Sunday, May 27, 2018

'Christopher Robin' and Pooh Come Back This Summer - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

The kid in me is so excited to see this. Christopher Robin opens in theaters on August 3.

This Day in Pop Culture for May 27

"The Three Little Pigs" was released on May 27, 1933.

Walt Disney's 'The Three Little Pigs' is Released

Walt Disney’s classic Silly Symphony short, The Three Little Pigs, was released on this day in 1933. Created with a cost of $22,000, the film made $250,000. The short won the 1934 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The song, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,” written by Frank Churchill was a huge hit and was often used as an anthem against the Great Depression and as a statement against Adolf Hitler. The names of the characters are Fiddler Pig, Fifer Pig, Practical Pig and Zeke Midas Wolf.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Brian Henson Just Might Be Slowly Killing His Father’s Muppet Empire

Brian Henson
Brian Henson (Wikimedia)

 MOVIES 

Does Brian Henson actually hate his father’s legacy of creating wholesome entertainment for kids as well as their parents? The son of Jim Henson, the famous puppeteer and creator of the Muppets appeared on the very first episode of Sesame Street. This week, Sesame Workshop, the creators of the children’s show, is suing him. Next week, a judge “scheduled a hearing next week to consider a request for immediate relief by Sesame Workshop,” reports USA Today.

Henson’s latest directing project is The Happytime Murders which red-band trailer is being released during some screenings of Deadpool 2. The trailer portrays Muppet-looking puppets performing some very un-Muppet-like behavior (including sex acts) which the lawsuit states that the Sesame Street brand will be harmed. The trailer begins with the words, “After 35 years of entertaining children, the director of A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island and Muppets Tonight is finally ready to reveal what goes down when kids aren’t around” and then precedes to show puppet prostitutes, puppets getting shot to smithereens, lots of swearing and the words, “No Sesame, All Street.”

The Happytime Murders poster
(STX Films)
The new adult comedy/thriller stars Melissa McCarthy as a human detective investigating a series of grisly puppet murders. The film also stars Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph and Joel McHale. At least one Muppet puppeteer, Bill Baretta, is also involved.

Henson, who also served as the Executive Producer of the animated faith-based film, The Star which was released last year, made headlines for firing Steve Whitmire who was the voice of Kermit the Frog for 27 years. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Henson said that he should have let Whitmire go before he sold the company to Disney in 2004. After making claims that Whitmire was difficult to work with, Henson then said that he felt that Whitmire had “flattened out” Kermit’s personality over the years and thought Kermit had a “wry intelligences” and “a little bit of naughtiness” that didn’t come through with Whitmire’s interpretation. If The Happytime Murders is a reflection of the “naughtiness” Henson is speaking of, count me out. And I’m not the only one. Many longtime fans are crying “foul” in response to the trailer as well.

It should be noted that Disney has no involvement in The Happytime Murders movie. It is being distributed by STX Films and is expected to open in theaters on August 17.

The Big 10: Actors Who Appeared in Movies Posthumously

1. James Dean: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
2. Bela Lugosi: Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
3. Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon (1973)
4. Vic Morrow: Twilight Zone: the Movie (1983)
5. Natalie Wood: Brainstorm (1983)
6. Brandon Lee: The Crow (1994)
7. John Candy: Canadian Bacon (1995)
8. Chris Farley: Dirty Work (1998)
9. Jim Varney: Atlantis: the Last Empire (2001)
10. John Ritter: Bad Santa (2003)


An "Honest Trailer" for Bad 'Star Wars' Spin-Offs - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

The folks at Screen Junkies present their "Honest Trailer" for the two Ewoks made-for-TV movies and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.

This Day in Pop Culture for May 26

John Wayne was born on May 26, 1907.

John Wayne is Born

On this day in 1907, Marion Michael Morrison, better known as the western actor John Wayne, was born. Wayne hadn’t always wanted to be an actor. He wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, but he was rejected. However, he did accept a full scholarship to play football for the University of Southern California. During the summer of 1926, one of Wayne’s football coaches found him a job working as an assistant prop man for director John Ford.  Ford took a liking to him and started him out as an extra here and there and eventually gave Wayne a starring role in The Big Trail in 1930. The film did poorly and it wasn’t until 1939 that Wayne got another chance to star in a movie. This time it was Stagecoach, which did so well, that Wayne didn’t have any trouble getting new roles for some time. It is said that audiences got tired of Wayne by the late 1960’s (he did tend to play the same role over and over again) but surprised people when he played the “bad guy” in True Grit in 1969 and won an Oscar for his efforts. His last film was The Shootest which came out in 1976. He died three years later of cancer. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for May 25

The movie "Alien" opened in theaters on May 25, 1979.

When 'Alien' Landed

It was on this day in 1979 when Ridley Scott’s original British-American science-fiction horror film, Alien, opened in theaters and we first learned that “in space no one can hear you scream." The film starred Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto who all played members of a spaceship that were each taken down one by one by an alien. Besides scaring audiences silly, the film received high praise from critics and received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright,and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. In 2002, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. It was later followed by Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) and two prequels: Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017).

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Funko Documentary is Now on Netflix - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

Making Fun - The story of Funko is now showing on Netflix and it looks like...fun!

This Day in Pop Culture for May 24

"Mary Had a Little Lamb" was based on a true story.
Mary Had a Little Lamb…for Real
It was on this day in 1830 that the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was published for the first time. It is a poem written by Sarah Joseph Hale that was, as Hollywood likes to say, “ripped from the headlines.” The true tale is about Mary Sawyer from Sterling, MA, who indeed had a pet lamb and did bring it to school. "Visiting school that morning was a young man by the name of John Roulstone, a nephew of the Reverend Lemuel Capen, who was then settled in Sterling,” said Mary. “It was the custom then for students to prepare for college with ministers, and for this purpose Mr. Roulstone was studying with his uncle. The young man was very much pleased with the incident of the lamb; and the next day he rode across the fields on horseback to the little old schoolhouse and handed me a slip of paper which had written upon it the three original stanzas of the poem..."