Thursday, November 21, 2013

Warner Brothers Tour

Harry Potter Costumes

I begged my way into a free tour of the amazing Warner Brothers lot last week. This studio really puts a lot of effort into creating a broad range of experiences into their tour. This year marks their 90th anniversary and they're really kicking it into high gear.
Dusenberg used in The Great Gatsby

Warner Brothers is starting an end of the week contest where guests use the hashtag #wbfotofriday when they post their favorite pictures of the tour on Twitter, and then Warner Brothers picks their favorite to post on Fridays.

Jack Lemon bust from the prop department

For the month of November they are providing tours in French on Mondays and Wednesday at 3:45! Spanish tours run Monday-Friday at 12:15 PM and 3:15 PM.

My Fair Lady Costumes

There will also be free guest speakers from time to time. Check the Warner Brothers Website for details as they develop.

A portrait of Humphrey Bogart for his last film, that was never made

There are two types of tours. The VIP tour which is two hours and the deluxe tour that is 5 hours and takes you to the commissary for lunch. While you might think two hours is enough, you'd be wrong. There is so much to see and trying to squeeze it all in to two hour is impossible. I highly recommend the deluxe tour, and if they ever make a ten hour tour I'll recommend that one. Another great perk of the deluxe tour is eating in the commissary. It's great for star gazing.

Jazz singer script
 If you only have one day to tour a studio in LA, Warner Brothers is the place to go. You see it all from backlot sets to props, they even have a museum with an entire floor devoted to Harry Potter. You can get put in a house at Hogwarts by the actual sorting hat. The museum also has a variety of movie memorabilia from early film up to today. When I was there they had the script pictured above from the first "talkie", The Jazz Singer, all the way through the recent Great Gatsby film.

Back Lot

Monday, November 18, 2013

Frozen Opens Thanksgiving

Disney invited my family and I to see Frozen on the Disney Lot last weekend. It was a packed theatre of families with kids. What better way to spend a Saturday morning than watching cartoons with a bunch of children.

We started off strong with an animated short with classic Mickey and crew that had the whole audience howling with laughter. It relied on tried and true cartoon antics but with a fresh spin. I have to say I really enjoyed it.

I had heard that Frozen was based on the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Snow Queen, but in truth it has almost nothing in common with that story. So I will not bother to compare it with that. On it's own Frozen was a great story of two sisters taking care of one another.

There is also a ridiculous snowman creature for comic relief, Olaf, who comes apart at regular intervals. He is so silly you can't help but laugh at his misadventures. Pretty much all the other characters are straight men for him.

The story is set in Scandinavia, though you only know that because of a lutefisk (fermented fish dish) joke spoken by a character using a German accent. I once asked Kenneth Branagh, during an interview for his show Wallander, why no one attempts Scandinavian accents and he told me it's a fear of sounding like the Muppets Swedish chef. Which it's hard to argue with.

I highly recommend this film. My husband, 9 year old daughter, and I all thought it was really entertaining and that's a tricky thing to pull off. I really believe almost anyone would enjoy it. I believe if you see the 3D version you will get the preview short, we enjoyed so much, as well.

It opens on Thanksgiving, so it could be a fun one to go see while family is town visiting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


TNT is premiering Mob City December 4. The story is set in LA in the mid 1940's, when mobster and the LAPD were at each other's throats. Based on the critically acclaimed book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, by John Buntin.
Mob City will air in two-hour blocks over three consecutive Wednesdays (Dec. 4, 11 and 18).

I had thought this was to be a series, but now it looks more like a mini series. Either way I'm sure to watch. Hoping it's so good they decide to develop it into a series...

The cast includes Jeffrey DeMunn (The Walking Dead, The Shawshank Redemption), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) and Ed Burns(Entourage), Neal McDonough (Captain America,Desperate Housewives), Gregory Itzin (24), Robert Knepper (Prison Break), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes),Alexa Davalos (Clash of the Titans, The Mist) and Jeremy Luke (Don Jon).
TNT synopsis:

Mob City centers on Det. Joe Teague (Bernthal), an ex-Marine who holds his cards close to his chest. Teague has been assigned to a new mob task force headed by Det. Hal Morrison (DeMunn). The task force is part of a crusade by Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker (McDonough) to free the city of criminals like Ben “Bugsy” Siegel (Burns) and Mickey Cohen (Luke), the ruthless king of the Los Angeles underworld. Parker also won’t hesitate to go after anyone from his own police force who sells out honor and duty for the sake of a big payout.

Friday, November 8, 2013

BBC America Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

The Doctor Who 50th anniversary palooza is coming to BBC America beginning November 18th and will climax with the November 23rd global simulcast of Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor. I am only a lowly 3 doctorgenarian and I'm beyond excited for this week of celebrating Doctor Who's 50th anniversary I can only imagine those fans who have been watching since the beginnings level of enthusiasm!

The celebration will begin November 18th with the US premiere of an all-new special, Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS, featuring the series’ actors and producers sharing their experiences and memories of the world’s longest-running sci-fi show. The special features exclusive interviews with principal cast members from the show’s 50-year history, including actors who have played the Doctor: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Tom Baker, and Peter Davison, actors who have played companions: Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, Freema Agyeman, and William Russell, as well as the current lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat. The discussion includes how the actors got cast, how the roles changed their lives, how a ‘regeneration’ is recorded, and how filming the show in the 60's compares to today.

Tales of the Tardis will be followed by The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox another US premiere. Exploring the universe of the world’s favorite Time Lord when Brian Cox takes the audience on a journey into the wonderful universe of Doctor Who, with the help of celebrity guests. In this exclusively recorded special from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Brian reveals the science behind the spectacle and explains the physics that allows Doctor Who to travel through space and time. Fun, but filled with real science, it’s a special night for Who fans and anyone with a thirst for understanding.

Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Marathon

Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor Marathon Part IThe Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith

Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor Marathon Part 2
The Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith

Followed by an all-new special, Doctor Who Explained, explores the mysterious and two-hearted alien who is the Doctor. Through exclusive interviews with principal cast members from the show’s 50-year history, including actors who have played the Doctor: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Peter Davison, and Tom Baker as well as actors who have played companions: Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, and Freema Agyeman, viewers get an insight to what happens behind-the-scenes of the award-winning sci-fi show.

Then the US premiere of An Adventure in Space and Time, The origin story of Doctor Who the TV show. Written by Mark Gatiss, the BBC AMERICA co-production, the film stars David Bradley (the First Doctor, William Hartnell), Brian Cox (BBC Head of Drama, Sydney Newman), Jessica Raine (Producer, Verity Lambert) and Sacha Dhawan (Director, Waris Hussein). An unlikely trio of misfits set out to create a genre series that all ages would love. William ‘Bill’ Hartnell, displeased with his career, was presented with a chance to break out of the hard-man roles he’d become known for. And with the instincts of first time producer, Verity Lambert and first time director, Waris Hussein, the Doctor was born. As the success of the show grew, William went from unhappy curmudgeon to beloved television star who relished his career resurgence and found a new lease on life. But all good things come to an end. How will Bill face leaving behind the part that has made him a hero to millions of children? And can the show survive without him? Journey back fifty years through space and time to witness the exciting beginning and untimely end of the First Doctor in this

Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor Marathon Part 3 – 1:00am – 2:00pm ET
The Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith

Drum Roll

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor – Global Simulcast – 2:50pm ET
The centerpiece of BBC AMERICA’s celebrations is the global simulcast of Doctor Who’s 50thAnniversary special, Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, written by Steven Moffat. The Doctors (Matt Smith and David Tennant) embark on their greatest adventure across space and time. In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him. Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, with Billie Piper and John Hurt. Last seen as the Doctor on January 1, 2010, this will be the first time David Tennant has reprised his role as the Tenth Doctor. During his reign as the Time Lord, Tennant appeared in three seasons as well as several specials. He was first revealed as the Doctor in the 2005 season finale, The Parting of the Ways. Meanwhile Billie Piper, who played companion Rose Tyler for two seasons following the reboot in 2005, will appear in the show for the first time since featuring in David Tennant’s last episode, The End of Time in 2010. The special is directed by Nick Hurran, executive produced by Steven Moffat, Faith Penhale and produced by Marcus Wilson.

If by some disaster of the universe you miss it, not to worry they're rebroadcasting it later in the day. Encore primetime broadcast – 7:00pm ET.

Finally the U.S. premiere of The Graham Norton Show with guests Matt Smith and David Tennant – 10:00pm ET. Doctor Who stars Matt Smith and David Tennant make their first appearance together on BBC AMERICA’s hit talk show The Graham Norton Show. Emma Thompson, singer Robbie Williams and comedian Jimmy Carr will also be guests.
Please check your local listings for times

This just in!

Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor Trailer

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mr Peabody & Sherman Preview

You may have heard an animated film is being made of the classic, beloved cartoon Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It's the old story of the genius dog who does his civic duty and adopts an orphaned boy. In the cartoons of my childhood Mr. Peabody and Sherman travel through time learning about history, and the film is much the same.

When I was invited to see some clips from the movie, I admit, I was concerned I would be disappointed. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the parts of the film I saw. It was exciting and funny. I'm sure my 9 year old daughter will eat it up with a spoon.

Mr. Sherman is portrayed by Ty Burrell, of Modern Family fame, and I think we all know how adept he is at comedy. The assembled press were given some Q&A time with Ty and he told us that playing a genius was the stretch of his career. Also he spoke about the difficulty of getting his naturally low voice to sound more like Mr. Peabody. I think he was extremely successful.

The film opens March 7th and I really think this is the type of film you'll enjoy seeing with your kids. If they happen to learn a few thing about history along the way so much the better.