miercuri, 31 august 2011

Domenico Modugno, the first Italian cantautore. Famous for his 1958 international hit song "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)"

Domenico Modugno (9 January 1928 – 6 August 1994) was an Italian singer, songwriter, actor, and later in life, a member of the Italian Parliament. He is known for his 1958 international hit song "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)". He is considered the first Italian cantautore.

 Modugno was born in Polignano a Mare, province of Bari (Puglia).
From a young age he wanted to become an actor and in 1951, after his military service, he enrolled in an acting school. While still studying he had a role in a cinematographic version of Filumena Marturano by Eduardo De Filippo as well as some other films.
In 1935 his father moved to San Pietro Vernotico, in the Province of Brindisi (where his parents are buried). Here Domenico attended primary school and learned San Piertro Vernotico's dialect, which belongs to the linguistic area of Lecce's dialect, which is similar to Sicilian. He attended secondary school in Lecce.
In 1957 his song "Lazzarella," sung by Aurelio Fierro, came second in the Festival della Canzone Napoletana, bringing him his first taste of popularity.
In 1958 Modugno took part in Antonio Aniante's comedy La Rosa di Zolfo at the Festival della Prosa in Venice. The turning point of his career came in that year, when he also participated in the Sanremo Music Festival, presenting, together with Johnny Dorelli, the song "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu." Co-authored by Modugno and Franco Migliacci, the song won the contest and became an enormous success worldwide, including the United States. It received two Grammy Awards[1] with sales above 22 million copies, and represented Italy in the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest, where it came in third.
In 1959, Modugno won the Sanremo Music Festival for the second time in a row, with "Piove" (also known as "Ciao, ciao bambina"), and received second place in 1960 with "Libero." This was a successful period of time for Modugno who again represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1959. Later his hit song "Io" was sung by Elvis Presley in English with the title "Ask Me."
In 1962, Modugno won the Sanremo Music Festival a third time with "Addio..., addio...." Four years later, he again represented Italy at Eurovision with "Dio, come ti amo." Jack Jones recorded it in English for his 1967 album, Our Song, under the title, "Oh How Much I Love You".
Modugno was an actor in 44 movies (such as Appuntamento a Ischia), and was a film producer of two (Tutto e' musica of 1963 was his own biographical production).
The 1970s kept Modugno's voice and mind busy in more classic music genres and profiles, as a singer and as a musician, adapting poetry, acting on television and in lead singing roles of modern operas.
In 1986, Modugno entered the political arena as a member of the Italian Radical Party and was elected congressman for Turin in June 1987. In this last stage of his life, he was active in social issues, fighting against inhuman conditions of patients in the Agrigento psychiatric hospital.
Domenico Modugno died from a heart attack in Lampedusa, Italy, in August 1994 in his home by the sea. His son Massimo is following his footsteps as a successful singer.

luni, 29 august 2011

Succes 2011: Ernie Els, "The Big Easy". Former World No. 1 professional golfer elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame

 Theodore Ernest "Ernie" Els is a South African professional golfer, who has been one of the top professional players in the world since the mid-1990s. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands 1.91 metres) along with his fluid, seemingly effortless golf swing. Among his numerous victories are three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 at the Oakmont Country Club and 1997 at the Congressional Country Club, and The Open Championship in 2002 at Muirfield.
Other highlights in Els' career include topping the 2003 and 2004 European Tour Order of Merit (money list), and winning the World Match Play Championship a record seven times. He is the leading career money winner on the European Tour, and was the first member of the tour to earn over 25 million Euros from European Tour events. He has held the number one spot in the Official World Golf Rankings and holds the record for weeks ranked in the top ten with over 780. Els was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010, on his first time on the ballot, and was inducted in May 2011.

In 1989 Els won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championiship and turned professional the same year. Els won his first professional tournament in 1991 on the Southern Africa Tour (today the Sunshine Tour). He won the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in the 1991/92 and 1994/95 seasons. In 1993 Els won his first tournament outside of South Africa at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan. In 1994 Els won his first major championship at the U.S. Open. Els was tied with Colin Montgomerie and Loren Roberts after 72 holes and they went to a 18 hole playoff the next day. The play-off consisted of 18 holes of golf but Els and Roberts were still tied by the end with Els eventually prevailing on the second hole of sudden death.
Els brought his game all around the world in his young career winning the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, and the Toyota World Match Play Championship defeating once again Colin Montgomerie four-and-two. The following year, Els defended his World Match Play Championship, defeating Steve Elkington three-and-one, won the Byron Nelson Classic in the United States then headed back home to South Africa and won twice more. In 1996 Els won his third straight World Match Play Championship over Vijay Singh three-and-one. No player in history had ever managed three successive titles in the one-on-one tournament. Els finished the year with a win at his home tournament at the South African Open.
1997 was a career year for Els first winning his second U.S. Open (once again over Colin Montgomerie) this time at Congressional Country Club, making him the first foreign player since Alex Smith (1906, 1910) to win the U.S. Open twice. He defended his Buick Classic title and added the Johnnie Walker Classic to his list of victories. Els nearly won the World Match Play Championship for a fourth consecutive year, but lost to Vijay Singh in the final. 1998 and 1999 continued to be successful years for Els with 4 wins on both the PGA and European tours. 2000 started in historic fashion for Els being given a special honour by the Board of Directors of the European Tour awarding him with honorary life membership of the European Tour because of his two U.S. Opens and three World Match Play titles. 2000 was the year of runner ups for Els; with three runner up finishes in the Majors (Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship) and seven second place finishes in tournaments worldwide. Els had a disappointing 2001 season, failing to win a US PGA tour event for the first time since 1994 although he ended the year with nine second place finishes.
2002 was arguably Els's best year which started with a win at the Heineken Classic at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Then went to America and outplayed World Number one Tiger Woods to lift the Genuity Championship title. The premier moment of the season was surely his The Open Championship triumph in very tough conditions at Muirfield. Els overcame a four man playoff to take home the famed Claret Jug for the first time, also quieting his critics about his mental toughness. The South African also took home his fourth World Match Play title, along with his third Nedbank Challenge in the last four years dominating a world class field winning by 8 shots.

2003 gave Els his first European Tour Order of Merit. Although playing fewer events than his competitors Els won four times and had three runner ups. He also performed well in the United States with back to back victories at the Mercedes Championship and Sony Open and achieved top 20 spots in all four majors including a fifth place finish at the U.S Open and sixth place finishes at both the Masters and PGA Championship. To top off the season Els won the World Match Play title for a record tying fifth time. In 2003 he was voted 37th on the SABC3's Great South Africans.
2004 was another successful year as Els won 6 times on both tours including big wins at Memorial, WGC-American Express Championship and his sixth World Match Play Championship, a new record. His success did not stop there. Els showed amazing consistency in the Majors but lost to Phil Mickelson in the Masters when Mickelson birdied the 18th for the title, finished ninth in the U.S. Open after playing in the final group with friend and fellow countryman Retief Goosen and surprisingly losing in a playoff in the Open to the unknown Todd Hamilton. Els had a 14-foot (4.3 m) put for birdie on the final hole of regulation for the championship, but Els missed the putt and lost in the playoff. Els ended the major season with a fourth place finish in the PGA Championship, where a three putt on the 72nd hole would cost him a place in the playoff. In total Els had 16 top 10 finishes, a second European Order of Merit title in succession and a second place finish on the United States money list. 2004 was the start of the "Big Five Era" which is used in describing the era in golf where Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, and Phil Mickelson dominated the game of golf. The five switched up and down the top five positions in the World Golf Ranking; most notably Vijay Singh's derailment of Tiger Woods as the best golfer in the world. The five stayed, for the most part, in the top five spots from 2004 until the start of 2007. Nine majors were won between them, many fighting against each other head to head.
Unlike most of his contemporaries, Els is known for his willingness to participate in tournaments all around the world (he regularly plays in European Tour-sanctioned events in Asia, Australasia, and his native country of South Africa). He says that his globe-trotting schedule is in recognition of the global nature of golf, but it has caused some friction with the U.S. PGA Tour, an organization that would prefer Els to play more tournaments in the United States. In late 2004, Tim Finchem, the director of the PGA Tour, wrote quite a firm letter to Els asking him to do so, but Els publicized and rejected this request. The PGA Tour's attitude caused considerable offense in the golfing world outside of North America.
In July 2005, Els injured his left knee while sailing with his family in the Mediterranean. Despite missing several months of the 2005 season due to the injury, Els won the second event on his return, the Dunhill Championship.

At the start of the 2007 season Ernie Els laid out a three-year battle plan to challenge Tiger Woods as world number one. "I see 2007 as the start of a three-year plan where I totally re-dedicate myself to the game," Els told his official website.
When he missed the cut by two strokes at the 2007 Masters Tournament, Els ended tour-leading consecutive cut streaks on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. On the PGA Tour, his streak began at the 2004 The Players Championship (46 events) and on the European Tour it began at the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic (82 events).
Els has often been compared to Greg Norman in the sense that both men’s careers could be looked back on and think what could have been. Although the two of them are multiple major championship winners they have both shared disappointment in majors. Their disappointments have ranged from nerves, bad luck and simply being outplayed. 1996 was the year where Norman collapsed in the Masters and Els in the PGA Championship. Els has finished runner-up in six majors and most notably for his runner-up finishes to Tiger Woods. Els has finished runner-up to Woods more than any other golfer and has often been described as having the right game to finally be the golfer to beat Woods in a major.
On 2 March 2008, Els won the Honda Classic contested at PGA National's Championship Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Els shot a final round 67 in tough windy conditions, which was enough to give him the win by one stroke over Luke Donald. The win marked the end of a three and a half year long stretch without a win on the PGA Tour for Els. The win was his 16th PGA Tour victory of his career.
Els is represented by International Sports Management. When not playing, he has a golf course design business, a charitable foundation which supports golf among underprivileged youngsters in South Africa, and a highly-regarded wine-making business. Els has written a popular golf instructional column in Golf Digest magazine for several years.
On 8 April 2008, Els officially announced that he was switching swing coaches from David Leadbetter (whom Els had worked with since 1990) to Butch Harmon who has revamped the golf swings of many established pros (which started with Greg Norman). During Els 2008 Masters press conference Els said the change is in an effort to tighten his swing, shorten his swing, and get a fresh perspective.
On 8 November 2009, Els almost ended his year-long slump by shooting a course-tying record 9-under 63 in the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions to finish at 16-under par 272, a stroke back of Phil Mickelson who finished with a 17-under 271 total including a final round of 3-under 69.
Els finally did break his winless streak by capturing the WGC-CA Championship at Doral in 2010, winning by four strokes over fellow countryman Charl Schwartzel. It was Els' second WGC tournament title. The victory also saw Els overtake Colin Montgomerie to become the career money leader on the European Tour. Els then won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill two weeks later. It was his 18th PGA Tour victory, and his second in as many starts.
Ernie continued his 2010 success with a T3 at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. He got a 2nd place in 2000 which was also at Pebble Beach.
Els most recently tasted success at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October 2010. After opening the 36 hole event with a round of 68 he fended off the challenge of David Toms with a final day 69 to win the four man tournament by one stroke, capturing $600,000 in the process. In December 2010, Els won the South African Open beating Retief Goosen by one shot.

joi, 25 august 2011

Succes 2011: Franz Beckenbauer, Der Kaiser. The greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated footballers in the history of the game

Franz Anton Beckenbauer (born 11 September 1945 in Munich) is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser ("The Emperor") because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz" (reminiscent of the Austrian emperors), and his dominance on the football pitch. He is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated footballers in the history of the game. Beckenbauer was a versatile player who started out as a midfielder but made his name as a defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper or libero.
Twice selected the European Footballer of the Year, he appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three World Cups. He lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and repeated the feat as a manager in 1990. With the club Bayern Munich, he won three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer is the only player to captain three European Cup winning sides. He went on to become coach and president of the institution. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
In 1999, he was voted second place, behind Johan Cruyff, in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS and he was voted third, behind Pelé and Cruyff, in the IFFHS' "World Player of the Century" election. Today, Beckenbauer remains an influential figure in both German and international football. He led Germany's successful bid to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup and chaired the organizing committee. He also works as a pundit for German television network Sat.1 during their coverage of the UEFA Champions League and writes a football column for mass tabloid Bild.

Beckenbauer made his debut with Bayern in the Regionalliga Süd ("Regional League South") on the left wing against Stuttgarter Kickers on 6 June 1964. In his first season in the regional league, 1964–65, the team won promotion to the recently formed Bundesliga, the national league.
Bayern soon became a force in the new German league, winning the German Cup in 1966–67 and achieving European success in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer became team captain for the 1968–69 season and led his club to their first league title. He began experimenting with the sweeper (libero) role around this time, refining the role into a new form and becoming perhaps the greatest exponent of the attacking sweeper game.

During Beckenbauer's tenure at Bayern Munich, the club won three league championships in a row from 1972 to 1974 and also a hat-trick of European Cup wins (1974–76) which earned the club the honour of keeping the trophy permanently.
Interestingly, since 1968 Beckenbauer, has been called Der Kaiser by fans and the media. The following anecdote is told (even by Beckenbauer himself) to explain the origin: On the occasion of a friendly game of Bayern Munich in Vienna, Austria, Beckenbauer posed for a photo session right beside a bust of the former Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. The media called him Fußball-Kaiser (football-emperor) afterwards, soon after he was just called Der Kaiser. However, according to a report in the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, this explanation is untrue, though very popular. According to the report, Beckenbauer fouled his opposite number, Reinhard Libuda from Schalke 04, in the cup final on 14 June 1969. Disregarding the fans' hooting, Beckenbauer took the ball into the opposite part of the field, where he balanced the ball in front of the upset fans for half a minute. Libuda was commonly called König von Westfalen (king of Westphalia), so the press looked for an even more exalted moniker and invented Der Kaiser.
Beckenbauer's popularity was such that he was included as a character in Monty Python's sketch "The Philosophers' Football Match" as being a surprise addition to the German team. However, instead of actually playing football, all the "players" walk in circles thinking, much to the confusion of Beckenbauer.
In 1977, Beckenbauer accepted a lucrative contract to play in the North American Soccer League with the New York Cosmos. He played with the Cosmos for four seasons up to 1980, and the team won the Soccer Bowl on three occasions ('77, '78, '80).
Beckenbauer retired after a two-year spell with Hamburger SV in Germany (1980–82) with the win of the Bundesliga title that year and one final season with the New York Cosmos in 1983. In his career in domestic leagues, he made 587 appearances and scored 81 goals.

Beckenbauer won 103 caps and scored 14 goals for West Germany. He was a member of the World Cup squads that finished runners-up in 1966, third place in 1970, and champions in 1974. Beckenbauer's first game for the national team came on 26 September 1965.

1966 World Cup: Beckenbauer appeared in his first World Cup in 1966, playing every match. In his first World Cup match, against Switzerland, he scored twice in a 5–0 win. West Germany won their group, and then beat Uruguay 4–0 in quarter-finals, with Beckenbauer scoring the second goal in the 70th minute. In the semi-finals, the Germans faced the USSR. Helmut Haller opened the scoring, with Beckenbauer contributing the second of the match, his fourth goal of the tournament. The Soviets scored a late goal but were unable to draw level, and West Germany advanced to the final against hosts England. The English won the final and the Jules Rimet Trophy in extra time. The Germans had fallen at the final hurdle, but Beckenbauer had a notable tournament, finishing tied for third on the list of top scorers—from a non-attacking position. The team returned to a heroes' welcome in their homeland.

1970 World Cup: West Germany won their first three matches before facing England in second round on a rematch of the 1966 final. The English were ahead 2–0 in the second half, but a spectacular goal by Beckenbauer in the 69th minute helped the Germans recover and equalise before the end of normal time and win the match in extra time. West Germany advanced to the semi-finals to face Italy, in what would be known as the Game of the Century. He fractured his clavicle after being fouled, but he was not deterred from continuing in the match, as his side had already used their two permitted substitutions. He stayed on the field carrying his dislocated arm in a sling. The result of this match was 4–3 (after extra time) in favour of the Italians. Germany defeated Uruguay 1–0 for third place.

1974 World Cup: The 1974 World Cup was hosted by West Germany and Beckenbauer led his side to victory, including a hardfought 2–1 win over the hotly favoured Netherlands side featuring Johan Cruyff. Beckenbauer and fellow defenders man-marked Cruyff so well that the Dutch were never quite able to put their "Total Football" into full use.
Beckenbauer became the first captain to lift the new FIFA World Cup Trophy after Brazil had retained the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1970. This also gave West Germany the distinction of being the first national team to hold both the Euro and World Cup titles simultaneously (two other countries have done it since: France in 2000, and Spain in 2010).

European Championships: Beckenbauer became captain of the national side in 1971. In 1972, West Germany won the European Championship, beating the Soviet Union 3–0 in the final. In 1976, West Germany again reached the final, where they lost on penalties to Czechoslovakia.

marți, 23 august 2011

Succes 2011: Taco Ockerse, singer that reached No. 1 on the american Cashbox charts with the single "Puttin' on the Ritz"

Taco Ockerse (born July 21, 1955), better known by his stage name Taco, is an Indonesian-born Dutch singer and entertainer who started his career in Germany.
aco Ockerse born in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 21, 1955, has spent many of his childhood years moving around the world residing in the Netherlands, the United States, Singapore, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany.He attended the International School of Brussels, Belgium, and graduated in 1973. Afterward, he studied interior decoration and finished acting school in Hamburg. He held lead roles in numerous school productions, including You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Carousel, The Fantasticks, and Fiddler on the Roof.
In 1975, he began his first professional theatrical engagements in Hamburg. This included roles in Children's Theater, and roles as an ensemble member of the Thalia Theater in a number of plays, including Sweet Charity, Chicago, and Three Musketeers. He also directed and choreographed for the musical Nightchild. In 1979, he played "Chino" in John Neumeier's West Side Story at Hamburg Opera House. He founded his first band, Taco's Bizz, in 1979.

In 1981, Taco signed his first record contract with Polydor (Germany) for two record releases, whereon he released his first single, "Puttin' on the Ritz". Not long after, in 1982, his single, "Puttin' on the Ritz" was picked up by RCA for US release. The single was widely played throughout the U.S. by late summer of 1983 eventually peaking at no. 4 in September, 1983 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as no. 1 on the Cashbox charts.Although the single eventually earned him a Gold-certification in USA for selling over one million copies, it was Taco's only top-40 hit in the U.S. Between 1983 and 1984, he performed extensive touring throughout Europe. While the single "Puttin' on the Ritz" topped the charts in Sweden and New Zealand, it entered the Top-5 in numerous countries including Norway, Austria and Canada. His subsequent album release of After Eight was released in over 40 countries and managed to reach no. 4 in Norway, no. 5 in Canada, no. 11 in Austria, no. 17 in New Zealand and no. 23 in U.S. and no. 59 in Germany. The album earned Taco number of Gold certifications including one in Finland for selling over 25,000 copies.
Taco's second single "Singing in the Rain" was only a moderate success peaking at No. 49 in Germany and No.46 in Canada.
He appeared as a guest on The Bob Hope Show, The Merv Griffin Show, Alan Thicke, Solid Gold, Good Morning America, and many other TV shows while touring.
Taco's follow-up album, Let's Face the Music was recorded in 1984 for Polydor (Germany) which peaked at no. 58 at his home of Germany and managed to enter the top-100 in Canada peaking at no. 92. Taco continued to record, focusing mostly on the German market with albums Swing Classics/In the Mood of Glenn Miller in 1985 and Tell Me That You Like It in 1986 for Polydor. In 1987 he recorded the self-titled album Taco.
In 1989 he briefly flirted with contemporary dance music by releasing a pair of singles, "Love Touch" and "Got to Be Your Lover", that were styled after the high energy disco sound popularized by Stock Aitken Waterman. Afterwards, he repositioned himself as a swing/soul singer. He has collaborated with Geff Harrison of Kin Ping Meh fame.
Between 1989 to 1996, Taco worked intensively as an actor. He had television acting roles in Friedrichstadt Palast and Das Erbe der Guldenburgs, and an appearance in the film Karniggels. He also appeared as "Chico" in the theater production of Marx Brothers Radio Show, and played lead roles in Shakespeare Rock n Roll in Berlin and Shakespeare as We Like It in Austria.
He currently resides in Germany, performing with his band and as a gala artist.
On October 11, 2009 the first channel of Russian TV, 1TV, filmed the program Songs of the 20th Century. Taco appears with "Puttin' on the Ritz" in the sequence about the 1930s. The show was broadcast in January 2010. On November 27, 2009 he performed "Puttin' on the Ritz" and "Singin' in the Rain" at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Furthermore, he was the star guest in the "New Year's Eve Show 2009" of Russian TV, which had about 84 million viewers in more than 20 countries.
In July 2010 Cleopatra Records - Los Angeles released an entirely new re-recording of "Puttin' on the Ritz". Taco's vocals were recorded in Germany and the backing tracks with top studio musicians in their studio in L.A.
On March 1, 2011 DingDing Music released the original song "Timeless Love" that was written and produced by Edgar Rothermich and Matthias Muentefering in the late 1980s. The studio recording that Taco performed as a duet with the female singer Rozaa Wortham in Berlin was remixed in late 2010 in the U.S. and is now available for download.

luni, 22 august 2011

Succes 2011: Carlos Sastre, Spanish professional road bicycle racer and champion of the 2008 Tour de France

Carlos Sastre Candil (born 22 April 1975 in Leganés, Madrid) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer and champion of the 2008 Tour de France. Sastre rides for UCI Professional Continental team Geox-TMC. Through his consistently improved top 10 results in the Vuelta a España and good showings in the Tour de France, Sastre established himself as a strong and stable climbing specialist, and after working to improve his individual time trial skills, he has become a contender for the top GC spots in the Grand Tours.
When Sastre was young, professional cyclist Francisco Ignacio San Román lived in his parents's house during military service. Sastre was at first coached by his father, until he became an amateur.
Sastre signed his first professional contract in 1997 with ONCE. In his five years at ONCE he mostly served as a domestique and only managed a few wins, though he showed his strength in the mountains with several good results, most notably winning the mountain competition in the 2000 Vuelta a España.
In 2002 he switched to Team CSC, where he filled the role of captain in the Vuelta a España and, until 2005, had a free role in the Tour de France. This resulted in his winning the 13th stage of the 2003 Tour de France, which Sastre won with a pacifier in his mouth, as a greeting to his infant daughter. Sastre finished 2 minutes 32 seconds ahead of team captain Tyler Hamilton on the stage.
Before the 2004 season, Carlos Sastre and teammate Ivan Basso trained extensively to improve their individual time trial skills, making them better all-round riders. They went to Boston to train on MIT's wind tunnel. This helped Sastre improve his Vuelta a España performance, ranking 6th in the overall classification, as well as 8th in the 2004 Tour de France.

In the 2005 Tour de France he was a domestique for Ivan Basso, and 21st in the overall classification. However, as the captain of Team CSC's 2005 Vuelta a España campaign, Sastre finally reached the podium of a Grand Tour, finishing in third place behind Denis Menchov and initial winner Roberto Heras. Heras was later disqualified due to a positive EPO test, making Sastre the de facto second placed rider of the competition. After the Vuelta a España, he extended his contract with Team CSC for another year. In May 2006 he signed a new contract which expired after the 2008 season. Before the 2006 Giro d'Italia in May, Sastre decided to ride the Giro d'Italia to help Ivan Basso to win,indicating that he would ride all three Grand Tours; the Giro and Tour in support of Basso and the Vuelta as team captain. In the Giro, Sastre's pace on select mountain stages helped Basso win the overall classification. Sastre finished 43rd in the GC of the 2006 Giro.
Days before the 2006 Tour de France started in July, Team CSC suspended Ivan Basso as his name was brought up in the Operación Puerto doping case. This meant Sastre became the CSC team captain at the 2006 Tour. Even though his main focus for the season had been the 2006 Vuelta a España in September, this Tour was a great opportunity for Sastre to prove himself as a Tour GC contender. Through the mountain stages, Sastre proved himself the strongest mountain rider in the peloton, beating Floyd Landis by one minute and 59 seconds and Andreas Klöden by two and a half minutes on mountain climbs.  Sastre was placed well on stage 15, and came in 2nd on both stage 16 and 17, where he closed the gap to the then yellow jersey Óscar Pereiro. Before the penultimate stage of the Tour, the stage 19 individual time trial, Sastre was the second placed rider overall, trailing race leader Óscar Pereiro by 14 seconds. However, on the final time trial, which stretched 57 kilometres between Le Creusot and Montceau-les-Mines, Sastre finished 20th, losing several minutes to Pereiro, eventual overall winner Floyd Landis and Andreas Klöden, who took third place overall. Sastre thus finished the 2006 Tour in 4th place. Floyd Landis has since been stripped of this title, making Sastre 3rd in the 2006 Tour de France.
By completing the Vuelta, Sastre, who also rode the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2006, became one of a rare breed of riders to finish all three Grand Tours in one year.

Coming into the 2008 Tour de France, Sastre was considered one of the favorites to win the race along with Australian Cadel Evans of Team Silence-Lotto, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d'Epargne and Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank. He also faced competition within his own team from brothers Andy and Fränk Schleck, despite officially being the leader of Team CSC Saxo Bank.
Sastre had a quiet, understated opening to the tour. After a lacklustere opening time-trial, he remained relatively restrained in the opening mountain stages in the Pyrenees and opted to stay defensive and follow the wheel of his main rivals. This allowed his CSC teammate Fränk Schleck to claim the yellow jersey at the finish to stage 15 at Prato Nevoso. However, on the crucial 17th stage, Sastre showed his class and mountain climbing prowess, attacking at the bottom of the final climb of the day, Alpe d'Huez, finishing 2 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of Evans,claiming both the stage win and the yellow jersey.Sastre, knowing that a slender lead over a strong time-trialist like Evans may not have been enough to secure overall victory going into the penultimate stage, sought to gain an advantage of at least a couple of minutes over his closest rivals.
Following his victorious Stage 17 attack, Sastre took a lead of 1 minute and 24 seconds over teammate Fränk Schleck into the final time trial, although, more crucially, he had a further 10 seconds advantage over Evans, a man considered to be a more accomplished time trialist,who was widely expected to overcome the deficit and leapfrog Sastre into first place. However, Sastre managed to hold onto his lead in the time trial, finishing the Tour with a 58 second lead.
Sastre's victory capped an exceptional 2008 tour for Team CSC Saxo Bank, as they also won the young rider classification with Andy Schleck, the overall team classification, as well as 2 stages, the latter being won by Sastre, on l'Alpe d'Huez.
His victory was however criticized by Lance Armstrong, who said the 2008 Tour was a joke. Armstrong later apologized for this to Sastre.
Sastre and CSC could not agree on a new contract, so Sastre left the team at the end of the year. 
Sastre joined the new Cervélo TestTeam for the 2009 season. He won the high mountain Stage 16 of the 2009 Giro d'Italia, which had been called the Giro's queen stage, after seven hours and twelve minutes. His decisive attack saw him break free from a group of general classification contenders to get to the summit of Monte Petrano just under half a minute faster than the group he left.After seeming off his form in Stage 17 of that race, Sastre rebounded with another solo ride to victory in Stage 19 to Mount Vesuvius.  He then completed the Giro with a solid ride in the final time-trial around Rome to hold off Ivan Basso and take 4th place and another top ten placing in a Grand Tour.

duminică, 21 august 2011

Succes 2011: Tamira Paszek, the No.1 ranked tennis player in Austria

Tamira Shelah Paszek (born December 6, 1990 in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg, Austria) is a professional tennis player from Austria. As of July 4, 2011, she is the no.1 ranked tennis player from Austria in the WTA ranking, at No. 41.

 She was introduced to tennis by her mother, Françoise Paszek, at age four-and-a-half. Her mother is Chilean born, and her father is Ariff Mohamed, who is Tanzanian-born, Kenya-raised and lived in Canada.Both her paternal grandparents are from India.[citation needed] She is currently being coached by Angel Giminez having previously been coached by Larri Passos (former coach of former ATP No.1 Gustavo Kuerten).
As a junior, Paszek was a finalist in the 2005 Girls' Singles Championship at Wimbledon and at the US Open – Girls' Singles in 2006.
In September 2005 she won her first title at an ITF tournament in Sofia. In October of the same year she received a wild card to appear at her first WTA tournament in Linz; she defeated Elena Vesnina in the first round and lost to Ana Ivanović after a tough first set.
In 2006 she passed qualifications in Istanbul, where she lost in the second round to Catalina Castaño; and in Portorož in the Banka Koper Slovenia Open, where she won her first WTA title by defeating number 6 seed Maria Elena Camerin from Italy 7–5 6–1. This was a career-first Tour singles title in only her third Tour main draw. That title made her the youngest Tour singles titlist in 2006 and the seventh-youngest all-time, the youngest winner being Tracy Austin. A month later, at the Zürich Open, she lost to Camerin in the second round of qualifying. She finished 2006 as No. 181 in the WTA rankings.

She started the 2007 WTA Tour at the Australian Open, where she passed qualifications and defeated Top 40 player Séverine Brémond in straight sets in the first round, before losing to No.22 seed Vera Zvonareva.

After her loss to Na Li in the second round of the Miami Masters, she broke the top 100 of the WTA rankings. At the 2007 French Open she was defeated by Justine Henin in the second round 7–5 6–1 after being 5–0 down in the first set.
At Paszek's first grass tournament of her career, she reached the third round in Birmingham, losing to Maria Sharapova in a tight match 6–3 4–6 6–2. At the 2007 Wimbledon Championships she reached the fourth round after beating two seeded players, No.17 seed Tatiana Golovin and No.12 seed Elena Dementieva; she then eventually lost to No.5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets. The win pushed her up 19 spots from #54 to #35, a career high and only a few spots from a guaranteed seeding spot at the US Open.
She also participated at the Fed Cup for Austria in 2007. She won her first two matches in the group stage against Australia but lost both her matches in the World Group play-offs against Israel; a singles match against Shahar Pe'er and a doubles match, partnering Melanie Klaffner.
She debuted on the 2007 US Open, reaching the fourth round, beating on the way #24 and #11 seed, Francesca Schiavone and Patty Schnyder. She lost to #6 seed, Anna Chakvetadze.
Paszek decided against defending her title in the Banka Koper Slovenia Open in Portorož, Slovenia, in favour of the larger China Open tournament in Beijing. However, she was bundled out in the second round by fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva (whom she beat in Wimbledon) 6–2, 6–0 in less than an hour.

At the 2008 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, Paszek made it to the semifinals, losing to veteran Lindsay Davenport 6–4, 6–3. In the first round of the 2008 Australian Open, Paszek played third-seeded Jelena Janković of Serbia in the first round. Paszek easily won the first set 6–2, and Janković went on to win the second set 6–2. In the deciding set, Paszek led 5–3 and had three match points before Janković came back to win the three-hour match 2–6 6–2 12–10.
Following this she lost in the first round of Doha to Patty Schnyder 6–4 6–0. Then she competed for the first time as a seed in a tier 1 tournament in Indian Wells retiring in the third round to Casey Dellacqua being down 6–1 4–0. Then in Miami she was defeated by Anna Chakvetadze in the second round 6–3 6–2.
This started a losing streak of 6 straight matches running through the French Open and Wimbledon. At Wimbledon she lost her second marathon match of the year to Francesca Schiavone 6–3 5–7 10–8. It came to an end in Los Angeles where she defeated Aiko Nakamura only to lose to Flavia Pennetta in the second round.
On July 31, Paszek beat World no.1 Ana Ivanović of Serbia in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal in three sets: 6–2, 1–6, 6–2. In the quarterfinals, she played Victoria Azarenka who defeated her 6–4 7–5. Then she lost in the first round of Cincinnati to Petra Cetkovská. At the US Open she defeated the 23-seed Maria Kirilenko 6–3 3–6 6–4, only then to lose to a lower ranked opponent Magdaléna Rybáriková.
Paszek was runner up in Bali. She reached the final after taking out the 7-seed Flavia Pennetta and the top seed Daniela Hantuchová. She lost the final against Patty Schnyder 3–6 0–6. She then withdrew from the Linz tournament due to injury.
Paszek ended her professional relationship with coach Lari Passos and is now coached by Angel Giminez
2010: In January, Tamira lost in second round of qualifying at tournament in Auckland. After successfully defeating Carly Gullickson 6–3 7–5 she retired in her match against Rebecca Marino after trailing 6–0 1–0. Her next tournament was 2010 Moorilla Hobart International. She scored a big win after defeating Roberta Vinci 6–4 6–3, but she then lost to Gisela Dulko in very long and difficult match with 6–1 0–6 7–6 scor
Her next tournament was 2010 Australian Open where she lost to Julia Görges in first round 6–0 3–6 6–3. At tournament in Paris Tamira lost to eventual runner-up Lucie Šafářová 6–0 6–3.To reach the main draw at 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships, Tamira entered qualifying. She defeated Tsvetana Pironkova in first round, but she lost to Anna-Lena Grönefeld 6–3 7–5. After Dubai she entered in Indian Wells, but she lost to Julie Coin with 6–4 6–3 score. At 2010 Sony Ericsson Open, Tamira beat Anne Keothavong 6–4 6–2, but she lost to 22-th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7–6 4–6 6–3
She lost in early rounds of Marbella, Barcelona and Fes. She didn't enter to 2010 French Open
Instead,Tamira entered 25,000 $ ITF tournament in Izmir, Turkey. She won that tournament beating Çağla Büyükakçay 6–2 6–3. Her next tournament was ITF Budapest. She successfully qualified defetaing Lukacs Vanda and Cepelova Jana, and she reached second round losing to Lenka Wienerová.
She then entered 2010 Wimbledon, qualified but lost to Kurumi Nara in second round 7–5 6–4.
She tried to qualify in Budapest defeating Eleni Danilidou and Jessica Moore but lost to Andreja Klepač 5–7 6–2 6–1. Her next tournament will be 2010 ECM Prague Open. She entered qualifing. Tamira defeated Tadeja Majerič 6–4 6–0 and then crushed first seed Anastasia Rodionova. She than lost to Liana Ungur 2–6 3–2. After losing the first set 6–2, Tamira went to play better breaking Ungur serve and lead 2–0.On the other side Ungur came back broke twice to lead 3–2. Tamira then retired because of heat and stomach inyuri.But,because Gisela Dulko withdrew Tamira gained her chance to enter to the main draw. She faced French star Alizé Cornet and lost 7–6 6–7 6–4 in match that last 3 hours and 40-minutes.
Her next tournament was the 2010 Banka Koper Slovenia Open where she defeated Jelena Kostanić Tošić 7–5 6–2 for her first main draw win since Ponte Vedra Beach in 2009.
After some bad losses in qualifying of the Premier tournaments, Tamira found her form in the 2010 US Open where she entered qualifying. She defeated Michaëlla Krajicek, Koreas Kim So- Jing and Russias Evgeniya Rodina to reach the main draw. In the final qualifying round, Paszek trailed Rodina 2–6 after the first set before coming back to win the second and blank the Russian in the third. In the 1st round of the main draw, she defeated 26th seed Lucie Šafářová despite being down 2–6 1–4 in the second set. She lost to Chan Yung-jan in the second round.
Her next tournament was at the 2010 Bell Challenge. She defeated Marina Erakovic 6–0 6–4 and Jill Craybas in the second round 6–2 6–3.In her first quarter-final of the 2010 she defeated No.8 seed Sofia Arvidsson 6–3 6–4.She than crushed Christina McHale in the semifinal to book her place in the final where she won the title by beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7–6(6) 2–6 7–5.
She will be in the 100 rankings again.
2011: Tamira started 2011 ranked No.89 and lost in the first round of Auckland to Sofia Arvidsson. She qualified for Hobart and reached the second round of the main draw before falling to Jarmila Gajdosova. Prior to Wimbledon 2011 Tamira had a standard year before she went on to reach the Quarter Finals of Wimbledon for the first time in her career, defeating world No.7 and 6th seed Francesca Schiavone (her first top 10 win of 2011) in an epic third round match that lasted 3 hours and 42 minutes. Tamira finally prevailed 3–6, 6–4, 11–9 hitting a total of 40 winners to 36 unforced errors. Tamira played Russian Ksenia Pervak in the fourth round. She went on winning, beating Pervak in three sets: 6–2, 2–6, 6–3, reaching the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time. Tamira played number 4 seed Victoria Azarenka in the Quarter Finals of Wimbledon. The match started on Court 1 but was moved to Centre Court after the first game due to rain. Paszek lost in straight sets 6–3, 6–1.

vineri, 19 august 2011

Rush Hour 3 (2007): Jackie Chan

Rush Hour 3 is a 2007 martial arts/action-comedy film, and the third installment in the Rush Hour film series, starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, that began with the 1998 film Rush Hour and continued with the first sequel Rush Hour 2 in 2001. The film was officially announced on May 7, 2006, and filming began on July 4, 2006. The film is set in Paris, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. Rush Hour 3 was released on August 10, 2007, in USA.

Academy Award-winning film director Roman Polanski co-stars as a French police official involved in Lee and Carter's (Chan and Tucker's characters) case. In her first appearance in an American film, Noémie Lenoir portrays Geneviève, a beautiful stage performer who is one of the main suspects in the case as well as Carter's love interest. Tzi Ma reprises his role as Ambassador Han, Lee's boss and friend who appeared in the first installment. Yvan Attal co-stars as George, a cab driver who becomes Lee and Carter's new sidekick.

The film starts with Carter (Tucker) directing traffic. Concurrently, Chinese Ambassador Han addresses the importance of fighting the Triads at the World Criminal Court, announcing that he may know the whereabouts of Shy Shen, a semi-mythical individual of great importance to the Triads. Before announcing, an assassin shoots and Han takes a bullet in the shoulder, disrupting the conference. Detective Lee (Chan) pursues the shooter and corners him, discovering that the assassin is his Japanese foster brother Kenji (Sanada). When Lee hesitates to shoot Kenji, he makes his escape.
In the hospital, Lee learns that Han will make a full recovery. Han's daughter, Soo-Yung (Zhang), now grown up, arrives and makes Lee and Carter promise to capture the one behind the shooting. She then informs Lee and Carter that her father gave her an envelope which contains important information regarding the Triad, and that the envelope is in her locker at the martial arts studio where she teaches. Lee and Carter make their way to the studio, but find out that a gang of armed men have already arrived and emptied it. The duo are then told by the Master of the studio that Soo-Yung and Han are in danger, and rush back to the hospital
Once the two reach the hospital, a gang of assassins arrive to kill Soo-Yung and Han. Lee and Carter manage to defeat them. They interrogate the leader of the assassins but find that he only speaks French. With the help of a fellow nun Sister Agnes (Dana Ivey), who can speak French, translates for them and Carter and Lee find out that they are marked for death by the Triad along with Soo-Yung and Han. For her protection, they take her to the French Embassy and leave her under the care of Reynard (von Sydow), the French ambassador and the chairman of the World Criminal Court. When a car bomb nearly kills Reynard and Soo-Yung the duo decides to go to Paris to investigate.

In Paris, after getting a painful cavity search from a Parisian commissioner (Polanski) Lee and Carter meet up with George, a taxi driver (Attal), who is prejudiced against Americans. He drives them to a Triad hideout. Once there, Lee fights off a Triad assassin named Jasmine (Kudoh) while Carter meets a beautiful woman whose name is not disclosed (Lenoir). Lee and Carter escape and Reynard later tells Lee that Shy Shen is not a person, but a list of the Triad leaders and reveals that Han's informant knows where to find it. The informant turns out to be Geneviève, the woman Carter met at the gentlemen's club.

After the two locate Geneviève, they save her from an assassination attempt by the Triads and flee to their hotel room. Privately, Carter tries to interrogate Genviève but they find themselves falling in love with each other. However, they are attacked again by Jasmine who sneaks up behind Carter and Genevieve who are about to make love in bed. No longer safe at the hotel, they decide to hide out with George, who now has developed a great appreciation for the United States. Lee and Carter learn that Geneviève not only knows where the list is, but that she is the list. The names of the thirteen Triad leaders have been tattooed on the back of her head, as per tradition, and Geneviève explains that she will be decapitated and buried if the Triads capture her. When Lee and Carter bring Geneviève to Reynard, he accidentally reveals that he has been working with the Triads all along. Kenji calls and informs Lee that he has captured Soo-Yung and that he would like to exchange her for Geneviève.
Lee arrives at the exchange point, the Jules Verne Restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, with Carter disguised as Geneviève. Kenji challenges Lee to a sword fight, during which the two fall off the tower and get caught in a safety net. Kenji's sword cuts the safety net open and it collapses, leaving both men hanging on for dear life. Lee grabs Kenji's arm, intending to save his life. Kenji says his final goodbye to Lee and willingly lets go of him as he falls to his death, saving Lee's life. Lee then manages to climb up to safety. Meanwhile, Carter saves Soo-Yung and they defeat Jasmine who gets stuck between a large wheel and is split in half (off camera).

As Carter and Lee send Soo-Yung down the elevator to safety, they make their escape from the Triads by gliding down to safety with a large French flag. Unfortunately, they are confronted by Reynard, holding Geneviève hostage and threatening to kill her and frame them. However, George, having followed Lee and Carter, shoots Reynard from behind. The police arrive, with the commissioner who earlier gave out the cavity searches gloating and trying to get undeserved credit. After giving the commissioner a team punch to the face, Lee and Carter leave the scene dancing to the song "War" by Edwin Starr.

joi, 18 august 2011

Succes 2011: Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan (born Chan Kong sang, 陳港生; 7 April 1954) is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, filmmaker, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer.

In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts. Jackie Chan has been acting since the 1960s and has appeared in over 100 films. Chan has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As a cultural icon, Chan has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons, and video games. An operatically trained vocalist, Chan is also a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released a number of albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred.
In 1976, Jackie Chan received a telegram from Willie Chan, a film producer in the Hong Kong film industry who had been impressed with Jackie's stuntwork. Willie Chan offered him an acting role in a film directed by Lo Wei. Lo had seen Chan's performance in the John Woo film Hand of Death (1976) and planned to model him after Bruce Lee with the film New Fist of Fury.[10] His stage name was changed to Sing Lung (Chinese: 成龍, also transcribed as Cheng Long,[16] literally "become the dragon") to emphasise his similarity to Bruce Lee, whose stage name was Lei Siu-lung (Chinese: 李小龍, meaning "Little Dragon"). The film was unsuccessful because Chan was not accustomed to Lee's martial arts style. Despite the film's failure, Lo Wei continued producing films with similar themes, resulting in little improvement at the box office.
Chan's first major breakthrough was the 1978 film Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, shot while he was loaned to Seasonal Film Corporation under a two-picture deal. Under director Yuen Woo-ping, Chan was allowed complete freedom over his stunt work. The film established the comedic kung fu genre, and proved to be a breath of fresh air for the Hong Kong audience.Chan then starred in Drunken Master, which finally propelled him to mainstream success.
Upon Chan's return to Lo Wei's studio, Lo tried to replicate the comedic approach of Drunken Master, producing Half a Loaf of Kung Fu and Spiritual Kung Fu. He also gave Chan the opportunity to co-direct The Fearless Hyena with Kenneth Tsang. When Willie Chan left the company, he advised Jackie to decide for himself whether or not to stay with Lo Wei. During the shooting of Fearless Hyena Part II, Chan broke his contract and joined Golden Harvest, prompting Lo to blackmail Chan with triads, blaming Willie for his star's departure. The dispute was resolved with the help of fellow actor and director Jimmy Wang Yu, allowing Chan to stay with Golden Harvest.
Willie Chan had become Jackie's personal manager and firm friend, and has remained so for over 30 years. He was instrumental in launching Chan's international career, beginning with his first forays into the American film industry in the 1980s. His first Hollywood film was Battle Creek Brawl in 1980. Chan then played a minor role in the 1981 film The Cannonball Run, which grossed US$100 million worldwide. Despite being largely ignored by audiences in favour of established American actors like Burt Reynolds, Chan was impressed by the outtakes shown at the closing credits, inspiring him to include the same device in his future films.
After the commercial failure of The Protector in 1985, Chan temporarily abandoned his attempts to break into the US market, returning his focus to Hong Kong films.
Back in Hong Kong, Chan's films began to reach a larger audience in East Asia, with early successes in the lucrative Japanese market including The Young Master (1980) and Dragon Lord (1982). The Young Master went on to beat previous box office records set by Bruce Lee and established Chan as Hong Kong cinema's top star. With Dragon Lord, he began experimenting with elaborate stunt action sequences,including a pyramid fight scene that holds the record for the most takes for a single scene with 2900 takes, and the final fight scene where he performs various stunts, including one where he does a back flip off a loft and falls to the lower ground.
Chan produced a number of action comedy films with his opera school friends Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. The three co-starred together for the first time in 1983 in Project A, which introduced a dangerous stunt-driven style of martial arts that won it the Best Action Design Award at the third annual Hong Kong Film Awards. Over the following two years, the "Three Brothers" appeared in Wheels on Meals and the original Lucky Stars trilogy. In 1985, Chan made the first Police Story film, a US-influenced action comedy in which Chan performed a number of dangerous stunts. It was named the "Best Film" at the 1986 Hong Kong Film Awards.[28] In 1987, Chan played "Asian Hawk," an Indiana Jones-esque character, in the film Armour of God. The film was Chan's biggest domestic box office success up to that point, grossing over HK $35 million.
In 1998, Chan released his final film for Golden Harvest, Who Am I? After leaving Golden Harvest in 1999, he produced and starred alongside Shu Qi in Gorgeous a romantic comedy that focused on personal relationships and featured only a few martial arts sequences. Chan then helped create a PlayStation game in 2000 called Jackie Chan Stuntmaster, to which he lent his voice and performed the motion capture. He continued his Hollywood success in 2000 when he teamed up with Owen Wilson in the Western action comedy Shanghai Noon which was also a box office success and spawned the sequel Shanghai Knights (2003). He reunited with Chris Tucker for Rush Hour 2 (2001) which was an even bigger success than the original and experimented with special effects with The Tuxedo (2002) and The Medallion (2003). Despite the success of these films Chan became frustrated with Hollywood over the limited range of roles and lack of control over the film-making process. In response to Golden Harvest's withdrawal from the film industry in 2003, Chan started his own film production company, JCE Movies Limited (Jackie Chan Emperor Movies Limited) in association with Emperor Multimedia Group (EMG). His films have since featured an increasing number of dramatic scenes while continuing to succeed at the box office; examples include New Police Story (2004), The Myth (2005) and the hit film Rob-B-Hood (2006).
Chan's next release was the third installment in the Rush Hour series: Rush Hour 3 in August 2007. It grossed US$255 million. However, it performed poorly in Hong Kong, grossing only HK$3.5 million during its opening weekend.
As Chan had stated years before, there would be a point in his life in which he would have to be modernized and use special effects, and try new different things than martial arts flicks. This began in 2007, with the filming of The Forbidden Kingdom (released in 2008), Chan's first onscreen collaboration with fellow Chinese actor Jet Li, which was completed on 24 August 2007 and the film was released in April 2008. The film featured heavy use of effects and wires. Chan voiced the character Master Monkey in the DreamWorks Animation film, Kung Fu Panda, released in June 2008, appearing with stars Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie. In addition, he has assisted Anthony Szeto in an advisory capacity for the writer-director's film Wushu, released on 1 May 2008. The film stars Sammo Hung and Wang Wenjie as father and son.
In November 2007, Chan began filming Shinjuku Incident, a dramatic role featuring no martial arts sequences with director Derek Yee, which sees Chan take on the role of a Chinese immigrant in Japan.The film was released on 2 April 2009. According to his blog, Chan discussed his wishes to direct a film after completing Shinjuku Incident, something he has not done for a number of years.The film is expected to be the third in the Armour of God series, and has a working title of Armour of God III: Chinese Zodiac. Chan originally stated that he would start filming on 1 April 2008, but that date had passed and the current state of the film is unknown. Because the Screen Actors Guild did not go on strike, Chan started shooting his next Hollywood movie The Spy Next Door at the end of October in New Mexico.[50] In The Spy Next Door, Chan plays an undercover agent whose cover is blown when he looks after the children of his girlfriend; Chan most likely did the film to appeal to his younger audience in America. In Little Big Soldier, Chan stars, alongside Leehom Wang in a non-martial arts comedy movie based on the Warring States Period.
On 22 June 2009, Chan left Los Angeles to begin filming The Karate Kid, a remake of the 1984 original, in Beijing. The film was released in America on 11 June 2010 and sees Chan's first dramatic American film. In the film, he plays Mr. Han, a kung fu master and maintenance man who teaches Jaden Smith's character, Dre, kung-fu so he can defend himself from school bullies. In Chan's next movie, Shaolin, he plays the cook of the temple instead of one of the major characters.
Jackie Chan's 100th film 1911 will be released in 26 September 2011. He is both the co-director and star of the movie.
Jackie Chan wins Favorite Buttkicker award at the Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards in 2011 for The Karate Kid.
Until recently, Jackie Chan performed all of his own stunts, which are choreographed by the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. He has stated in interviews that the primary inspiration for his more comedic stunts were films such as The General directed by and starring Buster Keaton, who was also known to perform his own stunts. Since its establishment in 1983, Chan has used the team in all his subsequent films to make choreographing easier, given his understanding of each member's abilities. Chan and his team undertake many of the stunts performed by other characters in his films, shooting the scenes so that their faces are obscured.
The dangerous nature of his stunts makes it difficult for Chan to get insurance, especially in the United States, where his stunt work is contractually limited. Chan holds the Guinness World Record for "Most Stunts By A Living Actor", which emphasizes "no insurance company will underwrite Chan's productions, in which he performs all his own stunts".In addition, he holds an unrecognised record for the most number of takes for a single shot in a film, having shot over 2900 retakes for a complex scene involving a Jianzi game in Dragon Lord.
Chan has been injured numerous times attempting stunts; many of them have been shown as outtakes or as bloopers during the closing credits of his films. He came closest to death filming Armour of God, when he fell from a tree and fractured his skull. Over the years, Chan has dislocated his pelvis and broken his fingers, toes, nose, both cheekbones, hips, sternum, neck, ankle and ribs on numerous occasions. Promotional materials for Rumble in the Bronx emphasized that Chan performed all of the stunts, and one version of the movie poster even diagrammed his many injuries.
Until recently, Jackie Chan performed all of his own stunts, which are choreographed by the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. He has stated in interviews that the primary inspiration for his more comedic stunts were films such as The General directed by and starring Buster Keaton, who was also known to perform his own stunts. Since its establishment in 1983, Chan has used the team in all his subsequent films to make choreographing easier, given his understanding of each member's abilities. Chan and his team undertake many of the stunts performed by other characters in his films, shooting the scenes so that their faces are obscured.
The dangerous nature of his stunts makes it difficult for Chan to get insurance, especially in the United States, where his stunt work is contractually limited. Chan holds the Guinness World Record for "Most Stunts By A Living Actor", which emphasizes "no insurance company will underwrite Chan's productions, in which he performs all his own stunts".In addition, he holds an unrecognised record for the most number of takes for a single shot in a film, having shot over 2900 retakes for a complex scene involving a Jianzi game in Dragon Lord.
Chan has been injured numerous times attempting stunts; many of them have been shown as outtakes or as bloopers during the closing credits of his films. He came closest to death filming Armour of God, when he fell from a tree and fractured his skull. Over the years, Chan has dislocated his pelvis and broken his fingers, toes, nose, both cheekbones, hips, sternum, neck, ankle and ribs on numerous occasions. Promotional materials for Rumble in the Bronx emphasized that Chan performed all of the stunts, and one version of the movie poster even diagrammed his many injuries.
Death hoax

Yesterday, early 150,000 Jackie Chan fans have “liked” a page memorializing the action film star… despite the fact Jackie Chan is, in fact, alive and well.
The page, originally called “Jackie Chan R.I.P 08/17/2011″ and now just called “Jackie Chan R.I.P” (perhaps for the next time “Jackie Chan dead” becomes a Twitter trending topic?) has been instrumental in pushing forward this incarnation of the Jackie Chan death hoax. For some reason, Chan can’t stay alive in the internet death hoax rumor mill this year. In March, news of his death spread virally on Twitter, and fans of the Rush Hour star poured out condolences until it became apparent Chan had not died of a heart attack as the rumor claimed.
While the number of Facebook likes on the Jackie Chan death hoax page may seem like a lot, compare it to the actual Jackie Chan fan page, which has 20,161,490 likes. (Chan actually owns the Facebook page for simply “Jackie,” like “Madonna,” or “Cher.”) Were there any official news on Jackie Chan’s health or significant injury, it would certainly turn up on Jackie Chan’s official page rather than some fly by night page that won’t allow access to its wall- a wall that’s probably covered in messages that insist Chan has not died.
38,000+ people have “liked” Chan’s most recent quote on the page, in which he says:
‎”When I work I do it from my heart, and my heart is that I bring love to the world. When I travel around the world I bring my love. I bring so much love in my heart. I hope you can feel that.”
- Jackie