Saturday, January 9, 2010

MOVIE NEWS ... MACGRUBER

MOVIE NEWS ... MACGRUBER
The bumbling MacGruber will be blowing up at your local cineplex this April, courtesy of SNL and Universal Studios. MacGruber is, of course, the popular Saturday Night Live sketch parody of the 1980's tv series MacGyver. Will Forte stars as special agent MacGruber, who has sworn off fighting with his bare hands for a decade, ever since his fiancee was killed. But now, the U.S. government needs his help to retrieve a warhead stolen by his nemesis, Dieter Von Cunth, played by Val Kilmer. Assembling an elite team of experts-Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) and Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig)-MacGruber will navigate an army of assassins to hunt down Cunth and bring him to justice. His methods may be unorthodox. His crime scenes may get messy. But if you want the world saved right, you call in MacGruber.

TRIVIA BITS ... RED BARNS

TRIVIA BITS ... RED BARNS
In the 1800s, the most popular color for barns in the United States was red. The tradition began in Europe and migrated with European farmers to America. Farmers painted their barns red because red paint was easy and inexpensive to make, dried quickly, and protected the wood. By combining milk, linseed, oil, lime, and ferrous oxide or rust, farmers were able to create a paint that hid dirt well and protected the wood by killing fungus, mold, and moss. The tradition continued after commercial paints became readily available because red paint was inexpensive to manufacture. White paint, also inexpensive to make, is another popular color for barns.

REMINISCING … DANNY KAYE

REMINISCING … DANNY KAYE
Danny Kaye was an American actor, singer and comedian who made his film debut in a 1935 comedy short entitled Moon Over Manhattan. In 1937 he signed with New York-based Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel comedies. Kaye usually played a manic, dark-haired, fast-talking Russian in these low-budget shorts, opposite young hopefuls June Allyson or Imogene Coca. Kaye starred in several movies with actress Virginia Mayo in the 1940s, and is well known for his roles in films such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), On the Riviera (1951) co-starring Gene Tierney, White Christmas (1954, in a role originally intended for Fred Astaire, then Donald O'Connor), Knock on Wood (1954), The Court Jester (1956), and Merry Andrew (1958). Kaye starred in two pictures based on biographies, Hans Christian Andersen (1952) about the Danish story-teller, and The Five Pennies (1959) about jazz pioneer Red Nichols. His wife, writer/lyricist Sylvia Fine, wrote many of the witty, tongue-twisting songs Danny Kaye became famous for. Some of Kaye's films included the theme of doubles, two people who look identical (both played by Danny Kaye) being mistaken for each other, to comic effect. He showed quite a different and serious side as Ambassador for UNICEF and in his dramatic role in the memorable TV movie Skokie, in which he played a Holocaust survivor. Before his death in 1987, Kaye demonstrated his ability to conduct an orchestra during a comical, but technically sound, series of concerts organized for UNICEF fundraising. Kaye received two Academy Awards: an honorary award in 1955 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1982.

TODAY IS ... 09 JANUARY

TODAY IS ... 09 JANUARY
BIRTHDAYS - 1970 - Marco Sanchez - actor: Walker, Texas Ranger, SeaQuest DSV, The Last Debate, American Pie 2 1965 - Joely Richardson - actress: The Patriot, Behaving Badly, Lady Chatterley, 101 Dalmatians, The Affair of the Necklace 1957 – Gloria Estefan of Miami Sound Machine is born in Havana, Cuba. 1956 - Imelda Staunton – Actor - Best known as: The star of the film Vera Drake. After nearly three decades of acting in plays, films and TV shows, Imelda Staunton starred in Vera Drake (2004) and suddenly became a front-runner in the Oscar race for Best Actress. On stage she has had starring roles in dramas and musicals, and she turned in award-winning performances in supporting roles in 1985's A Chorus of Disapproval and The Corn is a Green. On British television she has appeared in movies and the series The Singing Detective (1986), Up the Garden Path (1990) and Murder (2002). In the movies she's been a reliable character actress in such films as Peter's Friends (1992), Shakespeare in Love (1998, starring Gwyneth Paltrow) and Crush (2001), and in the 2007 movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Staunton nearly stole the show as pink-cheeked, iron-fisted headmistress Dolores Umbridge. 1951 - Crystal Gayle - singer, songwriter, (1977 US No.2 & UK No.5 single 'Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue'); Half the Way; singer, Loretta Lynn’s sister 1948 - Bill Cowsill - singer, musician: group: Cowsills: The Rain, the Park and the Other Things, Hair, Indian Lake 1941 - Joan Baez - US folk rock singer, songwriter, (1971 US No.3 & UK No.6 single 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down').- political activist 1939 - Susannah York - an English film, stage and television actress whose film career began in 1960, when she appeared in Tunes of Glory, co-starring with Alec Guinness and John Mills. In 1961 she played the leading role in The Greengage Summer, which co-starred Kenneth More and Danielle Darrieux. York played Sophie Western opposite Albert Finney in the Oscar winning Best Film Tom Jones (1963) and also appeared in A Man for All Seasons (1966), The Killing of Sister George (1968) and Battle of Britain (1969). 1939 - Jimmy Boyd - singer: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus; actor: Bachelor Father, The Second Greatest Sex, Inherit the Wind, The Electric Company, Brainstorm, A Winner Never Quits 1935 - Bob Denver - an American comedic actor best known for his role as Gilligan on the television series Gilligan's Island. Prior to Gilligan's Island, he played beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on the 1959-1963 TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. 1920 - Clive Dunn - singer, actor in UK TV's 'Dads Army' 1971 UK No.1 single 'Granddad'. 1917 - Herbert Lom - actor: Son of the Pink Panther and others in Pink Panther series, Ten Little Indians, King Solomon’s Mines, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Dorian Gray, Spartacus, War and Peace, The Seventh Veil, Secret Mission 1914 - Gypsy Rose Lee (Rose Hovick), American actress, dancer, stripper. OTHER EVENTS – 2008 - Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was named the worst dressed celebrity in an annual list of fashion disasters. Fashion critic Richard Blackwell, who had compiled the poll every year since 1960, said Beckham stepped out in "one skinny-mini monstrosity after another". Amy Winehouse's trademark beehive and tattoos helped earn her second place in the list. 2007 - Britain's Royal Mail issues a series of Beatles postage stamps 2007 - Apple Computer unveils the revolutionary iPhone 2006 - Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson put the house they made famous in the MTV series Newlyweds up for sale after splitting up. The house in Calabasas, California, was on the market for $3.75m. 2006 - "The Phantom of the Opera" became the longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing "Cats," which ran for 7,485 performances. 2005 – The Scissor Sisters went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their self-titled album. They went on to win Best International Album as well as best international Group and International Breakthrough act at the 2005 Brit awards. 2005 - Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a dual ceremony. 2005 - Elvis Presley went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Jailhouse Rock.' The single sold just 21,262 copies to reach No.1, the lowest sales ever for a UK chart topper since data began in 1969. The single was released to celebrate the 70th anniversary of his birth, a previous Elvis chart topper was re-released each week. 2003 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Sound of the Underground’ by ‘Girls Aloud’ is number 1 in the UK. 2003 - Iraq War: White House spokesman Ari Fleischer on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction: "We know for a fact that there are weapons there." 2003 - Archaeologists announced that they had found five more chambers in the tomb of Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor. The rooms were believed to cover about 750,000 square feet. 2002 – Stephen Spielberg directs Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen and Amy Adams starts screening in Australia. A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. 2002 – Michael Jackson receives the Artist of the Century award at the American music awards 2001 – Winners at the 28th annual American Music Awards; Favourite Album, Creed, ‘Human Clay’, Male Artist, Kid Rock, Favourite Female Artist, Faith Hill, Favourite Group, Backstreet Boys, Favourite New Artist, 3 Doors Down. 2000 - DMX were at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘...And Then There Was X.’ 1999 - The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US. A personal computer appears: system unit, monitor, keyboard, mouse. One child asks another why a toy is destroying other toys. The other child responds "They must have programmed it to eliminate the competition." "You mean like Microsoft?". 1997 - Michelle Trachtenberg, Gregory Smith and Rosie O'Donnell star in Harriet the Spy which commences screening in Australia. Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. But when Harriet's friends find her secret notebook the tables are turned on her. 1992 - A grand piano once owned by Elvis Presley was sold for $685,000 (£425,711). Music producer Robert Johnson and partner Larry Moss sold the piano to the chairman of the Blue Moon Group, Michael Muzio who was planning to take the piano on a casino-sponsored promotional tour. He was then planning for the piano to be shown at the proposed rock museum at Walt Disney World. 1990 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Love Shack’ written and recorded by ‘The B52’s is number 1 in Australia. 1990 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Another day in Paradise’ recorded by Phil Collins is number 1 in the US. 1989 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Kokomo’ written and recorded by ‘The Beach Boys’ is number 1 in the US. 1988 - Whitney Houston scored her sixth consecutive No.1 in the US with 'So Emotional'. 1997 - David Bowie performed his 50th Birthday Bash concert (the day after his birthday) at Madison Square Garden, New York with guests Frank Black, Sonic Youth, Robert Smith of The Cure, The Foo Fighters, Lou Reed, and Billy Corgan and Placebo. Proceeds from the concert went to the Save The Children fund. 1987 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ recorded by ‘The Bangles’ is number 1 in the US. 1986 - Kodak got out of the instant camera business after 10 years. A nasty court battle didn’t go their way. The court claimed that Kodak copied Polaroid patents. Sixteen million camera owners were offered free stock, coupons or a replacement camera 1985 – Year of the Dragon starring Mickey Rourke, John Lone and Ariane commences screening in Australia. Using unprecedented degrees of violence, young Joey Tai becomes the head of Chinese mafia in New York and undisputed leader of the Chinese community 1985 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Like a Virgin’ recorded by Madonna is number 1 in the US and Australia. The would later be spoofed by Weird Al Yankovich as ‘Like a Surgeon’. 1984 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Say, Say, Say’ written and recorded by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson is number 1 in the US. 1984 – John Lennon releases “Nobody Told Me 1982 - The Human League went back to No.1 on the UK album chart for three weeks with 'Dare'. 1981 - Phil Collins releases In The Air Tonight in UK 1981 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘(Just like) starting over’ written and recorded by John Lennon is number 1 in the US. 1980 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Video killed the radio star’ recorded by ‘Buggles’ is number 1 in Australia. Note: this is the year that MTV hit the scene and was literally true at this moment in history. 1980 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Another brick in the wall’ written and recorded by ‘Pink Floyd’ is number 1 in the UK. 1979 - The music for UNICEF concert took place in New York City featuring Rod Stewart, The Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire, Abba and Donna Summer. 1979 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘YMCA’ recorded by ‘The Village People’ is number 1 in the UK and Australia. 1977 - Peter Frampton releases I'm In You, album follow up to Frampton Comes Alive, blockbuster in US 1976- First day of shooting in Philadelphia of the movie Rocky. It was the first movie to utilize the Steadicam, a system that balanced hand-held camera shots. 1976 - Queen were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. 1972 - The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth was destroyed by fire in Hong Kong Harbor. 1972 - The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth. 1972 - Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking to reporters by telephone from the Bahamas, said a purported biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake. Irving and his wife had received a $750,000 advance from the McGraw-Hill publishing house for the book. Clifford Irving was eventually imprisoned and ordered to repay the advance, plus damages. 1971 – The U.S. Jaycees present an award to Elvis Presley naming him one of 10 outstanding young men in America. Elvis Presley used to be Public Enemy No. 1. But today he’s named one of the ten outstanding young men of America by the U.S. Jaycees. 1971 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘My Sweet Lord’ written and recorded by George Harrison is number 1 in the US. 1971 - Judy Collins enters US Top 40 with Amazing Grace 1969 - The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK album chart with the 'White Album', The Rolling Stones were at No.2 with 'Beggars Banquet' and The Seekers were at No.3 with 'Best Of The Seekers.' 1971 - TV's Dads Army star Clive Dunn was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Grandad'. 1969 – No. 1 Chart Topper ‘Heard it thru the Grapevine’ recorded by Marvin Gaye is number 1 in the US. 1968 – No. 1 Chart topper ‘Hello Goodbye’ is Number 1 in the US and the UK. Written and recorded by ‘The Beatles’. Produced by George Martin. 1965 - The Beatles’ Beatles ’65 was the number-one album in the U.S. for the first of nine straight weeks (thru Mar 6). The tracks were: No Reply, I’m a Loser, Baby’s in Black, Rock and Roll Music, I’ll Follow the Sun, Mr. Moonlight, Honey Don’t, I’ll Be Back, She’s a Woman, I Feel Fine, and Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby. 1964 - The Temptations record "The Way You Do The Things You Do" 1964 - Ronettes hit chart with Baby I Love You 1961 - The play, Rhinoceros, opened on Broadway, starring two of the theatre’s true stars -- Eli Wallach and Zero Mostel. 1961 - Bob Newhart went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'The Button Down Mind Strikes Back!' 1961 - Bert Kaempfert started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Wonderland By Night'. Kaempfert produced The Beatles first recording session when they were in Hamburg. 1960 - Emile Ford and the Checkmates, a U.K. group of Bahamian immigrants, becomes the first homeland black act to top the British charts when "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?," hits Number One. Arrow 93 disc jockey Robin Banks' friend Ray Stock, played drums on the single. Banks said Stock was not allowed to sit down at a drum kit. He had to stand up and bash a snare drum. 1959- The TV series Rawhide debuted, starring a young cowpoke named Clint Eastwood. President Lyndon Johnson and Ladybird were Rawhide fans. 1955 - Rosemary Clooney was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Mambo Italiano' the singers second No.1. The song was banned by all ABC owned stations in the US because it "did not reach standards of good taste". 1951 - The United Nations headquarters officially opened in New York City. 1951 - Australia defeated England in Sydney, Australia, retaining the ‘Ashes’, the trophy which symbolized the cricket title, held by Australia since 1932. 1949 - The new 7-inch 33 1/3 rpm micro-groove record format is announced by Columbia. 1947 – The Jolson Story starring Larry Parkes as Al Jolson stars screening in Australia. This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz 1947 – Elizabeth "Betty" Short, the Black Dahlia, is last seen alive. 1942 - Joe Louis knocked out Buddy Baer. ‘The Brown Bomber’ defended his world heavyweight boxing title for the 20th time as Buddy rested comfortably on the canvas in the very first round. 1941 - The first demonstration of small-screen color television was given by the Columbia Broadcasting System. The TV failed miserably, since RCA had pretty much wrapped up the patent process on color TV at the time. 1941 - Sammy Kaye and his orchestra recorded Until Tomorrow on Victor Records. This song became the sign-off melody for Kaye and other big bands. 1937 - The first issue of the periodical LOOK went on sale. The initial issue sold 700,000 copies and within a month, LOOK became a biweekly magazine. 1937 - Don Donald, featuring Donald Duck and directed by Ben Sharpsteen, is released. A character named Donna Duck (who will later be called Daisy) makes her debut. 1936 - The United States Army adopted the M1 semiautomatic rifle this day. 1936 - The Silly Symphony film More Kittens is released to theaters. 1929 - The Seeing Eye was incorporated -- in Nashville, TN. Its purpose was to train dogs to guide the blind. 1928 - Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon Harem Scarem is released. 1925 - Disney completes the 28th Alice Comedy film, Alice's Orphan. 1924 - English novelist and critic Virginia Woolf moves with her husband Leonard Woolf to 52 Tavistock Place in Bloomsbury Square, near the British Museum. Their associates will become known in cultural circles as the Bloomsbury Group. 1922 - Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley moved into the apartment at 74 rue Cardinal Lemoine. 1799 - British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduced income tax, at two shillings (10p) in the pound, to raise funds for the Napoleonic Wars.

Friday, January 8, 2010

MOVIE NEWS … SPIDERMAN 4

MOVIE NEWS … SPIDERMAN 4
For those hanging out for the next instalment in the life of Peter Parker and Spiderman, it looks like we might not be getting Spider-Man 4 as soon as we've been led to believe. Sony Pictures has postponed production of Sam Raimi's fourth installment in the webslinging franchise. Variety is reporting that Sony is giving the production more time to work on the script, citing that Alvin Sargent is "retooling the story". Gary Ross, David Lindsay-Abaire and James Vanderbilt previously wrote drafts of the screenplay. Although Sony still has the film listed for a May 5, 2011 release date, Variety is saying, "that date has become highly unlikely." "We'll try, but I think making May is a real question," a source told the trade. "We will not start until we have it right. The feeling is we are not going to rush it to make the date."

TRIVIA BITS … HUMPHREY BOGART

TRIVIA BITS … HUMPHREY BOGART
Unusually for a leading man, Humphrey Bogart was only 5ft 4 inches /162cm tall. While shooting Casablanca (1942), he had to wear three-inch platforms on his shows in order to bring him level with his co-star Ingrid Bergman.

REMINISCING … EVE ARDEN

REMINISCING … EVE ARDEN
Eve Arden was an American actress whose almost 60-year career crossed most media frontiers with supporting and leading roles. She is perhaps best remembered for playing the sardonic but engaging high school teacher in the classic Our Miss Brooks (radio and television), and as the Rydell High School principal in the films Grease and Grease 2. Her many memorable screen roles include a supporting role as Joan Crawford's wise-cracking friend, Ida, in 1945's Mildred Pierce (for which she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress), and James Stewart's wistful secretary in Otto Preminger's then-explicit murder mystery, Anatomy of a Murder (1959). (One of her co-stars in that film was husband Brooks West.) She also performed some acrobatics while trying to steal a wallet from Groucho Marx in the Marx Brothers film At the Circus (1939).