- - Monday, April 2, 2012

Facebook fans are getting an early shot to see the all-star superhero tale “The Avengers,” reported Associated Press.

Disney’s Marvel Studios announced Monday that it will offer advance screenings around the world in cities where “The Avengers” has gained the most fans on Facebook.

Early screenings will start with shows in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston and Miami on April 14, nearly three weeks before the film’s May 4 U.S. debut. Admission will be free, first-come, first-served.

Marvel plans another round of early screenings in five more cities. Fans can lobby for their city on “The Avengers” Facebook page.

“The Avengers” features Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johannson, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner.

Trailer from Houston’s new film debuts on ‘Today’

Viewers got a first glimpse of Whitney Houston’s upcoming film Monday when NBC’s “Today” show premiered a trailer for the much-awaited release.

A remake of the 1976 original, “Sparkle” stars Houston as the mother of three girls who forms a singing group and struggles with fame and drug addiction.

Houston, who died in February after her own battle with drug abuse, was poised for a movie comeback in “Sparkle” 20 years after her defining film portrayal in “The Bodyguard.” She also served as an executive producer of “Sparkle.”

The brief trailer, according to the Associated Press, displayed the daughters in performance and Houston telling them, “I always knew you had the gift.” No drug references were evident, nor was Houston seen singing.

“Sparkle” is scheduled for release Aug. 17.

Alec Baldwin engaged to marry Hilaria Thomas

Alec Baldwin is giving marriage another shot, according to Associated Press. The actor popped the question over the weekend to his 28-year-old yoga instructor girlfriend, Hilaria Thomas. They began dating last year.

His publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, made the engagement announcement over Twitter.

Mr. Baldwin, who once starred in a film called “The Marrying Man,” turns 54 on Tuesday, and an engagement, says Mr. Hiltzik, is a “great way to celebrate!”

Mr. Baldwin was previously married to Kim Basinger. They have a daughter together named Ireland. He published a book in 2008 called “A Promise to Ourselves” about his personal experience dealing with divorce and his battle with Miss Basinger over custody of their daughter.

Adam Sandler film sets Razzie record

Adam Sandler’s cross-dressing romp “Jack and Jill” set a Razzies record Sunday by sweeping 10 Golden Raspberry awards for the worst that Hollywood had to offer in 2011, reported Agence France-Presse.

For the first time in its 32-year history, the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation dishonored the same film in every category.

Mr. Sandler himself, who had been nominated nine times previously for the Hollywood anti-awards, won worst actor and worst actress - for playing both the male and female leads in “Jack and Jill.”

The 45-year-old also won for worst screen couple - either with Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, or himself in drag - and worst screenplay in the Razzies, billed as an “antidote to Tinseltown’s annual glut of self-congratulatory awards.”

Veteran Mr. Pacino - who played himself in the movie - won worst supporting actor, while David Spade won worst supporting actress, as “Monica.”

The “winners” of the awards, nominees for which are chosen by 657 voters in 46 U.S. states and 17 foreign countries, are usually announced on the Saturday before the Oscars.

But this year organizers changed the timetable, announcing the nominees on the eve of the Oscars, while saving the prize-giving show for April 1 - April Fools’ Day.

Nominees for the Razzies rarely turn up to claim their awards at the spoof event.

Actress Halle Berry turned up in 2005, and Sandra Bullock gamely appeared last year, handing out DVD copies of her offending performance in box-office flop “All About Steve.”

Unlike the prestigious gold-plated Oscar statuettes, the Razzie trophy is in the form of a raspberry, roughly the size of a golf ball, sprayed with gold paint and nestled on a reel of old Super 8 film.

It has an estimated value of about five dollars.

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