Category: TV

RIP: Arthur Schmidt

Arthur Schmidt, the two-time Academy Award winner for Best Film Editing, died on August 5, 2023.  Mr. Schmidt was 86.

Arthur Schmidt followed in his father, Arthur P. Schmidt’s footsteps and became a film editor.  His father edited films such as Sunset Boulevard; Ace in the Hole and Some Like It Hot.

Arthur Schmidt’s filmography includes films such as: The Last Remake of Beau Geste; Jaws 2; The Jericho Mile (TV movie); Coal Miner’s Daughter; The Idolmaker; Back to the Future; Ruthless People; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Back to the Future II; Back to the Future III; The Rocketeer; The Last of the Mohicans; Adams Family Values; Forrest Gump; Tales from the Crypt (TV); The Birdcage; Contact; What Lies Beneath and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Arthur Schmidt’s two Oscars for Best Film Editing were for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump.

What an amazing resume Arthur Schmidt cultivated.  If I had to pick just one favorite from his credits it would be Last of the Mohicans.  The truth is I loved so many of his films.  Two of his lessor known films that are really good are The Idolmaker and The Jericho Mile.  I also think that Contact and What Lies Beneath are both underrated.  It’s hard to go wrong with anything that Arthur Schmidt edited.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Arthur Schmidt’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: William Friedkin

William Friedkin died today from complications of heart failure and pneumonia.  Mr. Friedkin was 87.

After his high school graduation, William Friedkin got a job in the mail room at WGN-TV.  Within two years, he began working on live shows and documentaries.  William Friedkin would go on to have a career primarily as a director of television productions and feature films.  He occasional took on the role of producer and/or writer of some of his projects.  In 1972, William Friedkin won an Academy Award for Best Director for his work on The French Connection.  He was nominated again for an Academy Award for Best Director in 1974 for The Exorcist.  

Some of William Friedkin’s television projects include: The People vs Paul Crump; The Bold Men; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; Pro Football: Mayhem on a Sunday Afternoon; The Thin Blue Line; The Twilight Zone; C.A.T. Squad; Tales from the Crypt; 12 Angry Men and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2 episodes).

Some of William Friedkin’s feature films include: The Night They Raided Minsky’s; The Boys in the Band; The French Connection; The Exorcist; Sorcerer; The Brink’s Job; Cruising; The Deal of the Century; To Live and Die in LA; Jade; Rules of Engagement; The Hunted; Killer Joe and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.

My favorite William Friedkin movie is The Exorcist.  If that was the only film he ever directed, William Friedkin would still be famous for it.  

Our thoughts and prayers go out to William Friedkin’s family, friends and fans.

“Justified: City Primeval” | Season 1, Episode 5 Trailer – The Fall of Jericho

Carolyn’s past becomes Raylan’s present. Mansell puts a plan into action. Watch new episodes of Justified: City Primeval Tuesdays 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.

“Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York” (2023) / Z-View

Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York (2023)

Director: Anthony Caronna

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

In the 1990s, dismembered bodies began turning up in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  The victims were gay men.  It took a while before the police in the different jurisdictions realized they had a serial killer on their hands.  The press dubbed the murderer The Last Call Killer.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York is a four part documentary that focuses on the victims, the increased homophobia due to AIDS during this time period, the efforts the gay community took to raise awareness of the murders and the shortcomings of a system where different jurisdictions didn’t smoothly interact.  While we do learn who the killer was, how he was caught and the outcome of his trial, he is never the main focus.

Last Call: When a Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York (2023) rates 3 of 5 stars.

RIP: Mark Margolis

Mark Margolis, the actor best known for his portrayal of Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, died yesterday after a short illness.  Mr. Margolis was 83.

After high school Mark Margolis moved to New York where he was a student at the Actors Studio.  He worked in both television and feature films throughout his career.  In 2012, Mr. Margolis was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy Award as the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama series for his portrayal of Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad.

Some of Mark Margolis’ television appearances include: Kojak;  Muggable Mary, Street Cop; Rage of Angels; Crime Story; The Equalizer (16 episodes); Quantum Leap; Columbo Cries Wolf; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Jake and the Fatman; Tales from the Darkside; Santa Barbara (13 episodes); Guiding Light; Prince Street (6 episodes); Law & Order (3 episodes); Oz (10 episodes); Ed (2 episodes); Sex and the City; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Crossing Jordan; Waterfront (4 episodes); Kings (2 episodes); Blue Bloods; Breaking Bad (8 episodes); The Good Wife; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Person of Interest (3 episodes); Fairly Legal (2 episodes); American Horror Story (3 episodes); Elementary; Gotham (2 episodes); The Affair (3 episodes); The Blacklist; Snowpiercer; Prodigal Son; Better Call Saul (22 episodes) and Your Honor (5 episodes).

Some of Mark Margolis’ feature film appearances include: The Opening of Misty Beethoven; Short Eyes; Short Eyes; Going in Style; Dressed to Kill; Arthur; Eddie Macon’s Run; Scarface; The Cotton Club; The Secret of My Success; Glory; Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; Absolute Power; The Thomas Crown Affair; End of Days; Requiem for a Dream; Hannibal; Daredevil; Gone, Baby, Gone; The Wrestler; Stand Up Guys and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. 

My favorite role of Mark Margolis’ is probably most everyone’s, when he played Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. I also loved him in Scarface and Oz.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark Margolis’ family, friends and fans.

“The Passage” (2019) starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney & Jamie McShane / Z-View

The Passage (2019)

Written by: Liz Heldens (eps. 1 & 2); Peter Elkoff (ep. 3); Daniel Thomsen (ep. 4); Joy Blake (ep. 5); Mike Flanagan Dennis Saldua (ep. 6); Kate Erickson (ep. 7); Peter Elkoff & C.A. Johnson (ep. 8); Daniel Thomsen & Vanessa Gomez (ep. 9); Liz Heldens & Joy Blake (ep. 10)

Directed by: Jason Ensler & Marcos Siega (ep. 1); Jason Ensler (eps. 2, 3 & 9); Allison Liddi-Brown (ep. 4); Jeffrey Nachmanoff (ep. 5); Jessica Lowrey (ep. 6); Eduardo Sanchez (ep. 7); Ti West (ep. 8); Mark Tonderai (ep. 10)

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Brianne Howey, McKinley Belcher III, Henry Ian Cusick, Vincent Piazza, Kecia Lewis, Jason Fuchs and James Le Gros.

Tagline:  Can one girl save humanity?

The Plot…

Tim Fanning (McShane), a scientist working on a cure for alzheimer’s disease, accidentally became infected with a virus that gave him strange powers and a thirst for human blood.  Now Fanning is held in a secret medical facility behind thick glass walls as the US government experiments on ways to create a race of super soldiers. Although progress has been made, each subject has gained the same powers as Fanning and a desire for human blood.

Now the scientists want to experiment using a younger subject.  Agent Brad Wolgast (Gosselaar) is sent to bring a young, newly orphaned girl named Amy Bellafonte (Sidney) to the facility.  When Wolgast learns what is planned for Amy, he decides to help her escape.

But it may be too late for everyone… Fanning and the other experiment subjects have a secret power that the scientists don’t know about.  Fanning can psychically communicate with each of them. They are planning an uprising!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Passage is one of my all-time favorite series.   It is well written and well directed.  The production values are top notch.  It features one of the best casts possible.  Every role from the leads to the smallest parts are perfect.  I plan to revisit The Passage every few years just to relive the great viewing experience.

The Passage (2019) eearns 5 of 5 stars.

RIP: Paul Reubens

Paul Reubens, the actor best known for his character Pee-Wee Herman, died yesterday from cancer.  Mr. Reubens was 70.

Paul Reubens began his career as a stage actor and comedian.  He developed his Pee-Wee Herman character for a stage show.  The Pee-Wee Herman Show proved so popular that HBO picked it up for a special.  The special was an instant hit.  Reubens was approached to bring the character to the big screen.  Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was directed by Tim Burton.  The movie was so successful it spawned a Saturday morning program geared to kids (Pee-Wee’s Playhouse) and a movie sequel (Big Top Pee-Wee).  When the series ended, Paul Reubens stepped away from the character and took time off from acting.

When Paul Reubens returned to performing he alternated between television, movies and voice work.  Later in his career he would return to his Pee-Wee Herman character for a few videos and guest appearances.

Some of Paul Reuben’s television appearances include: Working Stiffs (2 episodes); The Flintstone Comedy Show (2 episodes); The Pee-Wee Herman Show (movie); Dream On; Mork & Mindy; Madame’s Place; All Star Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Saturday Spectacular; 227; Sesame Street: Put Down the Duckie; Sesame Street (3 episodes); Christmas at Pee-Wee’s Playhouse; Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (45 episodes); Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Murphy Brown (6 episodes); Everybody Loves Raymond; Alley McBeal; Rugrats (2 episodes); Reno 911; 30 Rock; Dirt (3 episodes); WWE Raw (2 episodes); The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway; Batman: The Brave and Bold (4 episodes); Tron: Uprising (17 episodes); The Blacklist (5 episodes); Gotham (3 episodes); What We Do In The Shadows; DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (5 episodes) and The Connors.

Some of Paul Reuben’s movie appearances include: The Brotherhood; The Blues Brothers; Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie; Meatball’s Part II; Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure;  Big Top Pee-Wee; Moonwalker; Batman Returns; The Nightmare Before Christmas; Matilda; Doctor Dolittle; Mystery Men; Blow; Pee-Wee Gets an iPad and Pee-Wee Goes to Sturgis.   

I’m old enough to remember when Pee-Wee Herman went viral.  Pee-Wee was everywhere.  I was also impressed with Paul Reuben’s commitment to the character.  He wouldn’t do interviews or appear anywhere except as Pee-Wee.  It was always fun seeing Mr. Reuben’s non-Pee-Wee appearances later in his career.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul Reuben’s family, friends and fans.

The Twilight Zone’s Scariest Monsters!

The MeTV staff came up with their list of The 7 Scariest Monsters That Spooked Us On ‘The Twilight Zone”.  I decided to play along.  I’ve commented on each of their choices and provided my list of the seven best Twilight Zone monsters.



1. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (Excellent choice. Also made my list. – CZ)

2. “The Eye of the Beholder” (Great design, but were they really monsters? Misguided, yes. But monsters? – CZ)

3. “The Fear” (Scary at first, maybe. Then you find out what the “alien” really is. – CZ)

4. “The Invaders” (Almost made my list. – CZ)

5. “The Living Doll” (This episode didn’t resonate with me. The doll was just irritating. – CZ)

6. “Hocus-Pocus and Frisby” (Loved the alien design but the episode was a comedy so not scary. – CZ)

7. “The Masks” (The faces were well designed. The people getting the new faces weren’t nice, but were more victims than monsters. – CZ)

1. “The Howling Man” (Great design. What monster is scarier than the devil? – CZ)

2. “It’s a Good Life” (Little Billy Mumy is one of the scariest monsters ever in this episode. – CZ)

3. “To Serve Man” (Nine foot tall aliens that eat humans? Yeah, that’s scary. – CZ)

4. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (Features The Twilight Zone‘s best jump scare! – CZ)

5. “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” (One of the scariest Twilight Zone episodes because we are the monsters. – CZ)

6. “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” (Although this episode features humor, it’s scary to think that an invading alien force is already living among us. – CZ)

7. “Nick of Time” (A fortune telling maching that may provide you a glimpse of the future. Do you dare look? – CZ)

Midnight Mass (2021) directed by Mike Flanagan / Z-View

Midnight Mass (2021)

Written by: Mike Flanagan (eps. 1 & 7); Mike Flanagan and James Flanagan and Elan Gale (ep. 2); Mike Flanagan and James Flanagan (eps. 3 & 5); Mike Flanagan and Dani Parker (ep. 4); Mike Flanagan and James Flanagan and Jeff Howard (ep. 6)

Directed by: Mike Flanagan

Stars: Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Annarah Cymone, Annabeth Gish, Alex Essoe, Michael Trucco, Henry Thomas and Hamish Linklater

Tagline: Be Not Afraid

The Plot…

Riley Flynn (Gilford) has returned to his hometown of Crockett Island after four years in prison for killing a woman in a drunk driving accident.  Flynn is at rock bottom.  Being home hasn’t helped much.  Father Paul Hill (Linklater) a charismatic new priest has also just arrived on the island.

When strange and miraculous things begin to happen on the island, the small town is divided.  Some see the miracles as messages from God, while others aren’t so sure…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I loved every episode of Midnight Mass.  Don’t sleep on this one!

Midnight Mass (2021) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“Justified: City Primeval” starring Timothy Olyphant | Season 1, Episode 3 Trailer – Backstabbers

I am diggin’ the return of Raylan Givens!

Raylan and the Detroit Police round up some promising suspects, provoking Carolyn’s ire. Mansell and Sandy move on the Albanian mark. Things with Willa reach a breaking point. Watch new episodes of Justified: City Primeval Tuesdays on FX. Stream on Hulu.

| Visit Official Site

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.

Raylan Givens is Back | “Justified: City Primeval” 

Raylan is back and ready to show a whole new city who’s boss. FX’s Justified: City Primeval premieres July 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: Alan Arkin

Alan Arkin, the multi-award-winning actor, director and writer died yesterday of natural causes.  Mr. Arkin was 89.

Alan Arkin performed as an actor/director on Broadway, an actor/director/writer for television and an actor/director of feature films.  In 1963, Mr. Arkin won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role in Enter Laughing. In 1967, Alan Arkin won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.  He was nominated twice for an Academy Award for Best Actor; and twice for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, winning in 2007 for his role in Little Miss Sunshine.

Some of Alan Arkin’s television appearances include: East Side/West Side; Sesame Street (5 episodes); Captain Kangaroo; Carol Burnett & Company; St. Elsewhere (3 episodes); Harry (7 episodes); Chicago Hope; 100 Centre Street (12 episodes) and Will & Grace;

Some of Alan Arkin’s feature films include: The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming; Wait Until Dark; Inspector Clouseau; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; Catch-22; Last of the Red Hot Lovers; Freebie and the Bean; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Fire Sale; The In-Laws; Edward Scissorhands; The Rocketeer; Glengarry Glen Ross; So I Married an Axe Murderer; Grosse Pointe Blank; Little Miss Sunshine; Stand Up Guys and Grudge Match.

My first memory of Alan Arkin was his performance as Roat in Wait Until Dark.  He was sinister, scary and deserved an award for his performance.  Another favorite is Mr. Arkin’s co-starring role with Peter Falk in The In-Laws.  I also loved his performance as Louis ‘Lightning’ Conlon the aged fighter/trainer in Grudge Match.  I could list more films (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Rocketeer, etc.), but it’s easier to just say that any production that Alan Arkin appeared in was better for having him on board.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alan Arkin’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Julian Sands

Yesterday the remains found earlier this week were positively identified as Julian Sands.  Mr. Sands had been missing since January after hiking near Mount Baldy about 50 miles northeast of Los Angels.  Julian Sands was 65 years old.  No cause of death has been determined.

Mr. Sands worked in television, feature films as well as live theater.

Some of Julian Sand’s television appearances include: Play for Today; Chicago Hope; Jackie Chan Adventures (26 episodes); Stargate SG; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; 24 (11 episodes); Smallvile (2 episodes); Dexter and Gotham (2 episodes).

Some of Julian Sand’s feature films include: Oxford Blues; The Killing Fields; A Room with a View; Warlock; Arachnophobia; Boxing Helena; Warlock: The Armageddon; Leaving Los Vegas; The Million Dollar Motel; Ocean’s 13 and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

My favorite Julian Sands role was as Vladimir Bierko during Season 5 of 24.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Julian Sand’s family, friends and fans.