A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.
Pitt hid marriage problems from family
Hollywood actor Brad Pitt's family is stunned he's separating from wife Jennifer Aniston--because he kept his marriage problems secret from his relatives. The Troy star's grandmother, Betty Russell, was surprised when she received a telephone call from Pitt's father giving her advance warning of the impending separation. Pitt's publicist Cindy Guagenti issued a statement on behalf of the couple on Friday in which it was announced they have officially separated after four and a half years of marriage. Russell, 82, says, "When I talked to Brad at Thanksgiving in November he was happy as a lark. He never gave any hint that something might be up. I was not aware of it until Wednesday when Brad's father called me. He said they were going to separate, have a trial separation. I was just advised not to be shocked when it happened. It was a surprise to us. Brad is a family man. I had no idea this was coming. Obviously I was very sad to hear it. I don't want my grandson or Jennifer to be hurt."
Pitt and Aniston's farewell flight
Former Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston shared a flight back to Los Angeles after announcing their four-year marriage was over. The Troy star and the Friends actress wife spent a week together on the Caribbean island of Anguilla before issuing a statement confirming the end of their union on Friday. But the love-split couple reunited for their return flight to Los Angeles the following day before going their separate ways. The 41-year-old hunk is now due to fly out to Japan to promote new movie Ocean's Twelve while 35-year-old Aniston is poised to start work on a new film. A friend says, "I don't think anyone really knows what their issues are but they're making the best of this. They're both committed to remaining friends. It's not the end of the world."
DeGeneres ex-lover seeks double revenge
The former girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres is considering legal action against both the comedienne and her new lover, Ally McBeal actress Portia De Rossi. Chat show host DeGeneres ended her four-year relationship with photographer-director Alexandra Hedisonast month and is now sharing her Hollywood mansion with de Rossi, who recently split up with Ringo Starr's step-daughter Francesca Gregorini. Hedison is now planning to take palimony action against DeGeneres, and is reportedly suing de Rossi for "alienation of affection"--a legal phrase dating back to when seducing a spouse was regarded as theft. However, Richard Barry from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers tells British newspaper The Sunday Times this could be difficult to prove: "She would have to prove the seduction took place in those states which still recognise the law, like on holiday in Hawaii. If she can do that, she could cause a lot of financial damage."
DiCaprio's uncle: 'My nephew hasn't left Gisele'
Leonardo DiCaprio's uncle has lashed out at reports The Aviator star has split from longterm love Gisele Bundchen. The 30-year-old hunk has been dating the Brazilian supermodel on and off since 2000, but both are reluctant to discuss their relationship with the press, despite frequent rumours they have separated. But Dietmar Scheuner has confirmed his nephew flew to Recklinghausen, Germany with Bundchen to spend time with the actor's German family over the Christmas period, and their affectionate behaviour proved media reports wrong. Scheuner says, "He's still very much in love. All members of the family could see how happy the both of them are still together. She's a very pleasant girl. We had all had a good time together."
Evangelista's new flame
Sexy model Linda Evangelista has been spotted in the arms of a new man--pasta heir Paolo Barilla. Barilla--who raced as a Formula One driver in the 1980s--romanced the catwalk beauty in the tranquil Cortina D'Ampezzo resort in northern Italy, reports PageSix.com. Evangelista has previously been linked to Canadian rocker Bryan Adams and oil magnate Ugo Peretti.
Sutherland blames hearing problems on action roles
24 star Kiefer Sutherland blames his hearing problems on the numerous action movies he's performed in over the years. The London-born actor's hearing has deteriorated over the years, and he believes his career may have something to do with it. He says, "I'm pretty much almost all deaf in one ear and half deaf in the other. I think a lot of it is, I've been (acting) for about 20 years and (with) the gunfire (in movies) I can't wear the ear plugs because many times you have to have dialogue after, so you have to hear the other actor. I think the gunfire over the years has just kind of hurt my ears a bit."
Richardson refuses to live in mother's shadow
Nip/TuckTV star Joely Richardson refuses to live in her legendary parents Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson's shadows--preferring to judge her acting career on its own merit. The British actress, 40, is proud of her Oscar-winning mother, Vanessa and late director father, Tony's respective body of work, but is not intimidated by their phenomenal success. She says, "I don't think, 'Well, what I do that will take me up to the level of my parents?' I have to block that off and say, 'You know what? Look at me and what I've done totally apart from my parents', and remind myself, 'Yeah, I'm actually doing all right."
Coolidge writes for herself
Actress Jennifer Coolidge has been forced to write her own comedy scripts, because she's found there are no film roles available for funny women. Coolidge, who appears in Matt LeBlanc's sitcom Joey, has found that while male comedians can score great movie roles, women aren't as fortunate. She says, "There are tons of these Adam Sandler/Jim Carrey movies. They don't have these vehicles for women. That's why my boyfriend and I are seriously writing."
Newman escapes fire
Hollywood actor Paul Newman has escaped serious injury after a sports car he was testing caught fire at Florida's Daytona Beach racetrack. The 79-year-old Oscar-winning star fled the vehicle after flames appeared from the engine compartment following his attempt to restart after spinning on a turn. Racing car enthusiast Newman says, "I don't know what happened. I'm fine. It just caught fire somehow." Organisers The Grand American Road Racing Association comment, "Newman made his way out of the car, was taken to the track's infield medical centre for precautionary measures and was released."
Robert plans pregnancy movie
New Hollywood mum Julia Roberts enjoyed pregnancy so much, she's planning a new movie about impending motherhood. The actress, who gave birth to twins Phinnaeus Walter and Hazel Patricia last November, is attempting to obtain film rights to best-selling British author Tony Parson's new novel The Family Way. The novelist's spokesperson tells PageSix.com. "Things are at an advanced stage. No contracts have been signed as yet, but we are currently in talks with Revolution Studios, with whom Julia has a deal."
Stephen King buys haunted house
Horror writer Stephen King has bought a haunted mansion next door to his home in Bangor, Maine. The Carrie author and his wife Tabitha paid $720,000 for the spooky three-storey Victorian building--known as the 'Charles P House'. But King, whose books have frightened millions of readers around the world, is not scared. A neighbor of the author says, "Stephen's not worried about a ghost. He thinks it adds character."
Grant's 'secret gay marriage'
Hollywood legend Cary Grant's shocking new biography alleges the late actor shared a secret "gay marriage" with American movie hunk Randolph Scott. Marc Eliot's book Cary Grant: Grant's Secret Sixth Marriage goes a long way to blow away the Nort by NorthwestT icon's image as a heterosexual lothario, although chronologically it would have been his first marriage. Eliot claims Grant embarked on a homosexual relationship with the rugged actor, who was known as Randy, after they met on the set of 1932 movie Hot Saturday, and their mutual physical attraction was immediate and strong. The actors lived together for the next 12 years, but separated when Randy became jealous of Grant's blooming romance with actress Virginia Cherrill.
Articles Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Sarah Kozer, one of the three women finalists on Fox's reality series Joe Millionaire, has starred in about a dozen bondage and fetish films under the stage name "Cindy Schubert," the Web site The Smoking Gun reported Wednesday. Often bound and gagged--but usually clothed--Kozer appeared in films such as Hogtied and Helpless Heroine. The pictures on the Web site depict Kozer dressed as a cheerleader or a nurse, and in some instances she is seen tying up men. A spokesman for Fox, which describes her occupation as "sales and design" on the show's Web site, told Reuters they do not comment on the personal lives of our reality show contestants. The show, a surprise hit for the network, has 20 women competing for the affections of a man they believe to be worth $50 million.
Sadie Frost, the wife of actor Jude Law, is suffering from severe postnatal depression and was admitted to Cromwell Hospital in London over the weekend, The Associated Press reports. "This depression can be a serious thing and it has left Sadie feeling very sad and run down and she is just trying to get a handle on it," Law said in a statement. "She has had so much on her plate recently and realizes she needs help and to catch her breath." The couple's third child, Rudy, was born prematurely in September.
Actor Colin Farrell's latest role appears to be playing boyfriend to pop princess Britney Spears. According to People.com, Farrell and Spears have been gallivanting around Tinseltown and were seen hand-in-hand at the Hollywood premiere of The Recruit Tuesday. Farrell, however, told TV's Entertainment Tonight that the two were just friends. "Seriously, we just met a week ago, (we're) having a laugh." The pair met when Spears visited the set of Farrell's movie S.W.A.T..
Russell Crowe has reluctantly backed out of this year's Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony, People.com reports. Traditionally, last year's winners act as this year's presenters, but Crowe said he needs to help his girlfriend, Danielle Spencer, with their upcoming nuptials. Last year Crowe, who won best actor for his performance in A Beautiful Mind, manhandled a producer who edited his acceptance speech for TV."I am flattered to hear of the invitation to attend BAFTA through the press," Crowe told Australia's Associated Press. "Unfortunately I have a prior engagement, so to speak."
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer gave birth to her first child, a boy, on Thursday after being admitted to hospital for a Caesarian section, her spokeswoman told Reuters. Schiffer, 32, was admitted to the exclusive Portland Hospital in central London for a planned delivery with her husband, British film producer Matthew Vaughn, at her side. "Claudia crushed one of her feet in an accident in November and has been on crutches ever since so doctors advised her against a natural delivery," her spokeswoman said.
Frances McDormand, who won on Oscar for her role in Fargo, is set to join Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves in an untitled Columbia Pictures comedy written and directed by Nancy Meyers (What Women Want). According to Variety, McDormand will play the sister of Keaton, who takes up with the mature boyfriend (Nicholson) of her daughter after he has a heart attack and convalesces at her Hampton house. McDormand's character helps her choose between Nicholson's character and a young dashing doctor, played by Reeves.
TV veteran Ken Kwapis is set to direct the coming-of-age feature The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for Warner Bros., Variety reports. The project, based on Ann Brashares' best-selling novel, revolves around four best friends who share a magical pair of jeans that unites them when for the first time they are forced to separate. Production is expected to start early this summer, though cast and locations have not yet been chosen.
TV producer David E. Kelley is furious at ABC for moving his hit legal drama The Practice to Monday nights. "They've killed it in one fell swoop," Kelley told Variety. "I would hope (ABC) would act in their own self-interest and put it back where it was doing well." The Practice consistently ranked No. 1 in its Sunday night time slot, but finished fourth in its first airing Monday opposite Joe Millionaire on Fox, NBC's drama Third Watch and the CBS comedies Everybody Loves Raymond and Still Standing.
Friends star Courteney Cox will create and executive produce a new home improvement program set to debut this fall on the cable channel WE: Women's Entertainment. Mix It Up is described by the network as "an unscripted, Trading Spaces-like show" that will track people with diverse tastes who move in together, People.com reports. Production of the first 13 episodes is due to start in the spring or summer.
Earvin 'Magic' Johnson will co-executive produce and appear in a new reality series pitting the country's best "street" basketball players against each other. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Who's Got Game will yield 12 athletes who will compete once production begins this spring in New York. The winner will receive $100,000 in cash and have his hometown court revamped and named after him. The focus of the series, which will premiere on MTV, will alternate between the elimination tournament and off-court looks into their personal lives.
The Producers Guild of America will give out awards tonight, with the teams behind A Beautiful Mind, Moulin Rouge and Shrek among those in contention for its top honor. The producers of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring are also in the running for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award.
The honor is similar to the motion picture academy's best picture prize, and the winner is considered a near shoo-in for Oscar gold. The 1,500-member Producers Guild has correctly predicted the best picture Oscar winner 10 out
of the last 13 years.
A Beautiful Mind, Lord of the Rings and Moulin Rouge are
nominated for both the PGA award and best picture Oscar. But the guild opted for box office hits Shrek and Harry Potter for its other two slots,
while the Academy chose the indie critic faves In the Bedroom and Gosford Park.
The Producers Guild will also hand out awards in three television categories, with such shows as The West Wing and The Sopranos among those in the running.
The teams behind CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The West Wing are nominated for the Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in episodic television-drama.
Contenders for the Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in episodic television-comedy are Frasier, Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Sex and the City and Will & Grace.
The nominated producers of Frasier include the late David Angell, who was aboard one of the hijacked planes that crashed on Sept. 11.
Among the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in longform television nominees are some well-known names--Billy Crystal for HBO's 61*, and Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for HBO's Band of Brothers.
Husband-and-wife actors Bradley Whitford of The West Wing and Jane Kaczmarek of Malcolm in the Middle will host the guild's 13th annual ceremony at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa.
Formed in 1950, the Producers Guild has about 500 active members and 1,000 affiliated members.
Here is the full list of nominees:
Darryl F. Zanuck Theatrical Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award in Motion Pictures
A Beautiful Mind, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, David Heyman
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Moulin Rouge, Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron
Shrek, Aron Warner, John H. William and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Norman Felton Producer of the Year in Episodic Television-Drama
CSI Crime Scene Investigation, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ann M. Donahue, Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony Zuiker, Jonathan Littman, Sam Strangis, Danny
Cannon, Cynthia Chvatal and William Petersen
Law & Order, Dick Wolf, Barry Schindel, Jeffrey L. Hayes, Lewis H. Gould and Kati Johnston
Six Feet Under, Alan Ball, Robert Greenblatt, David Janollari and Alan Poul
The Sopranos, David Chase, Brad Grey, Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green, Ilene S. Landress and Terence Winter
The West Wing, John Wells, Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, Llewellyn Wells, Christopher Misiano, Alex Graves and Michael Hissrich
Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television-Comedy
Frasier, David Angell, Peter Casey, Kelsey Grammer, David Lee, Dan O'Shannon, Mark Reisman and Maggie Blanc
Friends, Kevin S Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane, Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Scott Silveri, Andrew Reich, Ted Cohen and Todd Stevens
Malcolm in the Middle, Linwood Boomer and James S. Simons
Sex and the City, Michael Patrick King, Cindy Chupack, John P. Melfi and Sarah Jessica Parker
Will & Grace, James Burrows, Jeff Greenstein, Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and Tim Kaiser
David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Longform Television
61*, Billy Crystal and Ross Greenburg
Anne Frank, Hans Proppe and David R. Kappes
Band of Brothers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Tony To
Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Robert Allan Ackerman and Lorna Luft
Wit, Cary Brokaw
The mood was somber and celebrity little more than a means to an end when tonight's telethon, America: A Tribute to Heroes, was shown on every major network and most of the major cable channels. There was no audience applauding; there was no audience, period, except those at home. There were no introductions; that wasn't the point, as celebrity speakers made clear throughout the night by telling the stories of the many heroes who lost their lives and saved the lives of others.
To commemorate Sept. 11, a day that could easily be thought of as "the day the music died," talented and famous faces came together for an evening of songs, stories, and yes, the occasional call for contributions.
The speeches tonight came in all varieties, all impassioned, some tearful, others awkward. A clearly nervous Jim Carrey spoke of Winston Churchill, then told the story of heroes who saved a woman by carrying her down 68 flights of stairs. George Clooney spoke of John Perry, a New York City policeman who'd filed his retirement papers the morning of Sept. 11, but heard of the tragedy and went to help. He never came back, Clooney said.
Cameron Diaz told stories of teachers who saved children at schools near the World Trade Center. Robin Williams talked of a hero who'd saved lives in the 1993 bombing and again this time, only last Tuesday he didn't make it out himself. Jimmy Smits spoke of police heroes, "cops who are willing to sacrifice their lives in an instant, for people they do not know." Julia Roberts spoke tearfully of heroes at the Pentagon, and the flying of the flag and the applause that greeted it.
Kelsey Grammer, who lost a co-worker aboard one of the flights that crashed, quoted words of strength from John F. Kennedy. Clint Eastwood talked gruffly of a day that would live in infamy.
Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Calista Flockhart, Conan O'Brien, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ray Romano, Jane Kaczmarek, Sela Ward, Chris Rock and Dennis Franz also spoke.
With some of the biggest names in music on the bill, America: A Tribute to Heroes was bound to be good. Bruce Springsteen opened with a candlelit acoustic performance of "My City of Ruins." Willie Nelson closed the two-hour event with "God Bless America," backed by an all-star cast of celebs who had been manning the phones all night. Does it get any better than that? Cut the album; give the proceeds to charity. We're there.
Of course, there were those who pointed out the reason for the event in their songs. Stevie Wonder, who followed The Boss, sang, "Love's in Need of Love Today," with the rather pointed line, "Don't delay, send yours in right away." Wyclef Jean's version of "Redemption Song" was peppered with cries of "Brooklyn" and "New York City" and "we've got to full-fill that book," which he sang while pointing to the phone bank.
The much-maligned Mariah Carey sang the only song she could under the circumstances, "Hero," of which she said, "When I wrote this song," she said, "it had a lot of meaning for me, and tonight it has even more meaning." Well said.
U2 appeared from London. Billy Joel tossed off a powerful rendition of "New York State of Mind" with a firefighter's helmet perched atop the piano. Faith Hill, Enrique Iglasias, Alicia Keys, a bearded and shaggy Tom Petty (with requisite Heartbreakers), a cowboy-hatted Neil Young performed as well. The Dixie Chicks were spot on, and Dave Matthews did an impressive solo acoustic tune.
Jon Bon Jovi did "Living on a Prayer"; Sting dedicated his performance of "Fragile" to a friend who died in the attacks. Sheryl Crow performed, and Paul Simon sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, James Woods, Meg Ryan, Cuba Gooding Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ben Stiller, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito, Halle Berry, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Benicio Del Toro, Cindy Crawford, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Brad Pitt, Sally Field and other famous faces were seen answering phones at the telethon bank or singing backing vocals on the finale of "God Bless America."
The stars also took the time to make a point about the evils of racism and hate. Several Arab children spoke of the tragedy and its affect on their lives, then Will Smith appeared on stage, with Muhammad Ali, whom he'll be portraying in the forthcoming Ali.
"It was hate, not religion that motivated the attacks," Smith said.
Then Ali spoke. "I'm here because of the troublin' thing that happened the other day. I'm a Muslim, and I've been a Muslim for 20 years…. I think people should know the real truth about Islam. You know me, I'm a boxer…and a man of truth, and I wouldn't be here defending Islam if it was really like the terrorists made it look…. Islam is peace."
Later in the show, Lucy Liu said "America's greatest enemy is hatred itself."
The telethon was Hollywood's effort to generate contributions for the September 11th Telethon Fund, which is administered by the United Way and guaranteed to be distributed 100% to the victims of the terrorist attacks on America last week and their families.