news/reviews digest


Barden, Schnee hang casting shingle

Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee, formerly of Hopkins Smith Barden Casting, have opened Barden/Schnee Casting in New York. Their current projects include Kirk Jones' "Everybody's Fine," starring Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell; "New York I Love You," from various directors, including Brett Ratner, Natalie Portman and Fatih Akin; Mitchell Lichtenstein's "Happy Tears," starring Demi Moore and Parker Posey; and David Siegel and Scott McGehee's "Uncertainty," starring Lynn Collins and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Between them, Barden and Schnee have been involved in such projects as "Pineapple Express," "Snow Angels," "Evening," ESPN's "The Bronx Is Burning," "Boys Don't Cry" and "American Psycho." Allison Estrin, formerly of Jay Binder Casting, has joined them as casting assistant.

Amazon rocks out with 'GTA'

DENVER — Amazon is lending its digital music service as a special feature for the much-anticipated upcoming video game "Grand Theft Auto IV," allowing gamers to download music discovered via the game's soundtrack. The game features a soundtrack of more than 150 songs, most of which are streamed through the radio stations of cars that the playable character can steal and drive around the city while conducting missions. Players can tag songs heard using an in-game mobile phone interface. Players then will get a message via the in-game phone with the artist's name, song name, etc. "Grand Theft Auto IV" is set for an April 29 release.

'Fear Itself' finds Web home on FearNet

FearNet, the horror and thriller destination available online and on-demand, has partnered with Lionsgate and NBC to present the off-network debut of all 13 episodes of the new suspense and horror anthology series "Fear Itself," beginning Labor Day. FearNet will feature exclusive online and on-demand content ranging from exclusive clips to special shot-by-shot analyses of key scenes by the series' directors.'s official show site also will feature exclusive content and extras from the series. "Fear" debuts on NBC at 10 p.m. May 29.

Si TV hopes its new look will resonate

Si TV is rolling out a new on-air look inspired by pop art and iconography derived from the Latino cultures served by the cable network. The network, which targets 18- to 34-year-old English-speaking Latinos in the U.S., said the look is designed to break through a cluttered TV landscape and "speak to a new generation of Latinos whose lives blend fluidly between traditional Latino and American cultures."

50 Cent joins social club

NEW YORK — 50 Cent has more than 1 million friends on MySpace, but if the rapper ever decides to leave, he'll be leaving behind those friends, too. Like a growing number of artists — from Kylie Minogue to Ludacris to the Pussycat Dolls — he's started his own social networking site. On, fans can create profiles and friend lists just like on MySpace, but 50 Cent has direct access to users and their e-mail addresses — making the site perfect for merchandising and advertising.