Boardwalk Empire Season 5: Quick, Shoot Everybody!


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For the past few years, readers here at le Blog have seen me offer up short recaps and thoughts about most every episode of the HBO gangster drama Boardwalk Empire. Despite an enthusiastic core audience and plenty of Emmy awards love, the series has not been able to rustle up consistent enough ratings to keep going. Because of this (and other rumored reasons) this autumn will see the fifth and final season about Nucky Thompson and the cast of other prohibition era schemers.

So what can we expect from showrunner Terence Winter, who has never been unwilling to shake things up, now that the ending date of the series has already been declared? Well, if you’ve been watching religiously for the last four years and don’t mind a few spoilers based on easily googled historical facts, then click below as I discuss what’s been revealed.
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Pop Culture Quiz: What the Hell Happened Quiz #3


what the hell happened big

We’re celebrating four years of WTHH with a series of quizzes to see what you have learned!

The quiz starts after the jump.  No cheating off your neighbor!

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New Fantasyland Review: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train


seven dwarfs concept art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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Poll: Who is your favorite “old school” action hero?


"The Expendables 3" Stunt Photocall & Press Conference

It was a rough weekend to be an old school action hero.  The third movie in The Expendables franchise got spanked at the box office.  It didn’t just get beat by popular hold-overs like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy.  It came in 4th place behind the $7 million dollar comedy, Let’s Be Cops.

There were extenuating circumstances to be sure.  An internet leak allowed millions to watch the movie for free weeks before it opened in theaters.  Clearly, that had an impact.  But it’s still a bad sign for the franchise.  Which is bad for old action dude everywhere.  For a lot of these guys, a shot at an Expendables movie is the best thing going.  With the franchise on life support or critically wounded, a lot of these guys are looking at spending the rest of their careers in video limbo.

But let’s not dwell on the sad fate that awaits many of our favorite brawny senior citizens.  Instead, let’s remember them for their glory days.  Who was your favorite old school action hero?

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Lebeau’s Le Show: Episode 006 – Pop Culture References


Episode 006 Cover Image

 

Everyone makes pop culture references in one way or another every day.  Sometimes, we use an expression or a phrase without even knowing its origins.  Other times, we’re specifically referencing one of our favorite movies or TV shows.  Depending on how well your reference matches your audience, pop culture references can provide a great form of short hand.  They convey complex information in just a few words.  Or they miss their mark entirely and everyone thinks you’re weird.

This week, Daffy and I discuss the power of pop culture references both common and obscure.  Of course we hit the essentials like Caddyshack and Star Wars.  Daffy provides a few musical cues that frankly you just have to hear.  I talk about my co-workers and their weirdly narrow backgrounds in pop culture.  Hopefully none of them are listening.  Daffy talks about how he alienated the cast of his recent theatrical productions with references to Sunset Boulevard and Mommie Dearest.  And he ranks his favorite shelled candies.  It’s a can’t miss hour of fun and excitement!

In the spirit of references, we even reference some of the things we have been talking about here at Le Blog and on Twitter.  One lucky reader even gets name-checked.

The show is embedded after the jump.  Hope you like it.

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A-List: The Expendables 3


expendables 3 cast

Recently, I read an article about “The Expendables Effect”.  The premise of the article was that The Expendables franchise was responsible for one comeback after another.  It was suggested that actors of a certain age and type were falling all over themselves to be cast in the next Expendables movie.  With the exception of a couple of stubborn hold-outs, franchise creator Sylvester Stallone could pick and choose from the population of less-than-relevant action heroes because he and he alone had discovered a cinematic fountain of youth.  It was a franchise that could resurrect any flagging career.  It was viagra for the aging action set.

So what does it mean when an Expendables movie proves to be expendable?

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New Fantasyland Review: Festival of Fantasy Parade


Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Coming to Magic Kingdom in 2014

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Tangled and Princess Fairytale Hall



Princess Fairytale Hall Concept Art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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Pop Culture Quiz: What the Hell Happened Quiz #2 *Results*


what the hell happened big

It’s time to review the results of another What the Hell Happened Pop Culture Quiz.  I have collected all the papers and the grades are in.  Let’s see how everyone did.

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Personal Musings: Depression and the Death of Robin Williams


robin williams 2014

 

Last night, I came home from work.  It was a Monday which is never the best day of the week.  We had to take the girls up to school for an open house.  It was not fun, but it had to be done.  When I got home, I got on my computer to check social media.  The first message I see hit me in the gut.  It simply read “RIP Robin Williams”.  My immediate reaction was skepticism.  Since I write about celebrities, I’ve seen my share of dead celebrity hoaxes.  Hopefully this would turn out to be one of them.  I quickly checked a reliable news source and confirmed that one of my childhood idols was in fact dead.

At times like this, words always fail.  I obviously didn’t know Robin Williams, so my loss is not a personal one.  But I grew up with him.  When I was a kid, Mork and Mindy was my favorite show.  I dressed as Mork for Halloween one year.  I even wore the plastic mask which recreated Williams’ distinctive smile and wild hair.  As I grew up I followed him into stand-up and movies.  For a time, Williams was one of the most dynamic and interesting actors in Hollywood.

Much digital ink is being spilled today eulogizing Robin Williams.  We have all read moving stories and tributes from the people whose lives he touched.  I don’t have much more to contribute to this mass outpouring of emotion.  Instead, I wanted to talk about the disease that claimed Williams’ life; depression.

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