Weekly Recap: Searching for Unicorns and Mystic Timbers

Today is the last day to grab a Unicorn Frappuccino at your local Starbucks.  For the unaware, this colorful frozen drink is a promotional product which has become an internet sensation.  Starbuck unleashed this fruity, pixie-dusted, sweet-and-sour beverage on an unsuspecting public for less than a week.  The resulting feeding frenzy lead to many locations selling out of the ingredients necessary to make the drink.  On Friday night, I was informed that my oldest daughter just had to have one.  So off we went in search of a unicorn.  In this week’s recap, I’ll be covering all of the goings-on here at Le Blog as well as a few details about my week outside of the site.

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April 23: Happy Birthday Judy Davis and Shirley Temple


Australian actress Judy Davis, a two-time Oscar nominee and three-time Emmy winner, turns 62 today.  She made her reputation with only her second feature, starring as Sybylla Melvyn in My Brilliant Career, and winning two BAFTA Awards, for Best Leading Actress and Best Newcomer.  She attracted worldwide notice in 1984 when she was nominated for Best Actress for starring in David Lean’s A Passage to India.  A second Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actress, came eight years later for Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives.

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The 10 Most Famous Actors Who Never Won Oscars

When it comes to the Academy Awards, there are winners and losers.  It may be an honor to be nominated, but the fact of the matter is they only hand out so many statues every year.  Over the course of a career in showbiz, there are a limited number of opportunities to win an Oscar.  For varying reasons, some of the most famous actors and actresses in Hollywood history never took home the prize.  In the April 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, they compiled a list of the ten most famous actors who never won.

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April 22: Happy Birthday Jack Nicholson and Aaron Spelling


Three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson is celebrating his 80th today.  He made his films debut in 1958 in a teen drama produced by Roger Corman, The Cry Baby Killer.  He made a number of films in the sixties with Corman, and several Westerns with Monte Hellman.  His first major break came in 1969, when he starred in Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider and received his first Oscar nomination.

From 1970-75, Nicholson starred in a string of classic or near-classic films—Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens, Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail, Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (as Jake Gittes), and Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger.  He capped this great run with his first Oscar, for Best Actor as Mac McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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What’s the Big Deal With Pixar’s Cars?

Kevthewriter wonders why Pixar keeps making Cars movies when no one he knows seems to like them very much.

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Spring Break at Walt Disney World: Spaceship Earth & My Little Mermaid Room – Daffy Does Disney

In this video you’ll follow onto my last ride of the day and then back to my room at the Art of Animation resort where you’ll get some initial reactions and a review of my thoughts on the first day of my Walt Disney World vacation. Yeah, I’m just getting started!

April 21: Happy Birthday James McAvoy and Patti LuPone


James McAvoy is turning 38 today.  He began acting in the late nineties and has had a distinguished career in film (mixed with some television) and on the British stage.  One of his early stage roles was as Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; he has since had the “Romeo” part in two films adapted (more or less) from that play, the 2003 film Bollywood Queen and the 2009 animated feature Gnomeo and Juliet.  He emerged as a major star in the mid-2000s with lead roles in The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, and Wanted.

In 2011 he made the first of three appearances in the film role he is probably best known for, Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class and two sequels:

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Lego Dimensions: Harry Potter Team Pack

Out of all the offerings in the second year of Lego Dimensions, the one my kids were most excited about was the Harry Potter Team Pack.  Both of the girls are slowly working their way through J.K. Rowling’s series of books and have watched most of the movies.  It would be accurate to describe my oldest as a Harry Potter fan.  The youngest is getting there.  They couldn’t wait to explore iconic locations like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley in Lego form.  In that respect, this Team Pack did not disappoint.

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April 20: Happy Birthday Jessica Lange and Harold Lloyd


Six-time Oscar nominee Jessica Lange is celebrating her 68th birthday today.  Lange spent several years traveling and working as a model after graduating from college, and made her screen debut in 1976 in Dino De Laurentis’s remake of King Kong, winning a Golden Globe as New Star of the Year.  She then starred in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz and the crime comedy How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, before having a terrific year in 1982, when she was nominated for Best Actress as Frances Farmer in Frances, and won Best Supporting Actress for Tootsie:

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Sam Raimi: Along Came A Spidey

Hard to believe but fifteen years ago there was no such thing as a Spider-man movie.  Now here we are and Spidey is on his second reboot.  When the original Spider-man movie debuted in 2002, super hero movies were still relatively uncommon and director Sam Raimi was known primarily as the director of cult horror movies.  Prior to the movie’s release, Raimi talked to Movieline about how he got the job, what controversial contributions James Cameron made to the movie and how the chemistry between Tobey Maguire and Kristen Dunst may have spilled over into real life.

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Spring Break at Walt Disney World Future World and Nine Dragons – Daffy Does Disney

I wander out of World Showcase for a bit in this video and take in some of the less prominent Future World attractions. But that lasts only so long, as I’ve got a reservation for dinner right back in World Showcase at a spot that has been lowly rated in some quarters. How did I like it? Watch and find out.

Why’d it bomb? The Amazing Spider Man 2 (2014)

Last summer, Spider-Man made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU for short). This summer, the web-slinger will be headlining his own movie. But before his “homecoming”, Spidey was the star of two of Sony’s franchises. First, Sam Raimi a trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Then Marc Webb rebooted the series in 2012 with Andrew Garfield taking over the mantle. In both cases, the franchise’s started off well but then, through executive meddling, things didn’t go so well.

Then came The Amazing Spider Man 2, which had the lowest grossing domestic gross of any Spider Man film, grossing $202 million domestically. That being said, it was technically a hit at the box office, making $709 million worldwide. However, while that wasn’t much different from the first movie’s worldwide gross of $757 million, Sony was expecting the movie to make more money and, when it didn’t, they ended up firing Garfield (though the fact that he had a falling out with the head of Sony didn’t help matters either), they cancelled their plans for an Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and decided to reboot the whole thing all over again. But why wasn’t it the huge hit Sony was hoping for? Let’s find out!

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April 19: Happy Birthday Tim Curry and James Franco



Tim Curry is turning 71 today.  The English actor began a distinguished stage career as part of the original West End cast of the musical Hair in 1968.  He is a three-time Tony nominee—for playing Mozart in the original Broadway production of Amadeus, Alan Swann in the musical adaptation of My Favorite Year, and King Arthur in Spamalot.  He also has received two Olivier Award nominations, for playing The Pirate King in a revival of The Pirates of Penzance, and again for Spamalot.

Another of Curry’s stage roles led to the beginning of his film career: he played Dr. Frank N. Furter in the original London production of The Rocky Horror Show, and then returned to the role in the film adaptation in 1975.  He has played a diverse range of characters on screen through the years, often but not always villainous and/or comic.  He has played Cardinal Richelieu in a version of The Three Musketeers, Wadsworth the butler in Clue, and a Romanian philanthropist in Congo.  He’s even worked with the Muppets.

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