Monday, July 31, 2006

Stars asked to dig deep and fund Rosslyn Chapel work

TRUSTEES of Rosslyn Chapel are set to invite celebrities to sponsor the refurbishment of the building's most famous features. TV and film stars including Tom Hanks - who filmed at the Midlothian chapel while making the blockbuster movie The Da Vinci Code - Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly and Kirsty Wark are expected to be approached to sponsor the refurbishment work. Trustees of the 15th century Gothic chapel want wealthy backers to help pay for essential work on features such as the apprentice pillar, the intricately carved stonework and various stained glass windows. [More]

A Knight Out in LA Report

Sevilodorf sends along a very impressive report from Ian McKellen's recent staging of 'A Knight Out in LA' at the Freud Playhouse, UCLA: "It is sometimes said popular authors could publish shopping lists and make the best seller's list. However, there are few actors who could hold a theater full of sweltering people enthralled while reading the Roget's Thesaurus entry for ululate. Ian McKellen managed easily..." [More]

DVD Tuesday: V, Alice in Wonderland, Curb Your Enthusiasm & More!

A ton of interesting new films are out on DVD this week. Take an early look on our 'DVD Tuesday' feature...every Monday! Check out 'V for Vendetta: Two-Disc Special Edition' starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. Star Trek Fans voted online for their favorite Klingon episodes form the Star Trek television series, the result is 'Star Trek Fan Collective - Klingon' & 'Good Night and Good Luck' in HD DVD. [More]

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jean Reno marries in French hilltop village

PARIS (Reuters) - French actor Jean Reno, star of such films as "The Big Blue," "Leon" and "The Da Vinci Code," married model and actress Zofia Borucka on Saturday in a hilltop village in the south of France. The wedding, witnessed by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and singer Johnny Hallyday, took place in the town hall of Les Baux de Provence, near Avignon, a day before the star's 58th birthday. The ceremony was conducted by the mayor of Les Baux, Gerard Jouve, a friend of the actor's. [More]br clear=all>

Gook knight: Sir Ian McKellen at the Freud Playhouse

What were Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings," Holy Grail scholar Sir Leigh Teabing of "The Da Vinci Code" and Magneto from the "X-Men" series doing at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA last Sunday night? They were all being portrayed on stage by Sir Ian McKellen, the knighted award-winning actor who played them on the screen, at a benefit performance of his updated one-man show, "A Knight Out in L.A." McKellen gave renditions of his other cinematic roles and also read from the Bible, Shakespeare, Roget's Thesaurus (yes, Roget's Thesaurus) and a new work by Armistead Maupin. [More]

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Iran bans Da Vinci Code

Washington, July 27 (ANI): The Iranian Government has decided to ban further publication of Dan Brown's controversial novel-The Da Vinci Code-in the wake of protests from the country's Christian community. According to, the eight existing Persian-translated editions of the book will continue to be sold at book shops, but no further versions will be published. Hollywood director Ron Howard's cinematic adaptation of Brown's bestseller has also not been released in Iran. A spokesperson for the Iranian Culture Ministry said the ban is being put in place following the "request of three Christian clerics". There are approximately 100,000 Christians in Iran, a nation of 69 million Muslims. (ANI)

TV sales, 'Da Vinci Code' help Sony extend recovery

Sony Corp has said strong sales of flat-panel televisions in the June quarter and the hit movie "The Da Vinci Code" helped it reverse the losses of a year ago and continue its turnaround. The Japanese electronics giant, which is undergoing major restructuring, reported a net profit of 32.29 billion yen (278.3 million dollars) for the fiscal first quarter after a net loss of 7.26 billion yen a year earlier. Sony posted an operating profit of 27.05 billion yen against a loss of 6.58 billion as revenue rose 11.2 percent to 1.74 trillion yen. Sales at the core electronics goods unit rose 13.5 percent "thanks to the Bravia brand television sales which continued to grow dramatically in all areas of the world," said chief financial officer Nobuyuki Oneda. [More]

Da Vinci code breakers to visit Rosslyn

PRIZE-WINNING Da Vinci Code fans from 70 countries were today set to get an exclusive private visit to Rosslyn Chapel as part of a tour of locations in the blockbuster Hollywood movie. The 140 winners of the Codebreaker competition were also due to attend a reception at Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian. The exclusive trip for winners from places as far flung as the United States, Australia, South America and Russia, started on Monday in Paris with a visit to the Louvre and Chateau du Close Luce at Amboise. The group then travelled on Eurostar to London in a specially-branded Da Vinci Code train, to be given behind-the-scenes tours of Westminster Abbey and Temple Church. [More]

`Da Vinci Code' mania finally chipping, flecking

It couldn't last forever, right? Simmered by three years of lawsuits, religious debates and conspiracy theories, brought to a boil in May by the Hollywood movie, the craze for all things Da Vinci Code is finally fading, publishers and booksellers agree. ``I would definitely say it's slowing down,'' Barnes & Noble fiction buyer Sessalee Hensley says. ``Once everybody got past the movie, the whole thing peaked.'' ``The spring definitely was the hottest time for this kind of book,'' says editor Mark Tavani of Ballantine Books, which released Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy, one of many Da Vinci-like novels to make best-seller lists earlier this year. ``It seems now that the wave has reached its end.'' [More]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Da Vinci Code DVD Street Date

David writes: According to, 'The Da Vinci Code' DVD is tentatively planned to be released on Nov. 14, 2006. [More]

DVD Tuesday: Final Destination 3, Benchwarmers, Halloween 4&5, & More!

A ton of interesting new films are out on DVD this week. Take an early look on our 'DVD Tuesday' feature...every Monday! Check out 'Final Destination 3: Thrill Ride Edition', silly comdey 'The Benchwarmers', and a film called 'Scorpius Gigantus', this B-movie is about a giant scorpion on the rampage! [More]

Friday, July 21, 2006

McKellen's 'A Knight Out in L.A.' Show This Weekend

Geri writes: I just thought you like to know that Ian McKellen will perform a one-man show, "A Knight Out in L.A.," at the University of California, Los Angeles' Freud Playhouse (MacGowan Hall, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024) this weekend (July 22-23) to benefit the Los Angeles Young Actors' Company. Tickets are still available. [Tickets]

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Unraveling the Da Vinci 'con'

Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, the movie, is an admittedly 'fun' murder mystery. Made with the skill of master movie makers, the sympathetic characters are immersed in a complicated and fanciful plot comparable to the movie National Treasure. Myths and legends and shadowy history are combined with secret codes and mysteries disguised in massive architecture, hidden in clever devices, and wrapped in intriguing riddles. The heroes' quest is to solve the puzzle and reveal the shattering secret of earth shaking proportions. Fun stuff! However, unlike National Treasure, Brown crosses the line by distorting documented history and purporting to make use of legitimate research to back up his hypotheses that Jesus was not divine but a mere mortal man who, by Mary Magdalene, sired a royal lineage that still exists today. Although he says his story is fiction, Brown makes every effort to convince his audience that his historical evidence is true and that only the murder mystery is fiction. The murder mystery is merely the vessel used to convey the real contents of his message which is "the big con" to which I object. [More]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Picking Up the 'Sacred Feminine' Where The Da Vinci Code Left Off

LOS ANGELES, July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- C. K. Brewster's new novel, "Quantum Prophet" (now available through AuthorHouse), takes the notion of the sacred feminine one step further as a female messiah arrives to save the world from spinning catastrophically out of control. Five years have passed since the incineration of MIT's scientific phenom Lila Christianson in a massive explosion that left no trace of her young body. The daughter of oil tycoon Joseph Christianson and his former music superstar wife Marianna, who died in a lightning storm when Lila was a girl, Lila was on the verge of creating a solar battery that would have rendered the petroleum industry obsolete. Then she disappeared. [More]

Order "Quantum Prophet" from Today!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Kenya: 'Da Vinci Code' Still Riding High

The Da Vinci Code fell two spots from number eight. Even then, it was still on six screens and the total viewers were still higher than all other movies released in the past three months. Failure to Launch dropped five spots and the blockbuster. Last week's new release, Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh, opened at number one, replacing Poseidon which dropped four slots. The Antonio Banderas-starred, Take the Lead, which opened on June 23, moved up one spot from number three and eased out Omen 666, which by the weekend ending July 9, dropped five slots to start the week at position seven. It opened on June 6 at Nu Metro Cinemas. [More]

Bettany Joins Dark Materials Film

July 17, 2006 - As recent rumors suggested, Nicole Kidman will indeed be joining the cast of the His Dark Materials trilogy, beginning with The Golden Compass. According to The Daily Mail and several other sources, the starlet assuming the role of the insidious Mrs. Coulter — a character Kidman's skills are perfectly suited to. Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code) is also in final negotiations to join the picture as Lord Asriel. Bettany and Kidman are reportedly good friends, having acted alongside each other in Dogville, and Bettany's involvement was apparently a factor in convincing Kidman to consider the film. [More]

DVD Tuesday: Carnivàle, Tsotsi, She's the Man & More!

A ton of interesting new films are out on DVD this week. Take an early look on our 'DVD Tuesday' feature...every Monday! Check out 'Carnivàle: The Complete Second Season', The South African drama 'Tsotsi' and a film no one has heard of, yet has some major stars in it, 'Edison Force'. [More]

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Christians hold prayers to protest against 'Da Vinci Code'

Hyderabad: Members of various Christian denominations in the city today congregated at the Indira Park and held mass prayers to protest against the controversial film 'Da Vinci Code'. "Seven pastors, two bishops, clergymen of various churches led the prayers to express our protest against the proposed release of the film (in the state) which will hurt our regligious sentiments," a spokesman of the All-India Christian Joint Action Committee said here. [More]

Monday, July 10, 2006

Movie scrambles The Da Vinci Code sales

For three years, nothing could kill it: In an age of fractured audiences and weakened attention spans, The Da Vinci Code became the universal beach read, dominating hardcover best-seller lists through war, hurricanes, a presidential election and the ever-changing tastes of a fickle public. [More]

Defeated Da Vinci Code case historians plan appeal

LONDON (Reuters) - Two historians who lost a plagiarism case against the British publishers of Dan Brown's bestseller "The Da Vinci Code" plan to appeal against the verdict, court officials said on Monday. The officials said the appeal could take place later this year, but no specific date has been set. The Bookseller reported the appeal was due to be heard in early 2007. Random House, which won the copyright case earlier this year at the High Court in London, expressed disappointment at the decision by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh to appeal. [More]

Don't Forget Our Online Chat Today!

We are very pleased to announce a chat with Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of the Lord of the Rings Online game. Join us in #TheHallofFire Monday, July 10th at 5:30pm to find out more about this exciting game! [More]

DVD Tuesday: Marilyn Hotchkiss, Blackbeard, Negadon & More!

A ton of interesting new films are out on DVD this week. Take an early look on our 'DVD Tuesday' feature...every Monday! Check out Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, National Geographic: Blackbeard - Terror at Sea, Negadon - The Monster From Mars and The HD DVD version of Pitch Black. [More]

TV Watch: McKellen on 'Carson Daly' Repeat

A repeat airing of Ian McKellen on 'Last Call With Carson Daly' airs tonight on NBC. Daly, demonstrating his absolute lack of talk show host prowess, fumbles through most of the interview, calling himself a moron (rightly so) at one point. However Sir Ian was as charming as ever. He was there to promote his latest films, 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'X-Men: The Last Stand'. Unfotunately my TV connection did falter at a few points in the video, so it is NOT a computer error. Take a look! (29MB MOV)[More]

Friday, July 07, 2006

Chennai court lifts ban on Da Vinci Code

The Madras High Court has paved the way for screening of the controversial film the Da Vinci Code in Tamil Nadu by quashing a government order suspending its release. Allowing petitions filed by film distributors - Sony Pictures Releasing of India Ltd, Mumbai, and Anuroshi Films, Chennai, Justice Prabha Sridevan directed the city police commissioner to pay Sony Pictures a sum of Rs 15,000. [More]

"Da Vinci" gets TV showcase on TNT

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Turner Broadcasting has cracked "The Da Vinci Code." The company's cable network TNT has acquired rights to the hit feature's network window through a deal with Sony Pictures Television. The rights to the Sony Pictures-distributed film will kick in for TNT in October 2008. Financial terms of the deal were unclear late Thursday, with TNT and SPT declining comment on the license fee. Recent theatrical releases are licensed to TV for a fee of about 15 percent of their domestic box-office gross. "Da Vinci," which was released May 19, had grossed $209.9 million in North America through Sunday. [More]

LOTR Online Developer Chat Monday July 10

We are very pleased to announce a chat with Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of the Lord of the Rings Online game. Join us in #TheHallofFire Monday, July 10th at 5:30pm to find out more about this exciting game!

Jeffrey Steefel joined Turbine, Inc in early 2004 and is currently the Executive Producer in charge of the upcoming MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online. LOTRO will be the first and only online persistent world based directly on the literary works of J.R.R Tolkien and will host a world-wide community of fans and gamers.

Jeffrey has been a professional in the Entertainment and Technology industries for almost 20 years, serving as Executive, Director, Head of Production, Principal Designer and Business Strategist for multiple new-media, entertainment and technology organizations ranging from young start-ups to media and technology giant, Sony. [More]

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Vietnam truck driver caught with 1,400 fake 'Da Vinci Code' novels

HANOI -- Vietnamese police have arrested a truck driver carrying more than 1,400 pirated copies of the controversial international best-seller The Da Vinci Code, an official said on Tuesday. "The books were illegally printed in Vietnam," a culture and information ministry official said. "Authorities have confiscated the books and opened an investigation into the case." The driver, Vu Khiem Toan, was arrested on Saturday in Hanoi while carrying 1,470 Vietnamese-language copies of Dan Brown's religious thriller, said Pham Tuyet Nga of the ministry's publishing department. [More]

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hollywood's star back in ascendancy

The popularity of The Da Vinci Code has helped to prompt a recovery in Hollywood’s fortunes, with box office takings reversing last year’s steep decline this year so far. Gross box office to June 30 amounted to $4.42 billion (£2.4 billion) in the United States, which accounts for about half of all film-going worldwide, up 3.9 per cent on the equivalent period last year. The recovery was underpinned by Sony Pictures’ The Da Vinci Code, which despite being panned by critics had the second biggest worldwide opening of any film in history, taking $231.8 million. Since then, The Da Vinci Code’s worldwide box office has since hit $703.5 million, ranking it at number 22 on the all-time list, according to figures compiled by Box Office Mojo, although it remains one of the highest-grossing films not aimed at children. [More]

DVD Tuesday: The Libertine & The Matador!

It is a very slow holiday weekend in North America, with Canada Day & the Fourth of July only days apart. The studios are reluctant to release anything this time of year, let alone anything that may potentially be a big seller. This week we are thrown two box office bombs in the form of Johnny Depp's 'The Libertine' and former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan's 'The Matador'. [More]

Sunday, July 02, 2006

'Da Vinci Code' spoof: Murder, Mayberry and Norman Rockwell

A famous museum...A shocking murder...But the clues of this mystery aren't hidden in Paris beneath Mona Lisa's smile. They're right here in the good old U.S. of A., in paintings we've seen hundreds of times. Like the ones on mugs, Christmas cards, calendars and the covers of the old Saturday Evening Post. Holy Secret Society, Andy! This isn't that "Louver" museum movie by Opie who's gone and growed up to be a Hollywood director. It's www.thenormanrockwellcode. com, showing now on a computer screen near you — a 35-minute takeoff on "The Da Vinci Code," loaded with references to Aunt Bee's pecan pies and Otis' jug tipping. [More]

Actor McKellen is Britain's most influential gay: newspaper

LONDON (AFP) - Actor Sir Ian McKellen has topped the "Pink List" of Britain's most influential homosexuals in a list to mark the end of one of Europe's largest gay pride festivals. Pop legend Sir Elton John came second in the weekly's annual list of gay men and women who are leaders in fields ranging from the arts and media to politics and business. European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson was fifth in the 100-strong list published in the Independent on Sunday newspaper. McKellen, 67, who played Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy and starred in the movie "The Da Vinci Code" recently, is a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor. [More]

Da Vinci Code fails attract visitors to Rosslyn chapel

Following an almost universal panning by Hollywood film critics, The Da Vinci Code movie may have received the most telling condemnation of its quality so far. Rosslyn Chapel has reported that the hordes of visitors expected after the film's release have failed to show up. The Chapel Trust had braced itself for a big increase in visits from Da Vinci "codies" following screenings of the film, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, which climaxes with scenes shot at the 15th-century chapel. But foot-traffic is well below projections. "We haven't seen any sudden hype after 19 May," said Stuart Beattie, of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust. "While we are having more visitors than last year, it's less than we expected, and not a result of the film coming out." [More]

Tom Hanks inducted into U.S. Army's Ranger Hall of Fame

FORT BENNING, Ga. (AP) — Tom Hanks has been inducted into the U.S. Army's Ranger Hall of Fame as an honorary member, the first actor to receive such an honor. Hanks, 49, was unable to attend Thursday's induction ceremony. He was cited for his role in "Saving Private Ryan" and his continued commitment to honoring those who served in World War II. The actor played a World War II Army Ranger company commander in the 1998 film, directed by Steven Spielberg. He was also honored for being among the writers, producers and directors of the Emmy-winning 2001 miniseries "Band of Brothers." [More]