Friday, December 30, 2011

Alan Jones Joins Cast Of Annie The Musical At Lyric Theatre; The Star


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Australian broadcasting legend Alan Jones will demonstrate his singing skills when he makes his musical theatre debut in a new Australian production of Annie - The Musical.

Jones will star alongside Anthony Warlow, Todd McKenney and Nancye Hayes in producer John Frost's latest show.

The musical marks a return to the role of Daddy Warbucks for Warlow, who played the character in a 2000 production of Annie, about an orphan girl taken in by the multi-millionaire in Depression-era New York.

"It was a wonderful experience then. People say never work with children and animals, but in this case the children were wonderful," Warlow said.

Jones, who will perform a musical number in his role as president Roosevelt, was handpicked by Frost, who advised he had Jones in mind from the early casting days.

"I wanted to pull a rabbit out of the hat in a way," Frost said.

In a video message played at the show's launch on Monday, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said he couldn't believe Frost had taken Jones on, "because he never ever takes direction".

Jones talked down his part in the production, requesting news media to direct questions to "the stars" of the show.

He said he just hoped he could do the role justice.

"I have a lot of good people to help me. I hope I'm going to do alright and not let the team down," he said.

Frost, who is the man behind the smash hit Australian productions of Wicked, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera, is confident Jones will not need any acting or singing lessons, despite having no previous theatrical experience.

Frost knows Jones is a safe bet.

"He's full of confidence and he holds a tune well," he said.

"If anything I'd love to put another song in for him, but I can't."

He said the show will be a true performance of the original stage production.

"The timing now is right to bring it back. With a fresh cast, I think it's got a good chance of being a great success," Frost said.

The battle for the Australian entertainment dollar continues, and certainly Sydney's The Star is going full speed ahead and betting that world class entertainment will remain paramount in the quest to bring more punters to land based casinos and entertainment complexes.

Media blurb we secured...

The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie is back, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. Boasting one of Broadway's most memorable scores, including It's the Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, N.Y.C. and the ever-optimistic Tomorrow, Annie is one of the most awarded and loved musicals of all time. Reprising one of his all-time favourite roles as the charismatic and sophisticated New York ‘zillionaire' Daddy Warbucks, is Anthony Warlow. He will be joined by the ever-popular Nancye Hayes playing everyone's favourite villain, Miss Hannigan. Todd McKenney, ChloĆ« Dallimore and Julie Goodwin also bring their talents to this delightful musical. And in a special treat, radio star Alan Jones will join the cast in the role of Franklin D. Roosevelt.


It gives me great pleasure to bring ANNIE back to Australian audiences. When I produced this show 12 years ago I was overwhelmed by the response it received. ANNIE is such a well known, well loved production that appeals to so many different age groups. Its popularity means that it is staged once a year in many countries around the world, and I have no doubt that the Australian audiences are well and truly ready to see it again.

This time around, I am especially delighted to be able to work once more with Australia's favourite leading man, Anthony Warlow and theatrical legend Nancye Hayes.

To be taking this wonderful show and the star studded cast on tour in 2012 presents a unique and exciting opportunity to reach a new generation of Australians and it gives me enormous pleasure to think that people Australia wide will again be able to experience this special production.


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marvel Studios 2004 Films; Marvel Entertainment News; Thor II Director Announced


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Marvel Studios changes the release date schedule for their unannounced 2014 mystery movies. Are they planning a third movie? Come let's explore the world of the Marvel Universe, with a focus on Marvel Studios. Oh, it's comics legend Stan Lee's birthday today True Believers.

Marvel Studios has had a tough time keeping to their plan of two theatrical releases per year. Delays with Thor and The Avengers had Iron Man 2 release by itself in 2010 and next year, The Avengers is without a partner since Runaways was indefinitely postponed. For 2013 and 2014 however, it’s back to two films/year or more.

News in from Disney that Marvel would be releasing The Avengers in 3D (post-converted). Marvel Studios also is claiming another release date in 2014 to release one of their films earlier.

Up until now, the official slate of upcoming films from Marvel Studios was scheduled as follows:


The Avengers (May 4)
Runaways (canned)


Iron Man 3 (May 3)
Thor 2 (July 26 pushed back to November 15)


Unknown (May 16)
Unknown (June 27)

The 2014 schedule has changed the June 27 project will now be releasing on April 4th, nearly three months earlier. No information has been provided on the 2014 releases but know The Avengers will get a sequel eventually and that there’s talk of a follow-up for Captain America’s solo outing as well. Reports from two months ago also indicated that Marvel Studios would be working on Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Inhumans after Iron Man 3 and Thor 2.

So, will these 2014 movies simply be sequels to what we already know? Is Edgar Wright’s latest Ant-Man script finally going to be pushed into production? Is Marvel preparing to finally introduce some other characters in solo films? Or, as reported in recent months, is the studio going to take the risk by bringing fans deeper into the Marvel cosmic universe post-Avengers?

Two years might be pushing it for The Avengers 2 so it’s more likely that’ll be a 2015 release, depending on the success of its predecessor at the box office next summer. That would open up the 2014 dates to be used for films launching from characters and storylines introduced in The Avengers. Chris Evans went on record stating that the next time we’d see him suit up as the star-spangled Avenger would be in 2014 at the earliest. Ant-Man has been in development for a very long time and writer/director Edgar Wright told the press at Comic-Con this summer that his latest script was being submitted days later and that they already have concept art.

The Possibilities...

Marvel will add a third release date, either in the summer (maybe making use of that June 27 date) or in the fall, something they’re testing in 2013 with Thor 2. This would allow them to play with interconnected films and/or do more to setup for The Avengers 2 the following year.
Dropping a summer (U.S) date for a spring (U.S) date means one of two things. This mystery project is not a big-budget tentpole or it directly ties into whatever the second movie is in May and needs to come before it. The May date is the most important and has to stay there.

The April release is very likely Ant-Man finally getting his post-Avengers introduction in time for The Avengers 2 or it could be Runaways, the lower-budget film Peter Sollett was going to direct off of Drew Pearce’s script, a script that Marvel apparently really likes, and one that Pearce says could still be adapted after The Avengers. As for the May date, that’s going to be a major project. Expect a Captain America sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy and The Inhumans are actively in development and are possibilities as well, but Marvel will not talk about those until we’ve very close to The Avengers (or afterwards) to avoid fans digging into how those play off and tie-in to what happens in The Avengers. Marvel knows what these films are so there’s very deliberate reasons for not announcing them – it’s because they’re launching off of The Avengers.

Other potential projects include Black Panther, Dr. Stange, Heroes for Hire and a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie.

What would you like to see Marvel Studios do in 2014? Ant-Man and Captain America or a few cosmic movies?

The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard. It is of course written and directed by Joss Whedon, opening in theaters on May 4, 2012.

Game of Thrones veteran to direct Thor 2...

The search for a director for Thor 2 has reportedly ended, with Marvel selecting veteran television director Alan Taylor to helm the sequel.

Taylor's most recent efforts have been for HBO, where he has directed episodes of the period fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Taylor has also directed episodes of the cable series Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and The Sopranos.

He steps in for Monster director Patty Jenkins, who dropped out of Thor 2 citing creative differences with Marvel, movie news website Deadline revealed.

The sequel, which is due to start filming next spring for a November 2013 release, brings back 28-year-old Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding superhero.

Australian Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as the Norse god cast out to live among humans.

In the meantime, fans will be able to see Hemsworth team up with other Marvel stars in The Avengers.

Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner also star in Avengers, which is due out next year.

Chris Hemsworth profile...

Chris Hemsworth (born 11 August 1983) is an Australian actor most notable for portraying Thor in the Marvel Studios film Thor. Hemsworth is set to reprise his role as Thor in the upcoming films The Avengers in 2012 and Thor 2 in 2013. He also starred as Kim Hyde in the Australian soap opera Home and Away. He is the older brother of Liam and the younger brother of Luke Hemsworth.

Mini Biography
Though born in Melbourne, Australia, Hemsworth saw quite a bit of the country in his youth when his family moved first to the Northern Territory before finally settling on Phillip Island top the south of Melbourne.

In 2004, he unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Robbie Hunter in the Australian soap "Home and Away" (1988) but was recalled for the role of Kim Hyde which he played until 2007. In 2006, he entered the Australian version of "Dancing with the Stars" (2004) and his popularity in the soap enabled him to hang on until show 7 ("Dancing with the Stars: Episode #5.7" (2006) when he became the fifth contestant to be eliminated.

His first Hollywood appearance was in Star Trek (2009) but it was his titular role in Thor (2011) which propelled him to prominence worldwide.

His US representative, the management company ROAR, also manages Elsa Pataky and it was through them that the couple met, marrying in 2010. (Credit: IMDB).

Happy Birthday Stan Lee; Marvel Comics Living Legend...

Happy 89th birthday to one of Marvel’s founding fathers, “The Man” himself, Stan Lee! Without Stan, the Marvel Universe as we know it would not exist.

"There is no bigger star in all of comics," Marc Nathan of Baltimore Comic-Con — where Stan was the featured guest last summer — tells Comic Riffs.

The path to stardom was many decades in the making. Stanley “Stan Lee” Lieber broke into the business as a teenager in the late-’30s, hired by ”Captain America” co-creator Joe Simon as an office assistant. As Simon told Comic Riffs, Stanley was soon writing the filler prose that Timely Comics (Marvel’s precursor) needed to secure better mailing rates. (Simon, the first editor at Timely Comics, died earlier this month at age 98.)

By the early ‘60s, Stan seriously contemplated quitting Timely/Marvel, which had been launched by his relative Martin Goodman. But at the advice of his longtime wife, Joanie, Stan says he took a shot at writing superheroes the way he wanted to - relatable and with many human aspects.

Working with such fellow legends as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, of course, Lee and his “Marvel method” would launch the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man and X-Men. (Other talents in that famed stable included Gene Colan — who died this year at age 84 — as well as Stan’s own brother, Larry Lieber, who first scripted Thor.)

“There’s no question that Stan and the innovations he came up with saved the comic book and the superhero,” Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, has told Comic Riffs — noting that Lee and the artists he worked with “made me want to do this professionally.”

“By crafting characters with feet of clay and personal problems — and not writing down to an audience that was perceived to be primarily 8-year-olds — Stan opened the doorway for more sophisticated and interesting treatments of any subject matter in comics,” Brevoort says. “He made comics interesting and rel­evant and fun again.”

Stan Lee quotes...

“I’d just like a Cabinet position [in the current White House]. For comic books. I’d be secretary of comics — something simple.”

“Being associated with Disney is the dream of a lifetime. The things Disney did just knocked me out [when I was young] — Mickey Mouse to Bambi and Pinocchio and Snow White. And then there were the nature movies and now movies like ’Pirates of the Caribbean.’ I think they’re wonderful movie marketers — they’re the best marketers you can find anyhwere. And to combine them with Marvel — the two companies I’m in love with the most.”

"I’m very lucky to still being doing this. I seem to get a good reception [when I pitch entertainment ideas]. I hope I can sell a lot more movies. And it would be nice to win an Oscar one day."

That's a wrap True Believers (References: Marvel Entertainment, Disney, IMDB, Google News, Wikipedia, POW! Entertainment, Dark Horizons, Comic Book Movies, Box Office Mojo and Paramount Pictures).


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Star Lyric Theatre To Open Annie The Musical In Sydney


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The Star, owned and operated by Echo Entertainment, has organised a media call for this coming Tuesday 3rd January at the Lyric Theatre.

We will be attending to cover the ever-popular Broadway musical Annie prior to the official opening night of the show at 7pm on Thursday January 5, 2012.

Three musical numbers from the show will be performed, and afterwards producer John Frost and lead cast members Anthony Warlow, Nancye Hayes, Todd McKenney, Chloe Dallimore, Julie Goodwin and Alan Jones will be giving interviews and be available for photograph opportunities and more.

The musical numbers will be:

It’s the Hard Knock Life – featuring the children’s cast

Easy Street – featuring Nancye Hayes, Todd McKenney and Chloe Dallimore

A New Deal for Christmas – featuring Anthony Warlow, Julie Goodwin, Alan Jones and the ensemble cast.

Based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”, the musical Annie burst into popularity in 1977 when it opened on Broadway. After running there for nearly six years, it has played in over 22 countries worldwide including the UK, Argentina, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Australia. Annie became a smash-hit movie musical in 1982 starring Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney and Carol Burnett that is adored worldwide and a fixture of popular culture references.

Annie is full of toe-tapping hits which have become staples of musical theatre repertoires worldwide and now, 34 years on, it remains one of the most loved and universally appealing musicals of all time.

Annie plays in Sydney until March 25 before a national tour.

It all marks another interesting development in the Australian casino wars, as agency, Media Man has been calling it for a few years now, and it will be interesting to see how Melbourne based competitor of The Star, Crown Casino, responds with their entertainment line up, which is also ramping up on the west coast on Australia with the newly named Crown Perth (formally Burswood Entertainment Centre).

The battle for the Australian entertainment dollar continues, and certainly Sydney's The Star is going full speed ahead and betting that world class entertainment will remain paramount in the quest to bring more punters to land based casinos and entertainment complexes.

Media blurb we secured...

The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie is back, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. Boasting one of Broadway's most memorable scores, including It's the Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, N.Y.C. and the ever-optimistic Tomorrow, Annie is one of the most awarded and loved musicals of all time. Reprising one of his all-time favourite roles as the charismatic and sophisticated New York ‘zillionaire' Daddy Warbucks, is Anthony Warlow. He will be joined by the ever-popular Nancye Hayes playing everyone's favourite villain, Miss Hannigan. Todd McKenney, ChloĆ« Dallimore and Julie Goodwin also bring their talents to this delightful musical. And in a special treat, radio star Alan Jones will join the cast in the role of Franklin D. Roosevelt.


It gives me great pleasure to bring ANNIE back to Australian audiences. When I produced this show 12 years ago I was overwhelmed by the response it received. ANNIE is such a well known, well loved production that appeals to so many different age groups. Its popularity means that it is staged once a year in many countries around the world, and I have no doubt that the Australian audiences are well and truly ready to see it again.

This time around, I am especially delighted to be able to work once more with Australia's favourite leading man, Anthony Warlow and theatrical legend Nancye Hayes.

To be taking this wonderful show and the star studded cast on tour in 2012 presents a unique and exciting opportunity to reach a new generation of Australians and it gives me enormous pleasure to think that people Australia wide will again be able to experience this special production.


The Star

Annie The Musical

Lyric Theatre

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'Mission: Impossible' Energizes Holiday Box Office With Robust $46.2M


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It's Mission Accomplished for "Mission: Impossible."

The Tom Cruise action movie ruled the multiplex throughout the holiday weekend -- and helped boost overall box office numbers to 8 percent above the same four-day period last year.

"M:I:4" is looking at $46.2 million for the four-day weekend.

Christmas Day was especially strong. On Sunday alone, "Mission: Impossible" grossed an estimated $13.6 million, No. 2 "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" grossed $9.6 million, No. 3 "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" grossed $4.5 million and No. 4 "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" grossed $5.6 million.

The strong Christmas weekend was welcome, particularly after a miserable few weeks at the box office.

Several high-budget, high-profile movies debuted in the days leading up to Christmas.

Among them: Sony's "Dragon Tattoo," a two-hour 40-minute hard-R film that opened Tuesday evening and missed expectations for the four days, and Steven Spielberg's PG-rated motion-capture animation "The Adventures of Tintin." That movie opened Wednesday and is in fifth place for the long weekend.

Most of the numbers matched expectations for Christmas Day, but there was a surprise: Steven Spielberg's PG-13 World War I epic "War Horse" opened to a particularly robust $7.5 million on Sunday. The DreamWorks picture is expected to gross another $7.5 million on Monday.

Considering that Disney, which distributes for DreamWorks, figured the movie would pull in $6 million over both days, the number is especially impressive.

Sunday's other new movie, Summit/New Regency's PG-13 sci-fi thriller "The Darkest Hour," opened to $3 million -- in line with studio projections. That movie, which the audience polling company Cinemascore gave a harsh "C-plus" grade, is expected to gross $5.5 million through Monday.

And opening in limited release, Warner Bros.' "Extremely Loud an Incredibly Close" debuted at six locations in three cities Sunday, grossing $71,861 -- a per-location average of about $12,000.

With no new major movies opening Friday, Hollywood expects this weekend's solid numbers to grow larger.

"There's a lot of good cheer going on around the industry -- at least for this weekend," Rory Bruer, Sony's distribution chief, told TheWrap Monday morning. "Certainly, leading up to it hasn't been that great, but it feels very good right now."

His studio's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" -- one of the most anticipated movies of the year -- was in fourth place for the four day period, taking in $12.75 million over three days and $19.4 million over four. That's just below expectations.

The movie, directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, has grossed a total of $27.7 million and had a budget estimated at about $100 million.

Sony had figured the movie would take about $13 million over the three days and in the low-to-mid $20 million range for the four days.

Still, Bruer said the film "is off to a good start and it's just going to get better with every day through the rest of the holiday season and well into the new year."

But the weekend belonged to "M:I:4."

"Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol," which cost an estimated $145 million to make, grossed $29.5 million over the three days from Friday to Sunday and $46.2 million from Friday to Monday. That gives the Paramount/Skydance movie a domestic total of $78.64 million and an international gross of more than $150 million.

The PG-13 movie is on track to beat the 2006 "Mission: Impossible III," which grossed $134 million domestically and nearly $264 million abroad. It also looks like Tom Cruise's biggest hit since 2000's "Mission: Impossible II," which took in $215.4 million domestically and nearly $331 million internationally.

"M:I:4," directed by Brad Bird, is playing at 3,448 domestic locations in its second week of release.

The No. 2 movie of the weekend was "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," which took $20.2 million over three days and $31.8 million over four. It played at 3,703 locations and has a total of $90.56 million.

That movie, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, cost about $125 million to make. It opened to $39.6 million on Dec. 16.

The film opened in first place on Dec. 16. Warners notes that "Sherlock" is now the highest-grossing domestic film of December.

In third place for the four days, Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks took $20 million -- $12.65 for the three days.

The studio's "We Bought a Zoo," which opened on Friday, meanwhile, was in seventh place for the four days, grossing $15.6 million.

Cameron Crowe wrote and directed the movie, which stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. It is about a father who -- as the name implies -- who buys a struggling zoo in the countryside and, with his family, tries to renovate and reopen it.

Chris Aronson, Fox's head of domestic distribution, told TheWrap that 41 percent of the movie's audience was younger than 25, while 59 percent was older.

Younger audiences loved the movie, he said, giving it a Cinemascore of "A-plus." Its overall score was an A.

"Now people are available to go, and they're going to start discovering how wonderful this movie is," Aronson said. "There are a lot of satisfying movies in the marketplace, and now people have time to go see them."

Disney is expecting the same out of "War Horse."

Like "Dragon Tattoo," it is long -- nearly 2 1/2 hours -- which means fewer screenings per day than shorter films.

Despite the length and subject matter -- it's about a horse during World War I -- it did well across the country.

Disney's Hollis noted that the movie's top location was the Arclight in Sherman Oaks -- and its second-best location was the Warren 14 in Moore, OK.

"It's not often that you get to say that Moore, Oklahoma is your second-biggest grossing theater," Hollis said. "It feels like we're going to be the family choice for the week, which will again set us up for a great five, 10 more days of business."

"War Horse" is the second Spielberg movie now in release.

The first is "The Adventures of Tintin," based on the Belgian comic books.

Paramount's movie, which had a budget of $135 million has grossed more than $240 million internationally, and received a Cinemascore of "A-minus."

In its opening weekend domestically, it skewed slightly male: 55 percent of the audience was male and 45 was female. It also skewed slightly younger, with 51 percent of moviegoers younger than 25.

3D made up 74 percent of the movie's gross.

Last year's 4-day weekend also included Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In 2010, "Little Fockers" grossed $39 million over four days and ultimately took $150 million. "True Grit" grossed $32 million over four days and grossed a total of $171 million.

Here are the top 10 movies of the four days:

"Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" ($46.2m)

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" ($31.8m)

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" ($20m)

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" ($19.4m)

"The Adventures of Tintin" ($16.1m)

"We Bought a Zoo" ($15.6m)

"War Horse" ($15m)

"The Darkest Hour" ($5.5m)

"New Year's Eve" ($5m)

"The Muppets" ($3.35m)

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Profiles; PartyCasino And PartyPoker Get New Promotions And Games


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

UFC® Sydney Alves vs. Kampmann


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The Ultimate Fighting Championship® organisation has announced it will return to Australia with UFC® Sydney Alves vs. Kampmann to be held at Sydney's Allphones Arena on Saturday 3 March 2012. Following two sell-out shows in this country, this highly anticipated event pits two of the UFC's most explosive welterweights against each other and also sees the debut of the flyweight division with a two-bout tournament to decide the top contenders at 125-pounds (56.7kg).

Tickets for UFC® Sydney Alves vs. Kampmann will be available to UFC Fight Club members from Monday 19 December, 10am and to UFC Newsletter subscribers from Tuesday 20 December, 10am, before going on general release through Ticketek on Wednesday 21 December 21 at 10am (times are AEDT). Tickets are priced from $75 to $425.

Marshall Zelaznik, Managing Director of UFC's International Development, said: "The UFC is thrilled to return to Sydney for its third live event in three years. We've had tremendous success with our two previous events, with last year's UFC 127 remaining the equal fastest sell-out in the organisation's history. I've got no doubt that our Aussie fans will be just as excited about our March event, especially as they'll witness UFC history with the introduction of the flyweight division. The 125-pound contenders will absolutely put everything on the line is Sydney, knowing that the winners of those two bouts will then have a shot at the inaugural flyweight title. It's going to be a great show!"

Saturday 3 March - Allphones Arena, Sydney



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Friday, December 16, 2011

Battle of the Smashers II At Drummoyne Oval On 18th December 2011


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Join NRL stars Robbie Farah, Chris Lawrence, Chris Heighington, Paul Gallen, Nathan Hindmarsh,
NSW Origin coach Ricky Stuart, NRL boss David Gallop, league legends Paul Sironen, Brad Clyde,
Hazem El Masri and Aussie football great Mark Bosnich in the Waugh Zone.

Entry is by donation and all funds will assist The Steve Waugh Foundation to provide children
suffering from rare diseases with a fighting chance and ‘somewhere to turn’.

The champion NSW Breakers start the action-packed day by playing Queensland in cricket’s answer to State of Origin. This Twenty20 game features some of Australia’s best female cricketers, including superstar Ellyse Perry who has represented her nation in soccer and cricket.

There’s something for everyone!

• Celebrities and sporting champions
• A world class athletics event
• Autograph booths and photo opportunities with celebrities
• A free kids coaching clinic hosted by the Sydney Cricket Club
• Native animal display
• Santa, face painting, music and much, much more.

Other ways you can get involved in this great community event include:

• Corporate sponsorship
• Join the 12th Man Club and for $500 be part of a team
• Twenty20 team fundraising - put in $20 yourself and get 20 friends to join in and donate to the Foundation
• Make a personal donation to the Foundation.

Game I: 9.30am-1pm
NSW Breakers v Queensland Fire

Game II: 2-6pm
Canada Bay Exiles v Waugh’s Warriors

Steve Waugh’s Warriors XVI

Steve Waugh (c) (Australian cricket great)
Ricky Stuart (vc) (NSW Origin coach)
Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks)
Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta Eels)
Michael Crocker (South Sydney)
Brad Clyde (Canberra Raiders great)
Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters)
Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels)
Johnny Mannah (Parramatta Eels)
Steve Mortimer (Canterbury great)
Gavin Robertson (ex-Test cricketer)
Bill Harrigan (NRL referees)
Troy Waters (Hall of Fame boxer)
David Kelly (Sydney Cricket Club)
Bill Woods (Channel 10)

Canada Bay Exiles XVI

Dominic Thornely (c) (Sydney Sixers)
Robbie Farah (vc) (Wests Tigers)
Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers)
Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers)
Todd Payten (Wests Tigers)
Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
Paul Sironen (Balmain legend)
Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs legend)
Daniel Mortimer (Sydney Roosters)
David Gallop (NRL Chief Executive)
Bill Young (Wallabies)
Mark Bosnich (Socceroos)
Daniel Smith (Sydney Thunder)
Daniel Lane (The Sun-Herald)
Angelo Tsirekas (Mayor of Canada Bay)
Neil Cadigan (Media)

“I’m proud the City of Canada Bay is supporting The Steve Waugh Foundation through the Battle of the Smashers II and I would encourage for everyone to come along and support a great family day out. Steve Waugh’s Foundation offers children affected by a rare disease hope and comfort.”
Angelo Tsirekas, Mayor of the City of Canada Bay

“I believe you’re only as good as the team around you. Thanks to everyone involved and who comes along to the Battle of the Smashers to support us. I’m looking forward to a fun day out with a team of good mates and sporting champions playing for kids and families affected by rare diseases. Always 100.” Australian cricket great Steve Waugh AO

“Steve Waugh was described in the media as “heroic” for the courage he displayed as a cricketer, but nothing matched what he’s achieved through his Foundation. Waugh has provided hope and compassion to families who, before his intervention, may’ve feared no-one cared about their child’s plight.” Sun-Herald sports journalist Daniel Lane, managing director of
BombsAway Productions

“As one of the teams he played against, Sydney Cricket Club is happy to support Steve Waugh and his magnificent Foundation. Come to Drummoyne on December 18th and help him make a
difference to a sick child’s life. We’re grateful for the opportunity to co-host such a wonderful event. Sydney Cricket Club’s General Manager, David Kelly


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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Crown Casino And Crown Limited News Update


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Australian land based casinos continue their entertainment push, with big name celebrities and more expensive casino re-vamps in the works. The massive casino image make-over may have started in 'Sin City' Sydney and spread to Melbourne, but now Perth is centre stage, but not without the usual hassles that are known to hit casinos. As they say, high risk, high rewards, and sometimes even the house doesn't win, which is good news for punters.

Crown emergency as toddler almost drowns - 12th December 2011...

A three-year-old boy who almost drowned in a pool at the Crown casino complex had been signed into the area by an adult.

Staff members found the boy floating face down in the pool just after 5pm yesterday.

Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill said a trained pool attendant responded to a call for help.

The boy was pulled unconscious from the water, he was treated at the scene and emergency services alerted, Mr O’Neill said.

It is understood family members were close by.

Mr O’Neill said, as was policy in the area, the child had been signed into the pool complex by an adult.

Intensive care paramedic Alan Eade said the boy was unconscious when he was pulled from the water.

"Staff put the boy on his side and tilted his head back, which helped open his airway [to] ensure he was breathing," Mr Eade said.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade continued providing the boy with oxygen until paramedics arrived.
The boy was discharged from the Royal Children's Hospital.

Crown casino car fire sets off sprinklers - 13th December 2011...

A car on fire in the underground Crown casino carpark has sent plumes of smoke through one of its levels.

MFB fire crews were called to the scene about 4pm after the engine caught alight, setting off the basement's sprinklers.

Five fire crews were unable to drive trucks into the carpark and were forced to hook up to hydrants set up inside the basement.

The cause of the fire, which destroyed the car, is unknown.

An MFB spokesman said smoke extraction fans were being used to clear the smoke, which was billowing out the basement doors.

Burswood Entertainment Complex To Become Crown Perth...

James Packer has confirmed the Burswood Entertainment Complex will be renamed Crown Perth and "new and exciting" projects were coming up for the entertainment and gaming hotspot.

The new branding would place Burswood in a better position to compete with world-class integrated resorts popping up throughout Asia, and reinforced his belief in the complex and its future, Mr Packer said.

Speaking at the Burswood Convention Centre, the Crown Ltd boss said Australia was falling behind Asian nations such as Singapore, Macau and the Philippines in the increasingly lucrative but also competitive international tourism market.

One hundred million Chinese were expected to travel overseas by 2020, spending $800 billion per year.

Asian governments were playing a more active role in boosting their tourism sectors, funding multi-million dollar tourism infrastructure projects and heavily promoting their new integrated resorts in state tourism campaigns, Mr Packer said.

Macau, for example, had overtaken Las Vegas as the number one destination for gaming tourists. Singapore was projected to do so next year, while the Philippines had stated its aim to become number two in the market.

In return for the public investment, Singapore reaped its largest ever growth in global domestic product, 14.5 per cent.

Mr Packer said Australia was missing out and governments had to be more proactive in improving the country's international tourism appeal or the potential would slip away.

In particular, he called on the federal government to relax its policy on direct flights to Asia, improve the ease of access to Australian visas and make airports more efficient.

"We must listen to the customer and increase investment in tourism infrastructure and related services and activities," he said.

Crown Perth To Power Ahead

Burswood is half-way through a $750 million refurbishment instigated after Crown purchased the 26-year-old site in 2004.

It is due to be completed by the end of 2012, at which time it will become Crown Perth.
"I'm determined that this property will be at least as good as Crown Melbourne or Crown Macau," Mr Packer said.

"[The rebranding also would help] create two of the best integrated tourism resorts in our region and assist Australia to become a more attractive tourism destination for the critical Chinese tourism market.

"We don't think we're there yet in terms of this facility (Burswood). Putting the Crown brand on it is a statement that we are going to get there."

Mr Packer admitted his company would benefit financially from the state government's planned sports stadium at the site but said he had not been approached to pitch in for costs and nor would he have if he was asked.

"If asked, our response would have been we're not in the stadium business, they're not a good business," he said.

"Now that the Premier has decided to put it there, we're very grateful.

"It's going to fundamentally change the Burswood Peninsula."

Mr Packer all but confirmed the present golf course would have to go to make room for the stadium but said he would like to see it rebuilt at a later date.

"It's highly likely that we will, in time, develop new and exciting projects that aren't included in the $750 million capital expenditure," he said.

"Things like golf are part of trying to build a tourism destination that is truly world class.
"We want to do much more here. We believe in this city, we believe in this state, we think as a company we are lucky to be here."

The Perth waterfront redevelopment

Mr Packer said the state government's massive waterfront redevelopment would do wonders for the city's tourism appeal.

"This city has an almost unique opportunity to take some of the waterfront that is still available and to fantastic things," he said.

"One of the things that always excites me is to see that there's so much land available and so many great things that could be done with it."

Mr Packer said many of his customers would eventually engage more with Perth if their experience was good.

They would potentially send their children to education here or for medical services.

Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions' Poker Tournament In January; PartyPoker Offering Qualifiers...

Poker players have an opportunity to win a seat to the world famous Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions' Poker Championship coming in January 2012. Head on over to Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's for more information. Good luck on the tables.

Punter's, remember, if you visit a casino you are taking a gamble - a bigger one than that you first bargained for. Little wonder for the rise in popularity of online casino games like the ones offered by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment which now even has competitions where online poker players can win qualifiers to see them seated at Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions Poker Tournament' this coming January. Casino game players may also like to check out the vast selection of games such as slots, blackjack, roulette and craps at New players can get up to $3000 sign up bonus. Good luck.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack Birthday Extravaganza


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A three part birthday extravaganza kicked off Sunday, celebrating Frank Sinatra's Birthday and to benefit the Alzheimer's Association's California Southland Chapter.

Old Blue Eyes would have turned 96 on Monday. The three-part gala, starting at Sinatra's old Twin Palms estate, will celebrate the life, artistry and birthday of the Hoboken, N.J.-born crooner who came into the world in 1915.

Named for Sinatra's 10th studio album, "A Swingin' Affair," the fundraiser will start with a cocktail party at Sinatra's Twin Palms estate. Canadian jazz artist Matt Dusk will play at Twin Palms, an estate designed by architect E. Stewart Williams where Sinatra and his first wife, Nancy, then Ava Gardner, lived.

Afterward, the fun will move to the Riviera Palm Springs, where actress Pamela Anderson will be holding court in the Starlite Lounge, helping deep-pocket supporters find their checkbooks.

At the Riviera, where the late singer held many of his famous parties, son Frank Sinatra Jr. and his Big Band Orchestra will handle the entertainment, along with Broadway star Lainie Kazan.

Of course, there's also an after-party, beginning at 11:30 p.m. at the Starlite Lounge in the Riviera.

Pamela Anderson, Frank Sinatra Jr., The X Factor's Phillip Lomax, & America's Got Talent's Daniel Joseph Baker Perform at A Swingin' Affair! Gala

Superstar performances set for Frank Sinatra's Birthday Bash in Palm Springs, Tickets Nearly Sold-Out for Alzheimer's Association Benefit


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PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Dec. 6, 2011 - A Swingin' Affair!, the Frank Sinatra birthday gala to benefit the Alzheimer's Association on Dec. 11 in Palm Springs, is becoming as star-studded as the late Sinatra's life.

Recently added to the lineup of spectacular talent are Phillip Lomax, whose crooner ways led him to the Top 17 on this season of The X Factor, and actor/singer Luca Ellis, who just earned three Ovation nominations for his musical on Frank Sinatra, Hoboken to Hollywood. They join the previously announced Pamela Anderson, Frank Sinatra Jr., America's Got Talent's Daniel Joseph Baker, Matt Dusk, and Lainie Kazan.

The three-stop event kicks off with an exclusive VIP cocktail hour at Sinatra's former Twin Palms estate, which was designed by famed architect E. Stewart Williams and lived in by Sinatra and first wife Nancy and then Ava Gardner. Canadian jazz artist Matt Dusk, who has three No. 1 international hits under his belt, will perform and cocktails and canapes will be served poolside from 2-5 p.m.

Stop two of the night is the Grand Gala at the posh Riviera Palm Springs Resort & Spa where Sinatra held most of his lavish parties. Architect and visionary Irwin Schuman designed the historic location and the event will be fashioned in the grand Hollywood Regency style. Pamela Anderson serves as hostess of the night, with performances by Frank Sinatra Jr. and his Big Band Orchestra, singer/pianist Daniel Joseph Baker from season 6 of America's Got Talent, Phillip Lomax from The X Factor, Matt Dusk, and actress/Broadway star Lainie Kazan. A sumptuous three-course dinner will be served and cocktails will be flowing.

The night closes with an after-party, starting at 11:30 p.m., at the swanky Starlite Lounge in the Riviera. Daniel Joseph Baker will once again perform, as well as the aforementioned Phillip Lomax and Luca Ellis. Cocktails will be flowing into the wee small hours of the morning. A special toast and a cake will be cut in honor of Sinatra's birthday. (He would've been 96 years old this year.)

A limited number of tickets are still available for all three parts of the gala and can be purchased by calling 760-561-5561 or on the website,

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association works on a global, national and local level to enhance care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias. Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible degeneration of the brain that causes disruptions in memory, cognition, personality, and other functions that eventually leads to death from complete brain failure. Over 5.4 million Americans age 65 and older are thought to have Alzheimer's disease. Learn more at:

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Marvel Studios Considering ‘Game of Thrones’ Vets Alan Taylor and Daniel Minahan to Direct ‘Thor 2′; Will Also Hire a New Writer Marvel website website


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Marvel’s search for a Thor 2 director isn’t going as originally planned. Patty Jenkins was on tap to direct the sequel to the summer blockbuster, but left the project citing the generic “creative differences” bit as the reason why she is departing from directing Thor 2. The latest events have left Marvel scrambling to find someone to direct the movie before its November 15, 2013 release date.

According to THR, Marvel head to familiar ground but is coming back with some very unfamiliar names. The trade reports that Game of Thrones’ helmers Alan Taylor and Daniel Minahan are in the running to direct Thor 2. Marvel’s first choice for director was Brian Kirk, who also has Game of Thrones experience.

Some of Taylor’s credits include 1996’s Palookaville, but he has become a huge cable TV helmer, directing episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos (Credit: IMDB)

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As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Casino Executive Based In Las Vegas Not A Fan Of Online Gambling; Competitor Is Pro Online Casino - Poker, by Greg Tingle - 8th December 2011

World's Richest Casino Exec Not So Keen On Online Casinos, Poker...


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You may not of heard of this cashed up gambling and property tycoon, but he's happy to share his thoughts on online gambling, especially when it comes to his U.S turf. No, it's not Donald Trump, Steve Wynn or even Richard Branson. Meet Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson is by all accounts the world's wealthiest casino executive and top dog of the industry's largest publicly traded company, says he is against online gambling because he doesn't believe available technology is good enough at the moment to prevent young people from making wagers on the Internet, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Adelson's sharing his personal viewpoint is just that - personal - rather than a formal stance taken by his firm that owns and operates casino-resorts in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and Bethlehem, Pa., Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said.

Reese advised Adelson hasn't spoken with the company's board about his position, nor has the board decided an online gambling plan.

"It's a personal observation of concerns about technology," Reese said.

The opposition comes at a time when numerous other operators, including Caesars Entertainment Corp and MGM Resorts International, have backed an industry push to legalize online poker and let established land based casinos offer the service in the U.S. MGM Resorts International even went as far as to ink a deal with world's leading igaming firm Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.

Poker, which involves a combination of skill and luck (as ruled in legal cases), now huge on the internet (see World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker), has been illegal online for real money since a 2006 law was brought in and ruled against igaming operators from providing games by preventing financial institutions from processing funds for the majority of online gaming.

The land based casino sector has swayed over the years from anti online gambling to largely pro online gambling, of course, with them getting some of the financial rewards. The bricks and mortar casinos have seen some of their punters go online to bet, with the traditional casinos missing out of the action. It's unclear how much revenue traditional casinos are down, thanks to online casinos, but a Media Man spokesperson said "Online casinos have cost land based casinos in the U.S and elsewhere, many millions, if not billions of dollars. Vegas and Atlantic City land based casinos are down. People still like to bet and the internet serves them well, be it for poker, casino, sports betting or slots".

The American Gaming Association, the leading U.S gaming lobby group, has switched from a neutral stance to pro actively pursuing federal legislation that would allow for legalization and regulation of online poker. Online poker could be a lead in to online casino games.

Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the American Gaming Association, said he met with Adelson on Monday and Adelson advised him he'll oppose legislation to legalize online poker on U.S soil.

"Sheldon has long had concerns about this issue, and it is perfectly within his right to make this decision," Fahrenkopf said in a statement. "However, the AGA, at the direction of our board of directors, will continue to support federal legislation to allow states to license and regulate online poker."

The online gambling industry is not seeking to legalize other games like blackjack, craps and slots online. Those games are a different kind of animal because players wager against the house. In poker, players wager against each other and operators take a fee from each pot in exchange for hosting the game. Of course if online poker becomes totally legal in the U.S, this may lead to online casino games also becoming totally legal in the states.

The matter of online poker has heated up among players and casino executives in the past 12 months. U.S. Senate Majority Leader last year pitched a blueprint to legalize poker that fell short without legislation being introduced. Last April, three of the largest online gaming operators who offered online poker in defiance of the law had their websites seized and executives indicted by the U.S. Justice Department, accused of financial crimes including fraud and money laundering for disguising payments for gambling funds as transactions for things like flowers and golf balls. The day it all went down, including sites going down et al, is known in igaming circles as 'Black Friday'.

After the indictments, the estimated $6 billion U.S. online poker market dived overnight, leaving many players unable to access funds in online poker bankrolls.

Then, with the "big three" poker websites closed out of the U.S, the American Casino Association became more active in urging lawmakers to close loopholes and draw up better regulations.

One thing is for certain. Online poker and online casino players are not going to want to stop playing the games they love. Players are mainly sticking to brands they know and trust with some of the leading contenders being World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker.

Australian casino mogul James Packer's Crown Casino has the 'Aussie Millions Poker Championship' coming up in Melbourne this January and providers such as are even offering qualifying poker matches, where players get to 'Win a seat to Aussie Millions'. Bwin.Party's World Poker Tour is also broadcast of American and Australian pay television, which online helps fuel the popularity of online gambling.

Fahrenkopf advised his casino association wants federal legislation that allows U.S states to decide whether to offer poker to its residents, keeps youngsters from gambling online and lets law enforcement shut down illegal operators.

If you enjoy a punt, please bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.


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Donald Trump says US should legalize Internet betting...

Donald Trump has witnessed lots of money side slipping him, and he's hoping that situation changes soon.

The real estate, gaming and entertainment tsar, and founder of an Atlantic City casino company says the US should legalize internet gambling. The company that bears his name, Trump Entertainment Resorts, is moving forward with plans to establish an online betting venture... just as soon as it is legal to do so.

The company says it wants to get in on the ground floor of the internet gambling industry, and is close to selecting a joint venture partner to run an online gambling operation. The idea is to be well-placed and ready to go as soon as such activity is legalized in the United States.

"It should be approved here," Trump told news media. "An awful lot of money is leaving the U.S. that should and could stay in this country."

Trump Entertainment, which includes Donald Trump and daughter, Ivanka, and the Avenue Capital hedge fund, would own 10% of the new business venture.

Donald Trump advised the key to success in the online gambling market is having the best brand.

"We think we have the hottest brand there is, the Trump brand, my personal brand," he said. "We think it's going to do phenomenally well."

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trump Entertainment said it has "determined that such a joint venture represents the most advantageous way for the company to participate in opportunities in online gaming at minimal cost to the company."

No cost estimates were given, and Robert Griffin, the company's CEO, declined to comment Thursday. But in March, after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill passed by New Jersey lawmakers that would have allowed Internet betting solely within New Jersey's borders, Griffin said the money lost to offshore operators should benefit New Jersey.

The new law would seen New Jersey become the first state in the nation to allow Internet betting.

"Currently, millions of Americans engage in online gaming with illegal offshore operators, and do so with no oversight, no regulation or no consumer protections," Griffin said at the time. "It makes sense for the state of New Jersey to regulate this activity, enforce strict standards to ensure games are fair and safe, and in turn be able to collect tax revenue instead of having those dollars and the jobs they support leaving New Jersey and going illegally overseas."

Christie advised he vetoed the law fearing it was unconstitutional and could lead to an explosion of betting parlors throughout the state. By law, gambling in New Jersey is restricted to gaming hotspot Atlantic City.

But a New Jersey lawmaker is asserting that individual states in fact have the legal right to offer in-state Internet gambling within their own borders.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, wrote in July to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asserting that New Jersey and all other states can legally offer online betting within their borders.

Lesniak said he will introduce legislation in November to address the prime concerns expressed by Christie.

The filing said the company, Donald and Ivanka Trump, and Avenue Capital have signed an agreement authorizing the joint venture once it becomes legal, and that prohibits any of them from seeking other online gambling ventures through May 2012.

Atlantic City is in the midst of a nearly 5-year revenue slump brought on by increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states, and worsened by the continuing unsteady economy. It's also speculated that many AC businesses have not adapted well to the internet medium.

Just a few online gaming companies that are understood to be interested in coming to business terms with Trump include Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Richard Branson's Virgin Games and PKR. Most experts see Bwin.Party as the best bet, as they don't have any outstanding issues with the US Department of Justice, and have been playing by the rules (law) for many years, while other gambling companies continue to go after U.S players.

Internet gambling is legal in many countries, with the U.S being a glaring exception.

Media Man is following up.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Martin Scorsese Confirms Next Project Is "Silence", by Greg Tingle - 7th December 2011


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Motion picture producer - director genius Martin Scorsese has demanded attention over the past number of years not only with the movies delivers at the cinema, but with the films that he has in development.

Thus far he ties to a a remake of The Gambler with Leonardo DiCaprio (isn't Leo super busy these days), a reunion with Robert DeNiro in The Irishman, and the crime flick, The Snowman. Now we learn via Bleeding Cool that during an interview on Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode’s Radio Five show on BBC Radio, Scorsese appeared confident that his next film will be an adaptation of Shusako Endo's 1966 novel, Silence.

Silence is focused on two Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan and how one of them renounced Christianity after being tortured during the anti-Christian movements in the 1600's. How different is that to the gangster movies that Scorsese built his career upon. He's one of the world's most diverse producer - directors having pumped out such greats as Taxi Driver, Hugo, and The Aviator.

An issue that has arisen is that Scorsese's original choice for one of the missionaries was Daniel Day-Lewis, who is currently busy filming Lincoln with Steven Spielberg. It's not known whether Scorsese will wait for Lewis to become available again, or if he will recast the role.

In any event, Silence is looking good so far, and we really like the sound of Scorsese's 17th century Japan.

Quotes By Martin Scorsese...

And as I've gotten older, I've had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things.

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out.

Eradicating a religion of kindness is, I think, a terrible thing for the Chinese to attempt.

Every year or so, I try to do something; it keeps me refreshed as to what's going on in front of the lens, and I understand what the actor is going through.

Howard Hughes was this visionary who was obsessed with speed and flying like a god... I loved his idea of what filmmaking was.

I also saw the Dalai Lama a few times.

I always say that I've been in a bad mood for maybe 35 years now. I try to lighten it up, but that's what comes out when you get me on camera.

I can't really envision a time when I'm not shooting something.

I certainly wasn't able to get it when I was a kid growing up on the Lower East Side; it was very hard at that time for me to balance what I really believed was the right way to live with the violence I saw all around me - I saw too much of it among the people I knew.

I do know that some Buddhists are able to attain peace of mind.

I don't agree with everything he did in his life, but we're dealing with this Howard Hughes, at this point. And also ultimately the flaw in Howard Hughes, the curse so to speak.

I grew up within Italian-American neighborhoods, everybody was coming into the house all the time, kids running around, that sort of stuff, so when I finally got into my own area, so to speak, to make films, I still carried on.

I just wanted to be an ordinary parish priest.

I know there were many good policemen who died doing their duty. Some of the cops were even friends of ours. But a cop can go both ways.

I love studying Ancient History and seeing how empires rise and fall, sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

I love the look of planes and the idea of how a plane flies. The more I learn about it the better I feel; while I still may not like it, I have a sense of what is really happening.

I think there's only one or two films where I've had all the financial support I needed. All the rest, I wish I'd had the money to shoot another ten days.

I think what happened there was just the budget would be too big to build these sets because nothing really exists here in New York of that period; you have to build it all.

I was born in 1942, so I was mainly aware of Howard Hughes' name on RKO Radio Pictures.

I'm going to be 60, and I'm almost used to myself.


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Poker News Media: Andrey Pateychuk Wins WPT Prague - 6th December 2011


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Andrey Pateychuk probably felt extremely lucky to even be at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Prague final table. This year’s European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo Main Event champ found himself all-in with A-K late on Day 3, only to see his opponent flop a set of 9’s. The poker gods were with him, though, as he hit a runner-runner Broadway straight to double-up and eventually head to the final table in the third spot with over 2 million chips. He was still 4 million chips behind the chip leader, Stanislaw Kretz, and 2.5 million behind Benjamin Pollak, but no matter. Pateychuk ran through the final table Monday to win his second major tournament in less than two months, raking $630,263 in the process.

When the final table began, here was what the landscape looked like:

Stanislaw Kretz – 6,300,000
Benjamin Pollak – 4,865,000
Andrey Pateychuk – 2,310,000
Sigurd Eskelund – 1,575,000
Adria Balaguer – 1,315,000
Russell Carson – 725,000

As might have been expected, Russell Carson was the first to go. Having already lost some chips, he moved all-in pre-flop with 5-5 and Kretz made the call with Q-9. Kretz took the lead on the 9-6-3 flop, though the 8 on the turn gave Carson a shot at a gut-shot straight. It wasn’t to be, though, as the river blanked and Carson was eliminated in 6th place.

About a half hour later, Sigurd Eskelund raised pre-flop to 125,000, Pateychuk took it up to 285,000, and then Eskelund shoved for 1.46 million. Pateychuk quickly called, revealing pocket Jacks. Eskelund had K-Q and the race was on. The flop came down Q-8-6 and Eskelund was in control. Turn: 8. And then…the magical two-outer on the river for Pateychuk. With a rivered Jack, Pateychuk made a full house, shocking Eskelund and sending him home in 5th place.

Play didn’t necessarily slow after that, but it wasn’t for almost three hours that another player was eliminated. Adria Balaguer and Benjamin Pollak both got all their chips into the middle pre-flop, Balaguer with A-T and Pollak with J-9. The flop of J-7-4 put Pollak in the lead with top pair. And then, just like what happened to Pateychuk the previous day, Balaguer made runner-runner Broadway to snatch the pot away from Pollak, as well as many thousands of dollars.

The biggest hand for Pateychuk before heads-up came just before the dinner break. He raised to 200,000 pre-flop, only to see Kretz three-bet him to 560,000. Pateychuk did him one better, four-betting to 980,000, and rather than folding or just going all-in, Kretz called, creating one heck of a pot. Both players checked after the K-9-2 flop, but not after an Ace fell on the turn (which also created a flush possibility) – Kretz bet 1 million chips and Pateychuk made the call. Despite all that action, both players checked the 3 on the river. Pateychuk turned over pocket Kings for a flopped set and Kretz simply mucked. Pateychuk took the chip lead at that point with just over 6 million.

Not long after dinner, Kretz’s downfall was completed. He got it all-in after a Pateychuk raise and was called by the chip leader. Kretz held pocket 9’s, putting him ahead of the A-6 of Pateychuk. And now, since it’s Pateychuk, let’s skip to the river: an Ace. Kretz was knocked out in 3rd place, sending Pateychuk into heads-up play against Balaguer with a small lead, 8.004 million to 7.8 million.

Less than half an hour into heads-up, it looked like a Balaguer victory was imminent. Both men went all-in pre-flop and this time, Pateychuk couldn’t get lucky with A-5 versus Balaguer’s 8-8. When the smoke cleared, Balaguer had a huge lead, 15.63 million to just 1.5 million.

But on the very next hand, Pateychuck doubled-up to 3 million when his K-J held up against Balaguer’s T-9. Then, on the next hand, Pateychuk did it again, this time with A-K versus A-Q. He was still down, but with 6.3 million compared to Balaguer’s 10.8 million, things were looking up.

Within a few hands, another lucky river and some aggressive play gave Pateychuk back the lead, but soon thereafter, Balaguer brought it back to even. Appropriately, though, Pateychuk regained the lead for good when he outflopped Balaguer with A-6 against A-J. Really, at this point, Balaguer had to know that he had no chance. Pateychuk was playing good, aggressive poker, but with lady luck on his side, there was no stopping him.

On the final hand, Pateychuk raised pre-flop, Balaguer moved all-in with Q-Q, and Pateychuk called with A-5. Since this is the final hand, you can guess what happened. The flop was an all-spade 9-7-4 and, of course, Pateychuk held a spade. But that didn’t matter. The turn was a 3 and the river was a 2, giving him the wheel at the WPT Prague title. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

World Poker Tour Prague – Final Table Results

1. Andrey Pateychuk – $630,263
2. Adria Balaguer - $320,381
3. Stanislaw Kretz – $212,690
4. Benjamin Pollak – $139,999
5. Sigurd Eskeland – $107,691
6. Russell Carson - $84,807

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

George Clooney Hollywood Star To Speak In Sydney Australia Next Week - 5th December 2011


Celebrities Hollywood Movies Markson Sparks! Events WWE Sydney Australia

He's one of the hottest actors in the world, right up there with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, Samuel L. Jackson and Australia's own Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. Some will argue he is the hottest.

Whatever the case and how you rank Mr Clooney, he is very successful and we've also learned he's quite the humanitarian and astute businessman.

For his outstanding work as an actor, he has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award. Clooney is also noted for his social activism and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008.

Clooney, adding to his ultra impressive accolades, is tipped to win the Best Actor Oscar for his latest film, The Descendants.

The majority of media think 2001 was a stand out year for Clooney, at least for commercial success in film. His fame skyrocked that year with the release of his biggest commercial success, Ocean's Eleven, the first of a profitable film trilogy, a remake of the movie from 1960 with the members of The Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. Stealing from a casino is pretty cool, and Clooney pulls it off beautifully.

Down under (and most of the world) just loves George, so its little wonder there's a considerable ticket price attached to enjoying his 'An Exclusive Audience with George Clooney'. Some tickets are apparently selling for up to $1100 AUD (no misprint).

So, just how much moolah for tickets for the man who needs no introduction? That depends upon who you speak to - think $1000, at least at this stage of the game.

We've obtained some media blurb from International Events - a speakers event arm of Max Markson's Markson Sparks!, and it reads like this:

An Exclusive Audience with George Clooney

George Clooney is a two time Golden Globe Award and Academy Award winning actor, presenter, director, producer and screenwriter who‘s made over fortyt films.  In 2007, George cofounded the Darfus aid organisation Not On Our Watch and began serving as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, receiving a UN Summit Peace Award with fellow actor Don Cheadle.

For the last five years, George Clooney has been focused on leveraging his celebrity to get people to care for something mor important that celebrity - in particular the issues of Southern Sudan. His last project is the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) which provides and early warning system to deter mass atrocities by focusing world attention and generation rapid responses on human rights and human security concerns.

In a rare public appearance, George will discuss how collaboration, negotiation and compromise have been critical to his success in business and his humanitarian work. Clooney will discuss how we all use our circle of influence and personal power to make a difference to the issues that matter in our professional and personal lives. This is not to be missed - a true bucket list opportunity!

The lunch time event will be held on December 12th 2011 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour.12 noon lunch will be followed by a photograph with Mr. Clooney and the event will culminate with a talk from 1.30pm - 2.30pm ‘The Power of Collaboration‘, including a question and answer session moderated by Ellen Fanning.

Ticket Information:
Tickets are priced at $1100 in GST or $11,000 for a table of ten, including a two course lunch a photo with George Clooney.

Only 100 guests on 10 tables of 10 will be able to attend so book now to guarantee your seat!

Dates and Times:
December 12th, 2011
Location: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour

The Late News...

We understand that at this stage no media is invited to the event. Will Mr Markson and the powers that be change their mind in the coming days, should they see enough benefit in working with and / or collaborating with a range of Australian media companies (to raise awareness and to help sell more tickets?) Or, will Max and friends go it alone, believing that they will get the numbers they require make money on Clooney's exclusive speaking engagement in 'Sin City' Sydney? Time will no doubt tell. Yes, we're interested to attend of course, and talk about a positive news story.

Mr Clooney kindly shared some of his thoughts with news media recently regarding the working lives of his fellow actors, and this is gold...

"I cut tobacco for a living in Kentucky. That was hard work. I sold insurance door-to-door. That's hard work. Acting is not hard work.

"I've known a tremendous number of talented actors who didn't get opportunities. It's long hours, but nobody wants to hear you complain."

"I remember I was selling women's shoes at a department store, which is a lousy job."

In the interview with Hollywood Reporter magazine, he added: "I don't find (acting) difficult. I find it challenging, and sometimes I'm very bad at it, but I don't find it hard."

Will George's Main Squeeze Come Down Under Too?

That's the million dollar question. If you didn't already know, George has been hanging out with former WWE Diva Superstar Stacy Keibler (once known by such colourful names as "Miss Hancock" and "The Legs of the WWE" (because of her extremely long legs). Keibler was the only WWE Diva who ranked many times in the listed of Maxim's Hot 100. Either way, Ms Keibler nor Mr Clooney need not play second fiddle to anyone, so if they come to Australia together, it will of course be a huge bonus to media and fans.

Thanks to our friends at E! we learned the following. Ms K opened right up to the celebrity media heavyweight: "We're going to be having a lot of friends and family going together this year, so it will be fun" speaking about a Yuletide vacation with her parents—which, for the first time, will be feauturing a very special guest appearance by her Oscar-winning boyfriend. It's top secret if any of the family clan will be visiting Australia.

No word yet if Clooney will be making any public appearances, but you can bet he will be welcomed with open arms if he does.

George, thank you for visiting Sydney, Australia, and we hope to cross paths with you soon one way or another, and with the AussieWood - Hollywood connection, we think we've got a pretty good chance. You have to back yourself in life and business, and that's exactly what we're doing.

Quotes by George Clooney...

After doing One Fine Day and playing a pediatrician on ER, I'll never have kids. I'm going to have a vasectomy.

America can't beat anyone anymore.

As you get older and ease your way into being a character actor you have to be comfortable with where you are in life and career, and I'm very comfortable with what I'm doing - working on projects I'm proud of.

But I'm kind of comfortable with getting older because it's better than the other option, which is being dead. So I'll take getting older.

I bought a piano once because I had the dream of playing As Time Goes By as some girl's leaning on it drinking a martini. Great image. But none of it worked out. I can't even play Chopsticks. But I've got a nice piano at my house!

I don't believe in happy endings, but I do believe in happy travels, because ultimately, you die at a very young age, or you live long enough to watch your friends die. It's a mean thing, life.


Markson Sparks!

International Events

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Descendants official website

Not On Our Watch

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