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Sunday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: February 28, 2010

Items that may interest you, now on Ohio.com:

With Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" coming, I look at past "Alices" and the difficulties in adapting Lewis Carroll's stories for the screen. In conjunction with that, I offer a sampling of the "Alice" versions now on DVD, or coming soon.

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Does "Idol" Have To Be This Bad This Early?

By admin Published: February 26, 2010

The show has made a fair number of on-air apologies for contestant nervousness in the early going, and the group of performers does seem raw. But I went back to look at my notes on the Top 36 from a year ago, and saw that not everyone sucked, and there was a lot more positive to talk about than there has been with this year's Top 24.

Early on, some performers were making a mark, even if some of that mark was made by the comedy stylings of Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. (On the other hand, Kris Allen was really uninteresting at this point.)

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"Survivor": Semi-Sweet

By admin Published: February 25, 2010

A few thoughts, with spoilers, after the jump ...

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"American Idol" Results Notebook

By admin Published: February 25, 2010

After the jump, I will be live-posting tonight's results show. Once people are eliminated, I'll put their names at the top of the jump. At this point, I have minimal interest in who stays and who goes, since there wasn't a fabulous performance to found on either night. My colleague Malcolm X Abram may have other ideas; we'll see tomorrow afternoon when we record our second "Idol" video of the season for Ohio.com. So stay tuned later Friday for that.

And now, to the jump ...

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Fuse Cranks Up for Rock Hall Inductions

By admin Published: February 25, 2010

From today's mail:

2010 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY
Premieres Monday, March 15th at 8:30pm ET
Fuse has your front row seat for the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. As the exclusive television partner, Fuse will broadcast the ceremony live from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will welcome inductees, including ABBA and Genesis, to their place in music history. Fuse will be the only network on TV to cover this historic event.

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Who's Watching the Olympics?

By admin Published: February 25, 2010

Here's some Nielsen data:

Females compose 56% of the audience; Males make up 44%.

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"American Idol" Top 24: The 12 Men

By admin Published: February 24, 2010

Notes as I watch, after the jump.

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In Defense of "Lost"

By admin Published: February 24, 2010

I've been reading the comments of some of my friends/colleagues who are WAY smarter about the nuances of "Lost" than I am, and who did not care for last night's episode. This was something of a surprise, since -- aside from one obvious flourish -- I liked the episode, called "Lighthouse," very much. I will try to explain why, with spoilers, after the jump.

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From the Files

By admin Published: February 24, 2010

Various notes have been piling up, like this one on Charlie Sheen:

Joint statement from Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment; Peter Roth, President, Warner Bros. Television; Chuck Lorre, Creator/Executive Producer of “Two and a Half Men”:

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"American Idol" Top 24 Performances: The 12 Women

By admin Published: February 23, 2010

We're back with in-progress blogging on "Idol." Notes on the women's performances, which was a huge disappointment and a terrible way to start the show, begin after the jump.

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"Tales of the Gold Monkey" on DVD

By admin Published: February 23, 2010

And yes, people have asked me when this was coming out. The answer is June 7, the price is $49.97, and the full announcement is after the jump.

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A Mess of Viewing

By admin Published: February 22, 2010

My life, especially my weekend life, has been filled with obligations, not least among them reading (and trying to figure out something to say about) Herman Melville. Can't escape him. Even this morning, when I was looking at an old VHS of 1999's "Alice in Wonderland" (guess what I'm working on), it began with a trailer for the Patrick Stewart "Moby Dick." But I am still managing to turn out my DVD column. I have also been watching TV here and there, and after the jump, I have a few notes.

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Cleveland Film Fest Akron Event

By admin Published: February 22, 2010

Details:

We invite you to get a sneak peek of the
34th Cleveland International Film Festival
at the Official Akron Preview Party
presented by
Colortone Staging and Rentals
Join special guests from WKSU, Western Reserve PBS, and the
Cleveland International Film Festival between 5:30pm and 7:30pm
Thursday, March 4th
The Akron Civic Theatre
182 South Main Street
Enjoy free food, cash bar, live music, and previews of this year’s films.
Plus, you’ll have chances to win cool CIFF prizes
(like a pair of all-access Festival passes),
and take home your very own
CIFF Program Guide, hot off the presses!
RSVP online at WKSU.org or call 330-672-3114.

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"American Idol" Talk

By jim Published: February 18, 2010


Malcolm X Abram and I are BACK with new online chats about "American Idol." Here we kick off with comments about the judges, the contestants and the little ways the show plays tricks on the audience.

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"American Idol" Top 24

By admin Published: February 18, 2010

From Fox:
Auditions ended tonight for the ninth season of AMERICAN IDOL, and the judges’ remaining picks for the Top 24 semifinalists were revealed. The Top 24 semifinalists are: (females) Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Lacey Brown, Michelle Delamor, Katelyn Epperly, Siobhan Magnus, Paige Miles, Ashley Rodriguez, Lilly Scott, Katie Stevens, Haeley Vaughn and Janell Wheeler; (males) Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Tyler Grady, Todrick Hall, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Alex Lambert, Michael Lynche, Joe Muñoz, John Park, Jermaine Sellers and Tim Urban.

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"Fantastic Mr. Fox" to DVD/BD

By admin Published: February 17, 2010

The official word:

Academy Award-winning Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney and Meryl Streep lend their voices to the hilarious, heartwarming and dazzling stop-motion animated adventure from visionary director Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox, arriving as a Blu-ray Disc/DVD Combo Pack and on DVD March 23 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. In the re-imagined classic family tale, Mr. and Mrs. Fox (Clooney and Streep) live a happy home life with their eccentric son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) and visiting nephew Kristopherson--That is, until Mr. Fox slips into his sneaky, old ways and plots the greatest heist the animal world has ever seen. When mean old farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean join forces to surround Mr. Fox and his family, they don't realize they are not dealing with any old fox - it's Fantastic Mr. Fox and he has a fantastic master plan to save the day!

Based on the beloved best-selling book by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Fantastic Mr. Fox is family fun at its finest. Anderson employs a colorful supporting cast to bring his eccentric characters to life including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe. Packed with behind-the-scenes bonus features, including a special inside look at how stop-motion animation really works and much more, Fantastic Mr. Fox will be available as a Blu-ray Disc/DVD Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy) for the suggested retail price of $39.99 U.S. / $49.99 Canada and available on standard DVD for $29.98 U.S. / $43.48 Canada.

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Heldenfiles Live!

By admin Published: February 17, 2010

In this week's video: A few comments about the Olympics and other reality TV (although, in a blast of forgetfulness, I omitted "Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains," which I have mixed feelings about), Martin Scorsese movies worth checking out on video, new DVDs including "Barnaby Jones" and "Women in Trouble."

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David Canary Retiring From "All My Children"

By admin Published: February 16, 2010

The official announcement:

Five-time Emmy® Award-winning actor David Canary has announced his retirement from “All My Children.”

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Kevin James To Host Kids' Choice Awards

By admin Published: February 16, 2010

The "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" star has been picked for the show, airing March 27. Full announcement, including awards nominees, after the jump.

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CW Renews Five Shows

By admin Published: February 16, 2010

"Top Model," "90210," "Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," "Supernatural" will be back in the fall. Announcement after the jump.

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Walters Ending Oscar Specials

By admin Published: February 15, 2010

This from ABC News:

Barbara Walters is putting an end to one of Oscar night's greatest traditions: her annual sit-down with some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

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"Idol" To Announce "Some" of Top 24 on Tuesday

By admin Published: February 15, 2010

From Fox:

In an AMERICAN IDOL first, some of the Top 24 semifinalists will be revealed in a special two-hour event airing Tuesday, Feb. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

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Notebook: Chicken Night

By admin Published: February 12, 2010

Later today I hope to have notes on the NBC Thursday comedies, "Modern Family," "Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains," "Bones," Ellen DeGeneres's "American Idol" debut and maybe some other stuff.

But first: Who had it in for chickens on Thursday night? "Survivor" not only had the chicken-catching, which I could have lived with, but the barely-off-camera neck-wringing, which I could have done without. "Bones," meanwhile, had a case centered on a chicken plant, with plenty of details about the mistreatment of the animals and some more neck-wringing. Did KFC mess up an order to the producers guildi?

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Cinematheque Announces March-April Lineup

By admin Published: February 11, 2010

From today's e-mail:


Classic and contemporary cult movies, John Woo's uncut RED CLIFF, the Oscar-nominated documentary THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN THE WORLD: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS, and four of the best movies from the 2000's are just a few of the highlights in the March-April film schedule of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque
.

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Fox's Jennifer Griffin Discusses Cancer Fight

By admin Published: February 11, 2010

Something worth passing along:

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: February 11, 2010

You can find today's mailbag here. Topics include the actress Gail Russell, whom I have always found impressive onscreen, and her bad life.

With the Olympics starting tomorrow night (which means the bride will be logging many extra TV hours), I offer these notes from Time Warner Cable about programming:

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Liane Hansen Akron Appearance Postponed to April 22

By admin Published: February 10, 2010

With the iffy weather from here to the East Coast -- and it was quite nasty when I was out a few minutes ago -- I had the good sense yesterday to ask if NPR's Liane Hansen was still set for her Friday gig at the Akron Press Club. As of yesterday, she was, and I said so in today's print HeldenFiles.

So, of course, today the talk was postponed. The new date is April 22. Not only are flights canceled in D.C., the rail system to get to the airport is stalled because of downed trees and lines.

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Chipmunks "Squeakquel" on DVD/BD March 30

By admin Published: February 9, 2010

Details on the various packages after the jump.

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NBC Releases Olympics Announcer List

By admin Published: February 9, 2010

"Bob Costas leads a lineup of 53 NBC Olympic commentators who will broadcast more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage - the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics - when the Games commence on Feb. 12," says NBC. "The lineup returns many of the network’s signature Olympic hosts, play-by-play commentators and analysts."

Enormous amount of detail after the jump.

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CW Schedule Changes; Talley Joins "Top Model"

By admin Published: February 9, 2010

"Top Model" returns March 10, two new reality shows also coming. Announcement after the jump, along with the announcement of Andre Leon Talley joining "Top Model." and the list of the next "Top Model" contestants.

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"An Education" Sets Post-Oscar DVD/BD Release

By admin Published: February 8, 2010

The Oscar-nominated film (best picture, best actress, best adapted screenplay)
arrives March 30. Full announcement after the jump.

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NBC Sets Season Finale Dates

By admin Published: February 8, 2010

The rundown from the network:

NBC announced today season finale dates for a variety of shows that extend all the way to Tuesday, May 25 with the season’s climactic episode of “The Biggest Loser” (8-10 p.m. ET).

In chronological order, the season finales include (all times ET): “Trauma” (Monday, May 10, 9-10 p.m.); “Mercy” (Wednesday, May 12, 8-9 p.m.); and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (Wednesday, May 19, 10-11 p.m.).

Also among NBC’s season finales are all of the Thursday night comedies, including: “Community” (Thursday, May 20, 8-8:30 p.m.); “Parks and Recreation” (Thursday, May 20, 8:30-9 p.m.); “The Office” (Thursday, May 20, 9-9:30 p.m.); “30 Rock” (Thursday, May 20, 9:30-10 p.m.); “The Celebrity Apprentice” (Sunday, May 23, 9-11 p.m.); a two-hour “Chuck” (Monday, May 24, 8-10 p.m.); “Law & Order” (Monday, May 24, 10-11 p.m.); and a two-hour “The Biggest Loser” (Tuesday, May 25, 8-10 p.m.).

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Super Bowl Sets Records, Says Nielsen

By admin Published: February 8, 2010

From Nielsen:

According to preliminary results from The Nielsen Company, CBS’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV attracted an average audience of 106.5 million U.S. viewers, making it the most watched Super Bowl of all time. The game was viewed in 51.7 million households, making it the most watched television program of all time among households, beating the M*A*S*H finale in 1983, which was seen by an average of 50.2 million homes. The game scored a preliminary 45.0% U.S. household rating.

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"Boondock Saints" Back in Theaters

By admin Published: February 8, 2010

Here's the top of the announcement:

Ten years after emerging as a cult sensation, “The Boondock Saints” will return to the big screen in a special one-night presentation, The Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Event, on Thursday, March 11th at 7:30 p.m. local time. Creator, writer and director Troy Duffy will introduce the event and share rare behind-the-scenes experiences and footage as well as exclusive interviews with cast and crew members including Norman Reedus (Murphy MacManus) and Sean Patrick Flanery (Connor MacManus), captured especially for this anniversary celebration. Audiences will also be treated to special performance clips by The Dirges, Ty Stone and Taylor Duffy whose music is part of the upcoming soundtrack to The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, along with a sneak peek into the mobile games, comic books and graphic novel currently in development.

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Sunday Night Notebook

By admin Published: February 7, 2010

I've spent the weekend recovering from a cold, but have managed to sit through the Super Bowl so far. Much better game than it appeared at first. Loved the onside kick to start the third quarter: a terrific gamble, and one that woke up the game. (UPDATE: New Orleans has won what was a fine game until the Manning interception put the Saints out of the Colts' reach. Lots of drama, lots of shifting fortune, and I had no complaints regardless of who won.)

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"True Blood" Season 2 DVD/BD Set

By admin Published: February 5, 2010

It will be on May 25, for $59.99 (DVD) and $79.98 (Blu-ray). Announcement is after the jump.

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"So You Think You Can Dance" Returns 5/27

By admin Published: February 4, 2010

Full announcement, including the most recent audition information, after the jump.

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"Blind Side" DVD/BD Release Set

By admin Published: February 4, 2010

The Sandra Bullock film will hit store shelves on March 23, a couple of weeks after the Oscars, where Bullock is expected to pick up her first statuette. Full announcement, with extras details, after the jump.

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"Lost" Notes

By admin Published: February 3, 2010

With spoilers, after the jump ...

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Oscar Nominations: The Video

By admin Published: February 3, 2010

This is a companion of sorts to the written material I posted about the Oscars, including my interview with Walter Kirn, mentioned in the video, and the list below of which nominated movies are available on DVD. A little different content here than other places.

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Now It's Time To Say Goodnight ...

By admin Published: February 2, 2010

I was going to write up impressions of "Lost" but it's late, and my brain is a little fried from everything else I did today -- Oscars columns, a couple of interviews, homework for my autobiographical-writing class, "Lost." So tomorrow I will weigh in, and for now bid you all sweet dreams.

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Want To See Oscar-Nominated Films?

By admin Published: February 2, 2010

If you want to see things in Northeast Ohio theaters, one chain's guide is here.
If you're planning a trip to the video store or changes in your Netflix cue to catch up, here's what I know right now about the home-video availability of some Oscar movies. If I have not listed something in a category, I could not find a release date for a DVD/BD.

Best Picture
"The Blind Side" -- March 23
"District 9" -- available now
"An Education" -- March 30
"The Hurt Locker" -- available now
"Inglourious Basterds" -- available now
"Precious" -- March 9
"A Serious Man" -- Feb. 9
"Up" -- available now

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Oscar Nominations

By admin Published: February 2, 2010

You can find the complete list by category here. If you want to look at nominations by movie, that's here.

From my immediate kneejerk Twitter/FB reaction: "Happy includes: G Sidibe, J Renner, Up in the Air, Up, Mo'Nique, Christoph Waltz, In the Loop. But D9 stole Star Trek's best pic nom." I should also note "The Hurt Locker."

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HeldenFiles Live! and Other Notes

By admin Published: February 1, 2010

We went a little early with this week's regular video --songs from "Hope for Haiti Now," "Lost," some interesting classic-TV DVDs including an Orson Welles "King Lear," promotional items for "Life" and "Party Down" -- because I will be doing an extra video later Tuesday on the Oscars. I will also be posting a link to the nominees and some comments in a couple of hours when the nominees are announced. But while best picture and director may be a horse race, it already feels -- as I and others have said, based on prizes given to date -- that the four acting winners are locked in : Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Christoph Waltz and Mo'Nique. We shall see.

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