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Mixed Notes - Aug. 31

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 31, 2012

TV Land kicks off a 40th-anniversary celebration of "MASH" on Sunday. From the official word: "TV Land will honor the 40th anniversary of the iconic television series “M*A*S*H” with a month-long celebration this September, it was announced today by the network. The celebration will kick off on Sunday, September 2, with the airing of “M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion” and a day-long marathon on Labor Day – Monday, September 3 – from 8am to 6pm ET/PT. Programming will also include the 20th reunion special, “Memories of M*A*S*H,” on Sunday, September 9, as well as the pilot and three-hour finale of the sitcom on Sunday, September 16. “M*A*S*H” will air on weekdays all during the month of September (check the schedule page on TVLand.com)."

The comedy-drama premiered on Sept. 17, 1972,. And if TV Land really wants  to celebrate the show, it will run the episodes in their original network form, not the trimmed-for-more-commercial-space versions too many shows get on TV Land and other nostalgia networks.

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Robin Roberts' Mother Dies

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 31, 2012

Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, originally from Akron, passed away Thursday at the age of 88. You can read one report here.

The Beacon Journal's Jewell Cardwell interviewed Lucimarian Roberts earlier this year. Here's a bit from that story:

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MTV Sets Complete "Hills" Marathon

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 30, 2012

Revisit the days when (some) people cared about Speidi ...

The official word: MTV’s pop culture smash “The Hills” returns this Labor Day weekend as a part of Retro Mania, MTV’s nostalgic look back at fan favorite shows, for a three day run of the entire series. Beginning on Friday, August 31 at 12:48 p.m. ET/PT through Sunday, September 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, MTV will air all six seasons of “The Hills” over the course of the weekend.

During the marathon, several guest stars and super celebrity fans will provide commentary, interviews and hosting duties in celebration of “The Hills” including Audrina Patridge, Lo Bosworth, Stephanie Pratt and MTV’s Layla Kayleigh (“The Hills” superfan).

“The Hills” (Seasons 1 – 6)
When season two of “Laguna Beach” ended, MTV followed LC to “The Hills” of L.A. to watch her as she embarked upon a new fabulous journey. It's one thing to be young and beautiful in Laguna Beach. It's another to be young and beautiful in the city that values it most. “The Hills” followed Lauren (“LC” from “Laguna Beach”) as she made the move from her O.C. digs to Los Angeles, where she chased her dreams of entering the fashion business while balancing a full course load at college and a full social calendar. Through Lauren we met her new roommate, Heidi, who aspired to make the LA nightlife her whole life, Audrina, a receptionist who moved to LA in hopes of becoming a model/actress, and Whitney, Lauren's fashionable co-worker and confidante at Teen Vogue. These four girls took full advantage of being in the “in” crowd of LA, hopping from club, to party, to hot restaurant as they lived the Hollywood lifestyle to the fullest.

 

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The Annual Best Public Restroom Contest!

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 30, 2012

I especially like that a finalist in a toilet-based competition is the "Hollywood Bowl.:" 

The official word:  Will America’s next Best Restroom be the result of a multi-million dollar renovation to the nation’s largest natural outdoor amphitheater, and set against picturesque iconic Hollywood Hills? Or will Sin City’s most luxurious loo, a sprawling 2,000 square foot space inside Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, earn America’s popular vote? Perhaps it’s the charm of theOld World Style Craftsmanship found in the hand carved wood doors and oversized oak barrel sinks that are nestled inside Georgetown’s Mie N Yu Restaurant that will capture the crown?

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 30

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 30, 2012

Robin Roberts, expected to begin medical leave tomorrow, instead began it after today's telecast. From ABC:  Robin Roberts will make her final appearance on "Good Morning America" on Thursday and will then fly home to Mississippi to be with her ailing mother, Lucimarian, and her family in the hurricane zone. Friday was expected to be her last day.

Next week as planned, she will begin final preparations for a bone marrow transplant.

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"James Bond Day" Coming in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 29, 2012

At least, it is for movie fans. "Skyfall," by the way, is due in November. The cumbersome  official word:

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise on the anniversary of Dr. No, which enjoyed its world film premiere in London on October 5, 1962, and in anticipation of the worldwide release of the 23rd James Bond adventure SKYFALL™, Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today that October 5, 2012 will be Global James Bond Day, a day-long series of events for Bond fans around the world.

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"Magic Mike" Video Release Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 29, 2012

Details about the Channing Tatum male-stripper movie follow. You can read my review of the film here. The official word:

It will be raining men when “Magic Mike” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on October 23 from Warner Home Entertainment Group. “Magic Mike” is set in the world of male strippers, following Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. The Blu-ray Combo Pack and digital download include extended dance scenes not seen in theaters.

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"Anger Management" Gets 90 More Episodes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 29, 2012

The FX series starring Charlie Sheen began with 10 telecasts, and the understanding that certain ratings would get another 90. Here's the official word:

 Anger Management, the sitcom starring Charlie Sheen and created by Executive Producer Bruce Helford, has received a 90-episode order from FX, it was announced today by Chuck Saftler, Executive Vice President of FX Networks.

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Whedon/Goddard's "Cabin in the Woods" Video Release Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2012

When the movie was in theaters, I said, "Some scenes will have fans eagerly awaiting a video release so they can study the images and homages layering the film." So here's your chance. (And you can read my full review here.)

The official word: If you think you know the story, think again. Experience the film that critics and audiences are raving about when The Cabin In The Woods arrives on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital Copy), DVD (plus Digital Copy) and On Demand and Pay-Per-View September 18 from Lionsgate. The Cabin In The Woods will also be available on EST September 4, two weeks prior to the Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand release. Co-written by fan favorites, Joss Whedon (The Avengers, TV’s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and directed by Goddard, The Cabin In The Woods is a film that “horror fans will be gushing about for years” (FearNet).

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A Little Context

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2012

As the news is ever more full of talk about Hurricane Isaac, the threat to New Orleans and how that will reflect in politics, I thought you might be interested in a piece I wrote when Hurricane Katrina was still fresh news and how it was covered, and its own reflection in politics (and Kanye West). So here's that piece from the Beacon Journal archives:

From the big red blotch on weather maps to New Orleans buildings in flames, television carried images from the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 27

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 27, 2012

From ABC: "The winner of the “Viewers’ Choice: All-Stars” vote and the 13th celebrity to join the “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” cast is Sabrina Bryan! She will be joined by professional partner Louis Van Amstel, who returns for his ninth season."

Some thoughts about "19 Kids and Counting" are here.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 24

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 24, 2012

The latest Lance Armstrong news depresses me. I want to rationalize Armstrong's decision, to think that after more than a decade of fighting the charges, Armstrong just decided it was time to stop paying lawyers in a case that was not going to end until they found ... something that would justify the pursuit of Armstrong. But then I think that this is Armstrong, a man who was determined to win, a man who -- as his "Dodgeball" appearance underscored -- did not quit when many others would have. So why now, unless there was indeed that "something"? Either way, as I said, this is depressing.

Today's Heldenfiles is here. Those of you from my demographic will be amused to know that one of my (much younger) co-workers asked me today who Rowan & Martin were.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 23

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 23, 2012

A look at the career of comedian Chris Tucker is here. I thought again of Tucker lately while watching the Blu-ray of "Think Like a Man" -- because Kevin Hart's character is so Tucker-like, and as funny as Hart can be, I thought how much better Tucker could  have been in the role.

Today's mailbag is here.

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Mixed Notes Aug. 22

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 22, 2012

Check out some of my colleagues' thoughts about the coming TV season. (I put the video at the top of this post but right now it's after the jump. Oh, how I miss our old blogging system.)  If nothing else, their remarks made me realize how many bad pilots I had managed to erase from memory. Of course, I will have to dredge them up for my fall preview package in September.

Ever wonder what Frankie Muniz of "Malcolm in the Middle" is up to? Well, somebody might. And the answer is that, besides acting, he's playing drums. From an official word:

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"The Office" Sets Farewell

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 21, 2012

The coming season will be its last. One of the stories about the decision is here. I was long fond of the show, but struggled to keep up with it last season. I think the season finale is still sitting, unwatched, in my DVR. But the announcement of its conclusion had me thinking back to when it premiered. And here is that column:

 No matter what the Nielsens end up saying about The Office, it has already triumphed in one way.

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"Copper" Coming to DVD and Blu-ray

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 21, 2012

The series on BBC America, which premiered Sunday, has announced its home-video plans; the set will be $49.98 on DVD, and $10 more on Blu-ray. The official word:

BBC Home Entertainment invites you to join New York’s Finest when COPPER shoots its way to Blu-ray and DVD on October 30, 2012. Wall Street Journal calls this gripping drama “powerful,” while Boston Globe says, “COPPER casts a spell.” The first original scripted series from BBC AMERICA which premiered on Sunday, August 19, became the channel’s highest rated series premiere ever when it delivered 1.8 million* viewers in total audience. The series, which is filled with intrigue, corruption, mystery and murder, follows Detective Kevin Corcoran – a rugged Irish immigrant cop – as he seeks justice for the powerless in the notorious immigrant neighborhood of Five Points.

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ABC Moving Kimmel to 11:35, "Nightline" to 12:35 and Prime Time in 2013

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 21, 2012

The official word: Capitalizing on ratings momentum, advertising demand and increased revenue potential for entertainment programming in the 11:35 p.m. time slot, ABC today announced a strategic shift in its late-night strategy to better position the network for increased ratings and financial performance over the long term. On Tuesday, January 8, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase in Total Viewers this past season, will move to 11:35 p.m., putting the show in head-to-head competition with “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” Proven late-night performer “Nightline” will shift to 12:35 a.m., allowing viewers to begin and end their broadcast day with news. The moves are timed to take advantage of the built-in promotional platforms provided by ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and ESPN’s Bowl Championship Series, which culminates with the National Championship Game on Monday, January 7. In addition, “Nightline” will expand its programming commitments with a move into primetime, Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning March 1. Given its success and growth, the ABC News series “What Would You Do?” will also find a new home on the schedule.

In making the announcement, Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, said: “Given the passionate fan base ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ has built over the past decade and the show’s ratings and creative momentum this season, the time is right to make this move. There is the potential for far greater upside over the long term with this shift, given increased advertiser demand for competitive entertainment programming in the time slot.” She continued: “This shift also allows us to bookend our programming day with compelling news content. And the addition of a new primetime hour of ‘Nightline’ on Friday nights will ensure that the program has even more opportunities to continue its incredible, award-winning reporting.”

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More Notes - Aug. 20: "NewsNite," "Bunheads" Tweeting, "19 Kids" Returns

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2012

You may have seen last week's item about "NewsNite" ending its panel format to save money. Here's the station announcement of the show's season premiere on Sept. 7:

Civil discourse in the political arena will be the first topic of discussion for the new season of NewsNite, the weekly Western Reserve PBS (WNEO 45.1/WEAO 49.1) program that airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 7. NewsNite, in its 14th season on Western Reserve PBS, features stories about the greater Akron area and this year has a new host — Jody Miller — and a new format.

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"Appropriate Adult" Coming to DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2012

The excellent, award-winning  production arrives Sept. 11 with a price of $26.98. The official word:

Inception Media Group, LLC, a diversified media company specializing in the production, acquisition and distribution of entertainment content, will distribute the award-winning film Appropriate Adult, produced by ITV Studios, on home video and digitally Sept. 11, 2012 in North America.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 20

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2012

Tony Scott, the director of "Top Gun" and other films, has died, an apparent suicide. The New York Times story is here. Among Scott's credits is "Unstoppable," the Denzel Washington movie shot partly in Ohio. I interviewed the location manager, Janice Polley, and she had some enlightening things to say about Scott's visual approach to film. You can read that interview here. IWhen you consider movies like "Top Gun,"
"Unstoppable," "Days of Thunder," "True Romance" and "The Hunger," keep this in mind:

 Bellaire, meanwhile, was not in the original script. Scott and his crew spotted it during a helicopter ride to scout railways — since the movie often uses overhead shots of the trains. He thought Bellaire would make an effective moment in the film, and the script was rewritten. 

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"Homeland" Season 2 Trailer

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 17, 2012

"NewsNite" Dead?

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 17, 2012

Maybe not dead, certainly stripped down. The Western Reserve Public Media series is dumping its longtime news panel, going with a cheaper format and certain to be less timely. Here's a note sent to show participants:

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 17

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 17, 2012

"Boss" begins its second season on Starz tonight. Although I drifted away from the first season after two episodes, a look at the beginning of the second season found plenty to like, including Kelsey Grammer's performance as a Chicago mayor with a debilitating illness and the way it portrays political scheming. It looks even better in the context of USA's "Political Animals," which wraps up its first season on Sunday night with an ongoing ludicrousness. "Boss" has its flaws, including dialogue that aims for the Shakespearean and instead often sounds pompous, and the overuse of Grammer's hallucinations, one of which proves pivotal in tonight's telecast. Still, I watched far more of the new season than I originally planned, and am very curious about where all the maneuvers will lead. 

My full review of the new "Sparkle" is here. Today's print HeldenFiles is here. And "Breaking Bad" fans will enjoy this: an accused real-life meth dealer named Walter White.

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Seven Films by Animator Miyazaki Coming to Cinematheque

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 16, 2012

The official word: Seven feature films by Japan’s master animator Hayao Miyazaki will show between September 14 and October 28 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. The series, entitled “Spirited Away: Seven Films by Hayao Miyazaki,” includes new English-subtitled 35mm prints of the director’s greatest works, including MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, CASTLE IN THE SKY, PRINCESS MONONOKE, and the Oscar-winning SPIRITED AWAY. Admission to each film is $9; Cinematheque members $7; age 25 & under $5 (with proof of age).

 The series marks a homecoming of sorts, for it was the Cinematheque that first “broke” Miyazaki in Cleveland over two decades ago. (The theatre presented the local premiere of six of the seven movies in the retrospective.) “We’re thrilled to be bringing these magical and moving animated masterpieces back to Cleveland,” said Cinematheque Director John Ewing, “especially in newly-struck prints with subtitles, for earlier versions were often dubbed. Miyazaki has long been one of our biggest draws.”

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Home Viewing News: "Ghosts of the Abyss" in 3D, "Wilderness Family" to VOD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 16, 2012

"Ghosts" will be available in a Blu-ray combo pack with 3D and 2D Blu-rays and a DVD on Sept. 11. The official word: Academy Award®-winning Director and master storyteller, James Cameron journey’s back to the site of his greatest inspiration – the legendary wreck of the titanic. With a team of the world’s foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago.

 Ghosts of the Abyss 3D uses state-of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never-before. With the most advanced 3D photography, moviegoers will experience the ship as if they are part of crew, right inside the dive subs.

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That Devo Song

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 16, 2012

Mixed Notes - August 17

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 16, 2012

More DVD/Blu-ray News: "End of the Road," "Sunset Boulevard"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

"End of the Road,":a 1970 film that was much discussed and debated in its day, is finally coming to DVD, while "Sunset" is getting the Blu-ray treatment. The official word on "Road": Directed by innovative auteur Aram Avakian (Cops and Robbers, Jazz on a Summer's Day, 11 Harrowhouse) and co-written by Dennis McGuire (Shoot It Black, Shoot It Blue), Terry Southern (Dr. Strangelove, Barbarella, Easy Rider), and Aram Avakian, End of the Road makes its long-awaited debut on DVD September 18 from Warner Home Video. Produced by Terry Southern and Stephen F. Kesten and adapted from the John Barth novel, End of the Road resonated with fans of the counter-culture movement and was viewed as shocking, powerful and controversial at the time of its release. A groundbreaking art house film with strong anti-establishment sensibilities, the DVD release of End of the Road will include an all-new special feature produced and directed by Steven Soderbergh, which tells the compelling story of how this brutally honest film was made, the obstacles it overcame, and its lasting impact. The DVD will have a suggested retail price of $19.97.

End of the Road features the talents of Stacy Keach (Fat City by John Huston, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), Harris Yulin (Training Day, Rush Hour 2), Dorothy Tristan (Klute, Scarecrow) and James Earl Jones (Dr. Strangelove, Star Wars franchise). It was also the first film for legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis (The Godfather, All The Presidents Men) and features an original soundtrack composed by Teo Macero, J.S. Bach and P.I. Tchaikowsky and supervised by George Avakian.

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"Raiders of the Lost Ark" Hits IMAX in September

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

The showings precede the Blu-ray release of the four Indy movies. The official word:

The cinematic classic that introduced the world to Indiana Jones is ready to embark on a new adventure when director Steven Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas’ unforgettable Raiders of the Lost Ark is released for an exclusive one-week engagement in select IMAX® theatres beginning September 7, 2012. The film has undergone a complete restoration for the IMAX exclusive one-week release and subsequent debut on Blu-ray. Tickets and a list of participating theatres are available starting today at www.imax.com.

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Comedy Central Announces Fall Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

Summer may be coming to an end, but COMEDY CENTRAL is riding the heat wave into the fall!

 This autumn, the network will premiere a sizzling hot line-up of hilarious new series and specials as well as returning favorites including: the return of brand hits (“Tosh.0,” “Key & Peele,” “South Park” and “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution”); the debut of a new animated series from Daniel Tosh (“Brickleberry”) and a unique new half-hour stand-up series hosted by T.J. Miller (Mash Up); live election night coverage from everyone’s favorite fake news anchors (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” Live Election Night Coverage); the fourth collaboration between COMEDY CENTRAL, Jon Stewart’s Busboy Productions and The New York Center For Autism for the biennial benefit for Autism education programs (“Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs”) and brand new one-hour stand-up specials from Demetri Martin, Jeff Dunham, D.L. Hughley, Chris Hardwick and Russell Peters.

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"A Christmas Story 2"? Yup

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

The iconic Cleveland film is coming to DVD and Blu-ray. The official word:

The holiday season arrives early this year as A Christmas Story 2 debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on October 30th, and Digital Download on October 16th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. From Warner Premiere and director Brian Levant (The Flintstones, Jingle All The Way), A Christmas Story 2 stars Daniel Stern (Home Alone, City Slickers) as The Old Man, Braeden LeMasters (television’s “Men of a Certain Age,” Easy A) as 15 year-old Ralphie Parker and Stacy Travis (Fun with Dick and Jane, Bandits) as Mrs. Parker.

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Kent State Folk Festival Details

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

The official word: The 46th Kent State Folk Festival once again lays claim to its autumnal residency with concerts and events lined up from Thursday, Sept. 20 through Saturday, Sept.22.

 The Kent Stage hosts concerts each night with Folk Alley ‘Round Town driving up
the musical temperature throughout Kent on Friday and a big move downtown for the
free Saturday workshops.
 

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"Moonrise Kingdom" DVD/Blu-ray Set Oct. 16

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

It got 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and has been touted by some Oscars handicappers for 2013.The official word: A star-studded and visually stunning box office hit, and a tale of first love directed by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore), Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom will be available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet™, on DVD, On Demand and on Digital Download on October 16, 2012, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom follows two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.

 

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More Amusement

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

 

In honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday.

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For Your Wednesday Amusement

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 15, 2012

Go to the 1:30 mark and watch a little winged critter arrive, then hang around for the rest of the song. Very amusing. Too bad they weren't playing "Free Bird."

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More Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 14, 2012

NBC says "Pretty please, watch 'Go On' and "Animal Practice' " with still more preview showings. I'd say watch "Go On" if you have not yet, and avoid "Animal Practice." The official word on the previews: NBC has scheduled encore broadcasts of the pilot episodes of its new comedies “Go On” (10-10:30 p.m. ET) and “Animal Practice” (10:30-11 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, August 21 following early previews of both series during NBC’s coverage of the recent Summer Olympics.The new broadcasts of the new series will provide additional viewer sampling leading out of a new episode of “America’s Got Talent” (8-10 p.m. ET).

TNT considers these ratings successful. I see 2 million viewers bailing on "Major Crimes." The word: TNT's blockbuster series The Closer ended its extraordinary seven-season run last night with 9,075,000 viewers in Live + Same Day, making it cable's #1 series telecast for the summer-to-date. The Closer's finale was followed by the debut of TNT's newest drama, Major Crimes, which brought in 7,184,000 viewers in Live + Same Day to rank as cable's #1 new series launch for the year-to-date. TNT has now charted cable's Top 3 new series launches of 2012, with Major Crimes followed by the June 13 premiere of Dallas (6.9 million viewers) and the July 9 debut of Perception (5.6 million viewers). By the way, the final season of "The Closer" will be on DVD on Aug. 21.

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RIP, Ron Palillo

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 14, 2012

TV's Arnold Horshack has died. Brief story here. I interviewed Palillo in 1997, and here's the story:

It took close to 20 years, therapy and a change of coasts, but Ron Palillo has finally made peace with Arnold Horshack.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 14

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 14, 2012

It's the customary DVD release day of the week,  but today will be greatly overshadowed by the release later this week of "The Hunger Games" on DVD and Blu-ray. My column about that and some other video matters is here.

So, did you watch the finale of "The Closer' and the premiere of "Major Crimes"? I wrote about the "Major Crimes" premiere for Sunday's Beacon Journal but once again a Sunday column proved impossible to find online. So here's the text:

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"Avatar" Coming to Blu-ray 3D in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 14, 2012

The official word: The world of Pandora has never looked better as over 33 million AVATAR Facebook fans were the first to learn of the upcoming release of the AVATAR Blu-ray 3D Collector’s Edition, debuting globally beginning October 15, releasing in North America October 16, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. A home entertainment experience like no other, for the first time ever, fans will be able to welcome James Cameron’s global box office sensation into their homes in stunning 3D high-definition.


“3D television is the future of home entertainment,” said James Cameron, the Oscar® winning Director. “I’m a huge proponent of the technology and very pleased that AVATAR can be viewed in the living room the way it is meant to be seen.”

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RIP, Helen Gurley Brown, Irving Fein

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 13, 2012

Two more pop-culture figures have passed away: Cosmopolitan editor and "Sex and the Single Girl" author Helen Gurley Brown, who was 90, and show-biz manager and producer Irving Fein, 101. Following are a few words about each.

In 1985, I was at a press gathering with George Burns and Steve Martin (even now, I get a little thrill) for a comedy anthology show that was weird and wonderful and, alas, short-lived. Burns -- 89 at the time -- would launch into a story, only to hesitate -- "It was in, in ..." From the back of the room came a voice: "1938, George!" Burns would continue his story, occasionally pause, receive another shouted detail, and go on. The man shouting the details was Irving Fein, Burns's manager, and clearly someone who not only protected his clients but was trusted to get them over the rough spots. Well, done, Irving Fein. RIP.

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Mel Brooks DVD Collection Coming in November

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 13, 2012

The official word: On November 13, 2012, Shout! Factory will release The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy, a 5-DVD/1-CD set that is a veritable treasure trove of all things Brooksian, a laugh-filled celebration of his illustrious career. This box set takes viewers on a journey through time with performances, extensive interviews, film clips and rare archival television footage, as well as some never-before-seen photos, and special tributes.

 

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Student Campaign Succeeds: Presidential Debate Gets Woman Moderator

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 13, 2012

You can learn more about the campaign here. The official word: In an announcement Monday by the Commission on Presidential Debates, CNN chief political correspondent and anchor Candy Crowley was named as moderator of the second of the 2012 general election presidential debates. Her selection as moderator makes her the first woman in two decades to be chosen for this prestigious role.

Crowley will moderate the only town hall-style presidential debate between President Barack Obama and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The debate will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 16 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. The town hall debate will be the only format that allows undecided voters to ask questions of the candidates directly on foreign policy and domestic issues.

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Monkees Reunion Tour Hitting NE Ohio

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 13, 2012

Tickets for the local appearance  are $40-65 and go on sale Friday. Tour includes Dolenz, Tork and Nesmith. The official word:

Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork return to the concert stage this November for a historic, twelve-date tour of the United States. These performances will mark their first concerts together since 1997. The jaunt kicks off at Escondido’s California Center For The Arts on November 8 and wraps at New York City’s prestigious Beacon Theatre on December 2. Tickets for the Saturday, November 17 performance at Lakewood Civic Auditorium go on sale at 10am on Friday, August 17.

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"DWTS" Celeb/Pro All-Star Pairings

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 13, 2012

From ABC this morning: Emmitt Smith/Cheryl Burke, Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough, Kirstie Alley/Maks C, Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani, Pam Anderson/Tristan McManus, Kelly Monaco/Val C, Joey Fatone/Kym Johnson, Helio Castroneves/Chelsie Hightower, Drew Lachey/Anna Trebunskaya, Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd, Apolo Anton Ohno/Karina Smirnoff, Bristol Palin/Mark Ballas.,

The partner for the 13th contestant will, of course, depend on who is picked for the 13th slot.

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Williamson Joins Rubber City Radio

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 12, 2012

Here's the word Ed Esposito sent to station staff, and forwarded to me: I'm excited to announced Mark Williamson will be joining the RCRG news family; many of you may have spotted Mark working in the newsroom last week or heard him as a participant on the WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show (we'll try to forget the performance on Supreme's Trivia last Friday) and you'll be seeing and hearing much more of Mark as he gets up to speed on our news digital production systems and starts dipping his toes with newscasts starting later this week.

We're very fortunate to have someone of Mark's character and caliber join our team; while many identify Mark as the City's spokesman for more than 15 years, long-time Akron residents remember Mark as the primary anchor and News Director of WAKC-TV and a valued member of the news department at a time when WAKR, WAEZ (WONE) and WAKC were co-owned and operated. There are few with a better Rolodex, network of relationships and institutional knowledge of how Akron works than Mark.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 11

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2012

The Olympics are almost over and for some viewers that means ... "Dr. Phil" is coming back.

WKYC bumped the show from its late afternoon slot during the Olympics, not least so it games audience could lead into an early newscast (and maybe come back to the news when the games were over). I've received several calls asking if Phil was gone for good; he's not. WKYC's schedule has him back on Monday, and a station rep assured me that he will be back for a new season in the fall.

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AMC, WE Offer Dish Subscribers "Hell on Wheels," "Braxton" Feeds

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 10, 2012

The official word: In response to DISH’s recent drop of AMC and WE tv to gain leverage in an unrelated lawsuit, AMC Networks will provide DISH customers access to AMC’s HELL ON WHEELS season two premiere episode on Sunday, August 12 at 9 PM ET/PT and the return of WE tv’s BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES on Thursday, August 16 at 9 PM ET/PT.

AMC is offering a special live stream of the HELL ON WHEELS season two premiere episode to DISH subscribers at http://www.amctv.com/hellonwheels4dish.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 10

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 10, 2012

My summary ofthis column is very simple: Bret Easton Ellis is an idiot. And women think Matt Borner is hot. (I did a survey.)

You don't think "Shark Tank" has gotten producers thinking? Check out this item from Lifetime:

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Rich and the movies: 'Bourne Legacy'

By Ohio.com Published: August 10, 2012

The Bourne saga continues with Jeremy Renner replacing Matt Damon in the lead role. Akron Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels offers a review.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 9

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 9, 2012

I rejoined Netflix not long ago and have since then spent far too much time searching for various titles and piling up more than 100 in my Instant Queue. Some were movies I have not seen, some were movies I saw a very long time ago, some were just movies I love but never got around to buying a hard copy.

But with that big a list, I've been feeling more and more that I should winnow, and I have tried to do that lately. "The Choirboys"? It took less than 15 minutes for me to have the same feeling I had when I first saw it -- that it was an awful adaptation of a good Joseph Wambaugh novel. Off the queue it went. Some other title, which seemed interesting a month or so ago, was now one that I had to admit I would not be finding the time to watch.

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FX Orders "Americans" Series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 9, 2012

The official word: FX has placed a 13-episode order for its next drama series The Americans. .... The series begins production in October and is scheduled to premiere in early 2013.

 The Americans, created by Joe Weisberg and starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich, is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The arranged marriage of Phillip (Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Russell), who have two children who know nothing about their parents true identity, grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan (Emmerich), an FBI agent working in counter intelligence.

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Mixed DVD/Blu-ray Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 9, 2012

From Warner, details about the $500 mega-set of Harry Potter movies: Just in time for Harry Potter’s birthday, Warner Home Video announces today the exclusive features that can only be found in the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection. The most successful film franchise in history will be available September 7 in a limited-edition collectible box set. The most comprehensive Harry Potter movie collection yet, the set will include all eight films, exclusive never-before-seen content and must-have memorabilia for the most devoted Harry Potter fan.

 

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 8

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 8, 2012

A fundraiser for radio personality Tom Erickson is coming. The official word:

Local radio favorite WNIR'S Tom Erickson has been undergoing a
severe medical condition and is in need of support from his listeners
and friends. While Tom has been slowly improving day by day and is
eager to recover, he has a long road ahead of him and will not be back
on the airwaves for a period of time. To help Tom on his road to
recovery, we are throwing a fundraiser to show Tom we are all with him
on his wellness journey back to the seat behind the microphone and we
are asking the community to help us with his insurance and mounting
medical costs.
On Sunday August 19th, from 5-8pm at Ripper Owens Tap House, 491 E
Waterloo Rd. in Akron, we will support Tom by holding a fundraiser
with 10% of ALL sales being donated and complete with an awesome
raffle of prizes with tickets only $1 each or 6 for $5, a 50/50
raffle, a money machine, a silent auction and....a two set performance
by reggae band HUMAN NATURE!!!
Tom has supported this community for many years and now it is time
to help Tom. Please come support this great man of the community by
coming out Sunday August 19th. For a complete list of raffle items,
silent auction items and more info about the benefit please visit
www.RadioBoyTom.com.

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RIP, Judith Crist

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2012

The film critic has died. One long, respectful obit ishere. For many of us living outside the big metropolises, Judith Crist was the first movie critic we knew by name. Every week, there she was in TV Guide (back when it was a big, much-read mag), hectoring, sniping, suggesting that a knack for invective was the same as perceptiveness, but tightly assessing movies in a way that for many years was readable and engaging,

But the Times obit linked here seems to sneer fainlty at her most important quality:

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Complete "Peter Gunn" Series Coming to DVD in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2012

The classic crime series co-starred Akron's own Lola Albright! The official word:

One of television's most iconic characters, Peter Gunn (Craig Stevens) is a handsome, suave detective tough enough to take on the hardest of hard cases, but with a soft touch when it comes to the ladies. On October 23, Timeless Media Group, a division of Shout! Factory, will release the complete series of this beloved show on DVD for the first time. A must-have for fans of detective series and classic television alike, this 12-DVD collection boasts all 114 original episodes, as well as a bonus CD of Henry Mancini’s Grammy and Emmy-Award winning score. The collection is available for pre-order from Amazon.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 7

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2012

Bits and pieces from the email, along with some viewing notes about "Political Animals" and "Breaking Bad."

And one thing I neglected to mention in my previous post, that "Political Animals" included a closeted, gay, Republican congressman -- from Akron.

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RIP, Marvin Hamlisch

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2012

The composer and entertainer has died, reportedly of a brief, unspecified illness. One obit is here. I chatted with him in 2008 before his visit to the University of Akron, and you can find that story here. One interesting aspect of our conversation was how difficult it is in the modern theater world to get a show going -- even when you have a shelf full of Oscars and Tonys.

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Akron Film+Pixel Events Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2012

The official word: Akron Film+Pixel is proud to announce a full schedule of contests, film screenings and events for late Summer and early Fall 2012. Please see below for details about our three new upcoming events.
 

Secrets of Science Animation Contest
Orientation: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Screening Event: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Akron Film+Pixel invites Northeast Ohio artists to create a short animated movie that re-imagines how a given technology or natural phenomenon works in the new filmmaking competition “Secrets of Science.” The resulting films will be exhibited and a winner selected on August 30, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum.
“We anticipate entries from experienced animators and from people trying animation for the first time,” says Akron Film+Pixel Executive Director Steve Felix. “There are charming low-tech ways to animate, like with cutouts or LEGO pieces. And since all entries are screened at a fun event at the Akron Art Museum, everyone gets something out of the contest.”
Orientation and Rules
Each animator or team will randomly be assigned a technology or a natural phenomenon at an orientation on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. in the Akron Art Museum’s Charles and Jane Lehner Auditorium. They will then have two weeks to write and produce an animated short film that either a) tells a true or fictional story of its invention or discovery or b) provides a true or fictional story explaining how it works.
The animated piece must be under five minutes in length and can use any method of animation including computer animation, digital stills, clay, hand-drawn and more. The final project must be delivered by August 26th at 11:59 p.m. as a file using the Akron Film+Pixel FTP server or a hosting service such as Dropbox.
Registration
Registration is required and open to the public. Participants must sign up by visiting www.akronfilm.com.
Registration is $20 per group with no limit on group size. The orientation is encouraged but not required.
Attending the Screening
All entries will be screened at a free event on August 30, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the Akron Art Museum’s Charles and Jane Lehner Auditorium. Each movie will be viewed by an independent panel of reviewers, who will select a winning entry to receive $250 and a repeat screening at Night of the Freakishly Short Animation Festival on
October 25, 2012 at the Akron Art Museum.

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Good Grief, a "Dance Moms" Spinoff

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 6, 2012

I have made my distaste for "Dance Moms" clear. So imagine how I feel about this official word: Lifetime has picked-up the reality series Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, headlined by Dance Moms’ Abby Lee Miller, which will feature 12 of the country’s most talented girl and boy dancers competing for a $100,000 cash prize and a scholarship to the Young Dancer Program at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Joining Miller at the judges table will be Robin Antin, founder of the pop group sensation Pussycat Dolls, and dancer and cutting-edge celebrity choreographer Richard Jackson (Lady Gaga’s “Marry the Night”). Kevin Manno (MTV’s The Seven) will host.

 Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition will begin by following a dozen aspiring dancers -- ages six through 13 – who will learn new routines and compete in a number of challenges designed to test their skills when they perform before Miller, Antin and Jackson, as well as a live audience, at the historic Los Angeles Theatre. Along the way, each competitor will be accompanied and coached by his or her own mother, who will make critical training, costume, music and choreographic decisions for their child while also navigating the precarious waters of the other highly competitive parents. As Miller, Antin and Jackson must make the sometimes easy and other times difficult decision to eliminate one dancer each week, the intense on stage competition and stakes between dancers and mothers increase throughout the season – culminating with a finale performance that assuredly will change the winning dancer’s life forever.

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Nickelodeon Orders Fourth Season of "Big Time Rush"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 6, 2012

The official word: As music sensation Big Time Rush crosses the U.S. this summer performing to sold-out audiences and arenas, and with their hit single “Windows Down” climbing the charts, Nickelodeon has ordered a fourth season of their self-titled hit comedy series Big Time Rush. Created by Scott Fellows and produced in partnership with Sony Music, the series chronicles the adventures of four best friends living the dream in Los Angeles, balancing their newfound fame, fans, music and girlfriends. Starring Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson, Big Time Rush is slated to commence production on 13 episodes early 2013 in Los Angeles.

The band’s summer anthem “Windows Down,” sparked by their strongest first week sales to date, is trending to be their biggest hit yet at radio, digital sales providers and online, with their music video approaching nearly three million views. “Windows Down” will be Big Time Rush’s third consecutive charted single at Pop radio. The “Big Time Summer Tour” has the band entertaining fans in 60 cities, making appearances across the U.S., Canada and South America. Their debut, gold-certified BTR and follow-up album Elevate, both entered the Billboard charts in the top 15 and currently total over 1.25 million albums sold worldwide and 3.5 million singles in the U.S.
 

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Edie Adams Christmas Album To Be Released

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 6, 2012

Ernie Kovacs is also included. The offiiclal word: Omnivore Recordings announced today the release of The Edie Adams Christmas Album featuring Ernie Kovacs on October 9.
 

The first-ever Edie Adams (www.edieadams.com) Christmas album features classic holiday recordings from the early-to-mid-1950s drawn from the Kovacs Unlimited television show. The 15-track album includes extensive liner notes coupled with rare photos from her personal archive and duets with the legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs (www.erniekovacs.com). A great surprise from Santa to put under the tree this year! For more information, please visit www.OmnivoreRecordings.com.

Edie Adams was the perfect portrait of the consummate entertainer and if you think she could do anything, you’re right. But one thing that never appeared on her extraordinarily impressive resume, until now, is a holiday album. In association with Ediad Productions, Inc., Omnivore Recordings has pulled together all of Edie Adams’ surviving recordings sourced from acetates made from rare audio air checks of the Kovacs Unlimited. The very existence and archiving of these acetates can be credited to Edie herself as she paid a transcription service to record the audio from the show so she could hear herself singing contemporary pop songs. Now, with personal liner notes by Edie’s son, Josh Mills, recalling the star-studded Hollywood holidays of his youth, we are able to enjoy, for the first time, this beautiful seasonal album by Edie Adams.

“Onmivore Recordings did an amazing job compiling The Edie Adams Christmas Album Featuring Ernie Kovacs” said Josh Mills of Ediad Productions. “Edie Adams never wanted to be known as ‘the widow Kovacs’ and this first release from our extensive archive is just the beginning of a reissue campaign that will showcase just how talented she was in her own right. It’s clear from the fidelity of the audio, the fantastic packaging and the passion that went into its creation that make this release so gratifying.”

Earlier this year, Omnivore Recordings and Ediad Productions, Inc. announced an ongoing agreement to release audio material from the archive of the estates of legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams. The first album project released was Percy Dovetonsils…Thpeaks, a previously unreleased comedy album featuring Kovacs’ best-known and beloved character originally recorded in 1961. Additional audio-only material from the archive includes a vast, never-before-heard collection of soundtracks from Ernie Kovacs shows of the early 1950s and audio selections from the career of Edie Adams, who was also Kovacs’ wife up until his passing in 1962. Omnivore is currently compiling these recordings for future releases.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 6 (Expanded)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 6, 2012

Since the original post I have added items about a "Charlie's Angels" box and  a "Dictator" app. Scroll down for them.

Fox Sports Ohio has set some replays of the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade. The official word: FOX Sports Ohio will be airing the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Timken Grand Parade from 6-8pm on this Sunday, August 12. The parade took place this past Saturday, August 4 in Canton, Ohio. ... FOX Sports Ohio will also replay the 2-hour airing of the parade on Monday, August 13 at 8:30pm.

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Mixed Note - Aug. 5

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 5, 2012

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I spent part of my Saturday shift following the construction of new playgrounds in Akron. You can read my story, which includes contributions from Betty Lin-Fisher, here.

Today's video column, with an array of DVD and Blu-ray items, is here. The accompanying list of new releases is here.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 4

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 4, 2012

I am working a Saturday shift and spent part of this morning watching volunteers building playgrounds in needy areas in Akron. The work is through the KaBOOM! organization, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, but the beauty of it lies with the people hauling mulch, pouring concrete, hammering and sawing, and otherwise making something beautiful and useful where that had not existed before. I'll have a story about it in tomorrow's Beacon Journal.

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe, and I have a few words about her in tomorrow's print Beacon Journal  -- and online now. (That "today" in the beginning of the story is meant to refer to Sunday.) You can read the piece here. And while you're at it, Turner Classic Movies is showing Marilyn movies all day today. As I mentioned in a Tweet not long ago, it's a good time to watch "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," which has both Monroe and a group playing a men's Olympic team!

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Heading into the weekend ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 3, 2012

... what could be more appropriate than the announcement of still more hedonistic behavior on "Jersey Shore" and "Snooki and JWOWW"? That and more from MTV in this official word:

The much-anticipated premiere date for season six of “Jersey Shore,” along with the premiere dates for new and returning series, and season two renewals for “Snooki & JWOWW” and “Money From Strangers,” were among the announcements today by David Janollari, Head of MTV Programming, during the network’s presentation at the Summer 2012 Television Critics Association Press Tour. MTV also unveiled an all-new clip from the upcoming comedy “The Inbetweeners,” set to debut on Monday, August 20 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, check it out HERE.

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Rich and the movies: 'Total Recall'

By Ohio.com Published: August 3, 2012

This week Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels discusses the reboot of Total Recall, which he calls "dull nonsense."

Read his full review of the movie here.

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Mixed Notes - Aug. 3

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 3, 2012

Today's print HeldenFiles included more about the Sight & Sound survey of the best films of all time, including a local expert's vote. You can read it here.

The passing of Gore Vidal has prompted PBS to re-show its 2003 "American Masters" about the author in various venues. Here's the official word:

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Mixed Notes, Aug. 2: "Total Recall" Review, Mailbag, Sight & Sound Poll, More (Updated)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 2, 2012

My review of the new "Total Recall" is here. I will not pretend that the original was a great movie, but it was a grand, splendidly dumb action cartoon in the vein of director Paul Verhoeven's "Robocop." The new one is just a lot of noise and action, glum and characterless.

Sight & Sound has releasedits latest poll of the greatest films of all time. "Citizen Kane" has been bumped from the top spot by "Vertigo," which I would not even rank as the best Hitchcock. (Better than "Rear Window"? I think not.) 

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Next "American Horror Story" -- "Asylum"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2012

The official word from FX: Award-winning producer Ryan Murphy today revealed the title of the new chapter of American Horror Story, “American Horror Story: Asylum.”*

 Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes. Principal photography on the new minseries began on July 17 and it premieres on FX in October.

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Steve Harvey Says Goodbye to Stand-Up, Alas

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2012

Steve Harvey's  final standup will be on Thursday night on pay-per-view as he prepares to add a daytime talk show to his media empire. I have interviewed Steve more than once over the years, and admire his work (and work ethic). Below is the official word of his farewell show, followed by stories I wrote about him in 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2002. The essence of those stories is that he has been  hard-working (he told me one time that ""I'm quitting no jobs."), smart and very, very ambitious.

First, the official word: Comedian Steve Harvey headlines his final stand-up comedy show on August 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, celebrating the end of more than 27 years in stand-up comedy. But fans who can’t get to Vegas still have a chance to experience his side-splitting humor via a live Pay-Per-View (PPV) telecast available on cable systems around the country. The two hour special farewell performance, Steve Harvey’s Grand Stand-Up Finale will air live from Las Vegas on cable Pay-Per-View August 2nd at 11 PM EDT/8 PM PDT. After the live show, fans will still be able to access the special via cable PPV for several months and also on Video On Demand (VOD) beginning on August 3. The show is available in both standard and high-definition.* ...  

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Anderson Cooper's Daytime Show Getting Overhauled

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2012

With a tough fall coming for daytime talk  (including new shows from Katie Couric and Steve Harvey), Cooper's making some changes. The official word: Anderson," the one-hour daily syndicated talk show hosted by Anderson Cooper, returns for its second season as "Anderson Live" on Monday, September 10, 2012, with a brand new show name, new set and new live format with rotating co-hosts. The announcement was made today by "Anderson Live" Executive Producer Terence Noonan.

"Anderson Live" will tape in front of a live studio audience at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City where Cooper will be joined daily by co-hosts for the show's sophomore season. "Anderson Live's" new set with live capabilities will enable Cooper to cover stories while they are breaking and update his viewers with the latest news, truly becoming water cooler TV in the daytime.

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Gore Vidal, RIP

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2012

The writer, raconteur, political commentator  and talk-show favorite has died. The New York Times obit is here. A Washington Post piece is here. I am  a longtime fan of his writing, especially his Washington novels (I remember "1876" in particular as a breathtaking read). His essays, in their certainty and elegance (it seems that one can't talk about Vidal without dropping an "elegant" or two), would turn on opposing arguments and swat them, vigorously, as pesky things that were in Vidal's way.

 For that matter, it seemed that Vidal often viewed people like the villains in "Superman II" -- strange creatures, generally beneath him; I can imagine Vidal in his dry way saying "like pets." I remember about a decade ago, Vidal appeared on press tour for a PBS program. It was nominally a question-and-answer session, but a single answer might go on far longer than an armload of questions. Our obligation, it was clear, was to listen to Vidal, to follow the roll of his words, the flow of his ideas. He might acknowledgment disagreement but swat, swat, away it went. -- in a mostly entertaining fashion.

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