I talked to Mark Mitten, movie producer and former Akron resident, about "Life Itself," the lovely documentary about Roger Ebert, which opens locally today. You can read the story here. The Saturday night showing I mentioned in the story is now sold ont. Mitten will also introduce a showing at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. (UPDATE: He will not be at the Sunday showing mentioned in an earlier version of this post.). No word on whether those showings will include a Q&A. I will update this as needed.
A look at how the "American Idol" auditions in Columbus tomorrow will work is here. Quite a contrast to what "Idol" encountered when it brought auditions to Cleveland in 2004.To read more or comment...
I am putting the calendar at the top and the boilerplate below. With that caveat, here's the official word:
FOX has set the fall premiere dates for its new and returning series.
Sunday, Sept. 7
8:00-10:00 PM UTOPIA (Series Premiere, Part One)To read more or comment...
Rich Heldenfels and Malcolm X Abram talk about when celebrities strike back against erroneous reports and stories. UPDATE: Clooney continues his criticism of the Daily Mail, says it knew the story was false when it printed it.To read more or comment...
You can look at the nominees here. Hue and cry have already begun: no Tatiana Maslany nomination, for instance, and no love for "The Americans." For that matter, it wasn't a great year for "Downton Abbey" but the Emmy nominations are all over it; I mean, really, Michelle Dockery?
Those of you who still live in a broadcast TV world should look at a category like lead actor in a comedy, where Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" is the only nominee from an over-the-air network.
But as you look over the lists, ask yourself how and why the Emmys make certain calls. Why are Natasha Lyonne and the amazing Uzo Aduba "guest" actresses on "Orange Is the New Black" when they are key to the show (and don't tell it's because they get paid or billed as guests)*? Why, for that matter, is "OITNB" in the comedy category? If "True Detective" is not a minsieries, why is "American Horror Story" one?
The Emmys let shows decide what they are, and what actors' status is, which sometimes makes the path to a win easier ("AHS" as a miniseries dodges the tougher best-drama category) but can also create some challenges. Much talk, for instance, about "True Detective" going into drama even with its closed-end story, since that puts it against the likes of "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" for best series and puts Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey both up as possible roadblocks to another win for Bryan Cranston as best actor. (And what on earth is Jeff Daniels doing in that category?**)To read more or comment...
The official word on the CBS sitcom, which is returning in the fall, and the NBC drama, which is not.
TV’s newest and funniest family moves in when THE MILLERS™: THE FIRST SEASON lands on DVD August 19 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. Created by Greg Garcia, the #1 new comedy of the season features an ensemble cast led by Will Arnett, Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale, JB Smoove, Jayma Mays and Nelson Franklin.
Packed with bonus material that takes fans behind the scenes of the show’s premiere season, THE MILLERS™: THE FIRST SEASON includes every episode of the series that “shows what a thing of glory hear-the-laughs sitcomedy can be in the hands of masters” (Newsday). Capturing an average 11 million viewers during its first-season run, THE MILLERS™ was a People’s Choice Award® nominee for “Favorite New TV Comedy.”To read more or comment...
I deeply admired this series from Glenn Gordon Caron when it premiered in 1999, and lamented its quick demise. Below the DVD announcement I have included a couple of pieces I wrote when the show was on, to give you an idea of my mad love for it. As for the DVD news ...
You only live twice in the gripping series NOW AND AGAIN. Hailed as “stylish, clever, and unpredictable” (People) and “a joy ride full of surprises” (New York Daily News) upon its broadcast premiere in 1999, the drama stars Eric Close, Dennis Haysbert, Margaret Colin and Heather Matarazzo.
From the creator of Moonlighting and Medium, Glenn Gordon Caron, NOW AND AGAIN: THE DVD COLLECTION arrives August 26 as a five-disc set including all 22 episodes of the series, along with all-new bonus material exclusive to the collection from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution.
Special to this release are several must-see, in-depth featurettes that delve into the making of the critically acclaimed series. A special highlight is the four-part documentary, “Gimme A Sign: Engineering Now And Again,” which features newly filmed interviews with the cast members including Eric Close, Dennis Haysbert, Margaret Colin, Gerrit Graham,Heather Matarazzo, Chad Lowe, along with Glenn Gordon Caron, director and executive producer Ronald L. Schwary, and writers René Echevarria, and Michael Angeli.To read more or comment...
The official word: – Family Circle, the leading lifestyle brand that celebrates the health and well-being of family, announces the results of its exclusive survey to identify America’s 10 Best Towns for Families. The brand’s eighth annual list reveals the country’s top towns that provideaffordable housing options, strong sense of community and exemplary school systems. Brecksville, known for its family-friendly setting and ample green space, makes this year’s 10 Best Towns for Families list and is featured in the August 2014 issue of Family Circle, on newsstands July 8 and online at FamilyCircle.com/besttowns.
Family Circlereveals the 10 Best Towns for Families (in alphabetical order):
To read more or comment...
I took a holiday weekend break, getting in a little fun, some work around the house and a fair amount of relaxing. The week ahead may be a bit challenging; I have jury duty. We will see how that fits with the blog and other platforms.
In case you missed them, I have had some items of interest the last few days:
A farewell column about Phil Hoffman, local documentarian and UA staffer, who is moving to a new job in Missouri.
This week's DVD/Blu-ray column, including "Bad Words" and "Nymphomaniac."To read more or comment...
At 7 p.m. Monday, Fast Lane in Barberton hosts an open-mic chance to fast-track Columbus "American Idol" auditions. Bring one song,and must be 15-28 years old, RSVP to email@example.com.
Discovery Channel will replay "Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks" at 4 p.m. Sunday. The telecast of the 2012 program is in memory of Louis Zamperini,, who died Wednesday. Zamperini was a subject of "Adrift," part of a rich and colorful life which inspired Laura Hillenbrand's book "Unbroken," which Angelina Jolie has turned into a movie due in December.
You may remember a previous note here when a Vivian Maier exhbiti came to Cleveland. The photographer will be showcased closer to home. in Canton, soon, as will her biographer John Maloof. The official word:
Vivian Maier: Photography’s Secret Master will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 31 at the prestigious Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, 520 Cleveland Avenue NW, Canton. Maloof will be present, to sign his book, discuss the 30-piece photo exhibit and escort people to a viewing of his film, Finding Vivian Maier, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Canton Palace Theatre (605 Market Avenue North, Canton).To read more or comment...
The Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com podcast is back. This week's guest is pop culture reporter Rich Heldenfels. Listen to it right here and see a run down of the show below if you want to skip around.
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1:00 - The allure of July 4 movies: Why this year's slate of holiday movies aren't quite the blockbusters of year's past.To read more or comment...
I offer here the official word. Further comment about manipulation just seems unnnecessary. Here goes:
NBC tv show “The Doctors”* will be taping a segment at Cuyahoga Falls Auditorium on Sat., July 19 in association with the national competition of Ms. Wheelchair USA. The live event, featuring twelve national pageant contestants and optimism author David Mezzapelle, is being taped showcasing the contestants, their use of optimism techniques for health, and the live national pageant competition.
Extras, including families, men, women, teens, and children over age 5 accompanied by a parent, are needed to serve as the live television show audience for the event. Extras will be taped during various parts of the show supporting contestants, will be assigned to contestant routing, and support sections and some extras will be selected for interview segments with Media Central hosts that are also part of the show. Those selected will arrive at the show site on Sat., July 16 at 6:30pm for direction and assignment. Live taping begins at 7:30pm. This segment of The Doctors is slated to broadcast in the fall.
All extras must apply in advance, and be approved prior to show date. Extras will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, with needs filled first by families, then by women, and all other individuals extras based on age and need. Registration is open July 3 and will close based on availability. To apply to be an Extra, email Info@MsWheelchairUSA.org. Please provide each potential extra(s) name, age, phone number, and one paragraph explaining any prior acting and/or television experience.To read more or comment...
Also contending is Cliff Cody, from Perry County south of Columbus. The official word: The next set of 10 phenomenal acts from across the country will perform on this Sunday’s final Live Auditions episode of ABC’s new groundbreaking reality series “Rising Star,” SUNDAY, JULY 6, (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET; check local listings) on the ABC Television Network. These 10 performers will compete for the last spots in the final group of contestants competing for a recording contract with legendary Capitol Records. They are:
Cliff Cody, 39, Perry County, OH
Audrey Kate Geiger, 24, New York, NY
Skye Griffin, 26, Houston, TX
Gabrielle Nicole, 20, Cleveland, OH
Dana Williams, 24, LA, CA
OhMG (Gabby Puyat, 20 and Michael Dunn, 25), LA, CA
TX3 (Lance, Miles and Jordan Tindall), 23, Chester, IL
Unselfish (Kevin Taylor, 23; Brandon Jackson, 23; Anthony Frazier, 25; Antwan Jackson 24),
Karen Hornsby, 36, Jacksonville, FL
Morgan Higgins, 16, San Clemente, CA
This Sunday holds a special treat for viewers--“Rising Star” expert and country music superstar Brad Paisley will perform his current hit single, “River Bank,” live on Sunday’s show. The song is from his upcoming album, Moonshine in the Trunk, which will be released on August 25. During and after the performance, “River Bank” will be available to purchase at this link: http://smarturl.it/riverbankitunes and is available now through all digital retailers.To read more or comment...
On Monday night, I saw "Tammy," the latest film starring Melissa McCarthy and a pet project for her; she co-wrote it with her actor husband Ben Falcone, and Falcone directed. (He also has a small role in the movie.) It's great that McCarthy has generated that much clout in Hollywood thanks to the success of "Bridesmaids," "Identity Thief" and "The Heat." But where "Tammy" has a decent number of big, rude laughs, it is almost a dead end for McCarthy in career terms, a recycling of character and attitude from her previous movies without improving on them.
McCarthy plays the movie's title character, a woman with a lousy job and a worse attitude. It's never made clear how old Tammy is, which is probably a good thing since the movie follows the Hollywood tradition of dubious actor chronologies: there's no calendar that can make sense of McCarthy as the daughter of Allison Janney and the granddaughter of Susan Sarandon. In any case, the movie begins with Tammy losing her job and catching her husband having dinner with another woman; turning to her mother for help, she instead teams up with her grandmother for a road trip to Niagara Falls. Said road trip then provides the movie's comedy, romance and Learning of Valuable Lessons.
And yes, I laughed, more than at "Identity Thief" but far less than at "The Heat" or "Bridesmaids." "Tammy" suffers from the same problem afflicting a lot of comedies, which is that at some point the comedic set pieces have to be held together by a plot. (Consider in contrast Wes Anderson, whose movies can seem aimless until he begins showing how all the pieces have been carefully put together -- while remaining funny.)To read more or comment...
The official word: Jennifer Love Hewitt has joined the cast of CRIMINAL MINDS as a series regular. Her character will be introduced in the series’ 10th season premiere, Wednesday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM) on the CBS Television Network.
Hewitt will play Kate Callahan, a seasoned undercover agent whose stellar work at the FBI has landed her a coveted position with the Behavioral Analysis Unit.
To read more or comment...
Starz has announced a script to series development of FremantleMedia North America’s (FMNA) adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed urban fantasy novel “American Gods.” The pilot script will be penned by Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) and Michael Green (“The River,” “Kings,” “Heroes”), who will also showrun the series. They will executive produce along with Gaiman. FremantleMedia North America will produce the series.
Starz Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik said, “‘American Gods’ is a project that deserves to be made. With our partners at FremantleMedia and with Bryan, Michael and Neil, we believe we can create a series that honors the book and does right by the fans and viewers.”
To read more or comment...
The director-writer-actor has died at the age of 84. One obit is here. That obit singles out "An Unmarried Woman" among his efforts, but that's a movie that from first viewing has tended to bring out my class-warfare impulses with its giving characters plenty of time to find themselves and few money worries."Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" is too tidy. But there was other work that deserved admiration.
"Next Stop, Greenwich Village," had well-drawn characters -- indeed, Mazursky's strength lay in his characters -- and Ellen Greene's performance was perfect. The adapted "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" was a high-water mark for most of its cast. You can find it right now on Netflix.
"Harry and Tonto," even with its road-movie plot, is a good portrait of a lot of lost people; check out what Larry Hagman does in it. Art Carney holds the movie together very well, too -- although I still object to that Best Actor Oscar*. Still, those notes should remind you as well that Mazursky knew how to find good actors and get the right performances out of them most of the time. (Dyan Cannon in "Bob and Carol" is a grating exception.) Mazursky worked occasionally as an actor, and he knew the moves. But, in some cases at least, he was even better as a director.
*Carney was better than Albert Finney in "Murder on the Orient Express." But the other nominees that year were Al Pacino in "The Godfather Party II," Dustin Hoffman in "Lenny" and Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown." Really, Oscars?
The official word: AMC announced today a Breaking Bad Binge television event beginning on Sunday, August 10. Every episode from the Emmy® Award-winning drama series will air in order on Sunday nights from 5pm-1am ET/PT beginning with the pilot and concluding on Sunday, October 5 with the series’ record-breaking finale, “Felina.” Episodes will kick-off with never-before-aired interviews with the cast and crew, including an inside look at the making of the episode, and commentary from those who helped make Breaking Bad “one of the greatest dramas in TV history” (The Hollywood Reporter).
With millions of Breaking Bad viewers still engaged each week on social media, AMC will also give fans an even deeper dive into the Breaking Bad world with custom social graphics and content, including episode and season badges, character quote cards and iconic moments. Through a partnership with Facebook, the network will deliver a never-before-seen glimpse into the evolution of the Breaking Bad Facebook community, which consists of almost 10 million fans and still continues to grow each week. Together, AMC and Facebook will analyze over six years of posts, likes, shares and comments to bring the series’ social stats to life and demonstrate how trends, such as the Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) alter ego “Heisenberg,” took off on social media.
To read more or comment...
The official word: CBS has given a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes of ZOO, a drama based on the bestselling novel of the same name by James Patterson, for broadcast in summer 2015.
Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg wrote the script and are executive producers with James Mangold, Cathy Konrad, James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen.
To read more or comment...