Friday, February 1, 2008

Soilent Green Inspired By Cartoon Squids; Plus Lamb Of God, Celtic Frost & More News That Rules, In Metal File



'I became totally addicted to it,' Southern sludge stalwarts' frontman says.








It's been nearly three years since we've heard from Soilent Green, but on April 15, the Southern sludge stalwarts will make their return with Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction, the long-awaited follow-up to 2005's Confrontation. But don't just assume Soilent's members have been sitting around, twiddling their thumbs these last few years, because nothing could be further from the truth.
According to singer Ben Falgoust, he is often asked if the band has thrown in the proverbial towel, or if he ended up exiting the fold to focus full time on Goatwhore, the currently on-tour black-metal band he also fronts. But he claims the band has never once considered pulling the plug on Soilent — everyone's just been busy with other projects is all. Guitarist Brian Patton is also involved with Eyehategod, while guitarist Gregg Harney is a member of Spickle. Drummer Tommy Buckley is also a member of Crowbar, and bassist Scott Crochet plays in a band called Hostile Apostle.
"We all have other bands we need to devote time to," Falgoust explained. "While the rest of the guys are off doing other projects, I'll be home, writing. They'll write while I'm out with Goatwhore. We're not trying to put off one band in favor of another, but when a release hits, I'm obligated to go out with that band as much as possible. When April comes around, Goatwhore's tour with Exodus ends, and I'll be heading out with Soilent again."
That April tour, he said, will be a North American run featuring three other bands on the bill. Falgoust said he wasn't at liberty to discuss any details regarding the trek but that all would be revealed in the coming weeks. While fans have been made to wait three years for Inevitable Collapse — which was produced by Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Vital Remains), who also helmed Conviction — Falgoust said he's sure they'll find it was well worth it.
"Soilent is what Soilent is, but with each record, I think different angles are approached in writing and execution," he explained, saying that the new LP contains elements of the band's previous albums. "The guys [in the band] are really hard on each other about stuff. They'll get to parts in a song where they feel like they're repeating something from a past record, and they'll get into an argument about it, which basically forces us to break away from that mold.
"This record has something new to it — a new edge, I'd say," Falgoust continued. "I don't want to be the guy who says this is our best record yet — all I can say is, when it comes out, you'll just have to check it out, and everyone will have to judge it for themselves. The sound on this record is f---ing amazing; it's just all-out. The guitars sound so sick. I thought Confrontation was awesome, but I think we blew that record out. [This album] sounds ridiculous."
The singer said that, with Inevitable Collapse, Soilent Green wanted to create a guitar lover's wet dream. While some bands focus more on making the drum or vocal parts more prominent on their albums, Soilent wanted the guitars to stand out more.
"The defining feature of a metal band is the guitars — it's what metal is," he explained. "How many records have come out in the last few years that are supposed to be metal, and the guitars are wimpy and low in the mix, and the vocals and drums are overpowering? On a metal record, the guitars are supposed to stand out — and they do on this record. Patton's tone is really good, and Rutan brought that sh-- out. Don't get me wrong — you can hear the drums, and the flow of the bass underneath, and the vocals. But the guitars are just lethal and have that low-end bite to them. It just sounds awesome."
Since Falgoust and the rest of Soilent really wanted the guitars to take center stage, the singer had to take a different approach with his vocal performance on the LP.
"I'm a professional introvert," he confessed. "I deal with people, but in a way, I really don't feel like dealing with people. I like to be by myself. I stay home a lot and watch movies. A lot of the lyrics deal with hatred — I sort of have this obsessive compulsive kind of hatred in me. But before we started working on this record, I'd sing over a good bit of stuff. This time, I sat back and said, 'I think that part needs to flow — no vocals — like a jam part people can get into and have fun with.' Soilent's pretty crazy, but when [a song] gets to that element, where it just rocks out, I thought those parts needed to breathe a little more, so I backed off from smothering them in my vocals. I had to learn the art of actually rocking out to it."
Strangely, Falgoust said an outside force bled into the creative process for him and, in many ways, became an integral part of the entire ordeal.
"I started watching 'Squidbillies,' " an animated series that runs on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. "I became totally addicted to it. Every day at the studio, I would watch one or two episodes, and it became part of the process for me. It was addictive."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe recently checked in with Metal File about the Virginia metallers' next studio effort, which he said they'll embark on this year. "We're going to be writing a new record," he confirmed of the yet-untitled LP, adding that he's going to jet to Japan in February to "kick it with the wife" before putting his nose to the grindstone. "[I'm going to] try and take a deep breath for a few months before we start writing a new record," he said. "I figure we'll start heading into the ... practice space in late March or something." Blythe also pulled back the curtain on a side project, revealing that he's been ganging up with Steve Zing, a founding member of Glenn Danzig's Samhain act. "I saw him and Danzig recently, and I'm going to do something kinda creepy with [Zing]," Blythe said. Adding to what looks to be a busy '08, he added, "I'm working on a lot of different writing projects with different magazines. I'm working on a comic book now as well." Lamb of God recently launched a contest with Sirius Satellite Radio and GarageBand for a contest that asks fans to remix a song from the band's 2006 album, Sacrament. Winners of the contest, which ends February 21, will win a trip to NYC to meet the band at the premiere of its forthcoming, yet-untitled spring DVD. Go here for more info. ...
The long-awaited studio-album reunion between ex-Sepultura and Soulfly frontman Max Cavalera and ex-Sepultura drummer Iggor Cavalera is scheduled for release on March 25. The Cavalera Conspiracy's Inflikted marks the first time the two brothers have recorded together in over 10 years. "Cavalera Conspiracy is about a sense of being released," Max said in a statement. "You bottle [up] a monster for 10 years and then let it out. It's explosive, and we waited a long time for this beast to be set free." The album was recorded in July at Undercity Recordings in North Hollywood, California, and produced by ex-Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader and Lucas Banker of the Dirty Icon production team. Special guests include Down and ex-Pantera bassist Rex Brown, and Max's stepson Richie Cavalera (Incite). A tour is being planned for the spring. ... Testament singer Chuck Billy will perform at the Longest Walk Kickoff Concert on February 9 in Oakland, California. Billy will sing with his brother Andy and Grammy and Native American Music Award winner Star Nayea. The concert is a benefit for Longest Walk 2, a 4,400 mile trek across the U.S. that aims to draw attention to environmental issues. Testament's new album, The Formation of Damnation, comes out April 29. ...
Celtic Frost are putting together an album tentatively titled Monotheist Companion that will feature unreleased songs from 2006's Monotheist sessions and rearrangements of tracks from the album. The disc is scheduled for a summer release. In addition, Demon Entrails, a CD of raw, early-'80s demos by Hellhammer — the band fronted by Celtic singer and guitarist Thomas G. Warrior — comes out February 18. ... Japanese conceptual psychedelic doomsters Boris will release their new full-length album, Smile, April 29. The group will precede the release with a one-off show in New York on March 4. ... New York electro-metal renegades Mindless Self Indulgence will release their new album, If, on April 29. The first single, "Mastermind," will be issued digitally February 12. ...
God Forbid recently reached out to their fans to come up with a good title for the group's upcoming DVD, which is pegged for a May 27 release. After combing through the pile of submissions, the band chose "Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression," which was submitted by David Cazares of Chino, California. "He made out jobs a lot easier," guitarist Doc Coyle said in a statement. "Maybe we'll have our fans name everything from now on." It's not clear if Cazares will receive some sort of reward for his effort aside from this extra praise from Coyle: "[The name] captured, in a statement, what this DVD really says about God Forbid. The concert and documentary featured on the DVD are positive forces in our band's movement from turbulence to continuous kinetic growth. It deserved a title that illustrated that, with all the bad things that have happened to us, even more good things happened, and we look forward to an even brighter future." God Forbid will enter New Jersey's Trax East Recording Studio later this month with producer Eric Rachel (Atreyu, In This Moment) to work on their sixth studio album. ...
Darkest Hour guitarist Kris Norris played lead guitar on the debut album by Fierce Allegiance, The Meaning of Sacrifice, which was produced by Ken Olden (Damnation AD). The melodic thrash/death-metal band from Washington, D.C., is currently in talks with several labels about releasing the disc. In the meantime, the tracks "No Way Out," "Crime and Passion," "Viking" and "Lost G'neration" can be downloaded on the band's MySpace page. ... Psychedelic stoner band Danava will release their second disc, UnonoU, February 19. The Portland, Oregon, group will support the disc with a North American tour with Acid Mothers Temple that starts March 13 in Los Angeles and runs through April 8 in San Francisco. ... Misery Signals have entered the studio with producer Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Soilwork) to record the follow-up to their 2006 sophomore disc, Mirrors. "I'm psyched about the new record," singer Karl Shubach said in a statement. "It's got a lot of elements that weren't in last one, a lot of parts that are just heavier with a lot of off-time polyrhythm, like Meshuggah." "This is going to be a record that brings the band to a new level," Townsend said. "The rock will continue to roll in a fastidious way." ...
It's rare for indie-rock icons to have any affinity for heavy metal, but David Pajo is an unusual breed. The former guitarist of Slint and ex-member of Tortoise, Stereolab and Zwan has created the full-on metal band Dead Child with Michael McMahan (the brother of Pajo's ex-Slint bandmate Brian). The group's full-length debut, Attack — which combines elements of doom, thrash and NWOBHM on songs like "Twitch of the Death Nerve," "Battlesnake Chalice" and "Eye to the Brain" — is scheduled for release April 8. ... Our condolences to the family and friends of Gruntruck and Skin Yard singer Ben McMillan, who recently died from diabetes in his Seattle hometown. He was 46. McMillan suffered with the condition for eight years and succumbed to his illness after experiencing complications from a related blood-clotting disease. Skin Yard predated the grunge scene and featured producer Jack Endino on guitar. After the band broke up, McMillan formed Gruntruck with ex-Skin Yard drummer Norman Scott. The group released two albums, 1991's Inside Yours and 1992's Push, before calling it a day.



'Hellboy II' Director Guillermo Del Toro Wants Sequel To Have Fantastical 'Wizard Of Oz' Feel



Stars Selma Blair, Doug Jones also reveal details from the red-hot flick's Hungarian set.








BUDAPEST, Hungary — Think back, if you can, to the first time your mother ever took you to a toy store. Now, combine that with the memory of your first trip abroad. Finally, pretend that a pale, fanged, eyeball-winged Angel of Death was standing alongside you.
Welcome to the set of "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."
"This movie has been very free, much more free than the first one," insisted our tour guide, red-hot "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro, when we flew to a huge Hungarian set and peeked inside his dark, twisted toy box during the film's final days. "You don't have to set up the rules of the world, so you're allowed to, frankly, have more fun."
For those who haven't seen the 2004 film that first brought comicdom's hell-spawn hero to the silver screen, del Toro reached for the stars while telling the tale of a surly rogue demon (Ron Perlman, under nearly as much makeup as Keira Knightley in "At World's End") employed by a secret U.S. organization called the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Alongside pyrokinetic hottie Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), Mensa-eligible merman Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) and others, the big guy continues to do his best to battle the baddies — and keep the war out of sight from our everyday existence.
"In both 'Pan's Labyrinth' and in here, there are many references to different types of fairy tales and the whole realm of a fallen prince coming back to reclaim a world that is fading," the charming-but-frantic del Toro explained between scenes, revealing that the plot has Hell erupting on Earth after an ancient truce between humans and monsters is broken. "There are some [fairy tale-like] things you'll see, and I've tried to give it a more fantasy feel, like 'The Wizard of Oz,' as we go to worlds as opposed to having creatures in our world. ... In the first movie, we have monsters living amongst us, and the difference is in this movie, you go where the wild things are."
These wild things include a werewolf, a strider (an enormous elephant with pointy, spider-like legs), a tooth fairy, trolls and all sorts of weird characters with names like Chamberlain (whose look is described as a thumb with eyes); Fragglewump (who has green, straggly hair that looks like dead plant stems); Berserker, and a sure-to-be-breakout character named Cathedral Head — whose skull looks like a church, complete with windows that light up.
Another eye-opener is Johann Krauss, a fan-favorite BPRD member from the comics, who is basically an old-school metallic character with steam and a light bulb representing the disembodied ectoplasmic spirit within his head. "We went with more of a containment-suit type of look," del Toro said of the character, adding that initial plans to computer-generate his noggin proved prohibitive. "We've used perspective and mirror tricks inside the helmet to keep the head disappeared."
The characters dwell in such places as an enormous underground sewer lair (constructed in an old Hungarian church), a hellacious chamber filled with stolen souls, and a barren wasteland strewn with screaming bodies crystallized into sand. But much like Hellboy's affinity for kittens, the story wouldn't be complete without a soft side.
"Princess Nuala is my name, and I am a half of a twin with my brother," explained beautiful newcomer Anna Walton, who is paired with Luke Goss ("Blade II") to form a yin/yang duo of siblings who kick off the film's plot. "We are a prince and princess, and our father is King Balor [Roy Dotrice, 'Swimming With Sharks'], and creatures of the Earth is what we are. My brother is the evil side, and I'm the good side, and he's trying to wade into war with mankind — and I'm trying to stop it."
In the meantime, Hellboy is dealing with his own demons, wrestling with the still-lingering memories of his deceased surrogate father Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt, returning in a flashback depicting a young Hellboy) and his living-in-sin arrangement with Liz.
"It's worked out about as well as my marriage in real life," Blair joked. "No, it's difficult living with someone, especially a guy that takes up as much room as Hellboy, with as many cats as Hellboy has. ... There's trouble with spending so much time with someone you love, after you're used to being alone and having your way. I use my power a little more in this one, so between my fire and his little-boy sloppy behavior, we're a mess. A lovable mess."
On this particular day, Hellboy and Liz are having a moment with the Angel of Death, in the dead realm of Methmora. Surrounded by jars filled with souls (he snacks on 'em), the horrific-looking Angel (also played by Jones) negotiates with Liz for Hellboy's life.
And here is your first of many warnings: The Angel himself will haunt your nightmares for days after you see the movie. Walking into the dank room and staring face-to-face with what might be del Toro's greatest creation yet, a white, lanky being with a sloped, empty face sizes you up. The creature comes to life when its massive wings open, revealing more than a dozen creepy, blinking eyes that stare down at you in unison.
Pants, consider yourself peed.
Just then, the mouth opens and out comes the warm voice of one of Hollywood's most cordial actors. "The concept of the Angel of Death, like most characters in the film, started as a little sketch pad from a sick mind," laughed Doug Jones, the physical actor who created Abe Sapien in "Hellboy"; the Pale Man and Pan in "Labyrinth"; and, most recently, the Silver Surfer. "['Hellboy' comic creator] Mike Mignola had some say in this, as well as many of the characters in this film."
"There's a goblin involved in this scene, and it shows the BPRD where to find me," Jones explained of the Angel. "And I'm also on the BPRD team [as Abe Sapien in the scene], so that's the confusing part. Abe and Liz and Hellboy get in here with the Goblin's help, and ... the Goblin has helped collect some of my [soul] specimens."
The scene is a pivotal one in the "Hellboy" franchise, as the actors and del Toro all frequently refer to imminent plans for a "Hellboy III," whose plot will largely revolve around the deal Liz makes with the Angel.
"I'm praying that the third one will come, because that would be the strongest one for my character," Blair explained. "The scene we're filming now really hints in the direction of what would happen to Liz and is inferring that she would suffer the most and that this choice is gonna come at a high price. ... For two people in love, and two people with powers, it's a really dramatic third story."
"Mike [Mignola] and I spoke. ... We hope that if there is a third one, it would be about Johann," del Toro said of the new character. "He plays a concrete function, which is the new guy that wants to bring order to the world of the BPRD. ... We're throwing lines out for that story, to take a little more center if there would be a third movie.
"Right now, I'm just making ['Hellboy II'] a good movie," the director laughed, looking forward to the film's July 11 release. "I hope that's enough, because it's killing me."
Check out everything we've got on "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."
Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, reviews, interviews and more.
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Heath Ledger Battled Drug Addiction, Source Confirms To MTV News



A source close to the situation confirmed reports of actor's struggles.








Heath Ledger, who died January 22 in a New York apartment, suffered from an addiction to sleeping medication, a source close to the situation confirmed to MTV News.
Police have speculated that Ledger's death may have been caused by an accidental overdose, although initial autopsy results were inconclusive. The Associated Press reported last week that prescription pills, iincluding those for insomnia and anxiety, were found throughout Ledger's apartment. A full toxicology report is under way, the results from which should be known within a few weeks.
According a recent article on Us magazine's Web site, Ledger's ex-fiancee, Michelle Williams, strongly urged the 28-year-old star to enter Malibu, California's Promises Treatment Center, a rehab facility, in March 2006, just weeks after the pair were both honored with Oscar nominations for their work in "Brokeback Mountain."
Part of Ledger's reluctance to enter rehab in the months leading up to his death may have been a reluctance to "prove his ex right," the source told MTV News.
Ledger's family has responded to media speculation about Heath's death, asking that the world wait for the medical examiner to make a determination before jumping to conclusions. The family also denied Ledger was using drugs.
The confirmation comes a day after several syndicated entertainment shows, including "The Insider" and "Entertainment Tonight," quashed a video that reportedly showed Ledger talking about drugs at a Hollywood party. In the video, Ledger is seen reportedly saying, "I used to smoke five joints a day for 20 years." AP reports that Natalie Portman and Sarah Jessica Parker, among other celebrities, pressured "ET" not to run the video.
(Watch family and friends mourn Heath Ledger in New York on Friday, see him talk about his evolution as an actor in a 2005 interview with MTV News, and read his colleagues' and admirers' reactions about the tragic news right here.)
[This story was originally published at 3:27 p.m. ET on 01.31.08]



'Hannah Montana' Star Miley Cyrus Raves About Hilary Duff, Lays Out Five-Year Plan



'Hopefully, I can just keep singing and acting and just doing what I love and living the dream,' actress/singer says.








BURBANK, California — Miley Cyrus isn't just the world's biggest pop sensation. As the star of the Disney Channel's absurdly popular "Hannah Montana" TV show and a soon-to-be blockbuster 3-D movie, and the voice behind a #1 album, she's become a veritable voice of a whole generation. Go ahead — ask any teen or tween girl.
Now, with "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert," the girl behind the wig is going to step out into the spotlight for the first time. MTV News recently caught up with the 15-year-old starlet to talk about the biggest differences between her two stage personas, who she looks up to, and where she sees herself in five years.
MTV: The movie is subtitled from one of your songs, "The Best of Both Worlds." What does that mean to you? Why is it important for you to show the world both Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus?
Miley Cyrus: Because the kids can relate to the TV show, so I think having Hannah come up onstage is really — it gives it, like, a cool vibe. [But] it shows [just] one girl, but definitely two sides. I like that — you get both tastes of music. And I think it's just really fun. I mean, it was so perfect to name this tour "Best of Both Worlds." It really couldn't have got any better.
MTV: That said, in the film, you do such an easy transition between Hannah and Miley. But what's the biggest difference between the two?
Cyrus: All the styles — not only the hair and the makeup and the wardrobe, all that kind of stuff — it's more the style of music. It's more of a poppy vibe for Hannah, more of like a rock and roll. The [recent] album was called [Hannah Montana 2:] Meet Miley Cyrus, and [that] was more real-life scenarios I could put to a tune.
MTV: So what's something that your fans are gonna watch in this movie and learn about you, the real Miley Cyrus?
Cyrus: I think more than seeing me onstage, it's seeing me backstage, because you get to see me hanging out with my family and my buddies, and riding around in the golf carts. They did such a good job of not overdoing it and making it where you're lilike, "OK, rehearsal, rehearsal!" You get to see me having fun. I like that because they get to really see why I do what I do — it's 'cause I love it.
MTV: My nieces, hand to God, know every single lyric of every single song you've ever put out.
Cyrus: Oh, that is so sweet.
MTV: What do you think in five years they're gonna have memorized? Where does the Miley Cyrus train go from here?
Cyrus: I don't know. I mean, hopefully, I definitely wanna keep doing more writing and another album. So hopefully I can do that sometime this year, but also some films. I'd love to definitely do some more movies, more where I can be an artist and an actress. I'm really excited just to really dig deep into a character.
MTV: In the movie, you're like all the Beatles rolled into one, with all the girls outside screaming and chanting.
Cyrus: Right!
MTV: So on the converse, who's someone that you look up to and idolize?
Cyrus: I think all the Disney girls. They always try to take good girls and make them something that they're not, and so I think that — I just really give them their props for standing up, because it gives all of us [hope]. We're a team. When I'm [out], I'm not only representing myself and the channel, I'm representing all the guys and the girls that are on the channel.
MTV: I've heard you look up to Hilary Duff in particular. Is that right?
Cyrus: Yeah, because she's on Disney, or was on Disney Channel, and she's kind of set the way for all of us, not only just in a business sense, but [by] saying that it is OK to be a good girl. Like, that's cool! It's kind of just given us all inspiration to go out. Whether it was her or not, I would definitely be doing what I'm doing, but she definitely made it more acceptable.
MTV: Is she someone you'd like to follow, to have a career like hers?
Cyrus: For sure. I wanna do it my own way, and I have different ways. [But] she's very vocal about it as well. She likes going out and talking about being a good role model. [Similarly,] in the things I do, like a 3-D movie, where you get to see that it's not fake, it's not just being at an interview and saying, "Yeah, I wanna be a good girl." It's really showing you making right decisions in the movie.
MTV: Have you ever gotten a chance to talk to her? What was the best piece of advice she's ever given you?
Cyrus: It was basically just, "Remember why you do what you do — 'cause you love it." I mean, it definitely stinks when there's an early call time and it's not the best part when you're doing the same thing over and over. There's downs. But remember why you do it. It's not only because you love the business side of it, but looking out and seeing girls smile, you know. When there's not much, when they're going through a negative time in their life, being the one positive thing that they can hold on to, I mean, that's really amazing.
MTV: Is there a dream scenario you have, let's say, when you're 20? In a perfect world, where would you be?
Cyrus: Perfect world is, I think, pretty much now, what I'm doing. Hopefully, I can just keep singing and acting and just doing what I love and living the dream.
Check out everything we've got on "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert."
Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, reviews, interviews and more.
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.
Want trailers? Visit the Trailer Park for the newest, scariest and funniest coming attractions anywhere.



Britney Spears' Parents Call Emergency Hearing Friday, Hope To Gain Control Over Singer's Affairs



Jamie and Lynne Spears are reportedly concerned about manager/friend Sam Lutfi's control over their daughter.








Who should act on behalf of Britney Spears? It's an issue that's been fought over between the hospitalized singer's acting manager and parents, who called an emergency hearing Friday afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court to try to get control over their daughter's affairs.
Jamie and Lynne Spears hope to establish a conservatorship, where they would be co-conservators along with a third independent party, so they would be able to make decisions about their daughter's health care and finances. Those close to the Spears family have said that the cause for concern and urgency in this situation is the influence of manager Sam Lufti, who reportedly has power of attorney over Britney, which her parents are said to want to dissolve.
"This is exactly what I would recommend, given Britney's mental status at the moment," mental-health law expert Carolyn Reinach Wolf told MTV News. "Maybe her mental status at the time she gave Sam Lutfi the legal documents to act on her behalf was compromised, which would void these documents."
Wolf, a senior partner at New York law firm Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger, LLP, said that the Spears family would have to demonstrate that Spears wasn't capable of making that decision, and they would need medical or psychiatric testimony from her treating physicians or another expert who could evaluate the singer. "It seems there are health care issues as well as financial issues," Wolf said, "and really, the only way to get control of that for an adult is to demonstrate she lacked the mental capacity and get authorization to act on her behalf. Those are the only options."
When Spears signed any such paperwork authorizing Lutfi would be an issue, especially if it was in a time of crisis. "That gives them more reason to question it," Wolf said, "and to whom was she giving it to. If you've known someone for a week and you're suddenly changing your will and giving them authority over you, it can be a problem."
Lutfi has known Britney for longer than a week, of course, but there have been questions and concerns regarding his involvement with the singer, including past restraining orders against him and allegations that he has staged paparazzi shots of Britney from which he would benefit financially. (Lutfi has denied these allegations.)
Wolf also recommends that Spears get a restraining order against Lutfi, and if she can't or won't, that her parents do so on her behalf. "If her manager is not acting in her best interest and is exacerbating her psychological issues, the way she can get him to go away is to get a protective order," Wolf said. "She's very open to suggestion, very open to manipulation, very open to being put in a compromising situation right now. She needs a reduction of outside stressers, and she needs to find the right people to manage her affairs until she's well."
Spears behavior in recent months has long been a cause of concern for family and fans.
"Lynne is extremely concerned for her daughter and would like to take Britney back home to Louisiana and get her out of Hollywood," J. Michael Flanagan, one of Britney's lawyers, told PageSix.com. "Brit has an amazing support system in Louisiana. Lynne was holding up reasonably well, but her first priority and concern right now is with her daughter and helping her get through this very tough situation that she is in."



Yael Naim Follows In Feist's Footsteps With MacBook Air Ad



'New Soul' raises singer/songwriter's profile; album arrives Stateside in the spring.








You'll have to forgive Yael Naim if she's at a loss for words. After all, she's still trying to figure out how all this happened.
Born in France, raised outside Tel Aviv, Israel, she's already logged time in the Israeli Defense Forces, done a turn as Moses' sister in a musical version of "The Ten Commandments" and had one nightmarish run with a major label. And now she's somehow wound up as the voice of Apple's new MacBook Air, thanks to a near-ubiquitous commercial featuring her song "New Soul." So, really, please pardon her if she's still a little dumbfounded by the sudden attention she's receiving.
"It's all kind of a mystery, honestly" she laughs. "We don't understand how something we made in my apartment could end up in Apple's ear."
Yet, somehow, "New Soul" did just that, and now Naim appears to be next in line for the same shot of fame that came to Leslie Feist, the Canadian chanteuse whose song "1234" was featured in advertisements for Apple's iPod Nano. Pre-Pod, she was a critically adored, commercially ignored singer/songwriter. After? Well, she's sold more than 500,000 copies of her album The Reminder and scored four Grammy nominations. So is Naim expecting to get much of the same? "Soul" is already one of the most-downloaded songs on the iTunes Music Store ... but, aside from that, she's not really sure what will happen.
"This whole thing is very special, because of the way we made the song, and so we didn't have any dreams about big commercial success. So we are happy and surprised and amazed by how it grow and grows," she said. "We are trying to not — how do you say it — to lose our heads, so we are a little conscious of everything that's happening. But I suppose it's a good thing because people will know the music. Honestly, we do not even know if we will get computers yet!"
That would be especially fitting, since "Soul" — and everything else on Naim's self-titled album, which is due here in the States in the spring — was recorded on a single computer in her Paris apartment. Working with musician David Donatien, she spent more than two years writing, recording, scrapping, re-recording and building a collection of songs that reflect her heritage (she sings in French, Hebrew and English) and her past struggles. And in doing so, she rediscovered the passion for music that drove her as a child.
"I grew up in Israel [and] had a guitar with me at all times. There was also an old organ in my home, so I was always playing that. When I was 9, I began taking classical piano, and then I discovered artists like the Beatles and Aretha Franklin, who taught me about composition and voice," Naim explained. "That was what made me the person I was, and then I lost that somewhere. When I put out my first record [2001's In a Man's Womb], it was a disappointment for me. I had just come to Paris, and I was too young, and the label was too big, and so I just didn't think I could do this anymore.
"But, when I met David, he was the first one to tell me that I could produce and arrange my own music, and that I didn't need to work with big producers," she continued. "I just needed to come and sit down with him and make the music I loved. And that's how I started to find my direction and my voice and look at things that happened in a funny way, which is what this album is about."
And what started as an intimate project between friends suddenly became a smash in her native France, debuting at #11 on the charts and earning her heaps of critical praise. And now, from her Parisian apartment, she has taken to the airwaves in America, which is all the more reason for Naim to be a little bit perplexed by her sudden sorta-fame. So you can understand that, when MTV News called her in Paris, she had something else on her mind: making plans for her first U.S. tour, which, not surprisingly, is shaping up to be a rather intimate affair.
"I am trying to put it together now. I mean, my label here is. But I want it to be like the album. On the album, you can hear the sounds of the neighborhood in the background. It was like the music was all over the room," she said. "So, this tour, the one we are planning now, we are going to make it like being inside my apartment. It will be small, but we will try to welcome everyone inside."



'The Eye': Second Sight, By Kurt Loder



Jessica Alba sees dead people in yet another horror remake.








Jessica Alba is Sydney Wells, a blind concert violinist — I know, I know, but bear with me — who gets double corneal implants to restore the eyesight she lost at age five. Immediately she starts seeing things. Not just seeing things — of course she's seeing things now, although blurrily at first. No, she's seeing things. Like, one night, lying in her hospital bed, she sees a spectral figure enter the room and lead away the old woman in the bed next to hers. When Sydney wakes up the next day, she's told the old woman died in the night. Hmm.
Aside from the blind-violinist part, "The Eye" is basically an amped-up copy of a 2002 Hong Kong horror movie by the brothers Danny and Oxide Pang. That film had a nifty, low-budget kick (and, like this one, felt a little too long). The remake is a slicker piece of product, which is not an altogether bad thing. The French directors, David Moreau and Xavier Paulud ("Them"), were wise to shell out for cinematographer Jeff Jur ("You Kill Me") and soundtrack composer Marco Beltrami ("3:10 to Yuma"); and Jessica Alba was a good choice for the lead — the role doesn't demand much more of her than her creamy presence and boy-bait appeal, but she's capable of more thoughtful expressions than the average B-movie screamstress.
The picture is crassly entertaining, which is okay — who goes to this sort of movie in search of refinement? There are endless, shameless shock cuts to hovering corpses, weird little kids and shrieking fire people — phenomena that only Sydney can see. Is she crazy? Or have those pre-owned eyes of hers arrived with baggage attached? Dr. Paul Faulkner (standard-issue stubbly guy Alessandro Nivola), a neurologist who has eyes of his own for Sydney, would like to buy into the "cellular memory" theory she's dug up on the Internet. And her sister, Helen (Parker Posey), wishes she could do something to help. (Posey's only purpose here is to turn up every 15 minutes or so, act fretful and then disappear.)
But in the end, Sydney herself has to take the situation in hand. This leads her down to Mexico in search of the truth about the woman whose eyes she's inherited. We needn't follow her there right now. More horrors await, and a lot more fire. The movie's disabling flaw is that none of this is new. The stretchy-mouthed ghost folk are derived from Edvard Munch by way of old Chris Cunningham videos, the shocks are all cheap, the ending is ludicrous, and echoes of earlier movies are rampant, from "Repulsion" to "The Sixth Sense." Is the picture in any way worth seeing? Maybe. The question is, where? "The Eye" may not be a made-for-cable movie, but cable will be its natural home.
("The Eye" is a Paramount Vantage co-production. Paramount and MTV are both subsidiaries of Viacom.)
Check out everything we've got on "The Eye."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.



New Jay-Z Song Leaks -- Is Blueprint 3 In The Works?



Rep for MC says 'Ain't I' is an older, unreleased track; declines comment on a new LP.








Is Jay-Z pulling a Jay-Z and dropping another album just a few months after delivering his last LP? (Remember, he used to average a new album every eight or nine months.)
On Wednesday night, the Internet went crazy when a Timbaland-produced Jay song called "Ain't I" leaked.
The record had several drops from DJ Clue promoting it as a song from Blueprint 3 and saying that we can also find it on his mixtape I Am Legend Part 1. Needless to say, fans and music industry insiders alike started buzzing because talk of this album came out of nowhere. The song's leak is especially strange since it seems like Jay's current album, American Gangster, hasn't run its course yet. Only two songs have been released from that opus, and Def Jam recently sent out promo copies of the record "I Know," signaling that it's the next single.
Still, with lyrics on "Ain't I" that relate to Jay-Z's current state of affairs ("I took a pay cut to become a exec/ So the next mother----er can earn his paycheck/ And even though these n---as talk greasy 'bout me/ Ask these n---as how they gonna eat without me!"), people think that there's some validity to rumors about the impending release of Blueprint 3.
"I'm a hustler's hustler/ a gangster's gangster/ I'm a rapper's rapper/ Your favorite, ain't I?" Jay-Z spits. And the beat reminds you of the vibe from his back-in-day Timbaland collaboration "Lobster and Scrimp."
Well, MTV News contacted Jay-Z's rep Wednesday night. Jay's spokesperson said that, while the song may be new to the general public, it is an old recording that was previously unreleased. Jigga's rep also said he has made no announcement about a new LP, Blueprint 3 or otherwise.



EXCLUSIVE PHOTO: ‘Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull’


“It’s not the years,” Indiana Jones tells Marion during a love scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark. “It’s the mileage.”
Forget both. Approximately 27 years after he first exploded onto the big screen, Indy’s wound up right where he started – or, rather, right where he first ended – in this exclusive photo from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which seems to show the world’s most famous archeologist at the government warehouse from “Raiders,” presumably to once again find the Ark (see Lucas compare “Crystal Skulls” to “Raiders” here).

And that, frankly, is baffling. Not from the perspective of overall narrative (cough) arc (cough) – it would be kind of cool, after all, for things to end where they began – but from a question of “how does it fit into the story of THIS movie?”
Within the continuity of the series, remember, God is real. He left artifacts. They work. Will the Ark be the only instrument capable of destroying whatever new threat arises (aliens, Soviets, skulls, etc)? Will something IN the Ark (The Ten Commandments, the Rod of Aaron, Manna from the Israelite trek) be of use to Indy in his quest? More likely, will Indy seek it out merely to protect it from falling into the hands of the villainess Cate Blanchett?
Choose wisely: even the folks at Harvard are still baffled as to what the true power of the crystal skulls are.
No time for love, Dr. Jones – but plenty of time for speculation. What do you make of Indy returning to the warehouse? Why does he need the Ark? What other secrets might he find within? Sound off below.


Mike Huckabee Campaign Report: Candidate Weighs In On Gay Rights, Young Voters ... And Opening For Led Zeppelin?



Republican presidential hopeful insists he's not bowing out of race, explains tax-reform plan.








SAN DIEGO — According to 19-year-old University of California at Irvine student Jared Smith, who is throwing his support behind former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for president, "You need momentum — that's the name of the game in these races. You have to go for a candidate who is going to care about you the most, and I think that's Huckabee, for me."

Momentum is certainly one thing that continues to propel Huckabee's campaign — and MTV News has been following the candidate on the campaign trail to see that momentum build firsthand. One of the four remaining hopefuls contending for the Republican Party's nomination, Huckabee arrived at his first event — a fundraiser at a private Newport Beach, California, home — since placing fourth in Tuesday's Florida primary. He had finished just behind former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who subsequently withdrew from the race before endorsing current front-runner Senator John McCain.
However, the vibe in Newport Beach was far from defeated. A crowd of 100 or so assembled under a tent, where they waited to hear the words of the former pastor.
Huckabee spent the first 20 minutes or so in the reporter circle, answering questions ranging from the conflict in Iraq to his FairTax proposals to immigration. When MTV News asked about young voters, and their draw to his campaign, Huckabee responded, "One thing I've got that none of the other candidates do is the Stephen Colbert bump. I've also promised him the vice-presidential slot when I become the nominee, and I think a lot of people see that that will be the seminal moment in American politics, when we're really able to take the country in a whole new direction."
Huckabee often begins his answers with a joke, which plays to his "likeability" factor, one he's been associated with since he first decided to run for president little more than a year ago. He then went on to talk about his tax- and economic-reform ideas, which he said will bring about positive change for America's youth.
Huckabee recognized the significance young voters have in this election better than perhaps any other Republican candidate. While he may not be as popular with young voters as, say, Senator Barack Obama, he certainly has a bigger following with the under-30 set than any of his Republican competition — which is something that helped him win the Iowa caucus last month, and what might help him on Super Tuesday, when 23 states will cast their votes for the remaining Democratic and Republican presidential nominees. Huckabee is banking on pulling off big wins in Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Alabama.
The notion of a young Republican draws a bit of a paradoxical image, as we tend to think of young voters as advocates of progressive politics, change and liberal social policy. However, there is a new young-conservative movement in America, the emergence of which was abundantly clear at Thursday's Huckabee gathering.
"I like him because he is a Republican and a former Baptist minister, and I agree with his social policies on abortion and gay rights," said Molly Glasby, a high school student. The Huckabee event was the only political rally or candidate speech we've been to, thus far, that started off with a prayer. Watching several young voters bow their heads, reciting the invocation, made it all the more clear just how present the young-conservative movement truly is, even in a town located not too far from Los Angeles.
However, not all young Republicans are interested in Huckabee for his social conservatism. One of the most unique and, for some, compelling aspects of the Huckabee campaign is the FairTax.
"I'm so excited about the FairTax, [because] you get your whole paycheck — it's a consumption tax," said Nick Garzilli, a zealous Huckabee fan and a self-proclaimed one-issue voter. For young people like Nick, who are getting their first paychecks, FairTax can be an extremely appealing policy.
As Huckabee explained to MTV News, "My daughter came home with her first paycheck and asked me where all of her money went." With the FairTax policy, income tax would be eliminated, as would the Internal Revenue Service, and instead, a consumption tax would be instituted, so that people would be taxed on what they buy instead of what they earn.
FairTax also brings the economic policies of candidates to the table and, for many, makes Huckabee's very attractive. As Jared Smith told MTV News, "I pay taxes like everyone else, and I think that Mike Huckabee has the best economic stance of any of the candidates, Democrat or Republican."
While Smith, in fact, used to be a Democrat, and is more socially liberal than Huckabee, issues such as national security, the economy and his love of the "patriotism" of the Republican Party have drawn him to the Huckabee camp. Perhaps Huckabee has made generally "older generation" issues such as taxes and national security relevant to the nation's youth, and thus has garnered their support with greater luck than McCain or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who are ahead of Huckabee in the polls but lagging in popularity among young voters.
Thursday brought MTV News a few obstacles and challenges, as we tried to stay on Huckabee's trail. On an early flight bound for San Francisco, where we were hoping to get a one-on-one with Huck, we were delayed for more than an hour and would be too late for our interview. Finally, after getting ahold of the Huckabee camp, we heard that he was to be in San Diego later in the day and that driving there would be our best chance of catching him. So we exited our northbound flight, piled into a car and headed south to San Diego, hoping to get a few minutes of Huckabee's time.
We tracked him down and finally got our one-on-one, during which we asked him about both the importance of young voters and the issues that matter to them, including the environment, economic policy and gay marriage.
When asked what advice he'd give to young men and women who are struggling with their sexuality, Huckabee said people need to be true to themselves, "but also realize that every decision you make is an important decision that will affect not just your life now, but your life in the future. Relationships ought to be something that bring people together for life partners. The deepest hurt you see in a human being is when they totally give themselves to someone and their trust and love is betrayed. You also need to realize it's a very mature decision that a person ought to enter into, and even one's sexuality — it's a great gift, a wonderful treasure. Even the use of one's own physical body in passions always needs to be in the context of a true relationship, where people have respect for one another and respect for themselves."
Huckabee claimed he wants to take a more responsible approach to conservation and the environment. "I do support cap and trade, which worked for acid rain, but we ought to be oil-independent and oil-free in 10 years," he said. "It's ambitious, but we need to find environmentally friendly, viable, alternative sources of energy that we can produce domestically and that provide for us a renewable and sustainable kind of energy supply."
Huckabee, who plays bass in a band called Capitol Offense, even mentioned he'd like to see his act open up for the recently reunited Led Zeppelin.
"Most of the bands I'd really like to open up for are out of business," he confided. "If you could help my band open up for the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, I'd probably come out and endorse MTV as the official channel of America."
Perhaps the polls indicate that Huckabee will not get the Republican nomination this election season. However, in his presence, polls are quickly forgotten as his momentum, hope and excitement overwhelm the room. When asked about the sentiment that there is currently a two-man race between Romney and McCain for the nomination, Huckabee confidently stated, "I'm not a quitter. ... You can't always win the game, but one way to surely lose is to walk off the field. ... I'm still here."
He then joked, "People are saying it's a two-man race, and if so, I just want to say, John McCain and I will be there till the very last moment." With a roar of laughter from both reporters and his audience, it was again apparent that one thing the Huckabee campaign is not missing is momentum.



Justin Timberlake Smacks Into A Car; Missy, Busta Have 'A Ball': Super Bowl Ad Preview



Shakira, LL Cool J also featured in TV spots for Sunday's big game.








More than 93 million people watched last year's Super Bowl, and with this year's contest only a few days away, will it be the game itself or the ads that get viewers talking the most? "People who aren't even sports fans watch the Super Bowl, just to watch the commercials," Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees, said in a press video hyping the ads.
With that in mind, 26 brands have gone all out this year to provide star-packed ads involving celebs like Jeter, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Shakira, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J. The stars are making appearances via their images and/or music, most of them for Pepsi.
"PepsiCo is the second-biggest advertiser in the Super Bowl this year," after Anheuser-Busch, USA Today advertising reporter Theresa Howard said. "Pepsi-Cola alone, they've got two minutes of ad time. When you've got a big product, you want to be on the biggest stage."
With that in mind, here's a sneak peek of some clips — which run during the Super Bowl at a rate of $2.7 million per 30 seconds — hoping to make a splash.
Pepsi Stuff
For a promotion that promises $1 billion in prizes in conjunction with Amazon, Justin Timberlake puts himself through the ringer, as he's pulled — literally — through New York in a spot called "Magnetic Attraction." "This is a sort of crazy, ridiculous, awesome ride, full of stunts and painful activity," Timberlake said in the press video. "I'm running into buildings, flying up buildings, going through the Hudson River, almost running into cars, taking car doors out, everything you can think of. It's kind of fun but also scary at the same time." The scariest part, besides the damage done to Timberlake's crotch by a mailbox pole? He passes by the window of his biggest fan — a guy in a Britney-esque wig.
Diet Pepsi Max
Everyone's falling asleep at an awards show — even LL, Busta, Missy and Macy Gray, who are up for song of the year. "I have no energy, I'm exhausted, I'm fading quickly," LL Cool J explained. "But then I have a sip of Diet Pepsi Max, and I have a burst of energy that takes me to another level." That level involves bopping their heads to Haddaway's "What Is Love," "Night at the Roxbury"-style. "It makes us think we're in the club," Missy Elliott said. "Drinking it gets you hyped." "It's straight comedy," Busta said. "We had a ball doing it."
Gatorade G2

Derek Jeter walks around the SoHo neighborhood of New York's Manhattan borough, and it grows as green as a baseball field everywhere he steps, to demonstrate how hydrated he is by the low-calorie, off-field drink. "To be honest, when it airs, I'll probably go in the bathroom," Jeter said in the press video. "I'm kind of afraid to see people's reactions."
VitaminWater
Shaquille O'Neal — despite weighing 321 pounds — becomes a jockey in the energy-water ad, in which racing competitor Gatorade is called "Old Man Gator" by the race announcer. Shaq actually rides the horse, though a few shots use effects.
Mountain Dew Amp Energy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. also becomes a jockey of sorts — but instead of a horse, he's got a camel. And who is riding who isn't exactly clear.
SoBe Life Water

All we can tell you about the under-wraps spot for SoBe, which is rumored to have some "thrilling" music that's been licensed for the first time ever for a TV ad, is that it will feature Naomi Campbell and 30 dancing lizards. The music is "top secret," a rep for the company teased. The most the company would tell MTV News is what is available in a commercial "prequel," in which one of the lizards tries to explain to his parents how he'll be appearing in the ad, but "naked."
Bridgestone Tires
Alice Cooper, Richard Simmons and an albino snake — what is it with the reptiles this year? For two 30-second commercials (one between the first and second quarter, the other in the third quarter), Bridgestone (the sponsor for the halftime show) employs nearly 30 animals. The first features woodland creatures, while the second has the stars and the snake.
Audi
In the first quarter, Audi makes viewers an offer they can't refuse — via a "Godfather"-themed spot for the R8 sports car featuring Alex Rocco, a star from the first movie. The full-minute version will only air once, with a 30-second version to air the following day.
Under Armour
Athletes like the Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano run for the new cross-trainer Prototype.
Doritos

It's a battle of the bands called "Crash the Super Bowl," in which unsigned/unknown artists Nivla, Kina Grannis and Landon Austin get a shot at a commercial and a recording contract. Will.I.Am was among the judges for the preliminary rounds.
GoDaddy.com
It's an ad for another ad. Danica Patrick exposes herself on the Web site, which people in this ad flock to go see. No word if it deserves a parental-advisory warning, but there were concerns over the some of the language used in early versions.
Sunsilk

You can bet that Marilyn Monroe did not actually use Sunsilk, but here she is, along with Madonna and Shakira, shaking their iconic 'dos. Sunsilk's spot, to air in the fourth quarter, depends on file footage of the three women for its "Life Can't Wait" campaign, which is set to roll out in 15 countries.
Planters
Paris Hilton might have her movie "The Hottie and the Nottie" out soon, but Planters has its own take on what a "nottie" looks like — uni-brow included — for the second half. Strangely enough, men left and right can't help but fall for her when she walks by. "Planters is going through a product evolution," Howard said. "They're trying to expand being known as just peanuts. They're trying to be a new brand."
Ice Breakers Ice Cubes
Some like it hot. Carmen Electra likes it cold.
Victoria's Secret
In a spot set to appear between the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter, supermodel Adriana Lima will appear dressed in black lingerie and holding a football. The company hasn't released previews of the ad, which is said to be "all about the games men and women play."
Bud Light
Is sports nut Will Ferrell going to show up in character in a Super Bowl commercial? His character in the upcoming film "Semi-Pro," Jackie Moon — the player/owner/coach of losing basketball team the Flint Tropics — is rumored to be making a guest appearance in at least one ad. Now that's pregame buzz.



Michelle Williams Breaks Silence On Heath Ledger's Death: 'My Heart Is Broken'



Actress says her ex-fiance's spirit lives on through their daughter, Matilda Rose.








Nine days after Heath Ledger was found dead at his New York apartment, Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams has issued her first public statement regarding the tragic death of her ex-fiance, pleading with fans and journalists to honor her need for privacy.
"Please respect our need to grieve privately," Williams said in a statement released Friday by her spokesperson, who also represented Ledger. "My heart is broken."
Williams and Ledger met and became romantically involved on the set of the 2005 film "Brokeback Mountain," where they played the Del Mars, a husband and wife separated by his relationship with Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Soon after, Williams gave birth to the couple's only child, Matilda Rose, on October 28, 2005.
It is through the spirit of his daughter that Ledger lives on, Williams said.
"I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father," Williams continued in the statement. "All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day."
According to Williams, that spirit manifests itself in Matilda's burgeoning curiosity, her love for all creatures and her fearlessness in tackling new challenges.
"His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still," Williams said. ""She will be brought up with the best memories of him."
The filming of Williams' latest movie, "Blue Valentine," has been postponed to allow the actress time to mourn. It was set to begin filming February 25.
For more on Heath Ledger's tragic passing, read reactions from his admirers, as well as casting directors he worked with. Also, watch Ledger talk about his evolution as an actor in a 2005 interview with MTV News.



Britney Spears' Dad Gains Control Over Her Affairs; Family Obtains Restraining Order Against Sam Lutfi



Issue will be reassessed Monday afternoon, following an already-scheduled custody hearing.








Who should act on behalf of Britney Spears? A Los Angeles judge decided Friday afternoon that the hospitalized singer's father, who along with her mother called an emergency hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, should have control over their daughter's affairs, at least temporarily.
Jamie and Lynne Spears asked the court to establish a conservatorship, where they would be co-conservators, along with a third independent party, so they can make decisions in regards to health care and finances for their adult daughter. Commissioner Reva Goetz decided that Jamie Spears would be the conservator of Britney's person, as well as her estate, along with attorney Andrew Wallat, who was appointed by the judge. The conservatorship lasts at least through Monday, at which point the issue will be addressed in depth at another hearing that afternoon. Spears' custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline is due for a status hearing that morning.
One of the reasons conservatorship over Britney's estate was sought, court information director Allan Parachini told reporters, was to secure her residence and hire 24-hour guards, giving her father the power to remove people from the residence. He'll also have authority to revoke contracts regarding sales of her assets. Conservatorship over Britney's person means that her father will have access to her medical records, be allowed to communicate with her attending physicians, and can restrict or limit her visitors while she's in the hospital.
The Spears family also obtained a restraining order against Britney's manager, Sam Lutfi, who reportedly had power of attorney over Britney, which is voided by the conservatorship. The civil-harassment order is good for 21 days, at which point it will be reviewed in a hearing set on February 22.
"This is exactly what I would recommend, given Britney's mental status at the moment," mental-health law expert Carolyn Reinach Wolf told MTV News. "Maybe her mental status at the time she gave Sam Lutfi the legal documents to act on her behalf was compromised, which would void these documents."
Wolf, a senior partner at New York law firm Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger LLP, said the Spears family would have to demonstrate that Spears wasn't capable of making that decision and they would need medical or psychiatric testimony from her treating physicians or another expert who could evaluate the singer. "It seems there are health care issues as well as financial issues," Wolf said, "and really, the only way to get control of that for an adult is to demonstrate she lacked the mental capacity and get authorization to act on her behalf. Those are the only options."
When Spears signed any such paperwork authorizing Lutfi's power of attorney would be an issue, especially if it was in a time of crisis. "That gives them more reason to question it," Wolf said, "and to whom was she giving it to. If you've known someone for a week and you're suddenly changing your will and giving them authority over you, it can be a problem."
Lutfi has known Britney for longer than a week, of course, but there have been questions and concerns regarding his involvement with the singer, including past restraining orders against him and allegations that he has staged paparazzi shots of Britney from which he would benefit financially (Lutfi has denied these allegations).
Wolf also approved of the restraining order against Lutfi. "If her manager is not acting in her best interest and is exacerbating her psychological issues, the way she can get him to go away is to get a protective order," Wolf said. "She's very open to suggestion, very open to manipulation, very open to being put in a compromising situation right now. She needs a reduction of outside stressers and she needs to find the right people to manage her affairs until she's well."
"Lynne is extremely concerned for her daughter and would like to take Britney back home to Louisiana and get her out of Hollywood," one of Britney's lawyers, J. Michael Flanagan, told PageSix.com. "Brit has an amazing support system in Louisiana. Lynne was holding up reasonably well, but her first priority and concern right now is with her daughter and helping her get through this very tough situation that she is in."



Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jessica Alba Talks About Going Blind For 'The Eye,' How The Invisible Woman Would Handle Pregnancy

'When you're not sighted, it becomes almost claustrophobic,' actress says.



She plays a blind violinist in her latest movie, but Jessica Alba is seeing things: visions of a future without Sue Storm, a future behind the camera, a career out of the genre ghetto. And, of course, a new baby.


The 26-year-old star of Friday's "The Eye" — and the June 20 comedy "The Love Guru" — sat down with MTV News to discuss her decision to do horror after tackling comedy ("Good Luck Chuck") and action ("Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer"), how the violin never sounded so bad, and her various visions for what the future holds.


MTV: You've done so many genres, especially recently. Why horror, why now?





Jessica Alba: I've always been intrigued with horror. I like horror movies. I wanted to find one that I felt was kind of fitting with who I am as an actress, and kind of where I want to go in my career. I wasn't necessarily intrigued with the overtly gory, torture-based horror movies. To me, it's the psychological thriller, the ghosts, the maybe-she's-crazy, maybe-she's-not. Is she seeing things? Do you believe in it? That aspect was a lot more intriguing to me.


MTV: What your character goes through, that's my worst fear — questioning my own sanity.


Alba: Yeah, for me too.


MTV: So if we were to take your eyes, what would we see?


Alba: [She laughs.] A lot!


MTV: But not in this film. You play a blind woman. What sort of research did you do?


Alba : I spent a lot of time with this woman named Jessica. She's a musician. She's a vocalist. And she competes with people, obviously, who are sighted. She travels to Italy, knows three different languages, does all of this on her own, completely independent. Hails taxis in New York and takes the subway. ... I mean, she's really amazing. So she was really my inspiration for Sydney, her independence and her strength. And then I spent time just trying to learn how to get around and cane-walk and read Braille and all that.


MTV: I would have just turned out the lights and bumped into everything.





Alba: Yeah, you didn't really need to turn the lights off. They give you a sleep mask, and it has foam that covers everything so you can't see anything at all. It's pitch black. And yeah, I would walk around the house, pour myself drinks, simple things, going to the bathroom, all these things that are a part of your everyday life. When you're not sighted, it becomes almost claustrophobic. It's exhausting because all these other senses are at work that you are just not used to.


MTV: How proficient did you end up in violin?


Alba: I did pretty well. It didn't sound great, but I played every note with the music pretty well. The directors had me playing bits of Mozart and Beethoven. They'd bring different music to my room every day and have me learn something else because they weren't sure what I would be actually playing in the movie. So I learned a plethora of different things. It was tough, but I got it down as far as the rhythm goes, and the notes. [She laughs.] But it sounded bad.


MTV: You mentioned earlier that you took this role because it fit with where you wanted to go in your career. Where's Jessica Alba in five years?





Alba: Hopefully, I'll be producing movies [or] even TV. I'm open. I want to produce. I think that's kind of the next avenue for me. And for me as an actress, right now, I'm definitely ready to do a little bit more character-driven, smaller movies. Just a little more plot-heavy when it comes to relationships. And not as much in a tent-pole movie or genre-specific — it'd be nice to do stuff that's just a little bit smaller just to balance it out a bit.


MTV: Not genre-specific? Do you find your work in genre films limiting?


Alba: No. I mean, I got to do "Fantastic Four," "Sin City," "Dark Angel" — I've done all different types of roles within the genre, and this, "The Eye." And I've gotten to play great characters in all of them. But I think I'm just ready to do something that's maybe more an emphasis on acting and the characters and less on "Can I open this movie?"


MTV: How about uglying yourself up for a role like Charlize Theron?


Alba: Sure, of course, yeah. Anything that's a good role, good writing, good character — that's the most important thing.


MTV: I would never be so gauche as to ask you about your pregnancy. That said, how would the Invisible Woman handle pregnancy?





Alba: [She laughs.] I think she'd be pretty funny about it, definitely a good sense of humor about it. And you kinda do when you're pregnant. You kinda have to laugh at it and surrender a bit, because your body's being taken over by this other thing completely.


MTV: Mike Myers is sort of known for his catchphrases. Does he have any in "The Love Guru"?


Alba: He has a lot of catchphrases. It's filled with catchphrases.


MTV: You have a favorite?


Alba: I like "Oh, behave!" Yeah, he's really funny. He coins phrases. Our pop culture is almost molded by him to some degree. He's a genius, an absolute genius.

Josh Hartnett Will Enter A 'Papier-Mache World' For Upcoming Flick 'Bunraku'

'It's in the vein of 'Sin City' or something like that, where the world doesn't look like reality at all,' actor says from Sundance.


PARK CITY, Utah — Much like Brad Pitt and Robert Redford before him, Josh Hartnett is becoming increasingly intent on lending his leading-man looks to the edgy, artistic scripts that are his true passion. Now, following his efforts that helped get "Sin City" made, the 29-year-old star is involved in what could be cinema's next great leap forward.





"I'm going to Romania to shoot this film called 'Bunraku,' " Hartnett revealed to MTV News, invoking a title based on a 400-year-old form of Japanese puppet theater. "All the cast isn't set yet, but it's going to be a lot of really interesting actors, in this weird kind of papier-mâché world."


As Hartnett's fans remember, the heartthrob was approached in January 2003 by Robert Rodriguez, who was intent on showing "Sin City" creator Frank Miller that Hollywood could film his material without sacrificing its quality. After lending his time for nothing more than a test, Hartnett's scene got the film made and eventually was reused as the opening take of the revolutionary 2005 flick. Now, Hartnett is once again breaking new visual territory with "Bunraku" — a trippy film with a puppetry-meets-Origami look, which the actor compares to Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope," in that it will play out (or at least appear to play out) in one long, unedited take.


"I don't even know how to explain it," Hartnett grinned. "It's odd; it's out there. I've been trying to do as much artistic fare as I can and things that are compelling to watch as well."


He'll hope to accomplish exactly that in a few months, when he relocates to Southeastern Europe to film the 21st-century tale of an old-fashion man with no name. "It's a story of revenge," the "30 days of Night" star explained. "My character is called 'The Drifter,' and he comes into this world that doesn't look like anything like you've ever seen before. It's in the vein of 'Sin City' or something like that, where the world doesn't look like reality at all."


The flick will mix CGI and practical sets to create the world of "Bunraku," a style of Japanese storytelling that uses 4-foot-tall puppets with highly detailed heads, each operated by several puppeteers who blend into the background wearing black robes and hoods.


"Some of the scenes are gonna be more Michel Gondry-like I guess," he said, citing some degree of influence by the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" visionary. "But a lot of them will be green screen as well."


"[The script] has a lot of fight sequences in it, but it's more about these crazy characters," Hartnett explained. "Like my character, he's a gypsy and he's coming into town and he's got something to prove — and no one really knows what he's about."


During his attempts to describe the defiantly indescribable look of "Bunraku," Hartnett kept hearkening back to that groundbreaking Frank Miller film he lent himself to several years ago. "It's not fantasy. Well, I mean, it's fantasy in that it's not reality, but it's not 'Narnia,' " he said. "It's a film that, I don't know how to stick it into a genre, but I would say it's more a film like 'Sin City' than anything else."


At the Sundance Film Festival last week to promote his upcoming dot-com drama "August," Hartnett revealed that "Bunraku" has shuffled his upcoming film schedule considerably. In addition to "August," he'll soon continue his film-festival tour with a trip to Cannes to promote the Hong Kong private-eye flick "I Come With the Rain." He also revealed that his indie football drama "Endzone" won't begin filming until 2009 at the earliest.

Diddy, Beyonce, Ne-Yo Make 'Spotlight Live' New York's Hot Tuesday-Night Ticket

Stars come out for weekly R&B showcase; Naughty by Nature, Bad Boy artists were this week's attraction.

The flyest spot in New York on Tuesday nights is definitely Spotlight Live. 1st Class Entertainment puts on a weekly extravaganza called R&B Live where some of the biggest names in R&B — both now and from back in the day — jump onstage and sing with a live band. It's a sexy night for the music industry, where stars like BeyoncĂ©, Mya, Fantasia, Ne-Yo, Lil' Mo, Jade, Jagged Edge and others have shown the crowd that real singing will never die.

On Tuesday night, Diddy hosted a showcase for a gaggle of R&B acts on his Bad Boy label. He has a slew of releases coming in the next few months and wanted to let his friends in showbiz know why he's so excited. Fat Joe, Ray J, Missy Elliott and Naughty by Nature were among those in the audience.

First up to bat were Diddy's all-male group, which is still going by the name "Making the Band 4." When are they going to get a real name? The guys did show that they had real talent, getting applause from the audience with their brief set. It was a tough start though, because the guys' mics were messed up and they actually had to leave the stage while the technical difficulties were resolved. Upon their return, the guys performed their new single, "Got Me Going," and at certain points, you could see Puff sitting at the head of table giving instructions to the guys with their dance moves.

"The goddess of Bad Boy," Cheri Dennis, came out afterward and performed her new single "Portrait of Love." Dennis, who's been on the label for years, had the presence of veteran. Her album In and Out of Love was released digitally a few weeks ago, and the hard CD comes out on February 26.

The highlight of the night was definitely Janelle Monet, who looks like she has the most star potential of any of Bad Boy's new breed — she even had her own fan section sprinkled throughout the audience. She wearing a bow tie (!) and, on a scale of 1 to 10, her energy level was at 15. Her sound reminds you of bit of Panic! at the Disco mixed with Estelle and Kelis — call it soulful punk-pop.

"We need that," said Diddy — who spent a lot of time going from his seat to the stage — after his show-stealer left the stage. She got the loudest ovation of the night. "We need that in music. A star got up on this stage tonight!"

The vibe was so up that '90s singer Jeff Redd, who helped discover Mary J. Blige and get her signed, got up onstage and sang his two most well-known records, "I Found Lovin' " and "You Called & Told Me." Naughty by Nature followed, getting up from the crowd and giving a potent medley of their classics "O.P.P.," "Uptown Anthem," "Feel Me Flow" and "Hip Hop Hooray." However, the trip down memory lane jumped the shark minutes later when Dana Dane got onstage. Not that the crowd doesn't love the old-school MC, but when he started singing "Dayyyyyyynnnnna Dane.com" instead of "Dayyyyyyynnnnna with fayyyyyyme," his time onstage was going downhill.

Danity Kane, who arrived late because of a photo shoot, closed out the night. Dressed down in shorts and jeans, the ladies sang "Show Stopper" and their new single, "Damaged."

Making the Band 4 drop their debut LP on March 11, while Danity Kane release Welcome to the Dollhouse on March 18.

Juelz Santana Reveals That, Like Jim Jones, He Hasn't Been Speaking With Cam'ron Either

'In a family, you'll always have problems,' the youngest Dipset star tells MTV News.


Last year was filled with plenty of ups and downs for Juelz Santana and the Diplomats.

Among the high points was Freekey Zekey being home for the duration of 2007 after experiencing a couple of turbulent years. In past years, the rapper (real name: Ezekiel Jiles) had been shot and served a prison sentence in North Carolina stemming from a drug rap.

Then of course there was the murder of Stack Bundles, a Byrd Gang member/ Dipset associate, and the widening rift between the Harlem, New York, collective's leaders, Cam'ron and Jim Jones.

So just how did the youngest Dipset star deal with the turbulence? According to Santana, he addresses it all on his upcoming album, Born to Win, Built to Lose (the Reagan Era), which he said is tentatively due in the summer.

"I deal with everything," he told MTV News last week on the Brooklyn set of Sean Kingston's new video, "There's Nothing." "If you know me and listen to all my albums, I pretty much talk about everything as they go, so, you know, you'll pretty much get a whiff of everything. I don't dwell — you won't get a whole album [full of] sorrow, never that. You gonna get that ish, bottom line. I'm gonna talk about everything, I'm gonna give you everything, I'm gonna do what I gotta do."

Although Santana has been relatively quiet regarding Cam and Jones' battle, he has gone on record saying he supports them both. He calls their dispute an argument that's been blown out of proportion, similar words to what Jones told MTV News in July when asked about the status of the "We Fly High" rapper's relationship with Cam'ron.

It's worth noting, though, that Juelz hasn't spoken to Cam in a few months, he said.

"Bottom line, in a family, you'll always have problems," Santana explained. "Like, I argue with my mother, I argue with my [own] brother sometimes. So that's pretty much what it was. I feel like the whole Jim and Cam situation kinda got blown out of proportion. People found out they weren't speaking and they thought it was more than what it was. And it was just that. Me? Like I said, the reason you never heard nothing from me [is] because I love Cam, I love Jim Jones."

Santana didn't offer any more clarity on his feelings about the feud, but he did extend an olive branch to fans who continue to support the crew.

"Look out for [a new Diplomats] album," he said. "I can tell you that ... Diplomatic Immunity 3 will be coming soon."

As of press time, neither participating artists nor a track list were confirmed for DI3.

Britney Spears' Mother Speaks About Recent Drama: 'I'm Doing As Well As Can Be Expected'

Meanwhile, Dr. Phil says on Wednesday morning talk shows, 'I hear now [Britney] is seeing someone and is getting some help.'

After months of estrangement, Britney Spears and her mother were reunited in Los Angeles Sunday night. Before she saw her daughter, though, Lynne Spears gave Life & Style a quick update.

"Britney's on my mind day and night," Spears told the magazine. "She never leaves my thoughts. I love Britney dearly. I want nothing more than to protect her and make everything all right for her. ... I'm doing as well as can be expected. I'm doing my best."

The day after Britney's mother arrived in Los Angeles, Barbara Walters announced on "The View" that the two were back in touch. After speaking with Spears adviser Sam Lutfi, Walters told her audience, "Her mother has been very supportive of whatever it is Britney's going to do."

That includes getting medical care, as Lutfi also told Walters that the singer has been to a psychiatrist. "And I assume starting having some kind of treatment," Walters added. "He said Britney was suffering from mental issues which are treatable. She's been having mood swings and having trouble sleeping."

That might explain Spears' oft-photographed late-night romps around town — visits to dance studios, gas stations and pharmacies, including the Longs Drugs store she visited with her mother Monday night as talk of an intervention was in the air. Though Dr. Phil McGraw — who drew criticism for going public about his visit to the singer when she was hospitalized earlier this month — had previously said Spears was "in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention," he cleared the air about his involvement with her on "Good Morning America" and "Today" Wednesday morning (January 30). Addressing speculation that he had planned an intervention with the Spears family, he told Diane Sawyer, "Not true.

"I hear now she is seeing someone and is getting some help," McGraw continued. "I hope it's true."

When asked if he would be willing to say whether Britney is bipolar, McGraw responded, "Of course not. I'm not willing to say that. Everyone else is willing to say that."

"I did not go there to diagnose her," he added, defending his hospital visit. "I did not go there to treat her. I did not go there to see her as a professional. It would be really wrong for me or anyone else who is saying that right now to opine about what's wrong with her."

McGraw said he had not reached out to the Spears' family, nor had he wanted to manipulate the situation for his own publicity. "Lynne reached out, [saying,] 'What do we do? Where can we send her? What can happen?' " McGraw told "Good Morning America." "I didn't say a word about this situation for the entire year we were speaking. If that was what I was interested in, I had an entire year to do that."

If Lynne were to reach out again, McGraw told "Today," he and his wife, Robin, would take the call. "I wish them well. I wish her well."

Fox News' Expert Backs Down From Xbox 'Mass Effect' Sex-Scene Attack

But author Cooper Lawrence questions gamers' method of revenge.

Nearly a week after slamming the Xbox 360 role-playing game "Mass Effect" on Fox News for its sexual content, author and psychology expert Cooper Lawrence backed down on some of her comments and took gamers to task for their chosen method of revenge.

Lawrence's response followed several days of Internet frenzy that made her the most disliked person in the video game blogosphere and resulted in several hundred scathing reviews of her newest book on Amazon. While Lawrence hasn't completely retracted her comments, she has offered some clarification.

"In hindsight, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to play this game before appearing on the program," Lawrence said in a statement released to MTV News by her publicist. "As a developmental-psychology expert, I was asked to appear on this particular show to discuss the broader issue of video games and their impact on developing adolescents, not as an expert on 'Mass Effect.' "

Lawrence had earned gamers' scorn because of her appearance on Fox News' "Live Desk With Martha MacCallum" on January 21 opposite game journalist Geoff Keighley to discuss the report that "Mass Effect" allegedly features "full digital nudity and sex." Keighley — and later, thousands of gamers on message boards — said the report was inaccurate, that the M-rated game was not filled with sex, just one network-TV-friendly sex scene late in the 30-hour game. Electronic Arts, which owns the studio behind "Mass Effect," called upon Fox News for a correction.

On Saturday Lawrence told The New York Times that before the Fox News report about the game's sex scene began, she "had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said, 'It's like pornography.' But it's not like pornography. I've seen episodes of 'Lost' that are more sexually explicit."

In her statement provided to MTV News, Lawrence didn't back down completely. She said she recognized she misspoke when she had said the game involves a man "deciding how many women he wants to be with." But she said, "I firmly stand by the research I cited that violence and sexual content in video games has a desensitizing effect on young developing minds." Among her research was a University of Maryland report that found male gamers more willing to accepting stereotypes in games than female gamers.

Lawrence's comments were only part of the story last week. Gamers took matters into their own keyboards by attacking her where they thought it would hurt — on the Amazon.com listing for the book that was plugged during her Fox News appearance, "The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace with Your Inner Overachiever." Within a few days, the listing featured more than 400 scathing user reviews, many by gamers who admitted to not reading her book but said they should be allowed to lambaste it anyway, as they felt she had done to the video game.

As of today, however, most of those reviews have been deleted, and Amazon now only lists 52 reader reviews. They still have a negative slant: There are 45 one-star reviews; seven two-star review, all written after Lawrence's Fox News appearance. But any reviews that mentioned video games or "Mass Effect" by name are gone.

Typical of those that do still appear is a review that states: "How can you judge something, without ever doing it? Well, this woman seems to make a living off it. Please do not let yourself be wrapped up in this woman's shenanigans. You will save yourself the headache."

In her statement Lawrence, whose name was dragged through the mud for days, addressed the review-revenge strategy. "I believe that the customer-review feature on Amazon.com is not the appropriate forum to discuss an unrelated news segment. I appeared on a news program that provides an opportunity for debate on topics that have been previously covered by the media. Amazon's customer-reviews feature functions as a platform to review a product sold on their site, in this case my book, the topic of which does not relate to video games and/or 'Mass Effect.' "

An Amazon spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment about the removal of the reviews by press time. But a debate about their removal has already stirred in the message board attached to Amazon's "Cult of Perfection" listing. The Amazon page in question also reveals insight into just how gaming-focused the people visiting Lawrence's listings are. After viewing the listing for "Cult of Perfection," customers typically don't buy a book. They buy the video games "No More Heroes" or "Advance Wars: Days of Ruin."

Fox News has not offered a correction to the piece. A spokesman for the company told MTV News last week that the outlet is offering representatives from EA an opportunity to come on-air and say their piece.

John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani End Presidential Bids

'It's time for me to step aside, so that history can blaze its path,' former North Carolina senator says.

As expected, Florida became the equalizer Tuesday night, signaling the end of campaign bids by former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Edwards suspended his campaign just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday (January 30) in New Orleans, where he began his second run for the presidency back in December 2006. Giuliani announced he was throwing in the towel around 6 p.m. and endorsed Republican front-runner Senator John McCain.

"It's time for me to step aside, so that history can blaze its path," Edwards said in New Orleans. "We must do better if we want to live up to the promise of this country we love so much." The former senator has not yet endorsed another candidate.

The Democratic Party, he added, "will be strong, unified, and ... will take back the White House in November. I have spoken to both [Obama and Clinton], and they both pledged to me, and through me, to America, that they will make ending poverty central to their campaigns and ... presidencies. This son of a mill worker will be just fine."

With McCain at his side, Giuliani admitted defeat later Wednesday in California, praising McCain as a true "American hero." GOP candidates were slated to debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday night.

"When you run for president of the United States, you spend a lot of time thinking about the qualities you want in the chief executive of the United States — someone who can be trusted in times of crisis, someone with a clear vision of the challenges facing this nation. Obviously, I thought I was that person. The voters made a different choice. I made it clear at different times of this campaign, that if I decided not to run, the one person I clearly would have supported for president is John McCain."

The end of the line for Edwards, who ran alongside Senator John Kerry in their failed 2004 bid for the White House, closes the book on a campaign that sought to shine a light on the issues of poverty and health care in what the candidate often referred to as the economically divided "Two Americas." The most liberal of the major Democratic candidates, Edwards often spoke of the poverty he endured in his childhood and how his rise to the position of a multimillionaire lawyer, investor and anti-poverty activist was the perfect example of the possibilities offered by America.

Overshadowed almost from day one by the more headline-worthy tandem of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Edwards was unable to raise as much funding as his rivals and, more recently, had to struggle to get camera time during televised debates. His platform included withdrawing American troops from Iraq, providing universal health care and eliminating poverty, as well as ambitious plans like his "College for Everyone" proposal, which he discussed during an MTV/MySpace political forum in New Hampshire last year.

Given his frequent railing against large corporations and special-interest money in politics, experts predict it is unlikely that Edwards will endorse Clinton, though CNN reported that the two met recently, possibly to discuss a vice presidential slot for Edwards, though that too seems unlikely given their differing political philosophies. Edwards managed to win 62 delegates during his run, coming in third place in New Hampshire, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina and Nevada following his surprising second-place showing in Iowa on January 3.

Though his battles to get heard above the din of the Obama-Clinton roar were difficult, Edwards faced a bigger fight early on in the campaign, when he and wife Elizabeth announced last March that her cancer had returned. Standing side by side, the couple vowed to continue campaigning despite Elizabeth's diagnosis.

Both Obama and Clinton issued statements Wednesday morning praising Edwards. "John Edwards has spent a lifetime fighting to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the struggling, even when it wasn't popular to do or covered in the news," Obama wrote. "At a time when our politics is too focused on who's up and who's down, he made a nation focus again on who matters — the New Orleans child without a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the families who live in that other America that is not seen or heard or talked about by our leaders in Washington. John and Elizabeth Edwards have always believed deeply that we can change this — that two Americans can become one, and that our country can rally around this common purpose. So while his campaign may end today, the cause of their lives endures for all of us who still believe that we can achieve that dream of one America."

Clinton's statement read, "John Edwards ended his campaign today in the same way he started it — by standing with the people who are too often left behind and nearly always left out of our national debate. John ran with compassion and conviction and lifted this campaign with his deep concern for the daily lives of the American people. That is what this election is about — it's about our people. And John is one of the greatest champions the American people could ask for. I wish John and Elizabeth all the best. They have my great personal respect and gratitude. And I know they will continue to fight passionately for the country and the people they love so deeply."

According to a recent Associated Press/Yahoo poll, four of 10 Edwards supporters preferred Clinton as their next favorite candidate, with a quarter saying Obama would be their second choice.

As for Giuliani, his resounding defeat in Florida on Tuesday night brought an end to a campaign that featured one of the most disastrous gambles in modern political history. By focusing almost exclusively on Florida and largely ignoring the early primaries and caucuses, Giuliani fell so far behind the Republican field that even a win in Florida — where he was leading by double digits as recently as last month — might not have saved his floundering campaign.

Britney Spears Might Have To Pay K-Fed's Legal Fees; Plus Hannah Montana, Oscars, Death Cab For Cutie & More, In For The Record

Tickets for Montana movie selling quick; Academy Awards have a backup plan; Death Cab name LP.



Kevin Federline's lawyer wants Britney Spears to pay up. Mark Vincent Kaplan filed a motion Tuesday asking the court to make Spears foot his client's attorney bill, according to TMZ. The Web site estimates the fees to be more than $500,000 since the custody battle began in July. A hearing on the request is set for March 10. ...


The 3-D flick "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" accounted for roughly 90 percent of ticket sales at Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com as of Wednesday morning (January 30), even though it will only open in 684 digital theaters on Thursday at midnight, Reuters reports. ...


The Academy Awards have a backup plan in the event that the ongoing writers' strike doesn't resolve itself by then, The Associated Press reports. The February 24 ceremony's contingency program would include "history and packages of film and concepts that are not normally ones that we would have for the show if we were moving straight ahead," Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis reportedly said Wednesday. The Academy is in talks with the Writers Guild of America, AP says. ... Death Cab for Cutie have slapped a title onto their next album, which is due in May. According to a post on the indie-rockers' Web site, they're calling it Narrow Stairs. ...


What would a year be like without the Snoop Bowl? Snoop Dogg announced on Wednesday that he will stage the event for a sixth time — and he's going to have to hustle, since he's planning for it to happen Saturday. The charity game will be held at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Matt Leinart Foundation, a group set up by the Arizona Cardinals quarterback that helps disadvantaged youth. Leinart will be in attendance at the Bowl. ... A day later is the Super Bowl, of course, and ESPN is planning to sport an odd musical combo on its "Sunday NFL Countdown" pregame show prior to Sunday's big game. Acoustic heavy-metal duo Rodrigo y Gabriela will perform and chat on the show. ...


All hail Madonna: the singer is the richest woman in music, according to Forbes.com. Madge reportedly earned a staggering $72 million between June 2006 and June of last year, with her Confessions tour raking in $260 million. Also earning big bucks were Shakira ($38 million), Beyoncé ($27 million), Gwen Stefani ($26 million), Christina Aguilera ($20 million), Mariah Carey ($13 million), Hilary Duff ($12 million), Avril Lavigne ($12 million), Britney Spears ($8 million), Carrie Underwood ($7 million), Nelly Furtado ($7 million), Fergie ($6 million), Jennifer Lopez ($6 million) and Norah Jones ($5.5 million). ... Brangelina better have a lifetime supply of Pampers — the couple are expecting more children, according to UsMagazine.com. Angelina Jolie, who already has four children with Brad Pitt, is reportedly pregnant with twins with her mate. ...


Keep your eye out for unreleased freestyle and video footage from Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop superstars that will surface on UrSession.com, a new social-networking site that launches Thursday in beta form. The site, hatched by System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, along with King Tech and MTV News' own Sway, will also feature a music label and an area that allows artists to audition their music. The unreleased hip-hop footage is coming courtesy Sway and Tech's "Wake Up Show." ... Ruben Studdard just can't catch a break anymore. The former "Idol" champ, who was dropped by J Records last year after his 2006 LP, The Return, tanked, is suing a concert promoter for breach of contract. TMZ reports that Studdard is seeking $45,000 from Dallas company Peachez Inc. in a suit filed Monday in New York Supreme Court. ...


Organizers of the Melbourne leg of Australia's Big Day Out festival were defending themselves Tuesday against charges that they could have done a better job with security during a set Monday by bombastic reunited rockers Rage Against the Machine. According to the Herald-Sun, dozens of fans in the crowd of 46,000, the biggest ever for a Melbourne Big Day Out show, climbed to precarious spots on top of marquees, speaker stacks and trees, forcing headliners Rage to stop playing for a bit as security pulled them down. Two men were also seriously injured during the set after falling off a marquee — one dislocated his shoulder and the other suffered spinal shock — and one crowd-surfer was pulled over the barrier unconscious, according to the paper. Fans reportedly complained of overcrowding and a floor plan that made the crowd aggressive, though organizers said that considering it was the first year at a new venue, things went smoothly. "This is the first year at a brand-new venue and, generally, everything ran very well," said spokesperson Miranda Brown. In all, 11 people were transported to the hospital during or after the event and 413 were treated, mostly for minor injuries. ...


Mötley Crüe have written 10 songs for their forthcoming LP, according to bassist Nikki Sixx. "I'm very proud of the songs," he said in a post on his Web site. "I think we're onto some of the better songs we've had in years. Time will tell, of course." Some of the songs slated to appear on the record include "A Scar on Hollywood Blvd" and "The Saints of Los Angeles." Sixx said the record will be named The Dirt — calling to mind the band's autobiography, "The Dirt - Mötley Crüe: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band" — and the lyrics will follow the story in the book. "It's challenging and exciting to have to write the songs into time capsules spreading over years," Sixx said in his post. "I've written a lot of songs with [guitarist] Mick Mars ... and the chemistry in the studio as we're writing is unbelievable." ... Pink is not alone: Like the pop singer, Chrissie Hynde is joining People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' protest over horse-drawn carriages in New York. The Pretenders frontwoman, who was married years ago while sitting in a horse-drawn carriage in Manhattan, will lead a PETA protest and talk with tourists on Thursday. She's also backing a recently introduced bill that would ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC. ...


30 Seconds to Mars premiered their new short film, "A Beautiful Lie," Wednesday on MySpace. The band claims the video for the title track from its 2005 platinum album marks the first time a music clip has been shot 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland. "Shooting in Greenland was a dream come true and one of the most exciting adventures we've ever had as a band," singer Jared Leto said in a statement. "Although incredibly challenging and at times it seemed just out of our reach, once we finally arrived, the beauty and magnificence of the terrain, the wonderful culture of the people, and the amazing journey itself were all inspiring beyond belief. Almost everyone has heard of global warming by now but for the people of Greenland it is a real and tangible problem of today, not an issue of tomorrow. This journey changed our lives." The band and the video's director worked with the National Resource Defense Council to find ways to offset the environmental impact of filming, including minimizing fuel consumption and buying certificates supporting renewable-energy generation that offset the environmental effects of burning coal, gas and other fossil fuels across North America. ...


Papa Roach are down a drummer following the departure of Dave Buckner, frontman Jacoby Shaddix confirmed in a post on the band's MySpace page. "It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do," he wrote of the split. "He's taking this time to get his life together. We are still friends and still talk on a regular basis. The road is a hard place to live, and if you are falling apart, it will destroy you. He will be missed." There's no word yet on whether the band has found or is searching for Buckner's replacement. ... Chevelle and Finger Eleven — who opened for Evanescence last year — will hit the road together again starting February 19 in Flint, Michigan. Dates run through April 2 in Denver. ... Face to Face will reunite for some upcoming live shows after breaking up in 2003. There are no immediate plans for a full scale tour, but the punk outfit will play select festival dates in the U.S., including Bamboozle Left, which is set for April 5 in Irvine, California. ...


John Oates' mustache — yeah, the one you might've seen on your parents' old Hall & Oates records — is so famous that it's getting its own cartoon, according to Glenwood Springs, Colorado's Post Independent. "My mustache has superpowers," Oates, who has since shaved off the 'stache, told the paper. The 'toon is reportedly in development. ... While dating your tourmate would be pretty convenient, Miley Cyrus insists that she and Jonas Brothers heartthrob Nick Jonas are not an item. "We're just really good buds," the singer told USA Today. The "Hannah Montana" starlet was on the road with the band of brothers for the Best of Both Worlds Tour from October till December, before the Jonases were replaced by Aly & AJ. ... It's still unclear who, exactly, is in the re-formed New Kids on the Block, but after 14 years apart, the reunited boy band has a new song on its Web site. Portions of a new, untitled track have been posted on the NKOTB site over a montage of images highlighting their career. The piano ballad features the lines, "I know it's hard to see me go/ To see me standin' so close to the door/ And I know it's hard when I'm far away/ But I promise you when I get back, I'll stay." The clip ends with the words, "Are You Ready?" flashing on the screen.


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The next time you see Missy Elliott, she's going to be in 3-D. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Studios is creating a stereoscopic 3-D video for Missy that combines the tunes "Ching-a-Ling" and "Shake Your Pom Pom." The songs will appear on the February 5 soundtrack to the dance sequel "Step Up 2 The Streets" and might resurface on the rapper's yet-untitled new LP, due in May. The video will premiere on "TRL" on Monday. ...


A New York judge denied Foxy Brown's request to get out of jail early so she can go to California for an ear examination and for a repair of her electronic ear implant. According to The Associated Press, the Manhattan district attorney's office reported on Monday that State Supreme Court Justice Melissa Jackson will not allow Brown, 29, to go to Los Angeles for the treatment, which prosecutors argued she could get just as easily in New York, where she is being held for violating her probation. ...


Styles P, Ray J and Large Professor have huddled together with AZ to help the hip-hop lyricist with his new album — it's Undeniable. The disc is due February 19. ...


Former "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken, who has faced questions about his sexuality since entering the spotlight more than four years ago, recently told New York magazine that not only is he sick of answering questions about his preferences, he's tired of thinking about something that he simply doesn't have time for. Aiken told the magazine that his social life is "nonexistent, really I'm not a nighttime person." While he's in New York performing in the Broadway production of "Monty Python's Spamalot," he does not plan on dating anyone and is not involved with anyone. "Heck, no," he said, adding that his only companions are "my dogs." Not only that, but Aiken, 29, claims that he's never had a romantic relationship, unless you count the girls he took to dances in high school. "I just don't have an interest in ... any of that at all. I have got too much on my plate," he told the magazine. "I'd rather focus on one thing and do that when I can devote time to it, and right now, I just don't have any desire." ...


The Arctic Monkeys scored a record seven nominations for this year's NME Awards, including nods for Best Album, Best Live Band, Best Album Artwork, Best Video, Best Track and Best British Band, for which they'll be competing against Babyshambles, the Cribs, Klaxons and Muse. The news was more mixed for Amy Winehouse, who is up for Best Solo Artist, but also Worst Dressed and Villain of the Year, where she'll get stiff competition from U.S. President George Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The awards will be handed out in London on February 28. Radiohead are in the running for Best Album, and the Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, the Killers, Kings of Leon and My Chemical Romance are up for Best International Band. My Chem also picked up a nomination for Worst Band, where they will compete with Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds to Mars and Panic at the Disco. ...


Peter Bjorn and John made a big splash in '07, but bandmember Peter Morén has actually been hammering away at an album of his own for many years, and it's finally good to go. The Last Tycoon, the Swede's first solo outing, is more low-key and acoustic than PB&J's Writer's Block release, and is due April 8. The album incorporates vibraphones, strings, synthesizers, a musical saw, drum machines and more. ... Andrew McMahon (Jack's Mannequin, Something Corporate) is the subject of a new documentary narrated by Tommy Lee. "Dear Jack," due later this year, revolves around the singer/pianist's recent battle with leukemia. "Andrew is such a hero, and I jumped at the opportunity to help tell this incredible story," Lee — who played drums for the first Jack's Mannequin album, Everything in Transit — said in a statement. Almost five years after the release of his major-label debut, Chariot, which featured the hit "I Don't Want to Be," Gavin DeGraw will finally release his more rock-leaning self-titled follow-up this spring, according to Billboard. The first single is "In Love With a Girl." ...


You know whose fault all this illegal music-file downloading is? Your Internet service provider, that's who! At least according to longtime U2 manager Paul McGuinness, who laid the blame on ISPs in a fiery speech Monday at the annual MIDEM international music conference in France. According to the Los Angeles Times, McGuinness' keynote address targeted ISPs as both the primary culprits and potential healers of the worldwide record industry's ongoing ills. "I think the failure of ISPs to engage in the fight against piracy, to date, has been the single biggest failure in the digital music market," he said. "They are the gatekeepers with the technical means to make a far greater impact on mass copyright violation than the tens of thousands of lawsuits taken out against individual file-sharers." McGuinness added that he thinks the prosecution of music fans for illegally downloading music is "counterintuitive," even if there is an "educational and propaganda" effect to them, then issued a challenge to ISPs to do the right thing, suggesting legislation might be required if they don't. McGuinness also had harsh words for record companies who don't treat artists fairly and said U2 have always been one of those bands who "understood that it would be pathetic to be good at the music and bad at the business and [has] always been prepared to invest in their own future. ... We were never interested in joining that long, humiliating list of miserable artists who made lousy deals, got exploited and ended up broke and with no control over how their life's work was used, and no say in how their names and likenesses were bought and sold."