Wednesday Oct 1, 2014

'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast

Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins, attached since the project's inception in 2013, will be joined by Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox, it was announced last week. Now Lili Simmons and David Arquette have also joined the cast."Bone Tomahawk," to be directed by S. Craig Zahler, focuses on an...
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TV

'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast

Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins, attached since the project's inception in 2013, will be joined by Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox, it was announced last week. Now Lili Simmons and David Arquette have also joined the cast."Bone Tomahawk," to be directed by S. Craig Zahler, focuses on an outlaw and his band of cave-dwelling cannibals, who have captured several residents of the peaceful village of Bright Hope. A farmer, a sheriff, his deputy and a sharp shooter team up to come to the villagers' rescue. The movie's ensemble cast has just added Lili Simmons, seen on "True Detective," and David Arquette, known for his role in the "Scream" movies. The two actors join Patrick Wilson, who recently starred in "The Conjuring" and will soon return in "Stretch," and Matthew Fox of "Lost." Also on the billing are action movie veterans Kurt Russell ("Death Proof") and Richard Jenkins ("White House Down"). Screenwriter and cinematographer S. Craig Zahler will make his directorial debut with this western, which is said to be particularly violent. No release dates have been announced. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

McAfee names Kimmel its 'most dangerous celebrity'
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
McAfee names Kimmel its 'most dangerous celebrity'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you're about to Google Jimmy Kimmel, beware. Computer security company McAfee says the talk show host is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online. The company said Tuesday that a search for Kimmel carries a 19 percent chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for spyware, viruses or malware. The company has used its own site ratings to make the determination for the past eight years. Other celebrities McAfee deems dangerous this year include Ciara, Flo Rida, Bruce Springsteen, Chelsea Handler and Christina Aguilera. Kimmel said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Tuesday that he can't believe a kid who played the clarinet and carried a briefcase to junior high school grew up to be the most dangerous celebrity of 2014. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Iditarod renews TV deal with Sportsman Channel
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Iditarod renews TV deal with Sportsman Channel

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Organizers of Alaska's famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have renewed a deal with the Sportsman Channel, continuing a national television presence for the nearly 1,000-mile trek across rugged and sometimes unforgiving terrain. With the agreement announced Wednesday, the network maintains its status as the official network of the race from Anchorage to the old gold rush town of Nome on Alaska's wind-scoured western coast. The original partnership began weeks before this year's race took place in March, culminating with musher Dallas Seavey running a blistering pace to rally from third place and win his second Iditarod in a record-breaking finish. "We couldn't be happier about this event," Sportsman Channel spokesman Tom Caraccioli said. "We see this as an iconic American, Alaskan celebration, and it's something that people know about. But we want people to really be able to see this and embrace it for the true rugged event that it is." As with the 2014 Iditarod, the network won't document the race live in 2015. Hours of programming will air later, detailing stories of mushers, dogs, race history, the wilderness trail and the intense competition that marks each race. Musher standings will be updated on the network's website during the race. The Iditarod Trail Committee also provides video footage along the trail for fans who subscribe to its "Iditarod Insider" online service. Caraccioli and race executive director Stan Hooley declined to discuss terms of the deal. Hooley said the partnership translates into a substantial investment to augment escalating logistical and other expenses in staging the Iditarod. The race also relies on other moneymakers such as fundraisers and sponsorships. Perhaps someday some of the new revenues can go toward the purse, which has dwindled in recent years as organizers struggle with race sponsors and finances after a downturn in the economy. But for now, Hooley expects the purse for the first 30 mushers to remain in the $650,000 range, with the cash awarded on a downward sliding scale. All other mushers who finish the race receive $1,049. The winner's take since 2010 has been $50,400 and a new truck — compared with the more than $72,000 won by 2005 champion, Norwegian musher Robert Sorlie. "We're certainly not content with where we are," Hooley said. "Our desire is to be more successful in our fundraising efforts to increase the purse when it's prudent or makes financial sense." Hooley said race organizers are thrilled with the Sportsman Channel partnership as a platform for a wider coverage. "We're very happy to have a national television partner that will do a great job telling the Iditarod story to a national audience," he said. For next year's Iditarod, the network and its affiliated magazines and websites will promote the race before its March 7 ceremonial start in Anchorage. The competitive part of the race for mushers and their dog teams will begin the following day 50 miles to the north in Willow. It takes the winner about 10 days to cross the finish line in Nome. Before joining up with the Sportsman's Channel, the Iditarod had not had a network deal since 2009. ___ Follow Rachel D'Oro at https://twitter.com/rdoro Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

First ladies get the 'Project Runway' treatment
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
First ladies get the 'Project Runway' treatment

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's first ladies went under Tim Gunn's fashion microscope Tuesday night, and the results weren't always positive. Style guru Gunn and a panel of experts cast a critical eye on first lady fashions at a National Archives forum, and not everyone fared as well as Michelle Obama. The current first lady got top fashion reviews from Gunn and the other panelists, with Gunn rating her style sense as "divine." But he wondered why Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, felt compelled to play amateur seamstress and remake her dresses over and over. As for possible future administrations, Gunn took note that Hillary Rodham Clinton's been looking "rather presidential lately." But the panelists said it had taken Clinton some time to warm up to the idea that a first lady's style reflects on her husband's administration. Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, noted that in the days of Sarah Polk, wife to James Polk, women wanted to show off a tiny waist, hands and feet, but have "plump, voluptuous shoulders and a big, big butt." "That sounds like Nicki Minaj, JLo and Kim K.," designer Tracy Reese declared. Reese eyed a picture of an ivory brocade dress of Polk's with a flouncy bottom and wondered aloud, "Can you imagine Kim Kardashian in that?" Gunn sniffed: "I'd prefer not to." The forum was held at the National Archives, which has "signature" items worn by Jacqueline Kennedy and Mrs. Obama on display as part of its exhibit, "Making their Mark: Stories Through Signatures." Among the items on display: The black and red Narciso Rodriguez dress worn by Mrs. Obama on the night of the 2008 election in Chicago, and a pillbox hat worn by Mrs. Kennedy. The forum was presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association. ___ Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tim Gunn sizes up first lady fashions do's, don'ts
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Tim Gunn sizes up first lady fashions do's, don'ts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama went under Tim Gunn's fashion microscope and got an approving nod, but not all first ladies fared as well — Hillary Rodham Clinton among them. Gunn and a panel of fashion experts reviewed the fashion sense of the nation's first ladies at a National Archives forum Tuesday, and found plenty of do's and don'ts. Gunn rated Mrs. Obama's style sense as "divine." Jacqueline Kennedy he deemed a "style-setter." But he wondered why Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, felt compelled to play amateur seamstress and remake her dresses over and over. As a designer, Wilson "would have been the first one out on 'Project Runway,'" the fashion consultant and TV personality joked. "She was having difficulty making it work," Gunn said, in a play on his trademark admonition to "make it work." As for possible future administrations, Gunn said Clinton has been looking "very presidential lately. There's definitely an evolution that's been taking place. The bar has been raised." Other panelists said it had taken Clinton some time to warm up to the idea that a first lady's style reflects on her husband's administration. "I just feel like it's not important to her," designer Tracy Reese said. "Public service is very important, but her appearance is down on the list." Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said Clinton's signature style from her days as first lady was "the famous pantsuit and the hair problems." Looking further back in history to the 1800s, Steele noted that in the days of Sarah Polk, wife to James Polk, women wanted to show off a tiny waist, hands and feet, but have "plump, voluptuous shoulders and a big, big butt." "That sounds like Nicki Minaj, JLo and Kim K.," Reese declared. She eyed a picture of an ivory brocade dress of Polk's with a flouncy bottom and wondered aloud, "Can you imagine Kim Kardashian in that?" Gunn sniffed, "I'd prefer not to." The forum was held at the National Archives, which has "signature" items worn by Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Obama on display as part of its exhibit, "Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures." Among the items on display: the black and red Narciso Rodriguez dress worn by Mrs. Obama on the night of the 2008 election in Chicago and a pillbox hat worn by Mrs. Kennedy. The forum was presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association. ___ Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
'Bone Tomahawk' grows its ensemble cast

Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins, attached since the project's inception in 2013, will be joined by Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox, it was announced last week. Now Lili Simmons and David Arquette have also joined the cast."Bone Tomahawk," to be directed by S. Craig Zahler, focuses on an outlaw and his band of cave-dwelling cannibals, who have captured several residents of the peaceful village of Bright Hope. A farmer, a sheriff, his deputy and a sharp shooter team up to come to the villagers' rescue. The movie's ensemble cast has just added Lili Simmons, seen on "True Detective," and David Arquette, known for his role in the "Scream" movies. The two actors join Patrick Wilson, who recently starred in "The Conjuring" and will soon return in "Stretch," and Matthew Fox of "Lost." Also on the billing are action movie veterans Kurt Russell ("Death Proof") and Richard Jenkins ("White House Down"). Screenwriter and cinematographer S. Craig Zahler will make his directorial debut with this western, which is said to be particularly violent. No release dates have been announced. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Naomi Campbell boards 'Empire'
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Naomi Campbell boards 'Empire'

The 44-year-old actress and supermodel will play a recurring character on the new hip hop drama "Empire," which premieres early next year on FOX.Hailing from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong ("The Butler"), "Empire" centers on Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), a former music star turned hip hop industry mogul. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, he must choose which of his three sons will take his place at the head of his record label. Stopping at nothing to protect his dynasty, he faces additional pressure from his ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), who is back on the scene after serving close to two decades in jail. Naomi Campbell will play Camilla, a seductive woman having a torrid affair with the potential heir to the Lyon family business, which dominates the global hip hop industry. "Naomi is a beautiful actress. Underrated in my mind," said Daniels. "She will be wonderful as Camilla. I am truly thrilled to have one of my close friends join us." The role will not be Campbell’s first on FOX. In 1995, the actress appeared in multiple episodes of the network’s drama “New York Undercover.”   Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

James Gunn heads up Tokyo Film Festival jury
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
James Gunn heads up Tokyo Film Festival jury

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn will lead the prize jury at the Tokyo International Film Festival, where Takeshi Kitano and Tim Burton will receive the inaugural Samurai Awards.Running for nine days from October 23, this year's Tokyo International Film Festival is to open with a screening of Disney's "Big Hero 6" and close with the last of 30 TIFF world premieres, manga adaptation "Parasyte" from prize-winning Takashi Yamazaki of "The Eternal Zero" and the "Always: Sunset on Third Street" trilogy. Gunn and his five fellow jury members have the task of selecting a best director, best actress, best actor and best artistic contribution, as well as the recipient of its Special Jury Prize ($20,000) and the Tokyo Grand Prix ($50,000). The TIFF's 15 films in competition include two French works in Cédric Jimenez's thriller "The Connection," starring Jean Dujardin of "The Artist," and Romain Goupil's drama "The Days Come," as well as the Paris-based "1001 Grams." Among the features joining them are tense Iranian emigration story "Melbourne," Malaysian youth drama "River of Exploding Durians," the Chinese sibling story "River Road," Philippino slum escape "Ruined Heart," which was expanded from a 2012 Berlin International Film Festival-nominated short, and a Japanese literary adaptation in the well-anticipated "Pale Moon." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Tokyo film fest to focus on anime, Asia and Middle East
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Tokyo film fest to focus on anime, Asia and Middle East

Animated features will be in focus at the Tokyo International Film Festival when it kicks off next month, organisers said Tuesday, along with the cinema of Asia and the Middle East.The 27th TIFF, which will run from October 23 through 31, "will have great animation films... and we hope to help promote Japanese animations around the world," festival programming director Yoshihiko Yatabe told a press conference. "A film made in Azerbaijan is one of features this year, a country where the fascinating cinema scene is being influenced by the thriving film industry in neighbouring Turkey," he said. This year, the collected works of Hideaki Anno -- who is seen as the next Hayao Miyazaki, the famed Japanese animation and manga master who retired last year -- will be seen together for the first time, the event secretariat said. Anno is best known for his popular science fiction anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion," which became a sensation in Japan in the 1990s. Other programmes include 3D short movies directed by Shigeru Miyamoto, senior managing director of game company Nintendo and renowned game producer for "Sumer Mario Bros." and "Donkey Kong." TIFF's principal attraction, the competition section, screens 15 feature films from around the world that were selected from some 1,300 entries. The core events also include a competition for young directors in Asia and the Middle East, the secretariat said. Side events will also include the screening of Chinese and South Korean films, as well as those about Spain and Latin America. kh/hg/jg Nintendo Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte honored by Harvard
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte honored by Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Oprah Winfrey and performer-activist Harry Belafonte were among those honored at Harvard University on Tuesday at its annual celebration of African American culture. The university's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research presented its annual W.E.B. Du Bois Medals to eight people at the ceremony, also including British architect David Adjaye, civil rights hero U.S. Rep John Lewis, D-Ga.; "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes and movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The medal has been awarded since 2000 and is Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. Winfrey also accepted a posthumous award for author and poet Maya Angelou, who she has called a mentor. The billionaire television host, producer and philanthropist said one of her fondest memories of Angelou, who died earlier this year, was sitting at her table and eating biscuits. Rhimes, creator of hit shows with black female protagonists, said it shouldn't be so unusual, in this day, to expect characters on television shows to "look like the rest of the world." In a recent Associated Press interview about her new ABC show, "How To Get Away With Murder," starring Viola Davis as a criminal lawyer and law professor, Rhimes said "Why did it take somebody black to talk about being black?" Belafonte recalled his days in the civil rights movement with figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and actor Paul Robeson. Lewis, who was presented a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama, was introduced Tuesday by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Introducing the other honorees were novelist Jamaica Kincaid, Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard Graduate School of Design Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, and American Repertory Theater's artistic director Diane Paulus. Du Bois, a scholar who founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard. Selections from his writings were read at the ceremony. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Iditarod renews TV deal with Sportsman Channel
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Iditarod renews TV deal with Sportsman Channel

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Organizers of Alaska's famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have renewed a deal with the Sportsman Channel, continuing a national television presence for the nearly 1,000-mile trek across rugged and sometimes unforgiving terrain. With the agreement announced Wednesday, the network maintains its status as the official network of the race from Anchorage to the old gold rush town of Nome on Alaska's wind-scoured western coast. The original partnership began weeks before this year's race took place in March, culminating with musher Dallas Seavey running a blistering pace to rally from third place and win his second Iditarod in a record-breaking finish. "We couldn't be happier about this event," Sportsman Channel spokesman Tom Caraccioli said. "We see this as an iconic American, Alaskan celebration, and it's something that people know about. But we want people to really be able to see this and embrace it for the true rugged event that it is." As with the 2014 Iditarod, the network won't document the race live in 2015. Hours of programming will air later, detailing stories of mushers, dogs, race history, the wilderness trail and the intense competition that marks each race. Musher standings will be updated on the network's website during the race. The Iditarod Trail Committee also provides video footage along the trail for fans who subscribe to its "Iditarod Insider" online service. Caraccioli and race executive director Stan Hooley declined to discuss terms of the deal. Hooley said the partnership translates into a substantial investment to augment escalating logistical and other expenses in staging the Iditarod. The race also relies on other moneymakers such as fundraisers and sponsorships. Perhaps someday some of the new revenues can go toward the purse, which has dwindled in recent years as organizers struggle with race sponsors and finances after a downturn in the economy. But for now, Hooley expects the purse for the first 30 mushers to remain in the $650,000 range, with the cash awarded on a downward sliding scale. All other mushers who finish the race receive $1,049. The winner's take since 2010 has been $50,400 and a new truck — compared with the more than $72,000 won by 2005 champion, Norwegian musher Robert Sorlie. "We're certainly not content with where we are," Hooley said. "Our desire is to be more successful in our fundraising efforts to increase the purse when it's prudent or makes financial sense." Hooley said race organizers are thrilled with the Sportsman Channel partnership as a platform for a wider coverage. "We're very happy to have a national television partner that will do a great job telling the Iditarod story to a national audience," he said. For next year's Iditarod, the network and its affiliated magazines and websites will promote the race before its March 7 ceremonial start in Anchorage. The competitive part of the race for mushers and their dog teams will begin the following day 50 miles to the north in Willow. It takes the winner about 10 days to cross the finish line in Nome. Before joining up with the Sportsman's Channel, the Iditarod had not had a network deal since 2009. ___ Follow Rachel D'Oro at https://twitter.com/rdoro Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

James Gunn heads up Tokyo Film Festival jury
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
James Gunn heads up Tokyo Film Festival jury

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn will lead the prize jury at the Tokyo International Film Festival, where Takeshi Kitano and Tim Burton will receive the inaugural Samurai Awards.Running for nine days from October 23, this year's Tokyo International Film Festival is to open with a screening of Disney's "Big Hero 6" and close with the last of 30 TIFF world premieres, manga adaptation "Parasyte" from prize-winning Takashi Yamazaki of "The Eternal Zero" and the "Always: Sunset on Third Street" trilogy. Gunn and his five fellow jury members have the task of selecting a best director, best actress, best actor and best artistic contribution, as well as the recipient of its Special Jury Prize ($20,000) and the Tokyo Grand Prix ($50,000). The TIFF's 15 films in competition include two French works in Cédric Jimenez's thriller "The Connection," starring Jean Dujardin of "The Artist," and Romain Goupil's drama "The Days Come," as well as the Paris-based "1001 Grams." Among the features joining them are tense Iranian emigration story "Melbourne," Malaysian youth drama "River of Exploding Durians," the Chinese sibling story "River Road," Philippino slum escape "Ruined Heart," which was expanded from a 2012 Berlin International Film Festival-nominated short, and a Japanese literary adaptation in the well-anticipated "Pale Moon." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte honored by Harvard
Wednesday Oct 1, 2014
Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte honored by Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Oprah Winfrey and performer-activist Harry Belafonte were among those honored at Harvard University on Tuesday at its annual celebration of African American culture. The university's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research presented its annual W.E.B. Du Bois Medals to eight people at the ceremony, also including British architect David Adjaye, civil rights hero U.S. Rep John Lewis, D-Ga.; "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes and movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The medal has been awarded since 2000 and is Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. Winfrey also accepted a posthumous award for author and poet Maya Angelou, who she has called a mentor. The billionaire television host, producer and philanthropist said one of her fondest memories of Angelou, who died earlier this year, was sitting at her table and eating biscuits. Rhimes, creator of hit shows with black female protagonists, said it shouldn't be so unusual, in this day, to expect characters on television shows to "look like the rest of the world." In a recent Associated Press interview about her new ABC show, "How To Get Away With Murder," starring Viola Davis as a criminal lawyer and law professor, Rhimes said "Why did it take somebody black to talk about being black?" Belafonte recalled his days in the civil rights movement with figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and actor Paul Robeson. Lewis, who was presented a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama, was introduced Tuesday by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Introducing the other honorees were novelist Jamaica Kincaid, Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard Graduate School of Design Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, and American Repertory Theater's artistic director Diane Paulus. Du Bois, a scholar who founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard. Selections from his writings were read at the ceremony. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Netflix takes aim at the theatrical window
Tuesday Sep 30, 2014
Netflix takes aim at the theatrical window

NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood's carefully controlled system of movie rollouts is officially under siege. Windowing — the practice of opening a movie first in theaters and then in other stages of home video, streaming and television release — has been under increasing pressure as smaller screens fight against the prominence of the theatrical big screen. Now, Netflix has sounded the most notable blow against windowing, announcing plans to release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" on the day it hits Imax theaters next August. The film, produced by the Weinstein Co., isn't a studio production, so it's in many ways only marginally more significant than the plethora of independent films regularly released on video-on-demand. But the announcement constitutes the biggest move yet by a major digital outlet to blow up Hollywood's traditional release pattern. "This is a very unique opportunity for somebody from the outside coming in to shake up what appears to be an increasingly antiquated release strategy," says Rich Greenfield, a media analyst for BTIG Research. "They had to get into the movie business to reduce windowing, and I think this is an important Step 1 for Netflix." Exhibitors, in tandem with the major studios, have long sought to guard the theatrical window. On Tuesday, two of the country's largest theater chains, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, which both included some Imax theaters, promptly refused to carry the film. "We will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3 inches wide on a smartphone," said Regal spokesman Russ Nunley. "We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear." The same chains also declined to screen Warner Bros.' day-and-date release "Veronica Mars" earlier this year. Warner Bros. instead bought up the 270 AMC theaters it played in while it was also released on VOD. The sequel "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend" is no sure bet despite the sensation of its 2000 precursor. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" won four Oscars, including best foreign-language film, and earned $214 million worldwide. The film's international appeal surely also motivated the ever-expanding Netflix, which has recently made inroads into Europe. But sequels released so long after the original often struggle to keep audience interest. And, perhaps most importantly, "The Green Legend" will not be helmed by the acclaimed director of "Crouching Tiger," Ang Lee. Instead, it's directed by Yuen Wo-Ping, the martial arts choreographer of "The Matrix" and both parts of "Kill Bill." It's currently being shot in New Zealand. Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, "The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement." Netflix has dabbled in releasing movies before, including distributing the 2013 documentary about the Egyptian revolution "The Square," which was nominated for a best-documentary Academy Award. And its most celebrated entry into original television, "House of Cards," too, has had a widespread effect in the movie business, alerting the industry to a new avenue for big-name talents such as Kevin Spacey and David Fincher. Netflix's entry into the movie business comes at a potentially fragile time for the movie industry, following a summer in which the box office was down 15 percent from last year. But one of the summer's buzziest successes was a smaller science-fiction thriller, "Snowpiercer," released by the Weinstein Co.' boutique label, Radius. It made nearly $11 million on VOD, more than double its theatrical revenue. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

First lady praises National Design Award winners
Tuesday Sep 30, 2014
First lady praises National Design Award winners

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama says she speaks for all women in saying she's glad that Narciso Rodriguez became a fashion designer. Rodriguez is among winners of the 2014 National Design Awards and attended an annual White House luncheon the first lady held Tuesday for the group. She also wore one of Rodriguez's designs: a sleeveless, eggplant-colored sheath dress. Mrs. Obama saluted the winners for having some of the "most daring and creative minds in the world." But as important as it is to celebrate the best designers in America today, the first lady says it's also necessary to cultivate the best designers of tomorrow. The National Design Awards were begun in 2000 by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, to honor lasting achievement in American design. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.