Marc Webb is directing the movie, which is scheduled for release in 2012.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

TV Actress Vibha Anand quits 'Balika Vadhu

TV Actress Vibha Anand quits Balika VadhuMumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) Television actress Vibha Anand, popularly known as Sugna of "Balika Vadhu", has quit the show after landing the lead role in Zee TV's "Sanskar Laxmi".

"I have quit 'Balika Vadhu'. It's been almost two weeks that I have stopped shooting for the show," Vibha told IANS.

Asked about the fate of her character, she said: "I don't know, it has not yet been decided but whenever they want me to be there I will co-operate," she added.

After playing Sugna, a young girl belonging to an affluent family in a Rajasthan village, in the new show Vibha will be seen playing a Gujarati, whose father is a florist. She is married in a joint family.

"I am playing the role of Laxmi in this serial. Laxmi is an Indian girl with core Indian values. She is very obedient and well mannered and treats everybody like her family," she said.

The show is written, produced and directed by Rajesh Joshi, who has written the story for hit shows like "Pavitra Rishta", "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi", and "Bandini", among others.

It will also star Vivan Bhathena, Anisha Kapoor and Aamir Dalvi.

Animated film 'Toy Story 3' highest grosser of 2010

Animated film 'Toy Story 3' highest grosser of 2010London, Dec 30 (IANS) Filmmaker Lee Unkrich's animated film "Toy Story 3" has been named the highest grossing film of 2010, after making $1.1 billion at the international box office.

Director Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" came second in this year's list by raking in $1 billion worldwide, despite being panned by critics.

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" starring Leonardo DiCaprio came third after earning $825.4 million followed by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One" at $824.1 million, reports contactmusic.com.

"Shrek Forever After" wrapped up the top five with an earning of $739.8 million.

2010's highest grossing films at the international box office:

1. "Toy Story 3", $1.1 billion
2. "Alice in Wonderland", $1 billion
3. "Inception", $825.4
4. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", Part 1. $824.1
5. "Shrek Forever After": $739.8 million
6. "Twilight Saga: Eclipse", $693.5 million
7. "Iron Man 2", $582.2 million
8. "Despicable Me", $539.9 million
9. "How to Train Your Dragon", $494.9 worldwide
10. "Clash of the Titans", $493.2 million worldwide

Singer Rihanna to judge 'The X-factor'?

Singer Rihanna to judge 'The X-factor'?London, Dec 30 (IANS) R&B singer Rihanna has sparked off rumours that she might take the judge's seat in talent hunt show "The X-factor" after she enjoyed a dinner with Simon Cowell.

The 22-year-old singer was back to her native land Barbados to enjoy Christmas with her family, while Cowell was also been enjoying a festive trip to the island.

The pair met for dinner at Barbados' famous Sandy Lane hotel, along with British retail mogul Sir Philip Green. Rihanna revealed about the meeting in a post on microblogging site Twitter.

She wrote: "Just had dinner with Simon Cowell, Philip Green, and Lucian G., and Ashley (thanks) Sandy Lane! Great night!"

The singer has sparked off rumours that she is in negotiations with Cowell for a judging role on the US version of British singing competition "The X Factor", which Cowell will be launching in 2011.

Jennifer Aniston's fragrance a flop

Jennifer Aniston's fragrance a flopLondon, Dec 30 (IANS) Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston's signature fragrance is reportedly a flop.

Aniston launched her self-titled aroma in British department store Harrods earlier this year but sources claimed the actress has refused to promote the perfume, leading to poor sales.

"Jen chose her perfume. But other than launching it at Harrods in London, she's done no promotion. No one knew where to find it and now everyone's lost interest.They can't figure out why no one wants to smell like Jen," contactmusic.com quoted a source as saying.

Aniston previously revealed her perfume comes from her own "personal library" of scents from her younger years in California.

"It really was an exciting process and the only reason I was actually interested in doing it was because of the involvement that they allowed me to have."

"I wanted this fragrance to be a personal library of scent memories. Growing up in California, I distinctly remember the scent of jasmine on summer evenings. I consider the scent of the ocean to be one of life's most uplifting sensual experiences," she said.

Dannii Minogue wants Jennifer Aniston to don her label

Dannii Minogue wants Jennifer Aniston to don her labelLondon, Dec 30 (IANS) Singer-turned-fashion designer Dannii Minogue wants to dress up Jennifer Aniston.

Minogue launched her clothing range, Project D, earlier this year and while a host of stars have already been seen in her dresses, Dannii and business partner Tabitha Somerset Webb admit it would be a dream come true to see the former "Friends" star in one of their creations.

"Jennifer Aniston is the girl we'd absolutely love to wear our clothes. I'd die happy if I could wear a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt like she does. That whole ethos of clean, simple, effortless glamour is what we're all about," femalefirst.co.uk quoted Webb as saying.

Minogue also revealed she wants people to wear her label and not make her outfits extraordinary expensive.

"I love Victoria Beckham's clothes and I admire her hugely as a designer but wanted to be able to have a much more affordable price point.

"Our clothes are beautifully made, they are dresses you'll want to wear again and again and I think they are just beautiful."

Dharmendra says he is evergreen

Dharmendra says he is evergreenMumbai, Dec 30 (IANS) Horses and men never grow old, says Dharmendra, still young at 75 and getting ready to entertain his legion of fans in the upcoming comedy "Yamla Pagla Deewana".

"There is a saying horses and men never grow old and I'm one of those men who was tagged as the 'He Man'. So can a 'He Man' afford to become old? This tag keeps me young at heart and I don't let age overpower me," Dharmendra told IANS in an exclusive interview.

"My soul is still very innocent, like that of a mischievous kid. Since I feel young inside, it reflects on my face," he added.

The senior actor, who has completed 50 years in the industry, has entertained audience with movies of all genres -- from the intense "Bandini" and "Satyakaam" to outright potboilers like "Raja Jani" and "Pratigya", and, of course, as the comic artist with perfect timing in "Sholay" and "Chupke Chupke".

His laugh riot "Yamla Pagla Deewana" will hit screens Jan 14 and will see him teaming up with his actor sons - Sunny and Bobby - after the 2007 hit family drama "Apne".

The veteran actor said when asked what took him so long to come back to movies: "After 'Apne' I wanted to do more films, but we were not getting a very good script. Otherwise who wants to sit at home? Someone who loves acting, why would he want to stay at home? I'm always in search of good roles."

"Finally, we decided to do this film and things worked out," added the senior actor, who will also feature in his wife Hema's directorial venture "Tell Me Oh Khuda".

Director Samir Karnik has taken the responsibility of bringing the father-sons combo on screen again with the fun flick, which originally starred only Sunny and Bobby.

"First we had planned to make the film only with Sunny and Bobby and that time the name of the film was 'Double Trouble'. But we couldn't get the title because it was already registered with someone else.

"So I just joked that why not you make it 'Triple Double' and I'll also act in the film. Sunny liked the idea and we changed the story a little bit to incorporate my character too," said the still very garam Dharam.

The story revolves around a Sikh guy living in Canada, who learns that his father and brother are alive and live in Benares. He embarks on a journey to bring the family together.

In the film, Bobby has very friendly relationship with his on- and off-screen father, so much so that he even calls him by his first name.

"Everyone knows we live according to the culture of Indian society where there is respect for parents and certain rules are followed. But when the camera rolls, then you forget who is who. Then you become the characters of the film.

"In this film Bobby and I share a very different rapport as compared to in real life. We are more of friends there. The relationship and chemistry is very open. It was quite a nice experience and fun to do that," said the veteran actor.

How does he feel after completing 50 years in Bollywood?

"It seems that these 50 years just passed by in a jiffy. When you think of it, 50 years seems like a long time, but I still feel I came to Bombay yesterday.

"I want to live that life all over again and want to make it even more beautiful. I'll throw all the mistakes I made and make it a much better life."

Natalie Portman feared dying on 'Black Swan' sets

Natalie Portman feared dying on 'Black Swan' setsLondon, Dec 30 (IANS) Actress Natalie Portman was physically and emotionally so drained during the shooting of "Black Swan" that she thought she might die.

The pregnant actress plays a ballet dancer in the movie, and the role required intense training.

"There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die. It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of take you down," Portman has been quoted as saying by contactmusic.com.

Portman, who lost 9 kg for the role, spent up to eight hours a day in dance rehearsals, and had even dislocated a rib during the shoot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Amy Winehouse's first lyrics notebook found

Amy Winehouse's first lyrics notebook foundLondon, Dec 28 (IANS) Singer Amy Winehouse's first teenage lyrics and notes have been found in a pile of dumped schoolbooks.

The lyrics, notes and diary entries written in 2001 when the "Rehab" singer was just 17, were found among rubbish dumped on a north London street, reports contactmusic.com.

One red notebook has "Amy's Songs" written on the cover and contained words including: "I'm digging myself into a hole. These days I'll just work when once I had so much soul."

Among the notes are some of Amy's plans for fame and how she would spend her riches.

The 27-year-old singer has battled with drink and drug addiction and now has plans to make her public comeback next month with a string of shows in Brazil.

Akshay Kumar's 'Patiala House' role inspired by Monty Panesar

Akshay Kumar's 'Patiala House' role inspired by Monty PanesarMumbai, Dec 28 (IANS) In his next film "Patiala House", Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar will be seen essaying a role which has been inspired by England cricket team's Sikh member Monty Singh Panesar.

Panesar is the first Sikh to join England cricket team and the spinner is a crowd favourite. Panesar's parents migrated there from Punjab.

In "Patiala House", Akshay will be seen as Parghat Singh Kahlon, a British citizen whose dream is to be a pace bowler.

The film is being directed by Nikhil Advani and also stars Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. It is slated to release in Feb next year.

Singer Charlotte Church wants more kids

Singer Charlotte Church wants more kidsLondon, Dec 29 (IANS) Singer Charlotte Church who has two children says she wants to have more kids in the future.

Charlotte, who is dating musician Jonathan Powell, said: "It's weird to think that they won't be entirely related to my two children now. I'd also hate to think that Ruby and Dexter are the last time I'm ever pregnant. Because I loved the whole thing. I love it all, I loved being pregnant, breastfeeding, having young children."

"The tiredness and the hard work of it all is tough but it's amazing. It's the best thing in the whole world and I think sometimes you hear so much of the negatives but it is ridiculously rewarding," contactmusic.com quoted her as saying.

The 24-year-old star who relaunched her pop career in 2010 with the new album "Back to Scratch" admits the responsibilities of parenthood are huge but says her children are the most important thing in her life.

"They're amazing and to shape these two little individual people who will eventually be completely separate from you. To bring them up and try to make sure you're doing the right thing is just amazing."

Pamela Anderson ad rejected at Hong Kong airport

Pamela Anderson ad rejected at Hong Kong airportHong Kong, Dec 29 (DPA) An advertisement featuring a scantily clad Pamela Anderson frisking and stripping travellers has been rejected by Hong Kong airport, animal protection campaigners have said.

The commercial is the latest to be made by the group People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in their long-running campaign against the use of animal furs and skins in fashion.

In it, the former Baywatch star is seen dressed in a revealing airport security guard uniform stopping people and stripping them of leather belts and shoes and fur coats.

The advertisement, titled "Cruelty Doesn't Fly", also features comedians Steve-O, Andy Dick and Carol Leifer, a pair of nude models and German punk icon Nina Hagen.

PETA had hoped to place the advert on large-screen televisions throughout Hong Kong International Airport over the peak, year-end holiday period when more than 100,000 people a day pass through the airport.

However, JCDecaux, the company that manages the advertising concession at the airport, rejected the advertisement as inappropriate.

"Given the groping that you see at security checkpoints and the nudity that you see in body scans, we're surprised that our light-hearted ad was deemed too risque, PETA Asia vice president Jason Baker said.

PETA said it hoped to place the ad in Berlin, Tokyo and Sydney and in airports in the US, but Hong Kong had been the first to reject it.

This year, an advertisement featuring longtime PETA supporter Anderson in a bikini with her body marked to show cuts of meats, similar to posters seen in butchers, was banned in Montreal.

Hollywood Actress Halle Berry struggles with low self esteem

Hollywood Actress Halle Berry struggles with low self esteemLondon, Dec 29 (IANS) Actress Halle Berry says she has been fighting a life-long battle with low self esteem.

The Oscar winner admits she isn't confident about herself.

"I think I've spent my adult life dealing with the sense of low self-esteem that is sort of implanted in me. Somehow I felt not worthy," showbizspy.com quoted her as saying.

Berry also revealed how her crusade to help domestic violence victims comes from watching her mother being abused by her late father.

"Before I'm Halle Berry, I'm little Halle who was a little girl growing in this environment that damaged me in some ways, and I've spent my adult life trying to really heal from that," she said.

"As a result of my early years and some other choices my mother made. Choices that, you know, we often repeat what is taught us. So it is my job to . . . to change the legacy," she added.

Actress Anne Hathaway isn't a good flirt

Actress Anne Hathaway isn't a good flirtLondon, Dec 29 (IANS) Actress Anne Hathaway says she isn't a good flirt.

Hathaway said it was hard for her to be seductive while playing the overtly sexual Maggie Murdock in her new movie "Love and Other Drugs".

"The most important thing was to make Maggie honest... she had amazing potential to be angry, funny, smart and incredibly wounded," showbizspy.com quoted her as saying.

"The thought of combining all of those aspects into a character was a challenge but very exciting. It was the sexuality of the character (that scared me)."

"I'm much happier talking with people than I am flirting with them. I'm pretty shy and not entirely comfortable with the kind of attention you get when you focus on your sexual side. I was afraid that I couldn't pull off playing Maggie," she added.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'Bigg Boss' allowed prime time slot but no obscenity

Bigg Boss allowed prime time slot but no obscenityMumbai, Dec 27 (IANS) The Bombay High Court Monday allowed reality TV show "Bigg Boss" to be aired at prime time slot of 9 p.m. but directed that "no obscene language and visuals, including beeps" will be allowed.

The court observed that the channel could air season 4 of "Bigg Boss" at 9 p.m. following an undertaking given by the petitioners Viacom18 that they would not screen any dialogue that is required to be beeped or any obscene gestures made by the participants.

They are also not to give out the footage of the show to news channels.

A vacation bench of Justice S.J. Kathawalla and Justice U.D. Salvi had earlier allowed Colors channel to air the show at 9 p.m. while directing the information and broadcast ministry (I&B) to file its reply.

Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd last week filed a petition in the high court after the I&B ministry issued a fresh order, directing them to shift the show from the 9 p.m. slot to 11 p.m. slot as its content was objectionable and not fit for children.

On Dec 8, a division bench of the high court had directed the ministry to issue a fresh show-cause notice to the petitioners, giving specific material against which it had objections. The I&B ministry was also asked to pass an appropriate order only after hearing Viacom18's reply.

Initially, the ministry had issued notice to Colors Nov 16, directing it to shift the reality show away from prime time as the show offended "good taste and decency".

"Yes, we can now air the show on its original time of 9 p.m. The court has given this ruling," a source from Colors channel told IANS.

"Bigg Boss" features a group of celebrity participants locked up in a house for three months without any access to the outside world, including to newspapers or television.

Salman Khan celebrating his 45th birthday in Dubai

Salman Khan celebrating his 45th birthday in DubaiNew Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Bollywood's "Dabangg" star Salman Khan, who is celebrating his 45th birthday in Dubai Monday, has been wished many more blockbusters and lots of happiness by his friends from tinsel town.

Some actors took to micro-blogging site Twitter to wish Salman, who gave the highest grosser of 2010 with "Dabangg":

Sonakshi Sinha: Chulbul Pandey/Robinhood Pandey/Salman Khan ko janamdin ki shubhkamnayein (Wishing Salman a very happy birthday)! Pretty sure he is bringing the house down in Dubai!

Preity Zinta - Hey Salman! Wish you a very happy birthday and may all things wonderful big and small always come your way! Lots of love always.

Amrita Arora - Happpppy b'day Salman Bhai. Hope you have a superrrr year!

Sophie Choudhry - Wishing u a very very happy b'day! May the year ahead be filled with happiness, good times & blockbusters! Lots of love!

Riteish Deshmukh - Wishing Salman Khan a very happy birthday.

Even Salman's brother Arbaaz wished him on the social-networking site.

Arbaaz Khan: Happy birthday Salman bhai. Have a great day and a 'Dabangg' year ahead. We all love you.

Jim Carrey hates homophobic bullies

Jim Carrey hates homophobic bulliesLondon, Dec 27 (IANS) Actor Jim Carrey has revealed that he dislikes people who bully others on the basis of their sexuality.

"This is a horrible thing to be bullied, and to feel like an outcast is a terrible thing. It's just so an old thing, an old antiquated way of thinking that you can't have anymore. It doesn't belong in the new paradigm," showbizspy.com quoted Carrey as saying.

"Anybody who bullies anybody for any reason is no friend of mine. Frankly, I can't imagine hitting a human being for any reason except self-preservation, if I was attacked. Your sensibilities are different when you're a school kid and there's gang mentality, but it ain't cool," Carey said.

"Some of the most valuable people in my life are gay. People that bring magical, amazing gifts and contributions to my life."

"I would say to kids out there when they're engaging in these kinds of isolations of people, someday you're going to want those people in your life. You're going to need those people in your life, and you're not going to want that on your conscience," he added.

In "I Love You Philip Morris", Carrey plays a gay who falls in love with his fellow inmate while serving a sentence in prison.

Ajay Devgan, Katrina Kaif announced most profitable actors of 2010

Ajay Devgan, Katrina Kaif announced most profitable actors of 2010New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Katrina Kaif will be crowned the most profitable actors of 2010 at the "ETC Bollywood Business Awards 2010 - Evaluating Movie Moghuls" Tuesday. First timer Abhinav Kashyap will get the most profitable director trophy.

On evaluating the industry players on the basis of return on investment for the first time, the actors have won the top spots after the economic quotient of their movies was taken into consideration as a cornerstone for mapping their success.

"Figures talk, you cannot manipulate it, you cannot play games with it," said Ajay, who has had six releases this year including "Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?" "Raajneeti", "Golmaal 3", and "Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai" and except "Aakrosh" and "Toonpur Ka Superhero", all his movies did good business.

The research done by ETC indicated that Indian audiences paid a cumulative sum of Rs.282 crore to watch Ajay's films throughout the year vis-a-vis Rs.142 crore to watch Katrina's "Raajneeti" and "Tees Maar Khan".

Breaking all records is Salman Khan starrer "Dabangg" that has been named as the top grosser of the year. Debut director Abhinav Kashyap bagged the most profitable director trophy for the corrupt cop saga with audiences paying a cumulative sum of over Rs.140 crore to watch his film.

"It is a fair assessment of the recipient's work and his popularity and mass appeal," said Arbaaz Khan, winner of the most successful producer for "Dabangg".

This will be the first time in India where an initiative has sought to recognize even the marketers, distributors, production houses and exhibitors on the basis of business the industry has generated in 2010.

"All those who represent the industry, actors, musicians and directors have only been judged on creative parameters. No one had thought of evaluating them on how much business they had generated," Anurag Bedi, business head, ETC, said in a statement.

"Such an evaluation will bring forward the workings of Bollywood as an industry," he added.

The ceremony also has first time categories such as marketing (best marketed film of the year - "My Name Is Khan"), distribution (special award for film distribution) and promotion (most successful banner/corporate house/production house of the year), among others.

While the award for the most profitable multiplex chain of the year goes to PVR Cinemas, the most successful small-budget film of the year trophy will be handed over to "Peepli Live". Corporate house of the year is Shree Ashtvinayak Cinevison Ltd.

The ceremony will also recognise the most successful Hollywood film of the year with "Inception" taking centrestage.

"ETC Bollywood Business Awards 2010 - Evaluating Movie Moghuls" will air Tuesday at 8.30 p.m. on ETC channel.

Adnan Sami gets notice on Mumbai properties

Adnan Sami gets notice on Mumbai propertiesMumbai, Dec 27 (IANS) Pakistani singer-composer Adnan Sami has been issued a notice by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for owning eight flats and five car parking spaces in Mumbai.

A fine of Rs.20 lakh has also been slapped on the singer.

Sami said: "I have received an order from the ED which says my properties will be confiscated if I do not file an appeal in the next 45 days."

He rubbished media reports claiming that his flats have been confiscated.

"The order was received Dec 21 and we have 45 days from then to file an appeal, which we will move at the earliest. But the properties have not been confiscated yet," said Sami's lawyer Vibhav Krishna.

The ED order mentions that Sami's application for buying property in Mumbai was rejected by the Reserve Bank of India in 2003 owning to his Pakistani nationality. Sami, however, denies any knowledge of the rejection.

Sami owns eight flats and five car parking spaces in Oberoi Sky Garden in suburban Andheri.

Shifting the onus on the builder, Sami said: "I was friends with Vikas Oberoi, the builder of Oberoi Sky Garden. In 2003, I had told him I want to buy a property in Mumbai. He had told me about his upcoming project and that his legal team will take care of all the formalities if I want to buy property."

"In fact my bank loan was also cleared and the property registered in my name. I had no idea that the RBI has rejected my application."

Sami had purchased the flats in 2003 at the cost of Rs.2.53 crore and had taken a loan of Rs 1.5 crore for the purchase.

Sami has been served the confiscation order under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Vikas Oberoi could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Gwyneth Paltrow hates Christmas cake

Gwyneth Paltrow hates Christmas cakeLondon, Dec 28 (IANS) Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't eat traditional British Christmas cake because she can't stand the thought of consuming a treat cooked months before.

The "Shakespeare in Love" star was introduced to the festive delicacy - which many bakers leave to mature for up to a year - by her Coldplay rocker husband Chris Martin, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

"Brits have this Christmas cake, which sounds fine. Except they make it in, like, August. Seriously, you're going to eat something you made in August? No," she said.

Madonna showers Malawi orphans with gifts

Madonna showers Malawi orphans with gifts London, Dec 28 (IANS) Pop star Madonna made sure orphaned children in Malawi had a merry Christmas as she sent boxes of toys, clothes and other gifts to her charity in the African country.

The "Holiday" hitmaker and Michael Berg founded the Raising Malawi foundation in 2006 to bring an end to the poverty and hardship suffered by orphans in the landlocked region, reports contactmusic.com.

The 52-year-old singer brought some festive cheer to parentless children by shipping the aid packages which also contained chocolate and sweets.

She also included a handwritten note which read: "To my Malawi children on Christmas and Boxing Day. I wish I was with you. See you soon, M."

Hollywood Actor Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz an item?

Hollywood Actor Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz an item?London, Dec 28 (IANS) Bond star Daniel Craig has sparked off rumours that he is seeing fellow Hollywood star Rachel Weisz after the two were pictured strolling hand-in-hand.

The pair, who recently wrapped filming together an upcoming horror movie "Dream House", was seen during the festive period staying at a cottage in Dorset, south England, reports newsoftheworld.co.uk.

They spent Christmas Eve together laughing and drinking at a nearby pub and were also photographed holding hands as they walked along a street in the town.

Weisz split from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, the father of her four-year-old son Henry, earlier this year, while Craig was reported to have split from his fiancee Satsuki Mitchell in November, but he declined to comment on the reports.

Hema Malini says she had a superb time directing Dharamji

Hema Malini says I had a superb time directing DharamjiMumbai, Dec 28 (IANS) Directing your husband and daughter could have its tricky moments and so it was for Hema Malini too. But it was enormously enjoyable and everything eventually fell into place, says the Bollywood diva and director whose forthcoming "Tell Me Oh Khuda" stars husband Dharmendra and daughter Esha Deol.

"Directing Dharamji was superb. In the beginning, however, he did not listen to me. He used to ask me 'What is this, what is that'. Then I used to tell him that I want it like this, so just do it. So he realised I knew the job and then left it entirely to me. He didn't interfere at all after that," Hema, who has wielded the megaphone after 18 years for the movie, told IANS in an interview.

The crackling chemistry between the couple was in evidence in blockbusters like "Seeta Aur Geeta", "Sholay", "Razia Sultan" and "Pratigya".

Hema, 62, who earlier directed the Shah Rukh Khan-Divya Bharti-starrer "Dil Aashna Hai" in 1992, is making "Tell Me Oh Khuda" for her daughter Esha.

"I'm very excited about my film. It's a very interesting story of a girl's passionate quest to know her origins. The film might get delayed a little bit because of the whole process of change in directors. But I'm trying to release it latest by March," said the actress, looking graceful as ever in a green silk sari.

She has roped in Arjan Bajwa, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor for the film. It was earlier being directed by Mayur Puri but Hema decided to take the reins in her own hands.

The film is in the post-production stage and work is expected to get over by Jan 10.

How was it directing Esha?

"We have a different relationship on the sets, but still we are mother and daughter and so that does come across. After every scene she used to ask me if it was okay or not. It was really a pleasure directing her and the whole process was very sweet," said Hema.

That's not all what is keeping the multi-faceted actress occupied. She is also producing a TV show for Colors called "Maati Ki Banno", which hit the small screens Monday.

This is her first television show in eight years. In the past, she has produced shows like "Nupur", "Women of India" and "Aap Ki Saheli" as well as the Marathi shows "Songti" and "Umberta".

Discussing her long absence from the small screen, the actress, who was a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, said: "Nothing great came across. Also, I got busy with parliament. I had to spend time there. My term got over last September and next month this happened."

The show follows the journey of an orphan girl from Mauritius married into a family in Bihar and details her struggles with her new life overshadowed by secrets that haunt her husband's family.

So is it difficult to manage direction, production, dance shows and the family?

The multi-tasker says she manages it all. "You need to take out time for everything. If you want to, you can manage things and that's what I do. I'm very happy with whatever I have done in the past and whatever I am doing now. But, yes, there are times when I feel like going away to some place for some time, doing just nothing.

"However, that's just a momentary thing because we are creative people and we can't sit without doing anything for long," added Hema, whose younger daughter Ahana has evinced interest in becoming a director.

Monday, December 27, 2010

David Beckham to face sex scandal ­accuser in court

David Beckham to face sex scandal ­accuser in courtLondon, Dec 26 (IANS) Football star David Beckham, who has been accused of bedding a sex worker, will face the woman in a US court hearing within the next few weeks, reports dailystar.co.uk.

Beckham was due to give a formal statement in the case before Christmas. But his attorneys managed to have the hearing postponed until after his family festivities with wife Victoria and their three young sons.

Beckham, 35, launched his 16 million pounds legal action against hooker Irma Nici, 25, and German-owned US magazine In Touch over an article in which she claimed he hired her and a "curvy brunette" for sex romps at New York's Le Parker Meridien ­Hotel in 2007.

Bosnian-born Nici is ­counter-suing the former England star for a million dollars, claiming he caused her "emotional and ­physical pain and distress".

She alleges a writ server hired by Beckham's legal team chased and harassed her so severely she ended up in a hospital cardiac unit ­suffering intense chest pains.

Now, as a result of her counter-suit, he will be ordered to give his deposition - the US equivalent of swearing an affidavit - at a private hearing within the next month.

Unlike the British legal system, Nici will be allowed to fire ­questions at the football star about their ­alleged ­liaison.

Nici's lawyer Paul Jensen has ­revealed he may unveil the mystery brunette, who would also be allowed to grill Beckham.

An LA Galaxy team mate said: "David will have his own lawyers present, of course. But he's still ­angry and fearful that he may be forced to divulge matters about his private life. This whole case has become a thorn in his side. I'm not saying he regrets suing the magazine and this woman, but I don't think he realised how ­intensely personal the ­pre-trial ­system can be over here."

Nici's attorney has also filed a ­motion to dismiss Beckham's case against her, which will be heard at Los Angeles Superior Court Feb 16.

Jensen insisted: "Even his own lawyers don't expect to win this ­litigation. California law does not ­allow public figures like David ­Beckham to stifle free speech."

The future doesn't look all bleak for Beckham, however.

He could be asked to captain a Great Britain team at the 2012 Olympics in London. Organising committee chairman Seb Coe and Prince William are said to be "100 percent" behind the idea, which could provide Beckham with the ­ultimate swansong to his career, reports dailystar.co.uk.

Susan Boyle says 2010 best year ever for me

Susan Boyle says 2010 best year ever for meLondon, Dec 26 (IANS) If 2009 made her a star, Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle says 2010 is the year she came of age.

What could be termed a fairytale rise to fame, in 2010, "Britain's Got Talent" winner Boyle met the Pope, smashed world records for music sales, performed to millions around the world and even got a cherished diamond bracelet from ­music moghul Simon Cowell, reports mirror.co.uk.

"It's been an absolutely fantastic 12 months. The year 2009 had been the best of my life and I never thought it possible to top it - but 2010 did just that," said the 49-year-old.

"This past year has been my growing-up time. I know there's still a long way to go in my journey but I hope to prove to people that dreams don't have an expiry date," she added.

Not bad for a woman who, just 18 months ago, was living in a council house in ­Blackburn, West Lothian, with her cat ­Pebbles.

Halle Berry cancels daughter's meeting with Sidney Poitier

Halle Berry cancels daughter's meeting with Sidney PoitierLondon, Dec 26 (IANS) Oscar-award winning actress Halle Berry was forced to postpone a meeting between her daughter Nahla and her acting hero Sidney Poitier after paparazzi ruined the special get-together.

The actress arranged to spend time with the Oscar winner earlier this month as part of a photoshoot and an interview and she thought it would be nice for her daughter to meet the man who had meant so much to her while she was growing up, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

But when photographers learnt about the top secret meeting and showed up outside Poitier's Beverly Hills home, they terrified the two-year-old and she had to be led away in tears by a nanny.

"Sidney is part of our history. He's a legend, and one day I knew she (Nahla) would thank me for allowing her to be in his presence," said Berry.

"I was supposed to come over for Thanksgiving this year... I have to bring my daughter back. She has to have this experience," she added.

Veena Malik says I wanted to do mischievous things on 'Bigg Boss 4'

Veena Malik says I wanted to do mischievous things on Bigg Boss 4Mumbai, Dec 26 (IANS) Veena Malik's intimacy with Ashmit Patel in the "Bigg Boss" house set the TRPs soaring, but it wasn't enough for her as the controversial Pakistani beauty says she wanted to be more naughty on the reality show, but decided otherwise.

"Ash-mit is a sweetheart. He's my buddy. If there was anything more between us, I'm bold enough to admit it. But there's nothing beyond friendship between us," Veena, who is single and is waiting for her prince charming, said in an interview.

"Trust me, I wanted to do a lot of mischievous things on 'Bigg Boss'. But I restrained myself. I never thought of a Bollywood career. It will be a matter of great pride for me if anyone will think I fit in among the Indian beauties. Pamela Anderson told me I'm a warrior. So I'd like to do an action-comedy role in Bollywood," she added.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: Veena Malik, what are you all about?

A: Ha ha. This is me! It isn't an act. This is the way I am. You saw me on 'Bigg Boss' - how could I keep up an act for such a long time? The fact that the people in India have liked me so much, makes me so happy.

Q: You recently came into the limelight with an outburst of controversies. What have you set out to achieve in your life?

A: (Thinks) I've never planned anything in my life. By god's grace people gave me so much love over here. Trust me, I'm honoured. This is my achievement…that people in India gave me love. Right now I'll go back to Lahore to do a show for a leading news channel. I came here with a message of peace and love.

Q: You've a very Indian name.

A: Yes (laughs), I am glad I am called Veena. People often wonder whether I am a Pakistani or a Hindustani. When I started my career in Pakistan, people thought I was an Indian girl.

Q: You have performed comic roles in Pakistani films? What plans for Bollywood?

A: Trust me, I wanted to do a lot of mishchievous things on 'Bigg Boss'. But I restrained myself. I never thought of a Bollywood career. There are so many beautiful actresses here and I am their fan. It will be a matter of great pride for me if anyone will think I fit in among the Indian beauties. Pamela Anderson told me I'm a warrior. So I'd like to do an action-comedy role in Bollywood.

Q: What's the status of your relationship with Ashmit Patel?

A: Ash-mit is very important to me. Believe me, he gave me tremendous emotional support. But let me tell you, all the gossip linking me with Hrishant Goswami and Ashmit is untrue. Hrishant wasn't even a friend. I admire him for being a goodlooking man. I'm the kind of woman who can never go by without complimenting a goodlooking man. I liked him. But that's it.

As for Ash-mit, he's a sweetheart. He's my buddy. If there was anything more between us, I'm bold enough to admit it. But there's nothing beyond friendship between us. 'Agar hamari zindagi rahi to hum phir milenge'.

Q: So, who's the special man in your life?

A: Right now I'm single waiting. I am waiting anxious for that special entry in my life by someone special.

Q: Do you regret your expose on your former cricketer boyfriend Mohammad Asif?

A: I don't want to go into too many details. But I will say this. I went out of my way for him. Whatever he did or said about me about our personal relationship, I didn't mind. But what he did with the emotions of thousands of cricket lovers by cheating crores, I couldn't tolerate that. I'd have never opened my mouth about what he did to me on a personal level. But I can't forgive him for what he did to the country. Even today I stand by my expose.

Q: What are your plans now?

A: Please believe me, I did't go on 'Bigg Boss' for the money. The prize money is meaningless to me. Allah ka diya hua mere paas bahut kuch hai. I am a woman of plenty. I came to India and 'Bigg Boss' to spread the message of love. It was being said before me that artistes from across the border had no acceptance or support in India. I've disproved that. I'll always be happy to return to India any time. My visa expires now in a few days. So I've to return to Pakistan. But I'll be back soon.

Karan Johar wants 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' sequel: Amitabh Bachchan

Karan Johar wants 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' sequel: Amitabh BachchanNew Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) He brought together the three biggies of Hindi cinema - Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan - in his blockbuster hit "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" in 2001 and filmmaker Karan Johar is now pitching for a sequel to the family saga, reveals Big B.

"Karan Johar and we talk of cinema and other lighter moments. His visit to Goa and the sudden impulse to do a sequel to 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham', for he felt that all the relevant characters were still around and 'how'," Big B posted on his blog.

"It would be a story on the growth of the brothers and the problems that arise because of their independent understanding and working of the business empire of the father, a split within them and so on," he added.

Also starring Jaya Bachchan, Kajol and Kareena Kapoor, the movie was the highest grossing Indian film in the overseas market.

An active blogger, Amitabh has now left his decision for the Part II on the fans' discretion.

"I tell him I shall run a reaction to this on my blog and seek information on its feasibility. So what does everyone feel? Yes or no? (sic)... Tel me tell me tell me...no," he wrote.

Vidya Balan says glad youth are no longer armchair activists

Vidya Balan says glad youth are no longer armchair activistsNew Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) "No One Killed Jessica" actress Vidya Balan says she feels glad that today's youth are not just clear about their opinions but know how to voice them and drive the government to act - as was seen in the Jessica Lall murder case.

"I think it's very interesting that youth are voicing their opinion on issues and willing to participate through blogs, SMSes and even social networking sites. And the media has helped youth a lot in mobilising public opinion. I am glad youth are not armchair activists saying justice should be meted out. Youth of today say, 'We can be part of the process to make sure justice is given'. It's wonderful," Vidya told IANS in an interview.

The 32-year-old has a vivid recollection of youth participation during the over-a-decade-long legal battle following the murder of model Jessica Lall, who was shot dead by Manu Sharma, the son of a Haryana politician in 1999.

"Back then all of us felt very strongly about it. I remember college students were incensed by what had happened. I am talking about the time a little later than 1999... the case was still going...and there was a fervour across the country. Sitting in Mumbai, people were doing signature campaigns and everyone felt involved in some ways. So it's nice to see youth have force," she said.

In Rajkumar Gupta's "No One Killed Jessica", releasing Jan 7, Vidya will be seen essaying the role of Sabrina Lall, Jessica's sister who fought day in and day out to get justice for her younger sister. After living the part in the reel, she hopes no one goes through the experience in real life.

"I would not want anyone to go through any legal battle for so long because the legality aside, it is emotionally draining. I do think that the verdict reassured my faith in the judicial system of the country, but, again, as a citizen I wish justice had been meted out earlier than it was," said Vidya, who has teamed up with Rani Mukerji in the film.

Vidya never got a chance to meet Sabrina Lall in person before or during the shooting of the film.

"Rajkumar Gupta was very clear that all I needed to know was the facts of the case. He wanted me to chart out an emotional journey of Sabrina on my own. Also, we didn't want to misuse her kindness because she was kind enough to go through our script and give her consent to our film. Sabrina's emotional journey is the core of the film. But, yes, it is a feature film...it is about stirring people's emotions," she said.

Does she hope the film will inspire youth to be more vocal?

"I have never thought how inspirational could the film be for viewers. If it happens to inspire, great! But we have not set out to make the film for that purpose. What really inspired us was the spirit of Sabrina... spirit of all those people who played a role in the case," Vidya added.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Megamind Movie Review

Megamind Movie ReviewFilm: "Megamind"; Director: Tom McGrath; Voiceovers: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, David Cross, Jonah Hill; Rating: ****

In a year where good to great animation films became the rule rather than an exception, and where one "Despicable Me" redefined our notions of villainy, comes "Megamind" that takes it to a totally different, hilarious and poignant level. What you have here is the wittiest comedy of the year.

The rivalry between Megamind and Metroman is legendary in Metro City. Both alien survivors from other dying planets have different powers. While Metroman has superman like physical powers, Megamind creates gadgets with his mind and help from his minions.

Metroman, always wins.

Until one day, Megamind kills Metroman. With no one to stop him, he takes over Metro City but is bored as he no longer has any challenge. Afterall what's a villain without a hero? So, Megamind decides to create a hero so that his life as a super-villain finds purpose again. Only, he ends up creating a truly bad, evil villain. Would Megamind now stoop down to the level of becoming a hero to save Metro City?

Megamind picks up the best elements from many films - most notably "Despicable Me" (story, motivation and cuteness of the super-villain), "Shrek" (spoofing of popular culture), "The Incredibles" and "Superman". With this it creates a truly unique, witty and funny film whose puns and surprises don't cease till the end.

It is good writing, storytelling, direction and animation at its best possible. It's a take on Lacan's theory which talks about the fun of the chase and the end of fun after the desired object is acquired, and makes a fun-filled adventurous ride out of it.

The wit and humour is stuff not of giggles, but uproarious laughter. The spoof on Marlon Brando as Kal-el in Superman takes top prizes in its ensemble of gags and funny lines. The animation work is also spot on. So much so that a discerning eye or multiple visitor to the film will find something every time.

Yet, at the core of it, like "Despicable Me" and like Freud who states what we are today is due to our childhood experiences, questions society that is quick to alienate someone, that turns him first into an asocial and then into an anti-social creature. Yet, behind the charade of super-villainy, there indeed is a little child that is crying to come out. All it needs is a little support. It shouldn't take a Megamind to figure that out.

'The Tourist' Movie Review

The Tourist Movie ReviewFilm: "The Tourist"; Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck; Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff; Rating: *1/2

The "O'Henry twist", as it began to be called after the author who chiselled the most unexpected ending to a story into a fine art, has been done to death in literature and cinema. So much so that right at the beginning of a thriller, the most unexpected ending now comes first in the minds of a viewer.

For this expectation to be proven right against all hopes is the sign of sloppy writing and direction. "The Tourist" is an example of that which neither the charisma of Angelina Jolie or the chutzpah of Johnny Depp can save.

Alexander is a mysterious man hunted both by the Scotland Yard and a gangster as he has stolen from both. He has gone ahead and got himself a face change. After asking his lover Elisa (Jolie) to choose the man most resembling him from a train to Venice to distract both, she chooses an unsuspecting tourist, a math teacher Frank (Johnny Depp) whose simple life is turned upside down as he becomes a wanted man.

Frank does not know what he has landed himself into. Even when he does, he does not mind as he has fallen in love with the gorgeous Elisa. With both the gangsters and Scotland Yard closing in on Elisa to find her husband, Frank is headed for something he can't control.

It is hard to imagine that the man who gave one of the most poignant films of world cinema in "The Lives of Others", Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck could fall so flat on his face with his next.

The only thing the expectedly, unexpected thriller does manage is to be a trip through beautiful Venice. "Few Nights in Venice" would perhaps have been a better title for this absolutely passable film that neither delights, not has the steam or pace to keep you either glued to your seats, or leave you with deep sighs of compassion as in "Lives of Others".

Akshay Kumar's New Year act ahead of Christmas!

Akshay Kumar's New Year act ahead of Christmas!Mumbai, Dec 25 (IANS) Everyone wondered why Akshay Kumar dedicated his performance at Reliance Broadcast Network's Big Star awards held here to the New Year when it wasn't even Christmas time!

It turned out that Akshay's performance Tuesday night was targeted at being telecast on New Year's eve on a channel. But to the nominees who were present at the venue of the awards, it did appear odd that Akshay was singing and dancing about the New Year nine days in advance.

Said one of the stars present at the awards, "It was quite funny, really. Akshay was welcoming the year 2011 on Dec 21. We all wondered if he was trying to prove he was ahead of his times."

When contacted, Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Broadcast Network, said, "Akshay's New Year gig was part of his 'Tees Maar Khan' act. Since his performance was going to be part of the telecast of our awards on New Year's eve we decided to include it."

Incidentally, live performances at other awards functions, if targeted at a specific date, are recorded separately from the function.

Said Akshay: "The New Year bit was part of my 'Tees Maar Khan' act. Anything for my film. Also, Mr. (Amitabh) Bachchan came and joined me on stage for an impromptu jig. After that, time ceased to matter for me. I didn't care if it was Christmas or New Year."

Lucknow's Pankaj Bhadouria wins 'MasterChef India'

Lucknow's Pankaj Bhadouria wins MasterChef IndiaNew Delhi, Dec 25 (IANS) Lucknow-based Pankaj Bhadouria won Star Plus' cookery game show "MasterChef India" after she dished up a scrumptious meal on the show hosted by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. She takes home Rs.1 crore as prize money.

The dishes that won Bhadouria the prize are : Drunk Chicken Log, Cheesy Dill Salmon and Cranberry Cheese Blossom.

She was announced the winner after voting by host and judge, Akshay Kumar and his co-judges, noted chefs Ajay Chopra and Kunal Kapoor, in the finale aired Saturday.

Bhadouria, 38, gave up her job as a teacher to be part of the show. Apart from the Rs.1 crore, she also gets a chance to host a cookery show and release a cookery book.

She pipped 24-year-old boy Jayanandan Bhaskar, also from Lucknow, to win the title.

Started in October 2010, the culinary show was a platform to acknowledge and encourage the skills of passionate cooks and groom them to become professionals.

The finale episode was graced by Bollywood filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan and actress Katrina Kaif, who came to promote their film "Tees Maar Khan", which also stars Akshay.

Kamal Khan wins 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'

Kamal Khan wins Sa Re Ga Ma PaMumbai, Dec 25 (IANS) After nineteen weeks of rigorous training and fierce competition, Patiala's Kamal Khan was declared the winner of Zee TV's "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar" Saturday.

Khan beat Bishakh Jyoti of Kolkata and Abhilasha Chellum of Mumbai to win the title of singing superstar in the grand finale at Andheri Sports complex here. He also walked away with the newly-launched Grande MK II car and a Hero Honda ZMR bike.

The finale saw a melange of western, opera, ghazal and classical songs. It saw ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali singing hits like "Dil Yeh Pagal Dil" and "Hungama Kyun Hai Barpa" with Ranjeet Rajwada, who was also a contestant on the show.

Adding to the excitement was the hip hop fusion act by choreographer Rajiv Surthi who is set to be on the judges panel with Geeta Kapoor and Marzi Pestonji in dance reality show "DID Doubles" that replaces the show.

Mentor Daler Mehndi entertained with his songs like "Tunak Tunak" "Zor ka Jhatka". He was joined by Vishal and Shekhar, who sang hit songs from their films "Tees Maar Khan", "Anjana Anjaani" and "I Hate Luv Storys".

Mika also wowed the audience with "Ibne Batuta", "Mauja hi Mauja" and "Dhano".

Sajid-Wajid captivated the crowd with their hit numbers from "Dabangg" and "Wanted".

The show also saw the presence of Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadekar, Jagjit Singh, Udit Narayan, Lalit Pandit, Mithun Chakraborty and Penaz Masani.

Oscar Winning Hilary Swank to launch own fashion line

Oscar Winning Hilary Swank to launch own fashion lineLondon, Dec 26 (IANS) Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank is set to foray into the fashion world with her own line, which will be athletic in nature.

She has teamed up with DMA Designers Management Agency to develop a concept for an athletic apparel range, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

DMA co-founder Marc Beckman says Swank originally wanted to launch a t-shirt line that "provided motivation and inspiration". But due to her background as a gymnast, she wanted it to have a more sporty feel.

"Our platform is a contemporary, outdoor, ath-leisure brand," he added.

The actress and agency will be in talks with designers to work with the star on the collection.

After heartache, it's toothache for Elizabeth Hurley

After heartache, it's toothache for Elizabeth HurleyLondon, Dec 26 (IANS) Model-actress Elizabeth Hurley had to rush to a dentist after she started suffering excruciating tooth pains earlier this week.

Hurley, who has been going through a tough emotional phase after her split from Indian husband Arun Nayar and also estranged beau Shane Warne, was taken to the hospital Thursday, reports dailystar.co.uk.

The star took to her Twitter page Wednesday to ask her online fans for advice on how to deal with the tooth pain.

"What does it mean if you suddenly have violent toothache in about ten teeth at the same time?" she posted.

She took a painkiller, and returned to the micro-blogging site for an update, which read: "Agonising few hours...dentist tomorrow."

Pamela Anderson autographs drunk man's chest

Pamela Anderson autographs drunk man's chestLondon, Dec 26 (IANS) "Baywatch" beauty Pamela Anderson obliged a group of young, drunk boys by signing one man's chest and another's hand with a black bold marker.

The voluptuous actress was returning to her hotel in Liverpool when the group of festive revellers stumbled upon her, reports dailymail.co.uk. Anderson was happy to agree to their request for an autograph.

Otherwise, the actress has been extra careful of fans these days. She has apparently hired extra security after an over-eager fan bought tickets to see her as the Genie of the Lamp in "Alladin" at Liverpool's Empire Theatre, 10 times in a row. The fan also regularly waits outside to catch a glimpse of her.

"Pamela's been given an extra bodyguard and has to leave via a different door every night because the man always waits for her. She's pretty scared by the whole thing," said a source.

No rift between Rani Mukerjee and Vidya Balan: Director

No rift between Rani Mukerjee and Vidya Balan: DirectorMumbai, Dec 26 (IANS) Dismissing rumours that the two leading ladies of his forthcoming film "No One Killed Jessica" were at loggerheads, filmmaker Rajkumar Gupta says Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan share a camaraderie and gel well.

It was reported that Vidya is not very happy with Rani because the Bengali beauty is hogging the limelight and taking maximum space in promotions. But Gupta called all the rumours baseless.

"I have been accompanying Rani and Vidya on most promotional events and they have been having a fabulous time. These are just rumours and there is no truth in these claims," Gupta told IANS.

"I've seen how well they gel and the camaraderie that they share and the positivity with which they shot the film. So these are just rumours and not to be taken seriously," he added.

Gupta, whose first film "Aamir" was a tale of a man's struggle against terrorism, said that when he finished writing "No One Killed Jessica", Rani and Vidya's names instantly came to his mind for the main leads.

"Both are brilliant actors apart from being stars. Vidya has that certain kind of sensibility that was needed for her character. She is very sensitive not only as an actor but as a human being," he said.

"Rani's character required to have a lot of spunk and a headstrong and feisty attitude. I knew Rani will be able to do justice with that," he added.

The film, slated to release Jan 7, is based on the murder of model Jessica Lall in 1999 by Manu Sharma, son of a Haryana politician, and the struggle of her sister Sabrina Lall to get justice for her.

It took the director, who has assisted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap in the past, three months to research about the case and seven months to write the script.

"I took up this subject as I thought it was a very inspiring story where in the course of events an entire nation came together and media played a very important role. I thought this would be an interesting story to portray on celluloid," Gupta said.

However, his road to making this film was not without obstacles. The filmmaker said it was very challenging to give shape to the project.

"At every stage, there were challenges. The writing was the most difficult bit because the canvas was broad, there were so many characters and I didn't want to make a documentary or a biography," Gupta said.

"I wanted to get into the realms of cinema and make it an engaging and entertaining thriller. To get that entire thing in place, it took me some time to figure out and see how to go about it," he said.

"I had to get a balance of fact and fiction because it was a very sensitive issue. So the script also had to be approached with a lot of sensitivity," he added.

But wasn't he scared that the movie might rake up many controversies because of the nature of the subject?

"This factor did come to my mind. So I tried to approach the film with as much sensitivity as possible," the director said.

"But we must also keep in mind that the film is not about naming people or accusing anyone. That's not my job as a filmmaker. It's just my interpretation of the case," he added.

After two serious drama films, Gupta is all set to make a light love story called "Rapchik Romance", which is on the scripting stage at the moment.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Supermodel Campbell misses McQueen's advice

Supermodel Campbell misses McQueen's adviceLondon, Dec 25 (IANS) Supermodel Naomi Campbell says she misses Alexander McQueen's advice, because the late fashion designer was "always right".

The supermodel has paid further tribute to the late fashion designer and her friend, who sadly took his own life in February, reflecting on the great tips he gave her during their friendship.

"While we worked together many times, ours was a true friendship. He was very sincere and supportive. He would always call me up and offer advice. And, you know what, he was always right," contactmusic.com quoted her as saying.

She also spoke of the support she received from other models, in particular Kate Moss, in the wake of Alexander's death when she put together a series of his designs for her Fashion For Relief show, which raised money for the victims of this year's devastating Haiti earthquake.

"I knew he would have wanted to do something for Haiti and there was no way that, just a few weeks after his death, I could not do a tribute to Alex.

"Kate had never walked for one of my shows before but I didn't even get to finish the sentence before she was like, 'I'm there'. We all felt the same way."

Shah Rukh Khan says I will never want my show to stoop down

Shah Rukh Khan says I will never want my show to stoop downMumbai, Dec 24 (IANS) The TV industry today might be inundated with regular notifications, criticisms and controversies for its reality show content but Shah Rukh Khan, who is making his comeback on the small screen as the host of "Zor Ka Jhatka" on Imagine TV, says his will be a dignified show, just like the superstar himself.

"I might joke around, fool around with my loved ones, entertain people at length. Sometimes they misinterpret it but I believe I am a dignified person. I am a dignified husband, a father, a brother, a son-in-law," Shah Rukh told IANS in an interview here.

"I will never want my show to stoop down to a level where I feel ashamed of it. I will never do or let any kind of misbehaviour rule my show just for TRP ratings as people say."

The 45-year-old has earlier hosted shows like "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (2007) and "Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?" (2008) and people loved him for his natural wit and humour that had audiences in splits.

Last month, the information and broadcasting ministry cracked down on two shows - "Bigg Boss" and "Rakhi Ka Insaaf" - by issuing directives to change their telecast timings following viewers' complaints about vulgar content being proliferated through them.

Shah Rukh's new show is the Indian edition of the internationally popular "Wipeout".

"Zor Ka Jhatka" will see 28 TV stars battling it out in an obstacle course set in Argentina and the superstar also claimed he will stand as an apostle of love and peace to curb eventual male egoes on the show.

"Fights on my show are a little dicey to see. I am a love maker and not a fight maker. And if they do, I will stand as a peacemaker then," he said in his trademark dimpled smile with visible ripples around his cheeks.

Asked about his competitive strategy to tackle other celebrity hosts on the small screen, he said: "Till the time competition is healthy everything works perfect. Everybody is doing their job and are giving it their best shot."

"My competition is with myself and not any celebrity. I truly believe that I do a good job, I work very hard and I will keep working hard. And that is what is of concern to me," he added in his nonchalant King Khan manner.

So will the host perform any adventure sports too?

"The first thing that I made clear to the channel was that please don't make me go there and do any of those sports. They want me to do a promo where I need to do some of the activities, but I'm not looking forward to it. Getting dipped in mud, drenched out in dirty water - I can't take that humiliation. But lets see," he quipped.

The show will go on air in January next year.

Fashion magazine in trouble after 'whitening' Aishwarya Rai

Fashion magazine in trouble after 'whitening' Aishwarya RaiLondon, Dec 24 (IANS) Fashion magazine Elle is being accused of stirring up a race row following alleged digital lightening of Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai's skin for the glamourous cover page.

The 37-year-old, who achieved global popularity after winning the Miss World crown in 1994 and following it up with films like "Bride & ­Prejudice" and "The Pink Panther 2", appears on the cover of this month's Indian edition of the magazine.

Though Aishwarya looks picture perfect in a flowing gown and a stunning hairdo, readers started reacting with fury after it was suggested that the fashion magazine might have used digital technology to enhance her complexion, reports dailymail.co.uk. Inside the magazine, she is pictured in a series of shots with light skin.

However, fans have been posting angry comments online about the latest cover.

One comment read: "It's ­annoying because it seems like lighter skin is always in fashion as if darker skin is ­something to be frowned upon."

Colour discrimination is quite a sensitive issue in India, and it is often percieved that those with a lighter complexion are more successful and wealthy.

This isn't the first time that the magazine has been attacked for appearing to lighten the skin of its non-white models.

In September this year, Afro-American actress Gabourey Sidibe appeared on the cover of the US magazine with a much paler complexion than her usual.

Katrina Kaif 'Sheila Ki Jawani' brings crowds to TMK

Katrina Kaif 'Sheila Ki Jawani' brings crowds to TMKNew Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) Katrina Kaif's sensuous 'Sheila Ki Jawani' number brought in the audiences in droves to watch Farah Khan's "Tees Maar Khan", with the movie garnering 90-95 percent occupancy on the day of its release Friday.

With their curiosity whetted by Katrina's slithery moves in television promos of the film, the Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer was a hit on its first day.

However, industry insiders predict the huge turnout is mostly due to Katrina's dance number.

"We are having good advance bookings for 'Tees Maar Khan' and the initial response is good, with almost 90 percent occupancy, but the content is not at all as per expectations," Yogesh Raizada, corporate head (cinemas) of Wave Cinemas, told IANS.

"Audiences are mostly queuing up to watch Katrina Kaif in 'Sheila Ki Jawani', and that's about it," he added.

Amit Awasthi, senior manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas, said: "The movie has opened to a fantastic initial with over 95 percent occupancy and the audiences are coming in mostly due to the hot item number," said Awasthi.

A source from PVR cinemas also said: "The initial for the movie is good at about 80-90 percent but the content is not getting appreciation. The audiences are only here for the item song and not for the movie per se."

Co-produced by Three's Company, Hari Om Entertainment and UTV Motion Pictures, the previews for the movie held on Dec 21, Dec 22 and Dec 23 in select cities in Britain have, however, grossed over Rs.7.5 million.

In the US, the previews grossed Rs.4 million on Wednesday alone, according to a statement by UTV. While in the Middle East, it has made around Rs.9.5 million on its opening day.

Another movie that was released is Ajay Devgn-Kajol starrer live action animation "Toonpur Ka Superhero" that is still waiting to pick up with only 20-30 percent occupancy on an average.
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