October 2016 Archives

Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us an animated Caped Crusader, a sea of trees, bad moms and more.
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As a teenager living in the '80s I developed a great fondness for old '50s, '60s, and '70s television shows. A lot of fledgling cable channels found it valuable (and no doubt cheap) to rerun old shows rather than create original programming. I’d sit every afternoon watching that old stuff. I loved just about all of it from the cheesy shows of the '50s like Donna Reed and Father Knows Best to more urban and socially conscious '70s series such as Good Times and The Jeffersons. It was during these classic TV afternoons that I discovered two of my all-time

Men & Chicken (2015) Blu-ray Review: Hard-Boiled Danish

Breaching all boundaries of good taste, I can't decide if Denmark's award-winning black comedy is for mankind or just plain fowl.
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It's been a considerable while since I last dived into a Danish picture, and my immediate thought as soon as Anders Thomas Jensen's Mænd & høns ‒ or, Men & Chicken, as the English-language translation reads ‒ was if I had been out of the loop for far too long. Or maybe I have aged considerably more in the last couple of years than the calendar would have me believe, as I found Men & Chicken was a bit of a tough shell to crack. Sure, it either won or was nominated for numerous awards in its native Denmark (as

TCFF 2016 Review: The Babymoon

Pregnancy has no limits in this very fun comedy adventure.
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This was one movie I had little interest in seeing at the Twin Cities Film Fest. What could be so fascinating about watching a couple on a vacation in some sort of luxury hotel? The trailer made the husband out to be a certain kind of feminine hygiene product. While the wife behaved in a way that rhymes with the word "runt". Why would I care if some political rebels kidnapped the dude while the wife goes looking for him? The trailer had moments that made me laugh, but nothing about it made me excited to be spending two hours

Panel Preview: Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea

"The biblical Jonah was vomited up by a whale, but Hellboy might not be as lucky," said Gary Gianni. "A superstitious crew and a figure in black will make sure there's no escaping the silent sea."
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Press release: Dark Horse Comics invites you to celebrate Halloween with a preview of the upcoming original graphic novel, Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea, co-written by legendary Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, co-written and illustrated by Eisner Award winning artist Gary Gianni and colored by award winning colorist Dave Stewart. Following the events of the classic story “The Island”, Hellboy sets sail from the wreckage of a deserted island only to cross paths with a ghost ship. Taken captive by the phantom crew that plans to sell him to the circus, Hellboy is dragged along by a captain who will stop

Crime or Climb: Tails of Scaling and Failing from the Warner Archive

Sean Connery ascends, George Hamilton pretends, and Don Siegel defends in this trio from the WAC.
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It is oft said one must reach the top in order to succeed, and this trio of minor motion pictures from Hollywood's past can serve as a painful reminder of how much of a fall you're in for should you slip up somewhere along the line. And both of those terrible analogies certainly come into play in the 1982 Warner Bros. drama, Five Days, One Summer, for it quite literally has to do with mountain climbing. But before you get your hopes up, this is not the sort of exciting cinematic fare like you might find in The Eiger Sanction.

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 10-31-16

Plan your week with TCM.
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October on TCM closes out with a great pairing: Star-of-the-Month Christopher Lee movies airing on Halloween. Natalie Wood takes over for Lee in November on Friday nights. And America can prepare for the future with a movie about the first female U.S. President. Star of the Month: Christopher Lee - The Mummy (1959) Monday, October 31 at 9:45 p.m. (ET) A resurrected mummy stalks the archaeologists who defiled his tomb. PT 109 (1963) Tuesday, November 1 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) Future president John Kennedy fights to save his crew when their PT boat sinks in the Pacific. The Young Savages

TCFF 2016 Review: Lake Runs Red

A non-linear horror movie.
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College students Lauren (Kaci Wegleitner) and Melissa (Lauren Morris) are on thier way to spend a weekend with Lauren's parents at their lake house. They brought thier swim suits, they brought their shades, and they brought along some creepy guy who has been following them for the enitre trip. Who is this guy and what does he want with them? It's pretty clear that Bruce (C.J. Devaan) has no desire to hang out the lake and relax with Lauren and Melissa unless it's with their blood on him. When I saw the trailer for this, I was very impressed. It

Edward G. Robinson Breaks Out of the Warner Archive Collection!

Yeah, a quartet of individual titles starring classic Hollywood's perennial tough guy make their DVD debuts, see?
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Compared to the infinite number of indistinguishable pretty boys popping up in one forgettable flick after another today, there could only have been one Edward G. Robinson. Hailing from a time in Tinseltown when tough guys could be larger-than-life no matter how short and squatty they may have been, Robinson's noticeable lack of height (or a handsome mug) may have prevented him from landing more romantic, nice guy roles, but his natural grumpy-looking demeanor soon found him shooting up the ladder of success in 1931 when he landed the lead in the crime drama classic Little Caesar. This pivotal role

TCFF 2016 Review: Iron Will: A Veteran's Battle with PTSD

Iron Will shatters perceptions and shows men who are going through very normal behaviors when dealing with such heavy things.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is something many people may recognize but few seldom really know. When I first heard the word, the image that popped into my head was of Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen was in the hotel room before his mission started. Most of us associate the word as something veterans get for being in the war too long. The common stereotype I can think of, and this is a totally made up scenario, let's say you're at a family dinner and your uncle, who is a Vietnam vet, asks what everyone wants to eat. Cousin

The Carol Burnett Show: Classic Carol DVD Review: Arguably the Best Release to Date

Apparently they just keep finding these “lost” episodes, and in this case we’re glad they did.
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Most of us our filled with fond memories of The Carol Burnett Show, which ran on CBS from 1967 to 1978. Memories of classic comedy that filled our homes with laughter every week as our family gathered around the television to watch Carol and her friends come out and play. Memories of Tim Conway working with Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence, and of course Carol, in some of the funniest comedy ever on television. Sadly, like many memories, those of The Carol Burnett Show can be a bit cloudy. Tim Conway didn’t join the cast as a regular until

Marine Raiders / In Our Time (1944) DVD Reviews: WWII WAC

The Warner Archive Collection encourages you to buy war bonds ‒ and these old World War II propaganda flicks, too!
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Every time the Warner Archive Collection unearths another wartime propaganda movie, I have to wonder if Hollywood didn't make an entire feature-length drama for every war bond sold during the duration of America's involvement in World War II alone. But of course, I'm also glad to see rarities such as these two drastically different flicks being made available, and neither In Our Time or Marine Raiders will prove to be disappointing. Well, not unless you're easily offended, that is. Truth be told, the latter offering of this WWII-some from 1944 may drop a jaw or two with its less than

Dark Water Blu-ray Review: A More Intimate Ring of Terror

Original Ringu director's best follow-up to his international hit, Dark Water is overwhelmingly atmospheric and surprisingly poignant.
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While it's not entirely accurate to say that Ringu was the first J-horror movie (the momentum for that had been building in the direct to video and TV movie markets) it was certainly the first breakout hit in the genre that marries the traditional image of the long black-haired female, a staple of Japanese ghost stories, with modern anxieties. Ironic now that it was done with the thoroughly dated black VHS, this marriage of the modern world with the classical imagery formed the thematic backbone of this new phase in modern horror cinema. When Ringu was re-made in America as

The Unspoken Movie Review: Don't Speak

Some good acting can't save this paint-by-the-numbers horror feature.
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Sometimes when watching a horror movie, I find myself laughing at moments most people would find frightening. Is this because I'm just using this as a defense strategy because I'm actually really scared or am I just a sick person who enjoys watching people suffer? Well, that last statement could be true, but it depends on who is being punished. The real reason why I laugh is because certain situations become so ridiculous when it's supposed to be taken seriously that my natural reaction is to laugh. I want to sit down and become fully engaged in the world that

A Double Feature of Holiday RiffTrax Events Dashes into Cinemas on December 1 Only

Joined by comedy legend "Weird Al" Yankovic, the RiffTrax crew takes on two yuletide favorites.
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Press release: The RiffTrax guys (Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett) are back and, in the spirit of the holiday season, are gifting fans two funny features for the price of one. “RiffTrax Holiday Special Double Feature” includes Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a beloved classic from the days of Mystery Science Theater 3000 - completely reworked by RiffTrax for the 2013 broadcast. In the second feature, “Rifftrax Live: Christmas Shorts-straveganza,” the guys take you all the way back to 2009, when they were joined by multiple Grammy Award-winning comedy legend “Weird Al” Yankovic for a night of Christmas

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Blu-ray Review: Entertaining but Uneven

The comedy isn't consistent nor is it consistently funny.
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The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother not only finds Gene Wilder starring as the title character but he is also the lead behind the camera, making his debut as a director from a screenplay he wrote. While the name of the world's greatest detective is usually associated with mysteries, it shouldn't be a surprise with Wilder at the helm that the film focuses more on comedy and music. Set in 1891, important documents Queen Victoria gave Foreign Secretary Lord Redcliff (John Le Mesurier) are stolen. Sherlock decides to pass on the case to his younger brother, Sigerson (Wilder), who

Twilight Time Presents: Moral Outcasts, Musicals, and Hey, Is That Charles Bronson?

Spies, human chameleons, horse thieves, sanitized sex, and less-than-subtle dance routines featuring a multitude of bananas highlight this round of goodies.
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The subject of outcasts seem to be the recurring thread with this wave of Twilight Time Blu-ray releases, as evidenced by a very versatile collection of motion picture which would appear to have nothing else in common otherwise. The exercise begins with one of contemporary society's greatest outcasts (on either side of the camera), Mr. Woody Allen, and his 1983 offering about an even bigger outsider, Leonard Zelig. Following in the footsteps of his own Take the Money and Run, Allen's mocumentary Zelig (released a year before the cult classic This is Spinal Tap hit screens) presents the tale of

TCM to Air 'To Tell The Truth,' Month-long Programming Spotlight on Documentaries

Hosted By Alec Baldwin, To Tell The Truth airs every Monday and Wednesday throughout November.
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Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will look at the influential history of non-fiction films in To Tell The Truth, a month-long programming special featuring more than 50 films exploring the history of this effective and important art form. Hosted by Oscar-nominee and TCM-veteran Alec Baldwin, the special will feature several TCM premieres including two episodes of the ongoing series To Tell The Truth: A History of Documentary Film (2014). The programming special premieres Nov. 2 at 8 pm ET and will air every Monday and Wednesday during the month. Documentaries have been an important part of moviemaking since the

Girl in Woods DVD Review: Bring a Map

Female Tyler Durden takes a hike.
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Girl in Woods. The title kind of tells you the gist of it, no? Eh, not exactly. Girl Stranded in Woods with Massive Psychological Issues and No Meds paints a more accurate picture, but how do we get there? I'll try to explain. Grace (Juliet Reeves London) bore witness to (or might have been the cause of) the suicide of one (or more) of her parents when she was a child. Even before that, she would hallucinate monsters in her closet and lamented that her father (Lee Perkins) never believed in her cries for help, and instead would call for

The Executioner Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: An Introduction to a Spanish Filmmaking Giant

Criterion shines a light on a filmmaker not so well-known in the English-speaking world.
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Even among dedicated English-speaking cinephiles, the name Luis García Berlanga might not immediately spark a glimmer of recognition. The great Pedro Almodóvar, who ranks Berlanga up there with Luis Buñuel among Spanish filmmakers, offers a few theories why in his brief appreciation on the Criterion Collection’s newly released disc of The Executioner (El Verdugo). One possibility: Berlanga’s films often feature extended scenes of overlapping dialogue — some have likened him to proto-Robert Altman — which can be tricky to subtitle. Whatever the reason, Berlanga’s films have had basically no representation on Region 1/A home video up to this point, so

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be'

"In the words of Abraham, 'Suck my nuts,' writers/producers. We deserved better." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn reflect on the cruel torture dished out by both Negan and the writers. Kim: After almost eight months of waiting, we finally got to find out who was at the receiving end of Negan’s wrath. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading now, because I’ve got some things to say about it. I’m going to start by saying I didn’t completely hate this season opener, but there are some really huge things that are not sitting well with me. There’s some seriously awesome potential here for this season, and I think we’ll see some of

The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us an enormous gore feast, Norman Lear, Bob Dylan, Viggo Mortensen in the woods, and much more.
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Halloween is really sneaking up on me this year. October is normally one of my favorite months of the year as it is the beginning of cooler weather, hot drinks, the smell of burning wood, and beautiful colors. It's also the only month of the year when everybody wants to watch scary movies. I don’t know if it's the warm weather, or the fact that we bought a house and have been spending all our excess time and energy fixing it up or what, but I just haven’t been feeling October this year. We had our annual pumpkin-carving party a

The Thing (1982) / Tenebrae / Basket Case 2 & 3 on Blu-ray: Horror, Redefined

The groundbreaking madness of John Carpenter. The murderous manifestations of Dario Argento. The deranged imagination of Frank Henenlotter. On boy, here we go!
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While none of the titles covered in this article are necessarily new to the world of home video by any means, it is with a certain amount of pride I announce these four offerings have received what could very well be their definitive editions. And that's not an accomplishment which is easily accomplished, given the various histories of each flick. John Carpenter's The Thing ‒ now considered one of the finest science fiction/horror hybrids ever made ‒ was initially met with a great amount of disdain upon its debut in 1982, when timid audiences would have much rather consumed the

From Horrifying to Horrible: Back in Print from the Warner Archive

From a magnificent assembling of classic horror of the '30s, to the various sorts of silliness the whole of the '90s had to offer, these four releases will have you screaming.
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While the Warner Archive mostly brings us new and previously unreleased goodies to DVD, they also bring us the odd re-release of titles which have become out of print. Or possibly new and improved versions of old catalog releases which were unfortunate enough to have been pressed to disc when DVD was still new. This lot falls under both categories, sporting two new widescreen offerings of titles which were only ever seen in early (read: unmastered) releases, as well as the reawakening of two cult gems, the first of which has been on many a classic horror movie lover's wish

Bad Moms Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

The first R-rated comedy since The Hangover to earn an “A” grade from audiences nationwide.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader the Bad Moms Blu-ray Combo Pack. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: Bad Moms, the year’s biggest R-rated comedy - a runaway hit with audiences and critics alike - currently available on Digital HD and will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on November 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The raunchy film is the first R-rated comedy since The Hangover to earn an “A” grade from audiences nationwide. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD come with nearly

Wizard World Tulsa 2016: A Quick Visit

Due to some personal matters, I only stayed at this year's con for a couple of hours, but still had tons of fun.
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During this, my third Wizard Con experience I came to realize there is a certain sameness to these things. You get a lot of the same vendors, see a lot of the same cosplayers, listen to a lot of the same celebrities who say a lot of the same things. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I think there are enough different experiences to be had to keep it interesting, but it is starting to make me wonder if it's worth the cost to attend every year. Or, rather, since I get comped press passes, whether its worth it

Book Review: TV Finales FAQ by Stephen Tropiano and Holly Van Buren

All that's left to know about the endings of your favorite TV shows.
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The Applause FAQ series of books typically make for good reads and resources for fans of a particular pop-culture franchise, such as Star Wars and Doctor Who, or of a musical artist, like our own Kit O’Toole’s Michael Jackson FAQ. Stephen Tropiano and Holly Van Buren have created a book that appeals to fans of TV itself, a very smart idea as it widens the potential audience. I mean who doesn’t love TV. (And what's wrong with them?) In their “Introduction” to TV Finales FAQ, the authors reveal their intention to “provide insight into how a series finale came to

Artists Overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Sentries & Friends wish to nominate....
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Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their nominees for their 2017 induction ceremony, which will be revealed in December and awarded next April. According to their website, "Artists—a group encompassing performers, composers and/or musicians—become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Besides demonstrating unquestionable musical excellence and talent, inductees will have had a significant impact on the development, evolution and preservation of rock & roll." The nominees are: Bad Brains (eligible since 2007) Chaka Khan (eligible since 2003) Chic (eligible since 2002) Depeche Mode (eligible since 2006) Electric Light Orchestra (eligible

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 10-24-16

More thrills and chills from TCM.
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As Halloween approaches, it was only natural for TCM's Star-of-the-Month Christopher Lee to have his work as Dracula in the Hammer films featured as they are on Monday night. The two-night block of Trailblazing Women continues and then back for more horror. Star of the Month: Christopher Lee - Horror of Dracula (1958) Monday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) The legendary count tries to turn his enemies' women into his bloodthirsty brides. Trailblazing Women: Actresses Who Made a Difference Co-host Dana Delany- Wait Until Dark (1967) Tuesday, October 25 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A blind woman fights against drug

Front Cover DVD Review: A Funny, Charming Take on the Asian Gay Experience

The premise has been done repeatedly many times before, but never in such a broad and bold way.
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Obviously as most of us know, there are many people who think that gay cinema is just a way of getting one's rocks off, which means that cinema of this type can be regarded as cheesy, one-note, and stereotypical. In my opinion, they are wrong because gay cinema is more than risky sex scenes, campy dialogue; and annoying characters; it can come from a place of pure cultural reality. This is the case with director Ray Yeung's 2016 film, Front Cover, a witty and romantic story of being gay and falling in love from an Asian perspective. The film centers

Nerve Blu-ray Review: Candid Camera 2016

The concept is fascinating, but it would have worked better in the late '90s than it does here.
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We live in an age where everyone can record anything and with a good wifi connection, be seen by everyone. There is this strange urge to post everything we do in hopes it will get more "like"s and more followers because that has become our currency today. It no longer matters how much money you make or what your career is. It's how many Facebook friends and Twitter followers you have. Why do we feel that it's important to post everything that we do? I think it's mainly because we are scared of being forgotten. We only have a short

Burial Ground (1981) Blu-ray Review: Still Smelling of Death After All These Years

Severin Films unburies one of the most notorious titles from the Italian zombie apocalypse of the '80s, fully restored and just as empty-headed as ever.
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There really isn't a movie like Burial Ground. My first encounter with this notorious Italian gut-muncher from 1981 probably occurred a good seven years after the film first hit home video in the US, by which time the movie had already become a regular dust collector in rental stores across the nation. And one of the reasons why this was so is attributable to the fine craftsmanship which can be seen in every single frame of the picture: it stinks. Good God, how this movie stinks! But of course, when you're a teen-aged boy with nothing short of an addiction

Sony Movie Channel Highlights in November

Including a Thanksgiving Day Westerns Block and stunts starring Woody Harrelson and Jeff Bridges.
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Press release: Sony Movie Channel gives viewers something to be thankful for with a November lineup packed with premieres, acclaimed dramas, and star-studded stunts—airing in primetime all month long. The roster is headlined by an Election Night block starring William Shatner, Clint Eastwood, and John Malkovich; Michael Shannon in the premieres of SHOTGUN STORIES and TAKE SHELTER, both directed by Jeff Nichols; Guy Pearce in the hit Australian crime drama ANIMAL KINGDOM; a Woody Harrelson two-pack; a Thanksgiving Day Westerns Marathon block featuring Lindsay Wagner in THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF DR. MEG LAUREL, and Robert Duvall in BROKEN TRAIL; and

AFI FEST 2016 Cinema's Legacy Lineup

Tickets to screenings will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.
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Press release: AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi has announced its annual Cinema’s Legacy lineup. This section highlights classic movies and, this year, is comprised of nine iconic titles from film history, including Orson Welles’ masterpiece CITIZEN KANE (1941), along with films featuring the three female film trailblazers adorning this year’s festival key art: CARMEN JONES (1954), starring Dorothy Dandridge; THE HITCH-HIKER (1953), directed by Ida Lupino; and PICCADILLY (1929), starring Anna May Wong. Additionally, the Cinema’s Legacy section will present AFI Conservatory alumna Julie Dash’s (Class of 1974) groundbreaking DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991). CINEMA’S LEGACY CARMEN JONES -

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection Blu-ray Review: Essential Comedy

The first five films from the comedy legends get a nice Blu-ray set.
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When I wrote about watching the original Ghostbusters at a Fathom Event, I talked about how my sense of humor has been refined into a very specific concoction that prefers comedy that comes from a sense of story, flowing naturally from well-written characters. I don’t tend to like being bombarded with jokes when they aren’t grounded in something more realistic. Watching the films in The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection really put that theory to the test. Story is completely irrelevant in a Marx Brothers movie. Their films have some semblance of a plot, but it only exists as a

Cafe Society is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a new Woody Allen, lots of old Marx Brothers comedies, a couple of Criterions, an Independence Day sequel nobody really wanted, and much more.
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There are a handful of directors that will get me to the theatre sight unseen. Martin Scorsese, The Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, and a few others make films that I know I want to see even if I know nothing going in. Even if the critical evaluations have been poor. I don’t always love their movies and on occasion I've even come close to outright loathing them, but I am never disappointed in having seen them. Directors with a true vision can be a rare thing in Hollywood, and I’m always ready to see what they can do with it.

Hee Haw Salute! 3-DVD Giveaway

It features six complete vintage episodes from the early '70s, rarely seen since their original broadcasts.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award one lucky reader Hee Haw Salute! three-DVD set. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: Conceived as a rural alternative to Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, HEE HAW landed on television in 1969 as a summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. With a cast of characters including Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell, knee-slapping comedic zingers, and jaw-dropping musical performances, the comedy-variety show, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, captivated the country. In 1971, after two successful years, CBS dropped the show in

Gregory Peck Centennial Collection Blu-ray Review: Two Great Films, One Nice Package

A nice set, just in time for the holidays.
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That Gregory Peck was one of the greatest film actors to ever exist there is no denying. Had he only appeared as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and never made another movie, he’d still be considered one of the greats (much like Harper Lee is considered a great American author though she never wrote another book - I cannot count Go Set a Watchmen as hers as I don’t believe she ever intended it to be released). Of course, Peck did make other movies including the classics Roman Holiday, The Yearling, Twelve O’Clock High, Cape Fear, and so

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Blu-ray Review: One of the Funniest Movies in a Long Time

A hilarious movie that delivers laugh after laugh.
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After a series of unfortunate events at important family events, Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave’s (Zac Efron) parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy), along with their sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) and her fiancé Eric (Sam Richardson), hold and intervention to convince Mike and Dave that they cannot attend Jeanie’s destination wedding, stag. The group gives the brother’s an ultimatum that they either bring dates to the wedding or stay home. And not only do they need to bring dates, but the dates need to be nice girls. Since Mike and Dave love their sister so much, they agree to

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 10-17-16

As Halloween approaches, the horror movies increase.
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TCM's Star-of-the-Month Christopher Lee gets the spotlight on two nights with the inclusion of a double feature of Hammer Frankenstein films next Sunday night. The Trailblazing Women programming block continues and more horror movies make the schedule as Haloween appraoches. Star of the Month: Christopher Lee - Horror Hotel (1960) Monday, October 17 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A young coed travels to a village to continue her research on witchcraft, and discovers some horrifying secrets. Trailblazing Women: Actresses Who Made a Difference Co-host Rita Moreno - In This Our Life (1942) Tuesday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A neurotic

Actress Sarah Baker on Christopher Guest's Mascots

"I never even thought about actually taking part in one of his movies. It's your wildest dream, but even beyond your wildest dream." - Sarah Baker
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In case you missed it, Christopher Guest has given the world a new movie, Mascots. I had the chance to sit down with two of the film’s stars, Susan Yeagley and Sarah Baker. The other day, I brought you my interview with Susan Yeagley. This is my interview with the amazingly talented, smart, and beautiful Sarah Baker. I loved Mascots. I am so excited about this film. It is so good. Oh good. I’m so glad. How did you get involved in Mascots? About a year ago David Ruben the casting director called. He and his associate Melissa Pryor were

Pete Townshend's Deep End: Face the Face Reveals the Soul of a Rock Legend

This remastered 1986 performance reveals the singer/songwriter's allegiance to the rhythm and blues tradition.
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As the title of a 1994 box set declared, the Who proved themselves as masters of “maximum R&B.” That phrase accurately describes Pete Townshend’s Deep End: Face the Face, a CD/DVD that captures a 1986 TV performance of selections from Townshend’s 1985 album White City: A Novel as well as solo and Who tracks. Featuring an unusually giddy Townshend leading a band including Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, it demonstrates the singer/songwriter’s charisma as a solo artist. Filmed for the German TV series Rockpalast at MIDEM in Cannes on January 29, 1986, the performance includes tracks from White City as well

Stablemates / Lord Jeff DVD Reviews: A Double Dose of Rooney

The Warner Archive Collection slips us a couple of Mickeys (with plenty of Wood) in these two rarely-seen gems.
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The late Mickey Rooney made a sizeable impact on classic cinema, leaving behind a list of motion picture and television appearances tallying well over 300. With a résumé like that, it may be quite some time before all titles are present and accounted for on home video (and even then, it's unlikely we'll see everything). Nevertheless, the Warner Archive Collection and it's many Mickey Rooney fans working there have been doing their best to fill in the gaps to their abilities. Two recent releases from the WAC marked the home video debuts of MGM's Stablemates and Lord Jeff, both released

Fathom Events and BBC AMERICA Present 'Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks' Animated Series in Cinemas

Featuring Patrick Troughton’s debut as the Doctor, the special cinema event occurs on November 14 only.
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Press release: BBC AMERICA and Fathom Events announced a one-night special theatrical screening event of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks animated series on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. local time - 50 years after the original BBC broadcast - in advance of the premiere on BBC AMERICA on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 8:25pm ET. The cinema event will also feature exclusive bonus content including interviews with members of the original cast. Tickets for Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks in cinemas can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com, or at participating theater box offices.

George O'Brien Western Collection DVD Review: 9 Oats and a Lot of Grain

The Warner Archive Collection presents some of the final starring roles from one of B western cinema's most charismatic naturals.
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Generally, the star of vintage cowboy pictures ‒ or "oaters," as they are commonly referred to as ‒ tended to be a big hulking lunk of a feller who was quicker with his fists and side irons than he was with his grey matter. And I say that referring to the actual actor, not the character he would portray. In the case of George O'Brien, however, there was something more than a big dumb oaf: a personality. The son of a San Francisco police officer set out for Hollywood at an early age to be a cameraman, only to find

Criterion Announces January 2017 Releases

Ring in the new year with four new titles.
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Criterion starts the new year with four titles. Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Fox and His Friends, Jack Garfein’s Something Wild, and Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl. Read on to learn more about them. His Girl Friday (#849) out Jan 10 One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema’s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) Blu-ray Review: Wes Craven's Masterpiece

The late Wes Craven's gritty 1977 all-time cult classic gets a stellar upgrade courtesy of Arrow.
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When legendary horror master Wes Craven passed away last year, it really shocked the world. Here was a man whose storytelling gifts knew no bounds. He didn't make your typical horror movies; every film he made had something truly relevant to say about the flaws and the dark, nasty side of society. Whether it was his very controversial and rather crude Last House on the Left (1972); his ultimate horror classic of the 1980s, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), that changed the face of horror for that decade; or his groundbreaking 1996 spoof Scream, which also redefined horror for

Actress Susan Yeagley on Christopher Guest's Mascots

Yeagley reveals what it was like joining the dinner party that is a Guest production.
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It has been 10 years since Christopher Guest has treated the world to a film. It is not that Guest has been dormant. He has been busy with television and commercial work as a director, writer, and actor. But the wait is over as his new comedy, Mascots premieres on Thursday, October 13th in select theaters and on Netflix. Mascots follows the stories of different people who “mascot” as these individuals ready themselves to compete in the World Mascot Association’s annual competition known as the “Fluffies.” The chosen twenty who are asked to compete are all hoping to take home

Thoughtful & Abstract: Arrow: 'Legacy'

"Overall, I give this a reserved thumbs up." - Shawn
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In which T&A revisit the Arrow series and see where we stand to start the new season. Shawn: It's been awhile since you read our thoughts on the CW's DC Universe of shows. Truthfully, I was so disappointed through the whole Season Four of Arrow that I wasn't sure I was going to start the show back up for this current season. I was disinterested in the show from the initial episode of that season and only hate watched it because I was much more interested in the Universe as a whole. I've really enjoyed a majority of the past

Kino Lorber Studio Classics Announces Its November 2016 Home Video Releases

Start getting your Xmas list ready, if you can wait that long.
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Kino Lorber Studio Classics has released their slate of titles for November. There's quite a bit to choose from, especially for film noir fans. Feast your eyes below. THE BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND (1949)Blu-ray Street Date: November 1, 2016Blu-ray SRP: $29.95Director: Preston SturgesStarring: Betty Grable, Cesar Romero, Rudy Vallee, Olga San JuanComedy / 77 minutes / Color / 1.33:1 Synopsis: The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend is a romantic comedy-western directed by the legendary Preston Sturges (The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels) and starring Betty Grable (I Wake Up Screaming), Cesar Romero (The Joker of TV's Batman), Rudy Vallee (The

Stakeout on Dope Street (1958) DVD Review: Kershner. Corman. Coleman. Oh, My!

This forgotten gem from the Warner Archive Collection offers just the facts, and more than a little strange movie history.
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Best known by today's various subcultures for bringing us that which is often cited as the best Star Wars film of the entire expanding film universe (The Empire Strikes Back, in case you missed that one), the late Irvin Kershner (The Return of a Man Called Horse, The Flim-Flam Man) started out directing episodes of another nature ‒ television shows completely forgotten by history ‒ before landing his first big screen gig with Stakeout on Dope Street. No doubt inspired by another television series (and one which has withstood the test of time), Dragnet, this late '50s crime drama from

The Hills Have Eyes (Arrow Video Edition) is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us nuclear mutants, Mel Gibson, Tarzan, the music of Jerry Garcia, lady ghostbusters, and much more.
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This weekend I gave away the vast majority of my CD collection. I am a collector of things, especially entertainment media things, so this was a very difficult thing to do. I love physical objects. Books line my walls, my DVD shelves are overflowing, and CDs stack up everywhere. At least they used to. Truth is, most of my CDs have been sitting in boxes for several years because I’ve not had room in my homes to put them anywhere. Truth is, I really haven’t minded. I’ve long since had all my music ripped to my hard drive and I

Daughter of Dracula (1972) Blu-ray Review: Oh, the Horror

Another one of the late Jess Franco's many bad movies has made its way to Blu-ray. And I have caught up on a lot of sleep. Coincidence?
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Prior to his departure from this world in early 2013, the late Jesús Franco had left an impressive looking resume behind in which his services as a film director totaled over 200. This did not include his work as a screenwriter, producer, composer, editor, cinematographer, or any of the other jobs Franco often handled himself for productions belonging to either he or another. Put simply: Franco kept himself very busy, right up until the end. His work has become the subject of many obsessed individuals around the world, and the bulk of his career has been printed in at least

The Excellent French Spy Series 'The Bureau' Is Now Streaming on Doc Club

Densely plotted French spy series hits a new streaming network.
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French intelligence officer Guillaume Debailly (Matthieu Kassovitz) has spent six years in Damascus under deep cover. When he left France, he severed all connections to his former life. He could not speak to his old companions, friends, or even his daughter. His only connection to home was his handler whom he spoke with via video chat. He had a completely new identity and had to forge a new life, making new connections, new friends, and new even a lover all the while secretly spying for his home country. At the beginning of The Bureau, Guillaume is, without warning, brought in

Being Canadian DVD Review: Is Canada the Best Country in the World?

I hope anyone that watches it will gain a little more of an appreciation for this beautiful amazing country.
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People often tell me when my Canadian side is showing. This is a huge compliment as everyone seems to think of Canadians as the nicest people. Being Canadian delightfully tries to educate the world on the misconceptions about Canada, such as why Canadians are always saying sorry, while highlighting all of the things that do make the country great. Calgary native Rob Cohen decided it was time to answer some questions about his beloved homeland after moving to Hollywood to be a writer and seeing how uninformed people were on Canada. He starts his adventure in Nova Scotia and traveled

Slugs: The Movie (1988) Blu-ray Review: A Marvelously Muddled Mess

One of horror filmdom's most enjoyable atrocities rises up from the sewers once more in a stellar new HD transfer from Arrow Video.
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As a feller who spent entirely too much of his teenaged years in the horror sections of local video stores, there were two things I learned to keep a watchful eye out for when it came to satisfying my never-ending urge to keep myself amused. One item the look out for was any horror movie which proudly sported the subtitle "The Movie" ‒ something anyone who had the misfortune of seeing Mexican trash cinema maestro René Cardona Jr's Beaks: The Movie undoubtedly also made a mental note of. The other thing wasn't one I mastered immediately, however, for there was

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 10-10-16

Starting planning your movie-watching week.
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In addition to two nights focusing on Trailblazing Women and one night devoted to Star-of-the-Month Christopher Lee, TCM delivers plenty of Halloween treats for horror fans. Star of the Month: Christopher Lee - The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) Monday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A villainous doctor creates a killer spray in order to conquer London. Trailblazing Women: Actresses Who Made a Difference - The Conspirators (1944) Tuesday, October 11 at 12:30 a.m. (ET) A guerilla leader falls in love with a mysterious woman in World War II Lisbon. The Young Philadelphians (1959) Wednesday, October 12 at 8:00

getTV's October Programming Includes Sunday Horror Block

Other highlights include an all-new “Dad Sitcoms” Tuesday block, and a Presidential lineup of Merv Griffin Show episodes airing all month long.
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Press release: getTV gets spooky this October, with a lineup full of tricks and treats featuring creepy classics and specials, a new block of sidesplitting sitcoms, and in-depth interviews with past presidents. The month includes a horrifying Halloween event celebrating the lives and careers of horror all-stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi, Sundays in October; as well as the all-new “Dad Sitcoms” comedy block with Haley Joel Osment in THE JEFF FOXWORTHY SHOW and Jennifer Lawrence in THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW; and a special block of MERV GRIFFIN SHOW featuring candid conversations with Richard Nixon, Gerald

Twilight Time Presents: Party Poopers, Poor Sports, Sore Losers, and Bad Romances

From pubescent tweens and nightmarish games to pornographers and people who love to shoot things up, there's an awful lot of foul play afoot here.
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Despite all of society's best attempts at grooming us to be normal, well-behaved, completely functional human beings, there are just some people who, as Linda Ronstadt once repeatedly declared, are no good. And this wave of releases from Twilight Time ‒ initially unleashed unto collectors in June ‒ certainly highlights many peculiar elements from various walks of life, who all seem to fit the bill(s) for party poopers, poor sports, sorry losers, and bad romances. We begin with one of the grandest party poopers of all, Frankie Addams: a socially inept and unfetteringly awkward twelve-year-old tomboy in the Deep South,

Diane Keaton to Receive 45th AFI Life Achievement Award

America's highest honor for a career in film to be presented June 8, 2017. Tribute will air on TNT and Turner Classic Movies.
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Press release: The American Film Institute (AFI) Board of Trustees announced today that legendary actress Diane Keaton will be the recipient of the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Keaton at a Gala Tribute on June 8, 2017, in Los Angeles. The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will return for its fifth year with Turner, premiering on TNT and followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "Diane Keaton is one of the most beloved leading ladies of American film," said Sir Howard

Illeana Douglas Talks About Blazing Her Own Trail for TCM's Trailblazing Women

TCM's popular Trailblazing Women series returns for a second season of leading ladies.
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It's hard for me to pinpoint the first film I saw actress Illeana Douglas in, but she's been one of the actresses I've always enjoyed watching in cinema. Whether starring as the overly perky and pretentious art teacher in Ghost World (who mimicked a ceramics teacher I once knew), Nicole Kidman's snarky sister-in-law in To Die For, or the struggling songwriter with the new sound - starring opposite my pre-teen crush Eric Stoltz - in the utterly wonderful Grace of My Heart (or appearing in my guilty pleasure show, Law and Order: SVU), Illeana Douglas has crafted a prolific career

Updated: Rush: Time Stand Still Special Encore Showing November 17 Only

Featuring exclusive bonus content and narration by Paul Rudd.
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Press release: Following a successful first event date on November 3, fans will get one final chance to see “Rush | Time Stand Still” in movie theaters for an up-close and personal VIP experience, alongside fellow RUSH enthusiasts. This epic music event will return to select movie theaters for a special encore on Thursday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. local time. Tickets for Rush | Time Stand Still will be available soon online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital

Vamp Blu-ray Review: Belongs in the Pantheon of Great Comic Horror

A surprisingly clever '80s movie with lots of "bite."
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Usually, horror comedies are a one-in-a-million, meaning that some work (the Evil Dead trilogy, Slither), and others don't (976-Evil, Vampires Suck), but fortunately for Richard Wenk's 1986 underrated romp Vamp, the horror and comedy actually mix very well, while adding a little satire that helps elevate the film to cult-like status. With esteemed actors like Chris Makepeace, Robert Rustler, and Dedee Pfeiffer, and amazing make-up/special effects by four-time Oscar-winner Greg Cannon, this film can surely add itself to the pantheon of great comic horror. Makepeace and Rustler play Keith and AJ, two Los Angeles college roommates and best friends who

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series DVD Giveaway

Heeeeere's a chance to win the set.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award three lucky readers The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series six-DVD set. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: Johnny Carson defined late-night television. For over 30 years, America watched together, laughed together, and sang together on the couch with the Original King of Late Night. Now, this fall, home audiences will be able to enjoy the very best of late night, any night, with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series. The singular collections, new to retail and available in multiple configurations,

Preacher: Season One is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us comic books brought to screens both big and small, an election year purge, lots of TV and more.
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In this new Golden Age of Television, it's easy to feel a bit like King Midas where every show you turn to is beautiful. Yet much like the legend, this can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing. There is just too much great TV available and not enough time to watch it. I now not only have a list of shows I want to watch but I now have to keep another list of shows I’ve started, really loved, but have not yet caught up with because I keep getting distracted with all the other

Kristen's Book Club for October 2016

What's worth reading in October?
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Feel that chill in the air? It's time to grab a mug of tea and curl up with a good book. Here are a few worth checking out. Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case by A.M. Rosenthal Fifty-two years has passed since Catherine Genovese was viciously murdered as 38 witnesses heard her cries for help, and did nothing. Originally published in the wake of the Genovese murder, New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal's landmark text on the case is being republished in light of the recent documentary on the subject (boasting the same name). Rosenthal died in 2006 but in

getTV Presents a Special Month of Presidential Appearances on The Merv Griffin Show

Airing every Monday at 10 P.M. ET, from October 17 through Election Day Eve on November 7.
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Press release: getTV puts the spotlight on four classic episodes of The Merv Griffin Show, with a month of presidential appearances. The lineup includes in-depth and honest sit-downs with Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan with his wife, Nancy Reagan, and will air every Monday at 10 p.m. ET, from October 17 through Election Day Eve on November 7. The special lineup kicks off on October 17, as Merv moderates a lively discussion from Dec. 20, 1967 between Richard Nixon—shortly before he announced he was running for president—and talk show host and producer David Susskind, who openly

Thanks for the Memories: The Bob Hope Specials DVD Review: A Marvelous Hollywood Scrapbook

I gotta tell ya, it's a real treat that this set has been released.
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Time Life, in association with Bob Hope Enterprises, have released Thanks for the Memories: The Bob Hope Specials, an impressive six-disc set featuring 13 TV specials from five different decades with a galaxy's worth of stars. Eight of the specials are complete shows while the other five are compilations, resulting in some repeated material. The jokes and sketches can be a bit stale and unfunny at times. Hope's monologues especially suffer from this regardless of how much canned laughter is added. His material is also very topical so young viewers might not get the references to people like Hubert Humphrey

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 10-03-16

Some very good choices this week.
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In the month of October, Turner Classic Movies celebrates Christopher Lee as the Star of the Month, focuses two nights on Trailblazing Women, and of course, presents horror movies for Halloween. Star of the Month: Christopher Lee - The Three Musketeers (1973) Monday, October 3 at 1:15 a.m. (ET) A country boy joins the famed musketeers and fights to protect the queen's name. Trailblazing Women: Actresses Who Made a Difference - Little Annie Rooney (1925) Tuesday, October 4 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) In this silent film, two children of the streets set out to avenge their father's murder. A Face

Book Review: Batman: Facts and Stats from the Classic TV Show by Y.Y. Flurch & Rian Hughes

Fun and colorful, just like the TV show.
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Batman, the TV show based on the popular comic book character. Batman is the best of all the Batman properties. Adam West is the best Batman. The movie starring him is the best Batman movie. Part of what makes the show so good is that it's a humorous take on Batman. It's campy and fun and a real funny parody of superhero entertainment from decades before such a parody was necessary. Now, Rian Hughes and Y.Y. Flurch have combined for the book Batman: Facts and Stats from the Classic TV Show. The book

Classic Albums: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds Blu-ray Review

Any true Beach Boys fan will eventually own this. It’s a must.
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When the discussion of the greatest album of all times breaks out a party, many people will chime in, some people will walk away, and at least one guy will ask, “what’s an album?” Inevitably, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds will be brought up in the discussion. If it’s not, you’re at the wrong party. With Pet Sounds celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it seems appropriate that Eagle Rock Entertainment would release the definitive authorized story of the album on September 23rd as part of its Classic Albums collection on Blu-ray and DVD. Containing an additional 30 minutes of

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