Archive for the ‘Film/TV/DVD’ Category

TV TIME: “Vinyl” Debuts on HBO on Sunday

Friday, February 12th, 2016

By Thomas Dimopoulos

At 9pm on Sunday (February 14), HBO will launch its much-anticipated new series, “Vinyl.” The 10-part series – which takes place in the electrifying New York City rock ‘n’ roll scene of the ’70s – runs through April. The series is produced by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter (“The Sopranos,” “Boardwalk Empire”), and Scorsese directs this weekend’s two-hour debut.

“Mick Jagger had an idea for this movie about New York in the mid-‘70s and the different musical scenes that were happening there,” said Will Hermes, during a recent gathering organized by the Yaddo arts colony at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs. Hermes, senior critic at Rolling Stone and author of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music, Forever,” had just come off an interview with Mick Jagger and had been privy to a preview screening of the series’ premiere.

“It’s about a fictional record producer who might be based on some sort of mash-up of Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler and some of these other record company guys, and Andrew Dice Clay plays this psychotic radio guy who’s just huffing cocaine in Plato’s Retreat or something,” Hermes said. The series stars Bobby Cannevale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Juno Temple and James Jagger (yes, Mick’s son).



RIP: Joe Alaskey, 1952-2016

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Emmy Award-winning voice actor and Troy native Joe Alaskey died on Wednesday (February 3) in Green Island. He was 63.

Originally an impressionist, whose impersonation of Jackie Gleason was hailed by Gleason himself, Alaskey found his true career as a voice actor, taking over the roles as the voice of such Looney Toon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Sylvester the Cat following the 1989 death of the great Mel Blanc, who originated the voices.

Over the years, Alaskey also provided voices for numerous films (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” “Forest Gump,” “Casper”) and television shows (“Rugrats,” “Back to the Future,” “Tiny Toon Adventures,” “Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law”) in addition to dozens of video games.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Parker Bros. Memorial in Watervliet from 4-7pm today (Monday, February 8). The funeral service will follow the wake at 7pm at the funeral home.

Joe Alaskey’s obituary

Hump Day Unusual Moment

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

The opening credits for “Beckett,” an imaginary 1970s TV cop drama starring playwright Samuel Beckett…

TV TIME: “Mike Nichols: American Masters” Tonight on PBS-TV

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Winner of an Oscar, a Grammy, four Emmys, nine Tonys, three BAFTAs and many other awards, director, actor, writer, producer and comedian Mike Nichols (November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was an artistic trailblazer. As the legendary comedy duo Nichols and May, Nichols and his partner Elaine May revolutionized comedy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Now, May has directed the first documentary about her former partner, “Mike Nichols: American Masters,” premiering on WMHT-TV at 9pm tonight (Friday, January 29) to launch the 30th anniversary season of PBS-TV’s “American Masters” series.

With charm and wit, Nichols discusses his life and 50-year career as a performer and director. “Mike Nichols: American Masters” features new interviews with his friends and colleagues, including Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Bob Balaban, Tony Kushner, Neil Simon, Frank Langella, James L. Brooks and many others, conducted by film, TV and theater producer Julian Schlossberg (“Bullets Over Broadway,” “American Masters — Nichols & May: Take Two,” “American Masters: The Lives of Lillian Hellman”). Schlossberg also conducted an exclusive interview with Nichols for the film. The documentary features insights and highlights from Nichols’ acclaimed films, including “The Graduate,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Catch 22,” “Silkwood,” “Biloxi Blues,” “Working Girl,” “Angels in America” and “Charlie Wilson’s War,” as well as his theatrical productions “Barefoot in the Park,” “Luv” and “The Odd Couple.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

“Grease: Live” to Be Broadcast on Fox-TV This Weekend [Berkshire On Stage]

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

By Larry Murray

A must-watch event, “Grease” gets a makeover for Fox TV, but will it work?

This weekend you can love or hate-watch “Grease: Live” the popular musical adapted for the Fox network by a host of talented Broadway/Hollywood folks. They are experimenting with the American musical tradition, trying to find the best way to present musicals on television. For this production, they will be expanding “Grease” into a more interactive performance with action both inside and outside the tinseltown studio, and with a live audience which can cheer the dance contest and join in the Rydell pep rally, all televised live. It airs this Sunday (January 31) at 7pm. I will be watching the weather forecast, since if it rains in Hollywood, this could turn into a wet T-shirt and leather jacket contest.

Of course, the program is not just about innovation, it’s about ratings, too. In 2013, “The Sound of Music Live” might have been critically reviled, but it attracted 18.6 million viewers. More recently, “The Wiz Live” got some good reviews, and it attracted some 11.5 million people. Musicals are proving popular fare on network TV. Budget for the show is $16 million with a soundtrack release on iTunes to follow. The telecast also boasts an Internet-based behind-the-scenes experience designed to be watched simultaneously with the broadcast.

Berkshire audiences have a good reason to watch” Grease: Live” and that is to keep up with Aaron Tveit who plays the role of bad boy Danny Zuko. He last appeared here at Barrington Stage Company, starring in the Barry Wyner musical “Calvin Berger” at the Berkshire Athenaeum in 2007. He was featured in the USA network series “Graceland,” and played Enjolras in the filmed version of “Les Miserables.” Happily, Tveit is a bit more James Dean than John Travolta, with lots of Broadway musical theater experience behind him (“Next to Normal,” “Catch Me if You Can”).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire On Stage

FILM: Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” Comes to MASS MoCA [Berkshire On Stage]

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Boundary-breaking artist Laurie Anderson brings her renowned documentary Heart of a Dog — an autobiographical film about love and loss — as the first installation of MASS MoCA’s annual documentary film series, “Love Is Complicated.” Heart of a Dog will be seen in the Berkshires for the first time as it screens in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center on Thursday (January 21) at 7:30pm.

General admission tickets are $9; $5 for students and members. Purchase tickets at the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire On Stage

“The Revenant” Leads Oscar Nominees With 12 [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, January 15th, 2016


By Larry Murray

Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and The Revenant is leading with 12, including for Best Picture. Other nominees for best picture are The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room and Spotlight.

There were some surprise nominations (for Room, Tom Hardy, and Rachel McAdams), and omissions (no Ridley Scott for Best Director).

Among those getting the Best Picture nod are two personal favorites, the financial crisis dramedy The Big Short and the period drama Brooklyn, plus the Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, the imaginative action movie Mad Max: Fury Road, the sci-fi adventure film The Martian, the Western thriller The Revenant, the gut-punching drama Room and the fact-based Boston Globe story in Spotlight.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Vintage Christmas TV Commercial

Friday, December 25th, 2015

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