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Top News America

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Watch 'The Hurt Locker' is Oscars' dream film LIVE!

DirectorIt was the Little Engine That Could against the Big Kahuna that couldn't.

In what will go down as one of the more controversial Academy votes for best picture, Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" ran roughshod over James Cameron's "Avatar" on Sunday night in a race that initially was thought of as a cakewalk for the 3D extravaganza.

Talk about a money gap: Since its release in June, Bigelow's taut Iraq War drama has mustered a measly $14.7 million at the domestic wickets, while her ex-husband's years-in-the-making epic has in three months grossed $721 million stateside and a whopping $2.6 billion worldwide. Only his other tour de force, "Titanic," comes close, with a $1.8 billion worldwide haul.

On the budget side, too, the discrepancy was huge, hers costing $15 million and his $300 million or thereabouts.

So what happened?

A lot of folks were asking that in the wake of Tom Hanks' bolt to the stage to blurt out the final winner at the end of the overlong, 31⁄2-hour awards show. The audience hardly had time to gasp before being herded to the exits. Not since -- take your pick -- "Shakespeare in Love" outshone "Saving Private Ryan," "Gandhi" edged "E.T." or "Crash" beat "Brokeback Mountain" has there been such an eyebrow-raising finale.

OK, "Hurt Locker" did have the momentum going into the final lap of awards season, especially after its recent Producers Guild triumph, but still ...

No doubt there will be a lot of theories -- conspiratorial and not -- bandied about, even though we arguably never will know what precise mixture of factors contributed and in what percentages.

But some explanations can be hazarded.

After so many Iraq War dramas that have failed to hit their marks at the boxoffice or strike an emotional chord with the public, this one seemed to hit a nerve, achieving the right thematic balance between the horrors of a conflict that just won't go away and sympathy for those who have to take part in it. This story of a wounded, addictive psyche might well do for our time and for our collective mood what, say, "Platoon" did for the Vietnam War -- the irony being that so few actually have seen "Locker."

Even so, its messages were clear and clearly portrayed, and distributor Summit did an excellent job in mounting an awards campaign that appealed to Academy voters across the various industry categories.

Then there's that preferential voting system, which likely skewed the outcome toward the indie pic. "Avatar" might have garnered more first-place ballots than any other contender, but probably just as likely it appeared way down on the ballots of other voters who didn't wish to see it win. "Locker" probably was high on most everyone's list, benefiting when the second- and third-place entries were scooped up and re-assigned.

Also playing a role in the selection might have been a predilection for the perceived underdog -- and a charming, talented, articulate woman at that -- over the self-styled king of the world who no doubt rubbed some Academy members the wrong way the last time he was onstage brandishing the Oscar.

The very idea that a female helmer made the kind of movie heretofore the exclusive reserve and prerogative of male directors also might have been too tantalizing to resist. More appealing was that a little pic with a difficult story managed the feat of amassing enough dough to shoot under adverse conditions in the Middle East while Fox for years was signing the checks for a helmer hunkered down in a high-tech hangar in West Los Angeles. Bigelow's crew faced suspicious crowds, curfews and fusillades; Cameron's crew faced a bunch of computers.

More awards coverage
In short, "Avatar" simply might have been too complicated a phenom to get one's arms around and the money it's thrown off too unseemly -- or so it would seem from how Fox variously waged its awards campaign.

First, it was all about 3D, which while an amazing advance technologically -- even Spielberg made a point of publicly praising Cameron's achievement in raising the bar for filmmakers -- never resonated widely as an emotional message.

Secondly, Cameron and company began arguing for the actors in the movie to be considered for their performances in the same category and league with traditional thespians. Many no doubt felt that computer-generated or enhanced or re-created performances are different in kind from their own -- or even a threat to their profession. As the largest voting bloc among Academy members, they might have tilted away from this Pandora's box.

Thirdly, the accent of the campaign began to tilt most recently toward the environmental themes of the film, but that approach came too late to be effective. There was also a sizable critical contingent that felt the plot lines were simplistic, fuzzy or even anti-American. "Just a more tricked-out take on 'Pocahontas' or 'Dances With Wolves,' " these detractors argued dismissively.

In the end, and despite opening the competition to 10 contenders, the Academy's decision might have come down to that reflex preference for art over commerce or to its sense of purpose in rewarding art in an increasingly corporate, commercially driven film industry. Indie pics, they might have reasoned, are an increasingly endangered species, while mainstream, studio pics have been extraordinarily counter-recessionary.

Whatever we might think of the result, the indie biz can be encouraged by the Academy's nod, and Fox still will laugh all the way to the bank.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

WATCH Rodney Stuckey COLLAPSES: Pistons Forward Wheeled Off Court, Taken To Hospital During Game LIVE!!!!

Rodney Stuckey CollapsesDetroit's Rodney Stuckey was conscious and breathing on his own as he was taken to a hospital after collapsing on the Pistons' bench during a game Friday night.

The Pistons said Stuckey was taken to the Cleveland Clinic and his vital signs were stable, but was going for further testing and observation.

Stuckey was wheeled off the court on a stretcher during the third quarter after he collapsed into a trainer's arms on the bench during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Stuckey walked off the floor for a timeout showing no signs of illness. After a few moments in a chair, though, Stuckey slumped over.

Medical personnel rushed over to the Pistons' bench with a stretcher. Play was halted for 12 minutes as the medical staff worked on Stuckey, placed an oxygen mask on his face and wheeled him into an ambulance.

Cleveland players huddled together with their heads bowed, while Pistons teammate Tayshaun Prince sat silent in his chair a few feet away as Stuckey was being treated.

Academy Awards Predictions LIVE

Academy Awards Predictions LIVE

Friday, March 5, 2010

Detroit Lions Sign WR Nate Burleson

Nate Burleson
ESPN: Nate Burleson agrees to five-year, $25 million deal with Lions
The Detroit Lions agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver Nate Burleson early Friday morning, less than two hours after the NFL free agency period began.

Burleson, who had been with the Seattle Seahawks, will likely become the No. 2 receiver on the squad behind Calvin Johnson.

The veteran player should pair well with young quarterback Matthew Stafford who showed moments of greatness in his rookie season in 2009.

The Detroit squad has been relatively busy early in the free agency period.

They acquired defensive lineman Corey Williams from the Cleveland Browns in a trade on Thursday while coach Jim Schwartz went on a recruiting trip to Kyle Vanden Bosch’s house in Nashville.

Watch Nityananda Swami Sex Scandal Video Updates

Nityanand Sex Scandal, Pravin Mahajan, Ranjitha

What is hot among Indian readers of news and specially net users in India.

In India for last 24 hours most of the internet users are trying to find and ken about the Swami Nityananda and two actress Ranjitha and Ragasudha which are supposed to be parts of sex scandals by the Nityananda.

DAVV Results: / Devi Ahilya Vishwavidalya, Indore

Pravin Mahajan is the younger brother of Promod Mahajan whom Pravin killed, has died of Brain Hemorrhage today in Mumbai. The Parvin Mahajan came into news when he killed his older brother Parmod Mahajan

India VS Australia Hockey match is scheduled in the Hero Honda Hockey world cup 2010 which is going on in Delhi and Hockey teams are playing their scheduled games

In the Scandal video of Nityananda Swami who is supposed to be a fraud now was having large number of followers. In the video which is available on internet and can be seen the movie in which female with distorted faces have been shown in the Video but according to the search it seems that the video clipping belongs to the Tamil actress Ranjitha and Ragasudha. To know more about the Hot videos of the Ragasudha, Ranjitha, Ranjitha Hot Photos etc are still in the search.

Crystal Bowersox and Danny Gokey wow American Idol FULL VIDEO

Watch Danny Gokey's live return to the "American Idol" stage with "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me."

Following in the footsteps of fellow season 8 alums Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen, Danny Gokey returned to "American Idol." He regaled the audience with his new country sound on his hit single "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me."
Danny's album "My Best Days" dropped Tuesday, March 2 and feature not only "Ahead of Me" but several other authentic, fun country numbers. We particularly liked "Get Away" and "I Will Not Say Goodbye."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

'American Idol' Ladies Night: Crystal Bowersox Makes Triumphant Return

Crystal Bowersox on "American Idol" on Wednesday"American Idol" needed a shakeup, and on Wednesday night (March 3), Crystal Bowersox provided just the kick season nine has been missing. The Ohio native spent Tuesday night in the hospital, forcing a last-minute switch that had the guys performing a night early.Though we didn't find out what led to Bowersox's hospitalization, host Ryan Seacrest addressed the issue right off the bat on Wednesday's show, asking the dreadlocked singer how she was feeling just hours after it was revealed on his radio show that she would be sent home if she couldn't perform. "I feel good," she said, looking more glammed up in a purple top draped with a fishnet peekaboo sweater and big silver earrings. "I'm a tough cookie. ... Let's do this."
Luckily for her, she was first up, revealing to America that she has a kind of "square" twin brother, Carl, and that she carries around a butterfly-bedecked trinket bag. After some harsh comments for her Alanis Morissette cover last week, Bowersox went with Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long as I Can See the Light," slapping a gospel spin on the classic-rock tune.
Showing no signs of illness, she took it to church, coming off like an indie-rock Janis Joplin over a Hammond organ and her gently strummed acoustic guitar. Whatever was ailing her didn't show onstage, as Bowersox powerfully nailed the vocals, looking confident and strong.
Simon praised her for not playing the sympathy card, admitting in a George Bush-ian way that he "misunderestimated" her talents based on last week, calling her vocal "incredible" and comparing the performance to the first time the panel realized they had a star on their hands with Kelly Clarkson. "You are the truth. You do what you do," Randy Jackson told her, praising Bowersox for keeping it real. Ellen DeGeneres called her gift "pure, raw, natural talent" and Kara DioGuardi said the Americana rock vibe was the right one for her and it took her to new heights on the show.
Country wannabe Haeley Vaughn had some ground to make up after last week's Beatles stumble, and the 16-year-old headband artist tried to do it with Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," slipping into a more comfortable groove with the country ballad. The vocals were still a bit shaky at points and her lisp was sometimes distracting, prompting Randy to deem it a pitchy disaster and say that he felt she had no connection to the song by a fellow teen. Kara added that the 16-year-old could use another year of working on her voice, and Simon said it was just a "complete and utter mess. ... There's a certain irony about you singing a song about climbing when you actually fell off."
Antique refurbisher Lacey Brown, 24, got buried by Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" last week, so she went with Kara's advice and sang Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me." Unfortunately for her, while the song was more in her wheelhouse, the vocals were mostly uneven, and Randy said it was the right song choice but sounded like a karaoke performance with nothing added to it. Cowell called it "marginally better" than last week, faulting her for not being memorable enough.
Another singer who needed some redemption was Katie Stevens, 17, who revealed she can say "give me a kiss" in six languages but who got the kiss-off last week with a musty Michael Bublé cover. This time, she chose Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On," doing an admirable, if somewhat forgettable, cover in which her vocals went from chesty growl to thin falsetto.
Ellen praised her voice but said it still felt a bit old. "I don't want to hear something I would hear in my dentist's office," DeGeneres told her. For Kara and Randy, the vocals needed to be more controlled and focused, but Simon was brutally honest, saying she needed more experience and had to figure out what kind of recording artist she wants to be.
Former middle school mascot-turned-cheerleader Didi Benami took a turn from her singer/songwriter soft spot to a soul space with Bill Withers' classic "Lean on Me," which she tried to imbue with some gospel grit courtesy of wild gesticulation, foot stomping and high, reedy notes.
It was no good for Randy, who felt it pointed out her imperfections rather than highlighting her strengths, and while Ellen loves her voice, presence and smile, it was not the right Withers choice in her mind. "It wasn't good, it really wasn't good," said Kara, who urged her to stay in the singer/songwriter lane and go for consistency.
Another singer who needed to prove something, children's choir director Michelle Delamor, tried to break out of her R&B cage with Creed's "With Arms Wide Open." She turned the turgid rock song into a breathy soul ballad that felt and sounded like a big gamble, thanks to a fistful of bum notes.
Randy loved her cute outfit and felt she had a great opportunity to switch it up but didn't do enough with the tune. Ellen thought it almost worked, forgetting for a minute that it was a rock song, while Kara said it was her favorite Delamor performance so far and that it was a risk that didn't always work vocally but was believable. Cowell agreed with Kara, giving her props for choosing an unusual song and doing her best to make it her own.
One of the singers who needed to work on her stagecraft was multi-instrumentalist Lilly Scott, who got props for her indie Beatles cover last week. So she tried it again, strapping on a 12-string guitar for Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." Her unique, quavering voice gave the song a modern edge and her folky redo showed some strong artistic chops.
What Randy loves about Scott is her individuality, and he liked how she nailed a very tough song. "I don't know what 'it' is, but you've got 'it,' " Ellen said. Kara agreed that it was the best performance of the night and that Scott had her moment. "You are gonna change the game," she promised, heaping praise for not trying to fit into a cookie-cutter style.
Rocking some giant doorknocker earrings and a sedate updo, Katelyn Epperly, who has aspirations of opening her own recording studio someday, went music geek with a solo piano version of Coldplay's "The Scientist." Transforming it into a jazzy torch song, Epperly made the tune her own, imbuing it with stirring emotion as she stared sad-eyed into the camera.
"I kind of love you," DioGuardi said. "You have an incredible instrument and you can do a lot of things with it, and that's your biggest problem." She counseled Epperly to stop jumping around from style to style each week and focus on figuring out who she is. Cowell called it a smart, contemporary song choice and advised her to be less corny. Ellen had her first Paula moment, praising Epperly's guitar work before correcting herself and saying the arrangement was just too snoozy and slow.
Paige Miles, 24, an avid crayon enthusiast who Simon said has the best voice of all the girls, curried some more favor with the judges by singing Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away," a song co-written by Kara. The staccato R&B take on the tune highlighted Miles' scratchy, seductive vocals and strong, soulful howl.
Ellen loved how Miles changed it up and had fun with the song, even if it was just OK for Randy, who felt the landslide of words didn't allow Miles to show off her vocals enough. Though she liked the version, Kara said Miles' cheerful, smiling take didn't really fit the intent of the lyric that should have been a bit more angsty. "I think you're getting lost in these songs ... it's like the songs are overtaking you," Cowell said, suggesting she was picking the wrong tunes and needs to find one that will mark her as the one to beat.
The primo final spot belonged to former mohawked rocker Siobhan Magnus, 19, who ripped off a big chunk of danger with Aretha Franklin's "Think." Magnus proved she had the pipes to float the big soul classic, even if her stage presence was a bit odd at times and her gigantic power wail near song's end was startling.
"You are so bold and so fearless," Randy said, howling about her unhinged bravery. "It was dope!" Ellen couldn't have agreed more, and Kara was still smiling about the gigantic note, which Magnus said she learned how to hit while singing Clarkson songs in the shower. "You are such a strange person," Simon said as a compliment. "I thought there were parts of that song which were terrible, but that note was incredible."
After another rough week of highs and lows, two men and two women will go home on Thursday night.
What did you think of Wednesday night's performances? Who was your favorite? Who deserves to go home?