12 items from 2012
At 86 years old, Mel Brooks easily has more energy than the average man half his age. In support of his new Shout Factory! box set The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy, the Hollywood Egot legend (a member of the highly exclusive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winner's club) enthusiastically regaled stories of his career to me for 45 minutes until his staff gave him the hook.
Out of the gate, Mel told me on the phone, "David, you're going to have to suffer. You're gonna suffer me eating a cinnamon-raison bagel as we talk." But before I could say another word, he turned the tables and asked me a barrage of questions about my life and career. The man wanted to know who he was talking to. He wanted to be able to relate, and ended with, "So this is good. You write for Entertainment Tonight -- the blogs, the web, the »
Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, and Led Zeppelin are among those slated to receive this year's Kennedy Center Honors. Also on the list is ballerina Natalia Makarova, who fills the slot for "deserving but relatively unknown member of the ballet, opera or classical music community." Congratulations everyone, you no longer have to worry about overtaking Milton Berle atop the list of biggest Kennedy Center snubs. »
- Adam K. Raymond
On these warm summer days, what better way to escape the heat than with a visit to a movie theater. Sure, you can catch one of the many new films, but instead why not revisit or introduce yourself to a classic. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is running a 70mm series of films beginning Monday in Beverly Hills. It kicks off the inaugural event with the uproarious It’S A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. I agree, it’s usually one that we all watch during the holidays but if you’re fortunate enough to see it on the big screen then you need to make a trip to The Academy.
This week I had the chance to speak with the wife of the film’s late director Stanley Kramer over the phone where she nostalgically talked about one of the funniest comedies in film history. Mrs. »
- Michelle McCue
Male impersonator Kitty Doner According to the Encyclopedia of Vaudeville press release, you interviewed a number of vaudeville stars. Could you share a couple of anecdotes? [See previous post: The Encyclopedia Of Vaudeville Q&A with Anthony Slide: Vaudeville History.] I had the good fortune to talk with a number of vaudevillians: Milton Berle, George Burns, Fifi D’Orsay, May Foy (of the Seven Little Foys), Nick Lucas, Ken Murray, Fayard Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers), Al Rinker (of the Rhythm Boys), Rose Marie, Virginia Sale, Joe Smith (of Smith and Dale), Arthur Tracy, Rudy Vallee, Nancy Welford, and the brilliant Senor Wences (photo). I was [...] »
- Andre Soares
For moviegoers growing up in the last 20-30 years, big is the new normal. I’m talking about those big-budget, over-produced, effects/action-packed extravaganzas that are as expected and routine an arrival as a commuter bus, and never more so than during the summer months. Come a rise in temperatures, there’s an almost ceaseless parade of these megabuck behemoths through multiplexes starting in May and continuing until the kids go back to school, one rolling out almost every week.
Consider these May-August releases and their eye-popping price tags:
5/4: Marvel’s The Avengers — $220 million
5/11: Dark Shadows — $150 million
5/18: Battleship — $209 million
5/25: Men in Black 3 — $250 million
6/8: Prometheus — $120-130 million
7/3: The Amazing Spider-Man — $220 million
7/20: The Dark Knight Rises — $250 million
7/31: Total Recall — $200 million
8/5: The Expendables 2 — $100 million
For those of you who haven’t been keeping count, that’s a little over $1.7 billion in productions »
- Bill Mesce
This story originally appeared in the May 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. The White House Correspondents' Association dinner -- not so long ago merely a cozy annual assemblage of journalists and the politicians and operatives who are their sources -- has now gone Hollywood to such an amusing extent that workaday D.C. is getting seriously squeezed. For much of the event's existence, the president was the undisputed guest of honor, and members of the entertainment industry such as Bob Hope and Milton Berle were solely called on to, well, entertain onstage. Photos: 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner Now, the proliferation
- Gary Baum
First it was Star Trek movie producer J.J. Abrams’ effort to control information about the upcoming 2013 Star Trek reboot sequel. Upset at the leak of photos of Zachary Quinto (Spock) and Trek newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch engaged in a fight scene, Abrams placed a couple of dozen shipping containers around his production site in order to block further images of the film from appearing on the internet. Unlike some fans, I applaud Abrams for this decision because I want to be surprised and awed when I plop down my $20 at the midnight premiere of Star Trek 2 in May 2013. Raise the shields, J.J!
Abrams’ control of his multi-million dollar film is understandable, however, the decision of CBS executives to squash a fan-produced web film is less admirable. »
- John Putman
And finally... Star Trek fans have hit warp factor 14.1 over news that plans to film an unused script from the original 1960s series have been blocked by CBS. The Daily Telegraph reports that the "missing episode", which was due to feature comedian Milton Berle, never went into production over a clash between the writer and a producer who felt the sci-fi show had been turned into an "unfunny comedy". "Star Trek fans are not a sleeping dragon you want to poke," warned David Gerrold, a scriptwriter who works on fan-produced online series Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
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Now CBS, but once Paramount Pictures, have had little to say about the many internet fan series based on their property of Star Trek (Hidden Frontier, Intrepid, Farragut and New Voyages: Phase II to name just a few) over the years. They clearly saw a workable, symbiotic relationship with fan productions and the mainstream TV shows and movies. As long as the fans never changed the conical nature of the established main characters (be it Tos or its many spin-offs), they were given (a mostly) free rein to expand the Star Trek Universe. But recently, someone within CBS, or over at Paramount, have suddenly raised a red alert.
It all began back in October when a fan approached Norman Spinrad, who wrote the episode The Doomsday Machine, to autograph the script for another episode of Star Trek Gene Roddenberry commissioned him to write in 1967 called He Walked Among Us. The »
Lewis will direct, but not appear in, the adaptation of the 1963 movie, which he co-wrote, directed and starred in as Julius Kelp, a bumbling professor who invents a love potion that wears off quickly. »
- Kathy Shwiff
New York - Betty White will be the latest honoree to sit in the "hot seat" for the annual Friars Club Roast here in May. The event is scheduled to take place May 16 at Manhattan's Sheraton Ballroom. Past recipients of the honor include Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Billy Crystal and, last year, Quentin Tarantino. “Those Friars may think I'm an easy mark, but I have 90 years of comebacks waiting for them," White said. "This is such an honor to be roasted by the Friars Club. It will be an afternoon filled with
- Georg Szalai
It was meant to be a vehicle designed for actor Milton Berle. Instead, it ended up in Gene Roddenberry's wastebasket -- at the insistence of the original scribe -- and was considered lost forever. But now a lost "Star Trek" script is back, and despite his feelings on it, Norman Spinrad wants to ensure fans have a chance to see not only the good, but the bad in Star Trek. Spinrad, who wrote the popular "Star Trek" episode "Doomsday Machine," had written another script as well -- "He Walked Among Us." Spinrad wrote the script in 1967 for the show's second season. According to Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha, a Federation health food nut takes over a planet, and in violation of the Prime Directive, becomes a god on the planet, and makes it almost impossible to have him removed without disrupting »
12 items from 2012
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