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Chief Counsel Melissa Hansen's Blog

Chief Counsel Melissa Hansen • Location: Chicago, IL
• Member since: January 2004
• 33 small claims

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Rabbit Hole Helps You Share Your Grief
December 13th, 2010 9:13PM

Lionsgate and The Compassionate Friends Create Social Media Partnership in Support of the Upcoming Release of John Cameron Mitchell's RABBIT HOLE.

Lionsgate and The Compassionate Friends, a grief support organization, are excited to announce the launch of a social media partnership hosted on the official Facebook fan page for the upcoming theatrical release of Rabbit Hole.

Lionsgate and TCF have developed a custom Facebook application which allows users to upload original inspirational messages, artwork, and videos. The program reinforces the philosophy that the best way to work through grief is through love and artistic expression. It provides a resource for the newly bereaved to interact with other users who have survived a period of grief and loss and who have learned to live and love again.

Lionsgate hopes to encourage audiences to celebrate the manner in which the film beautifully and poignantly explores the concept of loss with an honest and knowing humor. Additionally, Rabbit Hole's partnership with TCF offers a unique opportunity to extend the film's message of love and hope to the social media space, where film goers can continue to explore the universal themes explored in the film, while also having real-world discussion about coping with grief.

For more information, please visit Rabbit Hole's Facebook page

Edward Norton's Crowdrise Fundraising
December 3rd, 2010 1:24PM

Edward Norton announced today that his social philanthropy and fundraising site Crowdrise.com, which recently partnered with the New York Road Runners to help raise over $30 million for the ING New York City Marathon, 2010, is launching a new campaign for the holiday season called the Crowdrise Holiday Fundraiser Thing (CHFT). Crowdrise brings the power of crowdsourcing and the fun of social networking to giving back and Norton has enlisted over 20 of his "sort of famous friends" to help get everyone to participate.

The ever growing list of celebrities getting involved on Crowdrise
include: Ashton Kutcher, Will Ferrell, Edward Norton, Liz Banks, Jonah
Hill, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd, Mandy Moore, James Franco, Seth Rogen,
Christina Applegate, Sophia Bush, Austin Nichols, Flea, Kate Walsh,
Robin Quivers, Jason Bateman, Patricia Arquette, Russell Brand, Glen
Hansard, Rosie Perez, John Legend, Paul Pierce, David Blaine and Barbra


Crowdrise is encouraging, and really peer pressuring, the rest of the
world to get involved in a few different ways.

1. Assuming people are decent typists, in one minute or less, they can
join a celebrity's fundraising team and help them raise money for their
cause. So, if someone wants to raise money for the American Cancer
Society they can join Paul Rudd's team and then reach out to their own
friends and family and ask everyone to donate to their campaign under
Paul's umbrella.

2. People can start their own personal fundraiser for the charity that
they care about most and have a chance to win $3,000 for their campaign
from Judd Apatow. That's right, super writer, producer, and director
Judd Apatow, is donating $3,000 to the top three non-celebrity
fundraising campaigns as long as everyone promises to watch all of his
movies from now until eternity and to read his book "I Found This Funny"
which he wrote to raise money for 826 National.

3. People can donate to any charity and send a holiday e-Card to the
person they're donating on behalf of. They're predicting this is the
only present that most people won't end up regifting, recycling,
throwing away or just getting mad about receiving this year. Basically,
a donation is the best present ever.

Crowdrise has amassed a collection of amazing prizes and contests for
those "slightly self-interested" folks who donate and fundraise. Some
of the prizes include: a cowbell signed by Will Ferrell, North Face
Jackets, a signed Ashton Kutcher poster for the movie No Strings
Attached (which isn't even out yet), and a Live Chat with Paul Rudd.
And Kristen Bell, Patricia Arquette and Will Ferrell are incentivizing
people to do some holiday shopping on Crowdrise. Bell is selling a
necklace she designed that goes to benefit Invisible Children, Arquette
is selling jewelry to benefit her charity which is raising money for
Haiti and Ferrell is selling suntan lotion with a photo of him naked on
it to benefit his Cancer for College campaign. Contests and prizes will
be added to Crowdrise regularly so that everyone can keep coming back to
embrace the chaos.

Crowdrise founder, Edward Norton, recently said, "People like to do nice
things for each other and have fun around the holidays so we put this
together in that spirit. And, hey, if you can get a guy with a 3rd
degree black belt and a reputation for fierce, dark action films like
Judd Apatow to bring out his funnier, goofy and generous side, you've
got to be doing something right."

According Judd Apatow, "I think Crowdrise came to me because when they
were looking for corporate sponsorship, they thought Pepsi? No. Nike?
No. Apatow. yes. Really though, Crowdrise is helping make fundraising
fun. I love that and I want to be a part of it. This is a great
community of regular people hustling for charity and I wanna introduce
an element of vicious competition to it all. I hope that doesn't ruin
the good vibes."

Crowdrise's slogan is "If You Don't Give Back No One Will Like You" and
they're hoping that their drive to push holiday giving will result in
the whole world embracing and French-kissing each other like mad come
New Year's Eve.

150 Movies You Should Die Before You See
November 17th, 2010 4:06PM

150 Movies You Should Die Before You See
By Steve Miller

Can you guess which of the following is not a real movie?
A. Nudist Colony of the Dead
B. Revenge of the Phantom Ghost Boy
C. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

If you guessed either A or C, you'd be wrong. It's a frightening truth, but murdering nudist zombies and space-traveling clowns are the premise for real-life films.

Let's face it: some movies are just made to be made fun of.

And for those who can't get enough bad movie magic (and mockery) comes 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See by film buff and professional movie reviewer Steve Miller—an unabashed celebration of the shockingly big and disastrously delicious world of bad movies!

The arena of bad cinema is far too big (and terrifying!) to traverse alone—but with 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See, film buffs and trivia junkies alike can indulge in 150 of the best bad movies ever made. With this guide at their side, readers will sink into the couch with a warm bowl of popcorn as they enjoy such tantalizingly terrible movies as...

Attack of the Giant Leeches (and, shockingly, its 2008 remake.)
Monsturd (yes, a monster turd that murders townspeople. Enough said.)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (who could've guessed that a movie about Martians and everyone's favorite jolly gift-giver could be bad?)

Complete with a full cast list, plot overview, choice quotes, quiz, and trivia for each movie, 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See is the ultimate movie guide to have in hand as the opening credits for Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter flash on the screen.

So get comfy and dig in—a world of wonderfully awful films awaits!

Buy it at Amazon

"24" Fan Fest Marathon
November 13th, 2010 1:54PM

Objective: CTU is recruiting the most diehard “24” fans! To celebrate the DVD release of “24” The Complete Series, with all eight seasons of the adrenaline-charged show, CTU is hosting “The 24 Marathon Fanfest” in Hollywood, California.

Background: At 20:00 on 2 December 2010, “The 24 Marathon Fanfest” will begin and continue until there is only one fan remaining alert for terrorists. Participants will watch back-to-back Jack (continuous episodes of “24” starting with season one). Advanced interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation will be used to ensure the last person remaining is truly the ultimate “24” fan, and potentially set a new world record for longest TV viewing, which is currently just over three days. The winning fan will receive $10,000 in cold, hard cash.

For fans not able to participate in the marathon, a Fan Fest area will be set up outside of the viewing arena where spectators can watch the participants, see actual props from the show and meet cast members.

Location: The marathon and Fan Fest are set to take place at the iconic Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood, California; beginning December 2 and extending through the weekend 12/2-12/5.

Additional Intelligence: To enter the challenge, e-mail RSVP.Events@Fox.com to receive confirmation and your mission assignment.

IFC's Ongoing "Weekend Classics" Series
November 13th, 2010 1:52PM

IFC Center Pays Tribute to the 20th Anniversary Of an Essential Distributor, with 20-Program Retrospective Presented in the Theater's Ongoing "Weekend Classics" Series Weekends November 12, 2010 - March 27, 2011

"Milestone Films: 20 for 20," a celebration of the 20th anniversary of noted distributor Milestone Films, unfolds over 20 weekends from November 12, 2010 through March 27, 2011 at IFC Center as part of the theater's ongoing "Weekend Classics" program. The schedule for the first half of the series is below; the second half will be announced in late December.

Founded in 1990 by husband-and-wife team Dennis Doros and Amy Heller-both veterans of New York's independent distribution scene-Milestone boasts one of the richest and most varied catalogs of films ever assembled. Spanning virtually the entire history of cinema, from the early days of the 20th century through today, its collection includes works from such film legends as Alfred Hitchcock, Luchino Visconti, Ernst Lubitsch and Orson Welles, along with contemporary masters Jane Campion, Hirokazu Kore-eda, John Canemaker, Philip Haas and others. With extensive experience in film preservation and restoration, Milestone has rescued a number of orphaned films from limbo, collaborating with leading archives to restore "lost" movies to pristine condition and bring them to audiences for the first time. Among their most acclaimed recent projects are Charles Burnett's KILLER OF SHEEP, recipient of a 2007 Special Award from the New York Film Critics Circle, and Kent Mackenzie's THE EXILES, given a Special Heritage Award by the National Society of Film Critics in 2008, both of which had their long-awaited theatrical premieres at IFC Center.

In addition to those two films, the series offers a sampling of Milestone's essential work over the past 20 years, opening with Luchino Visconti's operatic ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS and continuing with Michael Powell's THE EDGE OF THE WORLD; Orson Welles's THE TRIAL with Anthony Perkins and Jeanne Moreau; Jane Campion's marvelous first feature, TWO FRIENDS; the groundbreaking animation of Lotte Reiniger's THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED; Mikhail Kalatozov's revolutionary fever-dream I AM CUBA and more.

"From the very first day, our mission was to discover movies that we truly love and to share them with our friends: the international film community. And for twenty years, the critics, the art houses, the archivists and the filmgoers have faithfully traveled with us on this wonderful journey. We never dreamed we would get this far and are very grateful for every step along the way." - Dennis Doros and Amy Heller, Milestone Films

Weekend Classics: "MILESTONE FILMS-20 FOR 20" w eekends through Mar. 27, 2011, at 11:00am
Nov 12-14 ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS (1960, Luchino Visconti)
Nov 19-21 THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (1937, Michael Powell)
Nov 24-28 KILLER OF SHEEP (1977, Charles Burnett)
Dec 3-5 THE TRIAL (1962, Orson Welles)
Dec 10-12 THE WIDE BLUE ROAD (1957, Gillo Pontecorvo & Maleno Malenotti)
Dec 17-19 TWO FRIENDS (1986, Jane Campion)
Dec 23-26 BON VOYAGE and AVENTURE MALGACHE (1944, Alfred Hitchcock)
Dec 30-Jan 2 THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED (1926, Lotte Reiniger)
Jan 7-9 THE EXILES and BUNKER HILL (1961 and 1956, Kent Mackenzie)
Jan 14-17 I AM CUBA (1964, Mikhail Kalatozov)

November 7th, 2010 11:17PM

What’s NEW? For the first time with DVD2BLU.com consumers can send in ANY DVD they own (produced by any studio/sold at retail, online) even those old dusty ones under their beds or in the garage and get a new Warner Bros. Blu-ray title in return for as low as $4.95.

Over 100 Blu-ray titles are available including Gran Torino, V For Vendetta, Superman II, Wedding Crashers, The Shining, and several other favorites.

Here’s how it works:

Visit DVD2BLU.com, view the selection of over 100 Blu-ray titles and pick the ones you want to add to your collection.

Dust off those unwanted DVDs you already own and send us one (Disc Only) for every Blu-ray you wish to own. Please note only professionally produced DVDs (anything from a major/independent studio sold at retail), non Adult content will qualify.

Go to check out for all of the final details and in a few weeks get your new Blu-ray(s).

My French Film Festival Online
October 25th, 2010 4:10PM

Unifrance in partnership with Allociné, with the support of the Centre National de la Cinématographie and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is organizing the first French online film festival open to Internet users around the world.

The objective is to take fully into account the evolution of cultural consumption and to reach a new audience for French cinema abroad.

UniFrance is launching, in partnership with Allociné, this new and unprecedented event, to spotlight young French filmmakers.

myfrenchfilmsfestival.com will take place from 14 to 29 January 2011.

The selection comprises ten feature films (first and second films recently released in France) and ten short films, as well as a classic film.

The films will be available by Video On Demand (VOD), in original version and subtitled in several languages (German, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, etc.).

Internet users will be able to vote for their favourite film.
Three prizes will be awarded at the end of the festival: a prize awarded by the public, another by foreign bloggers, the third by the international press.

The festival's website will be online in December and give free access to the trailers and to many exclusive online interviews.


- Adieu Gary by Nassim Amaouche with Jean-Pierre Bacri In a working class city, abandoned by most of its population, some inhabitants stay in spite of everything because they were born and grew up there: Francis, Samir and Sarah (who believes that Gary Cooper is her father and is waiting for him).

- Bus Palladium by Christopher Thompson with Marc-André Grondin.
A rock¹n roll band, a group of friends who have met with success, and a girl who will disrupt it all

- Complices by Frédéric Mermoud with Gilbert Melki and Emmanuelle Devos
Two police detectives are investigating the disappearance of a teenage couple and find themselves confronted with the problems in their own lives.

- Espion(s) by Nicolas Saada with Guillaume Canet and Géraldine Pailhas
A young baggage handler is hired as spy by the French counter-intelligence agency after being involved in spite of himself in an affair involving the explosion of a diplomatic pouch in an airport.

- La Famille Wolberg by Axelle Ropert with François Damiens
Simon Wolberg is the mayor of a small provincial town, loving husband, overbearing father and provocative son. The film recounts the escapades of this man obsessed with his family.

- L'Autre by Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Tridivic with Dominique Blanc
Anne-Marie leaves Alex when she realizes they no longer have the same aspirations: he wants to settle down, she wants to keep her freedom. But when Alex finds a new mistress, Anne-Marie becomes crazy with jealousy.

- Le Bal des actrices by Maïwenn with Karin Viard and Charlotte Rampling
A director is shooting a documentary film on actresses. She shows all their personalities: manipulative, fragile, lying, moving, etc. But she quickly gets involved in their little games, for better or worse.

- Qu'un seul tienne et les autres suivront by Léa Fehner with Pauline Etienne and Reda Kateb
Three people are brought together by chance in a prison visiting room: Stéphane who was just offered the deal of his life, Zorah who is trying to deal with her son¹s death, and Laure, who has fallen in love for the first time with a convict.

- Tête de Turc by Pascal Elbé with Roschdy Zem and Ronit Elkabetz
A teenager of 14, an emergency doctor, a cop looking for revenge, a mother fighting for her family, a man crushed by his wife¹s death see their destinies linked after an accident.

-Tout ce qui brille by Géraldine Nakache and Hervé Mimran with Leïla Bekhti
Ely and Lila are childhood friends living in the Paris suburbs. They dream of entering a world they don't belong to, where everything seems to shine like gold.

Classic film not in competition:
French Cancan by Jean Renoir (1955) with Jean Gabin

- Babel by Hendrick Dusollier
- Cabossés by Louise Prémonville
- Chienne d¹histoire by Serge Avédikian
- C¹est gratuit pour les filles by Claire Burger and Marie Amachoukeli
- ¿Dónde está Kim Basinger? by Edouard Deluc
- En attendant que la pluie cesse by Charlotte Joulia
- L¹Homme à la Gordini by Jean-Christophe Lie
- Mémoire d¹une jeune fille dérangée by Keren Marciano
- Petit dragon by Bruno Collet
-Une pute et un poussin by Clément Michel

September 27th, 2010 6:27PM

For the first time in 45 years, the entire cast of “The Sound of Music” will gather for a once-in-a-lifetime reunion on the “Oprah” show stage on Friday, October 29, 2010. Stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, along with fellow cast members Charmian Carr (“Liesl”), Nicholas Hammond (“Friedrich”), Heather Menzies-Urich (“Louisa”), Duane Chase (“Kurt”), Angela Cartwright (“Brigitta”), Debbie Turner (“Marta”) and Kym Karath (“Gretl”) will reunite and reveal the stories behind one of the world’s most beloved movie musicals. Together for the first time in nearly half a century, the cast shares secrets from the set, reminiscences about their time together and what their lives have been like in the years since the movie was released. Finally, the von Trapp Children – a singing group featuring members of the real von Trapp family – pay their own special tribute to the film that made their family name known throughout the world.

Considered by many to be the most successful movie musical in history*, “The Sound of Music” took home five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1965. Its first release lasted over 4 ½ years. It is shown annually on network television; has been released for home entertainment on VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and has recently been digitally remastered and restored for its high definition Blu-ray Disc debut November 2; unites new fans and old through the amazing SINGALONG SOUND OF MUSIC events nationwide; and the soundtrack CD is one of the best selling soundtracks of all time, having gone Platinum more than 12 times. Its landmark score includes some of the most beloved songs in the American songbook including “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do Re Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and the title song.

Furthermore, for the first time since 1973, “The Sound of Music” twirls back into theaters nationwide in stunning high definition to commemorate the beloved musical’s 45th anniversary. This special event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select movie theaters for a two-night-only engagement on Tuesday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 26 at 6:30 p.m. local time. The Sound of Music Sing-Along Event includes the sing-along version of the fully restored feature with classic songs that have delighted fans for decades, such as “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” “The Sound of Music,” “Edelweiss,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

Tickets to The Sound of Music Sing-Along Event are available at participating box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com

September 19th, 2010 6:57PM

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) opens the Columbia vault on September 13th offering a selection of films never before released on DVD with the launch of “Screen Classics by Request.” Consumers will now be able to purchase authentic, high-quality DVDs of more than 100 classic movie titles covering a 75 year span from the Columbia Film Library. Additional titles will be made available monthly through the new “Screen Classics by Request” Web site (www.Columbia-Classics.com) and will retail at $19.94 SLP, plus shipping.

To order movies, consumers visit www.Columbia-Classics.com, make their selection, and upon purchase, a state-of-the-art manufacturing on demand (MOD) system creates a made-to-order DVD showcased with original theatrical art when available.

Among the titles initially available will be The Pumpkin Eater (1964) with Anne Bancroft and Peter Finch, Footsteps in the Fog (1955) starring Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons, Sam Wanamaker’s The Executioner (1970) with George Peppard, The Juggler (1953) starring Kirk Douglas, the Sherlock Holmes mystery A Study in Terror (1965), I Never Sang For My Father (1970) with Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman, Genghis Kahn (1965) with Omar Sharif, and Les Voleurs (Thieves, 1996) with Catherine Deneuve.

“The launch of Screen Classics By Request is an important step in the evolution of our multiplatform distribution strategy,” said John Calkins, SPHE’s Executive Vice President of Global Digital and Commercial Innovation. “We look forward to making the rich history of the Columbia archive available in new ways through a variety of retail and distribution partners that best serve the appetite of the discerning movie enthusiast.”

Consumers can also visit the www.Columbia-Classics.com Web site for “first looks” at upcoming Blu-ray and DVD releases from the studio, to view “behind the scenes” still photography from some of the initial film productions, and to request their favorite films for release.

September 19th, 2010 6:55PM

The scariest movie of all time, The Exorcist Extended Director’s Cut, returns to theaters nationwide for a one-night special event on Thursday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. local time and again for a second showing at 10:30 p.m. in select theaters. The thrilling special in-theater event, shown in more than 450 select movie theaters nationwide, will feature never-before-seen on-set footage and interviews with Academy Award® winning director William Friedkin, writer William Peter Blatty and actress Linda Blair as well as members of the original cast and crew. Following The Exorcist Extended Director’s Cut, audiences will also be treated to a look behind-the-scenes showing how many of the legendary scenes were shot in this classic and thrilling tale of good vs. evil.

Tickets for The Exorcist Extended Director’s Cut are available at participating box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com

Released in 1973, “The Exorcist” caused a cultural earthquake that is still felt today, shocking and enthralling audiences who had never seen anything like it. Many viewers were frightened out of their wits – and literally out of their seats. Some ran out of the theater; others got physically ill or couldn’t sleep for weeks. Now audiences may experience the same visceral emotions again in their local movie theater with this masterpiece of suspense that haunted, intrigued and thrilled the world.

Adapted from the best-selling 1971 novel inspired by an actual exorcism case, “The Exorcist” tells the now-famous story of a young girl’s demonic possession, and her mother’s (Ellen Burstyn) desperate attempts to save her. Blair, in a breakout role, plays the possessed Regan, caught in a gripping fight between good and evil which culminated with an exorcism conducted by two priests. Terrifying audiences and chilling them to the bone, the theological thriller also starred Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller and Mercedes McCambridge. “The Exorcist” is still considered one of the most successful feature films of all time, grossing $440 million worldwide and earning 10 Academy Award® nominations (winning Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound).

“The cultural impact of this truly frightening thriller cannot be understated and to experience it in movie theaters on giant, 40-foot screens is amazing,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “With the stunning quality of this special event, fans will be on the edge of their seats like never before.”

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