Douglas has pleaded guilty to charges of dealing methamphetamine and faces more than 10 years behind bars when he is handed his punishment on 27 April (10).
His attorneys lodged a request earlier this week (begs12Apr10) to have the hearing kept private.
But the 31-year-old's legal team has failed in its legal challenge - on Friday (16Apr10), Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Berman ruled the courtroom will be kept open.
He also decided that Michael Douglas' letter pleading for leniency in his son's case should be made public, according to the New York Daily News.
Notes from Cameron's stepmother, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his grandfather, Kirk Douglas, have already been published.
Douglas has pleaded guilty to charges of dealing methamphetamine and faces more than 10 years behind bars when he is handed his punishment on 27 April (10).
The 31 year old is due to hear his sentence in an open court, but his attorneys have lodged a request to have the hearing kept private, according to the New York Daily News.
A letter from Douglas' lawyers to Judge Richard Berman, reads, "We expect that the sentencing before Your Honor will again be widely covered by the press. All the press coverage thus far has been purely sensational. His crime is not sensational or even noteworthy."
Judge Berman has given Douglas' legal team until Friday (16Apr10) to argue their case.
Cameron's stepmother, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his grandfather, Kirk Douglas, are among a handful of family members who have written to Manhattan Federal Court in New York urging the judge to be lenient.
Their statements were made public, while Judge Berman ruled that a note from Cameron's father, Michael, should be kept private.
The two stars are among the family and friends who have sent letters to Manhattan's Federal Court in New York, urging the judge overseeing Cameron Douglas' drug dealing trial to be lenient.
In his letter, Spartacus star Douglas writes he hopes to see his grandson turn his life around "before I die" and he goes on to recall a recent trip he took from his home in Los Angeles to see the incarcerated actor son of Michael Douglas in New York, stating, "He didn't express any self-pity, nor did he ask for any. The only sorrow he expressed was for the trouble he had caused others."
The 93-year-old star adds, "I'm convinced Cameron could be a fine actor... I hope I can see that happen before I die. I love Cameron."
And the jailed drug dealer's stepmother, Zeta-Jones, insists the 31 year old is "a considerate, worthy human being" in her letter, which was obtained by the Associated Press.
Douglas has pleaded guilty to charges of dealing methamphetamine. He faces more than 10 years behind bars. He'll be sentenced next week (beg12Apr10).
Kirk owned the rights to the Ken Kesey classic and harboured plans to turn it into a movie.
He decided to give his son, who at the time was a struggling actor, the chance to make his mark in Hollywood as a producer and handed the book to his son to turn into reality.
It took several years for Douglas Jr. to raise enough funds to make the movie and he and his co-producer Saul Zaentz eventually chose Nicholson to play R.P. McMurphy, because he no longer wanted to live in his famous father's shadow.
The decision to cast the then 38-year-old Nicholson instead of 59-year-old Kirk left the veteran star annoyed - but Michael insists he has no regrets.
He tells Vanity Fair magazine, "My father has played up his disappointment with that pretty good. God bless him, he's 93. I finally said, 'Dad, I worked six years getting this together…'"
But Michael admits his father has been more than adequately compensated financially from the 1975 project.
He adds, "I have to remind him, I shared part of my producing back-end (credit) with him, so he ended up making more money off that movie than he had in any other picture."
After being cursed by delays The Wolfman Hollywood’s latest spin on the popular werewolf myth finally bares its ugly fangs in theaters this week. Predictably the film is a train wreck of a debacle -- one would expect nothing less from a notoriously troubled production that saw its original director Mark Romanek abandon ship just two weeks before the start of shooting -- but The Wolfman’s problems stem less from the late-game addition of helmer Joe Johnston who at the very least delivered a terrific looking film (its gorgeously eerie Victorian aesthetic evoking a palpable exquisite sense of dread is by far its best feature) than from the misguided efforts of its producer and star Benicio Del Toro.
The Wolfman is the brainchild of Del Toro an ardent horror fan who conceived the film as an homage of sorts to the low-budget “monster movies” from the ‘30s and ‘40s that he loved dearly as a child. It’s fashioned as a loose remake of 1941’s The Wolf Man a film that both established Lon Chaney Jr.’s performance as the definitive take on the character and introduced aspects of the werewolf legend now considered sacrosanct. The notion that a werewolf can be felled by an item made from silver for example owes its origin to The Wolf Man.
But Del Toro feels all wrong in the role of Lawrence Talbot the prodigal son of a 19th-century English aristocrat whose fateful encounter with a bloodthirsty lycan the same creature that brutally murdered his brother just days prior triggers his unwitting initiation into the accursed tribe of feral man-beasts. Del Toro's resume of low-key understated performances marked by a muttering often imperceptible delivery in films like Traffic and The Usual Suspects suggests a skill set better suited to playing another famous movie monster one significantly less loquacious than his character in this movie. Seriously -- the guy should have remade Frankenstein instead.
Playing an American-bred (but English-born we’re told) character in an 1890 setting looking uncomfortable in period attire surrounded by such “proper” British actors as Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt and fully annunciating all of his line readings for the first time that I can recall Del Toro appears hopelessly out of place in The Wolfman.
Things only get worse unfortunately when Del Toro’s character transforms into the dreaded werewolf. Each time the moon is full the film transitions with increasing ridiculousness from a somber Victorian drama into a hard-core horror flick replete with grisly shots of torn flesh exposed spines and severed limbs. The first overly gruesome attack triggers a kind of nervous laugh more from the shock than anything else. The second invites an amused uneasy chuckle which soon snowballs into an outright belly laugh. And the effect soon spreads to the dialogue the outrageous gore rendering the film's mannered melodrama strangely hysterical.
Of all the Wolfman players only Hopkins seems to get the joke reveling in his manipulative mischief as Talbot's inappropriately glib stoutly aloof father. If only he'd let his castmates in on it.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
The Wall Street star turns 65, while his wife will reach the landmark age of 40 later this week.
But instead of throwing a lavish showbiz bash, the pair is determined to keep it a family affair, and will toast the birthdays with a meal in New York - with just their family and close friends in attendance.
A source tells U.K. newspaper the Daily Record, "Catherine doesn't want to have a big bash, she'd rather just have an intimate gathering with her closest friends and family.
"The last thing on her mind is having a party that the good and great will come to. Catherine loves nothing more than to spend time with her family. She's not big into showbiz bashes, so it will be a quiet affair."
Kirk Douglas, 93, and Catherine's parents Dai and Pat will help the happy couple celebrate the big day with the meal in Manhattan.
“I’m not impressed with Hollywood in general. They don’t make a lot of movies that lift our standards and morality.” That’s what director Alex Kendrick told me in a telephone interview on Monday after his new movie Fireproof (IDP Films/Samuel Goldwyn) opened with a downright shocking $6.5M opening weekend.
L.A. and New York are filled with talented film professionals who spend countless hours and millions upon millions of dollars making movies. The cost of development, production, a director, actors and marketing make the craft of filmmaking prohibitive. So how did a little church in Georgia score the 4th-best gross of the just-completed weekend?
The answer, according to director Kendrick, is prayer. “Before we shot a tough scene, we prayed. This movie was bathed in prayer.” He is serious. Although Alex and his brother, co-writer and producer Stephen Kendrick, “grew up making silly movies in the backyard with a video camera,” they have no formal training in the business. They are both Associate Pastors at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, 3 hours south of Atlanta. They are in “the prayer business” full-time.
About seven years ago, the Kendrick brothers approached Sherwood Senior Pastor Michael Catt with the idea that making movies should be part of the church’s ministry. Their church has about 3,000 members with about 1,500-1,700 attending services on the average Sunday, so Sherwood is not one of the so-called mega-churches, but Catt agreed to let them try their hand at filmmaking.
Their first effort was the 2003 movie Flywheel about a car salesman with a crisis of conscience. The movie was made for $20,000 and shot on a Canon XL1 digital camera with a cast and crew made up entirely of church volunteers. The Kendricks intended to sell the DVD online with the proceeds being pushed back into the church’s ministries. “We thought it’d be neat to show the movie at the local movie theatre,” Alex Kendrick told me, and Carmike’s Wynnsong 16 Theatres in Albany agreed to a limited four-day engagement. The movie proved to be very popular playing for six weeks and expanding to two other Carmike locations. The newly-minted, non-profit Sherwood Studios hoped to sell 10,000 copies of Flywheel on DVD, and to-date the movie has sold 200,000 units.
Based on that relatively modest success, Alex and Stephen Kendrick proposed a movie about a Christian high school football coach called Facing the Giants. They raised the stakes with a budget of $100,000, mostly to pay for a 5-person professional crew from Orlando and the equipment necessary to shoot a “real” movie. Still, there were no paid actors and the bulk of the crew was untrained volunteers from the Sherwood Baptist Church congregation.
When the Kendrick brothers finished a rough cut, they approached a Christian record label called Provident Music Group in order to license some music for Facing the Giants. When the record people saw the movie, they got parent company Sony involved, and, faster than you can say an “Our Father,” the movie had a distribution deal with IDP Films/Samuel Goldwyn. The picture rolled out on 441 screens in September of 2006 and delivered $1.34M on opening weekend for a $3,046 Per Theatre Average. Giants showed great playability and finished with $10.17M domestic.
What did the church do with the profit from Facing the Giants? No perks for these mini-moguls. It was funneled into the building of an 82-acre sports park for the Albany community with baseball and softball diamonds and soccer fields.
Emboldened by box office success, the two Associate Pastors began working on their third movie. They chose marriage as a subject. Alex told me, “We saw so many marriages struggling. 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, 70 percent of second marriages end in divorce, and first responders, like firefighters, police officers and military men and women, have an even higher divorce rate than everyday Americans.” So, their movie Fireproof is about a firefighter who is working to save his struggling marriage.
Shot on just a $500,000 budget, with that same crew from Orlando (slightly expanded), and plenty of help from their congregation, they made their movie. This time they had a star. “Kirk Cameron saw Facing the Giants and called us and said, ‘I gotta help you guys do this,” says Alex Kendrick, but he auditioned like everyone else. Ultimately he was cast as the lead, and in Sherwood Studios tradition, he was not paid anything. No salary. No residuals. Nothing. They paid his travel and hotel and made a donation to his Camp Firefly charity.
I was curious about what Alex had up his sleeve next, but he says that his flock needs his attention, “The movie business can’t take the place of what we do in church. We would never want to do these movies at the expense of our members.” The plan is for Sherwood Studios to make a movie every 2 years, and they have not even started thinking about the next one, but when Alex and his brother make movies in the future, he tells me that they “will tell stories that middle America can relate to. America has two cultures. There’s New York City and California - and there’s the way the rest of the country lives.”
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Full of wonderful characters and smart witty dialogue--not to mention the wonders of Napa--Bottle Shock is based on the true story of the beginnings of the California wine industry and its underdog triumph at the blind Paris wine tasting competition of 1976. Using this as a backdrop the film is really a character study focusing primarily on the rocky relationship between novice vintner Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his happy-go-lucky son Bo (Chris Pine). Despite the generational and other gaps between them they both have a common goal of producing the perfect Chardonnay at the Chateau Montelena vineyard Jim in the early ‘70s. By happenstance Brit Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) is in Napa on the prowl for the perfect bottle for the upcoming French wine tasting contest he is sponsoring in France which he thinks will boost business for his money-losing Paris wine shop. The elder Barrett passes on the idea but Bo who has just been blown off by their gorgeous intern Sam (Rachael Taylor) in favor of his buddy Gustavo (Freddy Rodriguez) is looking for something to lift his spirits and manages to get two bottles of their wine to Spurrier just as he is about to leave. There’s just one complication: It seems the wine has turned brown a circumstance that seems fatal until some even more astounding facts turn up. The ever-reliable Rickman is absolutely delightful in his role as the enterprising vino connoisseur and leads the perfect cast along with perennially underrated Pullman ideal as the frustrated perfectionist Jim Barrett. The real find of the film however is Chris Pine all raggedy long hair and free-spirited attitude as the love-struck Bo. Pine who’ll play Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek reincarnation is just terrific here totally endearing as he etches a character we root for heart and soul. He is certainly an actor to watch out for. It’s also easy to see why he er pines (pun intended) for Sam a stunning charmer lovingly played by Taylor. Rodriguez (Six Feet Under) is a perfect addition as the romantic threat to buddy Bo. Rounding out the cast in style are veteran Dennis Farina who has a couple of nice scenes and the lovely Eliza Dushku who works at the local bar. Director Randall M. Miller’s last feature attempt was the overly sappy and hopelessly sentimental Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School but what he’s achieved with Bottle Shock is a quantum leap forward in quality. As co-writer (with wife Jody Savin who also co-produced and Ross Schwartz who came up with the idea in the first place) he has infused the film with just the kind of light touch to make this real-life story work as that rare kind of glorious human comedy from the heart. It’s a pure delight that goes down like the finest of wines with a superb look and feel--particularly highlighted by Michael J. Ozier’s eye-popping cinematography. Of course when you have Northern California’s breathtaking wine country as your canvas it would be hard to screw it up. Bottle Shock is on a par with some of the sleeper comic successes of recent years including such Oscar winners as Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine. Like those sleeper hits Miller has unleashed a 100 percent-certified cinematic gem the perfect tonic for a summer night.
Entertainment moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Sumner Redstone have been named among the 10 richest people in Los Angeles.
DreamWorks partners Geffen and Spielberg make the Los Angeles Business Journal top 50 list at four and nine, respectively, while Viacom boss Redstone's estimated $7 billion net worth and the $8.4 billion he made in 2007 put him in second place, behind investment tycoon Kirk Kerkorian.
Geffen and Spielberg's DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg comes in at 36 on the new list, producer Steve Bing at 38 and former Disney boss Michael Eisner and current studio chief Roy Disney hold up the countdown at 49 and 50, respectively.
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