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Trigger happy

Britain's advertising watchdog says posters for the Angelina Jolie film Wanted glamorise guns. Hollywood's been doing that for 100 years, why would it stop now?

Farewell, Don LaFontaine

In a world where* a good trailer can be the difference between a hit and a flop, Don LaFontaine was king. He may not be a household name, but his was the voice behind 5000 cinematic trailers pitching movies since 1965. His is a true Hollywood story - he got his break because somebody didn't turn up. There's more here at the BBC and at my Celebrity Deaths Archive.
* LaFontaine began several of his best-known voiceovers with the words "In a world where ..."

Farewell, Michael Pate

Australian screen star Michael Pate, who also had a healthy career playing bad guys in Hollywood, has died at the age of 88. He was also a distinguished writer and producer and, in my experience of meeting him at an early Brisbane International Film Festival event, a gentleman. More here.

End of the end-credits

I saw a Russian-dubbed version of the Hugh Jackman-starring Van Helsing on Belarusian TV last night. I didn't understand aword of the dialogue, but - as anyone who has seen the film will know - that didn't make it especially difficult to follow what was going on. What struck me most was the extraordinary length of the credits and the number of people involved in making the movie. I know these FX-heavy films are labor intensive, but I must say I really feel for the person way, way down the list, far past the accountants, who was credited as the "2nd 2nd assitant director". Don't worry, champ, you'll get there one day.
PS: The ending of the film really sucks.

Wind still blows strong

For no particular reason, I was looking at the All Time Box Office Adjusted Chart at - and I can report that Gone With the Wind is still the top US domestic film of all time based on an inflation-adjusted ticket price. The rest of the top 10, in order, are Star Wars, The Sound of Music, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Ten Commandments, Titanic, Jaws, Doctor Zhivago, The Exorcist and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

When Woody met Jennifer

What would Woody Allen have to say to Jennifer Aniston? The eccentric filmmaker reportedly had dinner with the former Friends star (and famous Brad Pitt ex) in West Hollywood - which is news in itself, since New Yorker Allen usually shies away from he glittering lights of LA. Perhaps Allen, who has been making films in Europe recently, is looking for some Hollywood money for a project starring Aniston.

Horror challenge

When I was a newspaper film reviewer, many, many years ago, I went to see an Australian horror film that was so bad I can't remember its name. To rev up interested in the flick, the cinemas were offering a refund to people who left before a certain time because it was too scary to watch. I'm not sure if you got the money if you left because it was too awful to endure. Meanwhile, in India, a man has rented out an entire cinema to disprove a claim that the film Phoonk is too scary to watch alone. Pavin Ponanna, 30, says: "I never felt scared, not even for a moment."

Crowe called on weight

I could say a lot of things about Russell Crowe, but I wouldn't call him fat. Yet that's what the Daily Mail is saying with some unconvincing photographic evidence to push the point. And I bet South Sydney rugby league club fans won't take to kindly to the UK tabloid's reference to his "ghastly tracksuit".

Looks familiar

Old masters meet modern movies in a Photoshop mash-up contest at website There's a story here and the pictures are here.

Doing it digitally

Can't afford the real Brad Pitt to star in your next film? Well, maybe soon, you can have his computer double for a fraction of the fee. Apparently the expertise to create exact screen replicas of humans is almost with us, meaning the people you see on screen may not be real at all. But can these avatars act? I guess that depends on who's weilding the mouse on the computer. Maybe the digital Pitt will be better than the real thing.

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