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Review: ‘The Longest Game’ Uses Sport to Tell Full-Bodied Life Stories

When director Camille Thoman calls the octogenarians at the center of her documentary The Longest Game charming, she’s describing their initial, surface appeal. At a time when everyone’s aging parents and grandparents are proving how out of touch with the twenty-first century they are in politics, biases, and entitlement, these old friends still playing platform tennis every day after decades of competition on their Dorset, Vermont home’s courts reveal the opposite. Beyond their infectious personalities and razor-sharp sarcasm is a sense of melancholic evolution. They’ve somehow found the ability to look back and see their mistakes alongside what truly matters. In retirement they’ve discovered a new philosophy to engage the world with compassion, understanding through experience the errors of a selfish, chauvinistic lifestyle that harbors regret in hindsight.

We notice this through their own words and those of spouses reminiscing how it used to be.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Few Top Oscar Contenders on Academy's 2016 Best Song Longlist

Best Song Oscar 2016 contender 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. 74 entries in contention for 2016 Best Song Academy Award 'Tis the season for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to announce the semi-finalists – in some instances, the semi-semi-finalists – for the Academy Awards. Today, the Academy released the list of songs eligible for the 2016 Best Song – or rather, Best Original Song – Oscar. There are 74 contenders, with titles ranging from “Happy” and “I'll See You in My Dreams” to “Hypnosis” and “Bhoomiyilenghanumundo.” Curiously, apart from the inevitable animated and/or kiddie flicks (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Anomalisa, Pan, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Home, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water, etc.) most of this year's contenders are songs from smaller movies and Bollywood/South Asian releases. Exceptions include Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey, Ryan Coogler's Creed, Kenneth Branagh's
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘A Night at the Opera’ at 80: An Experiment in Compromise

By 1935, the Marx Brothers already had five movies to add to their already extensive Broadway and Vaudeville resume, among them the legendary Duck Soup and the near-classics Animal Crackers and Monkey Business. As we’ve often seen, however, some of our most beloved Hollywood favorites flopped upon first release. 1933’s Duck Soup, specifically, was the last of a five-picture deal the Brothers had at Paramount, and its commercial failure would spell a parting of the ways between the studio and the iconic comedy team.

Enter Irving G. Thalberg, the wunderkind who helped build MGM into a powerhouse. Perhaps best known today for the namesake honor given to producers at each year’s Academy Awards, Thalberg left an indelible mark on Hollywood before his untimely death in 1937 at the age of 36. In addition to launching such innovations as the first production code and the use of audience response questionnaires to hone
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Marx Bros. Wreak Havoc on TCM Today

Groucho Marx in 'Duck Soup.' Groucho Marx movies: 'Duck Soup,' 'The Story of Mankind' and romancing Margaret Dumont on TCM Grouch Marx, the bespectacled, (painted) mustached, cigar-chomping Marx brother, is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 14, '15. Marx Brothers fans will be delighted, as TCM is presenting no less than 11 of their comedies, in addition to a brotherly reunion in the 1957 all-star fantasy The Story of Mankind. Non-Marx Brothers fans should be delighted as well – as long as they're fans of Kay Francis, Thelma Todd, Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Allan Jones, affectionate, long-tongued giraffes, and/or that great, scene-stealing dowager, Margaret Dumont. Right now, TCM is showing Robert Florey and Joseph Santley's The Cocoanuts (1929), an early talkie notable as the first movie featuring the four Marx BrothersGroucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo. Based on their hit Broadway
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar Winner Went All the Way from Wyler to Coppola in Film Career Spanning Half a Century

Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper.[1] Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Here's Rosa Parks as a Contestant on 'To Tell the Truth'

  • Hitfix
Here's Rosa Parks as a Contestant on 'To Tell the Truth'
It's rare that you see the cast of the old game show "To Tell the Truth" awed by any particular contestant, but in a 1980 iteration of the series, all four panelists looked dazzled and flabbergasted by the presence of Rosa Parks. The civil rights pioneer appeared with two impostors and attempted to stump the panel. The whole clip is great, but Nipsey Russell's words about Parks are just spectacular. Kitty Carlisle is looking pretty divine herself. 
See full article at Hitfix »

'To Tell The Truth' is Coming Back: 5 Classic Liar Clips

  • Hitfix
'To Tell The Truth' is Coming Back: 5 Classic Liar Clips
"To Tell the Truth," one of the greatest television game shows with a timeless conceit, is purportedly coming back to air. Fremantle is heading up a new primetime version of the series that puts "an update of the familiar format with a surprising new twist that adds action and suspense and raises the stakes." I'm all for it! "To Tell the Truth" is -- with the possible exception of "What's My Line?" -- the best panel game in TV history: Four celebrities interrogate three contestants who all claim to be the same person, and then the celebrities vote on which candidate is telling the truth. It's the show that's most responsible for putting Kitty Carlisle and Peggy Cass into our cultural lexicon, and it's what Eminem is referencing when he famously asked, "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" Gordon Elliott and Alex Trebek hosted an early '90s version,
See full article at Hitfix »

'Six by Sondheim': Darren Criss, America Ferrera give fresh voice to Stephen Sondheim classics

"Gypsy." "A Little Night Music." "Sweeney Todd." "Follies." "Company."

Stephen Sondheim's credits -- and that's a sampling -- are staggering. He's won eight Tony Awards, more than any other composer and lyricist. And though he has been an incredible force since he burst on the scene with his first Broadway project, "West Side Story," Sondheim, 83, is reserved about himself.

HBO's "Six by Sondheim" on Monday, Dec. 9, though, manages to paint an intimate portrait of the man, examining his career through six signature songs.

In one of very few interviews granted for this project, Sondheim tells Zap2it that though he had seen a few edits of this film, he doesn't like to watch himself.

"I am embarrassed to see myself," Sondheim says. "I have seen myself on-screen quite a lot."

This features wonderful footage of Sondheim, including photos from his youth, being mentored by family friend Oscar Hammerstein, and
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Henreid Tonight: From the Afterlife to the Apocalypse

Paul Henreid: From Eleanor Parker to ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ (photo: Paul Henreid and Eleanor Parker in ‘Between Two Worlds’) Paul Henreid returns this evening, as Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013. In Of Human Bondage (1946), he stars in the old Leslie Howard role: a clubfooted medical student who falls for a ruthless waitress (Eleanor Parker, in the old Bette Davis role). Next on TCM, Henreid and Eleanor Parker are reunited in Between Two Worlds (1944), in which passengers aboard an ocean liner wonder where they are and where the hell (or heaven or purgatory) they’re going. Hollywood Canteen (1944) is a near-plotless, all-star showcase for Warner Bros.’ talent, a World War II morale-boosting follow-up to that studio’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, released the previous year. Last of the Buccaneers (1950) and Pirates of Tripoli (1955) are B pirate movies. The former is an uninspired affair,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The 25 Greatest Game Shows Ever, In Honor Of The Daytime Emmys

Big bucks, expensive vowels, and a million cackling Whammies.

The Daytime Emmys are this Sunday, and for the first time ever, there’s a gay nominee for Best Game Show Host — the marvelous and frightfully funny Billy Eichner. Wahoo! To celebrate, let’s rank the 25 best game shows of all time. Get out your purse and prepare to buy some vowels, gents.

25. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?: Sorry Double Dare, but Carmen Sandiego is the greatest kids’ game ever. It made geography cool while highlighting the glamorous felonies of a femme fatale. I wish more TV shows concluded with the entire cast yelling in unison, “Do it, Rockapella!”

24. Let’s Make a Deal: Carol Merrill and Monty Hall could woo you into anything. Though if you’re already wearing a chicken outfit, you probably don’t need much coercing.

23. Sale of the Century: Jim Perry
See full article at The Backlot »

This Month TCM Pays Homage to Beautiful, Talented, and Unjustly Forgotten Oscar Nominee

Eleanor Parker Now on TCM Palms Springs area resident Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 next June 26, is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June. One of the best actresses of Hollywood’s studio era, Parker isn’t nearly as well-remembered today as she should be despite three Best Actress Academy Award nominations (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955), a number of box-office and/or critical hits, and a key role in one of the biggest blockbusters of all time (The Sound of Music). Hopefully, the 34 Eleanor Parker movies TCM will be showing each Monday this month — beginning tonight — will help to introduce the actress to a broader 21st-century audience. Eleanor Parker movies "When I am spotted somewhere it means that my characterizations haven’t covered up Eleanor Parker the person. I prefer it the other way around," Parker once said. In fact, the title of Doug McClelland’s 1989 Eleanor Parker bio,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Radio Days' 25th Anniversary: 25 Things You Didn't Know About Woody Allen's Nostalgic Classic

With "Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen's comic look at nostalgia and its limitations, having earned four Oscar nominations last week (including nods for Best Picture, Allen's direction and his original screenplay), it's a good time to take a look back at Allen's 1987 comedy "Radio Days." Another comic take on nostalgia, "Radio Days" is now officially a golden oldie itself, having been released exactly 25 years ago, on January 30, 1987. A fond look, filtered through memory, of a 1940s New York childhood, the radio broadcasts that captivated audiences back then, and the behind-the-scenes gossip about the performers who voiced them, "Radio Days" may be best known today for launching the career of Seth Green -- then a 12-year-old who played the Allen-like narrator as a boy. But there's also a wealth of little-known true stories behind the film, some of them from Allen's own life, some from classic radio lore, and some
See full article at Moviefone »

365 Days, 100 Films #88 - A Night at the Opera (1935)

A Night at the Opera, 1935.

Directed by Sam Wood.

Starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont and Sig Ruman.

Synopsis:

The Marx Brothers make fools of high society’s opera lovers, and try to help their two friends-in-love along the way.

Groucho always gets the most ridiculously stately names. Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding from Animal Crackers, for example, or Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff from Horse Feathers. Mr Otis B. Driftwood is his character in A Night at the Opera. He’s still Groucho, though. He’s always Groucho.

Groucho acts as an advisor of sorts to Mrs Claypool (Margaret Dumont, of course). She’s trying to break into high society and solicits Groucho’s help. Why, we have no idea. This is a Marx Brothers film. Logic and rationality are the enemies.

He chooses the opera as their way up society’s ladder, encouraging
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Alan Zweibel: A Tooth, Some Turkey And A Cat Named Livingston

  • Aol TV.
Last Friday I threw my back out when I bent over to pick up my tooth.

I think that sentence bears repeating.

I threw my back out when I bent over to pick up my tooth.

No, this piece is not about the horrors of the advancing age or eroding health this event implies. I'll leave it to others to share tales of how their bodies, despite all dietary and aerobic regiments, are grinding to an inevitable halt. All I know is that while I was down there on our kitchen floor, now eye level with the $3,000 implant that decided it would rather spend time against the molding under the pantry door than embedded in the upper left quadrant of my mouth, the first thought that entered my mind was that I'll just get up and continue with my day. I had a lot to do. There was a script I had to finish.
See full article at Aol TV. »

An Exciting New Addition To Our Coverage On Scottfeinberg.Com

Dear Readers:

My first love will always be the movies… but I’m also very passionate about television — past and present, popular and obscure, highbrow and lowbrow, etc.

I minored in film studies at college, but I also took classes on television, its history, and its cultural impact, all of which I loved, and I’ve continued to independently study those subjects in the years since.

When I operated AndTheWinnerIs.blog.com, the previous incarnation of my current Web site, I wrote numerous long-form posts about television (analyzing the roots of America’s fascination with “24,” the implications of America’s obsession with “American Idol,” etc.).

For that blog, and/or my former Los Angeles Times blog, and/or my current blog, and/or a book project that I have been researching for several years, I have extensively interviewed loads of people who are largely — and, in some cases, exclusively — associated
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Alison Arngrim Interview: Nasty Nellie on ‘Little House on the Prairie’

Chicago – For every nice girl on the prairie, there needed to be an evil opposite who wasn’t so nice. Nellie Oleson was that nasty girl on the NBC-tv legend “Little House on the Prairie, and Alison Arngrim portrayed her. She has parlayed that long ago child actor part into a stand-up routine and new memoir about her experiences.

From 1974-1981, Alison Arngrim was the girl TV audiences loved to hate. After years of shunning her former nasty image, Arngrim’s new book is called “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated.” The memoir is a mix of light hearted humor about her former TV persona and personal tragedy about desperate real-life family secrets.

Alison Arngrim for ‘Confessions of a Prairie Bitch,’ in Chicago on September 9th, 2010

Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

HolllywoodChicago.com, your Little House on the Prairie Headquarters,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Rating the 5 Most Shocking Emmy Reactions from Inside the Auditorium

The intrepid L.A. bureau of Movieline -- meaning Kyle Buchanan and yours truly -- attended the fancy Emmy show last night, and even liveblogged it. We were excited for a night of high-falutin' good times and glamour (which is why I dressed like Kitty Carlisle), but the actual show was somehow better than expected, and it's mostly because of five craycray Emmy moments that had the audience gasping, hacking, and stabbing strangers.
See full article at Movieline - TVline »

Broadway Star Kitty Carlisle Hart Dead at 96

  • WENN
Broadway theatres dimmed their lights last night to honor revered stage and screen star Kitty Carlisle Hart, who died on Tuesday after a long battle with pneumonia. The 96-year-old actress, who was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and attended a private school in Switzerland, began her career as an opera star before becoming a Hollywood singer. She made her mark in the movies when she appeared with The Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera. Other films followed, including Here Is My Heart, Murder At The Vanities, Larceny With Music and Woody Allen's Radio Days. But Hart was perhaps best known for her Broadway successes in the mid-1930s. She appeared in operettas like White Horse Inn and Three Waltzes and the American premiere of Benjamin Britton's The Rape of Lucretia. She met writer and director Moss Hart in 1946 and later married him. The couple was married until the songwriter's death in 1961. On TV, Hart became a beloved regular panelist on US game shows To Tell the Truth and What's My Line.

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