McDonald's Breaks Anti-Obesity Effort -
McDonald's Corp., the world's largest fast-food
marketer, launched an anti-obesity education
campaign. The move comes as pressure mounts to
regulate food-related advertising.
PAX TV's Got Game - Shows That Is - PAX TV
is launching two new half-hour primetime game shows
this summer, "On the Cover," a fast-paced pop culture
trivia contest and "Balderdash." PAX TV has placed
initial orders for 26 weeks of each of the strip series.
HAS THE SUN SET ON NETWORK EVENING NEWS?
- It may just be a coincidence that the same
week Tom Brokaw announces plans to retire as anchor
of the "NBC Nightly News" the researchers at Ball State
University have unleashed a new study showing the
dramatic migration from network evening news to other
news dayparts, especially early morning news shows,
but we think Tom may have seen something
coming. "Morning television news programs are growing
more popular with viewers, possibly signaling the end to
the dominance of early evening newscasts," concludes
the Ball State study, which was conducted as part of
the university's Center for Media Design's so-called
Middletown research effort, a project that followed 101
people around to see what and how much - media they
actually consume. The findings suggest that media
fragmentation and consumer choices has finally caught
up with the network news business.
Where Multi-taskers Focus - Completed in the
Fall of 2003, the BIGresearch SIMM Survey provides
interesting insights not only into "the fact of" multiple
media usage, but what they're doing in each case. The
survey shows that over 70% of consumers, at one time
or another, use media simultaneously. The study poses
the ultimate challenge for media companies and
marketers...who's paying attention to what?
When listening to radio, 57.3% simultaneously go
online, 46.9% read newspaper and 17.7% watch TV.
51.2% of radio listening multitaskers say they pay more
attention to one medium more than the other.
Newspapers are a TV watcher's best friend, as 74.2%
of people who watch TV regularly or occasionally read
the newspaper simultaneously. 66.2% say they go
online and that documentaries are the preferred TV
programming for those who watch TV and go online
simultaneously. Documentaries lend themselves to
listening, perfect for the simultaneous media using TV
watcher. Movies are the preferred programming for
64.3% of the people who read newspapers and watch
TV, followed by 56% watching police detective shows
and 51.5% watching situation comedies. The 18-34
year old television viewers are playing video games
while watching TV. Listening activities seem most
agreeable to newspaper readers as 52.4% say they
watch TV and 49.6% say they listen to the radio when
reading the newspaper. Likewise, 52.4% of women and
49.6% of men prefer reading the newspaper and
listening to the radio simultaneously. When waiting to
download something online, 52.1% say they listen to a
favorite tune or talk radio. 61.8% say they watch TV,
20.2% read the newspaper.
BK Serves Up Chicken On The Web - Burger
King's garter-clad chicken has hooked millions of
Webheads who accessed a dedicated site to see the
bird strut its stuff. The burger giant set up a dedicated
Web site and a viral promotion at:
www.subservientchicken.com on April 7. The site and
promotion were designed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky,
Miami, to tout Burger King's chicken sandwiches.
The hilarious Web campaign features a person dressed
up as a chicken. Web surfers can command the chicken
to perform various activities, ncluding dancing and
jumping; a visitor can also type in a custom command
and the chicken will obey the direction. An order
to "come hither" resulted in the chicken walking toward
this writer's screen.
The subservient chicken campaign, part of a TV effort
for BK that broke last weekend, is shot in a GenY
apartment in the style of an amateur porn film.
Clad in a garter belt, the chicken waits for directives
from the viewer. Other features of the site include
the "tell a friend" email option, a chicken mask for
printing and wearing, photos, and "subservient TV,"
where viewers can access the campaign's
quirky/hipster-esque TV spots.
Crispin reported a staggering number of hits to the
dedicated site, which began life as a test site link that
was sent to 20 individuals who are friends of the
agency. On Thursday, April 8, just one day after the
site went live, Crispin reported 8.2 million hits, with the
average viewing period hitting 8 minutes and 52
seconds. The traffic hit a whopping 12.4 million hits on
April 14, with an average viewing period of 6 minutes
and 56 seconds.
And the survey says -- Consumers Respond
Favorably To Product Placement Of Brands In TV,
About half of consumers surveyed say they've noticed
brands involved in product placements in movies and
television, according to a recent Media edge: CIA
study. The study finds that 60 percent of those
consumers are willing to try the brands advertised, with
the percentages a little higher for TV than movies.
DoJ Goes Pirate Hunting - Attorney General
John Ashcroft announced yesterday the most far-
reaching and aggressive enforcement action ever
undertaken against organizations involved in illegal
intellectual property piracy over the Internet. Beginning
yesterday morning, law enforcement from 10 countries
and the United States conducted over 120 searches
worldwide to dismantle some of the most well-known
and prolific online piracy organizations.
Celebrity Gossip Column
J. Lo and Marc? - It's rumored that Jen has a
new Bo - Marc Anthony. On Sunday night, Jen, 33,
created a frenzy at the Los Angeles premiere of "Man
on Fire," which co-stars her rumored beau, 34.
Ok the pit is open bets are now being accepted - how
long do you think it will last?
Madonna's Label Tagged Unprofitable - As part
of an ongoing feud between Madonna and Warner Music
Group, unsealed court documents revealed that the
singer's record label, Maverick Records--which handles
not only the Material Girl but Alanis Morissette and
Michelle Branch as well--has lost $66 million since 1999,
according to the Hollywood Reporter. Last month,
Maverick sued Warner Music for $200 million, claiming
breach of contract and fraud, but Warner retaliated by
filing a preemptive claim asking a judge to find that the
company had fulfilled its commitment to Maverick. The
latest documents show that in order for Maverick to
get out of its joint venture with Warner Music, which is
up at the end of the year, Maverick will have to pay
$92.5 million, in addition to the value of Warner's
interest in the label. The price tag includes the $66
million in losses, a $20 million loan and $6.5 million in
unrecouped fees, the trade paper reports.
Royals Shocked at Dying Diana Photos -
LONDON (AP) -- Princess Diana's family said Thursday
they were "sickened" by CBS-TV's broadcast of photos
of the dying princess taken moments after the crash
that killed her. Two black-and-white photos were
shown on Wednesday night's "48 Hours Investigates"
program. They were taken by paparazzi at the scene of
the Aug, 31, 1997, accident in Paris that also killed
Diana's companion, Dodi Fayed, and chauffeur Henri
Paul. The U.S. network insisted the pictures - which
showed an unconscious Diana being treated by a
doctor as she lay slumped in the back of a car in the
Alma road tunnel - were not graphic or exploitative.
Basinger Auctions Off Engagement Ring
Cha-ching! - Actress Kim Basinger sold a 3.7-carat
diamond engagement ring given to her by ex-husband
Alec Baldwin to a Beverly Hills jewelry dealer for a hefty
$59,750 at a benefit auction, Reuters reports. The
Oscar-winning actress, a noted animal rights activist,
auctioned the modern Tiffany & Co. ring and some
other jewelry at Christie's to raise money for The
Performing Animal Welfare Society.
More Game Movies -A new trailer is now
available from Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-
earth called "Inside the Battle, Volume One." Here's the
description from EA: "It includes both a Q&A and video
with VP and Executive Producer Mark Skagg explaining
the concept of unit emotion. It's a great
demonstration of how we're taking the RTS game to the
next level. Also, this video is a first in a series of
eight 'inside the Battle' videos that break down specific
game features." The clip comes in three different
renditions, ranging from 41 to 177 MB, available on
NVIDIA's nZone. Also, Jucaushii.ro has posted a new
Silver Wings trailer, a 33 MB promo movie for a "Raptor-
style arcade game" announced today at Computers &
Electronics Romanian Fair, 2004.
DAoC Account Splitting - Mythic Entertainment
announced today that their flagship massively
multiplayer game "Dark Age of Camelot" will be offering
a new service to their subscribers beginning on April
27th. Known to players as "account splitting," it allows
players to transfer one or more characters from an
existing account to a new account. Because separate
characters on one account cannot be played
simultaneously, households that share accounts often
want to move a character to a new account so the
two characters can adventure together.
The Punisher - 4 out 5 points
As with any comic book adaptation, the most important
factor is how aptly the actor portrays the superhero, or
in this case, antihero. Jane, who last appeared in
Dreamcatcher but had a more memorable supporting
role as a stringy cocaine addict in Boogie Nights,
pumped up for the role of the Punisher, making him a
good physical representation of the comic book
character and a convincing military combatant.
Travolta's performance as Frank's foe, Howard Saint, is
slightly derivative of the Gabriel Shear character we
saw in the 2001 actioner Swordfish: a cold-blooded,
fanatical underworld villain. It's interesting to note that
Howard Saint was not introduced in the comics but is
an original character created for the big-screen
adaptation. But the addition of Travolta to the cast
brings much-needed bigwig star power to this otherwise
lesser-known cast. Also introduced in the feature film
are Frank's three neighbors, Mr. Bumpo (Pinette),
Spacker Dave (Foster) and Joan (Romijn-Stamos).
These three quirky outcasts add a bit of comic relief to
an otherwise grim storyline, although the attempt at a
love connection between Romijn-Stamos and Jane
doesn't ignite any sparks. Look for an entertaining
cameo appearance from professional wrestler Kevin "Big
Sexy" Nash as "The Russian," sent to reduce Frank to a
pile of flesh and broken bones.
Bottom Line - Director Jonathan Hensleigh's feature
adaptation of the comic book super-antihero The
Punisher has just the right mix of comic book poeticism,
violence and comedy and the story is a compelling one,
whether you are familiar with the comic book or not.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 - 5 out 5 points
Uma Thurman proves her calm, cool, collected mettle
once more as The Bride (aka Beatrix Kiddo, aka Black
Mamba), plucking out eyeballs, bloodying her fists
punching wood, exploding hearts, and the like. But we
also see her completely vulnerable during flashbacks to
the time she spent in a coma after the attack (some
gnarly stuff happens in the hospital, but no spoilers
forthcoming from this reviewer). And there's a softer
side to Black Mamba when she's awake, too. In another
flashback, we see The Bride on her last assignment
before she quit the assassination business to become a
wife and mom--the stick in her EPT has just turned blue
when a rival assassin comes knocking through the door,
and it's a poignant moment (with a Tarantino edge) as
she tries to protect her unborn child. Carradine's Bill is
somehow less menacing than one might have expected,
but there's enough creepiness in the character for an
audience to imagine what a real hard case he must
have been in his glory days. Hannah enjoys a splendid
comeback role as The Bride's fellow assassin, and she's
regal in her adherence to the warrior code they share.
Madsen wears Sidewinder's cowboy hat and slouchy
jeans like he was born to them and swills whisky like a
ranch hand, yet he still captures the wistfulness of the
once-great fighter, if somewhat ironically.
Bottom Line - One of the most entertaining movies of
the year so far, Kill Bill Vol. 2 is twice as good as its
predecessor and about half as violent.
Ella Enchanted -4 out of 5 points
Based on the best-selling, prize-winning novel by Gail
Carson Levine of the same title, Ella of Frell (Anne
Hathaway) lives in a magical world where ogres, giants,
fairies, elves and such live together in relative harmony.
athaway, who was a breath of fresh air in the 2001
sleeper hit The Princess Diaries, solidifies her reputation
as a natural comedienne in Ella Enchanted. The sassy,
forward-thinking medieval lass, forced to obey every
command despite herself, gets into some precarious
situations (watch how her nasty stepsisters make her
steal stuff from the medieval mall, "Galleria of Frell"),
and Hathaway's endearing qualities--the expressive
face, the affinity for physical comedy--accentuate the
charming story. As her love interest, Prince Charmont,
Dancy (Black Hawk Down) clicks with Hathaway and
has the looks and personality Teen Beat readers (or, as
the magazine's called in the film, Medieval Teen) drool
over. But it's the rest of the cast who truly complete
the film--including Minnie Driver as Ella's fairy
nursemaid, Mandy, who isn't very good at dispensing
magic; Mistry (The Guru), as Benny, the boyfriend
Mandy accidentally turns into a talking book; Elwes,
who does a complete turnaround from his hero in
Princess Bride; Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) as the
greedy stepmother; Heidi Klum (yes, the model), as a
fetching giant; and especially newcomer McArdle, who,
as an elf supposedly destined to only make merry and
sing songs, really wants to be a lawyer.
Bottom Line - Although Ella Enchanted will certainly
captivate fairytale lovers and romantics alike, it's the
MTV, Teen Beat-lovin' teenage girls who will sing its
praises the loudest.
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There is plenty of time to contact your favorite star!
'The Big White'
c/o Man It's Cold Prod Inc.
599 Empress St
Winnipeg MB R3G 3P3
"filming 4/12 - 6/7"
Odd Lot Entertainment
368 North LA Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-1925
"Filming started: Apr 01, 2004"
c/o Spyglass Entertainment Group, LLC
10900 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90024
"Filming starts: Apr 30, 2004"
'Charlie & The Chocolate Factory'
c/o Pinewood Studios Ltd.
The film is in pre-production (April 2004). Johnny is to
play the role of Willy Wonka. Filming supposed to begin
c/o Shepperton Film Studios
1 Studio Road
"Filming started: March 16, 2004"
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