‘Twilight’ fans gear up for ‘Eclipse’ premiere

'Twilight' fans gear up for 'Eclipse' premiere

Not since “Star Wars” has fandom been, well, so fanatical about a single movie, putting down stakes in the heart of L.A.’s asphalt jungle days ahead of a world premiere. But an ever-swelling coterie of vampire lovers, most of them female, have been braving the California sun for days now to get the best chance of seeing the stars of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” grace the red carpet at the Nokia Theatre on Thursday night.

Some 550 devotees among the thousand or so assembled downtown for this celebratory sleepover will be rewarded for their perseverance with guaranteed spots on the carpet. “It’s just worth seeing all the stars. They bring the characters that we love so much to life, so we want to see them in person and cheer them on,” Yolanda Rodriguez, a 36-year-old unemployed graphic designer who came from San Francisco for the event, told Reuters.

The fans have festooned themselves on the concrete plaza of the L.A. Live entertainment complex, surrounded by blankets, tents, umbrellas and cardboard cutouts of the film’s stars. Food vendors and trinket sellers are having a field day.

Read more

Tags : , , , , , , ,

The right way to compliment your date

The right way to compliment your date

Cheap flattery will get you nowhere, but original praise can do wonders.

You’re face to face with a woman who has you dazzled… and tongue-tied. Learn the right way to flatter her from our pair of etiquette experts.

The statement, “Gee, Suzie, you look nice today,” used to arouse giggly tingles on the playground, but as a post-pubescent suitor, your compliments better be more focused. Warm praise can defrost those first icy moments of early dating, as well as subtly advertise your attraction. Later, compliments are standard daily fare for keeping a relationship fresh. How do you spice it up? Allow us to share nine secrets:

1. Offer praise that’s original, not stale.
A dating-scene veteran with luxuriant locks has heard dozens of times how lovely her hair is. Either craft a new quip (“Your red and gold highlights make me long for autumn”) or else bypass obvious compliments in favor of lesser-named qualities (“Your posture is flawless… do you take ballet?”).

2. Look for cues.
Where has your date invested her energies in preparing for your time together? A freshly-painted French manicure begs for recognition. Also, when someone has clearly invested their time or money in an area of interest, you’ve got a ready-made subject to compliment. “Wow… that’s quite a collection of snow globes.” This particular phrasing has the secondary advantage of making an observation without actually saying whether you like it or not.

Read more

Tags : , , , , , ,

The Last Airbender Trailer by M. Night Shyamalan

Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara, a Waterbender, and her brother Sokka to restore balance.

Starting in 2005, Nickelodeon began airing an original animated series called “Avatar: The Last Airbender” from co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The show struck a chord with a wide range of viewers. Soon, “Avatar’ fever had spread to become an international phenomenon (the show now airs in more than 120 countries). It soon came to the attention of one of Hollywood’s best storytellers—M. Night Shyamalan. The double-Oscar-nominated filmmaker comments, “Avatar: The Last Airbender’ fell into my lap. It hit me like an epiphany.”

Shyamalan’s daughters had fallen in love with the series, particularly the character of the young female waterbender Katara. Intrigued by their unprecedented fan loyalty, Shyamalan decided to watch the television show alongside them, and then he too was hooked.

Clearly, there was cinematic potential in the series. Yet to adapt the 30-some hours of stories into a feature film would not be a task without significant challenge— including the filmmaker’s entry into a genre he had yet to explore in his previous work. “I knew from the moment I put the first words on the page, that to do a movie of this complexity, you have to put work into it. Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who created the ˜Avatar’ series, spent six years constructing the mythology.

“It has been a real eye-opener and interesting learning curve for me to do something of this scale, while still wanting to maintain a level of perfection,’ continues Shyamalan. “I was scared to death every day of shooting, as it could be so overwhelming, and there were so many unknowns. This movie is two-and-a-half times bigger than anything I have ever done.”

Since the filmmakers of “The Last Airbender” are devoted fans of the original series, they have one ultimate goal that they hope to achieve. “We want to create a film that will not only live up to the fans’ expectations, but also expand it to a worldwide audience in ways that only a full length live-action motion picture can offer,” says Shyamalan.

“Avatar” creators DiMartino and Konietzko were extremely helpful with the development of the screenplay for Shyamalan, helping to scale down the many stories to feature film size. “I can’t tell you how comforting it was to have them only a phone call or email away when I got in a jam. Their ‘Avatar’ mythology is so well thought out that they had an answer and a back story for all my questions.”

Shyamalan had toyed with the idea of doing a franchise type of movie for many years, but never connected with any material. But “The Last Airbender” seemed to have all of the elements that fascinated the filmmaker since he was young, when he first saw “Star Wars”—epic fantasy, fueled by an inherent spirituality, and featuring martial arts at its core.

Says producer Frank Marshall, who collaborated with Shyamalan previously on “The Sixth Senseâ’ and “Signs,” “Night has such a signature filmmaking style and a unique way of telling a story. He has the ability to touch an audience in a way that is very broad. In this film he is expanding his talent and range, which is an incredibly exciting prospect.”

Adds producer Sam Mercer, “Night had been interested in and offered other franchise pictures before in his career, but until ‘The Last Airbender,’ he did not find one that he could make his own—organically, from the first words he put on the page.”

Related Link: The Last Airbender Movie Full Production Notes

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Opening This Week: Knight and Day Trailer

June Havens was just an unassuming, wholesome Midwestern gal. Then she got on the same plane as Roy Milner, international super-spy. There’s a shootout on board, and the plane has to make a crash landing. Then things really get out of control.

Agents from the government tell June that Roy has had a mental breakdown and is dangerous. His behavior makes it seem like they’re telling the truth. But as the two of them are hunted around the world, June is going to have to trust Roy if they’re going to make it out alive.

Three Good Reasons

It’s the first time that Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz have starred together on-screen since “Vanilla Sky” in 2001, but this time it’s in the sort of action-comedy-romance they’re both so great at playing…

It’s from James Mangold, the director of such acclaimed films as “Cop Land,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “Walk the Line,” and “3:10 to Yuma.”

Cruise passed up several other movies (including this summer’s “Salt”) for this one because he liked that it blended humor with action. After his gut-busting role in “Tropic Thunder,” we know he can still bring the laughs.

Related Link: Knight and Day Movie Full Production Notes

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Apple says iPad sales hit 3 million

Apple says iPad sales hit 3 million

Apple Inc. said Tuesday it has sold 3 million since the iPad Touch Screen Tablet PCs hit store shelves less than three months, while demand for the device continues to steam ahead.

Company Shares of electronics giant, which has surpassed Microsoft Corp. to become the world’s leading technology more valuable, rose 1.7 percent after several brokerages raised their price targets on the stock, including UBS and Kaufman Bros.

UBS raised its estimate Tuesday on unit sales for 2010 iPad 42 percent to 6.8 million against 4.8 million. “Improving the supply and international development has helped Apple to accelerate the speed at which it sells the unit, UBS analyst Maynard Um wrote in a note Tuesday.

He estimated that about 100,000 sold iPad add a penny to earnings per share. Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu raised his fiscal 2010 earnings and revenue estimates for Apple and raised its price target of $ 2 to $ 342. In the operations of the afternoon, the stock rose $ 4.63 to $ 274.80.

“We and the street continues to underestimate the demand for IPAD. Part of the reason is that the IPAD tablet form, is a relatively new product category that lies somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop, “has written.

It now expects Apple to sell 9.7 million iPad for calendar 2010. Apple has sold 1 million iPad in the first month after the launch of the United States on April 3 and has sold 2 million iPad May 31.

It has reached the 3 million on June 21, he said in a statement. In addition to the United States, IPAD is currently available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, among other countries. It will be deployed in nine more markets in July.

Tags : , , , ,

Holiday Stress: How to Avoid It

Holiday Stress: How to Avoid It

Holidays are supposed to bring rest and relaxation, but some families find them horribly stressful. With less time to enjoy, many people try to compensate by planning jam-packed itineraries, which can end up with exhaustion, arguments and disappointment. Here are some parent tips to consider…

Ease the ‘annual holiday’ pressure, if possible, by planning a few short breaks during the year. That way, the annual holiday won’t have the entire weight of your expectations upon it. It is also is a min-rehearsal for family travel, which does need a different kind of organisation than at home.

If possible, take longer annual holidays, rather than shorter. You have a better chance of feeling relaxed after three weeks away rather than just one. Action-packed itineraries could be intermingled with decent spells of ‘just bludging around’, so you don’t need a holiday from your holiday.

Preventing potential problems

Holiday stress can be brought on by bad luck, but you can avoid many potential upsets with forethought, planning and commonsense.

Research your intended location and accomodation very well.

Make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Check that it covers the needs of everyone in the family.

Pre-think your location and make sure you have enough sunscreen, insect repellant etc (all the specifics for that location).

If you’re keen to try out adventure sports with a family in tow, use the correct equipment and go with a reputable, well trained professional.

When travelling overseas, make 2 copies of all important documents (such as passports, travellers cheques and credit cards) in case of theft, keep one at home and pack one separately to the real thing.

Take extra pre-cautions when eating out to avoid common holiday gastro disturbances. Take a basic first aid kit. (be prepared to deal with basics.)

Travelling with young children

Ask your travel agent for family-friendly possibilities. Eg, you may prefer two-bedroom accommodation, or a facility with child-minding services, kids club etc.

Try to balance everyone’s needs when planning. The whole family should understand that everyone is there for a holiday so divide your day into adult choices and those more for kids. This definitely helps to avoid holiday stress. Keep it simple.

Just spending additional time together can be stressful. It is common to expect to have a good time on your holidays. However, in reality, during the year, most families only spend a few hours per day together because of work, school and other activities. Little habits could turn into holiday stress, even nightmares.

Tags : , , , , ,

Modern Dating Rules

Modern Dating Rules

First, forget about all the clueless first date advice you’ve ever heard before. Next, get ready to blow him away… and actually enjoy yourself while you’re at it. Nothing calls bad advice, as a first appointment – bring this, that, and do not in any case say that – all in order to capture a guy you’re not even sure you like… yet.

Not only do these rules say the opposite of pleasure (and having fun is not the point here?), But they can also end up being turned against. Who wants to look rigid or eager to please because you follow a certain set of guidelines rather lame than simply being yourself? What are – trust us – is always more attractive than any script.

“The best strategy for a great first date is to go into this in order to simply have fun, instead of harboring an agenda to win,” said Lionel Tiger, Ph.D., a Professor Charles Darwin Anthropology at Rutgers University and author of The Decline of Males. “That way, you can also meet as tenacious and carefree, that are inherently attractive qualities.”

Living in the present

If you clicked on this guy and when you met, it is tempting to jump into the future mental – can it be that? Stop there, and curb your expectations or you will not have fun. “If you put too much importance to the meeting, you’ll spend the whole evening to assess how it goes and stressing about whether you’ll see it again,” said Sheenah Hankin, PhD, a psychotherapist in New York and author of confidence. “This prevents you from fully enjoying what is happening in the present.” It also means that you are not committed – or to engage – as you may have.

Remember that only one night, and then just relax and let go. “A first date is an experience,” said Tiger. “Adopt a laissez-faire that it would work on or it might not.” And, hey, even if ultimately sparks are not there the night n is not a wash. You’ll probably come away with new insights or interesting story to add to your repertoire.

Be honest disarmingly

It goes without saying (not) What it does not tell her about the weird conversation you had with your ex last week or disclosure that you are PMSing. But if you talk to a guy with the same ease that you unattended when you are chatting with a friend, relax and things will get better. It provides the date does not appear to be an interview, “says Hankin. So, tell a funny moment that happened at work earlier in the day or describe an experience that your crazy friend recently through a former boyfriend.

We naturally trust and feel closer to people who are open, according to Hankin. She suggests trying a technique called negative revelation: Research has shown that disclosure of a minor weakness of yours (that you’re afraid of heights, for example), others like you and around you feel at ease because they see you more human.

Tags : , , , ,

Credit card holders to get some relief

Credit card holders to get some relief

Credit card rate hikes reviewed, penalty fees crimped

Most penalties credit card will be limited to $ 25 and fees for customers who do not use their cards will be eliminated under rules issued Tuesday by the Federal Reserve. The Fed also has ordered a review of all walks of credit card interest rates charged since January 2009, including most of the record increases which came in the wake of a nationwide reduction in credit.

The rules, which implement a final set of changes that Congress passed in May 2009, will take effect Aug. 22. “The guidelines of the Federal Reserve released today are good news for consumers,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., one of the authors of the laws of a credit card.

The Fed’s rules could result in lower interest rates for consumers. Banks should reconsider the reasons for these increases that began in the last 18 months. They would have to cut rates if the reasons for the increase no longer exist, and regulators to review and implement such reductions.

Consumers will be more immediately notice the new limit penalty fee of $ 25. Reduce the cost penalty is a central provision of the law of credit card, but Congress has allowed the Fed to determine how.

The Fed gives way to a penalty fee to pay more if the consumer has shown a pattern of “repeat” violations, or if a card issuer can show that higher fees reasonably compensates its own costs in processing the violation prompting the penalty.
Read more

Tags : , , , , , ,

It’s Time for The World Cup: Introducing South Africa

It's Time for The World Cup: Introducing South Africa

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. It befits its position at the southern end of the world’s most epic continent, with more types of terrain than photographers can shake their zoom lens at.

There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Kruger National Park’s wildlife-stalked savannah (scene of the famous lion-buffalo-crocodile battle watched more than 40 million times on YouTube) and, running through the east of the country and into Lesotho, the Drakensberg. KwaZulu-Natal’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park alone has five distinct ecosystems, attracting both zebras and dolphins.

If you’re interested in another kind of wildlife, hit the nightclubs on Cape Town’s jumping Long St or sample African homebrew in a township shebeen (unlicensed bar). When it’s time to reflect on it all, do it over seafood on the Garden Route, curry in Durban’s Indian Area, a sizzling Cape Malay dish, or a braai (barbecue) in the wilderness – accompanied by a bottle of pinotage produced by the oldest wine industry outside Europe.

Of course, it’s impossible for travellers to South Africa to remain oblivious to the fact that, despite the rise of ‘black diamonds’ (middle-class black folk), racial inequality persists here. Black and coloured townships face problems such as a horrific HIV/AIDS rate and xenophobic tensions caused by economic refugees from nearby countries.

Nonetheless, South Africans are some of the most upbeat, welcoming and humorous folk you’ll encounter anywhere, from farmers in the rural north who tell you to drive safely on those dirt roads, to Khayelitsha kids who wish you molo (‘good morning’ in Xhosa). Another point of unity in the diverse country is that, in malls and minibus taxis, bush pubs and shebeens, two popular topics of conversation are the 2010 FIFA World Cup and recent political upheavals. Most people believe that hosting football’s mightiest tournament will be as great a moment for South Africa as its Rugby World Cup triumphs in 1995 and 2007. And there’s still time for you to get over there and join the fun!

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Angelina Jolie Set to Star As Cleopatra?

Angelina Jolie Set to Star As Cleopatra?

Reports have speculated that Angelina Jolie could play Cleopatra in an upcoming Biopic on the famous woman. The movie will reportedly be based on a book titled “Cleopatra: A Life.” The book was recently approved for film adaptation, and will likely feature a number of mega stars, so the Jolie rumor seems to fall right in with previous details about the movie that have leaked.

The rights to the biography have been purchased, and the man who bought them has Angelina Jolie in mind to play the leading lady. A call to the office confirmed these reports, with a representative stated that it is “being developed for and with Jolie.”

Cleopatra, who is a Macedonian and not of Egyptian decent, has been featured in a number of films in years. The first flicks that featured her as a character appeared during the silent film era in 1899. Geroges Melies made a movie titled “Cleopatre,” which was an early horror movie that followed her as she lived her afterlife as a mummy. While the storyline may be very different from the one that is being considered, it does show that the character Cleopatra is one that has been in the cinema for quite some time.

The film “Cleopatra,” which was released in 1963 and starred Elizabeth Taylor’s take on the story was critical acclaim. The movie also starred Richard Burton, who played the male love interest and was also Taylor’s real life husband at the time. This has led to speculation that Brad Pitt could be chosen to play the male role in the movie, although that is completely speculation at this time.

Tags : , , , , , ,