Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible IV.
The fourth film in the Mission: Impossible series came about this afternoon with Paramount CEO Brad Grey, Skydance Productions David Ellison, co-producer J.J. Abrams and Cruise all present at the signing.
Screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec are attached to pen the script from an original idea by Cruise and Abrams, who, together with Paramount Pictures, will now actively search for a director.
The Mission: Impossible franchise has grossed over 1.4 billion globally.
This was no college like I ever attended! Take three typical high-school seniors--the nerd (Kevin Covais) the good-looking Regular Guy (Drake Bell) and the hell-for-leather go-for-broke Horny Fat Guy (Andy Caldwell)--and let them loose during freshman orientation at fictional Fieldmont University. Just add beer marijuana and wild sex and you’ve got what may well be a new Frat House Classic one that adheres studiously to the tenets of the teen-comedy genre which also includes defying authority and destruction of public property. When it comes to the so-called “guilty pleasures” of 2008 this makes the Dean’s List. Like any good college hangover you’ll hate yourself in the morning--but you’ll still be laughing. Credit an enthusiastic cast and a refreshing (but quite appropriate) disregard for the rules. Drake Bell (of Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh fame) who looks far too old to be contemplating a college career is ostensibly the leading man here. Yet the principal selling point of the film is the onscreen camaraderie between he and co-stars Caldwell who plays it full-tilt a la John Belushi and Chris Farley (and that is meant as a compliment) but holds back enough when the ensemble demands require and Covais who all but steals the film with a smart shrewd take on the big-screen geek. A good deal of the film’s energy can be traced directly to them. The whole show is the three boys and they have a great easy rapport that transcends many of the worst trappings of a film like this. They feel like friends and that goes a very long way in a film that in some ways doesn’t deserve so rich an effort but benefits from it nonetheless. College marks the feature debut of director Deb Hagan who manages at times to give the film a fresh visual perspective while maintaining a relaxed but steady momentum. College is neither original nor good but it is enjoyable (far more so than would be expected) and it is fast-paced. It also delivers exactly what it promises. If it’s bang for the buck you want it’s bang for the buck you got when you enroll in College.
Flyboys is about the Lafayette Escadrille a real-life WWI French fighter squadron and follows the adventures of young American men who volunteer to fly and fight for the French before the U.S.'s involvement in the war. The characters are either based directly on or are an amalgamation of the real men who flew in this most treacherous combat. There’s Blaine Rawlings (James Franco) a Texan who has just lost his ranch; William Jensen (Philip Winchester) a well-educated and earnest fellow; Briggs Lowry (Tyler Labine) a privileged man who joins under the pressure of his wealthy and powerful father; Eddie Beagle (David Ellison) who is running from a criminal past; and Eugene Skinner (Abdul Salis) an African-American who escapes his country’s injustice and comes to France. And what would a war film be without a love interest? Blaine falls for Lucienne (Jennifer Decker) a local French girl but that is really just a bit of a detour from the main story about these daring young men in their flying machines. With a life expectancy of about six weeks they considered themselves knights of the air with their own code of chivalry and honor. Unfortunately for this cast of fine actors there isn’t a whole of time to show off their acting abilities. Franco (Spider-Man) is probably the biggest name and stands out as Rawlings a guy who has nothing left to lose. The actor took his job very seriously getting his pilot’s license—and should finally get a break from all the flops he has been in of late (Tristan and Isolde Annapolis). Jean Reno does a fine job in the thankless part as the squadron commander Captain Thenault. And Decker is captivating as Lucienne debuting in her first U.S. film; it probably won’t be her last. Salis (Love Actually) Labine (Antitrust) Winchester (The Patriot) and first-timer Ellison (a licensed aerobatic pilot in real life) are all good but Martin Henderson (Torque) as Reed Cassidy--a veteran pilot and a bitter loner with a big chip of his shoulder--is the most interesting of the supporting players. These fighter pilots known for being methodical and hyper-courageous in the air were also a bit eccentric and tortured when on the ground. With Flyboys director Tony Bill (My Bodyguard) found his dream project. Bill has always been known as an actor’s director and definitely keeps his Flyboys in check. But where the film really soars pun intended is in the absolutely remarkable aerial sequences. The director is an expert pilot himself and his love of flying is clearly evident and the real guiding hand. He does an excellent job in capturing what it must have been like to be a WWI fighter pilot putting audiences right in the hot seat almost quite literally at times. There haven’t been many movies made about this particular subject obviously due to lack of technology to make it seem real. And it’s that commitment to realism which ultimately what keeps Flyboys flying higher than it should. If the story had been more compact and compelling this might have been a classic war movie. Instead Flyboys is a just good film based on true war stories with better pictures.
E-mails call for Rather's resignation
Station managers at several CBS affiliates told The Associated Press Thursday there is a national e-mail campaign building to oust Dan Rather as anchor of the CBS Evening News over his nebulous report on President Bush's military record on 60 Minutes. Bob Lee, president and general manager of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., and head of the CBS affiliate board, said many e-mailers offer the same message: I will not watch CBS News again until Rather is gone. "To be honest, I'm most concerned when the e-mail is coming from a local viewer," said Gary Gardner, vice president and general manager of WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Fla. Rather and CBS News have apologized for reporting on documents critical of Bush's service, now widely assumed as fakes, and appointed a panel to investigate what went wrong in the report.
O'Connor wants her privacy
Singer Sinead O'Connor took out a full-page ad in the Irish Examiner newspaper asking the media to leave her alone, Reuters reports. The singer, best known for her hit song "Nothing Compares to U," was responding to an article written earlier this week about her "latest wacky" campaign to rid the country of head lice. "I have been the whipping post of Ireland's media for 20 years," wrote O'Connor, who stirred controversy by ripping up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1990. "Please, I just want to be a little old lady now, and not be all controversial and not be bashed and called crazy and laughed at when I open my mouth to sing or speak."
Creditors after part of Brando's estate
Would-be creditors are lining up to make claims on the late Marlon Brando's estate, Reuters reports. Brando's estate attorney David Seeley said at least five or six potential creditors intend to file claims on the estate, equaling about $21.6 million worth of assets, including Tahitian-based Air Moorea, who flew guests to his private Tahitian island and Joan "Toni" Petrone, a longtime friend and personal assistant who lost a diamond ring down the actor's drain. Brando's will lists 10 surviving children, ages 46 to 10, and names all as beneficiaries except for his adopted daughter Petra Brando-Corval. It also provides monthly payments for two friends of Brando's, Reuters reports.
John stands by his comments to Taiwanese media
Elton John ended his whirlwind tour of Taiwan unapologetic about calling the local media "rude, vile pigs," Reuters reports. John targeted his ire at the reporters after they caught him unprepared at Taipei airport Thursday when he emerged from an elevator before passing immigration. Many countries do not allow media into restricted areas, but Taiwan reporters, notorious for aggressively chasing celebrities, can obtain special passes for the Taipei airport, Reuters reports. "The television and photographers at the airport were the rudest people that I've ever met and I've been to 60 countries," John, 57, told fans at a concert on Thursday. "They are a disgrace to your country. They shouldn't be allowed access to people just getting off planes like that."
The View's Hasselbeck pregnant
The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck is expecting her first child with her husband, Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, AP reports. The former Survivor: The Australian Outback contestant revealed the news Thursday during the ABC daytime chat segment "Hot Topics." "I'm nauseous," Hasselbeck said, "but I'm fine with that because it's all for a good cause." Hasselbeck said she is due sometime in March.
NBC gears up for Seinfeld special
They're baaaaak! Jerry Seinfeld is returning to NBC, along with TV pals Elaine, George and Kramer, for a special Thanksgiving Day retrospective on the smash hit "show about nothing," the network told Reuters Thursday. The planned Nov. 25 broadcast, highlighting the origins of Seinfeld and the early years of the mega-hit comedy, is timed for two days after the DVD release of the series.
Gates named the richest man in America
Big surprise. For the 11th consecutive year, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates took first place on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the United States. Others on the list include Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder; Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Inc and Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle Corp. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner dropped off the list this year. Forbes magazine will publish its annual list in its Oct. 11 issue.
Mankind survived for thousands of years without Survivor, ER, Whose Line Is It Anyway? and even Sesame Street.
Bearing this in mind, a growing faction says just turn the television off and exercise.
Monday marks the first day of National TV-Turnoff Week. The TV Turnoff Network, which has organized the week of doing more and watching less since 1995, estimates that six million kids and parents will turn off the boob tube and devote more time to their hobbies.
U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher has registered his support for National TV-Turnoff Week, noting that obesity in American children and adults are at their highest levels and that one in 15 school-age children is overweight, according to the surgeon general's Web site. A study by the A.C. Nielsen Co. (1998) says the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of TV each day (more than 52 days of nonstop TV-watching per year). By 65, the average American will have spent nearly nine years glued to the tube.
By 65, the average American will have watched more than two million commercials.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, National Education Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, YMCA, Girl Scouts and 55 other organizations say that turning off the television for one week is a great way to encourage healthier, active lifestyles, stronger families and communities and improved reading skills.
The TV Turnoff Network, formerly TV-Free America, is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to encouraging Americans to reduce their TV-watching, and to raise public awareness of the harmful effects of excessive television viewing. More than 18 million people have participated in National TV-Turnoff Week since the annual event began in 1995. Last year's campaign drew more than six million people.
The TV Turnoff Network folks say that too often TV viewing displaces creativity, productivity, healthy physical activity, civic engagement, reading, thinking and doing.
"Denying children TV is no more likely to encourage kids to enjoy reading, for instance, than denying them ice cream would encourage them to like Brussels sprouts," Robert Sachs, president of the National Cable Television Association, told The Associated Press.
TV Turnoff Week seems to have little impact on TV watching. TV networks have never noticed a falloff in viewers during past TV Turnoff weeks, said David Poltrack, chief researcher at CBS in a report filed on ABC News. During some of the weeks, viewership has actually been above average.
Here's just a sampling of what Americans would miss if they didn't watch TV at all this week:
Monday: Kiss My Act (8 p.m., ABC) - Camryn Mannheim plays a weighty Cyrano de Bergerac-like comedian, who helps a beautiful but dull comedian. WWF Raw is War (9 p.m., TNN) - Wrestling has taken over the hearts and minds of American sports enthusiasts.
Tuesday: InStyle: Celebrity Moms (8 p.m., NBC) - Cindy Crawford hosts this private peek at the lives of celebrity moms including Josie Bissett and Kelly Ripa. Dark Angel (9 p.m., FOX) - Dark, hip, new sci-fi series with Jessica Alba about a genetically enhanced woman who helps anyone and everyone she can.
Wednesday: Contact (8 p.m., CBS) - The Earth's first meeting with extra-terrestrials. Ralph Ellison's King of the Bingo Game (9:30 p.m., PBS) - A man with a pregnant, ailing wife seeks work in 1943 Harlem and finds Bingo a lucrative past time.
Thursday: Friends (8 p.m., NBC) - Rachel has a run in with an old sorority sister who holds a shared secret, while Monica and Chandler's wedding plans proceed. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (9 p.m., ABC) - Regis Philbin is always so nattily attired in this, the original primetime game show.
Friday: The Fifth Element (8 p.m., UPN) - A New York cabdriver gets involved in order to save Earth in the year 2259, in a beautifully constructed film. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (9 p.m., CBS) - TV Guide calls this "the best show you're not watching."