Monthly Archives: March 2009

Life’s enormous photo archive has just launched — 7 million online photos and counting. Click HERE to check it out.



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Create Dunkin’s Next Donut Contest

Time to make the donuts and possibly win $12,000 and have you donut creation sold at Dunkin Donuts.  Enter HERE.



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Star Trek Sequel A Go

As Paramount Pictures readies the May 8 release of its “Star Trek” franchise relaunch, the studio is moving forward with a sequel, and has hired Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof to pen the screenplay, reports the trades

According the trades, J.J. Abrams, who directed and produced the latest chapter, is onboard to produce the follow-up alongside his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk. No decision has been made yet on whether Abrams will return behind the camera for the sequel.

Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof also are receiving producing credit on the sequel.

Story is still in the embryonic stage, but the trio are aiming to deliver their script to the Melrose studio by Christmas for what would likely be a summer 2011 release.

“There’s obviously a lot of hubris involved in signing on to write a sequel of a movie that hasn’t even come out yet,” said Lindelof, co-creator with Abrams of ABC’s “Lost” who produced the upcoming “Trek” but did not contribute to Orci and Kurtzman’s screenplay. “But we’re so excited about the first one that we wanted to proceed.”

As for potential storylines, Kurtzman stressed that the writing team will wait to take a cue from fan reaction about which direction to go.

“Obviously we discussed ideas, but we are waiting to see how audiences respond next month,” he said. “With a franchise rebirth, the first movie has to be about origin. But with a second, you have the opportunity to explore incredibly exciting things. We’ll be ambitious about what we’ll do.”

Though Orci and Kurtzman have worked together as a writing team for more than 12 years, the duo has worked with Lindelof on only one screenplay: DreamWorks’ “Cowboys and Aliens,” which they are currently writing together.

Paramount has high hopes for the “Star Trek” relaunch, and is pulling out all the stops on the marketing front. Studio began a full-scale campaign six months before the film’s May bow.




Disney Set to Debut Special Limited Engagement, Double Feature, of Disney-Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Toy Story 2’ Exclusively in Digital 3D On October 2nd

Moviegoers are in for twice the fun and triple the thrills as The Walt Disney Studios prepares to debut the Disney Digital 3D versions of Disney-Pixar’s beloved animated features – “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” – during a special limited engagement starting on October 2, 2009, it was announced today by Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group.

This extraordinary double feature, taking the latest advances in digital 3D technology “to infinity and beyond,” will play exclusively in 3D. “Toy Story,” the industry’s first ever computer-animated feature and the first feature released by Pixar Animation Studios in 1995, and “Toy Story 2,” the critically acclaimed sequel that debuted in 1999, were both directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker John Lasseter. Both films have been meticulously re-rendered in 3D from the original digital files using the latest state-of-the-art technology.

Commenting on the announcement, Zoradi said, “This fantastic double feature will let moviegoers see two of their all-time favorite films from Pixar Animation Studios in a way that they’ve never seen them before, and all for the price of one movie ticket. John Lasseter and the animation team have truly created a spectacular 3D experience with Buzz, Woody, and all the toy characters in a whole new eye-popping dimension. We’re also excited that audiences will soon see a whole new chapter when Toy Story 3 in 3D, directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of Toy Story 2) comes to theaters on June 18, 2010.”

Lasseter added, “The ‘Toy Story’ films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we’re so excited to be bringing these first two films back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way thanks to the latest in 3D technology. Disney Digital 3D offers lots of great new possibilities for the art of animation and we will continue to use this new technology to push the boundaries in telling our stories. With ‘Toy Story 3’ shaping up to be another great adventure for Buzz, Woody and the gang from Andy’s room, we thought this would be the perfect way to let audiences experience the first two films all over again. To see the movies back to back will be an amazing treat as well. This is certainly nostalgic for me and reminiscent of my youth when double features were the norm.”

Originally released by Walt Disney Pictures in 1995, “Toy Story” went on to receive Oscar nominations for Original Screenplay, Original Score, and Original Song earning Lasseter a Special Achievement Award “for his inspired leadership of the Pixar ‘Toy Story’ Team, resulting in the first feature-length computer-animated film.” ‘Toy Story 2’ was released in 1999, and reunited voice talents Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, in their roles as Woody and Buzz. The film became one of the most popular animated features of all time, and received an Academy Award nomination for Original Song.


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American Idol Theme March 31, 2009

The American Idol contestants will have to choose from the top 100 iTunes Downloads! So for tonight’s show, we should get some more interesting and updated songs!



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Welcome Eliana Jordan Fire

Today I became the proud father of a beautiful baby girl. We named her Eliana Jordan Fire and she weighs 6 pounds and is 18 inches tall. My wife and I are truly blessed and we couldn’t be happier. Words cannot describe the gratification, joy, astonishment and love that I felt when I held her for the first time and looked into her eyes.  On the roller coaster of life, today was truly a high point!



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Bedtime Stories DVD

It will be raining gumballs for lucky Blu-ray player owners when they become the first to own the heartwarming fractured fairy tale Bedtime Stories in a Limited Time 3-Disc Combo Pack on Sunday, April 5, 2009 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment— two full days before its DVD debut. The 3-Disc Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray Disc, a bonus standard definition disc, plus a special DisneyFile Digital Copy that enables viewers to enjoy the film on an array of mobile devices in their choice of iTunes or Windows Media formats. Also available exclusively on the 3-Disc Combo Pack: BD-Live including Movie Chat, Movie Mail, Movie Challenge and Movie Rewards. A perfect family gift for Easter or anytime, the 3-Disc Deluxe Edition is available for a limited time only. The single-disc DVD and 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD of Bedtime Stories will be available starting Tuesday, April 7, 2009.
Brimming with humor and imagination, Bedtime Stories is an uplifting comic fable. As a handyman at the hotel his father used to own, Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) spends his days changing light bulbs and competing with the hotel’s smarmy manager (Guy Pearce) for the attention of the new owner’s beautiful, hard-partying daughter, Violet (Theresa Palmer). When his sister Wendy (Courteney Cox) asks Skeeter to babysit her kids for a week while she’s out of town, Skeeter entertains his niece and nephew with elaborate, original bedtime stories that transport them to exotic locales, including ancient Greece, the Wild West and outer space. When he tries to help his family by telling one outlandish tale after another, it’s the kids’ unexpected contributions that turn all of their lives upside down. Full of imaginative special effects and good-natured hilarity, Bedtime Stories is a winning combination of comedy and adventure.  
Both the 3-Disc Combo Pack and 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD of Bedtime Stories include these
exciting bonus features plus DisneyFile Digital Copy:  
• Until Gravity Do Us Part – A behind-the-scenes look at the film’s mindboggling special effects  
• It’s Bugsy – A close up look at the breakout star of Bedtimes Stories, Bugsy the big-eyed
guinea pig  
• To All The Little People
• Hilarious Bloopers and Deleted Scenes

The 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD set also comes with the featurette “Dylan & Cole Sprouse: Blu-ray is
Bedtime Stories has a suggested retail price of $39.99 (U.S.) for the 3-Disc Combo Pack. The 2-Disc Deluxe Edition is priced at $32.99 (U.S.); the 1-Disc DVD is $29.99 (U.S.)



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99 Seinfeld References

Gallery1988 is an art gallery in Los Angeles that does a lot of pop culture shows; they’re celebrating their fifth anniversary with a show of TV inspired art called Idiot Box (the show opens April 2nd and Mr. Belding himself will be there); one of the pieces that will be on display (and for sale) is Kiersten Essenpreis99 Seinfeld References. There’s no info about the piece’s availability as a print, but I hope Essenpreis decides to sell it! You can click on the images to view larger versions.




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Stephen King’s Favorite Literary Villains

Early this month, a friend sent me a blog post from in which the author, David Finniss, listed ”the top 10 greatest Stephen King villains.” I was a little disappointed to see that his pick for numero uno was Pennywise, the psychotic (and supernatural) clown from It. My personal pick for No. 1 — Annie Wilkes, R.N. — was Finniss’ No. 4. But his piece got me thinking about all the great villains I’ve encountered in fiction, the guys (and gals) I’ve absolutely loved to hate.

Then — there are no coincidences in life, but there is such a thing as fate — EW decided to do its own lists of heroes and villains. Given such a perfect fit, I started making my own list of fictional book baddies, and it was soon two pages long. Below are my picks for the 10 worst, culled from a list of nearly 70. I’m sure I missed some obvious choices, and I’m sure that when you let me know (as you always do, Constant Reader), I’ll slap my forehead and groan, ”Of course!” Because this is a case of so many bad guys (and gals) and so little space.

10. Max Cady Don’t recognize the name? Would it help if I said Cape Fear? Cady is the crazed-for-revenge psychopath who stalks the Bowden family in John D. MacDonald’s The Executioners (1957). Played on the silver screen by Robert Mitchum in 1962 and Robert De Niro in 1991, but never more scary than in MacDonald’s tightly wrapped novel.

9. Anton Chigurh Cormac McCarthy’s scariest creation. Mostly, I think, because of Chigurh’s weapon of choice, an air-driven cattle gun that shoots a retracting pneumatic bolt.

8. Popeye Not the cartoon sailor but the small-town criminal in William Faulkner’s Sanctuary. He commits the most infamous rape in modern fiction. It’s so gruesome that I can’t describe it in a family magazine.

7. Big Brother He’s watching you from every telescreen in George Orwell’s more-relevant-than-ever novel of a nightmare dictatorship where war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and one man struggles for a better, saner life. (Good luck on that.)

6. Harry Powell The preacher who hounds two children through the pages of Davis Grubb’s Night of the Hunter. Has LOVE tattooed on the fingers of one hand and HATE on the fingers of the other. In the film version, Robert Mitchum gave him the face that caused a thousand nightmares.

5. Rhoda Penmark What a sweet little 8-year-old kid! Too bad she’s a cold-blooded murderer. Patty McCormack gave her all as Rhoda in the film version of The Bad Seed, but during the mid-’50s Hollywood was in Full Prude Mode, and the movie is oddly lifeless. For true malevolence, you have to go to William March’s novel.

4. Voldemort Good God, he tried to kill Harry Potter and all his friends! Do I have to say more?

3. Sauron Probably the prototype for Voldemort, but even scarier. And with bigger ambitions. Bloated with the power (and the evil) of the Great Ring, the villain of Tolkien’s trilogy wants to destroy everything. Great Evil Minions, too. (And a side note: In a battle between Darth Vader and Sauron, can you doubt that Vader would be screaming for mercy after, oh, I’m gonna say 30 seconds?)

2. Pazuzu The demon who possesses Regan in William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, The Exorcist. Linda Blair’s portrayal of the haunted little girl was frightening, but the demon who lives in the pages is far scarier.

1. Count Dracula Bram Stoker’s courtly, sinister creation is still literature’s greatest villain, and although he’s been portrayed on the screen by a dozen actors — Christopher Lee is surely the best of them — none can equal the one in the book. And Stoker’s most amazing achievement? After the first 100 pages, the sanguinary count mostly lurks off stage. It’s a lesson for all of us: Villains are scarier in the shadows.

Not satisfied? Here are a few that didn’t make the top 10:

Tom Ripley (from the novels of Patricia Highsmith), Frederick Clegg (who tires of mounting butterflies and kidnaps a girl in John Fowles’ The Collector), Cora Papadakis (the amoral sexpot in The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James M. Cain), Drake Merwin (the psycho teenager in Michael Grant’s extraordinary YA novel Gone), Jaws (from the Peter Benchley novel), Norman Bates (from Psycho, by Robert Bloch), Miss Havisham (from Dickens’ Great Expectations)…and, of course, Thomas Harris’ signature creation, Hannibal Lecter.

Others? Dozens. For instance, there was this dog named Cujo… (Reprinted from Entertainment Weekly)



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