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..."

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NBC Hosts a Night of Fun and Games for Charity

Red Nose Day Specials 2018

 TV 

Thursday is another night of fun, mayhem and charity in NBC’s fourth annual telecast of Red Nose Day specials where celebrities of TV, movies and music come together to raise funds for kids living in poverty. The three-hour event begins with the second annual edition of Celebrity Ninja Warrior, followed by a special edition of Hollywood Game Night and then the big Red Nose Day Special that will broadcast live from Rockefller Plaza in New York City.

Red Nose Day was created by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning writer-director Richard Curtis, (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill). It has raised more than $1 billion globally since its launch 30 years ago in the U.K. in 1988. It is a culmination of a seven-week fundraising campaign, which brings together millions of Americans around the country to have fun and make a difference.

Celebrity Ninja Warrior 2018
Akba Gbajabiamila on the course. (NBC)
Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day
Beginning at 8:00 p.m., the American Ninja Warrior special will be hosted by Matt Iseman and Kristine Leahy as usual co-host, Akbar Gbajabiamila will be running the course this year. While this will be Akbar’s first time on the course it will be Derek Hough’s (World of Dance) second time on the course. They will be joined by Grammy Award winner NE-YO (World of Dance), WWE Star Nikki Bella, Colton Dunn (Superstore), Scott Evans (Access), Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin and Gregg Sulkin (Runaways).

Elite ninjas will return to support and mentor their partner as they take on the physical and mental challenges of the course. Kevin Bull (coaching Akbar), Drew Drechsel (coaching NE-YO), Natalie Duran (coaching Colton), Meagan Martin (coaching Derek), Grant McCartney (coaching Nikki), Flip Rodriguez (coaching Scott), Barclay Stockett (coaching Nastia) and Maggie Thorne (coaching Gregg) will help the celebrities through a grueling set of obstacles including the floating steps, the spinning bridge and the iconic warped wall.

Earnest ‘Cold November’ Hunting Movie Just Misses the Mark

Movie review of "Cold November"
Bijou Abas stars in Cold November. (Monument Releasing)

 MOVIE REVIEW 

There is a lot to take in Karl Jacob’s independent film, Cold November. His film is unique in that it combines a young woman’s coming of age story with the sport of deer hunting. The story centers on 12-year-old Florence (played by Bijou Abas) who is excited to experience her first deer hunt, a tradition that has been carried out by the different generations of women before her.

Florence lives in a rural area somewhere in Middle America. The film does a great job of showing what it is like to be a family living in the boonies and not make the family appear to be country hicks with a bunch of teeth missing. They don’t have much, but they aren’t poor either. They have electricity, but apparently they don’t have indoor plumbing for some reason. Florence doesn’t own a cell phone but I doubt that she would get reception even if she did. Nor would she be calling anyone as she doesn’t seem to have any friends. She doesn’t seem to mind. She spends time in the garage with her city she built out of cardboard boxes and Matchbox cars. Then the time has come for her to receive her hunting license and prove to her family that she knows how to shoot a rifle. Top it off with Florence experiencing her first period welcoming her to womanhood. The girl has a lot on her mind.

Florence lives with her mother (Anna Klemp) and Grandma (Mary Kay Fortier-Spalding) who lives nearby, is the family’s hunting expert. The pair teach Florence all they know from gun safety to skinning a deer. They are very thorough. We get to sit with Florence and her mom as they wait for the deer to come out. And wait. And wait.

White People Ordering at a Mexican Restaurant - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

Oh boy. Been there. (From John Crist)

This Day in Pop Culture for May 23

Roger Moore passed away on May 23, 2017.

Former James Bond Passes Away

Roger Moore, former James Bond and The Saint actor, passed away on this day in 2017 in Switzerland losing his battle with cancer. He was 89. Moore first came to the United States in 1953 to play a tennis champ in MGM’s The Last Time I Saw Paris which he starred with Elizabeth Taylor. From 1956-1958, Moore starred in the TV series, Ivanhoe and took over for James Garner playing Maverick’s cousin Beau from 1960-1961. From 1962-1969 Moore starred in the British TV series, The Saint and first played Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die. He continued to play the role six more times ending with 1985's A View to a Kill. Moore wasn’t above making fun of his own image by appearing on The Muppet Show, the goofy movie, Cannonball Run, lent his voice for the 2004 animated film, The Fly Who Loved Me and 2010’s Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, a spoof of the Bond film, Goldfinger. His last work was voicing a role in 2018's Troll Hunters.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A New ‘American Idol’ Has Made History

Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe
American Idol finalists Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe (ABC)

 TV 

It may not be a fair assessment, but last night it appeared as if ABC couldn’t push the Dancing with the Stars: Athletes out the door fast enough in order to get the American Idol finale party started which began with Judge Lionel Richie singing his iconic song, “All Night Long” with this season’s ten finalists.

The two-hour finale featured numerous musical performances before crowning this season’s winner. This season’s two finalists, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe held hands as they sang “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” before it was revealed who this season’s winner was.

‘Dancing with the Stars: Athletes’ Crowns Winner

DWTS: Athletes finalists
Jenna Johnson and Adam Rippon, Sharna Burgess and Josh Norman,
Tanya Harding and Sasha Farber. (ABC)

 TV 

It will be interesting to find out just how successful this spring’s Dancing with the Stars stunt was for ABC. Besides the fact that this season featured a cast of athletes only, the network truncated its usual ratings winning series down to just four weeks while seemingly trying to pretend that it was business as usual. Contestants were removed from the dance floor left and right and show’s usual three-hour finale spectacular was cut down to just one hour with barely having enough time to award the winner before American Idol’s live finale began. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Although one could argue that ABC tends to stretch each DWTS season a little too far and milk every moment for all its worth, this latest version was just too quick. It’s hard to get excited about a couple becoming the next mirror ball champs after just three weeks of competition.