Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fred Phelps' hate crew returns to Boston

Rev. Fred Phelps' vitriolic, anti-gay group of supporters will be in Boston on Friday, Dec. 12 from 7:30-8:15 p.m. to protest the Bad Habit production of "The Laramie Project."

The show at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Black Box Theatre honors the 10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death.

A friend of mine who is working on the production in the South End says there are rumors of a counter-protest to combat the hate group.

However, fighting the group may do more harm than good.

K. Ryan Jones, the Kansas-based filmmaker of the documentary that closely follows Phelps and his Westboro clan called "Fall From Grace," says in an earlier interview with Loaded Gun that he’s seen people unsuccessfully try to debate or get into a shouting match with the protestors.

"Many people engage them verbally and sometimes physically," he comments. "In Delaware, they were pelted with rocks and other such things and driven away from where they were picketing."

Jones continues: "People think they are going to somehow outsmart them in a verbal debate. It just won’t ever happen because they’ve heard it all before and they have twisted the scripture to support whatever they do."

"The Laramie Project" runs Friday, Dec. 5 until Saturday, Dec. 13. Click here for the lowdown.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Bride Wars' film boasts revamped poster

After some serious online complaining slamming the original movie poster for the made-in-Boston, set-in-NYC film "Bride Wars," 20th Century Fox made a few tweaks and unleashed a revamped poster replete with a pair of cake knife-wielding bridezillas out for blood.

The new promo's design and tagline "even best friends can't share the same wedding day" seems to get to ... well ... the point compared to the bland original poster featuring a side-by-side shot of the dueling brides.

The Boston-shot film "Bride Wars" features Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson as best friends who are pitted against each other when their wedding dates clash. The BFF duo devolve into bridezillas once it’s clear that neither will step aside.

The Public Garden, South Station and The Estate (bachelorette party scene) as well as South Street in the Leather District served as locations for the set-in-NYC, made-in-Boston film.

Directed by Gary Winick, "Bride Wars" is slotted for release on Jan. 9, 2009.

Click here for the latest info on the slew of films shot in Boston.

Friday, November 28, 2008

'What Doesn't Kill You' trailer released



Based on a true story of two childhood friends who turn to crime to get by, Brian Goodman's "What Doesn't Kill You" starring Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, Amanda Peet and Donnie Wahlberg is the latest made-in-Boston film coming from the streets of South Boston.

Locations include the park in Dorchester Heights in Southie, the Billerica House of Correction and East 4th St. between P street and Farragut Road.

The movie is slotted for limited release in NYC and LA on Friday, Dec. 12. Click here for the latest on "What Doesn't Kill You."

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"Production would be severely disrupted if I had to miss a day or more of shooting to attend (a) deposition in Los Angeles."

--Mel Gibson responds to a court order for an in-person deposition earlier this week over a $10 million dispute with "The Passion of the Christ" screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, Gibson reportedly wrapped up filming of the made-in-Boston flick "Edge of Darkness" this past weekend.

"People are just mesmerized. They're dropping names like Julia Roberts and saying you're all going to have jobs."

--Ann Marie Flanagan, a town meeting member in Plymouth, tells the Associated Press why she voted against the soon-to-be-built $488 million film and TV complex called the Plymouth Rock Studios, complete with 14 sound stages and a 10-acre back lot.

"If you are able and you choose to, please come to the audition dressed as a gang member."

--Boston Casting posts in its search for male Hispanic gang members for a made-in-Boston TV pilot.

“Most filmmakers are caught up in what they want to make. However, without several huge stars, big budgets just don’t happen.”

--President of International Sales and Distribution of the Burbank-based Alpine Pictures, Anthony Rene Torres, says about the slew of films--including the made-in-Boston "Maiden Heist" with Christopher Walken and Morgan Freeman--premiering at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Boston Casting is on the hunt for more TV thugs

Want to break into acting? Try thugging it up for an upcoming role in a made-in-Boston TV pilot.

While it's not specified which of the handful of thugs-on-TV pilots the audition is for, odds are good it's for the new TNT pilot "Bunker Hill" starring Donnie Wahlberg which begins filming in December.

Boston Casting is on the hunt for Hispanic men between 18- and 40-years-old for a TV series pilot that will shoot in the Boston area in December here.

First, they're looking for a younger 18-to-20-year old male for a featured role as a teen gang member. They also need Hispanic men between 25-to-40-years old to play prison gang bangers.

Boston Casting is holding auditions from 2-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 at their offices in Allston located at 129 Braintree Street.

Speaking of thugs featured in made-in-Boston TV productions, a Loaded Gun source says crews from the Spike-TV pilot "War of '04" were filming scenes in the Neponset neighborhood of Dorchester today. Also, filming continues in East Boston including scenes on Webster Street and around Jeffries Point and Piers Park Sailing Center.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

BBC's 'Edge of Darkness' release on DVD

With the Americanized Mel Gibson version of the BBC drama series "Edge of Darkness" wrapping up filming in Boston this past weekend, folks familiar with the 1985 original featuring the late Bob Peck may soon have access to the two-disc DVD.

According to TVshowsonDVD.com here, the acclaimed "Edge of Darkness" mini-series is slotted for release on DVD in North America on March 3, 2009.

How will the shot-in-Boston version differ from the original?

Graham King, Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning financial backer of "The Departed," says he had to make a few changes in the Americanized version of "Edge of Darkness."

“One character asks if it was time for a cup of tea,” King tells the Sunday Times. It seems there will be no tea in the American version."Not in Boston, where it was thrown overboard," the UK paper jokingly adds.

King says that the Boston-based version will be less gloomy and the actors will have "better teeth."

Click here for the backstory on "Edge of Darkness." Click here for the lowdown on the BBC version hitting DVD.

Cameron Diaz's 'The Box' film postponed

The release of the made-in-Boston horror thriller "The Box," starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden and directed by "Donnie Darko" filmmaker Richard Kelly, has been postponed to coincide with next year's post-Halloween weekend.

Originally slotted for release on March 20, 2009, Warner Bros. moved the film's launch to Nov. 6, 2009.

Based on the short story by Richard Matheson, "The Box" stars Diaz as Norma Lewis and James Marsden as Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child who receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences.

A mysterious stranger, played by Frank Langella, delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world ... someone they don't know.

Also shot in Virginia, filming locations for "The Box" include the Boston Public Library, Castle Hill in Ipswich and South Boston.

Click here for Kelly's MySpace page and blog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

'What Doesn't Kill You' film site launches


Take a sneak peek of the official film site for the made-in-Boston film "What Doesn't Kill You" here starring Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke and Amanda Peet. Brian Goodman, the director and inspiration of this real-life tale of redemption, tends bar in the above clip from a Southie watering hole.

Based on comments after the preview at Brandeis in Waltham on Nov. 15, the flick is a winner.

"Look out 'Departed,' 'Gone Baby Gone," writes one filmgoer from the Brandeis screening. "Someone finally got a Boston movie right from the accents, to the whole flavor and story. It was dead on. Its success lies in the realistic portrayal of the grind of the streets. It's not all glamour and shoot 'em up but the day-to-day grind of trying to survive."

The movie is slotted for limited release in NYC and LA on Friday, Dec. 12. Click here for the latest on "What Doesn't Kill You."

Click here for the film's official site.

UPDATE: Check out the trailer to "What Doesn't Kill You" at the Los Angeles Times here.

'Edge of Darkness' wrap party at Sanctuary

It's officially a wrap for the made-in-Boston film "Edge of Darkness." Mired in minor controversy since filming began on Monday, Aug. 18, cast and crew threw a wrap party last night at Sanctuary, 19 State St. in the Financial District.

According to sources, Mel Gibson was a no-show.

The wrap party punctuates a tumultuous remake of the successful British miniseries including Oscar winner Robert De Niro abruptly quitting the flick on his first day citing "creative differences" coupled with Brit Ray Winstone replacing him, a tabloid rumor circulating that the married Gibson has been spending "quality time" on the Boston set with an Eastern European musician known as Oksana as well as a flurry of manufactured rumors including his reported bar hopping around Boston in August.

Click here for the backstory on "Edge of Darkness."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Random Shot :: Prudential Center's Holiday Balls

Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season, is coming soon. Can't get into the gift-giving mood?

Don't fret.

The Prudential Center in Copley Square unveiled its larger-than-life holiday ornaments on the corner of Huntington Avenue to shock you into the spirit of the season.

Click here for more photos from the "Loaded Gun Random Shots" series.

Photo by Sam Baltrusis

EDGE chronicles demise of New England Blade

EDGE, an online publication where I acted as Northeast Regional Editor for more than one year and a publishing group that had a behind-the-scenes penchant of trying to court HX Media's Matthew Bank, acknowledges the story I initially broke back on Wednesday, Sept. 24 called "New England Blade's sinking ship?"

Joe Siegel, a former contributor to IN Newsweekly and the New England Blade, confirms my earlier reports:

"In the aftermath of the Blade’s demise, former staffers are still waiting for paychecks and a community is wondering what happened to one of the region’s most successful publications," Siegel writes.

Zachary Violette, a staff reporter for the Blade and current contributor to EDGE, backs up my post that was initially slammed by Bay Windows' Ethan Jacobs:

"We got a big, quick infusion of cash that allowed our last issue to be printed, and covered October rent and payroll. We thought things were going to keep going on with this new investor - that’s what Bank had told us - until he called suddenly in the middle of production on October 2 saying there was to be no further money. (Bank) came to Boston the next day to say he was closing the paper, pending a buyer. That of course, never happened."

Meanwhile, my contacts in NYC say the New York Blade has been MIA from newsstands since October.

Click here for the article in EDGE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Donnie Wahlberg does the unthinkable in NYC

In this clip via Universal Hub, Dorchester native and NKOTB hellraiser Donnie Wahlberg sports a ... gasp ... Yankees cap at a New Kids on the Block show on Oct. 27 at Madison Square Garden.

Wahlberg will have to face his hometown fans next month while filming scenes for "Bunker Hill," a Charlestown-set TV pilot where he plays Mike Moriarty, a Boston cop determined to protect the streets he grew up on from crime and corruption. The native also acts and shares writing credits in the made-in-Southie flick "What Doesn't Kill You."

Wahlberg's telling words to the NYC crowds: "This could cost me my life."

Click here for the latest on TNT's "Bunker Hill."

Will a SAG strike impact Hollywood in the Hub?

Leaders from the guild representing Hollywood's TV and film actors met today and asked for an authorization to strike after talks for a new contract failed, according to reports from the AP.

Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have been in limbo since June when they were unable to reach an amicable agreement. The hold up is reportedly over payment of new media outlets like the Internet and the delivery of clips on cellphones.

But will this impending strike impact the growing list of TV and film productions slotted for Hollywood East?

While Hollywood films currently in production are nervously eyeing the potential of a SAG strike, a handful of indie projects are in the clear. In June, the Hollywood Reporter announced that the soon-to-be-filmed Jennifer Lopez movie, "The Governess," has been awarded a no-strike pact with the union which gives the made-in-Boston production a greenlight to move forward.

Other productions, like the Spike-TV pilot "War of '04," have been cast with AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) members which would allow for the made-in-Boston TV series to continue if the SAG strike happens.

AFTRA, whose members also include radio announcers and actors who work in daytime television, contends that its contracts are fair and in line with today’s economic realities but critics say producers will start making deals with the smaller union given its lower-cost contract.

"Edge of Darkness" filming, slotted to wrap this week, and other big-name productions shot in Boston like "The Surrogates" starring Bruce Willis and "The Box" with Cameron Diaz finished production before the impending SAG strike so they should also be in the clear.

Click here for the latest.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Irish mob filming with 'Code of Silence'

Mike O'Dea, a Boston-based writer and actor who earned regional ink back in 2007 while shooting his low-budget flick "Townies," has signed a deal with Michael Z. Gordon of My Own Worst Enemy Productions to produce "Code of Silence."

Based on the YouTube film "Townies," the full-length feature is ... no surprise here ... part of an Irish mob trilogy slotted to be shot during a four-week stint in Somerville beginning on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2009.

Here's the plot from IMDB: Mickey Callaghan is a regular guy who grew up in Somerville, Mass. He heads his father's blue-collar company during the day and trains as a professional boxer at night. But his father John Callaghan is not so ordinary, he's a feared and ruthless Winter Hill crime boss.

O'Dea generated a lot of buzz back in Nov. 2007 when he filmed a shoot 'em up scene for "Townies" in Charlestown's Paul Revere Park without having the proper film permits. Police obviously thought the scene was the real deal.

According to IMDB here, O'Dea moved the setting of the film from Charlestown to Somerville to avoid any confusion with Ben Affleck's upcoming flick "The Town" and Donnie Wahlberg's pilot for TNT called "Bunker Hill."

Click here for the lowdown.

On location at 'Boondock Saints II' in Toronto

On Location Vacations posted some behind-the-scenes photos here from a reader on the set of "Boondock Saints II" in Toronto.

As reported in Loaded Gun, principal photography for "Boondock Saints II" is in Toronto, not in Boston, with writer-director Troy Duffy at the helm.

The stars of the movie--Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus (pictured above)--are returning as the McManus brothers, fraternal twins on a mission to clean up the Boston underworld while being tracked down by a FBI agent. Billy Connolly is back as Poppa M.

Click here for the latest on "Boondock Saints II."

Photo: Taken by Alina George via On Location Vacations

Inside the Irish mob in 'Bullets Over Boston'


With the success of "The Departed" as well as a barrage of Boston-based projects in various stages of production including the Spike-TV pilot "War of '04," the Somerville Irish mob flick "Code of Silence" and the soon-to-be-released "What Doesn't Kill You," National Geographic Channel explores the bloody underworld told by mobsters exploring an era when Boston was a hotbed of crime.

Click here for my list of Boston-based films in various stages of production.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MTV's hip-hop 'Made' gets competitive in Lynn

The MTV "Made" competition tonight at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium featuring three kids from Winthrop High deviates a bit from the typical formula that has transformed a slacker into a model, an outcast into a prom queen and a prep into a die-hard skateboarder.

Gone are the feel-good "I think I can" moments featuring individuals with a far-fetched desire to make a change. With the new "Made" formula, contestants are out for blood ... and a $10,000 prize.

MTV launched the new format on Nov. 12 featuring three wannabe models in its tweaked version of "Made" called "This Is A Competition."

With the “Head to Head Hip Hop Challenge" show filming in Lynn, three hip-hop hopefuls--Abby, Eddie and Christine--are vying for the top prize after being coached by Boston native Cedric Crowe as well as CiCi Kelley and Sam Renzetti.

Cris Judd, J.Lo's ex hubby and dancer, Laurie Ann Gibson from MTV's "Making The Band" and Soulja Boy, who is also performing, are judges.

Click here for the casting lowdown on the new "Made" format.

UPDATE: The "Head to Head Hip Hop Challenge" premieres noon Saturday, Jan 10 on MTV. And the winner is ...?

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"If I was doing [the movie] now, knowing it was going to be this audience, I think I probably would have done it differently. It’s a small story. It’s an intimate story and I think it comes across as being very human rather than being a big epic thing.”

--British actor turned movie vampire Robert Pattinson convinces thousands of screaming fans at Square One Mall in Saugus that his undead turn as Edward Cullen in "Twilight" was a warm-hearted effort.

"I do epic. I'm comfortable in the epic arena. Even my private eye novels have a kind of epic feel to them."

--"Mystic River" and "Gone Baby Gone" author Dennis Lehane tells the Miami Herald while promoting his latest, "The Given Day." Meawhile, reports surfaced this week that the acclaimed author's 19th Century Victorian home on Ivory Street in West Roxbury is currently for sale.

"My heart pounds when I think about the red carpet. But I still wear those dumb shoes. I carry my Boston bag with pride."

--Gillian Jacobs spills to the New York Post about a bag she snagged while filming an acting gig as Cameron Diaz's babysitter in the made-in-Boston flick "The Box."

"People don't actually live their lives, but they send surrogate robots to go do everything for them — their work, their relationships, everything. They just sit at home and experience it in a chair. So, you have all the sensation of a life, but you don't physically live it. It's interesting, because men can be women, women can be men, and ugly people can be beautiful."

--Elizabeth Banks, producer of the Boston-shot, sci-fi film "The Surrogates," gives the lowdown to MTV.com about her behind-the-scenes take on futuristic robots and Bruce Willis.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spike-TV's 'War of '04' filming in East Boston

Nicknamed the "Irish Sopranos," the made-in-Boston cable TV pilot "War of '04" is currently filming in East Boston.

"They did some filming yesterday and today on Sumner Street in East Boston," writes Loaded Gun tipster Eric near the Maverick Blue Line T stop. "This morning it was right outside my door."

For those not in the know, Spike-TV has snagged a two-hour TV pilot centering around Irish gang warfare starring Matthew Marsden and Kevin Chapman in Boston. Walter Hill, an Emmy-award winner, is directing the show while Ultimate Fighting Championship Dana White is producing.

The story centers around the fallout when a Boston mob boss abruptly takes a leave of absence while rival gangs duke it out in an epic battle for control.

Ironically, the pilot is set in South Boston, not East Boston. In the Globe's "Southie gets a stand-in" here, state Representative Brian P. Wallace says location scouts opted to film in Eastie over Southie because it was more "dark and dingy."

Wallace jokes: "They said Eastie looks like Southie. I cracked up. Eastie's always been 15 years behind us, so that's no problem."

Click here for my list of Boston-based films in various stages of production. Also, click here for the lowdown on "War of '04" filming in Dorchester.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brian Dennehy co-stars in TNT's 'Bunker Hill' pilot

Veteran Hollywood tough guy Brian Dennehy has been tapped to co-star with Dorchester native and NKOTB Donnie Wahlberg in the made-in-Boston drama series pilot "Bunker Hill."

Dennehy will play a former mob boss turned flower-shop owner.

Tom Brady’s former gal pal Bridget Moynahan is slotted to play a Boston cop widow and sister-in-law to Wahlberg’s Mike Moriarty, a Boston cop determined to protect the streets he grew up on from crime and corruption.

Wahlberg, Moynahan and now Dennehy are slotted to shoot scenes in Boston (most likely in Charlestown) and Mexico for "Bunker Hill" pilot for TNT sometime in December.

Click here for my list of Boston-based films in various stages of production.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Creepy tale from Charlesgate Hotel dorm alum

Since I first blogged about the haunted history of the Charlesgate Hotel here, I've received several e-mails from former Emerson and Boston University students who spent time in this creepy campus haunt before it was converted into an upscale condo building.

Here's the latest:

"Went to Emerson for grad school from '87 to '89. My friends lived on the sixth and the top floors. This was nicknamed the 'suicide dorm' when it was part of Boston University's campus," writes Mark in Arizona. "I always felt creeped out in that place, and though we weren't allowed, we did play with a ouija board."

Here's where it gets strange:

"It led us to find a door hidden in a closet that led to a small hidden space between walls. An old fireplace was in it and a shoe from what looked like the middle of the 20th century. After that, one of our friends who was involved became very sick and started acting strangely. Pretty creepy."

Click here for my original posting on the Boston haunt.

'What Doesn't Kill You' earns rave reviews

Brian Goodman, a Southie bad boy turned film director, unleashed a sneak peek of his Boston-shot indie gem "What Doesn't Kill You" this Saturday. Nov. 15 at Brandeis in Waltham with actor Mark Ruffalo by his side.

Based on comments pouring into Loaded Gun, the made-in-Southie flick is a winner.

"Look out 'Departed,' 'Gone Baby Gone," writes one filmgoer from the Saturday screening. "Someone finally got a Boston movie right from the accents, to the whole flavor and story. It was dead on. Its success lies in the realistic portrayal of the grind of the streets. It's not all glamour and shoot 'em up but the day-to-day grind of trying to survive."

The real-life crime drama, originally titled "Real Men Cry," is set in Boston and stars Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke as childhood friends "who grew up in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood where small-time crimes were as common as confessionals."

Click here for the latest on "What Doesn't Kill You." Also, click here for an early review from the Hollywood Reporter.

PHOTO: Mark Ruffalo with director Brian Goodman in WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, a Yari Film Group release.

Copley Square Hotel's Minibar boasts chic design

The interior of Minibar, the soon-to-be-opened lobby lounge and U-shaped bar adjacent to the Copley Square Hotel, is emerging as a sleek example of modern chic.

Inspired by lounges at the W Hotels and Miami's Delano, designer/architect Stephen Sousa's Minibar boasts modern design elements including a black-and-metallic color motif and gray-leather seating surrounding a minimalist bar area.

After snooping outside of the Copley Square hot spot yesterday, it looks like the interior of the South End's Oishii coupled with the contemporary flair of Vintage Lounge in the Financial District as well as the stark modern design elements of the new Downtown Crossing Italian restaurant Bina Osteria (opening Monday, Nov. 17).

Of course, Sousa designed Gypsy Bar and nearby Saint so there are obvious design similarities.

But, when will Minibar open? According to initial press accounts here, the $17 million facelift to the historic Copley Square Hotel was scheduled to be unveiled in the fall with a reopening slotted for October '08.

Not quite. The hotel and bar are still under construction.

However, if the Copley Square haunt's reservation log here is any indication, expect a splashy grand opening sometime around Dec. 15, 2008.

Click here for more information about the Copley Square Hotel and Minibar.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'Twilight' stars unveil vamp flick at Regal Cinema

"Twilight" actors Kellan Lutz (who plays Emmet Cullen) and Edi Gathegi (Laurent) will introduce the love-at-first-almost-bite vamp film at the Regal Cinema Fenway 13 Theater on Friday, Nov. 21.

Lutz and Gathegi will introduce "Twilight" at 7 p.m. with a special red carpet event kicking off at 6 p.m. leading up to the screening.

Part of the New England Fan Experience held at the Hyatt in Cambridge, the two actors will join a roster of sci-fi celebrities slotted to appear at the NEFanX event over the weekend from Friday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Nov. 23.

The lineup includes:

*James Kyson Lee currently stars as "Ando" on NBC's critically acclaimed drama "Heroes." Lee has guest-starred on hit TV shows such as "CSI," and "Las Vegas."

*Eric Roberts currently appears on the NBC hit “Heroes” and in the mega-blockbuster “Batman: The Dark Knight."

*Morena Baccarin is a Brazilian actress of Italian origins, best known for her roles as Inara Serra in the sci-fi television series “Firefly” and as Adria in the Sci-Fi Channel series “Stargate SG-1.”

Click here for the lowdown.

'TWILIGHT' UPDATE: Didn't make it to the Rob Pattinson (Edward Cullen) meet and greet at Hot Topic in Saugus on Friday, Nov. 14? Katherine from Vermont gives a detailed account of her experience here. "It was like the Beatles...the screams, oh my, " she writes. "I think I sustained a 40% hearing loss!"

'On Broadway' inspired by Somerville's The Burren

"On Broadway," an indie film shot in 20 days starring New Kids On The Block's Joey McIntyre and Eliza Dushku from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is available to the masses by Cinetic Rights Management via Amazon video on demand here.

Filmed in 2006 on a shoestring budget of a mere $1 million, "On Broadway" is about a 30-something Boston playwright who stages a production of his work in the back of an Irish pub in South Boston. The movie, also starring Mike O'Malley, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett, has had a successful festival-circuit run including its big-screen premiere at the Boston Film Festival last year.

However, did you know that writer Dave McLaughlin was inspired by The Burren in Somerville? It seems that the filmmaker put on a similar play--much like the production McIntyre's character orchestrates in "On Broadway"--back in the day.

Click here for the lowdown on the made-in-Boston movie.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

'Beauty and the Geek' casting in Boston

Time to whip out the pocket protector and slide rule. Boston Casting is on the hunt for "intelligent and quirky guys who are 21+ with a high IQ or a savvy intellect" for season 6 of the CW reality show "Beauty and the Geek."

The premise of the Ashton Kutcher-produced series consists of a group of "beauties" or young women who have relied on their looks but lack intellect and a group of "geeks" or men who have relied on their brains but lack social maturity.

The groups are paired in teams of two and compete as couples for a large sum of cash that's split between the winning beauty and geek.

Click here to learn how to audition for Boston Casting.

Mel Gibson stops traffic in front of Foodie's

Silver Line bus service and pedestrian traffic was re-routed late Friday, Nov. 14 to accommodate filming of the Mel Gibson flick "Edge of Darkness" outside of Foodie's Urban Market on the corner of Washington and Pelham streets in the South End.

The scene? Mel Gibson, wearing a blue button-down shirt and gray slacks, is shielding himself with a sports jacket from a simulated New England rain storm as he bolts from the South End market.

Several large "rainmaker" cranes spew water on Gibson as he exits the market and past a fake lighting store called Shady Business. Two Boston police officers stand watch in front of an orange "Road Closed" sign during filming as Silver Line buses zoom down an alternate route on W. Dedham Street. While Foodie's was obviously closed to the public on Friday, Nov. 14, its neighbor Pho Republique remained opened.

One bystander jokingly says from the sidelines: "I can't believe they spent hours rehearsing that one shot."

Click here for the latest on "Edge of Darkness."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Universal Hub's Adam Gaffin on blogging in Boston



Adam Gaffin, the mastermind behind the ultimate hyperlocal aggregator UniversalHub.com, chats with me at the Povo-sponsored blogger event at the Archstone Club Suite in Chinatown about the genesis of the site, his inability to tear himself away from the computer and Gaffin's status as an unlikely poster boy for Boston's blogger scene.

Click here for more video clips from the Povo event.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

'EOD' crews return to South End crash scene

Loaded Gun's South End sources confirm that Mel Gibson and the crews from "Edge of Darkness" plan to resume filming tomorrow evening, Friday, Nov. 14, in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on the corner of Washington and Waltham streets.

"Mel will be back tomorrow," remarks one Loaded Gun tipster via e-mail. "The equipment is all out and there were notes on all the resident cars that the filming location is the Cathedral on Washington Street It mentioned that the filming will be tomorrow at night, and the other few times it was always at night, too."

According to sources from last Friday's shoot, the Silver Line bus service in the South End apparently had to be re-routed and filming continued into the wee hours of Saturday, Nov. 8.

"Yes, nothing quite like having stadium lights blare into your apartment until 4:30 a.m.," adds another source.

Click here for the latest on "Edge of Darkness."

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"I just shot a movie in Melbourne but I had to do an American accent because it is set in Boston. That was a bit weird."

--Aussie actress Rose Byrne spills to Women's Wear Daily about her role in the set-in-Boston but shot-in-Australia flick called "Knowing" starring Nicolas Cage.

"We shot the movie in Boston earlier this year. Ricky cast me in one of the bigger parts after he saw me do stand-up. I play his best friend, just a schlubby guy, like in a wife-beater and sweat pants. Pretty low-grade human."

--Boston native Louis C.K. to the Vancouver Sun about his role in Ricky Gervais' upcoming made-in-Boston movie "This Side of Truth" with Jennifer Garner and Rob Lowe.

Acting is "kind of like riding a bike,except time away gives you some time to think and focus."

--Mel Gibson tells Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier on the set of "Edge of Darkness" on Washington Street in the South End with Foodie's Urban Market, Pho Republique and Sage in the background.

MTV:I heard that you might be doing this movie in Boston? A fire-department movie? 'The Fallen'? Is that something that you're eyeballing?
Jackson: Yes.
MTV: That's Brian Goodman, right?
Jackson: Brian and I play golf every day. Brian's my golf partner. He and I hang out and his last film that they screened in Toronto ...
MTV: "What Doesn't Kill You" ...
Jackson: ... got amazing reviews ... It's awesome. But the script is good, and Brian's a good guy, and hopefully that film will come together and I'll be able to do it.


--Actor Samuel L. Jackson reveals to MTV in Canada that the on-and-off again film "The Fallen" may be on again ... sort of.

Boston's House of Blues ready to rock in Feb. '09

If tour schedules are any indication, the under-construction House of Blues on Lansdowne will open its doors on Thursday, Feb. 19.

For those not in the know, Avalon officially closed on Oct. 1, 2007 and was sold to the House of Blues by the Lyons Group. The former Lansdowne hot spot is currently being transformed into a live-music complex that will accommodate 2,500 including a 350-seat lounge and a 125-seat restaurant.

But will the massive structure be ready to rock early next year? According to the Jimmy Eat World tour schedule here, odds are good.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its album "Clarity" with a 10-city tour, the band announced that they're playing on the HOB stage on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Other acts set to play the soon-to-be-opened venue include B.B. King and Buddy Guy on Sunday, Feb. 22 and Cut Copy on Sunday, March 22.

Click here for more information on the Jimmy Eat World tour.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Povo blogger discussion boasts un-'Usual Suspects'

I've been bombarded with e-mails since last night's blogger panel discussion sponsored by Povo held at the posh Archstone complex in Chinatown.

"You were a great moderator, and I learned a lot from the discussion, especially about search engine optimization," comments Robert David Sullivan, managing editor of CommonWealth and frequent contributor to the Boston Globe.

While our discussion did go into specifics on topics ranging from micro-blogging, to monetizing online brands to SEO (search engine optimization), the true highlight of the evening for me was the debate between Adam Gaffin from UniversalHub.com and up-and-coming online contributor Ben Terris (the fella sitting in the chair to my right) who is working on the new Boston.com/Newton hyperlocal experiment.

I felt like it was this David vs. Goliath-type moment when Gaffin calmly expressed disdain over Boston.com's history of featuring content from local bloggers yet refusing to hyperlink to the original source.

Dan Kennedy over at Media Nation goes into details about the brewing media battle in Newton. While I've been vocal about some of Boston.com's practices, I'm definitely curious to see how this all pans out.

Meanwhile, the above photo (shot by a LiLa Molyva from Povo) features our motley crew of panelist (from left to right):

*Sam Baltrusis of Loaded Gun
*Susan Johnston of The Urban Muse
*Scott Kearnan of Diva Divo Dance and Bay Windows
*Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub
*Rhea Becker of The Boomer Chronicles
*Jacqueline Church of Leather District Gourmet
*Carol O'Connor of Table Critic
*Jim Sullivan of Jim Sullivan Ink

Doesn't the photo above look like the lineup from "The Usual Suspects" movie? Click here for more photos from Povo.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Robert Pattinson's 'Twilight' is hot topic in Saugus

As a reformed "Interview with the Vampire" junkie still in recovery from an unhealthy obsession with Anne Rice, I thought my taste for blood would wane over time.

Not lately.

Don't tell a soul but I'm smitten with Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" book series. In fact, I got a little weak when I heard that Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) is making a guest appearance at Hot Topic at Square One Mall in Saugus on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.

One caveat: You have to be one of the first 500 customers to snag the $30 "Twilight" tour T-shirt at Hot Topic this Friday to get a wristband. No shirt, no access.

While I'll probably not make the trek to Saugus this weekend, odds are good I'll be first in line when "Twilight" hits theaters on Friday, Nov. 21.

Click here for the lowdown.

UPDATE: At least one teen was hurt at a San Francisco mall on Monday, Nov. 10 after a huge mob of roughly 3,000 teens prompted cops to cancel Robert Pattinson's scheduled appearance at the Stonestown Galleria Hot Topic. On Wednesday, Nov. 12, more Pattinson mania at the Orland Square Mall near Chicago.

Meanwhile, hundreds lined up overnight on Friday, Nov. 14 in the rain in Saugus according to the Herald here for VIP access to the meet-and-greet session with Pattinson.

Monday, November 10, 2008

'Frozen River' actress Melissa Leo hits Brandeis


Brandeis film buffs are in a tizzy over actor Mark Ruffalo's scheduled appearance and sneak peek of his made-in-Southie flick "What Doesn't Kill You" on Saturday, Nov. 15.

But don't forget veteran actress Melissa Leo. The performer is slotted to unleash her buzzworthy performance in "Frozen River" on Thursday, Nov. 13 starting at 7 p.m.

In "Frozen River," Leo plays Ray Eddy, an upstate New York mom pushed to the financial edge and finds herself lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling.

The screening of "Frozen River" with Leo is free and open to the public but Brandeis' film students get preferential seating at the Edie and Lew Wasserman Cinematheque, 415 South St. in Waltham.

Click here for the lowdown.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mel Gibson photos from South End 'EOD' shoot

Mel Gibson flipping a loaded gun? You bet.

M&C or Monsters and Critics published several photos from the "Edge of Darkness" shoot this past Friday, Nov. 7 outside of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

The "EOD" scene was in front of Cathedral High School on the corner of Washington and Waltham streets where Gibson was packing heat. Filming continued into the wee hours of Saturday, Nov. 8 (one source says they were still shooting at 4:30 a.m.).

The photo series by Mark Edwards/Splash News features Gibson flipping a gun and goofing around with the cast and crew. One pic includes "EOD" director Martin Cambell.

Click here for the latest on "Edge of Darkness."

Brattle Theatre honors actor Willem Dafoe

The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge plans a Willem Dafoe retrospective this weekend honoring the iconic actor for his impressive career in films ranging from the shocking "Shadow of the Vampire" to the controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ" to the powerful "Mississippi Burning."

On Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., the theatre plans to screen Dafoe's new flick, "Go Go Tales," an edgy screwball comedy centering around a NYC topless dancing club and the owner's struggle to keep it open. The screening of "Go Go Tales" will be followed by a Q&A session with Dafoe.

In addition to the Saturday in-person meet and greet, the theatre plans to unleash several Dafoe flicks including "The Life Aquatic" and "To Live and Die in L.A." on Sunday, Nov. 16. The weekend culminates at a black-tie gala from 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Charles Hotel pavilion.

Click here for more information.

Sharon teen competes for Wells Fargo contest

Leah Larson, a 17-year-old magazine editor and publisher of Yaldah magazine based in Sharon, Mass., is vying to win $100,000 from the Wells Fargo-sponsored "Someday Stories" contest.

Nominated by her proud mom Evelyn Krieger, Larson is vying for the top prize to fund the magazine, a project with the mission to empower teen girls while inspiring leadership and creativity.

Yaldah, a magazine "for Jewish girls, by Jewish girls," targets 9- to 15-year-olds and has 700 subscribers around the world.

If she wins the money, Larson plans to launch a book publishing arm of Yaldah as well as allocating some of the loot to fund an advertising campaign.

Click here to vote for Larson. Deadline is Monday, Nov. 10 at midnight.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

'The Cougar' reality show on the prowl in Boston

Move over Ashton Kutcher.

Casting scouts for TV Land's new elimination dating series "The Cougar" are on the hunt for "charming, attractive and adventurous" guys between 21-29 who are interested in vying for the attention of a successful, smokin’ hot, older woman.

Kassting inc. is holding an open casting call 9 p.m.-Midnight Saturday, Nov. 15 at Felt Boston, 533 Washington St.

Meanwhile, VH1 is filming "Camp Cougar," a NYC-based reality series hosted by Lisa Gastineau where mature women are on the prowl for younger man meat.

Maybe the two "Cougar" reality shows should ... well ... hook up?

Click here for the casting lowdown.

Friday, November 07, 2008

'EOD' crews film crash scene in the South End

According to a Loaded Gun tipster, the Silver Line bus service in the South End apparently had to be re-routed tonight, Friday, Nov. 7, to accommodate the "Edge of Darkness" crews filming on Washington Street.

The source says "EOD" crews are filming a scene that begins with a car chase--perhaps the finale of the car chase scene shot earlier this week on Rutherford Ave. near Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown--that ultimately ends in a horrific crash.

Click here for the latest on "Edge of Darkness."

UPDATE: The "EOD" shoot was in front of Cathedral High School on the corner of Washington and Waltham streets. Filming continued into the wee hours of Saturday, Nov. 8 (one source says they were still shooting at 4:30 a.m.). Click here for photos.

GQB takes over The Estate near Park Street

Have the Guerrilla Queer Bar guys jumped the shark?

What once seemed like a clever social experiment in old-school gay activism has gone a bit soft. Kicking off tonight at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, the GQB foks are taking over The Estate, a club that already boasts gay nights on Thursdays and Sundays.

Doesn't that deviate from the GQB's original mission of infiltrating traditionally straight establishments and filling them up with fabulous GLBTs?

"While we appreciate the management’s kind gesture to give us their space on the off-nights of the week, we want more," the organizers write. "We demand more."

GQB regulars get $5 off at the door. The secret gay password? "Hi, I'm with Cher."

Click here for the scoop.

Can the Hub sustain the Hollywood East machine?

Does Massachusetts have what it takes to become a big star in the film industry?

Beryl C.D. Lipton poses the question in a well-crafted feature in yesterday's Harvard Crimson called "Projected Benefits."

“There’s always been—not a love/hate relationship—but a push-and-pull between Hollywood and Boston,” says Paul Sherman, author of the book “Big Screen Boston,” to the Crimson. “There are obvious reasons that have made Boston not necessarily one of Hollywood’s favorite locations.”

In the arts feature, Lipton focuses on the economic viability of sustaining an industry that was almost non-existent two years ago until the 25 percent tax credit for in-state spending was enacted in 2006.

One reader points out a valid flaw in the "build it and they will come" mentality of luring filmmakers to the state. "What is the end game? If the incentives work and film flourishes in the state and infrastructure follows to sustain the boom, when do the taxpayers stop underwriting the project," questions Wiredeye.

The debate continues: "When and if that happens, why won't filmmakers abandon the state for another with continuing incentives?"

Also, CommonWealth Magazine did an excellent job deconstructing the economic ramifications of using the tax break to lure filmmakers in an article called "Subsidizing the stars."

Click here for the lowdown.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Irish gang warfare TV pilot called 'War of '04'

Confused by all of the shoot 'em up, made-in-Boston productions filming in town over the next few months? You're not alone.

Contrary to the Inside Track's "We Hear" column in today's Boston Herald, the set-in-Boston pilot about an Irish gang war in South Boston isn't the renamed "Bunker Hill" project for TNT starring NKOTB Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Brady's ex Bridget Moynahan.

Instead, "War of '04" is the Spike-TV pilot. Walter Hill, an Emmy-award winner, is slotted to direct the scripted show while Ultimate Fighting Championship Dana White is producing.

The production company for "War of '04" is holding a meeting 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10 at the Patrick Gavin Middle School in South Boston to discuss with the community.

Meanwhile, Wahlberg and Moynahan are slotted to shoot scenes in Boston and Mexico for "Bunker Hill" sometime in December.

Click here for my list of Boston-based films in various stages of production.

UPDATE: The Inside Track team at the Boston Herald removed their reporting error this afternoon from the online version of "We Hear."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mark Ruffalo unveils Southie-shot flick at Brandeis


In an exclusive Boston sneak preview, actor Mark Ruffalo will premiere his made-in-Southie film "What Doesn't Kill You" at Brandeis University in Waltham 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

The screening is part of the college's "Chasing Oscar" series focusing on serious contenders for Academy Award nominations.

Ruffalo, who also stars with Leonardo DiCaprio in another made-in-Boston film "Ashecliffe" directed by Martin Scorsese slotted for release in October 2009, is earning early Oscar buzz for his performance alongside Ethan Hawke in "What Doesn't Kill You" as childhood friends "who grew up in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood where small-time crimes were as common as confessionals."

Fast forward 15 years where the duo is trapped in a cycle of scoring quick cash, drug addiction and an ever-changing South Boston landscape.

The screening of "What Doesn't Kill You" with Ruffalo is free and open to the public but Brandeis' film students get preference in seating at the Edie and Lew Wasserman Cinematheque, 415 South St. in Waltham. The movie is slotted for limited release in NYC and LA on Friday, Dec. 12.

Click here for the lowdown.

UPDATE: When the "What Doesn't Kill You" screening at Brandeis on Saturday, Nov. 15 was first announced, it was a first-come, first-served type event.

Now, organizers say attendees must have tickets:

"Saturday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m. 'What Doesn’t Kill You' with Mark Ruffalo tickets required to attend this event. Anyone seeking remaining tickets must attend the screening on 11/13 in order to claim them."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tom Selleck's 'Jesse Stone' series set in Boston

Murder he wrote?

Tom Selleck, known for his '80s series "Magnum P.I." and his stint on NBC's "Friends," has started production on the sixth part of the "Jesse Stone" series following a small-town police chief of Paradise, Mass. (loosely based on Marblehead) who solves big-league crimes.

For the latest CBS production called "Jesse Stone: No Remorse," Selleck investigates a series of murders in ... big shocker here ... Boston.

Based on the popular book series by Robert B. Parker, crews are busy transforming Halifax, Nova Scotia to look like the oh-so-mean streets of Boston.

Click here for the lowdown.

'Edge of Darkness' heads to Chelmsford

Several Loaded Gun tipsters spotted "EOD" signs in Chelmsford near the I-495 South rest area. According to the Chelmsford Independent, crews plan to film a scene for the Mel Gibson movie "Edge of Darkness" overnight on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and into Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Shooting is slotted to end 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.

As Adam Gaffin from Universal Hub jokingly writes, "Edge of Darkness" crews apparently are determined to film scenes in all 351 of our cities and towns. "EOD" trackers can officially mark Chelmsford off the list.

Click here for the latest on "Edge of Darkness."

Blogger panel discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 11

Povo is assembling a motley crew of local bloggers and journalists for a free panel discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 11 from 6-8 p.m. held at the Archstone Boston complex at 660 Washington St. in Chinatown.

The goal is to give tips on how to grow and engage your personal blog's readership. I'm moderating the discussion and the panel will include:

*Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub
*Jim Sullivan of Jim Sullivan Ink
*Carol O'Connor of Table Critic
*Jacqueline Church of Leather District Gourmet
*Rhea Becker of The Boomer Chronicles
*Susan Johnston of The Urban Muse
*Scott Kearnan of Diva Divo Dance and Bay Windows

I'm extremely happy with the diversity of the panel--ranging from old-school journalists to newbies who use their blog to showcase their freelance work.

Click here to RSVP.

'Hatteras Hotel' filming hits Rockport next week

Move over Mel Gibson. There's a new made-for-film cop heading to town.

C.P. Casting is on the hunt for extras for the film "Hatteras Hotel," a new flick slotted to begin production Monday, Nov. 10 in nearby Rockport.

The made-in-Mass. film reportedly stars "Prison Break" actor Wade Williams. The thriller follows a Boston police officer (sound familiar?) who becomes sheriff of a fictional New England town called Salem Harbor. His first case is to investigate the mysterious circumstances of a teen found dead after a night of partying at the "Hatteras Hotel."

According to the Gloucester Daily Times, primary scenes for "Hatteras Hotel" will be shot at the Emerson Inn by the Sea located at 1 Cathedral Ave. Also, the Rockport Police Station is apparently transforming its space to resemble a police station in Boston.

C.P. Casting is looking for background extras to portray hotel guests, staff and tourist as well as fishermen and deckhands.

Click here for the casting lowdown.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Lauren Conrad from 'The Hills' stylizes The Estate



Calling all college-aged fashionistas. Lauren Conrad from MTV's “The Hills” plans to unveil her collection of clothing Saturday, Nov. 15 at The Estate. TheQuad.com is currently taking applications for those wanting to strut their stuff sporting the Lauren Conrad Collection on the runway with the intern-turned-Vogue stylista.

The model with the most votes at the show in Boston will spend a day with LC during LA Fashion Week. Voting ends 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6.

Click here for the lowdown.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ben Sherman store invades Newbury Street

Yes, the British are coming.

Ben Sherman, the ultimate Brit mod brand famous for its Oxford button-down shirts and Carnaby-style fit, invades Newbury Street in late 2008.

The brand of choice for five decades of rock royalty ranging from the The Kinks and The Beatles in the '60s to The Clash in the '70s to the Arctic Monkeys and The Killers today, the Ben Sherman style is revered by stylistas for its focus on tailored classics which includes suits, shirts and shoes while integrating the iconic British flag into its aesthetic.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

'Boondock Saints' sequel in the works

The team from the set-in-Boston 2000 indie flick "Boondock Saints" are reuniting for a sequel, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.

Principal photography for "Boondock Saints II" is kicking off in Toronto, not in Boston, with writer-director Troy Duffy at the helm.

The stars of the movie--Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus--are returning as the McManus brothers, fraternal twins on a mission to clean up the Boston underworld while being tracked down by a FBI agent.

Billy Connolly is back as Poppa M.

"It's a joy and a long time coming to be bringing such an enormously talented group of people back together again," Duffy tells the Hollywood Reporter.

Click here for the lowdown.
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