Wes Anderson presents a taste of ‘Isle of Dogs’ (VIDEO)

LOS ANGELES, Sept 22 — Six years after Fantastic Mr Fox, the American director, who is renowned for his unbridled creativity, returns to the big screen with another stop-motion animated film Isle of Dogs.

Influenced by the work of Akira Kurosawa, Wes Anderson chose Japan as the setting for his ninth feature. Isle of Dogs will follow the story of a small boy searching for his pet.

In the wake of an epidemic of dog flu, four-legged friends from the Japanese archipelago have been quarantined on a remote island that serves as a waste dump for humans. Among them, Rex, King, Duke, Boss and Chief who readily confront all kinds of dangers in their bid to help Atari Kobayashi find his precious critter.

Wes Anderson has succeeded in bringing together several Hollywood stars to provide voices for the animals in the story: Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Liev Schreiber and Yoko Ono.

The filmmaker’s most recent oeuvre, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” was awarded four Oscars in 2015.

Watch the trailer for Isle of Dogs, which hits screens in March, above. — AFP-Relaxnews

This screenshot shows a scene from ‘Isle of Dogs’. — Picture via YouTube/FoxSearchlightThis screenshot shows a scene from ‘Isle of Dogs’. — Picture via YouTube/FoxSearchlight

Lego ninjas fight sequel fatigue along with monsters, villains

‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’ hits cinemas on September 22. — Screengrab from YouTube‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’ hits cinemas on September 22. — Screengrab from YouTubeLOS ANGELES, Sept 22 — When Warner Bros’ chief executive Kevin Tsujihara laid out his vision for the studio’s film business in 2014, movies based on Lego toys were one of the crucial franchises he planned to develop into the next decade.

Three years and three movies in, the series risks running out of steam, slowed by so-so reviews and sequel fatigue among fans. The Lego Ninjago Movie, about a ninja city based on the popular building-block toys, opens today in more than 4,000 North American theatres and looks set to land in second place with the smallest Lego debut yet for Time Warner Inc’s film unit. 21st Century Fox’s Kingsmen: The Golden Circle, is forecast to be No 1.

“The momentum has eased a bit even though the movies are well-liked,” said Barton Crockett, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co. “With franchises, you like to see the first movie surprise and do well, and the second movie go up from that, and we are not really seeing that here.”

While the movie industry has struggled this year, with domestic sales down 4.9 per cent through last week and many sequels coming up short, Warner Bros. has enjoyed a solid 2017. Wonder Woman is the second-biggest movie in US theatres, the studio’s World War II drama Dunkirk was a critical hit and it had a big success this month with the horror remake “It.” With sales up 5.2 per cent, Warner Bros leads the box office.

Still, Ninjago is the second Lego movie Warner Bros is releasing in seven months, following The Lego Batman Movie. The studio came back so quickly because there was a void in the market for animated family movies, Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros’ head of domestic distribution, said in an interview. Unlike the serial dramas coming from all of the major Hollywood studios, the Lego instalments are “very different”, he said.

Analysts forecast North American weekend sales of US$38 million (RM160 million) to US$44.3 million for the new film, according to BoxOfficePro.com and Hollywood Stock Exchange. The studio was predicting about US$30 million for the US$60 million production, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified disclosing internal projections.

Even with lower sales than its predecessors, Ninjago should be profitable. Box Office Pro estimates the film will generate US$146.6 million through its run in domestic theatres, more than enough to recoup the production cost. Plus, international sales typically exceed domestic revenue.

Movie material

Lego toys looked like perfect fodder for a movie franchise when Warner Bros released the surprise hit The Lego Movie in February 2014 and took in US$469.2 million in worldwide ticket sales. But the second picture, February’s The Lego Batman Movie, opened smaller and ended up pulling in a third less in global revenue.

The new film faces its own headwinds. As of yesterday, just 47 per cent of reviews were positive as critics’ comments continued to come in at the website RottenTomatoes.com. That compared with 95 per cent for the original. A drop in Lego toy sales also raised questions about their enduring popularity with kids.

This month, Danish toymaker Lego A/S announced plans to cut 8 per cent of its workforce, with weak demand for Batman toys contributing to a 5 per cent drop in first-half revenue, the worst downturn in more than a decade.

The company had enjoyed 10 years of rapid expansion that catapulted the plastic construction toys to a new level of popularity, according to Michael McNally, a senior director. Ninjago Legos have been among the company’s top five products, he said. And Warner Bros, meanwhile, has sold 180 million units of its Lego video games worldwide.

The toymaker’s troubles “make one wonder a little bit about the universe of all things Lego,” Crockett said.

Less competition

The competitive landscape will help Ninjago, according to Shawn Robbins, analyst at Box Office Pro. The next big animated feature set for theatres, Coco from Walt Disney Co’s Pixar division, isn’t scheduled for release until November 22, giving the Warner Bros film a long run, he said.

Looking a little further out, the studio has two more big releases this year, Blade Runner 2049 and Justice League, a DC Comics feature that reunites Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, again played by Gal Gadot. That gives studio executive Goldstein confidence to predict that when worldwide sales are tallied, Warner will score “the best year we ever had.” — Bloomberg 

Bollywood’s ‘Deadly Dutt’ back on Indian screens after jail time (VIDEO)

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt returned to Indian cinema screens today in his first film since serving four years in prison for possessing weapons supplied by gangsters behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. — AFP picBollywood actor Sanjay Dutt returned to Indian cinema screens today in his first film since serving four years in prison for possessing weapons supplied by gangsters behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. — AFP picMUMBAI, Sept 22 — Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt returned to Indian cinema screens today in his first film since serving four years in prison for possessing weapons supplied by gangsters behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

The disgraced star, 58, plays the role of a father who seeks revenge for the gang-rape of his daughter in Hindi-language action thriller Bhoomi, directed by Omung Kumar.

Dutt walked free from jail in 2016. He last appeared in a film in 2014 and promoters trailed today’s release with a poster on social media declaring: “The Beast is Back”.

“I’m very excited to see Bhoomi. I’m sure it will be a big hit,” said ardent fan Sandeep Bachche, who has a tattoo of Dutt’s face inked on his left arm.

The rickshaw driver has another tattoo referencing the title of one of Dutt’s most famous film roles while the inside of his three-wheeler is covered in posters of the actor.

“I have booked tickets to watch three consecutive shows on the first day,” Bachche told AFP, admitting that he would be watching them alone.

Dutt shot to fame in the mid-1980s in a string of action movies in which he performed his own stunts, earning him the nickname “Deadly Dutt”.

He is best known for playing a mobster with a heart of gold in the popular Munna Bhai series.

Reviewers appeared lukewarm about Bhoomi but praised Dutt’s performance.

“Watch Bhoomi for Dutt. He’s from that era of larger-than-life heroes who get you to whistle even when he is killing people,” said a review in Times of India.

Dutt was convicted in 2006 of holding guns supplied by mafia bosses who orchestrated the 1993 bombings that killed 257 people.

The attacks were believed to have been staged by Muslim underworld figures in retaliation for religious riots in which mainly Muslims died, following the razing of an ancient mosque in north India.

Dutt insisted the two guns were only meant to protect his family in the tense atmosphere in Mumbai following the mosque’s destruction.

He was originally given a six-year term and spent 18 months in prison before being released on bail in 2007, pending an appeal.

In March 2013, the Supreme Court upheld his conviction but cut his prison term to five years, sending Dutt back to jail to serve the remaining three-and-a half years of his sentence.

He was granted several months of freedom at different times to work on unfinished Bollywood movies and his last film appearance came in science fiction hit PK three years ago.

Dutt was released in February last year, eight months ahead of schedule for good behaviour. Activists claimed he was given special treatment because of his celebrity status.

He has several films in the pipeline including Munna Bhai 3, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3, Malang and Torbaaz.

A biopic is also being made on his troubled life, with Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor playing Dutt. — AFP

DUO SYAMSUL Gabung Pakar Motivasi Dan Selebriti Dalam Satu Pentas Dakwah

Buat pertama kalinya TV AlHijrah menerbitkan sebuah rancangan bual bicara interaktif yang menggabungkan DUA selebriti popular yang berlainan profesion tetapi begitu serasi di atas pentas yang sama. DUO SYAMSUL menampilkan pakar motivasi Syamsul Amri yang dikenali dengan Syamsul Debat dan selebriti Shamsul Azhar atau Shamsul Ghau Ghau membicarakan isu-isu terkini […lagi…]

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Fee Haiqal Lancar Single Terbaru AKU MENCARI & Showcase Istimewa

Noraniza Idris Production Ventures Sdn Bhd (NIPVSB) kini melancarkan single terbaru artis rakaman di bawah naungan syarikatnya. Fee Haiqal buat pertama kalinya tampil dengan single solo terbarunya berjudul ‘AKU MENCARI’ berkonsep Pop Rhythm & Blues. Single ini adalah hasil ciptaannya dan lirik ditulis bersama Ihab Ismail. Melihat kepada bakat ciptaannya […lagi…]

The post Fee Haiqal Lancar Single Terbaru AKU MENCARI & Showcase Istimewa appeared first on Sensasi Selebriti.

And baby makes three! Aaron Kwok shares first photo of daughter

Kwok shared this photo of the newborn on his official Weibo this morning.Kwok shared this photo of the newborn on his official Weibo this morning.HONG KONG, Sept 22 — Aaron Kwok has finally confirmed that he and wife Moka Fang are parents.

The Hong Kong superstar shared a picture on his official Weibo account this morning showing a baby’s hand resting on two fingers.

The accompanying message in Chinese read: “Happy, amazing, grateful! Us three! (two smiley faces, baby emoji) Grow, family, protect! (three smiley faces).”

Multiple entertainment sites reported earlier this month that Fang had given birth to a daughter at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital on September 1.

While the post did not reveal the gender or the birth date of the child, the use of the colour pink in Kwok’s post has been taken as confirmation of the rumour.

The 51-year-old Kwok and 29-year-old Fang married in Hong Kong in April, after dating for less than two years.

Armed woman threatens to ‘execute’ Kardashians near their LA boutique

Kim Kardashian attends Harper’s Bazaar’s Celebration of ‘ICONS by Carine Roitfeld’ in New York September 8, 2017. — AFP picKim Kardashian attends Harper’s Bazaar’s Celebration of ‘ICONS by Carine Roitfeld’ in New York September 8, 2017. — AFP picLOS ANGELES, Sept 22 — A woman armed with a handgun pointed it at employees at a boutique owned by reality TV stars the Kardashians in the Los Angeles area yesterday and later came back brandishing a machete, according to police and media.

The unidentified woman escaped in both instances before police could apprehend her.

“We want to know who she is, we want to get her off the streets,” Juanita Navarro of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said by telephone.

The woman entered the boutique in West Hollywood, just outside Los Angeles, shortly before noon shouting “Stay away from Cuba” as she pointed a handgun at an employee, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

She knocked items off the counter and pointed the firearm at a second employee and then walked out, it said.

The Sheriff’s Department declined to identify the store, but Los Angeles television stations reported it was the DASH boutique. Sisters Kim Kardashian West and Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, best known from the television program Keeping Up with the Kardashians and its spin-off shows, own the store, according to the boutique’s website.

A Sheriff’s Department helicopter took part in the search for the woman but could not find her.

Television reporters arrived at the boutique after the initial threat made against employees and were there to capture the woman on video when she returned, armed with a machete.

“The Kardashians will be executed if they step on Communist territory,” the woman shouted while holding up the machete, footage from Los Angeles television station FOX 11 showed.

The Sheriff’s Department statement confirmed the agitated woman captured on news footage, who was wearing a jacket with white skulls and a bandana wrapped around her forehead, was the same suspect who had earlier entered the store with the gun.

Video footage shows the woman turning toward a cameraman to ask if he wanted to “get stabbed,” before shoving the machete into a gap in the boutique’s front entrance and walking away.

Ina Treciokas, a spokeswoman, for Kim Kardashian West, declined to comment on the incident.

The Kardashian sisters and hip-hop star Kanye West, who is married to Kim, visited Cuba last year. — Reuters