- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2009

Film’s short run

A film on the final weeks of Michael Jackson’s life — as he prepared for his comeback tour — will open worldwide Oct. 28 and be in cinemas for two weeks, Sony Pictures announced.

The movie, titled “This Is It,” is described as an “intimate portrait of Michael Jackson as you’ve never seen him before,” Sony said.

In an unusual move, tickets for the movie will go on sale on Sept. 27, more than a month before the movie is released. The release date was also moved up by two days, Agence France-Presse reports.

“This Is It” will show “a rare, behind-the-scenes look” at Mr. Jackson as he rehearsed between April and June for a series of concerts that were to start July 13 in London’s O2 Arena. The film is being “produced with the full support of the estate of Michael Jackson,” Sony said.

The pop music icon died June 25 at age 50 in Los Angeles from apparent cardiac arrest.

The movie’s title, taken from one of Mr. Jackson’s hit songs, also shares the title of what was to be his 2009 tour. It will be directed by Kenny Ortega, best known for directing Disney’s successful “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”

According to published reports, Sony may have paid up to $60 million for the rights to the recordings of Mr. Jackson’s final rehearsals.

Babs’ ex-beau sells tapes

A former boyfriend who says he first put Barbra Streisand on the road to stardom is to auction three tapes he made of the singer almost half a century ago, the New York Post reported Friday.

Barry Dennen said the three tapes would be sold with bids starting at $1 million on the Web site MomentsInTime.com.

Mr. Dennen — author of the 1997 memoir “My Life With Barbra: A Love Story” — says he met Miss Streisand in 1959 while acting on Broadway and they became lovers. He heard her sing while they were with friends and says he persuaded her to start performing in public.

The tapes include the songs “A Taste of Honey” and “Two Brothers” that Miss Streisand sang in Mr. Dennen’s apartment, with him playing guitar, the Post said.

Not that into Jen

Jennifer Aniston “wanted to turn her date with [Bradley] Cooper into something” before he ditched her for Oscar winner Renee Zellweger, a pal tells Us Weekly, Denverpost.com reports.

Miss Aniston was dating her “He’s Just Not That Into You” co-star a few weeks before he began dating Miss Zellweger.

Miss Aniston, formerly married to Brad Pitt, “doesn’t see what Renee has that she doesn’t,” continues the pal.

But friends of Miss Zellweger, currently starring in “My One and Only,” detail why Mr. Cooper fell for the “no drama” actress.

“She just does her thing, has her friends and her life and is cool. She’s really happy and doesn’t need anyone to feel complete,” says one.

Adds another: “She’ll show up wearing a sexy dress and Louboutins, but will still order a beer and rattle off the dirty jokes.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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