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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003

16 items from 2017


Ray Romano Returns To Host International Myeloma Foundation 11th Annual Comedy Celebration

1 September 2017 4:30 AM, PDT | Look to the Stars | See recent Look to the Stars news »

The International Myeloma Foundation (Imf), the first and widely respected myeloma-specific foundation in the world, announced today the star-studded lineup for the Imf 11th Annual Comedy Celebration on Saturday, November 4 at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

Actor and comedian Ray Romano returns to host an unforgettable evening of comedy that will feature performers including Hannibal Buress, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, Robert Klein, Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, Iliza Shlesinger, and Fred Willard. All performers are subject to availability.

Proceeds from event benefit the Peter Boyle Research Fund, named for the beloved actor who died in 2006 after a four-year battle with myeloma – an incurable cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells and one of the fastest growing blood cancers in the world. Since the first event in 2007, the annual Imf Comedy Celebration has featured over 50 celebrity comedians and musical performers, and raised more than $6 million. Through laughter, the event honors Boyle and raises »

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Brad Garrett reflects on deaths of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ parents: ‘We learned a lot from Peter and Doris’

7 July 2017 2:45 PM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

“We learned a lot from Peter and Doris,” reflects Brad Garrett about the deaths of his “Everybody Loves Raymond” parents, Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts. CNN’s Pamela Brown interviewed Garrett on Friday about the network’s upcoming docu-series “The Nineties,” and Garrett was soon rehashing memories about his TV dad and mom, who played the over-protective […] »

- Marcus James Dixon

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Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers the Films of Director John G. Avildsen

23 June 2017 7:29 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – His films were more popular than his name, but director John G. Avildsen did put his mark on the last 30 years of 20th Century movies. Avildsen died last week at the age of 81. He is known best for the Oscar Best Picture-winning “Rocky” (1976), but also did the controversial “Joe” (1970), “Save the Tiger” (1973, Best Actor Oscar for Jack Lemmon), John Belushi’s last film “Neighbors” (1981), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Lean on Me” (1989) and “8 Seconds” (1994). Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com offer three essays on their Avildsen favorites.

Director John G. Avildsen on the Set of ‘Rocky’ with Sylvester Stallone

Photo credit: United Artists

John G. Avildsen was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated from New York University. He started as an assistant director for Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, before breaking out on his own in the low budget “Joe,” featuring Peter Boyle, in 1970. He scored his biggest success with “Rocky” in 1976 – winning the Oscar for Best Director – and revisited the franchise later with “Rocky V” (1990). He also directed both sequels to “Karate Kid” with “Part II” (1986) and “Part III” (1989). At his peak, he was the original director for “Serpico” (1973) and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), but was let go from both films. His final film as director was “Inferno” (1999), featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Avildsen passed away in Los Angeles on June 16th, 2017, of complications due to pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.

Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com pay tribute to the director who was nicknamed “King of the Underdogs,” with the following film essays.

Rocky (1976) by Patrick McDonald

Rocky

Photo credit: MGM Home Entertainment

Rocky” is a miracle of a film, considering both its eventual prize (Oscar Best Picture) and the way it made it to the screen the first place. A broke actor named Sylvester Stallones writes a desired boxing movie script that has one caveat… he must portray the title character. As a gambit, he proposes a budget of only one million dollars, and the film gets the green light. For all of the notion of Stallone as Rocky’s prime creator, it is actually director John Avildsen who delivered the on-screen goods – the famous running scene, the freeze frame on the top of Philadelphia’s “Rocky Steps,” boxing sequences that had never been seen before and the third use of the (just invented) Steadicam by a major motion picture.

Avildsen loved to tell the stories of having Stallone write additional dialogue because the budget was so tight they couldn’t afford to match Rocky’s boxing shorts with the on-set posters or send back his too-big ring entrance robe. And remember the classic song “Gonna Fly Now”? It was Avildsen who brought in composer Bill Conti from his previous directorial effort of the Burt Reynolds film, “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.” The underdog of underdog films was delivered to a Bicentennial audience, and the little-movie-that-could took home Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Editing, in addition to being the highest grossing film of 1976. No wonder Avildsen became the “Ka-Ching of the Underdogs.”

Gonna Fly Now: The portrayal of the character of Rocky by Stallone was never better in this film, with Six sequels now in the culture. Director Ryan Coogler of the latest Rocky adventure, the excellent “Creed,” seemed to use the John Avildsen template in approaching the sequencing of that story.

The Karate Kid (1984) by Spike Walters

The Karate Kid

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

John G Avildson was a bit of a journeyman… his Oscar notwithstanding. He wasn’t one of those visionaries who develop a signature style, but his subtle gift was making a formula work. And they don’t come much more formulaic than 1984’s underdog/odd couple buddy movie “The Karate Kid.” Yet Avildson knew how to inject heart into this story of the undersized “Kid” and his quiet but powerful teacher. As the listless remake and some of its later sequels show, this is not nearly as easy as Avildson makes it look here – this is the 1980’s classic that scored Pat Morita an Oscar nomination and holds up relatively well today. It’s not exactly groundbreaking but director Avildson knew how to make the most of it.

Gonna Fly Now: You’d expect the man who directed the original “Rocky” to find the right beats in the inevitable training montage, but Kid Daniel’s “crane kick” training – which predictably but winningly leads to a triumph at the end – still delivers the goods.

Lean On Me (1989) by Jon Lennon Espino

Lean on Me

Photo credit: Warner Home Video

High school sometimes get a bad rap as a physical hell on Earth. John G. Avildsen’s “Lean On Me” does nothing to make anyone think otherwise. Avildsen, like many of his films, has fun with this one. He shows us an exaggerated look at a public school system after minorities have taken over the neighborhood. The director has long had a fascination with creating hero stories, and in this one, he gives us a breakout performance by Morgan Freeman… his performance and approach to the character is everything! This movie lives on the over-the-top action of Freeman, breathing a fun air into the entire film as he does things that may be extremely illegal in real life, but are completely entertaining within the scope of the film. Avildsen knows exactly how to set a scene, which you know right away after the opening montage that is essentially a music video. His films often have an after school special feel, but “Lean On Me” shows just how well it works even when school is still in session.

Gonna Fly Now: The opening credits where we are taken on a tour of the school while Guns-n-Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is playing. He hilariously frames and choreographs the fighting to simulate feral animals in the jungle. 

John G. Avildsen, 1935-2017

By Patrick McDONALDWriter, Editorial CoordinatorHollywoodChicago.compat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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John G. Avildsen, Oscar-winning Director Of "Rocky", Dead At 81

18 June 2017 11:44 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

Director John G. Avildsen has passed away from pancreatic cancer. He had an eclectic body of work that began in earnest with his work as a cinematographer on several high profile films of the 1960s including "Hurry Sundown" and "Mickey One". Avildsen graduated to the director's chair with the surprise indie hit "Joe" in 1970 a serio-comic look at an ultra conservative working man (Peter Boyle) whose rage boils over from what he believes are anti-American protest movements against the Vietnam War. Three years later Avildsen directed the acclaimed drama "Save the Tiger" which won Jack Lemmon the Best Actor Oscar. In 1976 he directed the most unlikely of blockbusters, "Rocky", which won the Best Picture Oscar. Avildsen took home the Best Director award. He also scored with the "Karate Kid" franchise and also directed the zany comedy "Neighbors" with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as well as "The Formula" with Marlon Brando »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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Rocky & Karate Kid director John G. Avildsen has passed away at 81

17 June 2017 12:34 PM, PDT | JoBlo.com | See recent JoBlo news »

John G. Avildsen – the Oscar-winning director of Rocky, The Karate Kid and more – has passed away at the age of 81. His son, Anthony, told the La Times that his father died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from pancreatic cancer. Beginning his career with the Peter Boyle/Susan Sarandon vehicle Joe, and then directing Jack Lemmon in a Oscar-winning performance for Save The Tiger, Avildsen won his... Read More »

- Matt Rooney

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4 Great Films About Loners (That Look At The Darker Side of Loneliness)

17 June 2017 11:32 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Graeme Robertson with four great films about loners…

Do you ever feel lonely dear readers? Do you ever sometimes feel that you just don’t quite fit in with the rest of the world?

I’ll admit that I sometimes I feel this way in certain situations. Often at a social event like a party or whatever, I’m the guy who stands quietly in the corner, saying little and drinking excessively to try and calm my nerves, all the while panicking that everyone else at the party is secretly muttering things about me behind my back and that they all might just dislike me intensely.

Now I’d like to think that this is not an unusual feeling to have. After all, I’m sure that everyone feels a sense of loneliness from time to time, but most of us are able to soothe that discomfort with the love »

- Graeme Robertson

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Newswire: R.I.P. John G. Avildsen, director of Rocky and The Karate Kid

16 June 2017 6:17 PM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

Variety reports that John G. Avildsen, an Oscar-winning director with a celebrated knack for capturing the stories of beloved underdogs, has died. Avildsen—whose best-known films include Rocky and the first three installments of The Karate Kid franchise—was 81.

Avildsen’s early films arrived at a time when America was struggling with the growing counterculture of the 1970s; his first major hit, the Peter Boyle-starring vigilante feature Joe, becoming a lightning rod with its depiction of a charismatic, violent “everyman” with a lethal hatred of hippies. (The film reportedly inspired the softer-edged bigots in shows like Norman Lear’s All In The Family, and the positive reaction to the character by moviegoers who identified with Joe, instead of being reviled by him, caused Boyle to renounce violent roles.) Avildsen followed Joe with the 1973 morality play Save The Tiger, which earned Jack Lemmon an Academy Award for his depiction ...

»

- William Hughes

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John G. Avildsen, 'Rocky,' 'The Karate Kid' Director, Dead at 81

16 June 2017 6:03 PM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

John G. Avildsen, the Oscar-winning director of Rocky and The Karate Kid, died Friday in Los Angeles following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

Avildsen’s son Anthony confirmed the filmmaker's death to the Los Angeles Times, adding that Avildsen died at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Avildsen won the Academy Award for Best Picture for his work on 1976's Rocky. Like the titular boxer played by Sylvester Stallone, the film was an underdog itself: Despite a minuscule million-dollar budget, Rocky became the highest-grossing film of 1976, winning three Oscars »

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John G. Avildsen, Oscar-Winning Director of 'Rocky,' Dies at 81

16 June 2017 5:03 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

John G. Avildsen, who won an Academy Award for directing Rocky and helmed the first three original Karate Kid movies, has died. He was 81.

Avildsen died Friday of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his son, Anthony, told the Los Angeles Times.

Avildsen also directed Susan Sarandon and Peter Boyle in the ultimately violent drama Joe (1970); guided Jack Lemmon to the Academy Award for best actor in Save the Tiger (1973) in a story about a businessman having a mid-life crisis; and kept things together on the set of The Formula (1980), which starred »

- Mike Barnes

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John G. Avildsen, Director of ‘Rocky,’ ‘Karate Kid’ Films, Dies at 81

16 June 2017 4:18 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

John G. Avildsen, who won an Oscar for directing the original “Rocky” (1976), starring Sylvester Stallone, and also directed all three of the original “Karate Kid” films, has died in Los Angeles. He was 81.

A rep confirmed his death.

Avildsen also won the DGA Award for directing “Rocky,” which also won Oscars for best picture and film editing and was nominated in multiple other categories.

In 2006 Variety interviewed Avildsen, who said that a film with a boxing story didn’t excite him at first, but he was “moved by the urban character study of Sylvester Stallone’s script.” He held out on directing part two in lieu of another project — a decision that Avildsen said was “one of my greatest mistakes.” He returned to the franchise to direct 1990’s “Rocky V.”

In 1983 he was Oscar nominated again, this time for the documentary short “Traveling Hopefully.”

Avildsen developed a reputation for making movies about losers, »

- Carmel Dagan

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‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘S.W.A.T.,’ ‘Seal Team’: CBS Fall TV Trailers, Ranked and Reviewed

17 May 2017 3:22 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

CBS came into today’s upfronts presentation ready for a splash. Boasting about the biggest new show of the season and with one of TV’s most prized bits of IP in its back pocket, the network looked to turn heads with its slate of fall programming.

With “Star Trek: Discovery” journeying forth to CBS All Access, that left eight other shows to make a notable impression with their trailer debuts. As we’ve done for other networks so far this week, we’ve gathered all the first looks below and ranked them from disastrous to “get this in our eyeballs posthaste.”

“Wisdom of the Crowd”

The show may miraculously find a way to dig itself out of its philosophically murky premise, but boy does this seem like a horribly misguided setup. Billionaire Mogul Jeremy Piven somehow makes sense, but a weekly crime procedural that extols the virtues of a »

- Steve Greene

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‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘S.W.A.T.,’ ‘Seal Team’: CBS Fall TV Trailers, Ranked and Reviewed

17 May 2017 3:22 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

CBS came into today’s upfronts presentation ready for a splash. Boasting about the biggest new show of the season and with one of TV’s most prized bits of IP in its back pocket, the network looked to turn heads with its slate of fall programming.

With “Star Trek: Discovery” journeying forth to CBS All Access, that left eight other shows to make a notable impression with their trailer debuts. As we’ve done for other networks so far this week, we’ve gathered all the first looks below and ranked them from disastrous to “get this in our eyeballs posthaste.”

“Wisdom of the Crowd”

The show may miraculously find a way to dig itself out of its philosophically murky premise, but boy does this seem like a horribly misguided setup. Billionaire Mogul Jeremy Piven somehow makes sense, but a weekly crime procedural that extols the virtues of a »

- Steve Greene

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Electric Boogaloo, the wild untold story of Cannon Films

8 April 2017 1:00 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Director and documentarian Mark Hartley scores both a film history and comedy success with this ‘wild, untold’ account of the 1980s film studio that was both revered and despised by everyone who had contact with it. The ‘cast list’ of interviewees is encyclopedic, everybody has a strong opinion, and some of them don’t need four-letter words to describe their experience!

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

On a double bill with

Machete Maidens Unleashed!

Blu-ray

Umbrella Entertainment (Au, all-region

2014 / Color / 1:77 widescreen / 106 min. / Street Date April 4, 2017 / Available from Umbrella Entertainment / 34.99

Starring: Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus, Al Ruban, Alain Jakubowicz, Albert Pyun, Alex Winter, Allen DeBevoise, Avi Lerner, Barbet Schroeder, Bo Derek, Boaz Davidson, Cassandra Peterson, Catherine Mary Stewart, Charles Matthau, Christopher C. Dewey, Christopher Pearce, Cynthia Hargrave, Dan Wolman, Daniel Loewenthal, David Del Valle, David Paulsen, David Sheehan, David Womark, Diane Franklin, Dolph Lundgren, Edward R. Pressman, »

- Glenn Erickson

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The X-Files: 10 greatest guest performances

25 February 2017 4:28 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Juliette Harrisson Mar 28, 2017

We revisit the 10 most memorable guest performances in The X-Files' long history, from Rhys Darby to Luke Wilson and beyond...

As in our previous features, in this list, we’re celebrating ten of the most effective guest performances in The X-Files over the course of its run – and yes, that includes the 2016 revival series. By ‘guest appearance’ we mean an actor who appeared as a particular character no more than twice over the course of the series (more appearances and it becomes a recurring role). As a result, this list naturally tends towards a celebration of performances during Monster of the Week episodes, since characters taking part in arc plots tend to appear more often. The show has, of course, featured impressive performances from actors in recurring roles as well – but that’s another list for another day!

See related  Luc Besson interview: Valerian, sci-fi, Adele »

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Fantasy Fridays: Scully & Mfr Cast The Universal Monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man, More!)

27 January 2017 10:30 AM, PST | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Welcome back to another edition of Fantasy Fridays, where two real-life best friends get to play studio execs and cast talent for upcoming projects. We sort of take the same tact as the old Wizard Magazine features where we choose our dream picks for coveted roles without necessarily being tied down to realistic options. 

With the case of Universal's upcoming Cinematic Universe of Classic Monsters, we thankfully have a very wide palette to choose from since the studio has already secured some surprisingly high-profile talent. So that actually takes some of the "pie in the sky/fantasy" nature out of our picks, since it seems like they're able to get who ever they want to appear in these films.

So far, we've got The Mummy with stars like Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. Then there's Johnny Depp, who's signed on for The Invisible Man. The sky's the limit for these monster flicks, »

- Mario-Francisco Robles

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The happy list – 30 cultural gems to brighten dark times

15 January 2017 2:15 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Singin’ in the Rain, Carpool Karaoke… In these gloomy days, try the New Review team’s list of guaranteed mood-enhancers

• Tell us your favourite cultural pick-me-ups in the comments below for an alternative list next week

We may have lost Gene Wilder last year, but the sheer joy of his comedy lives on in this endlessly rewatchable treat which he co-wrote with director Mel Brooks. The scene in which Wilder’s Dr Frederick Frankenstein and Peter Boyle’s Monster perform their top-hat-and-tails rendition of Puttin’ on the Ritz is quite simply one of the funniest things I have ever seen, while Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman and Teri Garr are all at the top of their game. Mark Kermode, chief film critic

Continue reading »

- The Observer

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003

16 items from 2017


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