Today's News: Our Take


INDIE SPIRIT

Two low-budget films you've never heard of — the time-travel drama Primer and the rock band documentary DIG! — won top honors at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend. Contain your excitement. read more

MOURNED

German-born photographer Helmut Newton, best known for his racy black-and-white portraits of women, died Friday in a car crash. He was 83. According to reports, Newton lost control of his Cadillac while leaving the famed Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles. Despite the tragedy, a Berlin museum showcasing Newton's work will open in June as planned. read more

FOUR GOLDEN RINGS

The third time was the charm for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy was the big winner Sunday at the 61st annual Golden Globe Awards, taking home four trophies, including best dramatic movie and best director for Peter Jackson. Lost in Translation won three awards, including best comedic film, best comedic actor for Bill Murray and best screenplay for Sofia Coppola. Top dramatic acting honors went to Charlize Theron for Monster and Sean Penn for Mystic River, and read more

WHO'LL GET THE FAREWELL INTERVIEW?

After 25 years, Barbara Walters is leaving her signature gig as host of ABC's 20/20 this fall. But the 72-year-old TV icon is not retiring from the news biz. She'll keep her day job as producer/cohost of The View and continue doing prime-time specials for the network. "I want to have more flexibility in my life," she says, "without the responsibilities of a weekly newsmagazine." It must be nice. read more

PHONE A FRIEND

Regis Philbin is being enlisted to save ABC again. The network is bringing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire back to prime time with Philbin in the hot seat. For one week next month, ABC will air a one-week Super Millionaire with a jackpot up to $10 million. If successful, the network plans to run it into the ground again. read more

CAUSE AND EFFECT

The much-hyped box office battle between That '70s Show stars Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace was no contest. Kutcher's The Butterfly Effect debuted at No. 1 with a groovy $17.1 million, more than double the $7.5 million that Grace's Win a Date With Tad Hamilton brought in. Along Came Polly slipped to No. 2 with $16.6 million, followed by Tad, Big Fish ($7.3 million) and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($6.85 million). read more

Globes Make the Grade


Last night's live broadcast of the 61st annual Golden Globe Awards was a salute to the best in entertainment in '03. But was the ceremony itself entertainment deserving of a salute? To answer that $64,000 question, TV Guide Online put the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's black-tie back-slap to the test, bestowing upon it points for every moment that genuinely amused us... and taking them away whenever we had to pop a No-Doz. Sixty credits (out of a possible 100) were needed to earn a D-minus. So, did the to-do make the grade? Read on to find out. We stayed up late to do the math for you, people; the least you can do is read our review!

Presenter No. 1 Meryl Streep announced, "I've never opened an envelope before." Which must make answering her fan mail quite a challenge. (One point.) Later, accepting her own award, she made a stunning discovery: "I just realized you can see co read more

BAD INTEL

ABC has had a change of heart about Threat Matrix. The network, which recently picked the show up for a full 22-episode season, has trimmed its order to 16 episodes. read more

IT WAS GIGLI BAD

Just when it looked like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's week couldn't get any worse, out come the Razzies. The estranged couple's stink bomb of a movie, Gigli, received a leading nine nominations for the annual Razzie Awards, honoring the year's most God-awful films. Dr. Seuss' the Cat in the Hat and From Justin to Kelly tied for second with eight nods apiece. The other worst-picture nominees were Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and The Real Cancun. (Hulk was robbed, I tell ya. Robbed!) Winners will be announced Feb. 28, a day before the Oscars. read more

AND THE TV WINNERS WERE..

HBO's acclaimed AIDS opus Angels in America was in Golden Globe heaven Sunday night, picking up five awards, including best miniseries, best actor in a miniseries for Al Pacino, best actress in a miniseries for Meryl Streep, best supporting actor for Jeffrey Wright and best supporting actress for Mary-Louise Parker. 24 won the award for best drama series, and Without a Trace's Anthony LaPaglia and Six Feet Under's Frances Conroy were honored as best actor and actress in a drama. BBC America's cult hit The Office read more

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