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Archive | December, 2008

More fallout from another fake memoir

The children’s picture book, “Angel Girl,” is being pulled from store shelves, according to a message on the Lerner Publishing Group website. The company is offering refunds for returns and has put the brakes on all plans for reprints. Lerner officials took the action after Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat admitted that part of his so-called true love story was a lie. Since the mid-1990s, Rosenblat has told an incredible story of how a little girl brought food to him while he was in a Nazi Germany work camp. Years later, he claims they got... Read More →

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New kudos for “The Terminator” and 24 other films

Arnold Schwarzenegger as “The Terminator”    The sci-fi classic, “The Terminator” was among more than two dozen films announced today as new selections for the National Film Registry. Every year, The Library of Congress picks 25 films that are considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant for inclusion in the registry so they can be preserved for all time. The National Film Registry, which now totals 500 films, was established by Congress in 1989. “The Terminator” was released in 1984. It made a movie star of an Austrian-born bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger who played a killing machine with a... Read More →

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Killer Santa was gunning for more victims

Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times A firefighter cleans up debris on Christmas Day at the gutted Covina home where a gunman killed nine people before taking his own life.   Bruce Jeffrey Pardo apparently had a hit list when he stormed the Covina home of his ex-in-laws on Christmas Eve dressed in a Santa costume. Police are saying now that Pardo, who gunned down nine people at the holiday party and then torched the home, had planned to take out his 72-year-old mother and his ex-wife’s attorney as well. Covina Police Lieutenant Pat Buchanan says... Read More →

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Update on Christmas Eve massacre

Liz O. Baylen/ Los Angeles Times On Saturday, December 27, people gathered in front of the remains of a Covina home that was torched by a disgruntled gunman after he killed nine people during a Christmas Eve rampage.    In the past few days relatives, neighbors, and strangers have walked to or driven to the bulldozed rubble of the Covina home where a gunman in a Santa suit killed nine members of the Ortega family on Christmas Eve before taking his own life. There is a makeshift memorial at the site, which... Read More →

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“Marley & Me” top dog at the Box Office

“Marley & Me” beat out a slew of films at the Box Office over the long Christmas holiday weekend. The family drama is based on the best selling novel about a family and its lovable but neurotic Labrador. “Marley & Me” brought in $14.7 million on December 25— the best debut ever on Christmas Day. “Marley & Me” continued to ring up mucho dough over the long four-day holiday weekend to become the number one film in the nation with an estimated $52 million. “Marley & Me” was followed by three other new... Read More →

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More details coming out about the killer Santa massacre

Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times Firefighters survey the gutted Covina home where the deadly Christmas Eve killings occurred.   The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is trying to identify the nine bodies recovered from a Covina home where Bruce Jeffrey Pardo went on a rampage Christmas Eve. Yesterday at a news conference, Covina Police Chief Kim Raney would only say that the victims’ ages ranged from “17 to 80.” Today, the list of the missing reportedly include Pardo’s ex-wife Sylvia, her parents, two brothers, their wives, a nephew, and a sister. There were... Read More →

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New deal for a book about legendary singer Tony Bennett

The most detailed ever biography of superstar crooner Tony Bennett has been bought at auction by publisher, John Wiley & Sons. Publishers Weekly reports David Evanier’s “Keeper of the Flame: A Biography of Tony Bennett” is set for release in 2011 to mark the singer’s 85th birthday.  He was born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1926. The singer’s career got a big break when Bob Hope asked him to join his stage show. Also, the comedian suggested a name change to Tony Bennett. In... Read More →

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New developments in the Santa Claus massacre probe

 Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times L.A. County coroner’s officials remove the body of Bruce Jeffrey Pardo from a Sylmar home on Christmas Day.   New details were released at a news conference this afternoon about that bloody Santa Claus massacre. Covina Police Chief Kim Raney confirmed earlier reports that nine victims perished in the brutal attack on a Christmas Eve party. Chief Raney says the gunman, 45-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, was dressed in a Santa Claus suit Wednesday night when he knocked on the door of the home of his ex-in-laws, Joseph and Alicia Ortega, in a... Read More →

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Four new movies leading the Box Office race

“Marley & Me” ran away from the pack of films at the Box Office on Christmas Day. Preliminary numbers show the movie about a couple raising a less than prefect dog rang up $14.6 million during its opening on Christmas. It will be interesting to see if the Owen Wilson and Jennifer Ansiton flick can hold on to the number one spot through the long holiday weekend. In second place right now, another new film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” debuted yesterday with about $11.7 million, followed... Read More →

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Oscar ballots go out today

  The Oscar race shifts into high gear with the mailing out of ballots today to around  6-thousand or so voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Members are asked to select the Academy Award nominees for 2008 and are given two weeks to return their ballots to the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The results of the secret ballots will be announced at a 5:30 a.m. press conference on January 22, 2009. A month later on Sunday February 22nd, the 81st Academy Awards ceremony will be held at the Kodak Theater... Read More →

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Sultry singer/actress Eartha Kitt dead at 81

Eartha Kitt at 79   Entertainer Eartha Kitt never lost her sexy style and trademark catlike purr even as she continued to perform in her later years. She reportedly taped a PBS special a few weeks ago in Chicago. Sadly Kitt, who had been treated recently for colon cancer, died Christmas Day on the East Coast. She was 81 and still had star power. Kitt’s saucy version of “Santa Baby” has been playing on radio stations all month long and reportedly went gold just last week. Some of her other best known recordings include, “Smoke... Read More →

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Christmas time!

FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank    SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys Playing with bombs like kids play with toys One warm December our hearts will see A world where men are free Someday at Christmas there’ll be no wars When we have learned what Christmas is for When we have found what life’s really worth There’ll be peace on earth Someday all our dreams will come to be Someday in a world where men are free Maybe not in time for you and... Read More →

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Big movies opening on Christmas Day

Adam Sandler stars in “Bedtime Stories”    A bunch of new films with some pretty big stars will be opening on Thursday, Christmas Day. Severe weather continues across the country. Here in the Southland, rain and strong winds are predicted for the  “ho, ho, ho” holiday. That may slow down the now traditional trek, for a lot of people, to the movies on Christmas Day.  If you decide to get out and brave the elements to catch a new movie, there is a variety to choose from. Disney’s “Bedtime Stories” starring... Read More →

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SAG delays strike authorization vote

In a new development late today, the Screen Actors Guild put the brakes on a plan to send out strike authorization ballots to its membership on January 2, 2009. SAG’s National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, Doug Allen, announced the change in a message to the 122,000 members posted on the guild’s website. Allen says the much publicized No SAG Strike petition drive has prompted the need for a face-to-face meeting of the national board in Los Angeles during the week of January 12. Allen admits there’s growing concern in the guild... Read More →

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Holiday Spirit — one agent/blogger’s gift

  Really bad wintry weather (snow, ice, sleet, and rain) is derailing holiday plans and travel itineraries for people all across the country. The airlines have canceled hundreds of flights in the past few days. You can understand that, but apparently many of those passengers affected by the cancellations can’t get on another flight before Christmas. Gee, bad weather happens this time every year. You’d think the airlines would have added extra flights during the holidays. The airlines will probably be the next companies asking for a chunk of that bailout money because... Read More →

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SAG strike vote battle goes on

Despite the demands of the holiday season, the battle over the Screen Actors Guild’s upcoming strike authorization vote is picking up steam. Yesterday, an article on the Variety website touted the addition of more celebrities to the No SAG Strike petition; among the new signers George Lopez, Susan Sarandon, and Charlie Sheen. That petition drive kicked off three weeks ago and has accumulated 1,373 signatures as of Sunday. Meanwhile, over on the SAG website the number of actors who have signed the Statement of Support for a yes vote... Read More →

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Another winter storm on the way

Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times Palm trees drooped under the weight of snow at the Antelope Valley Mall during last week’s powerful storm in the Southland. Today is the first official day of winter. Despite what the calendar says we got hammered by a serious winter storm last week. More stormy weather is headed our way with wind, rain, snow, and cold temperatures. In fact, it could be a wet and rainy Christmas 2008 in Southern California. Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times A stranded motorist shoveled... Read More →

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“Yes Man” lands in first place at the Box Office

Jim Carrey won the battle of the superstars at the Box Office this weekend. Carrey’s comedy, “Yes Man” debuted as the most popular movie in the country, beating out Will Smith’s new melodrama, “Seven Pounds.” Both films opened last Friday. “Yes Man” managed to ring up an estimated $18 million at theaters across the nation. Not a great opening for a Carrey flick. Some analysts blame the similarities between this film and Carrey’s comedy hit, “Liar Liar.” Other film industry watchers say the bad weather is the reason Box Office... Read More →

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Barack Obama 2009 calendar a best seller and collector’s item

Time to pick up a calendar for the New Year. If you’re planning to buy the popular 2009 Barack Obama Wall Calendar: Words of Hope and Inspiration, you may have to order it or search around for it. Sourcebooks has shipped at least 100,000 copies since the calendar first published back in August of 2008, according to Publishers Weekly. The calendar includes familiar quotes like this one from the future president: “For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re... Read More →

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SAG Award nominees and the strike vote debate

Heath Ledger as the Joker gets SAG nomination. A lot of squabbling and bickering in the Screen Actors Guild this week over the upcoming strike authorization vote. The ballots are set to go out on January 2, 2009. Yesterday, for a while the debate over that vote was put aside to announce the nominees for the 15th Annual SAG Awards. The film about a face off between a Catholic old-school nun and a progressive priest, “Doubt” earned five nominations. “Milk” the story of San Francisco politician/gay activist Harvey Milk and... Read More →

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