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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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Court Denies ‘Ghost Rider’ Creator Film Rights, Marvel Rejoices

29 December 2011 4:37 PM, PST | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

There has long been a debate in the comic book world about what’s fair as far as creator’s rights are concerned. If you self-publish or work for one of the smaller companies, it’s possible to maintain the rights to any characters that you create while working in comics. If you want to work for one of the big guys like DC or Marvel, however, what you’re doing is work for hire. That means you’re just an employee of said company and any of the characters that you create while writing a Marvel or DC book are not your property, but the property of the company. While young comic creators are more than happy to agree to terms like this when they’re starving and hungry for work, regrets can sometimes develop later on if a character gets popular and starts to bring in huge amounts of revenue. This »

- Nathan Adams

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Memento Mori: Remembering those we lost in 2011

24 December 2011 2:35 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

In October of 2010, Sound on Sight asked me to do my first commemorative piece on the passing of filmmaker Arthur Penn. I suspect I was asked because I was the only one writing for the site old enough to have seen Penn’s films in theaters. Whatever the reason, it was an unexpectedly rewarding if expectedly bittersweet experience which led to a series of equally rewarding but bittersweet experiences writing on the passing of other filmdom notables.

I say rewarding because it gave me a nostalgic-flavored chance to revisit certain work and the people behind it; a revisiting which often brought back the nearly-forgotten youthful excitement that went with an eye-opening, a discovery, the thrill of the new. Writing them has also been bittersweet because each of these pieces is a formal acknowledgment that something precious is gone. A talent may be perhaps preserved forever on celluloid, but the filmography »

- Bill Mesce

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War Horse – The Review

22 December 2011 9:59 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Few living things on this planet are more majestic than a horse. Creatures of graceful beauty and tremendous strength, almost as closely bonded with mankind as the dog, yet as a civilized species we.ve put the horse through so much over our centuries old relationship with the gentle giants.

War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, offers a glimpse into the life of just one of these fine creatures. The story is told from the perspective of one horse named Joey, raised from a freshly born colt by an Irish farm boy named Albert (played by Jeremy Irvine) who immediately forms a strong friendship, only to be devastated when World War I hits home and the horse is sold into the cavalry by Albert.s father Ted (played by Peter Mullan).

What follows is the emotional journey of Joey through the trials and tribulations of war. Joey trades hands multiple times, »

- Travis Keune

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Elizabeth Taylor, Farley Granger, Jane Russell, Peter Falk, Sidney Lumet: TCM Remembers 2011

13 December 2011 4:16 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

"TCM Remembers 2011" is out. Remembered by Turner Classic Movies are many of those in the film world who left us this past year. As always, this latest "TCM Remembers" entry is a classy, immensely moving compilation. The haunting background song is "Before You Go," by Ok Sweetheart.

Among those featured in "TCM Remembers 2011" are Farley Granger, the star of Luchino Visconti's Senso and Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers on a Train; Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento (Tom Jones, Hombre), formerly married to Sean Connery; and two-time Oscar nominee Peter Falk (Murder, Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, The Great Race), best remembered as television's Columbo. Or, for those into arthouse fare, for playing an angel in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.

Also, Jane Russell, whose cleavage and sensuous lips in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw left the puritans of the Production Code Association apoplectic; another Australian performer, Googie Withers, among »

- Andre Soares

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DC Comics March 2012 Solicitations

12 December 2011 2:00 PM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

We hold in our hands the covers for DC Comics this March. As a child of four can plainly see, these comics have been hermetically sealed in a Cgc 9.8 slab, and they’ve been kept in a #2 mayonnaise jar under a giant pile of Christmas tinsel since noon today.

What do we have worth noting? The first fill-in artist on Justice League, although Gene Ha is certainly no slouch in that department. We also have new writers on Firestorm and Green Arrow, new backups in Justice League and Action Comics, and the DC 52 hits lucky number 7.

Shall we see who is the fariest of them all? Oh indeedy, let’s do!

As usual, spoilers may lurk beyond this point.

Justice League #7

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Gene Ha and Gary Frank

Cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams

1:25 Variant cover by Gary Frank

1:200 B&W Variant cover »

- Glenn Hauman

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Jerry Robinson: 1922 – 2011

8 December 2011 1:15 PM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Comics legend Jerry Robinson died this morning at the age of 89.

Best known for his work with Bob Kane during the earliest days of Batman, the Trenton, New Jersey born artist started off as a teenager lettering and inking the Batman feature in Batman, Detective Comics and World’s Finest Comics. As Batman rapidly grew in popularity, he progressed to the role of character designer and, shortly thereafter, penciler of the feature. It was Robinson who named Dick Grayson “Robin,” not after himself (as often reported) but after N.C. Wyeth’s famed illustrations of Robin Hood. Shortly thereafter, Jerry designed Batman’s most famed enemy, The Joker. His original art for that initial design, in the form of a playing card, has been on display at various museums across the nation.

(It should be noted that the late Bob Kane disputed this and most other creator-credits regarding The Batman. »

- Mike Gold

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Batman's Joker creator Jerry Robinson dies, aged 89

8 December 2011 8:19 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Batman artist Jerry Robinson has passed away at the age of 89. Robinson is best known for his influential DC Comics work during the Golden Age, playing an instrumental part in the creation of Robin, the Joker, Alfred and Two-Face. The news that the illustrator had died in his sleep was broken by Batman movie producer Michael Uslan, who announced his passing via Facebook. It was later confirmed by The La Times. In addition to his DC contributions, Robinson was a celebrated comics historian and creators' rights activist. He was a crucial support for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in their long-running (more) »

- By Mark Langshaw

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Jerry Robinson, Co-Creator of The Joker & Robin Has Died

8 December 2011 8:16 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Best known as the co-creator of Robin, and the primary influence for The Joker, comic book artist Jerry Robinson passed away in his sleep last night at the age of eighty nine. Word of his passing came from the Graphic NYC Blog, who learned the news from Batman film producer Michael Uslan’s Facebook page. L.A. Times’ Hero Complex later confirmed the news.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey on New Years Day 1922, Robinson was hired as an inker by Batman creator Bob Kane at the age of 17. Over the next several years he had as much a say over the look of the character and his world as Kane. Even though he is primarily credited with creating The Joker (the character is modeled on actor Conrad Veidt, best known for his portrayal of a disfigured circus performer in the silent movie The Man Who Laughs), Kane and himself clashed »

- Tom White

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Man of Steel: Michael Shannon on Working with Zack Snyder on the Superman Reboot and Using His "Childlike" Imagination

7 December 2011 7:41 AM, PST | Reelzchannel.com | See recent ReelzChannel news »

Like the comic book superhero he will be fighting in director Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, actor Michael Shannon's career is on a trajectory headed straight for the stratosphere. The Kentucky-born actor had been turning in memorable performances in supporting roles in movies for more than 15 years before his performance in Revolutionary Road won him an Academy Award nomination, and now he is receiving acclaim again for his leading role in director Jeff Nichols' apocalyptic drama Take Shelter and for his part on the ensemble cast of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. On top of that, Shannon landed the coveted role of the villain General Zod in Snyder's aforementioned Superman franchise reboot, which will undoubtedly expose him to a much wider audience than any of his previous acting gigs.

Next Showing: Man of Steel opens June 14, 2013

Link | Posted 12/7/2011 by BrentJS

Terence Stamp | Zack Snyder | Michael Shannon | Man of Steel »

- BrentJS Sprecher

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Michael Shannon: CGI made filming Man of Steel easier

5 December 2011 9:00 AM, PST | Virgin Media - Movies | See recent Virgin Media - Movies news »

Michael Shannon is delighted he can rely on CGI in the new 'Superman' movie. The Oscar-nominated actor plays General Zod in director Zack Snyder's upcoming comic book adaptation 'Man of Steel' and revealed he is thrilled he doesn't have to undertake all of the dangerous stunts himself thanks to the magic of computer generated imagery. Speaking about Terence Stamp, who previously played the villain in 'Superman' in 1978, he told The Province.com: ''Unfortunately for Mr. Stamp, they didn't have CGI back then. I'm being spared a lot of drudgery that he had to endure. From time to »

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Watch: Exclusive clip from 'Smallville: The Complete Series' DVD box set

28 November 2011 8:37 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

After a lengthy ten-season run on the WB and later the CW, "Smallville" signed off on its final episode this past May to the inevitable sadness of the series' hardcore fans. Nevertheless, "Smallville: The Complete Series" is available tomorrow, November 29th, on DVD, and we've got an exclusive clip from the special features section of the boxed set that features cast and crew talking about the thought processes that went into humanizing Superman's Kryptonian father Jor-El, played by both Julian Sands and Terence Stamp (the latter in voiceover). In order to stoke viewers' emotional investment in the relationship between Clark and »

- Chris Eggertsen

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Adapt This: "The Spectre"

28 November 2011 3:21 PM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I'll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some "Adapt This" columns, you'll also find thoughts from the industry's top comic creators about the books they'd like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week's Book: The Spectre

The Premise: A murdered policeman is possessed by a powerful spirit that has been tasked with exacting vengeance on anyone who who deserves punishment. The spirit's new host must reconcile his belief in law and order with the spirit's need to deliver retribution, and use his skills as a police officer to determine exactly who deserves The Spectre's wrath.

The Pitch: A few years ago, a live-action movie or television series »

- Rick Marshall

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Mondo Partners With DC Comics, First Poster Released Black Friday

23 November 2011 10:15 AM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Add another amazing license to Mondo's growing list of conquests. The poster boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse has made official posters for Star Wars, Star Trek, Pixar, Disney, Jurassic Park and Wednesday they announced a partnership with DC Comics to start producing posters for films and comics. Yes, DC. As in Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. The first poster, Fortress of Solitude, is by rising artist Jc Richard (whose Jurassic Park poster [1] by Mondo might be their best yet) and will be released on Black Friday. After the jump, check out the full image and speculate as to what a team up between Mondo and DC could mean for the future. Here's Jc Richard's Fortress of Solitude, inspired by Richard Donner's Superman. Click on the link for the hi-res image. [2]Fortress of Solitude is 12 x 32 in an edition of 390. It'll cost $50 and go on sale at a random time Black Friday, »

- Germain Lussier

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Christmas Gift Guide 2011 Part 1 – Blu-rays, DVDs & Film Merchandise

23 November 2011 2:42 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

It’s that time again! As November is drawing to a close and the shops are getting noticeably busier with each passing weekend, attention is now firmly turning to Christmas… which can only mean the return of our comprehensive Christmas Gift Guide. If you missed our inaugural edition last year, this is your helping hand for the best of what is out there for every film, video game, book and technology lover this festive season and is designed to point you in the right direction for your purchases but also so you can win one or two of these fabulous items for yourself.

It’s like window shopping/ideas generator for gifts but even cooler as you can win stuff too!

Just like last year, the Gift Guide is made up of Simon and myself’s personal geek interests and love of things we hope our girlfriend’s or extended families might have bought us, »

- Matt Holmes

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Henry Cavill Talks About Playing Superman

21 November 2011 11:27 AM, PST | Reelzchannel.com | See recent ReelzChannel news »

Only a handful of men who know what it is like to play Superman - George Reeves (the TV series Adventures of Superman), Kirk Alyn (two low-budget 1940 serials), Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Tom Welling (Smallville) and now Henry Cavill.

The British actor, who can currently be seen in Immortals, talked with the L.A. Times' Hero Complex about who is harder to play — Superman or Clark Kent.

Essentially, yes, one is a disguise but the one that’s not a disguise is so unreal that brings difficulties of its own with it. I mean, once the shroud is cast off, yeah, there’s that — but he can fly. [Laughs] Overall, there’s no one that’s easier or less easy than the other. It is a lot of fun having two characters in one role which are so intertwined with each other. »

- Chris Ortiz

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Rumor: Are Bryan Singer And Leonardo DiCaprio Teaming For Big-Screen 'Six Billion Dollar Man'?

17 November 2011 6:22 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It's hard not to lament the career that Bryan Singer might have had. When he broke out with the arrival of "The Usual Suspects," one of the most textured and well-achieved of the post-"Pulp Fiction" wave of crime flicks, it seemed like the annoucement of a major talent, and the underrated "Apt Pupil" only seemed to re-emphasize that. But ever since, the filmmaker has strayed further and further into the blockbuster world, and it has become clear that his ambitions lie more in becoming the next Richard Donner than a great auteur. The last fifteen years have seen two "X-Men" movies -- the second admittedly being by some distance the best in the franchise -- one "Superman" film and one big-budget Tom Cruise war film.  »

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50 Reasons Why Green Lantern Movie Sucks

17 November 2011 6:01 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

If there was one thing that critics and comic book fans agreed on this summer it was that Green Lantern was one big let down. While there are those who may have enjoyed the experience, it’s clear that the movie did not make the splash that Iron Man, The Dark Knight had made in recent years or even Captain America or Thor made this summer. In the conversation about this year’s superhero movies, Green Lantern has all but disappeared.

This past weekend saw the premiere of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, a computer animated cartoon show that was surprisingly enjoyable and avoided a lot of the problems the film fell into. It leaves one to wonder, why does the cartoon succeed where the movie failed?

As a long time Green Lantern fan, I had high hopes for the movie and went in hoping for the best. My »

- Trevor Gentry-Birnbaum

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Man Of Steel Sequel Is Moving Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

17 November 2011 1:00 AM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Despite the fact that we’re still well over a year and a half away from Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel hitting cinema screens, the latest rumours suggest that Warner Bros. are sufficiently pleased with what they’re seeing to begin looking for a writer to craft the story for a potential sequel.

Of course, given all the talent involved in this latest Superman movie – Snyder directing, a script written by David S. Goyer, and the production being overseen by Christopher Nolan – it’s not terribly surprising that the studio heads are eager to keep the ball rolling. Another consideration, however, may be the fact that as a result of their lawsuit with the families of Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Warner Bros. have to keep making films featuring the last son of Krypton or face losing the rights.

Either way, the studio appear to be »

- Tim Leng

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TV Review: TCM’s ‘AFI’s Master Class: The Art of Collaboration’

15 November 2011 11:00 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams have one of the most creatively impressive collaborative histories in all of film. Having worked together since “The Sugarland Express,” the two forever changed the way film scores are produced and judged with countless classics. Tonight, November 15th, 2011, the two discuss their influences and work together at the American Film Institute in “AFI’s Master Class: The Art of Collaboration” and the conversation is a fascinating one, although the short running time leads to a program that feels a bit shallow at times.

Television Rating: 4.0/5.0

If you don’t know the name John Williams, you know his music. The living legend has 45 Oscar nominations, second only to Walt Disney, and has won five Oscars. Any conversation of the best film composers of all time that doesn’t include him is incomplete. “Star Wars,” “Superman,” and “Harry Potter” alone would cement the man’s place in history, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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