Zennie62 on YouTube

Santa Baby 99ers Christmas Unemployment Song

Presenting the Santa Baby 99ers Christmas Unemployment Song, or The Santa Baby 99ers Song, on Christmas Eve.

Donalee King (in photo from Zennie62.com), who goes by Paladinette, at Zennie62.com, created this variation of the classic Christmas Song Santa Baby.

King, a blogger who also has her own blog called Jobless Unite,  is one of the so-called "99ers," those who's unemployment benefits have ran out after the 99-week limit, and seek an extension of benefits, or better yet, a job.

In seeking both, the San Diego resident has become a tireless advocate for the jobless. Her work on this song landed her notice by the LA Times.

The video is below, followed by the lyrics, which are graphic but worth reading and singing...if you dare!

(In fact, if you're in Oakland, California, print out the lyrics, take them down to The Alley at 3325 Grand Avenue, present them to Rod Dibble at the piano, and ask he would accompany you in song. Santa Baby is a song he knows how to play.)




Lyrics to video song Santa Baby - 99ers Style 2010

Congress Baby, the 99ers need a tier 5......to survive
I know you’re HEARTLESS P@#*s But....so what?
My children need some dinner tonight!

The car got repo’d and the rent is awfully late...but wait
You only care for the rich that’s a B*@#H
there’s millions of us dying out here

We can’t afford a Christmas tree
While you’re all buying Cartier at Tiffany
You bailed out banks Greece and Haiti too
I think it’s time the 99ers heard from you

Obama baby, just help the 99ers please
and... don’t tease
Been a really tough year
Out here
I Hope Your change is comin’ tonight

Obama honey, you sold 99ers flat out
no doubt
and now it’s snowing out,
My stomach’s growling
I need some food and shelter tonight

Sherrod honey, Schumer and that Stabenow too
Were through we all trusted you
but senate baby your lies have left us hurtn’ out here

We’re not rich - guess we don’t count
The dirty little secret you won’t talk about
There’ll be no jobs again next Year
It’s time you kicked your senate’s butts into high gear

Congress baby just pretend to care for us poor
once more - come on it’s just a check - so what the heck?
there’s millions of us dying out here!

That’s right I’d rather work than fight
Hurry Congress there’s 99ers dying TONIGHT

Merry Christmas!

Facebook status promotes breast cancer awareness By Nikky Raney

Courtesy of NY Daily News
Many Facebook users may be puzzled when seeing how many of their Facebook friends have a status saying: "I like it on the floor." (or "I like it on *BLANK*")

Along with the many Facebook statuses saying, "I like it on the floor," there are almost as many which ask, "Why does everyone's status say 'I like it on the floor?'"

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month - this viral Facebook status trend is meant to raise awareness of breast cancer. Although "I like it on the floor" may seem to be leading to something sexual, but really it is referring to a purse or handbag according to a blog from  The Washington Post.

There have been many types of breast cancer awareness campaigns that have been questionable (like the ads with the body paint), but this one seems to be more tame than "Save the Tatas."

Time Magazine online explains how unusual this method to raise awareness truly is comparing this status to the one that had gone viral last year:

Remember last year's Facebook campaign where all of your lady friends suddenly had status updates like “Black,” “Red,” or “Polka dots” and no one had any clue what was up? Oh, but then word got around that the updates were the bra colors of choice and the updates were meant to peak interest of those left out of the joke (read: males) in order to raise awareness about breast cancer. Um, ok?

The appeal of posting the status is that it will confuse those who don't already know what it is referring to - which will cause the person to get educated in order to figure out why these statuses are being posted. Clever.


Easy A is more than a teen comedy By Nikky Raney

Courtesy of USA Today
Although sarcastic and completely unrealistic, Easy A is a hilarious movie that can be enjoyed teens and adults alike. The outrageous scenario of Olive, Emma Stone, giving herself the reputation of a “slut” in order to get noticed at high school and accepting money from boys so that they could lie and say that they “got physical” with her is entertaining as long as the audience can accept that the scenario could never happen at an actual high school in the United States.

Easy A can be compared to a present day John Hughes film, with Olive resembling a Molly Ringwald character. The tone of the film is complete sarcasm; the majority of the dialog is all sarcasm based featuring witty one-liners. The movie keeps the audience engaged and laughing throughout its entirety.

In Olive’s English class the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is analyzed, and Olive gets very involved with the story line. After the extremely religious Marianne, Amanda Bynes, hears Olivia make up a story to her best friend Rhiannon, Aly Michalka, about losing her virginity Marianne suggests that Olivia embroider an “A” onto her wardrobe (like Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter). The movie pokes fun at Christianity and could possibly be offensive to Christian viewers (but then again the entire movie is based around a girl lying about sleeping around).

The relationship between Olive and her parents is one that most teenagers would love – the sarcasm and witty punch lines are never ending when it comes to Olive, her parents and her adopted brother. At one point her brother, who is black, says that he will not have to worry about the genetics being passed down since he was adopted. The response from the father is, “How did you find out you were adopted?”

Without giving away too much Olive’s reputation grew once she went to a party and pretended to have sex with her friend Brandon, Dan Byrd, who is gay so that the other students would no longer pick on him for his sexual orientation. The two lock themselves in a bedroom and jump on the bed making noises so that the act is believable.

After this more and more boys find out that Olive is letting boys lie about doing things with her and Olive is offered gifts and money. Olive’s reputation gets so out of hand that she buys lots of sexy lingerie and embroiders an “A” onto every piece.

Penn Badgely plays the role of "Woodchuck Todd," Olive's long time crush, and he was Olive's first lie; when they were in eighth grade during a party the two were locked in a bedroom and expected to kiss, but Todd was not ready. Olive agreed to tell the rest of the party that the two had kissed when in fact they had not.

There is much more to this movie than what has been touched upon. Out of five stars this movie is about a four - the comedy is entertaining and is able to poignantly capture the feelings that teenagers feel in high school, but it is easy to get annoyed with how overly quirky and cartoony the characters are.

By Nikky Raney
Journalist & Blogger

Also posted on The Future of Journalism


Academy News: AMPAS Says Oscar Red Carpet Drawing Ends Tonight

You can get a seat over The Red Carpet at The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences (AMPAS) Presentation of The 2011 83rd Annual Academy Awards by entering a randow drawing, right now at www.oscars.org/bleachers. The drawing, which has been active for the last week allows you to be one of the select 700 people to be there live at the Academy Awards' premier pre-event, event.

AMPAS reports:


To be eligible for the random drawing, an individual must complete the application form in its entirety. Applications may only be submitted online. Forms may not be returned via any other method.

Applicants may register for themselves and one guest. Duplicate registrations will not be accepted.

Those whose names are selected in the random drawing will be notified in late September. They will then be required to submit additional information for security purposes prior to final approval. Eligible attendees will receive a confirmation letter in early January with information pertinent to the event.

Only those individuals who have been pre-approved by the Academy will have access to the bleachers. Those who wait overnight to attempt admittance will not be granted entry.

The Academy will not be responsible for securing travel and/or hotel accommodations for bleacher fans.

In previous years, as many as 20,000 fans have applied online for the limited number of red carpet seats.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.


Hurry up. It all ends at 9 PM PDT tonight.

3D Summit - Jeffrey Katzenberg Blasts 2D to 3D Movie Conversion

Note: Jeffrey Katzenberg Blasts 2D to 3D Movie Conversion at 3D Summit - This is 13:11 of a 14 minute speech. This video blogger elected to upload all of what I has, rather than edit it. At first, The plan wasn't to record all of his speech, but when it seemed that, just 30 seconds into the speech, Jeff was going to throw and land a haymaker, plans changed. To be candid, the final two minutes have micro-jumps only because of the editing system used vs the computer's random access memory (RAM) that was consumed to take such a large file all at once - need more RAM.  But I wanted you to see what I had, rather than lop it off.  



Universal City, Ca - On Wednesday, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was the keynote speaker at the 3D Entertainment Summit at the Hilton Universal City. At first, this blogger expected a standard "State of 3D" speech, but Katzenberg had other ideas. He got up with a plan to throw and land a haymaker.

Katzenberg took direct aim at 2D to 3D film conversion and set the tone for the summit - just what a good keynote speech is supposed to do. He didn't call out Clash Of The Titans by name, but everyone knew what he was talking about. But for good measure, Jeff added Piranha 3D.

(As an aside someone at the 3D Summit, when asked about Piranha 3D's budget later in the day, said "It's about $30 million to $40 million. We'll get their in terms of revenue, but we're waiting for DVD sales." But then the man shrugged and said, "Whatever, I'm not there any more," meaning he not with Dimension Films, who made the moviue.)

Clash Of The Titans was the epic 2010 remake of the man-god v. man fantasy that was made in 1981. First planned as a 2D film, Clash was rushed into 3D conversion after the success of Avatar in 2009. The results were terrible, as noted before.

Clash's conversion was so bad that Avatar Producer / Director James Cameron called it out by name and said that Hollywood should not use 3D just to use it. This is what Jeff is echoing in his speech above but with a step - he's panning 2D to 3D conversion, period.

Jeff said "When it comes to 3D conversion, here's the bottom line: over the years the film industry comes up with new ways to make a bad movie worse. Conversion of 2D to 3D is just the newest." Katzenberg says a bad 3D movie is painful to watch (really, it can give you a headache) and to add insult to injury Hollywood asks the customer to pay for it.

Some of the people responsible for the 2D to 3D conversion were sitting right there in the audience at the 3D Summit, including a man next to me who knew Jeff and admitted to me that he worked on Clash Of The Titans.

That guy was squirming in his chair during the speech. Seriously.

As a closing note, Katzenberg notes that six of the top 10 movies were 3D, and says there's a scarcity of 3D movie screens hampering revenue box office, even though it was healthy for 3D. He also says pricing is not an issue - the public is willing to pay a premium price, as long as it gets a premium experience.  Customers, Katzenberg says, can tell the difference "between Pandora and Piranha."  

This is part one: part two is the question and answer session, which was entertaining in as well. Stay tuned.

Mad Men: The Suitcase - Don Draper Is A Racist, Deal With It

Will Don Draper's door ever open for blacks? 
Mad Men is unquestionably an excellent television program with acting and story that is edgy, provocative, and thought-provolking. But because the television show is an entertainment child of the 21st Century, some fans of Mad Men, tend to forget that it was set in the mid-1960s.

Thus, when this blogger asserts that Don Draper, the lead character well-played by John Hamm, is racist, some have a hard time dealing with that observation. Others might point to Mad Men creator Matt Weiner's claim that his work is one of "science fiction," except that Weiner admits the atmosphere of Draper's office is overtly sexist and racist.

Thus, Don Draper himself is racist.

Take Mad Men: The Suitcase. In fact, you should because it's great television. The overall storyline is really about two people, Don Draper and Peggy Olson, who's work lives are a cover for their damaged selves. Draper has only his work. Peggy wants to get more recognition from her work. But Draper's also a boxing fan, and here's where his watered-down racism reveals itself.

Draper issues the standard predominantly white fears of the man we call Muhammed Ali, who was then called Cassius Clay.  Draper complained that Ali always boasted.  Draper wanted Liston to win because, essentially without saying it, Liston was the "good Negro," the person that wasn't threatening to Draper's World view, which has blacks in a certain place.

Draper has not faced a black character who was his 1960s equal: someone who was smart enough to establish their own firm to help companies market to blacks.  There's nothing in Draper's makeup, and the Liston remarks confirm this, that indicates he could work with someone black who was his equal.

In reality, anyone who was a white male ad exec in the mid-1960s New York city could not get their by being a 21st Century non-racist. The fact is the Civil Rights Amendment was passed in 1964. It forbade discrimination in the workplace, in public schools, and in voting registration. Now, just because a law is passed does not mean businesses are automatically going to follow it immediately.

Unless Don Draper was out marching for civil rights, and hired black interns or had a black girlfriend, it's fantasy to think Draper wasn't racist. Indeed, it would be inaccurate to the period to present him as not having racist views, yet achieving that level of success.

Remember, Draper's firm has yet to hire an African American at any level above servant, and if they do, you can bet on this: that person's hire will be controversial and what that person has to do to remain at the firm - what they have to deal with on a daily basis - has to be a part of that story line if Mad Men is to be believable.

If such a hire happens it would have to be approved by Draper. If Draper does so, it would have to be only after he overcame a set of racial personal demons himself. It would not - or should not - happen in one episode. In short Don Draper would have to overcome his own racism.

Remember, it's the times. They were racist to an extreme by today's standards. The biggest problem is that many of fans of Mad Men weren't born at that time; this blogger was.

Which drives me to write this blog post.  The simple fact is that even with that racism, the 1960s were a time of pioneering achievements by blacks in the ad World.  As was pointed out in Racialicious:

It’s unlikely Mad Men will acknowledge executives for Pepsi-Cola—led by men including Edward F. Boyd—pioneered marketing to Black consumers in the 1940s and 1950s. Or the late Vince Cullers of Chicago launched the first Black advertising agency in 1956, while Luis Díaz Albertini founded Spanish Advertising and Marketing Services, the first Latino shop, in 1962. Hell, even Alex Trebek won’t recognize such trivia.

The other biggest problem is that television "critics" - either because of their own blindness to racism and institutional racism or because they want to pretend racism doesn't exist by not mentioning it - have written that Mad Men got the 1960s right. TV Critic Tom Shales committed this display of ignorance when he wrote "Details of the period, however, are nicely captured" when Mad Men was introduced in 2007.

He means details like the furniture; Shales left out the dirty issue of people and society in Mad Men.  The simple fact, is that save for Draper quizzing a black waiter on cigarettes, which says more about Don's desire to get information from any source than how he feels about African Americans, Mad Men has not addressed the issue of American racism toward blacks. That was the defining issue of the 1960s.

Toward A Better Mad Men

At first, I must admit, I didn't pay attention to Mad Men because I thought it was going to be a fake-period-piece that didn't hire non-white actors for anything more than five lines at best.   Now, I see it as a potentially useful show that can demonstrate not just the similarities but the differences between race in the 1960s and today.

The burden of proof that Don Draper's not racist is on those who would have to rewrite the history that was the 1960s. Those fans have to accept what President Lincoln said are "the hard facts that created America," and those that continue to shape it.

Michael Douglas Cancer, Paris Hilton Arrest: Celeb Contrasts



On Tuesday night, legendary Actor Michael Douglas was a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman.

It was already publicly known that he had throat cancer, but the news that it was at state IV was a shock to Letterman and the public.

This news and the outpouring of love and support for a celebrity who's contributions to the public good have been well noted, contrasts dramatically with last Friday's arrest of Socialite Paris Hilton.

Michael Douglas Will Beat Cancer

Douglas told Letterman that doctors found a "walnut-sized tumor" at the base of his tongue. According to WebMD.com, that means he likely has oropharyngeal cancer. Douglas said it was caused by smoking and drinking.

Just how much Douglas smoke and drank, and what kind of alcohol he was drinking on a regular basis is not known as of this writing. But Douglas vows he will beat the cancer. The son of he legendary Actor Kirk Douglas said he has an 80 percent chance of survival.

Hope That Paris Hilton Survives Her Drug Bust

That Paris Hilton's in trouble with the law again - having been arrested for felony possession of cocaine in Las Vegas last Saturday morning - is sad news. Hilton has been arrested now three times this year alone, but in different countries: France, South Africa, and the United States.

This is a sad current affair considering her 23-day stay in jail in 2007, and the really embarrassing visit to David Letterman which followed that year. On top of the cocaine bust, now Las Vegas police are reporting they found a "joint" in the car Paris Hilton was in.

The trouble is, while the car's being reported as "Paris Hilton's car," there's no evidence to indicate that's the case. It's more likely that the car belongs to her boyfriend Cy Waits. Thus, to even try to pin what the Daily Mail reports as a "wet" and "unable to be tested."

Moreover, the person police described as "the driver" - Cy Waits - said he just finished smoking. So, pinning that on Paris Hilton is at best piling on.

Hilton herself has responded to that rumor, and others like being banned from the "two Wynn resorts on the Las Vegas Strip" on Twitter. Paris tweeted:

These rumors going around are so ridiculous, untrue and cruel. I'm not going to even pay attention to them, because I know the truth.


Here's hoping the best for Paris Hilton: that she beats the charge and is able to get on with her life.   Hopefully Hilton uses Michael Douglas as a role model for the reformation of her image.

ESPN's "Around The Horn" Jay Mariotti Talk Classless

Yesterday, ESPN's Around The Horn TV Show took up the "awkward" subject of the problems of one of its own, ESPN Personality Jay Mariotti.

As sports fans know, Jay Mariotti was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault against a woman said to be his girlfriend.

Jay Mariotti was known for flaming athletes accused of domestic assault, so its weird still that he's accused of doing the same thing.

And while Jay's being raked over the coals for all of that in the media, and he should be, it just seems totally classless for his own show to talk about it. Here's the video:



That should be the one place where they at least take a wait-and-see out of respect for Jay. It's like this: Jay cracks on athletes for domestic abuse problems, Jay gets cracked on for his domestic abuse problems, Jay's own show cracks on him about same problems. So what"s next?

Maybe they don't have respect for Jay?

The logical next step is for someone else at ESPN's Around The Horn to get into the same trouble so they and we can talk about that person.

Does it ever end?

WE.G.I brings positivity back to rap By Nikky Raney

E.G.I brings positivity back to rap
Article by: Nikky Raney


WE.G.I is a New York rap group determined to bring positivity and motivation back to rap.

nikkyraney.com.jpgWE.G.I stands for "we go in." When brothers Rico Brown and Black Magic sat down with their sister Storm they figured the name fit well since they "go in and go hard."

The rap trio has been inspired by their family to continue working hard to get their music heard.

"Music has always been in my family, and my parent's didn't get their chance to shine," Black Magic says.

The members of WE.G.I want to bring rap and hip-hop back to the way it was during LL Cool J and Tupac's time.

"If you listen to the industry you will see it. You can tell it's really poisoned and negative right now. When you turn on the radio and hear the songs there's too much promotion of negativity. You got females that want to be other females and it isn't even about music anymore," Brown explains.

The rap group is currently unsigned, but they hope to get a deal with Shady records; if that does not work out they will try to start their own record label with the rest of their family. The group would also love to have their own reality TV show.

nikkyraney.com.jpg"My Business" is their latest single and the group members are trying to get a ring tone deal so that the song can be appreciated nationally. They really want their music to be heard all over.

"We want to bring it back to talent and motivation - not about money and fame. It's dark in the industry - we are trying to give it some fresh air," Brown continues. "We perform at many open mic shows. I was in a group with my cousins and we opened in Atlanta for T.I, but I left because I didn't have the drive and dedication I do now."

Storm is currently in the Dominican Republic promoting WE.G.I. She sees a bright future ahead for the group.

"[The] goal is to be known worldwide for our unique sound; make WE.G.I a brand," she says. "We have ideas for reality TV shows, a clothing line, cartoons etc. We are all versatile and different, but when fused together we're unstoppable."

WE.G.I has been compared to the Black Eyed Peas, according to the members.

The group has performed for Source Magazine, Thisis50.com, and has an upcoming performance on August 29, 2010 for underground artists that are unsigned.

WE.G.I. has been nominated "Respect Da Grind" award at the Indie Elite Artist Awards 2010 in Brooklyn NY, August 29, 2010.

An album for WE.G.I will be coming out in the near future; right now they are waiting for their single to be up on iTunes.

Spike TV Renews Deadliest Warrior For A Third Season

Deadliest WarriorImage via Wikipedia
Pay attention to Deadliest Warrior as an example of the future of entertainment.

To show how entertainment is rapidly becoming multi-plaform and meeting success in the process, Spike TV, a unit of MTV Networks and at Spike.com, has announced that it's renewed Deadliest Warrior, it's first original franchise hit, for a third season, according to Sharon Levy, executive vice president for original programming for Spike TV.

Deadliest Warrior is produced by 44 Blue Productions, Inc. with Rasha Drachkovitch and Tim Warren serving as executive producers, and described as a series that...

enlists warrior-specific, world-class fighters and experts to provide insight into what makes these combatants tick, analyzing every facet of their unique skills of destruction, culminating in a head-to-head final fight between two legends of the battlefield that will produce the deadliest warrior. The recent second season featured such iconic warriors such as SWAT, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Aztec Jaguar, Jesse James Gang, Al Capone Gang, Roman Centurion, India’s Rajput Warrior, Somali Pirate, KGB and CIA.

But, in keeping with the multi-plaform nature of Deadliest Warrior, there's a video game called Deadliest Warrior: The Game, which is for Xbox LIVE Arcade, and has sold 140,000 copies since its June 14th release.

If you've never seen Deadliest Warrior, here's an inside look courtesy of Leah D'Emilio:



Catch Deadliest Warrior; the third season will premiere 10 episodes in Summer 2011.

Lindsay Lohan MIGHT be Out of Rehab This Week




Lindsay Lohan might get to leave rehab this week! That must be some good behavior she’s putting out! First, Lindsay serves just 13 days of her 90 jail sentence and is released to a MANDATORY 90 day rehab program. But now it looks like she'll only have two weeks of her rehab sentence as well...what's up?

A – Either Lindsay's problems weren't as serious as doctor’s first thought. That would mean – gasp – Dina Lohan may be right saying it was a setup, propaganda and wrong for Lindsay to be in jail. OK, not really, but we just wanted to give a shout out to Dina. Seriously, Lindsay might not have been doing as many or as hard of drugs as were first thought.
B – Or Lindsay is faking her way through rehab really, really well. And since this is her fourth visit in just a few years, it could be possible, though unlikely, that Lindsay is working the system.

Now, I doubt she could fool that many professionals, so maybe there was a combination of both options. Lindsay’s substance abuse problems weren’t as severe as predicted, thus leaving Lindsay with time to quickly heal and get on the right road. Rumor has it she is helping younger girls in rehab deal with issues and offering encouragement to them.

The real problem, it seems, is her family. Dina is going on TV proclaiming her daughter is innocent – even though we know she isn’t and did get in trouble in 2007. Then there is her dad Michael, who paints her as an addict who needs more serious help than what she is currently getting. Who will scream about an early release for Lindsay more - her dad or the media? Do you think Lindsay deserves to be let out early if the doctor’s say it is OK?

Scott Pilgrim vs the World - OK, I can't wait to see this film

Opening logo to the Star Wars filmsImage via Wikipedia
Is it the Star Wars of our time? 
Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a movie this blogger wants to see because its different.

It's not just that it's a 21st Century graphic novel come to life on the big screen, it's also a different kind of movie. It appears to skillfully blend real and fantasy Worlds in a way that's not been done before.  It could be the Star Wars of our time, except that it's not in space.

OK. You're probably thinking of the video where I ask if there's any black people in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. This video:



I still stand by what was said in the video, because this blogger never dissed the movie, but just said I'd like to see some black folks in it. But that's not what this blog post is about. It's about the pure excitement and interest this simple movie with major hype has sparked.

Normally, one's supposed to become jaded after, let's see, Jaws, Star Wars, Star Trek The Motion Picture, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi, and so on. And because those are Sci-Fi movies, this blogger had to see them.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is more earthbound, but still a fantasy. And maybe that's the reason it's interesting to me; the presentation of that neat alternative universe of someone's dream state.

Ah. Bong-induced views aside, I'm going to see the flick and take my Blackometer with me.

American Idol News - Jennifer Lopez out as judge, Asia'h Epperson in jail

In American Idol News, Jennifer Lopez, who was in the running, really a front-runner, to be a judge on American Idol, is out of the picture. According to The New York Daily News, J-Lo's demands became too much for The Fox Television Network to deal with.

And American Idol contestant Asia'h Epperson is in jail as this is written, for allegedly beating up a woman in a club in Hollywood called Colony Club. That's on the heels of Fantasia Barrino, the American Idol winner who suffered from an overdose on Monday.

Jennifer Lopez called Diva

Reportedly, Jennifer Lopez was being too much the bitch diva for Fox, so not wanting to deal with a formula that may have worked for the show, she was written off. A source told People Magazine Her demands got out of hand. Fox had just had enough."

What those "damands" were is not known, but it's too bad. J-Lo would have been fun to watch. But one thing's for sure, American Idol's still in a state of flux that should have sponsors very concerned.

Asia'h Epperson in jail

Asia'h Epperson, who should spend more time on her blog as it showed promise, was the focus of a citizen's arrest at the club by the beating victim.

That's sad news because, in just reading her few blog posts about Google SERP, she's obviously really bright. Whatever happened, it's a sure bet alcohol was involved in it.

Lindsay Lohan's Judge Quits Case by Tina Musial




Lindsay Lohan's presiding Judge Marsha Revel couldn't take the heat any more. Judge Revel removed herself from Lindsay Lohan's case allegedly because of some backroom phone calls the lawyers did not approve of. These lawyers met with Judge Revel on Friday to discuss the improprieties - but she just now vacated the case.

Now, what exactly didn't the lawyers approve of? According to TMZ:

We're told one of the issues -- Judge Revel took it upon herself to make contact with people from the Morningside Recovery rehab facility and then selected Morningside, even though it was not on the list of recommended facilities by her own court-appointed experts. Ultimately, Lindsay's lawyer convinced Judge Revel to send LiLo to UCLA. But the issue was raised on Friday.
Should it really matter that the judge made phone calls? She was checking around, getting background info on Lindsay Lohan. the lawyers should know that the judges do not follow gossip blogs, therefore she had to scoop out some info elsewhere!

Teen Choice Awards: Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Levi Johnston



YouTube, Yahoo, Metacafe, Blip.tv, StupidVideos and Viddler

The Teen Choice Awards is the center of pop culture in America and the World. It doesn't matter how old you are, some of the stars we watch and who were at The Teen Choice Awards are older.

LL Cool J's in his 40s as are people like P Diddy, and of course the incomparable Betty White, who's 88 years old.

Age is just a number, but the number of hot women was so high it made this blogger's ears pop.

Where else can you see Kim Kardashian tell Megan Fox that Fox is more beautiful than she is! And who let Sarah Palin's almost son-in-law Levi Johnston into the Teen Choice Awards?

How random is that?

Megan Fox! 
The Teen Choice Awards is a celebration that seems to have made the Twilight: New Moon cast stars before they knew what hit them. Taylor Lautner, who's now called "Taylor Hotner" on Twitter, picked up his third straight award this year.

The one thing missing was a Miley Cyrus song or dance number. We've got so much publicist from her machine, it seems the Teen Choice Awards is missing something without Miley Cyrus.

Oh, and her pole dance number!

Lastly, a big congrats to YouTube Partner Michael Buckley of The What The Buck Show for co-hosting the live stream of the Teen Choice Awards Red Carpet Show!

Tom Sherak reelected Academy President; Annette Bening gets post

Tom Sherak
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) or "The Academy," announced late Tuesday evening that Tom Sherak was reelected as President of The Academy by its Board of Governors. It's his second straight one year term of office in AMPAS.

Previously, Sherak served as treasurer of the Academy, and has started his eighth year as a governor representing the Executives Branch.

Joining the wave of good Academy news, Sid Ganis, the Public Relations Branch governor and past Academy president, was elected first vice president.  James L. Brooks and Phil Robinson, both of the Writers Branch, were elected to vice president posts, with Robinson being reelected. It's Brooks first election to a post.

Annette Bening gets post
Annette Bening

Actress Annette Bening, wife of Actor Warren Beatty, was elected to the post of secretary.   It's her first Academy-elected position.

Perhaps Bening will be Academy President one day?

Tom Sherak paid his dues

The reelection to AMPAS as President is a complement to Tom Sherak and his long standing relationships in the Academy and in Hollywood. For 40 years Sherak has been a marketing, distribution and production executive, and currently is a consultant to Marvel Studios and Relativity Media.

Angelina Jolie comes to Comic Con San Diego, Thursday at 1 PM

Anna Chapman's outing as a Russian Spy
 gives Salt new meaning
Sunday marks the week of Comic Con San Diego, and there's no more exciting event that superstar actress and activist Angelina Jolie's coming to help promote her new movie Salt.

Angelina Jolie will appear in the enormous Hall H at San Diego Convention Center at 1 PM this Thursday. It's a sure bet the San Diego Convention Center will be a frenzied madhouse.

One thing, Sylvester Stallone should thank Sony that its even is at 1 PM and not 4 PM thus competing with The Expendables red carpet and panel to be held at that time. By having two big stars spread out on that one day, Comic Con Thursday promises to be one of the happenings of 2010.

At first, Angelina Jolie was not set to come and present her film about a government agent accused of being a Russian spy (Salt trailer below).



The recent news of 11 Russian spies working in America, including the lovely Anna Chapman, gives new meaning to Salt and just before its release and Jolie's Comic Con appearance.

Also, as hubby Brad Pitt's film Megamind will also be presented, there's a chance he may show up too.

Stay tuned.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eva Gabor's sister, rushed to hospital

Gabor and Prince Frederic 
Famed actress and socialite 93-year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor, the sister of Green Acres Eva Gabor, was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center late Saturday night and is in serious condition, according to her publicist John Blanchette via The Associated Press.

Zsa Zsa Gabor suffered broken bones after falling out of her bed while watching television at her home in Bel Air, in Los Angeles, California.

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt called the ambulance after the accident. Gabor is also referred to as Sari Prinz von Anhalt, since her marriage to Prince Frederic von Anhalt.

Gabor is partially paralyzed from a car accident in 2002, and confined to a wheelchair. The AP reports Gabor had a stroke in 2005.

Gabor married nine times

A Hollywood legend, Zsa Zsa Gabor has been married nine times. So much, that she once joked she was a good housekeeper, because everytime she married, she kept the house.

Gabor's starred in television shows like The Milton Berle Show (1956), and served as a special guest on Gilligan's Island (1965), and The Late Show with David Letterman (1994). She's played in numerous movies, and best known for The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear.

Comic Con update: Terra Nova, Piranha 3-D out of Comic Con 2010

With one week to go before Comic Con 2010, with each "Hallmark"-type announcement comes news of a panel cancellation. This time it's for the series Terra Nova and the movie Piranha 3-D.

Terra Nova is the much-anticipated 20th Century Fox TV and Brannon Braga (24, FlashForward) and David Fury (Lost, Angel) time-travel program favorite of fanboys that was set for debut at Comic Con 2010 in San Diego. But since production's not set to begin until September 2010, producers don't have footage to present to the San Diego audience next week.

But what is Terra Nova?

Terra Nova is a Steven Spielberg-executive produced series that takes place 100 years in the future and is about a family that travels back to the prehistoric era. A great high concept that's a loss for Comic Con 2010.

Piranha 3-D's elimination is due to a different set of challenges.

Apparently the footage Piranha 3-D producers were going to present was deemed "too hot" for Comic Con. More specifically, it was said to be and this is a quote "too racy" and not "family friendly" to the Comic Con San Diego audience. But the question is what was the "it" they were going to show?

According to FirstShowing.net it was described as "Girls Gone Wild" style footage, which means a lot of t-and-a.

But all is not lost.

There will be an "offsite" presentation of Piranha 3-D Thursday July 22nd from 10 PM to 11 PM at the Regal Horton Plaza (475 Horton Plaza San Diego, CA 92101) and a panel afterward according to MovieWeb.com.

Stay tuned.

Comic Con 2010: Hallmark Cards plans big roll-out at Comic Con San Diego

Hallmark Cards (yes the same company that made the birthday card you just bought) is planning a big presence at Comic Con 2010 and to celebrate its 100th anniversary. While not on the order of Futurama, Hallmark's Comic Con events are big in their own way.

According to their message, Hallmark Cards' "9ft. Hallmark hoops & yoyo walkabout characters" with the voice and animation talents of Mike Adair and Bob Holt were a massive hit at Comic Con 2009 in San Diego. So, Hallmark Cards is bringing them back for Comic Con 2010.


Hallmark will have two booths: #3850 and #2913

#3850 Hallmark Properties Booth
#2913 H in Lucas Pavilion Hallmark Keepsakes Booth

Wednesday, July 21
6 - 9pm hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#3850)

Thursday, July 22
10am - 11:30am hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#3850)
2 - 3pm hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#2913 H in Lucas Pavilion)
3 - 5pm Maxine character appearance (#3850)
5 - 7pm Revilo artist signing (#3850)

Friday, July 23
9 - 11am Maxine character appearance (#3850)
11am - 1pm Revilo artist signing (#3850)
2 - 3pm hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#2913 H in Lucas Pavilion)
5 - 6:30pm hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#3850)

Saturday, July 24
10 - 11:30am hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#3850)
2 - 3pm hoops&yoyo character appearing and artist signing (#2913 H in Lucas Pavilion)
4- 6pm Asteroid Andy artist signing (#3850)

Sunday, July 25
10am - Noon Asteroid Andy artist signing (#3850)
ALL DAY FREE Rainbow Brite poster for anyone in Rainbow Brite costume(#3850)


Stay tuned for more information from Hallmark at Comic Con.

Comic Con 2010: Danny Elfman celebrates 25 years with Tim Burton

Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman's a movie composer who first gained critical acclaim with his soundtrack for Batman, starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger. He's known for his over two-decades-long friendship with Movie Producer and Director Tim Burton: Batman was one of Burton's creations.

It was a relationship that started when Burton and Paul Reubens went to Elfman with the assignment writing the score for their first movie, Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

Overall, the four-time-Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Elfman has scored Burton films such as Beetle Juice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Danny Elfman will celebrate a 25-year collaboration with Tim Burton at Comic Con 2010. On his relationship with Elfman, Burton said "We don't even have to talk about the music. We don't even have to intellectualize - which is good for both of us, we're both similar that way. We're very lucky to connect."

The event will be held Thursday, July 23rd at Comic Comic San Diego's space called Rom 137 from 10:30 to 11:30 AM.

Comic Con 2010: Harry Potter cast not coming to Comic Con

Daniel Radcliffe and Ralph Fiennes
Countering buzz that the cast of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows would attend Comic Con 2010, Warner Bros. has told Harry Potter fansite Mugglenet.com that the cast, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Ralph Fiennes, will not be attending Comic Con due to schedule conflicts.

However Warner Bros. reports the Comic Con Saturday schedule for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is on and attendees will see all new "never before seen" clips, props, and some "special" opportunity for Comic Con attendees.

The news that the cast of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows would attend Comic Con, and if they did it would be a first in Comic Con history, came as a Twitter rumor by SD Comic Con Expert:


#SDCC Rumor Patrol: Let Me In WILL have a panel. Harry Potter cast/crew MIGHT be there. All of WB's talent at the con is purposely secret.


But then, anything can happen, and who's to say that the reported "schedule conflict" will remain? And what about that "special" opportunity?

Stay tuned.

Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables coming to Comic Con 2010





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Will.I.Am dissed by Chelsea Handler; T.I. asked "How was prison?"

Chelsea Handler of Chelsea Lately never stops being a wonder to this space...



T.I. and Chelsea 
Chelsea Handler, not one to shy away from expressing her view, although this space still wonders what the fuss about her is for (except for the fact that she does have a great set of legs and her arms have added more muscle and less giggle), dissed Black Eye Peas Star Wil.I.Am, saying he was a "douche" and an "awful person" on a rerun of her June 28th that aired show Wednesday night.

What Handler bases her opinion on was never stated. Still, she and her comedian guests piled on with word after insulting word about Will.I.Am.

Then T.I. came on for his first visit with her since his stint in jail. Handler said T.I. makes her "so horny" and her first question to him was "How was prison?" which was totally hilarious. Their exchange was so natural it was hard to tell if they really did date or not, as Chelsea's constant flirting implied. T.I. gave her a large bottle of Remy Martin and said he was coming out with his own label. The news prompted Chelsea to say "A black guy coming out with his own bottle label. Now that's new."

Ok, that was funny; so what was their last exchange like, the one before T.I. went to prison? On his YouTube channel T.I. wrote "This is my interview with Chelsea Lately. Yeah I know she touched my ass. Damn this girl is funny!"



What's interesting is that T.I. was a bit more guarded and tight with her the first time; on Wednesday he was lose and relaxed - almost a different person.

You know, I have to agree with T.I., Chelsea Handler is funny. She's got a very quick wit. I have to admit, the first time I saw her show, I wasn't impressed, but she's gotten a lot better at it.

Chelsea's growing on me, as long as she stays in the gym and wears the skirts, she's just fine.

Entourage's Jeremy Piven frozen by Kim Kardashian (?); drops phone in toilet

Jeremy Piven 
Entourage's Jeremy Piven is one of the top searches on July 5th but not for any one reason. On Google Trends, Piven's suspected of having mercury poisoning. Then Piven's also reported to have dropped his phone down a toilet stool. But in a standard search, Piven's reported to have gotten the cold shoulder from Kim Kardashian. With all this, let's take the Kim Kardashian news first.

Kim Kardashian's known for dating athletes like Reggie Bush, Miles Austin, and World Cup Soccer Star (and new dad) Cristiano Ronaldo, so it would seem Jeremy Piven's out of her range.

But that reportedly didn't stop the Entourage star from trying.

Diane Marsalis of The Examiner claims that Piven "hit on" the reality TV show star at one of the LA Lakers games, and whatever he said to her, she was alleged to have replied "Talk to my Mom - she handles me," and walked off (with hips swinging, no doubt).

While news of the alleged encounter with Kim Kardashian is still without much detail or blog pickup, the news about Piven dropping his cell phone down a toilet started from his Twitter page:


Dropped my cell in the toilet and have no way to be found.. Entourage premiers tonight and I'm without a way to reach out, sorry
1:20 PM Jun 27th via txt


But then I guess Piven reached in the toilet and got it back, or just bought a new iPhone because on June 30th he reported:

ast week of shooting! http://yfrog.com/jmt6wj
1:26 PM Jun 30th via Twitter for iPhone

He uses an iPhone. Hard to tell if it's an iPhone4 or not.

Rock The Casbah!

Tila Tequila and Miss Tila Omg out of line with Nikky Raney

Tila Tequila 
Just when this blogger thought he'd seen it all from Reality TV Show Star Tila Tequila, the woman who claims to have multiple personalities, and accused San Diego Chargers Linebacker Shawne Merriman of something he did not at all do, does it again.

This time, she and her so-called staff picks on one of my bloggers, Nikky Raney, and while making Raney a star in the process, have gone way too far. It's time for them to stop.

Tila Tequila must remember that she is a true public figure; like this blogger Tila's subject to positive and negative commentary on her actions. Tila should be not only used to that, but have developed enough scar tissue to deflect even the most vile comments about her.  Fortunately, this blog is not about any directed toward Tila; it's the reverse.

Indeed, I laughed off the whole exchange between Tila Tequila, Miss Tila Omg, and Nikky Raney as being just good PR for Nikky. The vast majority of comments at Zennie62.com have been pro-Nikky and beyond that supportive and thoughtful in their detail.

But then the email exchange started and then someone apparently from Miss Tila Omg created a set of vile Twitter pages about Nikky Raney. That's where I draw the line because it's obvious and deliberate malice to make a page, call someone a name like "fat," and not have an identification. It's in violation of Section 113 of the Violence Against Women Act.

In other words, since 2006, it's been a crime to annoy people anonymously over the Internet. That it's done frequently is no excuse for the fact that it happens. This is one case; I've shared it with the U.S. Department of Justice; if it does not stop, I will press the matter until the DOJ squeezes.

For her part, Nikky Raney has intended no harm toward Tila Tequila or her staff. Tila Tequila has opened herself to constructive non-anonymous criticism, by claiming she's doing the work of a journalist, when she's using her blog to in some cases smear her enemies. And when that's not happening, some blogs are calling her names like "functionally retarded," as was the case with Videogum.com.

Zennie62.com has never referred to, or allowed its bloggers to refer to Tila in any way close to what Videogum.com presented. Moreover, Nikky Raney had clear concerns that Tila Tequila and Miss Tila Omg were claiming to be journalists. When Raney, a journalism student, investigated and then challenged the claim, Tila took action, first blocking her from the Miss Tila Omg site, which is fine by me, but then engaging in all manner of attempts to smear Nikky, and that's not fine by me.

For her part, Nikky Raney has included this disclaimer on her Zennie62.com blog posts about Tila:

Disclaimer: I, Nikky Raney, have absolutely nothing personally against Tila Tequila. Although she has personally attacked me through her blog posts and her tweets - I am a journalist and blogger who takes that with a grain of salt & does not return that anger or resentment. This is a job and a service that I do to inform others of the scandal/lies/etc. from public figures. Again, I have nothing against Tila Tequila. I am not a hater. I have attempted to get in touch with her to get her perspective and her opinion. AGAIN, I have nothing against her personally. I do this objectively in a professional manner, it's not personal it's about the story itself. I hope that I have made myself clear. My blog posts will prove for that I have never LIED about Miss Tila or called her ANY rude names. I have never used anything other than evidence from her own tweets, blogposts, and interviews to state my case. The attacks Tila has made against me and calling me "Piggy Raney" was unjust, and although she did that I still have nothing against her. She may try to attack and bring me down, but at the end of the day this is my job. And I am mature enough that to retaliate against someone whose way of responding is by name-calling would be futile.

I stand by Nikky Raney. She's done a great job at Zennie62.com. What I ask is for Tila Tequila to, herself, stop the attacks on Nikky Raney on Twitter. One part of me appreciates that you've given her a spotlight, but it's for the wrong reasons. Making, or causing hateful Twitter accoints to be made, is awful. One thing, Nikky Raney is a real person. She's not hiding behind another name, or anonymous, and asks thoughtful questions. Why not answer them?

The objective here is for all of this little stuff growing big to stop.  We, Tila, Miss Tila OMG, and Zennie62.com with Nikky Raney can move forward and perhaps together in the future.  I wish Tila and Miss Tila OMG much success.

Twilight: Eclipse, eclipsed on Twitter by Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows



Twilight: Eclipse, the third installment in the hit movie series based on the book series by Stephanie Meyer, sold $68.5 million tickets Wednesday to mark the second largest movie opening in history. But with all that, Twilight: Eclipse can't beat Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows on Twitter.

As this is written at 2:08 EDT, "Deathly Hallows" is the second top trend on Twitter; it was number one an hour ago. "Twilight Eclipse" or "Eclipse" are no where to be seen. The reason for this, I speculate, is connected to the difference in Worldwide popularity for both series.

Using Google Insights for Search, I typed in the words "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" for today, July 1, 2010. Google Insight for Search is an online tool that allows you to learn how keywords associated with your online content are doing in a city, region, and the World. It has an "intensity of search" rating that goes from zero to 100.

Today, while "Twilight" as a term has a higher intensity of search, 87 to 63, respectively, and "Twilight Eclipse" is at 79 versus 63 for "Harry Potter," Harry Potter has a higher level of search intensity in the United States than is true for either "Twilight Eclipse" or "Twilight."

Believe it or not, but both "Twilight Eclipse" and "Twilight" have the most search popularity in the Philippines, followed by Romania, then the United States. In the United States, the level is at 52 versus 100 for the Philippines.

By contrast, Harry Potter scores a 100 and a 83 in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively as the two highest regions in the list on Google Insight for Search for "Harry Potter."

Because Harry Potter's enjoying such search intensity for the USA and the UK after the release of the movie trailer for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, that translates into a much higher topic rank on Twitter for "Deathly Hallows" than for "Twilight Eclipse."

The problem for "Twilight Eclipse" is that it's just not as popular in the UK as "Harry Potter." Where Harry Potter has an 83 in the UK, Twilight Eclipse chimes in at just 32. So what does this mean?

It means that if Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows can stir up this much buzz with the release of a trailer, and months before its November 19th release, it will set box office records when it's released. I will go so far as to say it will break Twilight Eclipse' opening day mark of $68 million.

Stay tuned.

Wonder Woman, bring back the legs and the flag, please

The Original Wonder Woman I prefer
Wonder Woman has always been my favorite comic book hero, or more appropriate to this message, heroine. It wasn't until the age of seven in 1969 that this blogger started reading comic books, but the first one was Wonder Woman, circa 1950 (or around that time).

What attracted this small boy at that time was seeing an image that the World did not present: of this obviously strong and yet (and in retrospect it's easier to see this) attractive woman doing things like lifting cars and throwing men. And she did it while putting on a costume that said "I represent America!" So it should come as no surprise that I'm not in favor of the newest look for Wonder Woman.

Not surprisingly, reading Wonder Woman circa 1950, my image of the ideal woman was formed a very long time ago. Whatever woman I was with, and regardless of color, had to look something like that and have at least near-Wonder Woman level of confidence. Lifting cars wasn't a real consideration.

When the Wonder Woman TV show was introduced in 1975, I was excited, but eventually deeply disappointed. I expected Diana Prince on TV to look like the Diana Prince of the 1950s comics: with curves and muscle. Instead, I got the lovely but not at all muscular Linda Carter.

And while I liked Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, it was more because I had no choice. No where else could you see Wonder Woman on TV. It was at that point, I became aware that Wonder Woman was a slave to male fears of women as expressed in how she was drawn.

William Moulton Marston, who created Wonder Woman and drew her, was not afraid of an obviously strong woman, or he would not have created one. But that's not true for the men who've drawn and written Diana Prince since then.

 From the failed 1974 Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman who was not strong at all, to the newest creation released this week, men have dared to give us the real, undoubtedly strong, Wonder Woman of the 1950s.

What does that say about American Men, of which I'm one?  Not much that's good. It says we're afraid of strong women so we take that away from them every chance we get. Take the new Wonder Woman. She looks like a lean female athlete who might run for exercise but can't lift a car, let alone throw it. She looks vulnerable, and like she's neurotic. And she's not really into America because the flag-themed costume is gone. That bothers me too.

The New Wonder Woman of 2010
There's nothing wrong with flying the American flag for good purposes, like showing a strong woman helping people, which is what Wonder Woman does. Why does Superman get to keep his same look, and the red, white, and blue colors, and tights that he's got no business wearing in public? Why not give Superman a makeover? Do the men who draw Superman like that look? I have to ask, because I don't like it. I was never into Superman; Wonder Woman for always for me.

I can see where DC Comics J. Michael Straczynski as writer and Jim Lee as artist are prepping Wonder Woman for the movies, and for Comic-Con in San Diego later this month.  It will make for an interesting Comic-Con, for sure, as Wonder Woman purists like myself butt heads with the, well, lovers of the new, weak Wonder Woman.  (Just have her throw a car, or an airplane.  Something to make me happy.)

But man, I want the Wonder Woman of the 1950s, much as we're going to get the Captain America of World War II in that upcoming movie.

Maybe I should write my own Wonder Woman Movie and make her the strong woman she was in the 50s, because it's clear to me that since then, too many of her artists and writers fear a really strong female image.

Not me.

Keith Britton gets Star Trek and Avatar's Zoe Saldana engaged

Zoe Saldana and Keith Britton 
Popular Actress Zoe Saldana has more good news in addition to her being invited to become a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and her accomplishments in starring in Star Trek and Avatar: Saldana's engaged to her boyfriend of 10 years, Keith Britton.

All we can say is "Dude. Keith Britton. What took you so dang long?!" It took Keith Britton 10 years to finally propose to her hotness Zoe Saldana? Ten years. Wow, it took Oakland Raiders Quarterback Kyle Boller just one year to propose to Carrie Prejean and they're getting married this Friday.

Now, that we've gotten the razzing of Keith Britton out of the way, congratulations to the lovely couple.

Now, people want to know who Keith Britton is.

Keith Britton is CEO of My Fashion Database and an actor in Los Angeles who's appeared in Cold Case and As The World Turns. My Fashion Database was established in 2008 and has 18 employees according to Linkedin. It's billed as an IMDB.com for the fashion industry.

Tila Tequila: Not Worth It Anymore. -- Nikky Raney 001

Tila Tequila: Not Worth It Anymore. -- Nikky Raney 001

AMPAS News: Academy presents Ray Harryhausen movies July 16th

The AMPAS Building
The The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced it will present two classic movies created by special effects giant Ray Harryhausen, 20 Million Miles to Earth and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, on Friday, July 16 2010, at 7:30 p.m. PDT at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The movies are part of the Academy's exhibition called "The Fantastical Worlds of Ray Harryhausen," and there will be special gallery hours from 6 to 7:30 p.m. PDT , and after the screening of the films. Tickets for 20 Million Miles to Earth and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad are just $5, and $3 for Academy members like Adam Sandler and students with a valid ID. You can buy them online at Oscars.org.

Made in 1957, 20 Million Miles to Earth was Ray Harryhausen's last black-and-white movie. According to AMPAS 20 Million Miles to Earth features one Harryhausen's favorite monsters, the Ymir, who survives the crash of a spaceship returning from the first human exploration of Venus, and with unfortunate results for Rome.



(Now aren't you surprised that wasn't remade in 3D?)

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was one of this blogger's childhood favorites. Sinbad and his fiancée Princess Parisa land on an island in search of provisions while on their way to Baghdad to be married. On the island, they encounter an evil magician, a genie and many Harryhausen creations, including my favorite, the man-eating, one-eyed Cyclops.



"The Fantastical Worlds of Ray Harryhausen" is open to the public for free up to August 22 and in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery at 8949 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills. It's open from 10 AM to 5 PM and from 12 noon to 6 PM on the weekends.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows official movie trailer: the 3D issue



Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort
(photo from DanielRadcliffe.com)

The first, not leaked, official movie trailer for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was released Tuesday with much celebration of and anticipation for the film to be released on November 19, 2010. But one issue that would have been overlooked, takes on new importance in the wake of Avatar Director James Cameron's attack on Warner Bros. Clash of The Titans use of 3D in a movie shot as 2D: will Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows have the same problem?

Earlier this year, just after the release of the epic remake of Clash of The Titans , Cameron went on an attack on Clash that could only be called damaging. Cameron said that making 2D films and then reforming them as 3D movies "cheapens" the 3D brand, and called for a board or commission to be formed that would monitor how and when 3D is used.

The one problem from this perspective is there are two kinds of 3D movies: before Avatar and after Avatar. Before Avatar, many movies were made with 2D cameras, then converted to 3D and in a process so common now, you can do it with your movie videos at home.  Sure, there were a few stereoscopic films, but the common process was conversion.

Avatar takes advantage of new 3D processes created from Real D 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, MasterImage 3D, and IMAX 3D, and was made from the start as a stereoscopic 3D movie.

The unfortunate reality is many movies were created from a one-camera perspective, and not an in-tandem 2 camera view system that mimics the eye and offers a more exact 3D perspective.

The whole point is to create the illusion of depth perception: the idea that something is in front of or behind another object on screen. But that written, movie makers who are converting 2D to 3D argue that the elements of a 3D movie - where a distant object is desaturated and hazy relative to a closer one - are already in 2D movies and thus continue to advocate 2D to 3D conversion.

Avatar distorts the truth

The problem Avatar causes for movie-makers on a budget is it used special equipment and techniques that were extremely expensive, then the movie goes on to be the largest money-maker in film history. So, because of Avatar, we have blogs like Screenrant claiming James Cameron has successfully ushered in the official “era of 3D cinema" because of its success. But it's not that movies haven't been made using stereoscopic film methods, they just weren't all that successful until Avatar. Now, every movie's judged by Avatar and what James Cameron says about that film versus Avatar.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is not an "Avatar 3D" movie

From the James Cameron perspective, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is not an authentic 3D movie. In other words, it was created with a one-camera-lens perspective and has been converted to 3D, much as The Clash of The Titans was, and at a cost estimated at $10 million or "$5 million for movie conversion and $5 million for the glasses" according to Heat Vision Blog.

My take: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is just fine as 2D

If you want to see what Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows will look like in 2D, just look at the movie trailer above, if you'e not done so. It's a beautiful presentation, with all of the visual depth and character drama you expect from another epic installment in the Harry Potter series. Adding 3D is an excuse to charge higher ticket prices and with the popularity of the Harry Potter brand, assure ticket sales. It's a marketing trick on the heels of Avatar, but an unnecessary one.

Avatar made my eyes strain and I had a tightness from trying to watch it with the glasses. I saw Avatar just once for that reason. Maybe my contact lenses were dirty and that reacted with the 3D glasses, but really, watching real 3D is an adjustment.

If Warner Bros was really serious about making Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in 3D, they'd have insisted on it in the production process, and even in the making of the videos that go on YouTube.

At a YouTube party I attended and will post today, YouTube engineers presented their experiments with 3D and the new online capability of being able to present 3D videos. It was effective, but takes some adjusting to. Will I use it? Considering they gave me a 3D web cam with which to make 3D videos, yes I will.  The only thing stopping me is the camera doesn't work on a Mac; it's for a PC!

I've not yet seen a movie studio make a 3D movie that includes a 3D YouTube video version. It's a good idea for a studio to do, and gives movie goers a more authentic view of what the 3D movie will look like when it's released. That written, I'm looking forward to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in whatever "D" it's presented in.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows dark official movie trailer rocks



Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows: Harry Potter grows up


Unlike most of the Harry Potter movies before it, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows is wonderfully dark and the trailer for the Warner Bros. movie reflects not just Harry Potter's coming of age as a wizard and a young man, but the evil Potter is facing. Reflecting the overall mood of the book of the same names, the vast majority of scenes presented in the trailer are dark in their style with muted tones and dark colors. Even the sky above is overcast.

And the introduction - the Warner Bros. logo and Time Warner Company name against a dark, cloudy sky, offers a foreshadowing of the not-so-pleasant World Harry Potter's a part of in The Deathly Hollows.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows is the seventh book in the series by author J.K. Rowing. The Warner Bros. movie, set to be released in two parts: Part I on November 19th 2010, and Part II on July 15th 2011, has endured some minor set backs and speed-bumps along the way to completion.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort
(photo from DanielRadcliffe.com)
First, completion of the script was delayed because of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, then a copy of the script was found under a table in a Suburban London bar after film workers went out for a night of cheer to the Waterside Tavern located near the Leavesden Studios in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, where the film was made, 21 miles north of London.

The patron who found the script read the 118-page document that was marked "Private and Confidential" did not reveal what they saw, but Screencrave.com reported it contains "several drastic changes" from the book.

Since that episode, various aspects of the plot have been leaked online.

A large cast for The Deathly Hollows

The special blog Harry Potter 7 Movie Trailer has an almost complete description of the cast and their characters as well as a history of all of the trailers released,  :

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, who makes a decision to find the remaining Horcruxes, not returning for his seventh year at Hogwarts.
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, one of Harry's two best friends.
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, one of Harry's two best friends.
Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher, Harry's first friend from the magical world.
David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Lupin is a werewolf and a member of the Order of the Phoenix.
Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, a slightly nerdy friend of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Luna.
Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood, one of Harry's friends and member of Dumbledore's Army
Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, one of Voldemort's principal Death Eaters, older sister of Narcissa Malfoy, aunt to Draco, and cousin of Sirius Black, whom she murdered in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy. Isaacs considered not returning for the film, before the book was released, as he was worried Malfoy would have very little screentime due to the character's imprisonment in the previous story.
Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy, Draco's mother and younger sister of Bellatrix.
Timothy Spall as Peter Pettigrew, former member of Harry's father James's group of friends, he betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort. Now one of Voldemort's principal Death Eaters.

Obviously missing from this list is the great actor Ralph Fiennes who plays Lord Voldemort pictured above.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows in 3D

Following a trend that started with last year's hit Avatar, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows will be presented in 3D. From the appearance of the trailer, it looks like The Deathly Hollows was originally a 2D movie that will be presented in 3D.

Will James Cameron slam Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows?

The use of 3D as a marketing tool (the Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Trailer contains promotion as such a film) is a practice panned by Avatar Producer / Director James Cameron, who took a direct shot at another Warner Bros. movie, The Clash of The Titans when he said "They worked against themselves with that film. I've heard people say that they couldn't watch (Clash of the Titans) in 3-D and thought it looked better in 2-D and they enjoyed the film more," in response to the news that Warner Bros. delayed the release of Clash to add 3D effects.

Cameron fears too many movies adding 3D effects to a movie shot as a 2D production will cheapen the 3D brand. That Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows does that remains to be seen.

Stay tuned.