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Video: Rich and the movies - 'The Martian'

By Published: October 2, 2015

Beacon Journal pop culture reporter Rich Heldenfels checks out The Martian, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig and directed by Ridley Scott.

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Fall TV review: Rich Heldenfels lets you know which shows are worth the DVR space (podcast)

By staff Published: October 1, 2015

Leaves are changing, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and we’re in the thick of TV season and series premieres. Yes, it's definitely fall. Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels has spent hours watching TV and offered his review of what’s good, what’s bad and what’s on the bubble. Find out which shows are worth your time (Scandal, Empire), which shows aren’t (Scream Queens) and which shows you should be setting your DVR to record this season and beyond (Hello, January). 

More: Heldenfels: Networks have lots of plans for the new season 

Heldenfels: Five things to know in the new TV season

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What's new on TV for Oct. 1? Three shows return

By Rich Heldenfels Published: October 1, 2015

Back on the beat tonight are "Bones," "Sleepy Hollow" and "The Blacklist." Briefly:

On "Bones," the changes in the main characters' lives six months earlier are thrown awry. Brennan goes back to work when a case comes up that has a strong emotional connection for her -- and a mystery surrounding Booth. Be warned now that the episode has a cliffhanger ending.

"Sleepy Hollow" picks up well after the end of the previous season; Crane has been wandering, and Abbie has joined the FBI. But their seeming triumph over evil in the previous season may be short-lived, with other grim forces at work. And they get a hint about their own roles in all that evil-undoing.

"The Blacklist" has Liz on the run after being framed, and it at first seems that her only help will come from Red. But there are still names on the list, old friends and enemies out in the world -- and James Spader ready to make any line of dialogue interesting. Also, a new look for Liz.

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What's new on TV, Wednesday, Sept. 30? "Code Black" premieres, 2 return

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 29, 2015


Returning tonight are "Criminal Minds" on CBS, and "Chicago P.D." on NBC.

New is "Code Black," a medical drama, on CBS.

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What's new on TV? Tuesday, Sept. 29: "The Grinder," "Grandfathered"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 29, 2015


Tonight, "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" returns. I have not seen it. I will. Believe me, I will.

New on the broadcast schedule are two comedies, "Grandfathered" and "The Grinder," both on Fox. The scheduling of these shows is curious when one wonders what kind of flow the network saw from these two, affable, adult comedies into "Scream Queens," which is not affable, aims much younger and is, as I have said before, pretty awful. 

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"Ricki and the Flash" coming to digital, DVD, Blu-ray on Nov. 24

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 28, 2015

Although it was a disappointment at the box office, it as a cast including North Canton's own Joe Vitale as the drummer in the Flash. (Ricki is Meryl Streep.)  Another local touch: you can hear some music by Hayden E. Gilbert.

The official word:

Movie and music fans will get to ‘rock on’ withthree-timeAcademy Award® winner Meryl Streep (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Kramer vs. Kramer,1979; Best Actress in a Leading Role, Sophie’s Choice,1982; Best Performance by An Actress in a Leading Role,The Iron Lady, 2011) when the funny and touching film, RICKI AND THE FLASH arrives on Blu-ray™, DVD, and Digital HD November 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Streep, the most Oscar® nominated actor in history (19),takes on a whole new gig as a hard-rocking singer and guitarist for Oscar® winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs,1991) and Academy Award® winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Best Original Screenplay, Juno, 2007) in this original film loaded with live musical performances. Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom. Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at redemption and a chance to make things right as she faces the music with her family. Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer (TV’s “Emily Owens M.D.”); Rick Springfield (TV’s “General Hospital”) as the Flash band member in love with Ricki; and Oscar® winner Kevin Kline (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, A Fish Called Wanda, 1988) as Ricki’s ex-husband.

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What's new on TV? Monday, Sept. 28

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 24, 2015

Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows



While there is nothing new starting on the broadcast networks, fans of "The Daily Show" finally get to see how Trevor Noah, above, fares as Jon Stewart's successor. Kevin Hart is his first guest. You can see more about Noah and the show here.

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What's new on TV this week? Sunday lineup

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 24, 2015

New series are "Blood & Oil" and "Quantico," both on ABC.

Starting new seasons are "Once Upon a Time" on ABC;  "Bob's Burgers," "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Family Guy," "Last Man on Earth," all on Fox, and "60 Minutes" on CBS. CBS also has the two-hour series farewell for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." ("Madam Secretary," "The Good Wife" and "CSI Cyber" return on Oct. 4.)

ABC has had some Sunday success with soaps (say that fast five times) and thinks it can do so again with "Blood & Oil," about the schemes and struggles of various folks taking part in a modern-day oil boom. Don Johnson is the big name for old folks watching, Chace Crawford for the younger set. The storytelling in the pilot would probably fill three episodes of "Dallas," but there's something sedate about it even when the snarliest character in the bunch is engaged in what should seem like horrible betrayal. (BTW, I am not referring to Johnson's character, who is not remotely the bad guy in this bunch. He reminds me more of later-years Blake Carrington, albeit with more of a twinkle, than J.R. Ewing.)

The problem for "Blood & Oil" is that "Scandal" and "Empire" have changed the rules for soaps, upping the intensity and the need for WTH shockers. (Thriller serials such as "The Blacklist" have added to this notion.) In that context, the new ABC series seems quaint, and as a result it fails to excite.

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What's new on TV this week? Friday lineup

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 24, 2015


Returning shows include "Last Man Standing" and "Shark Tank" on ABC, and "The Amazing Race" (clip above), "Hawaii Five-O" and "Blue Bloods" on CBS.

No new series yet. A couple are coming in October, along with some other returners. More on that later.

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Kurtiss Hare new executive director of Nightlight

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 23, 2015

The official word: The Nightlight’s Board of Trustees has appointed Kurtiss Hare as Executive Director, effective September 21st, 2015. He previously served as the nonprofit’s Program and Operations Director, and now replaces Steve Felix*, who will remain a member of the Board of Trustees.

“Kurtiss has been instrumental in establishing the high caliber of films at The Nightlight, and in making the venue run well behind the scenes. I’m excited to see him take The Nightlight’s success further,” said Felix.

Hare, a Canton native now living in Cuyahoga Falls, joined The Nightlight in 2013 as Film Programmer and Communications Officer, when the organization was known as Akron Film+Pixel. He selected films and wrote program notes for the contemporary film series at the Akron Art Museum. In 2014, he became Program and Operations Director, reflecting his broad role in developing The Nightlight, which opened July 1st that year.

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