Review: "Innocent Blood" (1992) Directed By John Landis; Starring Anne Parillaud And Anthony Lagpaglia; Warner Archive Blu-ray

  • CinemaRetro
By Fred Blosser

The Warner Archive Collection has released John Landis’ “Innocent Blood” (1992) in a new, remastered Blu-ray edition. The Blu-ray incorporates two minutes of footage that appeared in overseas prints but were not included in previous U.S. releases. The film opens with a montage of the Pittsburgh skyline after dark, scored with Jackie Wilson’s lush 1960 ballad, “Night.” French vampire Marie (Anne Parillaud, in a lengthy nude scene) sits alone in her hotel room, deliberating on where to find her next sanguinary meal. She opens a newspaper to an article about a local Mafia crew headed by Sal “The Shark” Macelli and smiles: “I thought -- what about Italian?” She allows herself to be picked up by one of Sal’s henchmen, Tony (Chazz Palminteri), whose CD player is loaded with Sinatra discs. Just as Tony thinks she’s going to have sex with him, she chomps into
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Go, Johnny, Go

A rock n’ roll time capsule and quintessential teenagers-in-love movie circa 1959. Two jukebox icons, guitar genius Chuck Berry and top dog DJ Alan Freed introduce the story of “Johnny Melody”, a former choir boy (!) who finds the road to rock and roll stardom fraught with peril. Along with the typical teen angst the movie is bolstered by performances from the era’s great rockers including Jackie Wilson, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran and of course Berry himself.
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Go, Johnny, Go! Starring Chuck Berry Screening at Schlafly Bottleworks May 3rd – ‘Strange Brew’

Go, Johnny, Go! (1959) screens Wednesday, May 3rd at 8pm at Schlafly Bottleworks Restaurant and Bar (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, Mo 63143) as part of Webster University’s Award-Winning Strange Brew Film Series. Admission is $5

In Rock Rock Rock! (1959), Rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn’t know he has won.

St. Louis legend Chuck Berry, who passed away last month at age 90, co-stars as himself. Having previously appeared in Rock Rock Rock! and Mister Rock And Roll, Go, Johnny, Go! was the third-and final-appearance of Berry in a movie that also starred DJ Alan Freed. He and Freed actually act together in this one as they try to get singer Johnny Melody (Clanton) on his way to stardom. It will be quite a pleasure for his fans seeing Berry performing his hits “Memphis,
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Debbie Reynolds: Her 11 Best Musical Moments on Screen and on Stage

Debbie Reynolds: Her 11 Best Musical Moments on Screen and on Stage
Debbie Reynolds, who died on Wednesday at the age of 84, was one of the last icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Throughout her nearly seven decade career, Reynolds made a name for herself as a triple-threat singer, dancer, and actor — with roles in big-screen MGM musicals and Broadway shows. She was also chart-topping recording artist and dynamic live performer, who toured the country for years as a night club entertainer.

Music was an inescapable part of Reynolds career. Here are 11 of her best musical moments.

“Aba Daba Honeymoon” (1950)

Arthur Fields and Walter Donovan’s “Aba Daba Honeymoon” was first recorded
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Spike Lee on His New Michael Jackson Doc and Going After MTV

Spike Lee on His New Michael Jackson Doc and Going After MTV
There's a moment about one-third of the way through Spike Lee's new documentary Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall in which the Jackson estate's archivist pulls out a yellowed, frayed letter and reads aloud. Written after Michael and his brothers, collectively known as the Jackson 5, had left Motown and were recording under the name the Jacksons, the future King of Pop is jotting down various aspirational goals: He wants to get into the movies, he wants to explore all musical styles and directions, he wants
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Ghostbusters: call me anytime - TV recap

The cruddy spin offs, the endless badgering Bill Murray about Ghostbusters 3 - it's all testimony to the genius of the surprisingly salty and definitely prescient Ghostbusters (Channel 5, Sunday, 6.55pm GMT)

"Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say yes" - Winston Zeddemore

It's a wonder that Dan Aykroyd isn't a full-blown recluse right now. Judging by all the interviews and soundbites he's done on the subject – not to mention the mountain of half-formed almost-speculation that appears immediately afterwards – the poor man must spend his entire life fending off questions about Ghostbusters 3. If it'll be animated or live action. If it'll star a new generation of Ghostbusters. If Bill Murray will appear in it or not. If it'll even happen at all. At this stage, Ghostbusters 3 is the Chinese Democracy of paranormal comedies, and all this fuss is down to how incredibly well-regarded the first Ghostbusters is.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New Who Review: “The Angels Take Manhattan”

  • Comicmix
The Fall of the Ponds. The Last Page. The Great Weeping. You knew it was coming, The Grand Moff Steven made it clear. Who died, who lived, and who will have a Lot of explaining to do to the parents. Spoilers abound, even more than usual, so here we go…

The Angels Take Manhattan

by Steven Moffat

Directed by Nick Hurran

The episode jumps between 1938 and 2012 Manhattan – in 1938, detective Sam Garner is asked to investigate a mysterious apartment house “where the angels live”, only to meet…himself, years older. In modern day, The Doctor is visiting Central Park with Amy and Rory, when Rory is sent backwards by a weeping angel, into the arms of his daughter River Song. How do you fight an enemy that can suddenly make you go decades into the past? Perhaps the answer in some cases is: you can’t.

The story bears more than
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American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Modern! English!

American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Modern! English!
If you’ll allow me to paraphrase Phillip Phillips (covering the Zombies), “it’s that time in the (American Idol) season for loving (our favorites).” Indeed, the Idoloonie Nation has devoted the last four months to auditioning dozens of singers for the role of America’s Next Top iTunes Obsession, and with each of the five remaining finalists having delivered 13 live solo performances, our allegiances have pretty much been pledged, our opinions have been pretty well formed, our speed-dialing fingers have been worn down to bone and sinew (as has the space between Randy Jackson’s ears).

But with the
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Dick Clark: The Man Who Changed TV

Clark's influence endures today with such stars as Ryan Seacrest.

By Gil Kaufman

Dick Clark on the set of "American Bandstand"

Photo: Getty Images

Without Dick Clark, there would be no Ryan Seacrest. Hell, without "America's Oldest Teenager" there would be no "Trl," and maybe no MTV.

Clark, who died at age 82 on Wednesday (April 18) after suffering a heart attack, never sang a note or released an album. He wasn't the inventor of a dance craze or a label boss or even a particularly hip guy. What he was, though, was a visionary.

And as much as any hotshot who played a guitar, figured out how to mix two turntables and a microphone, wiggled his hips or invented the next big sound in music, Clark was instrumental in making pop music pop.

Photos: The life and career of Dick Clark

He brought rock and roll into America's living rooms in the 1950s,
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Video Vault: High Fidelity

“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

In my later teenage years, High Fidelity is probably the film I watched more than any other. Stephen Frears’ comedy drama is a funny and poignant adaptation of Nick Hornby’s immensely popular book which deals with typically male neuroses surrounding commitment, women and the future, combined with a lifelong obsession with music.

The main character Rob Gordon (John Cusack) acts as our narrator and guide through the movie as the downfall of his relationship with Laura (Iben Hjejle) sparks off a
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In Defense Of Pink Slime: A Commentary By Egon Spengler, Ph.D

Greetings – Dr. Egon Spengler here, former Ghostbuster and current researcher of families’ reactions to various puppy-related emotional situations. While I’m waiting for Dr. Peter Venkman to end his bizarre holdout so we can get back to – as it has become known colloquially – ‘busting’ ghosts and other phantasms, I would like to take a brief moment of your time to comment on a controversial current-events issue: The ongoing backlash against the substance known as “Pink Slime.” Pink Slime has come under fire from a number of different sources recently, with even the megachain McDonald’s publicly denouncing it, and while I humbly sympathize with peoples’ natural aversion to this magical ghost-ooze, I feel the need to clarify a number of misconceptions about this substance. I’ve experimented extensively with Pink Slime, with some of my research being recorded in the documentary Ghostbusters 2, and consider myself nothing short of an
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'American Idol' Recap: The Top 24 Are Ready For Prime Time

Call off the search dogs. Lower our security threat level back down to chartreuse. Our long national nightmare of not knowing the full Top 24 on "American Idol X" finally ended Thursday night (February 24), as Seacrest & Co. spent 14 hours reading 19 names. (Apparently "Idol" was just getting us in the mood for Sunday night's Oscar telecast.)

When the dust finally settled and the also-rans were told to mind the gap as they boarded the "Idol" Obscurity Train (Erin Kelly, Tiwan Strong, Brittany Mazur and Jimmie Allen, meet your conductors Vanessa Wolfe, Erskine Walcott and Hadas), "Idol" fans were left with a promising batch of 24 hungry young singers. And in an "AI" first, all 24 semi-finalists were profiled over the course of the two "big reveal" episodes. (Although, how could they not be in three hours of televison?!)

First thing's first, let's address the giant Tourettey/Aspergery elephant in the room: James Durbin, whose
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Dreamgirls National Tour Kicks Off at Apollo Theater, 11/7 - 12/6

Producer John Breglio and the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. will bring Broadway uptown for four weeks only with Dreamgirls at the Apollo Theater, prior to the national tour of the new production of the groundbreaking musical. The national tour of Dreamgirls will kick-off at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater (253 West 125 Street) beginning previews Saturday, November 7, 2009, and opening Sunday, November 22, 2009, for 4 weeks only, through Sunday December, 6, 2009.

Dreamgirls is directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom with co-choreography by Shane Sparks, scenic design by Robin Wagner, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, and media design by Howard Werner for Lightswitch. With music direction by Sam Davis, orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, and Vocal Arrangements by David Chase & Cleavant Derricks, Dreamgirls is produced by John Breglio for Vienna Waits Productions in association with Chunsoo Shin, Jake Productions & Broadway Across America/TBS.

This brand-new production will
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More News & Rumors For ‘Ghostbusters 3′

With Halloween soon approaching, it seems as though this week we are overrun with new information regarding what the status is of Ghostbusters 3. While some of it may be new information, one has to sift through a majority of regurgitated old information as well as general speculation to find it. This week is no different as we bring you news (and rumors) on the status of our favorite paranormal exterminators from Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Ivan Reitman.

We’ve got Reitman telling us that it’s “more positive than negative”, Murray saying that there’s no script and, for the first time, Aykroyd being less than optimistic by stating it’s all talk until they get green lit and are giving a production number.

There’s also this rumor that there’s no funding for Ghostbusters 3, but we’ll that we’ll get to later.

With all of this information,
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Michael Jackson's Life & Legacy: Wiz Kid (1958-78)

Jackson 5, solo hits and a star turn in 'The Wiz' defined Michael's early years.

By Gil Kaufman

Michael Jackson performing in 1970

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In the wake of his untimely death on June 25, it's hard to remember a time when Michael Jackson was not in our lives. The world-famous singer — who in the 1980s shattered all notions of what pop stardom could be — had been a major star since he was 10 years old, and by the time he released what is still the best-selling album of original material of all time, 1982's Thriller, he was already a wily music-industry veteran.

Born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958, into a musical family of less-than-modest means in the industrial Midwestern town of Gary, Indiana, Jackson began performing with his brothers professionally at the age of 5 in a group put together by his steelworker father, Joseph. It quickly
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What the Party Guests Danced To on Inauguration Night

Cassidy Podell – better known as DJ Cassidy – can add Barack Obama to his roster of high-profile clients. The well-known DJ, who also handled Beyoncé and Jay Z's top-secret nuptials, was tapped for yet another ultra-confidential feat: to come up with a play list for Tuesday's Mid-Atlantic Ball, to mark the inauguration of the 44th President. Cassidy, 27, was recommended to the Obamas by none other than Oprah Winfrey, who hired him to DJ the opening of her girls' school in South Africa. In addition to spinning a selection of tunes to get the ball rolling, Cassidy also provided a CD to
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Four Tops Singer Stubbs Dies At 72

  • WENN
Legendary Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs has died after a long illness, aged 72.

Stubbs, a cousin of R+B legend Jackie Wilson, died on Friday at his home in Detroit, Michigan. The exact cause of death had not been released as WENN went to press.

The star sang lead on some of the vocal group's most memorable hits, including Reach Out I'll Be There, I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch), Baby I Need Your Loving, and Standing in the Shadows of Love.

Born Levi Stubbles in Detroit in 1936, the singer formed a doo-wop quartet with his friends Abdul 'Duke' Fakir, Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Lawrence Payton in 1954.

Initially going under the moniker Four Aims, the band changed its name to Four Tops in 1956 and gained a following as a club act. After signing to Motown Records in 1963, the group notched up a string of hits which have endured as classics for more than 40 years.

The group continued to tour, but Stubbs stepped down from his role in 2000 after he was diagnosed with cancer. He later suffered a stroke, and had been in poor health ever since.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Clineice, and their five children.

Finding Fresh Talent in the Fringe

Selecting breakout talents from the lineup of this year's New York International Fringe Festival (running through Aug. 24) is a daunting task. Consider the numbers: Now in its 12th year, the festival calls itself "the largest multiarts festival in North America," presenting more than 200 companies from around the nation and the world. Competition to gain entry is keen. And in many instances, fair comparisons between shows cannot be made — it's the proverbial apples versus oranges. Still, here's a sampling of actors whose names you'll want to remember.Bill ConningtonIt's no easy feat making a sexual psychopath understandable, if not sympathetic. In his solo show Zombie, adapted from the Joyce Carol Oates novella, Bill Connington plays Quentin P., a Jeffrey Dahmer-esque serial killer. In graphic detail the character recounts the torture, rape, and murder of his young male victims. Quentin's purpose, he explains, is to create zombie slaves who will serve him.
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Soul legend Green given lifetime award

Soul legend Al Green has been handed a lifetime achievement award at the Bet (Black Entertainment TV) hip-hop awards.

Green, a performer since the age of nine, rose to fame in the early '70s with the albums Let's Stay Together and Call Me. Success came for Green when, with the help of producer Willie Mitchell, he cultivated his own voice instead of trying to emulate heroes Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett and James Brown.

This year's . . .
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