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Magpie

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Ken Loach's new movie The Wind that Shakes the Barley looks to be a good watch. In Cinemas June 23rd.

 

Brief synopsis:

 

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Ireland 1919: workers from field and country unite to form volunteer guerrilla armies to face the ruthless 'Black and Tan' squads that are being shipped from Britain to block Ireland's bid for independence.
Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy, in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom.
As the freedom fighters' bold tactics bring the British to breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families who fought side by side find themselves pitted against one another as sworn enemies, putting their loyalties to the ultimate test.


 

http://www.thewindthatshakesthebarley.co.uk/

 

Reviews:

 

If only we had some better history lessons on our screens. John Patterson recommends the Loach approach

Saturday June 17, 2006
The Guardian


The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Cannes 2006)
Who says history is boring? ... The Wind that Shakes the Barley
 


I see they're kicking Ken Loach around again. How dare he grasp the prickly nettle of the Irish civil war, that festering open wound on the pages of history, then create a nuanced and complex political drama, and not expect to be slandered six ways from Bloody Sunday?
 
BBC NEWS Monday, 29 May 2006
 
Loach film wins top Cannes prize
 
British director Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes The Barley has won the Palme d'Or - the top prize at the Cannes film festival.

The film, about Ireland's struggle for independence, beat 19 others to the prestigious prize.......


 
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WHEN most world-class film directors enter a room, they do so with a flourish, milking the effect of their presence for all it's worth. This is not Ken Loach's style. After I have sat shivering for five minutes, waiting in a bare, shabby room above London's Denmark Street, Loach puts a tentative nose round the door, surveys me warily over his glasses, and, smiling meekly, sidles over to shake hands.

For the next hour he sips a mug of tea, talking in hushed tones, as if normal decibel levels might be an affront. He dresses nondescriptly - a tweed jacket, an overall impression of earth tones. It is like meeting a kindly history teacher who has one eye on retirement.

Yet this modest man's peers queue up to extol his virtues. Alan Parker calls Loach's film Cathy Come Home "the single most important reason I wanted to become a director". Stephen Frears says he is "a genius". The great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski (who died last year) said he would emerge from retirement only to work with Loach, the one director who could make him laugh and cry in a single scene. In short Loach, 60, is one of the few British masters in cinema history.

But his reputation here brings to mind Tony Hancock's plaintive cry in the Radio Ham sketch: "I've got friends all over the world! All over the world! None in this country, but all over the world." Loach is feted as a director's director the length and breadth of Europe, and four of his last five films (Hidden Agenda, Riff-Raff, Raining Stones and Land and Freedom) won prizes at the Cannes Film Festival in the past seven years. But these same films are overlooked by British cinemas: distributed narrowly, they are rarely seen outside our largest cities.

His new work, Carla's Song (released in England February 1997), is typical: "Our new distributors, PolyGram, have about 40 prints," says Loach. "It's not massive coverage of the country, but at least we're in with a shout." Yet the most dire piece of Hollywood production-line trash is routinely released to more than 250 British screens. "I feel the frustration of all this," Loach says. "But I've come to think it goes with the territory."

For 30 years he has made unashamedly Leftist films, blending real people and actors in a gritty, low-key style best described as downbeat realism - indeed there are those who dismiss his oeuvre as Marxist propaganda. But, as Loach says, British audiences might respond warmly if they ever saw the films: "Cinema owners have fixed ideas. There's an expectation, especially in multiplexes, of a certain kind of film, the popcorn, the noise level . . . they've turned cinema into one particular kind of experience."

He could change this at a stroke by succumbing to Hollywood's blandishments, and direct prestigious films with large budgets and big stars. (Francis Ford Coppola used to deluge Loach with scripts, imploring him to practise his craft in America.)

"It's a different way of working, with all sorts of implications I don't like," Loach says. "For me, part of the trick is keeping the scale of a film appropriate. And if you keep it European, you have freedom in casting. Casting is crucial to me, and if a film's unbalanced by the presence of so-called international stars, you may as well forget the film.

"There's another thing. I can't think of a single European director who has gone to Hollywood and done better work than they did in Europe."

So he ploughs his furrow. Topics covered by his films include poverty in Manchester (Raining Stones), a child-custody battle between social workers and a loud-mouthed mother of six (Ladybird, Ladybird), class warfare on a London building site (Riff-Raff), and the Spanish Civil War (Land and Freedom).

These are as earnest and thoughtful as they sound, yet all are also laced with fun and dour humour. His latest, Carla's Song, sounds in outline like a parody of a typical Loach film: set in 1987, it is about George, a disaffected Glasgow bus driver (Robert Carlyle, from Trainspotting and Hamish Macbeth) who befriends Carla (Oyanka Cabezas), a young Nicaraguan dancer on the run from brutal Contra rebels back home. They fall in love, and George persuades her to return to her homeland with him and resolve their fears. But why Nicaragua? And why now? "It's important to rescue the past and tell that story," says Loach. "Important to share the trauma that the people of Nicaragua went through, and acknowledge it."

Passages in Carla's Songjustify the plaudits of Loach's fans - especially regarding his way with actors. In one scene Carla explains the importance of the Sandinista government to her people - and Cabezas, visibly moved, fills up with tears, unable to complete her sentence. It is a moment that transcends mere acting.

Yet cinema owners are right in one respect: Carla's Song (which cost a mere £3 million) will not shift much popcorn and cola, which, after all, is where their widest profit margins reside. Independence Day, Mission: Impossible - now those are popcorn and cola films.

Such considerations have never sidetracked Loach; his shy manner masks a stubborn streak, and he seems immune to the ebb and flow of political fashion. He was born in Nuneaton, in Warwickshire, and after National Service read law at Oxford, before joining the BBC as a trainee director. He worked on Z Cars and Play for Today.

He soon made a name with Up the Junction,Cathy Come Home (which sparked a national debate on homelessness and led to Shelter's formation), Poor Cow and the successful Kes - all in a dizzying five-year spell. Yet it would be 20 years before he enjoyed another such run, and in the 1980s he fell on hard times. Reduced to directing commercials, he didn't even have an office, and could be seen around Soho forlornly trying to rekindle his career from phone boxes.

In 1990, the production company Parallax gave him the office in Denmark Street - a base from which to launch his recent admired work. Between making fierce partisan films, Loach lives a quiet, blameless life in Bath.

Despite British indifference, he'll soldier on, developing two more scripts from Paul Laverty (who wrote Carla's Song) and two more from long-time collaborator Jim Allen. Meanwhile, Loach is sustained by accolades from abroad: "It's a pressure just to live up to all that - and make sure your next film doesn't blow it."

Self-effacing to the last.


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Hi Folks, What about this movie?Training Day is an intense film that illustrates how fragile a grip humans have on the notion of what is right and wrong.

 

 

Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is a rookie police officer looking to make the narcotics squad led by Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) under the Los Angeles Police Department. However, Alonzo has his own plans and has chosen Jake to be part of his solution to a problem involving $1 million that he owes to the Russian Mafia. As a cynical Alonzo abuses his authority and does anything he wants in the name of "protect and serve", Jake grows increasingly uneasy with his new partner's approach that eventually results in a showdown.

What makes the film work is Alonzo's descent into the depths of depravity. At first, he offers a logical reason for any action he performs. As we learn more, it becomes clear that it's Alonzo's familiarity and rise from a world he despises (and one that despises him) that ultimately drags him down a path of abuse. He is a police officer who is unable to arrive at a higher ground and behaves just like the thugs he wishes would kill themselves off. His viewpoint ultimately ends up being self-fulfilling.

Denzel Washington takes on a different kind of a role in this film (in contrast to similarly intense films like The Siege, The Bone Collector, and The Hurricane) and he essentially steals the show. Ethan Hawke is well cast as a naive cop looking to "make it big". The pacing and direction by Antoine Fuqua is kinetic. There is enough of a plot and unexpected things happening to keep the film interesting.

The movie touches upon the hint of a corrupt regime where leaders in the ranks of police act like feudal warlords. Whether this is a correct characterisation of the LAPD or not is debatable, but it is within the realm of possibility. The moral that absolute power corrupts absolutely should not be taken lightly, and this film illustrates that no one is immune.

 

 

 

 

 

Check these out too folks:

 

 

 
 
 
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In the Name of the Father
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hr. 13 min.
Starring: Corin Redgrave, Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, John Lynch, Mark Sheppard,
Director: Jim Sheridan
Producer: Jim Sheridan
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 29, 1993
Writer: Gerry Conlon, Jim Sheridan, Terry George

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Name of the Father is about innocent people convicted of crimes and sentenced heavily; even when their innocence is known to the police (the real guilty person confesses), there is a cover-up until it is exposed by a dedicated lawyer.

The story is based on real-life happening, and in and of itself it's not that spectacular. But it does serve as a reminder of how the so-called "system of justice" can be twisted, perverted, and made into a travesty to suit certain people's needs.

It is, in particular, a story of the British system of justice (or lack thereof) as the lawyer (I believe) says: "This brings into question our entire system of justice". And that it does. We have heard countless numbers of incidents involving police brutality and injustice, but yet we turn a blind eye for the most part because we rationalise by thinking the system does more good than bad. But that's not an excuse for continuing with an imperfect system. In fact, at the end of the movie, it says that none of the police involved in this case were disciplined! That is completely ridiculous---law-makers and law-enforcers are in no way beyond the law. But again, we know of several instances (I have seen several instances personally) where law makers do constantly break the law. I am quite sure a lot of people, at some point in their lives, have been through experiences that made them think about the legal system. I suppose it does depend on your lifestyle, but the point is that it shouldn't! As long as you're innocent, you're innocent. You cannot be bullied into submission (which happens during the movie).

You can't be accused by someone in uniform "You're a thief" without any basis. This does happen. I've seen it happen, I have a lot of friends who have experienced this, and it has happened to me personally. In fact, at the Black Sabbath concert I recently went to, I was stopped by some security guard even though I was frisked at the entrance. He said: "Are you sure you're not carrying anything? You came through that door pretty fast." I would argue it's impossible for a two line queue to get past four to six people who were doing the searching without being stopped. Why should the police guard assume something different? Had he really seen me come through, he'd have noticed I had been searched. How could he know I had come through "fast" if he didn't follow my moments through the entrance. It's just the attitude of these people in power which bothers me, and this is brought out by the movie. As the prosecution prepares its case, it does find evidence that corroborates the defendants' stories, but they choose to hide that fact from the defense. In general, I'd argue strongly that a lot of law-people are more interested in winning cases and obtaining convictions (in short, being "right") than finding out the truth. Again, in the movie, when the prosecution wins the case initially, you can see the law-makers getting great pleasure out of this. Why should they? Because they won a case? Was that their motivation?

But why should this not be? Is it not human nature to want to be right all the time? Most people who accomplish something usually are of the type that they form an opinion about something and it takes a lot to shake that opinion. We see this happen constantly, even in the scientific world where researchers push their pet theories. Some people even pervert the facts (sometimes incidentally, and sometimes intentionally) in order to achieve their goals. It is these sort of people that we have in in the legal systems around the world. Some systems are worse than others, but the basic problem is the same. So given this type of people in our judicial and governmental, we are always going to have cases of innocent people being persecuted. The system will be proportionally twisted to the degree of corruption in a society.

So, our current system (Judge, Jury, Lawyers) isn't good enough to prevent what I consider a significant percentage (purely based on experience) of innocent people from being bludgeoned into submission. My personal philosophy is to do away with any sort of system that gives so much power to a set of people that the individual is virtually powerless. To take things to an extreme, I believe in an anarchistic society where people can do what they want and people can be their own judge and jury. This at first seems that it would encourage more crime and not be worth it, but I do think the criminals commit crime without a great deal of respect for the law (I suppose it follows automatically). I think the system of justice does punish them, but I don't think it really makes a big dent in reforming the criminal mind. I think if a certain society were made anarchistic (this is idealism talking), then people who would commit crime in present society would be more open about it, but the rate of crime would not increase by any significant amount, especially in the long run. But what we have here is an added enforcement of the "law". As I have pointed out earlier, criminals would think twice about targets that hit back. The more idealistic solution is to say that people when given the freedom won't do anything to others that they wouldn't want done to them.

Personal philosophy aside, we need cases such as these to be more open. I don't believe a cop's word should have more weight than the testimony of 3-4 witnesses. Clearly the jury system is flawed because in today's age it's hard to believe that any jury would not be informed of the crime and form their own opinions. Of course, the media doesn't help things much either. We have recently seen at least one case (and perhaps another) where the person was judged "guilty" by certain organisations even before it was proven in court. People who serve on the Jury should be more rigourously chosen, based on their background and beliefs. In particular, people who take courses in logic might help. Seriously, in the movie, as people were being accused of certain crimes, it was shown how ridiculous it was. Yet, the Jury, in the heat of the moment, was easily swayed. A larger jury might help. This can be mediated by computers, which I think should be used to store information about cases and such and this information should be available for all.

Finally, one of the main reasons that these people were kept in prison even though they were found innocent is because of a cover-up of the people in power. Such cover-ups should be punished just as a common criminal would be (yes, we saw this happen during the Iran-Contra affair). Such cover-ups should not be allowed. The public should have access to this information and it should be done in a complete manner. That is, there should not be a superficial layer of information just for the "public", but rather any and all information should be made free. What problems can this cause? Of course, the first issue that's raised is the issue of national security. But I think this really has little effect on most cases. I don't it mattered at all in this particular case, and in general doesn't (pointing to the numerous innocent persecutions simply due to age, appearances, etc.). Some might object that this is an invasion of the convicted person's privacy. When you take away a person's freedom for a crime---I don't see why privacy should be protected.

But all the latter solutions dance around the issue. It hides what happens before cases come to court. There is always injustice as what determines a person's actions at a particular time is influenced by various unrelated factors such as personal arguments and problems. In fact, I've heard it said many times that the world would be a better place if "men" weren't in charge simply because it seems like they allow their hormones rule over their better judgement. I've also heard remarks that people in power are sexually frustrated and thus they end up acting the way they do. Perhaps this has some truth to it, but it doesn't matter. People in power are prone to commit injustice, but it passes by unnoticed for the most part since they do it under a thin veil.

The way such injustice can be eradicated is by demolishing the current foundations of our existing systems that give power over other subjective individuals and thus naturally creating a system where everyone is judged equally and fairly (albeit from a subjective perspective).


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Magpie

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Error of Judgement: Truth About the Birmingham Bombings  

 

Error of Judgement: Truth About the Birmingham Bombings

 

Synopsis
The truth about the Birmingham Bombings -

the story of how six innocent men were

convicted of the biggest murder in British history.

 

 

 

 

 

 ------------------------------------------------------------

 

Who Framed Colin Wallace?  

Paul Foot

Synopsis


Colin Wallace claims he was discharged from the British army

for his refusal to take part in a dirty tricks campaign orchestrated

by MI5 in Northern Ireland. He was later jailed for the murder of a

friend, but has maintained his innocence. The question is how far

was MI5 involved?

--------------------------------------------------------------

Murder at the Farm: Who Killed Carl Bridgewater? 

Paul Foot

Murder at the Farm: Who Killed Carl Bridgewater?

 


Synopsis
The campaign to free the men convicted of killing

Carl Bridgewater in 1978 lasted 17 years. There were

inquiries, hearings, and references to the court by the

Home Secretary. In 1997 the prosecution could not

sustain the case and the men were released. Why had

they stayed behind bars for so long?

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Supergun: A Political Scandal  

Synopsis
Recounts the experiences of Christopher Cowley, the

metallurgist who was charged with conspiring to export

arms illegally to Iraq in 1990. He had been employed by

Gerald Bull, the ballistic genius found murdered in his

apartment in March 1990. The book gives an insight

into space technology programmes while presenting

astounding revelations regarding the International arms

trade, Arab politics, Mossad assassinations and British and

Allied hypocrisy at the highest levels. Robin Blake, the ghost

writer for this book, has also ghosted the memoirs of

Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four.

 



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Look forward to seeing Ken Loaches new film Magpie. First one of his i saw was Sweet Sixteen, brilliant film with Martin Compston from Greenock in star-role, his debut to the acting world which has repayed him for his talent somewhat since, he went on to have a head role in a weekly scottish drama, which for the life o me i cannot remember the name o!! I watched it every episode aswell Somebody enlighten me please as it's noo annoyin me as it's on the tip o ma tongue...Glenbogle was the big hoose it was centred around...wouldn't make a good critic at all , that aside i love all Ken's stuff i've seen! ,xxxsteeleyma

Magpie

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MONARCH OF THE GLEN?



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Spot On Magpie, thank gawd for  you... it was buggin the hell oot me!!! Thank you, , xxxsteeleyma

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20 June 2006
HOW THE RICHARD AND JUDY 'EFFECT' IS WORTH £50M TO BOOK TRADE
 

IT is known as "the Richard and Judy effect"... and has created a revolution in the nation's reading habits.

Now another six lucky authors are going to find out what a recommendation from TV's golden couple can do for their careers.

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have announced the shortlist for their Summer Reads 2006, which will see half a dozen books being reviewed and discussed by a range of celebrities.

The format has already seen the Richard and Judy Book Club -a section of their hit teatime Channel 4 show - rise to a publishing phenomenon.

The show's website and mail-order service has sold more than eight million books and has a £50million turnover.

Featured books have seen sales jump by 3000 per cent overnight.

The couple are now even estimated to be responsible for more than one in 50 of all books sold in the UK.

The latest reviews start on July 5, with Abi Titmuss offering her opinion on Jim Lynch's The Highest Tide.

Richard said: "We've got some absolute crackers. This year's selection are six of the best and I'm sure our viewers will find them difficult to put down."

Three of this year's authors are British and three are American.

The Brits include Victoria Hislop -wife of Have I Got News For You? star Ian - and Sam Bourne, journalist Jonathan Freedland's pen name.

But the choices aren't down to Richard and Judy.

That decision is taken by their production company boss Amanda Ross - recently named the most influential person in publishing in a newspaper poll.

She admits modelling the Book Club on that of US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.

And - like that American original -it has publishers eager for attention.

Now the market success of the favoured books is phenomenal.

In March, Kate Mosse's Labyrinth shot to No. 1 and its publisher got orders for more than 50,000 the day after it was praised on air.

Books featured in previous years are even still reaping the benefits.

Alice Sebold's heartbreaking The Lovely Bones has sold more than one million copies, as has Star Of The Sea by Joseph O'Connor - which only shifted 3500 copies before its review.

A recent survey also showed that 1.8 million people have bought a Richard and Judy recommendation.

One novelist enjoying their "effect" is David Fiddimore, of Edinburgh.

The retired Customs officer won a contract in their How To Get Published competition last year.

His first novel, Tuesday's War -about an RAF bomber crew - hit the shelves last September and sequel Charlie's War is out on December 1.

David said: "The Richard and Judy experience was wonderful and surreal. I was told by a Waterstones salesman that a paperback debut does well if it sells 6000 copies then disappears without a trace.

"But about 40,000 of mine have been sold, it's an amazing difference.

"Now I hope the second book sells on the back of the first, so the Richard and Judy effect doesn't stop.

"I don't think I could have had a better start to my career."

David has little time for the literary critics who sneer at the standard of novel featured. He said: "It's the same as the Dan Brown effect. I found The DaVinci Code almost unreadable, but he's sold millions of books, which means he's done every other writer a huge favour as he's got people buying books who wouldn't normally.

"I think part of the Richard and Judy appeal is that the books they select are accessible.

"They don't point you towards books that are difficult to read. They pick up on books which are value for money and well-


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Web Links

 

Miscarriage of Justice

 

http://www.mojuk.org.uk/

 

http://www.mojoscotland.com/

 

http://www.innocent.org.uk/index.html

 

http://www.portia.org/

 

 

News

 

 

The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/0,,,00.html

 

BBC NEWS http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/default.stm

 

The Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/uk/

 

Sunday Times  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/sundaytimes

 

Sunday Times Scotland http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,2764,00.html

 

Google News 

http://news.google.co.uk/nwshp?hl=en&tab=wn&q=

 

Reuters http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/home.aspx

 

Independent  http://www.independent.co.uk/

 

Scotsman  http://www.scotsman.com/

 

Herald  http://www.theherald.co.uk/

 

Sunday Herald  http://www.sundayherald.com/

 

IC NETWORK  http://www.icnetwork.co.uk/  http://icscotland.icnetwork.co.uk/

 

Sky News http://www.sky.com/skynews/home

 

ITN News  http://www.itn.co.uk/

 

Channel 4 News http://www.channel4.com/news/

 

 

Books

http://www.amazon.co.uk

 

http://www.play.com/

 

http://books.google.co.uk/

 

 

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Black and White Publishing

Fiction, biography and books on cooking, sport, true crime and humour. With a distinctive Scottish flavour.
http://www.blackandwhitepublishing.com/ - 1k - Cached - Similar pages

 

  • VENDETTA -
  • The astonishing inside story of the life of Paul Ferris
  • after his release from jail in 2002.
  • FOREVER FRANCIE -
  • A funny, touching memoir of Jack Milroy, one of Scotland's
  • best-loved showbiz legends, by Mary Lee, his partner for 50 years.
  • THE LAW KILLERS -
  • Journalist Alexander McGregor examines Dundee's most fascinating
  • and chilling homicides throughout the twentieth century.
  • LUCKY JACK - SCOTLAND'S FIRST MINISTER
  • examines all aspects of Jack McConnell, from his working life to
  • his sometimes not-so-private life as a husband and father.
  • A DEADLY DECEPTION -
  • A vivid and exciting thriller from Margaret Thomson Davis
  • set in Glasgow.
  • IS IT THAT TIME ALREADY? -
  • Rikki Fulton's funny and touching autobiography chronicling the
  • life of one of the biggest stars Scotland has ever produced.

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    Admin2

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    Film

    What's the best movie quote of all time?

    The search continues! We want you to help us find the greatest

    movie quote of all time.

     

    http://www.mojoflix.com/Videos/New?42


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    The Green Mile is a 1999 movie, directed by Frank Darabont, based on

    the Stephen King novel The Green Mile.

     

    The film stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan

    as John Coffey.

     

    The movie is primarily about Paul Edgecomb and his life as a prison guard

    on Death Row in the 1930's.

     

    The movie is told in flashback by Paul Edgecomb in a nursing home

    and follows a string of supernatural and metaphysical events upon

    the arrival of tried and convicted murderer John Coffey.

     

    For the 2000 Academy Awards, the movie was nominated for four

    awards (Best Actor In A Supporting Role, Best Picture, Best Sound,

    and Best Writing--Screenplay Based On Material Previously Produced

    or Published) but won none of them.


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    27 June 2006
    CLOSE TO THE EDGE TO OVER THE HEDGE
     
    STAR TAKES TIME OUT FROM ACTION MOVIES TO MAKE A FILM FOR
    HIS KIDS

    ROGUE asteroids, evil terrorists and drugdealing killers have caused him nothing more than the odd bead of sweat and the occasional rip on his trusty white vest.

    He's been one of the most fearsome action heroes in Hollywood history - but now Bruce Willis is going green.

    The 51-year-old Die Hard, Armageddon and Sin City star is back on the silver screen in his latest blockbuster, providing the voice of a cute, cuddly and mischievous raccoon in DreamWorks' latest animated movie, Over the Hedge.

    And the Hollywood star has revealed that taking part in the movie has made him much more aware of green issues - and he's even trading in his gas-guzzler for an ecofriendly electric car.

    Willis has been touring the world showing off the new film from the creators of Shrek and Madagascar.

    And after attending the premiere in London, Bruce took time out to tell the Daily Record why it was among the hardest movies he's ever had to make, and why he was so pleased it has been approved by some of his harshest critics.

    In Over the Hedge, he plays RJ the raccoon, a cuddly Artful Dodger type critter who moves to a suburban town to forage for swag.

    Willis also revealed that he now has more time for animals in general after spending so much time inside the head of a cartoon raccoon, despite having issues with certain creatures.

    He said: "My home in LA is in the woods and I have a whole food chain out there, from deer and possums to skunks - I've almost been skunked a couple of times.

    "But I think that humans have forgotten that we are just animals ourselves, and just because we're top of the food chain, it's easy to forget that we are all part of the animal kingdom.

    "We think that we're above animals, but if you go over to Africa and take on a lion, the lion's going to win.

    "I admit that I am guilty of taking animals for granted.

    "But I don't like spiders. There's the Trap Door Spider, the Brown Recluse Spider and the Black Widow - these can kill you, so to me they're all bad."

    Partial arachnophobia apart, Willis added that his new environmentally friendly attitude has also extended to joining the trendy eco-Hollywood club by buying anew electric car.

    He said: "I hate driving, but I live in LA and I sometimes have to spend five hours a day in the car.

    "I'm about to buy an electric car which makes perfect sense. It's ridiculous to keep sucking the oil out of the earth when they have other options. And in Over the Hedge, I'm happy to say that the car doesn't burn any oil, because it's an animated car."

    In the new film, which took more than $160million in its first five weeks in America, Willis' character, RJ, is a raccoon who is trying to steal enough food to appease a hungry bear who is after him.

    He comes across afamily of animals and recruits them to unwillingly help him gather his booty, while dodging a crazy exterminator.

    Gary Shandling plays Verne the turtle, Steve Carell is mad squirrel Hammy, Eugene Levy is Lou the porcupine, Avril Lavigne is moody teenage possum Heather, and William Shatner plays her dad, Ozzie.

    Over the Hedge is Bruce's second animated feature - he also appeared in Rugrats go Wild - and while he says he's delighted with the results, he's glad it is finally over.

    Bruce recorded sessions on his own with directors Karey Kilpatrick and Tim Johnson in between filming his recent action hit 16 Blocks, which he describes as a "a pain in the ass".

    He had to down shift from his hard-nosed roles to play the fuzzy RJ, with the directors admitting they sometimes had to remind Willis that his character wasn't running around with guns and threatening people.

    Willis said: "When you watch the movie, you get the impression that we were all sitting around William Shatner's house drinking beers while we recorded our takes.

    "But it took 18 months for me to finish this film.

    "None of the actors involved got to meet each other as we recorded our parts at different times.

    "It was hard work because I had to play RJ at the same time I was filming16 Blocks. But the directors were great.

    "Normally you work with other actors, you've got props and cool clothes, but that wasn't the case with Over The Hedge.

    "It was just me reading the lines and because of that, it was hard to get the comedy timing right.

    "It was a relief when I saw the film and discovered that everyone was very funny.

    "My kids really liked this movie and laughed a lot."

    Over the Hedge sees Willis pass the 70-film mark in his varied career which has ranged from action flicks such as Die Hard and Armageddon to classics such as Pulp Fiction.

    And since Bruce has covered just about every genre, he says he is now happy to take it easy and wait for good scripts to come in.

    He added: "I get to do all kinds of films, and while I'm probably better known for action movies, I do get to do other movies. I did Over the Hedge because I wanted to do a movie for my kids and acomedy because I haven't done that in a while.

    "I've done more than 70 films plus four years of TV, so I'm driven more by the story now.

    "I'd like to do some theatre if I get the time. I would love to do something American like a Sam Shepherd play.

    "I do films but they come out a year after you've filmed them. By the time they come out, I'm so disconnected from the movie.

    But theatre is much more immediate and you know straight away if you are entertaining the audience or not.

    "I now take more time off than I ever have in my career. Inow only work about six months out of the year because I like spending time with my kids."

    And while Willis is making sure he enjoys his work and his time off as much as possible, he will probably not be making areturn trip to Scotland -after a golfing trip some years ago was rained out.

    He joked: "I went to Scotland and it rained all the time.

    "I went on a golf trip, and it rained for an entire week.

    "I was sitting in the hotel at Prestwick, and I was thinking: 'I'm dying here - what is there to do in Scotland?' We did go to acasino though."


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    Reply with quote  #15 

    Hi All... thanks for all your posts with regards to 'Movies, Books, Music, Websites, Blogs....'

     

    I thought I would include the address for the web log of Nick Robinson, the Political Editor for the BBC.  Having read his blog, some of the issues that he discusses are very relevant and he makes some good points.  Below is a list of topics currently under discussion, and links which will take you directly to his blog.

     

     

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