Category: Movies

RIP: BJ Thomas


Billy Joe aka B.J. Thomas died yesterday at the age of 70 from lung cancer. 

B.J. first came into the public eye with his million-selling cover of the Hank Williams’ classic I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.  His second gold record came two years later with the pop hit, Hooked on a Feeling

The following year, Mr. Thomas was chosen to sing Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head which was featured in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  The song earned the Academy Award as Best Original Song and and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with sales of over one million copies.  This earned BJ Thomas his third gold record. 

BJ Thomas had another top ten hit that year with I Just Can’t Help Believing.  In 1975, BJ Thomas earned his fourth gold record with  (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.  From the very start of his career, Mr. Thomas dealt with alcohol and drug dependence.  In 1976, BJ Thomas became a Christian and released his first (of several) gospel albums.  It became the first gospel album to go platinum.

Unless you were alive in 1970, you cannot imagine how popular Keep Fallin’ on My Head was.  It was all over the radio and tv.  That song along with I Just Can’t Help Believing are my favorite songs by BJ Thomas.  As impressive as his career was, it is equally as impressive that he was able to kick his dependency on drugs/alcohol and spoke freely about it.  I’m sure he gave hope to others caught up in the same out of control spiral.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to BJ Thomas’ family, friends and fans.


RIP: Gavin MacLeod


Gavin MacLeod, best known to fans as either the the loveable Captain Stubing of The Love Boat, or the witty Murray Slaughter from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died yesterday at the age of 90.  MacLeod, who was born Allan George See, but changed his name for show biz.

Gavin MacLeod began his acting career in 1957 and he alternated with smaller roles in television and movies.  In 1962, he became a regular on McHale’s Navy.  After two seasons he left the series and took a role in The Sand Pebbles staring Steve McQueen.  MacLeod followed that role with guest appearance on many popular television shows including (but not limited to): The Munsters, Rawhide, Gomer Pyle, The Man from UNCLE, The Andy Griffith Show, The Rat Patrol, Ironside, Hawaii 5-0, Hogan’s Heroes, Love American Style.   Along the way Mr. McLeod also appeared in feature films including his role in Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood.

In 1970, Gavin MacLeod began playing Murray Slaughter when The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered  After the show ended, he accepted the lead as Captain Merrill Stubing in The Love Boat.  That series ran for ten years as well as a tv movie and a spin-off series: The Love Boat: The Next Wave.  Gavin MacLeod continued to act until 2014. 

I was a huge fan of Gavin MacLeod’s Murray Slaughter.  Often he was the funniest on a show full of talented comedians.  I always love when he turns up in any show or movie that I’m watching and perhaps my favorite surprise appearance is in Compulsion (an under-rated movie) where he plays an assistant to the DA.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gavin MacLeod’s family, friends and fans. 

“Infinite” starring Mark Wahlberg – The Trailer is Here!

Infinite starring Mark Wahlberg jumps in the eternal warrior pool.  Will it sink or swim?  I guess we’ll have to check it out to see.   

For Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), skills he has never learned and memories of places he has never visited haunt his daily life. Self-medicated and on the brink of a mental breakdown, Evan is sought by a secret group that call themselves “Infinites,” revealing to him that his memories may be real—but they are from multiple past lives.



“The Birthday Cake” – The Trailer is Here!

I like the looks of The Birthday Cake.  It has an interesting mystery, a crime story background and how about the cast? Shiloh Fernandez, Val Kilmer, Lorraine Bracco, Ewan McGregor, Vincent Pastore and Luis Guzmán!  I plan to check it out. 

On the 10th anniversary of his father’s mysterious death, Gio (Shiloh Fernandez) brings a birthday cake prepared by his mother (Lorraine Bracco) to a memorial celebration hosted by his uncle Angelo (Val Kilmer), a Brooklyn mafia boss. Gio’s life begins to change as he pieces together what really happened to his father all those years ago, coming face to face with a kind of violence he has been trying to avoid his whole life.

“Lights, Camera, Action” – Zack Snyder Film School #2

In ‘Snyder School,’ Zack Snyder takes us on a four episode journey into his groundbreaking creative process as a filmmaker. In Episode 1, Zack discusses his approach to creating a title sequence, from storyboard sketches to special effects, in Army of the Dead, as well as 300, Watchmen, and Justice League.

In this episode Zack Snyder talks about the steps he takes to filming his action sequences.  We learn about his storyboard process, blocking out scenes with his stunt team and actors and the tools that he uses.  Snyder is truly an artist who thinks about the process and isn’t afraid to take chances.  I love that he repurposed camera lenses that were over 60 years 0ld into modern housings to film Army of the Dead.

“Army of the Dead”: Things You Might Not Know

Izak Bulten at posted Army Of The Dead: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Zack Snyder’s Zombie Franchise.  You know how much I enjoyed Army of the Dead and how much I like lists… so, before you click over, here are my three favorite facts from Bulten’s list and my thoughts on each…

The Theatrical Opening Was Netflix’s Biggest Ever. (I think it is cool that Army of the Dead was given a limited theatrical release, and cooler still that it ended up with Netflix’s biggest opening ever.  Hopefully this will help guarantee a sequel or three. – Craig)

There’s A Making-Of Documentary For The First Movie. (I always love to go behind the scenes on movies to get a look at the thoughts that go into making them.  The Making-Of Army of the Dead is available on Netflix.  I’ve seen it and it is worth a look. – Craig)

The Main Cast Will Reprise Their Roles For The Animated Series. (This is a cool idea.  Not only will the original cast voice their characters, but Zack Snyder is set to direct a couple of the episodes! – Craig)


“Lansky” Starring Harvey Keitel – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

How often do we get a thoughtful, subtle poster like the one above for Lansky?  The trailer looks good and Harvey Keitel is always a plus.  Deal me in.

David Stone (Sam Worthington), a renowned but down-on-his-luck writer, desperately needs a break. His luck changes when he receives a surprise call from Meyer Lansky (Academy Award®-nominee Harvey Keitel), the Jewish Godfather of organized crime. The retired gangster spins a dizzying tale, revealing the untold truth about his life as the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate. For decades, authorities have been trying to locate Lansky’s alleged fortune, hundreds of millions gone. This is their last chance to capture the aging gangster before he dies; but Lansky, as always, is one step ahead of the FBI, sending them on a wild chase, evading and outsmarting them at every turn.

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Sam Worthington, Annasophia Robb, Minka Kelly, John Magaro, Jackie Cruz
Directed by: Eytan Rockaway

“The Power of the Title Sequence” – Zack Snyder Film School #1

In ‘Snyder School,’ Zack Snyder takes us on a four episode journey into his groundbreaking creative process as a filmmaker. In Episode 1, Zack discusses his approach to creating a title sequence, from storyboard sketches to special effects, in Army of the Dead, as well as 300, Watchmen, and Justice League.

The video is interesting because it takes us behind the scenes to see not only Zack Snyder’s thought process going into the production of his title sequences, but the storyboards he creates and the tools that he uses.  I wish more directors put thought into their title sequences since they can really set the mood for a movie.

When you think back to the great title sequences, what movies come to mind? For me it is The Great Race, A, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, all of the wonderful Saul Bass title sequences, S7ven, as well as Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Army of the Dead.

“The Tomorrow War” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like both the poster and trailer for The Tomorrow War.  So deal me in on July 2nd.

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


“An Unknown Compelling Force: The True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for An Unknown Compelling Force are here. 

The Dyatlov Pass Incident really happened.  In 1959, 9 experienced Russian hikers were found dead, inadequately dressed for the snowy, freezing mountain temperatures.  Investigation revealed that they had cut their way out of the tent and fled their camp site.  From their remains, it was determined that six died from hypothermia, while three met strange, violent deaths.  Two had major damage to their skulls, two had severe chest trauma, two bodies were missing their eyes, one of the bodies had its tongue removed, one was missing its eyebrows.  The initial investigation determined that a “compelling natural force” was the cause of the hikers’ deaths.  Speculation grew that there had been a coverup… that it was a Yeti, or aliens, a Russian government experiment or, well, you get the idea.

I like the poster and the trailer isn’t bad either.  I’m familiar with the The Dyatlov Pass Incident and what really happened, but I just may give An Unknown Compelling Force a view to see if I can learn more.

The truth of Russia’s greatest unsolved mystery, the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is uncovered in this compelling documentary. Available June 15th. Order Now:

In 1959 a group of nine student hikers were attempting a difficult winter expedition in the remote Ural Mountains of Russia, when a mysterious event lead to their horrific deaths, shocking the nation.

The Soviet Government and fellow students uncovered the grizzly remains of the hikers. Found a mile from their shredded tent, the hikers seemingly fled into the freezing temperatures without their winter clothes or boots. Adding to the mystery, many of their bodies had suffered brutal and inexplicable injuries, and some even showed traces of radiation.

The investigators at the time closed the case, stating that the hikers died from “An Unknown Compelling Force.” For more than 60 years the story has been shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories, suggesting everything from UFOs and murder to a Soviet Government cover-up.

This documentary features interviews with Russian investigators, a former Moscow Times journalist, and friends of the hikers. Adding new perspective to the case, the film also interviews U.S. experts including a former FBI Agent, to finally reveal the stunning truth of The Dyatlov Pass Incident.

DIRECTED BY Liam Le Guillou
FEATURING Liam Le Guillou, Svetlana Oss, Yuri Kuntsevich, Oleg Demyanenko, Natalia Sakharova & Mick Fennerty

“Last Night in Soho” – A Film by Edgar Wright – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Last Night in Soho are here.  I’m not 100% sold on either, but because the movie is co-written and directed by Edgar Wright, I’ll give it a shot.  Wright’s work in creating Baby Driver was so cool and innovative, I’ll trust him on Last Night in Soho.

When the past lets you in, the truth will come out. Directed by Edgar Wright, watch the trailer for #LastNightInSoho. In theaters this October.

Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller about a young girl, passionate in fashion design, who is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it appears, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences…

“Gunpowder Milkshake” – The Poster & Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Gunpowder Milkshake are here.  I like the title and poster.  The trailer is action-packed and sets up and interesting story.  The cast (Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, and Paul Giamatti) is excellent.

You hear a “but” coming, don’t you?

But… everything about Gunpowder Milkshake screams John Wick but with Women. Keanu becomes Karen.  Ian McShane becomes Paul Giamatti. The Continental hotel becomes a library.  The High Table becomes the Firm.  Scene after scene looks adapted/lifted from John Wick movies.  Heck, they even use the same color schemes.  

Is it homage or ripoff?  Will Gunpowder Milkshake be good?  I guess we’ll have to watch to see.  

Sam (KAREN GILLAN) was only 12 years old when her mother Scarlet (LENA HEADEY), an elite assassin, was forced to abandon her. Sam was raised by The Firm, the ruthless crime syndicate her mother worked for. Now, 15 years later, Sam has followed in her mother’s footsteps and grown into a fierce hit-woman.

But when a high-risk job goes wrong, Sam must choose between serving The Firm and protecting the life of an innocent 8-year-old girl – Emily (CHLOE COLEMAN). With a target on her back, Sam has only one chance to survive: Reunite with her mother and her lethal associates, The Librarians (MICHELLE YEOH, ANGELA BASSETT and CARLA GUGINO).

These three generations of women must now learn to trust each other, stand up to The Firm and their army of henchmen, and raise hell against those who could take everything from them.