The latest quarterback debacle with the Cleveland Browns has Beacon Journal pop culture reporter Rich Heldenfels wondering about who the best quarterback was in movies and on TV. Also, why has Keanu Reeves been an Ohio State alum in two different movies?
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The official word: Two-time “Dancing” champion, actress, musician and Emmy®-nominated choreographer Julianne Hough returns to the ballroom as a fourth judge on this season of “Dancing with the Stars,” premiering MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET/PT) on ABC. Hough will judge alongside resident judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
As previously announced, the twelve professional dancers competing this season for the Mirrorball Trophy are Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Allison Holker, Derek Hough, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Emma Slater and Karina Smirnoff. The professional dancers will be paired with a brand new cast of celebrities, announced live on “Good Morning America” on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 (7:00–9:00 a.m., ET).
Julianne Hough said today, “I’m so excited to be back with my “Dancing with the Stars” family again on a regular basis. I've always aspired to be an all-around entertainer, whether I'm acting, dancing or singing, and I’m thrilled for this opportunity that will allow me to continue all of those pursuits. Derek and I just finished our Move Live on Tour, which reminded me how much I miss the interaction with the dance fans that have been so supportive of me in my career. I am warming up the paddles and the sass, and I’m ready to have fun in this new role.”
Executive Producer, Rob Wade stated, “We are delighted to welcome Julianne back to the DWTS family. Her blend of ballroom dancing experience and unique judging ability make her the ideal choice for the show, and we are very excited to have her, Carrie Ann, Bruno and Len on board.”
The official word: FX has set the premiere date for the fourth installment of its critically acclaimed anthology series American Horror Story: Freak Show for Wednesday, October 8 at 10 PM ET/PT.
American Horror Story: Freak Show begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida*. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.
Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto, Tim Minear, Jennifer Salt, James Wong and Brad Buecker are Executive Producers of American Horror Story: Freak Show. It is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.
The last incarnation of the anthology, American Horror Story: Coven, averaged 7.1 million Total Viewers and 5 million Adults 18-49, ranking it among the Top 20 shows in all of television (broadcast and cable) and Top 5 in cable in delivery of Adults 18-49. The American Horror Story franchise continues to be an Emmy® magnet, as Coven received 17 nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries. Other major nominations for Coven include Executive Producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk for Outstanding Writing; Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson for Outstanding Lead Actress; Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates and Frances Conroy for Outstanding Supporting Actress; and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon for Outstanding Directing. The three incarnations of AHS - American Horror Story, American Horror Story: Asylum, and American Horror Story: Coven - each have received 17 nominations, bringing the franchise total to 51 nominations.To read more or comment...
You should know Marcus from his writing. You may also know him from a presentation at the Akron-Summit County Public Library a few years ago. in an interview with Malcolm X Abram at that time, he said this about the hall:
I always thought it was a ridiculous idea. But I love the museum, the changing exhibits, the strange stuff they have — and I've learned how important admission to the rock hall is to musicians. So many truly take it — whether they're in or pining to get in — as an absolute validation, the ultimate recognition that they were here, they did something, it mattered, they'll be remembered.
The official word:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives Author Series will welcome Greil Marcus for a reading from his new book, The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. This event will take place on Tuesday, September 23 at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre of the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), adjacent to the Library and Archives. The Library and Archives will remain open to the public until just before the start of the event. After the reading, Dr. Lauren Onkey, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s vice president of education and public programs, will interview Marcus. Following the interview, Marcus will answer questions from the audience.To read more or comment...
The six-episode (so far) series premieres Oct. 4 on Starz.To read more or comment...
The official word: The Main Event Speaker Series, a popular author series featuring prominent voices from the worlds of literature, the arts, politics and journalism, resumes with author and actor John Hodgman Wednesday, October 22, 7 p.m. in the Main Library auditorium in downtown Akron.
Before he went on television, John Hodgman was a simple writer and humorist. He has been the Humor Editor for the New York Times Magazine, a frequent contributor to "This American Life," advice columnist for McSweeney's, comic book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and a freelance journalist specializing in a wide variety of subjects.
To read more or comment...
The official word: It’s a brand new era for the Browns and a brand new era for 19 Action News as Browns legend Bernie Kosar joins the new Serpentini Tailgate 19 pregame show.
With a new head coach and highly touted group of new players, the Browns are one of the most talked about young teams in the league. A round table of revolving talent to provide fresh perspective throughout the season will include former Browns players Bernie Kosar, Bob Golic, Hanford Dixon, and Joe Jurevicius; current Browns player Billy Winn; and radio commentators Michael Reghi and Chuck Booms. 19 Action News Sports Anchor Tony Zarrella will serve as the host.
Coverage of the 2014 season of Cleveland Browns football kicks off September 7th with Tailgate 19 when the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers live on CBS 19. 14 of 16 regular season games will air exclusively on WOIO CBS 19 including the local broadcast rights to the NFL Network’s coverage of Thursday Night Football between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals scheduled for Thursday, November 6th.
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The official word: Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor and longtime NFL coach Kevin Gilbride will join Mike Florio and new co-host and veteran NFL commentator Paul Burmeister to discuss the hottest NFL topics this season on Pro Football Talk, NBCSN’s weekday NFL news program. In addition, Mike Ryan, who boasts 26 NFL seasons of athletic training experience, will join PFT to provide perspective on injuries and sports medicine.
For the first time, the show will feature consistent daily guest appearances by NBC Sports football analysts. Beginning the week of September 8, Tony Dungy will appear every Tuesday throughout the season; Hines Ward on Wednesdays; Cris Collinsworth on Thursdays; and Doug Flutie on Fridays. Taylor will appear every Monday as well as other days of the week.
The new additions mean that Pro Football Talk will draw upon a combined eight Super Bowl titles and 169 seasons of NFL experience from its analysts to provide viewers with wide-ranging perspectives during the 2014 NFL season.
“Viewers this season will be treated to our deepest and most consistent roster of NFL experts ever,” said Matt Casey, producer, Pro Football Talk. “Paul, Jason, Kevin and Mike all bring long-term and unique NFL perspectives to the show that – combined with Mike Florio’s unprecedented insider access -- will allow us to surround and dive deep on virtually any topic.”To read more or comment...
Here's the note from WKYC about tonight's pre-emptions.
•8:00 PM - Running Wild with Bear Grylls will air Wednesday night/Thursday morning from 3 A.M. to 4 A.M.
•10:00 PM - American Ninja Warriors will be shown on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning from 2:05 A.M. - 4 A.M.
We apologize for any inconvenience this causes fans of these shows. It is our hope that you can record these programs and watch them at your convenience!
If you are unable to DVR the shows, you can always watch them at www.nbc.com.To read more or comment...
Lithgow is, of course, one of Akron's own. The official word: Acclaimed actor, musician and author John Lithgow will host Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem live from Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore on THIRTEEN'S Great Performances at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. (Check local listings.)
The television event, to be co-hosted by multi-platinum recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks, is a highlight of Star-Spangled Spectacular, a weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem.
Also featured are performances by Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and accomplished singer Kristin Chenoweth; Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge; celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves-Montgomery; Grammy Award-winning country group Little Big Town; vocal sensations Pentatonix; legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson; Grammy Award-winning Country Music Hall of Fame member Kenny Rogers; internationally acclaimed off-Broadway show STOMP; multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning band Train; the Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop; and more to be announced soon. The patriotic special will feature a diverse star-studded line up of entertainers paying tribute to our nation's ideals in a thrilling and inspiring concert at the Pier Six Pavilion. The Baltimore harbor, replete with tall ships and naval vessels will serve as a stunning backdrop. The program will also include ceremonial activities at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, historical highlights and an extraordinary fireworks crescendo.
Two hundred years ago, Francis Scott Key, a Maryland-born attorney, was inspired to write the words to what would become the United States' national anthem. In 2012, Star-Spangled 200 and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission began a multi-year commemoration of this legacy which will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, a weeklong festival taking place on September 10-16, 2014. Within this festival, Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem will take place. The festival will include tall ships, Navy gray hulls, a performance by the Blue Angels, landside festivities, and this special television program to honor the national anthem.To read more or comment...
The official word: Generations of NE Ohio rockers present “a love fest of Woodstockian proportion” in Stanley’s Honor
We are proud to announce our third in the series In Celebration of, A Tribute To… on Sunday, October 5th at Cleveland Masonic Auditorium. This year’s honoree is Michael Stanley.
Michael has been an integral part of the NEO entertainment scene for well over 40 years. Anyone from NE Ohio should be intimately familiar with Michael’s music, his appearances as host of PM Magazine and his years as host of the afternoon drive time slot on WNCX. His greatest feat might possibly be selling out Blossom Music Center 3 Nights in a row. Through 27 albums, he has been the voice and chronicler of our beloved home. He has sung our heart and soul throughout our lives; we now have the opportunity to show him what he has meant to us as a region, a city and to our own personal lives.To read more or comment...
From the weekend:
One more piece about Robin WIlliams. this time focusing on the way we as an audience came to love him. After the piece ran, one reader called to leave a voice message -- actually, three voice messages -- about how unimpressed he was by Williams, and his recollections of Williams's three marriages. Some people are so eager to be offended, they miss a point.
This week's home viewing column is heavy on the local angles, with another look at "Draft Day" and "Only Lovers Left Alive." One note I forgot to include about "Draft Day" when you get to the extras: Make sure you see the movie first. There are spoilers.
I gave so much attention to those titles, I left out a big release, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," I did not hate it the way many did, but I wasn't wild about it. You can see my review here.To read more or comment...
This press release strikes several interesting notes. I remember seeiing Mack Bolan novels in paperback standards, siblings to the adventures of Matt Helm or Shell Scott; Helm inspired Dean Martin movies that had no relation to the books, but you would have thought the Pendleton books had made some kind of screen impact before now. Then there's the writing issue; the release explains how there are SEVEN HUNDRED Bolan novels. Anyway, here's the official word:
Mack Bolan, the global bestselling action-adventure book series created by Don Pendleton which has more than 200 million copies in print, is headed to the screen. Screenwriter-producer Shane Salerno has closed a multi-party rights deal with Pendleton's widow, Linda Pendleton, his six children, Marjorie Pendleton, and a separate deal with Gold Eagle books to adapt the groundbreaking 700-volume series into a film universe.
First published in 1969, the series has been associated with such major stars as Steve McQueen, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Vin Diesel and several Oscar-winning filmmakers, but no film has ever been made.
Salerno, who plans to tackle the film series after finishing co-writing Avatar 4 with James Cameron, said the goal is to make a "relevant, grounded and gritty, real-world PG-13 action drama film series." Salerno will begin meeting with filmmakers and actors shortly.To read more or comment...
The official word: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, the 11-time Primetime Emmy® Award-winning show that sparked America’s fascination with dance, is set to captivate audiences again this fall. Celebrating its momentous 11th season, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Top 10 finalists will make their way across North America and will be coming to the Connor Palace for ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY on October 20 at 7:30 p.m.! Tickets go on sale Friday, August 15 at 11:00 a.m. The Season 11 tour lineup includes the following Top 10 finalists: Bridget Whitman, Casey Askew, Emilio Dosal, Jacque LeWarne, Jessica Richens, Ricky Ubeda, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart.
Fall’s hottest ticket will feature this season’s most popular routines, as well as original pieces created specifically for the nationwide tour. 19 Entertainment and dick clark productions will present audiences around the country with the opportunity to experience the action brought into their living rooms each week on the beloved summer series, with a variety of sizzling, one-of-a-kind dance routines they have come to expect from their favorite dancers.
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It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Robin Williams was supposed to make us laugh. He had done so publicly for more than 36 years, ever since he made his first appearance as the alien Mork from Ork in an episode of Happy Days early in 1978.
That telecast led to his hit sitcom the following fall. There were standup comedy specials and movie roles, including a dramatic turn in Good Will Hunting that won him a best supporting actor Oscar.
Even then, though, it was the funny Robin Williams that audiences knew best. Not the man who made people cry on Monday when news broke his death, apparently a suicide. He was supposed to be, as the charity specials he co-hosted declared, Comic Relief.
Of course, many of the most loved comedians have had their demons, and Williams was not an exception. His publicist said he had been battling severe depression lately. Before, Williams had publicly discussed problems with alcohol and drugs – and there were times when it seemed he feared digging too deeply into his own emotions.To read more or comment...
The official word: Just in time for the Emmys*, Logo TV is presenting “10 Episodes That Changed TV” on Sunday, 8/24 from 12:00PM – 5PM ET. Catch the groundbreaking episodes that changed television and pushed culture forward. “10 Episodes That Changed TV” features celebrated episodes of award-winning sitcoms. These episodes represent sitcoms that were ahead of their time by dealing with issues never before seen on TV. Some of the issues portrayed in these shows are still debated today such as same sex marriage, abortion, and gender reassignment.
The telecasts and storyines are below in the order that they will air. Logo did not give me the times of individual shows. Since there are 10 half-hours in a five-hour marathon, I'd guess they are airing on the hour and half-hour. Anyway, here are the shows:
1. Designing Women - E. 204 “Killing All the Right People”
A young gay man dying of AIDS asks the women to design his funeralTo read more or comment...
The official word: USA Network announced today a 16-episode fifth season renewal of the hit original drama SUITS. Currently airing its fourth season, SUITS continues to be a top 10 summer scripted series in P18-49 (1.6 million), P25-54 (1.7 million), and total viewers, averaging nearly 4 million. The midseason finale is scheduled for Wednesday, August 20 at 9/8c.
“SUITS continues to fire on all cylinders, delivering provocative storytelling and complex characters that viewers can’t get enough of,” said Chris McCumber, President of USA Network. “With some of the best writing on television, and a brilliant ensemble cast, we anticipate a spectacular fifth season for a series that has become a marquee property for USA.”
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The big winner at the box office over the weekend was the latest "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie. I have some history with the Turtles, but as a parent, as I mentioned in my DVD column this week. (Second item, about a revealing Turtles documentary.) But I don't have the connection that others have. So, when we wanted a break, the bride and I went to see "The Hundred-Foot Journey.
The crowd was a bit different from what we would have encountered at "Ninja Turtles." Grey hair and white hair. Two people with walkers. We are not young, but I don't think we were the oldest people at the movie.
But the movie was not aimed at youngsters. The ads heavily promote Helen Mirren, who is 69 years old, and the film itself was clearly marketed to fans of the older-cast "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Among the trailers, in fact, was one for that film's sequel.
It wasn't a great film. It was a pleasant enough one, a simple and direct dramatic tale with an amiable cast -- again, the kind of thing that would appeal to an audience that is not interested in big loud movies derived from comic books, toys or young-adult novels.To read more or comment...
Last night provided a reminder of the joys and perils of live television. I tuned in late to the PGA coverage after seeing it was a tight match, figuring to watch just a littlle. Then I saw Mickelson hit that killer putt on 12 and decided to stick around. And that proved to be for hours as the rain-delayed match extended into near-darkness. (CBS should have shown the real conditions more often, instead of its lighter, brighter version. Yes, it was nice to see what was happening -- but it diminished the drama of what the golfers themselves saw.)
The live-ness of it made for amusing updates by CBS of its primetime lineup, the network having to jettison programs to finish at about 11 p.m. for local newcasts. First "Reckless" was dropped and "Unforgettable" listed as airing if time allowed; then, by the time the PGA ended, "Unforgettable" had been dropped, too. The steady performer "60 Minutes" survived, as did the young-adult-drawing "Big Brother."
The situation, though, was reminiscent of the calls and emails I get every fall when a late football game runs long, so "The Good Wife" and other CBS Sunday shows do not start as scheduled. The network has slid prime-time shows on late-football Sundays to a half-hour later so people have some warning, but even that is not enough to make up for lonnnnnng football games some Sundays.
Many of those complaining "Good Wife" fans do not give two hoots about football and instead are irked because their viewing plans are messed up, or they trusted the existing schedule when they set their DVRs.To read more or comment...
Before my most recent vacation, I asked some folks -- including the Danamaniacs, the Facebook group of fans of writer Dana Stabenow -- for reading suggestions. I took several, including that of Diana Gabaldon, author of a series of time-traveling novels starting with "Outlander" (known as "Cross Stitch" in the UK). The book had an intriguing premise -- a nurse from post-World War II England is transported back to 18th-century Scotland, with no way of returning to her own time -- and the writing was often good. But man, was it a story told long. I am a little under 400 pages into it, and that's not quite halfway. I might have gotten further, but Gabaldon at times is a little too much in love with her material, and I am at the point where I have to ask myself how much effort I want to make to keep reading.
I offer all this as background to my thoughts about the TV series version of "Outlander," adapted by Ronald D. Moore and premiering Saturday night on Starz. Like the book, it requires patience; the first episode offers 40 minutes of character-establishing in the 1940s before its main character, Claire Randall, is moved back in time. But once that move is made, the production gains momentum while still offering a good image of a contemporary woman in an old society -- and some sexy romance. (Jamie Fraser, the old-world Scotsman who is central to the tale, looks transferred directly from the cover of a bodice-ripper.)
Claire is played by Caitriona Balfe, and a fine job she does. The early scenes establish that she is no shy flower, having been a combat nurse during the war, and there's a fine moment in the past where she lets fly with some learned-around-soldiers profanity to the shock of the Scotsmen in hearing range. You can see quickly why Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) is drawn to her. Her passion, skill and outspokenness are also central to one of the show's gimmicks, carried over from the book: in the past, Claire meets an ancestor of her husband who is a ringer for him (Tobias Menzies plays both roles) but a very different type -- unapologetically brutal, particularly when it comes to bringing the Scots to heel, but also in his treatment of women; the old Randall therefore offers a hint of why Claire's marriage has its tensions.
But as good as the performances are, as comfortable as "Outlander" is with the dirt and damp of the 18th century -- and the beauty of its wild Scottish terrain -- a major reason why I was thoroughly enjoying it in the latter stages of the first episode and into the second was that it can show in moments what took much longer to tell on the page. There's one scene where Claire is decked out in an old-time gown, and in a few minutes it offers the details and differences in women's garb -- making a huge cultural point in the process. So I am in for the series, and may yet give the book another chance.To read more or comment...
Those of you who have fond memories of drive-in movies may find this story of interest. I recently chatted with April Wright, who made a documentary about drive-ins; it's showiing in Cleveland tonight.
Nerve.com has a list of the best songs by musicians about other musicians. There is some good stuff on the list -- Neil Young's shout-out to Johnny Rotten, for instance -- but what really struck me was how much it was aimed at a young audience. Old guy that I am, I would have given more consideration to Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis," Van Morrison's "Cleaning Windows" (above; love the nod to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee) and Frank Sinatra's live version of "Mack the Knife," where he gives props to Bobby Darin and other singers of the tune.To read more or comment...
Are some actors and performers pricing themselves out of the market?
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When you go to the movies, what do you buy at the concession or sneak in your pocket (you know who you are)? I'm mostly a Milk Duds guy, although with a fondness for Whoppers, too. I admit, those tend to be in easily rattled boxes -- terribly damaging to a dramatic movie moment -- but that just means you hold off digging into the box until there's a good gunfight or explosion.
I asked my Facebook friends for their thoughts about movie candy, and here's what some said:
jujy fruitsjujy fruits
Gotta have Twizzlers. Always.To read more or comment...
The Gay Games are upon us, and I have a couple of pieces relating to that in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com. One is about two documentaries, "To Be Takei" and "Regarding Susan Sontag." Another offers a look at Del Shores, the playwright and filmmaker, who is coming to Akron soon.
This week's mailbag, among other things, considers the "Duck Dynasty" theme and Sharon Gless's career since "Cagney & Lacey."
Former Browns kicker Phil Dawson, still much loved in NE Ohio, tweeted recently about the way sportscaster talk about field goals. From his tweets:
[P]ay attention to announcers this season. Anytime a FG is blocked, the default answer is " the kick was low. " Kicks can be low, but honestly, most kicks are blocked due to d line interior push. Give credit to d line, not a default incorrect answer.To read more or comment...
The official word: Sparks and bullets fly between a gun-shy sheep farmer and a beautiful sharpshooter in A Million Ways to Die in the West, an outrageously irreverent comedy coming exclusively to Digital HD on September 9, 2014 and DVD and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack on October 7, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Coinciding with the digital release date of the film will be a deluxe version of the soundtrack album, featuring additional score cues by composer Joel McNeely. This album will be available exclusively through iTunes.
Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” and the blockbuster comedy feature film Ted, directs produces, co-writes and stars in this sweet and saucy film packed with laughs, lunacy and just the right amount of romance. A never-before-seen UNRATED version of the film, featuring 18 additional laugh-packed minutes is available exclusively on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD. A Million Ways to Die in the West DVD and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack each offer hilarious bonus content, including deleted scenes, alternate takes, feature commentary and much more.
To read more or comment...
The sequel to the Steve Harvey-inspired film was a disappointment, profitable but not nearly as much as the first movie. The official word: \
The all-star cast of the box office hit Think Like A Man travel to Las Vegas to continue their shenanigans in THINK LIKE A MAN TOO, debuting on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD Sept. 16 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The hilarious romantic comedy features the return of the ensemble cast, including Michael Ealy (About Last Night), Jerry Ferrara (“Entourage”), Meagan Good (Think Like a Man), Regina Hall (About Last Night), Academy Award® nominee Taraji P. Henson (Best Supporting Actress, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2008), Terrence J (Sparkle), Romany Malco (Last Vegas), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Gary Owen (Think Like a Man), Gabrielle Union (Think Like a Man), LaLa Anthony (Think Like a Man), and Kevin Hart (About Last Night).
In THINK LIKE A MAN TOO, Michael (Terrence J) and Candace (Regina Hall) are finally getting married. Together with their long-time friends, they head for the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas for the big day. But plans for a romantic getaway go awry when a series of misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the wedding. Also starring in the film is Adam Brody (Life Partners), David Walton (“About a Boy”), Dennis Haysbert (“24”) and Jennifer Lewis (Baggage Claim).To read more or comment...
The official word: Academy Award® winner Juliette Binoche (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The English Patient, 1996) and Academy Award® nominee Clive Owen (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Closer, 2004) deliver “a great Hepburn/Tracy rapport” (Entertainment Weekly) in “one of the best films of the year,” (NPR) Words and Pictures.
This nationwide theatrical release about an unlikely romance between two rivals arrives on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital HD) DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and Video on Demand September 9 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Featuring an audio commentary with the director and a behind-the-scenes featurette, Words and Pictures will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.
Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Owen) meets his match in Dina Delsanto (Binoche) — an abstract painter, and new teacher on campus — and challenges her to a war between words and pictures...and, in the process, sparks an unlikely romance.To read more or comment...
It's at 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The official word: Jenny Slate (TV's "Saturday Night Live") gives the breakout performance of the year playing Donna Stern, a standup comedian that gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for Valentine's Day. Obvious Child, "one of the most startling, honest romantic comedies to appear onscreen in years" (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post), arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) October 7th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
An A24 theatrical release, Obvious Child features a hilarious cast including Gaby Hoffmann (HBO's "Girls"), David Cross (TV's "Arrested Development") and Jake Lacy (TV's "The Office"). Obvious Child is a true Sundance gem: a heartfelt discovery packed tight with raw, energetic comedy and moments of poignant honesty and vulnerability. Writer/Director Gillian Robespierre handles the topic of Donna's unwanted pregnancy with a refreshing matter-of-factness rarely seen onscreen. And with Donna, Slate and Robespierre have crafted a character for the ages - a female that audiences will recognize, cheer for and love.
For aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her hysterical and relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna winds up unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand, she is forced to face the uncomfortable realities of independent womanhood for the first time. Donna's drunken hookup - and epic lapse in prophylactic judgment - turns out to be the beginning of a hilarious and totally unplanned journey of self-discovery and empowerment.To read more or comment...
The official word:
Viacom Inc.’s (NASDAQ: VIAB and VIA) Viacom Inc.’s NASDAQ:VIAB and VIA) Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids, and Paramount Television divisions are teaming up for the first time to produce the new live-action, musical-comedy series School of Rock, based on the 2003 hit film from Paramount Pictures.
Nickelodeon has ordered 13 episodes of the series, which is scheduled to begin production this fall and premiere in the spring of 2015. Casting for the series will be announced shortly. School of Rock will follow the adventures and misadventures of Dewey Finn, a down-on-his-luck rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school as he teaches his eccentric, unconventional and overachieving students to play and love rock ‘n’ roll.
“We are thrilled our first foray into kids programming will be a straight-to-series order with our Viacom partners at Nickelodeon,” said Amy Powell, President, Paramount Television. “With Dewey’s outrageous personality and rock star sensibilities taking center stage, School of Rock will be an irresistibly fun show for the whole family.”To read more or comment...
Chadwick Boseman makes a superb James Brown in the movie biography of the Godfather of Soul, "Get On Up."
The movie itself has some problems: its structure, which moves around the chronology of Brown's life, is over-ambitious; it could have been more pointed about Brown's personal flaws, and there's at least one musical moment that does not convey what it might have*. Beacon Journal pop-music writer Malcolm Abram found it especially wanting in another way, as you can see in our latest "Two Guys Talkin'" video for Ohio.com.
But as an attempt to explain Brown, and especially as a demonstration of his intelligence and his timeless musical virtuosity, "Get On Up" works very well. In fact, when I left the theater, I feared that nothing on the radio driving home would sound right after two-hours-plus of Mr. Dynamite, and I was correct. Everything sounded either wan or imitative; even when a James Brown song finally came on, it was the decidedly minor "Ants in My Pants."**To read more or comment...
In an easygoing* interview by Roger Friedman for the New York Observer, Woody Allen talks about parenthood, his cinematographers and other topics; notes his disconnection from a lot of current pop culture -- and once again touches on his love for Cleveland's own Bob Hope: .To read more or comment...