Saturday, September 4, 2010

“Stars Come Out to Support T.I. for Takers' Atlanta Movie Premiere -” plus 3 more

“Stars Come Out to Support T.I. for Takers' Atlanta Movie Premiere -” plus 3 more

Stars Come Out to Support T.I. for Takers' Atlanta Movie Premiere -

Posted: 26 Aug 2010 09:54 PM PDT

On Wednesday (August 25), T.I. came home for the red-carpet, Atlanta premiere of his new film Takers. Held at Atlantic Station, a vast array of Tip's peers were on hand to support him in former adversaries (DTP's Chaka Zula), fellow artists (Angie Stone, Chilli) and socialities (Teyana Taylor, Real Housewives of Atlanta cast). The Grand Hustle founder made a grand entrance behind the wheel of a white Maybach to large cheers from his fans. Before walking the carpet, T.I. made it a point to go across the street and thank his fans for still coming out to support him despite the limited, VIP seating for the screening.

Other contributors to the movie on hand were Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, director John Luessenhop, and producer Will Packer.

Takers is in theaters nationwide today and features an ensemble cast of Idris Elba, Michael Ealy, Paul Walker, Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Morris Chestnut, Hayden Christensen and T.I.

Young Dro

Yung LA

Big Kuntry

Jive artist Jacob Latimore

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Angie Stone

Takers producer Will Packer and Date

Will Packer and Chilli

Real Housewives of Atlanta's Cynthia Bailey and Choreographer/R.Kelly ex-wife Andrea Kelly

Lil Duval

Teyana Taylor

Princess, formerly of Crime Mob

Tameka Foster

Michael Ealy

T.I., Paul Walker and Michel Ealy




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Film Review: Faith-based movie ‘What If ...” is tame, shallow - Memphis Commercial Appeal

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 01:05 PM PDT

The latest faith-based film to reach Memphis theaters, "What If ..." is a mash-up of "It's a Wonderful Life" and the New Testament account of Saul's encounter with the heavenly light of Jesus on the road to Damascus, except in this case replace Saul with Kevin "Hercules" Sorbo and the heavenly light of Jesus with John Ratzenberger of "Cheers."

What If...

Rated PG

Length: 100 minutes

Released: August 20, 2010 Limited

Cast: Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, John Ratzenberger, Debby Ryan, Kristin Minter

Director: Dallas Jenkins
Writer: Chuck Konzelman, Andrea Gyertson Nasfell
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Distributor: Five & Two Pictures

Showtimes for all movies »

Although Sorbo is best known for his role as the title Greek demigod on the 1990s syndicated TV hit "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and his co-star here, Kristy Swanson, is remembered as the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "What If..." might hold more interest for devout churchgoers than for the Comic-Con faithful, who will be disappointed to learn the movie bears no relationship to the Marvel Comics series of the same name, which asked such questions as "What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?" and "What if Captain America became President?" Instead, the pertinent puzzler here is: "What if you followed God's plan for your life instead of your own?"

The answer presented by director Dallas Jenkins and a team of three screenwriters is that you — or rather the film's protagonist, Ben Walker (Sorbo) — would be a happily married, meatloaf-eating small-town pastor with a wife (Swanson), two kids and a minivan instead of a rich and powerful champagne-swilling financial wizard with a glamorous fianceé (Kristin Minter)and a new Mercedes. And, yes, the former situation is presented as preferable to the latter. Obviously, this lesson of reassurance is aimed at men with mortgages and women with flannel nightgowns, not Mick Jagger or Lady Gaga.

In any case, the aforementioned Mercedes inexplicably breaks down on a country highway with such rickety orneriness that the ultra-wealthy Ben is smacked in the face with an airbag. When he awakens, he's being counseled by a Clarence-like angel (Ratzenberger) in the guise of a tow-truck operator, who informs Ben that he's now living in a parallel version of his life in which he pursued the will of the Almighty rather than the almighty dollar. The catch is that, inside, he's still the Gordon Gecko version of Ben, so he doesn't even know his kids' names; and when he preaches from the pulpit, he advises: "Try to make more money." As in a sitcom, this existential confusion is presented as light comedy, with a message; in other words, the connection to Frank Capra's despair-laced masterpiece with Jimmy Stewart is purely superficial.

Shot in Michigan, "What If ..." is the third feature film from Jenkins Entertainment, a company founded by Dallas Jenkins and his father, Jerry F. Jenkins, co-author of the apocalyptic/evangelical "Left Behind" novels. The film is not only tame but also simple-minded in its suggestion that "God's plan" is some sort of either/or proposition that devalues free will — My way or the highway, to Damascus and then to hell.

"What If..." is playing at the Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8 and the Collierville Towne 16.

— John Beifuss, 529-2394

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Movie Review: 'The American' - Delaware County Daily Times

Posted: 04 Sep 2010 01:34 AM PDT

In this film publicity image released by Focus Features, George Clooney, left, and Violante Placido are shown in a scene from, "The American." (AP Photo/Focus Features, Giles Keyte)

NEW YORK (AP) --- Hidden from critics until just before its release, the dirty secret about "The American" turns out to be that it's an "art film." Heavens, no!

Director Anton Corbijn has crafted a quiet, haunting European thriller, drained of emotion and moving to its own deliberate pace.

It's the second film from Corbijn, a famed photographer and music video director who's closely associated with the bands Depeche Mode and Joy Division (among others). His first film, "Control," was a beautiful, austere black-and-white biopic of Joy Division's Ian Curtis.

"The American," too, has the bleak fatalism of a Joy Division song, but taut and restrained, it bears none of the rock 'n' roll release.

George Clooney plays an assassin, Jack, whom the film opens on in bed with a beautiful woman, warm next to a fire in a winter cabin. Afterward, they bundle up and take a stroll in the knee-deep snow, where snipers suddenly begin firing at them. Jack quickly and with obvious skill dispatches the threat, and tells his shocked companion to call the police. As soon as she turns, he shoots her in the back of the head. So much for pillow talk.

His boss (Johan Leysen) tells him by phone to lie low in a small Italian village. Arriving there, he takes one look at it and makes a U-turn, settling on the more appealing nearby town of Castelvecchio, a picturesque medieval village in the mountains of Abruzzo.

Jack putts around town — a stone labyrinth — posing as a photographer of landscapes and architecture. Though he has been warned not to "make any friends," the town priest, Father Benedetto (Paulo Bonacelli), befriends him, and he develops a relationship with a prostitute, Clara (Violante Placido).

They both see the darkness hanging over Jack, but are hopeful for him. Clara tells him, "You're a good man, but you have a secret." Father Benedetto warns, "You're American. You think you can escape history."

His past is catching up, too. Someone is shadowing him, reports of his previous misdeeds are showing up in the newspapers and a new job arrives: building a silent, highly precise rifle — a task which he attends to with the care of an artisan.

Though Jack says little and remains largely inscrutable, Corbijn — working from a script by Rowan Joffe, loosely adapted from Martin Booth's 1990 novel, "A Very Private Gentleman" — gives glimpses of his sensitivity. He finds it difficult to deny the companionship of the priest or the love of Clara. He has a weakness, too, for butterflies, with a tattoo of one of them on his back.

The question of Jack's salvation is hinted at by the remarkable opening title sequence (which follows the abrupt shooting in the snow) that simply frames Jack in silhouette as he drives through a long tunnel with a bright light shining at the end.

"Michael Clayton" concluded with Clooney similarly in a car, but fully lit, finally unburdened. Here, with dark gray hair and a sinewy frame, he's again downcast, troubled and full of doubt. He's cast off all hint of his most abundant characteristic: charm.

For Jack, every intimacy carries a threat. The most memorable shot in a film full of exquisite camera work from Corbijn and cinematographer Martin Ruhe is from Jack's perspective as Clara's hands clasp over his eyes — a game of "Guess who?" that feels momentarily terrifying.

Corbijn has said he views "The American" as a kind of Western, and he positions Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West" in the background of one scene. But the film has more of a film noir feeling of claustrophobic comeuppance. It has — if we are kind — some of the mystery of Antonioni's "The Passenger" and some of the stoicism of a Jean-Pierre Melville policier.

That "The American" is beautiful to look at is unquestionable; Corbijn's formal mastery is something to behold. What is finally slightly disappointing in the film is the familiarity of its story: another tale of "one last job."

It's difficult not to want Corbijn's mournful seriousness to ease up a bit. But "The American" is nevertheless transfixing in its weary, muted grace.

"The American," a Focus Features release, is rated R for violence, sexual content and nudity. Running time: 105 minutes. Three stars out of four.

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Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel Threatened with Removal from AT&T U-verse® TV's ... - Yahoo Finance

Posted: 26 Aug 2010 04:51 AM PDT

America's Most Trusted Family Networks Will Be Dropped By AT&T U-verse If Carriage Agreement Is Not Reached

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Press Release Source: Hallmark Channel On Thursday August 26, 2010, 7:45 am EDT

STUDIO CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AT&T U-verse® TV customers will lose access to Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, the nation's most popular family-friendly cable television networks, if a new carriage distribution agreement is not reached by Tuesday, August 31 (midnight ET). AT&T U-verse sent postcards on August 1 informing its customers they may lose Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel if an agreement is not reached by that time. More recently, AT&T notified Hallmark Channels of the possible drop. Negotiations are currently at a standstill. Viewers are encouraged to call 1-888-MADE-4-FAMILY or go to to request to keep the networks.

Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Hallmark Channels, said, "Hallmark Channels has been a good partner and supporter of AT&T U-verse since they launched their service, and we have been negotiating in good faith with them. We hope AT&T will recognize the extraordinary value of our channels and renew the carriage agreement. At the present time, however, talks are not progressing and it is looking more likely that Hallmark Channels will be dropped from AT&T. This would be a tremendous loss to viewers who look to Hallmark Channels, America's most trusted family networks, for programming that connects people emotionally."

Joan Gundlach, Executive Vice President, Distribution, added, "AT&T U-verse TV recently went through a notable carriage renewal and is implementing the scare tactics it used to negotiate with another programmer against Hallmark Channels, one of the nation's last surviving independent cable networks. It is disappointing that AT&T U-verse does not see the value we bring to their customers and that they would wield their power to strong-arm our channels."

Hallmark Channel, which among ad-supported entertainment cable networks, ranks second for its family-friendly viewing (February '10 Millward Brown Family Friendly TV Evaluation Study), recently announced a programming deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to provide a daytime lifestyle programming block on the network which is slated to premiere on September 13. Additionally, Hallmark Channel is best known for its holiday-themed programming. The network's Original Movies are high-quality and highly rated. Last December, Hallmark Channel had the highest-rated cable television movies of the week three out of four weeks.

On September 7, Hallmark Channel will announce a Q4 original programming slate that includes 14 Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premieres with stars that include Shannen Doherty, Catherine Bell, Daphne Zuniga, Doris Roberts, and more; the US Television Premiere of "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," starring Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander; three original music specials; the World Premiere of a Hallmark Channel Original Animated Special; live coverage of "The 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade," and much more.

Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWN - News), is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 90 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, general entertainment and home and lifestyle content. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events.

For more information, please visit
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