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The HeldenFiles Online

A Harmenian is a nerd full of love

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 29, 2014

Manziel makes you snicker (or Snicker)

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2014

Two Guys Talkin: Haters Gonna Hate edition

By Ohio.com staff Published: August 28, 2014

This week Beacon Journal reporters Malcolm X Abram and Rich Heldenfels talk about so-called outrage regarding Taylor Swift's new video.

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New "Amazing Race" teams announced

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2014

The official word: CBS announced today the 11 teams racing around the globe for the opportunity to win the $1 million dollar prize, on the new season of THE AMAZING RACE. The show premieres on its new day and time, Friday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Phil Keoghan (@philkeoghan) is the host.

This season of THE AMAZING RACE, which marks the 25th edition of the 10 time Emmy Award-winning series, will feature 11 new teams, including professional surfer Bethany Hamilton and her husband Adam Dirks, Boston firefighters Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo and professional wrestlers Robbie E. Strauss and Brooke Adams. 

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Digital notes: New pilots on Amazon; "Marco Polo" premiere

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2014

From Amazon, this official word:

Amazon today launched its third pilot season, calling on customers in the US and UK to watch a brand new slate of original comedy and drama pilots, and provide feedback to help determine which shows should be made into an Amazon Original Series. The line-up includes everything from a visit to modern day Paris, a psycho-physiological illness spread through social media, the humor and complexities of marriage, a New Jersey 1980’s flashback, and a mysterious thriller. The pilots can be viewed with the Amazon Instant Video app available on Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire tablets, Fire phone, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, as well as hundreds of other connected devices such as smart TVs—or customers can visit amazonoriginals.com to watch online.

The five new pilots include half hour comedies The Cosmopolitans, Really and Red Oaks, and hour-long dramatic thrillers Hand of God and Hysteria. The pilots come from renowned creators including Shaun Cassidy, Jay Chandrasekhar, Marc Forster, David Gordon Green, Steven Soderbergh and Whit Stillman, and star Selma Blair, Adam Brody, Sarah Chalke, Dana Delany, Ron Perlman, Paul Reiser, Chloë Sevigny and Mena Suvari.

“We’re delighted to bring Amazon customers the work of these passionate and talented creators and are excited to get customer feedback,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. "It's an exciting time at Prime Instant Video, with new, original shows coming to the service every month for the rest of the year."

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51 years and counting

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 28, 2014

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. And much as its most famous lines echo today, the speech also resonates in problems we still face -- in the events in Ferguson in particular and the hate-mongering and racial conflict in society generally. And that makes it worth revisiting another passage from King's speech:

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.

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Latest "Survivor" cast includes "Amazing Race" veterans; "Blood vs. Water," Exile Island are back

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 27, 2014

The official word:

CBS announced today the 18 castaways who will compete against each other on SURVIVOR, when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 29th season with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 24 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Emmy Award winner Jeff Probst is host. 

This fall on SURVIVOR, the “Blood vs. Water” theme returns as all-new castaways compete with – and ultimately against – their loved ones who share the same goal: to outwit, outplay, outlast and ultimately be crowned Sole Survivor and winner of the $1 million dollar prize. Alliances and relationships will be tested and bonds will be broken when mothers, daughters, brothers, spouses and partners vie against each other in the ultimate competition, raising the question of which is thicker: Blood or Water? 

This season marks the return of Exile Island, where each week two loved ones square off against one another in a battle that will send the loser to isolation on Exile Island, while the winner receives reward for his/her Tribe. However, the winner will also have to choose a tribemate to accompany their loved one to Exile Island.

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The new "Bachelor"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 27, 2014

Official word: Millions of single women had mixed emotions when Chris Soules, the stylish farmer from Iowa, was sent home by Andi Dorfman on “The Bachelorette.” One of the final three men, Chris was dismissed after he had emotionally confessed his love to Andi, but that meant the handsome bachelor was back on the market. Now, he is ready to put his heartache behind him to search for the one missing piece in his life – true love – when he stars in the 19th edition of ABC’s hit romance reality series, “The Bachelor,” which returns to ABC in January 2015. The announcement was made this morning on “Good Morning America.”


The 32-year-old Midwestern bachelor and self-proclaimed romantic has been engaged once before. Heartbroken, Chris ended that seven-year relationship just months before he expected to walk down the aisle. Although his relationship with his fiancée was good, he didn’t want to settle for “good.” He wanted “great.” While the humble but enormously successful farmer from tiny Arlington, Iowa (pop. 427) has found it difficult to date, that hasn’t stopped him from having faith that one day he will find the perfect woman for him. His experience on “The Bachelorette” made him realize that love really is out there, and he is confident that he will find it this time on “The Bachelor.”

Since his stint on “The Bachelorette,” Chris can’t go anywhere without being swarmed by women vying for his attention, all super fans of the man with a subtle charm and a signature twinkle in his eye. One adoring admirer drove hundreds of miles to knock on his door, while yet another professed her love for him by placing an ad in his local paper.

A family man through and through, Chris counts his father, who is a farmer, too, as his role model. His all-American mom immediately made Andi feel like a part of their family on Chris’ hometown date. And Chris’ three older sisters originally submitted him for the show. When Chris starts his own family, he is hoping for a big one like his own: four to six children.

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The Kilchers will be back in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

The official word: –Cabin fever has kicked in and the Kilcher family is back after a winter for the history books.   Discovery Channel’s Emmy nominated series ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER returns for a riveting fourth season on Sunday, October 5th  at 9pm ET/PT. 

 

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Interjection! ABC sets "Schoolhouse Rock" special

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

The official word: The ABC Television Network will relive the classic 1970's Saturday morning cartoons that taught history, math, science and grammar in living rooms across the country, during a one night special, “The ABC's of Schoolhouse Rock,” SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER  7 (7:00 – 8:00 p.m., ET). Hosted by “Grey's Anatomy's” Chandra Wilson, “The ABC's of Schoolhouse Rock” will celebrate the pop culture phenomenon and pay tribute to the beloved songs that rocked their way into American hearts over 40 years ago. The one hour special will feature interviews with some of the creators and writers of the Emmy Award-winning series and countdown the Top Five All-time favorite Schoolhouse Rock cartoons.

 

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Reminder: 100th "Hot in Cleveland" airs Wednesday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

The official word: TV Land’s hit sitcom “Hot in Cleveland,” starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, is hitting a huge milestone with its 100th taped episode, entitled “Win, Win,” airing on Wednesday, August 27th at 10pm ET/PT.

Win, Win” will see a big night for the Clevelanders – Elka (White), who is at the finish line for her City Council election, and Victoria (Malick), who is up for an Academy Award at long last, with Joy (Leeves) and Melanie (Bertinelli) in tow. The episode also guest stars Debra Monk (“Damages”) as Melanie’s mother and Georgia Engel, back as Elka’s best friend Mamie Sue.

“When we first pulled together this group of extraordinary women and saw their chemistry, we knew it had everything we wanted for our first original sitcom,” said Larry W. Jones, President of TV Land. “Before ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ there hadn’t been a comedy in decades that explored life’s funny moments for women over 40, and now in just four short years, we’ve reached 100 episodes and have fans of all ages tuning in every week. We couldn’t be prouder and more excited for the cast, crew and all the people who worked so hard to get ‘Hot in Cleveland’ to this landmark occasion.”

“Hot in Cleveland,” currently in its fifth season and in production on its sixth, has seen some amazing guest stars over the past four years, ranging from Chris Colfer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jennifer Love Hewitt to Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner and a full reunion of the female cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” – Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Georgia Engel, and of course, series star Betty White.  

Over the course of the series, “Hot in Cleveland” has been honored with numerous awards and accolades. In 2012, Betty White received her third Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her performance as Elka Ostrovsky – an award she won two years in a row for the same role. Since its initial premiere, the show has received a People's Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Comedy, two Gracie Awards – for Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Comedy – and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Individual Episode. The series was also awarded a Creative Arts Emmy® Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series (Michael Andrew Hynes and Maralee Zediker). Additionally, White was also nominated for an Emmy® Award in 2011 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the same role.

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Well, this should get visitors to the McKinley museum

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

The official word: Mentioning the Unmentionables, a brand new exhibition exploring the history of women’s undergarments, will open in the Keller Gallery of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum on Friday September 5 with an exhibit opening from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The exhibit will examine the history of women’s fashion by what they have worn underneath their clothing to conform to the ideal feminine shape of the era.  The exhibition will examine the role underpinnings have played in shaping – literally and figuratively – gender roles in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Visitors will get a rare glimpse at hoops, bustles, corsets, petticoats, brassieres, girdles, garter belts, and hosiery. A vintage dress from almost every decade from 1810 to 1970 will be displayed alongside the undergarments that were worn with them to create a fashionable silhouette.  The earliest dress and corset, plus several other significant artifacts in the exhibition, are on loan from Mary Doering, a private collector from Washington, DC. 
The exhibition will also feature nightgowns and pajamas, including some trousseau items, from the mid-19th century through the 1970s, as well as a variety of bathing suits, from wool bathing costumes to mid-20th century bikinis.  Ida McKinley’s white linen undergarments will also be on display.
Mentioning the Unmentionables will be on view through November 30.
The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr NW in Canton.
 

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Capaldi's "Doctor Who" debut coming to DVD/BD with bonus elements

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

The official word: It’s the episode everyone has been waiting for … The Doctor makes his spectacular return in Deep Breath, the feature-length season premiere episode of the hit sci-fi series Doctor Who. A pulse-racing adventure through Victorian London, this standalone episode arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 9, 2014. Directed by Ben Wheatley and written by Emmy-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, the beginning of the Twelfth Doctor’s era stars Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Jenna Coleman as his companion Clara Oswald, Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra, Catrin Stewart as Jenny Flint and Dan Starkey as Strax. The episode premiered on BBC AMERICA and SPACE on August 23 with special theatrical events on August 23  and 25. Doctor Who: Deep Breath is the highest rated season premiere ever on BBC AMERICA.

 

Special Features:

•          Prequel Scene only seen in theaters

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Complete "Bilko" coming to DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

Fans of the splendid comedy starring Phil Silvers will recall that Paramount released the first season on DVD four years ago. For me that was wonderful news; as I said at the time:

Phil Silvers played Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko in one of the funniest TV comedies ever from 1955 to 1959. Bilko was, as his name implied, a con man, always scheming to avoid work and make money while stationed on a Kansas military base. Silvers, known mainly for sidekick roles in movies, brought his considerable energy — and a big wink — to his performance, not to mention rapid-fire pacing that forced all the supporting players to move fast or get run over by Silvers.

I discovered the show in reruns when I was a child and loved it; felt the same way when it reappeared from time to time on cable. ...  It had begun on CBS as You'll Never Get Rich. But when it hit with audiences, and it was clear that Silvers was the main attraction, the main name was changed to The Phil Silvers Show (with You'll Never Get Rich as the subtitle). Then, when the reruns aired in syndication, the show was called Sgt. Bilko — and for people like me, who mainly knew the reruns, that was the name we remembered.

But after that release of the first season, nothing more from Paramount. So it is with great pleasure that I note that Shout!Factory is bringing out the complete series. The official word:

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After the Emmys: We have all been here before

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 26, 2014

Something the Emmys should learn from MTV's VMAs: If you want to have someone at the show AND get an award AND the categories look tough, just make up a separate category. Call it the, uh, TV Vanguard. And give it to Jon Hamm.

The poor guy has done extraordinary work on "Mad Men" and lost year after year, mostly to Bryan Cranston. I am tempted to go off on a rant here about Jeff Daniels beating them both last year, but it's not worth it. These are the Emmys, and the oddities in the nomination process alone are exhausting. This year, much as I love Hamm and "Mad Men," I can't fault the wins by Cranston, or "Breaking Bad," or Aaron Paul, or especially Anna Gunn, since all gave all-time fine performances. But come on, let's find some way to honor what Hamm does, too.

Again, trying not to rant, there were a lot of familiar faces in the winners circle, and the customary logical oddites: "The Normal Heart" is the best TV movie, but not the best acted, best written or best directed one.

I was more focused on the show as a whole, and it moved along very nicely since I joined the telecast late and caught up via DVR -- trailing real time just enough that I could fast-forward at will (and did, through nomination lists and that bizarre Sofia Vergara bit.) As you can see from my tweets I thought Seth Meyers did OK most of the time, although that David Caruso joke was bad and outdated; Billy Crystal's tribute to Robin Williams was lovely; Weird Al was awfu; Aaron Paul now has enough Emmys that he should never do another movie like "Need for Speed"; the voters told Netflix "not yet, fella" and Stephen Colbert seemed to audition for "Harvey." (Digression: As the Beacon Journal's Mark Price has writtten, "Harvey" is loaded with references to Akron.)

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E.J. Thomas hall lists upcoming events

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 25, 2014

The official word: E.J. Thomas is proud to announce a spectacular season for the Akron community including a North American  pre-Broadway premiere of THE ILLUSIONISTS: Witness the Impossible; vocal sensations and winners of “The Sing Off” PENTATONIX, who are selling out houses nationwide; the original cast of Jersey Boys in MIDTOWN MEN;  Arlo Guthrie in ALICES’S RESTAURANT 50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR;  Young Croatian cellist sensations 2CELLOS; and respected broadcast journalist JANE PAULEY to highlight just a few of the season headliners.

 

The Broadway Season showcases three in the series plus three special presentations that include THE ILLUSIONISTS:  Witness the Impossible, A mind blowing spectacular showcasing the jaw dropping talents of seven illusionists as recently seen on AMERICAS GOT TALENT;  GUYS and DOLLS, an oddball romantic comedy; CAMELOT, one of Lerner and Loewe’s most legendary musicals; THE MIDTOWN MEN, starring the four original cast members of Jersey Boys bringing their signature sound of sixties tunes; BALLROOM WITH A TWIST, starring Dancing with the Stars Pros, So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol Finalists; and THE PRICE IS RIGHT, a hit interactive stage show that asks the audience to “Come On Down.”

 

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An Akron kind of day, and other notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 24, 2014

Last night, the bride and I had a traditional Akron meal. Meaning Swensons. Gotta love that Galley Boy. That came after a day I had spent at the Goodyear Wingfoot Lake hangar, where there was the christening of Wingfoot One, the newest and fanciest blimp in the company's fleet. Robin Roberts from "Good Morning America" and other ABC efforts did the honors.

This being the modern journalism age, I tweeted, took photos with my phone and tweeted them, recorded the christening on my phone and later posted it, and then wrote a story for Ohio.com and today's Beacon Journal. (You can see some of my photos here. If you don't follow me on Twitter, I'm rheldenfelsabj. If you want to keep up with me on Facebook, I have a profile as Rich Heldenfels and a page as Rich Heldenfels, Pop Culture Guy.)

I also learned that I should always have my phone charger. I likely would have taken even more photos if I hadn't had to ration the charge as it went low.

Also of note: My chat with musician Theron Brown, who will be seen as Herbie Hancock in Don Cheadle's movie "Miles Ahead."

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Video: Rich and the movies - Quarterbacks in movies

By Ohio.com Published: August 22, 2014

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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Two Guys Talkin: Pay to play at the Super Bowl

By Ohio.com Published: August 21, 2014

This week Beacon Journal reporters Malcolm X Abram and Rich Heldenfels talk about bands paying to play at the Super Bowl.

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Julianne Hough's movie career being what it is, she returns to "DWTS" -- as a judge

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 21, 2014

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.”
 

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"American Horror Story" returns Oct. 8

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 21, 2014

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.

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Greil Marcus slates Rock Hall talk

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2014

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.

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New trailer for "Survivor's Remorse," LeBron-inspired comedy

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2014

The six-episode (so far) series premieres Oct. 4 on Starz.

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John Hodgman to speak at Akron library

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2014

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.

 

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Kosar added to WOIO Browns pregame show

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 20, 2014

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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U of Akron's Jason Taylor joins NBCSN program

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 19, 2014

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.”

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Viewing guide for people who like Bear Grylls and Ninjas more than the Browns

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 18, 2014

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.

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John Lithgow hosts special on bicentennial of National Anthem

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 18, 2014

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.

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Michael Stanley tribute in October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 18, 2014

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.

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Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 18, 2014

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.

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Video: Rich and the movies - 'Expendables 3'

By Ohio.com Published: August 15, 2014

This week, Beacon Journal pop culture reporter Rich Heldenfels answers why we're getting a third Expendables movie and whether or not it's worth seeing.

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Of Don Pendleton, writing and a new movie franchise

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 14, 2014

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.

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SYTYCD tour coming to Cleveland

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 13, 2014

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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RIP, Lauren Bacall

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 12, 2014

Robin Williams, RIP

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2014

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.

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Logo TV sets marathon of "episodes that changed TV"; there's more to talk about than it lists

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2014

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 funeral

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USA renews "Suits"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2014

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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Demographics and moviegoing

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2014

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.

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Fun with live TV

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2014

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.

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Watching stuff: "Outlander"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 8, 2014

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.

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Rich and the movies: 'To Be Takei'

By Ohio.com Published: August 8, 2014

This week, Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels checks out To Be Takei, a documentary about the Star Trek actor and outspoken activist about gay issues.

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Ted Lasso Is Back!

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 8, 2014

Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 8, 2014

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.

I also have some brief entertainment notes here and my latest addition to writing about LeBron James here.

 

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.

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Video: Two Guys Talkin' - How much is too much for 'Big Bang' and other actors?

By Ohio.com Published: August 7, 2014

Are some actors and performers pricing themselves out of the market?

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Movie candy: What's your choice?

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2014

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.

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Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 7, 2014

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.

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MacFarlane's "A Million Ways To Die in the West" sets home-viewing release

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 5, 2014

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.

 

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"Think Like a Man Too" coming to DVD, Blu-ray in September

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 5, 2014

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).

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Family ties

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 5, 2014

This is my younger son, Army medic, Afghanistan veteran, and hard-working soldier.

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"Words and Pictures" to DVD/Blu-ray/digital

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 4, 2014

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.

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"Obvious Child" Blu-ray/DVD plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 4, 2014

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.

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"School of Rock" inspires Nickelodeon TV series

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 4, 2014

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.”

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Watching stuff: "Get On Up"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2014

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."**

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The Woody Allen/Bob Hope connection revisited

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2014

 

 

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: .

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