Sunday, 31 July 2011

Pamela Reed Wants Out of Windsor Square



SELLER: Pamela Reed and Sandy Smolan
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,995,000
SIZE: 5,381 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: For every actor/celebrity like Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston who make the tabs every time they pass a stinky wind or dump a thousand dollars on a pair of sparkly red carpet-worthy shoes, there are scores of less well known but always working actors who manage to live, mostly, outside the hot lights of the paps and gossip glossies. One such under-the-radar-lady/actress is Pamela Reed who has had her house in the historic Windsor Square 'hood in Los Angeles, CA on and off the market three times since early June 2011.

The property does not today appear on the open market but, thanks to a kindly snitch we'll call Hansel Andgretel, we've come to understand that the stately Windsor Square residence of Miz Reed and her mister?producer/director Sandy Smolan?remains listed with an asking price of $2,995,000.

Windsor Square, for those not schooled in the nuances of neighborhood borders in Lala Land, was developed in the early 1900s as an exclusive and, according to our informant Lady Windsorsquare, restricted upscale enclave of private streets lined with stately homes on medium-sized lots. The historic 'hood is often mistaken for the more hoity-toity Hancock Park but, in fact, they are two separate if not entirely distinct neighborhoods. Windsor Square, which encompasses the charming Larchmont shopping district, sits immediately east of Hancock Park where the homes are typically more substantial and on larger lots.

Former famous residents of Windsor Square include Norman Chandler (of the L.A. Times Chandler clan), Richard Blackwell (a.k.a. the sassy fashion critic Mr. Blackwell), and oilman John Paul Getty who owned a sprawling estate on South Irving Boulevard just above Wilshire that now functions as the official residence for the mayor of Los Angeles.

Miz Reed, now a gal of a certain age, has been tootling around Tinseltown since the late 1970s. It wasn't until the late 1980s that a starring role in the brills Garry Trudeau written and Robert Altman directed political mockumentary/series Tanner '88 that her career hit its stride. Since Tanner '88 she's appeared in an impressively long list of movies (Kindergarten Cop, Bean, Proof of Life) and mostly supporting but juicy roles on a variety of television programs (Parks and Recreation, United States of Tara, Jericho, Pepper Dennis, The Simpsons).

Miz Reed's man-huzband Steven "Sandy" Smolan, an occasional documentary film producer (Rachel River), toils primarily as a director for hire with scads of big and little boob-toob credits that include First Day, In Gayle We Trust, Brothers & Sisters, Everwood, The O.C., The District, Dawson's Creek, Chicago Hope, Doogie Hower, M.D., and L.A. Law.

Property records show the Smolan-Reeds acquired their Windsor Square abode in December 1996 when they coughed up $925,000 for the half-timbered English Tudor that was erected, as per the L.A. County Tax Man, on an approximately 1/3 acre corner parcel in 1923.

Listing information shows the (main) manse measures 5,381 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms and 9 poopers. However, a thorough perusal of the floor plans included with marketing materials (below) show the main house has a total of 4 bedrooms and 5 full and 2 half bathrooms. A detached structure contains a garage, pool cabana and guest apartment that increases the "bedroom" count to 6 and the terlit count to nine.

A curved brick-lined drive encircles the mature and well-maintained but fairly ordinary front yard landscaping. A set of wide brick steps marks the entrance where the front door opens into a small tile-floored vestibule that leads into a generously scaled center-hall foyer with hardwood floors, beamed ceiling, taupe colored walls and a lot of other taupe colored things.

The mundane taupe tones continue into the spacious 30-plus foot long step-down formal living room outfitted with vast multi-paned windows and French doors on three sides and built-in book shelves filled with actual books. We're not down with the traditional and banal day-core but we knew a lady like Miz Reed would have actual books in her house. Across the foyer from the living room there's an over-sized formal dining room furnished with a stunning Heywood Wakefield dining room table and chairs. That room is an all-around decorative hot mess but, children, we think the table and chairs are dee-voon.

The dominant beige-taupe turns to dark gray-taupe in the den where book shelves built into the walls flank French doors that open the room to the entertaining and dining terrace that extends off the back of the house. The leafy quasi-Polynesian print curtains in the den are, in our humble and utterly meaningless opinion, beyond words, and not in a good way. The curtain situation in the den is only made worse by the appearance of another flower-patterned quasi-Polynesian drapery treatment in the master bedroom.

The cooking and service wing wraps around inter-locking front and back stair cases and includes a good-sized butler's pantry that joins the dining room to the clean but outdated eat-in kitchen. The kitchen floors?linoleum laid in a diamond-y pattern?are predominantly green and yellow, the counter tops are white tile and there's a wee tee-vee built in to the upper cabinet near the sink where it facilitates easy-peasy soap story watching by the dish washing domestic. One end of the kitchen opens to a breakfast room lined with an old-timey bead board chair rail and the other end leads into a warren of rooms that include a pantry area with second fridge, laundry room, and home office with built-in cabinetry, multiple desk surfaces and a bathroom.

The four second floor bedrooms, accessible by the main stair in the foyer or the back stair in the kitchen, include three family bedrooms, each with private bathroom, plus an approximately 600 square foot master suite. The short hall from the landing to the master bedroom has a second laundry room, a feature we're certain Lucinda the Laundress appreciates with all her weak and minimum wage heart.

Although there are wood floors in the ample sized master bedroom features a sitting area and fireplace, beige wall-to-wall carpeting was installed in the windowed walk-in closet/dressing room. Much to our horror, the beige carpeting extends right on in to the bathroom where it covers every inch of the floor under the vanity table and sink counters, next to the soaking tub and outside the separate shower stall. Oh, hunnies, no. Just no. No. As we said earlier this week about the also beige wall-to-wall carpeting in Tony Danza's Malibu beach house, "Rule Number 16 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Dont's emphatically states, 'No bathing or terliting facility of any kind should ever, under any circumstances, have wall-to-wall carpeting installed.'"

Additional living space can be found in the full-sized and fully finished basement that, not surprisingly, has an acre or two of dingy beige wall-to-wall carpeting. Your Mama is not sure what's up with all the awful choices of carpet and drapery at Miz Reed and Mister Smolan's spread but we strongly recommend they cough up a few pennies for a nice, gay decorator to assist them as they work out these decorative demons in their next home. Your Mama well knows and accepts that not everyone needs or wants to live in a house worthy of an appearance in a glossy shelter publication but there is not, as far as our cold, dark and snarky heart is concerned, any earthly reason for a couple of hardworking and successful showbiz types to perpetrate these sorts of egregious carpeting and curtain crimes on the home's inhabitants, domestic staff and guests.

The broad, brick-lined concrete dining and entertaining terrace steps down to a many-sided plunge pool with raised spa and a couple small patches of tree-shaded grass. At the rear of the property, opposite the back of the main house, a long structure runs along the property line and contains a 4-car garage, attached pool cabana with bathroom and, upstairs, a self-contained studio-style guest unit with kitchenette, bathroom, walk-in closet and heinous tan carpeting that not only stretches from wall to wall but?lo-werd jeezis help us all?into the goddam kitchenette.

Around the side of the garage/cabana/guest house a chain-link fence surrounds a concrete pad with kiddie-sized built-in basketball hoop and free-standing trampoline. With all due respect to Miz Reed?whose wry comedic timing we j'adore?but that space looks like a damn prison yard designed to both contain and maim children. Imagine what would happen should a small child or inebriated adult fly off that bouncy-bouncer trampoline, slam into the jagged chain link fence and crumple to the concrete? Not pretty, people.

Anyhoo, prior to moving to Windsor Square, property records reveal that Mister and Missus Smolan owned a ridge-top house above the Hollywood Reservoir they bought in June 1990 for $565,000 and sold at a loss in March 1997 for $530,000. Our brief and unscientific research indicates that Miz Reed and Mister Smolan do not currently own any other property in Los Angeles and Your Mama has no knowledge of where the quietly successful couple plan to decamp.

floor plan and listing photos: PostRAIN Productions for Loveland Carr Properties

Source: http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2011/07/pamela-reed-wants-out-of-windsor-square.html

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Phil and Robin McGraw List Beverly Hills Hideaway

SELLERS: Phil and Robin McGraw
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $6,250,000
SIZE: 6,980 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Way back in April 2008 Your Mama heard from several sources inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game that blustery and thickly mustachioed tee-vee talking head Phil McGraw and his wife Robin quietly put their Beverly Hills, CA mansion on the market as a pocket listing. More than two years later?in July 2010?the 11,036 square foot mock-Med manse located on uppity Lexington Road was officially listed on the open market with an asking price of $16,500,000.

The same month they put their 8 bedroom and 7 bathroom Lexington Road residence on the market they coughed up a staggering $29,816,500 for a bigger and better mock Med-manse with 16,079 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 9 full and 2 half bathrooms situation on a gated promontory high above Beverly Hills. It seems to Your Mama almost like cruel and unusual punishment that a publicity hungry man whose sometimes controversial and bully-like psychological style that can be summed by his frequent mantra to "get real" can afford a thirty million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills but, like it or not, such are the far from fair ways of showbiz and capitalism, puppies.

Anyhoo, the Mister and Missus finally sold their florid Lexington Road pile in April 2011 for $12,000,000 to, according to property records, a manufacturer of undergarments. That's far less than the $16.5 million they'd pined and prayed for but still substantially more than the $7,500,000 they paid for the place in December 2002.

In between their shuffling of primary residences, Mister and Missus McGraw made several other real estate purchases including a pair of homes above the Sunset Strip for their two adult sons. One of the McGraw boys?Jay?recently moved with his former nude-model wife to an 11,127 square foot mansion in a double-gated enclave in Calabasas, CA called The Oaks. The Calabasas crib was bought in early 2011 for $6,575,000 according to property records.

Perhaps the most perplexing of Mister and Missus McGraws real estate acquisitions in and around Tinseltown was the January 2007 purchase of a somewhat recently remodeled contempo-mock-Med mansion in an expensive but lackluster area of the Beverly Hills Post Office. Although we scoured the internets looking for a sale price, our few minutes in the trenches didn't turn up a number. However, we do know that just this week the McGraws put the privately situated but architecturally specious abode on the market with an asking price of $6,250,000.

To be honest puppina-weenuhs, Your Mama really hasn't any idea whether Mister and Missus McGraw themselves lived in this house themselves or whether it was occupied by their son Jay and his wife Erica?the ones that recently bought a house in Calabasas. What we do know is that title records and deed documents show the names of the elder Mister and Missus McGraw.

Listing information shows the house sits up a long gated drive, well away from the street on a mostly flat .45 acre lot tucked into a steep hillside. The 6,980 square foot mock-Med mansion?the McGraws do love their mock-Meds don't they??includes 5 bedrooms and 5 full and 2 half bathrooms that include a master "retreat" with and stone and tile pooper and separate his and her closets.

Listing photos don't show the interior spaces but if we know the McGraws?and we do not actually know the McGraws?the Missus had the interiors of this house done done duh-un in a similar style as their lavish Lexington Road residence that we described in a previous discussion as "an over-stuffed frenzy of faux-Tuscan extravagance mixed with glittery nouveau riche excess." Just our opinion, puppies. Listing information does tell us that the interiors include a double-height entry with "sweeping stairwell," formal living room that opens to the back yard, formal dining room, "chefs kitchen" that opens into a "theater style" family room, home office, sun room, den and a temperature controlled wine storage facility.

The exterior spaces are, however, well represented in listing images and include a motor court with detached front-facing three-car garage and petite but exuberantly landscaped front yard fountain and pathways lined with orange flowers. Out back stone terracing surrounds a free-form swimming pool and raised spa with hand-laid mosaic tile detailing. There's also an outdoor fireplace (there are three more fireplaces inside the house) with small seating area, a built-in grill station with long curving snack counter and a tented cabana with stacked stone walls, heat lamps and privacy curtains perfect for pulling closed for when the Mister and Missus of the house want to get down and dirty outdoor but don't want to be peeped (or photographed) by their domestic staff.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland

Source: http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2011/07/phil-and-robin-mcgraw-list-beverly.html

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Blake's mum: 'Don't blame him for Amy's death'

Filed under:

PA

Georgette Fielder-Civil, mother of Blake, has urged the public not to blame her son for the sad death of Amy Winehouse.

Blake has long been blamed for dragging down during their drug-addicted marriage and it is often claimed that he introduced the singer to heroin and crack cocaine.

But Georgette believes Blake has been unfairly made the "fall guy" for Amy's demise.

"I am not asking anyone to say 'poor Blake' - he made his choices and he has to live with them," she told the Daily Mail.

"I'm not trying to defend his behaviour and I know him for what he is: he's an addict and he has done some terrible things.
"He feels enormous grief and responsibility for some of the things that have happened, as well he should. But I also think he's been made the fall guy for what happened to Amy, when the truth is, in fact, far more complicated."

Though Amy's father Mitch was outspoken in his disapproval of Blake and his influence on the singer, Georgette claims Winehouse was still in love with her son.

"Amy frequently said that the only person who could fix her was Blake," Georgette went on.

"She spoke to Blake the whole time before she died. Friends of Blake's have told me that she telephoned him in prison the day before she died and asked if he could arrange for a visiting order."

Mrs Fielder-Civil also claims that Amy spoke to her frequently but would hide the fact from her father.

She added: "Blake and Amy could have had a chance of happiness - I truly believe that - but only if their families were both behind them.

"I honestly believe that if they'd been given another chance, Amy might still be with us. Now we will never know."

What do you think? Has Blake been made the 'fall guy'? Leave a comment below...

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Since her death last Saturday, the stars have been paying tribute to Amy Winehouse...

 

 

Source: http://celebrity.aol.co.uk/2011/07/30/amy-winehouse-blake-fielder-civil/

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'Cowboys & Aliens': Jon Favreau Talks Creating Creatures

Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro advised director, who aimed to 'maintain some mystery and surprises.'
By Eric Ditzian


Daniel Craig in "Cowboys & Aliens"
Photo: Universal Pictures

How do you surprise someone who's seen it all — aliens who snatch bodies and aliens with dreadlocks and aliens who bloodily birth themselves from your stomach and aliens who phone home and aliens who eat cat food and great big blue aliens with tails they use for sex?

Forget about the decades of classic extraterrestrial flicks that stream daily on TV, tablets and desktops. This year alone, movies like "Battle: Los Angeles," "Super 8," "Green Lantern" and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" have hit the big screen, each trying to deliver not only eye-popping visuals but the post-credits comment between friends, "Damn, dude, have you ever seen something like that?"

The answer, all too often and quite understandably, is, "Yes, yes, I have." That's the challenge "Cowboys & Aliens" director Jon Favreau faced as he sought to bring alien baddies to the Old West for a genre mash-up that hit theaters Friday (July 29). Favreau, though, counts himself lucky that he was able to lean on some of the most-established sci-fi players in Hollywood for help. The cinematic result is a race of aliens that land in a down-on-its-luck mining town, start to kidnap residents and eventually reveal themselves as extraterrestrial superfreaks on par with anything we've seen at the theater in recent years.

Earlier this month in Montana, Favreau talked with MTV News about what makes a great big-screen alien, the special-effects decisions that helped his filmmaking process and the advice Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro gave him along the way. (Beware of spoilers below.)

"When you set out to make a movie like 'Cowboys & Aliens,' if you just play it as one joke for the whole movie, you're in trouble," Favreau explained. "You run out of gas after about the length of an 'SNL' sketch. So we really wanted to find an approach that could bear out a whole story. Part of it was identifying what kind of alien movie to make and what kind of cowboy movie to make."

The answer to the alien question was to reach back to classics of the '70s and '80s, before CG glam overtook practical effects as the preferred method of creating otherworldly creatures. "The alien movies I like the most are the ones I grew up with," he said. "It was the pre-CG, almost verging on horror versions of alien films, like 'Alien,' 'Aliens,' 'Predator' and all the Spielberg stuff, and I include 'Jaws' in that, too. They were all the same kind of movie.

"It was before you had computer effects, so you had to, through lighting and mystery and music, slowly reveal the creature. That technique has some somewhat been lost now, thanks to CGI. Even though we have CGI creatures eventually, we do use animatronics and we do use lighting and all the old techniques to reveal them."

The aliens in "Cowboys" have landed in an Arizona town to mine for gold — a metal as precious to humans as it is to these space travelers. What's truly cool about them is their transformative quality: Their faces move and shift to expose layers below, and their bodies open up to unleash hidden, gooey hands. Gross and fascinating and scary, all at once. That's exactly what Favreau was hoping to accomplish.

" 'Predator' and 'Alien': What was fun about those films is, as you saw the creatures, more and more layers were revealed, whether it was armor coming off with 'Predator' [and] weaponry, or in the case of 'Alien,' with the second set of teeth or the metamorphosis that it did from its egg state to the face-hugger to whatever that larval phase was when it busts out of your chest and finally into the big [creature]," he said. "It's the shape-shifting quality of the aliens that I thought was really cool. We wanted to maintain some mystery and surprises with our creature."

To create those surprises, Favreau not only depended on his team of artists and effects masters, but on Spielberg and del Toro. "[Spielberg] was very involved with certain aspects of it preproduction, and one of those aspects was the alien design, because he's been involved with so many," he said. "And now seeing 'Falling Skies' and seeing 'Super 8,' I see that he was not just involved with his own films, but other films and projects he's been producing and overseeing. He had a lot of specific insight into what things were important.

"And Guillermo del Toro, I also know him, and he's masterful," Favreau added. "He always said you've got to get the silhouette right first and then you got to get the color right and then you got to get the detail right, in that order. He's actually somebody who helped out and came in the editing room. I was showing him our animatronic work, because he's very picky about that stuff, and when I knew it passed his muster, I felt very good."

Check out everything we've got on "Cowboys & Aliens."

For breaking news and previews of the latest comic book movies — updated around the clock — visit SplashPage.MTV.com.

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Music Weekly podcast: Little Dragon

In this week's programme Yukimi Nagano, vocalist from Swedish band Little Dragon, talks to Jon Dennis about what it was like playing with Gorillaz, and she discusses their new album Ritual Union, out this month.

In the studio Alexis Petridis chats with Jude Rogers and Rob Fitzpatrick about the Mercury prize shortlist, plus their selection of favourite tracks from Zomby, Little Roy and Washed Out.

Leave your comments below.


Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/audio/2011/jul/22/music-weekly-podcast-little-dragon

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'Cowboys & Aliens': Everything You Need To Know!

As Jon Favreau's flick hits theaters, we lasso up all the details about the much-anticipated flick.
By Terri Schwartz


Daniel Craig in "Cowboys and Aliens"
Photo: Universal Pictures

"Cowboys & Aliens" may be lassoing its way into theaters on Friday (July 29), but the movie's journey to the big screen began a long time ago in a galaxy ... well, not so far away.

The current incarnation of Jon Favreau's adaptation of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's 2006 graphic novel is a far cry from what the director had originally envisioned. When we first heard about the project back in '08, it seemed to be shaping up to be "Iron Man 2.0," with Favreau directing, "Iron Man" screenwriters penning the script and Robert Downey Jr. pegged as the flick's leading man.

"Cowboys & Aliens" was initially set to begin filming in 2009, but with Downey Jr. unsure about committing to the role and Favreau still not officially onboard, things were still up in the air.

Also by then, the "Cowboys & Aliens" script was in the capable hands of "Star Trek" writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who admitted that they had veered from the source material.

In January 2010, Downey Jr. parted ways with "Cowboys & Aliens." Fortunately, things started looking up only two days later, when it was announced that Daniel Craig was in talks to replace the "Iron Man" star as protagonist Zeke Johnson. In addition, the movie was set to start filming in July, potentially in 3-D.

The casting announcements continued flowing in, including Olivia Wilde who came onboard as the movie's leading lady. With the majority of the major players set to go, "Cowboys & Aliens" was given a July 2011 release date.

In April 2010, rumors began to swirl that Harrison Ford would join "Cowboys & Aliens". Favreau confirmed on Twitter that Han Solo himself would star opposite Craig and Wilde, making this one of the coolest casts around.

The casting news just kept coming, with Noah Ringer, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Keith Carradine, Clancy Brown and Walton Goggins added as well.

The buzz for the flick continued to grow right through to its 2010 Comic-Con presentation, where fanboys salivated at the news that Wilde had filmed a nude scene just days before the event.

But it wasn't until November that the rest of the world got a taste of what was in store. The first trailer arrived on November 17, and Favreau stopped by MTV's offices to offer his own commentary on it. Then in February, another exciting new trailer aired during the Super Bowl. MTV News was lucky enough to get Favreau back for more trailer dissection.

Plenty more "Cowboys" trailers followed, as well as clips.

In mid-July, MTV News headed to Montana, where we chatted with the cast, including Craig and Wilde. Not long after that trip, Favreau stopped by our San Diego headquarters to talk about the movie's big Comic-Con world premiere. It was the nerd event of the convention.

Check out everything we've got on "Cowboys & Aliens."

For breaking news and previews of the latest comic book movies — updated around the clock — visit SplashPage.MTV.com.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MTVNewsLatest/~3/0F93euR_P6s/cowboys-and-aliens-cheat-sheet.jhtml

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Your Mama Hears...

...that 22-year old Formula One racing heiress Petra Ecclestone, the proud new owner of showbiz widda Candy Spelling's puffed-up palace The Manor in Los Angeles, CA, not only spent an astonishing $85,000,000 to purchase the approximately 55,000 square foot mega-mansion in the Holmby Hills area but apparently plans to spend many millions more on an interior renovation of the distended multi-winged residence.

In fact, according to an informant we'll call Anita Tellyouathingortwo, there are as Your Mama types our fat fingers to the nubbins "20 truck loads + of Spelling tile, carpet and other finishes are on their way to the landfill." That's right, dollies, the ink is barely dry on the deed's dotted line and Miss Ecclestone has already brought in the demolition man tear out at least some of the interior spaces of massive high-maintenance mansion.

It is both paralyzing and?let's be honest butter beans?not such a shock at all that sassy and brassy Miss Ecclestone would not want to keep Miz Spelling's opulent but matronly day-core. Your Mama, who has never been withing five miles of Miss Ecclestone, imagines she might prefer something more authentically English?all mis-matched chintz, chipped Chippendale tea sets and ruffles a-go-go?or something more contempo that befits a barely legal parvenu with an obvious thing for unrestrained real estate consumption.

In addition to her wee landing pad in Los Angeles, Miss Ecclestone also, according to multiple previous reports an discussions, owns a huge and historic mansion in London that she bought last year for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000,000, unquestionably with dough-re-mi provided by her diminutive billionaire big-daddy Bernie Ecclestone.

Your Mama could work our way through a case of gin and 50 pounds of candy and still come up plum loco trying to figure out why a 22-year woman would want or feel she needs a 123-room house that she will likely not even occupy full time but if Your Mama has said it once we've said it 917 times too many that there's nothing but futility in attempting to figure out the wacky ways of filthy rich and/or famous folks.

photo: Pacific Coast News

Source: http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2011/07/your-mama-hears.html

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Xevious 3D ? review

Nintendo 3DS, Namco Bandai, cert: 3, out now

It may seem rather odd that an ageing 2D shooter such as Xevious would stage its return on a handheld famed for its 3D display capabilities, but it all makes sense when you load it on to the 3DS.

There are few of the extras typical of retro remakes, and on the whole it's a fairly straight take on a game that last felt fresh in 1982. However, Xevious is a classic that long ago dictated many conventions of the genre. There's the top-down perspective, scrolling background, relentless waves of enemies and the lone protagonist spacecraft ? always outnumbered, never outgunned.

Despite being played on one 2D plane, Xevious always challenged the player with enemies dispatched on two levels, on the ground and in the air. Now, using the handheld's 3D display, land and sky appear truly separated. For the first time in a shoot-'em-up there is a sense of being in the clouds.

This downloadable game is certainly rudimentary in form, and would be significantly less striking without nostalgia in its arsenal, but for wistful older gamers Xevious's minimalism is part of its charm.


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Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/31/xevious-3d-3ds-nintendo-review

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Angelina Jolie Honored at the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival

Being honored with a special tribute, Angelina Jolie was joined by Brad Pitt at the closing ceremony of the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival on Saturday (July 30).

Held at the national theatre in downtown Sarajevo, the couple worked the red carpet before Miss Jolie was presented with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award.

Overwhelmed by the reception from the gathered crowd, the "Wanted" actress reportedly fought back tears upon getting a seemingly non-stop ovation after being introduced by actress Zana Marjanovic.

During her speech, Jolie graciously said, ?I?m so happy to be in this remarkable city in this beautiful country and I?ve spent the last year lucky enough to experience not just the warmth and the hospitality of the local people but also your extraordinary talent."

Continuing on about her experience shooting her directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey" in Bosnia, Angelina stated, "In my career, I have never worked with such disciplined and talented artists as I was able to this last year."

Source: http://celebrity-gossip.net/angelina-jolie/angelina-jolie-honored-17th-sarajevo-film-festival-529274

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Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies ? review

Alessio Bax (piano)
(Signum)

There's some really fine playing in this collection ? Bax's masterful technique serves an intensely musical intuition ? but somehow it fails to take flight. The fireworks of the Opus 23 Preludes never quite dazzle enough and the lesser Melodies feel almost insipid ? until we arrive at Bax's own transcription of the dreamy Vocalise. He writes in the sleeve notes of a long-held desire to record Rachmaninov and here you feel he totally understands the composer's unique harmonic world. It's worth acquiring the CD for this track alone.


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Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jul/31/rachmaninov-preludes-melodies-review

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New music: Noel Gallagher ? The Death of You and Me

Listen to Noel Gallagher's debut solo single and tell us if you think it sounds a bit .... like Oasis

The wait is over. We've heard younger brother Liam's ode to Oasis in the shape of Beady Eye's Different Gear, Still Speeding, now it's Noel's turn with the first single from his debut solo album, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

Since Beady Eye's arrival, Liam has returned to familiar rent-a-quote mode to help pick up flagging sales (after 21 weeks, the album has only sold 138,908 copies), while Noel was quick to reveal details of the Oasis split at the press conference for his album. As ever, the hoopla surrounding the pair seems to be overshadowing the music but surely Gallagher Snr hopes this will change with the release of his first solo single, The Death of You and Me.

In many ways it's exactly what you would expect from a Noel Gallagher song: a pretty, Kinks-esque acoustic shuffle, creaky falsetto, rhyming "city" with "pretty" and "pity". But the chorus has a lovely melody and the New Orleans brass adds an element of the unexpected to a song that feels instantly familiar.

? The Death of You and Me is released on 21 August


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Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/jul/25/new-music-noel-gallagher

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TeenNick's ' '90s Are All That' Frenzy Is 'Crazy,' Kenan Thompson Says

Former 'All That' and 'Kenan & Kel' star talks about block, also featuring 'Clarissa Explains It All' and 'Doug.'
By Jocelyn Vena


Kenan Thompson in an episode of "All That"
Photo: Nickelodeon

The world was feeling nostalgic this week when a block of '90s Nickelodeon series debuted on TeenNick. "All That," "Clarissa Explains It All," "Kenan & Kel" and "Doug" hit the airwaves Monday night at midnight, and for two hours, everyone was transported back to a wackier time in TV history during the aptly titled "The '90s Are All That."

Former "All That" and "Kenan & Kel" star Kenan Thompson told MTV News the incredible public response is "very exciting." Of his initial reaction to the news that his old shows would find a new home on the air, he said, "I thought it was crazy. It was very complimentary and felt really nice of them to do that, and it's all fan requested and then that made it even better."

The shows are getting the late-night treatment, and Thompson said it's the perfect time for 20-something's to feel nostalgic. "We're all at that age now where we're night owls; everybody's up anyway," he said. "It's a good idea for a spot. It's crazy that it's working because it's like 10-year-old material that's holding up against these shows."

The shows might be a fun trip back in time for adults now, but the "Saturday Night Live" actor said that back then, the content was all about "kids rule." "That's always made kids feel good watching it," he said. "We were doing relatable material, and it wasn't so forced. We just happened to be kids doing stuff."

The airing of the four shows, which all pre-date social networking, became such an overnight sensation that it caused an uproar on Twitter with various memes related to the shows (such as character names) all becoming Twitter trends. The ratings have also held their own against staple late-night talk shows. The idea is a hit, and Thompson is grateful for all the love.

It's a feeling he also had back in the day when he was busy working on both "All That" and "Kenan & Kel." "Me, personally, I was just happy to be there. I wanted to be an actor from a very young age, and it was just an awesome time," he explained. "It was my first TV gig. It was like a very, very cherished moment in life.

"I have tons [of memories]. It's funny to see everyone all grown up now," he added. "It's crazy. It's funny to watch life progress and then to be thrown back into the mid-'90s, it's cool."

Which is your favorite '90s Nick series? Tell us in the comments below!

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MTVNewsLatest/~3/np2KstZrEmA/kenan-thompson-90s-are-all-that.jhtml

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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Author Michael Gross Releases Promo Video for Unreal Estate

In 2005, upper-crust chronicler and shit-stirrer Michael Gross wrote a juicy tell-all book about the inhabitants and history of 740 Park Avenue, one of New York City's most expensive, exclusive, and reclusive co-operative apartment houses. With the dour limestone-faced Rosario Candela-designed building and its cavernous apartments as the back drop, Mister Gross carefully parsed the personal, professional and social lives of many of the building's wildly wealthy residents who have over the years included any number of low-profile but sick-rich industrialists and robber barons, a cavalcade of heirs and heiresses, and a bunch of hedge hogs and tech tycoons.

Four years later Mister Gross came out with Rogues' Gallery, a dense, exhaustively researched and not always flattering expos� that unweaves the complex, sometimes secret and often controversial history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Mister Gross leaves no high society stone un-turned when it comes to revealing the actions and ambitions of a small but enormously influential army of filthy rich folks who, through sheer force of will, money, power, and subterfuge, founded and nurtured The Met into one of the brawniest and best art institutions in the world.

There were those, natch, who were nine kinds of livid and atwitter about Mister Gross' deep and unauthorized examination into the ugly underbelly of The Met. Socialite and philanthropist Annette de la Renta actually threatened legal action because she felt she was portrayed in an unflattering and even defamatory manner. According to a little birdie we'll call Betty Booklover, in the hostile aftermath of the publication of Rogues' Gallery Mister Gross told a group of book-minded types at a Beverly Hills Literary Society luncheon that he'd decided to write his next book about Los Angeles because he thought "it would be a good idea to get out of Dodge for a while."

He spent the next two years researching the histories of several handfuls of palatial properties in the part of Los Angeles known in real estate circles as The Platinum Triangle, a glitzy euphemism for the trio of swank communities that form the meticulously manicured zenith of wealth and power in Los Angeles: Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills.

Using the great and grand estates of The Platinum Triangle as the hyper-luxurious fuel, Mister Gross' latest and soon to be published book Unreal Estate will?as Your Mama understands from publisher information?tell the untold and sometimes sordid stories about how oilmen and movie stars, charlatans and chatelaines, ruthless entrepreneurs and a handful of pornographers transformed hell-hot southern California orange groves into a glittering, forbidding and secretive enclave of make believe and mega-mansions.

Unreal Estate, with its wonderfully alliterative subtitle "Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles," won't be available in bookstores until November 1?the children can pre-order the book at a discounted rate on Amazon and Barnes and Noble?but the publicity push for the hotly anticipated tome has none-the-less begun in earnest.

According to a recently released three and some minute promotion video, a flying tour over The Platinum Triangle narrated by Mister Gross himself, Unreal Estate will cross reference the histories of some of the ritzy enclaves' greatest estates with the colorful cast of characters who have owned and occupied them. Legendary estates under the microscope include (but are far from limited to): Greenacres, currently owned by supermarket billionaire and Bill Clinton's former b.f.f. Ron Burkle; The Knoll, once owned by rotund oilman turned billionaire movie man Marvin Davis and now owned by tool and die magnate Eric Smidt; And Owlwood, the regal Robert Farquhar-designed Holmby Hills estate formerly owned by showbiz types like Cher and Engelbert Humperdinck and now owned by Dawn Arnell, the widow of Roland Arnell, a sub-prime lending billionaire who was installed by President George W. Bush as the ambassador to the Netherlands.

As with Mister Gross' previous books there will undoubtedly be a squawking squadron of rich and powerful people who won't be happy about their lives or living rooms being exposed in the pages of Unreal Estate. We'd also bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly there will not be even one real estate gossip, property professional nor any adult resident of The Platinum Triangle who will not devour this book the moment they can get their bejeweled hands on it.

We know we will.

cover image: Crown Publishing

Source: http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2011/07/author-michael-gross-releases-promo.html

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'Cowboys & Aliens': Everything You Need To Know!

As Jon Favreau's flick hits theaters, we lasso up all the details about the much-anticipated flick.
By Terri Schwartz


Daniel Craig in "Cowboys and Aliens"
Photo: Universal Pictures

"Cowboys & Aliens" may be lassoing its way into theaters on Friday (July 29), but the movie's journey to the big screen began a long time ago in a galaxy ... well, not so far away.

The current incarnation of Jon Favreau's adaptation of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's 2006 graphic novel is a far cry from what the director had originally envisioned. When we first heard about the project back in '08, it seemed to be shaping up to be "Iron Man 2.0," with Favreau directing, "Iron Man" screenwriters penning the script and Robert Downey Jr. pegged as the flick's leading man.

"Cowboys & Aliens" was initially set to begin filming in 2009, but with Downey Jr. unsure about committing to the role and Favreau still not officially onboard, things were still up in the air.

Also by then, the "Cowboys & Aliens" script was in the capable hands of "Star Trek" writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who admitted that they had veered from the source material.

In January 2010, Downey Jr. parted ways with "Cowboys & Aliens." Fortunately, things started looking up only two days later, when it was announced that Daniel Craig was in talks to replace the "Iron Man" star as protagonist Zeke Johnson. In addition, the movie was set to start filming in July, potentially in 3-D.

The casting announcements continued flowing in, including Olivia Wilde who came onboard as the movie's leading lady. With the majority of the major players set to go, "Cowboys & Aliens" was given a July 2011 release date.

In April 2010, rumors began to swirl that Harrison Ford would join "Cowboys & Aliens". Favreau confirmed on Twitter that Han Solo himself would star opposite Craig and Wilde, making this one of the coolest casts around.

The casting news just kept coming, with Noah Ringer, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Keith Carradine, Clancy Brown and Walton Goggins added as well.

The buzz for the flick continued to grow right through to its 2010 Comic-Con presentation, where fanboys salivated at the news that Wilde had filmed a nude scene just days before the event.

But it wasn't until November that the rest of the world got a taste of what was in store. The first trailer arrived on November 17, and Favreau stopped by MTV's offices to offer his own commentary on it. Then in February, another exciting new trailer aired during the Super Bowl. MTV News was lucky enough to get Favreau back for more trailer dissection.

Plenty more "Cowboys" trailers followed, as well as clips.

In mid-July, MTV News headed to Montana, where we chatted with the cast, including Craig and Wilde. Not long after that trip, Favreau stopped by our San Diego headquarters to talk about the movie's big Comic-Con world premiere. It was the nerd event of the convention.

Check out everything we've got on "Cowboys & Aliens."

For breaking news and previews of the latest comic book movies — updated around the clock — visit SplashPage.MTV.com.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MTVNewsLatest/~3/0F93euR_P6s/cowboys-and-aliens-cheat-sheet.jhtml

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Box Office: "The Smurfs" & "Cowboys & Aliens" Neck-In-Neck

Making for the closest race in months, "The Smurfs" and "Cowboys & Aliens" are neck-in-neck when it comes to box office earnings over the weekend of July 28-30, 2011.

The Neil Patrick Harris/ Sofia Vergara fronted "Smurfs" film garnered approximately $13 million on Friday while trending towards a total of $40 million on its opening weekend.

Meanwhile, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde's sci-fi/thriller "Cowboys & Aliens" has exactly the same numbers thus far, making #13 million on opening day en route to an estimated $40 million weekend.

Rounding out the top five at the box office are the Chris Evans spearheaded "Captain America: The First Avenger" ($25 million), followed by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" ($22 million) and "Crazy, Stupid, Love" ($20 million).


Source: http://celebrity-gossip.net/movies/box-office-smurfs-cowboys-aliens-neck-neck-529250

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Enrique Iglesias in 'world's smallest penis' shocker

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Spanish crooner Enrique Iglesias has been breaking hearts for years and now he's shattered a few dreams as well.

In an unusual turn of events (we imagine, though we've never been to an Enrique gig) at a concert in Melbourne, Australia, the singer began discussing his sex life... and the size of his manhood.

Having invited three male audience members onto the stage, Iglesias asked them about their early sexual encounters before enlightening them as to his own.

Shortly after claiming that he waited until he was 25 to pop his cherry (rather than pay for hookers like his pals), Enrique changed his story, claiming he was 17 when he lost his virginity.

"I was nervous as s*** the first time," he revealed. "Usually the first time is not the best. Let me be honest, I as 17-and-a-half, I was so nervous. It lasted 10 seconds."
According to The Sun, one of the lucky chaps onstage insisted he managed an impressive 10 minutes on his first try, to which Enrique replied: "Really? I don't even last eight minutes now."

The worst was yet to come though.

When a fan suggested his "good looks" must work wonders with the ladies, Iglesias responded: "What does Spanish good looks have to do with the size of your penis?

"Maybe I have the Spanish looks but I have the smallest penis in the world. I'm serious."

Oh.

The Sun reports that Enrique, who downed whisky shots with his newfound friends, admitted that he was on antibiotics and probably shouldn't be boozing.

We'll second that.

What do you think - a TMI moment from Enrique? Leave a comment below...

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Source: http://celebrity.aol.co.uk/2011/07/29/enrique-iglesias-penis/

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Updown Court Goes Down in a Blaze of Foreclosure



About 20 or 30 miles outside of London in the swank and semi-rural suburb of Windlesham, Surrey, sits the (in)famous Updown Court, one of the largest and most garish private residences in all of the United Kingdom. Updown Court, spec-built and on the market since at least 2006, was reportedly seized by the Irish government in a foreclosure proceeding after property developer Leslie Allen-Vercoe failed to keep up payments on the approximately �50,000,000 mortgage secured by the estate.

S�, ni�os, esc�ndalo!

When the Irish economy swirled down the financial terlit last year the government took over control and ownership of the failed bank that lent Mister Allen-Vercoe tens of millions of pounds. That, puppies, is how it came to be that the Irish government now owns Updown Court, an extremely high-maintenance asset we're quite sure the Irish government is not keen on keeping in their property portfolio.

The self-made son of a model and a bricklayer, Mister Allen-Vercoe bought the 58-acre estate out of receivership in 2002 for around?we're told?�13,500,000. In order to facilitate the cost of the property purchase and the completion/construction of the resulting monumental mega-mansion Mister Allen-Vercoe reportedly took a hefty �40,000,000 mortgage from an Irish bank. The interest payments alone were many times reported to come to around �2,500,000 per year.

Most reports previous reports say that when the Mister Allen-Vercoe acquire the property there was an existing house from the 1940s that had been gutted by fire in 1987. However, one of the children claims that at the time of Mister Allen-Vercoe's 2002 purchase the property already included the shell of the monstrous mansion?designed by Scottsdale (AZ) architect John B. Scholz?that was commissioned by a previous owner/developer who went belly up before completing the colossal crib.

Mister Allen-Vercoe re-engaged the mcmansion specialist Mister Scholz to complete Updown Court, the result a tumescent mansion that stands four floors tall and measures in at more than 50,000 square feet. When the bloated and blinged-out Updown Court?described by Mister Allen-Vercoe as "neo-Californian," whatever that is?was completed in 2006 it was heaved and hoed on to the market with much publicity and a blistering asking price of �75,000,000. According to a few quick calculations on Your Mama's rickety currency conversion contraption that's comes to about 145,00,000 U.S. dollars at 2006 rates.




The palatial and?let's get real children?obscenely crass and decidedly pompous pile is entered through imposing gilt-trimmed wrought iron gates that swing open electronically to a marble driveway oft reported to have cost Mister Allen-Vercoe around �3,000,000 pounds.

A porte-cochere, held aloft by an army of classic but turgid Corinthian columns, signifies the entry where double oak doors lead into a cavernous airport terminal-sized entry and reception area that features a triple-height ceiling, a sweeping double staircase (plus an elevator), two walk-in cloak rooms, two powder poopers and three sitting rooms. Two smaller sitting rooms?one outfitted with a behemoth built-in bar?flank a voluminous central sitting room with towering arched windows and a scalloped balcony reportedly modeled after one in deceased fashion designer Gianni Versace's former house in Miami (FL).

The opulent hotel lobby-like entry/reception area is, in our humble and utterly meaningless opinion, so capacious it reeks of a desperate and perplexing need to smack guests and Chinese food deliverymen hard across the face with pecuniary audacity. Your Mama requires a nerve pill just to look at the pictures, hunnies, and we suggest you partake of the same before diving too deeply into the photos and floor plans for the extraordinary and extraordinarily cocky mansion.

The humongous house is divided into east and west wings. To the east, on the ground floor, a three room suite with half bathroom makes for snazzy and room home office. Behind the office suite the sprawling master suite encompasses a sitting room with fireplace and French doors to a rear terrace, separate bedroom with second fireplace, wee kitchenette, and his and her bathing and terliting facilities with towel storage room. Surprisingly stingy closet space is limited to just two not particularly large walk-ins in the bathroom(s) and a third smaller closet in the hallway that runs between the bedroom and bathrooms. A glass elevator descends directly from the master suite to an indoor swimming pool and spa designed for the exclusive and private use of the master and mistress of the mega-mansion.

The west wing on the ground floor includes more intimate but still gigantic semi-public rooms that include a library, paneled sitting room, banquet hall/dining room. The family's private quarters are, for the size of the house, quite modest and include a well-outfitted kitchen open to a circular breakfast room and an octagonal family room with built-in entertainment center. The family's casual rooms open to the piazza-like terraces that overlook the grounds. At the end of long corridor that runs like a spine through the center of the west wing a double set of doors open into a glass-walled air-lock space that opens into another sky-lit indoor swimming pool ringed with Corinthian columns and complete with circular spa, massage room, party-size sauna and male and female dressing rooms with bathing and terliting facilities.

The second floor contains 8 family bedroom suites, some with separate sitting rooms, most with fireplaces and all with walk-in closets, lavish marble bathrooms and access to one of the seven balconies. One more floor up a prairie-like landing separates two self-contained two-bedroom and 2.5 bathroom guest suites that share a rooftop terrace with infinity edged swimming pool and spa. Yes, puppies, there is indeed a third swimming pool on the fourth floor terrace at Updown Court.

In addition to the two indoor swimming pool areas, the rabbit-warren like basement area houses a dizzying array of sports and entertainment areas that include a horseshoe-shaped fitness room with adjacent male and female changing rooms and bathrooms, home cinema, wine cellar, two-lane bowling alley and a snooker room that overlooks a glassed-in squash court.

Extensive service areas are also contained in the basement and include a walk-in vault, communications/security room, laundry facilities, panic room, industrial catering kitchen with walk-in freezer, half a dozen storage rooms and a granite-floored underground garage with parking for at least seven cars. The grounds, mostly wooded but with acres of manicured lawns and gardens include wide terraces, a private pond, lighted tennis court, equestrian facilities and a yet another swimming pool.

The estate also includes a gatehouse with a couple of ground floor flexi-use rooms for security and/or staff use, a full kitchen with breakfast area, conservatory, two upstairs bedrooms that share a bathroom and two additional powder poopers on the ground floor.

Extensive staff accommodations are contained in a detached complex divided into three sections: One leg of the L-shaped complex encompasses a four car garage, giant storage room, laundry facilities with shower room, and an estate manager's office with en suite facility. The smaller of two staff cottages offers three bedrooms?each with private pooper, an eat-in kitchen and a sitting room tucked under the eaves on the second floor. The larger staff cottage, attached to the smaller one by a covered patio, contains six bedrooms?each with private bathroom, a kitchen that's open to a large large lounge/living/dining room and a second floor sitting area.

We spent some time with the floor plans (above) we had on file from an old Savills' listing for the property and by Your Mama's count, the mall-sized main mansion contains a total of 13 bedrooms, 14 full bathrooms, 8 powder poopers and 4 changing rooms with bathroom facilities.

Combined with the 11 bedrooms and 11 full and 2 half bathrooms contained in the gatehouse and staff complex, Updown Court includes a heart stopping grand total of 24 bedrooms, 25 full and 10 half bathrooms plus the four bathrooms in the changing rooms of the indoor swimming pools. That, mons pets, comes to (at least) 39 terlits on the property, a number large enough to require at least a pair of full-time minimum wage workers whose only responsibilities are to scrub and polish toilet bowls.

Although there were few interested parties?and none it seems willing to sign on the deed's dotted line?Mister Allen Vercoe held firm to his sky-high and obviously optimistic asking price (about $145,000,000). However, Updown Court was recently re-listed with a probably still too optimistic price tag of $123,000,000. Anyone want to guess what price the Irish government will eventually get for Updown Court when they finally unload the white elephant?

listing photos: Updown Court
floor plan: Savills

Source: http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2011/07/updown-court-goes-down-in-blaze-of.html

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