Author: Craig Zablo

RIP: Jay Sandrich

Jay Sandrich has died at the age of 89.  Mr. Sandrich was an award-winning director (5 Emmy Awards, 3 Director’s Guild Awards) best known for his work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Cosby Show.

Jay Sandrich began his career as an Assistant Director working on I Love Lucy, The Red Skelton Show, The Untouchables, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Dick Van Dyke Show and many others.  Once Mr. Sandrich moved into the director’s chair he stayed busy working on The Danny Thomas Show, That Girl, Get Smart, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Here’s Lucy, The Odd Couple, and The Bob Newhart Show just to name a few.   Often Mr. Sandrich would be hired to direct multiple episodes.

In 1970, Mr. Sandrich directed the pilot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  He would go on to direct 119 of the show’s 168 episodes!  Jay Sandrich also directed episodes of the MTMS spin-offs: Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou Grant. After the MTMS ended Mr. Sandrich continued to direct some of the most popular shows on television including: Welcome Back Kotter, WKRP in Cincinnati, Benson and Soap.

In 1980, Jay Sandrich directed the feature film Seems Like Old Times starring Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin.  Mr. Sandrich then returned to directing television shows including Night Court and The Golden Girls. Mr. Sandrich was then chosen as director for The Cosby Show.  He not only directed the pilot but went on to direct 100 of the 197 episodes made! 

Jay Sandrich continued to direct television projects that interested him, even adding episodes of The Office and Two and a Half Men to his resume.  Jay Sandrich was named to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2020.

It’s hard to imagine just how many hours I’ve enjoyed of programs directed by Jay Sandrich.  He directed some of the funniest episodes of several classic series.  That doesn’t happen by accident.  If you haven’t seen his lone feature film: Seems Like Old Times.  You should consider giving it a go.  I remember seeing Seems Like Old Times when it was first released and really enjoying it.  Jay Sandrich knew how to bring out the best in the performers he worked with.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jay Sandrich’s family, friends and fans.


“The Spore” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster for The Spore gets an “A” for effort.  I like the use of art, but don’t think the poster excels at making me want to see the movie.  The trailer works for me though.  I plan to check out The Spore.

Lionsgate’s horror film THE SPORE will be arriving on Digital, on Demand and DVD November 9.

“Fleeing from civilization as a horrific plague ravages mankind. Meadow gets a lift from a stranger. When she sees that the driver is gruesomely infected, Meadow escapes and takes refuge in a cabin that’s abandoned…or is it? The apocalypse started days earlier when an evil spore, long dormant beneath an ancient ice field, was awakened by global warming. Now, as ten strangers try to evade the madness, some must succumb to the hideously mutating fungus and claim the survivors as their bitter prey.”

Harrison Ford’s All Time Best Movies!

Liam Gaughan decided to come up with a list of The 14 Best Harrison Ford Movies.  Before you click over, here are my top three using just the movies on Gaugham’s list.  I’ve also included a few that didn’t make Gaugham’s list that would have made mine.

Raiders of the Lost Ark:  Not only did Raiders give Ford his second franchise, but it cemented his place as one of the top stars in the world.

Witness:  Perhaps Ford’s best character that he never returned to play in a sequel.

Blade Runner:  There have been many different versions and decades later a sequel so it’s hard to believe that Blade Runner was a blockbuster when first released.

Movies that didn’t make Gaugham’s list but would have made mine…

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • What Lies Beneath
  • Expendables 3

“Night Teeth” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I can usually tell pretty quickly watching a trailer if it is going to be my kind of film.  Not so with Night Teeth.  I started out thinking it wasn’t going to be for me, but the more I watched the more I liked what I was seeing.  Night Teeth looks like Collateral with vampires.  I plan to go along for the ride.

Benny’s entire world is turned upside down after picking up two mysterious girls who expose him to a secret world he never knew existed. He is suddenly hurled into their cryptic underworld on a mission to save his city from dripping in blood.

“Invasion” – The 2nd Trailer is Here!

Invasion looks like it could be a fun ride.

We are not alone. Extraterrestrial beings have made their way to Earth from across the universe. Civilization could collapse. And survival is up to you. Feel what it’s like to live through an alien invasion starting October 22 on Apple TV+

Invasion follows a global cast – including Sam Neil, Golshifteh Farahani, Shamier Anderson, Billy Barrett, and Shioli Kutsuna – as they try to navigate a terrifying new reality infested by lethal aliens.

Song: “This Bitter Earth (Heavy Duty Remix)” by The Seshen

Clint Eastwood’s Greatest Performances

Yesterday we took a look at Clint Eastwood’s best roles.  Today, thanks to Brent Lang at Variety, we’ll take a shot at listing Clint Eastwood greatest performances.  Using just Lang’s list, here are my top five…

Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry.  Eastwood was perfect in the role that had us cheering for a cop in a movie that would probably make Harry the villain in today’s world.

Blondie aka The Man with No Name in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  Eastwood’s most iconic role in which he perfected the man of few words but quick guns.

Will Munny in Unforgiven.  Eastwood’s performance anchored an Oscar-worthy (9 nominations) and Oscar-winning (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Film Editing) film.

Dave in Play Misty for Me.  It was a first time for me.  Seeing a big, tough guy terrorized by a woman.  And who wouldn’t be?

Frankie Dunn in Million Dollar Baby:  For me this was the first time Eastwood was playing an old man.  The other roles came off as a guy getting older… on the brink of old age.  I loved that being old didn’t mean life was over.

“Vengeance is Mine” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like the poster for Vengeance is Mine.  It’s also interesting that Harry’s wife and child were accidentally killed by murdering thieves making a getaway.  Deal me in.

Harry is a broken man, struggling to come to terms with the murder of his wife and daughter 5 years previously. When he discovers the whereabouts of the killers he awakens from his grief and, filled with vengeance, seeks to destroy those who destroyed his life.

Directed by Hadi Hajaig
Starring Con O’Neill, Sarah Jane Potts, Anton Saunders

“Ida Red” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Look at the cast for Ida Red: Josh Hartnett, William Forsythe, Mark Boone Junior, Frank Grillo and Melissa Leo.  Read the synopsis, view the trailer and if you’re a crime movie fan, get in line for a ticket (right behind me).

Crime boss Ida “Red” Walker (Oscar® winner Melissa Leo*) turns to her son, Wyatt (Josh Hartnett), to pull off one last heist to get out of prison. But with the FBI closing in, Wyatt must choose between family and freedom in this high-octane thriller.

Featuring: Josh Hartnett, Sofia Hublitz, William Forsythe, Deborah Ann Woll, George Carroll, Mark Boone Junior, Beau Knapp, with Frank Grillo, Melissa Leo

“Passing” Starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Passing, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga looks like a winner.  I won’t let it pass me by!

A cornerstone work of Harlem Renaissance literature, Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing is adapted to the screen with exquisite craft and skill by writer-director Rebecca Hall, who envelops the viewer in a bygone period that remains tragically present. The film’s extraordinary anchors are Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, meticulous as middle-class Irene and Clare, reacquainted childhood friends whose lives have taken divergent paths. Clare has decided to “pass” as white to maintain her social standing, even hiding her identity from her racist white husband, John (Alexander Skarsgård); Irene, on the other hand, is married to a prominent Black doctor, Brian (André Holland), who is initially horrified at Clare’s choices. As the film progresses, and resentments and latent attractions bristle, Hall creates an increasingly claustrophobic world both constructed and destabilized by racism, identity performance, and sexual frustration, leading to a shocking conclusion. A Netflix release.

“The Beta Test” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

There are several different posters for The Beta Test available, but I liked the one above best.

“But Craig, it doesn’t look like a movie poster.  It looks like a fancy invitation.  It doesn’t list who stars in the movie, who directed it or the studio that made it.  How can this be the best poster?”

Watch the trailer below and then, like me, plan to check out the movie.  Oh, and then you’ll know why I picked the poster above as the best.  ; )

Shortly before his wedding, ruthless talent agent Jordan (Jim Cummings) receives a mysterious envelope offering no-strings-attached sex with a stranger in a hotel room. Initially amused, then intrigued, he becomes obsessed by the idea of a secret erotic adventure and impulsively accepts. But will he regret his choices when his meticulous, superficial world threatens to collapse under the weight of his burgeoning lies?

Clint Eastwood’s Best Roles!

Jeremy Herbert at /Film decided to come up with his list of Clint Eastwood’s 14 Best Roles Ranked.  Narrowing down Eastwood’s best roles to just 14 is tough. Before you click over to check out Herbert’s list, here are my top five (using just Herbert’s picks) and a few more that didn’t make his list, but would have made mine.

Harry Callahan from Dirty Harry:  This is a pretty easy choice for me.  I think Harry is Eastwood’s most iconic and best role.  After that the choices become tougher, but for me Dirty Harry is #1.

Josey Wales from The Outlaw Josey Wales:  I placed Josey in the second spot, but to be honest I almost placed Blondie aka The Man with No Name at #2.  Today Josey gets the edge, but that could change.  Wales loses everything but his humanity.  And Herbert is right to mention the classic line: “Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.”

Blondie from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:  The movie that made Eastwood an international superstar.  

Will Munny from Unforgiven:  I applaud Eastwood for having the patience to wait until he was old enough to play the character.  Unforgiven doesn’t give us the typical good guy – bad guy movie.  Our good guy is a bad guy.  There’s no shooting guns out of the bad guy’s hands.  Gut shots are slow, painful deaths.  There’s no riding off into the sunset with the girl. John Wayne would have hated this film.  I wouldn’t want all my westerns to be like this, but I do love me some Unforgiven.  

Other Eastwood characters that would have made my list but didn’t make Herbert’s…

  • Hogan from Two Mules for Sister Sarah
  • Dave from Play Misty for Me
  • Ben Shockley from The Gauntlet
  • Gunnery Sargent Thomas Highway from Heartbreak Ridge
  • Chief Red Garnett from A Perfect World

Black & White Classic Monsters in Color!

I know that there are many purists who think that colorizing ANY movie (especially classics) is terrible.  I’m of the mindset that as long as the originals are still available, why not colorize?  It may encourage younger viewers to watch and turn them on to the originals.  I know I’d be interested in seeing the black and white classic monsters in color… but I wouldn’t give up my dvd originals.

A collection of scenes from black and white horror classics, mostly Universal Monsters, colourized using the programs EbSynth, DeOldify and Photoshop.

Nosferatu, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Werewolf of London, Mad Love, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Music by Bernhard Herrmann from Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo.

Source: Patrick Zircher

Bruce Lee’s Best Non-Kato TV Roles!

The fine folks at Me-TV decided to turn the spotlight on 5 Forgotten Television Appearances by the Legendary Bruce Lee.  After playing Kato on The Green Hornet, Bruce Lee made appearances on four other US television shows: Ironside, Blondie, Here Come the Brides and Longstreet.  Me-TV also snuck in Lee’s appearance in the feature film Marlowe since it played on television in 1972 (released to theaters in 1969).  Before you click over, here are my thoughts on each…

Ironside:  I used to watch this series with my grandparents.  Lee plays a karate instructor who teaches Ironside’s female associate a few tricks.  I’d like to see the episode now to see if it holds up.  I had just turned 9 when I saw the show originally.  I remember it being just okay (it needed more Bruce Lee).

Blondie:  This is one Bruce Lee appearance I’ve never seen.  I didn’t watch Blondie and didn’t even remember the show (which looks pretty bad).

Here Come the Brides:  I used to watch HCtB regularly, but barely remember the Bruce Lee episode or much of the series.  This is another show I’d like to check out to see how it holds up.

Longstreet:  I loved the idea of Bruce Lee training a blind investigator self-defense.  Lee appeared in four of the 24 episodes.  I liked this show (with Lee in it) quite a lot.

Marlowe:  Lee only has two scenes but they are the ones you will remember!  In the first he threatens Marlowe (James Garner) and in the second they fight to the death (although the way Lee dies is pretty lame).