Sunday, August 30, 2015
I told you that I didn't want to keep meeting like this, but here we are again. Reunited to discuss the death of another celebrity.
Earlier today, Wes Craven died of brain cancer. Craven was responsible for the vast majority of any nightmares you probably had as a child or teenager. After all he gave us the man of your dreams... errr nightmares, Freddy Kruger. He was responsible for Scream as well, which changes the rules of horror movies but still gave you a good scare in the process. He also directed The Hills Have Eyes 1 and 2, The People Under The Stairs, My Soul to Take and an episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color. One of these is not like the others!
He also directed a movie called Red Eye, which isn't a horror movie at all. It is a psychological thriller. I appreciated the change in genre. By that point what was passing as horror was nothing more than Gore. So Craven decided to give us an edge of our seat thriller. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.
What makes Wes Craven so different was if you saw interviews with him or him just out on the street, you'd never believe that he was responsible for so much carnage on the screen. He was just so mellow. He had a calmness about him. You look at a guy like Rob Zombie or even Eli Roth, you see horror director. Wes Craven? Nope. Not even a little bit. And he was able to poke fun at himself as well. He appeared as himself in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as a director making a cheesy horror movie with a monkey. He didn't care about the action on set. He was just sitting back counting his money. He also appeared in Scream in a cameo as Fred The Janitor. Something about Fred the Janitor reminded me of someone else... never could put my finger on it though.
Wes Craven was a legend in the horror industry, right up there with John Carpenter and Clive Barker. He was a master manipulator in the best sense of the word, knowing exactly how to get into your mind. It's terribly sad news considering I don't even know that he was battling cancer was widely known. I hadn't heard anything about it. He will be missed by his fans, his family and his friends.
We offer a moment of silence for Wes Craven.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Welcome back to another addition of The Entertainment Guru News & Views.
A few weeks back, Marvel announced a huge slate of films for their Cinematic Universe's Phase 3 including Guardians Of the Galaxy 2, Avengers 3 & 4, Thor 3, Captain America 3 & Doctor Strange just to name a few. But it got me thinking about Phases 1 and 2. I ranked them in my personal preference to present to you here on the blog. But then I decided to up the ante! So I opened the question up to a few of my friends on Facebook. I want to thank Jay and Jeremy for joining us for the first time. And I would like to welcome back Lori and Jason as well.
I took every one's ranking and assigned points for each. So if a movie was ranked # 1, it got ten points. A # 2 ranking got 9 points and so on and so on. The ten movies in question were Iron Man (1,2,3), Thor (1,2), Captain America (1,2), Hulk (Edward Norton Version), Avengers and the latest addition to the Marvel Universe Guardians Of The Galaxy.
So here we go with the countdown. In at # 10 earning a total of 12 points is Hulk. Both Lori and Jason had it in at # 10 and here is why. "The best part of it was the Tony Stark cameo, all 15 seconds of it." Lori told me. And Jason thought . "It didn't have the right feel, and wasn't fun or exciting."
Number 9 in the rankings goes to Iron Man 2. It earned 16 points in the countdown. It's highest ranking was 6th place, in both my ranking and Jason's. I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Rockwell's performance, but the rest of the movie fell a little flat for me.
Iron Man 3 comes in at Number 8, earning 17 points. "The way they used the Mandarin was classic. It was going to be a hard character to pull off realistically, but Marvel did it" Said Jeremy. A lot of people were disappointed by the way Mandarin was portrayed, definitely not Jeremy!
The original Thor comes in at Number 7 racking up 19 points along the way. "This brought us Loki. And it showed the sarcastic wit of Kat Dennings to the world. And it was directed by Kenneth Branagh" added Lori.
Not far behind Thor comes Thor: The Dark World collecting 24 points. It averaged a 6th place finish in our polls. Which is why it is number six on our list.
At the half way point of the countdown comes Captain America: The First Avenger. Captain America thawed out with 27 points in our list. I felt like this movie was good in parts, had a decent villain but really was kind of boring. Now granted, I felt the same way about Thor on the first viewing and enjoyed it the second time. So maybe I will give this a second viewing as well.
Speaking of Captain America, The Winter Soldier comes in at Number 4 on the list. The Winter Soldier earned 29 points in total, edging out the first one by a mere two points. "The Winter Soldier’s story is so compelling that when the movie ends, you want to know more about this tragic character." said Jeremy.
And here we are going into the top 3 with the movie that started it all. In at Number 3 with a total of 35 points is Iron Man. "This was such a great movie to kick everything off and I loved Jeff Bridges as the villain who I didn't actually know was Jeff Bridges until after the fact. Also, this was pre-ScarJo, which just makes everything better." was Lori's thoughts on it.
And now on to Number 1... wait? What? We were just at 3. How could we be at 1? Well ladies and gentlemen, there is a tie! So in the words of Harvey Two Face Dent, I flipped a coin to see who would be last because it is the only true justice. They both earned 47 points total. All that is left and earning dueling top spots is Avengers and the Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Avengers became my all time favorite movie. I just enjoyed all the wit and sarcasm and Loki. Granted, there may have been a little too much pop culture references for the masses, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Jeremy's favorite part was "What makes the movie so amazing is the interactions between The Hulk and Loki. Mark Ruffalo does the green guy proud with his performance in this movie."
And while Avengers became my favorite movie, for Jason his new favorite movie is about a talking tree, a talking raccoon with an attitude and this guy who I met at a book signing years ago:
When asked why it was his favorite movie of all time, here's what Jason had to say "because of the characters, story and most of all humor. It wasn't a super hero movie... I hate when people say its a super hero movie. It is very Star Warish....Oh, it also has a pretty good soundtrack but in GotG 2 it better have a Foghat song!"
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I thought that I would relaunch my blog with a promise. Next year (2015) will be the biggest year for my 3 blogs than any other year prior. I know what you are saying. Three blogs? Recently I launched a third blog about all sports. So feel free to visit my other two blogs as they will be updated in the upcoming days as well. I hope to have guest writers (aka my friends) come in and contribute as well. If you would like to contribute to a future blog, feel free to contact me. I believe the next blog here will have contributions.
My wrestling blog can be found at: http://insidethewrestlingring.blogspot.com/ and my new sports blog can be found at: http://nowenteringthesportszone.blogspot.com/
A few weeks ago it was announced that the official subtitle for the new Star Wars film would be the Force Awakens. Chris O'Mealy (of Club Kayfabe) said "I like it, althought I know there's going to be a massive amount of bitching." Chris was right. Just a visit to the IMDB boards for the movie confirm that. There are quite a bit of threads where people bitch about the title or come up with what they think will be a better title, without actually seeing the movie first. Because the one thing I have learned is that the fans are always right. Right?
My first thought on the the new subtitle is it is better than then prequel subtitles, that's for sure. That isn't necessarily saying much. I think we can agree that "Attack Of The Clones" is the worst subtitle of the seven. The only other title that would have been worse is if they named Episode 2 "Send in the Clones".
I think the subtitle for Episode 7 leaves a little mystery to it, which I like. As usual, people on the internet are confused by the title. I saw someone on the IMDB board ask "how could the force awake, it doesn't sleep. It's not a living being".
The rumors are we will see at least a teaser trailer for the film in December. I am doing my best to avoid any spoilers leading up to the release of the trailer. I just hope that J.J. Abrams is more careful with his trailer than Joss Whedon was. If you thought what Hydra did to the Avengers 2 trailer, just imagine what kind of leaks the Sith will do?
I will say this about the cast. It is a very diverse cast. I also like that it brings the old "Hamil, Ford and Fisher" with the new "Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, and Lupita Nyong'o etc"
What are your thoughts on the new subtitle?
Much like with the case of Farrah Fawcett's death being overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson, I feel that the death of Lauren Bacall is being overshadowed by the death of Robin Williams. Yes, they died a day apart but still. No one seems to really be talking about Bacall. Maybe it's because she was much older. Maybe it's because she wasn't in the lime light anymore as opposed to Williams who was still making movies, but I think attention needs to be paid to her as well.
Bacall died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89 of a stroke.
There isn't much Bacall hadn't done in her career. She is a two time Tony winner, Kennedy Center Honors, Golden Globe winner, and an Academy Honorary Award winner as well. She won a National Book award as well.
Her co-stars include Kirk Douglas, Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, Gary Cooper and Marilyn Monroe. That is a fairly impressive list if you ask me. Comedy and drama, she could do it all.
She represented a time of glamour. She was Old Hollywood, in the best sense of the word.
I admit however, that I have never seen any of her movies. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but it is true. My field of expertise as an Entertainment Guru really starts in 1985. And while she was still acting at that point, I am afraid I didn't see anything she was in. And her last role was in the most unlikely of places, providing a voice on "Family Guy".
RIP Lauren Bacall.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Welcome back to the Entertainment Guru News and Views for this week in August, 2014. I wish I could be coming here with great news. Instead, I come with the death of a great comedian, actor and writer.
I walked in the door on Monday evening.. I was dealing with a pseudo-emergency in my head when I looked at my wife on the couch. She had opened her computer and was immediately met with bad news. By now you all know I am talking about Robin Williams.
Monday afternoon, Williams died of an apparent suicide. Williams was 63 at the time of his death. He had a well known battle with drugs and alcohol through his life. He also suffered from depression. He had checked in himself into rehab earlier this year in an attempt to fight his disease. As of this writing we don't if he was doing drugs or drinking at the time that he ended it all.
What we do know is the joy that Robin Williams brought into each and one's lives. There are some actors that are known for one thing or another that doesn't touch every single person's life. That doesn't take away from the talent that they have. But I highly doubt there is a person that has not enjoyed something from Robin Williams' tremendous career. From his turn as a teacher in an all boys' school in "Dead Poets' Society" to being a Genie in Disney's "Aladdin" to being Teddy Roosevelt coming back to life in the three "Night At The Museum" movies. That doesn't even include his Oscar winning performance as a teacher to a troubled genius in the film "Good Will Hunting". And that is just a small handful of his memorable movie roles. But he did so much more than that.
He recently starred in a CBS comedy called "The Crazy Ones" where he was the head of an advertising company along with his on screen daughter Sarah Michelle Gellar. But an older generation he was Mork, the lovable able in the 1978 comedy "Mork and Mindy".
Along side fellow comedians Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg, he co-hosted the "Comic Relief"
telethon which benefited the homeless in America. The event ran for several years and featured famous and up and coming comedians such as Dana Carvey, Jim Carrey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock just to name a few.
The list of comedians that he helped inspired would be long enough to fill a blog. His frantic style of comedy was one of a kind, just like the man himself.
We will never know what his mind frame was as he decided to end it all. Whatever it is, his demons got the best of him. And because of that the world lost an inspiration. Robin Williams was a genius, a dark genius but a genius none the less. It also goes to show that you could be world famous and it isn't enough to make you happy.
My hope in all this is that we shine a light on depression. It's not something you can "just get over". For people struggling with depression it is a daily fight. Some days are easy to cope, with aren't. There doesn't even need to be a cause to trigger one's depression. It just happens.
Entertainment Guru News and Views would like to offer our condolences to his family. We all lost someone, but it's nothing compared to your loss. To his friends, count your blessings that you had someone in your life as amazing as Robin Williams. And to his fans, your comedy and legacy will live on. Thank you for the memories, Mr. Williams.
Friday, August 8, 2014
There are some very interesting looking movies coming out, so I thought I would show you some trailers and give my opinions on them. Sure, I could look at the Guardians Of The Galaxy trailer, or something big like that. But let's face it, everyone will be looking at that. Instead, I want to shine a light on some of the smaller movies that will be coming out soon. First we are going to take a look at not one but two new Aubrey Plaza movies. First, here is "Life After Beth"
In what is the third romantic/zombie movie we have seen (Behind Shaun Of The Dead and Warm Bodies), Dane Dehaan stars as a man who lost his girlfriend, Beth. But it turns out that Beth didn't die. She is now a zombie. He tries to maintain a relationship with her, until she goes a little crazy trying to eat brains. I mean if anything is a deal breaker, I would think that would be it. It looks very strange, but funny at the same time. I had never really seen anything of DeHaan until The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But I think they would make a cute on-screen couple in a very unusual but cool sounding movie. I mean zombies are cool now, so why not take it in direction you would not expect a zombie movie to go.
Plaza returns in a bit of a dramatic role for her in the drama "About Alex". A group of college friends reunite after Alex (played by Jason Ritter) attempts suicide. The friends are played by Max Greenfield, Jane Levy, Maggie Grace, Max Minghella and Nate Parker. It seems that no matter how long these friends are apart, they fall back into their old habits and friendship. I have a serious weakness for movies about reunions. It looks funny at times and very depressing at times. But it does look well acted by the entire cast. It's refreshing to see movies like this are still getting made in the face of all the super hero movies we see.
Another drama with a touch of comedy is "The Skeleton Twins". Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play twins (though really they look nothing a like) who both have near death incidents on the same day. They are estranged from each other, having not seen each other in ten years. I like to see actors play against their strengths. Both Hader and Wiig are comedic actors, having spent so much time on Saturday Night Live. But here they get to stretch their acting skills just a little bit.
And speaking of actors totally stepping out their comfort zones, I offer you this. It is a romantic comedy starring The Boy Who Lived, Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe, to this point, has only done Harry Potter movies, a horror movie (The Woman In Black) and a dramatic performance in "Kill Your Darlings". But now, he shows a funny side in "What If". It looks so different for him, but he seems to be very comfortable in his role. I enjoyed the trailer and I know I will enjoy the movie.
There you have it. Four trailers for your consideration. I hope that you will see these movies along side the big action movies the next time you are looking for a flick to see.
Thanks to IMDB for providing the trailers.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Welcome back to another edition of Entertainment Guru News and Views.
It truly is the end of an era coming next year. The old guard is officially dead and the dawning of the new is upon us.
He has been on national television since 1982, but next year he is retiring. I am, of course, talking about David Letterman. He survived the fiasco of The Tonight Show. He recently survived a sex scandal. He has interviewed 1000s of people. He did a show in his theater with no electricity. The man even survived a fight with Oprah and can tell the tale. But next year, he is hanging up his Top 10 list.
Think about all the talk shows that have come and most of whom have gone in that time. We have seen some real bombs like Chevy Chase or Magic Johnson. In that time we have seen people have multiple late night talk shows like Arsenio Hall. We have seen The Craigs (Kilborn and Ferguson) and the Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel). Even the man of a thousand shows, Carson Daly had one. And now Seth Myers has a show too. Let's not forget Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. Really that's just a small sampling of the late show talk shows.
I was lucky enough to see a Letterman taping back in 1999. My college offered a trip to New York for communication majors so I went. I even got to see one of my favorite actors on the show. John Cusack was there to promote a movie called "Pushing Tin." There was no musical guest that day because Jack Hanna was there with his wonderful animals. It was a lot of fun!
It was announced last Thursday that Stephen Colbert will now host The Late Show, leaving his comfy desk at The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. As Lori and I both said, we hope we get to see the real Colbert and not Pseudo News Man that we have seen before. But I think that it is a good choice. I can't think of anyone else who would have been better. He is a well-known personality who was universally liked until the recent scandal and proceeding “Cancel Colbert” movement.
I am sure there will be people who won't be happy about Colbert taking over. Was what he did wrong? Yes; but worse things have been said. It was a joke that people failed to get. Was it funny? I don't think so. Everyone who is put in a comedic position has said something that has been deemed offensive by someone. Does that make Colbert a bad person? I don't think so.
Time will tell how well he will actually do in the role, but I think that he will fit in nicely.
Special thanks as always to my wonderful editor who is also my wonderful fiancée for all her work!