Tangi Quemener

Tangi Quemener

    The Hollywood tradition of product placement will soar to a new level when the Steven Spielberg-produced action film Transformers is unleashed on United States cinema-goers this week. The new movie version of Transformers has become one of the most-talked-about films in years.

    Whether it is through the soaring grace of the Eiffel Tower or the breathtaking beauty of Provence, France is hoping to lure tourists by persuading Hollywood to shoot more films there. An unprecedented alliance of French film and local government officials descended on Los Angeles last week to attend the Locations Trade Show, an annual fair that puts potential film sites in the movie industry's shop window.

    Hollywood is banking that good things really do come in threes as it prepares to unleash an unprecedented series of blockbuster sequels on the box office. Three of the most profitable franchises in history release their long-awaited third instalments next month: Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man and Shrek.

    "To Marilyn, I hope this helps keep you on time. All my love, Joe." That is the inscription inside a compact topped with a little watch that was given to legendary actress Marilyn Monroe by her second husband, Joe DiMaggio -- one of hundreds of pieces of Marilyn memorabilia on show for the first time in the world aboard the floating museum Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

    A United States space projectile early on Monday collided head-on with a comet hurtling through the solar system as part of an experiment to study its core. "That's awesome! That's awesome!" shouted flight control officials after the impact was confirmed. "We hit just exactly where we wanted to."

    Thrills and spills are to be expected at United States theme parks, but the Cox family are seeking to push themselves to the absolute limit as they hang by their arms six metres off the ground in a stunt watched by hundreds of onlookers. In each show, park visitors can compete against each other in a progression of eye-popping stunts.