Clint Eastwood has indicated that reports about his retirement from acting have been greatly exaggerated. "You know, you kind of muse out loud sometimes in front of a journalist, and they kind of put it down as an absolute," Eastwood said as he promoted his latest film Gran Torino on the syndicated Lyons & Bailes Reel Talk, due to air next weekend. "I'm just saying that I'm getting at the point in life at my age where they just don't write that many good roles," he added. He said he often wonders how many good scripts are being written for older actors like himself. "Maybe not that many," he observed.


Blockbuster, attempting to fend off determined competition from online rental outfits and kiosk operators, said Monday that it will begin renting many older movies for as little as 99 cents beginning in January. "The 99-cents plan is targeted at the value-conscious consumer in this challenging economy," chairman and CEO Jim Keyes said at the Reuters Media Summit in New York. According to Video Business magazine, the company has also begun evaluating proprietary kiosks of its own in test locations.


The Blu-ray version of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight being released today (Tuesday) will not contain a longer cut of the movie or deleted scenes as many such video releases do, Nolan has told the website AintItCoolNews. Nolan said that he took an "aggressive editorial approach" to the movie, demanding that every scene have at least three purposes. The result, he said, is that each scene in the movie is essential and cannot be removed. The Blu-ray version, he also indicated, will resemble the IMAX theatrical version in which the scenes shot with IMAX cameras expand. (The Dark Knight is scheduled to return to IMAX screens on January 23.) Nolan told the AintItCoolNews interviewer that he wants to shoot an entire film in IMAX if he can resolve some of the problems inherent in the giant screen process, especially the noisy cameras that require dialogue to be rerecorded in post production. The answer, he suggested, may be a hybrid technique in which all silent scenes are shot with IMAX cameras and all scenes with dialogue are shot with conventional big-screen 65mm cameras.


Daniel Craig has indicated that the next 007 film is not in the works and that "nobody's thinking about it at the moment." Although the usual timetable calls for a Bond movie to be released every other year -- there have been several exceptions -- Craig told the London Sun, "We're giving it a rest for the moment. If I can squeeze something in next year I will ... but I haven't figured out what that'll be yet." He insisted, however, that the next film will not be a continuum of Quantum. "I'm done with that story," he said. Nevertheless, he seemed to suggest that the next Bond movie will likely be another prequel. "Let's try and find [out] where Moneypenny came from and where Q comes from. Let's do all that and have some fun with it," he said.


The box office did less than half the business last weekend that it did the previous weekend during the Thanksgiving holiday. Still, the top 12 films' gross was 5.30 percent above that for the comparable weekend a year ago, according to box-office trackers Media by Numbers. The leader was Warner Bros.' Four Christmases, which stayed on top for the second week in a row. Summit Entertainment's Twilight also performed strongly, earning $13.05 million. But Disney's Bolt, which many analysts expected would show strong legs, fell 63 percent to $9.80 million, to place third. The only new film to open wide, Punisher: War Zone, was a major casualty of the traditional post-Thanksgiving downturn, placing eighth with $4.67 million.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Four Christmases, Warner Bros., $16,755,478, 2 Wks. ($69,418,170); 2. Twilight, Summit Entertainment, $13,046,722, 3 Wks. ($138,402,068); 3. Bolt, Disney, $9,796,149, 3 Wks. ($79,381,422); 4. Australia, Fox, $7,050,261, 21 Wks. ($30,919,097); 5. Quantum of Solace, Sony/MGM, $6,752,390, 4 Wks. ($151,620,134); 6. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Paramount, $5,079,120, 5 Wks. ($165,653,852); 7. Transporter 3, Lionsgate, $4,668,898, 2 Wks. ($25,549,454); 8. Punisher: War Zone, Lionsgate, $4,271,451, (New); 9. Cadillac Records, Sony/Tri-Star, $3,445,559, (New); 10. Role Models, Universal, $2,574,460, 5 Wks. ($61,617,805).