Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ray Donovan Coming to Showtime

Yesterday while attending The Showtime press tour I got a first look at Ray Donovan. A new show starring Liev (hubba hubba) Schreiber and Jon Voight. It is action pact with Liev playing a "cleaner" and Voight as his ex con father. The action will all take place in Los Angeles.

I'm sure it will be violent and full of sex. Which ordinarily doesn't do it for me, but this looks like it won't be,completely, gratuitous. Plus did I mention Liev Schreiber....

No premiere daet yet but I'll keep you posted. Weekly installments of Liev will be impossible to keep to myself.

Monday, July 30, 2012

TCM Summer Under The Stars Aug 1

TCM is celebrating it's 10th Summer Under The Stars beginning August 1st, with a great line up of daily stars to highlight each day of the month.
The days I will be glued to my tube will be Myrna Loy on August 2, Ginger Rogers on August 12, Katherine Hepburn August on 17, Jack Lemmon on August 22, Irene Dunne on August 24, and Gary Cooper on August 26. Now of course I'm always glued to TCM but these will be the days my family is completely on their own for sustenance and hygiene.

Check the entire schedule below. I've included my personal faves, which are not necessarily their best work, but ones I always have to see.

John Wayne(Aug.1) They Were Expendable
Myrna Loy(Aug. 2) The Thin Man but really all of them
Johnny Weissmuller (Aug. 3) Pass
Marilyn Monroe(Aug. 4) Some Like It Hot
Claude Rains(Aug. 5) Now Voyager
Van Heflin(Aug. 6) 3:10 To Yuma
Sidney Poitier(Aug. 7) A raisin In The Son
Rita Hayworth(Aug. 8) Gilda
Toshiro Mifune(Aug. 9) Pass
Lionel Barrymore(Aug. 10) Night Flight
James Mason(Aug. 11) A Star is Born
Ginger Rogers(Aug. 12) Carefree
Deborah Kerr(Aug. 13) From Here To Eternity
James Cagney(Aug. 14) The Public Enemy
Lillian Gish(Aug. 15) The Night Of The Hunter
Elvis Presley (Aug. 16) Pass
Katharine Hepburn(Aug. 17) Bringing Up Baby
Freddie Bartholomew(Aug. 18) A Yank At Eton
Eva Marie Saint(Aug. 19) North By Northwest
Anthony Quinn(Aug. 20) Requiem For A Heavyweight
Kay Francis(Aug. 21) Jewelry Robbery
Jack Lemmon(Aug. 22) The Apartment
Gene Kelly (Aug. 23) On The Town
Irene Dunne(Aug. 24) My Favorite Wife and the Awful Truth
Tyrone Power(Aug. 25) Pass
Gary Cooper(Aug. 26) Ball Of Fire
Jeanette MacDonald(Aug. 27) San Francisco
Ava Gardner(Aug. 28) The Night Of The Iguana
Ingrid Bergman (Aug. 29) Casablanca
Warren William(Aug. 30) Lady For A Day
James Caan(Aug. 31) Chapter Two

I can't wait!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Half The Sky PBS Oct 1 and 2

Last week while attending PBS press tour panel, for the documentary,  Half The Sky I was forced to hear about one thing I hate even thinking about and that is children forced into sex trafficing. I know you can't pretend that it doesn't exist, but I find it so disturbing. It completely unravels me.

The documentary deasl with a myriad of issues facing women and girls around the world, from prostitution to maternal birth mortality to education. As 52% of the population women are rarely treated equally and in some parts of the world, barely being treated as human.

As much as I hate to think about some of these injustices, this film has moved me to act. First and most easily I will send money to the organizations Half the Sky has partnered with. My next steps are unclear but I will keep you posted as they develop.

I would encourage all of you to watch the documentary Half The Sky on PBS Oct. 1 & 2. If you can please donate to one of the organizations, linked above. In future I will try to find ways for this community to participate in other, non monetary, forms.

We, that are lucky enough to be born into prosperous, safe homes owe it to the others who were not.

Half The Sky can be found on
Twitter - @Half
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/halftheskymovement

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Classic Hollywood at Disney's California Adventure

California Adventures Pan Pacific entrance

This is a special Disney California Adventure post just for my fellow classic Hollywood fans. So much of Classic Hollywood has been bulldozed or otherwise destroyed over the passage of time. Some of Buena Vista Street is replicas of actual sites like the Pan Pacific Theatre entrance above.

There are also characters and stores that just give the feel of 1930's Hollywood like these picured above and below.

 Here is one of LA's fabled Red Car trolleys. Check your park maps for times of fun musical numbers that explode through the doors with singing and dancing news boys and girls. you can also find times for a jazz trio that ride though town in an open convertible.

Finally here is the Carthay CircleTheatre, that was an actual theatre and can be seen in many movie premiere newsreels. Inside this building is a beautiful period restaurant. Great attention has been paid to every detail, all the fixtures and art reflex the time and make any classic Hollywood fan down right beam. If you want to eat in the Carthay Circle restaurant I recommend making reservations.

I spend a lot of time in theme parks sitting on benches waiting for my husband and daughter to get off one roller coaster or another, and this was the first time I was perfectly happy to just hang out.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Downton Abbey Season 3

So excited to have heard  tonight that Downton Abbey Season 3 will be returning to PBS Jan. 6 2013. We were also treated to a trailer that showed the family having very serious financial problems. Also Mary and Mathews marriage may be on the ropes. Finally, there were some great exchanges between the always fabulous Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine in the role of Cora's mother,Martha Levinson.

Apparently the trailer hadn't been seen by anyone but PBS staff until last night. After the trailer there was a cocktail party with the cast.

My first mission was to get to talk with Shirley MacLaine. She was very animated on the panel. I asked her if she had any plans to attend the TCM Film Festival. Neither she nor her representative would confirm anything other than she's been asked and has been out of town in years past. I begged a little and hope it will get her there.

Shirley had a great idea for the show. She suggested that if the Crawleys do lose all their money they should come to America to live with her character, Martha Levinson. I'd love to see that.

Then I was very happy to have a picture with Mr. Bates/ Brendan Coyle who was lovely. He also revealed that when he took the Facebook Downton Abbey, which character are you quiz meme, he was Mary.

Here is a picture of Mary Crawley/Michelle Dockery having a laugh with party goers. She seemed really fun and open to all the guests. But I didn't get a chance to speak with her personally.

Finally, here is Hugh Bonneville/ Robert Crawley showing us his Free Bates tshirt. I wish the trailer had revealed more about Bates' future. But I will have to wait till January.

If you've somehow not seen the show you have a few months to get caught up. I think I'll rewatch them too, just to be uber up on all the comings and goings and ups and downs at Downton Abbey.

January 6th can't come soon enough!

Call The Midwife on PBS

Call The Widwife is the latest BBC import coming to PBS September 30th. I've seen the first four episode and I am completely addicted. You will need to keep the Kleenex close at hand, but I think you'll love it too.

The story is about a green midwife dropped in the extremely impoverished Eastend of London. She lives with 3 other midwives and 3 nuns. All of whom are on call to their community to deliver babies in homes around the clock.

It's already shooting it's second season so there will be eight more after these first six air. It's definitely a don't miss.

Here's a clip from PBS

Watch Call the Midwife - Highlights on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fuji X100 Camera

I just got my first look at the Fuji X100. I gotta say I love it's retro style. I know, surprise, surprise, I like old stuff. Seriously look at how cool the case is...

It looks exactly like the camera my family used when I was a child. It runs between $600-$1200 and requires some understanding of photography, but is a digital camera. I think I have to have one.

I haven't actually used this camera so please check out this great David Pogue NY Times review of the Fuji X100 from last spring for more info.

Full disclosure my cousin works for Fuji, but I received no compensation for this post.

Monday, July 16, 2012

RIP Celeste Holm

I was so sad to hear that Celeste Holm died yesterday. I know she was 95 but still I had hoped that they would get her to come to the next TCM Film Festival. She was such an amazing actress. I feel like most people know her from All About Eve, but she won an Oscar in 1947 for Gentlemen's Agreement. See her accepting below.

It's been a rough few weeks with many greats of the film industry dying. I hope they are all happy in that great big Brown Derby in the sky.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ice Age Continental Drift

Last weekend my daughter and I attended a screening of Ice Age 4 Continental Drift, that opens tomorrow. What could be better than a Saturday morning watching cartoons in a theatre full of kids, I know I can think of a lot of things too, but it really was a great way to see this movie.

I defer to my child's expertise in animated films and she declared this one extremely funny. In fact she said it was her favorite of all of the Ice Age movies, which she has seen numerous times, as we own the entire franchise on DVD. For myself I didn't like it "better" than all the others, but it was very funny and I'm confident parents will enjoy seeing this with their kids.

My daughter loves the iPhone/iPad app of Ice Age, which has this Scrat short, so she's been showing the below to everyone for months.

Finally, I do love the message of all the Ice Age films, that your family is not based on people who look like you but those who love and support you. So, as many times as these guys want to reinforce that message I'm happy to see it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ford Go Further Trend Conference

Last week Ford invited me to attend their Trend Conference in Dearborn Michigan. I have to say I was really impressed with where they are trying to take the company. I feel like they actually are thinking about the environment and not just their bottom line. In the last 10 years they have cut their water, power and CO2 emission by 50%. Every one of their cars is 85% recyclable.

We got to talk with multiple panels (including the one pictured above with Adrien Grenier talking about his site SHFT.com) that explored how Ford plans to move forward and create cars that not only help the"green"  environment but also our actual environment, our cities. We looked at cars that will be hybrid, hybrid/ electric, and electric, something for everyone.We talked about grid lock. Ford has given 235 cars to Zip Car a car sharing company that helps urban areas reduce cars on the road.

After all that talking we got to ride and drive many of Fords cars including Mustangs, Escapes, F150,  and MORE!!!!

Here Lori AKA Well Connected Mom and I are getting ready to do a little off roading in the F150 Raptor.

 This is what I would look like as a cop. I have to work on my stern look before I get the actual badge.

Over all I was really excited to see what Ford has planned and hope that other car companies will follow what I assume is their huge lead.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

20th Century Fox Studio Tour

I got to run around 20th Century Fox today, and thought I'd share some of the pictures I snapped. Hope you enjoy.

This is some of the back lot streets. It's amazing to think how many movies we love have been made here. Not to mention all the TV shows too. It was fun to walk around and imagine all their ghosts around me.

Many of the stages are covered in famous film murals. Here are the 7 Year Itch and What I think is The Ox-Bow Incident. And if these weren't cool enough check out the Facades.

Here is stage 8 and a close up of the medalion. Which coincidently is mentioned in the 1935 video below. It is dedicated to Will Rogers who died in 1935. 20th Century Fox by far has the most beautifully decorated stage facades of any studio I have ever been to. You definitely feel how glamorous the industry once was when you're on this lot.

 Finally, here is a cool building I saw from a distance, at the end of what was labeled French Alley. I tried to find details on it online but nothing came up. I do see it in the 1935 video below but no commentary is given about it. Love any info if anyone knows anything. Hope you enjoyed the photos.

 I wish I could have gotten into the commissary, where there are original murals of all the classic Fox stars. Maybe next time...

Here is the tour of the lot from 1935. I can't believe how painful Darryl Zanucks little speech is. WOW...

UPDATE: 20th Century Fox back lot tour with more detailed photos of the back lot.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Oz The Great And Powerful

Sam Raimi is directing a prequel to The Wizard of OZ. It will star James Franco as the wizard arriving in OZ. I'm intrigued, other than The Wiz, I've yet to see any other interpretations of the Wizard of Oz that I like as much as the original film.

The cast will include James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Zack Braff, and Michelle Williams. It won't be release until Spring 2013 so we've plenty of time to ponder.

Here's the Disney press release synopsis:

Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

Could be good. I'll let you know when I do!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith RIP

Just heard Andy Griffith has passed away. Every article about it mentions the TV show we all remember him so well from The Andy Griffith Show. But my favorite work of his is A Face In The Crowd, pictured above. In it he plays a darker more conflicted man a la Dean and Brando, not the good natured father who always knows just what to say.

If you haven't seen it, you will be surprised. TCM is having a Griffith tribute day July 18th beginning at 8pm EST with Face in The Crowd, 10:15 No Time For Sergeants, 12:30 Hearts Of The West, and 2:15 Onion Head.

And just because I'm a liberal and loved this video Andy was in with Ron Howard for the last election, here's this

Rest in Peace

Monday, July 2, 2012

PBS Kids Rock

PBS Kids released their first album, PBS Kids Rock today, which includes songs by Grammy Award winners Ozomatli and They Might Be Giants, The Weepies and Parent’s Choice Gold Award-winning music sensation SteveSongs, AKA Mr. Steve, cohost of the PBS KIDS preschool destination.

The songs are all educational, and designed to teach children about reading, math, science and technology. They are also just great songs. I know I've caught myself singing They Might Be Giants children's songs on many an occasion, and not just because they were played on a continuous loop in my house for many years.

PBS Kids Rocks is available on  iTunes and Amazon.com, the proceeds from “PBS KIDS ROCKS!” will support PBS KIDS educational programming.