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Oct
02

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Blame Tim Burton for Batman and Johnny Depp. The macabre filmmaker, turned The Dark Knight into a bonafide franchise and helped make Depp a star. Despite his hit-or-miss output lately, Burton is still noteworthy. Before you see “Miss Peregrine’s”, here’s our ranking of his best (and worst) films.

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‘PLANET OF THE APES’ (2001)

This is the most baffling of Burton’s superfluous remakes. Not just because of a bananas ending that (unlike the Statue of Liberty reveal in the original 1968 film) makes no sense, but because why did he bother in the first place?Yeah, the monkey make-up looks much better than it did in Charlton Heston’s day, and Burton’s 13-year professional and personal relationship with Helena Bonham Carter began here, but there’s no intelligent life on this “Planet.”

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‘DARK SHADOWS’ (2012)

These next three films are virtually tied for “Worst.” By now, Burton’s remakes of properties that didn’t need to be remade are feeling rote and uninspired. So it is with this take on the 1960s-’70s horror-themed soap opera. Depp is all too lifeless as revived vampire Barnabas Collins. The only lively performance comes from Burton’s future “Miss Peregrine” star Eva Green as Angelina, the dangerously volatile witch unhinged by her (inexplicable) love for Barnabas.

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‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ (2010)

They say no one ever leaves a Broadway musical humming the sets, but this film, even more than other Burton spectacles, is entirely about the overwhelmingly lush production design. Johnny Depp gets top billing as the Mad Hatter, but even he is just another colorful decoration. At least this time, Burton’s misunderstood dreamer caught between childhood and adulthood isn’t a guy.

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‘BIG FISH’ (2003)

Sure, Burton’s a great cinematic storyteller, but imagine if he were your dad, and you had to live in his world of bizarre whimsy 24/7, and you’ll begin to grasp the frustration and shot nerves that mark Billy Crudup’s character here. Unfortunately, it’s the bizarrely whimsical dad (Ewan McGregor as a young man, Albert Finney as an old man) that you’re supposed to identify with in Burton’s attempt at a male weepie.

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Sep
28

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Angelina Jolie has reportedly turned to Johnny Depp for a shoulder to cry on over her split from Brad Pitt.Depp starred alongside Jolie in 2010’s The Tourist and the pair has reportedly stayed in touch over the years, British newspaper The Sun reports.“Angelina idolized Johnny for years before she worked with him on The Tourist, and then the pair of them really hit it off on set,” a source told the publication.They have since been in more frequent contact since news broke that Angelina filed for divorce from Brad Pitt last week.“The two of them have stayed in touch ever since then, and spoke regularly during the storm that surrounded Johnny’s break up with Amber,” the source continued.Johnny also reportedly advised Angelina to contact Laura Wasser, the lawyer who handled his messy divorce from Amber Heard recently.“There’s no suggestion that their closeness played any part in Angelina and Brad’s split. But they have been speaking about the situation, the source added. “Her friends are now speculating about what could happen between them if she and Brad are not reconciled and their divorce goes through.”Remember how Angelina and Brad initially got together after hitting it off on set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith all those years ago while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston?Angelina Jolie has reportedly turned to Johnny Depp for a shoulder to cry on.

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This comes after Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt last week.

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Reports say Depp advised Jolie to employ his divorce lawyer Laura Wasser.

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Depp himself recently went through a messy divorce from Amber Heard.

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Johnny Depp starred alongside Angelina Jolie in The Tourist in 2010.

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The pair reportedly stayed in touch after hitting it off on set.

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They are now apparently in more frequent contact and are discussing Angelina’s marriage breakdown.

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Sources close to the pair say their friendship had nothing to do with the divorce, though.

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Angelina’s friends, however, are speculating on what could happen between them after the divorce is finalized.

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Remember Angelina originally got together with Brad on set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith all those years ago.

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Sep
27

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Harrison Ford hasn’t been the true marquee star of a blockbuster movie in a while, but he’s still ruling Hollywood.

Thanks to “Star Wars” and other films over the years, he’s one member in an exclusive group of actors whose movies have grossed $3 billion or more in total.

We’ve selected the stars from Box Office Mojo’s ranking of actors’ all-time box-office performance who have achieved status in the $3 billion club.

Some are well-known, like Ford or Scarlett Johansson, while others (like C-3PO thespian Anthony Daniels) are not, but their work speaks for itself.

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CAMERON DIAZ — $3.03 BILLION

Highest grossing film: “Shrek 2” ($441.2 million)

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ROBERT DENIRO — $3.08 BILLION

Highest grossing film: “Meet the Fockers” ($279.3 million)

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MATT DAMON — $3.11 BILLION

Highest grossing film: “The Martian” ($228.4 million)

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STANLEY TUCCI — $3.12 BILLION

Highest grossing film: “Catching Fire” ($424.7 million)

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IAN MCKELLEN — $3.15 BILLION

Highest grossing film: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($377.8 million)

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Sep
25

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DENIED. Three-year-old Prince George totally shut down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attempt at a friendly high-five when the two met on Sept. 24 during the Royal Canadian Tour. It is actually one of the most painfully awkward things to watch. Being snubbed by the future king of England? That’s rough. See the pic after the jump!

Prince George, 3, was cute as a button when he got off the plane from England with his Royal mommy, daddy and baby sister. Seriously, no plane hair what-so-ever. But, he did have a tiny attitude, cause when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered the little prince a high-five, Prince George shook his head “no.” Ouch! That’s gotta hurt. But Justin took it in stride, going first from a high-five attempt, then to a low-five, then, finally, the Hail Mary pass of a good old fashioned handshake. No? Nothing? Well, you can’t win ’em all.

Right alongside Prince George in all this was mommy Kate Middleton, 34, and daddy Prince William, 34, who decided to take their son and baby daughter, Princess Charlotte, 1, on their Royal Canadian Tour with them. We were so happy when we found out the little ones would be coming along for the ride, because we can’t get enough of those two!

See photos of Prince George

Prince George must have been a little groggy from his flight to Victoria, Canada, otherwise we think Justin might have gotten the high-five he so desperately wanted. After all, at three years old, Prince George has got this whole royal thing down pat. Surely he knows how to greet a foreign dignitary. Now he just needs to teach his little sis a thing or two, as this is only Princess Charlotte’s third public outing since she was born! We can’t wait to see the kids some more on this tour turned fun family trip!

HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Prince George’s adorable little snub? Let us know below!

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Sep
25

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Celebrity marriages have not had the best of times: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Middle-aged, male A-list stars are taking a beating. The situation has become so dire that the celebrity news channel E! Online is predicting the “End of an era for celebrity idol worship”.

But nothing quite prepared the celebrity world for the totalling of Brangelina.

From alimony to palimony to the rise of the pay-as-you-go marriage (the wage-earning party to pay into a separation fund throughout the length of the marriage so there are no surprises when or if the marriage eventually ends), Hollywood couples have long been pioneers when it comes to marital innovation, but the end of Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie has left a nuclear pall over Hollywood-land.

The normally loquacious PR Howard Bragman, known for containing tabloid feeding frenzies, offered no advice. “Just sad to me,” he wrote in an email.

In some instances, say managers, both parties should be able to walk away with their careers and box-office potential enhanced. But the Brangelina marriage crack-up already looks to be heading in the opposite direction, with reports of the FBI looking into “an incident” on a flight the Pitt-Jolie family took on 14 September.

Pitt was reportedly “lawyering up” after the FBI announced the agency “is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued”.

“This one is going to end with both of them having their images bruised,” predicts Allison Hope Weiner, a lawyer and journalist who has covered Hollywood for more than 15 years.

What is clear is that in this confrontation nothing is left to chance and the leaks that appear in the media – usually via celebrity website TMZ’s host Harvey Levin, are deliberate and highly strategised.

“They know that if they can get to Harvey first, and he publishes first, they can set the tone because the rest of the media consider TMZ a first-party source,” says one talent manager familiar with the frontlines of Hollywood scandal. “Angelina needs some kind of leverage to go for full custody for the kids.

“If you’re wise enough you can see that websites like TMZ granulate – serialise – everything because it creates entertainment product for them to carry it. They’re making money off it.”

It’s no mystery, then, that barely a week into the split, the children are already the focus of the battle. On Thursday, the LA Times received a leak that Pitt was subject to the FBI investigation over the private plane trip back from France last week.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at Cannes in 2011
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Image conscious: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the Cannes film festival in 2011. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

As TMZ reported: “Sources familiar with the situation tell us, Brad, Angelina and their kids were on a flight last Wednesday when he allegedly got wasted on the private jet. He allegedly went wild, screaming at the kids.”

The website continued: “We’re told the plane landed at an airport around 8pm, and witnesses say Pitt continued his rant on the tarmac, and even tried leaving in one of the fuel trucks.”

In her divorce filing, Jolie listed the couple’s date of separation as the following day, 15 September, and it was later suggested that the LA county department of children and family services had looked into the incident.

Though LA celebrity divorce lawyers routinely deny leaking to TMZ – and blame court clerks for those leaks – both anti-Pitt items suggest that Jolie’s publicists and lawyers (she is represented by divorce specialist Laura Wasser) are setting the pace.

“How do you think the media find out that a parent is being investigated for not properly caring for a child?” says Weiner. “In many instances, the existence of an investigation is leaked to the press.”

By Friday, Pitt was fighting back, reportedly enlisting the help of attorney Lance Spiegel, who has worked with celebrities such as Charlie Sheen and Michael Jackson. One source told People magazine: “He was appealing to her to do this quietly – not to save the marriage but to consider the wellbeing of the children – and it was ignored. He is just wrecked by this.

“He was willing to do anything, change any habit, change any lifestyle, to do what had to be done to make this work,” adds the source. “And by ‘make this work’ that means doing what has to be done to make even a split one that is amicable and in the best interests of the children.”

Jolie’s demands are already clear: The actor, 41, has asked for physical custody of the children and is requesting that Pitt be granted visiting rights, while Pitt wants shared custody, sources have said.

While none of that is entirely new or surprising, the PR battle over both stars’ parenting skills is well under way, according to Weiner: “It’s managed so the client looks like a loving and caring parent. In some cases, nannies are instructed to walk in the back so parents can be photographed with their children and look as if they have no professional help with parenting.

“Moreover, paparazzi are informed when to catch parents out at the park with their children, providing an opportunity for the star to be photographed ‘spending quality time’ with his or her child.”

Could a celebrity divorce ever be harnessed to engineer a career lift? The answer, in at least one high-profile case, seems to be yes.

When Gwen Stefani divorced British rocker Gavin Rossdale for allegedly cheating with the nanny – “the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage; we remain partners in parenthood” – Stefani came swinging back with a new relationship (Blake Shelton), and heartbreak-linked new material: a duet (Go Ahead and Break My Heart); a hit album (This is What Truth Feels Like) and a TV show (The Voice).

“They may say that but it’s a racket among the lawyers,” says the talent manager. “They want to inflame and create issues that extend the back-and-forth. Then it becomes a media thing – a crisis – and that becomes licence to bill.” And that’s before the whole thing gets wrapped up in a non-disclosure agreement.

When Depp and Heard’s marriage hit the rocks earlier this year amid reports of domestic violence, a settlement was quickly agreed before any further damage could be inflicted.

The couple concluded their relationship with this, somewhat enigmatic, statement: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future.”

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Mar
08

“Start the album at the lion’s third roar.”

the-dark-moonThe above quote is a mantra of ultraviolet basement-dwellers the world over, brave pilgrims of the ceremonious journey that is “Dark Side of the Rainbow.” In 1995, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette publicized the kinetic experience achieved by watching The Wizard of Oz while simultaneously listening to Pink Floyd’s iconic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon.  The phenomenon earned a variety of evaluations, ranging from “A mild-altering Continue Reading…

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Feb
25

List of the 85th annual Academy Award winners announced Sunday in Los Angeles:

oscar-2013-key-oscar-winners Continue Reading…

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