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Michael Jackson Wanted To Scrap ‘Thriller’

michael jackson hated Thriller and wanted to scrap the entire album, until a visit to a school playground changed his mind and encourgaed him to finish the biggest-selling record in history.

In a recently unearthed interview tape from the 1980s, Jackson tells how he almost canned the album because, he says on the tape, “it sucked.”.

“Thriller sounded so crap,” he says. “The mixes sucked. When we listened to the whole album, there were tears. I just cried like a baby. .

“I stormed out of the room and said, ‘We’re not releasing this. Call [record company] CBS and tell them they are NOT getting this album. We are NOT releasing this.'” .

Jackson explains how he left the studio in West Lake, Los Angeles, and ended up watching children play in a nearby playground. .

“I felt terrible,” he says. “One of the maintenance crew in the studio had a bicycle and so I took it and rode up to the schoolyard. I just watched the children play.”.

“And when I came back I was ready to rule the world. I went into the studio and I turned them songs out.” .

Jackson remixed a song a week and the album went on to sell 70 million copies.

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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Based on a favorite children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett, this is a full-length feature about a big-hearted inventor who finds a way to make delicious food fall from the heavens. Nick Schager of Time Out New York says, “Driven by an idiosyncratic blend of goofiness and sweetness, ‘Cloudy’ serves up vibrant animation in tune with its spirit of rollicking comedic abandon, all while championing nerdy intelligence over bland conformity and gastronomic moderation over supersized gluttony.”

This film, like nearly all animated releases these days, can be seen in standard or 3-D formats. Overall, the technology has been upgraded and the goofy glasses are sturdier and less of a nuisance. Some movie fans have totally embraced this modernized theater experience — a key reason why box office records were once again broken this summer — while some are more slowly coming around. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times is of the latter mindset, but was still impressed with this production. “I continue to find 3-D a distracting nuisance, but it must be said the Sony process produces a sharp, crisp picture, with no visible imprecision between the matches of the images. There is clear definition between closer and further elements. I’ve seen a lot of 3-D recently, and in terms of technical quality, this is the best.”

It’s been a while since there was an animated movie in theaters — “Up” was in May and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” opened July 1st — so if the kids are off to a good start in school and they’ve earned a trip to the movies, this one should be tons of fun.

cloudy with a chance of meatballs

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The Informant

the informantMatt Damon reteams with Steven Soderbergh, the director of “Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13,” to play a rising star at his agriculture industry mega-corp who suddenly turns whistleblower. Critics are divided about their darkly comic take on this true criminal investigation. David Denby of The New Yorker states, “‘The Informant!’ is a return to form for Soderbergh, who couldn’t seem to put anything resembling an emotional charge into his recent films… This time, Soderbergh is in full control, and his star is on fire.” However, Robert Willonsky of The Village Voice doesn’t entirely agree: “Unlike the director’s usual organic efforts — in which great style never results in overstylized — ‘The Informant!’ feels over-amped from start to shrugging finish. The filmmakers have painted a 1990s story with a 1970s palette, and the tone clashes with the setting, like plaid on paisley.”

Todd McCarthy of Variety calls it “the wacky little brother of ‘Erin Brockovich,'” and I have to agree that this is the most intriguing, original and thought-provoking option of any of the films opening this weekend.

The Informant trailers and clips

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Love Happens

This rom-com stars Aaron Eckhart of “The Dark Knight” and the always lovely, likeable and unoffending Jennifer Aniston. Rafer Guzman of Newsday asks, “What happens when troubled self-help author Burke Ryan (Eckhart) meets disillusioned florist Eloise Chandler (Aniston)? Love happens in ‘Love Happens,’ along with hearts, flowers, wine, roses, sweetness, light and every other cliche the filmmakers can squeeze into a two-hour film.”

Randy Cordova of The Arizona Republic isn’t disappointed in the casting but, “because there’s no mystery, no chemistry and paper-thin characters, the movie coasts by on the charms of its two stars. And while Eckhart and Aniston are mighty appealing, they need to be given something more with which to work.”

It’s apparently another weekend offering that isn’t a truly fresh take on its genre, but this is the best date night option since the indie darling “(500) Days of Summer” this past July. Plus, if you’ve sided with “Team Jen,” how can you not go out and support the girl? Love Happens trailer and clips

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Jennifer’s Body

jennyfer's bodyIt’s hard to believe that for all of her incredible notoriety, Megan Fox has never technically headlined a film. Sure, we’ve seen her as one of the human characters in the “Transformers” movies, but this is the first time she’s earned top billing (above Amanda Seyfried, the breakout star of last summer’s “Mamma Mia”). The acclaimed screenwriter of “Juno,” Diablo Cody, penned this teen horror flick about a boy-eating demon chick. According to Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic, “neither Cody nor director Karyn Kusama has come up with anything original here (beyond the admittedly cool idea of what happens when you mean to sacrifice a virgin but your victim isn’t one).” He does give some to Seyfried for making “the shift from virginal good girl to vengeance-seeking hellion seem plausible.”

Justin Chang from Variety puts it this way: “While not exactly lifeless, ‘Jennifer’s Body’ sure could be fresher. Even with Megan Fox ideally cast as a sharp-fanged succubus with a lusty appetite for young male (and sometimes female) flesh, this high school horror romp tackles its bad-girl-gone-really-bad premise with eye-rolling obviousness and, fatally, a near-total absence of real scares.”

Even though the film’s story isn’t entirely original, horror fans and teenagers will totally get a kick out of Megan Fox’s danger-sexy character. Jennyfer’s body trailer and clips

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‘Dirty Dancing’ star Patrick Swayze dies at 57

Obit Swayze

APTOPIX People Patrick Swayze

Obit Swayze

patrick swayze 4

patrick swayze 5

LOS ANGELES – Patrick Swayze personified a particular kind of masculine grace both on and off screen, from his roles in films like “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost” to the way he carried himself in his long fight with pancreatic cancer.

Swayze died from the illness on Monday in Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 57.

“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” Annett Wolf said in a statement Monday evening. She declined to give details.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from an especially deadly form of cancer. He continued working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting “The Beast,” an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot.

Swayze said he chose not to use painkillers while making “The Beast” because they would have taken the edge off his performance. The show drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran this year, but A&E said it reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was “considerably more optimistic” than that. Swayze acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters in early 2009. “Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”

And that’s exactly what he did. In February, Swayze wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post titled, “I’m Battling Cancer. How About Some Help, Congress?” in which he urged senators and representatives to vote for the maximum funding for the National Institutes of Health to fight cancer as part of the economic stimulus package.

He also appeared in the September 2008 live television event “Stand Up to Cancer,” where he pleaded: “I keep dreaming of a future, a future with a long and healthy life, a life not lived in the shadow of cancer, but in the light. … I dream that the word `cure’ will no longer be followed by the words `is impossible.'”

Celebrities and fans inspired by Swayze’s struggle poured out their condolences, including C. Thomas Howell, who costarred with Swayze in “The Outsiders,” “Grandview U.S.A.” and “Red Dawn.”

“I have always had a special place in my heart for Patrick,” he said. “While I was fortunate enough to work with him in three films, it was our passion for horses that forged a friendship between us that I treasure to this day.”

Others used Twitter to express their sadness, and “Dirty Dancing” was a top trending topic Monday night, trailed by other Swayze films.

Demi Moore, who played Swayze’s fiancee in “Ghost,” wrote: “Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives.” Moore’s husband, Ashton Kutcher, tweeted: “RIP P Swayze” and linked to a YouTube clip of the actor poking fun at himself in a classic “Saturday Night Live” sketch, in which he played a wannabe Chippendales dancer alongside the corpulent — and frighteningly shirtless — Chris Farley.

Larry King wrote: “Patrick Swayze was a wonderful actor & a terrific guy. He put his heart in everything. He was an extraordinary fighter in his battle w Cancer.” King added that he’d do a tribute to Swayze on his CNN program Tuesday night.

A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad boy Johnny Castle in “Dirty Dancing.” As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theater, he seemed a natural to play the role.

A coming-of-age romance starring Jennifer Grey as an idealistic young woman on vacation with her family and Swayze as the Catskills resort’s sexy (and much older) dance instructor, the film made use of both his grace on his feet and his muscular physique.

It became an international phenomenon in the summer of 1987, spawning albums, an Oscar-winning hit song in “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life,” stage productions and a sequel, 2004’s “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” in which he made a cameo.

Swayze performed and co-wrote a song on the soundtrack, the ballad “She’s Like the Wind,” inspired by his wife, Lisa Niemi. The film also gave him the chance to utter the now-classic line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Swayze followed up with the 1989 action flick “Road House,” in which he played a bouncer at a rowdy bar. But it was his performance in 1990’s “Ghost” that showed his vulnerable, sensitive side. He starred as a murdered man trying to communicate with his fiancee, with great frustration and longing, through a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg.

“Ghost” provided yet another indelible musical moment: Swayze and Moore sensually molding pottery together to the strains of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.” It also earned a best-picture nomination and a supporting-actress Oscar for Goldberg, who said she wouldn’t have won if it weren’t for Swayze.

“When I won my Academy Award, the only person I really thanked was Patrick,” Goldberg said in March 2008 on the ABC daytime talk show “The View.”

Swayze himself earned three Golden Globe nominations, for “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost” and 1995’s “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar,” which allowed him to toy with his masculine image. The role called for him to play a drag queen on a cross-country road trip alongside Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo.

His heartthrob status almost kept him from being considered for the role of Vida Boheme.

“I couldn’t get seen on it because everyone viewed me as terminally heterosexually masculine-macho,” he told The Associated Press then. But he transformed himself so completely that when his screen test was sent to Steven Spielberg, whose Amblin pictures produced “To Wong Foo,” the director didn’t recognize him.

Among his earlier films, Swayze was part of the star-studded lineup in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s novel “The Outsiders,” alongside Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Diane Lane. Other ’80s films included “Red Dawn,” “Grandview U.S.A.” and “Youngblood,” once more with Lowe, as Canadian hockey teammates.

In the ’90s, he made such eclectic films as “Point Break” (1991) in which he played the leader of a band of bank-robbing surfers, and the family Western “Tall Tale” (1995) in which he starred as Pecos Bill. He appeared on the cover of People magazine as its “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1991, but his career tapered off toward the end of the 1990s, when he went to rehab for alcohol abuse. In 2001, he appeared in the cult favorite “Donnie Darko,” and in 2003 he returned to the New York stage with “Chicago”; 2006 found him in the musical “Guys and Dolls” in London.

Swayze was born in 1952 in Houston, the son of Jesse Swayze and choreographer Patsy Swayze, whose films include “Urban Cowboy.”

He played football but also was drawn to dance and theater, performing with the Feld, Joffrey and Harkness Ballets and appearing on Broadway as Danny Zuko in “Grease.” He turned to acting in 1978 after a series of injuries.

Within a couple years of moving to Los Angeles, he made his debut in the roller-disco movie “Skatetown, U.S.A.” The eclectic cast included Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Maureen McCormack and Billy Barty.

Off-screen, he was an avid conservationist who was moved by his time in Africa to shine a light on “man’s greed and absolute unwillingness to operate according to Mother Nature’s laws,” he told the AP in 2004.

Swayze was married since 1975 to Niemi, a fellow dancer who took lessons with his mother; they met when he was 19 and she was 15. A licensed pilot, Niemi would fly her husband from Los Angeles to Northern California for treatment at Stanford University Medical Center.
Source: Yahoo News

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Spankers – Sex on The Beach

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Caster Semenya a victim of the media?

caster semenyaCaster Semenya, the 18-year old at the center of one of the biggest gender scandals in sports history, withdrew from a weekend race in South Africa amidst unconfirmed reports that her gender tests have revealed that she has both male and female sexual organs.

She was scheduled to compete in the 4,000 meters at the national cross country championships in Pretoria. Semenya’s coach, Michael Seme, says his runner “isn’t feeling well”.

Yesterday, unsubstantiated reports from Australia and England said that Semenya’s tests showed that she has no womb or ovaries and produces testosterone levels three times higher than a normal woman. The IAAF thinly denies the reports. (The organization’s spokesman says he hasn’t “seen” the results, which doesn’t mean he hasn’t “heard” the results. Nor has the IAAF come out and said that the reports are false.)

The Today Show aired a report on the Semenya situation this morning:

It’s another chapter in an unfortunate story. It’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalized aspects of Semenya’s tale, but let’s not forget that she’s still just a teenager who is now the centerpiece of an embarrassing worldwide scandal. No matter how things progressed to this point (and we’ll get to that later), Semenya is a victim in this story.

But let’s operate under assumption that the tests were accurate and that Semenya has intersex conditions. If so, then there are three main questions that will need to be answered soon:

1) Will Semenya be stripped of her gold medal?

Probably. It’s hard to imagine that the IAAF would allow Semenya to keep the gold after what these tests reveal. The rules explicitly state that a “gender verification” situation has to be approved and overseen by medical authorities. Semenya didn’t do this. Fair or not, a rule is a rule.

2) Will Semenya ever be allowed to run again?

Reading the IAAF rules, it would appear that Semenya would be allowed to run if her condition was treated. Whether or not she would want to is anyone’s guess. But there’s also a chance she could be banned from running based on the answer to the next question.

3) Who knew about this and when did they know?

We haven’t gotten this far down the road yet, but the next logical step in the progression of this sordid affair is whether there was a coverup involved. Regardless of whether the intentions of Semenya and her handlers were nefarious, they had to know of her ambiguous gender. Not having ovaries isn’t something that goes unnoticed. If they did, then at what point did this turn from an unfortunate medical situation into outright deception?

If Semenya was an innocent running without knowledge of her condition, then there’s not much the IAAF could do other than strip her medal and advise her on how to regain eligibility. But if it can be determined that she knew she was running illegally (which would be tough to prove, but I’m starting to get the feeling that people knew — how else would other coaches have known to order gender tests?) then there could be heavy sanctions down the road.

These questions will be discussed in the coming weeks and will be the center of attention when the IAAF officially releases its findings in November. If you thought the tale of Caster Semenya was strange before, it’s just getting started.
Source: Yahoo

Filed under: Attitudes,

Whitney Houston at Oprah

Oprah kicks off the 24th season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Monday, 9/14 with what she says is “the best interview” she’s ever done – her one-on-one with Whitney Houston.
The last tell-all that Whitney participated in was the infamous 2002 Diane Sawyer “crack is wack” interview that showed a feisty but ill Whitney defending her marriage and lifestyle.
Now with her marriage to Bobby Brown over (the divorce finalized in 2007) and her new album “I Look to You” entering the charts at No. 1, Whitney Houston has shed some demons and is ready to get truthful with her fans.

oprah & whitney houston

Before Oprah met with Whitney for their interview at the Town Hall in New York, she watched the 2002 Diane Sawyer spectacle and worried that she might find the same disconnected woman across from her the next day. So when she woke up the next morning, Oprah cleared her schedule and began to pray. She prayed to be open and non-judgmental and she prayed to be used as a vessel to help Whitney share her truth. Across town Whitney was in her own room praying for the same results.

Apparently, it worked. “There wasn’t a question that I asked that she didn’t answer thoughtfully,” Oprah told Diane Sawyer Thursday morning. And no topic was off limits, including Whitney’s drug use, her marriage to Bobby Brown, and even her fears about returning to the spotlight.

Source: Yahoo TV

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Tracy Raver Photography, New Born Photographer

tracy raver 11tracy raver 10tracy raver 9tracy raver 8tracy raver 7tracy raver 5tracy raver 4tracy raver 3tracy raver 2tracy raver 1Tracy Raver is an amazing photographer. She has the ability to illustrate the innocence, gentleness, and calmness of newborns in lovable portraits. It is amazing how she can get babies, as young as two weeks old, to pose in ways that look peaceful and entirely adorable.

Tracy Raver’s photography was featured on the Today Show this morning. She captures newborns napping with a peaceful contentment.

Tracy Raver photography is based in Nebraska, specializing in photographing newborn babies. Raver tells the Today show that she is able to catch the babies mid-slumber by keeping her studio warm and cozy.

Here are some of her photographs. Enjoy!

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