Thursday, October 19, 2006

Halloween Briefs

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Jack-O-Lanterns may not be smiling this Halloween. As it turns out, this year’s pumpkin harvest is coming up short, with some farms lacking in pumpkin production up to 80 percent. Farmers speculate that the cloudy weather and damp conditions aren’t helping the pumpkins grow, and hope this will change within the next two weeks. Otherwise, kids may not be able to pick their pumpkins at the patch this year.

BREA, Calif. – A lot of pets will be dressing up this Halloween. A new survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company suggests that as many as 68 percent of pet owners will dress up their dogs and cats. In addition, 23 percent plan to match up their own outfits with their pets’ costume.

NEW ORLEANS – Halloween isn’t for another 12 days but don’t tell that to the New Orleans man who got a head start on the gruesome holiday by killing his girlfriend and putting her legs in the oven and her head in a pot on his stove. However, officials won’t have the treat of trying 28-year-old Zachary Bowen for murder because he took his own life by jumping off the roof of a hotel after committing the crime.
Copyright © 2006 Wireless Flash News, Inc. All rights reserved.

Around The Weird: Bizarre News Briefs

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – There’s a missing dinosaur’s report being issued in Long Island, New York, and no, it’s not the premise for a new Jurassic Park movie. Thieves have stolen a 265-pound fiberglass raptor replica from the city's annual Oyster Festival. Police hope to find the dinosaur using their descriptive police report. It states: “Dinosaur missing: five feet tall, ten feet long, brown with dark stripes, and large sickle shaped feet.”

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Who needs road flares when you’ve got a camera phone? Two hikers lost in a wooded area called out for help on their cell phone and told rescuers that they would use the bright flash on their camera phone to alert the helicopter pilot of their whereabouts. The rescuers where able to find the lost hikers who were saved with no major injuries.

LOS ANGELES – Die-hard sports fans are taking it to a whole new level – now you can live and even die with your team. Major League Baseball is pairing up with Eternal Image to provide a service for sports junkies who can now have their favorite team logos put on the urns and caskets when they die. Team colors and insignias won’t only be available for baseball lovers, the company also hopes to sign on with NASCAR, the NHL, and the NFL.

HILLSBORO, Ore. – Police rescued more than 150 rabbits living in the home of a woman in Hillsboro, Oregon, and found more 100 dead bunnies in several freezers. Officials came to investigate Miriam Sakewitz’s home after neighbors complained about dead rabbits showing up on their front lawns and of an overwhelming stench.
Copyright © 2006 Wireless Flash News, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeanne Wolf’s Hollywood: Celebrity Advance Items From Movies.Com

HOLLYWOOD (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Hugh Jackman had a magical time while filming the magician drama, The Prestige, but he didn’t learn much magic. According to columnist Jeanne Wolf, Jackman took magic lessons from Ricky Jay but says his illusion instructor would only show him the beginnings and ends to the tricks, not the actual illusions. Jackman says he begged him, “We've got children, we’ve got birthday parties for the next 10 years; give us a card trick, give something.” Sadly, Jackman only learned how to make a metal ball disappear.

HOLLYWOOD – Hugh Jackman is showing off a new talent in his upcoming animated feature, Happy Feet – as an Elvis Presley impersonator. But he’s not so sure how good his performance is. He tells Jeanne Wolf that after his first recording session, the producers changed his character’s name from “Elvis” to “Memphis,” and he asked, “Is this a reflection of how accurate my impersonation is?” He says they told him they just wanted the essence of Elvis, so while he’s happy the part wasn’t cut, he’s still not sure what they thought about his singing.

HOLLYWOOD – Christian Bale plays a magician in The Prestige and he sees a lot of similarities between a magician who keeps his secrets and an actor who avoids talking about his work. He tells Jeanne Wolf: “Once you tell people how it’s done, you mean nothing to them any longer.” Bale says it’s boring when actors talk about their work and even “less beneficial” to talk about their personal life. As he puts it, “It becomes more difficult to make people believe in the character if you’re in Hello! magazine.

HOLLYWOOD – Native American actor Adam Beach is getting rave reviews for his work in the new Clint Eastwood flick, Flags Of Our Fathers, but he has no illusions that he’ll be able to be a mainstream leading man. He tells Jeanne Wolf, “Look, I can’t play the King of England but I could probably do Genghis Khan.” Beach has been offered Hispanic roles but turns them down because “there are lots of Hispanic actors who need them.”

HOLLYWOOD – Annette Bening plays a drug addict in Running With Scissors and, as a result, became a walking pharmacopeia on drugs herself. According to Jeanne Wolf, Bening researched the effects of various mind-altering substances so she would know whether she needed to slur her speech or blur her focus for each scene. In fact, during one scene where she gets addicted to Valium, she told director Ryan Murphy, “Now, there are five different ways I could play this based on what I’m taking. Here are your choices.”

HOLLYWOOD – Robin Williams was surprised to get a credit in the upcoming comedy, Sleeping Dogs Lie, especially because he doesn’t appear in the film and had no role behind the scenes. However, Jeanne Wolf says the film’s director, comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, told her that in order to finance the film he had to pawn a Stratocaster given to him by Williams.

HOLLYWOOD – Making a film about a horse forced actress Maria Bello to confront her lifelong fear of snakes. Bello appears in Flicka and one scene required her to kiss a snake. According to Jeanne Wolf, Bello worked with a snake-phobia expert who made her carry a rubber snake with her for a few months and take it to field trips to the zoo.

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