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Davy Jones, R.I.P.

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 29, 2012

Spielberg "Tintin" on Video 3/13

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 28, 2012

The official word: The incomparable team of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson brings the world-renowned stories of Hergé to life in the rollicking and wildly imaginative THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, bursting onto Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD (all with UltraViolet™), On Demand and for Digital Download on March 13, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Winner of the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film, THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN has been called “a grand thrill ride of a treasure hunt” (New York Post) and the “most delightful dose of pure entertainment since Raiders of the Lost Ark” (Minneapolis Star Tribune). Featuring groundbreaking and visually-stunning motion capture animation, an outstanding cast of voice talent headed by Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig, and a thrilling story filled with non-stop action, THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN is a must-own film that the entire family will enjoy watching again


THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN three-disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack include over 90 minutes of special features that take viewers behind-the-scenes with Spielberg and Jackson to discover how the filmmakers brought the characters to life, learn about Tintin’s origins, delve into the design and animation processes, explore the creation of Tintin’s faithful dog, Snowy, and much more. The film will also be available as a single-disc DVD. All Blu-ray and DVD releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

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"Falling Skies" DVD/Blu-ray Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 28, 2012

The official word: TNT's epic alien-invasion saga from DreamWorks Television, TNT Productions and executive producer Steven Spielberg - will make its Blu-ray and DVD debut on June 5. Noah Wyle (ER) stars in the powerful drama, which finished its first season as basic cable's #1 new series of 2011. Falling Skies: The Complete First Season will include numerous special features, including a sneak peek at the eagerly anticipated second season, slated to launch on TNT this June.

 

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New "Dancing With the Stars" Cast

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 28, 2012

"Dancing with the Stars" hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet announced the 12 celebrities, with their professional partners, heading to the dance floor this season on ABC's "Good Morning America." This season's dynamic lineup of stars will perform either the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars," MONDAY, MARCH 19 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

 

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Rock Hall Induction Simulcast Tickets on Sale

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 28, 2012

The ceremony in Public Hall is sold out but the simulcast is available. Here's the official word:

Tickets go on sale today for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s live broadcast of the 27th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, April 14 at the Rock Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Other than at Public Hall, the simulcast will be the only place to watch the Induction Ceremony live on the night of the event.

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"Descendants" on Video March 13

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 28, 2012

It was my choice for the best-picture Oscar and best actor (Clooney) regardless of how the movie academy voted.

The official word: From director Alexander Payne creator of the Oscar® winning Sideways comes one of the Best Pictures of the year, THE DESCENDANTS, featuring a stunning cast including Best Actor nominee George Clooney (Ides of March) and Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) in her Golden Globe nominated and Independent Spirit Award winning role. Take home this wonderfully warm and witty film and go behind the scenes of THE DESCENDANTS with all-new exclusive content on Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack and DVD March 13 from Fox Searchlight and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. ...
 

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Fox Juggles Spring Show Dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 27, 2012

The official word:

FOX announces revisions to its Monday and Thursday spring schedule, as well as the air date for FOX’s 25th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL and the addition of a HOUSE retrospective leading into the show’s momentous series finale.

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Hating the Oscars

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

I was prepared for "The Artist" to win, although I still think "The Descendants" was the best of the pictures nominated.

But Streep winning for best acttress? Better than VIola Davis? I think not. She was robbed as the academy tossed a career-achievement honor at one of its recurring favorites. Would love to see how the vote broke down, both by actress and demographically.

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Oh, Well

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

Jean Dujardin wins for best actor. Clooney was still the man. And 10 or 20 years from now, "The Artist" will be remembered as a cute gimmick, while "The Descendants'" emotional depth will be fully recognized.

 

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Moving Along: Best Director

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

Just took a break to write for the Beacon Journal's early deadlline (and dont' think I missed much, judging from what I heard on the TV at my elbow).

Best director winner: "The Artist." Not surprising but disappointing. I was a big "Descendants" fan and this pretty much indicated it won't win best picture.

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Best Supportinng Actor

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

Christopher Plummer wins, for "Beginners," notes that he is only two years younger than the Oscars. (At 82, he is now the oldest competitive-award winner, passing Jessica Tandy and George Burns.) A good joke, a gracious acknowledgment of the other nominees, the filmmakers and his wife. Well done, sir. And, since you've said you are going to live until 90, let's see if you can win another!

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More Awards

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

"Undefeated" wins best documentary feature, and one of the accepters gets bleeped.

Chris Rock hilarious presenting animated feature. Winner: "Rango."

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Muppets, Cirque Du Soleil

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

Much as i love the Muppets, not good this night, and they had a Spielberg joke that didn't work with this year's lineup. As for Cirque, the crowd in the hall loved it, but they're getting a much more impressive view than we have at home.

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Best Sketch To Watch Again Tomorrow & More Awards

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

A focus group looks at "The Wizard of Oz." Featuring the Christopher Guest stock company, including Guest, Bob Balaban, Catherine O'Hara, Jennifer Coolidge and the splendid Fred Willard, making me wonder what a flying monkey would say if it talked.

"Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" wins for film editing.

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Best Supporting Actress

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

The clip of Melissa McCarthy in "Briidesmaids" made me lauigh yet again, but Octavia Spencer took the Oscar for "The Help." She was terrific. She deserves it. And her acceptance speech was so warm (and tearful) that it made me like her even more.

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Opening/Early Awards

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

Oh, my. I had hopes for Billy Crystal and they were swiftly dashed. The movie montage, which made Crystal's Oscar-hosting rep, has gotten tired and too chummy. The monologue wastired. The musical number -- well, you can't fault Crystal for energy.

"Hugo" wins for cinematography. OK.

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Oscar Notes Begin

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

I have been watching the ABC pre-show, tweeted some (see the left rail for those comments) and had to reboot my computer once. So far.

At this point, it's the usual nuttiness. When I first turned on the TV before 7, during E!'s coverage, the first thing I heard was about an actress going to the bathroom.

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Sunday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 26, 2012

Tonight, as you would expect, I will be watching the Oscars. I will begin tweeting comments around 7 p.m. and post occasional compilations of the comments (with possible bonus material) here. (You can also follow the tweets as they happen on the left rail of this page.)

In anticipation of the show, I wrote several things for today's Beacon Journal which are available on Ohio.com, including a recap of the movies I am rooting for (an expansion of the quick video take below); a story about the Cleveland connections to the nominated "Moneyball," and my weekly DVD/Blu-ray column, which looks as "Hugo," arriving on video on Tuesday.

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Talking "American Idol" With Malcolm X Abram

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 25, 2012

A Brief Video Chat About the Oscars

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 25, 2012

White House Blues Show Playlist

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 24, 2012

Watch Five Long Years on PBS. See more from In Performance at The White House.

Premieres Monday, February 27 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS

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"American Idol" Top 24 & Change

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 24, 2012

Viewers of the show noted that the series promised a shocker on Thursday night that proved to be just a variation on the wild card. One of four rejected men (Jermaine Jones, Johnny Keyser, Richie Law and David Leathers) will be added to the Top 24, making it a Top 25 with one more male competitor than the females.

For a show that has turned its Top 12 into a Top 13 on a whim, this was far from surprising; in fact, when Jones was being sent off, I kept thinking that the judges would change their minds and let him through after all. And maybe they will yet.

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Indians/D'Backs Spring Training Telecast To Have Live Audio by Players

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 23, 2012

I love the passing reference to audio being "on a brief delay." No effing kidding.

The official word: MLB Network today announced its 2012 Spring Training game schedule, featuring a groundbreaking presentation of live in-game audio. For the first time in an MLB game telecast, live audio content will air on a brief delay throughout the Spring Training game telecast of the Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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Thursday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 23, 2012

Last night I was part of a discussion on "The Regina Brett Show" about movies and especially about the Oscars. If you missed it, you can still find ways to hear it online here: http://www.wksu.org/regina/?

Speakling of the Oscars, here's my video for WEWS and Ohio.com about my preference for best actress:

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Halle Berry Film Goes Direct-to-Video

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 22, 2012

As Hitfix.com noted last week, "It's been almost exactly ten years since Halle Berry picked up a best actress Oscar, and she's celebrating the anniversary with the release of the Video on Demand thriller 'Dark Tide.' " At the time, Hitfix noted that theatrical release was also planned. But it probably won't be a significant release with the movie hitting store shelves on April 24.

 

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Thoughts Re "Glee"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 22, 2012

The more I think about last night's "shocker" episode, the more I think two things:

The suicide attempt was no surprise; in fact, the poor guy has been in such emotional pain,  I've been waiting for it for weeks.

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Rock Hall Sets Induction Week Events

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 22, 2012

The official word: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 27th Annual Induction Ceremony will take place at Cleveland’s historic Public Hall on Saturday, April 14, 2012 and be celebrated by more than a week of events for fans, including a live simulcast of the Induction Ceremony at the Museum. The Rock Hall is excited to announce numerous public events scheduled for 2012 Induction Week in Cleveland. Details are below.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction 2012 Schedule of Events includes:

 

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Conan O'Brien Deal With TBS Extends to 2014

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 22, 2012

TBS has extended the popular late-night series CONAN through April 2014, demonstrating the network's solid commitment to the Emmy®-nominated show and its host, Conan O'Brien.

Since premiering in November 2010, CONAN has been a hit with TBS's core audience of young adults. The show recently charted its third consecutive month of audience growth. The success of CONAN also extends well beyond the show's TBS telecasts to include widespread DVR, online and mobile viewing; interaction through Twitter, Facebook and TeamCoco.com. In the past year, CONAN has conducted special events throughout the country, including a week of shows from the Beacon Theater in New York and fan art exhibits in New York City and San Diego. In June 2012, CONAN will travel again, this time for a week of shows in Chicago.

“We are proud to be in business with Conan O'Brien for the long run,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience. As if that weren't enough, they have also built a dynamic online presence that keeps fans engaged like no other show in late night.”

Conan O’Brien added, “I am excited to continue my run with TBS because they have been fantastic partners. This means I’ll be taping episodes of CONAN well into the Ron Paul presidency.”

CONAN has enjoyed three consecutive months of audience growth. In January 2012, the show was up 27% in total viewers compared to October 2011, while adults 18-34 were up 18% and adults 18-49 up 21%. Already in February, CONAN is showing an additional 12% growth among adults 18-34, 11% among adults 18-49 and 8% among total viewers. In 2012, CONAN has averaged 1.1 million viewers, with 407,000 adults 18-34 and 702,000 adults 18-49.

Conan O'Brien is a true powerhouse when it comes to online activity and engagement. He has amassed 5,020,000 followers on Twitter, more than any other late-night host. Video clips from CONAN presented through TeamCoco.com, viral players and YouTube attracted more than 83 million video views in 2011. And the Team Coco Facebook page has drawn more than 1.8 million fans, nearly doubling the page's January 2011 figures.

In its first year on TBS, CONAN earned three Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Variety Music or Comedy Series and another for the show's outstanding team of comedy writers. In addition, Conan O'Brien won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Talk Show Host. Meanwhile, the Team Coco website has garnered a wide array of industry recognition, including a 2011 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media and a 2011 Webby Award for Best Fan Site.

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Western Reserve To Air "Micro Business for Teens" With Local Students

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 22, 2012

The 90-minute program premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday with a replay at 10 p.m.. The studio audience included 145 people, among them students from:

Coventry High School · Delta Academy for Girls · Field High School · Gilmour Academy · Hubbard High School · Hudson High School · Hudson Montessori Middle School · St. Ignatius High School · Theodore Roosevelt High School · Laurel School · Seton Catholic School · University School · Western Reserve Academy 

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Fox Adds to Lineup of DVDs on Demand

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 22, 2012

The official word: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s “manufacturing on demand” (“MOD”) program continues to expand with the newest selection of films as part of MGM’s Limited Edition Collection. These 15 films will be available through major online retailers in February.
 

This group of releases features classics from 1951 to 1990 including performances by Hollywood’s greats – Robert Mitchum, Frankie Avalon, Rock Hudson, Sid Haig, Brooke Shields, and Kathy Bates, to name just a few.

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NBC Makes More Schedule Changes; "Community" Returns 3/15

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 21, 2012

The long, official word:

NBC announced the premieres of the new comedies “Bent” (March 21) and “Best Friends Forever” (April 4), as well as the comedic hidden-camera series “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (April 4) to its spring lineup. “Community” also will return to the Thursday schedule starting March 15.

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"Ghost Protocol" DVD/BD/3DBD Plans Announced

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 21, 2012

The official word: Called "a powerful thrill ride that is simultaneously gritty and dazzling" (Claudia Puig, USA Today) the global smash hit MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE—GHOST PROTOCOL explodes onto Blu-ray and DVD (both with UltraViolet™), On Demand and Digital Download April 17, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. ...

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE—GHOST PROTOCOL will be available in a Limited Edition three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack bursting with over two hours of special features that whisk viewers away to exotic locations in pursuit of the global production, disclose how the thrilling action sequences were captured, reveal the secrets of the life masks and other cool props, and much, much more. The film will also be available as a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and as a single-disc DVD, each with select special features. All Blu-ray and DVD releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

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Tuesday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 21, 2012

The Songwriters Hall of Fame has announced its new inductees: Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Steinman (famed for his collaborations with Meat Loaf) , Bob Seger, Don Schlitz (whose compositions include "The Gambler) and the team of Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones ("The Fantasticks"). Induction is June 14.

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Watching TV: "Clinton"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 20, 2012

PBS's "American Experience" continues a series of presidential profiles tonight with a twp-part, four-hour portrait of Bill Clinton. (It concludes tomorrow night.) The program is profoundly sad in its presentation of two tragic figures -- not only Bill but Hillary, who put aside her own promising career to support Bill's and endured countless private humiliations as well as a huge public one.

And it is a sorrowful look at American politics because Clinton -- for all his belief in his ability to persuade anyone to his way of thinking -- also proved very good at making people hate him; he was if not Slick Willie certainly slippery, with a lawyerly way of approaching language, a willingness to abandon most priinciples when they seemed unwinnable (even his much praised economy-boosting budget, the program argues, arose after the budget he wanted was seen as a political loser) and a destructive sexual appetite.

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Sunday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 19, 2012

Some items in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com:

Tom Fontana talks about his Borgias series, the state of TV and more.

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Talking With Arsenio Hall

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 18, 2012

In today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com, I have a chat from Wednesday with Arsenio Hall. When we set up the interview, the topic was "Celebrity Apprentice." Then Whitney Houston died. She was a frequent presence on his talk show, so I had to ask about her -- and about Don Cornelius, with whom Hall worked several times. I've talked to Hall before, and he has consistently been open and gracious, and this chat was no exception. You can find the story here.

 

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Jerry Seinfeld at Akron Civic on April 20

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 17, 2012

Tickets -- $47, $62 and $77 -- go on sale on Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Civic box office, www.akroncivic.com, by calling 330-253-2488 or via TicketMaster.

The Civic announcement is here: http://www.akroncivic.com/eventlist/event_detail.php?id=1082

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Back on the Blog

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 17, 2012

There have been some technical issues with this thing since the production of it changed. Between that and some other obligations, I took a break. But here's some of what I have been up to:

In Thursday's Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, you can find a couple of pieces, the weekly mailbag and a look at the Oscar contenders in short-film categories (animated, live-action and documentary). Showings begin today at the Capitol Theatre in Cleveland. The Oscars, by the way, define a short film as 40 minutes or less.

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"Love Never Dies" in Cinemas 2/28 and 3/7

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 14, 2012

If you have been thinking about Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" because of the recent Blu-ray release (which looks terrific) and the planned telecasts on PBS in March, then you may want to take a look at Webber's sequel, "Love Never Dies." Area theaters presenting it include Regal Montrose, CInemark Valley VIew, Regal Severance and CInemark Tinseltown in North Canton.

The official word:

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Fincher "Dragon Tattoo" Video Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 14, 2012

The official word:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – the gripping, hard-edged thriller based on the first of Stieg Larsson’s suspenseful and spell-binding “Millennium” trilogy – arrives on one-disc DVD and three-disc Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (includes two Blu-ray discs with UltraViolet™ + one DVD) on March 20th. . . .
 

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"Breaking Dawn" Sells 3.2 Million

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 13, 2012

The official word: 

Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE® company, announced today that the home entertainment release of the current installment in the studio’s blockbuster TWILIGHT SAGA film franchise, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 sold an estimated 3.2 million DVD and Blu-ray units during its first weekend of release.

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My Rolling Grammy Tweets

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 12, 2012

I've been tweeting my way through the Grammys. If you're not following me on Twitter, here's how it has gone, in reverse chronological order:

To-do list for tomorrow: Fitting "rubbish relationship" into conversations as much as possible

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Video: Best Actor Oscar Nominees

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 10, 2012

Bonnie Raitt at Akron Civic 5/23; Tickets on Sale 2/17

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 10, 2012

Video: My Choice for the Best-Picture Oscar

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 8, 2012

Oscar-nominated "Puss in Boots" on DVD/Blu-ray 2/24, with bonus story

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 8, 2012

It hits video the Friday before the Oscars are announced. You can find my review of the movie from when it was in theaters here.

The official word: Nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s fur-ociously funny and globally-renowned PUSS IN BOOTS makes a triumphant debut on DVD and Blu-ray on Friday, February 24, 2012. Hailed by critics and audiences alike, the film has been lauded as “hilariously funny” (Associated Press), “charming [and] brilliant” (Wall Street Journal) and praised for its spectacular visuals and glorious 3D animation. Filled with hilarious action and adventure, the true tail—er, tale—of how Puss became a hero long before he met Shrek delighted audiences of all ages with its non-stop laughs, daring deeds and original story. Featuring the extraordinary Antonio Banderas as the voice of the irresistible and legendary cat, PUSS IN BOOTS boasts a sensational cast of voice talent including Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris.

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"House" To End This Season

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 8, 2012

Not surprised. Have not watched it in months, when I used to be devoted. Just seemed to keep spinning its wheels. Other viewers appear to have felt similarly, as it has tumbled in the ratings.

The official word: 

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"Iron Lady" on DVD/Blu-ray 4/10

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 7, 2012

The official word: Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company announced today the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD release of THE IRON LADY, starring two-time Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep (SOPHIE’S CHOICE, KRAMER VS. KRAMER) as former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher. Considered by many to be the greatest living film actress, Streep has received an astonishing 17 Oscar® nominations over the course of her career, including a 2012 Oscar® nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Thatcher in THE IRON LADY. Streep won a 2012 Golden Globe® award for this role, and received a 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination as well. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd (MAMMA MIA!) from a screenplay by Abi Morgan (SHAME), THE IRON LADY heads to retail on April 10, 2012 for an SRP of $39.99 for the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and $29.98 for the DVD.

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TV Tonight: "Smash" Premieres

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 6, 2012

I had a long piece about the show, which after seeing four episodes I like, in Sunday's Beacon Journal. You can find it on Ohio.com here: http://www.ohio.com/the330entertainment/heldenfels/is-smash-a-glee-for-grownups-or-something-more-1.263215

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R.I.P., Ben Gazzara

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 3, 2012

He had charm, and he had menace, sometimes in the same moment, cool and hot at simultaneously, and that way of suggesting that emotions rolled inside him, and woe to him who was in the way when they were unleashed. Ben Gazzara, who has died at 81, reportedly of pancreatic cancer, was someone who always drew the eye on the screen; look at "Anatomy of a Murder," where you've got people like James Stewart,  George C. Scott and Lee Remick onscreen, and there's Gazzara, making you think of a time bomb.

His work varied, some of it challenging, some of it for a paycheck, some a seeming favor.. He had he remarkable collaborations with John Cassavetes and Peter Falk, and his fine pairings with Gena Rowlands. Occasional forays into television, notably with the series "Run for Your Life." He was in "The Big Lebowski" and "Road House" (which, according to IMDB, he said was the one of his movies most shown on television.) A movie about Pope John Paul II (he did not play the pope, and looked old and frail) and a commanding turn in "Saint Jack." He made a mark.

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"Young Adult" on DVD, Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 3, 2012

The film boasts very good performances by Charlize Theron and especially Patton Oswalt. But Diablo Cody's script, while amusing in places, is not up to her "Juno" and the movie as a whole has an unpleasant current.

The official word: A brilliant and bittersweet comedy about the harsh realities of growing up, YOUNG ADULT debuts on Blu-ray and DVD (both with UltraViolet™) on March 13, 2012, as well as On Demand and for Digital Download on March 9, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Nominated for a 2012 Golden Globe® for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical, Charlize Theron is “a comic force of nature” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) as Mavis Gary, a former prom queen and current writer of young adult novels who returns to her hometown in order to win back her now-married high school sweetheart. . . .  

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New Look ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 3, 2012

There have been some changes in how this blog is produced, and you may notice some glitches as I get used to the new system. But I am slowly figuring out how to make it work and expect to have some decent posts in place this weekend. Bear with me.

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"Treme" Season 2 on DVD, Blu-ray

By admin Published: February 2, 2012

The official word: Continuing to focus on New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, the second season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series Treme tells the colorful, interwoven stories of a group of ordinary people who endure in the midst of unthinkable loss and hardship. From creators/executive producers David Simon and Eric Overmyer (HBO's The Wire®), the show has been hailed as "remarkable" (Chicago Tribune) and "riveting" (Reuters) with "fascinating characters" (The Washington Post). Releasing April 17, 2012, Treme: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray ($79.98), DVD ($59.99) and Digital Download contain engaging featurettes that explore the vibrant culture and music that makes New Orleans one of America's most distinctive cities.

It's now 14 months post-Katrina and residents of the Crescent City are finding it harder than ever to rebuild their lives, much less hold on to their special cultural and musical identity. Some have left to become expatriates in places like New York City; others have been forced to sell their homes to outside developers. Those who remain cope with high crime levels and dwindling federal support. Still, the proud, even defiant spirit that defines the city lingers among its faithful inhabitants.

To complement a series that so authentically captures the flavor of the Big Easy and its compelling characters; the BD and DVD sets contain extraordinary behind-the-scenes features that delve deeper into the city's unique heritage.

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TV Land Renews "The Exes"

By admin Published: February 2, 2012

The official word: TV Land has picked up its hit original sitcom, “The Exes,” for a second season, it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, president, TV Land. “The Exes,” written by “Frasier” scribe Mark Reisman, stars critically-acclaimed actors Donald Faison (“Scrubs”), Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld,” “Hot in Cleveland”), David Alan Basche (“The Starter Wife”), Kelly Stables (“Two and a Half Men”) and Kristen Johnston (“3rd Rock From The Sun”).

Season two is set to premiere in June of this year along with the network’s new original sitcom, “Have Faith” (working title), starring Cedric “The Entertainer” and Niecy Nash. To date, “The Exes” has averaged an audience of 1.5 million total viewers, earning a .65 Adults 25-54 rating and a .81 among Women 25-54 (Source: Nielsen, 11/30/11-1/25/12, Wed 10:30p-11p, most current data). Guest stars this season have included Judith Light (“Who’s The Boss?”), Diedrich Bader (“The Drew Carey Show”), Janina Gavankar (“True Blood”), Ken Marino (“Party Down”) and NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire.

“‘The Exes’ has proven to be an excellent addition to our primetime line-up,” said Jones. “This cast of seasoned comedy performers and a writing team led by Mark Riesman are what keep our viewers coming back week after week. We can’t wait to get started on the second season.”

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Cleveland Film Fest Update

By admin Published: February 2, 2012

I am still throwing up over the University of Akron (one of my alma maters and a sometime employer) hiring Jim Tressel. But entertainment news goes on. Here are some official words from CIFF:

There are only seven weeks until the 36th CIFF and only four weeks until CIFF members get to purchase tickets a week before the general public and at a discount price! Not a member? We can fix that for you. Click here to see which level of membership fits your film appetite. Want to avoid the ticket lines altogether? Check out any of our top three membership levels that include all-access passes (no tickets necessary!).

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"Chuck" Final Season on DVD/Blu-ray in May

By admin Published: February 1, 2012

The official word: It's no secret that all good things must come to an end. The final season of this fan-favorite series will be available on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD on May 8, 2012 from Warner Home Video. Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season includes all 13 episodes from Season Five plus over 3 hours of never-before-seen bonus features, including six brand-new featurettes, two full-length commentaries, deleted scenes, gag reel, and an extended version of the series finale episode. The Blu-ray will be released in 1080p Full HD Video and will feature DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season is priced to own at $39.98 SRP on DVD and $49.99 SRP on Blu-ray.

In the fifth and final season, Chuck is ready to take Operation Bartowski freelance. Chuck's spy abilities will be put to a new test when he and his team must save mankind without the help of the CIA. Instead, they'll use the cover of the Buy More electronics store to fund their own operations, leading to new missions, new stakes and new obstacles. With Chuck and Sarah as newlyweds and his family in on his secret, it has never been harder for Chuck to separate his spy life from his personal life. ...

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"Tinker Tailor" to DVD/Blu-ray on March 20

By admin Published: February 1, 2012

The official word on the Oscar-nominated film: Things aren’t always as they seem in the Oscar®-nominated, suspenseful, and stylish thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In), based on the classic novel by John le Carré. Focus Features’ Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy will be available on Blu-ray™Combo Pack with UltraViolet™,on DVD,on Digital Download and On-Demand March 20, 2012, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. At the height of the Cold War, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), a.k.a. MI6 and code-named the Circus, has been compromised. An ever-watchful former top lieutenant and career spy, George Smiley (Gary Oldman, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ), is called out of retirement by the government to help identify and track a suspected mole at the top of the agency. The list of suspects is narrowed to five men. Even before the startling truth is revealed, the emotional and physical tolls on the players enmeshed in the deadly international spy game will escalate…Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is Academy Award®-nominated for Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Adapted Screenplay (Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan), and Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias); and is nominated for 11 BAFTA Awards including Best Film and Best Actor.

Also starring Oscar® winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) with Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”), David Dencik (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Tom Hardy (Inception), Ciarán Hinds (The Debt), Oscar® nominee John Hurt (Midnight Express), Toby Jones (The Hunger Games), and Mark Strong (Robin Hood), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is “a pleasurably sly and involving puzzler” (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times) and showcases “easily one of the year’s best pictures – Gary Oldman gives a performance that is flawless in every detail.” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).

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"Army Wives" Returns 3/4

By admin Published: February 1, 2012

The date is set. And, if you've missed the very weird trailer for the new season, here it is:


And here is the official word on the new season debut: Army Wives, Lifetime’s most
successful series in the network’s history, will return for its sixth season
with all-new episodes beginning Sunday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  Immediately
following at 10pm ET/PT will be new episodes of Coming Home, Lifetime’s
award-winning docu-series featuring U.S. armed forces service members’ surprise
family reunions.

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Don Cornelius, R.I.P.

By admin Published: February 1, 2012

The "Soul Train" host and impresario has died; initial reports indicated it was a suicide but now stories are backing away from that. The New York Times has a report here.

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