Patrick Swayze Dies at 57 


Another one of our great 80s icons passed away. This time, it's Patrick Swayze, the actor who danced his way into our hearts. He died Monday after a long, painful fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

Our condolences go out to Swayze's family :sad

Here's the rest of the article from Yahoo News:

"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were given.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting "The Beast," an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making "The Beast" because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was "considerably more optimistic" than that.

"I'd say five years is pretty wishful thinking," Swayze told ABC's Barbara Walters in early 2009. "Two years seems likely if you're going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I'd better get a fire under it."

A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad-boy Johnny Castle in "Dirty Dancing." As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theater, he seemed a natural to play the role.

A coming-of-age romance starring Jennifer Grey as an idealistic young woman on vacation with her family and Swayze as the Catskills resort's sexy (and much older) dance instructor, the film made great use of both his grace on his feet and his muscular physique.

It became an international phenomenon in the summer of 1987, spawning albums, an Oscar-winning hit song in "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," stage productions and a sequel, 2004's "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights," in which he made a cameo.

Swayze performed and co-wrote a song on the soundtrack, the ballad "She's Like the Wind," inspired by his wife, Lisa Niemi. The film also gave him the chance to utter the now-classic line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

And it allowed him to poke fun at himself on a "Saturday Night Live" episode, in which he played a wannabe Chippendales dancer alongside the corpulent — and frighteningly shirtless — Chris Farley.

A major crowdpleaser, the film drew only mixed reviews from critics, though Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, "Given the limitations of his role, that of a poor but handsome sex-object abused by the rich women at Kellerman's Mountain House, Mr. Swayze is also good. ... He's at his best — as is the movie — when he's dancing."

Swayze followed that up with the 1989 action flick "Road House," in which he played a bouncer at a rowdy bar. But it was his performance in 1990's "Ghost" that showed his vulnerable, sensitive side. He starred as a murdered man trying to communicate with his fiancee (Demi Moore) — with great frustration and longing — through a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg.

Swayze said at the time that he fought for the role of Sam Wheat (director Jerry Zucker wanted Kevin Kline) but once he went in for an audition and read six scenes, he got it.

Why did he want the part so badly? "It made me cry four or five times," he said of Bruce Joel Rubin's Oscar-winning script in an AP interview.

"Ghost" provided yet another indelible musical moment: Swayze and Moore sensually molding pottery together to the strains of the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody." It also earned a best-picture nomination and a supporting-actress Oscar for Goldberg, who said she wouldn't have won if it weren't for Swayze.

"When I won my Academy Award, the only person I really thanked was Patrick," Goldberg said in March 2008 on the ABC daytime talk show "The View."

Swayze himself earned three Golden Globe nominations, for "Dirty Dancing," "Ghost" and 1995's "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar," which further allowed him to toy with his masculine image. The role called for him to play a drag queen on a cross-country road trip alongside Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo.

His heartthrob status almost kept him from being considered for the role of Vida Boheme.

"I couldn't get seen on it because everyone viewed me as terminally heterosexually masculine-macho," he told the AP then. But he transformed himself so completely that when his screen test was sent to Steven Spielberg, whose Amblin pictures produced "To Wong Foo," Spielberg didn't recognize him.

Among his earlier films, Swayze was part of the star-studded lineup of up-and-comers in Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 adaptation of S.E. Hinton's novel "The Outsiders," alongside Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Diane Lane. Swayze played Darrel "Dary" Curtis, the oldest of three wayward brothers — and essentially the father figure — in a poor family in small-town Oklahoma.

Other '80s films included "Red Dawn," "Grandview U.S.A." (for which he also provided choreography) and "Youngblood," once more with Lowe, as Canadian hockey teammates.

In the '90s, he made such eclectic films as "Point Break" (1991), in which he played the leader of a band of bank-robbing surfers, and the family Western "Tall Tale" (1995), in which he starred as Pecos Bill. He appeared on the cover of People magazine as its "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991, but his career tapered off toward the end of the 1990s, when he also had stay in rehab for alcohol abuse. In 2001, he appeared in the cult favorite "Donnie Darko," and in 2003 he returned to the New York stage with "Chicago"; 2006 found him in the musical "Guys and Dolls" in London.

Swayze was born in 1952 in Houston, the son of Jesse Swayze and choreographer Patsy Swayze, whose films include "Urban Cowboy."

He played football but also was drawn to dance and theater, performing with the Feld, Joffrey and Harkness Ballets and appearing on Broadway as Danny Zuko in "Grease." But he turned to acting in 1978 after a series of injuries.

Within a couple years of moving to Los Angeles, he made his debut in the roller-disco movie "Skatetown, U.S.A." The eclectic cast included Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Maureen McCormack and Billy Barty.

Swayze had a couple of movies in the works when his diagnosis was announced, including the drama "Powder Blue," starring Jessica Biel, Forest Whitaker and his younger brother, Don, which was scheduled for release this year.

Off-screen, he was an avid conservationist who was moved by his time in Africa to shine a light on "man's greed and absolute unwillingness to operate according to Mother Nature's laws," he told the AP in 2004.

Swayze was married since 1975 to Niemi, a fellow dancer who took lessons with his mother; they met when he was 19 and she was 15. A licensed pilot, Niemi would fly her husband from Los Angeles to Northern California for treatment at Stanford University Medical Center, People magazine reported in a cover story.

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Did You See the New Trailer of Michael Jackson's "This Is It" at VMA? It's All About Love! 


For those of you who didn't watch MTV's Video Music Awards last night, you missed the trailer of Michael Jackson's new documentary, "This Is It."

The whole show was devoted to the King of Pop, beginning with an endearing speech from the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna, and Michael's baby sister, Janet, dancing the night away with their duet, "Scream."

But I watched the event, just to see a glimpse of the documentary trailer. I endured Kanye West interrupting Best Female Video winner Taylor Swift to defend Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video, and I even sort of gasped when I saw Lady Gaga all bloodied during her performance.

It was a mixed bag night, on one hand, you have all the love given to MJ, and on the other, drama only seen at the MTV VMA.

So if you missed the trailer, click here to see the full, official trailer for "This Is It," opening in theaters Oct. 28!

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Extended "New Moon" Trailer, As Seen on MTV's Video Music Awards! 


The more I watch this trailer, the more I sort of want to see the film! I'm curious as to how director Chris Weitz adapted the second book of the popular franchise.

This new extended trailer of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" shows more Volturi scenes, more Edward, more Jacob! As seen on last night's MTV's Video Music Awards (introduced by main cast Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner), here's the new extended trailer of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."



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Tyler Perry's "Bad" Gets Good Box Office Opening! See Complete Top 10 Films! 


As if it's a surprise, Tyler Perry's latest film took the top spot at the box office this weekend. "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" starring Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") debuted at No. 1 with $24 million.

The Lionsgate comedy also stars Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight. Perry directed and wrote the movie based on his stage play, and yes, he also co-starred as everyone's favorite fierce momma, Madea!

This is Perry's second film to open at No. 1. "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes Goes to Jail" debuted at the top spot in February with $41 million. It was his biggest opening to date.

(NOTE: This is how good Perry is at the box-office: Most of his films are not shown to critics in advance, including "I Can Do Bad All By Myself," but Perry doesn't need critics' opinions, good or bad, to generate strong box-office returns)


Coming in at No. 2 was the dark, animated "9" from Focus Features. The Tim Burton-Timur Bekmambetov produced film made $10.9 million this weekend but since its opening on 9-9-09, "9" has made about $15.3 million.

The voice cast includes Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer and Jennifer Connelly who are all stitchpunk creations raging against the machine!

Meanwhile, two new horror films hoping to have "The Final Destination" box-office magic failed! Summit's "Sorority Row" came in at No. 6 with about $5.3 million, while Warner Bros. thriller "Whiteout" starring Kate Beckinsale only made $5.1 million to debut at No. 7.

Here's the estimated Top 10 list of box-office films for weekend of September 11th:

1. "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself," $24.03 million.

2. "9," $10.9 million.

3. "Inglourious Basterds," $6.5 million.

4. "All About Steve," $5.8 million.

5. "The Final Destination," $5.5 million.

6. "Sorority Row," $5.3 million.

7. "Whiteout," $5.1 million.

8. "District 9," $3.6 million.

9. "Julie & Julia," $3.3 million.

10. "Gamer," $3.15 million.

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Israeli War Drama Tops Venice Film Festival! See Complete List of Winners! 


"Lebanon" a gripping account of war from inside a military tank by Israeli director Samuel Maoz took the top prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival. "Lebanon" won the festival's Golden Lion.

The Silver Lion for best director went to New York-based Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat for her first feature "Women Without Men."

Meanwhile, Fatih Akin's super funny "Soul Kitchen" took the Special Jury prize. The Turkish-German director's film is set in his native Hamburg.

Colin Firth won best actor for his role as a gay college professor in Tom Ford's directorial debut "A Single Man." This film is based on a book by Christopher Isherwood.

Todd Solondz's dark comedy "Life During Wartime" won for best screenplay. This is Solondz's quasi-sequel to "Happiness."

Russian actress Xenia Rappoport won the best actress prize for her role as a mysterious chambermaid in Giuseppe Capotondi’s "The Double Hour." This is a contemporary film noir about romance, robbery and murder set in Turin's speed-dating scene!

My home country, the Philippines, scored well with Pepe Diokno's "Engkwentro." The film won Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future and Venice Horizons. Literally translated as "The Encounter," the film tells the dark story of gangs in Manila and how two brothers encountered each other from warring sides. Gritty, thought-provoking film! Congratulations Diokno and company!

Here's the complete list of winners at the 66th Venice Film Festival!

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION JURY

GOLDEN LION "Lebanon" (Samuel Maoz, Israel-France-Germany)

SILVER LION "Women Without Men" (Shirin Neshat, Germany-Austria-France)

GRAND JURY PRIZE "Soul Kitchen" (Fatih Akin, Germany)

ACTOR Colin Firth ("A Single Man," US)

ACTRESS Ksenia Rappoport ("The Double Hour," Italy)

MARCELLO MASTROIANNI PRIZE FOR YOUNG PERFORMER Jasmine Trinca ("The Big Dream," Italy)

BEST SCREENPLAY Todd Solondz

("Life During Wartime," US)

TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTION for Set Design Sylvie Olive ("Mr Nobody," Jaco Van Dormael, France)

OTHER JURIES

LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS LION OF THE FUTURE "Engkwentro," (Pepe Diokno, Philippines)

VENICE HORIZONS "Engkwentro" (Pepe Diokno, Philippines)

VENICE HORIZONS DUCUMENTARY "1428," (Du Haibin (China)

VENICE HORIZONS SPECIAL MENTION "The Man’s Woman And Other Stories," (Amit Dutta, India)

CONTROCAMPO ITALIANO "Cosmonauta," Susanna Nichiarelli (Italy)

Special Mention "Negli Occhi," Daniele Anzillotti and Francesco Del Grosso (Italy)

Label Europa Cinemas – Venice Days 2009 Prize "The Last Days of Emma Blank," (Alex van Warmerdam, The Netherlands)

FIPRESCI (INTL. CRITIC'S ASSN) COMPETITION PRIZE Lourdes," (Jessica Hausner, Austria)

FIPRESCI HORIZONS AND CRITICS’ WEEK PRIZE "Adrift." (Bui Thac Chuyen, Vietnam–France)

SHORTS

Corto Cortissimo Lion for Best Short Film "First Born," (Etienne Kallos, South Africa-US)

Best European Short "Sinner," (Meni Philip Israel)

Corto Cortissimo Special Mention "Felicità," (Salome Aleksi, Georgia)

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