Celebrity publicist Max Clifford used his closeness to some of the world's biggest stars to "bully" teenage girls into performing sex acts on him, a London court has heard. Clifford, whose most famous clients have included Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali, and Simon Cowell, is accused of assaulting seven young females aged between 14 and 19.
It is alleged he seduced them by bragging of his closeness to celebrities before committing sex attacks on them during a string of incidents dating back to the mid-1960s.
One woman claims she was 14 years old when Clifford, then aged in his 20s, groped her in his car after telling her, "If you want to see the stars, this is what you have got to do."
The jury at London's Southwark Crown Court was told another alleged victim, who claims she was abused by Clifford at the age of 15 after meeting him during a trip to Spain, wrote him a letter 35 years after the attack, in which she stated, "You took pleasure in degrading me... You abused me, you hurt me, upset me, and you are a vile and horrible man."
It was also alleged Clifford flattered young women by claiming he could land them roles in a Bond movie or on U.S. TV, and would later phone them pretending to be Hollywood moguls such as producer Aaron Spelling or director Michael Winner.
Prosecutor Rosina Cottage, QC, told the jury Clifford treated his company offices as his "own sexual fiefdom" and said, "The defendant used his contact with famous people to bully and manipulate these young people into sexual acts with him... As the years went by, he got away with his behaviour, he must have thought he was untouchable and no doubt thought no one would complain and, if they did, they would not be believed...
"This evidence shows that the defendant would not care about age and the propriety of his behaviour. He had no fear of using the names of famous directors and producers who he may never even have met, let alone have any business dealings with."
Clifford, of Surrey, England, denies 11 charges of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984.
The trial continues.
"If I'm out for a walk down the high street I'll wear a baseball cap and will tend to move pretty quickly... That way by the time someone might think, 'Blimey, it's that Michael Caine!' I'm usually about 20 yards away and off in the opposite direction." Hollywood star Michael Caine explains how he manages to avoid local residents in his hometown of Surrey, England.
Much like its Greek mythological source material Wrath of the Titans is light on dramatic characterization sticking to blunt moral lessons and fantastical battles to tell its epic tale. That's perfectly acceptable for its 100 minute run time in which director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) unleashes an eclectic hoard of monsters upon his gruff demigod hero Perseus. The creature design is jagged gnarly and exaggerated not unlike a twelve-year-old's sugar high-induced crayon creations — which is perfect as Wrath is tailor made to entertain and enamor that slice of the population.
Clash of the Titans star Sam Worthington once again slips on the sandals to take on a not-quite-based-on-a-myth adventure a mission that pits Perseus against the greatest force in the universe: Kronos formally-incarcerated father of the Gods. A few years after his last adventure Perseus is grieving for his deceased wife and caring for their lone son but a visit from Zeus (Liam Neeson) alerts the warrior to a task even more urgent than his current seabass fishing gig. Irked that the whole Kraken thing didn't work out Hades (Ralph Fiennes) with the help of Zeus' disaffected son Ares (Edgar Ramirez) is preparing to unleash Kronos — and only Perseus has the required machismo to stop him. But Perseus enjoys the simple life and brushes off Zeus forcing the head deity to take matters into his own hands…just as Hades and Ares planned. The diabolical duo capture Zeus and having no one else to turn to Perseus proceeds into battle.
The actual reasoning for all the goings on in Wrath of the Titans tend to drift into the mystical realm of convolution but the ensemble and Liebesman's visual visceral directing techniques keep the messy script speeding along. As soon as one starts wondering why Perseus would ever need to hook up with battle-ready Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) or Poseiden's navigator son Agenor (Toby Kebbell) Liebesman and writers Dan Mazeu and David Johnson throw in another bombastic set piece another three-headed four-armed 10 000-fanged monstrosity on screen. Perseus' journey pits him against a fire-breathing Chimera a set of Cyclopses a shifting labyrinth (complete with Minotaur) and all the dangers that come with Hell itself. The sequences have all the suspense of an action figure sandbox brawl but on a towering IMAX screen they're geeky fun. If only the filler material was a bit more logical and interesting the final product would be the slightest bit memorable.
Liebesman reaps the best performances he possibly can from Wrath's silly formula Worthington again proves himself a charismatic underrated leading man. As the main trio of Gods Neeson Fiennes and Ramirez completely acknowledge how goofy shooting lightning bolts out of their hands must look on screen but they own it with campy fun tones. But the film's overwhelming CG spectacle suffocates the glimmer of great acting opting for slice-and-dice battle scenes over ridiculous (and fun) epic speak nonsense. If a movie has Liam Neeson as the top God it shouldn't chain him up in molten lava shackles for a majority of the time.
Wrath of the Titans is a non-offensive superhero movie treatment of classic heroes that feels more like an exercise in 3D monster modeling than filmmaking. Its 3D makeover never helps the creatures or Perseus pop turning Wrath into an even muddier affair than the single-planed alternative (although unlike Clash of the Titans you won't have 3D shaky-cam blur burned directly into your retinas). The movie reaches for that child sense of wonderment but instead cranks out a picture that may not even hold a child's attention.
The Death Wish director will marry for the first time at the age of 75 when he exchanges vows with girlfriend Geraldine Lynton-Edwards at Chelsea Old Town Hall in London.
Winner wants to keep the ceremony a low-key affair and has opted to cut the exchange of vows to just four minutes and have his friend Sir Michael Caine and his wife Shakira as the sole witnesses to the nuptials.
The director will also dress down for the occasion, in a pair of tartan pyjamas.
He tells Britain's The Independent, "It's still on, 1.30pm at the Chelsea Registry Office. I shall be wearing pyjama bottoms. They are handmade pyjama bottoms by Turnbull & Asser and they are very comfortable. They do actually look like nice tartan trousers.
"It's true that not many people get married in pyjama bottoms but then not many wait 50 years to get married. As Michael (Caine) told me, the important thing at our age is to wear whatever feels comfortable.
"There won't be dancing or speeches. We've chosen the shortest possible wedding version. I think we can cut it down to four minutes. Michael (Caine) wants to get home to Surrey. I want it to pass charmingly and sweetly.
"I don't have any nerves. I don't want my life to change in the slightest. I've known her for so many years. I'm a Scorpio and we hate change. I'm a recluse but Geraldine's more adventurous."
But Winner did hold a star-studded pre-wedding luncheon on Sunday (18Sep11) in celebration of the impending nuptials, inviting "the people that really matter in my life - David Frost, Lord Lloyd-Webber, the photographer Terry O'Neill and the singer Chris Rea".
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
The veteran actress was left devastated in 2001 when her partner of 30 years, Michael Williams, passed away following a battle with lung cancer.
Dench was pictured dancing with conservationist David Mills at a party last month (Apr11), sparking gossip of a budding relationship, and the Bond star fuelled rumours of a romance last weekend (21-22May11) when they were spotted dining together near her Surrey, England home.
The actress was also photographed walking arm-in-arm with Mills during a countryside walk, according to Britain's Daily Mail.
A crewmember working on the new Batman movie died in a "tragic" accident and not during filming, studio bosses have confirmed.
The unnamed special-effects expert was following the Batmobile on a racetrack in Surrey, England, when the car he was in crashed into a tree.
It had been reported the victim was trying to figure out how to film a car chase scene for The Dark Knight on Tuesday.
But a spokesman for Warner Bros. Pictures insists the accident did not take place on the film set and actors Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger were not involved.
A statement reads, "There was a fatal accident at a special-effects facility for The Dark Knight on the afternoon of Sept. 24. A technician on the film died when the truck he was in struck a tree following a test run.
"Warner Bros. Pictures and the entire cast and crew of The Dark Knight are deeply saddened by this tragedy and their hearts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased."
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
A crewmember on the new Batman movie has been killed in an on-set accident.
The special-effects expert was following the Batmobile on a racetrack in Surrey, England, when the car he was in crashed into a tree.
It is believed the dead man was trying to figure out how to film a car chase scene.
The unnamed victim, a married father of two, died at the scene of the crash.
Police and health and safety experts are investigating the incident.
None of the film's cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger saw the accident. Batman: The Dark Knight is to be released next year.
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.