All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
The HeldenFiles Online

Paul Newman DVD Collection

By admin Published: June 30, 2009

Thirteen movies, 17 discs, coming Sept. 22. Decent price, too, if you don't have the movies already. But if you're a movie fan, you should have at least some of them. Full announcement after the jump.

To read more or comment...

Reality TV Nonsense

By admin Published: June 30, 2009

So Ed quits "The Bachelorette" to save his job, then decides that he needs love more, so he tries to un-quit, and Jillian (and the show's producers) let him. Speidi announce -- more than once -- they are leaving "I'm a Celebrity" and somehow they keep coming back.  Terrell Owens and Joanna Krupa get eliminated from "The Superstars" -- but they're back in the promos for tonight's telecast.

Used to be that when, say, a contestant quit "Survivor," that was it. No going back. Chance to win gone. But these days, shows will do anything to jack the ratings, including having performers play peek-a-boo with the audience.

To read more or comment...

Back on the Blog

By admin Published: June 29, 2009

Of Death, Famous and Not So

By admin Published: June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, R.I.P.

By admin Published: June 25, 2009

Back when the celebratory special "Motown 25" aired, I made a recording of it with my enormous Betamax and put the tape on during a casual party we were having. As it went on, more and more of the party crowd gravitated toward the TV, and things pretty much stopped in their tracks while the Jackson 5 reunited and then Michael performed solo.

He did the moon walk. He broke the Motown-songs-only barrier with, I think, "Billie Jean." Something from the era when Michael was indeed contending to be the King of Pop. It was a stunning moment, and one that -- like so many other Jackson musical triumphs -- was later tainted.

To read more or comment...

Farrah Fawcett, R.I.P.

By admin Published: June 25, 2009

As Farrah Fawcett moved inevitably toward death, I have thought a lot about how different her life might have been had she not fallen prey to a myth of show-business success.

That myth, of course, is that it is better to be a star in the movies than in TV. ...

To read more or comment...

Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: June 24, 2009

Tuesday morning the bride and I were again energetic tourists. We went to the USS Arizona memorial early and were in the first tour group at 7:45 a.m. A short but very effective film preceded the tour itself. The monument is well designed, notably because it lets you see the stretch of remains of the ship underwater. Vivid reminder of what happened there. We also looked at the submarine memorials, including a walk through the sub Bowfin. Amazing how they got around in that thing; so small, so cramped. And photos don't really convey how cramped it was.

To read more or comment...

Monday Notebook

By admin Published: June 22, 2009

Still in Hawaii, and still in a more or less constant state of confusion re the time. But otherwise plenty interesting. ...

To read more or comment...

Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: June 21, 2009


(Cell-phone photo from hotel-room balcony)

Right now I am in the distant time zone of Hawaii, trying to adjust to the change and the effects of extended travel, as part of a long anticipated vacation. A few notes after the jump.

To read more or comment...

See steps to making 'Waltz'

By admin Published: June 21, 2009

Waltz With Bashir is one of those movies that grabs you with its images, haunts you with its words and stays with you long after the credits have rolled.

To read more or comment...

A HeldenFiles Flashback

By admin Published: June 20, 2009

It was 15 years ago, late in June 1994, that I began working for the Beacon Journal as a TV critic. After the jump: My introductory column.

To read more or comment...

The HeldenFiles

By admin Published: June 19, 2009

Game On. More Than a Game, the up-close documentary about the St. Vincent-St. Mary boys' basketball team in 2003, will finally hit local theaters in October.

To read more or comment...

Jon & Kate: Special Ratings-Hyping Announcement on Monday

By admin Published: June 18, 2009

The audience for the show has dipped since the season premiere, which was heavily viewed; the decline has come even with boatloads of J&K coverage -- paparazzi photos, magazine covers. It was as if people decided to believe the old PR cliche about respecting people's privacy by letting J&K go about their televised and untelevised business without looking in. And when that happens, of course, what should be private becomes promo fodder:

To read more or comment...

Closeted politicians fuel 'Outrage'

By admin Published: June 18, 2009

Kirby Dick is a deliberately provocative filmmaker, but also an effective one. His acclaimed documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, not only pointed out the arbitrariness of the movie-rating system, it forced the people doing the ratings to make some changes in their process.

To read more or comment...

How To Be An Expert for $3,995

By admin Published: June 18, 2009

The explanation is an e-mail I received from Sky Radio.

To read more or comment...

EW.com: Knight Out at "Grey's"

By admin Published: June 17, 2009

The release and link follow the jump.

To read more or comment...

CW Premiere Dates

By admin Published: June 17, 2009

"Gossip Girl" is Sept. 14., but moving to the 9 p.m. hour Full announcement with other shows after the jump.

To read more or comment...

DTV Updates

By admin Published: June 17, 2009

New stats, and one suggestion for improving reception, after the jump.

To read more or comment...

The HeldenFiles: Alec Baldwin talks

By admin Published: June 17, 2009

Baldwin Talking. 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin (you know, the Baldwin brother with a good enough career not to go on I'm a Celebrity) opened up to Playboy magazine about his admiration for the skills of Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise. He was less kind to NBC, which airs 30 Rock.

To read more or comment...

Tuesday Notebook: "Hawthorne," Other Stuff

By admin Published: June 16, 2009

I planned to post about "The Closer" but TNT stretched it past the scheduled time on my DVR, so it cut off before the episode ended. So delightful. Will comment after I've seen the last bit.

I have seen "Hawthorne" (or "HawthoRNe," if you abide by the awkward design in some promos), which premieres on TNT tonight. Didn't care for it. Made me wish I had more "Nurse Jackie" to watch, since I've seen all six episodes of that show which TNT sent out. I've seen two "Hawthornes" and that was more than enough.

To read more or comment...

More "I Get That a Lot"

By admin Published: June 15, 2009

CBS has ordered three more installments of the celebrity-prankster special. The official word:

CBS has ordered three more editions of I GET THAT A LOT, a hidden camera special in which celebrities work in everyday jobs and try to convince customers they aren't who they appear to be. Participants will be announced at a later date.

To read more or comment...

Fox Sets Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: June 15, 2009

For those of you waiting for more "Glee" (and I am with you), it starts on Sept. 16. Full announcement and dates after the jump.

Speaking of "Glee," here's a recent promo I had missed (Hat tip to TV Tattle):

To read more or comment...

Has the Digital Dust Settled?

By admin Published: June 15, 2009

Here's what the National Association of Broadcasters said on Sunday:

Nine hundred and seventy-one full-power television stations in 195 markets yesterday completed the final wave of America's historic nationwide transition to all-digital broadcasting. With the national call center reporting 317,450 calls on June 12 out of an estimated 15 million households impacted by the switch, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) applauds the unprecedented public-private partnership among industry, government and consumer groups in preparing America for the digital television (DTV) transition.

To read more or comment...

Putting Some Pep in Your Step ...

By admin Published: June 13, 2009

... with blues you can use -- Stevie Ray Vaughan/Jeff Healey, Muddy Waters, Son Seals. This stuff will keep me happy all morning.

To read more or comment...

It's official. We're a digital broadcast nation

By admin Published: June 13, 2009

Local TV stations dropped their analog TV signals on Friday, entering an era of digital-only broadcast television. Some viewers were challenged by the change, which included some stations moving their digital signals to new channels as well as the more general dropping of analog channels. People receiving TV via an over-the-air antenna to an analog TV set now must use a digital-to-analog converter to receive full-power TV broadcasts.

To read more or comment...

"Sons of Anarchy" to DVD, Blu-ray

By admin Published: June 12, 2009

It arrives Aug. 18. Full announcement and description of extras after the jump.

To read more or comment...

Friday Notebook

By admin Published: June 12, 2009

Well, Channel 3 has its improved digital up and running, since I could receive them this morning. Will see what else a rescan at 10 a.m. brings.

Here's my latest story on the digital transition, with some guidance on where to get help, both locally and nationally.

To read more or comment...

TV stations will switch off analog signals today

By admin Published: June 12, 2009

This is it. Local full-power TV stations today will shut down their old analog TV signals and go digital-only.

To read more or comment...

More "Doctor Who"/"Torchwood" DVD, Blu-ray

By admin Published: June 11, 2009

July releases, beaucoup details in announcement after the jump.

To read more or comment...

'Pelham' takes crowd on thrill ride

By admin Published: June 11, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 123 is a well-designed and swiftly paced thriller driven not only by tight editing but two balanced performances.

To read more or comment...

Thursday Notebook: Remember "The Instructor"?

By admin Published: June 11, 2009

Over at Northeast Ohio Onscreen, I have added items about where Fernwood, Ohio, is located, the movie "Bet Your Life" and the home town of "Hogan's Heroes" Col. Hogan. And I am working on a post about "The Instructor," the legendary karate movie shot in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls by Don Bedell. (UPDATE: The "Instructor" post is completed and on the other blog.)

As a reminder, here's a clip from the movie's big car chase, with lots of looks at Akron in the early '80s:

To read more or comment...

What was that TV series?

By admin Published: June 11, 2009

If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag . . . Q: I have a question I hope you can answer for me. Neil Patrick Harris appeared in a very short-lived series a short time before ''How I Met Your Mother.'' He played the part of a literary agent to a guy who put me in mind of Tony Shalhoub. This writer was funny and unique and had an assistant who was also funny. Can you tell me the name of the series and also the name of the guy who played the author?

To read more or comment...

More Digital-TV News

By admin Published: June 10, 2009

This comes from WNEO/WEAO:

Western Reserve Public Media (formerly PBS 45 & 49) announced today that it will launch two new standard definition broadcast services at midnight on June 13, 2009, to coincide with the national analog shut-off and to herald the beginning of the all-digital broadcast environment. [Rich note: Where most local stations have either dropped their analog or will drop it at 10 a.m. Friday, Western Reserve will keep its one analog channel on until midnight.] ...



Fusion, the new service airing on WNEO.2/WEAO.2, will focus on arts, culture, public affairs and regional productions. Fusion will debut with Classic Arts Showcase programming airing around the clock until Wednesday, Aug. 1, when the new locally programmed schedule begins. The variety service will feature regionally produced programming from both Western Reserve Public Media and independent producers; arts and performance programming from PBS, American Public Television, Minority Consortia and other sources not carried on the organization’s primary channel; Ohio Statehouse floor activities coverage from Ohio Government channel and other public affairs programs; and more than 10 recently acquired British comedies and other BBC Worldwide programs not carried on Western Reserve PBS.
Premiere date: Classic Arts Showcase will air around the clock beginning Saturday, June 13, 2009. On Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2009, the new locally programmed schedule will begin.
Channel designations: Digital channels 45.2 (WNEO) and 49.2 (WEAO); Time Warner Cable channel 368 (beginning July 15 in Akron, Canton and Youngstown; Cleveland and other markets to follow); Massillon Cable channel 84; other cable system carriage pending

To read more or comment...

The HeldenFiles: NOW He's Gay.

By admin Published: June 10, 2009

NOW He's Gay. American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert has told Rolling Stone that he's gay. No surprise there. But what took him so long?

To read more or comment...

AMC Sets Date for "Mad Men" Season 3

By admin Published: June 10, 2009

It's Aug. 16. There will be a preceding marathon of the second season, and On Demand telecasts of earlier episodes. But the announcement, which is after the jump, says nothing about what the new season will deal with.

To read more or comment...

Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: June 10, 2009

I have removed the previously posted link to my mailbag because it was to last week's column. I have spent so much time thinking ahead to Friday, I forgot that today is Wednesday, not Thursday.

My latest digital-TV examination, which appeared in today's Beacon Journal, is linked in a post I made last night.

To read more or comment...

Connecting digital TV converter has its challenges

By admin Published: June 10, 2009

For all the opportunities technology offers, it can also intimidate. That may be especially true for people who have long kept their TV watching simple: turning on their analog, cable-free TV sets and watching whatever their antennas bring in.

To read more or comment...

More Digital Transition Notes

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

Here's my story about working with a digital-to-analog converter. At the time I wrote the story, WVIZ had its tower up but it wasn't clear how soon it would have its stronger signal up and running. Since I ran a new scan with my converter tonight, I can now get the station and its many channels. Overall, it looks as if the pieces are falling into place for Friday. (Hope to goodness, fingers crossed.)

To read more or comment...

ABC Announces Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

Subject to change, of course. List after the jump.

To read more or comment...

Adam Lambert: NOW He's Gay

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

(Photo from Rolling Stone)

The "American Idol" runner-up has finally admitted what many suspected, that he is gay. He did so in the pages of Rolling Stone (which has excerpts from the interview online) because he thought it was "cooler" than just telling reporters generally, or coming out in People magazine like Clay Aiken. Lambert told the mag that he is proud of his sexuality. Too bad he isn't proud enough to have been out during his run on "American Idol." ...

To read more or comment...

"24" Casting, Season 8 Tease

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

From Fox:

Katee Sackhoff, Freddie Prinze Jr., Mykelti Williamson, John Boyd, Jennifer Westfeldt and Chris Diamantopoulos have joined the cast of 24 for the series’ eighth season. The Emmy Award-winning drama starring Kiefer Sutherland returns for its next astonishing day with a two-night, four-hour premiere beginning Sunday, Jan. 17 (9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

To read more or comment...

Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

Notes on digital TV, "The Bachelorette," "The Closer," "Nurse Jackie," "Raising the Bar," after the jump.

To read more or comment...

Thousands in region still not ready for digital TV

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

At about 10:01 a.m. on Friday, thousands of Northeast Ohio TV viewers may sit upright in their Barcaloungers and La-Z-Boys and say, ''Hey, what happened to my TV?''

To read more or comment...

"Husbands" on DVD

By admin Published: June 8, 2009

I'm a longtime fan of the work of John Cassavetes, up to and including ownership of the box set of his films. And was disappointed that the box did not include "Husbands," one of his more famous films. That gap is about to be filled. From Sony:

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Husbands, written and directed by independent cinema pioneer John Cassavetes (Faces, A Woman Under the Influence), for the first time ever on DVD on August 18, 2009. The follow-up to his Oscar®-nominated Faces (Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen, John Cassavetes, 1969), Cassavetes was nominated for the Best Screenplay Golden Globe® for Husbands (1971).

To read more or comment...

The HeldenFiles: Grammys dump polkas

By admin Published: June 8, 2009

Grammys Dump Polkas. The Grammy Awards are dropping the category of ''best polka album,'' the New York Times reports.

To read more or comment...

New disc set showcases Lear

By admin Published: June 7, 2009

The major TV work of writer-producer Norman Lear has found its way to DVD, generally in no-frills sets. But it's getting a far more lavish treatment in the enormous The Norman Lear Collection.

To read more or comment...

A Couple of Weekend Argument Starters

By admin Published: June 5, 2009

Folk Alley has a list of the 100 essential folk songs, based on listener suggestions. You can find it here. The announcement of the list is after the jump. Many great/good songs on the list, but I would have made some other choices, including different songs by some of the artists included, and raised other questions, such as whether Leonard Cohen should be considered a folkie. Still, plenty of fodder for debate.

Entertainment Weekly has released its list of the best and worst reality shows, which you can find in the latest issue of the mag or in online galleries. Best here. Worst here. "Survivor," by the way, topped the best list; I would have put "The Amazing Race." Discuss among yourselves, or comment below.

To read more or comment...

In Case You Missed It ...

By admin Published: June 5, 2009

A good Top 10 list from Letterman, with Neil Patrick Harris.

To read more or comment...

Grammys Dis Polka Music

By admin Published: June 5, 2009

As the New York Times has reported, the Grammys are dropping the best polka album category. The lack of lots of recorded polka music is being given as one reason; the Times notes that in 2006, only 20 polka albums were considered; that meant that the competitors automatically had a one in five chance of being nominated.

Another problem appears to be the domination of the category by Jimmy Sturr, who has won 18 polka Grammys (and has been a frequent performer in NE Ohio). According to the Grammy Web site, he has won the last four years in a row, and 12 of the last 15. Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Sturr here.

To read more or comment...

"SYTYCD" Top 20

By admin Published: June 5, 2009

The full announcement and list from Fox is after the jump. But let me once again wonder why, in this day and age, the show insists on listing the female dancers as "girls." ...

To read more or comment...

David Carradine, R.I.P.

By admin Published: June 4, 2009

The "Kung Fu" star was found dead, although reports have varied about whether it was suicide or a bizarre accident. Either way, the man is gone. He leaves behind a career of some accomplishment -- "Kung Fu," "Kill Bill," "Bound For Glory."

But there was also a lot of weirdness, including "Boxcar Bertha," one of Martin Scorsese's early films, where Carradine was effective as a union organizer -- but the movie became more famous for the sex scenes with Carradine and Barbara Hershey, which were reportedly the real deal between the off-camera couple. There were also roles that looked to be grabs at an easy paycheck. In that respect, his career bore some resemblance to that of his father, John, often did righteous work but also did a lot of nonsense -- and parodies of the nonsense, such as his performance in Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex."

To read more or comment...

Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: June 4, 2009

Today is mailbag day and the latest is here.

Have been trying to get out of "I'm a Celebrity," but reports flew yesterday that Speidi were coming back, and so they did. I managed to just DVR the show and fast-forward through stuff, but caught LDP's rat bites (ewwww), the setup for a Battle of Baldwins and, of course, Speidi's wanting to come back. "The Devil got to us," said Heidi, and once again thoughtful Christians everywhere cringed. Not that I believe a word from either Heidi, or Spencer, or "I'm a Celebrity." The show has decided that the dreadful duo is the key to ratings -- and is so optimistic about the ratings that it has expanded next Monday's telecast to two hours -- and is looking for any way it can to keep them around for another show. The timing of the cast vote on Speidi was so lovely, delayed so long that it had to be held over for the next show (although I wonder what the show would have done if everyone had just said, "yeah, bring 'em back" instead of the apparent no-vote that was happening JUST as the show ran out of time). This is nonstop audience manipulation of the cheesiest sort, but it's also major watercooler fare. As my sister says, "I want to look away but I can't."

To read more or comment...

Before Hollywood, films were made in Jacksonville

By Heldenfels Mailbag Published: June 4, 2009

If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag . . . Q: I've been told by my elders that Jacksonville, Fla., was on the road to being our ''movie capital'' until they all shoved off for California. Why? I would enjoy some facts concerning this.

To read more or comment...

"Supernatural" Fourth Season DVD/Blu-ray

By admin Published: June 3, 2009

It's coming Sept. 1. Announcement after the jump.

To read more or comment...

Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: June 3, 2009

Night II of Conan O'Brien's "Tonight Show" was a mild improvement over the first. You could see that the pressure was off somewhat, that Conan and Andy are reestablishing their on-air relationship, that Green Day was good (and much more animated than when they performed on "SNL") and that Tom Hanks was there. The Twitter bit went on too long but was genuinely Conanesque; the Obama bit didn't really work -- except for Conan's noticing that the president probably forgot Conan's name. The I'm-new-to-LA bits will have to stop eventually, but the Rodeo Road bit was worth it just for the closing shot of Conan walking to "Pretty Woman."

And Hanks brought up a true Cali landmark in talking up In-N-Out Burger. I've made some pilgrimages there.

To read more or comment...

The Heldenfiles - Dance Lady

By admin Published: June 3, 2009

When I caught up with Canal Fulton's Mary Murphy recently, the So You Think You Can Dance judge was on her way from Boston to Atlanta for auditions for Dance's sixth season.

To read more or comment...

The Speidi Chronicles

By admin Published: June 2, 2009

OK, I have watched two nights of "I'm a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here," or more accurately, "The Spencer and Heidi Show." And ...

To read more or comment...

An Ohio Online Toy

By admin Published: June 2, 2009

I have set up a new blog, Northeast Ohio Onscreen, looking at references to Northeast Ohio in movies and on TV shows. Some items are bits of dialogue, some are longer accounts of TV made around here, some note mistakes in portraying this area. There's even a music video. I am also open to suggestions for other posts. Use either the comment area here or on the new blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Consumer advisory: The new blog is not part of the Akron Beacon Journal or Ohio.com.

To read more or comment...

The Conan Transition

By admin Published: June 2, 2009

I can't say that Conan O'Brien was smart on his debut as host of "The Tonight Show." But he was logical.

To read more or comment...

"The Mentalist" on DVD

By admin Published: June 1, 2009

The first season arrives on Sept. 22. Announcement after the jump.

To read more or comment...

"thirtysomething" DVD Particulars

By admin Published: June 1, 2009


It's been known for some time that "thirtysomething" is finally getting to DVD in August. But after the jump is the full announcement ...

To read more or comment...

The Heldenfiles: Kent State graduate nominated for Tony Award

By admin Published: June 1, 2009

Tony Actress. When you look at the list of Tony Award nominees for lead actress in a musical, you may at first take note of big names like Stockard Channing (for Pal Joey) and Allison Janney (for 9 to 5: The Musical). But don't overlook Alice Ripley from Next to Normal.

To read more or comment...

SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS

OHIO.COM VIDEOS

Blogs:

Heldenfels' mailbag

Prev Next

INFORMATIONAL PAGES