Robert O'Ryan was arrested last March (09) after he attempted to break onto the Los Angeles set of Dancing With The Stars, where Johnson was a competitor.
Authorities later found duct tape, a shotgun, a handgun, a knife and a bulletproof vest in his car, and he was charged with felony stalking, felony commercial burglary and two misdemeanour counts of carrying a loaded firearm in his car.
An attorney for O'Ryan argued her client was not a stalker but merely had a "crush" on Johnson, telling the court during a previous hearing, "He was a fan inspired to come to Los Angeles with all of his possessions."
The suspect, 36, was due to stand trial for the two felony charges on Tuesday (08Jun10) but pleaded insanity on Monday (07Jun10), leaving his fate in the hands of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, who will determine whether or not he is sane and guilty.
If convicted, O'Ryan faces up to six years behind bars. However, Pastor warned he could be held by medical authorities for a much longer period if he was convicted and proved to be insane.
Johnson, 18, was expected to testify in the trial.
Each year thousands of lovelorn women flock to Verona Italy the hometown of Shakespeare’s Juliet to solicit romantic advice from the tragic heroine. They deposit their pleading letters on a wall near the balcony where Romeo supposedly made his famous late-night visit and if they’re lucky receive a reply from one of Juliet’s crew of officially appointed ghostwriters known as the Secretaries of Juliet.
In Gary Winnick's Letters to Juliet young Sophie (the irresistible Amanda Seyfried) while working on a sort of temp assignment with the Secretaries winds up leading an elderly British widow (Vanessa Redgrave) on a quest to reunite her with the Italian boyfriend she abruptly — and regretfully — jilted nearly 50 years prior. It’s a contrived and far-fetched scenario to be sure but no more so than your average Hollywood rom-com and this one at least carries the pleasant side benefit of allowing the filmmakers to set most of the action in picturesque Verona where Seyfried and Redgrave traverse the countryside on their quixotic endeavor.
The charming mother-daughter dynamic that forms between Seyfried’s doe-eyed do-gooder and Redgrave’s wistful grandma carries Letters to Juliet and make its preposterous and unapologetically schmaltzy plot palpable. But their efforts are largely sabotaged by the mediocre men of Juliet Gael Garcia Bernal (Babel The Motorcycle Diaries) and Christopher Egan (Eragon TV's Kings).
The usually terrific Garcia Bernal is really more of a prop than a character in this film. As Seyfried’s future ex-fiance an ADD-addled restaurateur too preoccupied with procuring ingredients for his new menu to tend to his relationship he replays the same scene over and over as if in some sort of Twilight Zone sketch. His intended replacement played by Egan is an insufferable twit we’re meant to believe is some sort of hot-shot human rights lawyer back in his native England — a detail I wouldn’t believe if he held up his law school degree to the camera for us to see.
Equally incredulous is the romantic subplot that develops between him and Seyfried and when the story shifts to them the film rapidly loses steam. Male characters will always play second fiddle in a chick flick — even one written and directed by men — but in Letters to Juliet they’re almost an afterthought seemingly tossed in late in the game to bolster the film’s appeal to young female moviegoers. In the end even someone as talented as Seyfried can’t effectively sell us on her character's eventual pair-up with Egan’s whiny doofus no matter how loudly the Taylor Swift soundtrack presses her case.
The sequel to the 2008 hit, starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the comic book superhero, dominated movie theatres across America this weekend (07-09May10) as the nation celebrated Mother's Day on Sunday (09May10).
The bumper figures overshadowed the takings of the original Iron Man, which grossed $98.6 million (£65.7 million) when it debuted in 2008.
However the follow-up failed to match the record set by The Dark Knight in 2008, which holds the title for the biggest opening weekend ever at the U.S. box office with $158.4 million (£105.6 million). Iron Man 2 sits behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in the record books - the Disney adventure is fourth on the list after taking $135.6 million (£90.4 million) upon its release in 2006.
Iron Man 2's U.S. profits takes the Jon Favreau movie's worldwide total to over $327 million (£218 million).
Last week's most popular film, a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, fell to second place with $9.1 million (£6 million), while animated hit How to Train Your Dragon held strong at three with $6.7 million (£4.47 million), more than a month after its release.
The Twilight heart-throb is set to star alongside Hollywood beauty Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants, based on the historical novel by Sara Gruen.
The period movie will be filmed in Los Angeles and film bosses have listed an online advert asking for "Caucasian men with very 1930s looking period faces," "African American men with short 1930s period haircuts" and "Caucasian women with shoulder length hair or shorter, size 6 or smaller"
The post on listings website Craigslist also specifies applicants should have "no piercings, tattoos, no breast implants, no artificial nails, no highlighted or coloured hair".
The casting call will be held on 17 April (10) in L.A. and the movie is due for release in 2011.
The Hollywood actor has revived the superhero for an upcoming sequel, which will see his character pitched against villainous Whiplash, played by Rourke.
And Downey, Jr. was fascinated by his co-star's unusual acting technique, because Rourke used photographs of his beloved Chihuahuas to help him portray tearful moments.
He tells Britain's Daily Express newspaper, "He would have someone holding pictures of recently deceased pets off camera to make him feel sad or whatever for a scene. It was all serious stuff. I've never seen anything like it."
Green Zone is a story we’ve already heard shot in a manner we’ve already seen and starring Matt Damon in a role he’s already played. Remember those WMDs that were never found in Iraq and later exposed to be the invention of a dubious and poorly-vetted informant? Remember the misguided and hideously botched attempt at establishing democracy after the fall of Saddam and the violent prolonged insurgency that ensued? If you’ve been away from the television for the past hour and somehow managed to forget any of these details Green Zone is here to remind you.
Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller an Army weapons inspector whose frustration over repeatedly coming up empty in his search for Iraqi WMDs leads him on a quest to track down and expose the people responsible for leading him (and us) down that infamously bogus path. Though his hand-to-hand skills are a notch below Jason Bourne’s Miller’s single-mindedness moral certainty and permanent expression of square-jawed defiance — always threatening another “How do you like them apples?” rebuke — in the face of an insidious multi-level government conspiracy are essentially equivalent to those of Damon’s Bourne trilogy soulmate.
And like Bourne his most dangerous adversary isn’t found on the battlefront but rather within the government he once served so proudly. As Miller delves ever deeper into the Case of the Faulty WMD Intelligence Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) the duplicitous arrogant Defense Department bureaucrat in charge of U.S. operations in Iraq summarily relieves him of his post. (Hint: the better dressed a Green Zone character is the more sinister his ambitions.) But Miller remains undeterred and he goes rogue to locate the CIA informant “Magellan ” a formerly high-ranking Iraqi official whose supposed confirmation of Saddam’s nuclear ambitions served as the basis for U.S. invasion.
We know how the story ends. Green Zone’s pervasive overarching sense of deja vu is accentuated by director — and veteran Bourne helmer — Paul Greengrass who employs the trademark hand-held super-shakycam style which was so fresh and inventive in 2004 but now feels stale and predictable. (Admittedly my aversion to Greengrass’ approach was no doubt heightened by a previous night’s viewing of Roman Polanski’s excellent The Ghost Writer a political thriller as subtle and precise and finely tuned as Green Zone is ham-fisted and haphazard — and which also uses the phantom WMD controversy to far greater narrative effect.)
Green Zone culminates in essentially a violent footrace between Miller and the Army Special Forces as they scour a heavily-armed insurgent stronghold to find Magellan with Miller hoping to secure his potentially damning testimony before the Army can silence him for good. The climactic sequence for all I could tell was either shot in Damon’s backyard culled from Bourne trilogy deleted scenes or assembled from scattered YouTube clips. This punishingly chaotic often incoherent and ultimately exhausting approach to storytelling isn’t cinema verite; it’s dementia pugilistica.
The embattled director will not be allowed to attend the political thriller's premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany on Friday (12Feb10) so he held a showing at his chalet in Gstaad - and was impressed with the finished product.
Robert Harris, who wrote the screenplay, tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "I don't know if he is disappointed not to be able to attend the premiere. I imagine he has been to quite a few premieres in his time.
"He was very happy with it, which was wonderful, but of course I am hugely biased."
The Oscar-winning filmmaker pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, but fled the States before his sentence could be passed.
He was held by officials in Zurich last year (09) and placed under house arrest in Switzerland. Last month (22Jan10), a Los Angeles judge ruled he must return to the U.S. to face sentencing.
The director refused to allow his legal woes to disrupt editing of The Ghost Writer - he completed post-production on the film while under house arrest.
January 11, 2010 11:00am EST
The Writers Guild announced its screen nominees this morning with Best Original screenplay nods going to Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for (500) Days of Summer, James Cameron for Avatar, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore for The Hangover, Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker and Joel and Ethan Coen for A Serious Man.
Contenders in the adapted screenplay category are Scott Cooper for Crazy Heart, based on the novel by Thomas Cobb; Nora Ephron for Julie & Julia, based on the books Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme; Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman for Star Trek, based upon Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry, and Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air, based on the novel by Walter Kirn.
Documentary screenplay nominations are: Richard Trank for Against the Tide, Michael Moore for Capitalism: A Love Story, Mark Monroe for The Cove, Robert Stone for Earth Days, Chris Rock & Jeff Stilson and Lance Crouther and Chuck Sklar for Good Hair, and Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman for Soundtrack for a Revolution.
The 2010 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 20, simultaneously at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City.
Eleven of the 20 experts who voted picked Up In The Air to claim top honours as Best Film, while 10 gave Clooney the edge over Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Colin Firth (A Single Man) in the Best Drama Actor category.
The Best Drama Actress fight will be a closely contested battle between Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and Carey Mulligan (An Education), according to the critics.
It's Complicated leads the way as the Best Comedy/Musical Picture, but the other four nominees - The Hangover, Julie & Julia, Nine and (500) Days of Summer - all get votes.
Robert Downey Jr.'s turn as Sherlock Holmes earned him the bulk of votes for Best Comedy/Musical Actor and Meryl Streep is the clear favourite to land the Best Comedy/Musical Actress.
Former couple Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and James Cameron (Avatar) will battle it out for the Best Director prize - Cameron landed nine votes to Bigelow's eight.
The Golden Globe Awards will be held in Los Angeles on 17 January (10).
Firth claimed the night's Humanitarian Award, Blunt was named British Artist of the Year and Douglas took home the Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment.
De Niro picked up the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle was honoured with the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence.
The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, was hosted by comedian and author Stephen Fry.