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Getting Through the '00s

By admin Published: December 31, 2009

I thought about posting lists of favorite shows, movies and so on for the decade. But, well, I got lazy. And have been on vacation. And have played too much Wii. But here are nine pop-culture items (aren't you very tired of top tens?), in no special order, that helped get me through the last decade:

1. The MP3 and music downloads. My latest is an iPod, currently loaded with 6,000 songs from downloads and transferred CDs, some organized into playlists, others just there for the mood swing. It's at the point where I am having to clear out some things, or to transfer downloads to disc, because I know that I will want to put more in there. And while I love the pilgrimage to record stores (I'll try to get by in January, Time Traveler), I also love the impulse of hearing a song on the radio or TV, then hopping online to download it and relish it more. And that I can take so much with me when I travel.

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Talking television

By admin Published: December 30, 2009

Moulty!

By admin Published: December 28, 2009

The Barbarians were one of the more curious bands to come out of the '60s, but they had their moments, including as part of "The T.A.M.I. Show," which I posted about not long ago because it is finally coming to DVD. Moulty of the Barbarians dropped a note in the comments section. So, for those of you tuning in late, here are a couple of Barbarians tracks ...

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Another Holiday-Ish Video

By admin Published: December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Notebook

By admin Published: December 24, 2009

A little something with a holiday message ...

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Time Traveler Closing (Updated)

By admin Published: December 22, 2009

UPDATE: I talked to Scott Shepard at Time Traveler today about the closing plans. He will start a liquidation sale on Jan. 2 (the store's closed on Jan. 1) with 20 percent off everything in stock, then keep that going until most/all of the current stock is gone. Might take a few months, but it depends on how quickly things move. After he closes this store, he is thinking about moving into a smaller place with a more specialized inventory, but that's not definite.

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"American Idol" Telecast Schedule

By admin Published: December 22, 2009

If you're just wondering about Ellen DeGeneres, shemakes her debut with the Hollywood round beginning Feb. 9. A detailed round-up of what is when is after the jump.

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"Nine" Notes

By admin Published: December 22, 2009

After the jump, my review of "Nine," the new screen musical. On the star system we use at the paper, I would have given it 2 1/2, more than "Sherlock Holmes," less than "Avatar" or "Up in the Air." As you can read, I was disappointed.
By the way, I also talk about "Nine," as well as "Survivor" and other topics, in my latest online video over at Ohio.com.

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CBS Mid-Season Plans

By admin Published: December 21, 2009

"Undercover Boss," "Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains," more. Full announcement after the jump.

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TCM Sets Jennifer Jones Tribute

By admin Published: December 18, 2009

From the classic-movie channel:

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will pay special tribute actress Jennifer Jones, who passed away Thursday at the age of 90. Jones, who won an Academy Award® for her performance in the 1943 film The Song of Bernadette, will be remembered with a four-film collection airing on TCM Thursday, Jan. 7, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET). Among the films presented will be the classic western Duel in the Sun (1946), for which she earned an Oscar® nomination, and Madame Bovary (1949), based on Gustave Flaubert’s classic tragedy.

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Tech Stuff: BD, 3D News

By admin Published: December 17, 2009

As you already know if you read the comments section on these posts, Kent Plaza Theatres is now offering 3-D movies, including "Avatar." Full announcement is after the jump.

It was expected before this holiday season that Blu-ray players would break the $100 barrier. In fact, I have seen one selling for $78 at Walmart. As I have written, there's a big industry push to get people to go Blu-ray and recent news from Warner video underscores that: new releases will get the combo-pack treatment, and discounted double-feature Blu-rays are coming. Details on that after the jump.

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More Elvis News: TCM Festival to Mark 75th

By admin Published: December 17, 2009

From the folks at Turner Classic Movies:

Seventy-five years ago this January, the future of popular music was changed forever with the birth of the one-and-only Elvis Presley. On Friday, Jan. 8, Priscilla Presley and longtime friend Jerry Schilling will join Robert Osborne as Turner Classic Movies (TCM) celebrates the 75th anniversary of the birth of “The King.” Their introductions will be part of a 20-hour marathon of movies and concert documentaries.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: December 17, 2009

A little (sad) holiday material from Kelley Ryan, who has worked with local legends Don Dixon and Marti Jones, among others.

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Kurt Russell's "Elvis" to DVD

By admin Published: December 15, 2009

The official word on the March 2010 release:

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Awards-Mania

By admin Published: December 15, 2009

I don't care about the Golden Globes, but in case you do, the list of nominees is here.

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More Holiday Music With Local Ties

By admin Published: December 15, 2009

As I have mentioned and linked previously, Malcolm X Abram and I did a piece about Christmas music with local ties. Other suggestions have ensued.

Craig Marks passed along this droll video from Power Salad, which has Akron roots:

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NBC Program Plans

By admin Published: December 14, 2009

The net announces January and post-Olympic stuff. Details after the jump.

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"T.A.M.I. Show" on DVD!!!

By admin Published: December 14, 2009

One of the greatest concert films ever, as time capsule and as performance, is finally coming to DVD on March 23. Stones, Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, more. So exciting. I saw this on TV years ago and it's a landmark. Full announcement after the jump.

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My 10 Favorite Holiday Movies

By admin Published: December 14, 2009

I've been looking over a bunch of best-Christmas-movie lists (and some of the worst) and it's difficult to add much to the discussion. While the specific order may vary, there is a considerable consensus about titles that belong on such a top-movie list. Still, I thought I would post mine if only because the top movie is different from my favorite in past years. I will try to explain why, with the list, after the jump (and will acknowledge that the list may change, or at least add some honorable mentions, when I go poking in my holiday-movie collection later).

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Cinematheque Sneaks "Nine"

By admin Published: December 14, 2009

The Rob Marshall big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, itself inspired by the work of Federico Fellini, opens in local theaters on Christmas Day. It's a curious film, but with some show-stoppers (Penelope Cruz, Fergie). I'll have a full review closer to its opening but did want to let you know about an early screening:

As a post-script to its November-December film series "Nine by Fellini," the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque will present a special advance screening of the Fellini-inspired musical NINE on Sunday, December 20 at 3:30 pm in CIA's Aitken Auditorium at 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. Admission is free, but only Cinematheque members and Cleveland Institute of Art students, faculty, and staff will be admitted before 3:15 pm. The screening is courtesy of The Weinstein Company.

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Late Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: December 13, 2009

It has been another weekend of scrambling to get things done. About the only recreation was watching the U of Akron men's soccer team on Friday night and Sunday afternoon on TV; they ended up NCAA runner-up, losing the final on penalty kicks. A noble effort, though, and a fine season, not that you would have known that from listening to the ESPNU/ESPN2 announcers, who endlessly talked up the ACC and dogged Akron. After listening to their swill in the early going of the final, we turned off the audio and put on the radio broadcast of the game. Not perfect, but better than what we had been enduring.

From Sunday's paper:
Malcolm X Abram and I talk about Christmas music, as we do every year. This year we focused on recordings with local connections.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: December 10, 2009

This week's reader mailbag is here. Topics include "Rules of Engagement," "Raising the Bar," "The Student Prince," why the second season of "Picket Fences" is not on DVD, and other things.

My review of "Invictus" is here. Really struggled with that one, because I so admire Eastwood and Freeman's work generally, and this one just did not quite do it for me.

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Not-So-Hasta La Vista, "Glee"

By admin Published: December 9, 2009

As you know, tonight's episode of "Glee" is the last new one until April. And, while it tied up some storylines, I have mixed feelings about the show.  ...

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This Week's Video

By admin Published: December 9, 2009

CBS Killing "ATWT"

By admin Published: December 8, 2009

From the network today:

CBS's daytime drama AS THE WORLD TURNS will broadcast its final episode in September 2010. At the time of its final broadcast, the series will have spanned 54 years and more than 13,000 episodes.

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Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: December 8, 2009

The holiday-season/end-of-school-term madness continues, as does the arrival of new movies. (Expecting to see "Invictus" tonight, "Nine" tomorrow, "Avatar" and "Up in the Air" on Thursday.) But after the jump I have posted a few brief notes on some recent viewing.

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Another Road Trip

By admin Published: December 5, 2009

The bride and I have been traveling on family business since Wednesday night, so I have some things to catch up on in the next few days. Will try to post on Sunday.

We did get back in time to see the Akron-Tulsa NCAA Elite Eight game won by Akron, 1-0. Although we had tickets, we also had a serious case of weariness, and it appeared to be pretty cold, so I hooked up the computer to the TV and we watched the webcast from the comfort of our sitting room. Decent view -- the camera operator wisely chose just to follow the ball -- and the audio was the local radio broadcast, with Steve French as the main announcer; but it was a straight feed from the game, so we also heard a good bit of the chatter in the broadcast booth during commercial breaks. Were unconcerned, though, since our main interest was in the game -- far from the best played by Akron, and not even close to its domination of Stanford a week ago. This time the team seemed in constant peril in the second half, although it survived, thanks in the main to some terrific goalkeeping.

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Talking Television

By admin Published: December 2, 2009

Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: December 2, 2009

"Glee" airs tonight and then Dec. 9 before taking a long break. Fans will then be asked to content themselves in part with a DVD set of the first 13 episodes, " 'Glee' Season 1: Road to Sectionals," due Dec. 29. Extras will include will the director's cut of the pilot episode; exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes, and audition videos by the cast. MSRP is $39.98.

I am a couple of episodes behind on "Lie to Me" but still enjoying the show. As you may know, writer-producer Shawn Ryan from "The Shield" is now on "Lie to Me." And he has set up what could be some fun gimmick casting. From Fox:

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"Hurt Locker" Blu-ray/DVD Release Set

By admin Published: December 1, 2009

Already picking up awards and nominations, "The Hurt Locker" hits DVD/BD on Jan. 12. Full announcement after the jump.

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Charles Gibson Leaves "World News" Dec. 18

By admin Published: December 1, 2009

The word setting his farewell date has been sent out, from Jon Banner, executive producer of “World News with Charles Gibson”:

It’s that time of year in this great country of ours when we give thanks for family and friends and focus on the things that matter most to us. It’s no different here in the newsroom, where we are preparing to see our very good friend and anchor off as he begins a new journey.

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FX Mid-Season Plans

By admin Published: December 1, 2009

"Nip/Tuck" final season stars Jan. 6, with the series finale on March 3. "Damages" returns on Jan. 25. Full announcement after the jump.

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