Sunday, March 1, 2015

“Titanic” Becomes First Film to Earn $1 Billion+

“Titanic” Becomes First Film to Earn $1 Billion+
March 1, 1998
Director James Cameron’s Titanic had its’ first premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival on November 1, 1997 and drew just “so-so” reviews.By this day in 1998, the film became the first to make more than $1 billion worldwide, making it the highest grossing movie of all time. It stayed there until it was bumped from its’ pedestal in 2010 when Avatar, also by James Cameron, arrived in theaters. Including revenue from the 2012 reissue, Titanic has earned $658,672,302 in North America and $1,526,700,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $2,185,372,302. That’s a lot of dough for a film where everyone already knew how it ended.
Read more pop culture history at This Day in Pop Culture  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Final episode of M*A*S*H Airs

M*A*S*H's finale aired on February 28, 1983.
February 28, 1983
After 11 seasons on the air, the CBS drama/comedy M*A*S*H took its last bow on this day in 1983. It was watched by 77% of the television viewing audience and was the largest percentage ever to watch a single TV show up to that time. That’s a far cry from the ratings of the show’s first season in 1972 where the show was under threat of cancellation due to low ratings. Based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker and the 1970 Robert Altman film, the show lasted almost as long as the Vietnam war that the show was centered around. The show was unique in that it was half drama, half comedy and has become one of the most syndicated shows in history. Not knowing when to quit while they were ahead, CBS launched the spinoff AfterMASH which surprisingly stayed on the air for two seasons from 1983-1985.

Friday, February 27, 2015

"I Will Survive" Wins the First (and last) Grammy for Best Disco Recording

Gloria Gaynor won a Grammy for "I Will Survive" on February 27, 1980.
February 27, 1980
In a day when new music genres seem to be cropping up every week, it is interesting to note that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences have issued only one award for the Best Disco Recording and that was given on this day in 1980. By the time the Grammy’s decided to include Disco as a category, the fad music was pretty much dead. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gainer was the big winner that night. The other nominees were: Earth, Wind & Fire for "Boogie Wonderland;" Michael Jackson for "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough;" Donna Summer for "Bad Girls" and Rod Stewart for "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?” Just for the record Rod, we don’t.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Halle Berry Accepts “Razzie” for Catwoman

February 26, 2005
Created in 1981, The Golden Razzberry Awards is a tongue-in-cheek award ceremony for each year’s worst films traditionally held the night before the Oscars. On this day in 2005, guests of the award show were treated to a surprise acceptance speech by Oscar winner Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball) who “won” the Worst Actress Razzie for her work in the Warner Bros. flop, Catwoman, which was nominated for seven awards including Worst Film. In her good-natured acceptance speech she said, “It was just what my career needed. I was at the top and now I’m at the bottom.” Her whole speech can be found on YouTube, but be aware that Berry has a bit of a potty mouth.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

“The Passion of the Christ” Debuts in Theaters

"The Passion of the Christ" debuted in theaters on February 25, 2004.
February 25, 2004
On this day in 2004, Mel Gibson’s controversial film, The Passion of the Christ, premiered across the country. Jim Caviezel played Jesus during the last 12 hours of his life here on earth. The film’s story was taken from the four gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) as well as some devotional writings by Anne Catherine. To make the story more authentic, Gibson had the film’s dialogue set entirely in Aramaic and Latin with subtitles shown on the screen. It was rated “R” for extreme violence that some felt was unnecessary. However, it became the highest grossing R-rated film in the US and the highest grossing non-English language film of all time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Miracle on Ice*
February 24, 1980
The term “Miracle on Ice” is taken from 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid in New York. On this day, the United States hockey team successfully beat the Soviet Union’s national team. The day before the match, columnist Dave Anderson wrote in the New York Times, "Unless the ice melts, or unless the United States team or another team performs a miracle, as did the American squad in 1960, the Russians are expected to easily win the Olympic gold medal for the sixth time in the last seven tournaments." In 1999, Sports Illustrated named the “miracle” the Top Sports Moment of the 20th Century. In 2004, Disney released, Miracle, a movie based on the event that starred Kurt Russell. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Wonderful World of Emily's Oz

Scene from The Making of Emily's Ox (Xfinity)

During last night's broadcast of the Oscars, you may have missed an incredible commercial if you weren't paying attention. In promotion of Xfinity's new service for the blind community, they presented "Emily's Oz" about a little sight impaired girl who enjoys the great MCM "The Wizard of Oz" movie just like many other children. However, they wanted to show what she "sees" when she is experiencing the movie at home. A group of people went to tremendous work to create her vision for the movie by taking instruction from her. The end result is very different from what the rest of us have all seen. In her version, the tin man walks on two giant toes and wears a wig. The cowardly lion is very small and has webbed feet. The scarecrow is made out of wood, not straw. And Dorothy? She looks like Emily.

Below is the six minute documentary on the making of the commercial and below that, the actual commercial as seen last night. Enjoy.

Video of the Day: "I Love Lucy" Blooper

They didn't make mistakes on "I Love Lucy" did they? In this scene, Desi accidentally said his Spanish line in English and started laughing at his mistake, but being the actor he is, he made it seem like the whole thing was scripted! (Thanks Briggitte Suastegui)