Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Cameron Crowe Scripted Show For Showtime @CameronCrowe @sho_network

I am super excited to hear that Showtime has given a pilot production order for a Cameron Crowe written comedy series titled ROADIES. Just in case you don't know Mr. Crowe has had a few successes with films like ALMOST FAMOUS, SINGLES, and FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH just to mention 3 decades.

This new comedy series will follow the goings on of a successful rock band tour as experienced by their faithful road crew, AKA roadies. Crowe will executive produce with Winnie Holzman (Huge, My So-Called Life, Wicked), who will serve as showrunner, and J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest). So it's a loaded bench.

Sounds good, right?

I love all things Cameron Crowe so I'll be waiting for this pilot with bated breathe. Don't worry about missing it. I will be making a lot of noise about this one. I have everything crossed it comes out soon and can be my new obsession when MAD MEN takes it's final bow next spring.

It's like a weight has been lifted and I know excellent, fabulous serial TV will live on!

UPDATE 12-14-14

Christina Hendricks from Mad Men has been cast to star in ROADIES. Christina Hendricks will portray “Shelli,” the band’s production manager – Bill’s (Luke Wilson) ingenious work partner, tough, but privately emotional, married to her job… and scary-good at it. Luke Wilson (Old School, The Royal Tenenbaums), Imogen Poots (The Look of Love), Rafe Spall (One Day), Peter Cambor (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Academy Award® nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) were previously announced as stars of the ensemble cast. The one-hour comedy pilot will shoot in Vancouver in early 2015.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eli Wallach at TCM Film Festival on Acting in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY #TCMFF #RIP

Eli Wallach and Robert Osbourne Photo Courtesy of Turner Classic Movies

Eli Wallach's passing was such sad news. I've said it many times, but each time we lose one of these film legends, it feels like a priceless family heirloom has been destroyed. They are impossible to replace and their loss is so much more than monetary or emotional. They connect us to a time we have no other way to experience. They are our thread and without them goes all of that.

I have been lucky to get to see many great film legends at the TCM Film Festival for the last five years and Eli has been there a few times. The first year I heard him be interviewed by Robert Osbourne (pictured above). In the above picture Eli is sharing a birthday card that Clint Eastwood sent him that plays the music from THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

Below is some video I took of the interview, where Eli talks about when he will leave the acting profession and how he ended up not being in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

I hope that his family find some comfort in what a huge impression this talented man left on his fans. Yesterday, when he passed away, someone reposted a tweet of mine from December 17th 2013. TCM had been airing Eli Wallach's film THE HOLIDAY and this is what I shared.

"Is it wrong that I would definitely pick a week w/ Eli Wallach over Jude Law? #TCMParty I knew you'd understand. #TheHoliday"

I stand by it even more today!

TCM will be airing a whole day of Eli's films June 30th.

9 a.m. – Kisses for My President (1964) – The first female president has to deal with her husband's bruised ego. Starring Fred MacMurray, Polly Bergen and Eli Wallach. Directed by Curtis Bernhardt.

11 a.m. – Act One (1963) – George Hamilton stars in the true story of playwright Moss Hart, a poor Brooklyn boy who joins forces with an experienced playwright to conquer Broadway and Hollywood. Also starring Jason Robards Jr., Jack Klugman and Eli Wallash. Directed by Dore Schary.

1 p.m. – How the West Was Won (1962) – This epic film follows three generations of pioneers as they take part in the forging of the American West. Starring Carroll Baker, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Carolyn Jones, Eli Wallach, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, John Wayne, Richard Widmark and Spencer Tracy. Directed by John Ford, George Marshall and Henry Hathaway.

3:45 p.m. – The Misfits (1961) – A sensitive divorcee gets mixed up with modern cowboys roping mustangs in the desert. Starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter and Eli Wallach. Directed by John Huston.

6 p.m. – Baby Doll (1956) – A child bride holds her husband at bay while flirting with a sexy Italian farmer. Starring Karl Malden, Carroll Baker and Eli Wallach. Directed by Elia Kazan.

Friday, June 20, 2014

BBC America Premieres THE MUSKETEERS Sunday @BBCAMERICA #TheMusketeers

Swashbuckling is back in a big way. BBC America will premier their THE MUSKETEERS this Sunday. I got a sneak peek and I liked what I saw. It a fresh take on a story we know and love. I look forward to seeing the developement of the series.

Here's BBC America's description: The Musketeers, is set on the streets of seventeenth century Paris, where law and order is an idea more than a reality. In addition to being King Louis XIII’s personal bodyguards, Athos, Aramis and Porthos stand resolutely for social justice, honor, valor, love – and for the thrill of it. Luke Pasqualino (Skins, The Borgias) stars as D’Artagnan alongside Tom Burke (Great Expectations, The Hour) as Athos, Santiago Cabrera (Merlin, Heroes) as Aramis and Howard Charles (Royal Shakespeare Company) as Porthos. Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Hour, The Thick Of It), Maimie McCoy (Loving Miss Hatto), Tamla Kari (Cuckoo, The Inbetweeners Movie) and Hugo Speer (Bedlam) also star in the 10-part series created by Adrian Hodges (My Week With Marilyn, Primeval)

As a Doctor Who geek I admit I am somewhat intrigued by Peter Capaldi as Cardinal Richelieu. He's a true blue baddy in this, but in just a month or two we'll be seeing him as our well loved Doctor.

Back to THE MUSKETEERS. Here is a little trailer to give you a taste.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

EARTH TO ECHO Opens July 2 #EarthToEcho

EARTH TO ECHO opens July 2. This is the first film that I feel really speaks to this generation of digital natives. The kids in the film were interacting in the same way I see my daughter with her friends. They are on computers video chatting while playing a game and looking things up. They all have cell phone and can learn (or at least think they can) anything they need to know by googling it. It's a big thing for kids to see themselves reflect in film and I think EARTH TO ECHO does a great job of that.

Still as modern as this film is it also brought me back to the movies of my youth in the 1970s. The kids are not as sugar coated as they can be in films today. There are rough edges and one of them actually uses a curse word. It's only "balls", but I appreciated the effort. If you go back and watch the 80s film GOONIES you will notice the kids are cursing up a storm. I'm not advocating for that, but I think a little salty language is called for when anyone is in a life threatening situation.

In the theatre, the night we saw the screening, I noticed the younger kids were getting a bit squirmy. I would say this film is probably best suited to kids 8 and up.

The following day my daughter was given the opportunity to interview the cast with a few other blogger kids. You can see it here.

Here's the film trailer!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Doctor Who Season 7 on Netflix

Doctor Who season eight doesn't return to BBC America until August but you can get yourself caught up or just refresh your timey wimey memory on Netflix. Until the other day they only had up to season 6 of the more recent incarnation of the Doctor. But season seven has just been added.

 If, like my daughter, you have already committed all of those "first" six seasons to memory you will be happy to learn they have added season seven. Which gives you more than a month to study last season's farewell to Matt Smith and the introduction of Peter Capaldi.

Until there is this!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Knott's Berry Farm Camp Snoopy 30th BDay #KnottsSummer

Knott's Berry Farm has invited me and my family to come celebrate Camp Snoopy's 30th birthday. Even though Camp Snoopy is only 30 he's had a little work done, a revitalization, if you will. They have also revamped The Calico Mine ride. I can't wait to see all the improvements, my old favorites and, of course, have some chicken pot pie!

CAMP SNOOPY will introduce three new rides built by Zamperla.

 Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer invites campers to “fly a kite” with Charlie Brown and soar above the 
land’s winding paths and babbling streams – but watch out for the kite-eating tree! This 32-
passenger adventure allows guests to sit side-by-side on 16 swings for a spin that whisks riders 
up to 18 feet above the ground. As the tree rises, good ol’ Charlie Brown is revealed upside 
down and all tied up in kite string! Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer will replace Snoopy Bounce. 

 Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies lets tykes climb aboard their very own all-terrain vehicle for an 
adventurous ride around the High Sierras. Six four-seater ATVs will spin, bounce, and bump up 
to 24 guests at a time, while Pig Pen looks on from his center perch. Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies will 
replace Log Peeler. 

 Linus Launcher recreates that classic Peanut’s moment when Snoopy grabs Linus’ blanket and 
launches him on a wild ride. On Linus Launcher, guests lay on one of twelve “blankets” as they 
fly round and round. Up to 24 guests lay side-by-side while Snoopy launches them up almost 10 
feet in the air. Guests will enjoy a Woodstock’s-eye view of Huff ‘n Puff, The Grizzly Creek 
Lodge, and all of Camp Snoopy below! Linus Launcher will replace Charlie Brown’s Speedway. 

Knott's has also done a major refurbishing of the CALICO MINE ride. It now includes dozens of new 
richly-detailed animatronic figures, state-of-the art lighting, audio, and all-new special effects. The attraction’s rustic wooden loading platform has been refreshed and now includes a “peek-in” similar to those 
found throughout Ghost Town, offering guests windows into the rich mining history of the 1850s on their way toward boarding the mine train car. Improvements have also been made for disabled guests looking for ADA accommodations.

I'll be live tweeting our day at the park on June 28th. You can follow the tweets with #KnottsSummer or come down and join the fun!

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do
I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


PEGUINS OF MADAGASCAR doesn't come out till November But I had to share this trailer. Trust me, I get a lot of trailer and am asked to share them, but this was is too funny to ignore.

Like most right thinking people I've always thought the Penguins were the best part of the MADAGASCAR franchise, with the lemurs a close second. Here's hoping they can maintain this level of brilliance throughout an entire film.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Broadway Casts I Want to Come To LA ATTN: @CTGLA @Pantages

Every year when the Tony's are on TV I watch and see all the Broadway shows I hope and pray will come to Los Angeles with their Broadway casts. Someday I hope to go to New York and see a shows there but until that day I cross my fingers, rub my rabbit foot (and artificial one, cause that's just cruel), and pray to the theatre gods that I will see some of these shows in the years to come on a stage near me with their broadway casts.

Last night's Tony broadcast left me with this list,so here in no particular order.

A musical about the life of Carole King. I love Carole King and I love the film GRACE OF MY HEART that was loosely based on her life. I heard about this play before it opened and I was hoping it would be great and I guess it is

A musical about the Cotton Club. This looks like a great show full of all my favorite old standards. I'm guessing it's all the club scenes in the film THE COTTON CLUB only more so. The cast doesn't hurt either, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, and Fantasia.

A distant heir to a family fortune apparently goes about clearing the intermediaries with what they discribe as, charm and a dash of murder. The number they did on the Tony's was hysterical.

This is described as a rock musical about a fictional rock band with a transgender lead singer. There is a film I have never seen but have heard is also wonderful. It stars the unstoppable Neil Patrick Harris, who performed a number from the show that was brilliant.

I'm sure there are many great straight plays too, but I love the musicals. If you have any further recommendations please let me know!

Friday, June 6, 2014

#Perception Returns To TNT June 17th @perceptionTNT

Perception returns to TNT June 17th

After nearly a year of waiting Eric McCormack returns to TNT as Dr Daniel Pierce for season 3 of PERCEPTION. I really love this show. It could be brushed off as just another show about solving crimes but it is so much better than that.

Eric McCormack plays Dr. Daniel Pierce an academic neuroscientitist who teaches by day and helps the federal government solve crime with his deductive reasoning by night. But that's not all, Dr. Daniel Pierce is also struggling with his own issues, and it's not the usual crime drama issues of drinking, or women, or gambling, or some combination of all three. He is also a schizophrenic, which sometimes makes it difficult for him to tell the real from the delusion.

Basically, our leading man is the love child of (pick your favorite) Sherlock Holmes and Patricia Arquette's Alison DuBois on MEDIUM. Except here the ghosts are hallucinations. I really love this show. I know I said that already, but I just want to reiterate that.

Sadly, I could only find this tiny season 3 clip but you can see how likable McCormack makes this character in spite of his "eccentricities".

Thursday, June 5, 2014

TCL "Grauman's" Chinese Theatre Wins Theatre of The Year

In April 2013 when TCL "Grauman's" Chinese Theatre closed for renovation I was concerned. LA is not known for their protection of old buildings. There was much lamenting at the TCM Film Festival, that was one of the last events held at the theatre, that it would never be the same again. On the final night of the festival fans had to practically be forced from the building.

I kept a close eye on the project during the construction. At least as close as an eye as I could with the auditorium completely sealed off. Perhaps more accurately I kept a close ear on the project. I asked lots of questions of anyone I could locate connected with the project. They were all very patient answering my questions. I think I found the most solace from the people at The LA Historic Theatre Foundation, who assured me they had over seen the project and it would all be OK.

It's true that the theatre has been altered, but this most recent time seems to have done everything in it's power to keep the theatre a current movie house while maintaining it's original splendor. It is for that reason The LA Historic Theatre Foundation is naming it theatre of the year today.

Congratulations to all involved in both preserving and renovating this grand old theatre for generations to come. I really couldn't be any more grateful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

David Tennant is #TheEscapeArtist on @PBS

David Tennant in The Escape Artist on PBS June 15th

PBS is airing, the two episode,THE ESCAPE ARTIST starring David Tennant June 15th and 22nd at 9PM et. It's a courtroom drama about a lawyer who has a perfect life at home and in the court room, he's never lost a case. But then of course it all goes terribly wrong.

Will Burton (Tennant) is a great lawyer and manages to get any criminal off, which is why he is called the escape artist.  Unfortunately, it looks like he might have gotten one too many bad guys out of jail. Karma it's a bitch.

I've yet to see this show but I'm willing to bet I'll like it. Check out the trailer below and see if it doesn't peak your interest. If it does be aware that you will have to watch it at air time (or DVR it) as they are unable to stream it due to rights restrictions

Monday, June 2, 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2 at DreamWorks #HTTYD2

In celebration of the imminent release of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2  (June 13th) DreamWorks invited me for a day of learning how animation films are made. I was given the opportunity to talk with film makers and animators. I loved the movie and found them all very charming, I was disappointed to find they were all male. But I won't dwell on that.

From Right: Pierre-Oliver Vincent,Dean DeBlois, Oliver Finkelde, Pablo Valle, Dave Walvoord
Pierre-Oliver Vincent  (known as POV after Katzenberg called him that once), the production designer explained in the beginning the animators make many versions of the characters "the reason why we do so many explorations is at this point, we don’t really know what the movie is going to be.  It could be very cartoony, very comedic and funny and stylized, or maybe a bit more naturalistic.".

Once the look of the characters is decided upon the animation process can begin. It was amazing to see all the steps and layers they have to go through to reach their final product. Beginning with just crude stick figures.

Then several layers later achieving filled out characters with backgrounds that require myriads of layer to show lighting and movement, don't even get them started on fire. Animators will physically act out the scenes to get the movement as realistic as possible. The day we were there they brought in actors to show us. The animators said they didn't look as svelte in the Lycra suits. As you can see the animators really get into the action!


One of the final steps is perfecting the facial expressions an movements. We were given an opportunity to do this ourselves with their new Apollo program that allows you to animate instantaneously. You could tell by the way all the animators kept talking about this new program that it was really exciting to them to be able to have a pencil (technically a stylus) back in their hands. The program allows them to work much faster without having so many keystrokes. I had a lot of fun with it myself.The director Dean DeBlois went so far as to say this could be as good as animation gets with room for development in speed and cost.

And after all the years it takes to get all of that accomplished, the work of 30-40 animators over 4 years in this case, you finally have your finished product. Which really is an insanely miraculous feat once you see all that goes into it. I think when you see this film you will see the level of effort they put into it. It is really gorgeous to look at and a great story.

We also got to see all the amazing products that will come out with the film. There are lots of toys but there is also a great mobile app and video games.


We got to fly Toothless, virtually, of course. Though it felt pretty real when I was doing it.

 They made us fabulous treats, that I think everyone was too impressed with and busy photographing to eat.