'Instant Family' Will Pull Your Heartstrings in a Good Way

What started as an older man’s joke about wanting to adopt a five-year-old instead of starting from scratch, Instant Family was inspired by writer and director Sean Anders’ real-life family. Pete (Mark Wahlberg) “accidentally” makes the joke to his wife Ellie (Rose Byrne) not wanting to be become that “old dad” everyone knows and before you know it, the two are traveling down to road toward foster care adoptions. After numerous classes taught by two caseworkers (Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro), the two meet three kids at a “foster fair” gathering. Lizzy (Isabela Moner) is the 15-year-old older sister who has protectively looked after her younger siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) while their mother has been incarcerated. She’s a tough cookie with trust issues. Juan is both accident prone and highly sensitive and Lita is super sweet as long as she gets to eat potato chips at every meal. Almost overnight they become an “instant family” and everything g…

This Day in Pop Culture for August 11

"American Graffiti premiered on August 11, 1973.

 'American Graffiti' Premieres

On this day in 1973, George Lucas premiered his second full-length movie, American Graffiti (THX 1138 was his first). The coming of age movie set in 1962, is not what Lucas is usually known for. The movie followed a group of teenagers on their last night before they go to college. The film was partially an inspiration for the TV show Happy Days. Coincidentally, Ron Howard starred in the film and Happy Days. Co-star Cindy Williams later became Shirley in the Happy Days spinoff, Laverne and Shirley. Other stars included “no names” like Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford and Kathleen Quinlan.

Alcatraz Island took in its first inmates on August 11, 1934.

The First Civilian Prisoners Come To Alcatraz

It was on this day in 1934 that the very first civilian prisoners were sent to the federal prison on Alcatraz Island. Now considered a tourist attraction near San Francisco, Alcatraz was designed to hold the worst of the worst bank robbers, murderers and other offenders including Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman) and George “Machine Gun” Kelly to name a few. The first group of 137 prisoners arrived on the island at 9:40 a.m. The staff were highly trained in security but lack rehabilitation skills. During its 29 years of operation, 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts but no prisoner successfully made it off the island (however there are five listed as “missing and presumed drowned” but no one know for sure).

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