Monthly Archives: July 2017

Janine Turner’s Life Story

After Northern Exposure made her a star and Cliffhanger opened the door to a movie career, Janine Turner retreated to Texas to get her life together and ended up staying there for two years.  When Turner returned to work in 1997, her comeback role was as June Cleaver in the big screen adaptation of the classic sitcom, Leave It To Beaver.  In the early 90’s when Northern Exposure was a hit show, Turner graced numerous magazine covers.  But her return to the big screen only merited a profile in the July 1997 issue of Movieline.

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Weekly Recap: We’re Getting Too Old for This Skeet and Daffy Hassels the Hoff

This week’s “What the Hell Happened” subject was best known for playing bad-boys in high school horror movies like Scream and The Craft.  But guess what?  That was more than twenty years ago!  Yeah, we’re all getting older.  Our man Skeet has transitioned in television.  He still plays a bad boy on Riverdale, the CW’s edgy take on Archie comics.  But now he’s playing Jughead’s bad dad.  Although to be fair, none of the parents on that show are very good.  Even in his role as a murder suspect, Ulrich was still more likable than a lot of other adult characters on the show.

Yep, time goes by fast.  To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, if you don’t stop by Le Blog and look around you might miss something.  If you did, don’t worry.  The weekly recap has got you covered.

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July 23: Happy Birthday Alison Krauss and Ronny Cox


No singer and no female artist has ever won more Grammys than Alison Krauss, who is turning 46 today; among living artists, only Quincy Jones equals her total Grammy count of 27.  She began studying violin at five and was 13 when she won her first fiddling competition.  She was featured on an album made by her brother Viktor a year later, and her first official solo album, Too Late to Cry, came out in 1987, when she was sixteen.  That was followed by her first album with her longtime band, Union Station, Two Highways.  Her first Grammy came in 1991 for her album I’ve Got That Old Feeling.

Krauss normally alternates between albums where she is billed with Union Station and “solo” albums.  She has also done a wide variety of other collaborations.  She has performed for a long list of film soundtracks; most notably, she, and Dan Tyminski of Union Station, are all over the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?  She has had a seemingly improbable, but very productive (and Grammy-winning) collaboration with Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.  Her latest studio album, Windy City, came out earlier this year.

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Jeremy Northam: No More Mr. Knightly

You may not know Jeremy Northam by name, but you’d probably recognize him if you saw him.  The English actor came to Hollywood in the mid-90’s.  He made his US debut in the cyber thriller, The Net and starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma the following year.  In 1997, Northam appeared in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and had a leading role in Guillermo del Toro’s American debut, The Mimic.  He was promoting the latter when he sat with Martha Frankel for a profile in the July 1997 issue of Movieline magazine.  The conversation starts out a little dry, but before you know it they are discussing foreskin and the time Northam had to step in for a freaked out Daniel-Day Lewis.

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Building My Movie Posters Puzzle: Tarzan the Fearless

In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

I guess when you decide to put together a product like this puzzle of old movie posters, there end up being some disappointing limitations to your ability to execute it as well as you’d like. Getting the rights to all of the most appropriate artwork is most likely difficult at times. In my last entry in this series I complained about the version of the poster the makers of the puzzle chose for Rear Window, but that’s nothing in comparison to the choice they made (or perhaps were forced to make) this time around.
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July 22: Happy Birthday Albert Brooks and Danny Glover


Albert Brooks, who is turning 70 today, is a man of many talents and achievements.  He has been a successful comedian, who received a Grammy nomination for his 1975 album A Star is Bought.  He has written, directed, and starred in several critically successful films, such as Lost in America, Defending Your Life, and Mother.  He has also given critically praised acting performances in films like Broadcast News (for which he was Oscar-nominated) and Drive.

What many people will recognize Brooks for, though, is his work as a voice actor.  He has appeared (or rather, been heard) in several episodes of The Simpsons, and was the voice of Jacob the Tiger in Dr. Dolittle and The Businessman in The Little Prince.  These roles, however, take a back seat to his work in a pair of Pixar features, where he was the voice of Marlin, a clownfish in search of his son.

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July 21: Happy Birthday Jon Lovitz and Robin Williams


Well look at this—I found a picture of today’s headliners together (with Janice Dickinson of America’s Next Top Model fame in between them).

Jon Lovitz is celebrating his 60th today.  He became a member of the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1985, remaining a regular through 1990 and returning on occasion thereafter.  He has starred on the TV comedies Foley Square and Mr. Box Office and was the voice of the lead character, Jay Sherman, on the ABC/Fox animated series The Critic.  He has also had a long list of TV guest roles.  He made his Broadway debut in the cast of Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party in 2001.  And, he has appeared in a variety of feature films, now and then in a lead role, as in High School High, but more commonly in a supporting part, as in A League of Their Own or 3000 Miles to Graceland.

But no matter what, many people will think of him as a pathological liar…

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Role Call

It’s Movieline list time!  In the July 1997 issue, Cindy Pearlman polled thirty famous actors and asked them which role was their favorite.  Some answers are more surprising than others but it’s fun to see who picked which part.  A few participants fudge their answers a bit by naming more than one movie.  And one actor, notorious for not playing along with reporters, refused to answer at all.  No points for guessing who that might have been.

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July 20: Happy Birthday Judy Greer and Natalie Wood


It’s Judy Greer’s 42nd birthday today.  Greer studied theater at DePaul University and began working in film and television soon after her graduation.  In 1999 she had her first two noticeable roles, a memorable cameo in Three Kings (a sex scene with George Clooney) and a major supporting role in the high school black comedy Jawbreaker.  In 2003 she began appearing in one of her best known roles, as Kitty Sanchez on Arrested Development.

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What the Hell Happened to Skeet Ulrich?

Skeet Ulrich

In the mid-90’s Skeet Ulrich seemed like a likely candidate for heart-throb status and A-list stardom.  After making some noise in a couple of cult films, Ulrich was poised for success.  While few would deny the actor’s status as a heart-throb, movie stardom proved elusive.  These days, Ulrich has gone from dangerous teen to TV dad.

What the hell happened?

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D23 Announcements Confirm Many Disney World Rumors

This past weekend Disney held their D23 Expo, a fan biennial event which Disney uses to make make announcements and promote upcoming products.  It’s kind of like the company’s own private Comic-Con.  The last couple of events have been light on Disney World news, but the 2017 expo was packed with goodies for fans of the Orlando resort.

If you have been following Disney World rumors, none of these announcements were all that surprising.  We’ve been talking about Star Wars for years now and last year we were buzzing about a Guardians of the Galaxy project and a replacement for the Great Movie Ride.  But the Expo provided additional details as well as confirmation that these things are happening.

Let’s take a closer look at all of this year’s announcements.

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July 19: Happy Birthday Abel Ferrara and Atom Egoyan


Today our headliners are a pair of directors, who, while not known for big commercial successes, have both made a number of well-regarded films.

Abel Ferrara is turning 66 today.  He studied film at SUNY-Purchase and made several short films while he was there.  He began to get some attention beginning at the end of the 1970s with a pair of low-budget features, The Driller Killer and Ms. 45.  During the 1980s he worked with Michael Mann, directing the pilot for Crime Story and a pair of episodes of Miami Vice.  His adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Cat Chaser did not go well—the film was taken away from him and rather severely edited.  However, at the beginning of the 1990s he came back with one of his best known films, and worked for the first time with Christopher Walken.

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Brandon Boyd: Oh Boyd

The July/Aug 2002 issue of Movieline magazine was dubbed The Music issue.  Like a lot of publications in the dawn of the digital age, Movieline was struggling to reinvent itself.  Part of its ongoing evolution was to do a double-sized issue that focused more on music than the medium the magazine had been devoted to covering for the last several decades.  That issue included a profile piece with Incubus lead singer, Brandon Boyd.

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