Veena Malik shoots her first Bollywood film

MUMBAI: Pakistani actress Veena Malik was spotted, shooting for her maiden Bollywood project `Daal Me Kuch Kala Hai`, in Pune. Malik, who will share the screen space with actors Jackie Shroff and Shakti Kapoor in the film, will be seen in a double role in the movie.

Veena, who hogged the limelight for accusing her ex-boyfriend and Pakistani cricketer Muhammad Asif of being a match fixer, also grabbed eyeballs when she appeared on reality show Bigg Boss season 4. She will now be seen in a Bollywood movie with an item number in the flick that will soon be released for cinemas.

BlackBerry launches new BBM Music service and takes on iTunes

Research In Motion's BlackBerry brand has launched BBM Music, its new streaming service that will go head-to-head with Apple's iTunes.

BBM Music enables users to build a library of music to share with friends through the BBM messenger service, which has 45 million users worldwide.

BlackBerry has agreed deals with the four major labels - Universal, Sony Music, Warner Music and EMI - to allow users to choose playlists of 50 favourite songs and share them with the community.

As well as being able to monitor how many friends have listened to your chosen tracks, the service also allows you to access and comment on other people's playlists.

The more contacts you add to your BBM Music network, the bigger your music library will become due to access to a greater number of playlists.

BBM Music users can also swap out up to 25 tracks every month to keep their playlists fresh and up-to-date. Tracks can be streamed, or cached to BlackBerry smartphones for listening offline.

Also today, BlackBerry has launched eight new smartphones to its portfolio, including two variants to the classic Bold model, three new versions of the Torch and three variants on the Curve.

All models will run the new Blackberry 7 operating system, boasting several new features including a new browser and the latest version of BBM.

Salman Khan is back in Bollywood after surgery

Salman Khan was spotted at the Sahar airport in the wee hours of Wednesday as he arrived from Dublin, where he was shooting.

He was ekdum casually attired in track pants and floaters and appeared ekdum tired. Long flight, no?

The actor has been away for over a month, initially for his medical treatment and later for his film shoot.

Along with co-host Sanjay Dutt he will be launching Bigg Boss 5 today at Mehboob Studios. He begins shooting for the reality show over the weekend in Karjat. Welcome back Sallu!

Salman created record at the box office as his last three released films received good responses from the audience and also made good business at the box office.

'Dabangg', 'Ready' and then 'Bodyguard', the style icon of B-town made impressive mark at the box office in recent years.

Presenting The Most Wanted Sultry Models in Bollywood

Several Indian and international models gear up for a fierce reel pageant. Presenting the top contenders...

Models, especially beauty pageant winners, have routinely been snapped up by filmmakers in Bollywood. But never have fashion's leggy beauties had it so good, with many of them actually bagging lead roles in big- budget films.

However, whether or not they prove their mettle as well on the screen as they have on the runway only time will tell.

In the meanwhile, here's a look at some of the girls who are out to dispel any preconceived (read: negative) notions you may have of them...

The half-Pakistani and half-Czech was a participant of America's Next Top Model. She featured in an Indian swimsuit calender in 2009.

After auditioning several girls, Imtiaz finalised her as the Rockstar heroine because of her Anglo-Indian looks. The director has a thing for models.

Remember he cast Brazilian model Giselle Monteiro in Love Aaj Kal? Nargis, who has had her share of off-screen buzz after she was linked with co-star Ranbir Kapoor, considers this her big ticket to stardom.

She is the sister of international supermodel Ujjwala Raut. Writer Tapan Ghosh will soon launch his next book that revolves around a female protagonist.

Apparently, Viveck Vaswani has heard the story and plans to direct the film for which Sonali has been approached.

She is also slated to feature in Jazz directed by Mani Shankar opposite South star Diganth.

The South African model, who has been a magazine cover girl and a Playmate, has landed a role in Azaan.

She is best remembered for her red carpet appearance at the Cannes film festival 2011 for the premiere of the Israeli film Hearat Shulayim in a dress that left nothing to imagination.

In Azaan, however, she essays a sand artiste and is not exactly indulging in a skin-fest, which she is known for.

Better known for her alleged affair with Ranbir Kapoor, this is yet another swimsuit model heading to Bollywood.

Apparently, Sohail Khan is considering her for his next flick thought there is nothing official about it.

The half-Malayali, half-Australian model was selected by director David Dhawan for Rascals after he saw her snapshots in a magazine and found her to be 'striking'.

She was cast after filming had begun in Thailand and a role was specially written for her.

The fact that the movie's actress Kangna Ranaut now finds herself out of favour with Sanjay Dutt (who is the film's producer as well as actor along with Ajay Devgn) and is missing from the promotions of the movie is helping Lisa as she is being touted as the heroine of the comic caper.

She was one of the models who featured with Abhishek Bachchan in the popular Bluffmaster track.

However after being a VJ and numerous ramp walks, she makes her acting debut in Hum Tum Shabana. The makers felt the "gorgeous girl" obviously was perfect for the role of a model in the movie.


Arnold Orders 3 Bronze Statues Of Himself!

The former governor of California has commissioned a series of statues of himself to remind the world how he looked in his muscle-bound prime.

The 64-year-old has requested the creation of at least three larger-than-life bronze creations which will stand 8ft tall and weigh 580lbs.

They will be based on a smaller sculpture created in 1980, the year Schwarzenegger won his seventh Mr Olympia title.

The statues all depict him in a classic body-builder pose and have been super-sized to ‘heroic’ scale, which is one-and-a-quarter times life size.

The first of them will be shipped to a museum dedicated to Schwarzenegger's life at his childhood home in Thal, Austria.

A second will be sent to Columbus, Ohio, where the Schwarzenegger-inspired Arnold Fitness Weekend is held annually.

Schwarzenegger himself will keep the third one but he has discussed the possibility of commissioning four more, said Tim Parks, the owner of Oregon-based TW Bronze, which is making the statues. Source

Hollywood hottie Milla Jovovich wants Salman Khan

Salman Khan's popularity seems to have infected Hollywood too. Actress Milla Jovovich has not only seen the Bollyood star's "Bodyguard", she is also impressed with his sturdy looks and would love to work with him.

"I am really very convinced with the growing affinity of Indian audiences to action films.

Recently I got an opportunity to view 'Bodyguard' of Salman Khan, and I am really amazed with his sturdiest look in the movie and the action scenes played by him," said Jovovich in an e-mail interaction.

"I would love to work with him if given a chance," added the actress who will be seen in "The Three Musketeers", directed by her husband Paul W.S. Anderson.

She loves doing action sequences herself.

"I just love watching beautiful women kick butt. It's so inspiring. You know, as a kid I never got off on seeing big, muscular men with guns.

But women doing martial arts seem very natural," said the 35-year-old, who has films like "The Fifth Element", "Zoolander" and "Resident Evil" series to her credit.

"People love me doing action movies and that's awesome. I am very serious about my career and I still get to do my independent films. I'm very happy," she added.

The film, releasing Oct 14, talks about Porthos, Athos and Aramis who served the king of France as his best musketeers. Source:

After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the king, the musketeers come across a young, aspiring hero, D'Artagnan, and take him under their wing.

Together, the four embark on a mission to bust the plot that not only threatens the crown, but the future of Europe itself.

Shot in 3D, "Three Musketeers" will see Jovovich as Milady de Winter and the actress is quite upbeat about her role.

"For me, one of the most interesting elements about Milady de Winter is that she's this unbelievably modern 17th-century woman.

Imagine how hard it is for a woman to get a leg up today in the corporate world, or any field," said Jovovich.

"She is a woman navigating a man's world when normally women were dependent on their father, son or husband. You couldn't even have your own finances.

She travels unattended to different countries, she is a spy and she is the best at what she does. She doesn't want to marry and have kids and move to the country," she said.

Jovovich says this is a different version of the "Three Musketeers" and that: "It's completely new and people have never seen something like this before… it showcases the new generations of three muskeeters which takes the spirit of the book and imagination and theme with the help of writer and director and the 3D concept."

"Paul really comes with a different concept with this movie and no one has ever done a period movie in 3D and the concept and story suits very much to period gardens, costumes and the nature and back-drop of the movie completely take you to the period's time," she added.

Lata Mangeshkar honoured with Hridaynath award

Legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar was today honoured with the first Hridaynath award for her contribution to Indian music at a function here this evening.

Lata, who turned 82 today, was presented a cheque of Rs one lakh, a trophy and a shawl by megastar Amitabh Bachchan.

The award has been instituted by Hridayesh Art, a city- based socio-cultural organisation.

After receiving the award, the melody queen showered praise on her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar, in whose name the award is being given.

"Hridaynath and my other three sisters never sought any financial help from me," she said.

Lata also praised Bachchan saying, "I consider you god as far as speaking in Hindi is concerned. I am proud that I have got the award from Amitabh Bachchan," she said.

Bachchan said Lata was a devotee of music.

"I pray to god to give us a long life so that we can hear Lata for years to come," he added.

Lata took the occasion to felicitate filmmaker Yash Chopra, in whose films she has sung innumerable famous songs. She also presented mementos to singers like Sunidhi Chauhan, Kavitha Krishnamurthy, Sonu Niigaam, Suresh Wadkar, Sudesh Bhosale and Bela Shende.

The function was also graced by tennis star Leander Paes, and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray among others. Source
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Tussauds dolls ready to thrill Japanese fans

TOKYO: British-made life-size wax dolls of famous figures ranging from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to manga cartoon hero Astro Boy went on display in Tokyo Wednesday.

“Madame Tussauds Tokyo”, which opens to the public on Friday, will enable fans to strike poses with their heartthrobs and global icons, organisers said in a press preview.

The exhibit will have a total of 19 dolls, including Pitt and Jolie in evening gowns, American pop sensation Lady Gaga in a see-through body suit and Johnny Depp in his trademark hat.

The Madame Tussauds museum in London opened 1835. It has since expanded to other countries, drawing 550 million people worldwide.

The Japanese exhibition, in Tokyo’s bayside area, runs until January 4, 2012. Soure
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'Heroine' Kareena's costumes worth Rs 1.2cr

How much does it take to look like a heroine? For Kareena Kapoor who will be seen in Madhur Bhandarkar's controversial film, it's going to take outfits worth 1.2 crore by designer Manish Malhotra.

Every scene in the film will have four costume changes. "The film will have 130 costumes designed especially for her by ace designer Manish Malhotra. Kareena plays a diva at the prime of her career. Each scene will have at least four costume changes. Heroine is an extravagant project and they are leaving no stone unturned to make it look as glamorous as possible," a source told Mumbai Mirror.

"Rs 5 lakh of the film's budget was previously spent on costumes that the former leading lady, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, wore, during the nine days that she shot for Heroine," added the source.

Manish Malhotra told the tabloid: "I have never made so many costumes for one actress in my entire career, till date."

After the film got shelved due to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's pregnancy, Kareena Kapoor stepped in to save the project. Bebo was the original choice for the role as well. "The whole world knows that Heroine is my movie, that it was written for me and Madhur was in talks with me. I couldn't do it because of date problems so he moved on. What happened in between is not my concern," the actor had earlier told HT.

Kareena Kapoor reportedly had demanded a whopping Rs 10 crore from UTV for the film but has settled for Rs 8 crore.

Pre-production work has already started and the film will hit the floors in November. Source
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Socialite Paris Hilton flew out of Mumbai early Tuesday saying she had an "eye opening" trip to "beautiful" India but was appalled by its poverty.

"India is beautiful but some parts are very poverty stricken... broke my heart to see babies sleeping on the streets. What are the most credible non-profit (charities) in India?

After seeing what I've seen, I want to help make a difference," Paris tweeted before leaving the country.

The heiress, who was here on a three-day trip to launch her line of handbags for the Indian market, stunned a beggar here by tipping her $100.

The 31-year-old promptly received suggestions about a few charities in India from readers.

"Thank you all for your suggestions... It's important to give to those who are less fortunate," she added.

The blonde beauty is headed to Dubai. But she hopes to come back to India, which she earlier said was a "magical and spiritual" land.

"What an amazing and eye opening trip to India. I look forward to coming back soon. Love you all!" she tweeted.
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Paris Hilton hands out money to the poor in India

Paris Hilton gave away money to the less fortune during her trip to India this week.

The socialite took part in a three-day tour of the country to promote her handbag collection and open a new department store.

During her visit to Mumbai on Sunday, Hilton gave $100 (£64) to a woman who was standing on the side of the road with her two children, reports IBN.

The World According to Paris star apparently continued to donate money to other needy Indians throughout the day.

Hilton took to Twitter to say that she was saddened to see so much poverty, writing: "India is beautiful, but some parts are very poverty stricken. Broke my heart to see babies sleeping on the streets :("

She also asked her Twitter followers to suggest reputable Indian charities to which she could donate.

She added: "After seeing what I've seen, I want to help make a difference".

The star left India on Monday to continue her promotional tour in Ibiza.

Hilton revealed that she was asked to star in several Hindi films while travelling throughout India.
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Hazel Keech: 'I think Bollywood chose me'

Bodyguard star Hazel Keech has revealed that she had to force herself to choose between Bollywood and Hollywood.

The actress, who makes her debut in the action film opposite Salman Khan, was born in the UK to an English father and an Indian mother from Mauritius.

She told Mumbai Mirror: "Since I have grown up abroad, I was always in a dilemma between Bollywood and Hollywood. I used to watch a lot of Bollywood movies with my mum and my grandmother. I think Bollywood chose me. "

Keech added that it had initially been a struggle to find work in India after starring in the Tamil remake of Don.

"I was Helen in the movie and I had to dance like her. The journey has been tough. When I was busy, I was very busy. But then there were times when I had no work at all," she said.

"This waiting was very difficult. But I utilised this time to learn. I worked on my Hindi, joined kick-boxing classes and learned Yoga etc. I also remember watching a lot of films in this time. I am very grateful for this struggle."

The 24-year-old appeared in the first three films in the Harry Potter franchise.

Bodyguard co-star Kareena Kapoor has said that the remake of the Malayam film revolves around her character.

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Anil Kapoor's father dies, aged 84

Film producer Surinder Kapoor, the father of Anil Kapoor, died on Saturday following a cardiac arrest at the age of 84.

The veteran filmmaker produced films including Woh Saat Din, Pukaar, Loafer and Judaai, and had assisted director K. Asif during the making of Mughal-e-Azam.

Anees Bazmee, the director of Kapoor's home production No Entry, told IANS: "I'm at Surinderji's house right now. He had gone for a walk in the evening. He came back, drank a glass of water and while he was untying the laces of his shoes he suffered a heart attack and died on the spot."

Film critic Taran Adarsh was one of the first people to tweet his condolences, saying: "Veteran producer Surinder Kapoor, father of Boney Kapoor, Anil Kapoor & Sanjay Kapoor and grandfather of Sonam & Arjun Kapoor, has passed away. Condolences to the entire family. RIP."

Kapoor was the president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India from 1995 to 2001 and was also given the L.V. Prasad Phalke Award in 2009.

Kapoor is survived by his wife, three sons Boney, Anil, Sanjay and daughter Reena.

Shane Warne to propose to Liz Hurley?

Shane Warne has decided to ask Liz Hurley to marry him, according to his friends.

The 42-year-old former Australian cricketer, who first became romantically involved with Hurley late last year, has reportedly told friends that he will propose to the model and Gossip Girl actress by the end of this year.

"Liz and Shane have a really happy, fun and secure relationship," one source close to Warne told The Mirror. "They are forever giggling. Shane absolutely adores her and is keen to make their relationship official.

"He plans on proposing before Christmas, with the couple having a low-key wedding late next year. Shane is romantic and a ­traditionalist, and will definitely get down on bended knee to do the deed. Liz is in no hurry to walk down the aisle again, though, after only divorcing her ex in the summer."

The couple were rumoured to be engaged last month, but the sports star hit back at the reports, saying that although he is "in love" with Hurley, he will let the public know if there is an important "announcement" to make.

Warne has three children with ex-wife Simone Callahan, while Hurley split from Arun Nayar last December after four years of marriage.


Michael Jackson doctor due in court in LA

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray finally goes on trial Tuesday accused over the King of Pop's death two years ago, aged 50, from an overdose of a powerful drug.

A jury of seven men and five women will be sworn in at Los Angeles' Superior Court to decide Murray's fate on involuntary manslaughter charges over the star's death on June 25, 2009.

Murray, 58, faces up to four years in jail if convicted at the twice-delayed trial, expected to last five weeks.

Murray is accused of giving Jackson an overdose of the powerful sedative propofol to help alleviate his insomnia at a rented estate in the posh Holmby

Hills neighborhood while rehearsing for a series of London comeback shows.

The doctor has never denied administering the drug -- typically used as an anesthetic during surgery -- to Jackson, but denies having "abandoned his patient" at the fatal moment.

His lawyer Ed Chernoff is expected to argue that the world-famous "Thriller" singer, desperate for sleep, administered more of the drug himself while Murray was out of the room.

The trial will be televised live, but judge Michael Pastor has stressed that jurors cannot be recorded in any way. He has rejected a defense request for them to be sequestered, as took place during the O.J. Simpson trial.

Security will be ratchet-tight at the court in downtown Los Angeles, where a major media circus is expected to be joined by often colorful Jackson supporters lamenting the star's demise and demanding justice.

Some fans complain that Grenada-born Murray, who was being paid $150,000 a month by Jackson at the time of his death, faces only four years in jail. He has been free on $75,000 bail since being charged in February 2010.

"I believe the trial is going to be a big disappointment no matter what the outcome is," said Wesley Noorhoff, head of the Legendary Michael Jackson Fan Association, which has members in over 180 countries.

The jurors include high school graduates, some with a college education and one with an MBA. Six substitute jurors were chosen in case any of the first 12 selected drop out.

Half are Jackson fans -- one of those selected, a 54-year-old woman, wrote that she "loved his music as a very young girl, as an adult not so much," while a man of the same age said he thought Jackson was a "gifted performer."

The trial was originally due in March, but was delayed twice. In that time the judge has rejected a string of requests, notably to let Jackson's former doctors testify, in what the defense hoped would prove he was a drug addict.

On the eve of the trial the judge ruled that footage of Jackson the London comeback shows cannot be shown in court.

Murray's defense lawyers claimed the footage showed Jackson already under the influence of drugs -- by implication out of control -- while prosecutors said the footage was "absolutely irrelevant."

Jackson's family is expected in court -- his mother and father, Katherine and Joe Jackson, as several of his siblings who attended six days of pre-trial hearings in January.

But simmering tensions between them were stirred in July, when Katherine Jackson announced a tribute concert for her son, scheduled in Britain on October 8, a couple of weeks into the trial.

Two of her sons, Randy and Jermaine, immediately criticized the plans as "inappropriate" and an "ill-timed event" during the LA trial of their brother's doctor. (AFP)

Scarlett Johansson: 'East African famine is an emergency'

Scarlett Johansson has met with Somali refugees during a recent visit to Kenya on behalf of Oxfam.

Johansson said that she was shocked by the vast famine in the Horn of Africa and called on world leaders to take "extreme action" in order to stop the growing humanitarian crisis.

"The scale of poverty in Dadaab is overwhelming. I met countless women like Hawa, a local community leader, who lamented the seemingly endless struggle of the Somali people, as refugees of war and starvation and now left to suffer everyday life with the very barest of essentials," Johansson said.

Johansson further suggested that it's irresponsible to simply ignore the deaths of thousands of African children from starvation.

"This is a long-term and escalating crisis exacerbated by political conflict, famine and drought that can no longer be ignored. Over half the Somalis that have died are children; an entire generation lost," Johansson declared.

"This is no longer an issue that can only garner some attention, some of the time. Extreme action must be taken by the global community now."

U2 singer Bono and Bob Geldof have also called for increased aid to East Africa.

Johansson first joined Oxfam in 2005 and has since represented the charity on trips to India and Sri Lanka.


Kim Kardashian named most annoying celebrity

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has been named the 'Most Annoying Celebrity' in a new poll.

Kardashian, 30, scored 29 percent of the readers' vote - two percent more than Charlie Sheen, thus beating Sheen and Jersey Shore regular Snooki to land at the top of the new Parade list, which makes up part of the publication's Pop Culture Poll.

Lindsay Lohan and Donald Trump also made into the list, Contactmusic reported.

In other related surveys, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon landed on top of the Craziest Baby Names list after giving their twins the monikers Monroe and Moroccan.

Also, actress Emma Watson was named the Most Likely to Succeed from 'Harry Potter'.

While, Ryan Reynolds topped the vote for The Royal Sister's Suitor - 22 per cent of readers thought he would make the perfect boyfriend for the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Leonardo DiCaprio tied for second place with 18 percent.

Speedy Singhs (Movie Review)

A star is almost born. Debutant Vinay Virmani has a natural charm and an easygoing bonhomie to his personality that goes a long way in furnishing speed to Speedy Singh. Regrettably there are too many potholes and roadblocks in the narration leading to a kind of plot that doffs its heart at all the films on the spirit of sportsmanship and the parental opposition that it faces.

Though this is a story applicable to numerous second and third-generation NRIs in Britain, US and Canada the story is littered with clichés and stereoptyped characters. …You know the loud boisterous Punjabi joint- family whose joints are so creaky you can hear the Bhangra beats groaning out all the way from Bollywood to Birmingham.

Young Virmani tries to bring in a certain subtlety and lightness to his cliché- burdened role. But the film doesn’t really hold together.

Bend It Like Anupam? Remember Anupam as the Sardar-father of the girl who would sneak off to play football when he wasn’t looking in Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham? What’s the difference between the Sardar Anupam played in that film. And the one he plays in Bend It Singh Is King…sorry Speedy Singhs?

Go, figure. And while you’re at it do find out what Akshay Kumar is doing being associated with a film that seems like a not-so-distant of Akshay’s Patiala House.

In that film Akshay’s father disapproved of sonny-boy playing cricket in England. In Speedy Singhs (no, that’s not a grammatical aberration) debutant Vinay Virmani’s father (Anupam Kher) frowns at his son’s ice-hockey ambitions.

The ice-hocket tournaments are filmed with more warmth and affection than the relationship between younf Virmani and his pretty girlfriend (Camilla Belle). The two behave more like squabbling siblings than lovers through most of the film. Then you can’t blame them. They’re catering to a vegetarian Punjabi NRI audience.

Speedy Singhs is strictly meant to be Babloo’s Day Out with his entire joint family. The Punjabi household is swamped with stereotypical colours flavours rhythms and characters. The clamour of Singhs gets unbearably deafening as the plot creaks forward in an all-too-familiar language. And we aren’t about the angrezi splattered with Punjabi.

Vinay Virmani’s screenplay (yes, the boy has written the film) brings into play every cliché from the Book Of Disapproving Dad, including, yes, the match at the grand finale where the boy’s father finally realizes his son’s worth.

Ho-hum. Watch it for the debutant hero. As for the rest of the cast, stand-up comedian Russell Peters has been quoted as opining that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can’t act.Has he looked at himself in this film?

James Bond's India journey scrapped

James Bond is no longer coming to India. Despite a green signal from the Indian railways ministry, plans to shoot a few action sequences for the British super spy film have been shelved.

"The production company, India Take One Productions, have communicated to the railway ministry that they are not shooting the next Bond film in India, and that they are looking at other places," sources from the railway ministry confirmed to.

"The production company has thanked the railway ministry for their co-operation in the past few months," added the sources.

The producers of the movie, tentatively titled "Bond 23", wanted to shoot high-speed stunts on the Indian Railways.

There was a request to shoot on the rooftop of a moving train, as well as inside a tunnel. However, they were having trouble getting permission due to safety and security issues.

Though the ministry gave the go-ahead to the film's January-March 2012 shooting schedule, officials were worried about the production team's demand of "locking off the lines for seven-eight hours a day for seven days in a row".

The crew of "Bond 23", starring Daniel Craig, had also short-listed Goa's Dudh Sagar waterfalls as one of the locations.

Now, the shooting is likely to move to South Africa, according to media reports.

'Lion King' box office champ for 2nd week

LOS ANGELES: Disney's redux of "The Lion King" was crowned box office winner for a second straight week, with an estimated haul of $22.1 million, industry analysts said Sunday.

Disney's new 3D version of the classic animated film now has a two-week domestic take of $61.7 million, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Brad Pitt baseball drama "Moneyball" about a Major League team vying for glory despite its puny purse, came in second place with $20.6 million in tickets sold.

Third place went to "Dolphin Tale" a family film about a dolphin's long-shot survival after an accident that caused his tail to be amputated. The movie was expected to earn bout $20.3 million weekend.

Action picture "Abduction" debuted in fourth place with $11.2 million, while another new movie, "Killer Elite" opened in fifth, earning $9.5 million.

In sixth place was the Steven Soderbergh thriller "Contagion" about a team of doctors attempting to track and contain a deadly pandemic. It earned $8.6 million, for a three-week total $57.1 million.

Seventh place went to "Drive" about a Hollywood stunt driver working as a heist getaway driver, which earned $5.8 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were "The Help"' which earned $4.4 million, "Straw Dogs" which netted $2.1 million, and "I Don't Know How She Does It" with $2 million. (AFP)

Ra.One rides YouTube wave

Producers Red Chillies Entertainment launched a custom-built movie channel on online video platform YouTube for Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming superhero film Ra.One.

The channel will also host games including the first social game from India. Goodies include contests where participants can create Ra.One promos from clips, music and dialogues of the film.

Mr Rajan Anandan, MD, and Vice-President - Sales and Operations, Google India, said, “In the last few years, Indian production houses have begun to embrace the YouTube platform to engage fans, distribute movies and leverage rich media ad formats to promote their movies online.” YouTube now claims over 22 million unique users in India.

In a statement, Mr Khan said, “I wanted to leverage the full potential of digital media and create an experience on YouTube and Google+ that has never been done for any Indian film.”

YouTube has worked with Hollywood productions in the past to create customised viral campaigns, including Expendables and Skadoosh!! Kung Fu Panda 2. Credit

Mausam collects Rs 410 million in opening weekend

MUMBAI: Integrated film studio, Eros International Media, said Monday Mausam has grossed Rs 410 million in its opening weekend.

Released on 23 September, the film has collected Rs 335 million in India (net collection is Rs 235 million) and Rs 750 million overseas.

Starring Shahid Kapur and Sonam Kapoor, Mausam released across 2,000-plus screens worldwide with a combination of prints and digital screens. Co-funded by partners Vistaar Religare Film Fund, Mausam has become Kapur's biggest opener so far.

The television premiere of the film will be on Sahara's general entertainment channel and the content licensing deal was struck on the basis of minimum guarantee and then a potential uplift based on the box office performance of the film, ensuring Eros maximises its revenues if the film attracts audiences.

Jonty Rhodes an inmate in `Bigg Boss 5` house?

Mumbai: For all those diehard fans of Jonty Rhodes, here’s a piece of good news! Buzz has it that the former South African cricketer might be one of the inmates in the house of `Bigg Boss 5`.

The flamboyant cricketer, who is still worshipped as “the finest fielder cricket has ever produced”, is currently in India and is busy touring with the Mumbai Indians’ side for the ongoing Champions League.

Talking to a daily, Jonty gave a hint and said, “I have seen the occasional episode of `Big Boss`, and have also seen `Big Brother`, in different countries around the world. Would love to try my hands at the Indian version of the show, though.”

The former SA player, however, refrained from divulging any details about his probable stint in `Bigg Boss 5`, but said, “I have been coming back to India on regular occasions since 1993, and have not been able to learn much Hindi; how to do Yoga; dance or cook some of the delicious Indian dishes, so I hope being on the show will put me in an environment where I am able to cover a few of those skills!”

When asked about his knowledge of Hindi, Jonty was prompt enough to give a smart response. He said, “I obviously don`t possess the same assets as Pamela Anderson, but she seemed to do okay! Anyways the universal language of cricket should see me through!”

Rhodes has commitments with cricket until mid-October, so the duration of his appearance in `Bigg Boss 5` has not yet been decided.

"I have cricket coaching commitments until mid-October, so am not sure when they would be able to slot me in to the show,” he said. Credit

Jagjit Singh still under observation

MUMBAI: Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh is still in a critical state, doctors from Lilavati Hospital in Bandra said on Sunday. However, sources claimed that he is showing signs of improvement. After suffering from a brain hemorrhage on Friday and undergoing two emergency surgeries, the Singh has been kept under observation. He is still on ventilator, say hospital authorities.

Following a rupture in the blood vessel in the skull, the 70-year-old, had been brought to the hospital in an unconscious state very early on Friday morning, a hospital source revealed. Till Saturday afternoon, he was already operated twice by a team of doctors.

"He is still critical and is to be kept under observation," said cardiologist Dr Ajit Menon, under whom Singh was admitted. However, sources from the hospital said that Singh's condition had improved since Saturday. "He is showing slight improvement. The treatment is working," a source from the hospital said on condition of anonymity.

Non-traumatic causes like uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure is also known to cause a brain hemorrhage. Anticoagulant therapy, blood clotting disorders can heighten the risk of such a hemorrhage. Severe increase in the pressure within the skull in such a case can cause potential harm to the brain. The pressure is usually released by surgically removing the clot from the skull.

The hospital refused to divulge the treatment protocol on Singh's ailment. "His family does not want to disclose his condition," officials from the hospital said. Credit 

Nepal fashionistas woo the West

KATHMANDU: While the eyes of the style world were on London's autumn fashion week, another couture event was taking place on the other side of the world -- in the Himalayas.At Nepal Fashion Week the models sashayed down the catwalk in a mix of Western and ethnic apparel, contrasting classic with kitsch in a cornucopia of sassy cocktail dresses, flowing silk gowns, kaftans, kurti blouses, shalwars, sequins and ruffles.

Dozens of young designers displayed their collections as the Nepali fashion industry bid to bring itself to global prominence, and attract the attention of international buyers.

The show, which wrapped up on Saturday night, mixed high concept with ready-to-wear, with established Nepali designers, and stars of the future, hoping to introduce themselves to the world.

"There is a lot of potential in Nepal," said US designer Bethany Meuleners, fashion consultant for the event.

"There's a lot more interest than ever before so that gives a big push for where the fashion industry could go."

Organisers of Kathmandu's four-day event, launched in 2004, hope it will prove there is more to Nepal than politics, and efforts to sell the local fashion industry to the West were apparent throughout.

The announcer spoke only in English and themes such as "Cinderella Dreams" and the Harry Potter-inspired "Deathly Hallows" struck more of a chord than the more eastern-flavoured "Thamel Night" and "Tribes of Bangladesh."

The last couple of years have been a busy time for the Nepalese clothing industry, with a proliferation of high street fashion outlets and the launch of two online clothing stores, Fashion Mirror and Harilo.

The unique selling point of Nepalese fashion is the natural fabrics, such as hemp and bamboo, as well as richly textured hand-woven cotton, which are not often seen on the catwalks of Paris or Milan.

But there remains a dearth of prominent Nepalese fashion designers promoting the industry in the West.

New York-based designer Prabal Gurung, courted by the world's top style magazines and worn by Michelle Obama, Demi Moore and Rachel Weisz, can claim to be the first and -- as yet -- only big Nepalese name to make it on the global fashion circuit.

Nepal suffers electricity shortages which can mean power cuts for up to 14 hours a day in the winter. Experts believe the poor infrastructure and unstable political situation are the main obstacles to the fashion industry's attempts to break into Western markets.

"When you have strikes and power outages and everything, it's hard for them
to set up contracts where they can promise the work can get done when it's supposed to get done," said US designer Meuleners.

After years of damaging instability, the green shoots of recovery appear to be showing, with clothing worth 3.64 billion rupees ($46 million) in exports to Europe during the first 11 months of the last fiscal year, according to official figures -- a rise of 11.5 percent on the previous year.

Nepal's market is also expanding. A decade ago 90 percent of exports were to the United States whereas now exporters are selling half their stock to Europe and 25 percent to India.

Whether Kathmandu can break into the stronghold of the four main fashion cities -- London, Paris, Milan and New York -- when other destinations such as Brazil and Hong Kong have failed, is another matter.

Nepalese beauty queen Anupama Aura Gurung, current holder of the Miss Nepal Earth crown, believes the country's industry could match international standards within five years.

"Nepal fashion is really very raw -- it's still in the baby phase," she told AFP. "But we are learning to crawl and slowly we will get up and walk." (AFP)

'Moneyball' scores a home run

This is something that American men are never supposed to admit, but here goes -- I don't care about sports. I never followed a team, I've never cared who won the Super Bowl or the World Series, and I can count on one hand the number of games I've watched from start to finish on television.

So it's really saying something that I was riveted by "Moneyball." And yes, it's set in the world of pro baseball, exploring how Oakland A's manager Billy Beane subverted the dominant paradigm by assembling a team of inexpensive, non-flashy players who could make it to base rather than spend millions on celebrity hot-shot ballers who might or might not deliver on the field.

But really, "Moneyball" is about throwing out the established conventions of doing business and trying something new. So it could be about the iPod or the Obama 2008 campaign or the Fox network's decision to air new episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" during summer rerun season.

This isn't a sports story, it's a tale of bold visionaries, so it's a perfect follow-up to "The Social Network" for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, collaborating here with the equally acclaimed Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List," the upcoming "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"). Baseball fans will, presumably, enjoy a peek behind the curtain of the 2002 season, but you don't need to know a bunt from a sacrifice fly to enjoy the movie, any more than you needed to write HTML code to follow "Social Network."

"Moneyball" begins with Beane's disappointment at the end of the 2001 season - not only do the much-better-funded New York Yankees knock the A's out of the playoffs, but Oakland is also about to lose its star players (Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jason Isringhausen) to teams that can offer them higher salaries.

Attempting to replace these stars with a minimal budget, Beane visits the Cleveland Indians head office and finds some unexpected talent: Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a number-cruncher who graduated from Yale with an economics degree and who has formulated an entirely different way of evaluating players. Brand doesn't care about their confidence or their handsomeness or their fielding skills or their throwing arms - everything boils down to whether or not they can get on base, even if it's by walking. The more players on base, the logic goes, the more runs scored and the more games won.

The scouts for the A's refuse to believe that the process can be boiled down to statistics, but Beane believes in Peter's theories, particularly since Beane himself was a once-promising young player who gave up a full ride at Stanford to play baseball right out of high school, only to disappoint once he'd made it to the big time. The flashbacks of his lackluster career as a player underscore the older, wiser Beane's decision to rely on past performance rather than future potential in choosing players.

So when Beane winds up with a roster filled with rejects, has-beens, old guys, and injured players, everyone from the front office to sports radio thinks he's lost his mind. But as 2002 moves from spring training to the games of summer to the playoffs, the nay-sayers are in for some surprises.

"Moneyball" is based on Michael Lewis' book, and while the movie could have been an endless series of phone calls and people staring at screens, director Bennett Miller ("Capote") keeps things percolating, mixing in disparate elements like Beane's family life and his conflicts with team manager Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman, all buzz-cut and red-nosed and looking like George Dzundza) and making everything feel organic to the story.

Which is not to say the phone calls aren't riveting as well - there's a scene where Beane and Peter juggle three different teams in an attempt to close a trade that's a little masterpiece of managerial chicanery.

If "A River Runs Through It" was Pitt channeling young, golden-boy Robert Redford, then this film represents Pitt growing into his predecessor's later roles in films like "Three Days of the Condor" and "The Candidate," where he took a somewhat bemused and cynical look at the world around him.

Having come up through major league baseball on both sides of the bench, Beane knows how entrenched the sport is with doing business in a certain way, but he nonetheless forges ahead with his (and Peter's) radical notions. Whether Beane is berating a losing team or spending quality time with his daughter (Kerris Dorsey), Pitt gets every moment just right.

Somewhat surprisingly, Hill more than holds his own opposite Pitt, exercising comedy muscles we've never seen him use on screen before. In movies like "Accepted," "Superbad," and "Cyrus," Hill generates a wonderful brand of manic-nebbish energy, but here he's a tamped-down, tie-wearing, soft-spoken Ivy Leaguer, and yet even within those constraints, his comic timing is perfect, turning the most disposable throw-away lines into nuggets of hilarity.

The best of the "based on a true story" films manage to make things suspenseful even when you're aware how they turned out in real life. And while I was completely unaware of these events, even baseball fans may be surprised at the aftermath of the 2002 season and its ongoing impact on Beane's life. "Moneyball" is a witty and captivating look at thinking outside the diamond. (Reuters)

Manisha Koirala wants to live alone

A few months ago, the grapevine was abuzz with rumours of Manisha Koirala's marriage being on the rocks.

That she was heading back to Mumbai, as she could not adjust to the life of domesticity with her businessman husband Samrat Dahal.

She, however, confirms, "I am very much in Nepal. But I will not talk about my personal life. At the moment, all my friends know I need to be left alone.

I don't need to give explanations about what's going on in my life."

Interestingly, a close pal reveals, "Manisha has had to struggle against all odds to make the marriage work.

She has had to adjust not only to a life of domesticity, but also to her husband's entire family and their traditional way of life.

At one point, she almost gave up and decided to return to India, but now she wants to give her marriage one last shot."

Rumours of her return to Bollywood were sparked off when prominent filmmakers received text messages from her secretary informing them that she's open to acting offers.

"If I get a damn good project I'd be interested anytime. In fact, I'm on the verge of accepting good offers. I'll talk about it only after they materialise," she says.

As for relocating to India, the actress says, "I travel to Mumbai because I've a home there. I was there recently for just two days."
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'Killer' thriller not so thrilling

LOS ANGELES: A routine action thriller which occasionally hints that at some point in its road to the big screen it may have aspired to be more, "Killer Elite" centers on Danny (Jason Statham), a highly skilled, international paid assassin.

Early in the movie, he yanks open the door of a car containing a powerbroker target and, to his horror, realizes that a young child is sitting alongside his intended quarry. This is the straw that brakes Danny. Fed up with all the occupational carnage, he quits the hired killer racket, retiring to rural Australia where he hopes to lead a quiet life.

Yeah, like that's gonna happen.
Allegedly based on true incidents, the movie is derived from "The Feather Men," a 1993 book by British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes that is often tagged, for lack of a better term, as a "non-fiction novel." In the book, the Feather Men, so called because of their light touch, are a shadowy group of powerfully connected British machers who order up covert military operations worldwide to protect United Kingdom interests.

In "Killer Elite," Danny is dragged back into his old line of work when Hunter (Robert De Niro), his longtime ex-partner and mentor, is kidnapped by an elderly potentate in Oman. The chieftain tells Danny that he will free Hunter only if Danny tracks down and snuffs out three members of British special ops forces who killed the strong man's sons.

Once Danny begins efficiently dispatching his targets, it becomes ever clearer that nothing is as it first seemed and there are powerful forces in England -- including Clive Owen as a former special ops leader -- who don't wish him well. Soon, Danny himself is a target.

"Killer Elite" takes promising ingredients, including its trio of charismatic lead actors and an intriguing subplot about the Feather Men -- and then squanders them in a routine recipe. The film is little more than scene after scene of gunplay, chase scenes and spilled blood, accompanied by on-screen headers informing us that we're now in London, Paris, Oman or some other global hotspot.

First-time director Gary McKendry, who cowrote the screenplay, fails to give the film the kind down-the-rabbit-hole intensity or convincing peephole view of realpolitik that distinguishes the Bourne trilogy and other top-notch films in the genre.

Like a tea bag on second usage, this recycled action thriller provides only a weak brew. (Reuters)
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Amitabh Bachchan suffers minor chest injury

Amitabh Bachchan has said that he suffered a minor chest injury during an action sequence on the set of Ram Gopal Varma's Department.

Just a few days ago, son Abhishek Bachchan was also injured while filming a chase sequence in Jaipur for Bol Bachchan.

The elder actor wrote on Twitter: "A minor incident on set during semi action sequence. Got hit on chest rib cage, some damage inside, pain on breathing, bearable! (sic)

"Guess its the season for injury. First Abhishek, now moi."

Bachchan's Twitter account was flooded with tweets from concerned fans and the 68-year-old actor quickly tried to pacify them.

"Okaay I seem to have let loose a cannon !! It will heal. Do not worry All shall be well," Bachchan wrote.

"People of twitter world, relax! Should never have mentioned. Just an accidental hit by either an elbow or the butt of a carbine."

The actor was criticised for announcing daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's pregnancy on Twitter, but defended his actions by saying his fans on Twitter are his family. Source

Jagjit Singh suffers brain haemorrhage

MUMBAI: Noted ghazal singer Jagjit Singh is critical and in the intensive care unit of Lilavati Hospital, Bandra. Informed sources told TOI on Friday evening that Singh, who is on a ventilator, underwent an emergency surgery after he developed a hemorrhage or clot in the brain.

Singh, who is one of India's most popular ghazal singers and a music composer, was scheduled to perform along with Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali at Shanmukhananda Hall, Matunga, on Friday evening, but the concert had to be cancelled . The 70-year-old singer has been suffering from high blood pressure for some time now. Brain hemorrhage is a known complication of uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure.

Singh's family and friends refused to divulge details, but cardiologist Ajit Menon, under whose care Singh was admitted to hospital, told TOI that the singer had undergone surgery late on Friday evening. "All I can say is that his condition is still critical and he is under observation," added Dr Menon.

Singh and his singer wife Chitra shot to fame in the 1970s with their soulful ghazals. He sang several songs for Hindi films as well and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2003.
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Fergie's Frisky Wax Replica Unveiling

Receiving the honor of having a replica crafted in her likeness, Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson attended a ceremony to unveil her new wax double at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Las Vegas on Thursday night (September 22).

The Black Eyed Peas frontwoman took to The Venetian venue while playfully posing with her wax figure alongside her mother Terri, father Pat and sister Dana.

Getting caught up in the fun-filled festivities, Fergie at one point grabbed a handful of her waxy duplicate's bosoms as husband Josh Duhamel stood in the crowd to take pictures with his cell phone.

The visit to Sin City comes as the 36-year-old singer is set to perform with her bandmates on Friday (September 23) as part of the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

Other acts lined up to take the stage include Jay-Z, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Nicki Minaj, Kenny Chesney and Jennifer Lopez.

Enjoy the pictures of Fergie unveiling her new wax double at Madame Tussauds (September 22).

Photo Credit: Getty Images

A secret wedding for Sandra Bullock?‎

Sandra Bullock is reportedly considering a secret low-key wedding with beau Ryan Reynolds following a successful vacation in Wyoming.

Bullock, 47, is believed to have discussed the idea of marriage with Reynolds, 34, after he bonded with her 20-month-old son Louis.

Reynolds split from actress Scarlett Johansson after two years of marriage in December 2010.

“Ryan told her he was ready to tie the knot whenever she wants. And after seeing how quickly she’s bonded with baby Louis, she decided she’s ready to pull the trigger, too,” Contactmusic quoted a source as telling America’s Star magazine.

“So they started discussing the logistics of pulling off a low-key, barefoot wedding that would reflect their laid-back lifestyle,” the source added.

Johansson, 26, who was briefly linked to Sean Penn following her divorce from Reynolds, is reported to be happy for the pair.

“Since Scarlett likes and respects Sandra so much, it doesn’t bother her that she’s with Ryan now,” the source said.

What Paris wants, Paris gets - Sneak peek into her 3-day itinerary

Paris Hilton at Cannes Film Festival 2005Image via Wikipedia
From pink walls to special organic desserts, the American socialite gears up for a super-indulgent weekend in Mumbai

With just a day to go before Paris Hilton descends on Mumbai, here's a sneak peak of her extravagant three-day stay in the city.

America's most talked-about socialite can be rest assured she will be as pampered as possible.

Juhu's J W Marriott, surprisingly chosen by the Hilton heiress over her own chain of hotels in the city, has gone all out to ensure she gets what she wants.

Says Vineet Misra of the Marriott, "Paris will be welcomed with garlands in typical desi style. She will also be the first guest to inaugurate the brand new Presidential suite, which is about 2,200 square feet.

She obviously has certain requirements on how the room should look and feel. So we have tried and altered the space accordingly."

Not surprisingly those requirements include one basic colour: pink. She prefers the walls, sheets, flowers and everything else with a dash of pink.

The hotel will thus be importing seven different types of exotic pink flowers from Thailand. She will also be welcomed with pink champagne on her arrival at the hotel.

And if that's not enough to satisfy the high-maintenance celebrity, there's more. "A lady butler will be with her throughout her stay at the hotel, taking care of all her requirements.

Since she is a health freak and is into organic food, we have organised for some organic fruits. We're also planning to make special berry-based desserts and macaroons," adds Misra.

From music to movies, the hotel has handpicked everything for their special guest. And last, but not the least, her neighbouring rooms have been converted into a workout-cum-spa.

After all this, we wouldn't blame you if you'd want to turn into Paris for a day!

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