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Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista to return to WWE television on January 20 2014

Sony unveils Avengers-style expansion of Spider-Man franchise

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Daughtry performs "Waiting For Superman": Tribute To The Troops

Silva injured, Weidman keeps belt - 28th December 2013

Calvin Ayre's predictions for the online gambling industry in 2014

Summit Entertainment Releases Several Clips From 'The Legend Of Hercules'

Superhero movies set for release in 2014

Roman Reigns on his legacy, finishing move and more - December 2013

Ultimate Warrior being discussed for WWE Hall of Fame

Wrestling fans tell their WWE matches of the year for 2013 via the internet

It's Ashes versus bashes as Nine and Ten in cricket ratings battle - 27th December 2013

ASX Round-Up: Steady Close for ASX as Gold Companies Thrive - 27th December 2013

Human Statue Bodyart expands sporting human statues and bodypainting portfolio: Cricket, Soccer, Football, Wrestling, Baseball, Golf, Tennis and more

Human Statue Bodyart advises human statues, bodypaint and bodyart popular with Australian mining and exploration companies; Campaigns ramp up in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and rural and regional Australia

Human Statue Bodyart advises human statues, bodypaint and bodyart popular with Australian Defence Force - Army, Navy; Military campaigns ramp up in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra

Greek mythology and Roman mythology gods and goddesses popular in Hollywood movies, TV series and as human statues for Australian campaigns

Technology companies in Australia using human statues, bodypainting and bodyart for campaigns

Business winners and losers for 2013 - 27th December 2013

D23 Expo - Marvel Studios multimedia - August 2013

Disney Announces New Marvel Entertainment Films for 2016 and 2017

Disney Sets Another Untitled Marvel Entertainment - Marvel Comics themed movie for 2016

Disney Will Rule the World in 2015 - 25th June 2013

WWE SummerSlam 2013 match line up so far

Human Entertainment website goes live; Human Statue Bodyart business expansion - 5th April 2013

Undies still on the outside - 22nd April 2013

Talk up your chances - Schmooze or lose - It's who you know that counts

Huge Payday For WrestleMania Workers - 21st April 2013

WWE Names Michael Pine Head of Global Sales & Partnership Marketing

Hoyts Plus presents UFC 159: Jones VS. Sonnen Live at Selected Hoyts Cinemas

Human statue in new McDonalds campaign again

Human Statue Bodyart human statues popular for corporate, business and branding events

Le Pub, Sydney gets Napoleon living statue by Human Statue Bodyart

Australian bonds open firmer - 15th April 2013

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment pulls out of Australian market

'Injustice: Gods Among Us'

Human Statue Bodyart contracted by DC Comics to create Wonder-Woman and Green Lanters for 'Injustice' video game

Avatar mystery building up in Sydney suburbs with Eva Rinaldi: News media companies start probe

2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductees react to epic Madison Square Garden enshrinement

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WrestleMania 29 results

WrestleMania® Shatters Records

Kurt Angle talks about wrestling Brock Lesnar behind the scenes in WWE

Fightin' Fanboys: WrestleMania 29 - 4th April 2013

Wrestling Observer Newsletter - 8th April 2013

The Rock VS CM Punk pro wrestling news; Dwayne Johnson Hollywood movie news

WWE Studios and ABC Family Begin Production on 'Christmas Bounty"

WWE launches auction to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts - 25th March 2013

Diamond Dallas Page's yoga saving lives, by Jake Roberts - 1st April 2013

Scott Hall rehab: Jake Roberts explains why it didn't work - March 2013

Top 15 Wrestlemania matches ever

Wrestling with face paint, bodyart and human statues; Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Lord Tensai and more

Celebrity Wife Swap: Ric Flair and Roddy Piper wives to appear - Feb 2013

Treasures Of The Hard Rock Music Memorabilia Exhibit Comes To Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise

2013 Logie Award winners: Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia - April 2013

Marquee's first birthday party: Jennifer Hawkins leads celebrities; Sydney, Australia - 29th March 2013

Optus RockCorps at Horden Pavilion, Moore Park, Sydney: The Script, Tinie Tempah and Guy Sebastian -
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James Packer eyes bet on Sri Lanka - 1st March 2013

James Packer launches plan for 2000 indigenous jobs at Crown by 2021 - 18th March 2013

Marvel Signs WWE's Dave Bautista for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' - 14th March 2013

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION - Finally The Rock has come to Sydney, Australia - 14th March 2013

Australian Casino king James Packer's bid for Sydney casino may face stiff overseas competition

Looks Like Disney Will Be Keeping Star Wars In House

Marvel promotes 700 first issue comics online

Smash Mouth performs at Hard Rock Cafe - Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia - 12th March 2013

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION - Finally The Rock has come to Sydney, Australia - 14th March 2013

Australian Casino king James Packer's bid for Sydney casino may face stiff overseas competition

Looks Like Disney Will Be Keeping Star Wars In House

Marvel promotes 700 first issue comics online

Smash Mouth performs at Hard Rock Cafe - Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia - 12th March 2013

Gene Simmons visits Hard Rock Cafe, Sydney, Australia - 10th March 2013

Bwin Surges as New Jersey Opens Gaming Floodgates: London Mover - 27th Feb 2013

O’Farrell Won’t Let Crown Casino Operate in Sydney Before 2019 - 7th March 2013

2013 Aussie Millions Airs on OneHD Tuesday

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Bwin Surges as New Jersey Opens Gaming Floodgates: London Mover - 27th Feb 2013

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2013 Aussie Millions Airs on OneHD Tuesday

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Price Target Raised to $3.00 at Numis Securities Ltd (BPTY) - 5th March 2013

Wrestling News Media: WWE, Hall of Fame 2013: Bruno Sammartino, Donald Trump for celebrity wing...Feb 2013

UFC returns to Australia this December

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Australian flag bodypainted model: Make love and peace, not war

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Gaming News: International and Australian: Europe, United States and more - 20th January 2013

Sydney ad:tech 2013 will offer insights into digital marketing for online sector; Sydney, Australia

Skyfall wins best British film at Bafta's - Feb 2013

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Super Bowl advertising news

WWE Hall of Fame 2013: Jim Ross on celebrity wing

Bruno Sammartino and Triple H comment on WWE 2013 Hall of Fame induction - Feb 2013

Ric Flair "The Nature Boy" and "Iron" Mike Tyson appearing in Las Vegas today - 2nd Feb 2013

DX - The Kliq to headline 2013 WWE Hall of Fame

Barangaroo casino report to stay secret - 14th January 2013

Hulk Hogan sues spine surgery clinic for $50 million - 14th January 2013

Marvel's The Avengers Tops 2012 Box Office Takings

Rolling Stone Awards: Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia - 16th January 2013

Tame Impala win at Rolling Stone Awards - 16th January 2013

Jim Ross Talks Mick Foley entering the WWE Hall of Fame

Mick Foley and Brendon Burns: Good God Almighty

NSW govt to release casino plan assessment - 14th January 2013

Las Vegas casino faces $US1m drug sting fine: Australian casinos taking note

Oscar nominations - 11th January 2013

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The Rock to return to next WWE RAW; Building towards Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 29 in New York

Ric Flair wrestling again: Breaks retirement for AJPW in Japan

Superhero movie line-up for Australia in 2013

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UFC 155: Pro wrestlers react to main event result

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Underground illegal casino in Sydney, Australia raided by police - 27th December 2012

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Human Entertainment website and blog going live - 29th December 2012

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WWE Slammy Awards 2012 on RAW

Les Miserables: Sydney, Australia red carpet premiere - 21st December 2012

'Wolverine' Actor Hugh Jackman to be Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Jackman leads Aust SAG-Globe charge

Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians battle at US box office

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Marvel slot games: Amazing Spider-Man, Thor 2, The Avengers Et Al Boost Popularity Of Marvel Slot Games

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Virgin announces live promotion venture with Dainty Group - 15th October 2012

WrestleMania 29 could set records in New York/New Jersey area

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Stan Lee Media sues Disney for billions over Marvel copyright et al - 10th October 2012

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News

Stan Lee Media sues Disney for billions over Marvel copyright et al - 10th October 2012

Pop culture and comic icon Stan Lee fighting Disney re Marvel; Not a Marvel video game!; Stan Lee takes gamble on legal fight with Disney...

Stan Lee Media (SLM) has launched info a multi-billion dollar legal lawsuit VS entertainment and media giant Disney claiming the entertainment king does not own the rights to the Marvel Comics characters depicted in its films. Huge claim, we know.

The company, which Stan Lee himself is no longer associated with, claims that the comic book icon signed over the rights to the superheroes and villains he created to its corporate predecessor in a deal inked back to 1998.

SLM claims that an amended version of that agreement was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2000 - that's almost a decade before Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, online publisher Deadline reports.

The company is seeking $5.5 billion in damages, an amount calculated based on the profits from movies such as The Avengers, X-Men: First Class and Thor, as well as the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. These are some of the most popular movies of the current Hollywood era.

"Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee," read SLM's complaint.

"Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false."

Disney, which acquired Marvel in a massive financial deal in 2009, is yet to respond to the allegations.

Stay tuned to the Media Man agency for more news as it comes to hand true believers.

 

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Media Man Entertainment News: WWE, Wrestling, Movies, Hollywood, Casino and more - 4th September 2012

Entertainment news, WWE, Hollywood, Australia, Sin City, Las Vegas, gaming and more...

What an exciting time for entertainment, movies, gaming and wrestling fans. WWE just completed its Australian RAW live world tour, Aussie Russell Crowe just got rescued in New York while boating (publicity stunt)?, Bwin.Party has just released a new game, and you must check out the new Marvel Heroes online game. We've also got Hollywood box office reports, pro wrestling scoops, celebrity news and lots more. The Media Man agency with the latest...


WWE Studios 'The Day' positive movie reviews...

"The Day" hit theaters this week and the positive reviews are in on WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films' chilling horror film about a day in the lives of a group of people living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Variety by Marc Graser

" 'The Day' is one of the most effective horror movies made in years, successfully delivering a feeling of dread that so many films in the genre lack these days, along with a unique story and captivating characters. Douglas Aarniokoski doesn’t take the easy out in his direction and never relies on camp or amps up the gore quotient to thrill audiences. He’s an impressive filmmaker who is worth keeping an eye on."

HollywoodLife.com by Russ Weakland

"WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films have always delivered films all over the spectrum and with 'The Day' they continue to entertain us with a story of humanity torn by war, destroying civilizations and most of all life on earth, which makes those that are the survivors realize they must do whatever it takes to stay alive." ...

"So if you want to go out and see a film that will make you think and give you some jumps and chills 'The Day' is your movie. You will not be disappointed!"

The Los Angeles Times by Mark Olsen

"Luke Passmore's screenplay is stingy with his explanations about who these people are or how the world came to be in this state, and that turns out to be one of the film's greatest strengths." ...

"As Mary, the most recent enlistee to the tribe, [Ashley] Bell has a secretive reserve and steely resolve."


The Rock 'foils would-be burglars in London'...

The Rock has apparently foiled an attempted burglary in London.

The actor - also known as Dwayne Johnson - was working on his new movie Fast and Furious 6 in Hackney when he spotted the group of would-be thieves as they attempted to break into vans.

Johnson, who was dressed as an FBI agent for filming, was said to have abandoned a fight scene mid-take in order to confront the group.

"It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand," an insider recalled to The Sun. "All of a sudden, there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down. The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace.

"It was like the Only Fools [and Horses] 'Batman' sequence - they must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie."

The source also quipped that the crew have suggested that actor - wrestler Johnson should be single-handedly responsible for security on the Fast and Furious 6 set.

The source said: “It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand. All of a sudden there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down. The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace.

“It was like the Only Fools Batman sequence — they must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie.

“Now the crew are joking that they should drop security and just have The Rock do it.”


Dwayne Johnson wards off burglars...

London - Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson scared off a gang of would-be thieves on the set of his latest film.

The 40-year-old actor spotted a group of youths breaking into a warehouse in Hackney, East London while filming The Fast and the Furious 6 and stormed off the set mid-scene - dressed in full FBI agent costume - to chase the burglars away.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand.

Quick thinking

"All of a sudden there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down.

"The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace. They must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie.

"Now the crew are joking that they should drop security and just have The Rock do it."

The former wrestler managed to prevent the theft of expensive equipment thanks to his quick thinking and his impressive 6'5" frame.

The Fast and the Furious 6 also stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and singer Rihanna, who is set to play a villain in the popular film franchise.


Box Office results for new WWE movie...

WWE Studios's latest movie, "The Day," drew an estimated $10,100 in its first full weekend in theaters. The movie, which was shown in 12 theaters, ranked 52 out of 54 movies tracked over the weekend, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. (Pro Wrestling Torch) - U.S news report


No Holds Barred star facing prison time...

Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who was back in the spotlight this summer when WWE re-released "No Holds Barred" on DVD, faces up to five years of prison time for alleged mortgage fraud. Lister, who played Zeus in the WWE movie, pled guilty to "conspiring to commit mortgage fraud" in federal court on Friday, according to a TMZ report.

According to the plea agreement, Lister and other individuals conspired to obtain mortgages worth $5.7 million, costing lenders $2.6 million. Lister was also accused of defrauding lenders of another $1.1 million. Lister is due back in court in September for sentencing, which could be up to five years in federal prison.


David Otunga talks WWE and movies...

WWE wrestler David Otunga said in a recent interview that he hopes to eventually advance to the top of the card in WWE. "I am very goal oriented and want to see my character go to the top. I am hoping to have the creative freedom to do that and let it pan out the way I would like. It’s exciting for sure and hopefully in the next few weeks my character continues to grow," Otunga told ChicagoNow.com promoting Monday's Raw.

Otunga also discussed his recent movie role for WWE Studios's "The Hive." Otunga said, "The film was unbelievably fun because it came to me second nature. With the WWE, the acting classes, and the improv I do it was very easy to blend in. The only major difference was me having to shave. I haven’t shaved in many, many years but it had to be done and it helped me get into character."


WWE Interested In Lingerie Football Star...

The WWE NXT website has added a profile for Summer Rae and in that profile they acknowledge her past career with the Lingerie Football League. On a related note, WWE apparently has interest in another LFL star - Zipporah Chase.

Read more: http://www.WrestlingInc.com/wi/news/2012/0903/555884/#ixzz25SUAFE7B


NWA documentary news...

Charleston Post & Courier columnist Mike Mooneyham's Sunday column features a review of a new NWA documentary, "History and Tradition: The Story of the National Wrestling Alliance," which focuses heavily on the history and prestige of the NWA World Title. The story also reviews the current state of the NWA, which is being re-organized by R. Bruce Tharpe after buying the rights to the organization. Included are quotes from PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell on the history of and state of the NWA and his view on whether the organization has a place in today's wrestling era.


Batista big media tour next week...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Aug. 31, 2012) – Former six-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion Dave Bautista is coming to Providence on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 to kick off his press tour in anticipation of his professional mixed martial arts debut, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc., in association with June Entertainment and 4zero1 Entertainment Group on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Direct TV Pay Per View.

Friday’s tour will culminate with a live meet-and-greet and autograph signing in downtown Providence (time and venue to be determined) followed by a second public appearance at Vanity Restaurant & Lounge, located at 566 South Main St., Providence, at 11 p.m. (EST) Bautista’s opponent, Rashid Evans of Newburgh, N.Y., will also be attendance.

Specifics on Bautista’s appearance will be released Tuesday. Both appearances are open to the public and both fighters will be available for media interviews.

Tickets for “Real Pain,” starring Bautista, are available through www.ticketmaster.com or at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center Box Office and are priced at $20.00, $35.00, $55.00, $75.00, $125.00 and $250.00. The show features 14 bouts, including the return of John “Doomsday” Howard (17-7, 6 KOs), a Boston native and veteran of seven UFC bouts; nine-time UFC veteran David Loiseau (20-10, 13 KOs) of Montreal; Providence lightweight Mike “The Beast” Campbell (11-4, 7 KOs), a former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) contender; Woonsocket, R.I., bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath (2-1, 1 KO); and Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Todd “The Hulk” Chattelle (10-7, 8 KOs). “Real Pain” will also be available on Direct TV Pay Per View for $29.95. (U.S report)


WWE News: Jericho details WWE's lack of long-term planning & day-of-TV-changes in interview on his 2012 WWE run...

In an interview with the Busted Open satellite radio show, Chris Jericho highlighted WWE's lack of long-term planning and changes on the day of TV tapings, which has been exacerbated by Raw shifting to three hours, in a review of his 2012 WWE run.

Notably, Jericho said he did not find out about his "Contract vs. Contract" send-off match against Dolph Ziggler on the August 20 Raw the night after Summerslam until ten minutes before Raw started.

"I didn’t know until the day I showed up, actually ten minutes before Raw started in Fresno that we were doing this contract vs. contract thing. So, I didn’t even know this was going to happen. I just figured I would have a match with Dolph and that would be the end of it," Jericho said.

"So, people who think that there is some long, drawn-out, plan, it really wasn’t. It was about ten minutes before the show started and I was like 'Oh, we are doing a contract vs contract thing? Oh okay.' So there you go, a little special behind the scenes look."

Jericho also said WWE did not have a plan for his feud with Dolph Ziggler when it started after the Money in the Bank PPV in July. Jericho said he pressed for a back-story to their feud before their strong opening promo.

"I couldn’t wait to work with Dolph but I needed a story. What’s the story? They said, 'we will think of one later.' I said, 'I don’t like that.' I need to think of one now since I have a promo tonight with Dolph. We can't think about this next week," Jericho said.

Jericho added, "That’s when I came up with the concept of everyone was bitching that Jericho never won a match on PPV... I thought it would be real interesting to go with the 'you can’t win the big one' scenario. But sometimes the writers will write 'this old broken down guy who is on the last legs of his career.' I’m like, 'Wait a second, broken down? I’m in the best shape of my life, never been hurt, I’ve never missed a match...' I wanted to focus on the storyline of 'he can’t win the big one.' It gave us a great place to go."

Jericho has said in recent interviews that he wasn't supposed to feud with Ziggler in his send-off program culminating at Summerslam. Jericho expanded on his reaction to being told he wouldn't be feuding with the other candidates, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan.

"Originally I was supposed to feud with Sheamus, and then it was Daniel Bryan. Then the day of Raw, they said I was doing something with Dolph. I was like, 'What happened to Daniel Bryan and Sheamus?' They said it changed and I was fine with it. I’ve been doing this long enough that I roll with the punches," Jericho said.

Regarding future stars on the roster replacing the old guard, Jericho talked about the uphill battle that wrestlers like Ziggler and Miz have in front of them not being having well-rounded wrestling experience outside of WWE. Jericho said, "When that light bulb comes on and they already have ninety percent, but that last ten percent is what makes you a great performer; some guys never figure out that last ten percent and when the guys do, that’s when they become guys you can base companies around and put in main events."

Specifically on whether Ziggler can be a future main-eventer, Jericho said, "Dolph is one of the best guys on the roster, but he is still learning as are a lot of the other guys. People say, 'Oh, Damien Sandow is the next guy or Kofi.' These guys are still learning. In time, I think these guys will be amazing, amazing performers. But, right now they are still on their way up the learning tree. So, yes, I think Dolph is going to be an amazing performer. Yes, I think the Miz is going to be a great performer. Lots of guys are getting into that zone, but they are still learning... It’s a different world out there right now than the way it used to be. There is a lot of great, great performers or potential great performers that are on the way to getting there."

[ FYI: Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman can be heard from 2:00 to 4:00 EST on Sirius 94, XM 208, and Sportszone 860 on the Internet ] (Pro Wrestling Torch)


Ric Flair Comments On 'Hangover 3' Campaign And His Daughter Working For WWE NXT...

We noted before that fans online are trying to get WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair a cameo appearance in The Hangover 3 movie. Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald spoke with Flair this weekend about the campaign and The Nature Boy is perfectly fine with it.

"Oh man, I love my fans. So cool they started this whole campaign. I could play anything, as long as I'm not the guy getting married."

Flair also says he's proud of his daughter Ashley, who is currently working as Charlotte in WWE NXT. Flair said:

"It's my hope that people see that her accomplishments aren't a result of me. She's worked extremely hard for this. It's a very physically and mentally demanding business, and I really just couldn't be more proud."

You can check out the full article by clicking here.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/01/2980014/hangover-suits-wwe-hall-of-famer.html


Ric Flair going through fourth divorce, waiting for WWE call up...

Details are scarce at the moment, but Dave Meltzer, in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, reported that Ric Flair is currently going through a divorce, his fourth one, with his current wife, Jacqueline Beems. Apparently, Flair is the one who filed for divorce and cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their break up.

The news is unsurprising as less than two months ago Flair was assaulted by Beems at his home, according to a local police report. This wasn't the first such incident during their marriage together, as Beems was arrested for simple assault on February 21st, 2010 after getting into a fight with Flair upon their return to their residence after a night out. They managed to patch things up after that highly publicised and embarrassing affair, but obviously the second fight that required police intervention was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The cause of their second fight together never came out publicly. But Ric Flair still living The Nature Boy lifestyle and their money problems worsening, what with Flair losing his job with TNA, were all likely at least partly to blame. Ric's adultery was at the heart of his divorce with second wife, Beth; while third wife, Tiffany VanDemark, quickly "had enough" of his inability to retire gracefully and lead a more normal lifestyle with her.

Expect a fifth marriage in the not too distant future for Flair, as he obviously has a psychological need to be in a serious relationship at all times, even though he clearly finds it difficult to fully commit to a partner and amend his behaviour to ensure that a marriage lasts the test of time.

Meltzer also had the latest on his status with WWE:

There was talk surfacing of Flair replacing [Vickie] Guerrero with [Dolph] Ziggler but I don't know how serious that is. Plus, even though Flair can legally start with WWE on 9/10, WWE has yet to sign anyone from TNA since the lawsuit was filed.

This may explain why Ziggler is currently in a holding pattern of putting over the likes of Randy Orton and Sheamus on a seemingly weekly basis. WWE may not want to pull the trigger on him cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase and winning the World Heavyweight Championship until TNA's lawsuit against them for contract tampering has been dealt with and Flair can return to WWE as his manager.

I have mixed feelings on Flair becoming Ziggler's new manager. Though it should help Ziggler to be taken more seriously, there is the risk that he will be overshadowed by Flair and make it more difficult for him to get heel heat. At least being managed by Vickie ensures plenty of boos. Personally, I think Flair would be much better utilised in an onscreen figurehead role - what do you think Cagesiders? (Cageside Seats)


'The Wolverine' movie wraps up in Australia; Now shooting in Japan; Jackman swaps hair for suit...

After wrapping the filming in Australia, "The Wolverine" has officially kicked off its production in Japan. Unveiling a first look at lead actor Hugh Jackman on the Tokyo set of the Marvel film, a set of photos featuring the Australian hunk as he filmed a scene at the Zojoji Temple have made their round onto the web.

Instead of sporting unkempt long hair and scruffy look just like when he was filming in Australia, Jackman was spotted rocking Wolverine's trademark haircut and beard. Looking dapper, he donned an all-black ensemble while filming a scene with a number of Japanese men at the said Buddhist temple.

Per Comic Book Movie, the scene Jackman was filming happened to be a "grand funeral." There were no further details about whose funeral the actor's character attended. It was said that the filming at the temple was wrapped on Sunday, September 2 and Jackman was expected to continue filming in Hiroshima next.

Taking its cue from the early 1980s Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries, "The Wolverine" finds Logan (Jackman), the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed. Serving behind the lens is James Mangold.

Jackman has stressed that the upcoming film will be a standalone one and won't be related to 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". He told Total Film, "We've deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture. With an all-new cast and setting in Japan, it's going to give us a whole new visual aesthetic."

"The approach to character means we won't be overloaded with mutants and teams and the like, so it'll be more character-based," he claimed, before adding, "I think in my ways it will feel like a completely different X-Men film."

The anticipated movie is scheduled to open wide in the U.S. on July 26, 2013.


Joss Whedon: 'The Avengers isn't a perfect movie'...

Joss Whedon has claimed that The Avengers isn't "a great movie".

The film has met with critical acclaim and outstanding commercial success, becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time in just a few months, but Whedon, the superhero blockbuster's writer and director, is determined to keep his feet on the ground.

In an interview with Vulture, the 48-year-old claimed that the box office numbers became, ultimately, "meaningless".

He said: "They're large, and you can't really count that high."

Describing what his goals were with The Avengers, he claimed: "I felt like I had a particular mission in making what I felt was a slightly old-fashioned movie, because I grew up wanting to make summer movies and wanting to make superhero movies, and I got to do both at once.

"I felt like summer movies haven't been what I remember them to be, so I felt like I would love to evoke something that's less hip and ironic and more heartfelt and character-driven, and apparently, other people cared about that in a large way."

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator then conceded: "I don't think it's a perfect movie. I don't even think it's a great movie. I think it's a great time, and I'm proud of it, but for me, what was exciting is that people don't go to see a movie that many times unless it's pulling on something from within, unless there's a need there. That's very gratifying."

The film is set to increase its box office even further this weekend, after being re-released in the US to take advantage of the Labour Day holiday.

Whedon will oversee a Marvel-produced SHIELD television show for ABC, before starting work on the Avengers sequel, due for a summer 2015 release.


The Avengers Crosses $1.5 Billion At Worldwide Box Office...

While the re-release of The Avengers at the U.S. box office might have failed to break into the top ten Labor Day weekend movies, it did help The Avengers reach another major milestone. The Avengers has become the third movie in history to cross the $1.5 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

While retaining its number three position on the worldwide box office list, The Avengers took in another estimated $1.7 million over Labor Day weekend, which brought The Avengers U.S. box office total to $619.5 million and The Avengers worldwide box office total to $1.501 billion.

Interestingly enough, The Dark Knight Rises also reached a milestone today, surpassing $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which means that combined The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have accounted for $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office this year. If you add in The Amazing Spider-Man, which currently sits at number four on the 2012 worldwide box office list with $734.9 million, then the total rises to $3.2 billion. It’s definitely a good time to be in the superhero movie making business.


Expendables blitzes box office...

Explosions, guns and hand-to-hand fighting seem to be the flavour of the month on Australian cinema screens, with The Expendables 2 debuting at the top of the box office.

The film, packed with 1990s action stars (and Liam Hemsworth) took $2.962 million at the weekend, according to figures released by the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

The Bourne Legacy held on to its No.2 position on the box office charts while last week's top place-getter, Total Recall, fell to third place.

Feel-good Aussie movie The Sapphires fell one spot to fourth but still managed to pull in $1.146 million, while ageing rom-com Hope Springs also dropped a spot to finish fifth.

The Dark Knight Rises is still in the Top Ten after seven weeks and more than $41 million, at sixth place, while Finding Nemo 3D debuted in seventh.

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom dropped one place to eighth, Will Ferrell's latest comedy The Campaign finished ninth and Step Up 4: Miami Heat rounded out the Top Ten.

Top 10 at the Australian Box Office this weekend:

1. The Expendables 2 - $2.962 million (Roadshow)

2. The Bourne Legacy - $1.273 million (Universal)

3. Total Recall - $1.166 million (Sony)

4. The Sapphires - $1.146 million (Eone/Hopscotch)

5. Hope Springs - $868,207 million (Roadshow)

6. The Dark Knight Rises - $570,846 (Warner Bros)

7. Finding Nemo 3D - $403,700 (Walt Disney)

8. Moonrise Kingdom - $393,824 (Universal)

9. The Campaign - $283,950 (Warner Bros)

10. Step Up 4: Miami Heat - $139,801 (Universal)


2012 Box Office News (U.S Report)...

The summer movie season started out with a bang, and then it…

Say, did we mention it started out with a bang?

It wasn't exactly all downhill after The Avengers kicked things off in record fashion, but it was close. Overall domestic ticket revenue this summer will top out at $4.3 billion, down 2.2 percent from last summer, according to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.

The Avengers' big return to theaters: a Titanic surprise?

Here are more findings from the season, which concludes this holiday weekend:

The Avengers Wasn't the Most Powerful Movie: Well, all right, it was, but it didn't make 16 times its production budget. That honor goes to Channing Tatum's Magic Mike, which cost $7 million and made $113 million domestically, per BoxOfficeMojo.com stats. Other bottom-line wonders: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which made 13 times its $10 million budget for a worldwide total of $131 million; and, hey—whaddya know?—The Avengers, which did its $220 million budget about seven times better with a worldwide gross of $1.5 billion.

Men in Black 3 Was the Most-Valuable Movie: Per a rundown of the studios' latest fiscal reports, Sony was about the only major player that saw a significant uptick in ticket revenue, and that was due to the not-especially beloved MiB sequel, which grossed $624 million worldwide.

The Dark Knight Rises Outgrossed The Dark Knight…Briefly: We've noted it before, but it's worth noting again. In the pre-Aurora world, The Dark Knight Rises scored $30.6 million from opening-day midnight screenings, and towered above its predecessor, which debuted to $18.5 million in 2008. In the post-Aurora world, the movie ran behind The Dark Knight in each and every successive major box-office period.

Avengers alternate opening revealed

Total Recall Outgrossed Total Recall…Once: The pricey Colin Farrell reboot opened to a soft $26 million, but averaged more per screen ($7,103) than a one-theater-only rerelease of the 1990 original ($5,788). And thus concludes the positive things to take away from the pricey Colin Farrell reboot.

Spider-Man Isn't British for Nothing: With Andrew Garfield behind the mask, nearly two-thirds of The Amazing Spider-Man's $705 million worldwide take came from overseas audiences, the largest percentage yet for a big-screen Spider-Man.

The Hunger Games Competed: This was a nifty trick, as The Hunger Games was not a summer movie, having opened back in March. But the blockbuster played and played and played, and from the start of the movie summer, on May 4, through Wednesday, it grossed another $33 million domestically, a total that on its own was roughly as big as Adam Sandler's That's My Boy, which, no, was not big at all.

Adam Sandler's That's My Boy Was Not an "Unfortunate, Large Miss": That precise distinction belongs to Battleship, which was branded as such by the chairman of Comcast, which runs Universal Pictures. (E! and Universal are both part of the NBCUniversal family, which is owned by Comcast.) The $200 million Battleship did make back its reported budget, grossing about $300 million worldwide. The same can't be said of Sandler's That's My Boy ($70 million budget; $50 million worldwide gross). Or Tom Cruise's Rock of Ages ($75 million budget, $50 million worldwide gross). Or Ben Stiller's The Watch ($68 million budget; $37 million worldwide).
Sequels for Prometheus, Snow White, Magic Mike, more?

What to Expect When You're Expecting Was No Prometheus: Prometheus, like a number of summer movies, including Snow White and the Huntsman, Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows and the aforementioned Battleship and Total Recall, failed to match or surpass their budgets from domestic ticket sales alone. The unheralded Jennifer Lopez-led ensemble comedy, however, grossed $41 million domestically, and $80 million worldwide, from a $40 million budget.

Ray Romano Is King of the World, Practically: Among the summer's animated films, the latest Ice Age sequel, Continental Drift, ran behind Brave and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted—domestically. Internationally, the Romano-voiced wooly mammoth stood alone, grossing a whopping $660 million-plus for a worldwide total of about $815 million. That made Continental Drift the third-biggest overall hit of the season after The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. This is par for the course for the Ice Age movies that probably have their own postage stamps in countries such as Germany, Finland and Brazil.

Here's a rundown of the summer's Top 10-grossing films heading into Labor Day weekend, per domestic stats from BoxOfficeMojo and The Numbers:

The Avengers, $617.8 million
The Dark Knight Rises, $425 million
The Amazing Spider-Man, $258.6 million
Brave, $230 million
Ted, $215.2 million
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, $213.9 million
Men in Black 3, $178.5 million
Snow White and the Huntsman, $155 million
Ice Age: Contiental Drift, $154.3 million
Prometheus, $126.3 million (E! Online)


‘Global James Bond Day’ - 3rd September 2012...

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise on the anniversary of “Dr. No,” which enjoyed its world film premiere in London on October 5, 1962, and in anticipation of the worldwide release of the 23rd James Bond adventure “Skyfall,” Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today that October 5, 2012 will be “Global James Bond Day,” a day-long series of events for Bond fans around the world.

A new feature documentary from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Passion Pictures and Red Box Films, “Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007,” will be also be unveiled, country-specific details to follow. Directed by Stevan Riley (“Fire In Babylon”), “Everything or Nothing” focuses on three men with a shared dream – Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and author Ian Fleming. It’s the thrilling and inspiring narrative behind the longest running film franchise in cinema history which began in 1962.

Further worldwide events celebrating Bond’s golden anniversary include a global online and live auction charity event of 50 lots to benefit twelve charitable institutions organized by Christie´s in London (full details at www.christies.com/bond), a global survey to discover the favorite Bond film by country, a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a “Music of Bond” night in Los Angeles hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an exhibition, “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” at TIFF in Toronto.

Leading up to “Global James Bond Day,” for the first time ever fans can own all 22 films in the franchise on Blu-ray Disc in one comprehensive collection with “BOND 50,” releasing worldwide beginning September 24. Further updates by country will be announced in due course on 007.com and facebook/JamesBond007.

Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in “Skyfall,” the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time.


Jim Carrey joins Kick-Ass 2 cast...

Jim Carrey has been offered the role of Colonel Stars in Jeff Wadlow's superhero comedy, director Jeff Wadlow has strongly hinted.

Director Jeff Wadlow and creator Mark Millar have hinted that the 50-year-old funnyman has landed the coveted role of Colonel Stars in the sequel to 2010's wacky superhero comedy.

Jeff tweeted: "6 days till we start shooting... and we officially have our Colonel. Alrighty f'n then! @ChloeGMoretz @MintzPlasse @donald_faison #kickass2. (sic)"

After Christopher Mintz-Plasse replied asking who his new co-star was going to be, the original comic book's author Mark replied: "Clue - he lives with 200 raccoons and parrots, owns the mask of Loki and named by spielberg as a genius. (sic)"

During Jim's 1994 film 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective', which sees him play the titular character, his alter-ego is a private investigator who specialises in the retrieval of captive animals.

'The Mask' star Jim is reportedly a big fan of the original 'Kick-Ass' film by Matthew Vaughn and was being courted to play the born again Christian superhero, who assembles a motley crew of superheroes to help fight evil.

The sequel will see several new additions to the cast, including 'Scrubs' actor Donald Faison as Doctor Gravity and John Leguizamo as Red Mist's bodyguard, Javier.

The comedy will begin shooting this Friday (07.08.12) and sees Aaron Johnson returning as the lead Kick-Ass, while co-stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz and Nicolas Cage are also reprising their roles from the first film.

'Kick-Ass 2' is set for release in June 2013.


US actor Michael Clarke Duncan dies - 4th September 2012...

Michael Clarke Duncan's fiancee says the Oscar nominee for The Green Mile has died while being hospitalised following a July heart attack.

Publicist Joy Fehily released a statement from Clarke's fiance, the Reverend Omarosa Manigault, saying the 54-year-old actor died on Monday morning in a Los Angeles hospital after nearly two months of treatment following the July 13 heart attack.

The 196-centimetre tall, 136 kilogram Duncan appeared in dozens of films, including such box office hits as Armageddon, Planet of the Apes and Kung Fu Panda.

Duncan had a handful of minor roles before The Green Mile brought him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

The 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, starred Tom Hanks as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s.

Duncan played John Coffey, a convicted murderer.


Russell Crowe bailed out by Coast Guard...

Russell Crowe needed some help from the U.S. Coast Guard late Saturday night during a kayaking trip that went awry off New York's Long Island.

The actor was enjoying some water recreation in Long Island, where he's filming -- irony alert! -- the Darren Aronofsky epic "Noah" (as in Ark). He took off in a kayak from Cold Spring Harbor Saturday afternoon, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki told the Associated Press. When it got dark, he and a friend apparently got lost but managed to make their way to shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay -- nearly 10 miles from where they had set out.

The coast guard was patrolling the area and heard the 48-year-old actor calling out from the shore around 10 p.m. According to Swiecki, the officer did not recognize the actor but paddled over and brought them to Huntington Harbor.

"It wasn't really a rescue," Swieciki told the AP. "Really, more of just giving someone a lift."
The two men were wearing life vests and sustained no injuries.

For his part, Crowe was grateful for the assistance, tweeting at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, "Thanks to Seth and the boys from the US Coast Guard for guiding the way ... 4 hrs 30 mins, 7m(11.2km)."

And he later expounded, writing, "We knew where exactly where we were, paddling around from csh into wind, we ran out of day. Grand adventure eh."


Aussie actors Crowe and Jackman at war...

Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman are at war!

According to various news reports, the actors having been fighting like catty tween girls while shooting the new Les Miserables movie.

“They refuse to be in the same room – trying to get them to promote a film together is a nightmare,” a source tells Star magazine.

“They’ve known each other for a decade, but during this shoot, any shred of civility was thrown aside. They can’t stand each other, each calling the other an embarrassment to the profession.

“Russell sneers at Hugh’s musical-theater background. But Hugh says Russell embarrassed his country with his bad reputation in Hollywood.”

Costar Anne Hathaway has tried to mend fences, but the actors won’t budge.

“Producers hope she can convince them to come to a truce, but it’s not looking very promising,” said the source.

Idea of the moment: Crowe VS Jackman at WWE WrestleMania (Jackman is a known massive WWE fan and has participated in a physical WWE angle in the past, so here's hoping).


Howzat: Kerry Packer's war on cricket may be missing Dennis Lillee...

Many in media and sports circles are now buzzing that the true founding father of one-day cricket was not Kerry Packer but Dennis Lillee - yet the TV smash Howzat! whitewashes him from history, one of the original World Series directors has revealed.

In an rocket on Channel 9's ratings blockbuster, World Series Cricket director Austin Robertson - who also featured as a character in the mini-series - said Australians should thank Lillee for creating the one-day game.

In response, the show's producers launched a broadside of their own, claiming they asked Lillee to contribute but the bowling superstar refused to because he wouldn't get any money.

Mr Robertson, who worked closely with the former Nine king and the rebel team, also defended "the Big Fella" and said he was not the bully he was portrayed to be. Nor was the late batting star David Hookes the simpering and indecisive vacillator depicted in the show.

Mr Robertson said Howzat! was great entertainment and brilliantly produced but riddled with inaccuracies.

"The producers made a nonsense of the way they treated the man really responsible for the whole thing - Dennis Lillee," he said.

"Dennis was visible enough but he is not given the acknowledgement for having the idea in the first place, and his contribution in putting the entire thing together. Other people have put their hands up for having the brainchild of WSC but I am here to say that, without Lillee, it would never have happened at the time.

"Though Packer was determined to get the precious television rights, they would never have been delivered at that time without having the best fast bowler in the world in his corner.

"Curiously, the producers of the show, in the curtain-call of the program, in the segment 'Where are the main players today,' DKL was again overlooked.

"I had to ask myself, why did they do that? It was Lillee who delivered the players and, while it was great to be playing on the Packer team, without Lillee it would have never got off the ground."

Southern Star producer John Edwards, who made the show, hit back at Mr Robertson. He said Lillee boycotted the show and "shut down" Mr Robertson after learning no money was on offer.: "He (Robertson) was invited. There's nothing more to say really. He was mad keen on being involved and Dennis got to him and he was shut down. Dennis wanted money.

"We tried to speak to everybody and not everybody wanted to speak. Some people had grievances and grudges.

"(Writer) Chris Lee tried to involve them as much as as possible in the story and they chose not to be involved."

Mr Robertson confirmed he and Lillee had been approached but declined to take part. He declined to comment further or say whether money was an issue.

Lillee could not be reached but he has consistently refused to comment on Howzat!.

Mr Robertson praised Mr Packer and revealed the media tycoon was not as aggressive as the show portrayed: "The portrayal of Kerry as a constant bully and user of foul language is far from the truth. He could bully. I saw him on many occasions rise up like an out-of-control bull elephant and reduce a grown man to tears. I heard him swear like a storm trooper when out of control. But I never saw him chuck a plate of food.

"I thought Kerry was in the main a humble man, often revealing great compassion, a gentle giant who would talk issues out for hours before making a decision, and then following it through.

"The mini-series gave everybody the impression he was a loud, foul- mouthed bully and we saw precious little of his other side."

Channel 9 declined to comment however sources at the network said they felt the show was spot on in capturing Mr Packer.

Mr Robertson also rejected Howzat!'s portrayal of friend David Hookes, who died after an altercation with a bouncer in Melbourne in 2004.

"David was not a weak, indecisive and nervous character who 'spilled the beans' to The Age's Peter McFarline."

And as for his own portrayal Mr Robertson said: "From birth, and throughout the many years I have enjoyed on the earth I have never had a moustache."


Prince Harry; casino tycoon Steve Wynn and fun and games in Las Vegas and beyond...

As the UK's Daily Mail states it's a rare man who walks away from Las Vegas with nothing to regret.

Prince Harry counts the cost of his escapades in Sin City, he may just be coming to regret the day he ever made the acquaintance of casino tycoon Steve Wynn.

Wynn, the self-proclaimed King of Las Vegas, is the billionaire owner of the five-star Encore Wynn resort, the opulent hotel-casino in whose eight-room, £5,100-a-night suite the prince was photographed playing strip billiards.

Unsubstantiated reports this week have suggested that cocaine was snorted in the suite, and that a known prostitute was among the guests. There are even rumours of a video tape capturing the night's events. So how did the third-in-line to the throne come to meet – even befriend – a septuagenarian gambling mogul?

Steve Wynn, a flamboyant showman with a surgically-enhanced, wrinkle-free face, carefully coiffed hair, a volcanic temper and a trophy wife, is famous for befriending celebrities whose patronage would be good for business.

Last November, 70-year-old Wynn was spotted having dinner with the prince in one of his Vegas steakhouses while the Prince was enjoying a weekend break from an advanced helicopter training course in Arizona.

Waiving the bills of celebrities is common practice in Vegas, and it remains unclear who paid the estimated £30,000 bill for Harry's recent stay. According to Wynn's spokesman, the tab was not picked up by either the tycoon or his hotel.

Is the prince welcome to return? I can't see why not,' the spokesman said.

Wynn is unlikely to be perturbed by Harry's naked shenanigans, but if drugs do turn out to have been involved, he may swiftly seek to distance himself from the events. He may be Las Vegas's most revered casino owner, but he still has his gambling licence and his reputation to think about. It is a reputation that Wynn is eager to protect. He has worked hard to erase the stains of the past.

Today, he is widely credited as the man who single-handedly cleaned up' Vegas and made it into a place in which Wall Street could invest and young families could holiday (if parents don't mind their children collecting the prostitutes' calling cards which litter the pavement).

Yet for all his denials, Wynn, who is worth $2.5 billion, has never shaken off accusations that he was linked for many years to the mobsters who once ruled Las Vegas.

He has weathered successive U.S. investigations over everything from drug-dealing to money-laundering, and has never been found to have committed any wrong-doing.

In Britain, the authorities have proved harder to convince. When he tried to open a casino in London to exploit the influx of rich Arabs in the early Eighties, Scotland Yard denied him a licence. But in the desert city of Las Vegas, he remains a swaggering icon. He has a reputation for being sophisticated' but that's by Vegas standards.

This is a man who bought Impressionist masterpieces only to hang them on the walls of his casinos; who reputedly blew his finger off while playing with a gun given to him by a former Mob hitman, and who boasts that his wife Andrea has the greatest butt in the world'.

Money is no object. In 2005, Wynn sank $2.7 billion into building just one hotel the curved glass and steel Wynn Las Vegas. He then did the same again a few years later with the Encore.

So enamoured is he with the idea of himself as Sin City royalty that he arranged his wedding last year to coincide with that of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Hollywood star Clint Eastwood was best man and lingerie model Caprice a bridesmaid. The reception, held in the ballroom of Wynn's Encore resort, boasted a 500-strong guest list which included Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg, Lionel Richie, Sir Philip Green and Celine Dion.

Each guest left with a five-inch high replica of the tiered wedding cake, but it's unlikely Wynn or his rake-thin new wife enjoyed much of the banquet. Both are vegans, and the youth-obsessed Wynn, who exists on a diet of vitamin pills, liquidised walnuts and the occasional indulgent dribble of olive oil, boasts that he still has a 32in waistline.

After years of hard graft and wheeler-dealing, he has earned the right to behave as he wishes. The son of an East Coast bingo parlour operator and hardened gambler, the brash and handsome Wynn Jnr expanded the family business to Las Vegas with a string of clever investments and ambitious hustling.

In the Seventies and Eighties, when Wynn was building his empire, Las Vegas was full of the mobsters who had originally built its gambling industry.

Some say it was impossible to work in the city and not come into contact with mafiosi, even unwittingly. Others have suggested that, even so, Wynn had an unusually large number of brushes with the Mob.

Wynn himself has vigorously denied any involvement with the Mob, and none of the numerous law enforcement investigations for gambling licences have ever concluded that he worked for or with organised crime.

In 1967, he was with some business associates of noted mobsters on a private yacht cruise on a lake in Nevada when a naked young woman somehow fell over the back of the boat and was chopped almost in half by the propeller blades. Her death prompted an investigation, but everyone on board denied having seen the incident.

And he had trouble with officials in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1986 after investigators discovered mobster Tony Castelbuono, a friend of Wynn, was laundering the profits of heroin trafficking at his gambling tables. Wynn almost lost his gambling licence.

Today, such tales of the Mob are just water under the bridge. Wynn has re-invented himself as the business genius who demolished seedy gambling joints along the Vegas Strip and replaced them with slick hotel-casinos such as the Mirage (the city's first 3,000-bed hotel), the Treasure Island and the Bellagio.

Part of his success has been his ability to turn on the charm with important people. But Wynn is notorious, too, for his temper. In 1991, he reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum with the former president of Wynn's Golden Nugget casino, who described Wynn as a womanising, brutal boss.

In allegations made in documents lodged at court, it was said that he would get so angry that his eyes bulged and he started screaming at the top of his lungs and banging his head on the table'. There was no admission of liability by Wynn, who denied the allegations.

His mother Zelma claims his tyrannical behaviour is the result of frustration over his failing eyesight. The tycoon suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive genetic disease which effectively gives him tunnel vision by destroying his ability to see peripheral images. In a dark room, he is completely blind.

His vision may be failing, but for years he was infamous for his roving eye, keeping keys to empty rooms at his various hotels for trysts. He was known to favour his female blackjack croupiers.

All that came to a stop when he met the beautiful Mrs Wynn. Usually described as a British socialite, 48-year-old Andrea was, in fact, born in New York but, as her proud husband likes to stress, was raised in England and France. Tres sophistique.

It all sounds rather less chic when you learn that the family moved to France because her father, a wheeler-dealer named Victor Danenza, fled there in 1976 to escape an FBI fraud investigation.

Before becoming the second Mrs Wynn, Andrea had lived in London with her first husband, Texan banker Robert Hissom, a former polo-playing friend of Prince Charles.

She met Wynn in 2008 in St Tropez, where he keeps a yacht, and the couple began a very public romance. Wynn divorced his long-suffering first wife Elaine, after 46 years of marriage, and wed Andrea last year.

Elaine made around $740 million from the settlement one of the biggest payouts in U.S. divorce history. The costly divorce appears not to have troubled Mr Wynn, who is delighted with his new wife.

It's like God made a woman for me,' he once said, before pointing out the part of his wife he most admired the greatest butt in the world'.

It all goes to show that money can buy you neither taste nor manners. Even Wynn's attempts to acquire a collection of old masterpieces have invited accusastions that he was vulgar and greedily acquisitive.

He has, since the late Nineties, spent hundreds of millions of dollars on paintings by Picasso and Degas, Caravaggio and Titian. He has several times scooped the world's great galleries at auction, only to horrify the art world by hanging his purchases in his casinos.

At 70, he shows no sign of slowing down though controversy continues to dog him. He is embroiled in a three-year court battle with Joe Francis, founder of the soft porn video empire Girls Gone Wild.

In documents lodged at court, Francis claims Wynn threatened in an email that he would kill him over a $2 million gambling debt. Wynn is alleged to have written that he would hit Francis in the back of the head with a shovel'.

Wynn denies the allegations and claims no such email exists.

In Asia, where Wynn now earns 70 per cent of his profits from the gambling mecca of Macau, a resort on the South China Sea, he is embroiled in a battle with a former business partner, Kazuo Okada.

This week, Okada sued Wynn for $140 millino for libel after each accused the other of paying bribes within the Asian gambling industry. No amount of black marble and old masters can hide the sleaziness at the heart of Las Vegas.

It is hard to believe Wynn when he claims he could just as easily have gone into family theme parks if Walt Disney hadn't done it first. Indeed, it seems about as likely as Prince Harry settling for free entry to Sleeping Beauty's Castle rather than a weekend with his colourful acquaintances in Sin City.

One ponders if the prince may be planning to visit in any casino - hotels in the near future, and little doubt that Australia's The Star or Crown Melbourne would love to have him. The smart money say's Prince Harry will no be stepping into any casino in Australia or anywhere else in the near future, perhaps more positive PR appearances will be on the cards however.


Soprano tops bill for Ten Days festival...

Internationally-renowned soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will perform at next year's Ten Days on the Island Festival in Tasmania.

The New Zealand singer is one of two top international acts secured by the organisers.

Dame Kiri will perform in Launceston, Hobart and Burnie during the festival next March.

Festival director Jo Duffy says the Tasmanian performances will give the acclaimed performer a very intimate experience.

"She's performed at the Royal Albert Hall, she's won Grammy awards, she's performed at La Scala, she's performed for the Queen and various members of the Royal Family," she said.

"But really a lot of performers, when they reach a certain stage in their career, they want to almost get back to were they began, to be able to look their audiences in the eye and really relate to them very closely."

Award-winning New York theatre company Elevator Repair Service will open the festival with a performance based on an Ernest Hemingway novel.

Ms Duffy says interest is already huge.

"We have already had people interested in coming to Tasmania specifically to see this show."

"It's only doing six performances and it's travelled around the world to many of the very large international arts festivals and it's not been to anywhere else in Australia."


Zionist casino mogul Sheldon Adelson rocks Israeli media...

The loss-making 60-year old Israeli daily Maariv plans to stop appearing as a weekday newspaper and convert to a digital-only edition unless a major new injection of investment can be found to sustain it in printed form.

But its plight also likely to cast a fresh spotlight on the runaway success—at least in circulation terms—of its newest competitor, the right-wing free paper Israel Hayom, which is financially backed by US casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson.

While the paper is likely to continue printing a weekend edition for the foreseeable future, the planned move comes amid fears by journalists at the paper of significant possible layoffs.

Nir Hefetz, Maariv’s editor-in chief told Army Radio yesterday: "We've been looking at the digital direction for a number of months and it's all just a matter of timing. If we won't have any oxygen, we will be forced to make the move quickly."

Discount Investments, which has a 62 per cent holding in the paper and is part of the financially troubled IDB conglomerate has agreed to back a £2.3m bank loan, but one which is apparently conditional on a halt to weekday printing and other cost cutting measures.

Israel Hayom, which strongly supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is owned and funded by Mr Adelson, the American casino billionaire who is a major Republican Party benefactor, and opponent of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After supporting the unsuccessful GOP primary candidate Newt Gingrich, he indicated he could spend up to $100m on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

While Israel Hayom also has paid delivery to homes it is handed out for free by seemingly ubiquitous newsboys across the country. It says that "reaching every citizen and every venue in Israel is one of the key tenets of the paper’s mission.2

The paper survived an unsuccessful attempt in 2009 by Knesset members to block majority newspaper ownership by foreigners. An unnamed Yedhiot Ahronot executive was recently quoted in the business daily Globes saying: "Adelson has simply brought ruin to the Israeli newspaper market, and the Israeli politicians who benefit from its flattering coverage have allowed this unprecedented phenomenon to occur."

While the paper has a range of established columnists and is highly professionally produced, it was criticised over its deletion of an insulting reference to Mr Netanyahu in its report of the letter left by Moshe Silman, who set fire to himself during a social protest in Tel Aviv in July.

Like other media, Israel Hayom provided readers with an illustration of the letter written by Mr Silman, who later died of his injuries. And it said that Mr Netanyahu and his finance minister Yuval Steinitz were among those Mr Silman blamed for his financial plight. But unlike other media it displayed an image which failed to include the letter’s two lines describing the two politicians as “scumbags”—or literally “stinking dead bodies.”

According to the latest authoritative survey by the market research organisation TGI Israel Hayom, which boasts a weekday distribution of 275,000 copies, has a 38.1 per cent share of that market, compared to its closest rival, Yedhiot Ahronot, with 36.1 per cent and Maariv with 11.1 per cent. The left-leaning daily Haaretz has a market share of 7.2 per cent. (Belfast Telegraph)


Sam Razavi Wins 2012 APPT Melbourne Main Event - 03 Sep 2012

The second Main Event of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) wrapped up this weekend at the famed Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia as the final nine players competed for the AUD $326,125 first prize. In the end, it was England’s Samad “Sam” Razavi who emerged triumphant for his first ever APPT title.

Razavi entered the nine-handed final table second in chips with 1.318 million, one of four players over the million chip mark. He had a bit of a gap to make up, though, as Tom Grigg led the remaining field with 2.271 million chips.

It took Razavi about three hours to make his big move, but as they say, good things come to those who wait, right? Throughout much of the final table, he was basically just one of the crowd, not really doing much to distinguish himself aside from eliminating Brendon Rubie in 9th place, but Rubie was down to just 30,000 chips at that point, anyway. In the meantime, other players had made runs at the top, including Wayne Bentley and Keith Walker. But finally, with just four players remaining, Razavi made his move.

Bentley raised pre-flop to 60,000 and Razavi called. Razavi then check-called a 150,000 bet after the flop landed Q diamonds-6 diamonds-4 diamonds. The check-bet-call pattern was the same on the turn A hearts and river 8 clubs (but for 250,000 and 400,000 chips, respectively). Apparently, Razavi wasn’t too worried about losing the hand, quickly revealing Q spades-T clubs for just second pair (or maybe he wanted to end the pain quickly, like tearing off a bandage). If that was confidence, it was spot on, as Bentley mucked, handing the sizable pot to Razavi. That hand sent Razavi’s stack up to 2.5 million, while Bentley’s fell to 1.1 million.

Twenty minutes later, Razavi grabbed another 200,000 chips, this time from Grigg, who was seeing his fortunes decline. Just a few minutes later, though, Grigg took a large sum of chips while eliminating Wayne Bentley in 4th place. Bentley had gotten all of his chips in on the turn with a flush draw and Grigg had made the call with top pair. The flush, obviously, never came to fruition.

Going into three-handed play, it was a very close race with Razavi holding 2.74 million chips, Grigg claiming ownership to 2.6 million, and Walker clutching 2.2 million. After more than an hour, it looked like Grigg was going to run away with the tournament, as his stack was up to 5 million, while Razavi had 1.5 million and Walker had just 1.2 million.

But Razavi doubled-up with 9-9 versus Grigg’s A-K, followed by Walker winning an 800,000 chip pot from Grigg. And then, just like that, it was Sam Razavi’s tournament. In what may have been the turning point of the tournament, Grigg opened pre-flop to 105,000 and Razavi called. Grigg again bet 105,000 on the K-T-T flop and Razavi again called. They both checked the 4 on the turn and Grigg checked the 3 on the river, but Razavi bet 500,000. Grigg went deep into the tank and finally made the call, though his cards were never revealed as Razavi flipped over 3-3 for a rivered full house. That was nearly a one million chip pot for Razavi, sending him up to 2.65 million chips.

And then, after having led for much of the final table, Tom Grigg was gone. Grigg raised a hand pre-flop to 100,000 and was once again called by Razavi. Just like before, Grigg bet 105,000 on the 7-7-5 flop and Razavi called. When a Queen landed on the turn, Grigg threw down 215,000 chips and Razavi made the call. The river was a 3 and Grigg checked, only to be shocked when Razavi moved all-in. Obviously a huge decision, Grigg pondered it so long that Razavi had to call clock on him. Grigg eventually made the (crying) call and Razavi instantly showed that he had 5-5 and flopped a boat. Grigg was eliminated and Razavi took a 5.9 million to 1.8 million chip lead into heads-up play against Keith Walker.

Heads-up play was short and sweet. On one of the opening hands, Walker three-bet all-in pre-flop with pocket Jacks and Razavi called with K-T of spades. The flop presented two spades, giving Razavi a flush draw, and the turn brought third, clinching the hand and the tournament title for Sam Razavi.

The AUD $326,125 first prize is the largest cash of Razavi’s career. He has had success in the past, placing sixth in the 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event for $222,530 and winning the 2011 UK & Ireland Poker Tour – Cork Main Event for $100,628. He has now earned over $800,000 on the live tournament circuit.

2012 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Melbourne – Final Table Results (AUD$)

1. Sam Razavi – $326,125
2. Keith Walker – $205,345
3. Tom Grigg – $114,750
4. Wayne Bentley – $87,575
5. Gary Benson – $72,475
6. James Bills – $57,375
7. Kristian Lunardi – $45,300
8. Nigel Andrews – $36,240
9. Brendon Rubie – $27,175 (Poker News Daily)


Bwin.party losing its poker face...

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Online gaming titan bwin.party says revenues in the first half of 2012 grew at its casino and gaming offerings but poker has been hit by strong competitors and difficulties in southern Europe.

The group was formed last year by the merger between German outfit bwin Interactive Entertainment and British firm PartyGaming and still has co-Chief Executives Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan.

On a pro forma basis (comparing the results of both companies before the merger), total revenue increased by 3% to €410.0m (2011: €398.0m). This was achieved despite an 11% increase in gaming taxes so that the pro forma “clean” earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 13% to €92.3m (2011: €81.9m). This is better than the forecast of €89m made by analysts at Peel Hunt.

Bwin.party has also had to take a nasty one-off charge of €31.5m after the Spanish authorities contacted all of the major online gaming operators making clear any online operator that had ever accepted customers from Spain had an obligation to pay Spanish taxes.

The group offers four online “experiences”: sports betting produced revenues of €128.1m in the first half, versus €125.7m in 2011; casino and games delivered €139.7m, against €124.3m in the prior year; bingo was down from €33m to €31.5m; while the weakest performance was from poker, which fell from €104.9m to €96.4m.

In a joint statement, Ryan and Teufelberger said they were "determined to return [poker] to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand.”

The interim dividend has been increased by 10% to 1.72p per share although the company warned that net gaming revenue since June has fallen 8% as the end of the Euro 2012 Championships and a late start to the Bundesliga hit takings.


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment: PartyCasino gets new 'Under the Sea' slot game

Check out PartyCasino via the Media Man network for more on this exciting new slot game which can be played for free or played for money. Bwin.Party is one of the most financially stable gaming companies on the planet and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. They also high security and high excitment online poker, sports betting and more.


New Trailer For Marvel Heroes...

Gazillion Entertainment is proud to show off a new trailer for Marvel Heroes. The new trailer announces 3 new playable heroes in the game – Daredevil, Punisher, and Squirrel Girl. The trailer made its debut at the Marvel Heroes panel at PAX 2012. The panel featured Gazillion President David Brevik (one of the creators of Diablo!), legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man! Avengers vs. X-Men! And) and Marvel’s mighty VP of Games Production TQ Jefferson. If you look closely, you’ll also see a bunch of villains were also revealed in the trailer, including Mr. Fisk the notorious crime lord.

Website:
http://www.youtube.com/marvelheroesonline

About Marvel Heroes...

Marvel Heroes is a FREE-TO-PLAY action-packed massively multiplayer online game created by David Brevik, the visionary behind Diablo and Diablo 2. Set in the iconic Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes combines the core game-play style of Diablo and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel Superheroes (including Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider Man, Captain America and many others). Team up with friends and try to stop Doctor Doom from devastating the world with the power of the Cosmic Cube in a story crafted by comic-book super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis.


The Main Event's top 10 best MMA fights of the rest of 2012...

This weekend has been more about the fight that didn’t happen than any that did.

UFC 151 was canceled Aug. 23 and the the finger of blame has been pointed in every which direction. The basics are that Dan Henderson partially tore his MCL and was unable to compete in the main event against Jon Jones. Jones was given a fill-in opponent in Chael Sonnen, but turned it down, causing the UFC to cancel the show altogether and inciting president Dana White to go all medievel on Jones in a media conference call.

White blames Jones and his coach Greg Jackson. Jones has blamed the UFC, himself and Henderson (or “that old man,” according to a tweet Saturday). There’s more finger pointing here than in the Republic National Convention. Just not as many empty chairs or old, senile actors.
But what’s done is done. Jones will face Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 on Sept. 22. UFC 151 will forever be known as the event that wasn’t and it’s time to move on.

There are plenty of exciting fights to look forward to before 2013. Here’s a look at our top 10 (barring injuries):

10. Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le (UFC on Fuel TV 6, Nov. 10 in Macau)
This one isn’t as much about the fight as it is about the significance of the event – the UFC’s first in China. Neither of these guys is currently in their prime, but they always give crowd-pleasing performances. Le, a native of Vietnam, should have a massive Asian following.

9. Eddie Alvarez vs. Patricky Freire (Bellator 76, Oct. 12 in Windsor, Ontario)
Alvarez might have dropped the Bellator title last year to Michael Chandler, but he’s still one of the top 15 lightweights in the world. This also could be his last Bellator fight with his contract expiring – don’t be surprised if he’s in the UFC in 2013. Explosive knockout artist Freire will be a game opponent.

8. Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson, UFC flyweight title (UFC 152, Sept. 22 in Toronto)
Don’t blink. These are two of the fastest guys in MMA and both challenged for the bantamweight title before the UFC created its flyweight division. This bout will determine the company’s first-ever flyweight champion and these are legitimately the top two guys in the world at 125.

7. Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson (TUF 16 finale, Dec. 15 in Las Vegas)
There’s very little chance this one leaves the first round. Carwin and Nelson love to slug it out and after coaching against one another on “The Ultimate Fighter” they probably won’t be too friendly. It’ll be nice to see Carwin, a former heavyweight top contender, back in the cage.

6. Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir (Strikeforce: Mir vs. Cormier, Oct. 27 in TBA)
This might be a Strikeforce fight, but it has UFC implications. Mir, the former UFC heavyweight champion, takes on Strikeforce champ Cormier in somewhat of a crossover matchup. But Cormier will be in the UFC right after this fight courtesy of Strikeforce's heavyweight division being disbanded and a win here puts him on path for a title shot in 2013.

5. BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald (UFC on Fox 5, Dec. 8 in Seattle)
The trash talk has already been fun between the two, but things will really heat up when they enter the Octagon. Think of this as something of a passing of the torch fight. Penn, in the twilight of his career, will put up a strong challenge against the young lion, but the multi-faceted MacDonald is nearing superstardom in the welterweight division.

4. Benson Henderson (c) vs. Nate Diaz, UFC lightweight title (UFC on Fox 5, Dec. 8 in Seattle)
This could easily be a Fight of the Year candidate if it goes how it’s supposed to. Neither of these guys gives an inch – both Henderson and Diaz are perpetually moving forward. A win here, against a superior standup fighter in Diaz, would put Henderson’s name among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

3. Jose Aldo (c) vs. Frankie Edgar, UFC featherweight title (UFC 153, Oct. 13 in Rio)
Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Aldo was supposed to defend his title against Erik Koch, but Koch had to pull out with an injury and his loss is the fans’ gain. Edgar was the UFC lightweight champion for more than a year and his last two losses were by the slimmest of margins. Aldo, meanwhile, is a buzzsaw – one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This is, indeed, a superfight.

2. Georges St. Pierre (c) vs. Carlos Condit, UFC welterweight unification (UFC 154, Nov. 17 in Montreal)
It seems like it’s been forever since St. Pierre has fought. One of the best MMA fighters of all time has not competed in more than a year and a half due to injuries, including a torn ACL. He returns to face red-hot Carlos Condit, who is coming off a win over Nick Diaz in January. St. Pierre, a dominant champ, has never faced anyone with the combination of speed, athleticism and technique that Condit has.

1. Junior dos Santos (c) vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC heavyweight title (UFC 155, Dec. 29 in Las Vegas)
This time, we’ll get the incredible battle of wills that we were promised last year. Velasquez lost his title to dos Santos last November in just over a minute via stunning knockout. To make matters worse, it was the UFC’s first show on Fox and the company took undeserved criticism for the quick, flash KO.

Who knew that dos Santos-Velasquez wouldn’t be a war? This one will make up for it, closing the year on a huge high note – the two best heavyweights in the world trading in the center of the cage. Only one will be standing at the end. (New York Post)


Captains agree it's Manly or Dogs to win - 3rd September 2012...

The NRL competition is a two-horse race between last year's premiers and this year's minor premiers, according to the eight captains taking part.

The pair, going head to head at ANZ Stadium in a qualifying final, were the overwhelming favourites in a poll of the team leaders at Monday's captains' call.

Premiership favourites the Sea Eagles were favoured by Canterbury's Michael Ennis and Cronulla's Paul Gallen as the team to beat, while North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston and Canberra's Terry Campese like the chances of this year's minor premiers.

'I can't go past Manly obviously with the side that they've got,' Gallen said.

'It's a pretty good side and they've been there and done it before.'

South Sydney's Michael Crocker summed up this year's premiership race perfectly when he admitted he couldn't pick a favourite between the two.

The Raiders only just squeezed into the finals on the back of a five-game winning streak, but they've been dubbed the dark horse of the competition, alongside the Rabbitohs, who emerged from a slump with two wins to finish the regular season.

'Souths have got a really good style of play and I reckon they're the smokies,' Thurston said.

'They've flown under the radar.

'Every team goes through a period like that (where they lose a few) but they've bounced back.'

After witnessing the Raiders pile on 36 unanswered points against last year's grand finalists the Warriors, Crocker admits he will be keeping one eye on the Green Machine.

'The way the Raiders have been playing, they're a scary prospect,' he said.

'If you look at their performance in the second half yesterday, when they were 22-6 down at halftime, to come out and score 36 points, they've got that ability and so many class players across the park.'

Ben Barba was unanimously anointed this year's Dally M Medal winner for his scintillating season with the Bulldogs, and was tied with Thurston on two votes a piece as the player most oppositions will fear these finals.

Manly's Jason King declined the opportunity to participate in the poll.

News

Entertainment news, WWE current and future legends, NWO, Hollywood, Australia, Sin City, Las Vegas, Olympics, gaming and more... - 30th July 2012

Kevin Nash teases NWO - New World Order return...

Kevin Nash, who was likely joking, teased an nWo reunion on his Twitter account recently, writing, "A lot of you wanted an NWO reunion,there will be one.As you know we only come in take over mode.Stay tuned!!!" The message was then re-tweeted by TNA Executive Eric Bischoff.
Nash later wrote, "Rock will never walk out of the Rumble with the belt we got Phils back... Sorry @CMPunk we got your back!!!!"

Nash also stated that Punk would be the leader and that the nWo army would be there "to protect the gold."


Wrestling legend Rey wants Pacquiao-Floyd in WWE ring...

During Rey Mysterio's tour stop in Manila, Philippines, Mysterio teased a mixed tag match with top boxing stars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who "competed" at WrestleMania 24 four years ago. “I love Manny. In fact, Manny, if you’re watching right now, I’m inviting you to join forces with Rey Mysterio in the WWE to take on “Money” (Floyd) Mayweather," Rey said on Manila TV, playing off Mayweather and Pacquiao unable to come together on a dream boxing fight. "I know you don’t need me to take him on but this is just a teaser: me and you versus him and Alberto Del Rio."


'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and 'Iron' Mike Tyson at WWE Summerslam weekend function...

WWE Hall of Famers "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Mike Tyson are scheduled to attend a Summerslam Weekend function in Los Angeles, according to WWE announcer Jim Ross. Ross wrote in his latest blog on jrsbarbq.com: "If you see me wandering around L.A. Summerslam weekend, I'm there for a major, THQ function at the Grammy Museum the night before the PPV. Among those scheduled to attend the private affair are @steveaustinBSR and @miketyson, among many others."


WWE Announcer Legend Jim Ross Blog Update...

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with his latest blog about Monday's 1,000th episode of RAW, here are just a few highlights:

RAW 1000: "Memorable week especially kicking it off with RAW1000 in St Louis. No guarantees that any of us will be around for RAW2000 so I particularly enjoyed my experiences Monday night.

"The reality of the matter is this...it is highly unlikely, thanks Gorilla, that exact collection of performers will EVER be under the same roof again. I look back upon my attendance at RAW1000 as a privilege and am grateful to have had the opportunity to see so many old friends that have meant a great deal to me over my long career."

Inducting Mick Foley in the WWE Hall of Fame: "@RealMickFoley when asked who would induct him if/when Mick goes into the WWE HOF mentioned Terry Funk and yours truly. While I would love to honor Mick on that special occasion, there is no way that I would ever put myself in the same category with Terry Funk. Terry mentored Mick and treated Mick like a son. While I'd love to induct Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy into the WWE HOF, I think that Terry Funk is the best choice. However, I stand ready if called upon."

If CM Punk would reform the nWo: "A follower on @JRsBBQ on Twitter asked if I thought @CMPunk would reform the nWo. I have no idea if this topic is any thing more than speculation based on my friend Kevin Nash having some fun with the subject on Twitter. Bottom line is that I don't know but I would be surprised if Punk headed up a faction at this time because he seems to be such a solitary man. The only way that I see that ever happening at this stage of Punk's career is if he had complete control on who comprised the group."


Pro Wrestling giant Great Khali has tumor removed...

WWE wrestler Great Khali (Dalip Singh) had a tumor removed on Wednesday, which will put him out of action for 2-3 months. The tumor was on Khali's pituitary gland, which caused him to increase in height to over seven-feet-tall. However, if left untreated, the tumor could have been fatal, according to WWE's chief medical director, Dr. Joseph Maroon. It's the same issue that affected Andre the Giant. Surgery was performed at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Pa.


TNA Video: Funny or Die Olympic training featuring Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam...

TNA stars Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam are featured in Funny or Die video. The theme is Angle returning to the Olympics with RVD as his trainer. You can check out the video at Funnyordie.com/videos/636c3d08e1/olympic-trials-with-kurt-angle?playlist=featured_videos


‘Squirrelly’ move puts U.S. wrestler on map...

LONDON — It began as a goof — two brothers horsing around, dreaming up exotic wrestling moves straight out of the Vince McMahon WWE handbook and trying them out on each other.

The move has since gone viral as a YouTube sensation, become a nickname and, before the 2012 London Games are over, it might become part of U.S. Olympic lore — a highlight burned into our minds forever.

Ellis Coleman and his older brother, Lillashawn, used to wrestle with each other at their high school outside of Chicago when they would dial up crazy moves to use on each other.

The best of them was called the “Flying Squirrel.’’ Ellis never forgot it, and now has turned it into a cottage industry for himself.

Coleman, at age 21 the youngest member of the six-man U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team, has used the move about a dozen times in competition.

Perhaps the highest profile time he used it was in last year’s Junior World Championships to come back and beat his opponent in the semifinals. ESPN ranked the move third on its “Best of the Best Highlights’’ for 2011.

“It’s been crazy,’’ Coleman said yesterday. “Every time someone sees it, kids are reaching out to me on Facebook and Twitter asking me to show them the move.’’

In the words of Coleman, one of a host of athletes at these Olympic Games representing the New York Athletic Club, here’s how the move is executed: “You snap the opponent’s head down, leap over him and, as you land on your feet, you grab his waist, pull him over, pick him up and throw him down.’’

In Greco-Roman wrestling, the competitors get points for their various moves. Five points is the most you can get for one move. Coleman said he has used the move about a dozen times and usually gets at least three points for it.

He first unveiled it out of desperation in a match he was losing, stunned his opponent with it and went on to win it.

Coleman said he likes to use the move as an element of surprise and isn’t sure if he will use it in the Olympics.

“If I’m losing, though, you’ll definitely see it,’’ he said. “It’s a risky move. It’s a spur-of-the-moment thing. It’s so sudden you can’t stop it. I always pictured myself, even in the Olympic setting and losing in the finals match, third period with 15 seconds left, hitting the ‘Flying Squirrel’ and everyone going crazy. I still picture it.”

Though Coleman’s teammates chide him for the move, they also embrace his guts for using it.

“They should probably put him on medication for even trying that,” teammate Justin Lester said jokingly. “He’s crazy for doing it, but that’s what’s going to make him good in the long run. You’ve got guys like him who are innovative and aren’t afraid to wrestle.’’

“It’s definitely a move of desperation,’’ said Dremiel Byers, the elder statesman and heavyweight of the Greco-Roman team at age 37.

“It’s his wild card. It lets the opponent know he’ll do anything to win.’’

U.S. Wrestling Greco-Roman coach Steve Fraser said Coleman’s flash has “brought a lot of attention to wrestling and Greco. He’s talented, hungry and young … and a pleasure to work with. He’s a very coachable kid. We love him.”

The “Flying Squirrel’’ craze reached such a pitch that Coleman recently bought himself a live flying squirrel pet and named him Rocky, who is about 45 days old and eats lot of apples and seeds.

“They bond with their owners,’’ Coleman said. “He sleeps during the day and is very nocturnal, so I’ll take him out of his cage and he’ll crawl on me and fly to the curtains. Eventually, when he bonds with me, I’ll be able to take him out in my pocket and he’ll stay there without flying away.’’

Coleman dreams of flying away from these Olympics with some hardware. Something gold, perhaps. (The New York Post)


NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'...

The NSW government is investigating whether cruise company P&O operated an illegal floating casino off the NSW coast.

Hospitality Minister George Souris on Wednesday said a government authority was investigating an allegation that passengers could play blackjack, pontoon, poker and roulette on a cruise that left Sydney on Friday night.

The cruise ship also had 40 poker machines onboard and let passengers charge $5000 on their credit cards for gambling, News Ltd reported.

"I've asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate whether a casino operation was under way in NSW territorial waters or whether gambling operations were under way in commonwealth waters," he told reporters in Sydney.

"It may be that NSW jurisdiction was breached, it may be that the commonwealth jurisdiction was breached. It may be even that both were breached."

He said NSW had no jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

"Those are international waters," he said.

"In international shipping after the 12-nautical-mile limit it opens boats to gambling but also to duty-free liquor sales."


James Packer to speak at tourism conference in Canberra...

Billionare James Packer will be the drawcard for hoteliers, resort operators and owners attending a tourism conference in Canberra in late October. Mr Packer will open the Tourism & Transport Forum's annual "Leadership 2012" conference.

The gaming tycoon is a major tourism player given his Crown resorts in Perth and Melbourne attract 25 million visitors a year...


Jackman to Begin Filming ‘Wolverine’ in Australia...

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman will begin filming the next installment of his “X-Men” spin-off movies in Sydney next week, even though the female lead is yet to be confirmed.

Jackman, who admitted struggling to get into shape after packing on the pounds to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” said his role as Wolverine, which he first played 12 years ago, was “the backbone of my career.”

“I love the character. I still love the character,” he said. “I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters.”

“I’ve always loved playing it and when I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it,” he added.


Melco Crown Project Gets Red Light on Casino...

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL +2.32% still doesn't have permission to build a casino at its latest project, according to a revised government contract published Wednesday.

The Macao Studio City project, in which Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest, is designated for a five-star hotel and film facilities, indicates the latest government contract detailing various revisions to the agreement. But the document doesn't mention any casino facilities despite the company's earlier statements they hope to open up to 400 gambling tables at the property. It's possible the government could give the green-light on a casino later, but the uncertainty could complicate the company's efforts to finance the project.

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the sons of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer—is one of six casino license holders in Macau, where it already runs two casino-resort properties in the world's largest gambling hub.

A representative for Melco Crown didn't respond to requests for comment.

In June 2011, Melco Crown signed a $360 million deal to gain control over the Macao Studio City project, resolving a bitter dispute between the project's earlier partners that had escalated to the Hong Kong courts, stalling development for years. New Cotai Holdings LLC, an arm of U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Silver Point Capital L.P., retained its 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this month Melco Crown announced plans to enter the burgeoning Philippines market by teaming up with local property developer Belle Corp. BEL.PH -0.20% to partner on a casino resort that will cost at least $1 billion in an area the Philippines hopes will become Manila's version of the Las Vegas Strip. (The Wall Street Journal)


First Second unveils André the Giant comic...

First Second has confirmed its André the Giant biography.

Cartoonist Box Brown is working on the book charting the life of the professional wrestler and actor, reports ICv2.

André Roussimoff was a star and one-time champion of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

He is also known for his role in cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

Roussimoff has the condition acromegaly, which saw him grow to 7'4" in height. He died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 46.

Box is the author of Xeric grant-funded graphic novel Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

The untitled André the Giant biography is scheduled for release in 2014. (Digital Spy)


The Expendables 2 slapped with R rating for extreme violence...

Action star-laden sequel The Expendables 2 has been given an R rating for its violent and sexual content in the US.

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and co will even be throwing some bad language into the mix as they bat off hostile attackers in this follow-up to the 2010 action-packed extravaganza.

Lionsgate was rumoured to have been considering a PG-13 rating for the film, which is due for release in the States on August 17th.

Once again, Stallone assembles his hardened team of old-school mercenaries for a special mission - taking revenge after one of their squad is murdered on the job.

Director Simon West was never in any doubt that the film would receive such a high rating, given the 'very hard' violence and language perpetrated by the all-star cast throughout the film.

'I'm sure there were some financial people who wanted it to be PG-13 because they thought it would somehow make more money or have a broader audience, but there was no way,' he told wegotthiscovered.com.

'When you get these guys on the set, they can't say a line without putting the F-bomb in it, and they can't pick up a gun without blowing several limbs off.' (Metro)

WWE RAW 1000th Episode Screens In Australia today; Movie, Hollywood, Celebrity and Casino News - 25th July 2012

WWE RAW 1000th Episode Screens In Australia today; Movie, Hollywood, Celebrity and Casino News; The Dark Knight Rises, The Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Games...

Pro wrestling fans down under in Australia - are you ready? The WWE RAW 1000th episode screens today at 2.30pm EST on FOX8. Most of the modern day wrestling legends who helped make RAW as great as it is will be appearing. Today's Media Man agency report also offers up news and info on comic book movies and games associated with 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Wolverine' and 'Amazing Spider-Man'. Then we check out the Australian casino scene, and pick up a bit of political and celebrity news for good measure. Keep checking the news website portal daily for some of the most superior news coverage on the internet.

WWE Boss Vince McMahon on his WWE; (Q&A interview)...

As the 1,000th episode of "Raw" approaches, the wrestling king offers his thoughts on professional wrestling aka "sports entertainment" (The Hollywood Reporter).

Vince McMahon has the final say at the WWE. He is the chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, and his wife, Linda, is running for the U.S. Senate from Connecticut. McMahon, 66, is preparing for the 1,000th episode of USA flagship live show Raw, the longest-running episodic primetime program in the U.S. Raw, which reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide and contributed massively to the network's $340 million in revenue from live and televised entertainment in 2011. Today they kick of with adding a third hour and becoming the most interactive show in pro wrestling, and in just about any other medium or genre.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: You started on USA, moved to another network and then returned to USA …
Vince McMahon: We became the No. 1 show on USA. And they wouldn't be No. 1 right now in primetime if not for Raw. We switched one time to what became the Spike network and became the No. 1 show there. We have proved that we can pretty much make TV networks.

THR: WWE and your performers have started using Twitter more.

McMahon: Back in the early days, our performers elicited a response -- a boo or a cheer. Today, we use all this social media. We are going to do Tout, in which the WWE just invested. With that, you get a 15-second video shout-out that goes straight to our TV programs. Beginning with the 1,000th show, people can participate in terms of the types of matches and what actually happens on air. It will be the most interactive TV programming in the world.

THR: Over the years, you had ups and downs. You had the Monday night ratings wars with WCW, for example.

McMahon: Ted Turner was a bit of a battle [when he bought the World Championship Wrestling circuit]. Ted was part of Time Warner; that was difficult to compete with. But perseverance is extremely important in life and in business. The other guys got tired of traveling each and every week to do TV. They just didn't have the same passion we do. They were working for a paycheck. It was only a matter of time until they burned out.

THR: Why has so much of your talent, like The Rock, gone on to film careers?

McMahon: Our talent is taught not to be prima donnas, to be on time and know their lines. And quite frankly, people in Hollywood, once they see what we do, they are amazed. Our talent doesn't demand the biggest trailer or a certain amount of grape juice or whatever the hell it is. Our talent is extremely flexible and knows how to act, so it's a logical extension for them.

THR: UFC gets big pay-per-view numbers. How do you stack up against them?

McMahon: We're in show business, they are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business, and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year's WrestleMania, and our pay-per-view numbers for our shows have been up 30 percent since then. So, we are looking pretty good.

THR: Are you going to watch the Olympics?

McMahon: I consider our business the Olympics, and it doesn't just happen every few years, but every night. My favorite part will be the closing ceremonies. That means the Olympics are over, and everyone will settle down and Raw, Smackdown! [on Syfy] and WWE will have more prominence.

STORY: ION Enters Pro-Wrestling Ring with 'WWE Main Event'

WRESTLING ROOTS

Dwayne Johnson/The Rock: The third-generation wrestler began his film career with The Mummy Returns. Next: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Fast and the Furious 6.

Stacy Keibler: Keibler wrestled and managed WWE stars, then placed third on Dancing With the Stars. And, oh yeah, she's been dating George Clooney since 2011.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin: McMahon's beer-swilling adversary appeared in The Expendables.
Hulk Hogan: He's acted in Rocky III, starred on his own reality show and done voice acting for Robot Chicken.

Freddie Prinze Jr.: The She's All That star and WWE fan was hired to help create Raw storylines in 2008. He has guest-hosted on the show as well.


WWE Triple H Talks Talent...

Promoting this coming Monday's historic 1000th episode of Raw, Paul Levesque, also known as Triple H, addressed a number of topics including Randy Orton's ongoing sixty-day suspension for his second violation of WWE's Talent Wellness Program.

Orton, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, the site of Monday's show, will be unable to appear due to the suspension. Though Levesque won't divulge what Orton did wrong, he notes "The Legend Killer" will be back once the suspension concludes.

"It is important to remember that all of our wrestlers are human but they also have to be accountable," Levesque says of Orton's suspension.

As WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Levesque's corporate role is to discover tomorrow's Superstars. He admits it's a struggle.

"We're trying to teach them to be the Stone Colds and the Undertakers of tomorrow, but the one thing we can't teach is charisma," said Levesque. "You can teach people to do moves and create story lines and the psychology of what we do, but you can't teach someone to be the Rock. It's an innate ability to walk into a room and have everyone pay attention. Put aside the athleticism and what happens in the ring, what our business is really about is connecting with people emotionally. If you are emotionally connected to your character, then people will want to see you. It's true in Hollywood and movies. You don't have to be the best actor, just be a presence."

Triple H, The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin created on-screen personas "fans loved, hated or loved to hate" on Raw in the late '90s. Levesque feels they were the first stars of reality television.

"Every guy we have, whether it's me, whether it's the Undertaker, whether it's John Cena playing the character John Cena, is a performer," said Levesque. "What we did is very much the beginning of reality television. 'Jersey Shore,' whether people want to believe it or not, is a scripted kind-of show. They don't give them every single word, but they give them premises and they set things up. It's not a documentary where you follow them around brushing their teeth. And that's what we are — we blur that line and that's what people find intriguing."

Levesque also offers insight on The Rock and Kane's on-stage personalities, WWE's decision to make their shows "PG" television, critics denouncing wrestling as "fake," and more.


WWE Raw Supershow - What To Expect On The Broadcast
Live in St. Louis, Mo, USA

The three-hour WWE Raw era will start with a new signature WWE open capturing WWE through the years.

Rapid-fire clips of memorable moments throughout Raw's history - Vince's "Bret screwed Bret" speech, Shawn Michaels losing his smile, Edge retiring, Ric Flair retiring, and Triple H tributing Eddie Guerrero.

A video package focusing on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and and Bret Hart becoming friends again.

Vince McMahon to welcome and thank the fans.

DX reunion with most members.

The Rock to address the WWE Title.

Brock Lesnar accept Triple H's Summerslam Challenge?

Daniel Bryan and A.J. to get married.

WWE champion C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Title

1 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS & REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. CHRIS JERICHO & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) & ALBERTO DEL RIO

2 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. BRODUS CLAY (w/Mick Foley)

3 -- IC champion CHRISTIAN vs. THE MIZ -- Intercontinental Title match

Charlie Sheen via Skype to talk wrestling and "anger management".

4 -- HEATH SLATER vs. LITA


The Undertaker returns to RAW.


5 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match

*special thanks to our friends at WWE, Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Wrestling Inc in assisting with this report.


New X Men, Wolverine 2 Film Revealed Possible New Viper Actress...

New X Men, Wolverine 2 film revealed possible new Viper actress. According to a new report from Collider, talks with Jessica Biel to play character Viper in the new Wolverine 2 flick, did not workout,so now, this new Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova is currently in talks to play Viper instead. It’s also reported that Svetlana is expected to close a deal with the studio pretty quickly.

The character of Viper is said to be of Eastern European decent, and has a complex relationship with Wolverine that includes, at one point, a sham marriage. Svetlana is mostly known for her work in Russia, but she appeared last year in the espionage flick “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

On location work on The Wolverine will be done in Japan, while stage work will be shot in Australia in August. The movie stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Brian Tee, and is scheduled to hit theaters on July 26th,2013. Stay tuned.


Wolverine sequel: Jessica Biel out...

Just days after Jessica Biel was announced to play Viper in the forthcoming Wolverine sequel, The Wolverine, it has emerged that the actress has now walked away from the project after contract talks broke down.

James Mangold has taken the reins for this installment with Hugh Jackman returning to play the titular title role. It will hopefully stay faithful to the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller series which sees Wolverine transported to Japan in one of his darkest storylines.

Biel had been cast as Viper, a character who has a tempestuous relationship with Wolverine/Logan, including blackmail, a forced marriage and the odd wound – both physical and mental. Viper is also known as Lady Hydra, a high ranking officer in the Hydra network, but this may not be referenced in The Wolverine as the rights to Hydra are with Disney/Marvel Studios and Hydra was used in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Wolverine has had a bumpy ride so far getting to the big screen, with Darren Aronofsky leaving the project very early on. This caused a delay in filming, which then grew as Hugh Jackman had commitments to film Les Miserables.

It’s another setback for the production that commences in Australia this August before filming on location in Japan. Sources say that Fox are now talking to other actors about the role as they look to move quickly to replace Biel.

The film is scheduled for release July 2013.


Marvel Entertainment movies; Thor, Spider-Man boost popularity of online slot games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel comics themed games such as Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk have received a boost thanks to recent and upcoming movie releases tied in with Marvel Entertainment. For the gaming world that Excelsior! (as Marvel legend Stan Lee would say). Check em out at PartyCasino.com, as featured across the Media Man network.


Comic Book Movies News Update...

DC Comics:

Director and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino will soon be scripting for DC Comics. The announcement, made at San Diego Comic Con, was nothing short of cryptic, and we are waiting on more details to be divulged.


Marvel Comics:

The Marvel NOW! Point-One teaser sequentially revealed the heroes that will be strongly implicated in the special issue to be released this Fall. The characters are Nick Fury, Jr., Cable, Ant Man, Loki, Wiccan, Miss America, Nova and Starlord.


Film and Television:

Dreamworks recently entered a bidding war for Classic Media film and television rights to properties like He-Man, Godzilla, Voltron, Turok, Dick Tracy, Archie, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and many more.

Marvel Studios is investigating the leak that uncovered the production of a Guardians of the Galaxy film weeks before the film's planned announcement at San Diego Comic Con.

The Dark Knight Rises has reportedly earned $162 million at the box office in its opening weekend despite tragedy. The gross puts TDKR third behind Marvel's The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II, both of which had inflated grosses due to 3D ticket sales.


O'Neill formally takes over as Echo chairman - 23rd July...

Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill has officially taken over as chairman of casino operator Echo Entertainment Group's board.

Mr O'Neill takes over from John Story who stepped down on June 8 following a campaign to remove him by James Packer, head of rival casino operator Crown.

Mr O'Neill, a non-executive board director and chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union, subsequently assumed the role of Echo's acting chairman.

His appointment received Mr Packer's support.

Mr Packer, seeking a presence in the lucrative Sydney gaming market, wanted to to increase his influence on Echo, which holds the city's sole casino licence.

Crown took a 10 per cent holding in Echo.

Echo operates The Star in Sydney, the Jupiters casinos on the Gold Coast and in Townsville, and the Treasury casino in Brisbane.

Crown operates the Crown casino in Melbourne and the Burswood casino in Perth.


Steven Spielberg Wants Chris Hemsworth for Robopocalypse...

Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth was a relative unknown Stateside only a couple years ago, but he has become the go-to guy for roles requiring a handsome badass who fights inhuman threats. Hemsworth has battled Frost Giants in Thor and alien invaders in The Avengers as Thor — and Thor's wicked brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), in both movies — and trolls as the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman, and it looks like he will soon be battling robots for director Steven Spielberg in Robopocalypse.

The three-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker has been trying to put together an adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's best-selling novel of the same name since before the book was completed, and now it seems he's finally ready to start moving forward with it. According to Deadline, Spielberg recently met in secret with Hemsworth to discuss starring in the movie and has chosen him to lead the resistance against the artificial intelligence Archos, which seeks to annhiliate the human race.

Further details on the adaptation are scarce at this point. Goddard wrote the initial screenplay adaptation of his book, but Deadline reports that Kario Salem (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) has been hired to rewrite Goddard's script. Here's the synopis of the book from Random House's website:

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike — yet massively powerful — artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour — the moment the robots attack — the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.

It's the robots' world, we just live in it...for now.

Random House also has a one-minute video short set in the world of Robopocalypse on its site. The director of the short, Stephen Lunsford, is no Spielberg, but the short is worth watching solely for the creepy, child-like voice of Archos declaring itself humanity's god.

Robopocalypse will be a joint Dreamworks-Fox production distributed by Disney. It is slated for release on April 25, 2014.


Hugh Jackman echoes sorrow over massacre...

Australian actor Hugh Jackman has expressed his sadness following the mass shooting at a US screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

'All I can echo is the sorrow I feel for the families, the community, for everybody,' he says.

'It's an issue that goes way beyond, obviously beyond acting, beyond film or anything like that.

'This is just a tragedy on a level that we have experienced in Australia many years ago in Tasmania and it's devastating and I can't comment on (it) anymore than as a human being and my feelings for those people involved.'

Jackman was speaking in Sydney at a press conference on Tuesday for his new film The Wolverine, alongside its director, James Mangold, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Jackman was sporting a red right eye, but it wasn't because of training for the action movie, but rather 'a very energetic game of tag with my kids', which he thinks burst a blood vessel.

Jackman says it wasn't easy getting back into shape for the part, particularly coming from his last role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

'That was a particular challenge because Les Mis, I had to start at 83 kilos and I finished at about 97 kilos by the end of the movie,' he says.

'We did have a holiday recently, but it was more like boot camp for me. But the kids and Deb (his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness) were happy.'

Shooting of The Wolverine is scheduled to start in Sydney on July 30, after a number of setbacks for the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Last March, director Darren Aronofsky left the project, and Mangold stepped in to replace him. Then the shoot, which was originally meant to be in Japan, was postponed last October because of weather conditions.

Mangold says The Wolverine is based on a series of comics that detail the mutant's journeys in Japan and he refuted reports that Jessica Biel had turned down the lead role of Viper.

'The story couldn't be more of a fantasy frankly, in terms of what I was reading, so it was nothing more than a list of people we were considering and still are,' he says.

Jackman, who has played Wolverine now in five different movies over the past 12 years, says he takes the movies on one at a time.

For The Wolverine, he saw the screenplay and was sold.

'I feel like a golfer, always looking for a hole in one and I thought this was the best script we've had,' he says.


Hollywood declares box office truce after massacre...

The Hollywood studio behind the Batman movies has decided not to publish weekend box office figures after the Colorado theatre massacre.

Twelve people were killed and 58 injured when a gunman dressed in full body armour opened fire at a packed midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises in Denver.

James Holmes, 24, was taken into custody outside the cinema after the attack. He is in solitary confinement and is due in court on Monday morning.

Within hours of the attack, Warner Brothers had cancelled the movie's Paris premiere, which was to have been accompanied by a press junket with the cast and crew including director Christopher Nolan and main star Christian Bale.

The company also cancelled red carpet events for the film in France, Japan and Mexico, although screenings will go ahead as planned.

Warner Bros has now confirmed it will not publish weekend takings - a form of crowing about box office success - until Monday.

This was despite the fact that unofficial figures cited by industry daily Variety suggest that it made $US75 million on Friday alone, the third biggest opening day ever at the US box office.

The move was swiftly followed by major Hollywood rivals including Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and Universal.

After initial radio silence from most of the cast and crew, Nolan issued a statement lamenting the "senseless tragedy," and expressing "our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community".

On Saturday Bale, who plays Bruce Wayne aka Batman, also expressed his sadness.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them," he said in a statement.

In a separate move Warner Bros scrambled to pull a trailer for another film, Gangster Squad, including a scene in which mobsters shoot at theatre audiences. (AFP)


Christian Bale: My Heart Aches for Victims

The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by "The Avengers."

"The Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale said Saturday that his heart goes out to the victims of the Colorado shootings, a tragedy that brought Hollywood studios together in a rare show of solidarity as they opted to give the weekend box-office a rest.

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel," Bale, who plays the caped crusader in the film, said in a statement. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

Meanwhile, Sony, Fox, Disney, Universal, Fox, Paramount and Lionsgate said Saturday that they are joining "Dark Knight Rises" distributor Warner Bros. in withholding their box-office numbers for the weekend.

Warner Bros. announced Friday that it would forgo the usual revenue reports until Monday out of respect for the victims and their families in the Aurora, Colo., shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58 at the midnight show of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier in the day.

The other studios said they also would not report numbers until Monday. Box-office tracking service Rentrak, too, said it would not report figures this weekend.

Sunday box-office estimates are a weekly routine for Hollywood, with studios jostling for bragging rights as the No. 1 movie and always aiming to break revenue records.

Before the shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at a midnight screening of the new Batman film, the box-office performance of "The Dark Knight Rises" had been eagerly anticipated. The film is expected to be among the most lucrative movie openings and possibly contend with the record $207.4 million brought in by "The Avengers."

But that now appears unlikely, even though "The Dark Knight Rises" earned $30.6 million from midnight screenings alone. Hollywood trade publications Variety and Hollywood Reporter reported estimates of roughly $75 million to $77 million for the film on Friday, based on box-office insiders.

That would put it on track for somewhere around $165 million for the weekend. Such a total would be the second highest weekend opening ever, after "The Avengers."

Any projections, though, are bound to be rough approximates given the atypical nature of the situation. Many of Friday's tickets were presold before the shooting. Moviegoers making their way to theaters also faced increased security and, in some places, bag checks. AMC Theaters, the country's second-largest movie chain, said it would not allow costumed fans or face-covered masks into its theaters.

Warner Bros. rushed to react to the tragedy, immediately canceling a Friday night premiere in Paris. On Saturday, it also canceled the other remaining red-carpet extravaganzas in Mexico City and Tokyo.

The studio, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., also moved to pull trailers from its upcoming film "Gangster Squad" from theaters. The trailer of the film, which stars Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in a ruthless war between Los Angeles police and the mob, includes a scene of mobsters firing into a crowded movie theater from behind the screen.

Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight Rises" earlier responded to the tragedy, expressing his sorrow for the victims and their families.

Said Nolan: "The movie theater is my home and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me."


Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News - 12th July 2012

Gaming, Entertainment, Hollywood and Celebrity News: Sydney casino, Spider-Man movie, movie ratings, The Wolverine, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, James Bond 007 in Skyfall, Highest paid actors includes "The Rock" and more...


Australia's Lend Lease: development could host small-scale casino...

A planned $6 billion development on Sydney Harbour does not have space for a large casino but could cater for smaller-scale VIP gaming, developer Lend Lease said on Monday, which would suit a proposal put forward by billionaire James Packer.

Packer outlined a plan for an international hotel and casino at Barangaroo, on Sydney's waterfront, after his company Crown Ltd doubled its stake in its main rival, Echo Entertainment, which owns Sydney's sole casino.

Crown wants to raise its stake in Echo to 25 percent from 10 percent, as part of its plans to lobby for a second Sydney casino licence to attract more Asian high-rollers.

The developer of the site, Lend Lease, said on Monday it could focus more on plans for the hotel after announcing it has secured A$2 billion ($2.04 billion) funding for the first two commercial towers at its flagship project, including A$1 billion committed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann said the site did not have the capacity for a mass-market casino.

"If there was going to be anything in the tower with any gaming capacity, it would be VIP-style gaming," he told analysts on a conference call.

The New South Wales state government would need to approve any gaming licence, since Echo currently holds Sydney's exclusive casino licence until 2019. The state government previously welcomed Packer's proposal as a boost to tourism.

Lend Lease has said it is in talks with a number of hotel groups for the site, including Crown.

Shares in Crown gained 1.5 percent in morning trade and Lend Lease was up 0.3 percent, against a broader market down 0.8 percent. (Reuters)


'Amazing Spider-Man' Tops Box Office, Snares $140 Million Over Six Days...

After a record-setting opening day, "The Amazing Spider-Man" remained strong through the weekend, helping the Sony/Columbia production earn $140 million in less than a week in theaters. Oliver Stone's "Savages" also opened with a decent $16 million in revenue, though music documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" struggled to find an audience and racked up just $7 million. Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" also continued to hit with its target demographic, hauling in $32 million and pushing its 10-day total to an enormous $120 million in domestic revenue.

With a $230 million production budget and a very large built-in fan base, expectations were understandably high for "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Sony/Columbia reboot didn't take long to find its audience, racking up $35 million in revenue on Tuesday alone and putting up solid numbers throughout the rest of the week. "The Amazing Spider-Man" ended up with $65 million in weekend revenue, helping it to hit the lofty industry expectations.

Globally, "The Amazing Spider-Man" also got off to a good start by bringing in more than $200 million in revenue outside of the U.S. After already eclipsing $340 million worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will easily cruise past $500 million in worldwide revenue in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether it will be able to challenge the franchise-best $890 million that "Spider-Man 3" brought in. Without any major new competition until "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in a couple weeks, "Spider-Man" should remain a box office stalwart and continue to put up some big overall numbers throughout the rest of the month.

As mainstream action audiences came out in droves to see the new version of "Spider-Man," older audience members turned up for Oliver Stone's thriller "Savages." Backed by some decent critical reviews, "Savages" ended up with a decent $16 million in opening revenue - a strong total for a $45 million production. "Savages" also doesn't have to worry about too much new competition next weekend, opening the door for another decent revenue haul.

While "Spider-Man" and "Savages" mainly hit with their target demographics, "Katy Perry: Part of Me" wasn't quite as fortunate. "Katy Perry" managed just $7.15 million over the weekend and $10.25 million in its first four days following its Thursday release. Though these are unimpressive numbers for a release of more than 2,700 total venues, "Katy Perry" also comes with a slender production budget of just $12 million. "Katy Perry" won't end up as one of the most lucrative music documentaries released in recent years, but it should end up as an overall success for distributor Paramount.

Aiming at a much different demographic than "Katy Perry" this weekend was "Ted," which headed into its second weekend with plenty of buzz. After dominating the box office a week ago and posting $54 million, "Ted" dipped just 40% from its opening totals and finished the weekend with $32 million. Now with $120 million domestically in just 10 days in theaters, "Ted" is easily the top R-rated hit of the year and might even challenge $200 million in the U.S. if it can remain strong in the coming weekends.

Also continuing to hit with its intended audience was Pixar/Disney's "Brave." "Brave" earned $20 million in its third weekend in theaters, pushing it to a very solid $174 million in its first 17 days. Foreign numbers have been slow so far for "Brave," though that should also change as it gets released in its biggest overseas markets in the coming weekends. The only real problem for "Brave" is the impending release of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which opens this weekend with an enormous built-in family audience.

Next weekend, the release schedule will slow down, as "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the only new title slated to hit theaters in wide release. Though not as touted as some other animated franchises, "Ice Age" has been a great success for Fox, with enormous worldwide revenues despite production budgets roughly half the size of Pixar releases. The following weekend, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a similar amount of hype as "The Avengers" and is a lock to dominate the box office well into August.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 7/6/12 - 7/8/12 (In Millions):

1. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $65 [$70]

2. Ted (Universal): $32.59 [$32]

3. Brave (Disney): $20.16 [$18]

4. Savages (Universal): $16.16 [$13.5]

5. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $15.61 [$21]

6. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $10.20 [$11.5]

7. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $7.70 [$6.4]

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $7.15 [$13]

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $4.64 [$2.6]

10. To Rome with Love (Sony Classics): $3.50 [N/A]


Hugh Jackman Joined By Six Additions to Cast of The Wolverine...

If director James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma) The Wolverine hadn't been beset by weather, script and scheduling problems — title star Hugh Jackman opted to star in the musical version of Les Miserables rather than wait for those issues to be sorted out — the movie would currently be in post-production, with potentially enough edited footage to offer at least a teaser at this week's San Diego Comic-Con. As it is, Mangold is spending his time in the casting room, rather than the editing room, as he tries to put together a cast to support Jackman. In the last several days, six actors have joined the cast of The Wolverine, which takes Logan (Jackman) far away from his X-Men teammates and his wilderness retreat in Canada to Japan, where he must fight against the Silver Samurai and the deadly Hand ninjas at his command.

Written by Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie), with rewrites by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), The Wolverine is based on the classic Marvel Comics limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. The series stripped away Wolverine's superhero trappings and thrust him into a Japanese underworld brimming with feudal warriors and mystical ninjas. According to the list compiled by Empire from various sources, the cast will include: Hiroyuki Sanada (Speed Race) as Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada, leader of Clan Yashida; Tao Okamoto as Shingen's daughter and Wolverine's love interest, Mariko Yashida; Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Mariko's mutant half-brother, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai; Rila Fukushima as Yukio, an assassin who drugs Wolverine before his duel with Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) as Yashida; and Brian Tee (Wedding Palace) as Noboru Mori, a corrupt minister of justice betrothed to Mariko.

The Wolverine is set to begin shooting next month. It will primarily be filmed in Jackman's native Australia, but will also shoot on location in Japan.

Next Showing:The Wolverine is slated to open July 26, 2013 (Reelz)


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson In Highest Paid Actors List...

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was listed at #4 on the Forbes annual list of the highest paid actors in the world over the past year. Johnson was reported as earning $36 million this past year, behind only Tom Cruise ($75 million), Leonardo DiCaprio ($37 million) and Adam Sandler ($37 million).


Bwin.party warns over 'predictable' Euro 2012 results...

Bwin.party digital entertainment, the world’s largest listed online gaming company, said a run of “predictable” results in the Euro 2012 football championships marred an otherwise “solid” second quarter performance.

The football tournament, in which all of the favourites progressed to the later stages, is believed to have hit the betting industry hard this summer.

Bwin said customer numbers and activity rose during the tournament but gross margins were “lower than expected”.

Despite this, the online gambling group said its casino and bingo products helped offset the weakness in sports betting and “continued pressures” in poker.

Bwin had been in negotiations with Shuffle Master (NasdaqGS: SHFL - news) to offload Ongame, its poker network, but talks were aborted at the end of last month after the two sides failed to reach agreement.

In a pre-close trading update on Tuesday, bwin said several parties were interested in buying Ongame.

The group claims it has reached a top three market position in Spain, where online gaming was recently opened up by authorities.

Looking ahead, the company warned gaming taxes in Germany and an investment in social games games that are played through sites such as Facebook would impact its performance in the second half. (News Corp)


Zynga is “all in” to acquire Bwin.party-owned poker business Ongame: Report...

Social gaming juggernaut Zynga is poised to take over online poker provider Ongame Network from its current owner, Internet gambling powerhouse Bwin.party.

An exclusive report from eGaming Review (eGR) – behind a paywall – says Zynga is ‘leading the race’ to acquire Ongame, although there are four other unnamed bidders at the table (poker pun intended).

Zynga has made a ‘verbal offer’, according to eGR’s sources, and have reportedly visited Ongame’s Stockholm headquarters last Friday.

Gambling table and slot machine maker Shuffle Master had already agreed and announced that it would be purchasing for up to $38.9 million in cash in February 2012, but it dropped those plans last week.

Interestingly, Shuffle Master said it would pay out 10 million euros ($12.6 million) of that total purchase price within five years of the transaction closing, provided that real-money online poker would be legal in the United States within such period – something that will happen eventually but is taking time.

Not familiar with Ongame? Here’s what they do, according to their website:

Ongame is the world’s leading B2B online poker provider, serving partnes including bwin, Betfair, Betsson and Unibet. Reaching over 20 million customers in more than 25 markets, with an international network licensed in Gibraltar, as well as regional networks in Italy and France.

Ongame is the premier choice for sportsbook operators, providing a poker environment optimized for recreational players and a proven track record of increasing partner revenues.

Ongame claims P5, the game engine powering its poker offering, is the ‘most advanced poker engine ever designed’.

The company is owned by Bwin.party as a result of an earlier merger, and has been dubbed by the latter as a ‘surplus asset’.

Zynga of course offers a wildly popular poker game called – wait for it – Zynga Poker, which can be played on Zynga.com, Facebook, iOS and Android devices.

In fact, Zynga Poker was the company’s very first game.

It certainly makes a lot of sense for them to buy Ongame Networks, even if it’s to keep it out of the hands of other players looking to move online with poker games as soon as it becomes legal in the US, and the company certainly has the cash on hand to make this kind of acquisition.


'Amazing Spider-Man' finishes weekend with $62M...

LOS ANGELES (AP) "The Amazing Spider-Man" had a slightly slower start at the box office than initially estimated, taking in $62 million domestically over opening weekend.

The final numbers Monday came in $3 million lower than the $65 million that distributor Sony had projected a day earlier, but it still was a healthy start for the new take on the Marvel Comics superhero.

Since opening last Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has taken in $137 million domestically. Its worldwide total is about $340 million since it began rolling out overseas the previous week.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com are:

1. "The Amazing Spider Man," Sony, $62,004,688, 4,318 locations, $14,360 average, $137,022,258, one week.

2. "Ted," Universal, $32,202,395, 3,256 locations, $9,890 average, $119,849,740, two weeks.

3. "Brave," Disney, $19,612,370, 3,891 locations, $5,040 average, $173,969,341, three weeks.

4. "Savages," Universal, $16,016,910, 2,628 locations, $6,095 average, $16,016,910, one week.

5. "Magic Mike," Warner Bros., $15,642,337, 3,120 locations, $5,014 average, $72,829,107, two weeks.

6. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," Lionsgate, $10,177,029, 2,161 locations, $4,709 average, $45,822,984, two weeks.

7. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Paramount, $7,520,690, 2,861 locations, $2,629 average, $195,905,126, five weeks.

8. "Katy Perry: Part of Me," Paramount, $7,138,266, 2,730 locations, $2,615 average, $10,240,213, one week.

9. "Moonrise Kingdom," Focus Features, $4,519,195, 884 locations, $5,112 average, $26,780,989, seven weeks.

10. "To Rome with Love," Sony Pictures Classics, $3,104,328, 806 locations, $3,852 average, $4,863,538, three weeks.

11. "People Like Us," Disney, $2,194,535, 2,055 locations, $1,068 average, $9,190,902, two weeks.

12. "The Avengers," Disney, $2,168,124, 1,125 locations, $1,927 average, $611,127,884, 10 weeks.

13. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Fox, $1,944,534, 1,657 locations, $1,174 average, $34,050,910, three weeks.

14. "Prometheus," Fox, $1,815,500, 1,105 locations, $1,643 average, $122,390,274, five weeks.

15. "Snow White & the Huntsman," Universal, $1,768,355, 1,152 locations, $1,535 average, $149,756,565, six weeks.

16. "Men in Black 3," Sony, $1,680,714, 879 locations, $1,912 average, $173,089,690, seven weeks.

17. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Fox Searchlight, $741,091, 359 locations, $2,064 average, $41,991,873, 10 weeks.

18. "Rock of Ages," Warner Bros., $639,406, 701 locations, $912 average, $36,974,619, four weeks.

19. "That's My Boy," Sony, $621,656, 400 locations, $1,554 average, $36,100,833, four weeks.

20. "Bol Bachchan," FIP, $561,996, 98 locations, $5,735 average, $561,996, one week.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Broker snap: Taxing times for bwin.party, says Peel Hunt...

Peel Hunt has pared its target price for online gaming group bwin.party digital entertainment from 140p to 124p and maintained its ‘hold’ rating on the stock.

‘The H1 pre-close held few surprises and no real catalyst to get the shares moving. At the current point the rating reflects concerns about Germany and a lack of visibility in many of the group’s markets,’ said analyst Nick Batram.

‘This is unlikely to change in the short term and further downgrades reflect the uncertain margin environment.’

The broker says that the uncertain regulatory backdrop continues to hit the bottom line, with federal sports taxes in Germany set to reduce EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) by EUR5-10m.

Peel Hunt has reduced its clean EBITDA forecast by EUR10m to EUR165m for the year ending December 2012. The 2013 EBITDA estimate has been cut from EUR196m to EUR175m.

‘While regulation is the main factor, the business’s underlying performance is also a growing concern, particularly the rate at which poker is going backwards,’ Batram said.

Shares were down 3.25% at 104.3p by 10:56 on Tuesday.


Roger Moore croons 007 birthday song...

PARIS — One-time 007 Roger Moore has teamed up with a former Bond Girl to record a song marking 50 years of the spy's on-screen adventures, a James Bond fan club said on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old British actor took over Bond film duties from Sean Connery in 1973, making his debut in "Live and Let Die" before completing the sequence with "A View to a Kill" 12 years later.

He teamed up with Irka Bochenko, his co-star in the 1979 film "Moonraker", for the anniversary duet titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Bond!", the spy's French fan club told AFP.

Extracts will be posted online at www.jamesbond007.net ahead of the record's release in September.

Hundreds of items -- from tuxedos to bikinis and vodka martinis -- went on show at London's Barbican Centre last week to mark 50 years since Bond made the jump from Ian Fleming's novels to the silver screen with the 1962 "Dr No".

The next Bond movie, "Skyfall", directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as the glamorous spy, will hit world screens from October.

News

The Voice news media report; Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, Sydney, Australia - 12th June 2012


The Voice enjoyed a media conference at Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, this morning, with Voice coaches and finalists there to help promote the smash hit TV show, as the finals approach via Channel Nine.

Update...

The culling of eight singers from The Voice last night has set the stage for a controversial finale Channel Nine's talent comp.

Rachael Leahcar, Sarah De Bono, Darren Percival, and Karise Eden will battle it out in next week's grand final.

Only one singer per team was permitted to go through and critics and viewers took to Twitter to complain about the final line-up.

The ruling meant fan favourites on the same team were culled.

Both Leahcar and Percival battled a virus as well as the high-pressure nerves, which told in their limited vocal performances last night.

Good Charlotte rock god Joel Madden, who had culled Prinnie Stevens and Layken Heperi, chose Sarah DeBono over popular lad Ben Hazlewood.

During the show's preamble, Madden likened the semi-final line-up to The X Men: "We all have super powers. No one is better than anyone else."

The final performances will be on Sunday, with each contender performing one cover and one original song. The winner revealed on Monday night, no doubt to massive TV ratings, the likes of which have not been seen by Nine for years, is the inside word.

Each contender will perform one cover and one original song.

May the best man or woman win, and hopefully its also a win for the Australian entertainment industry.


News...

Australian TV Report With Ratings - The Voice leads...

The Voice leaped to 2.13 million viewers as the talent show heads towards to its finale.

That figure (based on actual broadcast time - not the preliminary figure of 2.15 million) is up on last Monday's 1.90 million audience in the capital cities and it appears the two finales on Sunday and Monday should hit around three million viewers for Nine.

The program gave Nine a 29.6 per cent channel share against Seven's 21.0 per cent and ABC1's 13.3 per cent, with its current affairs line-up led by 736,000 viewers for PM Julia Gillard's appearance on Q&A.

A key result for Nine was Tricky Business's performance into its fifth week. Preliminary figures from OzTAM demonstrate the Aussie drama rose to 1.091 million viewers, higher than its launch episode in May. But the actual figures based on broadcast times show the drama starring Gigi Edgley averaged 682,000 viewers with its number rocketed by The Voice's over-run as "Team Seal" decided its contestant for Sunday and Monday's finale.

Seven News came in second for the night with 1.55 million viewers and rare wins over Nine in Sydney and Melbourne. The Block continued to build for Nine, up to 1.49 million in the 7pm slot, besting Masterchef Australia (1.08 million), ABC News (1.05 million) and Home and Away (1.01 million).

Revenge continued its awesome run for Seven with 1.218 million viewers.

ABC1 had a stronger Monday night than usual, led by Q&A. Four Corners was up to 734,000 viewers, Australian Story 719,000 and Media Watch 712,000, all well up on their 2012 averages in the 600,000 region.

Fox Sports Monday Night Football match between the Panthers and Warriors bested the platform, with 278,000 viewers while 210,000 watched the afternoon AFL match between Melbourne and Collingwood. Seven's AFL figures were not yet available for publication.

OZTAM OVERNIGHT RANKINGS FOR MONDAY JUNE 11, 2012

1 THE VOICE Nine 2,154,000

2 SEVEN NEWS 1,549,000

3 THE BLOCK Nine 1,485,000

4 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,296,000

5 NINE NEWS 1,279,000

6 REVENGE Seven 1,218,000

7 A CURRENT AFFAIR Nine 1,137,000

8 TRICKY BUSINESS Nine 1,091,000

9 MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA Ten 1,082,000

10 ABC NEWS ABC1 1,053,000

11 HOME AND AWAY Seven 1,006,000

12 THE FORCE - BEHIND THE LINE Seven 998,000

13 BORDER SECURITY - AUSTRALIA'S FRONT LINE Seven

14 TEN NEWS AT FIVE Ten 837,000

15 BILLY CONNOLLY'S ROUTE 66 SNEAK PEEK Seven 799,000

 

Media Man does not represent The Voice, Shine Australia or Channel Nine

 

News

Australian business press digest: June 6 2012

Compiled for Reuters by Media Monitors. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (www.afr.com)
New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell yesterday said that the push by casino operator Crown Ltd's to seize control of rival Echo Entertainment Group was "starting to look like a political campaign". Mr O'Farrell also acclaimed Crown chairman James Packer, who is attempting to have John Story removed as chairman of Echo, as a "shrewd and successful" businessman. Page 17.
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Hardware big-box retailer Bunnings is being encouraged to increase its use of e-commerce, with rival home-improvement franchise Masters preparing to unveil Australia's biggest online do-it-yourself store. "Online (hardware) is a growing category. The percentage online has gone up more than other categories such as food and groceries, alcohol and furniture," Phil Harpur, senior research manager at analysts Forrester Research, said. Page 17.
--
Campbell Wilson, chief executive of Scoot, yesterday said that the discount airline could lure customers away from rivals such as Jetstar despite the current turbulent economic conditions. "People's desire to travel doesn't change because of the economy, particularly leisure travel. It's just their willingness to pay for it, and so if they can still get a good value option, they will take it, and they will trade to an airline like us that offers very good value," Mr Wilson remarked. Page 18.
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Paul Howes, national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, yesterday said it was "absolutely amazing" that the Foreign Investment Review Board's approval was not required for Etihad Airways to increase its stake in local rival Virgin Australia. "Ultimately, Etihad is a plaything of the Abu Dhabi royal family  that means it is essentially sovereign capital and it is taking a significant stake in Australia's second biggest airline  not being subject to [the review board's] scrutiny is ludicrous," he said. Page 18.
--
THE AUSTRALIAN (www.theaustralian.news.com.au)
The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday reduced official interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.5 percent, but some analysts said the decision was insufficient to substantially boost the local economy. Belinda Allen, senior analyst at wealth management group Colonial First State, yesterday said that while the move would generate "some short-term confidence" it would be "hard to see strong gains in the market" until there was a more substantive solution to the European debt crisis. Page 35.
--
The International Energy Agency yesterday announced that Australia's A$205.5 billion pipeline of liquefied natural gas ventures may be held up by high costs and various other project risks, which could cause gas prices to surge in 2015. "These projects are likely to face many challenges, including higher capital costs and workforce shortages; they are expected to come on later than announced," the agency stated in a report. Page 35.
--
James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad Airways, last night confirmed that the airline was holding discussions with the Foreign Investment Review Board to increase its holding in rival Virgin Australia. "Certainly, we don't intend to become a majority investor. We're keen to have a strong minority stake that strengthens our partnership with Virgin Australia," Mr Hogan said. Page 35.
--
Shares in Qantas Airways yesterday plunged by A26.5 cents to A$1.155 after chief executive Alan Joyce announced that the company was scheduled to report its first annual loss since listing on the local stockmarket in 1995. The airline is now worth A$2.6 billion on the market, well below the A$11 billion takeover offer from Airlines Partners Australia that was rejected by Qantas shareholders in 2006. Page 35.
--
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (www.smh.com.au)
Analysts NAB Global Markets yesterday warned that Qantas Airways could see its credit rating downgraded by global agencies, after Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce predicted annual underlying profit to decrease by 91 percent. Mr Joyce yesterday tried to reassure investors that Qantas "cashflow remained strong" and that "no plans for an equity raising to bolster capital" were underway. Page B1.
--
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission yesterday confirmed that there was "insufficient evidence" to prosecute Jack W. Flader, the former Hong Kong businessman behind the largest superannuation theft in Australian history. Deb O'Neill, who led a parliamentary inquiry into the matter, said that it was "now the responsibility of the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission to investigate". Around A$123 million in funds was scammed through a complicated nexus of foreign funds. Page B3.
--
PPB Advisory, the administrators of Hastie Group, yesterday declared that buyers had been found for the collapsed engineering firm's mechanical services division D&E Air Conditioning and its Cooke & Carrick hydraulics business, preventing 408 employees from being made redundant. Craig Crosbie, partner at PPB Advisory, said he expected three more units to be sold off shortly, which would save another 50 jobs. Page B3.
--
Warrnambool Cheese & Butter yesterday said reductions in prices for commodity dairy products like skim milk powder had forced the company to lower its profit projections for the current financial year. The cheese and butter manufacturer announced that net profit after tax would be as much as 30 percent lower than last year's A$18.5 million result. Paul Jensz, analyst at researchers Austock, praised management for limiting the earnings downgrade to the extent it did given the market conditions. Page B4.
--
THE AGE (www.theage.com.au)
Bank of Queensland yesterday announced that it would lower variable borrowing rates by 20 basis points to 6.91 percent, after the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.5 percent. Economists at Westpac Banking Corporation forecast that the central bank would lower rates later this year, with a prediction that the cash rate would be 2.75 percent by the end of 2012. Page B1.
--
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) yesterday announced a six-step program for re-entry into the local brewing sector, which will see the beverage manufacturer compete against global giants like SABMiller and Kirin. According to documents filed with the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday, CCA will initiate export an program for its Fijian beer labels and begin creating strategic partnerships. The company would then use international partnerships to enter the New Zealand market. Page B2.
--
Logistics group QR National yesterday announced it would terminate over 500 jobs, mainly from its maintenance and manufacturing departments. "We continue to deal with a raft of legacy issues including higher than required staffing levels, high corporate overheads and bureaucratic structures, after more than 145 years in government ownership," managing director Lance Hockridge said. "Our cost base is too high when compared to competitors and rail industry peers," he added. Page B4.
--
The Fair Work Ombudsman yesterday declared that it was inquiring into claims from former Future Building Material Corp employees relating to unpaid superannuation and wages. The building materials firm was established by John Hancock, son of the wealthiest woman in the world, mining magnate Gina Rinehart. Jerome Naidoo, Mr Hancock's business partner, yesterday said he "welcomed the investigation". Page B4.

News

Entertainment, Celebrity And Gaming News; Australia, Hollywood And Internet World - 24th March 2012

Australian And Hollywood Entertainment, Celebrity and Gaming News; Jackman, Crowe, WWE.. - 20th March 2012

Hollywood And AussieWood Celebrity News, Wrestling, WWE Et Al - 13th March 2012

Bwin.Party Joins Nevada’s Online Poker Licensing Parade - 8th March 2012

WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars Day Two: Scott Baumstein Leads Final 20, Jonathan Duhamel Continues 2012 Rampage - 8th March 2012

Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios news: Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America - movies, games and auction - 8th March 2012

PartyPoker And PartyCasino Owner bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plans Return to US Market

Sale of Ongame to Shuffle Master

Hollywood And AussieWood Movie And Celebrity News - 2nd March 2012

'Ocean's Eleven' voted greatest ever remake; Hollywood Celebrity News, Pro Wrestling Connection

PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award; bwin.party Digital Entertainment on fire

Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis arm wrestle

Wrestling Legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper In Fancypants Movie

The Four Horsemen Including Ric Flair To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall Of Fame 2012; Jim Ross Tweets - 27th Feb 2012

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Continues His Journey Towards WrestleMania Match With John Cena

Four Canadians indicted on US gambling charges; Online Casino Royale or Ocean's Eleven?

What the media has said about wrestling over the years

NSW Premier delighted with new Sydney casino plans; Packer Crown Limited pending jackpot (Media Man Int blog)

Marvel Entertainment Incredible Hulk Scoop From Avengers Movie (Media Man Int blog)

Crown Limited - James Packer keen on Barangaroo for Sydney casino complex (Media Man Int blog)

'Ocean's Eleven' voted greatest ever remake; Hollywood Celebrity News, Pro Wrestling Connection - 29th February 2012

Readers, we're hear to tell you that the 'Rock N Roll Wrestling Connection' is back, with a bit of casino fun and games thrown into the mix, both in Australia and in the USA.

'Ocean's Eleven' has been chosen as the best movie remake of all time in a recent poll.

Australia casino king James Packer, is probably going to be pleased to hear that land based casino themed movies are in vogue, since he's looking to open or take over his own Sydney, Australia casino soon. Obviously, JP won't be hoping for a casino robbery - to state the obvious. Vegas casino and hotel tycoon Steve Wynn would have caught the 'Ocean's Eleven' news no doubt. Not sure if Kevin Nash (once upon a time known as Vinnie Vegas) did. Nash, also a former leading member of the nWo is currently off the WWE wrestling roster, following a feud with Triple H.

The movie, which is based on an original 1960 film, hit screens in 2001 and went on to gross over 450 million dollars worldwide.

It sees Clooney lead an all-star cast of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts in an attempted casino robbery in Las Vegas.

Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

Clooney has been dating former WWE wrestler - diva Stacey Keibler for over 6 months and they attended the Oscars together.

Leading man Clooney was up for a Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
And despite losing out on the Best Actor accolade, Clooney's girlfriend Stacy Keibler made sure he went home with an Oscar of his own as her dress appeared to have been inspired by the statuette.

Attending her first Academy Awards on Clooney's arm, Keibler looked stunning in a gold Grecian-style Marchesa creation.

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writers: George Clayton Johnson (1960 story), Jack Golden Russell (1960 story)
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts

Top 10 Best Remakes...

1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
2. The Mummy (1999)
3. King Kong (2005)
4. The Italian Job (2003)
5. Cape Fear (1991)
6. The Parent Trap (1998)
7. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
8. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
9. Scarface (1983)
10. Alfie (2004)

Top 10 Worst Remakes

1. Arthur (2011)
2. The Wicker Man (2006)
3. Fame (2009)
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
5. Clash of the Titans (2010)
6. Planet of the Apes (2001)
7. Piranha 3-D (2010)
8. House of Wax (2005)
9. Freaky Friday (2003)
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)


Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis arm wrestle...

Hollywood tough guys and action heroes Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis challenged each other to an arm wrestle during a recent night out.

The actors were enjoying a meal with their respective wives when they started arguing about who was in better shape.

Stallone, 65, challenged 56-year-old Willis to an arm wrestling match and the pair then swept aside glasses, cutlery and plates to lock arms and start their fight.

Diners at nearby tables were initially stunned but as as they recognised the wrestler like actors they started cheering and Willis and Stallone grunted, groaned and wheezed for several minutes.

However, the men's wives were not impressed and asked them to "break it up", which they duly listened to.

It's understood that soon after their meal, Stallone went into hospital to have an operation on his shoulder, although it is not thought to have any link to his night out with Willis.

A Media Man agency spokesperson said "We suspect this may be another elaborate publicity stunt by Team Stallone, although we can't prove it. Stallone fans will recall that only a week ago Stallone was photographed in a hospital bed alongside long time mate Arnold Schwarzenegger, both nursing the same injury, and Arnold took a photo for the world to see. Well, as least the cast of Expendables 2 is doing well, and it seems that they sure as heck know how to promote a movie".

Action movie fans take note however that in the filming of the original Expendables WWE wrestling legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin did break the neck of Stallone for real, or so the story goes.

Wrestling Legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper In Fancypants Movie...

Fancypants is a 2011 film directed by Joshua Russell and starring Patrick Gleason, Roddy Piper, and Robert Carradine. Featuring Nick Turturro, Richard Kind, and introducing Jackson Dunn.

It is a comedy/drama about a professional wrestler who is afraid of conflict in real life. He is nearing the end of his career and finds out he has one fan left in an 8-year old boy, who hides a secret that will change Leo's life forever. The film was shot entirely on location in Chicago.

The film won Best Feature at the 2011 Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was an official selection at the 2011 Seattle True Independent Film Festival.

Roddy Piper is also rumoured to be one of the house-mates in upcoming WWE reality TV show, 'Legends House'.


Four Canadians indicted on US gambling charges; Online Casino Royale or Ocean's Eleven...

US authorities seized the gambling website Bodog on Tuesday and announced the indictment of four Canadians on charges of illegal sports betting and money laundering, including founder Calvin Ayre.

The federal grand jury indictment of Ayre, James Philip, David Ferguson, Derrick Maloney and the Bodog Entertainment Group was unsealed in Baltimore, Maryland, and is the latest blow by US prosecutors against online gambling.

"Sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country," US Attorney Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

"Many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the Internet without regulation," Rosenstein said.

US law prohibits US financial institutions from knowingly accepting payments for online gambling made through credit cards, electronic transfers and checks, but bills have been introduced in the US Congress to ease the restrictions.

In April, 11 people were charged with bank fraud, money laundering and other offenses in a crackdown on the three largest online poker companies -- Absolute Poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

A spokeswoman for the US Attorney's Office told the press that none of the four accused Canadians is in custody but warrants have been issued for their arrests and the United States would seek their extradition.

The indictment accuses Bodog and the defendants of conducting an illegal online sports gambling business and conspiring to commit money laundering between June 2005 and January 2012.

"The defendants and their conspirators allegedly moved funds from Bodog's accounts located in Switzerland, England, Malta, Canada and elsewhere to pay winnings to gamblers, and to pay media brokers and advertisers located in the United States," the US Attorney's Office said.

"The conspirators directed payment processors to send at least $100 million by wire and by check to gamblers located in Maryland and elsewhere," it said.

Internal Revenue Service special agent Eric Hylton said "laundering money from illegal activity such as illegal Internet gambling is a crime.

"Regardless of how the money changes hands -- via cash, check, wire transfers or credit cards -- and regardless of where the money is stored -- in a United States financial institution or an offshore bank -- we will trace the funds," Hylton said.

In an affidavit supporting a seizure warrant for the Bodog.com website domain name, a former employee of Bodog was quoted as saying the gambling operation has hundreds of employees in Canada and Costa Rica.

A visitor to Bodog.com is met with a message reading "This domain name has been seized" and pictures of the official seals of the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

In a statement on his website, Ayre, who is described by Forbes magazine as a "former billionaire," said the Bodog.com domain name has been dormant for some time.

"Not sure what to say," Ayre said. "The brand left the market last year and the domain in question has been dormant globally for longer than that."

Ayre, 50, who launched Bodog.com in 1994 and operates several other gaming websites, also said he was a victim of "abuse of the US criminal justice system for the commercial gain of large US corporations.

"It is clear that the online gaming industry is legal under international law," he said. "It is also clear that the rule of law was not allowed to slow down a rush to try to win the war of public opinion."

The gambling charges are punishable by up to five years in prison while a conviction for money laundering conspiracy can bring 20 years behind bars.


The Four Horsemen Including Ric Flair To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall Of Fame 2012; Jim Ross Tweets - 27th Feb 2012...

Ross on Ric Flair’s Birthday: Happy Birthday to Ric Flair. Naitch called me this past week to catch up. He’s got a great opportunity with Coca Cola’s energy drink along with his state lottery work. I went on You Tube and checked out Ric’s TV commercials for the lotteries he promotes and they were hilarious.

Some of my fondest memories in the business involve Ric Flair and I’m so blessed to have been able to broadcast not only many Ric Flair bout but @ShawnMichaels bouts over the years, too as they are widely considered the two, best, all around pro wrestlers ever. That’s a debate that will rage on until the end of time but no one can intelligently say that Naitch and HBK aren’t on an abbreviated list of the best ever.


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Continues His Journey Towards WrestleMania Match With John Cena...

Never before, never again, reads the tagline for this WrestleMania match of the decade (if not century).

One one side of the ring is wrestler, turned Hollywood movie megastar, Johnson, and on the other side, wrestler - rapper (and occasional actor, John Cena).

In old school terms, there is a lot of "heat" between the two, or at least that's what the WWE storyline would have you believe.

WWE head honcho Vince McMahon is set to make a financial killing with this with live tickets, PPV (including Australia's Foxtel - Main Event), merchandising, advertising and god knows what else.

Fruity pebbles are set to collide as Mr 'You Can't See Me' Cena wrestles with "The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment" with a lot of 'Boots To Asses" thrown in there.

WrestleMania is a bit of a triple headliner this year with CM Punk ("The Best In The World" VS Chris Jericho ("The best in the world at everything I do", then there's Daniel Bryan VS Sheamus, and how can forget The Undertaker VS Triple H, as Hunter attempts to end The Undertakers's WrestleMania winning streak inside a 'Hell In A Cell' cage match.

All up the show is pretty loaded and may actually produce one or two matches of the year, but time will tell. Before you ask, no Brock Lesnar as he's still under contract to the UFC, even though he's retired from MMA. UFC are set to invade Sydney's AllPhones Arena on the 3rd March 2012.

The live WWE RAW tour will hit Sydney, Australia on Friday 31st August 2012. And if they tour Perth, WA they will likely perform at Crown Perth (formally known as Burswood Casino or Burswood Entertainment Complex).

Something tells us that Austin will be leaving his Broken Skull Ranch in Texas to catch WrestleMania lose up, and so should you.

Oh, if you didn't hear already, The Rock stars in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which is currently breaking box office records in Australia, the US, and in most other parts of the world.

Keep checking Street Corner and the Media Man blog network for more on these developing news stories and more.

One last thing... kids, don't try this at home or anywhere else. Leave it to the professionals.


News

Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, The Wolverine and Ghost Rider - February 2012


Hollywood is continuing its lover affair with superhero themes, movie revamps and the like, and Australian fans are lapping it up with the superhero jackpot bonanza.

This year we're looking at a bush tucker bag of sequels, prequels, remakes... you name it. The Hollywood studios will be pumping out their best efforts in order to make as much money as they can muster, and who can blame them.

Entertainment kingpin Marvel Entertainment are going to be spinning out their “The Amazing Spider-Man”, hitting us hard with "The Avengers", "Ghost Rider" is about to ride into "Sin City" Sydney, Australia, and then there's Australia's favorite son, Hugh Jackman back in "The Wolverine".

The Warner Bros. - DC Comics tag-team is going to attempt to combat that Marvel onslaught with the next instalment of Batman - "The Dark Knight Rises", but most tipsters are picking Marvel to win the movie superhero fight over DC Comics this year, but time will tell.

Here’s a peek at some of this year’s coming attractions...(US dates)

Nicolas Cage provides a winter warm-up with “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” (Feb. 17), returning as the bounty hunter from hell on a mission to rescue a child from the devil.

“The Avengers” (May 4), teaming Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.

Next is “The Amazing Spider-Man” (July 3), with Andrew Garfield taking over as Peter Parker in director Marc Webb’s new take on how a mutant spider bite turns a teen into a web-slinging hero.

Christian Bale returns as Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20), director Christopher Nolan’s third and final tale of the well to do vigilante with all the cool gadgets. Anne Hathaway joins the cast as Catwoman.

After the late Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” Nolan went with a lesser-known villain: This time, it’s Bane (Tom Hardy), known to comic-book fans as the brute who breaks Batman’s back and puts him in a wheelchair.

The Avengers are assembling...

Disney released more stills from its superhero superteam movie reving up fans who are eagerly awaiting the answers to the age-old question, who would win in a fight between The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor.

The first image shows Captain America (Chris Evans) in full updated costume and shield, flanked by Avengers teammates Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Joahnsson), the three heroes walking as if they mean business. The second still is slightly less dramatic, simply showing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gripping a conference room chair, pondering heavy thoughts next to S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg).

"When you walk out of your trailer and you bump into Chris Hemsworth with the cape on and you see Downey in the Iron Man suit and that’s when you really get excited and you start geeking out a bit,” Evans told The News last year from the film's New Mexico set.

Fans are already starting to geek out, more than two months before the film's May 4 (U.S) release date.

The Marvel Studios movie, which is directed by fanboy favorite Joss Whedon, unites three franchises (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk) within an even bigger franchise that’s expected to be one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

Avengers News cont...

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

Marvel Release Dates Updated (U.S)

In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013; and "Thor 2" on November 15, 2013.


Andrew Garfield as Spiderman Featured in an Avengers (English, 2012) Cameo...

Mumbai, Feb 13, 2012 - A few days ago we reported the rampant Internet rumor that Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman would be featured in an Avengers cameo. All of this was built off a statement made by actress Jenny Agutter who has a small role in the Whedon production. Well, we’ve stumbled across another source who confirms Spider mans cameo in Avengers.

“This will be similar to how Wolverine made a quick cameo in X-Men: First Class and Sony’s going to make sure to promote their new Spiderman movie any way they can. Andrew (Garfield) isn’t a widely known actor so they want to get his face on everything, including The Avengers even if it’s for a couple seconds.”

This is an absolute multiple bonanza for the superhero fans.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson, and written and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The movie is to release in India on 27th April, 2011.


The Wolverine Gets Release Date...

It is official, a sequel to that 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie will be coming to a theatre near you on or around July 26th 2013 (depends if your in the U.S, Australia or elsewhere). After months of production delays, including replacing Darren Aranofsky as director, that cigar smoking, 'bub' saying, furry Canadian Logan will once again rip things up. The film sequel is running with the title: The Wolverine and will take Logan to Japan where he finds a forbidden romance and the Silver Samurai to deal with. Hugh Jackman has already praised the script as being "one of the best we've ever had." This is good news for those fans and critics who felt the first Wolverine movie offering could have been better. We trust that director James Mangold and Hugh Jackman deliver on this to keep both Marvel hardcore and casual fans happy. What the critics will think is anyone's guess, but as a few stars have noted - movies are made for fans (not critics).


'Ghost Rider' movie controversy; Red hot back story...

The new "Ghost Rider" movie's ticket sales are not very strong, but the controversy raging in the comic-book community is like a mega fireball.

The story begins back in 1972, when the flaming motercyclist was created at Marvel Comics by writer Mike Friedrich, editor Roy Thomas and artist Mike Ploog. Comics creators in those days - and often today - don't own anything they create for the major publishing houses, because of a contract called "work for hire." But when the first "Ghost Rider" movie came out in 2007, Friedrich sued Marvel for partial ownership of the character on a technicality - which would result in a windfall from the movie.

He desperately needed the money. Friedrich, now 69, is unemployed, broke and suffering from liver problems. He has been getting through the days by selling autographed "Ghost Rider" items at conventions as a paid guest, which according to documents amounted to a total of $17,000.

But ownership of trademark and copyright isn't something that comics publishers take lightly. Both of the major comic publishers (ala Marvel and DC Comics) make more income from licensing their library of characters than they do selling comic books. Here's the thing: According to U.S. law, failure to defend a trademark can lead to losing it.

So Marvel - and parent company Disney - went after the lawsuit, including a countersuit demanding the $17,000. They were victorious. In December, the court threw out Friedrich's suit and ordered him to pay Marvel. Also, his future income was constrained, in that he can sign and sell only "Ghost Rider" material that he buys retail.

The creative and fan community responded with fury. Blogs across the Internet excoriated Marvel, or started petitions for the $17,000 to be forgiven. Steve Niles, creator of "30 Days of Night," led a charge on Twitter and set up a Facebook page for contributions (www.steveniles.com/gary.html). Creators such as Gail Simone ("Batgirl") and Jill Thompson ("Scary Godmother") tweeted encouragement. Longtime creators'-rights champion Neal Adams was one of many who auctioned original art, with proceeds going to Friedrich.

As you might expect, there were calls to boycott the new film, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." That might have contributed to the film's disappointing third-place finish on its opening weekend in the U.S, with $22 million at the U.S box office.

If the movie did well, it would still be overshadowed by the back story - comics creators and fans rising up like a tidal wave to help one of their own.

What a red hot and real superhero story.

Check out the "Support Gary Friedrich" Facebook page (www.facebook.com/supportgaryfriedrich) for more.


Marvel Comics and Movies Alive And Well At Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment...

Marvel superhero fans - great news... more superhero themed online games rumoured to be soon hitting PartyCasino. Stay tuned to the Media Man network for more on that.

If it sounds like 2012 is going to be a pretty good year for superhero movies, both on an entertainment front (for fans) and business angle (for studios etc), that's because it is. Enjoy brigadiers, and as Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say - Excelsior!

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