A former prosecutor who handled cases against Bruno Mars and Paris Hilton has been found dead at his home in Las Vegas. David Schubert's body was discovered on Wednesday (17Jul13). No further details about his death were available as WENN went to press.
The former deputy district attorney prosecuted Mars and Hilton for cocaine possession in separate incidents, but hit the headlines himself when he was sentenced to nine months behind bars on drugs and weapon charges last February (12).
The 49 year old struck a plea deal after authorities discovered $40 (£25) worth of crack cocaine and an unregistered firearm in his car in 2011. He was released from jail on parole in April (13).
Mars was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to felony cocaine possession in February (11), while socialite Hilton was handed probation after admitting charges of drug possession and obstructing an officer in 2010.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Clark County Deputy District Attorney David Schubert was detained by cops in Sin City on Saturday night (19Mar11) after a police officer allegedly spotted a drug deal taking place.
Schubert built a case against Hilton after she was found with cocaine in her handbag - she later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanour charges and was sentenced to probation.
He was also part of the team which struck a plea deal with singer Mars, who pleaded guilty to felony cocaine possession in February (11) and was ordered to complete community service.
Schubert was taken to Clark County Detention Center and booked on a possession of cocaine charge. He was later released.
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.
As the 300 guests at the Salon des Ambassadeurs dined on a Mediterranean fish plate with assorted mushrooms, Piper-Heidsieck champagne and a Palme d'Or strawberry delight, the 54th Cannes International Film Festival handed out its top honors Sunday.
Jodie Foster, who bowed out earlier this year as jury president, fulfilled her obligation as the closing ceremony's host. The awards were characterized as oddly conventional, with the 10-member jury sticking to more established filmmakers rather than the fresher talent from the 23 films in competition. In contrast, last year's jury came under fire for giving the top prize - the Palme d'Or - to Lars von Trier's controversial and divisive Dancer in the Dark.
The Italian film A Son's Room, about a family that is torn apart by the death of a child, took home the Palme d'Or, representing the first time that an Italian movie had taken the top honor since 1978. Its director and star, Nanni Moretti, raised both fists in the air in victory.
"I have often been told that this film represents a turning point in my career because it is a more adult, mature character. Maybe I'm not interested in caricatures any more," Moretti said in a news conference earlier this week, as reported by Reuters. Moretti has been nominated for the Palme d'Or four times and previously won the award for best director in 1994 for his comedy Dear Diary.
The other big winner of the evening was Austrian director Michael Haneke's film The Piano Teacher, a controversial tale about voyeurism and masochism. French actress Isabelle Huppert won the award for best actress for portraying a cold and sexually repressed woman who is titillated by one of her students, played by Benoit Magimel, who also won for best actor. The film won the Grand Prix award-runner up to the Palme d'Or.
"There are films that frighten you. You think they will take everything away from you, but they give you everything," Huppert said when she accepted her award. "I thank Bach, Schubert and Mozart."
It was not a stellar night for the Americans. The only big win for the United States was the shared award for best director by David Lynch and Joel Coen.
Lynch, whose 1990 film Wild at Heart won the Palme d'Or, picked up the director's award for his moody, noirish drama, Mulholland Drive, originally penned as a TV pilot a few years ago. Starring a cast of unknowns, the story centers on a woman who loses her memory after an accident on the famed winding road in Los Angeles, and finds help in the most unusual places. The concept was a tad too bizarre for television.
"At a certain point you realize you're in with the wrong people," Lynch told the The New Yorker. "Their thinking process is very foreign to me. They like a fast pace and a linear story, but you want your creations to come out of you and be distinctive. I feel it's possibly true that there are aliens on earth, and they work in television."
Coen is a Cannes darling who has won two previous director awards, one for the 1996 Fargo and the other for the 1991 Barton Fink, which also won the Palme d'Or. He scooped up his third director's award for his moody, noirish drama, The Man Who Wasn't There. Starring Oscar winners Frances McDormand and Billy Bob Thornton, this tale, shot in black and white, revolves around a hairdresser whose life is fairly mundane until he discovers his wife is having an affair, and he decides to blackmail the lover. Things appropriately go haywire, as they tend to do in a Coen film.
"Curiously, almost everyone in the movie wears a wig, or a hairpiece," Coen said. "So Thornton, who plays the principal character, is wearing one, James Gandolfini wears one, Tony Shalhoub wears one, Jon Polito wears one ... So the overall effect is that it really transforms the appearance of the actors. You almost don't recognise them."
The opening night extravaganza, Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, enjoyed major popular and critical success. As did the Dreamworks' animated film, Shrek, now destined to become an animated classic. Neither film was seriously in contention for the top honors.
If the Americans received little in the way of accolades, the Asian contingent at the festival fell flat on its face. Even though there were seven features alone in the Official Selection, only a technical award was bestowed on the Taiwanese sound engineer, Tu Duu-chih, for his work on the two Taiwanese entries, Millennium Mambo and What Time is it There?.
In fact, some festival attendees felt the best films were either made 22 years ago, the director's cut of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalyspe Now, or still in production, based on the 25-minute product reel for the upcoming Lord of the Rings.
Jury president Liv Ullmann hinted at some tough times during the selection process during her introductory speech at the ceremony, as reported by Variety. Noting that unanimity did not always prevail, her fellow jurors "fill[ed] me with anger." But she added, "we in the jury are still friends." It was reported that jury discussion sessions, which occurred daily, would last several hours, as each juror was required to elaborate on their interpretations of the films in competition.
Melanie Griffith won a lifetime achievement award, which took on a bittersweet quality when a few days before her father had died. In a tearful acceptance speech, she said, "It's hard not to see you out there the proud face of my father. Somehow, I know you're here, Dad, and I know your smile is big and, you old cowboy, I know you're up there saying, 'Why are you wearing that dress?'"
In the parallel Cannes awards, the French film Amour d'Enfance (Childhood Love) won the best film award for the Un Certain Regard sidebar and the Iranian film Zire Noure Mah (Under the Moonlight) won the Critics' Week Grand Prix. Sandrine Veysset's Martha … Martha won the Directors' Fortnight.
Cannes still remains a favorite of Jennifer Jason Leigh, at Cannes to promote her film, The Anniversary Party, in which she co-wrote, co-directed and costarred with Alan Cumming.
"It's the only time I think as actors today you get a sense of what it would have been like to have been a movie star back in the '30s and '40s, when the premieres were really big, and you walk up that red carpet or that blue carpet, and it's just incredible," she told The Associated Press.