Category: Celebs

“Rogue Hostage” Starring Tyrese Gibson & John Malkovich. The Trailer is Here!

The Rogue Hostage trailer is here.  Tyrese Gibson and John Malkovich star in Die Hard in a hardware store.  I’ll check it out when it comes to a streaming service I get.

PLOT: Rogue Hostage follows single father and former Marine Kyle Snowden (Tyrese Gibson), who is struggling to adjust to life with PTSD. On a routine stop for his job in Child Protective Services, Kyle finds himself and a group of innocent customers trapped inside his stepfather’s store during a hostile take-over by militant maniac Eagan Raize. Disturbing details emerge about Eagan’s violent vendetta against Kyle’s stepfather, Congressman Sam Nelson (John Malkovich), threatening the lives of everyone inside, including the Congressman and Kyle’s young daughter. In a race against time, Kyle must battle against the terrorists as well as his personal demons to secure the store and save everyone. #RogerHostage​

CAST: Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Holly Taylor

Release Date: 6/11/21

Recasting “Escape from New York”

Art by Paul Shippper

A little over eight years ago there was talk that Joel Silver was working with StudioCanal to remake John Carpenter’s Escape from New York along with two other films featuring Snake Plissken.  I was excited for the news and began to think about who would play each part.  Below are my original cast suggestions as well as who I would cast now. 

So… let’s take a look at who should fill the roles in Escape from New York Remake:

  • Snake Plissken was originally played by Kurt Russell.  Then I suggested Guy Pearce.  Now I would cast Wyatt Russell.  I know Wyatt has said he wouldn’t play Snake, but man, that would be perfect casting.

  • Hauk was originally played by Lee Van Cleef.  Then I suggested Stephen Lang.  Now I would still go with Lang.

  • Cabbie was originally played by Ernest Borgnine.  Then I suggested Brian Cox.  Now I would cast Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan).

  • The President was originally played by Donald Pleasence.  Then I suggested James Gandolfini.  Now I would cast James Spader.

  • The Duke was originally played by Isaac Hayes.  Then I suggested Terry Crews Now I would still go with Terry Crews.

  • Brain was originally played by Harry Dean Stanton.  Then I suggested Michael EmersonNow I would still go with Michael Emerson.

  • Maggie was originally played by Adrienne Barbeau.  Then I suggested Rosario DawsonNow I would still go with Rosario Dawson.

  • Romero was originally played by Frank Doubleday.  Then I suggested Walton Goggins Now I would still go with Walton Goggins.

  • Slag was originally played by Ox Baker.  Then I suggested Ryan HurstNow I would still go with Ryan Hurst.

So, what do you think?  Inspired casting or did I miss the mark?



RIP: Billie Hayes

Billie Hayes who performed on Broadway, in movies and on television died on April 29th at the age of 96.  Her death from natural causes was announced today by her family.

Mrs. Hayes first Broadway appearance was in Leonard Sillman’s New Faces in 1956. She was then cast as Mammy Yokum in the Broadway version of Li’l Abner.  When Li’l Abner was turned into a feature film, Hayes reprised her role as Mammy Yokum.

Billy Hayes first television role was on The Monkees.  Her next television role was the one she became best known for, as Witchiepoo on HR Pufnstuff (tv series) and in the Pufnstuff movie.  After that series ended Hayes appeared once again as Mammy Yokum in the Li’l Abner tv movie.  Hayes went on to make guest appearances on Bewitched, Lidsville (as a series co-star), Donny and Marie, Murder She Wrote, General Hospital and many other shows.  In 1981, Hayes also began doing voice work (on shows such as The Flintstone Comedy Show, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Darkwing Duck, Talespin to name just a few).  She continued doing voice work until she retired in 2016.

Not many performers have a career as long as Billie Hayes.  She was able to successfully transition between stage, feature films and television.  I, like many of her fans, knew her best from her role as Witchiepoo.  I was ten when the series premiered.  My brother and I got into trouble for calling my youngest sister, Witchiepoo.  It’s funny the things you remember.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Billie Hayes’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Johnny Crawford

Johnny Crawford, best known as one of the original Mouseketeers and for his role on The Rifleman, died yesterday at the age of 75.  Mr. Crawford had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, COVID-19 and pneumonia, but his cause of death was not specified.

Crawford first rose to fame as one of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers.  He would then go on to play roles on The Lone Ranger, The Frank Sinatra Show, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Danny Thomas Show, Wagon Train and many other popular television shows before getting his co-starring role on The Rifleman with Chuck Connors.  At the age of 13, Johnny Crawford was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for his portrayal of Mark McCain, on The Rifleman.  Crawford and Connors developed a friendship that would continue throughout their lives.  When The Rifleman ended, Crawford appeared on an episode of Connor’s follow-up series, Branded.  Johnny Crawford even spoke at Chuck Connors’ funeral decades later.

Johnny Crawford had a brief career as a singing star.  He had four top forty Billboard hits on Del-FI records.  Throughout his life Crawford acted in television and feature film roles, and in 1992, he formed the JCO (Johnny Crawford Orchestra) which performed at festivals and special events.  Johnny Crawford was an extremely talented individual with a career that spanned over 60 years of performances on stage, television and silver screen.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johnny Crawford’s family, fans and friends.

“The Misfits” Starring Pierce Brosnan – The Trailer is Here!

Pierce Brosnan is back and The Misfits have him.  They’ve got Tim Roth, too.  After seeing the trailer below, they’ll have me at some point as well.

A band of modern-day Robin Hoods known as “The Misfits”, recruit renowned thief Richard Pace (Pierce Brosnan) to help them pull off the heist of the century. The prize: millions in gold bars stashed underneath one of the world’s most secure prisons. Hold on tight for a globe-trotting, action-packed thriller from the Director of Die Hard 2.

Featuring: Pierce Brosnan, Rami Jaber, Hermione Corfield, Jamie Chung, Mike Angelo with Tim Roth and Nick Cannon

“The Tomorrow War” Starring Chris Pratt – The Teaser is Here!

The teaser for The Tomorrow War starring Chris Pratt is here.  Sign me up, deal me in.

THE TOMORROW WAR premieres July 2, 2021 globally on Prime Video

In The TOMORROW WAR, the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.

Directed by Chris McKay
Written by Zach Dean
Produced by David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Jules Daly, David Goyer, Adam Kolbrenner
Executive Produced by Rob Cowan, Chris Pratt, Brian Oliver, Bradley J. Fischer

Starring Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge, Jasmine Mathews, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Keith Powers

“American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster for American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally is bland, but the trailer presents an interesting story.  Al Pacino is a plus.  I’ll check it out at some point.

Based on the true story, AMERICAN TRAITOR: THE TRIAL OF AXIS SALLY follows the life of American woman Mildred Gillars (Meadow Williams) and her lawyer (Al Pacino), who struggles to redeem her reputation. Dubbed “Axis Sally” for broadcasting Nazi propaganda to American troops during World War II, Mildred’s story exposes the dark underbelly of the Third Reich’s hate-filled propaganda machine, her eventual capture in Berlin, and subsequent trial for treason against the United States after the war.

Starring: Meadow Williams, Thomas Kretschmann, Al Pacino
Directed by: Michael Polish

“Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story” Teaser is Here!

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story teaser looks wonderful.  I think the time is right for a film like this – one that will take us to another time and place filled with great music, dancing and a story of forbidden love.   I look forward to seeing Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner, “West Side Story” tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (María); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); Ana Isabelle (Rosalía); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works). Moreno – one of only three artists to be honored with Academy®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony® and Peabody Awards – also serves as one of the film’s executive producers.

Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the film’s creative team includes Kushner, who also serves as an executive producer; Tony Award® winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award® winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (“Anastasia”), who arranged the score; Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), who supervised the cast on vocals; and Grammy®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago”), who served as executive music producer for the film. The film is produced by Spielberg, Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and Tony Award®-winning producer Kevin McCollum. “West Side Story” has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway show, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

From 20th Century Studios, The Walt Disney Company will release “West Side Story” in U.S. theaters on December 10, 2021.

“London After Midnight” – Rare, Creepy Photo!

I love how creepy this London After Midnight still is.  London After Midnight starred Lon Chaney and was directed and co-produced by Tod Browning!  There is no known copy of the film (the last known print was destroyed in a fire in the 1960s) and is considered to be the most “sought-after” lost film. From WikipediA…

London After Midnight (also marketed as The Hypnotist) is a lost 1927 American silent mystery film with horror overtones directed and co-produced by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney, with Marceline Day, Conrad Nagel, Henry B. Walthall and Polly Moran. The film was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was based on the scenario “The Hypnotist”, also written by Browning.

I truly hope that a copy of the film is found for fans, like me, to see.

“Unhinged” (2020) / Z-View

Unhinged (2020)

Director: Derrick Borte

Screenplay: Carl Ellsworth

Stars:  Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman.

The Pitch: “It’s Spielberg’s Duel crossed with the scariest monster you can imagine!”

Tagline: He can happen to anyone.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Rachael is having a bad day.  She’s going through a rough divorce.  Her mom has just been moved into an assisted living home that Rachael can’t afford, her out of work brother and his “fiancé” have moved in with her and her teenage son.  To make this bad day even worse, Rachel overslept.  She’s got to drive her son to school, herself to work and both will be late.  Yeah, Rachel is having a bad day.

It’s about to get worse.

At an intersection Rachael finds herself behind a big truck that just sits when the light turns green.  She’s already late and this guy isn’t moving.  So she lays on the horn.  Still no movement.  She lays on the horn again and then pulls around him.  As she passes the truck she gives the driver a gesture letting him know she’s pissed.

As it turns out, the guy in the truck is having a worse day.  His wife was divorcing him, going after his house and all his assets, and having an affair with her attorney.  I say was divorcing him because she (nor her attorney-lover) are now in a position to do anything.  Yeah, this guy is having a real bad day and Rachael’s actions have pushed him to the limit.

He pulls up beside her and gives her a chance to apologize.  This just infuriates her and she says things to make it worse, not realizing that she’s dealing with a man who is about to come unhinged.  And he does.

To tell more would be to tell too much.  Suffice it to say, Unhinged delivers thrills and continues to ratchet up the tension until the very satisfying climax.  Crowe is perfect as the man who is on a mission to destroy Rachael by killing everyone dear to her before he is killed.  What makes Crowe so scary is he knows he’s going to die, probably at the hands of the police, and he is alright with that.  For him it is just a question of how much damage he can do before they get him.

Caren Pistorius is excellent as Rachael.  What I liked about her character is that she creates most of her issues and it is her actions that sets everything in motion.  This is a nice change from the innocent woman in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Pistorius is believable as Rachael.  Kudos also to Gabriel Bateman who plays her son, Kyle.  He comes off as sympathetic and likeable.

Crowe deserves special praise for his portrayal of the nameless man who becomes Unhinged.  He isn’t just a one-dimensional psycho killer, and perhaps that is what makes him scarier than Jason, Michael Myers or any of the other monsters we’re used to seeing.

If you’re looking for a action-thriller, then you should consider Unhinged.  I really liked it!

“Werewolves Within” – The Trailer is Here!

With the Werewolves Within trailer we learn that the movie will be a combination horror – mystery – comedy.  While I’m not expecting great things, I’ll check it out hoping for a fun ride.  Oh, and did you notice that Lilly (Milana Vayntrub) from the AT&T commercials is one of the stars?

Director: Josh Ruben
Starring: Milana Vayntrub, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins

When a killer terrorizes the snowed-in residents of a small town, it falls to the new forest ranger to find out who – or what – lurks among them in this hilarious horror whodunnit.

The TCM Classic Film Festival is Coming Soon! Full Line-up is Here!

The TCM Classic Film Festival runs this year from May 6th through the 9th.  It is totally virtual and this year TCM is teaming with HBO Max to…

…feature more than 100 films, brand new conversations with over 30 special guests, rarely seen gems from the TCM archives and special presentations.

Here are the films/events that I look forward to…

May 6th
11:15pm  TCM  Mean Streets (1973) – A young hood in New York’s Little Italy contends with saving the neck of his hotheaded best friend from the local loan shark and struggles with the religious guilt prompted by his lifestyle.

May 7th
1:30am  TCM  Dr. X (1932) – TCM premiere of recently restored version. The new two-color Technicolor master was restored by UCLA Film and Television Archive and The Film Foundation in association with Warner Bros. Entertainment.

8:00pm  TCM  Plan 9 From Outer Space Table Read (2020) – Television premiere. SF Sketchfest Presents a table read of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), adapted by comedian Dana Gould and featuring Maria Bamford, Bobcat Goldthwait, Oscar Nuñez, Laraine Newman, Bob Odenkirk, David Koechner, Janet Varney, Jonah Ray, Paul F. Tompkins, Gary Anthony Williams, Baron Vaughn, Deborah Baker Jr. and Kat Aagesen.  (Followed by the original Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) film at 9:30pm.)

May 8th
3:15am  TCM  let me come in (2021) – World broadcast premiere presentation of Bill Morrison’s experimental short featuring decayed film reels from the lost, German silent film Pawns of Passion (1928). Co-presented by The Los Angeles Opera with composer David Lang and soprano Angel Blue, and in partnership with the Library of Congress Audio Visual Conservation Center.

4:00am  TCM  Underworld U.S.A. (1961) – A bitter young man sets out to get back at the gangsters who murdered his father.

6:00am  TCM  TEX AVERY: THE KING OF CARTOONS (1988) – Documentary about the life and career of animator and director Frederick Bean “Tex” Avery.

7:00am  TCM  TEX AVERY AT MGM (1943-1955) – Compilation of cartoons directed by Tex Avery during his years at MGM. Featured cartoons: Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), Bad Luck Blackie (1949), Deputy Droopy (1955), Screwball Squirrel (1944), King-Size Canary (1947), T.V. of Tomorrow (1953) and Symphony in Slang (1955).

8:00am  TCM  I LOVE TROUBLE (1947) – TCM premiere. A private detective is hired by a politician to check on his wife’s background.

8:00pm  TCM  THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME (1947) – World premiere of a recent 4K restoration from the nitrate film. This restoration returns the film to its original 95 minutes thanks to the return of 15 minutes of original footage cut by RKO at the film’s reissue in the 1950s. A philandering playboy with a wealthy wife and two girlfriends ends up on trial for murder when two of the ladies turn up dead, and he’s the most likely suspect.

10:00pm  TCM  LADY SINGS THE BLUES (1972) –  The story of jazz singer Billie Holiday: from her early life of poverty and abuse, through her successful career and eventual downfall from heroin addiction.
*** Presented in partnership with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, featuring conversation with Jacqueline Stewart, TCM Host and Academy Museum Chief Artistic and Programming Officer

May 9th
8:00pm  TCM  SO THIS IS PARIS (1926) – World premiere restoration featuring a new score by composer Ben Model. A married doctor falls for a dancer while his wife develops an attraction to the dancer’s husband.

9:30pm  TCM  THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977) –  Paula is a divorced mother and ex-Broadway dancer, who learns that her lover has left her only when aspiring actor Elliot arrives to sublet the apartment in the middle of the night. Their uneasy truce blossoms into love.
*** NEW! Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss

11:45pm  TCM  FAME (1980) –  Five outstandingly gifted students at New York’s High School of Performing Arts are followed as they prepare for careers in show business. A budding singer, two actors, a dancer and a musician polish their crafts as they struggle to excel academically in the demanding school.
*** NEW! Conversation with Debbie Allen

2:15am  TCM – BREATHLESS (1960) – A petty criminal, wanted for the murder of a police officer, returns to Paris where he meets an American girl who hawks newspapers. They become lovers, but eventually the police pressure her into betraying him and revealing his whereabouts.

HBO Max created a TCM hub where “starting at 8pm ET on Thursday, May 6 Festival programming will be presented in specially-crafted themes for you to explore featuring exclusive new interviews with actors and filmmakers, special presentations by notable film experts, rarely seen archival content and a wide selection of beloved classic movies curated by the experts at TCM.”

Click here to view the full TCM schedule and here to view the HBO Max offerings.

RIP: Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman, lyricist of million-selling hit records, died yesterday at the age of 73.  No cause of death was released.

Steinman is best known for his collaborations with Meat Loaf on the albums Bat Out of Hell (1977) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993).  Bat Out of Hell produced two top ten hits: “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and became one of the best-selling albums ever.  Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell released one single: “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” that spent five weeks at No. 1.  Steinman also penned the music and book for Bat Out of Hell: The Musical which ran from February through April in Manchester, England.

Steinman may have been known best for his two collaborations with Meat Loaf, but he composed and produced hits with many other artists including…

  • “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” performed by Air Supply
  • “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (which he also produced) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “Nowhere Fast” performed by Fire, Inc. for the Streets of Fire Soundtrack
  • “Left in the Dark” performed by Barbara Streisand
  • “Hulk Hogan’s Theme” for the WWE
  • “Holding Out for a Hero” (which he also produced and co-wrote with Dean Pitchford) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” performed by Celine Dion
  • and many more.

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