A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ordered Google Inc to remove from its YouTube video-sharing website an anti-Islamic film that had sparked protests across the Muslim world. By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Google's assertion that the removal of the film "Innocence of Muslims" amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, had objected to the film after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie, which had been partially dubbed and in which she appeared to be asking: "Is your Mohammed a child molester?" In a statement, Google said: "We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it." Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Garcia, said she is delighted with the decision. "Ordering YouTube and Google to take down the film was the right thing to do," Armenta said in an email.
Filmed over a six year period, three hour black & white epic "Hard to Be a God" is the work of influential Russian director Alexey German. Its plot revolves around one of the scientific cohort, Don Rumata, tasked with helping the crude civilization to progress. If their status as intellectuals did not make them vulnerable enough, the observers' credo prevents them from using violent means to advance their cause -- but it looks like Don Rumata's had enough. First shown at the 2013 Rome Film Festival, where German was posthumously given the Lifetime Achievement Award, "Hard to Be a God" was again screened at Rotterdam earlier this year.
The Hollywood actor, who is currently headlining the crime series "The Following," will co-star with Radha Mitchell in this micro-budget horror film. The two actors will play a couple whose family is followed by a dangerous supernatural force following a trip to the Grand Canyon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Australian filmmaker Greg McLean, who is known for his horror films "Wolf Creek" (2005) and "Rogue" (2007), will begin shooting "6 Miranda Drive" in Los Angeles this March. The feature comes from Blumhouse Productions, which has become one of the leading studios for small-budget horror films.
Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy got engaged more than a year ago, but there is reportedly trouble for the couple. "Kate and Matt have been on the rocks for some time," a source told People, saying their wedding plans appear to be hold. The couple has reportedly not been spotted together in some time and on Tuesday night, Kate, 34, stepped out at the at Bulgari's Decades of Glamour celebration in Los Angeles without her 9-carat engagement ring.
By Mary Milliken LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - To historian Brenda Stevenson, a scholar on American slavery, "12 Years a Slave" is a masterful cinematic work that achieves more than any other film on slavery, so worthy that she plans to screen it in classes at her university, UCLA. It's the kind of validation "12 Years a Slave" has been earning from experts, critics, audiences and the film industry for six months now. The film from British director Steve McQueen appears to be the frontrunner for film's highest honor at Sunday's ceremony but has at least three factors conspiring against it: another high-quality, groundbreaking movie called "Gravity," the tricky math of Oscar voting and the film's own brutal depiction of American slavery. "One of the things I think Steve McQueen does extremely well is capture the violence of the institution." That unflinching portrayal of a real American story, that of the free black man Solomon Northup who is tricked and sold into slavery, may win on the gravitas scale.
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won the best-acting Oscar categories and Sidney Poitier was honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2002, the night was a watershed for black actors in Hollywood. Since then the debate about Hollywood diversity among the African American community has continued to ebb and flow, but one fact remains constant: nearly all black actors are still only being recognized by the Academy Awards for playing specifically black characters in film. Four movies from 2013 have served to animate that conversation during Hollywood's awards season: "12 Years A Slave," "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Fruitvale Station" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." Only the first, Steve McQueen's historical drama, made it to the Oscars.
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Danish drama "The Hunt" has at least one advantage over its rivals in its bid to win the best foreign-language picture Oscar: the familiar face of Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen, the 48-year-old star of NBC television thriller "Hannibal," is no unknown to Oscar voters. Mikkelsen's work in Hollywood and his association with the upper echelon of the Danish film industry underscore his ability to maintain a high profile in both the United States and his home country. "Denmark is a small country and if I can make two films a year (here), people start getting sick and tired of you," Mikkelsen said wryly.
The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday the launch of a service allowing users of iPads and iPhones to access hundreds of movies via the Internet cloud. "Disney Movies Anywhere" is being offering as an app for Apple devices which "enables consumers to discover, purchase, manage, and watch movies from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel at home and on the go." "Disney Movies Anywhere offers an exceptional consumer experience built around some of the most beloved and popular entertainment brands in the world," said Alan Bergman, president of Walt Disney Studios. "This unique technology underscores Disney's commitment to meeting our consumers where they are with the content they want, and we're thrilled to debut with iTunes, the number one digital media retailer in the world."
The British actor is in line to play both Ronald and Reginald Kray, identical twin brothers who made a name for themselves as some of the most powerful gangsters in London's East End in the 1950s and 1960s. Thirty-six-year-old Tom Hardy could take both of the title roles in "Legend," a feature in development at Working Title, according to Screendaily.com. The crime drama will be written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar in 1998 for adapting James Ellroy's novel "LA Confidential" into the classic crime drama. Members of The Firm, the Kray brothers ruled over London's East End in the 1950s and 1960s, rubbing elbows with politicians and movie stars alike in their nightclubs.