‘Top Gun’ director’s estate rejects million-dollar claim by talent agency

Mar 15, 2013

LOS ANGELES  – The estate of the late director Tony Scott has rejected a claim of more than $1 million from Creative Artists Agency.

After the “Top Gun” director jumped to his death off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro Aug. 10, he allegedly had not paid $1,040,522 owed to the noted talent agency, which filed a demand for payment in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 28.

However, last Friday the claim was turned down by R. Dennis Luderer, the personal representative of the Scott estate. No reason was given for the rejection.

Luderer’s court papers state that the value of the Scott estate is $1.25 million.

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Developing videogames at USC ranks top of Princeton Review for 4th consecutive year

Mar 12, 2013

LOS ANGELES  – USC’s videogame-design graduate program continued to score big points in an annual ranking released today by The Princeton Review, finishing atop a list of more than 100 North American schools.

Conducted jointly by USC’s film and engineering schools, the 10-year-old graduate program has earned the top spot all four years The Princeton Review has conducted its rankings. USC’s undergraduate program was ranked second behind the University of Utah.

The USC program includes a one-year games course, called USC Games, in which students work with faculty to develop their dream game and present it to industry professionals. Students in the USC Games course have gone on to develop such games as “Modern Warfare 3,” “Journey,” “The Unfinished Swan” and “Farmville,” according to the university.

The Princeton Review’s 2012-13 rankings cap a year in which the work of several USC alumni garnered critical acclaim and awards, including Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany, who developed the award-winning “Journey,” a game in which players control a mysterious character as it explores a glistening, dune-filled landscape.

Tracy Fullerton, USC’s Electronic Arts endowed chair of the Interactive Media and Games Division, called it a “banner year” for the program, “with some outstanding new faculty joining us from industry, our brand new interactive building, the 10th anniversary of the program and the amazing achievements of our alumni like those at thatgamecompany, who won eight D.I.C.E. awards last month. It’s all very gratifying to see how our efforts are having real impact for our students and in the industry.”

Each year, The Princeton Review releases two lists ranking graduate and undergraduate schools based on a report from each institution detailing the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure, career services, student scholarships and financial aid.

The only other California school on either list this year was UC Santa Cruz for its graduate game design program.

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Universal settles lawsuit over ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ porn adaptation

Mar 12, 2013

LOS ANGELES  – Universal Studios and the copyright holder of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books have settled a copyright infringement lawsuit with a Los Angeles adult movie company over a porn parody of the steamy bestsellers, court papers obtained today show.

Universal, which owns the movie rights, and Fifty Shades Ltd. contended in the federal suit filed last November that Smash Pictures violated copyright and trademark laws by issuing “Fifty Shades of Grey: a XXX Adaptation.”

According to the lawsuit, the triple-X parody is a “willful attempt to capitalize on the reputation of the book.”‘

The E.L. James novel tells of an affair between a literature student and a young entrepreneur.

A notice of settlement filed with the court states that an agreement was reached upon “payment of a confidential sum by Smash Pictures to plaintiffs and upon entry by the court of a stipulated judgment for permanent injunction with respect to plaintiffs’ claims for copyright and trademark infringement.”

No further details of the settlement were disclosed.

The plaintiffs alleged that by using “exact dialogue, characters, events, story and style from the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy, Smash Pictures ensured that the first XXX adaptation was, in fact, as close as possible to the original works,” and they sought a judge’s order halting its sale and unspecified monetary damages.

Luv Moves, which apparently packaged the DVD with sex toys in a gift box titled “Fifty Shades of Pleasure: Play Kit & Movie,” was also named in the suit.

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Lawsuit alleges Frank Ocean took credit, Grammy ‘Under false pretenses’

Mar 8, 2013

LOS ANGELES  – A producer who claims to have collaborated with Frank Ocean on his Grammy Award-winning debut album sued the singer, his creative partner and record label today in Los Angeles, alleging they cheated him out of performance and production credits.

In the complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court, producer- songwriter Micah Otano alleges that Malay — Ocean’s chief creative partner on “Channel Orange” — engaged in a “fraudulent scheme to deprive Otano of credit for his production and performance work” on the track “Lost.”

The album won the Grammy for best urban contemporary album last month, an award Malay shared in.

Attempts to reach Ocean’s management were unsuccessful after regular business hours.

According to the suit, which cites breach of contract, fraud, copyright infringement and other allegations, Otano co-created the song upon which “Lost” was based.

Otano also alleges he solely performed the lead synthesizer parts on “DayLight,” as well as piano and other parts, and collaborated with Malay on the drum programming — and all those performances were incorporated into the finished track.

“There is arguably no more shameful act — in either the music world or the non-music world — than to take credit for someone else’s hard work and talent, and then accept an award for that work under false pretenses,” according to the lawsuit, which also names UMG Recordings and Island/Def Jam.

Otano seeks general and punitive damages, profits and future royalties from sales of the album, and co-production credits on the song.

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L.A. city attorney seeks minimum 90-day locked rehab in Lindsay Lohan driving case

Mar 1, 2013

LOS ANGELES  – A hearing is set today in the case of troubled actress Lindsay Lohan, who is awaiting trial later this month on three misdemeanor counts stemming from a car crash last June.

Lohan’s new attorney, Mark Jay Heller, has said he expects Lohan to attend the hearing, although she is not required to.

The 26-year-old actress was charged Nov. 29 by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office with one misdemeanor count each of willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer, providing false information to an officer, and reckless driving. The misdemeanors each carry potential jail terms ranging from three months to a year.

Lohan is accused of lying to the police by telling Santa Monica officers she was not driving a Porsche that rear-ended a truck on Pacific Coast Highway June 8 as she headed for work on the TV film “Liz & Dick.”

Lohan was already on probation in connection with her no contest plea in May 2011 to a misdemeanor grand theft charge involving a necklace she took from a Venice jewelry store, and now stands accused by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office of violating the terms of her probation.

There have been conflicting reports about whether there was a settlement in the works with Lohan, who is set to go on trial March 18.

“We’ll come together on Friday and see where we are,” Heller said earlier this week.

While Santa Monica city prosecutor Terry White and Heller have discussed a possible plea deal, the L.A. city attorney, won’t accept any deal of less than 90 days in a locked rehab center, a source familiar with the prosecution told the Los Angeles Times.

In the event Santa Monica’s prosecutor agrees to a lesser sentence, L.A. prosecutors will probably object and ask that Lohan be sentenced to 90 days for violating the terms of her probation, the source said.

In a letter to White and Spencer Hart of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Lohan’s attorney wrote last month that his client had asked him to “facilitate an in-person meeting with both of you, not to discuss the merits of her defense or the details of her case, but rather for Lindsay to introduce herself to both of you and express her sincerest desire to share her thoughts and help in the process of our determining what the best course would be for her future and to personally affirm her commitment and dedication to fix the problems.”

In a court document filed last week, Lohan’s attorney contended that the actress was not advised of her Miranda rights and was questioned at Santa Monica Hospital after she invoked her right to have an attorney present following the crash.

In his motion, Heller asks that any statements from Lohan or photographs of her be suppressed and seeks the dismissal of two of the charges — willfully resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer and giving false information to a police officer — “on the basis that the Santa Monica Police Department officer was not acting or engaged in the lawful performance of his duties, and was acting unlawfully.”

The defense lawyer also asked in his motion for a continuance in the case to allow him time to get medical records he has requested.

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‘Hobbit’ trilogy release dates stretch fans’ wait time

Mar 1, 2013

BURBANK – “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic book, will be released on Dec. 17, 2014, instead of its previous scheduled summer slot, Warner Bros. Pictures announced today.

The second film in “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” will be released at the end of this year — on Dec. 13.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was released during the 2012 holiday season and went on to become a billion-dollar global blockbuster. The three films in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy also had holiday releases.

“We’re excited to complete the trilogy the same way we started it, as a holiday treat for moviegoers everywhere,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.’ president of Domestic Distribution.   Warner Bros. has handled worldwide theatrical distribution of all three films in the trilogy, which are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.   The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team also brought to the big screen.

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Feb 28, 2013

Por David Arreguin


Los grandes de la música se reconocen no solo por altura en el mundo de la farándula, sino por su sencillez a la hora de conversar, prueba de ello que Bereavisión tuvo la fortuna de reencontrarse con el Principe de la Salsa… Luis Enrique… que hoy jueves 28 de febrero se presenta en el Conga Room para despedir el mes del amor y la amistad  celebrando de manera  ininterrumpida 25 años de prolífica carrera y que mejor manera de festejar, como nos dijo Luis Enrique, como le gusta, cantando al amor, de una manera muy peculiar aportando las historias que todos vivimos, dándole un matiz distinto porque sus letras llevan consigo un lenguaje poético, libre, claro y preciso en cada canción.

Esta trayectoria a los 25 años de caminar a veces como músico invitado para hacer acordes a producciones de artistas internacionales como… Ricky Martin, Chayanne, Gloria Stefan, Arturo Sandoval, Alex Acuña entre otros, y ahora en éste 2013 festejará en Centro y Sudamérica interpretando todos sus éxitos que lo han catapultado como lo que es… El Principe de la Salsa, iniciando su gira denominada “Soy y Seré” en Miami y cerrándola  en su país natal Nicaragua.

Como no recordar los acordes de temas como “Mi Mundo”, “Date un Chance” que es un claro mensaje de ayuda a todos aquellos que han caído en las terribles adicciones, “Yo no se mañana” que es un gran referente para una gran historia que suena cotidiana entre los enamorados, asi que seamos “complices” de Luis Enrique en esta gran presentación.

Su carácter intenso y luchador le han orillado a encausar una lucha por los derechos de los inmigrantes participando en foros, conferencias y llevando un mensaje de esperanza, de hecho tuvo la fortuna de platicar con el Presidente Barack Obama en la Casa Blanca y no desaprovechó la oportunidad para externarle su inquietud sobre una reforma migratoria, misma que en 1986 le concedió a el su ciudadanía, manteniendo la esperanza sobre todo para un gran sector de la población de los Estados Unidos como son los jóvenes con el famoso sueño americano el Dream Act.

Dejó Somoto Nicaragua hace 30 años para cumplir sus anhelos y sueños, sueños que hoy hace realidad… Luis Enrique actualmente cumple con distintos roles que su carrera le exige, productor, autor, arreglista, música e interprete y vaya que es un SEÑOR INTERPERTE, ganador de 3 Grammys Latinos y un Grammy Americano, premios muy relevantes y codiciados, así que estimados lectores y complices de Luis Enrique hoy tenemos una cita con la Salsa y uno de los mejores exponentes, Luis Enrique el Principe de la Salsa, nos vemos en el Conga Room





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‘Argo’ win absolves Affleck; Day-Lewis becomes Oscars’ very Best Actor

Feb 25, 2013

HOLLYWOOD  –  Ben Affleck, who was not even nominated in the director’s category, has to feel vindicated today after his film, “Argo,” was named best picture at the 85th Academy Awards, where Daniel Day-Lewis became the first three-time best actor winner in Oscar history and Jennifer Lawrence, at 22, was named best actress.

Day-Lewis, a London-born Irishman, was honored for his portrayal of the nation’s 16th president in “Lincoln” and Lawrence received her first Oscar for her work in “Silver Linings Playbook” in a ceremony that saw “Life of Pi” collect a leading four statuettes — including best director for Ang Lee — while “Argo” and “Les Miserables” had three.

Accepting the best-picture Oscar for “Argo,” an Iran-hostage thriller, co-producer Grant Heslov heaped praise on Affleck, who was not nominated for a director’s Oscar by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences but who received an array of honors from others, including the top prize from the Directors Guild of America.

“The reason I wanted to speak before Ben was Ben is a producer on the film and he is also our director, and I thought it would be awkward for Ben to thank himself,” Heslov said on stage Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre. “But it’s not awkward for me. … You directed a hell of a film. (I) couldn’t be more proud of the film, couldn’t be more proud of Ben.”

Affleck, who won an Oscar with pal Matt Damon for 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” told the star-studded crowd he was “just a kid” back then.

“I never thought that I would be back here and I am because of so many of you who are here tonight, because of this Academy, because of so many wonderful people who extended themselves to me when they had nothing to benefit from it in Hollywood, you know, I couldn’t get them a job,” he said.

“I want to thank them and I want to thank what they taught me, which is that you have to work harder than you think you possibly can,” Affleck said. “You can’t hold grudges. It’s hard, but you can’t hold grudges. And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, because that’s going to happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up.”

Day-Lewis’ win for his lead role as President Abraham Lincoln makes him the first person to earn three Oscars in the category. He previously won for “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood.”

“I really don’t know how any of this happened,” the 55-year-old actor said. “I do know that I’ve received so much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life.”

Known for immersing himself in roles and staying in character 24 hours a day during filming, the London-raised actor thanked his wife, Rebecca, noting that during his career “she has lived with some very strange men.”

“I mean they were strange as individuals and probably even stranger if taken as a group,” he said. “But luckily, she’s the versatile one in the family and she’s been the perfect companion to all of them.”

“Lincoln” had a leading 12 nominations heading into the ceremony, but won only two, the other for production design for Rick Carter and Jim Erickson.

Lawrence won her Oscar for her portrayal of Bradley Cooper’s romantic foil in “Silver Linings Playbook.” It was her second nomination in the category, with her first coming in 2010 for “Winter’s Bone.”

“This is nuts,” the 22-year-old actress said. “Thank you to the Academy and thank you to the women this year. You were so magnificent and so inspiring, and not just those of you in my category.”

Austrian actor Christoph Waltz was named best supporting actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-era drama “Django Unchained.” Waltz, 56, won the same award for another Tarantino film, 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds,” and heaped praise on the director when accepting his latest statuette at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

“We participated in a hero’s journey, the hero here being Quentin,” Waltz said. “You scaled the mountain because you’re not afraid of it. You slay the dragon because you’re not afraid of it, and you cross through fire because it’s worth it. I borrowed my character’s words. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.”

Waltz, who also won a Golden Globe for his “Django” work, emerged victorious from a highly competitive field of candidates that included Screen Actors Guild Award winner Tommy Lee Jones  (“Lincoln”), Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Alan Arkin (“Argo”) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”).

Anne Hathaway rounded out her sweep of major Hollywood award wins by being named best supporting actress for her tragic turn as Fantine, a woman who slaves in menial jobs to raise money for her daughter until she eventually dies, in “Les Miserables.” It was the first Oscar for the 30-year-old actress, who was nominated for best actress in 2008’s “Rachel Getting Married.”

“It came true,” she whispered as she held the award on stage. “Thank you so much to the Academy for this and for nominating me with Helen Hunt, Jacki Weaver, Amy Adams and Sally Field. I look up to you all so much and it’s been such an honor. Thank you.”

She thanked the cast and crew of the musical and added, “Here’s hoping that someday in the not-too-distant future, the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and never more in real life.”

Lee’s win for best director was the second of his career. The Taiwanese filmmaker also won for “Brokeback Mountain” and was previously nominated for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

“Thank you movie god,” Lee said. “I really need to share this with … everybody who worked with me on ‘Life of Pi.’ I really want to thank you for believing in this story and taking this incredible journey with me.”

The visually lush fantasy also won Oscars for cinematography for Claudio Miranda; visual effects for Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott; and original score for Mychael Danna.

Tarantino won his second Oscar for best original screenplay for his “Django Unchained” script. He previously won for “Pulp Fiction.”

Tarantino praised the actors in the film for giving life to the characters in the script.

“I actually think if people are, like, knowing about my movies 30 or 50 years from now, it’s going to be because of the characters that I created,” he said. “And I really only got one chance to get it right. I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive, and hopefully live for a long time. And boy this time did I do it. Thank you so much, guys.”

The Oscar for best adapted screenplay went to Chris Terrio for “Argo.”

The award for best original song went to Adele and Paul Epworth for the title song of the James Bond thriller “Skyfall.”

Disney’s “Brave” — the story of a rebellious Scottish princess’ test of wills with her mother as she challenges a pre-arranged marriage — won the Oscar for best animated feature, and co-director Brenda Chapman thanked her “wonderful, strong, beautiful daughter Emma, who inspired ‘Brave’ into being.”

John Kahr’s “Paperman” won for best animated short film — the first Disney Animation Studios-produced short to win the prize since 1969.

The Oscar for costume design when to Jacqueline Durran for “Anna Karenina” while Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell won the hairstyling and makeup award for “Les Miserables.”

Shawn Christensen won the Oscar for his live-action short “Curfew.” The award for documentary short subject went to Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine for “Inocente,” the coming-of-age story of a homeless and undocumented San Diego teen who’s determined to become an artist.

“Searching for Sugar Man,” the story of two South Africans who set out in search of 1970s rock star Rodriguez, received the Oscar for best documentary feature.

The Austrian film “Amour” — a French-language drama about a married pair of retired music teachers whose love is tested when she suffers a stroke — was named best foreign language film. The movie was the fifth in Oscar history to be nominated for both foreign language film and best picture honors.

The sound-mixing Oscar went to Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for “Les Miserables.” The sound-editing category ended in a tie, with Oscars going to Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for “Skyfall” and Paul N.J. Ottosson for “Zero Dark Thirty.”

For film editing, “Argo’s” William Goldenberg picked up his first Oscar. He was also co-nominated in the same category this year for “Zero Dark Thirty.”

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The Oscars

Feb 14, 2013

BEVERLY HILLS  – He may have been snubbed for a best-director nomination, but Ben Affleck will still be appearing on stage on Oscar night.

The “Argo” director, who is nominated as a producer of the best- picture nominee, will serve as a presenter during the Oscar ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today. Best-actress nominees Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence will also present during the Feb. 24 event at the Dolby Theatre.

Chastain is nominated for her role in “Zero Dark Thirty,” while Lawrence is nominated for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

They join a list of Oscar presenters that already included past best- actress winners Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon; “Chicago” stars Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah; “The Avengers” stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo; and last year’s top acting winners Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer.

Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand are all scheduled to perform.

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Lady Gaga cancels tour and will undergo surgery

Feb 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles-based company handling Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” concerts confirmed today the cancellation of the remainder of the tour.

The 26-year-old singer initially canceled four dates.

“After additional tests this morning to review the severity of the issue, it has been determined that Lady Gaga has a labral tear of the right hip. She will need surgery to repair the problem, followed by strict down time to recover. This unfortunately, will force her to cancel the tour so she can heal,” according to a statement issued by Live Nation Global Touring.

Refunds for the two dozen or so canceled performances will be available at point of purchase starting Thursday.

The tour — which started Jan. 11 and included Jan. 20-21 performances at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles — had been scheduled to wrap up on March 20 in Tulsa.

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