Updated Wednesday 3/03/04, 11:55 pm CST

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International Oscar party/play-by-play: It went pretty well, considering that my internet connection mysteriously died halfway through the show, but I kept recapping anyway. I think the tagboard got a little out of control, but them's the breaks.

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Top stories

Not much going on today, so I’ll mention three new items from
Sideshow/Weta that are going fast. Seriously, if you want to nab one of these before the eBay resellers snap them all up, you need to move with a quickness: the Morgul Lord figure, the Sauron figure (only helm and mace are shown, but it is a complete figure), and the Moria environment. And yes, the Digest gets commission. Have I told you lately that I love you?

New images

CHUD: So… the Star Wars packaging from earlier this week won’t be used after all?
IGN: Constantine

Jo Blo:
Secret Window, Dawn of the Dead

Latino Review: Dawn of the Dead, Mean Girls

Superhero Hype: Green Hornet logo?

Trailers and multimedia

Coming Soon: new Troy trailer coming out tomorrow; Day After Tomorrow presentation clips from London

Jo Blo: Resident Evil: Apocalypse clips

Latino Review: Taking Lives TV spots

Movieweb: Be Cool footage

The Movie Box: Eternal Sunshine TV spot, Taking Lives TV spots, Ong Bak, Hellboy BTS clips in Quicktime

Official sites: Stepford Wives, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Day After Tomorrow, Around The World In 80 Days, Scooby Doo 2: Our God Hast Forsaken Us

Trailer Park: Beauty Shop, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, Connie & Carla, Good Bye Lenin, Around the World in 80 Days

Casting calls and future films

Quick casting

Batman Begins: Gary Oldman joins up to play Lt. James Gordon, yet another supporting role in a film full of big names (Latino Review)

Cigarettes and Horses: Hugh Grant? (Moviehole)

Fantastic Four: Paul Rudd? No word what role (Superhero Hype)

Infernal Affairs:
Update from earlier this week: DiCaprio will play the cop who infiltrates the gang and Pitt will play the gangster who… infiltrates the cops. Good job there, guys (Moviehole)

Lords of Dogtown:
Nikki Reed, dir. Catherine Hardwicke (both from Thirteen) (Jo Blo)

More films

221bCAUSE: Britney Spears may star as “a disgraced New York Police Officer [WTF?], who goes on the trail to locate the President's kidnapped son. The character is hooked on Sherlock Holmes and it's like a dark, female Last Boy Scout." Why do you say that like it’s a good thing? (Moviehole)

The film was to be about two Antarctic explorers (No! Really!) “who leave their sled dogs behind in a vicious cold snap [in the Antarctic! No! Really!], and later return to rescue them.” Unfortunately, the shooting location, Greenland (because Antarctica is just too, well, cold) is too green, and the film has been delayed until later in the year. Also, never forget, kids: Antarctica has two Cs. (CHUD)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
CGI or little people for the Oompas? (AICN)

Constantine: Uh oh. Alan Moore is PISSED: “After reviewing the script and casting of HELLBLAZER, Comic Kingpin Alan Moore has done the unthinkable. He's washed his hand of the entire debacle. That's right- he's instructed DC to NOT credit him as the creator of the character. And putting his money where his mouth is, he has instructed that the royalties that he was splitting with his co-creators goes EXCLUSIVELY to the artists, Veitch and Bissette. Often we hear about an artist upset that his creation has been butchered but this is the first I can recall where the creator asked that both name and money be rejected. Moore is apparently so upset at the desecration done to Constantine by Producer Lauren Shuler Donner that he is stating that he will never support a film project based on his work again. DC Toady Paul Levitz is running around trying to get Moore to change his position, but Levitz is the one who had 30,000 copies of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 pulped. The bad PR this move could create in the geek community is of grave concern to Warners and DC.” (AICN)

Events: Gale Anne Hurd’s production company has optioned David Goleman’s sci-fi novel, centering on “mankind’s battle with a potentially Earth-ending visitor from a mysterious realm.” "This project has the tone of Raiders of the Lost Ark and blends all the wonderful elements essential for a genre tentpole film," says Hurd (Aliens, The Terminator). Well, Hurd also made The Relic, so I’ll believe it when I see it. (Sci-Fi Wire)

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: Jo Blo tries to sort through the rumors flying around the project.

The Hills Have Eyes:
NO! MORE! REMAKES! (Moviehole)

Magnificent Desolation: Tom Hanks will produce for IMAX. “Everything included will be shot with IMAX 3D cameras,” reports Jo Blo,” to give the audience the true feeling of what it’s like to walk on the moon.”

Soul Calibur: “Soul Calibur”? What does that even mean? All I know is that it’s one of these video games the whippersnappers play these days. (Cinescape: “And Uwe Boll isn’t even involved with it!”) 

Spider-Man 3: Sony says that 2007 is more likely than 2006, but that a third film is definitely in development. (Empire Movies)

Vikings: …of the Caribbean. “The story reportedly centers on a washed-up viking legend and his ragtag team of marauders who are forced to go on an epic quest to save the world from evil. The tale, described as having the tone of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, comes with characters normally associated with Norse lore, such as sea monsters, giants, Valkyries and beserkers,” reports Coming Soon. But where is all the mead?!

Reviews (Here be spoilers!)

AICN: Starsky & Hutch, Jersey Girl, Greendale, Saw, One Missed Call, Bad Education (Mala educación)

Dark Horizons: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dawn of the Dead, The Girl Next Door, Starsky & Hutch, Hidalgo

Film Jerk:
Starsky and Hutch

Jo Blo:
The Passion of the Christ

Upcoming DVDs

CHUD: Xena (S3)

DVD Fanatic: Peyton Place

DVD File:
Dawn of the Dead, Nina Takes a Lover

DVD Savant: Girl with a Suitcase, Too Bad She’s Bad, Wife for a Night, The City of the Dead, The Killing Kind

DVD Talk: Skin of Man Heart of Beast, Charley Bowers

IGN DVD: School of Rock, the bad commentary behavior list

Interviews and profiles

Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo), Todd Philips (Starsky & Hutch), Andy Garcia (Twisted, Ocean’s 12)

Cinema Confidential: Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo)

Dark Horizons: James D’Arcy (Exorcist: The Beginning)

IGN: Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo), Vince Vaughn, Snoop Dogg (Starsky & Hutch)

Jo Blo: Todd Phillips (Starsky & Hutch), Joe Johnston (Hidalgo)

Latino Review:
Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo)

Movieweb: Viggo Mortensen and John Fusco (Hidalgo), James D’Arcy (Exorcist: The Beginning)

SciFi Wire:
Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy)

Other news

Sir Elton wants to 'marry' his partner; Spider-man 3 already in pipeline; Charlize has been partying; Arnie approved for £8bn loan

Chicago Sun-Times: Rebuild him, funnier this time; 'Passion' poised for onrush of Easter crowds

CNN: The actor you think you know (Alfred Molina); Review: Creepy 'Kingdom' promising; Oscar gives ABC weekly ratings win; Neil Simon receives kidney transplant

IMDB: Zellweger's Tearful Oscar Panic; Law Seeks Advice from Kidman; Murray Upset at Oscar Result; Theron's Oscar Win Causes Sensation Back Home; Dafoe Trades Old Love for Young New Flame; Farrell Breaks Dawson's Heart; Robert Blake Hires Fourth Attorney; Reid and Doherty Catfight; Spokeswoman Declares Roy Horn Is Able To Walk Again; Zeta-Jones Faces Legal Defeat

Jam Showbiz: Snoop Dogg Bears all for role; Zeta-Jones loses planning dispute; 5.7M Canadians watched Oscars; Tatum O'Neal back on big screen; Duff finds 'Perfect' film role; Disney to back 'Narnia' film series; 'King Kong' up next for Jackson; 'Passion' poised to continue climbing; Timberlake takes on movie role

USAToday: Kudos for Kidman: Nicole honored for work with breast cancer charities; Has Passion changed Hollywood?

Disney Co. Splits CEO, Chairman Positions; 'Schindler's List' Makes DVD Debut; Stiller, Wilson Revive Buddy-Cop Roots; Oldman Joins the Force for New 'Batman'; Sony, Marvel Planning 'Spider-Man 3' Movie

Zap2It: DiCaprio Declares Himself; Simon Gets Kidney Transplant; Bening Returns in Killer Role; There Goes a Spider-Man, Again; Man Caught Bootlegging 'Christ'; Boyd to Play Bad Seed; Hollywood Hot for Hounsou

Fun and games

Decipher: images for the entire Siege of Gondor expansion are up

Fametracker: Debra Messing’s Fame Audit

Short Attention Span Theater: There's something about Miriam (boy, is there ever); it's over for "Angel"; "This horse could probably do my trigonometry homework"; Ewan McGregor signs up for a reality show named for an ER episode he did; Bill Murray is openly bitter; five-foot-wide poster based on a LOTR FYC ad available at the New Line shop

Parting shot

USAToday: “Celebs race to Hidalgo premiere”

** LOS ANGELES — With the rain coming down — along with the Academy Awards scaffolding — Hollywood Boulevard on Monday night was but a pale reminder of the previous evening's Oscar glamour.
Then out of the darkness, to the cheers of fans, the magic of The Lord of the Rings was reborn once more, as King Aragorn rode down the street atop his mighty steed.
Onlookers didn't seem to mind that Aragorn, aka Viggo Mortensen, was dressed in a black designer suit, or that his steed actually was Mortensen's newest pet — a mustang named TJ.

"He was nice enough to invite me tonight," Mortensen said of his ride, one of four Hidalgos used in the film. He bought the horse after filming wrapped. "I'm his date for the evening."

Stepping off one of the first buses were hobbits Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan, who galloped into the party on stick ponies [
no, really]. "I picked them up for 15 bucks at Toys R Us on my way to pick up Dominic," Wood said.

"We just discovered they make noise — listen!" added Monaghan, making his go "neigh." **

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