Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bwin.party jumps on good results; Bwin.party earnings up, ready for regulatory changes

Profiles

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Casinos Gaming





LONDON - Online gaming firm bwin.party digital entertainment leapt into the top spot after it posted a robust set of full year earnings and believes it is well placed to take advantage of regulatory and technological shifts in its industry. Private equity investment firm 3i was another big riser after it revealed in a trading statement that, after a tough start to the year, market sentiment has improved in the last couple of months, leading to a strong performance in the company's investment portfolio - although the rally has come a bit late to have a significant effect on performance in 3i's current financial year, which runs to the end of March. Meanwhile, transport firm FirstGroup (Other OTC: FGROF.PK - news) was the biggest faller after it said lower economic activity in the north of England is putting pressure on its UK Bus business. The group says like-for-like revenues in UK Bus, in the 12 months to the end of March, will be 1.5% ahead of 2010-2011. The North of England and Scotland however are seeing "considerably lower" growth rates and that's where 60% of revenues are generated. FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) - Risers Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 154.20p +5.47% 3i Group (III) 210.80p +3.33% Ruspetro (RPO) 207.50p +2.52% Drax Group (Frankfurt: A0MK9W - news) (DRX) 537.00p +2.38% Ferrexpo (Stuttgart: A0MRG2 - news) (FXPO) 298.20p +1.95% New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 437.40p +1.67% Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 458.30p +1.39% Sports Direct International (SPD) 285.90p +1.31% Kenmare Resources (Irish: JEV.IR - news) (KMR) 49.18p +1.30% Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,035.00p +1.13% FTSE 250 - Fallers FirstGroup (Frankfurt: 896516 - news) (FGP) 249.30p -13.77% National Express Group (NEX) 236.80p -6.03% Dixons Retail (Other OTC: DSITF.PK - news) (DXNS) 18.25p -5.24% TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 137.60p -5.10% Barratt Developments (BDEV) 139.00p -4.92% Petropavlovsk (Other OTC: PPLKF.PK - news) (POG) 592.00p -4.67% Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,242.00p -4.53% Northgate (Other OTC: NGTEF.PK - news) (NTG) 206.30p -4.40% Centamin (DI) (CEY) 68.05p -4.22% Essar Energy (Dusseldorf: 11224817.DU - news) (ESSR) 145.80p -4.08% NR

Bwin.party earnings up, ready for regulatory changes...

LONDON, March 29 - Bwin.party Digital (BPTY.L), the world's largest listed online gaming company, reported a rise in earnings in its maiden set of results and said it was well-placed to take advantage of regulatory and technological shifts in the gaming industry.

The company, which was formed by the merger of Austria's Bwin and PartyGaming last year, reported a 3 percent rise in clean EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) to 199.3 million euros ($264.8 million) in 2011.

The Gibraltar-based firm said synergies coming through faster than expected had offset increased gaming duties in regulated markets, pushing earnings up to just shy of consensus analyst estimates of 202 million euros provided by Bwin.party.

"We expect to gain competitive advantage this year from additional scale and improved flexibility that will flow from the integration and migration of our main products to a single technology platform," co-chief executives Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger said in a statement.

Bwin.party said pro forma total revenue inched up to 816 million euros, compared to 814 million euros in 2010, despite the closures of its French casino and the World Cup football tournament in 2010.

The firm said current trading was robust with average gross average daily revenue 2 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011 at 2.93 million euros.

"We have secured strong business partners in the United States ahead of any regulation there and have also applied for a license in Spain which is expected to regulate in the second quarter of this year," Ryan and Teufelberger said.

The company has also applied for a license in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany.

The firm said it will add more casino games, improve poker and bingo offerings, and prepare for the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer competition and the London 2012 Olympics.

Bwin.party will pay a final dividend of 1.56 pence per share, making a total of 3.12 pence per share for the year.

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Paris Hilton, Friends, Hollywood Celebrities Open Marquee The Star, Sydney, Australia - 30th March 2012

Profiles

The Star Echo Entertainment Clubs Casinos Australian Casinos Paris Hilton Celebrities Sydney





News

News Entertainment News Casino News

Australian entertainment and nightclub fans, and all you celebrity watchers out there... It's time for yet another showbiz update.

The Star's new nightclub Marquee in "Sin City" Sydney, Australia tonight held their grand opening last night and the ultimate party girl herself - Paris Hilton, along with boyfriend DJ Afrojack, and a bush tucker bag of friends and associates including Ashlee Simpson, Nick Lachey, Kellan Lutz, Abbie Cornish and LMFAO's Redfoo helped get the party started on the red (purple) carpet. By the way, the colour purple is supposed to attract money we understand, and it was working for Ms Hilton.

The gamble to sign up Paris and friends appears to have paid off, as far as attracting international headlines, but only time will tell what it does to the bottom line of The Star (once known as Star City Casino).

The Australian contingent of celebs who attended included Laura Dundovic, Alex Dimitriades, Glenn and Sara McGrath, Alex Perry, Nikki Phillips, Didier Cohen, April Rose Pengilly, Tim Commandeur, Laura Cstortan and Chris Joannou.

Marquee is understood to have snatched big dollars tonight, along with some positive press, but upping the ante in star power. Just how much it cost The Star to bring in Ms Hilton is anyone's guess but a well known media agency in Sydney estimated "between $50,000 to $150,000 for Ms Hilton and friends", but don't ever expect to find out the real figure as agents and legal eagles will be guarding that information from falling into the media and public domain.

The official VIP launch party featured DJ sets from The Black Eye Peas, will.i.am and Afrojack, with boat loads of celebs.

The 20,000 square foot nightclub occupies the entire top tier of The Star’s new Pirrama Road harbour side entrance. It enjoys a 1,200 people capacity and is aiming to fill up the venue with the right sort of customers. It's understood that there's three separate spaces within the one venue, and there was something for everyone's mood and taste.

The Main Room sports a 30-foot projection stage with an LED DJ booth and two funky dance floors, while another section entitled 'Boom Box' has an outdoor patio and DJ booth. For those guests who are looking for a bit more intimacy... and we know your out there boys and girls, there's a "library-style" lounge room along with fireplace, where you might want to get all cosy with your best friends.

The new sexy nightclub is a joint effort between The Star and Tao Group, which operates very successful nightclubs in the United States including LAVO in New York and Las Vegas, TAO Las Vegas and Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

We think its a pretty safe bet that you and yours will have fun (and spend a few dollars) at The Star's Marquee, so why not give them a go and tell us all about your experience.

It's all just another move in the Australian casino and entertainment wars, with a good dash of tourism biz factored in, and hopefully the public and Sydney benefit.

Competitor of sorts, Crown Limited, is following the progress of Sydney based 'The Star' closely, and the two gaming companies fight for the entertainment and gambling dollar, with big name celebs and casino "whales" being the most sought after patrons.

The Star will no doubt be hosting more celeb filled parties, but its unclear when Ms Hilton is returning to party (and pick up another payday). No word yet if she's got a whole floor to herself to sleep in and party (like Leonardo DiCaprio did on his previous down under Australian visits), but we highly suspect so.

Will you be on 'The List' any time soon at Marquee? Well, dress the part, work hard, and play harder, and you may soon be partying along with some of the world's hottest socialites.

If your into the best nightlife that Sydney has to offer you owe it to yourself to take the gamble and get on over to Marquee all you cool cats out there.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the event a hot success, and Paris - we hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Australia.

Websites

The Star

Marquee, The Star, Sydney

Echo Entertainment

Paris Hilton official website

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

open haus

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Media Man News Articles - March 2012




News

PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino On The Month' Award

The Billionaire Brands

What the Media has said about wrestling over the years

Wrestling Legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper In Fancypants Movie

Delta For Logies!

Echo defends against Crown in shareholder letter

Echo not interested in Packer on the board

MGM Resorts still looking for Massachusetts casino site

EXCLUSIVE: Who's behind anti-Rock sentiment in WWE? What about Trish being welcome back but not Rock? [corrected]

WWE SUPERSTAR JOHN CENA GRILLED By Adorable Children

THE ROCK Childhood EVICTION Drove Me to Become a Beast

WWE to re-release Hulk Hogan movie?

OLYMPIC HERO KURT ANGLE I'm Hunting for the Scammers Who Stole $4k from My Mom

WWE LEGEND KAMALADocs May Amputate OTHER Foot, Too

CM Punk Reveals His Favorite WrestleMania Match, Lilian Garcia Speaks Out Against Bullying, Lita

WrestleMania Countdown: CM Punk

PHOTO CALL: A First Look at Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean

PRESS RELEASE: Marvel's The Avengers to Close 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on April 28

Close to 100 locals expected to begin casino training

Aussie supergrass plays his hand

Chad Elie pleads guilty in online poker scam

Daniel Tzvetkoff to Testify for Prosecution in Black Friday Trial

The Crown's Jewel

Cousins snaps at media after drugs arrest

Pay TV claims were not referred to police

Top ten overseas fashion sites

'Cautiously optimistic' Gianni Versace returns to profit

Street Corner News...

Sydney Airport And The Star's Casino Nightclub To Get Paris Hilton Mania

Best 5 Gangster Movies Of All Time; The Godfather Still Rules The Mob

Entertainment Industry News Update: Australia, Hollywood, Movies, WWE WrestleMania...

News Archive...

Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis arm wrestle

Australian And Hollywood Entertainment, Celebrity and Gaming News; Jackman, Crowe, WWE.. - 20th March 2012

Entertainment, Celebrity And Gaming News; Australia, Hollywood And Internet World - 24th March 2012

Casino, Poker, Bingo, Table Games, Hollywood Slot Games, Casino Classics: PartyGaming Does It All

Bwin.Party Joins Nevada’s Online Poker Licensing Parade - 8th March 2012

Australian Casinos And Sports Use Celeb Push Of Gambling

PartyGaming, PartyCasino, Bwin Do Deal With Las Vegas Land Based Casinos

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sydney Airport And The Star's Casino Nightclub To Get Paris Hilton Mania

Profiles

The Star Echo Entertainment Clubs Casinos Australian Casinos Paris Hilton Celebrities Sydney





News

News Entertainment News Casino News

Australian entertainment and club fans, and all you celebrity watchers out there... It's time for yet another showbiz update.

The Star's new nightclub Marquee in "Sin City" Sydney, Australia is to hold their grand opening this Friday night and guess who is coming to the party - the ultimate party girl herself - Paris Hilton, along with boyfriend DJ Afrojack, and a bush tucker bag of friends and associates including Ashlee Simpson, Nick Lachey, Kellan Lutz, Abbie Cornish and LMFAO's Redfoo.

Then there's the Australian contingent of celebs attending including Laura Dundovic, Alex Dimitriades, Glenn and Sara McGrath, Alex Perry, Nikki Phillips, Didier Cohen, April Rose Pengilly, Tim Commandeur, Laura Cstortan and Chris Joannou.

A Media Man agency spokesperson said "It's likely the most star power and positive entertainment news The Star and any of its clubs are likely to get for a while so the powers that be at The Star are pulling out all of the stops and rabbits out of the hat to ensure that its done right. The Star and its nightclubs appear to be aiming for it to be the place to be seen, with even a street team of sorts assembled to try to encourage Sydney party types to make The Star and its Marquee the preferred nightclub venue in Sydney if not Australia".

The big party bash is set to get massive Australian and international news coverage, but will that translate into dollars for the Echo Entertainment owned premise? That's what The Star's Marquee is gambling on anyway.

Marquee is hoping to attract not only big dollars but also lots of positive press when it holds their mega part for the world's hottest celebs this Friday.

The official VIP launch party will include DJ sets from The Black Eye Peas, will.i.am and Afrojack, with boat loads of celebs.

The 20,000 square foot nightclub occupies the entire top tier of The Star’s new Pirrama Road harbour side entrance. It enjoys a 1,200 people capacity and is aiming to fill up the venue with the right sort of customers. It's understood that there's three separate spaces within the one venue, so hopefully there's something for everyone's mood and taste.

The Main Room sports a 30-foot projection stage with an LED DJ booth and two funky dance floors, while another section entitled 'Boom Box' has an outdoor patio and DJ booth. For those guests who are looking for a bit more intimacy... and we know your out there boys and girls, there's a "library-style" lounge room along with fireplace, where you might want to get all cosy with your best friends and even fast friends, if you follow.

The new funky nightclub is a joint effort between The Star and Tao Group, which operates very successful nightclubs in the United States including LAVO in New York and Las Vegas, TAO Las Vegas and Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Punter's, we think its a pretty safe bet that you and yours will have fun (and spend a few dollars) at The Star's Marquee, so why not give them a go and tell us all about your experience.

It's all just another move in the Australian casino and entertainment wars, with a good dash of tourism biz factored in, and hopefully the public and Sydney benefit. Something tells us that Crown Limited's James Packer and his other top brass will also be watching the situation pretty closely.

Sydney - brace yourself for a hell of a party, and if The Star gets their way - get used to many more parties.

Will you be on 'The List' any time soon at Marquee - don't change your dial budding socialites.

News For Early Birds; Sydney Airport Tip Off...

Speculation is rife that Paris Hilton and perhaps one or two friends will be flying into Sydney International Airport very early tomorrow (Thursday) morning. A strong press pack is expected to be out there taking the punt that's she gets off a plane. Well, we're all in the gambling mood now aren't we now?

Paris Hilton Tweeted...

Another crazy day at the airport. Goodbye LA! Hello Sydney! ☺

♡ u! RT @CamRaFace: Headed to Australia. Time to catch up on movies & sleep :) #mlm love u @ParisHilton for always letting adventure with u!

At the airport about to take off to Sydney! Haven't been to Australia in a long time, so I'm very excited for this trip! Love it there! ☺♡

Can't wait for The @MarqueeSydney opening party this weekend! Going to be so much fun! Performances by @DJAfrojack @RedFoo & @IamWill! ☺♡♫

Can't wait for the grand opening of @MarqueeSydney this friday! Going to be an incredible party! I love the Aussies! ☺♫ http://tinyurl.com/cohcgeb

Feels good to be home, but not for long. Have to pack again now cause I'm flying to Australia tomorrow night. So excited! I love it there! ...


Flashback To Some Colourful Paris Hilton News From Years Ago That Attracted International News Media...

Why there's gold in them thar cells - 6th May 2007...

Paris Hilton will earn yet another fortune selling diaries and images of her life behind bars, according to leading publicists.

"She will probably make more money from it than Jeffrey Archer," said marketing guru Max Markson. "But she is very silly. She was warned. She was on a suspended sentence. She deserves to get 45 days."

Hilton's sentence for drunk driving is unlikely to adversely affect sales of Bondi Blonde, the beer she was hired to promote by its maker's part-owner, John Singleton, during a five-day visit to Sydney in January.

But she could use her marketing genius and jail sentence for a good cause, according to Greg Tingle, chief executive of Mediaman. "The opportunity certainly exists for Paris to turn this to a positive because of her strong social influence on youth globally," Tingle said.

"Paris and her close advisers should carefully consider what tactic to take with this. It's a golden opportunity to emphasise the dangers of alcohol abuse."

Since her first media appearance at the opening of a Las Vegas casino in 1999, Hilton has out ditzied Marilyn, built a business like Madonna and will soon have the ex-con marketability of Martha Stewart.

She has been so successful at turning a negative to a positive that she has created a new category of celebrity; the sleazebrity.

Who else could turn a humiliating sex video released by a toady former boyfriend into a global launch pad?

Who but Paris could profit from one million American parents signing a petition to ban a TV advertisement in which she slid across a soapy Bentley to eat a hamburger?

In his ebook Paris Hilton is a Fool, author W. Frederick Zimmerman writes that while the socialite/model/TV star is a fool, she is nobody's idiot. "The evidence seems to support the argument that, although she is no intellectual, she is a pretty shrewd businesswoman," Zimmerman writes.

"She is a risk taker who avoided the easy path of relying on a family fortune and struck out on her own to create an innovative personal career."

But life behind bars will be anything but the simple life for the multi-millionaire hotel heiress. (Credit: The Age)

Media Man 2012 Commentary On Paris...

"Paris Hilton may not be saving the world, but when she gets into Australia tomorrow she is bound to give a shot into the arm to Australia's embattled tourism and entertainment industry. 'Sin City' Sydney is to get some extra dollars in the door, and The Star will see much of it. Just how much of that love... dollars gets spread around Sydney remains to be seen, but the land down under is to also get its fair share of entertainment news headlines around the world thanks to Paris, and hopefully that's a good thing. It should be unless there's an unforeseen significant development around the corner. Paris has matured quite a bit in the past few years, plus The Star will be watching over things closely, so it should be smooth sailing. Welcome back to Sydney Paris."

That's it fans. Stay tuned to Media Man and Street Corner for more entertainment news and scoops daily.

Websites

Media Man News

The Star

Marquee, The Star, Sydney

Echo Entertainment

Paris Hilton official website

Casino News Media

Australian Sports Entertainment

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Leisel VS Bondi - 27th March 2012

Profiles

Bondi Beach Sport Sydney





Leisel Jones has won three Olympic gold medals, broken twelve world records, won 7 World Championships and last week became the first Australian swimmer of all time to qualify for four Olympic Games.

Leisel will be at Bondi Beach on Tuesday morning to cheer on participants as they attempt to better her world record 200 metre breaststroke time...participants will however be allowed to swim freestle!

Interview and photo opportunities will be available.

Websites

Leisel Jones (Swimming Australia)

North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club

Qantas

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Music News Australia

Bondi Beach Directory

Media Man News

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Justin Bieber Fragrance Launch With Make A Wish Foundation, Sydney, Australia

Profiles

Music Celebrities Events Sydney





Today in Sydney, Australia, Make-A-Wish Foundation received a $50,000 donation from Escentials Brands, thanks to their business arrangement with Justin Bieber.

Worldwide phenomenon Justin Bieber has teamed up with Give Back Brands to create a fragrance with GBB's net profits going to charity.

After record-breaking sales in the United States and the United Kingdom, SOMEDAY is launching in Australia exclusively through local distribution company, Escentials Brands, to be sold at Myer from Sunday 1 April 2012.

In keeping with the philosophy of Justin Bieber and GBB, Escentials Brands will also be donating a further $2 every 100mL bottle sold between launch and 31 December 2012 to Make A Wish Australia. A donation of $50,000 will be made to Make A Wish Australia from Escentials Brands before a single bottle is sold.

News media attended The Summit Restaurant's private dining room, Prive.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the event so successful, and good on Justin Bieber and his management for using celebrity for good.

Finally, all power to the brave Make-A-Wish kids, and keep up the good fight.

Celebrity for good - should be more of it, and public big congrats to Justin and friends in setting a fine example.

Websites

Justin Bieber official website

Make-A-Wish Foundation (Australia)

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Identity PR

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Music News Australia

Media Man News

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Media Man

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Duran Duran Rock Sydney Entertainment Centre, Australia

Profiles

Music Sydney Entertainment Centre Celebrities Events Sydney

Tonight's the night. The Sydney Entertainment Centre was privileged to showcase iconic 80's group Duran Duran to Sydney.

The group looked and sounded great, and it didn't look like they missed a beat from when they were in their prime.

Favorite numbers of mine included ‘Hungry Like The Wolf' and 'Girls On Film'.

The anticipation of music lovers in Sydney has been building for some time and was further fuelled along by the announcement of promoter Dainty Group...

Dainty Group is thrilled to announce that after a long absence, one of the world's most iconic bands, DURAN DURAN, will return to Australian shores in March 2012 for a series of six concerts, in support of their latest album ‘All You Need Is Now'.  This highly anticipated tour will see the band perform across the country, with shows in Sydney, Melbourne,Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Hunter Valley.

DURAN DURAN's Australian tour will comprise a run of spectacular arena shows, as well as two unforgettable outdoor concerts at Sandalford Estate (Swan Valley, Perth) and Tempus Two Winery (Hunter Valley, NSW).  Last in Australia in 2008, DURAN DURAN will showcase songs from their critically acclaimed new album on the March dates, alongside all of the unforgettable hits from across their thirty-year career.

DURAN DURAN's stunning new album: ‘All You Need Is Now', has already been proclaimed a triumph by fans and critics alike, and hit the #1 spot on download charts in the top 15 markets around the world when it was released earlier this year (on Shock Records in Australia).  Produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Adele, Kaiser Chiefs, Lily Allen) and mixed by Spike Stent (Madonna, Björk, No Doubt), it features guest vocals/rap from long-time Duran Duran pal/collaborator Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters, and R&B/neo-soul superstar Kelis; while Owen Pallettof Arcade Fire contributes the album's string arrangements. ‘All You Need Is Now' is a return-to-roots homage to DURAN DURAN's most celebrated musical panache, and has already been dubbed the "imaginary follow up to Rio that never was."

The announcement of the band's 2012 Australian dates comes hot on the heels of their brilliantly reviewed North American tour, a sold out 11 show arena run in the UK, and a whirlwind year that has seen them, amongst other things, make a spectacular live film with director David Lynch, and most recently release a uniquely DURAN DURAN video for the song ‘Girl Panic !'.Directed by Grammy-award winner Jonas Åkerlund (who has shot videos for Madonna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, including the notorious "Telephone"),this dazzling short film reunites top supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, Eva Herzigova and Yasmin Le Bon, and was shot over the course of two days this past June at the Savoy Hotel in London. As the models take on rock star roles playing Simon, John, Nick, and Roger, the nine minute video unfolds into a stunning, fast-paced, high fashion affair, that has fast become the most talked about collaboration of its kind this year. Australian fans can view the video here.

The original Duran line-up of Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, and Nick Rhodes continues to reign supreme as one of the biggest British bands of all time - reimagining pop music, creating ground-breaking music videos and winning over millions of new fans worldwide with their unique fusion of music, art, technology and fashion.From the very beginning,when DURAN DURAN first took the visual imperatives of the New Romantic movement of the 1980s to a whole other level, defining the MTV generation, they have built a loyal army of fans who have stayed with them to this day.

Since their first worldwide hits, that included ‘Planet Earth', ‘Girls on Film', ‘Hungry Like The Wolf' and ‘Rio', the band have maintained their success and solidified their place within pop music history. They have sold over 80 million records worldwide, had more than 30 hit singles and have garnered a global presence with huge concert audiences on five continents. Now a seemingly unstoppable force, with no fewer than six prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards under their belts (MTV Video Music Awards, the Brits, the Ivor Novellos,Q Magazine, the Spanish Ondas and most recently GQ Magazine),DURAN DURAN are in a category with only a handful of other internationally acclaimed artists.

As this new chapter begins, they have nothing left to prove, but everything to play for.  So for them and their loyal army of fans... All You Need Is Now!

Thank yous...

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been diligently working away in putting this awesome concert together.

We'll see you back at the Sydney Entertainment Centre again really soon.

Websites

Duran Duran

Dainty Group

Sydney Entertainment Centre

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Music News Australia

Media Man News

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Best 5 Gangster Movies Of All Time; The Godfather Still Rules The Mob

News

News Entertainment News Casino News

Profiles

The Godfather The Godfather II Scarface Casino (movie) Al Pacino Robert De Niro James Packer Movies Hollywood Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal Sharon Stone Mafia





From Bondi Beach, to Blacktown, all the way to Hollywood, Cannes and Italy (we can't forget the Mafia connection), gangster movies are as cool as ever. In Australia we have to settle for Underbelly, Underbelly Razor (now in an Uncut DVD set), and then there was Dirty Deeds (collecting money from pokie dens et al) from a few years ago on TV (soon to be released). Gangster movies serve as history, entertainment and commentary. With a combination of violence, betrayal, power and family, it is no surprise gangster movies are so popular. Here's our Top 5 Gangster Movies of all time.

5. Scarface

Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay and Brian De Palma directed this movie that reflected the violent chaos that cocaine brought to Miami in the late 70s and early 80s. Al Pacino gave an epic performance as Cuban immigrant turned drug lord, Tony Montana. Lots of violence, done in a way that makes the movie even better.

4. Casino

“Casino” was written by Nicholas Pileggi and directed by Martin Scorcese. It is based on the real life story of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, but the protagonist’s name was changed to Sam "Ace" Rothstein. Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone give excellent performances and Robbie Robertson did an excellent job providing the music for the movie. You don't have to be a fan of gambling to appreciate this classic movie.

3. The Godfather

Directed Francis Ford Coppola and written by Coppola and Mario Puzo, “The Godfather” is an epic tale of the fictitious Corleone mafia crime family and their struggles. Marlon Brando gives the performance of a lifetime and Al Pacino is amazing in his break out role.

2. Goodfellas

Nicholas Pillegi wrote and Martin Scorcese directed this real life story of mafia affiliate, Henry Hill. With its raw depiction of criminal life, “Goodfellas” takes away whatever romance and glamour that other movies have attributed to mob life.

1. The Godfather II

Again written by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, “Godfather II” expands on the original by both going forward and backward, covering the origins of the original Godfather, Vito Corleone. The epic tale shows how crime took down Cuba and features great performances by Pacino and DeNiro as well as Lee Srassberg who played the Meyer Lansky based character, Hyman Roth.

News Update...


The Godfather Movie Franchise Turns 40...

Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather turned 40 this past weekend, a surprisingly ripe old age for a movie that hasn't aged a bit.

One of the great American movies, The Godfather hasn't stopped influencing popular culture since the day it was released.

Martin Scorsese owes much of his career to it, The Sopranos wouldn't have made sense without it, and VH1's reality show Mob Wives is a winking travesty of it.

The film's alluring portrait of the mob as Old World charmers with ice-cold hearts appears again and again in crime films, comedies, video games, comic books, hip-hop videos - the list goes on. In fact, nearly anything that focuses on organized crime, corporate gamesmanship or the glories of patriarchy - from HBO's The Wire to AMC's Mad Men - seems unable to escape the long, broad-shouldered shadow of The Godfather. You can even play The Godfather online slot game at Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment owned PartyCasino.com Tell 'em the Media Man sent you.

But for all its heavy themes (immigration, politics, business, the American dream), The Godfather is also vastly entertaining. It's a grand, macho soap opera full of unfettered ids, violently settled scores and men wearing enviable suits. And talk about a bromance: Have you ever seen so many guys hugging and kissing in a Hollywood movie?



Robert De Niro; King Of Gangster Movies Flys Into Perth: Visits Burswood Casino...

The general public might have guessed a president were in Perth a few days ago if they been near the Burswood Entertainment Complex.

Legendary actor Robert De Niro is Hollywood personified and as you might expect he got the super VIP treatment at James Packer's Crown Perth.

Speaking at the launch of his restaurant Nobu Perth on Sunday, De Niro was friendly, relaxed and "slightly scruffy" (said The West Australian). The voice and intense stare was true to form.

De Niro said he was planning to make the most of his whirlwind visit.

"I just got here last night, in the middle of the night," he said. "We have a list of things to do and see, so we are on it.

"I want to see as much as I can."

The New York native said he had "no expectations" of what to expect on his first visit to Perth, but wanted to explore the sights before he leaves tomorrow.

"I'm very curious about the west coast of Australia and my impressions are that it is somewhat like LA, but I could be wrong about that," he said.

Perth's social set jumped at the opportunity to rub shoulders with the star of such films as The Godfather: Part II, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Taxi Driver.

The 68-year-old and his wife Grace Hightower De Niro, 56, joined his business partners of almost two decades, acclaimed chef and restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa and movie producer Meir Teper, along with Burswood owner... king of the castle James Packer and wife Erica for the event, which followed in the tradition of Nobu openings around the globe with a sake ceremony.

Premier Colin Barnett and wife Lyn, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes and Christine Simpson Stokes, Adam and Mel Gilchrist, Patti Chong, Janet Holmes a Court and Denise Satterley were in the mix of the 280 guests who walked a red carpet into the beautiful restaurant.

Former boxer turned actor Rai Fazio was quite likely the most excited guest of all.

"I got a call this afternoon saying Mr De Niro requests your company at Nobu tonight," he said.

Fazio met De Niro a year ago in West Hollywood, after they hit it off famously.


That's it fans. Stay tuned to Media Man and Street Corner for more entertainment news and scoops daily.

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Charles Billich and Ian Thorpe; Spiritual Training Portrait - 26th March 2012

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It was, and still is, the talk of the Sydney arts world...

Iconic Australian sports figure Ian Thorpe returned to Sydney to launch a portrait painted of him for the 10-year anniversary of his charity, Fountain for Youth.

The painting was completed a year ago but was been revealed due to the swim star's Olympic training commitments.

Thorpe attended tonight's launch, coming off the Olympic trials in Adelaide.

Well known and celebrated artist Charles Billich has enjoyed some wonderful conversations with the swimmer during their sittings for the portrait.

The art is entitled "Spiritual Training" and is described as "A composite portrait of Ian Thorpe...an iconic Australian Renaissance man".

Billich said the artwork was meant to encompass Thorpe's devotion to the pool and his work with indigenous people and will be sold to raise money for the Ian Thorpe Fountain For Youth charity.

The occasion is in support of Ian Thorpe's charity - The Foundation for Youth. The painting will be acquired by silent auction.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Cranberries Enmore Theatre, Sydney Tonight - 26th March 2012

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The Cranberries perform tonight at Sydney's famous Enmore Theatre.

The iconic group is fronted by Dolores O’Riordan and lit up the charts around the world for more than a decade with classics such as Linger, Dreams and Zombie.

They have sold more than 30 million albums and have had two number one albums in Australia, No Need To Argue (1994) and To The Faithful Departed (1996). Other live favourites include Free To Decide, When You’re Gone, Salvation, Ode To My Family and Ridiculous Thoughts.

They’ve performed to millions of fans across the globe including several appearances for the Pope. They’ve graced the cover of Rolling Stone and performed on Letterman and Leno.

After taking a few years out to raise their families, THE CRANBERRIES release a new album, Roses, on February 27, the quartet’s first studio album since Wake Up and Smell the Coffee in 2001.

THE CRANBERRIES are well known for their exceptional live performances. Dolores says “There’s something about playing with THE CRANBERRIES, it’s like putting on the pair of perfect shoes. It’s a chemistry. It just fits.”

Popular Melbourne-based NZ reggae/roots/funk five-piece BONJAH will be the special guests. With over 500 Australian gigs under their belt and their second album, Go Go Chaos, hitting the charts last year, BONJAH will kick off the evening in fine style.

Don’t miss your only chance to see The Cranberies perform their only Australian solo show.

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Charles Billich and Ian Thorpe; Thorpe's Foundation For Youth - Spiritual Training - 26th March 2012

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It's the talk of the Sydney arts world...

Iconic Australian sports figure Ian Thope will return to Sydney to launch a portrait painted of him for the 10-year anniversary of his charity, Fountain for Youth.

The painting was completed a year ago but has not been revealed due to the swim star's Olympic training commitments.

It's understood Thorpe will attend tonight's launch, coming off the Olympic trials in Adelaide.

Well known and celebrated artist Charles Billich has enjoyed some wonderful conversations with the swimmer during their sittings for the portrait and thinks Thorpe is "going for the theatrics" and might surprise everyone with his comeback.

"He's an impressive guy, not because he's famous but because he has enormous discipline, enormous energy and dedication and if he wants to do it, he will do it and he will do it again," Billich says.

"I think he is leaving it to the last; he might have a sense of the theatrics with his timing and he'll surprise everyone."

The art is entitled "Spiritual Training" and is described as "A composite portrait of Ian Thorpe...an iconic Australian Renaissance man".

The occasion is in support of Ian Thorpe's charity - The Foundation for Youth. The painting can be acquired by silent auction.

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Entertainment Industry News Update: Australia, Hollywood, Movies, WWE WrestleMania...

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Australian movie and entertainment fans. It's time for yet another showbiz update. We've got Marvel Entertainment, Disney, WWE WrestleMania, gaming, celebrities, The Star and more.

Walt Disney Releases "Fun Facts" for THE AVENGERS Movie...

In anticipation for the summer blockbuster release of Marvel's The Avengers superhero team-up of a life time, Walt Disney Pictures have officially released a series of neat "fun facts" surrounding the Joss Whedon-directed production. While we have learned a few of these "facts" prior, indulge in them down below.

* Marvel's The Avengers is based on the Marvel comic created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The first Avengers comic was published in September 1963 and the lineup consisted of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man and Wasp. Captain America joined the team in #4, after being revived from being trapped in a block of ice. This film brings together Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) when they are called to duty by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

* Production on Marvel's The Avengers commenced on April 25, 2011, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the production shot onstage at Albuquerque Studios and various locations in and around the city until Thursday, July 28. Other filming locations included Wilmington, Ohio; Worthington, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. The shoot lasted a total of 93 shooting days on 1st unit and 47 shooting days on second unit.

* The Helicarrier Bridge set was built on a soundstage in Albuquerque. This iconic home base for the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., whose director is Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), resembles an aircraft carrier, but it's no ordinary carrier -- it can actually fly. The filmmakers wanted to embrace that key element of The Avengers history and give the fans a real thrill when it takes to the air. To achieve the exterior of the Helicarrier, the filmmakers shot on a runway at the Albuquerque International Sunport.

* Another classic Marvel vehicle, the Quinjet, is also making an appearance in the movie. The Quinjet is essentially the jump jet that The Avengers use to go to and from the Helicarrier and to go into battles. The Quinjet design fits in with the Helicarrier -- the same technology that allows the Helicarrier to work has been incorporated into the Quinjet. But at the same time the silhouette of the Quinjet, the cockpit, the engines on the back and the weaponry make it feel as though it could actually exist today.

* In the very first issue of the comic book The Avengers, almost 50 years ago, it was Loki, Thor's brother, who was causing the trouble that brought all the Avengers together for the first time to defeat him. In the making of the movie, Marvel stayed true to that setup. Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, is a much stronger villain on Earth than he is in his own world of Asgard and wreaks havoc in Marvel's The Avengers.

* Chris Hemsworth (Thor) felt that being on location was like summer camp, where no one really knows each other but everyone hangs out together and has a great time. However, Hemsworth did know Tom Hiddleston (Loki) from Thor and developed a great relationship with him on that film that carried over to The Avengers.

* To play expert archer Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner received training from Olympic archers on how to use a bow properly. He learned the basics of archery as well as the proper positions, but one of the most difficult tasks Renner had to master was the consistency he had to employ in drawing back the bow, which is difficult to do when drawing back fast.

* Scarlett Johansson was more than happy to reprise her role as Black Widow in The Avengers. The actress says she is a huge fan of the character and is happy that fans liked her as Black Widow, a role she originated in "Iron Man 2." In "Marvel's The Avengers," during her scenes with another highly skilled S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, Hawkeye, the audience will be let in on some of their backstory and get a glimpse of their longtime working relationship.

* When the cast and crew of The Avengers flew from Albuquerque to Wilmington, Ohio, they didn't have to go far to reach their new shooting location. The production's charter flight landed right next to the film set at Clinton County Airpark, a massive complex complete with a 9,000-foot runway and a one million square foot, state-of-the-art shipping facility that would double in the film for parts of the interior of the Helicarrier.

* The famous battle cry in the comic book, "Avengers Assemble!" is a call to arms for members of the team to fight "the foes no single superhero can withstand." During production, Chris Evans (Captain America) borrowed the famous command to gather up his fellow cast members when he sent out text messages to them to come together for a night on the town in Albuquerque after a long, hard week of work on the production.

* Shooting in Central Park is never easy, but what about when you put the entire cast of the film at Bethesda Fountain on Labor Day weekend? The cast, crew and filmmakers got to find out firsthand as thousands of onlookers gathered to see something that held the attention of even the most hardened New Yorker -- the entire cast of "Marvel's The Avengers" in costume, including Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in their Asgardian finery. For the actors in the film it would be the first time they were all on set together in over a month and also the last time they would be shooting together. For director Joss Whedon the challenge was to keep his cast focused. "It was like a circus crossed with a class reunion," laughs the director. "Paparazzi and fans were everywhere and the cast was so happy to see each other, talk and catch up because they enjoyed hanging out together."

* The film's second unit shot a chase sequence in Worthington, Pennsylvania, at Creekside Mushroom LTD, the former home to World Famous Moonlight® brand Mushrooms. Creekside was the world's largest mushroom-growing facility and the only underground mushroom farm in the United States. For the production, shooting at the facility meant gaining access to the 150 miles of tunnels 300 feet below the ground. Without power, prepping the tunnels for the chase sequences that involved Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) took months -- but it all paid off with spectacular results.

* With so many fight sequences in the film, many of the actors, including Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner, participated in extensive fight training with the stunt team. Cast members trained with fight choreographer Jonathan Eusebio. Renaming the gym the "Stunt Dojo," Eusebio and his team trained the cast in different fighting styles, including medieval fighting techniques, Wushu, Kung Fu and Kali.

* For three weeks, the production shut down East 9th Street in Downtown Cleveland to prep and shoot one of the larger action sequences. It was the talk of the town for months and attracted thousands of curious onlookers, who watched the street transform from empty buildings to a bustling New York City street complete with subway stop and popular storefronts with facades. The production design was so convincing that rumors circulated about new stores opening on the street.

* Another challenge for the production design team was transforming Cleveland's historic Public Square into an exterior location that would double for Stuttgart, Germany. The production changed words on the facades of the buildings to German and added a "biergarten" to the square. Local workers in the area loved the changes and hoped the upgrades to the square (new flowers, plants, picnic tables and lampposts) would stay in place after filming was completed.

* Despite being a secure location that only cast and crew members could access, one fan's persistence caught the eye of "The Avengers" cast and crew at the Airpark set in Wilmington, Ohio, when she made a big poster-board sign welcoming the cast to the city and requesting that the actors autograph a T-shirt that was in a bag. The sign was such a hit with the company that they passed it to the set. Filmmakers were able to contact the fan and she was given a tour of the set, an "Avengers" crew hat, a meet and greet with director Joss Whedon and, of course, the cast's autographs on the T-shirt she had placed by the sign. It truly was a day to remember for one lifelong Marvel fan.

* Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Tom Hiddleston was not exposed to American sports, but that all changed during production as he was able to watch a Cleveland Browns preseason football game on the sidelines, attend a Cleveland Indians game, throw out the first pitch, and be courtside at the US Open to watch several matches.

* In shooting one of the bigger action sequences in the film, director Joss Whedon enlisted the help of 25 members of the Ohio-based 391st Military Police Battalion to be part of the scene in which New York City is being attacked by unknown forces. The troops were brought in to add a layer of authenticity and give the combat scenes realism. And realism is exactly what the MPs delivered with their 50-caliber machine guns and Mark-19s. The film crew was blown away by their firepower and teamwork and Whedon was also impressed and appreciative as he posed for pictures with the Battalion after the scene was completed.

* For special effects to pull off the destruction of a New York City street, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick involved precision pyrotechnics and well-timed car gags so that the production's stunt people could safely maneuver through the explosions and flipping cars. To pull off the large pyrotechnic event, Sudick and his team rigged 28 explosions, which went off in a wave fashion down the street to simulate an air attack. The sequence also included setting up 14 cars down the middle of the street, which included cannon cars, flipper cars, ‘pyro cars as well as a semi-truck that exploded. Sudick and his team pulled off the sequence without a hitch and even though it was shot on East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland, it still made the cover of the New York Post with the headline: "Save us, Thor!"

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, & directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble on May 4, 2012. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013!; and “Thor 2” on November 15, 2013. Source: Walt Disney Pictures


Why Paramount Pictures And Not Disney Is Credited in Avengers Movie Promos...

Some folks have wondered why it is Paramount Pictures and not Walt Disney Pictures that is credited in the The Avengers promos. After all, last October they announced that they had "reached an agreement under which Paramount will transfer its worldwide marketing and distribution rights to Disney for Marvel Studios' The Avengers and Iron Man 3... Under terms of the new deal, Disney will pay Paramount $115 million for the transfer of the distribution rights to Iron Man 3 and The Avengers to be paid on the theatrical release dates. These monies will serve as a minimum guarantee against the distribution fees. In completing this agreement, Disney will now assume worldwide marketing and distribution of 'The Avengers' and 'Iron Man 3'."

Yet, when you examine both the teaser poster and the new trailer, there is no mention of Disney at all. Variety has a report on this and mentions that some things were left out of the original announcement:

Knowing Disney wanted to turn "The Avengers" into a franchise and bank on the success of "Iron Man" after buying Marvel for $4 billion, Par's brass negotiated a deal in which it continues to collect 8% of the B.O. as part of fees it would have earned for distribbing the pic, as it did with the two "Iron Man" pics, "Thor" and "Captain America." It gets 9% for "Iron Man 3."

At the minimum, it earns $115 million, should they not perform.

At the same time, the deal granted Par placement on the marketing materials for both titles, even though Marvel's films are fully owned by Disney and will be solely distributed and marketed by the Mouse House, Variety learned.

While moviegoers will continue to think Paramount Pictures is releasing The Avengers and Iron Man 3 in theaters, it is Disney doing the vast amount of work and who most of the movie news is coming from. Most fans are not fussed, and just want to see quality super hero themed motion pictures.


Casino Club Promoters from The Star's Marquee Nightclub Ejected From Hugos; Trying to Attract Patrons...

The Star is pulling out all the stops in their ambitious attempt to establish Marquee as Sydney's elite nightclub, with an army of promoters - street team of sorts spotted looking to nab customers from rival nightclubs over the weekend.

There's a bakers dozen play celebrities being flown in from Los Angeles this week to attend the VIP party on Friday - Paris Hilton, Ashlee Simpson, Nick Lachey, Kellan Lutz, Abbie Cornish and LMFAO's Redfoo in the mix.

Rupert Murdoch's Daily Telegraph 'Confidential' Kings Cross spies noticed a group of Marquee workers being requested to leave Hugos on Friday night.

"They were handing out cards and talking up Marquee's big (public) opening on Saturday," said the leak. "Staff saw them and asked them to leave immediately."

Another leak said: "Being in Pyrmont, The Star are aware they really have to work to get people there because there's nothing else around. Even from Ivy it's quite a hike."

As revealed on Saturday, a massive group of socialites and party types have been recruited - many from other clubs - to help drive business to the $20 million Marquee. The official opening night on Saturday features a performance by will.i.am and the casino in a clever move not ticketing the event, with a door charge guaranteeing bigger numbers and early arrivals.


Mel Gibson selling his Costa Rican retreat...

Australian Actor-director Mel Gibson is putting his sprawling hilltop compound in Costa Rica up for sale with a $US29.75 million asking price.

The Oscar winner has suffered a series of public embarrassments in recent years after a decades-long reign as a top box office star.

Fortunately things have pretty much returned to normal for 'Our Mel', who is getting a lot of support from many Hollywooders and close friends.

He is reportedly selling the 500-acre compound to downsize his real estate portfolio.

Over the years Gibson has owned lavish properties in Malibu, Australia, Montana, Connecticut and even a private island in Fiji.

Gibson's Pacific coast compound, on Playa Barrigona on Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula just south of the Nicaragua border, boasts three hilltop homes - the largest of which has seven bedrooms, with soaring ocean and jungle views.

Each villa on the former cattle ranch is outfitted with native Costa Rican woods and Italian and Spanish tiles and features multiple verandas and a private pool.

"The property is expansive, meticulously maintained and ultimately private," said Rick Moeser, a spokesman for Christie's real estate.

"With its multiple homes and outbuildings, this is the ideal family retreat."

Gibson, 56, has seven children from his long marriage which ended in divorce in 2009.

He also has one child with Russian star Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he had an acrimonious break-up.

Many people are looking forward to seeing Mel back in the media for quality film projects that he decides to involve himself in.

WWE WrestleMania: The Rock VS John Cena News...

The Rock, who rose to stardom in the pro wrestling business, says there's nowhere else he'd rather drop The People's Elbow than in the ring. The Rock returns to the WWE for his first WrestleMania match since 2004 when he headlines the April 1 WrestleMania 28 card against former champion John Cena at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, USA.

For a company once home to Hulk Hogan and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, this match is as close as it gets to a dream match. Both hardcore fans, casual fans and news media are buzzing about it.

"I came back to put on the biggest match of all time," Johnson said. "That's all I want to do. There's no one I can do that with right now other than John. He's far and above everyone else in terms of popularity. He's the guy. Is he Stone Cold? No. Is he Hogan? No. But he is John Cena and he's been on top for a long time now."

Johnson reigned in that top spot at the end of the 1990s and the early part of the last decade
before embarking on an impressive run in Hollywood. His current film, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," grossed $95 million in its first six weeks in the U.S attained $300 million worldwide. His previous movie, "Fast Five," made more than $210 million in U.S grosses, proving that Johnson knows how to rock the box office.

All that big-ticket drawing power is why the WWE believes he can attract more than a million pay-per-view buys (at $54.95 U.S) in his return singles match.

"They know that I'm back, not for money, not because I like being on the road, but because I love the business," Johnson said. "The energy level is different this time around, the connection is more emotional this time around."

Sitting in the Wells Fargo Center seats hours before 18,088 fans packed the place for Monday's live "Raw," Johnson reflected on a career that took him from $40 paydays and Waffle House meals to his choice of top movie roles and a lavish $3.4 million pad in South Florida.

His stories are interrupted by visits from today's WWE crew. Sheamus, a rising WWE star, had a brief chat with The Rock.

"Great match on Friday," Rock says. "I texted Chris (Jericho) on Friday. You guys killed it. That boot at the end, that was awesome."

Sheamus smiles and appreciates the feedback.

"Thank you, Rock."

The Rock says, if the boys in the back are resentful he slid into the main event without toiling 200-plus days last year on the road, he hasn't noticed.

"The best part of me coming back is hearing them say, 'You've inspired me, thank you,'" Johnson said. "That's the greatest compliment that I can get. It's so cool man. They don't talk about movies. They don't talk about other matches. It's just, 'You've inspired me.'"

On screen, Cena has a contrasting take.

"I was a fan in '99. I'm not a fan now," Cena said. "I don't know what he's got going on upstairs."

The Rock returned to Vince McMahon's empire last year as WrestleMania's guest host, but couldn't help but get physical in the main event. He dropped his finishing move, The Rock Bottom, on Cena which allowed WWE champion The Miz to get the pin and retain his title. The next night on "Raw," Cena and Rock agreed to a bout for this year's signature event, a bold and risky yearlong push for a company where real injuries often fracture fantasy storylines.

Johnson's return boosted Wrestlemania's buy rate to 1,042,000 worldwide—the first time it topped a million in three years and seventh time overall.

The Rock wrestled for the first time in 7 1/2 years when he teamed with Cena at November's Survivor Series pay-per-view against Miz and R-Truth.

The temporary alliance disintegrated and the duo have engaged in verbal battles for most of the last two months. Cena tweaked Rock's catchphrases in a rap song. Rock strummed the guitar and sang his own tune about where he wants to stick his boots at Wrestlemania. The two have gone back-and-forth on Twitter. It's a unique twist on hype—far removed from the ferociousness of Roddy Piper bashing Jimmy Snuka's head with a coconut.

"We've been griping like two little kids now for about a year," Cena said. "Now, everybody wants to see us fight."

Cena and Rock top a card that includes WWE champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho, "Triple H" Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. the Undertaker in a steel cage, and Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly and "Extra" co-host and current "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Maria Menounos.

Like Johnson, Jericho has found mainstream success as an author, lead singer of the band "Fozzy," and reality TV and awards show host. Jericho said few people have Johnson's oversized personality to transition into all forms of entertainment.

"I know just how much firepower Rock has," Jericho said. "I think people forget sometimes how good he is."

Fans have tuned in, though not quite in the monster numbers of Johnson's "Attitude Era" heyday. The March 12 "Raw," averaged 4.82 million viewers (4.97 million watched the second hour of the show) which bested the highest-rated NCAA tournament cable game, Kansas vs. Purdue (4.43 million viewers).

Johnson has committed to appearing at next year's WrestleMania at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. In what role, he hasn't said.

It's clear if the WWE wants to squeeze another potential blockbuster buy rate out of the Rock, the last man standing to get the headline match would be the return of former WWE and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

How about it: Brock vs. Rock at WrestleMania 29?

"I'm not saying a thing," said a laughing, grinning Rock, eyebrow raised. "I didn't say anything."

The Rock silenced. That's a first.

Before Johnson can map out a storyline for next year's WrestleMania, there are more movies to shoot. He just wrapped, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," and begins filming Michael Bay's "Pain & Gain," with Mark Wahlberg on April 3. He also has starring roles lined up for "Fast Six," and "Hercules."

Johnson would like to shed the invincible hero role for once and grapple with a meatier, dramatic role.

"A role like that will come," he said. "I can't wait for that to come, by the way. We'll develop things. I'm patient."

He won't have to wait much longer for WrestleMania.

*Australian fans can order WrestleMania 28 via the Main Event Channel on Foxtel for $34.95 - "Very good value for money considering the strength of the card" said a Media Man spokeperson. "If your going to order just one wrestling PPV this year, this is the one to get without question" continued the PR from the Media Man agency.

Main Event TV - WrestleMania promo...

WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII
LIVE Monday, April 2 at 9am AEDT
Replays: 2pm, 7pm, 12am AEST
Encores: 3 till 5 April 2012 then 8 till 9 April

In the most anticipated WrestleMania clash in history, John Cena will collide with The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII, emanating from The Great One’s hometown of Miami.

Few could have anticipated that two of sports-entertainment’s most celebrated icons would ever meet in the squared circle, let alone on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Yet, the WWE Universe will bear witness to this blockbuster collision - one year after The Cenation Commander-in-Chief and “The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment” agreed to battle in a dream match for the ages.

Following a seven-year absence, The Rock returned to WWE in characteristically grand fashion in early 2010 to host WrestleMania XXVII. Although The People’s Champion was overjoyed to be reunited with his millions – and millions – of fans at long last, he was quick to take aim at Cena, sparking a very public war of words with his fellow multi-time World Champion.

The verbal jousts escalated to physical confrontation in the weeks that followed, and it became abundantly clear that the pair would cross paths at The Showcase of the Immortals in one way or another. Ultimately, in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 71,000 WWE Universe members in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, The Rock put an exclamation point on his rivalry with Cena by hitting him with a Rock Bottom, a maneuver that afforded The Miz the opportunity to retain his coveted WWE Championship.

The following night on Raw, these two icons faced off once again, but this time the physicality was limited to a handshake. For the first time in history, a WrestleMania main event was made one year prior to the event itself.

Cena and The Rock forged an unstable alliance to combat The Awesome Truth – an outspoken tandem consisting of The Miz & R-Truth – at the monumental 25th annual Survivor Series in Madison Square Garden. Although “The Most Charismatic Tag Team of All Time” kept their cool for the most part as they battled common enemies, The People’s Champ issued a forceful WrestleMania reminder to his temporary tag team partner after their victory when he nailed Cena with yet another Rock Bottom.

The battle lines were drawn once again...

2pm, 7pm, 12am AEST

FOXTEL, OPTUS, AUSTAR $34.95

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?
Are you a loyal member of Cenation, or are you allied with Team Bring It? Join the discussion about this monumental main event with the rest of the WWE Universe on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to watch history unfold by tuning in to WrestleMania XXVIII, April 2, 2012.


That's it fans. Stay tuned to Media Man and Street Corner for more entertainment news and scoops daily.

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100th e-gambling license issued by Alderney Gambling Control Commission

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The 100th e-gaming license has been issued by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC). It was granted to Relax Gaming Network Limited, a company which develops and maintains casino, poker and bingo software.

Robin Le Prevost, head of e-commerce development for Alderney, said: “Alderney remains at the forefront of e-gaming regulation and leads as one of the most pragmatic and popular regimes in the industry. The 100th licence reaffirms Alderney’s status as the ‘place to be’ for the e-gaming industry.”

Carey Olsen’s e-gaming team was led by partner Mark Dunster and included senior associate Richard Field and associate Tabreez Ahmed.

Advocate Dunster said: “Carey Olsen has played a significant role providing legal advice, including company formation, directorships and licensing guidelines, to a range of companies since the inception of the e-gaming industry in the Channel Islands for over 10 years.

“Carey Olsen now acts for more than half of the current licensees and the 100th licence is a milestone for the AGCC and we’re pleased to have been involved.

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The latest technology in gaming, gambling equipment and pokies machines will be unveiled at the 23rd annual Australasian Gaming expo.

Venue: Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Drive, Darling Harbour

Date: Sunday, August 26, 2012 to Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Around 25 new companies will be exhibiting at the expo this year, taking the total up to 170. As well as the Gaming Equipment you might expect, Categories include Building, Cash Handling, Food Products, Flooring, Furniture, Security and Signage - in what may well be the most complete and up-to-date source of information about Gaming and Hospitality industry supplies anywhere.

About Gaming Technologies Association:

The Gaming Technologies Association is a not-for-profit industry association, established in 1990 for the purpose of promoting the development of the manufacturing resources of Australia. Our members provide technology and equipment to hospitality venues in over 300 jurisdictions around the world. GTA's members are Ainsworth Game Technology, Aristocrat Technologies, Aruze Gaming Australia, Bally Australia, IGT (Australia), Konami Australia, ShuffleMaster Australasia and WMS Gaming Australia. Associate members include Independent Gaming. Affiliate members include eBet Limited, Interblock Asia Pacific, JCM Global, Paltronics Australasia, The Bright Group and Voyager Gaming. GTA hosts and operates the Australasian Gaming Expo

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