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By Anjelica Oswald
Every year, the glittering lights and unique experience of Broadway lures Hollywood actors to the East Coast; some are veterans of the stage and others are making their Broadway debut. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), James Franco (This is the End) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) all made their Broadway debuts earlier this year, with O’Dowd receiving a Tony nomination for Of Mice and Men and Cranston winning a Tony for All The Way. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), who hadn’t been on Broadway since his 2004 run in Assassins, scored his first Tony nomination and win for Hedwig and the Angry Inch this summer.
The Broadway lineup for the end of the year hosts a number of Hollywood actors making their Broadway debuts, and they are joined by an illustrious group of Broadway vets returning to the stage.
- Anjelica Oswald
Although traditional sitcoms toting the banner of laugh tracks and “filmed live before a studio audience” are going the way of the dodo, The Big Bang Theory has managed to achieve critical success for seven years running. Now entering its eighth season, with no signs of petering out, the series pushed the character arcs just a tad farther in season 7. There were relationship breakthroughs, a Star Wars calamity with James Earl Jones, Penny reassesses her career, pseudo-scientific discoveries and Raj became a little less awkward.
The season began with Leonard out on his North Sea expedition. While Leonard was away, Penny and Sheldon had a chance to bond. Penny has come a long way from being the Kelly Bundy figure of the group. Sheldon begins to turn to her for platonic companionship as well as advice.
This was a great advance in the group dynamic. Even though Sheldon is always »
- Bags Hooper
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, 2014.
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson.
A curmudgeonly man is mistakenly told that he has 90 minutes to live by his doctor and promptly sets out to reconcile with his wife, brother and friends in the short time he believes he has left.
What would you do if you knew you only had 90 minutes left to live? In The Angriest Man in Brooklyn we watch as one man tries to see everyone he can before he dies. Robin Williams, in one of his final performances, stars as Henry Altmann. Henry is a very unhappy man who goes through every day just as miserable as the last. When he goes to visit his doctor Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis), who is experiencing her own rough day, Henry is told that he has a brain aneurysm. This information gets »
- Gary Collinson
Honorary Oscar Non-Winners: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich among dozens of women who never took home Academy’s Honorary Award (photo: Honorary Oscar non-winner Gloria Swanson in ‘Sunset Blvd.’) (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") This post basically consists of a long, long list. Some of the names found below were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss while eagerly opting to ignore the relevance of the past, that doesn’t make the women listed below any less deserving of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Honorary Award. So, as for the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without receiving an Honorary Oscar for their body of work — most of whom without having ever won a competitive Academy Award — were actresses Gloria Swanson, »
- Andre Soares
Honorary Oscars have traditionally bypassed women: Mary Pickford, Lauren Bacall, Greta Garbo among rare exceptions (photo: 1976 Honorary Oscar winner Mary Pickford) September 4, 2014 Introduction: This four-part article on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Honorary Awards and the dearth of female Honorary Oscar winners was originally posted in February 2007. The article was updated in February 2012 and fully revised before its republication today. All outdated figures regarding the Honorary Oscars and the Academy’s other Special Awards have been "scratched out," with the updated numbers and related information inserted below each affected paragraph or text section. See also "Honorary Oscars 2014 addendum" at the bottom of this particular post. At the 1936 Academy Awards ceremony, groundbreaking film pioneer D.W. Griffith, by then a veteran with more than 500 shorts and features to his credit — among them the epoch-making The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance — became the first individual to receive the Academy »
- Andre Soares
The late, great Robin Williams makes one of his final on-screen appearances amongst a star-studded cast in the hard-hitting comedy-drama The Angriest Man In Brooklyn, released on DVD and digital platforms on September 8th, 2014 courtesy of Signature Entertainment and we’ve got three to giveaway on DVD!
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson (The Sum of All Fears, Band of Brothers), The Angriest Man In Brooklyn sees Williams playing Henry Altmann, a curmudgeonly Brooklynite who, following a taxi crash, a brain scan and a stressed out doctor, mistakenly thinks he has just 90 minutes to live. What follows is a poignant, astonishingly portentous journey of redemption as Altmann races to reconcile with his wife, his brother and his friends after a lifetime of maltreatment and before it is too late.
- Dan Bullock
The black comedy centres on a curmudgeonly man who is mistakenly told by his physician that he has only 90 minutes left to live, and spends a frantic afternoon trying to right his life's wrongs.
Mila Kunis co-stars as the doctor, who realises her error and sets out to find Williams's Henry Altmann in order to tell him the truth.
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn marks one of Williams's final screen roles, following the actor's death last month.
It's not your fault: Robin Williams's legacy and understanding mental illness
One good thing about the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards — an expedient way to remove the time-consuming presentation of the (nearly) annual Honorary Oscar from the TV ratings-obsessed, increasingly youth-oriented Oscar show — is that each year up to four individuals can be named Honorary Oscar recipients, thus giving a better chance for the Academy to honor film industry veterans while they’re still on Planet Earth. (See at the bottom of this post a partial list of those who have gone to the Great Beyond, without having ever received a single Oscar statuette.) In 2014, the Academy’s Board of Governors has selected a formidable trio of honorees: Japanese artist and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, 73; French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, 82; and Irish-born Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara, »
- Andre Soares
Belafonte will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award while Carriere, Miyazaki and O’Hara will each be given an Honorary Award.
“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”
This year’s honorees fit the profile of past recipients: They are well-respected veterans and most have not won an Oscar in a competitive category.
The Governors Awards have become one of the industry’s hottest tickets and a key stop on the awards-campaign trail, with strategists making sure their candidates are in the room. Last year, »
- Tim Gray
On August 27 and 28, 2014, the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles will be presenting a screening of Ivan Nagy’s 1975 film Deadly Hero. Advertised with the tag lines “A young girl knows the truth. Now that truth is haunting her, and someone is hunting her” and “Not since The French Connection and Death Wish has a movie moved so deep into the heart and soul of the big city”, Deadly Hero runs 102 minutes (the same length as The French Connection) and will be presented in 35mm. Deadly Hero stars Don Murray, Diahn Williams, James Earl Jones, Lilia Skala, Conchata Ferrell, Treat Williams and Josh Mostel.
The film will be screened at 7:30 pm on both nights. Actor Don Murray will be appearing in person following the 7:30 pm screening on August 27. Click here for tickets.
The New Beverly is located at 7165 West Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. The phone number is »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
A happy 75th to John Badham, who broke through in 1977 with Saturday Night Fever and made a star out of John Travolta. Since his 1976 debut, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, featuring Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones and Richard Pryor, Badham's had his hits and misses. Today, we're remembering some of his best films, including WarGames (1983) with two young actors unknown at the time, Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy. Plus clips, interviews and more. » - David Hudson »
[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, Fxx is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.] When folks complain that "The Simpsons" hasn't been good for 15 years, we normally mock them, but as we hit Day 5 of FX's Every Simpsons Marathon, even we have to admit that there is a small shift in quality. There are still great episodes in this period, which goes from "The Canine Mutiny" through "Maximum Homerdrive," but a couple of our intrepid recommenders only took one episode apiece for this period. And we have a trio of "skippable" episodes at the end of the article. Expect the ratio of classic-to-skippable episodes to even out in the last week of the Marathon. And some of the episodes in this period are kinda polarizing. Dave Lewis made "Homer's Enemy" one of this recommendations (and I'd be inclined to agree), but Frank Grimes hater Alan Sepinwall would have written a counterpoint had he had the time. Check out our recommendations for Day »
- Daniel Fienberg, Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Josh Lasser and Dave Lewis
Debbie Reynolds is slated to receive the Screen Actors Guild life achievement award at the 21st annual SAG Awards next January. The actress, singer, dancer, and author will be the 51st recipient of the honor. Some of her best known film roles were in "Singin' in the Rain," "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," and "How the West Was Won." She has also been selected for her work to preserve artifacts and costumes from the history of film and her work in the mental illness field. Other recent honorees have included Rita Moreno, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ernest Borgnine, Betty White, and James Earl Jones. Awards Daily. -Break- Follow Gold Derby on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, iTunes and YouTube David Letterman returns from an extended vacation with a special tribute to his longtime friend Robin Williams. Watch the 10-minute segment honoring the late comedian that was part of the Monday »
If you haven’t yet caught a movie outdoors this summer, then you’re missing out! On a nice night, pack your bag with a picnic blanket, snacks, and bug spray, and head out to one of these flicks under the night sky! New York City August 20What: “The Way We Were”Who: Starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, the classic Sydney Pollack-directed romantic drama won two Oscars at the 1974 ceremony.Where: Central Park Conservancy Film Festival What: “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”Who: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, and others. Where: South Street Seaport What: “Captain Phillips”Who: Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi star in the 2013 dramatic thriller that earned six Oscar noms and had everyone saying, “I’m the captain now.”Where: Pier 63 Lawn August 21What: “Coming to America”Who: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, and others.Where: Central Park Conservancy Film Festival What: “The Birds »
There have been a few stars over the years who started brightly only to see their career fade and sometimes even plummet. Perhaps one of the best examples of someone looking set to become a regular face at Award shows, particularly during the nominations montage, before falling from grace, was Eric Roberts. In fact one of his earlier films, The Pope of Greenwich Village, saw Roberts star with Mickey Rourke, whose career followed the same trajectory. An early run of solid films with critical acclaim, followed by a lengthy spell largely spent in B-movies, with the occasional more high profile bit part thrown in. Whilst Rourke had a second coming with The Wrestler recently, Roberts is still waiting for such an opportunity, and it’s an opportunity that would be fully deserved.
Before becoming something of a sitcom gag, »
- Gary Collinson
Is there anyone in the entire history of cinema more iconic than Darth Vader? The evil-villain-cum-tragic-hero of the Star Wars Saga has been a part of the popular consciousness for nearly forty years, with his menacing helmet, rasping breath and flirty sand-based conversations making an unforgettable character whose appeal spans generations.
If you’ve never owned a piece of Vader merchandise you’re definitely in the minority; there’s action figures, desk lamps, slippers, watches, replica lightsabers, Mr Potato Heads, backpacks, cake tins, bowl holders, even golf club covers. Heck, you can buy a toaster that toasts his iconic fizzog onto your bread. Star Wars is a franchise built on its tie-ins and Vader really leads the charge.
He’s so captivating that we’ve had a whole trilogy of films based off the twist of his secret identity. But things could have turned out very, very different. With »
- Alex Leadbeater
Summer is coming to an end, but there’s still time catch an open-air showing of some of the Bard’s most popular works. Check out these outdoor Shakespeare performances from all over the country and the prominent theater companies producing them. Bonus: They’re all completely free! Shakespeare in the Park (NYC)This annual celebrity-studded event from New York’s Public Theater is the father of all outdoor Shakespeare festivals. Offering free performances in Central Park throughout the summer, the festival gives New Yorkers a chance to see some their favorite actors live under the stars. Performances are held in an amphitheater built for the purpose; the Delecorte Theater was constructed in 1961 after a court battle with the park, and opened with a performance of “The Merchant of Venice” starring George C. Scott and James Earl Jones. This year’s line-up included “Much Ado About Nothing” featuring Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe, »
As the democratization of film has made it possible for just about anyone to make a film, it has conversely made it more difficult for the individual filmmaker and his or her films to stand out. Online content platforms now offer a hundred times more films in their catalogs then the films cataloged by IMDb from the inception of film (1,764,727 titles as of 14 Jan 2011). So despite assertions to the contrary, branding is more important than ever.
Filmmakers Are Brands, Their Films Are Products Though difficult for some in a creative pursuit to accept, in the words of Moonstruck (1987): “Snap out of it!” The music world has brands Madonna Louise Ciccone and Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known by their much more memorable brand names, Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Consistency Counts When your audience knows what they can expect from your “brand”, even if it is to be continually surprised, you’ve »
- David K Greenwald
Hit comedy The Big Bang Theory kicked off Friday at Comic-Con 2014 with a panel featuring the show's writers for the second year in a row. And of course, the writers brought along some fun video to share.
First up was the hot new trailer for . Fans witnessed the world premiere of of footage from the B movie, starring Wil Wheaton and Penny. "He mixed her DNA with that of a killer gorilla. Was it because he loved her? Yes." Watch here:
The Big Bang Theory also brought along a highlight reel. James Earl Jones, Bob Newhart, the re-creation of the planet Dagobah from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, debating the merits of Indiana Jones and preferred gaming consoles, and the quest to buy Comic-Con badges are all here:
The ongoing contract negotiations with CBS/Wbtv and the core cast of "The Big Bang Theory" loomed over Friday (July 25) morning's San Diego Comic-Con panel, or at least the negotiations loomed if you happened to be obsessed with such things. If you're not, the negotiations were a total non-factor in the spirited and amusing give-and-take between the show's writers, moderator Craig Ferguson and the Comic-Con crowd. According to a Deadline.com story, question monitors at the panel prevented Deadline from asking about the negotiations, which raises exactly two issues for me: 1) The writers of "The Big Bang Theory," for the most part, could hardly have less to do with negotiations that are going on far, far, far above their paygrade or job description. Even the highest ranking writers on the panel, folks like co-creator Bill Prady and showrunner Steve Molaro, could hardly have less to do with those negotiations and »
- Daniel Fienberg
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