Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wrestling News Media: WWE CM Punk Shoot / Worked Angle On Raw


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WWE Raw came to an abrupt end Monday night moments after CM Punk’s mic went out while he was cutting a scathing, anti-WWE promo that was filled with insider references, like never done before in a WWE or even WWF or WWWF ring. It was more ECW than ECW, and we're talking about the glory days of the once hardcore promotion.

After the show went off the air, it was announced on the WWE website portal wwe.com that WWE chairman Vince McMahon has suspended Punk indefinitely for unprofessional conduct, and Punk’s bio was removed from the website.

The wwe.com story went like this "with [Punk’s] contract expiring on July 17, one can only assume that this suspension effectively terminates CM Punk’s tenure with WWE."

“John Cena, while you lay there, hopefully as uncomfortable as you possibly can be, I want you to listen to me. I want you to digest this, because before I leave in three weeks with your WWE Championship, I have a lot of things I wanna get off my chest.

“I don’t hate you, John. I don’t even dislike you. I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most people in the back. I hate… this idea… that you’re the best… because you’re not. I’m the best. I’m the best in the world. There’s one thing you’re better at than I am, and that’s kissing Vince McMahon’s ass. You’re as good at kissing Vince’s ass as Hulk Hogan was. I don’t know if you’re as good as Dwayne… he’s a pretty good ass-kisser… always was and still is. Oops… I’m breaking the fourth wall. [Punk waves to the camera.] I am the best… wrestler… in the world. I’ve been the best ever since Day One when I walked into this company, and I’ve been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit. That’s right, I’m a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar… and he split, just like I’m splittin’, but the biggest difference between me and Brock is that I’m going to leave with the WWE Championship.

“I’ve grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon’s imaginary brass rings that it’s finally dawned on me that they’re just that. They’re completely imaginary. The only thing that’s real is me, and the fact that day in and day out, for almost six years, I’ve proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring, and even on commentary. Nobody can touch me. And yet, no matter how many times I prove it, I’m not on your lovely little collectors’ cups, I’m not on the cover of the program, I’m barely promoted, I don’t get to be in movies, I’m not on any crappy show on the USA Network, I’m not on the poster of WrestleMania, I’m not on the signature that’s produced at the start of the show. I’m not on Conan O’Brian, I’m not on Jimmy Fallon, but the fact of the matter is I should be, and trust me, this isn’t sour grapes, but the fact that “Dwayne” is in the main event of WrestleMania next year and I’m not makes me sick!

“Oh hey, let me get something straight, those of you who are cheering me right now… you are just as big a part of me leaving as anyone else, because you’re the ones sipping out of those collector cups right now, you’re the ones that buy those programs that my face isn’t on the cover of, and then at five in the morning at the airport, you try to shove it in my face thinking you can get an autograph and sell it on eBay because you’re too lazy to get a real job.

“I’m leaving with the WWE championship on July 17 and hell, who knows, maybe I’ll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling… maybe I’ll go back to Ring of Honor… [Punk waves to the camera again] hey, Colt Cabana, how you doing? The reason I’m leaving is you people because after I’m gone you’re still going to pour money into this company — I’m just a spoke on the wheel — the wheel’s gonna keep turning. And I understand that… that Vince McMahon’s gonna make money despite himself… he’s a millionaire who should be a billionaire… you know why he’s not a billionaire? It’s because he surrounds himself with glad-handing nonsensical [censored] yes-men like John Lauranitis, who’s gonna tell him everything he wants to hear… and I’d like to think that maybe this company will be better after Vince McMahon is dead, but the fact is it’s gonna get taken over by his idiotic daughter and his dufus son-in-law and the rest of his stupid family.

“Let me tell you a personal story about Vince McMahon. You know we do this whole bully campaign…” The mic is cut off Punk is stunned and smacks it a few times, then boos fill the arena he yells ” I’ve Been Silenced!” and the feed to the show is cut off the air.

A Media Man spokesperson said "We believe that this is an elaborate work, and a great one at that. Likely the most realistic angle in the history of the promotion and CM Punk pulled it off beautifully. We're of the believe that if this was shoot i.e a totally real situation, the mic volume would have been cut earlier. Never say never, but we're 99% certain this was a work. We think a lot of hardcore and casual fans would have initially believed that it was a totally real situation happening in the ring. CM Punk and the WWE have once again made one of the most memorable happenings ever in a WWE ring. WWE top brass, if or when you read this, keep up the realistic angles and promos. CM Punk and WWE are over big time at the moment, so keep doing what your going, and keep us guessing".

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Superhero Movie Box Office And Comics News, by Greg Tingle - 27th June 2011


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Hulk And Thor Help Raise £1,000 In UK...

Rare American comics donated to a charity shop made more than £1,000 at the John Taylors annual Toy and Doll Sale in Louth, UK, last week. A man handed 1,000s of superhero comics to the Oxfam shop in Market Rasen which decided to put them up for auction to raise money for the charity. The comics from the 1960s and 1970s featured Marvel heroes like Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk and Thor and DC heroes like Superman, Batman and Swamp Thing. Other highlights of the sale included an early 20th Century mohair plush bear that made £700 and a collection of early Steiff bears that all made upward of £500. Train sets and other toys also proved that big kids were all in attendance at the Woolmart auction rooms with Trix, Hornby and Schuco items all
making above their estimates.

Marvel Comic's Ultimate Spider-Man Dies Via Green Goblin...

The popular American newspaper, Huffington Post, reports that the end has come for Peter Parker, the high school student bitten by a radioactive spider whose web-slinging antics have made him a touchstone of the Marvel Comics' series. The publisher recently announced that Parker's alter ego, Spider-Man, will finally be killed off by The Green Goblin in the final issue of "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man". The death, while dramatic, is not entirely unexpected. In November, Marvel said that the Ultimate Spider-Man was going to face an uncertain fate in the latest storyline by writer Brian Michael Bendis fittingly titled "The Death of Spider-Man," an eight-issue arc that saw the return of original series artist Mark Bagley. Bendis and Bagley had worked together on the series for 111 issues. Bendis told The Associated Press that in issue No. 160 Parker fights valiantly but will pass on, heroically, in a pitched fight. "He will pass heroically, but he will die at the hands of The Green Goblin," Bendis said, recalling his nearly 11 years writing the title, which debuted in October 2000. The death is real and in Marvel's Ultimate Comics imprint, death is not something taken lightly. Characters in that universe are dead and gone, never to return. The roll of the deceased already includes Magneto, Wasp and Wolverine, among others. "Ten years ago, Brian Bendis and Mark Millar changed the way people saw super heroes with the birth of the Ultimate Universe. With `Death of Spider-Man' the two have done it again, creating a story just as big, and something that would really resonate with fans," said Mark Paniccia, Marvel senior editor. "But Peter's death doesn't signal the end of their larger plan - it's the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics." Bendis said that Parker's death won't be in vain and hinted that the Ultimate Spider-Man may not be gone forever. But what exactly is to come, that's something he's not willing to share, at least not yet. Parker will live on in Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man series, however.

'Daredevil' Writer Gives The Scoop...

Marvel Comics has teased the opening storyline for the new Daredevil ongoing series from writer Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin. The series sees Matt Murdock return to New York City after his self-imposed exile in the wake of Shadowland, and Waid revealed that it will quickly become apparent that something
is wrong with the superhero. "There's something not right about Matt from the very get-go, now that he's come back to New York," Waid said, according to IGN. "There's just something off about Matt and that's going to drive [his relationship with Foggy Nelson] for the near future." Waid also explained that in terms of supporting characters, Foggy Nelson is the most important, but noted that Dakota North will still show up as a new assistant district attorney, and is set to play a big role in the series moving forward. The writer also elaborated on the premise of the new series, which aims to integrate Daredevil more with the rest of the Marvel Universe. "Without jettisoning the street level of the book, without getting rid of the noir feel of the book, without getting rid of the realism of it - let's take the superhero dial and move it up just a few notches to get back to a bigger sense of adventure," he explained. "Let's fold him a little more rigidly into the Marvel Universe." Daredevil #1 is due out on July 7 from Marvel Comics.

Patrick Dempsey Wants to Play Doctor Strange...

Patrick Dempsey has already revealed he won't be returning to Grey's Anatomy after next season. The ultra talented actor is looking to take his career back where it began...movies. Dempsey isn't looking to return to movies like Can't Buy Me Love and Lover Boy that jump-started his career in the 1980s, but, instead, Dempsey is hoping to continue his association with comic book themed movies that began with his role in this summer's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In April, Dempsey revealed an interest in the Marvel Comics character of Doctor Strange, saying he would "love to play" the role. In a recent interview with MTV, Dempsey reiterated his interest in the role, admitting, "I really want to do it." I mean, it's a tricky character. The hardcore fans know this world and this character specifically — I don't know if the rest of the world does. So, it's like, how do we enter into that and get it so it doesn't lose its essence, but, at the same time, how do you do it with the right story? And I think the fans really need to speak up and say, hey, what do they want to see. When quizzed if Dempsey was a fan of the character and was knowledgeable of the comic book universe, the actor gave a (somewhat) informed answer, though he sounded like he wasn't sure of what to say. Well, there's different incarnations, and there's a whole philosophy behind how they wrote it, what messages is in it, and all of that. I mean, I would like to see him being the cocky surgeon, having the accident, going on a spiritual journey, and then becoming the Supreme Sorcerer. I think that's really what I would like to see — and see that journey initially and to see that arc. And, you know, developing how he does his thing and how you do the incarnations and stuff like that. So, to make sure we've got this straight: Dempsey is interested in playing Doctor Strange in a movie that would explain the character's origins? It's a safe bet that's what Marvel tasked Conan: The Barbarian reboot screenwriters Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to do when they hired them to write a Doctor Strange script last June. Also, Paddycakes? It's "Sorcerer Supreme," not "the Supreme Sorcerer." So what does Dempsey do next? Contact Marvel and express his interest? Exactly. "Yeah, you definitely do that," said Dempsey. He also said that he'll "check out the websites" and "check out the blogs" to weigh fan responses. It may not be me. I mean, there are some people who are like, "yeah, you should do it," and then there are some people that say, "no" — there's a great debate. And I think that's always entertaining to see what people's feedback is. The actor is aware that he may not be seen as the ideal choice, but nevertheless is in full support of a Doctor Strange movie. "I think it's a good character that should be made anyway," he said.

Green Lantern Turning Fanboys Off Green...

In the season’s latest superhero spectacle director Martin (Casino Royale) Campbell ironically displays the same inexplicable affliction which affects his main character: A total failure of imagination. Given $150 million to play with, the filmmaker is at a loss to deliver a single memorable image or moment. Given a ring with the power to create anything his mind can envision, newly recruited savior of the universe Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself incapable of thinking up anything terribly interesting. For a movie named after a light source, Green Lantern suffers from an appalling dearth of ideas anyone over the age of ten would be inclined to characterize as bright. How does this DC adaptation disappoint? Let me count the ways. First, its writers appear to have scoured more than 70 years worth of back issues in order to distill the least intriguing elements of the emerald-suited figure’s mythology. Before Jordan begins his career as a superhero, he’s employed as a test pilot for a corporation that manufactures military aircraft. This part of his story actually might have been good for a few cheap thrills but the movie’s creators couldn't’t resist the temptation to turn it into a cheap imitation of Top Gun. No need to bring the oven mitts. Green Lantern serves up the least sizzling screen romance in recent memory. Jordan has a thing going on with the daughter of the company’s owner (a completely lost Jay O. Sanders). Carol Ferris is played by Blake Lively and together the two have all the chemistry of a pair of mannequins. But we didn’t buy a ticket to watch Hal Jordan make a love connection. We bought a ticket to watch him save the world. Which is why the second half of the film is an even bigger letdown than the first. The Green Lantern gets possession of a ring and a matching lantern which basically functions as its battery charger. The ring in turn brings him in contact with an intergalactic peacekeeping organization known as the Green Lantern Corps, based on the distant planet Oa. This may be the first movie to get its effects at a used CGI sale as another reviewed put it. The creators of Green Lantern might be happy with what they have created, but most audiences are non to impressed. Next time we hear about green in a comic book movie we will be hoping its the return of The Hulk.

Captain America: The First Avenger May Save Face For Comic Book Movie Genre...

Releasing trailers late in the game, keeping things under wraps as long as possible and staying out of the limelight to let others glow is an interesting tactic. Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger may just be the comic book movie of the year. Captain America seems to be everything that Green Lantern isn't. Captain America has balls and doesn't feel like it was made for kids. Both movies debut little over a month apart. Green Lantern was about giving you as much as possible as early as possible, debuting the first image of the hero in costume almost a year before the movie’s release, as opposed to Captain America doing so 6 months later. The trailers for Green Lantern seemed designed to dazzle with special effects and colors as opposed to really giving any idea of the plot beyond “Ryan Reynolds is comedy screw-up who gets magic ring, things explode,” whereas each of Cap‘s three trailers have focused on the – for want of a better term – emotional journey the character has to go through to become the hero. There’s actually something odd about the feeling of still learning new things, or seeing new visuals, about a big blockbuster movie this close to its release; it seems so counter to the way these things are generally sold to us, with the "important" images and plot points signposted way, way in advance so as to already have that feeling of inevitability and nostalgia by the time the movie actually gets released. Should Captain America be a success studios may start realizing that less can be more and later can be better when it comes to trailers and promotion in the future. Should Captain America die in box office, one should expect more movies to give the entire game away in the first full trailer and then just move scenes around for each new trailer, like in Pirates of The Caribbean, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and almost every other big release this year. Comon Captain America, we are entrusting you to make us feel a whole lot better about the comic book movies that we've been getting feed lately.

Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. Comic Book Movie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival." During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result. Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Marvel Entertainment, Comic and Superhero Movie News, by Greg Tingle - 26th June 2011


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Thor X-Men Wolverine Thor Green Lantern Batman Iron-Man Marvel Entertainment Marvel Comics Marvel Studios Marvel Slots DC Comics Warner Bros Paramount Pictures Hollywood Movies Media Man
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Superheroes Leap Up And Down At Box Office...

The superheroes have been doing through heaven and hell lately at the box office. It's not a very smooth or consistent run, and the numbers give mixed messages. Hollywood's crimefighters and caped crusaders have tripped up more often than they would have liked to and have pretty average box-office grosses. The numbers look impressive in some fashion but they hide a growing dissatisfaction among moviegoers, who may be losing interest in what once was a can't-miss genre. One of the first omens came with "Thor," starring Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-heaving Norse god. Despite a decent opening weekend gross of $65 million, the film suffered from negative reviews and is now at $176 million. That sounds big enough until you compare it to the $318 million of "Iron Man," which belongs to the same Marvel comics story line; "Iron Man 2" ended with a split-second "Thor" teaser. Then came "X-Men: First Class." Whether because it lacked Aussie legend Hugh Jackman (he has a cameo) or because its story line felt overly familiar, it opened with $55 million, one of the lowest in the franchise's history. And despite excellent reviews, it had the lowest attendance of any "X-Men" film, according to Box Office Mojo, which did not release specific figures. The latest pretty average superhero effort is "Green Lantern," starring Ryan Reynolds, which opened to not so good reviews (26% positive at Rotten Tomatoes) and a disappointing $53.2 million. That's worse than the new "X-Men" and even worse than "Ghost Rider." Next front and centre are "Captain America: The First Avenger," about a Nazi-conquering supersolider, and "Cowboys & Aliens. Can the superheroes save the world or themselves, or will the public have to try to save them? Fan's the globe over are hoping that Captain America doesn't disappoint, but are remaining pretty optimistic. We're missing the original Iron-Man... how about you?

Spider-Man Gets Killed; Franchise History?...

Bono's Broadway slip up of sorts has killed Spider-Man... sort of. What's your take on that Dr. Octopus? Marvel Comics—with a little help from the Green Goblin—announced it was squashing Spidey dead and it did. The character has apparently been killed off. Joining a long list of superheroes such as Captain America and Superman who've been killed dead, only to rise again, Marvel offered the Peter Parker of The Ultimate Spider-Man, a sort of alternative universe version of the wisecracking webcrawler in the series' 160th issue. The character's demise even brought tears to the eyes of writer Brian Michael Bendis, who wrote the fatal tale. So Spidey's dead. But not gone or forgotten or even going away, really. So get back in line for Turn Out the Dark, seek out spoilers for the Andrew Garfield reboot or hit up a comic book store for what Marvel promises will be "the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics." Spider-Man lives. And possibly loves. Go Spidey!

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark...

SPIDER-MAN, TURN OFF THE DARK follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down when he's bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek suddenly endowed with incredible powers soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains put both his physical strength and strength of character to the test. SPIDER-MAN aims to thrill audiences through a unique entertainment experience in ways never-before-dreamed-possible in live theater. Though the reviews have been somewhat less than favorable for the $65 million giant, sales have been strong and the production opened on June 14th, 2011. For more information on Spider-Man visit http://spidermanonbroadway.marvel.com


Marvel Announces Creator Lineup - 24th June 2011

Many top writers and creators will be joining Marvel Comics at New York Comic Con (NYCC) as the renowned comic books and media entertainment company reveals preliminary plans for the 2011 edition of the annual pop culture extravaganza which will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, October 13 - 16, 2011. Marvel will not only have a 3000 square foot booth on the show floor where attendees will have an opportunity to mingle with creators and staff, but the company will also be conducting numerous high profile panels throughout the weekend which will feature their top talent. Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, and Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, will be Guests of Honor at the show and will be joined by many other notable Marvel creators including Guests of Honor Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, and Stuart Immonen.

“The enthusiastic participation of premiere companies like Marvel is critical to our success,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President for ReedPOP and Show Manager for NYCC. “We are always eager to host Marvel at New York Comic Con and to provide their talent with a range of opportunity. Our show not only brings thousands of fans together with their favorite writers, artists and creators but we are a preeminent venue for launching and displaying new content and product. Marvel’s participation is a huge validation of our efforts and we are grateful to them for their energy and commitment. We look forward to making the 2011 edition of New York Comic Con one of the best ever!”

JASON AARON: Jason Aaron is an Eisner and Harvey Award nominated comic book writer whose work includes the critically acclaimed crime series Scalped for Vertigo and stints on Black Panther, Ghost Rider and Wolverine: Weapon X for Marvel. Current and upcoming projects include Wolverine, Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine, PunisherMAX , X-Men Schism and Wolverine & the X-Men, all for Marvel. He was born in Alabama but currently resides in Kansas City.

AXEL ALONSO: A 17-year comics industry veteran, Axel Alonso got his start at DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, where he edited such seminal series such as Preacher, Hellblazer and 100 Bullets, before leaping to Marvel Comics in 2001. Since that time, he has overseen many of the publisher’s biggest franchises – including Spider-Man, Hulk and the X-Men – and edited some of its most talked-about series – including Truth, Rawhide Kid and X-Statix. In 2011 Axel was promoted to Editor In Chief, a tenure during which he has overseen major events such as the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man and the chart-topping Fear Itself. Besides comics, Alonso’s passions include basketball, hip-hop, 8-year-old shooting guard Tito “Mr. T” Alonso, Asian food and preparing for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

MATT FRACTION: Matt Fraction is an Eisner Award-winning American comic book writer known for his work on The Invincible Iron Man, Thor, The Immortal Iron Fist and Uncanny X-Men for Marvel Comics, Casanova for Icon Comics. This summer he masterminds Marvel’s mega-event Fear Itself alongside Stuart Immonen. He’s written the graphic novels Last of the Independents and The Five Fists of Science, and comics like 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales and The Order. He’s recently contributed to the storylines and dialogue of both the Iron Man 2 and Thor video games for Sega, and was a consultant on the Iron Man 2 film. He lives in Portland Oregon with his wife, the writer Kelly Sue Deconnick, and his two children, two dogs, two cats, and frog. There were two frogs but they died.

KIERON GILLEN: Kieron Gillen is a foul writing worm who crawls inside artists' ears and makes them do his bidding. Products of this evil symbiosis include Journey Into Mystery and the award-winning Phonogram. This fall Kieron will be launching Uncanny X-Men #1 with Carlos Pacheco & Greg Land. There is no known cure.

STUART IMMONEN: Since his self-published debut in 1988, Stuart Immonen has worked for almost every publisher in the comics industry from Archie to Rip Off Press, with notable tenures at DC, where he wrote and drew Adventures of Superman; Gorilla, where he co-created Shockrockets with writer Kurt Busiek; and Marvel, where he pencilled Ultimate Spider-Man, Nextwave and New Avengers, and most recently the event title Fear Itself. Stuart is known for employing diverse drawing styles as seen in his sketchbook series Centifolia published by AdHouse Books, and in his work with writer Kathryn Immonen, including Boom! Studios' Never as Bad as You Think and Moving Pictures, published by Top Shelf. He lives in Toronto.

JOE QUESADA: Joe Quesada wears many creative hats, as both an acclaimed writer-artist and the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, the world’s largest and most dynamic comics publisher. In this role, Joe is steward of such legendary characters as Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four. His tenure as Editor-in-Chief recently drew to a close after 10 successful years – the longest term since Stan Lee himself. Under Quesada’s guidance, Marvel underwent a creative boom and became home to the comic industry’s greatest talents, which continues to hold true today. He brings this same vision to his role in the whole of Marvel Entertainment across the worlds of publishing, film, and television.

Customers interested in signing up for New York Comic Con should contact Larry Settembrini at lsettembrini@reedexpo.com. Tickets for NYCC are now on sale via the website www.NewYorkComicCon.com Limited 4-Day tickets are available. For further information about all ReedPOP shows and activity, please visit Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.MediumAtLarge.net Convention organizers note that many more guests will be announced over the next few weeks and months and fans should keep their eyes on NYCC’s website and blog for additional comics, entertainment and anime announcements.

ABOUT REEDPOP

ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions which is exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture arena. ReedPOP is dedicated to producing celebrations of popular culture throughout the world that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences for consumers and fans. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East & West, Star Wars Celebration V, New York Anime Festival (NYAF), and UFC Fan Expo. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan based group of professionals producing shows for other fans, thus making them uniquely qualified to service those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

Marvel announces adaptions of John Carter novels...

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — John Carter — Edgar Rice Burroughs' other famous pulp creation — is having his stories told anew thanks to an agreement between Marvel Entertainment and the author's estate that will return the Earth-born adventurer's Martian adventures to comic books.

Marvel said Tuesday that it will do new graphic novel adaptations of Burroughs' Martian series, starting with "John Carter, Warlord of Mars," as a five-issue mini-series in September.

Burroughs is best known for his creation of Tarzan.

The first mini-series will be written by Roger Langridge and drawn by Filipe Andrade.
"We are looking forward to introducing this original interplanetary adventurer to a new generation of fans and await the first issue with great anticipation," said James Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.

Marvel called the adaptations a new way of experiencing the tales Burroughs wrote that were dubbed the "Barsoom" series. There are 10 novels in the series, with the 11th a collection of two separate stories.

The novels are set on Mars and include Princess Dejah Thoris, a four-armed warrior Thark named Tars Tarkas and plenty of fighting.

Marvel published a John Carter series in the late 1970s that lasted 28 issues. The character has also been the subject of other series from different publishers, too, including a four-issue mini-series that featured Tarzan from Dark Horse Comics; a newspaper comic strip in 1941-1942; and a series by Dynamite Entertainment called "Warlord of Mars."

"Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of the great action heroes in John Carter and we're excited to bring his novels to comics for a new generation," said Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief. "Roger and Filipe are going to blow everyone away with their take on the John Carter novels, keeping fans new and old on the edge of their seats."


Smith & Tinker launches Marvel Kapow! app for iPhone...

Smith & Tinker and Marvel Entertainment have released their first major game on the iPhone today. The game, Marvel Kapow!, is Marvel’s first broadly targeted casual game for comics fans on the Apple mobile platform.

The game is a big part of the strategy for Smith & Tinker, an innovative game company founded by gaming pioneer Jordan Weisman. If it takes off, then the two companies could see a bright future in branded content on mobile platforms.

The title is designed for touchscreen action, giving you super hero powers on your phone. The company began working on the Marvel-branded games last fall, after a few changes in strategy.

The versions of the game range from a free version to a $1.99 standard definition game and a $3.99 high-definition game. In the title, players can slash with Wolverine’s claws, rebound blasts with Captain America’s shield, capture bad guys with Spider-Man’s web and smite foes with Thor’s hammer. The game has 23 classic play levels, three boss levels, an arcade mode, Game Center leaderboard integration, and free content updates.

“With the explosive growth of touch-based smart devices now being adopted by men, women and even trickling down to kids, we’re presented with an unprecedented opportunity to bring our games to a very wide audience on a mobile platform”, said Joe Lawandus, chief executive of Smith & Tinker.

The deal could help turn things around for Smith & Tinker. In 2009, the company launched Nanovor, a fighting game for boys that could be played both online and on a $50 toy sold at retail. But the game didn’t sell that well, despite heavy TV advertising, and Smith & Tinker had to pivot to a new strategy. It laid off a bunch of employees and shifted to online-only games.

The company was able to do that because it raised $29 million in venture capital and because its founders — Lawandus and Weisman — are heavyweights in the game and entertainment industries. Weisman founded entertainment companies 42 Entertainment, Virtual World Entertainment, FASA, and WizKids; Lawandus is a former Disney executive. (Marvel is now owned by Disney).


Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. ComicBookMovie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival."

During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result.

Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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Australian Gambling Political War: James Packer VS Andrew Wilkie, by Greg Tingle - 26th June 2011

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Australia has its latest gambling and political war on the way. Enter James Packer VS Andrew Wilkie in a WrestleMania style main event for the ages. Packer is pro pokie, pro pokies, pro regulation and pro business while Wilkie is anti pokies, anti gambling and an increasing amount of people say, anti business. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has also copped heat from Packer in the newspapers and online forums, and now its Wilkie's time to cop a spray... Media Man , Gambling911 and James Packer dish it out in spades with today's ace update from down under...

James Packer, Australia's most successful and gambling entrepreneur and owner, is pissed at Australia's current stance on gambling re pokies, not too happy with the PM or anti gambling campaigner and "independent" MP Andrew Wilkie, and he's not going to take it anymore.

The gambling and media tycoon had on his time ex NSW Right strategist Karl Bitar to put forward his views and thinks the proposed gambling reforms will all but destroy the gaming, tourism and hospitality industries, all sub sectors of sorts of the entertainment and lifestyle industry.

Wilkie, an ex military man and spy has told the press and anyone else who will listen that he was more determined than ever to curb poker machines. Wilkie says he's received death threats, but these have not been proven.

Many high profile Labor party figures think Wilkie could totally destabilize the minority Government over the proposed reforms and may force an early election. Labor man Graham Richardson said on record that Wilkie is a "zealot" with "wild eyes" who "doesn't really care about being re-elected".

The Tasmanian "devil" (satire) MP and PM Julia Gillard agreed to executive poker-machine reforms by 31 May next year, with punters forced to use smart-cards with pre-determined betting limits and a tactic being called "Big Brother meets Nanny State". Wilkie has threatened to withdraw his support for Gillard...effectively bringing down the Government, should she renege on the handshake deal. Yep, deals a plenty under Labor.

Packer turned up the heat on the Gillard government this week with quote directed at the PM.

"The problem for the Prime Minister at the moment is that while she keeps saying she's pro-business, there is a real perception in the corporate world that she's not," he went on record with The Australian Financial Review.

JP, owner of Crown Casino in Melbourne and Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth own and operate about 4250 pokies aka "one armed bandits". Packer gave Wilkie a 2-hour guided tour of Crown and encouraged the MP to exempt land based casinos from the proposed laws.

Wilkie even praised Packer for attempting to communicated co-operatively, but said the rest of the gaming industry was "trying to bully me and intimidate me. If they think I'm the sort of character that will be intimidated and back off, they've badly misread me. It just hardens my resolve."

Wilkie advised he was "very disappointed that Mr Packer is now joining the pubs and clubs in resisting these reforms. I had hoped he would stay out of it, but so be it," Wilkie said.

The radical MP said he would be happy to exempt foreign tourists from the smart-cards. That would include the Oriental gamblers who are big customers at Crown Limited.

"I'm not too fussed," Wilkie said. "My interest is Australians in Australia, we have a duty of care for everyone in Australia and I'm not too fussed about how we'd deal with foreign tourists."

Packer may lose in excess of $302 million in revenue annually should the mandatory 'pre-commitment' smartcards be implemented, according to a Clubs Australia insider. The numbers are based on 50% of pokies requiring replacement, and uses Wilkie's own assessment that overall gambling revenue would dip by 40%.

Over the past few month Packer has also approached senior Government ministers including Treasure Wayne Swan, Jenny Macklin and Bill Shorten to Melbourne for discussion on the matter, as well as Opposition leader Tony Abbott and his finance spokesman Andrew Robb. Packer has hired former Labor national secretary Karl Bitar as a lobbyist, in a move that got the knockers talking.

PM Gillard brushed off the suggestion she is anti-business and reconfirmed she will honour her promise to Wilkie to force pokie operators to adopt 'pre-commitment technology' to help limit gamblers' losses.

"The Prime Minister is strongly pro-business," a spokeswoman for Gillard said. "Her ambitious reform agenda is squarely focused on creating long-term prosperity for the nation, led by strong businesses in a strong economy."

The Government's head negotiator on pokies, community services minister Jenny Macklin said the government would prefer States and territories to crack down on problem gambling, but insisted the deal with Wilkie for a full pre-commitment scheme would go ahead.

Wilkie's demand is that all pokies would get with the smart-card technology by 2014, with smaller venues given until 2018 to introduce the cards.

Independent Senator Nick "Mr X" Xenophon, the gambling hater said: "Don't underestimate Andrew Wilkie. This is a guy that chucked away a career with the Office of National Assessments on an issue of principle and went on to sell Persian rugs. He will sell Persian rugs again [if he loses his seat]. Andrew has nothing to lose and that's why people fear him."

Clubs Australia, which has a TV and billboard advertising campaign against the pokie reforms, joined Packer's attack on Gillard. "Mr Packer is 100% right on this issue," Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball said.

Next week promises to deliver more drama in the saga that is gambling lovers VS haters, as Aussie political and gaming fun and games continue.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Bondi Beach Home To Winter Magic Festival, by Greg Tingle - 26th June 2011

Bondi Beach may be enjoying a cold snap this winter, but the reception is warm with the Winter Magic Festival sneaking up on us.

It's the second year for what is now an annual Winter Magic Festival. The promenade is getting lights, a tidy up and even the ice-skating rink is coming back. Then there's surf flicks, whale and dolphin watching, fashion events, food and drinks on offer and loads more. The fest will go from 3 months and Bondi Beach will be the key beach suburb showcased.

Let's have a look at what's coming up...

Bergstation Ice Skating Rink...

Have a skate on one of the biggest ice rinks you will find in Australia. Then grab a drink, head down to the beach to catch a wave, or just chill. Bondi Beach, 12 noon – 10pm, June 30 – July 17. $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Goes for 1 hour. You will have to pay to hire the skates.

Whale Festival...

Dr Michelle Blewitt of Marine Mammal Research will be on hand for a for a free whale-watching walk. You will likely see dolphins also. Check out the Marine Discovery Centre, where you will see a 15m inflatable Humpback named Venus. Entertaining and educational. Marine Discovery Centre, Bondi Pavilion, Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach. 10am – 3pm, July 3. Whale-watching walk will depart from the Marine Discovery Centre, 1.30pm, July 3. Free.

Surf Films...

Check out surf films via Beach Road Hotel. Every Wednesday throughout July. Beach Road Hotel, 71 Beach Road, Bondi.

Fashion...

Models will do their thing in Hall Street. Bondi Beach, 11am - 4pm, July 16 -17. Free.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crown Limited VS Tabcorp Star City, by Greg Tingle - 25th June 2011

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Asia Pacific gambling is on fire. Much of today's coverage involved Aussie gambling king James Packer from Crown Limited fame being none to impressed with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Packer is using the media as a war against the "anti business" and "business unfriendly" PM. In addition Crown is rumoured to be interested in Echo Entertainment owned Star City casino in Sydney, understood to be at risk of having a number of brothel's and other vice related enterprises close by to its city location. Up to Asia, Crown may sell it's stake in Crown Macau to help raise funds for the takeover of Star City... Media Man , Gambling911 and James Packer dish it out in spades with today's ace update from down under...

Crown Limited May Sell Out Macau Casino Investment To Raise Cash For Echo Entertainment Star City Bid...

JP's Crown could fund a $3.6 billion move on casino rival Echo Entertainment next year by exiting its growing Macau venture, analysts say. Crown this week confirmed a 4.9% interest in Echo and Tabcorp Holdings by way of derivatives, which it acquired before Tabcorp's demerger of the casino group this month. Crown talked down its interested in Echo and Star City et al. Despite Crown saying it has no "current" intention of increasing its interest in either, Merrill Lynch analyst Nathan Gee said it could make a move next year on Echo after the relaunch of its Star City casino in Sydney. Echo is also upgrading its three land based casinos in Queensland in a $1.6bn expansion investment. Gee advised Crown acquired a stake in its Burswood casino in Perth in 2003 before its full takeover in 2004. "The Star relaunch in late 2011 will be a critical time for Echo management, so we think it makes sense for bidders to allow management to concentrate," he said. "We can't discount a Crown takeover of Echo, but we think a deal is unlikely until 2012. A combination of Crown and Echo could create about $600m of net present value synergy benefits." Crown is expected to be weighed down by its holding in Echo and yesterday ended down 1.15%at $8.57. Echo dropped 1.7% to $4.10. Takeover speculation has been rife around Echo Entertainment and Tabcorp since its demerger in a similar vein to beer firm Foster's, which this week attracted a $9.5bn offer from brewing giant SAB Miller after it demerged its wine unit. While some analysts have seriously questioned Crown moving on Echo, particularly given its mixed merger and aquition record, Gee said Crown could pay up to $5.25 per share, or $3.6bn, for Echo and make the deal "valuation neutral". He said Crown could fund a bid without a large equity raising by selling its $2bn or so stake in its Macau venture, Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL), plus up to $700m of debt. "We can't rule out Crown looking to divest MPEL, particularly if the Australian market continues to discount the value of Macau relative to the Melco Crown share price," Gee went on record with to the press. Crown currently holds a 33.4% stake in Melco Crown, which has signed a $US360m deal to secure the group's third casino resort in Macau. Citi yesterday initiated coverage of Echo at a buy and a $4.70 target price but said private equity was a more likely near-term buyer than Crown. "The numbers are challenging for Crown . . . private equity may have interest, as the casino cashflows facilitate high leverage, and the ultimate exit strategy is clear, through a sell-down of Star to Crown and Queensland casinos to Sky City," analyst Jenny Owen said. On Macquarie's numbers, predators would struggle to offer more than $5 a share for Echo. On Crown's Tabcorp holding, Gee said it could hold in the hope of Tatts making its mooted move on Tabcorp. A Media Man analyst said "The Star City casino opportunity could go either way. It's too early to tell but James Packer keeps downplaying interest in the opportunity for a buy out. Is he bluffing? Only time will tell, but expect to get a clearer picture in the next 6 to 12 months".

Aussie Gambling And Media King James Packer Not Impressed With PM Gillard...

Pokie machine reforms that considerably threaten earnings for casino owner James Packer have prompted Packer to label Prime Minister Julia Gillard as "anti-business", according to leading newspaper, the Australian Financial Review. Packer has expanded his casino holdings by taking a 4.9% stake in Tabcorp Holdings Ltd, which gives him a small stake in Echo Entertainment, which owns Star City casino in Sydney. Packer has engaged ex ALP national secretary Karl Bitar to raise the pressure of lobbying efforts against the government on gambling reforms, which have been led by Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie. In recent weeks, many of Gillard's cabinet ministers have been reportedly meeting one-on-one with Packer to discuss the impact of the proposed reforms, according to the AFR. Packer appears to climb in popularity while Gillard's popularity is well... not. She's extremely unpopular in the polls and in the pubs, clubs and casinos!


Australian Economy Not Good; Packer Says Gillard Is Anti Business...

Casino and media magnate James Packer has publicly attacked prime minister Julia Gillard, claiming the corporate world believes her to be anti-business. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Packer was quoted" "I think the problem for the prime minister at the moment is that while she keeps saying she’s pro-business, there is a real perception in the corporate world that she’s not. This perception is a real problem which she needs to address soon.".

Star City Casino In Sin City Sydney Getting Surrounded By Brothels?...

The mean and sometimes seedy streets around 'Sin City Sydney's' Star City casino could be overrun by brothels, pawnbrokers and money-lending businesses if Sydney council's draft city plan is not urgently fixed, the government's casino regulator has warned. The Casino Liquor and Gaming Control Authority has written to the City of Sydney, asking it to amend its new draft city plan to continue a longstanding ban on money-lending businesses near the casino and to impose a new ban on brothels within 150 metres of the site. The letter puts the casino regulator in conflict with the Department of Planning, which refused the bans when council proposed them as part of the city plan. The risk of "illegal or undesirable activity" concentrating around Star City was identified as a problem in a series of reports before it opened in 1995. It resulted in a statutory ban on pawnshops and money-lending operations, and government working with council to actively discourage brothels opening nearby. In its submission on the draft city plan, the regulator told council "it is noted that pawnbrokers and money lending businesses will no longer be prohibited from operating in the Pyrmont area, nor have any reasons for the proposed lifting of this long-standing prohibition been articulated. In the circumstances, this proposed arrangement cannot be supported. "The letter from the acting chief executive, David Greenhouse, also said that the regulator and council had worked together many times to prevent brothels operating in the area. The best solution would be for council's draft plan to create a ban on brothels within 150 metres of the casino, Greenhouse wrote. However, the regulator appeared to be unaware the city had proposed the bans to the Department of Planning and been refused permission. A department spokesman said it did not support the proposed bans because they would have constituted a sub-zone, which is not permitted under the government's new standard template for local environment plans. However, the spokesman said the department "is not formally opposed to the general position on this issue put forward by the CLGCA and is keen to work with Council and the CLGCA on an alternative solution." Any ban would impact at least one legal brothel already operating near the casino in Pyrmont Street. It comes as a development application for a new 14-room brothel across the road from the casino in Union Square was withdrawn by the applicant following a community outcry in May. Elizabeth Elenius from the Pyrmont Action group said residents were alarmed about the consequences of standard zoning in the draft city plan, saying it would open the area to undesirable uses. "We don't know on what grounds council can knock back undesirable things like a brothel in Union Square, where we have our Anzac Day ceremonies and carol services, unless they did have [a ban on brothels close to the casino] in place," she said. Council planners are considering more than 1000 submissions on the draft LEP 2011, the document controlling development in central Sydney in the next decade.

Telstra-NBN Broadband Update; What Happens To Gaming?...

The federal government is today expected to unveil an $11 billion deal that will provide the National Broadband Network access to Telstra’s fixed-line network. The deal will involve the NBN renting Telstra’s underground network and taking over its fixed-line customers. The federal opposition has criticised the move, saying it will prove expensive and wipe out any competition to the NBN. What may happen to gaming on the Australian internet remains to be seen, but if PM Gillard is anti business as James Packer says, that's not a great sign of things to come.

Lucky Tasmanian Devils; Thanks James Packer...

Solid efforts to save the Tasmanian Devil have received a boost, with the first joeys arriving in an insurance population of the species at a Hunter Valley property. A year ago 50 devils were released in a free-range enclosure at a property owned by media mogul James Packer, as part of a plan to produce a thousand disease-free little devils by 2021. The Devil Ark program is run by the Australian Reptile Park and spokeswoman Liz Vella says the ambitious plan is paying off. "We have got several mums with babies," she said. "We can't really confirm numbers because the babies are so small. "We try not to interfere with them too much, until they are at a safe size. "So we won't really know numbers until spring time." The Reptile Park says the enormity of the fight to save the Tasmanian Devil population cannot be under-estimated, despite success with the local breeding program. Ms Vella says the situation in Tasmania is dire, with devils across more than 60 per cent of the state affected by a deadly facial tumour. "It's really been a rapid decrease in numbers," she said. "It's horrific the way that they go as well, so the best chance they've got is this insurance population to make sure the species doesn't die out. "So the more work and time that we can put into this program the better." Ms Vella says she could not have hoped for a better start to the program. "The devils arrived in January and they started breeding in February," she said. "We weren't sure if they had enough time to settle in prior to breeding and how they would go in these yards, it's all so new, so to have success in this first year is really amazing. "It just shows how the program is going to go."

Packer's Crown Cools On Echo Entertainment...

Casino operator Crown says it has no current plan to increase its 4.9% stake in Echo Entertainment, a casino owner seen as a ripe takeover target. Echo, the owner of Sydney's Star City casino and three casinos in Queensland, is seen as a potential fit for billionaire James Packer's Crown, but analysts said international casinos group or private equity firms may also have their eye the firm. Crown confirmed today it has a 4.9 per cent in both Echo and gaming firm Tabcorp, acquired before Tabcorp offloaded Echo and the casino assets earlier this month. "Crown has no current intention of increasing its interest in either company," the firm said in a statement today. The statement followed a report in the Australian Financial Review which said Packer had confirmed taking the stake in Tabcorp before the demerger, which automatically gave Crown an equivalent stake in Echo. Analysts are divided on whether a takeover is more likely to happen before or after Echo completes a $960 million renovation at Star City, designed to help it attract Asian high-rollers away from Crown's Melbourne casino. Tabcorp spun Echo off to shareholders after being hit by smoking bans, equine influenza, competition from new casinos in Singapore and Macau. The remaining Tabcorp is seen as ripe for a merger with rival Tatts , but not before the state of Victoria decides later in June whether to award Tabcorp a new wagering license from 2012. Crown shares are currently sitting on $8.570. Echo Entertainment is on $4.10.

Man Charged Over Legendary Lloyd Williams' Robbery...

A man has been charged over a burglary at a property owned by the high-profile business identity, Lloyd Williams. Police say thieves broke into Macedon Lodge, north of Melbourne, earlier this month and stole two vehicles and veterinary equipment, including an X-ray machine worth $40,000. A 21-year-old man from Coburg was arrested yesterday and charged. He will face the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court next week. Detectives say they believe more people were involved and investigations are continuing. Williams is a prominent horse owner and former boss of Melbourne's Crown Casino, the Australian showcase casino of James Packer.

Constuction Worker Not Getting Ahead At Crown Casino; Banged In Head...

A Melbourne man is in a very serious condition in hospital after an a lift plummeted three storeys and struck him in the head. The 38-year-old was working on a construction site at Crown Casino at Southbank when the lift dropped on him at 8:30am (AEST). Paramedic Christine Edney states the punter suffered serious cuts to his neck and his jaw was fractured. "The man lost blood from injuries to his neck, face and parts of his head," she said. "Our priority was to control the bleeding." She says he was incredibly lucky that he did not sever any major arteries in his neck. "If he had been a few centimetres either way, he may not be with us today," she said.

Casino And Gaming Share Prices 24th June 2011 ...

Symbol Company $AUD

CWN Crown Limited 8.57
EGP Echo Entertainment Group 4.10
RCT Reef Casino Trust 1.65
TAH Tabcorp Holdings Limited 3.12
NPT Netplay TV Plc 8.25
PREZQ President Casinos, Inc. 0.750
0628 Dore Holdings Limited 0.125
CGAQ Caribbean Casino and Gaming 0.0185
MNTG MTR Gaming Group, Inc. 2.86
SFCA Societe Francaise de Casino 2.38
LACO Lakes Entertainment, Inc. 2.22

PLS Paddy Power plc 35.26 EUR


Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Gambling Firms Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Ladbrokes, Sportingbet Et Al Jockey For Top Ten, by Greg Tingle - 24th June 2011

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The ultra competitive online gambling and gaming industry shows little sign of slowing down, despite many countries being in a recession.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment continues to be largely recognised as the world's largest and most successful online gambling firm, with their PartyCasino.com online casino remaining their flagship brand.

In other news, Sportingbet has emerged as an apparent bid target for Ladbrokes...just weeks after the UK betting powerhouse failed it's attempt b2b Wink bingo owner, 888. Insiders often say that 888 attempt to copy much of Bwin.Party's strategic moves, but this has not been the case as of late.

The online firm, which nets about £2 billion a year in wagers, confirmed a highly preliminary approach from Ladbrokes but did not give further details.

Industry speculation has hinted that Ladbrokes could be looking to offer around 70p a share, equivalent to more than £450 million.

The spike in interest comes two months after a move for 888 Holdings worth around £240 million fell through because the two sides couldn't agree on a price.

The betting market is seen as ready for more takeovers, with some analysts stating that that Betfair and Sportingbet could merge, which also suggesting Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment may swallow up more igaming operators, as well as invest into some website portals and media companies.

Channel Islands-based Sportingbet offers wagers on sports and online casino games and poker. It has benefited from the growing popularity of 'in play' gaming...live betting during a sports match.

It recently paid out a £22.8 million settlement with the US Department of Justice, meaning it will now avoid being prosecuted for accepting online bets made by American players between 1998 and 2006.

Analysts said the deal cleared the path for potential mergers or takeovers. Last year, it held unsuccessful talks with Swedish online gaming firm Unibet as well as other parties. Rivals Bwin and PartyGaming, who merged earlier this year, have also been tipped as a possible buyer for the business.

Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn, who has overseen a strategic review of the business since taking the helm last year, is keen to drive forward the company's online growth amid fears it is lagging behind rivals.

The group, which enjoys history back to 1886, has roughly 2,100 outlets in the UK and is also a market leader in Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

Bwin.Party continues full speed ahead with new slot game Sin City being released, and rumours that Knight Rider, Hulk Hogan's Hulk-A-Mania and Andre The Giant will also soon hit their premier online casino brand, PartyCasino.com Bwin's PartyPoker.com is also offering a chance to win a Porsche playing online poker.

Website portal operators such as Media Man are gearing up for an increase in online gaming traffic as many more games and very controversial news stories are tipped to be just around the corner.

Responsible publishers and igaming firms remind visitors and players to bet responsibly and never bet more than you can afford to use. Many games are offering both "play for free" and "play for money" options to help offer a customer friendly user experience, all aiming to get their share of eyeballs and the entertainment dollar.

Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada are all seen as markets where igaming is likely to further build in popularity.

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Aussie James Packer Crown Casino; Not PM Gillard Fan, by Greg Tingle - 24th June 2011

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Australian gambling is on fire. Much of today's coverage involved Aussie gambling king James Packer from Crown Limited fame being none to impressed with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Packer is using the media as a war against the "anti business" and "business unfriendly" PM.. Media Man , Gambling911 and James Packer dish it out in spades with today's ace update from down under...

Aussie Gambling And Media King James Packer Not Impressed With PM Gillard...

Pokie machine reforms that considerably threaten earnings for casino owner James Packer have prompted Packer to label Prime Minister Julia Gillard as "anti-business", according to leading newspaper, the Australian Financial Review. Packer has expanded his casino holdings by taking a 4.9% stake in Tabcorp Holdings Ltd, which gives him a small stake in Echo Entertainment, which owns Star City casino in Sydney. Packer has engaged ex ALP national secretary Karl Bitar to raise the pressure of lobbying efforts against the government on gambling reforms, which have been led by Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie. In recent weeks, many of Gillard's cabinet ministers have been reportedly meeting one-on-one with Packer to discuss the impact of the proposed reforms, according to the AFR. Packer appears to climb in popularity while Gillard's popularity is well... not. She's extremely unpopular in the polls and in the pubs, clubs and casinos!

Australian Economy Not Good; Packer Says Gillard Is Anti Business...

Casino and media magnate James Packer has publicly attacked prime minister Julia Gillard, claiming the corporate world believes her to be anti-business. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Packer was quoted" "I think the problem for the prime minister at the moment is that while she keeps saying she’s pro-business, there is a real perception in the corporate world that she’s not. This perception is a real problem which she needs to address soon.".

Telstra-NBN Broadband Update; What Happens To Gaming?...

The federal government is today expected to unveil an $11 billion deal that will provide the National Broadband Network access to Telstra’s fixed-line network. The deal will involve the NBN renting Telstra’s underground network and taking over its fixed-line customers. The federal opposition has criticised the move, saying it will prove expensive and wipe out any competition to the NBN. What may happen to gaming on the Australian internet remains to be seen, but if PM Gillard is anti business as James Packer says, that's not a great sign of things to come.

Lucky Tasmanian Devils; Thanks James Packer...

Solid efforts to save the Tasmanian Devil have received a boost, with the first joeys arriving in an insurance population of the species at a Hunter Valley property. A year ago 50 devils were released in a free-range enclosure at a property owned by media mogul James Packer, as part of a plan to produce a thousand disease-free little devils by 2021. The Devil Ark program is run by the Australian Reptile Park and spokeswoman Liz Vella says the ambitious plan is paying off. "We have got several mums with babies," she said. "We can't really confirm numbers because the babies are so small. "We try not to interfere with them too much, until they are at a safe size. "So we won't really know numbers until spring time." The Reptile Park says the enormity of the fight to save the Tasmanian Devil population cannot be under-estimated, despite success with the local breeding program. Ms Vella says the situation in Tasmania is dire, with devils across more than 60 per cent of the state affected by a deadly facial tumour. "It's really been a rapid decrease in numbers," she said. "It's horrific the way that they go as well, so the best chance they've got is this insurance population to make sure the species doesn't die out. "So the more work and time that we can put into this program the better." Ms Vella says she could not have hoped for a better start to the program. "The devils arrived in January and they started breeding in February," she said. "We weren't sure if they had enough time to settle in prior to breeding and how they would go in these yards, it's all so new, so to have success in this first year is really amazing. "It just shows how the program is going to go."

Packer's Crown Cools On Echo Entertainment...

Casino operator Crown says it has no current plan to increase its 4.9% stake in Echo Entertainment, a casino owner seen as a ripe takeover target. Echo, the owner of Sydney's Star City casino and three casinos in Queensland, is seen as a potential fit for billionaire James Packer's Crown, but analysts said international casinos group or private equity firms may also have their eye the firm. Crown confirmed today it has a 4.9 per cent in both Echo and gaming firm Tabcorp, acquired before Tabcorp offloaded Echo and the casino assets earlier this month. "Crown has no current intention of increasing its interest in either company," the firm said in a statement today. The statement followed a report in the Australian Financial Review which said Packer had confirmed taking the stake in Tabcorp before the demerger, which automatically gave Crown an equivalent stake in Echo. Analysts are divided on whether a takeover is more likely to happen before or after Echo completes a $960 million renovation at Star City, designed to help it attract Asian high-rollers away from Crown's Melbourne casino. Tabcorp spun Echo off to shareholders after being hit by smoking bans, equine influenza, competition from new casinos in Singapore and Macau. The remaining Tabcorp is seen as ripe for a merger with rival Tatts , but not before the state of Victoria decides later in June whether to award Tabcorp a new wagering license from 2012. Crown shares are currently sitting on $8.570. Echo Entertainment is on $4.10.

Man Charged Over Legendary Lloyd Williams' Robbery...

A man has been charged over a burglary at a property owned by the high-profile business identity, Lloyd Williams. Police say thieves broke into Macedon Lodge, north of Melbourne, earlier this month and stole two vehicles and veterinary equipment, including an X-ray machine worth $40,000. A 21-year-old man from Coburg was arrested yesterday and charged. He will face the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court next week. Detectives say they believe more people were involved and investigations are continuing. Williams is a prominent horse owner and former boss of Melbourne's Crown Casino, the Australian showcase casino of James Packer.

Constuction Worker Not Getting Ahead At Crown Casino; Banged In Head...

A Melbourne man is in a very serious condition in hospital after an a lift plummeted three storeys and struck him in the head. The 38-year-old was working on a construction site at Crown Casino at Southbank when the lift dropped on him at 8:30am (AEST). Paramedic Christine Edney states the punter suffered serious cuts to his neck and his jaw was fractured. "The man lost blood from injuries to his neck, face and parts of his head," she said. "Our priority was to control the bleeding." She says he was incredibly lucky that he did not sever any major arteries in his neck. "If he had been a few centimetres either way, he may not be with us today," she said.

Casino And Gaming Share Prices...

Symbol Company $AUD

CWN Crown Limited 8.57
EGP Echo Entertainment Group 4.10
RCT Reef Casino Trust 1.65
TAH Tabcorp Holdings Limited 3.12
NPT Netplay TV Plc 8.25
PREZQ President Casinos, Inc. 0.750
0628 Dore Holdings Limited 0.125
CGAQ Caribbean Casino and Gaming 0.0185
MNTG MTR Gaming Group, Inc. 2.86
SFCA Societe Francaise de Casino 2.38
LACO Lakes Entertainment, Inc. 2.22

PLS Paddy Power plc 35.26 EUR


Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spider-Man Tobey Maguire Star Caught In Web Of Gambling Ring; Leonardo DiCaprio Rounders Up, by Greg Tingle - 23rd June 2011

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Spider-Man star... Mr Spider-Man himself, Tobey Maguire, is one of a dozen or Hollywood stars being sued in connection with an illegal gambling ring that allegedly ran multi-million dollar underground poker games.

And you wonder why Hollywood so embraced the popular poker themed game 'Rounders'.

According to the suit, Maguire took more than $US300,000 worth of illegal funds embezzled from hedge fund investor Bradley Ruderman, who is currently in jail for a ponzi scheme.

The underground games, allegedly led by Ruderman, CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners, were unlicenced and thus illegal under California law.

According to the investigation, Ruderman lost $US25 million of investor money in the games, which were held bi-weekly in luxurious suites at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Viper Room and Four Seasons Hotel.

With Ruderman's company now in bankruptcy, trustees are attempting to seize some of Maguire's winnings to pay off creditors.

Nick Cassavetes, who directed The Notebook, and Welcome Back, Kotter star Gabe Kaplan are among the names facing hefty lawsuits for their participation in the high stakes Texas Hold'em games, according to leaks and a range of online and traditional media outlets.

Other stars who allegedly took part in the gatherings, which had a buy-in of $US100,000, included 'Catch Me If You Can' megastar Leonardo DiCaprio, Good Will Hunting actor Ben Affleck and Bourne star Matt Damon. Damon was also in the poker themed movie 'Rounders'.

Tens of millions of dollars is understood to have changed hands in the illegal games.

Marvel Entertainment does not offer marvel themed poker games but does offer Marvel Entertainment themed online slot games, available in website portals such as Media Man Int and via online gaming brands such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Richard Branson's Virgin Casino. PartyCasino.com, the online casino leading brand by Bwin.Party is understood to be in negotiation with both the United States, Canadian and Australian governments regarding b2 gaming. Party came to a settlement with the United States Department Of Justice two years ago to the tune of approximately $100 million, and are looking to expand gaming in the U.S beyond their World Poker Tour brand.

Who are you betting on? Spider-Man or the 'Catch Me If You Can' man? Maybe you would prefer not to say and just place a silent bet!

Tobey Maguire sued over illegal poker winnings...

Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire and other celebrities have been caught in a web of lawsuits seeking to reclaim more than $US4 million ($3.8 million) won during unlicensed poker matches at upscale Beverly Hills hotels, court records show.

The lawsuits were filed by a bankruptcy trustee attempting to recoup money for investors who were duped in a Ponzi scheme.

The legal actions claim the clandestine Texas Hold 'em matches were played between 2006 and 2009, with some of the money taken in the Ponzi scheme used to pay off debts incurred by its architect, Bradley Ruderman.

Maguire is being sued for $US311,000 plus interest that the lawsuit says was won from Ruderman. In all, 22 people have been individually sued to try to recoup money.

Among them was Nick Cassavettes, director of The Notebook. The trustee is attempting to recover nearly $US73,000 plus interest from the actor-director.

Maguire's attorney, Robert Barta, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment but was expected to file a response to the suit later this week.

Cassavettes's agent Jeff Berg also did not immediately respond to a phone message.
Also being sued is billionaire businessman Alec Gores, who along with his brother attempted to buy Miramax Films last year.

Gores is being sued for $US445,500. Phone message left for Frank Stefanik, a spokesman at The Gores Group, and his attorney, Patricia Glaser, were not immediately returned.

Ruderman was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of investment adviser fraud and willful failure to file taxes.

Bankruptcy trustee Howard Ehrenberg filed the lawsuits in late March, attempting to recoup money on behalf of people who invested in what the legal action called a Ponzi scheme organised by Ruderman.

The suits contend the defendants have no right to keep money won from Ruderman, since the games did not have the appropriate government licenses.

Tournaments were held in luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and organised by a woman identified as Molly Bloom, who is being sued for nearly $US475,000 paid to her by Ruderman, the lawsuits said.

The claims were first reported Wednesday by RadarOnline and Star Magazine. (Credit: AP)

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