All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
The HeldenFiles Online

Happy Almost New Year -- Unless You Love MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central ...

By admin Published: December 31, 2008

I have tried to live by Leon Russell's maxim of "slipping into Christmas, sliding into New Year's Eve." No such luck. This morning has been spent compiling information about the latest examples of media companies playing "where's the money," both in the MTV Networks/Time Warner Cable flap, which is of major import in these parts, and the local WOIO/Wadsworth Cable situation regarding retransmission. Story online here. (UPDATE: Wadsworth has gotten an extension that will keep WOIO and WUAB on it until at least Jan. 12.) Barring an announcement earlier in the evening, I will go directly from watching the ball drop to seeing if there have been channels dropped, too.

To read more or comment...

Back Home ...

By admin Published: December 29, 2008

Relatively smooth flights, although airplane seats seem to get narrower and harder every year. Glad to have been with many family members over the holidays, and glad to be back. I also expect to be posting more often.

To read more or comment...

What Kind of Moviegoer Takes a Gun to "Benjamin Button"?

By admin Published: December 27, 2008

There's a report out of Philadelphia that a man became unhappy with people talking at "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and then shot one with the .380 he was carrying. Was he packing heat because he expected this to be like another alliterative Pitt movie, "The Assassination of Jesse James"? Or is there something about movie-going in that area that makes people think that the experience must include popcorn, a comfy seat, surround sound and your personal armament?

I shouldn't joke about acts of violence. Then again, I have endured too many movies where others assumed that their remarks were worth sharing with others in the theater -- even when still others tried to shh them. Of course, some of those yakkers probably view the Philadelphia incident as the sort of threat that would require them to bring their own guns as some kind of free-speech protection. And I am ever more inclined to watch movies at home.

To read more or comment...

And Now the New Year Looms ...

By admin Published: December 27, 2008

I'm still in vacation mode, having had good times with family -- and am within 200 pages of the end of "Nixonland." Many things that could have been discussed here, including the deaths of Eartha Kitt and Harold Pinter, and I am half-forming a list of notable TV moments in '08. (The mental draft includes "The Shield," "The Wire," Tina Fey as Palin, "Sandcastles in the Sand," David Milch's monologue on the "Deadwood" DVD -- with a special mention for Titus Welliver -- Letterman's revenge on McCain, and some other things that just aren't coming to me at the moment. Suggestions welcome in the comments zone.) But I'm going to hold on to the vacation feeling just a little longer. ...

To read more or comment...

Happy Near-Holidays

By admin Published: December 23, 2008

The bride and I are taking a breather from work and so far, so good. Interesting road adventures, including the airport security agent who, when I unthinkingly handed her my boarding pass upside down, declared, "I'm not going to stand on my head to read it!" And the lady on the plane who kept asking if there would be food. (There wasn't, and price of drinks ranged from $1 for coffee or tea to $2 for a 12-oz. soft drink to $7 for beer. And the bride and I had carefully calculated our luggage contents to keep our baggage charges to a minimum. The world may be enjoying gas at $1.50 a gallon or less but this airline was still living in $4-gallon-land.)

But the trip went smoothly and we have had a chance to complete our holiday prep and even catch up on some reading. The bride is filling gaps in her Karen Kingsbury collection. I read some good pulp (Robert Bloch's "Spiderweb," breezy way to pass airplane time) and am now making my way through "Nixonland," by Rick Perlstein. Refound my love of literature in a college class this fall but still am drawn to the reading of history.

To read more or comment...

Happy Sunday

By admin Published: December 21, 2008

My big story in the Beacon Journal today consists of readers' memories of "A Christmas Story," not only a great Christmas movie but one shot partly in Northeast Ohio. You can read folks' anecdotes here. If you have stories of your own, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Also, a DVD column looking at "Savage Grace," "Hamlet 2," "Burn After Reading" and "The Women." You can find that here. Had mixed feelings about the first three and did not like the fourth one at all. Instead of "Savage Grace," you could see Julianne Moore in a better context in "Boogie Nights." Steve Coogan of "Hamlet 2" is more effectively showcased in "24 Hour Party People." And the Coen brothers' brand of comedy was more to my liking in "The Hudsucker Proxy" than "Burn."

To read more or comment...

Friday on My Mind

By admin Published: December 19, 2008

I've been trying to get through my usual weekend load and to get ahead on some things, so I've been a bad blogger lately. Here's a video to try to make up for it:

To read more or comment...

Song for Jeremy Piven

By admin Published: December 18, 2008

Yet Another Awards List To Make Me Grumpy

By admin Published: December 18, 2008

The SAG awards nominations have been announced. Complete list here. The awards like to make a big deal about actors voting for actors, as if that made them more sensible. But when I look at the list, I once again find myself saying, Shatner? What? Spader, too? No "The Wire"? No "The Shield"? Not even in the ensemble categories? What fresh hell is this?

To read more or comment...

Update Your Trendy Vocabulary Now

By admin Published: December 18, 2008

Advertising agency JWT sent along a note about words it thinks will be buzz-worthy in the months ahead. Since I'm still trying to get used to "friend" as a verb, I'm not sure how soon I can confidently refer to "Bamelot" or "pregnorexia." See the list after the jump. ...

America’s president-elect has inspired a stream of clever buzzwords with a name that lends itself to wordplay; expect to hear more about “Bamelot,” as well as numerous new coinages tied to current events. The Obama administration’s focus on the environment will stimulate the rise of a “green-collar” class, even as the recession forces consumers and corporations to get a “haircut.” Tough times will give rise to “Darwinian” attitudes, while “recessionistas” rock their cheap chic. Meanwhile, a new Malcolm Gladwell book means a new term that will quickly become business-speak cliché” says Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting at JWT (J. Walter Thompson).

To read more or comment...

When Is It Too Late To Start Watching a Serialized Show?

By admin Published: December 17, 2008


What an exciting scene! And who are all you people?

To read more or comment...

Digital TV Transition Test

By admin Published: December 17, 2008

More "Office" Casting

By admin Published: December 16, 2008


And you thought Jan was bad news...

To read more or comment...

"Momma's Boys"

By admin Published: December 16, 2008

For many, OK to keep that old TV next year

By admin Published: December 16, 2008

People have already been talking about television stations' switch from analog to digital broadcasting in early 2009.

To read more or comment...

TCM Sets Van Johnson Tribute

By admin Published: December 16, 2008

Remember the Joke About the Butcher Who Sat ...

By admin Published: December 16, 2008

... in the meatgrinder. He got a little behind in his work! AHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! And I know I have been behind in posting but am hoping to catch up one of these days. In any case, I did see last night's "How I Met Your Mother" and the best joke was, no question, Marshall's karaoke choice at the end. For those of you who need a lyric refresher (and a giggly visit to a past "HIMYM" glory)...

To read more or comment...

TCM, Oscar Go to College

By admin Published: December 15, 2008

Turner Classic Movies' annual "31 Days of Oscar" fest takes an academic tilt in '09. Announcement and schedule after the jump. ...

To read more or comment...

"Survivor" Season Finale

By admin Published: December 14, 2008

Spoiler notes after the jump ...

To read more or comment...

"Saturday Night Live": Merry Christmas; Amy, Come Back!

By admin Published: December 14, 2008

I expected good things with Hugh Laurie hosting; he has done a lot of sketch comedy and he's a very funny guy. But the best moments in an uneven but frequently funny show came from the ensemble. Above, Fred Armisen's bit as governor of New York, which was tasteless, dumb and hysterically funny, especially when the show kept it going during other parts of "Weekend Update," including during Amy Poehler's farewell.(UPDATE: After letting the sketch be embedded on Sunday, Hull is not doing so now. Could the governor's complaint have something to do with it?)

To read more or comment...

Testing, Testing

By admin Published: December 12, 2008

I have a test this morning and spent last evening studying. So, aside from a quick trip through "Survivor," I am in the cone of silence on Thursday TV. Will hope to catch up later. For now, let us take a moment to mourn the passing of the iconic Bettie Page, who inspired young men for generation. L.A. Times obit here. Photo, from the San Francisco Chronicle, below.

To read more or comment...

Golden Globes Nominations

By admin Published: December 11, 2008

You can find the list here.

I have made my contempt for the Golden Globes pretty clear over the years, so I won't get overly agitated about the list. But I am disappointed that "The Shield" was so thoroughly overlooked when it had a brilliant final season full of stunning performances.

To read more or comment...

Fan Mail From Some Flounder

By admin Published: December 11, 2008

For those of you who read, the "Mailbag Story" post below, here's the sequel ...

To read more or comment...

A Mailbag Story

By admin Published: December 10, 2008

So not long ago this man sends me an e-mail ...

To read more or comment...

Morning-After Leno

By admin Published: December 10, 2008

I know, I already posted at length on this topic. But if you want to read my story about the change in today's Beacon Journal, you can find it here. And after the jump is an NBC-provided transcript of Leno's remarks from last night's "Tonight Show," including a couple of jokes he had already tried out at Tuesday's press conference.

And you may want to check out Andy Borowitz's column on NBC's situation, which begins this way: "In a move that some industry insiders called a game-changer, NBC announced today that it would cancel all of its primetime programs and air a static image of its peacock logo every night between 8 and 10." ...

To read more or comment...

Robert Prosky, R.I.P.

By admin Published: December 9, 2008

The character actor, whose career included the unenviable task of having to follow both Michael Conrad and a great catchphrase on "Hill Street Blues," has died. An affable man sort in some performances, he could also be one of the scariest guys you might see on a screen. As evidence, I offer a clip from one of my all-time favorite movies, "Thief," starring James Caan, directed by Michael Mann, essential to any DVD collection.

In this scene, Prosky's crime boss character decides to bring the too independent thief played by Caan under his heel. NOTE: RAW AND OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE. DISTURBING COMMENTS. NOT FOR CHILDREN!

To read more or comment...

Fun With Technology

By admin Published: December 9, 2008

I had a reason not to be paying attention to the early break of the Leno news (discussed above): Monday night sitcoms, routers, Slingboxes and Facebook. See after the jump ...

To read more or comment...

Things I Meant to Get to Over the Weekend ...

By admin Published: December 8, 2008

Lots of stuff rattling around. Some of it ...

                                                                                                                                                                       David Gregory is now the official new moderator of "Meet the Press." (Release is here.)

To read more or comment...

"The Amazing Race" Results

By admin Published: December 7, 2008

Notes and spoilers after the jump. ....


To read more or comment...

Another Goofy Dance Request

By admin Published: December 7, 2008

Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens and "Tequila," from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." The clip includes the stuff leading up to the dance; the dance itself is about 2:45 in.

To read more or comment...

By Request

By admin Published: December 6, 2008

A reader of my goofy-screen-dances post below said I should include "Napoleon Dynamite." So I am:

To read more or comment...

Sunny von Bulow Dies

By admin Published: December 6, 2008

The name should ring a bell with true-crime buffs. If not, here's a link to her New York Times obit. The name should also spark interest with movie fans, thanks to "Reversal of Fortune," which starred Jeremy Irons as Claus von Bulow, Glenn Close as Sunny and Ron Silver as lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

To read more or comment...

Thursday: "The Office," "30 Rock," "Grey's Anatomy"

By admin Published: December 5, 2008

Notes after the jump...

To read more or comment...

"Survivor" Results: A Long and Winding Road ... to Something Obvious

By admin Published: December 4, 2008

Notes after the jump. ...

To read more or comment...

"Real World: Brooklyn" Jan. 7

By admin Published: December 4, 2008

Eight housemates, streaming video, HD broadcasts, other stuff. Announcement, including cast description, after the jump. By the way, the reference to the show turning 21 should not make you feel way, way old. The series began in 1992, 16 years ago, and this will be the 21st season.

To read more or comment...

Dead Denny News

By admin Published: December 4, 2008

You may have seen Shonda Rhimes' denial to EW's Michael Ausiello of reports that Izzie's seeing Dead Denny -- which I hate -- was not the result of a brain tumor. Ausiello has a new report of a spoiler nature here. And nothing in that report keeps me from STILL hating the Dead Denny story.

To read more or comment...

A Goofy Dance Morning

By admin Published: December 4, 2008

It being the holiday season, more or less, and me being obsessed both with Christmas music and "Love Actually," I was playing the soundtrack in my car this morning. When I got to "Jump," I couldn't help but smile at the memory of Hugh Grant's dancing in the movie. So here's the clip, with some thoughts and a question after ...

To read more or comment...

Your Morning Grin

By admin Published: December 4, 2008

ABC Mid-Season Plans

By admin Published: December 3, 2008

The much anticipated, revamped, revived "Cupid," from "Veronica Mars's" Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero, arrives on March 24. Other shows: "Castle" (with "Firefly's" Nathan Fillion), "The Unusuals," "Primetime: What Would You Do?" Full announcement after the jump.

The new "Cupid" stars Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson, pictured here.

To read more or comment...

The Yule Log Returns

By admin Published: December 3, 2008

Cable subscribers can start using the round-the-clock video display, free, via On Demand services starting on Monday. Two new elements added. Here's the announcement:

iN DEMAND Networks today announced that it is bringing the Yule Log, the popular holiday tradition back to Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks Video On Demand (VOD) customers this year. Because of the Yule Log’s long running success, iN DEMAND has created two new, sure-to-become classic offerings: Winter Green and Snowman. The service launches on December 8 (with earlier sneak previews in select locations) and airs throughout the month as part of the cable operators’ free on demand service. These VOD titles will be free to customers.

To read more or comment...

"Dancing With the Stars" Returns March 9

By admin Published: December 3, 2008

Which means that I'll be irked about something by March 10. Full announcement after the jump. ...

To read more or comment...

Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: December 2, 2008

We live in a world of lists, but I still couldn't resist a peek at "Top 10 Dumbest Self-Inflicted Injuries." Plaxico Burress, by the way, is not only the inspiration for the countdown but number one on it. Amazingly, Kellen Winslow Jr. did not make the top 10.

I've listed some CBS schedule changes in a separate post.

To read more or comment...

CBS Mid-Season Plans

By admin Published: December 2, 2008

More "Flashpoint," and yet another Ashton Kutcher-backed reality show. Full announcement after the jump.

To read more or comment...

The Annual Rumination on Christmas Music, Part 1

By admin Published: December 2, 2008

Faithful readers of the Beacon Journal and this blog are well aware of my obsession with Christmas music. Because the bride has a no-Christmas-music-before-Thanksgiving rule, I have been piling up some new releases but only recently began delving into them. Have found a fair amount of redundancy, and one CD I am mildly obsessed with. ...

To read more or comment...

SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS

OHIO.COM VIDEOS

Blogs:

Heldenfels' mailbag

Prev Next

INFORMATIONAL PAGES