Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“Microsoft Not Ready To Give Up On 'Halo' Movie - IESB.NET” plus 3 more

“Microsoft Not Ready To Give Up On 'Halo' Movie - IESB.NET” plus 3 more


Microsoft Not Ready To Give Up On 'Halo' Movie - IESB.NET

Posted: 07 Sep 2010 11:53 AM PDT

No doubt one of the most successful franchises in video game history, Halo helped push Microsoft's foray into console gaming when their X-Box was first competing against the likes of Sony's Playstation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube. The first-person shooter's sequel, Halo 2, had taken gaming to the next level by offering a console based game that could be played through the X-Box Live network and connect players worldwide in deathmatches, a feature which had only previously been widely available on standard computers. With its growing success, the inevitable outcry for a feature film based on the game grew as well.

Unfortunately there's been many an obstacle in the way of bringing the project to fruition. Peter Jackson had at one time been in line to actually direct, then had passed the directing duties on to Guillermo del Toro while putting on the producer's hat. Once del Toro bowed out for his own projects Jackson brought on his protege Neill Blomkamp, before the success of his full feature of District 9. Collaborating studios Universal and Fox weren't happy with the $135 million budget proposed by the production team, so the project was once again placed on hold.

From a report by Variety, Microsoft still retains the rights to any film adaptation, but with the recent trend of placing higher profile projects onto TV, Microsoft has been entertaining the thought of a series. They also aren't in any "particular hurry" now to produce either a film or TV series, as the most recent game Halo: Reach is still fresh in the market and has been building on the history of the series. Frank O'Connor, the current development director told Variety:

"We're still interested in making an excellent 'Halo' movie. We've created an awful lot of documentation and materials to support a feature film. We have a good idea of what kind of story we want to tell, but won't move on it until there's a great reason to do it. We're in no particular hurry."

If you may have noticed there has been quite a large campaign around Halo: Reach, which has been largely in live action commercials with a very cinematic feel to them. Microsoft is looking to the commercials' director Noam Murro to shoot several live action shorts that will give much more insight into the history of the war. For now this looks to be the closest thing to a film adaptation, but it certainly is better than nothing at all. In due time Microsoft and Bungie will be able to have the large-scale production they are hoping for, and hopefully we will see a video game adaptation that will become that elusive great film spectacle that everything so far has failed to accomplish. We'll be watching and waiting for any updates.

Feel free to email Jeff Girard at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/iesb_jgirard



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New York Community Bank Teams with Newsday to Present Free Outdoor Movie Night Series - Forbes

Posted: 10 Sep 2010 09:55 AM PDT

BusinessWire - The weather was perfect for more than 5,000 movie fans that came to the Melville, N.Y. campus of Newsday on Aug. 26, 2010 to enjoy a free showing of the original "Toy Story" -- outdoors, on the lawn, and under the stars.

Roslyn Savings Bank, a division of New York Community Bank (NYCB), and the Newsday Media Group, along with Metro PCS, teamed up to present this special summer event. Two additional outdoor movie nights are still to come.

Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" is scheduled to be shown on Friday, Sept. 10 (rain date of Sept. 25), and the popular "How to Train Your Dragon" is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9 (rain date of Oct. 16).

Movie-goers enjoyed the original "Toy Story" and Roslyn Savings Bank's generous give-aways that included 3,500 water bottles, a raffle for a $150.00 Visa Gift Card, and 10 Starbucks Coffee Gift Cards. Bank employees were also on hand to staff a promotional table offering free NYCB pens, plastic carry bags, and t-shirts.

"The entire NYCB Family is excited to once again co-sponsor the Newsday Outdoor Movie Series" said First Senior Vice President, Joseph Masi. "Creating a family atmosphere where free movies can be enjoyed in a comfortable and beautiful setting, is a perfect way to give back to the Long Island community that we have long been a part of."

Printable tickets, in limited quantities, for the next two movies, are available on-line two weeks in advance and can be found at www.newsday.com.

Roslyn Savings Bank, a division of New York Community Bank -- member FDIC, operates 56 branch locations throughout Long Island.

About the NYCB Family of Banks (www.NYCBfamily.com)

With a 150-year history of strength, stability, and service, the NYCB Family of Banks consists of New York Community Bancorp, Inc., the 23rd largest bank holding company in the nation, with assets of $42.0 billion, and its two bank subsidiaries: New York Community Bank, with 243 branches in Metro New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, and Arizona; and New York Commercial Bank, with 35 branches in Metro New York. Both New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank are members of the FDIC.

Reflecting its growth through a series of acquisitions, New York Community Bank serves its customers through seven local divisions: Queens County savings Bank in Queens, Roslyn Savings Bank on Long Island, Richmond County Savings Bank on Staten Island, Roosevelt Savings Bank in Brooklyn, Garden State Community Bank in New Jersey, Ohio Savings Bank in Ohio, and AmTrust Bank in Florida and Arizona. Similarly, New York Commercial Bank operates 18 of its branches under the name Atlantic Bank.

For additional information about the NYCB Family of Banks, visit us at www.NYCBfamily.com.

SOURCE: NYCB Family of Banks

Elser & Aucone Jon Lieb/Lois Russo 212-563-8025

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Feature Presentation: Fall 2010 Movie Preview - Examiner

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 09:36 AM PDT

Hollywood has in store for audiences this fall everything from the return of Gordon Gekko to the reintroduction of the smarter-than-your-average bear.

There are sequels ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"), remakes ("Let Me In" and "True Grit"), animated adventures ("Megamind" and "Tangled"), horror flicks ("Devil" and "Paranormal Activity 2"), comedies ("Due Date" and "Little Fockers"), documentaries ("I'm Still Here" and "Waiting for Superman"), dramas ("Hereafter" and "The Debt"), three-dimensional spectacles ("Jackass 3D" and "Saw 3D"), action-packed extravaganzas ("Unstoppable" and "The Next Three Days") and altogether enigmas ("Catfish" and "Project X").

The following is a look ahead at this fall's most notable new movies coming to the Valley, complete with terrifically tweetable tidbits (160 characters or less) to help you determine which ones to see... and which ones to flee. Local release dates are subject to change.

SEPTEMBER 1
"The American"
- George Clooney (and I know that is enough to make most of the female population see it) plays an assassin who finds work, friendship and love in Rome, Italy.

SEPTEMBER 3
"Animal Kingdom"
- An Australian crime-family raises the stakes when tragedy strikes. Some are calling it the best Australian movie ever made. Take that "Crocodile Dundee."
"Going the Distance" - This romcom starring real-life couple Justin Long and Drew Barrymore benefits from the appeal of its two charming leads yet looks too cute for its own good.
"Machete" - The first of several fake trailers from 2007's "Grindhouse" to get a feature-length treatment stars Danny Trejo as a Mexican Federale out for revenge.

SEPTEMBER 10
"I'm Still Here"
– Casey Affleck's documentary shows us what Joaquin Phoenix has been up to over the past few years. You know, besides growing a homeless man beard.
"Legendary" - Since Sylvester Stallone did not ask him to be a part of "The Expendables," John Cena found another way onto the big screen with this inspirational drama.
"Resident Evil: Afterlife" - Milla Jovovich is back as Alice the Zombie Slayer in this fourth installment of the surprisingly successful movie franchise based on a series of video games.
"The Romantics" - Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel and Anna Paquin play the three corners in a love triangle in this movie that also stars Adam Brody, Malin Ackerman and Elijah Wood.

SEPTEMBER 15
"Never Let Me Go"
- This strange yet dull-looking dystopian drama starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightly is based on the novel by the same name.

SEPTEMBER 17
"Alpha and Omega"
- Lionsgate's foray into the computer-animated film arena features the voices of Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere in a story of two mis-coupled wolves.
"Devil" - The first flick from M. Night Shyamalan's new production company strands five people in an elevator. Not scary enough? Oh yeah, one of them is Satan.
"Easy A" - Taking a page out of "The Scarlet Letter," Valley native Emma Stone plays a girl who uses perceived promiscuity to climb up the high school hierarchy.
"Jack Goes Boating" – This unconventional romantic comedy stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who also headlined the play on which the film is based. Hoffman also directs.
"The Town" - Ben Affleck continues to rejuvenate his career with this thriller, which he not only stars in but also directs. Too bad the trailer looks to spoil the twists.

SEPTEMBER 22
"You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"
- Woody Allen's latest dramatic comedy stars Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto.

SEPTEMBER 24
"Catfish"
- This reality-thriller about social networking is said to have a more shocking turning point than in any other movie released this year.
"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" - This animated adventure, featuring the voices of Jim Sturgess and Geoffrey Rush, promises to do for owls what "Happy Feet" did for penguins.
"Waiting for Superman" - Documentary filmmaker David Guggeneheim analyzes the failures of American public education by following several students through the educational system.
"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" - Twenty-three years after the release of the original, Oliver Stone directs this sequel in which Michael Douglas reprises his role as greedy Gordon Gekko.
"You Again" - Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cloris Leachman and Betty White star in this chick-flick about unwelcome reunions.

OCTOBER 1
"Barry Munday"
- Patrick Wilson tries his hand at comedy as the titular character in this movie about a man who loses two of his most prized possessions - his testicles.
"Buried" - Ryan Reynolds is buried alive and spends the entire runtime in a coffin. Didn't "Days of Our Lives" do this already? Aren't they doing it again, too?
"Case 39" - Renee Zellweger plays a social worker who takes a young girl into her home after discovering that her parents were trying to kill her. Spoiler: They had reason.
"Chain Letter" - Recipients of a chain letter wind up dead when they break the chain. Personally, I think the dimwits who don't break the chain should get the axe.
"Hatchet II" - Filmmaker Adam Green follows up his low-budget horror flick hailed as one of the best in recent years with a sequel? Count me in!
"Let Me In" - In this remake of a Swedish vampire flick, Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) grows fangs and kicks even more ass.
"The Social Network" - Do you remember the original Facebook? I do. And, apparently, so does David Fincher, who directs Jesse Eisenberg in what could be a poignant biopic.

OCTOBER 8
"I Spit on Your Grave"
- The most controversial and graphically violent (not to mention best-titled) revenge flicks ever to see the light of day is getting remade? Horrorholics rejoice!
"It's Kind of a Funny Story" - This dramatic comedy centers around Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a 16-year old who checks himself into a mental health clinic. Zach Galifianakis also stars.
"Life As We Know It" - Josh Duhamel (yeah!) and Katherine Heigl (oh...) play squabbling godparents who are forced to set aside their differences when they are called into action.
"My Soul to Take" - Wes Craven returns the scene with a new horror flick in which a serial killer targets teens. Hey, something has to amp us up for "Scream 4," right?
"Nowhere Boy" - Coinciding with John Lennon's 70th birthday, this biopic chronicles the Beatle's adolescent years in which he formed his first band - The Quarrymen.
"Secretariat" - No, this is not "Seabuscuit 2." But it does tell the true story of the racehorse that won the '73 Triple Crown. Diane Lane plays the horse's owner.
"Stone" - A convicted arsonist (Edward Norton) tries to manipulate his way out of prison by having his wife (Milla Jovovich) seduce his parole officer (Robert De Niro).

OCTOBER 15
"Conviction" - Hilary Swank portrays a woman who puts herself through law school in order to represent her wrongfully convicted brother (Sam Rockwell). Based on a true story.
"Jackass 3D" - Here's guessing that Johnny Knoxville finds a few things to do with the extra dimension that even James Cameron never thought possible.
"RED" - For those not in the know, the title stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous and it stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich.

OCTOBER 22
"Hereafter" - Clint Eastwood directs Matt Damon (Again? I guess he's done with Leo.) in this supernatural thriller about three people who have been touched by death.
"Paranormal Activity 2" - As if the financially successful original were not boring enough, plot details remain under lock and key for this horror-mockumentary sequel.

OCTOBER 29
"The Company Men" - The timely drama starring Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones studies the effects of corporate downsizing on families and communities.
"Monsters" - Nope, not a sequel to the Charlize Theron drama but rather a sci-fi flick about giant extraterrestrial... well... monsters. And it looks pretty cool, too!
"Saw 3D" - This, the supposed final installment in the franchise, takes the horror to a new dimension - and a new level... the general public.

NOVEMBER 5
"127 Hours" - "Slumdog Millionaire's" Danny Boyle directs James Franco as a mountain climber who re-examines his life after getting trapped in an isolated canyon.
"Due Date" - Todd Phillips once again directs his "The Hangover" star Zach Galifianakis in this road-trip comedy which also stars Robert Downey Jr.
"Fair Game" - Naomi Watts portrays Valerie Plame, the real-life CIA agent who was outed by the White House. Sean Penn also stars as Plame's husband.
"Megamind" - An animated film about a super-villain and his minion... wait... is this "Despicable Me?" No, but it is funny how Hollywood constantly overlaps itself.
"Welcome to the Rileys" - James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo play a once-happy couple who, after the death of their teenage daughter, struggle to move forward in life.

NOVEMBER 12
"Morning Glory" - Rachel McAdams plays a producer who is charged with the task of fixing a morning news program plagued by low ratings. Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton also star.
"Skyline" - Something is in the air - literally - in this sci-fi thriller in which people are swallowed up by the sky. I wonder if Al Gore will get involved at all.
"Unstoppable" - Denzel Washington and Chris Pine pair up to stop a runaway train stocked with poison. Am I the only one wishing this had been reworked as "Speed 3?"

NOVEMBER 19
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" - When Harry begins sporting a beard and Hermoine trades in her training bra for the real thing, it's probably time to wind things down.
"The Next Three Days" - Russell Crowe plays a man who resorts to breaking his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of prison in a desperate attempt to hold his family together.

NOVEMBER 23
"Project X" - Little is known about this movie from Warner Bros. Pictures aside from the fact that the studio held auditions for a bunch of unknowns.

NOVEMBER 24
"Burlesque" - Nothing says "Happy Thanksgiving" like a movie starring Cher and Christina Aguilera as burlesque dancers old and new. Pass the gravy, please!
"Faster" - Dwayne Johnson gets out of prison and avenges his brother's death. I am not sure that this will appeal to his new primary fan-base from "Tooth Fairy."
"Love and Other Drugs" - They say you can't buy love but some people at pharmaceutical companies have found a way to do just that. Jake Gyllenhaal plays one of those people.
"Tangled" - Disney brings yet another princess to the big screen and adds a little twist to shake things up. This time, it is Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore.

DECEMBER 1
"Black Swan" - "The Wrestler's" Darren Aronofsky directs Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as competing ballerinas who will do anything for some time in the spotlight.

DECEMBER 3
"I Love You Phillip Morris" - The first of two long-delayed (read: "shelved") motion pictures. It's got Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as lovers.
"Kids in America" - The second of two long-delayed (read: "shelved") motion pictures. It's got Topher Grace as a college grad trying, one last time, to snag his dream girl.
"The Warrior's Way" - An Asian warrior (Dong Kun Jang) hides out in a small town in the American badlands in this fantasy flick which also stars Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush.

DECEMBER 10
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" - After the last one failed to perform financial miracles at the box office, Disney fed these fantasy flick leftovers to Fox.
"The Fighter" - Mark Whalberg finally gets the props he deserves in a starring role as boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward. Christian Bale and Amy Adams also star for good measure.
"The Tempest" - The William Shakespeare classic gets an upgrade in this cinematic adaptation starring Helen Mirren, David Strathairn, Russell Brand and Alfred Molina.
"The Tourist" - An American tourist (Johnny Depp) is used by a woman (Angelina Jolie) in an attempt to flush out a criminal with whom she once had an affair.

DECEMBER 17
"Biutiful" - Javier Bardem plays a man struggling to reconcile fatherhood, family, love, remorse, spirituality, crime, seduction, guilt and mortality in Barcelona.
"How Do You Know" - The season would not be complete without a romantic comedy. This one, starring Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson, fits the bill.
"Tron: Legacy" - Technology has vastly improved in the 28 years that have passed since the original was made. Will Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) even know what a Wii is?
"Yogi Bear" - Dan Aykroyd goes the Bill Murray route and voices a computer-animated animal. I bet "Ghost Busters 3" is looking better and better every day.

DECEMBER 22
"Country Strong" - A rising country-music songwriter (Garrett Hedlund) makes beautiful music with a fallen star (Gwyneth Paltrow). Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester also star.
"Gulliver's Travels" - Jack Black (and I know that is enough to make most of the sensible population avoid it) plays the titular character in this modern-day update.
"Little Fockers" - Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro return in the most anticipated comedy of the fall. Even Dustin Hoffman was excited enough to rejoin at the last minute.
"Somewhere" - Sofia Coppola's latest tells the story of a hard-living Hollywood actor (Sephen Dorff) who re-examines his life when his daughter (Elle Fanning) comes to visit.

DECEMBER 25
"True Grit" - We've been waiting for a western ("Jonah Hex" didn't cut it) so this remake starring Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges is the perfect Christmas present.

DECEMBER 29
"The Debt" - If nothing else on this list sounds Oscar-worthy enough, this drama about Nazi war criminals starring Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson does.

DECEMBER 31
"Blue Valentine" - Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play a married couple that charts their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

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Facebook Movie May Not Be Flattering for Zuckerberg - YAHOO!

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 11:52 AM PDT

Many executives would be thrilled that a major feature film about how they founded their company is about to be released. But for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, an upcoming movie called The Social Network might not exactly become part of his updates to friends.

Scheduled for release in movie theaters on Oct. 1, The Social Network follows the young Zuckerberg -- arrogant, socially out of place, and very bright -- through the days at Harvard when he started what is now the world's foremost social-networking giant. As the tagline for the film says, "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."

'Arrogant, Confident, Brilliant'

The movie is directed by David Fincher, who also helmed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and it was written by Aaron Sorkin, creator of TV's The West Wing. The role of Zuckerberg is played by Jesse Eisenberg, whose credits include Zombieland, and the film is based on Ben Mezrich's best-selling book, The Accidental Billionaires.

Mezrich has told news media that the Zuckerberg character is an antihero "who sweats, is arrogant, confident, brilliant." Along the way toward 500 million friends, the Zuckerberg character gets into conflicts with fellow students and the university administration, among others.

Facebook and Zuckerberg are taking a low-key approach to the impending release. "It's a sign of Facebook's impact," said company spokesperson Larry Yu, "that we're the subject of a movie -- even one that's fiction." He added that it's more important for the company to stay "focused on what we're building."

In an interview last month with Diane Sawyer of ABC-TV, Zuckerberg, now 26, similarly called the movie "fiction," and said that the "real story is just that we've worked so hard for all this time." He said that a movie about all that hard work would be "actually pretty boring."

'Little or No Impact'

According to news reports, unnamed company officials contend the movie is factually inaccurate, and there has been speculation among Facebook watchers about whether the movie could impact the company's growth and branding.

Andrew Frank, research director at industry research firm Gartner, said he doesn't buy the oft-stated idea that "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Noting that he hasn't seen the movie, Frank said it shouldn't affect Zuckerberg's reputation too greatly, "even if it's not so flattering, as long as it doesn't make him out to be immoral."

Frank said it's likely that "only a minority" of Facebook users have any impression or opinion about Zuckerberg. Of those, he suggested, most have probably already made up their minds about Zuckerberg in light of recent criticisms relating to Facebook's evolving position on user privacy.

"At the end of the day," Frank said, "the movie will probably have little or no impact" on the future of the company.

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