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2011 Independent Spirit Awards: Sandra Oh

It's time for the Independent Spirit Awards! Indie darling Sandra Oh kicks it off with a graphic purple and white dress. It's a little bit sexy thanks to the one-shoulder, and the bold purple color is bold and fresh. She keeps everything simple, with softly wavy hair and minimal jewelry. Adding a little city chic, Sandra goes for black tights and pumps.

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Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams get close in the first still from “The Vow” unveiled by this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, the Valentine’s Day 2012 release that sees them as a happily married couple who are ripped apart when she loses all her memories of their time together after a traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident. He must then make her fall in love with him all over again.

“We really are the sum of our memories. When that’s taken away, what do we have left?” director Michael Sucsy tells the magazine. “It’s a romantic story about a guy who has to win back his soul mate.” One has to question why the always picky McAdams chose a project that seems to somewhat similar to the movie that made her a breakout star, opposite Ryan Gosling in Nick Cassavetes’ adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook.” This time around, Scott Speedman is even on board for the James Marsden role, as the man she falls for somewhere between losing her soulmate and inevitably finding him again. And to put it lightly, Tatum and Speedman are a bit of a downgrade from Gosling and Marsden.

Ah, who are we kidding? See you on opening night!


t's rare that you find a competitor who brings a gun to a Mortal Kombat tournament, but Kurtis Stryker is just that kind of guy. As it turns out, the MK character – first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3 – will be part of Warner Bros.' new Mortal Kombat digital series, and IGN has the exclusive on who's playing him.

Tahmoh Penikett, best known for his role as Helo on Battlestar Galactica, is taking on the role of the police officer character, referred to here as Lieutenant Stryker. Penikett, seen more recently in Dollhouse, joins a cast that includes Michael Jai White as Jax, Jeri Ryan as Sonya and Darren Shahlavi as Kano.

White and Ryan are reprising their roles from last year's unofficial Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short, with the director of that project, Kevin Tancharoen, co-writing and directing the digital series.

The Mortal Kombat digital series is now filming in Vancouver, for release this spring.

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Canadian Comic Gerry Dee Gets CBC Sitcom

"Last Comic Standing" contender returns home to star in "Mr. D" for pubcaster.

TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has handed out a full-season order to Mr. D, a sitcom that stars Toronto school teacher-turned-comic Gerry Dee (Last Comic Standing).

The comedy pilot from Topsail Productions was produced by Michael Volpe and Gerard Donoghue, with Steve Wright as director.

The CBC also gave a full season order to the Rhombus Media comedy Michael Tuesdays and Thursday, from writer and actor Bob Martin.

The pilot starred Martin, Martha Burns and Jennifer Irwin, and was directed by Don McKellar. Sari Friedland produced.

In all, the CBC renewed 17 series for new seasons, including Little Mosque on the Prairie, Being Erica and Battle of the Blades.

The CBC gave no renewals Friday to 18 to Life, a Montreal-set sitcom from Galafilm, or the Men With Brooms comedy from Entertainment One Television and Serendipidity Point Films.

The pubcaster was also tight-lipped about other CBC pilots in its development hopper, including Henry Starts Again from Entertainment One Television, The Lowe Life, from veteran indie producer Bernie Zukerman and his production shingle Indian Grove Productions, and Trust, a one-hour drama from indie producer Jennifer Holness at Hungry Eyes Film & Television.

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‘Barney’s Version’ tops Genie noms

After being snubbed by Oscar, except for the single citation for best make-up, Barney’s Version is suddenly strutting proudly again as the nominations leader in Canada’s Genie Awards.

Richard J. Lewis’ drama scored 11 Genie noms on Wednesday, one more than Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed and Oscar-nominated Incendies, which is competing in the Oscars for best foreign-language film.

The searing drama 10-1/2 by Quebec filmmaker Podz (also known as Daniel Grou) earned eight noms.

Barney’s Version, Incendies and 10-1/2 are all competing for best picture, along with Vincenzo Natali’s inventive horror movie Splice and Xavier Dolan’s intimate menage-a-trois drama Heartbeats (Les Amours Imaginaires).

The looming Canadian showdown between Barney’s Version and Incendies is perfect for Canada: The two solitudes are fighting it out on the same turf, each side with a quality production. And things are really culturally complex this time.

Barney’s Version, based on a novel by famed Montreal writer Mordecai Richler, was filmed mostly in Montreal and primarily in English by a Toronto-born filmmaker. Incendies, based on a play by Lebanese-Canadian Wajdi Mouawad, was filmed in the Middle East in both French and Arabic by a Montreal filmmaker.


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A sequel to Aspen Extreme?

A sequel to Aspen Extreme?
by Megan Michelson, ESPN, Jan 20, 2011

Nearly 18 years after the film Aspen Extreme debuted to much acclaim in the ski world, the film's writer and director, Patrick Hasburgh, is considering making a sequel.

When Hasburgh wrote and directed Aspen Extreme in 1993, he had no idea the film would generate such a cult following.

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Paul Giamatti has added another entry to his roster of flawed protogonists: Barney Panofsky -- schlock TV producer, accused murderer, and a guy so unlucky in romance that he has to get married twice before finding his true love (on his wedding night, yet). Based on the final novel by Mordecai Richler, Barney's Version is another comedy of foibles, an examination of a man whose life swings wildly between moments of sheer foolishness and uncommon grace. Joining Giamatti on his odyssey are Rosamund Pike as Barney's soul-mate, Miriam, and Dustin Hoffman as Barney's ex-cop dad (plus, bonus for all you Due South fans out there: Paul Gross, back in his Mounty uniform!).

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TORONTO -- Tom Berenger will guest star on the Canada-French co-produced action drama XIII as a mysterious European industrialist.

Co-producers Prodigy Pictures and Europacorp Television said Berenger will perform opposite series lead Stuart Townsend in the series, set to bow in April on Canal Plus in France and Showcase in Canada.

Berenger is represented by ICM and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

The 13-part thriller also stars Aisha Tyler ("24," "CSI"), Virginie Ledoyen and Caterina Murino.

Townsend has the lead role as XIII, a former secret agent struggling to discover his true identity and the governmental consipiracy surrounding him.

Other key cast for the Toronto-shot $33 million show include Greg Bryk, Stephen McHattie and Wally Sheridan.

The Canadian-French series is named for the Roman numeral tattooed on the main character's neck.

Prodigy’s Jay Firestone is executive producing XIII with Europacorp Television’s Edouard De Vésinne and Thomas Anargyros.

Gil Grant (NCIS: Los Angeles, 24) wrote the pilot and serves as the series’ showrunner and executive producer. Wanda Chaffey is producing.

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This Playhouse production of Melissa James Gibson’s This, which features a bunch of self-obsessed urbanites in their late 30s, drove me nuts.

Jane’s husband has been dead for almost a year when her old college pals, Marrell and Tom, invite her to a party. They’ve also invited the suavely French Jean-Pierre, who works with Doctors Without Borders. Marrell hopes that Jane will have sex with Jean-Pierre—mostly because that’s what Marrell would like to do. Mutual friend Alan, a wisecracking gay man—we are a staunch and witty people—is also present.

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