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Review Of The Year

31 December 2011 5:56 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

It's been an incredible year in the world of showbiz, with the usual headline-grabbing antics, scandal, sleaze, celebrity births, star weddings, and bitter break-ups. Here, WENN takes a look back at the first six months of 2011...

January

The new year began with wedding bells for many couples including singer Shania Twain, who married her fiance Frederic Thiebaud in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day, while country star Kellie Pickler and actress Valerie Bertinelli also walked down the aisle on 1 January.

The new year brought baby news for a number of celebrity couples - Orlando Bloom and his wife Miranda Kerr became first-time parents with the birth of their son Flynn. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem also welcomed a son, and Owen Wilson became a father just days after he announced his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicole Kidman also hit headlines when she and her husband Keith Urban revealed they welcomed a daughter called Faith via a surrogate mother over the holidays.

There was also pregnancy news for actress Kate Hudson, who announced she was expecting a baby with Muse rocker Matt Bellamy, as well as Marion Cotillard, Jewel, Selma Blair and Victoria Beckham, who confirmed she was pregnant with her fourth child.

However, the first few weeks of 2011 also brought a slew of celebrity splits - Keira Knightley ended her longtime romance with actor Rupert Friend, Shakira parted ways with Antonio de la Rua, her boyfriend of more than 10 years, and Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin separated after eight years together.

Many stars saw in the new year by addressing their personal problems, and a number of famous faces went in and out of rehab in the first few weeks of 2011. Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato both ended long treatment stints in January, while David Arquette, Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and his bandmate Nick Carter's younger brother Aaron all enrolled in programs. Troubled actor Charlie Sheen also admitted himself to a clinic just weeks after he was hospitalised to treat a hernia, and he later admitted he turned to booze to blot out the pain of the medical condition. Sheen’s rehab stint forced TV bosses to shut down production on his show Two and a Half Men.

Another colourful character to hit the headlines in January was British funnyman Ricky Gervais, who managed to cause controversy during his stint as Golden Globes host. The comedian was condemned by organisers for poking fun at celebrity guests including Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks during the glitzy prizegiving.

The month held good news for veteran actor Michael Douglas as he was given the all-clear after a gruelling battle with throat cancer. His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones subsequently admitted she cried tears of joy when doctors told the couple the actor had beaten the disease. Poison rocker Bret Michaels also overcame a health crisis after undergoing successful surgery to close a hole in his heart.

January also saw the loss of a number of great stars including Oscar-winning James Bond theme composer John Barry, and Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty, who passed away after suffering liver failure. The world of Hollywood was again plunged into mourning following the death of British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died at the age of 64.

February

As awards season got into full swing, The King's Speech was the toast of Hollywood after scooping four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for the movie's star, Colin Firth, and Best Director for Tom Hooper, while Natalie Portman fought back tears as she walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role as a tormented ballet dancer in Black Swan. It was a different story at the Independent Spirit Awards, where Black Swan trounced its rivals, picking up four honours including Best Director for Darren Aronofsky.

In the world of music, Lady Gaga's incredible rise continued as she picked up three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, but her achievements were overshadowed by country trio Lady Antebellum, who scored five accolades, and the shock win for Canadian rockers Arcade Fire in the prestigious Album of the Year category for their disc The Suburbs. Across the pond at the Brit Awards in London, Arcade Fire were again bathed in glory when they were handed the International Group and International Album honours, while newcomer Tinie Tempah crowned a triumphant 12 months by taking home the British Breakthrough Act and British Single titles. Rihanna was named Best International Female solo star, and Justin Bieber was named the International Breakthrough Act of the year.

Away from the red carpet, it was a bleak month for My Name Is Earl actress Jaime Pressly, who was charged with driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who was underwent an operation to remove a growth from her foot, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who was hospitalised with a flesh-eating bug, and Dame Judi Dench, who broke two of her toes on the set of her new movie J. Edgar.

There were also woes for Rihanna, whose raunchy promo film for single S&M provoked outrage around the world and was banned in 11 countries, actress Eliza Dushku, who broke a finger on holiday, and fashion king John Galliano, who was suspended and later sacked by Christian Dior after he was filmed launching an anti-Semitic rant at stunned drinkers in a bar in Paris, France.

Rock duo the White Stripes stunned the music world when they announced they were splitting up after 14 years, and Lady Gaga's much-hyped new single Born This Way was unveiled to a barrage of accusations she had ripped off Madonna's classic Express Yourself. But there was good news for older music fans, as '60s icons The Monkees announced they were reuniting for a U.K. tour.

Loved up celebrity couples Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and Anna Friel and Rhys Ifans, both confirmed their engagements, and there were wedding bells for Kelsey Grammer - who married for the fourth time - and Mark Ronson and Katherine Jenkins, who both announced their respective engagements.

Among the stars hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet this month were Christina Applegate, who gave birth to a daughter, magician David Blaine, who became a first-time father to a baby girl, reggae star Zac Marley, rocker Rod Stewart, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon, and No Doubt star Tom Dumont.

Jude Law continued his unlucky-in-love streak when he split - yet again - from Sienna Miller, Iron Man star Terrence Howard was hit with divorce papers, Olivia Wilde split from her husband after eight years, and celebrity couple Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz announced their marriage was over.

The world of showbiz bid farewell to guitar legend Gary Moore, who died aged 58, blues legend Eddie Kirkland died in a car crash at the age of 88, Seinfeld star Len Lesser succumbed to pneumonia aged 88, and The Dukes of Hazzard actress Peggy Rea, who passed away at the age of 89.

March

Tinseltown lost one of its brightest lights in March after movie icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Tributes from the world of showbiz poured in for the Cleopatra legend, with Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli leading the heartfelt remembrances. The acting great was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where her dear friend Michael Jackson was also laid to rest in 2009.

March was also marked by controversy as a host of famous faces found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Pop star Christina Aguilera was arrested for drunkenness in West Hollywood, while Boardwalk Empire beauty Pas de la Huerta was also apprehended after a bar fight in New York City. Jackass daredevil Steve-o was taken into custody in Canada on an outstanding warrant, and rapper Rick Ross got caught smoking marijuana in a Louisiana hotel room.

But it was Charlie Sheen who really gave fans something to talk about after he was fired from Two and a Half Men following months of public feuding with writer/creator Chuck Lorre. Days later, cops raided Sheen's Los Angeles home to investigate a tip that the troubled star was in violation of a court order by keeping a gun in the house.

March also brought one of the year's most devastating tragedies as Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, which then created an enormous tidal wave. More than 15,000 people perished in the disaster and Slash, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters were among the big-name acts who staged gigs to raise money for victims, while actresses Sandra Bullock and Demi Lovato also donated $1 million (£625,000) each to boost relief efforts.

Back in Hollywood, there was plenty of heartache as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ended their romance, Renee Zellweger called it quits with Bradley Cooper and Twilight beauty Ashley Greene split from Joe Jonas.

But love was most definitely in the air for Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who married showbiz agent Jim Toth in a romantic ceremony at her California home. Canadian crooner Michael Buble also wed stunning supermodel Luisana Lopilato in a civil ceremony in her native Argentina.

Celebrations were in order for former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who announced she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together. Actors Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson became proud grandfathers in March, while Elizabeth Banks also became a first-time mother to a baby boy, born via surrogate.

Emily Deschanel confirmed she was expecting her first child with actor husband David Hornsby, while Cruel Intentions star Ryan Phillippe also had baby news after the tabloids reported that his ex-girlfriend, actress Alexis Knapp, was pregnant.

There was a health scare on the cards for tennis ace Serena Williams after she was hospitalised with a blood clot in her lungs, while fears for Zsa Zsa Gabor's wellbeing mounted when she began coughing up blood and suffered circulation problems in her left leg.

There was a close call for actor David Arquette after he was in a head-on car crash in Los Angeles, and Glee star Lea Michele was also involved in a smash when her car was struck by a drunk driver.

Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean had a lucky escape after he was shot in the hand during a visit to his native Haiti, while James Taylor suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident in Utah.

Courtroom battles loomed for Britney Spears, who was hit with a $10 million (£6.25 million) lawsuit over a perfume deal, and Jay-z was accused of trademark infringement over the logo for Roc Nation.

Even clean-cut teen pop sensation Justin Bieber found himself named in court papers after a songwriting duo sued over claims they hadn't received royalties for his hit song One Less Lonely Girl.

April

There were births, marriages and bust-ups galore as Spring sprung in April, but only one subject was on everyone's lips - the royal wedding. Celebs and commoners alike got carried away in the buzz of the big day on 29 April, when brunette beauty Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming, William. Who would design the dress? Who would be invited? Would best man Harry fall for bridesmaid Pippa? But all questions fell by the wayside on the morning of the magical day, as Britain and two billion viewers across the world came to a standstill to watch the future Queen of England step out of her Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen lace gown to huge cheers from the crowd. The pair wed in front of 1,900 quests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and even showbiz royalty Victoria and David Beckham, and left London's Westminster Abbey to great fanfare as the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But Kate didn't hog all the limelight - who can forget the backing support of her sister Pippa, hailed Her Royal Hotness thanks to that figure-hugging dress and her much-discussed derriere?

The wedding was of fairytale proportions, one even our favourite celebs couldn't compete with - but that didn’t stop them from trying! Canadian crooner Michael Buble was one of the biggest stars to walk down the aisle in April - his second set of nuptials to stunning fiancee Luisana Lopilato following their original wedding day in March. Controversial couple LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian also wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, which was a surprise for guests - they thought they were there for the pair's engagement party! Funnyman Rob Schneider also joined the marriage club, exchanging vows with fiancee Patricia Azarcoya Arce over the Easter Weekend. The marriage mood of the month gave many stars ideas; the likes of Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, and Tom Fletcher and his longtime girlfriend became engaged.

Despite love being in the air, some unions were destined to end - Elizabeth Hurley started divorce proceedings against her millionaire husband Arun Nayar, while Christina Aguilera's five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman was declared officially over. After marriage must come babies, and April was awash with stars welcoming newborns. Superstar Mariah Carey welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, and in true diva style, gave birth to them on her fourth wedding anniversary to Nick Cannon. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo both welcomed their third sons, while Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Toni Collette and Drea De Matteo all also became parents to baby boys. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was an exception to the rule - he became the proud father of a baby girl.

But with ups, there must be downs - and nobody does scandal like the stars. Teen sensation Demi Lovato stunned her legions of loyal fans by opening up about the emotional issues which landed her in rehab earlier in the year, revealing she was battling an eating disorder and cut herself at her lowest moments. Charlie Sheen continued his madcap ways by embarking on a comedy tour following his sacking from Two and a Half Men - only to get booed offstage on his first night, with critics calling his stand-up debut an "epic failure". Bond fans mourned April as the month Sir Sean Connery announced he was retiring from public appearances after he failed to show up to a charity event in New York. Lindsay Lohan was back in trouble - and in court - when a judge decided she'd had enough of the actress' antics and sentenced her to 120 days behind bars for violating her probation. Nicolas Cage hit the headlines when he was arrested on domestic violence charges following a street bust-up with his wife in New Orleans, and Vince Neil was also in hot water for domestic violence - his ex-girlfriend accused him of jabbing a finger at her during an argument. However, the biggest shock came when Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility to overcome her bipolar disorder. The stint in the clinic came after a tough year for the Oscar-winner following husband Michael Douglas' cancer battle.

April was a sad month for actor Tim Robbins, who tragically lost his father, Gil, and his mother, Mary, within days of each other. The punk world was left in mourning when X-Ray Spex legend Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53, while British actress Elisabeth Sladen, Dr Who's longest running sidekick, also passed away after a fight with the disease.

May

May was a shocking month as Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger split from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, only to reveal later on in the month he had fathered a lovechild with their housekeeper 13 years earlier. Although the scandal rocked Hollywood, he wasn't the only one heading for splitsville - Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller became officially divorced, as did actress Neve Campbell and James Bond star George Lazenby. Lady Gaga also split from boyfriend Luc Carl, while Hayden Panettiere ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko. Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle also became single after calling off her engagement to American footballer Jason Bell.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom - Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney announced he was engaged to marry for the third time, to American Nancy Shevell, while director Sophia Coppolla and reality star Kim Kardashian also announced plans to walk down the aisle.

As for marriages, Marie Osmond remarried her first husband Stephen Craig, 29 years after they first exchanged vows and in the same wedding dress. Wedding bells also rang for Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, while country king and queen Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also became man and wife in Texas.

New romances between Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge, as well as Nick Jonas and Australian pop star Delta Goodrem also came to light.

It was a baby boom month, with many stars becoming parents for the first time. Rockers Bryan Adams and Matthew Followill, actors David Schwimmer and Mike Myers, and actresses Alicia Silverstone, Marion Cotillard and Lost's Evangeline Lilly all became first-time parents. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton welcomed her second son. French first lady Carla Bruni and actress Bryce Dallas Howard were also celebrating pregnancies. But it was a sad month for British actress Kelly Brook, who suffered a miscarriage.

Other sad news in May came when Grease actor Jeff Conaway passed away at the age of 60, sending Hollywood into mourning. Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday and Superman star Jackie Cooper also died, aged 88. The month started with the shock news that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead in Pakistan. Other stars facing struggles included Sean Kingston, who was involved in a horrific jet-ski crash, while veteran actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was also hospitalised with pneumonia-type symptoms and fell into a coma.

It was also a controversial month for Lindsay Lohan, who started a 120-day jail term in the comfort of her own home for parole violation. British rocker Pete Doherty was also jailed for six months for cocaine possession. Other stars facing woes included Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Friends star Matthew Perry and boxer/singer Oscar De La Hoya, who were all submitted in to rehab programs. It was an embarrassing month for British singer Cheryl Cole, who was hired, then fired to sit on the judging panel of America's The X Factor. In music news for the month, Silverchair announced they were to split, Rod Stewart announced a Las Vegas residency, while it was a big movie month as the Cannes Film Festival in France also kicked off. While Brad Pitt was hailed at the glitzy event, with his film Tree Of Life winning the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Best Film, it was a bad experience for director Lars Von Trier, who was banned from the festival for controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the festivities.

June

As summer blossomed, June marked a baby boom in Hollywood. Pop star Pink became a first-time mum at the beginning of the month when she welcomed little Willow, while drummer Adrian Young added to the No Doubt family with daughter Magnolia. Natalie Portman became a yummy mummy to son Aleph, actress Tia Mowry also welcomed a little boy, and model/actress Devon Aoki was another addition to the first-time mum club with the arrival of Hunter. Denise Richards made headlines when she announced she'd adopted a baby, Eloise, into her brood, while Meat Loaf became a grandfather when his daughter Pearl Aday gave birth to a baby boy. Lindsay Price and Nia Long also announced their pregnancies in June, as did Lily Allen - whose baby news went public on the same day she married partner Sam Cooper.

Lily's wedding wasn't the only one at the start of summer - Rachel Weisz married actor Daniel Craig following a whirlwind romance and Noel Gallagher put his wild ways behind him after exchanging vows with longterm partner Sara MacDonald.

However, the month was marred by a string of high-profile splits - David Duchovny and Tea Leoni separated just two years after reconciling following the actor's sex addiction admission, Jack White parted ways with model/singer wife Karen Elson after six years of marriage, and Hugh Hefner was dumped by fiancee Crystal Harris - just days before their planned wedding. Elizabeth Hurley's divorce from Arun Nayar was granted, and George Clooney split from Elisabetta Canalis.

There were health dramas aplenty - pop princesses Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson were hospitalised within days of each other. Both stars were forced to pull performances, and getwellselena even became a top trending topic on Twitter.com as fans rallied to support the Disney idol. Gomez later revealed she was malnourished and feeling exhausted, while Hudson was diagnosed with a severe bout of food poisoning.

The music world was left reeling when legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who had worked with Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, died from complications stemming from a major stroke. The rocker led the tributes to his pal, declaring, "His loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years." TV fans were also left in mourning following the passing of Columbo star Peter Falk at the age of 83, while legendary TV cowboy James Arness also died.

In other June news, the vampires from Twilight overpowered the magical Harry Potter kids at the MTV Movie Awards, taking home five golden popcorn prizes to their film franchise rival cast's one. The Cmt Awards took place in Nashville, Tennessee just days later and newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert dominated the ceremony - picking up three of the nine top honours between them. But it was a bad month for their country music rival Trace Adkins when his Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.

The month was special for U2 when they headlined Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival after a year-long wait - they were forced to pull out of the event in 2010 after frontman Bono underwent surgery on his back. In a spooky echo of U2's concert drama, pop star Jessie J was forced to axe several summer shows after undergoing emergency surgery on her broken foot – but still fulfilled her duties at Glastonbury, performing while perched on a red and gold throne. »

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Worst 20 Films of 2011 – Season of the Witch, Red Riding Hood & More!

31 December 2011 5:11 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Having spent the last year sat in screening rooms and cinemas watching over 200 of 2011′s cinematic offerings, it stands to reason that I’m going to have to sit through a fair share of duds. As I had seen the vast majority of the key Oscar plays before November, I spent the latter part of the year dedicating myself to seeking out the worst, most lowest common denominator fare ripe for a skewering, and with these twenty dreadful pictures, we have what are, in my opinion, the 20 biggest train wrecks of 2011. Note that Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star is still awaiting worldwide DVD release and didn’t get distribution in the U.K., so that’s one that I was forced to avoid, but I’m assured that it’s irredeemably horrible nevertheless. Anyway, on with the list…

20. Shark Night 3D

(David R. Ellis / Tomatometer: 16%)

Director David R. Ellis »

- Shaun Munro

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Box office dips in 2011: A year-end analysis

30 December 2011 10:02 AM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Box office junkies, unite! It’s time to break down the year that was at the movies using the thing that we love most — the numbers!

Blockbuster franchise films reigned supreme at the North American box office in 2011. Of the ten highest grossing movies, the top seven — led by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 with $381 million — are sequels, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (No. 9, $176.7 million) is a prequel, and Thor (No. 8, $181 million) and Captain America: The First Avenger (No. 10, $176.7 million), while not sequels, are part of the larger Avengers franchise which Marvel will roll out next year. »

- Grady Smith

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Ghost Rider Creator Gary Friedrich Legally Denied Film Rights

30 December 2011 8:12 AM, PST | ShockYa | See recent ShockYa news »

A New York court has denied the creator of the Ghost Rider character, Gary Friedrich, the rights to the supernatural hero, Film School Rejects is reporting. The writer claimed he only signed away the comic book rights to the character to Marvel. However, he said the rights to any other places in which Ghost Rider appears, including the successful 2007 Nicolas Cage film of the same name and its upcoming sequel, ‘Angel of Vengeance,’ should revert back to him. Friedrich worked as a freelancer in the early 1970s for the House of Ideas. Part of his work included creating Ghost Rider, a motorcycle stuntman whose soul is taken by the »

- karen

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Top Ten Worst Movies of 2011 - Part Two: The List

30 December 2011 8:08 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

 

Let's pile on one last time and let that be the end of it as I now present my personal top ten list of the Worst Movies of 2011. As I noted in Part One yesterday, I didn't see all of the films many are calling the worst of the year, films such as Jack and Jill, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, I Don't Know How She Does It, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Beastly and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. I did, however, see my fair share of duds and of those I saw, these are the ten that top that list. If you missed Part One, that's where I essentially list my Dishonorable Mentions and I will link to it again at the end of this piece. For now, let's dive into the sewer and see what we find amidst the sludge. 10. Hobo with a Shotgun »

- Brad Brevet

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Ghost Rider Creator Loses Legal Challenge

30 December 2011 8:01 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The writer who created Ghost Rider has lost a legal battle with comic book bosses over the rights to the character.

The fiery, motorcycle-riding superhero first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1972 and was later immortalised on the big screen by Nicolas Cage in the 2007 movie of the same name, with a sequel planned for 2012.

Freelance writer Gary Friedrich, who came up with the character, filed suit against Marvel in the year the film came out, alleging bosses had used the Ghost Rider concept for movies, video games and merchandise without his permission.

However, a judge in New York has now ruled against Friedrich, stating Marvel bosses own the rights to the character as they paid the writer for his work at the time, according to Reuters.

Manhattan federal court judge Katherine Forrest declared, "If Friedrich... had any rights to the character or the work at the time he endorsed the (pay) cheques... he relinquished those rights to Marvel."

Friedrich's lawyers have vowed to appeal against the decision. »

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Movie News in 60 Seconds: Marvel’s ‘Ghost Rider’ Rights Confirmed, Filmmaker Blames One Negative Review for Hurting Box Office, Did the Real Cheetah Die?

30 December 2011 8:01 AM, PST | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

    Creators vs. Corporations: Writer Gary Friedrich, who created a new version of Ghost Rider in the early 70s, lost a lawsuit against Marvel in which he claimed rights to “non-comic derivative versions” of his work. The judge in the case ruled that Friedrich signed away those rights in 1978, which means that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (pictured above), starring Nicolas Cage, is free to ride into theaters in February. (The Hollywood Reporter) Who’s to Blame?: Filmmaker Andrew Rossi contends that a negative review by Michael Kinsley, published in The New York Times, “probably cut ... box office in half, at least” for Rossi’s documentary Page One: Inside The New York Times. Kinsley, who is not a film critic and...

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- Peter Martin

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Celebrity Scandals 2011 - Justin Bieber Paternity Suit (Dropped), Charlie Sheen Meltdown, More

30 December 2011 6:36 AM, PST | National Ledger | See recent National Ledger news »

What are the top celebrity celebrity scandals for 2011? Pop star Justin Bieber was said to have gotten a girl pregnant with a 30-second lovemaking backstage.  He denied it and eventually DNA won out and paternity suit was dropped by Mariah Yeater. Charlie Sheen went wild in 2011, but he says he is better now. Sheen has revealed that his public meltdown, which culminated in him being sacked from the CBS sitcom Two And A Half Men, was "like being shot out of a cannon." The 45-year-old actor says he is now sober and enjoying a simpler life. More scandals from Hollywood... Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris break up. Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva custody battle. Christina Aguilera arrested for public intoxication. Nicholas Cage arrested for domestic violence. Lindsay Lohan house arrest, etc. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver divorce. (Image: WENN)   »

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If 2011 Were A Movie…

30 December 2011 4:22 AM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

In recent years we have seen Hollywood tap a variety of different resources in its ongoing search for new ideas. Stopping just short of sticking its hand down the side of the sofa and rummaging for loose inspiration, Tinseltown has instead chosen to adapt everything from the usual books, video games and television shows, to comic books, websites, theme park rides and – I still can’t quite believe it –  even board games. So, why not an entire year?

If 2011 were a movie, aside from reflecting such recent events as The Royal Wedding, the London riots, the Eurozone crisis and those pandas arriving at Edinburgh zoo, it would also have to reflect the trends and tendencies prevalent in the films it has seen released during its tenure. As such, it would most likely be a remake of a foreign language prequel, a motion-capture throwback and a steamy tale of friends with benefits, »

- Steven Neish

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Ghost Rider creator loses legal rights battle with Marvel

30 December 2011 4:12 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Judge rules that Gary Friedrich relinquished ownership rights to character following 'contractual transfers' made in the 1970s

A battle over rights that threatened to derail the release of the latest film in the Ghost Rider series has been resolved after a judge ruled in favour of Marvel comics.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is due out in February, with Nicolas Cage reprising his role as title character Johnny Blaze, a motorcyclist superhero whose head is a flaming skull. Comic book writer Gary Friedrich attempted to sue Marvel, claiming copyright over the character, which he radically revised while working for the company as a freelancer in the 1970s.

However, New York federal judge Katherine Forrest threw out the case on Wednesday, confirming Marvel as the copyright holder and ruling the company was well within its rights to licence Columbia Pictures for 2007's Ghost Rider and the forthcoming sequel. Forrest said Friedrich »

- Ben Child

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Looking Back: Jeremy Picks His Own Top 10 Favorite Films of 2011

29 December 2011 10:32 PM, PST | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

Out with the bad. In with the good. But not just the good. No, save the good for the ten most "it was decent, but I'm ready to get out of the theater now" List. This is the best. These are the movies that reinvigorate our love of cinema, and the movies that are the reason I love going to the theater in the first place. There were many throughout the year 2011, and it was hard to whittle this list down to the 10 best films, but thankfully my honorable mentions help me get around that issue a little bit. Sadly, there's no Nicolas Cage on this list. It's not looking good for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, either. I swear I'll stop picking on that movie as soon as I see it. But before that comes, take a gander at my top ten movies of 2011. See the »

- Jeremy Kirk

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Judge Sends Ghost Rider Creator Packing

29 December 2011 4:12 PM, PST | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

With Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance getting set to make its theatrical debut in a few weeks, a lawsuit over who actually owns the character recently played out dramatically in the judicial system. Read on for the latest.

According to Deadline, rights to the flaming-skull, motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider belongs to Marvel Comics, a federal judge ruled. The vigilante played by Nicolas Cage in a 2007 movie and its upcoming sequel debuted in 1972 after Marvel freelancer Gary Friedrich first conceived him, the judge ruled. In his 2007 lawsuit, Friedrich claimed Marvel had infringed his rights to the character and its use in movies and merchandise. The judge said Friedrich relinquished his rights to Ghost Rider when he endorsed and cashed checks from Marvel. Those checks contained language relinquishing all rights.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, stars Nicolas Cage, Nicolas Cage's hair, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth, »

- Uncle Creepy

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Judge Rules Marvel Owns 'Ghost Rider' Rights

29 December 2011 4:03 PM, PST | bloody-disgusting.com | See recent Bloody-Disgusting.com news »

Rights to the flaming-skull motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider belongs to Marvel Comics, a federal judge ruled, says Deadline. The vigilante played by Nicolas Cage in a 2007 movie and its upcoming sequel debuted in 1972 after Marvel freelancer Gary Friedrich first conceived him, the judge ruled. In his 2007 lawsuit, Friedrich claimed Marvel had infringed his rights to the character and its use in movies and merchandise. The judge said Friedrich relinquished his rights to "Ghost Rider" when he endorsed and cashed checks from Marvel. Said checks contained language relinquishing all rights. Friedrich's lawyer said he would file an appeal. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens February 17. »

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Top 15 Movies I Didn't See in 2011 Because They Looked Terrible

29 December 2011 1:00 PM, PST | GeekTyrant | See recent GeekTyrant news »

So I thought what the hell, why not make a Top 15 list of movies that I didn't see over the last year because of how bad they looked. My decision not to see any of these movies was based on how bad they looked due to the trailers that the studio released for them, as well as some of the actors that were involved with the projects.

I can't really give any kind of commentary on the films because I haven't seen any of them, and I seriously doubt I will ever watch them. This list is based purely off the fact that they looked absolutely terrible. 

So here's the list, each one accompanied by the movie trailer that turned me off on the film. And yes, there are two Nicolas Cage movies on the list. This list is in no particular order, look through them below and tell us »

- Venkman

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Looking Back: Jeremy Picks the Top 10 Most Terrible Movies of 2011

29 December 2011 11:20 AM, PST | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

Sure, there were good movies in 2011. There were even great movies released in 2011. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the dregs, the rancid, the movies that made us sit back and question if we liked movies at all. Hollywood had some real stinkers this year. The indies had their fair share, but Hollywood had some real horrible ones hit with a dull thud. Surprisingly, Nicolas Cage only showed up in one of them, although, let's be honest, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is looking good for next year's list of shame. Pixar damn near made this list, but we'll give Cars 2 a stay of execution on principle. So, without further ado, here's the 10 worst movies I saw in 2011. See the whole list below! 10. I Am Number Four - Remember this dud that landed early in the year from DJ Caruso. »

- Jeremy Kirk

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Official Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Movie Site "Blazes" to Life

29 December 2011 8:37 AM, PST | Reelzchannel.com | See recent ReelzChannel news »

With less than two months to go before its theatrical debut, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance has finally spawned an official movie site. Written and directed by Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine (Crank movies), Spirit of Vengeance is a strange sort of sequel. It keeps Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider from 2007's Ghost Rider, but reboots everything else, including Ghost Rider's origin, look and powers. While the videos and still images on the new site are nothing new, there are a number of cool downloads, including wallpapers, animated Gif images, icons and Twitter skins, with a game and 3D video stunt listed as "coming soon."

Next Showing:

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Clip

Interview: "Nicolas Cage On Directors Mark Neveldine And Brian Taylor"

Link | Posted 12/29/2011 by BrentJS

Nicolas Cage | Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance »

- BrentJS Sprecher

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"Worst" of 2011. A Quick Purge

28 December 2011 12:30 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

year in review part whichever

I use the term "worst" loosely as I am generally not paid to see the obviously terrible films that open all year round. Plus, I'm not feeling the negativity this year. Or, rather, I'm trying not to feel it. With Bridesmaids and Melancholia both speaking so eloquently on the subject of depression this year like some perfect if unlikely double feature (more on that soon) why should I wallow in my own? No, 2011 was a good year for cinema. So here is a very quick purge of the things that momentarily led me to believe otherwise. 

Hell's Multiplex

Hell's multiplex has noisy audiences, crying babies, constant texting, and 50 million miniature screens showing only 50 movies, a million microscopic screens for each sorry movie! All of them requiring 3D glasses... even the ones in 2D. I wisely avoided the films I thought might play there -- if »

- NATHANIEL R

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A Festive Week in Spandex - The Dark Knight Rises trailer talk, Joss Whedon on The Avengers... in 3D, David Fincher’s Spider-Man and more…

28 December 2011 4:10 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Our weekly round-up of the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…

Warner Bros. gave Batman fans an early Christmas present this past Monday with the online release of the second theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight Rises and – with anticipation for Christopher Nolan’s Gotham swansong reaching fever pitch - it quickly went on to shatter the iTunes record previously held by Marvel’s The Avengers as it amassed a whopping 12.5m views in just 24 hours. The trailer delivered on pretty much every level, giving us a tantalising glimpse at what appears to be some epic action sequences, along with a look at the majority of the cast in action, including Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Tom Hardy (Bane), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon), Michael Caine (Alfred), Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (John Blake), along with a Batman Returns-style introduction to Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle. »

- flickeringmyth

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Comic Book Bites: Thor 2, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Amazing Spider-Man

27 December 2011 2:30 PM, PST | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

Following the departure of Patty Jenkins from Thor 2 because of "creative differences" with Marvel - with some sources claiming she was fired - a new director has been appointed.

According to Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, Alan Taylor has landed the job. He and Daniel Minahan, both of whom have helmed episodes of Game of Thrones, were previously said to be the two finalists for the post. Taylor has also directed episodes of Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Mad Men.

Prior to Jenkins' involvement, yet another Game of Thrones director, Brian Kirk, was briefly in talks to take on the flick after Kenneth Branagh decided not to return. Thor 2 is released on November 15, 2013.

Indicating the anticipation for the closing chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga, The Dark Knight Rises has broken the record for the most downloaded trailer on iTunes.

The clip was downloaded more »

- David Bentley

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Awesome new wallpapers for ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’

27 December 2011 1:59 PM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Thanks to the films official website, here’s three badd-ass wallpapers for the Neveldine/Taylor directed Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Starring movie mad-man Nicolas Cage as the Ghost Rider, aka biker Johnny Blaze, the film is released in the Us on February 17th 2012 and the UK on February 22nd.

Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Columbia Pictures’ and Hyde Park Entertainment’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. In the successor to the worldwide hit Ghost Rider, Johnny – still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy – and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. »

- Phil

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