Tags: Polanski | L.A. Critics Award | Paramount | Angelina Jolie | Darfur

Fugitive Polanski Gets Distribution Deal

Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 02:29 PM

By James Hirsen

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Fugitive Polanski Gets Distribution Deal
2. Military Friendly ‘The Hurt Locker’ Captures L.A. Critics Award
3. Paramount Creates Micro-Budget Movie Division
4. Angelina Jolie Takes President Obama to Task on Darfur
5. Alec Baldwin Becomes Law Professor for a Day

1. Fugitive Polanski Gets Distribution Deal

Roman Polanski is apparently receiving special treatment.

The fugitive has been sent to house arrest at his plush chalet in Switzerland.

While he waits to find out whether he will be extradited to the U.S. in connection with the 1977 child sex case that he skipped out on, his agents have been busy.

Polanski's movie, “The Ghost Writer,” will reportedly be distributed by Summit Entertainment in North America. Summit also handles the “Twilight” franchise.

Polanski produced and co-wrote the film, which is based on the novel “The Ghost” by Robert Harris, the other writer of the adaptation.

Pierce Brosnan plays a former British Prime Minister who, while living on an island, pens his memoirs.

His aide tragically drowns, so a ghostwriter, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, is dispatched to help complete the book.

Sounds like the perfect flick to not see.

2. Military Friendly ‘The Hurt Locker’ Captures L.A. Critics Award

Despite having some anti-war elements, “The Hurt Locker” film has been seen by many on the Left as being too sympathetic to the military.

The movie presents the Iraq war through the eyes of a U.S. bomb technician who is stationed there.

The character is so obsessed with his dangerous duties he places his fellow soldiers’ lives at risk.

The American Prospect said it was “a remarkably effective military recruiting tool.”

In somewhat of a surprise, the movie was dubbed best picture by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. George Clooney's film “Up in the Air” placed second.

The L.A. critics also gave a best director honor to the overlooked Kathryn Bigelow.

If “The Hurt Locker” can pick up momentum through some of the other pre-Oscar awards, it may become an Academy Award contender.

3. Paramount Creates Micro-Budget Movie Division

After its huge score with the $15,000 budgeted film, “Paranormal Activity,” which has raked in more than $100 million domestically, Paramount is seeking big things in small budget packages.

The studio is planning to start a new production division, which will provide financing for as many as 20 micro-budget movies per year.

The division will be up and running in 2010.

To begin with, the company will allocate $2 million for the first 20 films, which will yield an average budget of $100,000 per film.

This is quite modest by Hollywood’s recent track record, even with independent films.

The new technology allows the studio to use the new division to showcase upcoming directors and actors as well as films like “Paranormal,” which proved that entertaining footage can be produced on a shoestring.

4. Angelina Jolie Takes President Obama to Task on Darfur

Angelina Jolie is apparently among those Americans becoming disillusioned with President Obama.

The actress wrote a message to the president that appeared in Newsweek, which questions the lack of action taken by the Obama administration with respect to the horror occurring in the Darfur region.

Jolie insists on greater action against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other government officials responsible for the blatant violations of human rights in the country.

“Like many Americans, I support the administration's willingness to engage diplomatically, even with regimes we abhor. And I believe President Obama and his special envoy Scott Gration will do their best to bring peace to the region,” Jolie wrote.

“Their policy, though, raises a number of questions. How is the Obama administration's approach to Sudan an evolution of justice? In addition, when the administration says it intends to work to ‘improve the lives of the people of Darfur,’ I would like to know what that means, besides the obvious point that their lives could hardly get worse,” she said.

Evidently, even some residents of Malibu are finding it hard to reconcile this administration’s words with its actions.

“And what will be the precedent set for future leaders?” Jolie asked. “Will they end up receiving high-level international attention, and remain free to pocket financial assistance and aid relief pouring into their country? Is there incentive for them to act with impunity or will they fear they'll be held accountable?”

In other words is this criminal al-Bashir going to be held accountable for the mass slaughter of people in the Sudan?

5. Alec Baldwin Becomes Law Professor for a Day

First, Tom Cruise attended a class at Harvard Law School.

Now Alec Baldwin has been brought to a class taught by Harvard Assistant Professor Jeannie Suk, so he can tell the students about his experiences in the area of family law.

Baldwin, who has been involved in a high profile child custody case with ex-wife Kim Basinger, expressed his thoughts on the way the courts use incidents of bad behavior (such as hostile voice messaging) as evidence that a parent is unfit.

The actor used his personal circumstances to highlight gender biases in family law in a book he penned called “A Promise to Ourselves.”

He recently said that acting no longer interests him and that he plans to give it up after his “30 Rock” contract expires. He has also talked about returning to school to pursue a graduate degree.

Can you picture Baldwin strutting back and forth in a courtroom?

You can get a preview. He portrays an attorney in his latest movie, “It's Complicated.”

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