Tuesday, July 30, 2013

RIP Eileen Brennan

I just heard Eileen Brennan passed away Sunday. She was such an amazing actress and comedian. My two favorite roles, she played, were in The Sting and Murder By Death (Clips below). I hope she, Peter Falk and Paul Newman are working together in the big studio in the sky.

TCM Summer Under The Stars

August is just days away and that means TCM's Summer Under The Stars is almost here! Each day in August will feature films of a particular star. It is always interesting to see the span of an actors career all in one day.

This year 16 stars will be spotlighted for the first time. They include Joan Fontaine (Aug. 6), Mickey Rooney (Aug. 13), Wallace Beery (Aug. 17), Hattie McDaniel (Aug. 20),  Maggie Smith (Aug. 22), Charles Coburn (Aug. 24), Martin Balsam (Aug. 27), Shirley Jones (Aug. 28), Rex Harrison (Aug. 31), Ramón Novarro (Aug. 8), Catherine Deneuve (Aug. 12), Ann Blyth (Aug. 16), Mary Boland (Aug. 4), and Glenda Farrell (Aug. 29). For the complete listing of star and dates check out TCM's Summer Under The Stars site.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Broadchurch on BBCAmerica

BBC America premieres Broadchurch Wednesday August 7th. This show was a smash hit in England, receiving several BAFTA nominations and blowing up twitter every week.

Starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as detectives investigating the murder of a boy. Broadchurch is a seaside vacation town, where everyone keeps saying nothing like "this" ever happens. The more the two detectives dig the more they find all sorts of unsavory things are happening in Broadchurch and right under their noses.

There are definitely shades of Twin Peaks and The Killing in this show. Unlike, those American shows you will find out who the killer is in the final episode. The series runs 8 episodes on Wednesday nights on BBC America.

Another season is expected to start shooting in the near future.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Young Doctor's Notebook with Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliff star as the same man in A Young Doctor's Notebook series coming to Ovation Wednesday,October 2nd.

Ovation describes the show " Renowned Russian writer and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov’s book A Young Doctor’s Notebook was adapted into a television series by writers Mark Chappell, Shaun Pye and Alan Connor (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret). It is a darkly humorous account of the turbulent experiences of a newly graduated young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe), artfully told through the eyes of his older, opiate-addicted self (Jon Hamm), who narrates the action from his own notebooks. The young doctor lands a post at a small hospital in a remote village during the Russian Revolution.  Dealing with superstitious and poorly educated patients creates for the doctor a brutal, panic-inducing introduction to his medical practice, causing the young doctor to struggle with doubts about his own competence."

The series was previously released in England and was critically acclaimed and  was the highest rated program for that network (Sky Art).

I've been dying to see this ever since I heard it mentioned on The Graham Norton Show earlier this year. Sadly my cable provider doesn't carry Ovation. Check to see if you get Ovation here. I put in a request with Time Warner here in LA to add it to their listings. We have a few months so if you're not getting Ovation get your requests in soon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Parallelogram at The Mark Taper

Last night I was invited to review the opening night of A Parallelogram at The Mark Taper Forum. Written by the Pulitzer prize and Tony winning author Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park) and directed by Tony winning director Anne D. Shapiro (Osage County).

The story centers around Bee, a woman who seems to be bouncing through time, trying to rearrange her life as it unravels. It's a bizarre premise, but intriguing. Is it really possible to change your future? Bee's gonna give it a try.

The play is very well acted, and the audience I saw it with were laughing quite a bit. Though the subject matter is serious it is humorously delivered. It could easily be an episode of The Twilight Zone. It has that same quality of realism and the other worldly, and what would you do if the two collided.

A Parallelogram runs through August 18

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Last Vegas or The Hangover Part 50

Last Vegas looks like a fun ride. Starring Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, and Kevin Kline, I'm guessing it will live up to expectations. Think The Hang Over but with our parents, or your grandparents.

Opens in theatres November 1st

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Go Further With Ford Trend Conference 2013


For the last 3 years, Ford has held an annual conference in Detroit for the press and related tech industry reps to share the direction Ford is currently heading and to discuss the future trends of technological needs that may help them to make relevant additions to their fleet of cars and trucks in the future.  I got to see and participate in some behind the scenes goings-on, and meet some fabulous people from Ford as well as fellow bloggers. 

Henry Ford Museum
Day1: The Henry Ford Museum was awesome.  Opened in 1929, it's theme is to house industrial items of historical importance.  During our browsing, we saw one of the best collection of cars I have seen, and some were included in very elaborate settings of their time.  There were so many other worthwhile sights, it is worth seeing in person.  Some bright sightings were a collection of very large early power generators and pumps,  the bus that Rosa parks refused to give up her seat on,  dioramas of US trends in each decade of the 20th century, and a 1952 Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.  During dinner we were greeted by the Ford CEO, Alan Mulally, who spoke about Ford's past, present and future, with a message that Ford was built as a company that provides affordable cars to all classes of people, and whose future will continue in that direction.


Day2:  Five trends were discussed by 3 person panels.  The panels consisted of one Ford executive with guests from other companies or media outlets including Ben and Jerry's, CNET, Google and Apple to name a few.  One was titled Trust is the new Black.  Ben and Jerry's, Warby Parker (a new company with a conscience that makes sunglasses), and Ford representatives talked about how important consumer trust is an important current trend.  Another called Disrupting the Drive, had a CNET editor and Steve Wozniak of Apple talk with a Ford electrical development head about future trends that are being anticipated, important because of the three to five years it takes to go from design to production in the auto business.  During the noon break, we were invited to walk through one of Ford's research and development buildings, where we saw some of the work being performed on car models, and were told about some of Fords interesting new design features, including current co-pilot technology that can sense lane boundaries that could help warn drivers when they are drowsing.  For dinner, we were treated to a theme dinner that celebrated Mustangs 50th Anniversary.

Day 3:  A day of test driving Ford vehicles on the road and at the test track.

I got to drive a new Ford F150 4X4 pickup truck on the street with supplies to deliver to a charitable organization called "The Greening of Detroit"  which through donations from many Corporations including Ford, is refurbishing parks and greenways in Detroit Neighborhoods. 

It is good to see the 4x4 F150 was a smooth ride with great handling, just like my F150s through the 90s and 00s.  

After making my delivery to a nearby park, I dropped the truck off and was bussed to Ford's private test track.  There we drove the Ford Fiesta in a fast paced time trial race, which I really thought was fun.

Ford came through looking like a champ.  I was impressed with Fords concepts and the direction that the company is heading.

This is a guest post by John Derby who moonlights as Mr. Elise's Ramblings.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Newsroom Returns to HBO

Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom returns to HBO this Sunday. The show is definitely controversial, the right wing thinks it's liberal propaganda. I actually witness a room of feminist journalist try to devour Sorkin for what they feel is a sexist show. I admit, as a liberal and a feminist, I see their points, but I still love the show.

The cast is stellar with leads Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Sam Waterston. The supporting cast is equally fabulous, perhaps the best example being THE Jane Fonda, as well as, my personal fave Olivia Munn.

I'll definitely be busy Sunday nights till it's season is complete. Join me...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tom Hanks and Mary Poppins

I'm excited about this new Tom Hanks film, Saving Mr. Banks. It's the story of the making of the film Mary Poppins. It stars Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, the writer of Mary Poppins, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. With that cast it has got to be great. Walt and Ms. Travers seem to have very different visions for the film and I'm sure we'll have a great time watching them hammer out some compromises.

Supporting cast includes Jason Schwartzman, Paul Giamatti, Rachael Griffiths and Colin Farell

It comes out this December, but here's a peak at the trailer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dustin Hoffman's Big Duh For AFI

Every day another of my friends on Facebook posts the video below of Dustin Hoffman, with praise for his statements in it. I have to say I don't get it. Hoffman essentially says while making Tootsie he had an epiphany that he had missed out on friendship with interesting women he didn't find attractive, because apparently he only talked to women he found attractive???

To be clear I'm glad that he had the clarity to come to the realization, but I can't believe he is being praised for being such a neandrathal. I recognize that Mr. Hoffman is from my parents generation, and chauvanism was much more rampant in those days. But did he really ignore every woman he wasn't interested in dating? What an ass.

To turn the tables. Because I am about 5 foot 9 inches, I've never dated men under 6 feet. That's my brain washing, I want to be able to wear heals and in a couple the man should be taller, it makes no logical sense but there it is. If I were to say I just realized that men under six feet (which would include Hoffman) have something interesting to add to the world, wouldn't everyone just look at me and say "duh".

I'm sorry Dustin, I love your movies, but I just can't give it to you on this one.

Post Script: As a dear friend of my mother informed my sister and I at a bar mitzvah, where we were lamenting being taller than all the boys "they're all the same height in bed." More good advice I never adhered to.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Endeavour Returns to PBS Sundays In July

PBS is airing the first season on Endeavour Sundays in July. Endeavour is the prequel to inspector Morse. You may remember back in 2011 they aired the pilot, that I loved. 

Here's PBS' blurb:

Before Inspector Morse, there was the rookie Constable Morse, fed up with police work and ready to nip his career in the bud by handing in his resignation. That is, until a murder turned up that only he could solve.
Following on the success of the 2011 Endeavour pilot, Shaun Evans returns in four new episodes as the young Endeavour Morse—before his signature red Jaguar but with his deductive powers already running in high gear. Set in 1960s Oxford, Endeavour, Series 1 is written by Inspector Lewis creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis.

Watch Endeavour: Girl Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

I really loved the pilot. If you're catching this after Sunday you can watch Endeavour online here.
There will be 4 90 minute episodes in all. See below for desriptions
Girl - Sunday, July 7th
DC Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) must use his unconventional and unpopular intellect to connect burgled gas meters, the sudden death of a secretarial student, and a string of post office robberies, and solve a pair of violent murders.
Fugue - Sunday, July 14th
Endeavour, demoted to "general duty," meets his intellectual – and cultural – match in a new kind of serial killer haunting the Oxford twilight with cryptic clues and a disturbing love of opera.
Rocket - Sunday, July 21st
 A royal visit by Princess Margaret to an Oxford munitions factory may exclude the unwelcome Endeavour Morse, but even Chief Superintendent Bright's highest security cannot exclude murder.

Home - Sunday, July 28th
A visit to his ailing father draws Endeavour away from Oxford, his pending sergeant's exam and the investigation of the hit-and-run accident of a classics professor. But murder draws him back.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Delivery Man Trailer Premiere

I am happy to be 1 of 533 bloggers premiering the trailer for Delivery Man. This film about a directionless man who finds out, that through a slip up at a sperm bank, he is now the father of 533 children looks incredibly sweet.

It stars Vince Vaughn as the guy who just can't get it right. But decides to try to covertly help his children. I'm guessing like any other scenerio where one becomes a parent, it will change him for the better and ultimately make him grow up and start making some better decisions for himself. Based on the trailer I'd say we'll be laughing a fair bit along the way too.

To be honest I'm not always a fan of Vince's movie, (Swingers, Old School, and that ABC After School Special...) but this trailer really made me laugh and say "aww", and just generally made me want to see it.

I bet you will too

Monday, July 1, 2013

Carson on TCM Tonight

TCM is airing select Johnny Carson interviews from the Tonight Show, Mondays at 8pm et in July. The show will be hosted by Conan O'Brien. Conan will introduce 5 interviews each week, many of which have not been seen since their original air date.

See the dates, times, and guest list below.

Monday, July 1
8 p.m. – Carson on TCM: Drew Barrymore (1982), Kirk Douglas(1988), Mary Tyler Moore (1978), Neil Simon (1980), George Burns(1989)

Monday, July 8
8 p.m. – Carson on TCM – Doris Day (1976), Charlton Heston(1976), Chevy Chase (1986), Steve Martin (1979), Tony Curtis(1973)

Monday, July 158 p.m. – Carson on TCM: Shelley Winters (1975), Ronald Reagan(1975), Robin Williams (1981), Jonathan Winters (1988), Michael Caine (1983)

Monday, July 22
8 p.m. – Carson on TCM: Mel Brooks (1975), Dom Deluise (1976),Bette Davis (1983), Burt Reynolds (1972), Fred Astaire (1979)

Monday, July 29
8 p.m. – Carson on TCM: Henry Fonda (1980), Elizabeth Taylor(1992), Susan Sarandon (1974), William Holden (1976), Goldie Hawn (1980)