By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Houston Texans running back Arian Foster tests his Hollywood acting skills on the big screen as a college football player waiting for his name to be called at the annual NFL draft in the film "Draft Day," which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday. Foster, 27, a three-time Pro Bowl selection in his five-year pro career, is one of the sport's noted underdog success stories, having been passed over in the 2009 draft after playing at the University of Tennessee. Foster spoke with Reuters alongside his "Draft Day" co-star, Terry Crews, who played briefly in the NFL before turning to acting. Together they talked about the career transition for NFL players once they leave the game, the draft and their beefs with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, now facing pressure from athletes wanting to unionize.
Jeremy Irvine, the young British actor whose breakthrough came via Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," will headline "Stonewall," the next film from Roland Emmerich, Deadline.com indicates. The German filmmaker, who is accustomed to helming big-budget films full of special effects, will shift gears to direct "Stonewall." The feature will depict one young man's political awakening set against the backdrop of one of the most significant events in gay rights history. The Stonewall Inn, a mafia-owned bar in Greenwich Village, catered to gays and lesbians and was popular with the most marginalized members of the gay community, including transgendered people and male prostitutes. The Stonewall riots came to be seen as a touchstone of the early gay rights movement in the US and beyond.
Four music labels filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Thursday against the file-sharing website Megaupload and its founder Kim Dotcom, three days after several major movie studios did the same. The lawsuit says that Megaupload, Dotcom and other defendants "engaged in, actively encouraged, and handsomely profited from massive copyright infringement of music," according to a statement issued by the Recording Industry Association of America. The plaintiffs are Warner Music Group Corp, a unit of Time Warner Inc, UMG Recordings Inc, a unit of Vivendi SA, Sony Music Entertainment, a unit of Sony Corp and Capitol Records, also owned by Vivendi, and all RIAA members.
By Piya Sinha-Roy UNIVERSAL CITY, California (Reuters) - The adorable yellow goggle-wearing Minions of "Despicable Me" are not just taking over the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood, they're ringing in a revamp of the film-themed park as it takes on competing resorts with blockbuster rides. "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem," which officially opens on Saturday at the Hollywood adventure park, brings to life the animated world of "Despicable Me," with both an indoor ride and an outdoor playground, both featuring detailed settings from the films. Chris Meledandri, the producer behind the "Despicable Me' franchise who showed Universal how to make big animated films with more modest budgets, said he wanted the ride to be "true to the movies themselves." "It was very important for us to have tremendous animation and the same kind of wit and irreverence," said Meledandri, who makes the films through his company Illumination Entertainment. "Despicable Me," released in 2010, is the story of evil mastermind Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, who adopts orphaned sisters Margot, Edith and Agnes as part of his scheme to steal the moon and become the world's most evil villain.
Believe it or not, Rob Lowe wasn't exactly a cool kid. Despite his Brat Pack status, the blue-eyed star has revealed he went to great lengths to fit in during his junior high years in Southern California - but even his attempts at popularity were tainted with a bit of geek. "In 1976, every 7th grader smoked weed like Bob Marley, so I tried to fit in," the actor recalled to Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Thursday's Access Hollywood Live. "So I bought a little pipe because it looked like a 'Star Trek' phaser, then I used it more as a phaser, because I never did pot - that was never my thing.
By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shortly before wrapping up filming for "The Railway Man," a World War Two drama about a former British Army officer and victim of torture, actor Colin Firth dreamt he was drawing a map of a railway but was bluffing and didn't know how to do it. Firth, 53, plays Eric Lomax, a man with a passion for trains and railway timetables who meets his wife on a train decades after he had been tortured as a prisoner of war during the building of the Thailand-Burma Railway, or what became known as the "Death Railway." The railway, built by the Empire of Japan in 1943 to support its attack on the British colony of Burma, used forced labor, including Asian civilians and Allied prisoners of war, many thousands of whom died of beatings, disease, starvation and exhaustion.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Zooey Deschanel is almost bubbling over with excitement: Her show "New Girl" is a hit, she just released a pop song with Prince, she's working on a movie with Bill Murray and Bruce Willis, and now she's sitting in a Tommy Hilfiger store filled with racks of dresses she helped design.
Fans of "Star Trek" will soon be able to follow the adventures of the crew of the USS Enterprise in their favorite films as the popular franchise goes where it has never gone before, with screenings accompanied by a symphony orchestra. Director J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot of "Star Trek" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" will be shown on the big screen in high definition accompanied by live music. "The events will celebrate the extraordinary collaboration between film and music as Michael Giacchino's scores are brought to life on stage," organizers said in a statement. The "Star Trek: Live in Concert" tour will begin with two performances in Lucerne, Switzerland next month followed by three more in London before moving to Houston, San Diego and Philadelphia in July and Toronto next March.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pre-pre-season opening kickoff of the 2014 National Football League schedule is returned for a score in "Draft Day," an entirely conventional serio-comic sports world melodrama that pushes its buttons with undeniable professional finesse. In his most effective full star turn in perhaps a decade, Kevin Costner dominates as the greenhorn general manager of the beleaguered Cleveland Browns who could emerge from the heavy shadow of his late revered father with the successful handling of the annual draft of college players.
A resurgent Kevin Costner makes another play for big-screen success in his latest movie "Draft Day," returning to the sports genre he has scored big hits with in the past. Directed by Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters," "No Strings Attached,") it recounts the day of the draft, the annual high-stakes, high-profile event when major National Football League (NFL) clubs bid for players from college team ranks. Costner's character Sonny is general manager of the Cleveland Browns, facing decisive choices for his club while also in demand with his girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner) and mother Barb (Ellen Burstyn). And while his recent films haven't triumphed at the box office, "Draft Day" could score a hit to rival Costner's baseball "trilogy" -- "Bull Durham" (1988), "Field of Dreams" (1989) and "For Love of the Game" (1999).
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As temperatures continue to rise and habitats come under threat, a group of Hollywood heavyweights is seeking to bring the spotlight back on climate change with a new documentary. "Years of Living Dangerously," a nine-part documentary beginning Sunday on CBS Corp's premium cable network Showtime, chronicles the human impact on the global climate and the consequences for humans of climate change. From the disappearing forests of Indonesia to the increasing frequency of California's wildfires and the crippling Texas drought, the documentary wants to put the focus back on an issue that has lost visibility since the days of the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." "This is such a critical time," said James Cameron, best known as director of blockbuster films "Titanic" and "Avatar" and an executive producer on "Years of Living Dangerously." "The devastation to the planet that we'll be experiencing in the next century is really, I think, pretty unfathomable for most people, and I think that what the series can do is to bring it home and make it real, make it real in people terms." To do that, Cameron appealed to well-known Hollywood actors to act as correspondents, including Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jessica Alba, Michael C. Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger, also an executive producer on the documentary.
Undercover cops Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) impersonate Spanish-speaking hoodlums to varying degrees of success in a clip from "22 Jump Street." Instead of returning to high school in this sequel to 2012's "21 Jump Street," this time the pair go undercover as college students in order to bust up a crime organization operating under the auspices of a fraternity. In addition to several previous trailers, high spirits on set spilled over into the public realm in November, after Tatum and co. lampooned Jean Claude Van Damme's Volvo ad with a clip named "Jenko's Epic Split." Appearing alongside the two leads will be Ice Cube as commanding officer Captain Dickson, as well as Nick Offerman of "Parks and Recreation," Amber Stevens of "Greek," Dave Franco of "Warm Bodies" and Rob Riggle of "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show."