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Taking Names: Chan says he’s done with action films

- - Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jackie Chan said he is landing his last punch.

The Hong Kong actor told the Associated Press on Friday that his latest film, "Chinese Zodiac," will be his last action movie.

Mr. Chan, launching the film in Cannes with co-stars Kwon Sang Woo, Yao Xingtong and Liao Fan, said that people never believe him when he says he is going to retire.

"They say, 'No, you're still young, you can still do it,' but I have to stop one day."

The 58-year-old said he is bowing out with "Chinese Zodiac" because it's one of the "most important" films in his career.

Mr. Chan wrote, produced, directed and coordinated fights scenes for the film, in which his character searches for the 12 bronze heads of the Chinese zodiac.

Mr. Chan promised that he'll continue to make films, but with more acting than action, citing Robert De Niro and Clint Eastwood his role models.

Van Halen postpones shows on summer tour

Van Halen are postponing some dates on their summer concert tour.

A source familiar with the tour who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to the Associated Press that some of the band's long-scheduled performances this summer are being postponed. The group's website lists active tour dates through June 26.

Dozens of additional shows had been planned and there was no immediate reason given for the postponements. Representatives of the band and AEG, which is promoting the concerts in some regions, did not respond to messages.

Taylor Swift donates $4M to Country Music Hall of Fame

Taylor Swift has taught a generation of children to appreciate country music over the past five years. Now, she's donating $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to make sure that education continues.

The gift is the largest given to the museum by an artist and is the second largest from an individual, officials said. It will fund the Taylor Swift Education Center, an exhibit and classroom space scheduled to open in 2014.

"In terms of what it will allow us to do, we do education very well now," museum director Kyle Young said. "It will allow us to do what we do better, serve more people, develop new programs, and I'm happy to say that as we talked through this opportunity with Taylor, she very much wants to be involved in an advisory capacity in what we do.

"Is there a better person out there who's in touch with a young audience? I think not. I was joking we should be paying her to do that. I was only joking."

The new education center is part of the museum's $75 million "Working on a Building" expansion project that will increase the space more than 200,000 square feet to 350,000. The expansion is part of the new convention center project in downtown Nashville and will include a new concert theater, more room for exhibits and archives, and a shared entrance with a new hotel.

Miss Swift's education center will have its own exterior entrance and is more than 7,500 square feet spread over two stories. It will include three classrooms and exhibit space and will allow the museum to add to its youth education programs.

The new space will house interactive activities such as a musical petting zoo and a "wet" classroom space to make concert posters and other art projects. The expansion also would allow the museum to start new programs and workshops for teens and senior citizens as well as continuing workshops.

The 22-year-old singer-songwriter is country music's top-selling artist. The six-time Grammy winner is a two-time winner of both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year awards and has taken the genre to Asia, Europe and Australia as well as the top of the U.S. pop charts.

She has a long history with the museum. One of her first public performances was on the building's plaza. She signed her record contract there. And she has donated her time to the museum's "All For the Hall" fundraisers.

"For Taylor to want to engage herself in the life of this place in such an appropriate way ... every way you slice it and dice it, it's great for this place," Mr. Young said.

Aaron Sorkin to write screenplay on Steve Jobs

Aaron Sorkin is going from Facebook to Apple.

Sony Pictures officials said the Oscar-winning writer will pen a screenplay based on the Steve Jobs biography.

Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal said Mr. Sorkin will make the film about the late Apple founder "everything that Jobs himself was: captivating, entertaining and polarizing."

Mr. Sorkin won the adapted screenplay Academy Award for 2010's "The Social Network." The 50-year-old writer was nominated in the same category for 2011's "Moneyball."

His other credits include "Charlie Wilson's War" and "A Few Good Men." He also created TV's "The West Wing."

Actor Ashton Kutcher is set to play Jobs in a separate project.

Hal Halbrook wins Twain achievement award

Actor Hal Holbrook has been performing as Mark Twain for six decades. Now, he's getting an award named after the author and humorist.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Mo., said Wednesday that Mr. Holbrook is the first-ever recipient of the Mark Twain Lifetime Achievement Award to honor those whose life's work has furthered the legacy of the literary icon.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Holbrook will be presented the award when he appears at Hannibal High School on Nov. 17 to perform "Mark Twain Tonight."

Mr. Holbrook has been portraying Twain since 1954, and won a Tony award for "Mark Twain Tonight" in 1966. He wrote a memoir, "Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain."

Compiled from Web and wire reports