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DVD Playhouse December 2010
America Lost And Found: The Bbs Story (Criterion) Perhaps the best DVD box set released this year, this ultimate cinefile stocking stuffer offered up by Criterion, the Rolls-Royce of home video labels, features seven seminal works from the late ‘60s-early ‘70s that were brought to life by cutting edge producers Bert Schneider, Steve Blauner and director/producer Bob Rafelson, the principals of Bbs Productions. In chronological order: Head (1968) star the Monkees, the manufactured (by Rafelson, et al), American answer to the Beatles who, like it or not, did make an impact on popular culture, particularly in this utterly surreal piece of cinematic anarchy (co-written by Jack Nicholson, who has a cameo), which was largely dismissed upon its initial release, but is now regarded as a counterculture classic. Easy Rider (1969) is arguably regarded as the seminal ‘60s picture, about two hippie drug dealers (director Dennis Hopper »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Literature throughout the decades has often made use of social turmoil and disaster, be it fact or fiction, as a backdrop for dramatic prose. In Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, the backdrop was the American Civil War. In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath, it was the Great Depression. In today’s media, it’s…zombies! The undead have not only raided movie theaters the world ’round, they’ve invaded your local bookstore as well—and not those mindless monstrosities you see shuffling from the self-help section to the adjoining café with a hardcover copy of some spineless, Oprah-sponsored MD tucked under one arm. »
- email@example.com (Michael Compton)
American actor known for his role as Danno in the television series Hawaii Five-o
One actor in his time plays many parts, so it is a mixed blessing for a performer to be forever associated with one role and one catchphrase. James MacArthur, who has died aged 72, was instantly identified with Detective Danny "Danno" Williams in the long-running television series Hawaii Five-o (1968-79), in which he was habitually told "Book 'em, Danno" by his superior officer, Detective Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), after villains had been captured.
From the outset, MacArthur could not escape being reminded that he was the son of celebrated parents. His mother, Helen Hayes, always flagged as "the first lady of the theatre", had a long career on stage, in television and films, winning two Oscars 40 years apart, and his father, Charles MacArthur, co-wrote and co-directed several films with Ben Hecht, one of which, The Scoundrel (1935), won a screenplay Oscar, »
- Ronald Bergan
Chicago – James MacArthur, a stage and screen actor best known for playing the booking agent Danno in the 1960s version of the TV show “Hawaii Five-0,” died on October 28th, 2010, of natural causes. He was 72. HollywoodChicago.com interviewed MacArthur last March at the Hollywood Celebrities and Memorabilia Show.
MacArthur, the adopted son of theater icon Helen Hayes and playwright Charles MacArthur, made his stage debut at age eight in a summer stock production of “The Corn is Green.” He went on to television and the movies in the early 1960s, getting character parts in “Gunsmoke,” “Spencer’s Mountain,” “Swiss Family Robinson” and the Clint Eastwood western “Hang ‘Em High.” It was his role in that film that brought him to the attention of the producers of Hawaii Five-0.
From 1968 to 1979 MacArthur played cop sidekick Danno to Jack Lord’s Steve McGarrett on the Five-0 squad. MacArthur was not very complimentary »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Every month there's a slew of movies released directly to DVD, and rather than let them pass harmlessly under the radar, we're compiling them here in easy to digest capsule reviews. If you're looking for a nice flick to get you through the weekend, then this is the list for you. So sit back, and take a gander at some of the notable independent and direct-to-dvd releases of September.
Doc West is a made-for-tv Western with one immediate advantage over many of the cheap dollar store direct-to-dvd western flicks that come out nowadays: it has enough of a budget to keep things consistent. There are no blatant anachronisms or costume defects that take you out of the feature with a sudden, “Is that guy wearing a Phillies shirt under his vest?” The story is simple and sees Doc West in pursuit of some bandits who stole his money, »
- JPP Staff
The current losses that the film industry has had to endure, it got me thinking about those actors, lost so long ago, whose spirit and influence can still be felt. Most notably for me is James Dean. Today marks the 55th anniversary of his sudden and tragic death in a horrific car accident along a California highway.
James Dean only made three movies in his short lived career but what he lacked in quantity he more than made up for in quality. He was the rebel, the loner, the awkward fellow who seemed uncomfortable in his own skin and who seemed to want to just shrink into himself, but his presence was bigger than the screen his movies appeared on.
- Tracy Ladd
The award is named after author John Steinbeck (1902-1968) – famous for The Grapes of Wrath among other works, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 – and is “given to writers and artists whose work captures the spirit of Steinbeck’s empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of people who by circumstance are pushed to the fringes.”
In the announcement posted on Moore’s website, Steinbeck’s son, Thomas Steinbeck, said “Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time.”
Read more »
DVD Playhouse September 2010
The Girl Who Played With Fire (Music Box Films) Follow up to the hit The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo finds Lisabeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) joining forces once again as Blomkvist is about to break a story on Sweden’s sex trade, which leads unexpectedly to a dark secret from Elizabeth’s past. Starts off well, then quickly nose-dives into sensationalism and downright silliness, with a pair of villains who are straight out of a Roger Moore-era James Bond film. A real letdown for those of us who felt Dragon Tattoo had finally breathed life into the cinema’s long-stagnant genre of the thriller. Bonuses: English language track; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby 5.1 surround.
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Chicago – The Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show is back in Chicago this weekend, September 25th and 26th, and the last time it came around some popular TV stars of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s participated. Dawn Wells, Willie Aames, James MacArthur and Ken Kercheval were there.
HollywoodChicago talked with them all, and Hc ace photographer Joe Arce put the finishing touch on the interviews with his vivid shots.
The Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show is a biannual event where attendees can meet and greet the stars, collect autographs and find cool collectibles at the comprehensive memorabilia market. Click here for details about the show.
Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island
The most famous castaways in television history were only on the air in their original run for three short seasons, 1964-1967, on CBS. But in an explosion of syndicated popularity “Gilligan’s Island” in essence has never left the airwaves. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The family of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men) and the Center for Steinbeck Studies will give this year's John Steinbeck "In the Souls of the People" Award to documentary filmmaker and political gadfly Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine). Past recipients include Arthur Miller, Bruce Springsteen, John Sayles, Garrison Keillor, Joan Baez and Sean Penn. Thomas Steinbeck, who will present the award to Moore next month at a public ceremony at San Jose State University, stated: Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time. Moore responded: I am truly grateful to the »
HollywoodNews.com: Here’s a rundown of what’s clicking at the Venice Film Festival as potential award season contenders.
Most critics and bloggers are intrigued by this film. Variety’s Justin Chang pointedly exclaims on Twitter: “In the battle of opening-night films: Venice 1, Cannes 0.”
Guy Lodge who is covering the festival for In Contention gives his guess for “Swan’s” odds:
Anne Thompson and I agreed at lunch today that the film has its work cut out for it in the top races — wild psychodrama not being the Academy’s strong point, particularly if critical opinion turns out to be split — and the extent to which voters (and audiences) warm to her vehicle will be a determining factor for Portman, given how deep the Best Actress field already looks.
Meek’s Cutoff directed by Kelly Reichardt
Guy Lodge is very excited about »
President Obama knows there’s nothing more important than his daughters’ education, which is why he dropped more than $100 on a mixture of pleasure reads and school-required reading for Sasha and Malia while on vacation!
Barack Obama is Not teaching his daughters to live by the motto all play and no work — even on vacation! Our president made sure his daughters, Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, stocked up on reading material for their week-long vacation on the gorgeous island of Martha’s Vineyard!
Leroy, a sales clerk at the boutique bookstore Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven, Mass., tells HollywoodLife.com that the Prez dropped $128.06 on books for his girls! What did he buy? Check out his purchases Here!
4. The Land of Elyon by Patrick Carman
What a good dad!
Laura Schreffler »
- Laura Schreffler
Veteran publicists will tell you, all press is good press. My hope is that when Summit Ent. does decide to release The Beaver that the certain distractions don't overshadow someone's official breakout party. Kyle Killen was probably an anonymous scribe looking to get his foot in the door, and in late 2008, that door was ripped from its hinges. Killen's script about a man and his puppet hand was at the top the celebrated Black List of most liked unproduced screenplays. The script's timeline would see A-listers Steve Carell and Jim Carrey attached to star and when Jodie Foster put Mel Gibson in driver's seat, the film was fast tracked and Summit came on board during production (not after). A USC Cinema Television Program grad who comes from a writing background, Killen received picked up the 2003 John Steinbeck Award For The Short Story and was working on his first novel, but »
Sooner or later, all great men take a road trip across America. John Steinbeck. Lewis & Clark. The dudes in Easy Rider. Forrest Gump. And now, the Last Son of Krypton. Today, the 700th issue of Superman hits stores, beginning a year-long storyline called “Grounded,” in which the superhero will walk from sea to shining sea. But wait, there’s a meta-twist! According to DC’s website, Superman might visit your town. All you have to do is write an essay “describing why Superman should visit.” I assume he’ll only do so in the comic book and not in real life, »
- Darren Franich
By the time he was nominated for Best Actor in Elia Kazan's adaptation of the second half of John Steinbeck's novel, James Dean was dead and buried. This was the only one of his starring vehicles to be released while he was alive. Reportedly Steinbeck felt the movie was as good or better than the book. Great use of early CinemaScope. »
Kristen Stewart has already starred in the "Twilight" series, so why not another famous American written work?
The young actress has landed a role in "On the Road," an adaptation of Jack Kerouac's classic novel based on his life, reports USA Today.
"I am very much attached to a movie that has been trying to get made forever," she told the paper. "Not that this is going to help it, but maybe I can just brag a little bit. I am super excited about it, too. I am about to play Marylou in 'On the Road.' So that's a big deal."
Our K-Stew may only be 20, but she's very erudite and well read. Her favorite books are John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" and Albert Camus' "The Stranger." We're sure "Breaking Dawn" is at No. 3 ... or at least in the Top 10.
Lots of big-name filmmakers have tried »
No 86 James Dean (1931-1955)
James Byron Dean was born in the midwestern state of Indiana, less than a year after another fair-haired, blue-eyed, 5ft 8in working-class boy from the same state, Steve McQueen. Both had troubled childhoods, drove fast cars recklessly, and developed Hollywood reputations as kings of cool. When Dean was five, his father, a dental technician, took the family to California. When he was nine his mother died, and he was raised by an aunt back in Indiana and didn't return to California until after graduating from high school. He dropped out of college to act in 1950 and there followed one of the shortest, most dramatic careers of any American actor.
In 1951 he made four uncredited walk-on appearances in Hollywood pictures: as a GI in Samuel Fuller's Korean War movie Fixed Bayonets!; playing a second at a boxing match in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis naval »
- Philip French
From her love of pie to a stolen hamburger, here are 20 things you might not know about the 'Twilight' star.
Photo: Todd Williamson/WireImage
Happy Birthday, Kristen Stewart! That's right, on Friday (April 9), everyone's favorite "Twilight" and "Runaways" star turned 20, and we're sure somewhere in the world, she's enjoying some cake and ice cream.
But what do you get for the girl who has everything? A 20-point tribute, of course! With that in mind, here are 20 things (we're pretty sure) you don't know about Kristen Stewart:
Kristen Stewart's 20 Best Looks
Pie in the Sky: Everybody knows that Kristen and Nikki Reed are totally BFFs. But did you know that the two of them kicked off their friendship over a shared love of ... pie? "Neither of us are the type of girls that meet each other and want to do our fingernails and »
Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life could be on Palme d'Or shortlist, raising speculation that the reclusive director may attend Cannes in person
Cannes' red carpet could play host to the most reclusive figure in world cinema if Terrence Malick is confirmed as a contender for this year's Palme d'Or award. Speculation is growing that Malick's latest feature, The Tree of Life, will be selected for the competition at the 63rd Cannes film festival, raising the prospect of the director attending the May event in person.
Malick has shot just four features since making his debut with the acclaimed Badlands back in 1973, and makes a habit of refusing all interview requests. Contenders for the Cannes Palme d'Or are typically expected to attend the red-carpet premiere of their film, as well as fielding questions at a press conference following the screening.
True to form, plot details of Malick's latest work remain shrouded in secrecy. »
- Xan Brooks
· Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh, duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh... To the digitized loop of "Peter Gunn" comes word that the classic '80s video game Spy Hunter is set to be developed as a feature at Warner Bros. This comes after years of development stops and starts at Universal (where else?). Presumably Hunter will go 3D like all the studio's tentpoles, thus reinventing the deadly smoke-screen weapon for a new generation and, in all likelihood, getting the high-revving thriller banned in Malaysia. [Variety]
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