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From 'Pee-wee’s Playhouse' to...prison?!
Aww! Look at that face! You know that face, right?
This actress stars on one of the hottest shows of the year — both hot in terms of ratings and critical love and hot in terms of lots of sex. Looots of sex — and earned an Emmy nomination this year for her work on said show.
But 28 years ago she booked her first acting gig on Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Natasha Lyonne, who plays Nicky on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and was nominated in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy category (she ultimately lost to “Crazy Eyes” aka Uzo Aduba). And now she’s (maybe) dating Fred Armisen too.
But back in 1986, Natasha played Opal in six episodes of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Today, Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series is released as an 8-disc box set with all 45 episodes and Pee-wee’s Christmas Special, and ETonline »
A few months ago we dug up footage of "Weird Al" Yankovic on a celebrity edition of "Wheel of Fortune" with Little Richard and James Brown. It might be the greatest clip on the internet. Just be aware of that. Weird Al joined Seth Meyers last night for a brief chat, and to my shock and amazement he discussed playing "Wheel of Fortune" with James Brown. Um, all I can say is that the backstage story of the game was just as entertaining as the onscreen version. Try Not To Die when Weird Al unveils the final moment of his time with James. Try not to effing die. I am crying into my hands and emitting a high-pitched scream that sounds a lot like the "Bankrupt" siren. And for historical value, check out the event itself. My reaction is best reflected in this puzzle, a phrase: WH_T TH_ F_CK? »
- Louis Virtel
Nearly three weeks after the launch night, the live shows are finally upon us. Six celebrities danced on Friday and nine on Saturday there was no public vote or elimination, but the judges scores are carried over to next week. Who was your early favourite?
So thats it! Ill be back next Saturday for what will inevitably be a ridiculously long show, so stock up on booze and Kendal mint cake. Thank you to everyone for joining in with your brilliant comments, please come and say hello on Twitter at @heidistephens, particularly if youre a newbie.
Have a great week, and Ill see you next Saturday! Keeeeeep dancing! Hx
So after week 1, Frankie and Kevin are at the top of the leaderboard, with Scott and Joanne at the bottom. I may have got over my outrage about this by next week, but unlikely.
First interminable recap »
- Heidi Stephens
Strictly Come Dancing has unveiled the first song and dance list of the series.
The celebrities will take to the floor for the first live show this weekend, and we now know what songs they'll be performing to - and, more importantly, which dances they'll be attempting.
Read on for the full list of songs and dances you can expect on Friday and Saturday:
"Jimi: All Is by my Side" will open in select theaters this Friday, September 26th. A little over a decade ago, VH1 premiered one of its many mediocre television biopics, "Hendrix." Playing well against type, Wood Harris starred as the iconic guitarist, alongside Vivica A. Fox (as girlfriend/groupie Faye Pridgeon), and Billy Zane. A general overview of Hendrix’s life, the film chronicled his time playing with black artists like Little Richard, his period as a recording artist in London, his breakthrough performance at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and his untimely death at the age of 27. It had all the hallmarks of most rock ‘n roll biopics: the »
- Zeba Blay
Michael has joined Nathaniel on weekend review duties so you get two. Here he is on Get On Up...
The opening scenes of Get On Up are so loose and dynamic they give the viewer reason to hope that Tate Taylor’s take on James Brown’s life story sidestepped the pitfalls that trap so many musical biopics. The film shuffles back and forth through Brown’s life with such breathless energy it’s as if the screenplay itself is possessed by the spirit of Soul Brother No. 1. It’s exhilarating, but the thrill dissipates quickly when it becomes clear that underneath the exploded chronology and the surface razzmatazz, Taylor’s film is operating from the same old biopic playbook. It turns out Get On Up is as square as the squarest prestige Oscar grab, right down to the dumb trope of pinning all of the star’s self-destructive behavior to a childhood trauma. »
- Michael C.
When it comes to recreating the world of iconic ’60/’70s chart toppers, Sharen Davis has become the go-to guru of sartorial splendor, especially when it comes to outfits that pop on stage.
For “Dreamgirls,” the musical inspired by the mercurial rise of the Supremes, and “Ray,” the cradle-to-the-grave biopic about bluesman Ray Charles, Davis’ costumes ranged from fanciful to picture-perfect accuracy. But for the James Brown movie “Get On Up,” her approach landed somewhere in between.
“On ‘Ray,’ even though it was the same time period, I kind of really stayed correct with him,” explains the two-time Oscar-nominee who reteamed with “The Help” director Tate Taylor on the Brown biopic. “But, for ‘Get On Up,’ the script is so wildly non-linear, I told Tate, ‘I think I need to take a few liberties when he’s not on stage.”
Even in performance, she spruced up Brown’s duds, altering the »
- Steve Chagollan
What’s most intriguing about the cinematic treatment of Brown’s life – both on- and off-screen – is that so much of it took place in front of a camera. In fact, Elvis Presley aside, it’s hard to think of a more physical performer that spent so much time being captured on film in the early days of the rock n’ roll/rhythm and blues era.
Brown’s popularity rose and sustained itself for so long that it’s often easy to forget that while he was a fixture well into his more funk-driven days of the 1970s alongside the likes of George Clinton, he got his start as a contemporary of Little Richard.
By time 1964 rolled around and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones »
- Shane McNeil
Get On Up does two things magnificently well, and they’re related: It conveys the batshit craziness of both James Brown and Little Richard, which is quite a feat and aided in no small part from Chadwick Boseman as Brown and Brandon Mychal Smith as Richard. The two give performances so captivating that it’s worth seeing […]
The post Movie Review: ‘Get On Up’ appeared first on The Flickcast. »
- Nat Almirall
Although usually the domain of pre-Oscar, end of the year holiday season, the feature film biography, or “bio-pic”, will occasionally pop up amongst the big Summer blockbusters. A little over a year ago it was 42, the story of Jackie Robinson. Its late Spring release might also be seen as a response to 2011′s surprise Summer smash The Help which also explored American race relations, but used fictional characters. This weekend sees the release of Get On Up, the biopic of music superstar James Brown. And while most of Get takes place a decade after Robinson’s barrier-breaking entry into then all-white major league baseball, Brown shattered some similar barriers and became one of the first major black entertainers that captured fans of all races. And, wouldn’t you know it, the talented young actor who played Jackie Robinson last year, Chadwick Boseman, trades in his cleats for florescent platforms in »
- Jim Batts
Chadwick Boseman does not look likes James Brown. He did not look like Jackie Robinson either before playing #42 in last year’s hit about the barrier-shattering athlete, but Boseman’s magnetism and charm made up for the actor’s leanness and lack of cosmetic similarity. Now, the young actor has mastered another legendary man of the 20th century, the groovy funkster whose howl on “I Got You (I Feel Good)” is still one of the most exhilarating moments in popular music.
As James Brown in Get On Up, Boseman wears a heavy jaw of make-up on his face, which could have been more distracting had the actor not nailed the slurred speech, the electric rasp, and the dazzling dancing feet of the pop music icon. It’s an performance that is as impressive as Jamie Foxx’s show-stopping turn as Ray Charles ten years ago. (Like Foxx, though, Boseman does »
- Jordan Adler
Editor's note: "Jimi: All Is by my Side" screened on Thursday, June 12, at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and will screen again tomorrow, Tuesday, June 17th, at 1:10pm Pst, at Regal Cinema L.A. Live - Theater 9. Here's our review of the feature film... A little over a decade ago, VH1 premiered one of its many mediocre television biopics, "Hendrix." Playing well against type, Wood Harris starred as the iconic guitarist, alongside Vivica A. Fox (as girlfriend/groupie Faye Pridgeon), and Billy Zane. A general overview of Hendrix’s life, the film chronicled his time playing with black artists like Little Richard, his period as a recording artist in London, his »
- Zeba Blay
I suppose I can blame this week’s Exploitation Alley on my best friend (and wife of Icons’ editor Jerry) for sending me a picture of a very shirtless, and very hot Michael Jai White as Black Dynamite. For some reason, ok…for many reasons I thought of the 1974 Blaxploitation classic Three The Hard Way. This film has everything our little Blaxploitation loving hearts desire. It stars Jim Kelly, Jim Brown, and Fred Williamson, has quite a few groovy tunes, explosions that appear out of nowhere, and an interesting sound effect that kind of just happens throughout the movie. It almost sounds like a really intense, yet very sad drop of water. Why? I have no idea. But weird drop of water sound effect aside, Three The Hard Way is one hell of a great film, cheese and all.
The film starts off pretty action packed, and thankfully remains that »
✒ Last week's farewell party, or in effect funeral service, for the Press Complaints Commission offered a sad contrast with the Pcc in its pomp. Lord Hunt, one of several sometime chairmen and directors attending, wandered around with a tray of canapes as if looking for a new, humbler role. Solemn speeches were ill-advisedly backdropped by a slideshow rich in Pcc party snaps, including one of a former bigwig playing Santa Claus. All a far cry from the body's glitzy apotheosis, its 10th birthday party in 2001, when guests swigged champagne amidst display cases of jewellery at Somerset House and mingled with Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince An drew, Prince William and, for some reason, Donatella Versace. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be regulating was very heaven.
✒It dragged on far into the night. Several of the participants rambled on embarrassingly or said stupid things. Almost everyone was drunk or acted drunk. »
For a kickass tribute to the musical legacy of James Brown, please enjoy the new trailer for "Get On Up," the upcoming James Brown biopic. But for a more unbelievable, eye-popping memory of James Brown, please watch him buy vowels and avoid Bankrupt alongside Little Richard, Weird Al Yankovic, and Lee Greenwood on "Wheel of Fortune." It is unreal. It is also 1994, so enjoy extras like a pregnant Vanna and the old, sexy, saxophoney "Wheel" theme. A number of observations: 1) That is a puffy outfit, James. 2) That is a neckerchief, James? 3) At one point James calls for a "T" not 20 seconds after Weird Al calls for a "T," and Pat Sajak's disappointment is evident. 4) Listen to how the words "Blues singer Billie Holiday" tumble out of James' mouth. Unbelievable. 5) Little Richard is the greatest Jackee character ever. »
- Louis Virtel
Northwest Film Center
1219 Sw Park Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97205
Hosted by: Northwest Film Center
Portland-based underground filmmaker Bob Moricz will be in attendance at the Northwest Film Center to present a selection of his short films and excerpts from his features spanning his prolific career from 1991 to 2012.
Although Moricz has been making films his entire life, he kicked into high gear after participating in classes taught by the legendary George Kuchar at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Moricz brazenly employs the Kuchar aesthetic of shooting his films dirty and cheap, focusing his attention on melodramatic, sleazy and degenerate behavior. His work also embraces and celebrates his lo-fi filmmaking techniques, blurring the lines between the end product with the processes of their making.
Also, in recent years, Moricz has become an increasingly integral part of the Portland indie film scene, having taken over the Portland Underground Film Festival »
- Mike Everleth
A little over a decade ago, VH1 premiered one of its many mediocre television biopics, Hendrix. Playing well against type, Wood Harris starred as the iconic guitarist, alongside Vivica A. Fox (as girlfriend/groupie Faye Pridgeon), and Billy Zane. A general overview of Hendrix’s life, the film chronicled his time playing with black artists like Little Richard, his period as a recording artist in London, his breakthrough performance at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and his untimely death at the age of 27. It had all the hallmarks of most rock ‘n roll biopics: the tough childhood, the discovery of genius, the hit single, the hard partying, the groupies, the hangers-on, the drug »
- Zeba Blay
In the vast world of music there have been so many bands and artists who have shaped the landscape. From The Beatles to James Brown to the White Stripes, so many bands and their work have all left a legacy on the art form; breaking barriers and bringing issues to the forefront, making music one of the most argued, debated, and analysed forms of expression.
While the importance of many musical artists often spans an entire career, there are albums that have been game-changers in one fell swoop. They’ve either introduced a new sound, popularized a musical movement previously overlooked by the masses, or have brought disparate demographics together. A single album can innovate or inspire an era of music. Sometimes the effect is instantaneous and impossible to ignore or is the first step in an evolution in sound. Here is a list of 15 albums that had a long lasting effect on music, »
- Mickey Galie
...and I was in first grade. Ed Sullivan was presenting "these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles" on his American variety television program. My mother, father, younger brother David, and I were huddled around our RCA black and white TV set, just as 73 million other Americans were around theirs! My dad was annoyed that this much attention and hype was being flung at "a bunch kids that needed haircuts!" I didn't care, it was The Beatles! They'd taken the radio by storm with "She Loves You" and now it was time to see them live on TV. And it was electrifying! The audience was going crazy -- girls and boys screaming. They played "All My Loving" and "Till There Was You" and "She Loves You" and "I Saw Her Standing There" and it would usher in a change in the pop music landscape that still reverberates today.
- Dusty Wright
The Sixties, Tom Hanks' ten-part documentary series on CNN, is slated to start this May. But last night saw the debut of "The British Invasion" episode, presumably to capitalize on the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The hour kicked off with the Beatles arriving in the States, and as familiar as that story is, we'd pay to see a documentary just on that week: every moment is golden, from the interviews with hysterical fans to the Elvis impersonation by Ringo Starr. Then, armed »
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