Category: TV

“Interview with the Vampire” -The Poster and Trailer for the New AMC/AMC+ Series is Here!

I like the look of the poster and especially the trailer for Interview with the Vampire.  Since I have AMC, this is a no-brainer.  Deal me in.

A modern, unforgettable retelling of Anne Rice’s best-selling novel, Interview With The Vampire. Starring Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones), Sam Reid (The Newsreader), Bailey Bass (Avatar: The Way of the Water) and Eric Bogosian (Succession). Premieres October 2nd on AMC and AMC+.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) / Z-View

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)

Director:   Alan Rafkin

Screenplay by:  James Fritzell, Everett Greenbaum and Andy Griffith (uncredited)

Starring:  Don Knotts, Joan Staley, Liam Redmond, Dick Sargent,  Skip Homeier, Reta Shaw and Charles Lane

Tagline: G-G-GUARANTEED! YOU’LL BE SCARED UNTIL YOU LAUGH YOURSELF SILLY!

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Luther Heggs (Knotts) is a typesetter for the local newspaper.  He dreams of being a reporter.  Luther also dreams of having Alma Parker (Staley) as his girl.  Unfortunately Luther becomes an easy target for jokes when his reports of a murder turn out to be just a drunk knocked unconscious by his wife.  Ollie Weaver (Homeier) a reporter for the newspaper is especially cruel to Luther and to make matters worse, Ollie is dating Alma!

Luther gets a chance at redemption when his boss assigns him a story — Luther will spend the night in a haunted house where a brutal murder occurred years ago.  Despite his fears, Luther spends the night.  Strange things happen that could lead to solving the murder mystery… if anyone will believe Luther!

Don Knotts starring in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a natural.  Knotts was built to play Luther.  Luther’s dream girl, Alma was played by Joan Staley and she was also built — she was a Playboy playmate of the month!  Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will recognize the similarities between The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and an episode of the tv show.  It was Andy Griffith who suggested that the episode would make a great feature film starring Knotts if the idea was expanded for a new character.  Knotts recruited James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum, writers on The Andy Griffith Show to come up with a screenplay.  Knotts also suggested Alan Rafkin (who directed several episodes of the tv show) to helm the feature.  There are also cast members in the movie who appeared on the tv series.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken rates 3 of 5 stars (and higher if you’re a kid).

Dark Winds Season 1 (2022) / Z-View

Dark Winds Season 1 (2022)

Director:  Chris Eyre (Eps 1, 2, 5, 6), Sanford Bookstaver (Eps 3, 4)

Teleplay by:  Graham Roland (Ep 1), Anthony Florez (Ep 2),  Maya Rose Dittloff & Razelle Benally (Ep 3), Billy Luther (Ep 4), Erica Tremblay (Ep 5), Maya Rose Dittloff (Ep 6)  // Based on the Leaphorn & Chee novels by Tony Hillerman

Starring:  Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, Noah Emmerich, Eugene Brave Rock and Rainn Wilson

Tagline:  None

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Sheriff Joe Leaphorn (McClarnon) and his Deputy, Bernadette Manuelito (Matten) are the law for the whole Navajo reservation.  When bank robbers make their escape in a helicopter are last seen flying over the reservation, FBI Agent Whitover (Emmerich) is sent in.  Leaphorn and Whitover don’t like each other, but have worked together in the past to resolve cases.

A new Deputy, Jim Chee (Gordon) joins the team.  Chee is a college educated officer who left the reservation to better himself.  Leaphorn is unaware that Chee is actually an FBI agent sent undercover by Agent Whitover to keep him informed of the investigation.  As Leaphorn, Manuelito and Chee follow the clues, it appears that members of  the Buffalo Society, a group of Navajo radicals may be involved in the bank robbery.  And Chee isn’t the only person who isn’t what he/she seams…

Dark Winds provides a good mystery in a setting that we don’t see too often.  There is a feeling of respect and authenticity to Navajos due to the writers all being Native American.  I was happy to see that Dark Winds was renewed for Season 2.  Dark Winds Season 1 rates 4 of 5 stars.

“D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?” (2022) / Z-View

D.B. Cooper: Where Are You? (2022)

Director:   Marina Zenovich

Screenplay by:  None

Starring:  Tom Colbert

Tagline:  None

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

On November 24, 1971, a man the press mistakenly labeled D.B. Cooper (he actually bought the ticket using the name Dan Cooper) hijacked a plane.  He claimed to have a bomb, demanded $200,000.00 and four parachutes.  The plane landed.  The cash and parachutes were brought on board.  Everyone except the pilot and a few other crew members were allowed to leave.  The plane was refueled and took off.  Somewhere in flight, during a rainstorm at night, the hijacker (with the cash) parachuted from the plane.  He was never caught.

D.B. Cooper: Where Are You? is more about Tom Colbert (and folks like him) who are obsessed with finding D.B. Cooper than the actual case.  There have been thousands of leads called in to the F.B.I. and despite the resources available to them no one was ever arrested.  What’s interesting is the number of amateur sleuths who believe that they know who D.B. Cooper was/is.  There are enough of these folks that there is an annual D.B. Cooper convention where “fans” show up to hear the latest theories, buy the newest books, t-shirts and more.

If you’re looking to a definite answer as to who D.B. Cooper is/was, this is not the documentary for you.  It’s amazing how many viable suspects were interviewed and thought to potentially be D.B., yet no one was ever charged.  I also enjoyed the look at the folks who have made the D.B. Cooper case a big part of their lives.  D.B. Cooper: Where Are You? earns 4 of 5 stars.

RIP: L. Q. Jones

L.Q. Jones born Justus Ellis McQueen Jr. died today from natural causes at the age of 94.

After serving in the Navy, LQ went to college, worked as a stand-up comedian, played a little pro-football and pro-basketball and even did some ranching.  A letter from his old college roommate, (actor) Fess Parker, encouraged Mr. Jones to give acting a try.

Jones’ first role was in 1955’s Battle Cry where he was billed under his given name, Justus E. McQueen.  The character he played in Battle Cry was named LQ Jones!  He liked the name so much he took it as his stage name for the rest of his career!  LQ never looked back.  He stayed busy alternating between television and feature films for the rest of his career.

Television highlights include: Cheyenne, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Rebel, Death Valley Days, The Rifleman, Lassie, Ben Casey, Have Gun – Will Travel, Route 66, Laramie, Perry Mason, Wagon Train, Branded, Rawhide, My Favorite Martian, Hondo, The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-O, The Virginian (semi-regular), The FBI, Gunsmoke, Alias Smith and Jones, Assignment: Vienna, Ironside, Kung Fu, McCloud, CHiPs, Columbo, The Incredible Hulk, Vega$, Charlie’s Angels, The Dukes of Hazard, The Fall Guy, Walker Texas Ranger and Renegade.

Some of the feature films with LQ Jones: Battle Cry, The Naked and the Dead, Cimarron, Flaming Star, Ride the High Country, Major Dundee, Hang ‘Em High, The Wild Bunch, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, White Line Fever, Casino, The Mask of Zorro and Route 666.

I probably first saw LQ Jones when he appeared in multiple episodes of Cheyenne.  Of course Mr. Jones stayed so busy on so many shows that I watched, it may have been one of the others on his resume.  Since I enjoyed his role as Cheyenne Brodie’s friend, we’ll go with that though.  As for his feature films, you could always count on him to have a role in most Sam Peckinpah films.  When LQ Jones’ name is mentioned, White Line Fever is one I think of right after The Wild Bunch.  Whenever LQ showed up, you were in for a treat!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to LQ Jones’ family, friends and fans.

“The Munsters” TV Show Trivia!

Sara Snow at CBR.com posted 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Munsters.  Before you click over, here are my top three and comments on each…

The Addams Family Coincidence:  …As a coincidence, The Munsters and The Addams Family premiered on their respective networks on the same day.  While this does appear as if CBS was completing ABC, the networks were unaware they were both producing spooky-themed family sitcoms. (I find it hard to buy that either network wasn’t aware of what the other was producing. – Craig)

Mel Blanc Was The Voice Of The Raven: The man behind the raven was famed voice actor and radio personality Mel Blanc, “The Man of 1,000 Voices.” (Who doesn’t love Mel Blanc? – Craig)

Why The Munsters Was Shot In Black & White:  the main one was cost; it was cheaper to film a show in black and white than in color… execs were concerned kids would find the show too scary if the spooky characters were in color… <Black and White> worked in the show’s favor since it felt like the classic black and white Universal monster movies… (I liked it for exactly the last reason.  It reminded me of the classic horror movies. – Craig)

RIP: Tony Sirico

Tony Sirico, who rose to fame playing Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos died this morning.  Mr. Sirico was 79.  Tony Sirico’s brother posted the following on Facebook…

“It is with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love and a whole lot of fond memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico wishes to inform you of his death” Friday morning,  The family is deeply grateful for the many expressions of love, prayer and condolences and requests that the public respect its privacy in this time of bereavement.”

Tony Sirico built a career playing tough guys and mobsters.  He was convincing because Mr. Sirico was a real-life tough guy who knew first hand the view from the backseat of a police cruiser.  Tony Sirico was arrested 28 times and served two prison terms.  It was during his second stint in prison that he decided to give acting a try (after an acting troupe visited the prison).

Tony Sirico appeared in both television and feature films.  Some television shows/movies where you can find Mr. Sirico include: Kojak, Police Squad, Miami Vice, Gotti, Cosby, The Sopranos, Medium, A Muppets Christmas and Family Guy.

Feature films that, uh, feature Tony Sirico include: The Pick-Up Artist, Goodfellas, Romeo is Bleeding, Bullets Over Broadway, Dead Presidents and Cop Land,

Tony Sirico brought a feeling of authenticity to his roles.  One of my favorite Tony Sirico roles was Toy Torillo in Cop Land.  It’s not a huge role, but Mr. Sirico provided the gravitas needed.  Of course if I have to pick just one Tony Sirico role, then of course I’m going with Paulie Walnuts in The Sopranos.  Thankfully, we aren’t limited to just one because Tony Sirico was good in everything.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

RIP: Larry Storch

Larry Storch, actor and comedian, has died.  Mr. Storch was 99.  Below is the Facebook post that appeared on Mr. Storch’s page…

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share with you the news our beloved Larry passed away in his sleep overnight. We are shocked and at a loss for words at the moment. Please remember he loved each and every one of you and wouldn’t want you to cry over his passing. He is reunited with his wife Norma and his beloved F Troop cast and so many friends and family,”

Larry Storch attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx where Don Adams was one of his classmates. (They became life-long friends).  Mr. Storch quit high school before graduating and began working as a comedian.  During World War II, Larry Storch served in the Navy where he was a shipmate with Tony Curtis!

After the war, Larry Storch returned to comedy and his versatility led to work on stage, television, feature films, voice-over work and comedy records!  Mr. Storch’s IMDb resume lists 249 credits!

Some of the television programs that featured Larry Storch include: The Phil Silvers Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Car 54 Where Are You?, Underdog, Gilligan’s Island, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (regular, voiced Phineas J. Whoopee), F Troop (regular, Cp;. Agorn), I Dream of Jeannie, Garrison’s Gorillas, Get Smart, That Girl, Gomer Pyle, The Batman/Superman Hour (regular, voiced The Joker), The Flying Nun, The Name of the Game, Groovie Goolies (regular), The Doris Day Show, All in the Family, The Brady Kids (regular), Love American Style, Mannix, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Columbo, Police Story, The Love Boat, CHiPs, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy, Knight Rider and Married with Children.

Feature films include: Stalag 17 (uncredited, played Sgt. Bagradian), The Great Race, The Great Bank Robbery, Airport 75 and SOB.

I probably first saw Larry Storch in one of his many television appearances before his best known role as Corporal Randolph Agarn on F-Troop.  But THAT is the role I think of when Larry Storch’s name is mentioned.  He was so good that he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series.  When Don Adams won for his role on Get Smart, Mr. Storch reportedly told Don Adams, “You kept it on the block.”

Unlike some actors/actresses who attempt to distance themselves from roles that they had years ago, Mr. Storch embraced the part that brought him so many fans.  It speaks to Mr. Storch’s talent that he was so versatile that he could stay busy acting on stage, television, feature films and providing voice-overs for 60 years!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Larry Storch’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Gregory Itzin

Gregory Itzin died today at the age of 74.  No cause of death was given.

Gregory Itzin was a character actor perhaps best known for his role as Vice President (and later President) Charles Logan on the television series 24.  Mr. Itzin was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his performance in this role.  The Charles Logan character (thanks to Mr. Itzin) proved so popular that he was brought back as the now disgraced former President in season 10!  He was honored with another Emmy nomination for Guest Actor in a Drama!

Although Mr. Itzin was best known for his role on 24, it was just one of the many, many parts on his resume.  Gregory Itzin intended to be a stage actor and in addition to television and feature films, he also appeared on stages across the country as a member of the Los Angeles Matrix Theatre Company.  As a stage actor, Mr. Itzin was nominated for a Tony Award and multiple L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards.  Gregory Itzin alternated between stage, television and feature film roles throughout his career.

Some of the television shows that featured Gregory Itzin include: Mork & Mindy, Charlie’s Angels, Lou Grant, Falcon Crest, Dallas, Tales from the Darkside, Hill Street Blues, The A-Team, St. Elsewhere, Murphy Brown, Night Court, Eerie Indiana (regular), Matlock, Quantum Leap, LA Law, ER, Murder One (regular), The Pretender, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Profiler, The West Wing, Firefly, NYPD Blue, Friends, Boston Legal, 24, The Mentalist, Covert Affairs (regular), Mob City (regular) and NICS.

Feature films in which Gregory Itzin appeared include: Airplane, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Airplane II: The Sequel, Teen Wolf, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Lincoln.

Gregory Itzin was a talented actor who could work on stage or screen in a comedy or drama and make the production better.  He was perfect as Vice President/President Charles Logan on 24.  But that character aside, what a career Mr. Itzin had!  He epitomized what a true character actor should be.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

RIP: James Caan

James Caan died yesterday at the age of 82.  No cause of death was given.  Mr. Caan’s family  released the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jimmy on the evening of July 6.  The family appreciates the outpouring of love and heartfelt condolences and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

James Caan attended Michigan State University for two years where he played football.  He then transferred to Hofstra University in New York.  This is where he developed his interest in acting.  Mr. Caan’s first roles were in off-Broadway plays.  Soon he was getting guest appearances on television.  Some of James Caan’s roles included parts on Naked City, Route 66, The Untouchables, Dr. Kildare, Combat!, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Get Smart.

James Caan’s first feature film appearance was in Lady in a Cage.  More film roles followed.  A few of his appearances include Red Line 7000, El Dorado, Countdown and The Rain People.

In 1971, James Caan starred as Brian Piccolo in Brian’s SongBrian’s Song was a tv movie that co-starred Billy Dee Williams as Gayle Sayers.  Piccolo and Sayers played for the Chicago Bears and became good friends before Piccolo tragically died from cancer.  The movie was a huge success.

The following year Mr. Caan appeared as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather.  After that there was no looking back.  James Caan racked up over 135 credits on his resume including films such as The Gambler, Rollerball, The Killer Elite, Thief, Alien Nation, Misery, Eraser, Poodle Springs, The Way of the Gun and Elf.  James Caan also starred in the television series Las Vegas from 2003 – 2007.

I probably first saw James Caan on one of his many television appearances since he appeared on many shows that I watched.  But it was his role as Brian Piccolo that got my attention.  Everyone was talking about the movie the next day at school.  James Caan was cool!  Then he followed that role up as Sonny Corleone, the hothead brother in The Godfather!  What a one-two punch.

Many people are listing their favorite James Caan roles in films such as Misery, Thief and The Godfather.  Those were all great Jimmy Caan roles, but I wish more folks were recognizing his part as Joe Sarno in The Way of the Gun.  Sarno was my favorite character in the film and Caan was perfect as the tough, old guy, (years before Jonathan Banks became a fan favorite as Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul).  Caan as Sarno had the perfect delivery on lines such as, “The only thing you can guess about a broken down old man is that he is a survivor” and “I promise you a day of reckoning that you won’t live long enough to never forget.”

I was glad to see Sly Stallone and James Caan acting together in two episodes of Caan’s series Las  Vegas.

James Caan was not only an excellent actor, he was a legit tough guy and athlete.  He did many of his own stunts. As a young man he participated in rodeos.  He played college football.  And perhaps the thing I admired most about James Caan was that what you saw is what you got.  He came across the same in all his interviews as a guy who enjoyed life.

James Caan has one final film in post-production.  It’s called Fast Charlie.  The screenplay is based on Victor Gischler’s Gun Monkeys.  (I’ve read the book and highly recommend it!)  Pierce Brosnan is the lead.  I’m happy that we have one more James Caan film coming and it should be a banger!  Of course anything that James Caan was in was better because of him.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to James Caan’s family, friends and fans.

“The Last Movie Stars” – Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward Documentary – The Poster & Trailer are Here!

The Last Movie Stars looks interesting.  HBOMax makes it an easy choice.  Deal me in.

The Last Movie Stars is an epic 6-part documentary from CNN Films and HBO Max that chronicles Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s iconic careers and decades-long partnership. Director Ethan Hawke brings life and color to this definitive history of their dedication to their art, philanthropy and each other. Through long lost transcriptions of interviews with Paul, Joanne and those close to them, brought to life by the voices of contemporary actors, we’re given an intimate front row seat to the lives and careers of the couple that would go on to forge an unmatched cultural legacy. Academy Award-winning director, writer and producer Martin Scorsese serves as executive producer. #TheLastMovieStars

RIP: Joseph Turkel

Joseph “Joe” Turkel, best known for his roles in The Shinning and Blade Runner died on Monday, June 27, 2022.  He was 94 years old.  When he was 16 years old, Joe Turkel enlisted in the US Army and served during World War II.  After the war, Mr. Turkel decided on an acting career.

Joe Turkel’s resume contains over 140 credits of television and feature film roles.  Some of the television shows that Mr. Turkel appeared on include: The Lone Ranger, Highway Patrol, Sky King, Dragnet, Bat Masterson, Wagon Train, The Untouchables, Combat!, The Andy Griffith Show, The Rat Patrol, Bonanza, Ironside, Land of the Giants, Adam-12, SWAT, Police Story, Kojak, Fantasy Island and Miami Vice.

Some of the feature films in which Joe Turkel appeared include: The Killing, Paths of Glory, The Sand Pebbles, The Shinning and Blade Runner to name just a few.

Joseph Turkel had a face you couldn’t forget.  As a kid, I remember seeing Mr. Turkel show up on many of the shows I watched.  As an adult I began seeing him in films.  Usually, Mr. Turkel played a bad guy, but I knew he was a good guy to see in the credits.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joseph Turkel’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Sonny Barger

Sonny Barger, one of the founding members of the Hell’s Angels, died yesterday from cancer.  Sonny Barger’s notoriety as a Hell’s Angels leader (including being part of the Rolling Stones security at the Altamont concert where Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane was knocked unconscious and audience member Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death) brought him into the public eye.  Mr. Barger appeared several documentaries about the Hell’s Angels and other motorcycle clubs, three feature films, but is probably known for his reoccurring role on Sons of Anarchy where he played Lenny ‘The Pimp’ Janowitz.  Sonny Barger also wrote or co-wrote six books.

I first became aware of Sonny Barger through his leadership of the Hell’s Angels and the wild stories and documentaries about him/them.  His addition to the cast of Sons of Anarchy added a level of authenticity to the show.  I’ve read a couple of his books.  He lived his life as he wanted.  His final message posted on his Facebook page was:

If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing. I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club. Although I’ve had a public persona for decades, i’ve mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends.

Please know that I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer. But also know that in the end, I was surrounded by what really matters: My wife, Zorana, as well as my loved ones. Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor. – Sonny

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sonny Barger’s family, friends and fans.

“We Own This City” (2022) / Z-View

We Own This City (2022)

Developed by:  George Pelecanos, David Simon

Teleplays by:  George Pelecanos (Parts 1 & 5), David Simon (Parts 1 & 6), Ed Burns (Parts 2 & 4), William F. Zorzi (Parts 2 & 4),  D. Watkins (Part 3),

Directed by:  Reinaldo Marcus Green

Starring:  Jon Bernthal, Wunmi Mosaku, Jamie Hector, Josh Charles, McKinley Belcher III, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Rob Brown, Don Harvey and Seth Hurwitz.

Tagline:  None.

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers.

We Own This City is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Justin Fenton, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun.  We Own This City follows a task force created to deal with rising crime.  Baltimore PD’s shining star, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins builds a team to take guns and drugs off the streets. Although successful, under Jenkins’ watch, the strike force steals drugs and money from their busts.  They also plant evidence and lie under oath.  Numerous complaints leads to an investigation which shows widespread corruption throughout the force and gives lengthy jail sentences to those sworn to protect and serve.

We Own This City features excellent writing, direction and an amazing cast lead by Jon Bernthal (who should receive an Emmy nomination).  Josh Charles is great as the unlikable Daniel Hersl.  McKinley Belcher III from Ozark and The Passage, is always good. Seth Hurwitz is perfect as the slimy bail bondsman who helps Wayne Jenkins move stolen drugs.   Kudos also to Kris Bowers for his music.   We Own This City easily earns 4 of 5 stars.

RIP: Glen Trotiner

Glen Trotiner, actor, producer and director, died on June 16, 2022, at the age of 65.  No details on the cause of death were given.

Mr. Trotiner was best known for his work as a Second Unit or Assistant Director on feature films and television.  His resume lists 101 credits under this title on films that include The Untouchables, Awakenings, Independence Day, Deep Impact, Oz, ER, Phone Booth, Perfect Stranger, Captain America: The First Avenger, Braven and Morbius. Glen Trotiner sometimes appeared in small roles in films that include Regarding Henry, Freejack, Jungle to Jungle and Big Daddy to name a few.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Glen Trotiner’s family, friends and fans.