Sunday, June 24, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for June 24

"The Lion King" premiered in theaters on June 24, 1994.'The Lion King' Roars Into Theaters

Walt Disney Picture’s 32nd animated feature, The Lion King, premiered on this day in 1994. Though an original story, The Lion King was heavily influenced by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Music for the film was written by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer wrote the film’s score. The story of young Simba who “can’t wait to be king” is given the privilege earlier than expected when his father, Mufasa dies at the hand of his bitter brother, Scar. Though a mature storyline and somewhat darker than Disney’s usual fare, the film was a huge hit becoming the highest-grossing release of 1994. The film won two Academy Awards and one Golden Globe. Since its release, two direct-to-video sequels were created, a Broadway adaptation of the film was produced and a two TV shows (Timon and Pumbaa and The Lion Guard) have been made for children.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Dan Bremnes Traveled the World to Make This Video - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

Dan Bremnes and crew literally traveled to the ends of the earth to make this video. You better appreciate it.

Can 'The Conners' Succeed Without 'Roseanne?'

The cast of Roseanne
The former cast of Roseanne (ABC)

 TV 

Wait…have we seen this before? In today’s latest craze in TV, networks are not only presenting re-boots of former shows, but actually creating new episodes of the famed shows many years later. NBC’s revival of Will and Grace proved to be successful and other are soon to follow including new episodes of Murphy Brown and Mad About You. One show that did especially well this spring was the revival of Roseanne often becoming the week’s #1 show. However, that all came to a screeching halt when the star of the show tweeted on Twitter her unflattering and racist comments comparing President Obama’s former senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, to an ape.

To put it bluntly, ABC Entertainment’s president, Channing Dungey was not amused by Rosanne Barr’s comments and cancelled the show immediately just a few weeks ago. Perhaps Barr was thinking, “I’m the star of the show. I created the show. The show is named after me. What are they gonna do? Fire Me? Sadly, the canceling of Roseanne affected a lot more people than just Barr.

Yesterday, ABC announced they they have officially greenlit a spinoff series of Roseanne tentatively titled, The Conners which will include John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman reprising their roles as Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. In the press release, ABC said, “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family … grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.” Chances are good that other characters that have been recently added to the new Roseanne episodes will be brought on in some capacity as well. The press release also stated that “Roseanne Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the new series” which is expected to premiere in Roseanne’s old time slot on Tuesdays this fall.

This Day in Pop Culture for June 23

Logan's Run premiered in theaters on June 22, 1976.

Logan Starts Running

Based on William F. Nolan’s book of the same name, the dystopian sci-fi flick, Logan’s Run, premiered on this day in 1976. In this universe, the population is controlled by killing off citizens when they reach the ripe old age of 30, hence, the reason why Logan is running. The movie starred Michael York, Jenny Agutter and Farrah Fawcett, who MGM promoted heavily even though she only had a bit part in the film. Logan’s Run was nominated for two Academy Awards and won for a special award for its visual effects. The movie also won six Saturn Awards including Best Science Fiction Film. The following year, a short-lived TV show based on the movie aired on CBS.


Friday, June 22, 2018

If You Could Ask God Anything, What Would it Be? - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

An Interview with God. Yay or nay? It comes to select theaters August 21-22, 2018.

The Less You Know About the ‘Jurassic World’ Sequel, the Better You’ll Like It

Movie review of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
A new dino, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Isabella Sermon in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal)

 MOVIE REVIEW 

Steven Spielberg knows how create a mystery. For the 1975 movie trailer for Jaws, the shark is never fully shown. This created a fear of the unknown. Audiences weren’t really sure what they were going to see when then went to the theater. However, for each Jaws sequel that followed (and not directed by Spielberg), Universal took away that mystery by showing plenty of shots of the man-eating beast. Sure, fans of the original already knew what type of movie they were bracing to see, but the mystery was gone. Fast forward to 1993 to the first trailer for Jurassic Park. Spielberg did it again. The dinos are only partially seen and the familiar feeling of dread came back. Since then, the executives at Universal can’t help themselves from showing more action scenes in hopes of raising excitement, but sometimes, they just show too much. That is the case with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Review of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"
Sort of a creepy place to grow up. (Universal)
The end of Jurassic World ended like the original film with the destruction of the theme park due to dinosaurs running amuck. This caused fans to wonder what will be in store for them this time around. Unfortunately, some trailers for the new film end up showing too much key information and I found myself looking the other way when the commercials came on the TV. I will try hard not to spoil anything for you, but if you have seen these trailers, you already have a good idea about what’s going down this next chapter and honestly, the less you know before walking into the theater, the better you’ll like Fallen Kingdom.

Since we last visited the park on Isla Nublar three years ago, the dinosaurs have been roaming around the island without the fear that man would put them behind bars once again. However, the island features an active volcano which is bound to go “boom” soon. Meanwhile, back at the States, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a whole different person than she was in the first movie. She’s not impeccably dressed or uptight. Dinosaurs are no longer a path to financial opportunity, they are now worth saving. Claire now devotes her time running campaigns to remove those dinosaurs from the island. It’s an uphill battle trying to convince members of congress that losing the dinos to extinction … again … is not a “win” for anyone. Their own children have grown up with living, breathing dinosaurs instead of reading about them in a book.

This Day in Pop Culture for June 22

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" premiered in theaters on June 22, 1966.

'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Premieres

Adapted from Edward Albee’s novel of the same name, the movie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, premiered on this day in 1966. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film starred Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis. The film was one of only two movies nominated for every eligible Academy Award categories (the other film was Cimarron). The black comedy/drama won five Oscars including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2013.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for June 21

Kris Allen was born on June 21, 1985.

Kris Allen is Born

Kristopher Neil Allen was born on this day in 1985. He won the title of “American Idol” on the show’s eighth season beating out Adam Lambert in 2009. His first album was released in November of that same year and his single, “Live Like We’re Dying” peaked at #18. On New Years Day in 2013, Allen and his pregnant wife got into a head-on collision. Allen’s wife and their baby survived the crash, but Allen’s wrist was shattered. He went through three surgeries which only helped him regain 30 percent of his wrist’s movement. He had to learn how to play the guitar all over again. “Thank God nothing worse happened,” he says regarding the accident. “My wife was in the car with our son, and it could've been so much worse. You fight through things and get through them, and I'd like to say I'm a better person for it." Allen released his fifth studio album, Letting You In, on March 18, 2016.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Irreverent Fun Continues This Summer on ‘The Gong Show’

Second season of "The Gong Show"
Performer Jan Damm on The Gong Show. (ABC)

 TV 

One of the weirdest game shows to ever broadcast on the small screen was The Gong Show. It began as a NBC mid-day game show in 1976 that was hosted by the show’s creator, Chuck Barris. It was outrageous and at times controversial. Eventually the network cancelled the show altogether, but the show continued filming in syndication. Over the years, the show has been revived and canceled numerous times but last summer, ABC took a chance on nostalgia and decided the bring the show back from the dead with the help of Will Arnett who serves as the show’s executive producer.

The Gong Show is similar to NBC’s America’s Got Talent in that it is a talent show featuring unique acts from all over the country and sports a panel of celebrity judges, but the similarity ends there. While AGT consistently presents class acts (and a few duds here and there), The Gong Show is just the opposite with constant terrible acts and few surprisingly talented people mixed in for good measure. In fact, some acts featured on The Gong Show have also appeared on AGT ... and failed.

Second Season of "The Gong Show"
The Kinsey Sicks and The Chew Crew (ABC)
This year, the show moves from its 10:00 p.m. timeslot to the more family-friendly 8:00 p.m. (That’s not to say that all content on the show will indeed be family-friendly, but here’s hoping.) The host of the show is Tommy Maitland, a fictional British comic legend portrayed by Mike Myers.

While a revolving panel of judge’s praise, critique and gong contestants, most performers will go home with their unique talent that only a mother can love; but each week, the winning act with the highest judges’ score will receive The Gong Show trophy and a check. ABC says that this season promises to bring in even more big-name judges and a new gaggle of contestants unafraid to showcase their awesome yet quirky routines.

Returning to their post from last season include Arnett, Dana Carvey, Ken Jeong and Rob Riggle; and making their judging debut are Alyson Hannigan, Jimmy Kimmel, Brad Paisley, Sharon Osborne, Jason Sudeikis and others not yet announced.

Second season of "The Gong Show"
The Uniquecycles and Adam Winrich (ABC)
Performers, such as contortionists, singers, magicians, dancers, jugglers and dancing dogs, are just some of the dozens and dozens of acts that are set to impress our panel of three celebrity judges. If any of the judges deem an act to be less than worthy of a score, they can pick up a mallet and hit the giant gong that is hanging behind them and end the underwhelming performance. But if the judges are happy with the act, they will let it play out until the end and present their scores numerically from 0 through 10. It’s not uncommon for fights to break out amongst the judges when one of them wants to gong an act, while the others want to let them play on.

This year’s crop of performers include such acts as men-in-drag The Kinsey Sicks, The Uniquecycles (featuring a guy who can ride atop of unicycle that has five wheels), western whip-master Adam Winrich, “The World’s Strongest Redneck,” Cylax the Alien, the man-and-dog act Christian and Scooby, Bobella the archer/contortionist, The Chew Crew and The Colorado Speed Spinners to name a few.

The second season of The Gong Show premieres Thursday, June 21 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.