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Will snow add to Super Bowl ratings?

Despite tons of issues on the field and court battles off of it, the NFL continues to enjoy incredible popularity. The NFL Network has been a huge hit and has become a real asset for the NFL. The Super Bowl has always been an iconic sporting event, but now it has practically been elevated to national holiday status. Television ratings for the Super Bowl routinely set records or come close. We’re not talking about records just for sportsing events. We’re talking about records for all-time television audiences.

Of course, betting and fantasy football have increibly huge effects on the popularity of the NFL and the Super Bowl. Fans will be getting ready to gamble at SuperBowl360.com or at one of the sports books in Las Vegas as they consider everything from the final score to which songs will be played by Bruno Mars during the halftime show. Which brings up yet another draw, as now we have music and celebrity fans making sure to tune in. The NFL has been brilliant about making this an event for everyone, from hard core sports fans, betters, teenagers and more. Women and men obsess about the spread at the Super Bowl party. Even the television commercials have become part of our national conversation.

This year we have yet another factor that might goose the television ratings – snow. Or at least the possibility of snow. This will be the first Super Bowl plyed outdoors in a northern city as the game will be played in New Jersey. As we saw last week, mother nature can significantly alter an event, and the prospect of snow in particular could really change things. Of course, it might just be dreary and cold, and that could actually take away from the pageantry of the event. But a field covered in snow would be a novelty that everyone would semmingly want to see. It might make the actual game a joke, but we might just see the highest Super Bowl ratings ever.

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Howard Stern back on Letterman

Howard Stern was back on David Letterman’s show and it’s a good one. As usual, Howard has to bring up the feud with Jay Leno.

Casino Royale Movie Mistakes

Casino Royale Movie MistakesReleased to wide acclaim in 2006, “Casino Royale” was Daniel Craig’s debut as the legendary British agent James Bond. The plot portrayed Bond’s early years in service and the film was so successful that it grossed an estimated $599 million worldwide and Craig has continued in the role ever since.

Nonetheless, “Casino Royale” was not entirely without its faults. There were a number of illogical sequences or filming errors which did a disservice to an otherwise excellent production. Although it doesn’t take anything away from the film as a whole, the following errors will be of interest to any diehard 007 fan.

Airport confusion: In the film, Bond thwarts a terrorist attack on Miami Airport. However, the sequence is actually filmed in the Czech Republic and in these scenes you can see numerous Czech Airlines planes. Unfortunately, Czech Airlines don’t fly to Miami at all! You can however find plenty of their planes at Prague Airport!

Montenegro or Czech Republic? Similar lapses can be seen in the sequences which are supposed to be set in Montenegro, but are actually filmed in the Czech Republic. In one scene, at the back of a restaurant, a public telephone with the Czech Telecom insignia can be seen and when Bond has a drink in the square, there is a sign in Czech for “White Horse.”

The Poker scene: One of the key scenes in the film takes sees Bond take on the terror financier Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game, with the intention of bankrupting his foe. It is not strange for common blackjack mistakes to be made in the name of cinematic expression and the same goes for poker too. However, it isn’t necessarily the technicalities of the poker game which seem flawed in Casino Royale. It is rather that the stakes, which eventually reach a mind-boggling $40million, which is unrealistic. Such a game would be the most expensive in poker history! In addition, although Bond and his enemy play Texas Hold’Em in the movie, the original book has them facing off in a Chemin De Fer game.

Sand or no sand? Towards the end of the film, Bond is engaged in a characteristic embrace with glamorous girl Vesper on the sand of a secluded beach. While Bond has sand on his back for most of the scene, towards the end of it as the camera moves ever more distant, the sand has miraculously disappeared!

Tyres in the Miami Airport chase. Here’s another disappointing oversight. During the dramatic chase scene at Miami Airport, the rear tyres of the gas truck are shot at and blown out. However, when Bond heroically skids the vehicle to a halt, the tyres appear inflated. Oh dear!

A tortuous torture scene: Bond always ends up some kind of trouble and Casino Royale does not disappoint! At one point during the film, he is viciously tortured in a wicker chair. However, at the start of the scene, blood is running down his face in a clear line. The next moment, it has been smudged before once again returning to a clear line of streaming blood. This happens several times during the scene and now that it has been pointed out, you are bound to notice this oversight every time you watch the film!

The Biggest Gamblers in Hollywood

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Money breeds money or so they say. Therefore it is no surprise that gambling, placing a bet, having a flutter is a popular pastime for Hollywood celebrities. However, many are not content with a playing small bets online. Here is a look at some of Hollywood’s most infamous gambling cases:

Ashton Kutcher

The 35-year-old is one of Hollywood’s A-list stars, with a string of big roles to his name on both the small and big screens. He has made some pretty smart investments over time too, purchasing a stake in Skype for example. However, he revealed in an interview that he was also operating a sophisticated betting network which cleared hundreds of thousands of dollars each week during the college football season.

Tiger Woods

Regularly ranked as one of if not the top-earning sportsperson over recent years, Tiger Woods is not short of cash. He is apparently a well-known figure around the Las Vegas casino scene, not surprising given his well-publicised party lifestyle. Apparently, the golf star enjoyed a one million dollar betting limit at MGM Grand Casino and often played Blackjack at $25,000 per hand.

Charlie Sheen

The “Two and a Half Men” star has had his very public problems and meltdowns and so perhaps his penchant for excessive gambling is no great surprise. His second wife Denise Richards specified in the divorce papers which she filed that Sheen regularly gambled $20,000 each week, mainly on sports betting. He apparently even set up his own gambling website, presumably making it just that bit easier to place a wager on the big match.

50 Cent

The rapper certainly seems to enjoy having a bet, particularly when it comes to sport. In 2012, he is thought to have pocketed a cool $500,000 on a championship game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. He tweeted that he placed the bet having listened to “the voices in my head.” 50 Cent was also spotted in late 2012 on a high-stakes night of gambling with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. A YouTube clip showed 50 Cent at the end of the evening packing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash into a snazzy car.

Ben Affleck

The Hollywood actor and director’s gambling issues are no big secret. He has previously received treatment for a gambling addiction and a couple of years ago he was said to owe movie-mogul Ron Meyer $400,000 in gambling debts. The same rumours said that Affleck used to host his own high-stakes poker game at a high-end Beverly Hills cigar club. However, there is no doubting that Affleck is a talented poker player, having won $356,000 at the California State Poker Championship in 2004, which qualified him for World Poker Tour final tournament that same year.

Frank Sinatra

‘Ol Blue Eyes certainly spent plenty of time in Las Vegas and having starred in the original Ocean’s Eleven movie, he was certainly more than familiar with the gambling fraternity. However, Sinatra used his fame to positive effect, campaigning successfully for an end to segregation in Las Vegas casinos. This paved the way for him to enjoy nights at the casino with his Rat Pack colleague Sammy Davis Jr!

If you’re looking to get a taste of the Hollywood glam life in Vegas, consider first playing Betsson mobile games. Practice in the comfort of your own home or whenever you find yourself in a waiting room and bored. It will give you the confidence and experience you might want before taking the plunge at a poker table.

America’s Top Model season review

America's top model
Photo: Angelo Sgambati/The CW ©2013 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

We’re coming up to the end of this – the 20th season – of Tyra Banks’ crazy modeling extravaganza, America’s Next Top Model.

Have you smized your way through this season or have all the bitching, back biting and bottled blinds turned you off this series?

America’s Next Top Model 2.0

She kept it fresh this cycle by including boys and girls and by having more than 14 contestants. In addition, it’s the first series to have more than 13 episodes – are these all necessary moves for a franchise that’s running out of steam or is there plenty of life in the old model yet?

Stylized as America’s Next Top Model 2.0, it’s pretty obvious Tyra is aware there needs to be something new for viewers, fans and haters to get their teeth into. It’s become a big deal in the online gambling world as well, as people queue up to bet on their favorite competitor, presumably playing online on online slot games and the like while watching the models fight it out.

The judges

As well as Tyra, of course, Kelly Cutrone, Rob Evans and Bryanboy all returned as judges to make the models weep on a weekly basis, while criticizing their body, face and appearance to the utmost. It’s a brutal competition and that’s why viewers love it.

With a catchphrase this year of ‘Who will dominate?’, it’s clear that the contestants are encouraged to take no prisoners when it comes to fighting it out for the honor of winning.

The prizes

Some new prizes and sponsors for this cycle as well, with the grand prize being a modelling contract with NEXT Model Management, a feature spread in Nylon magazine and a $100,000 contract with Guess.

The contestants

With guys and girls in the competition for the first time, the season followed the usual format of randomly themed photoshoots and the always amazing makeover episode, which has become famous for making models weep into their crew cut while staring at the foot long hair Tyra deemed it necessary to shave from their reluctant skulls.

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe the makeovers aren’t carried out due to some cruelty on Tyra’s part, as there is always at least one model who is left utterly bereft and looking decidedly worse.

In the first episode of this cycle, there were 35 models, swiftly reduced to 26. In the second episode, they were cut down to 16 who made it through to the main competition. Double eliminations in various episodes added to the tension, as did the twist of some of the contestants being allowed to fight to come back later on in the cycle.

With new elements including social media awards and various interaction with the viewers, this season differed from the original premise that the models are locked away from the outside world for the duration of the competition.

“Thor” nearly edged out by “Best Man”

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This week featured a battle of the sequels with an Avenger nearly needing help from Captain America.

“Thor: The Dark World” held on to the top spot at the box office, fending off Malcolm D. Lee’s “The Best Man Holiday” grossing $38.5 million in domestic receipts.

It took 14 years for “The Best Man’ Holiday” to hit theaters, but audiences were lined up to see it.  ”The Best Man Holiday” outperformed all predictions pulling in $30.6 million in it’s opening debut. Film execs were even happier considering the film was projected to open at about $20 million. The film features Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa and Terrence Howard as a group of college friends who reunite after 15 years to realize some things haven’t changed.

Rounding out the top five was “Last Vegas” with $8.9 million. The Hangover for seniors has shown it has some legs…old, creaky legs. With turkey day around the corner, it’s no surprise that “Free Birds” is still in the box office mix with $8.3 million to gobble up fourth place. The Jackass spinoff “Bad Grandpa” showed there’s still life in those false dentures with $7.7 million to hold on to fifth place.

Marilu Henner stars in “June in January”

Final Photo Assets

We’re huge fans of the beautiful and talented Marilu Henner, so we always pay attention when she’s attached to a new project. The latest news has Marilu starring with Brooke D’Orsay (“Royal Pains”) and Wes Brown (“Deception,” “Shadow on the Mesa”) in the Hallmark Channel original movie “June in January,” premiering Saturday, January 11th. D’Orsay plays a newly engaged bride in the film whose dream wedding is threatened by her scheming future mother-in-law, played by Henner, when a sudden change in plans pushes her perfect outdoor June wedding up to a wintry January date. Check it out!

‘Thor’ hammers down the box office

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Where there’s a hammer, there’s a way.

“Thor: The Dark World” racked up over $86 million and beat down all comers to grab the number one spot at the box office this week, according to studio estimates. The Disney sequel debuted internationally last week and had already earned $108.4 million overseas.  It’s total global box office is already $327 million. The Marvel Comics superhero sequel stars Chris Hemsworth in the title role as he battles a mysterious threat to the universe, while reuniting with human love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).

While one man was saving the world, another was making a jackass of himself to claim the number 2 spot on the list. “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” starring Johnny Knoxville proved an oldie is a goody in it’s second weekend earning $11.3 million for a three week tally of $78 million.

Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but that didn’t stop a couple turkeys from gobbling up big box office as “Free Birds” captured third place for $11.2 million in it’s second weekend. Rounding out the top 5 was the senior driven “Last Vegas” starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Douglas and the sci-fi blockbuster “Ender’s Game” with $10.3 million

Box Office Preview: ‘Ender’s Game’ faces off against ‘Last Vegas’

EndersGamePoster

If you’re in need to save the planet or head to a place stranger than space, then the studios have just what you’re looking for.

The long awaited sci-fi film “Ender’s Game” hits theaters today and is expected to make a run at the box office crown. The film stars Asa Butterfield in the title role as the child soldier tasked with saving the human race from an alien invasion. The film co-stars another space veteran, Harrison Ford.

If you’re tired of those pesky kids and their spaceships and what not, “Last Vegas” features a lot of fun from the AARP contingent. Starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline as four old friends who hit Vegas to celebrate the upcoming nuptuals of Michael Douglas.

For kids who don’t want to watch aliens blown up or jokes about Cialis, there’s “Free Birds.” Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson star as two turkeys who plot to change Thanksgiving menus to something a bit more turkey friendly. Yes, they go back in time and no, I don’t know how it affects the cranberry space-time continuum.

In limited release, you’ll find Matthew McConaughey as AIDS pioneer Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club” and “About Time”, a romantic comedy about time travel (sorry no turkeys) and of course, love. “About Time” stars Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina) and Rachel McAdams.

Season 4 trailer for “Downton Abbey”

If you’re not hooked yet on “Downton Abbey” we highly recommend it. It’s a very soapy drama set in the early 20th century in England as the old way for life for the aristocracy is slowly starting to crumble. The show is excellent, and we recommend starting from the beginning.

Those of view who haven’t started watching or aren’t caught up should probably avoid watching the trailer as it contains some serious spoilers about the ending of Season 3. The rest of you can take a look to see what’s next for Mary.