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Author Archives: lebeau

Worst to First: Ranking the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies


Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean rides at Disney theme parks have always known that dead men tell no tales.  Amazingly Disney managed to release four Pirates movies without using the memorable catch-phrase as a subtitle.  Today sees the release of the fifth and supposedly final entry in the Pirates franchise.  So it seems like as good of a time as any to rank the Pirates of the Caribbean movies from Worst to First.

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Morgan Freeman: The Latecomer


I remember watching Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader on The Electric Company as a kid.  Like most people, I had no idea who he was.  Freeman spent decades trying to make a name for himself as an actor.  His efforts finally paid off in 1987 with the one-two punch of Street Smarts and the stage version of Driving Miss Daisy.  For the next decade, Freeman slowly built up his resume until he became Hollywood’s go-to guy for mentor characters.  In this interview from the May 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Freeman describes his struggles and the attitude that got him through the lean years.

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Twin Peaks: The Return – Parts 1 and 2


Twin Peaks is back.  The show’s opening moments remind us how long we have been waiting.  In a clip from the final episode from its original run, Laura Palmer tells Special Agent Dale Cooper that she will see him again in twenty-five years.  It’s actually been twenty-six years for us, but who’s counting?  We had Fire Walk With Me to tide us over.  That conversation took place in the mysterious Black Lodge where Agent Cooper still resides.

Flashbacks remind viewers of the show’s infamous second season cliffhanger in which our hero was trapped in the Lodge while his evil Doppelganger took his place in the real world.  I wondered if Lynch and company might sidestep this dangling plot thread but the new episodes offer no easy solution.  Coop is still trapped and his Doppelganger is a terror that needs to be stopped.  This is the story I have waited a quarter century to see completed and Twin Peaks didn’t disappoint.

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Al Pacino: An Evening With Al


Imagine that you are an English major learning how to conduct an interview.  Your teacher arranges for a guest to come to class to answer a few questions.  And that guest just happens to be Oscar winning actor, Al Pacino.  For a handful of students at UCLA, that actually happened.  Writer Lawrence Grobel convinced Pacino to answer a few questions for his students and this article from the May 2002 issue of Movieline magazine was the result.

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Weekly Recap: Sarah Speaks and a Return to Twin Peaks


You may have noticed that I am more than a little excited for tonight’s Twin Peaks revival.  It’s not just because Twin Peaks was my favorite TV show for a short while.  There are plenty of TV shows that I liked that I don’t want to see brought back for more.  But Twin Peaks was different.  Not only was the show revolutionary, but it also became a cautionary tale.  The creators of shows which were inspired by David Lynch were quick to point out that they would not fall into the same traps as Twin Peaks did.  If someone said a show was pulling a Twin Peaks, they typically meant that the writers were jerking the audience around.   That the story hadn’t been properly plotted out in advance and was being made up on the fly.  The creators of Lost were quick to claim that they weren’t pulling a Twin Peaks although arguably the ending up doing exactly that.

My point is that Twin Peaks wasn’t just a great TV show.  It was also a show that squandered it potential.  As a fan, I have spent the last twenty-five years thinking about what might have been if only David Lynch and Mark Frost had been more involved in the show’s second season or if ABC hadn’t sentenced the show to death on Saturday nights or forced Lynch to reveal the show’s central secret before he was ready to do so.  Starting tonight, Twin Peaks has a shot at redemption.  That doesn’t mean tying up the series in a big bright bow.  If you’re a Lynch fan, you know better than to expect something like that.  But hopefully this third season will bring closure to something that was at its best strange and wonderful.

Speaking of which, it’s been another strange and wonderful week here at Le Blog.  Why don’t you grab a damn fine cup of joe and enjoy the weekly recap

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For The Funny Of It


Michael Rosenbaum recently showed up in a cameo role in the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy.  You may not have recognized him since his face was covered in CGI effects.  Rosenbaum is best known for playing Lex Luthor on the long running TV show, Smallville.  While that show was still on the air, the actor made a small bid for movie roles as in the comedy Sorority Boys.  The May 2002 issue of Movieline magazine included a profile of Rosenbaum and fellow handsome comedic actor, David Sheridan.

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Movies that were supposed to launch franchises (but didn’t): Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me


It’s happening again.  That show I like is coming back in style.  I am of course referring to the cult sensation, Twin Peaks, which after twenty-five years has been revived for a third season on Showtime.  But this isn’t the first time Twin Peaks was given a second chance.  In 1992, just one year after the show’s cancellation, director David Lynch brought his creation to the big screen.

Showtime’s revival has been met with joyous celebration, but Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me opened to booing at the Cannes Film Festival, jeers from critics and ambivalence from audiences.  Even the show’s few remaining fans didn’t seem to know what to make of the big screen version of Twin Peaks.   A quarter century later, the movie, like the show, has enjoyed a critical reappraisal with many now viewing Fire Walk With Me as an under-appreciated gem.  That may be true, but as an attempt to extend the life of Twin Peaks mania, it was a critical and commercial failure.

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Universal Orlando: First Time in a Long Time and Potentially the Last Time


Last week, I reviewed a very long list of rides, shows, attractions and other experiences which would be new to my family on our up-coming Universal Orlando vacation.  I borrowed the concept from my old pal and blogging idol, Daffy Stardust, who posts similar articles prior to an excursion to Disney World.  His articles usually cover first, last and first-time-in-a-long-time experiences.  But as relative novies to Universal, our list of new-to-us experiences was long enough to fill an entire article unto itself.  So today, I am back to cover the other two categories.

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Neil LaBute: Turning to Love


You don’t hear much from writer-director Neil LaBute anymore.  In the late 90’s, the playwright became an indie sensation by adapting his play In the Company of Men into a movie.  He followed that movie up with the equally buzzy Your Friends & Neighbors and went slightly mainstream with the comedy Nurse Betty.  But LaBute’s upward trajectory didn’t continue.  In 2006, he would hit the skids with the infamous remake of The Wicker Man.  In between his early career highs and eventual lows, LaBute made the 2002 drama Possession starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.  Stephen Rebello interviewed the director for the May 2002 issue of Movieline magazine.

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Juliette Lewis: Juliette of the Spirit


Juliette Lewis had an unconventional upbringing.  When you read this interview with the actress from the May 1992 issue of Movieline, you will realize what an understatement that is.  Flush off an Oscar nomination for Cape Fear, Lewis was dating a pre-fame Brad Pitt and working with Woody Allen.  At the age of 18, the possibilities were endless for Lewis.  Interviewer Michael Angeli is both impressed and bemused by her eccentricities, her hospitality and her house-keeping.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar: 60 Questions For Sarah


This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the cult TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so you may have seen some media coverage or reunion photos.  Fifteen years ago, star Sarah Michelle Gellar was approach the end of her tenure as a slayer of the undead.  At the time, she was engaged to Freddie Prinze Jr. with whom she was costarring in a big-budget movie adaptation of Scooby Doo.  For a brief time, it seemed like Gellar might be able to jump from TV to movies once her Buffy contract expired.  That’s when Gellar landed on the cover of the May 2002 Young Hollywood issue of Movieline magazine discussing her relationship as well as her TV and movie projects.

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Weekly Recap: Mommies Dearest


Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  Hope you are enjoying your day.  As the site’s gift to you, I have compiled the mother of all weekly recaps.  Tell dad to take care of the kids and get dinner ready while you enjoy this summary of the week’s activity her at Le Blog.  Which will probably be brief because I have to take care of the kids and get dinner ready.

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The Secret Garden of Caroline Thompson


Caroline Thompson’s career in movies took off as the screenwriter of the offbeat hit, Edward Scissorhands.  She followed that up with the first Addams Family movie and went on to script Homeward Bound, The Secret Garden, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride.  At a time when female screen writers were especially rare, Thompson forged friendships with directors like Tim Burton and Penelope Spheeris who helped her break into the business.  In this interview from the May 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Thompson discusses her career with another close friend, author Eve Babitz.

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