Category: Celebs

“Perry Mason: Season 1” (2020) / Z-View

Perry Mason: Season 1 (2020)

Written by: Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald (ep. 1-3, 8); Steven Hanna & Sarah Kelly Kaplan (ep. 4); Eleanor Burgess (ep. 5); Kevin J. Hynes (ep. 6); Howard Korder (ep. 7)

Directed by: Tim Van Patten (ep. 1 – 4; 7-8); Deniz Gamze Ergüven (ep. 4 – 6)

Stars: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow, Justin Kirk, Diarra Kilpatrick, Eric Lange, Verónica Falcón, Gretchen Mol, Gayle Rankin, Stephen Root, Robert Patrick, Lili Taylor and Matt Frewer. 

Tagline:  Everyone is guilty of something.

The Plot…

The year is 1932.  Perry Mason (Rhys) is a low-rent private eye. He’s a divorced parent, and a WWI vet who struggles with PTSD.  Mason’s main employer is a struggling attorney named “E.B.” Jonathan (Lithgow).  When EB takes on a sensationalized, highly publicized case involving a baby kidnapping/murder, he assigns Mason to investigate.  Mason follows leads that point to corruption at the highest levels and the fact that an innocent person is taking the fall.  As Mason gets closer to the truth, he and those around him become targets.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

This is not your grandparents’ Perry Mason.  Instead we are treated to the evolution of the great attorney from before he was even a lawyer.  The series captures the feel of the era.  It is well written, well directed, well acted and well, just an all-around superior viewing experience.

Perry Mason: Season 1 is one of the few shows were the supporting characters could actually be leads had the show been written differently.

  • Juliet Rylance plays Della Street, E.B.’s legal secretary and perhaps the most intelligent person in the series.
  • Chris Chalk plays Paul Drake, a beat cop who becomes a partner of sorts to Mason.  Drake was my favorite character in season one.
  • Shea Whigham, who is always great, plays Pete Strickland, Mason’s not too bright and somewhat shifty PI partner.
  • Tatiana Maslany plays Sister Alice McKeegan, the charismatic and beautiful religious leader who is either a true believer or one of the best religious shysters the world has ever seen.

The first season starts out very dark and Mason isn’t all that likeable.  Stick with the series and you’ll be rewarded.

Perry Mason: Season 1 (2020)) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“Justified: City Primeval” starring Timothy Olyphant – The Trailer is Here!

I cannot wait.  Deal me in!

Timothy Olyphant is back as Raylan Givens. OFFICIAL TRAILER for FX’s Justified: City Primeval premieres 7.18 on FX. Stream on Hulu.

Starring Timothy Olyphant, Aunjanue Ellis and Boyd Holbrook. Raylan Givens left the hollers of Kentucky and is balancing life as a U.S. Marshal with being a part-time father. A chance encounter sends him to Detroit and on a collision course with a violent sociopath and a formidable defense attorney.

RIP: George Maharis

George Maharis, the actor, singer and artist, died on May 24, 2023 from natural causes.  Mr. Maharis was 94.

George Maharis studied at the Actors Studio after a stint in the US Marines.  He began to get roles in off-Broadway productions and television appearances.  His big break came in 1960 when he was cast as Buz Murdock in Route 66.  The show catapulted him to stardom.  Due to his popularity and singing ability, Mr. Maharis even began a recording career!

During the third season of Route 66, George Maharis left the series for health reasons.  The show’s producers felt that Mr. Maharis wanted to break his contract to pursue roles in feature films.  Reports later surfaced that tensions rose when the producers learned that George Maharis was gay.  Once Mr. Maharis was off the show, Route 66 declined in popularity and was cancelled the following year.

George Maharis went on to star in television roles and feature films.  Later in his career, he sang in nightclubs and became an impressionist painter.

Some of George Maharis’ television appearances include: Mister Peepers; The Investigator (2 episodes); The Phil Silvers Show; Naked City (4 episodes); Search for Tomorrow (5 episodes); Route 66 (82 episodes); Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (2 episodes); The Danny Thomas Hour; Journey to the Unknown; The Most Deadly Game (13 episodes); Night Gallery; Cade’s County; Medical Center; Canon; Mission: Impossible; Barnaby Jones; Marcus Welby; McMillan & Wife; Rich Man, Poor Man; The Bionic Woman (2 episodes); Kojak; Police Story (3 episodes); Switch (2 episodes); Fantasy Island (6 episodes); Matt Houston and Murder She Wrote (2 episodes).

Some of George Maharis’ feature films include: Quick Before It Melts; The Satan Bug; The Happening and The Sword and the Sorcerer;

I can remember watching Route 66 because it was what the adults watched in the house.  I also remember my mom and her friend talking about the rumors that Mr. Maharis left the show because the producers found out he was gay. They had a hard time believing it, and thought George Maharis was so handsome.  I liked him in Route 66 and always enjoyed seeing George Maharis appear in shows that I watched.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to George Maharis’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Ed Ames

Ed Ames who was born Edmund Dantes Urick died May 21, 2023, at the age of 95 from natural causes.

While still in high school Ed and his brothers formed a singing group which won many competitions in the Boston area.  They changed their group’s name to the Ames Brothers and landed their first record contract in 1947.  The group continued recording and scored several hits throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

When the group broke up, Ed Ames decided to pursue a full-time acting career.  Mr. Ames landed roles in off-Broadway and Broadway plays.  While playing Chief Bromden in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest opposite Kirk Douglas, Mr. Ames was offered the role of Mingo on the television series Daniel Boone.  This role made him a star.  For the rest of his career Ed Ames would alternate between acting on television and stage as well as singing as a solo performer.

Some of Ed Ames television appearances include: The Rifleman; The Travels of Jamie McPheeters; The Danny Thomas Hour; Daniel Boone (72 episodes); The Ed Sullivan Show (4 episodes); The Tonight Show; McCloud; Murder She Wrote; In the Heat of the Night and Jake and the Fatman.

I was a huge fan of Ed Ames as Mingo.  It was the first time that I can remember liking a supporting character more than the star.  There’s a classic clip of Ed Ames promoting Daniel Boone on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Mr. Ames was demonstrating his prowess at tomahawk throwing.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth looking up.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ed Ames’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Tina Turner

Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock died yesterday at the age of 83.  The cause of death was natural causes.

Tina Turner rose to fame singing with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm.  Later Tina and Ike married and formed a popular singing/recording duo that released hits such as River Deep, Mountain High, Proud Marry and Nutbush City Limits. They broke up in 1976 and they divorced in 1978.

In 1984, Tina Turner released Private Dancer which went on to become a platinum seller.  The single, What’s Love Got to Do With It won Record of the Year and went to #1 on the charts.  This made Ms. Turner, at age 44, the oldest female singer to hit the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart.  Tina Turner would continued to pile up hit after hit, and award after award.  By the end of her career she had won 12 Grammy Awards (including 3 Hall of Fame Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award).  2021: Turner became a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Tina Turner appeared in several feature films including: Tommy; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Last Action Hero.  Angela Bassett played Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?

I am a Tina Turner fan.  I loved her in Thunderdome and thought we’d see more of her in movies.  I think she probably loved singing, making music videos and touring too much to pursue a movie career.  She had so many hits that it’s hard to pick just one favorite.  It was even better seeing her perform songs in guest spots on tv and in her videos.  There will never be another Tina Turner.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tina Turner’s family, friends and fans.

“Hijack” starring Idris Elba – The Trailer is Here!

Hijack starring Idris Elba looks like an interesting riff on an airplane takeover.  Deal me in.

Let them think they’re in control. Hijack premieres June 28 on Apple TV+

Told in real time, Hijack is a tense thriller that follows the journey of a hijacked plane as it makes its way to London over a seven-hour flight, and as authorities on the ground scramble for answers.

Starring and executive produced by SAG Award winner and Emmy Award nominee Idris Elba, Hijack was created by George Kay (“Lupin,” “Criminal”) and Jim Field Smith (“Criminal,” “Truth Seekers”), who also wrote and lead directed the series respectively. The series also stars Emmy Award and NAACP Image Award winner Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife,” “Snowpiercer,” “Blindspot”).

“Gents in a Jam” (1952) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Gents in a Jam (1952)

Director:  Edward Bernds

Writer: Edward Bernds

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Kitty McHugh, Emil Sitka, Danni Sue Nolan, Mickey Simpson  and ‘Snub’ Pollard.

Tagline: Head Over Heels and Up To Their Ears in Laughs! 

The Plot…

The boys are about to be evicted when they (and their landlord, Mrs. MacGruder) learn that Shemp’s rich uncle is coming for a visit.  Mrs. McGruder decides to let them stay since she has eyes on marrying Shemp’s uncle for his money.  To complicate matters, the boys’ pretty neighbor, Gertie, comes by to borrow a cup of sugar. Her husband is world-famous for his incredible strength (and his insane jealously of any man around his wife).  When Gertie trips, Shemp goes to help her and accidentally rips her dress off!  Cue the husband coming down the hall… and let the hijinks begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Gents in a Jam was the final Stooges’ short for both…

  • director Edward Bernds.  Many consider Bernds to be the best of all the Stooges’ directors.  All of the remaining Stooges’ shorts are directed by Jules White and make use of footage from previous Stooges outings.
  • and character actor Snub Pollard.  Mr. Pollard has over 600 acting credits on his resume dating back to 1913!

Larry to Moe: “How come you give all the orders?”  Moe: Because I have all the brains.  Any objections?”  Larry: “Yeah!” Moe slaps Larry and says, “Objection overruled.”

Gents in a Jam (1952) rates 4 of 5 stars.

RIP: Ray Stevenson

Ray Stevenson died today.  He was 58.  No cause of death has been released.

Ray Stevenson was an Irish actor known for his roles in theater, television and feature films.  He is best known for his starring roles as The Punisher in Punisher: War Zone and Volstagg in Thor franchise films,

Some of Ray Stevenson’s television appearances include: The Dwelling Place (3 episodes); The Tide of Life (3 episodes); Band of Gold (9 episodes); City Central (21 episodes); Walking the Dead (2 episodes); Rome (22 episodes); Dexter (9 episodes); Black Sails (11 episodes); Rellik (6 episodes); Reef Break (13 episodes); Vikings (11 episodes) and Das Boot (9 episodes).

Some of Ray Stevenson’s feature films include:  The Theory of Flight; King Arthur; Punisher: War Zone; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; The Book of Eli; The Other Guys; Kill the Irishman; Thor; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Thor: The Dark World; Cold Skin; Thor: Ragnarak; Accident Man; RRR and Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday.

My favorite Ray Stevenson role was in Punisher: War Zone. He was excellent in the role and I’m surprised that they didn’t do sequels with him.  It was also a pleasant surprise to see him in RRR.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ray Stevenson’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Jim Brown

Jim Brown died on Thursday, May 18, 2023.  He was 87 years old.  Jim Brown was an athlete, civil rights activist and actor.

Jim Brown attended Syracuse University where he excelled at basketball, track and field, lacrosse, and football. Many consider Jim Brown to be one of the best lacrosse players of all time.  While at Syracuse, Jim Brown was a unanimous selection for the All-America team and they retired his number 44.  In 1995, he was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Brown was a running back for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 – 1965.  He led the league in rushing 8 of the 9 seasons he played.  When he retired (while at the height of his career) he was the all-time leading rusher.  Jim Brown was a named a Pro Bowl player each season that he played.  Three times in the 9 seasons he was named the NFL Most Valuable Player.  He led the Browns to a Championship in 1964.  Jim Brown is the only professional football player to average over 100 yards per game.  He is considered by many to be the greatest player to every take the field.  Mr. Brown retired from football to pursue a career as an actor.

Some of Jim Brown’s television appearances include: I, Spy; Police Story; CHiPs (3 episodes); Knight Rider; TJ Hooker (2 episodes); The A-Team and Soul Food (4 episodes).

Some of Jim Brown’s feature films include: Rio Concho; The Dirty Dozen; Dark of the Sun; Ice Station Zebra; The Split; 100 Rifles; Slaughter; Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off; Three The Hard Way; The Running Man; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Mars Attacks and Any Given Sunday.

Jimi Brown was one of the few athletes to speak out about civil rights in the 1950s and he continued to do so throughout his life.  Mr. Brown was the founder of the Negro Industrial Economic Union, later renamed as the Black Economic Union which helped find opportunities and promote minority owned business.

I was a fan of Jim Brown’s football prowess.  My favorite Jim Brown films are The Dirty Dozen and Dark of the Sun.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Brown’s family, friends and fans.

Lee Marvin’s All-Time Best Movies!

Ben Sherlock at ScreenRant came up with his list (and rationale) for the 12 Best Lee Marvin Movies Ranked.  Sherlock’s list is a good one, but leaves out some of Marvin’s films that I’d have included.  So before you click over, here’s how Sherlock and I compare and the movies that would have made my list that didn’t make his.



12. Paint Your Wagon (1969)

*** Monte Walsh (1970) (Haven’t seen yet.)

11. Monte Walsh (1970)

*** The Iceman Cometh (1973) (Haven’t seen yet)

10. The Killers (1964)

10. Paint Your Wagon (1969)

09. The Comancheros (1961)

09. The Big Red One (1980)

08. The Iceman Cometh (1973)

08. Cat Ballou (1965

07. The Professionals (1966)

07. The Professionals (1966)

06. The Big Red One (1980)

06. The Comancheros (1961)

05. Bad Day At Black Rock (1955)

05. Bad Day At Black Rock (1955)

04. Cat Ballou (1965)

04. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

03. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

03. Point Blank (1967)

02. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

02. The Killers (1964)

01. Point Blank (1967)

01. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

I would have included The Big Heat (one of my all-time favorite films), The Emperor of the North (Marvin and Borgnine in one of the most violet fights ever filmed) and Death Hunt. (Marvin vs Charles Bronson and Carl Weathers with Angie Dickinson for good measure). 

“Killers of the Flower Moon” directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro – The Trailer is here!

The trailer for Killers of the Flower Moon co-written and directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro is here!

Killers of the Flower Moon. In theaters October 6.

Based on David Grann’s broadly lauded best-selling book, Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.

Directed by Martin Scorsese and Screenplay by Eric Roth and Scorsese, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, and Jillian Dion.

Hailing from Apple Studios, Killers of the Flower Moon was produced alongside Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions and Appian Way. Producers are Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Daniel Lupi, with DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer and Niels Juul serving as executive producers.

RIP: Superstar Billy Graham

Superstar Billy Graham, the Hall of Fame Professional wrestler died yesterday at the age of 79.  He had been on life-support and ill for some time.

Superstar Billy Graham was born Eldridge Wayne Coleman.  He became interested in weightlifting while in fifth grade.  In high school he threw the shot put and participated in the Golden Gloves.  In 1961, Mr. Coleman won the Teenage Body Building Contest West Coast Division. (Frank Zane was the winner of the East Coast Division!).  By 1968, Eldridge Coleman was working out at Gold’s Gym where he became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu and other famous body builders of the era.

In 1970, Mr. Coleman began his career in professional wrestling working for various territories around the country.  In 1972, he took on the moniker Superstar Billy Graham and he became world famous.  Over the course of his career he was a three-time World Champion and inducted in the the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.  He retired in 1988 and became an author and ringside announcer.

Superstar Billy Graham was the inspiration for the next wave of pro wrestlers that included Ric Flair, Austin Idol, Hulk Hogan and Jesse The Body Ventura.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Superstar Billy Graham’s family, friends and fans.

“Self Made Maids” (1950) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Self Made Maids (1950)

Director:  Jules White

Writer: Felix Adler

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard

Tagline: Oh Baby… It’s the Stooges’ Screwiest Comedy!

The Plot…

The boys are artists in love with models named Larraine, Moella and Shempetta.  The girls accept our guys’ marriage proposals.  The problem will be getting the ladies’ father to agree.  Let the fun begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Self Made Maids is unique in that the Stooges play all the characters!  Larry, Moe and Shemp play the artists, their girlfriends and their children.  In addition, Moe plays the girls’ father,  Larry and Shemp appear as a couple in a painting.

While playing one of the girls, Moe actually tripped, twisted an ankle, hit his head and needed crutches to get around the next day.  Filming continued.

Self Made Maids (1950) rates 2 of 5 stars.