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Most Unwanted

Which actor or actress is like nails on a chalkboard to you?  Who do you avoid at all costs?  In the September 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, the writers asked a bunch of random moviegoers which stars they found the most annoying.  Some of the answers will probably surprise you.  Some, not so much.  Whether you agree with their selections or not, these fans came up with some pretty funny quotes about their least favorite actors.

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October 18: Happy Birthday Wynton Marsalis and George C. Scott


Wynton Marsalis celebrates his 55th birthday today.  A trumpeter who is accomplished at both jazz and classical music, Marsalis performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic at 14 years of age.  After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1981, he immediately began to make a mark as a recording artist.  In 1983, he became the first, and so far only, artist to win Grammys for classical and jazz recordings in the same year, the first for a recording of the trumpet concertos of Haydn, Hummel and Leopold Mozart, the second for his album Think of One:

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Building my Movie Posters Puzzle: Dr. Strangelove

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In late June 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.

This third installment in Building My Movie Posters Puzzle sees yet another leap forward on the calendar, this time from 1939 to 1964. I can promise you that this will not be a continuing trend. It is of some mild interest that despite the 25 years of progress between the release of our last entry, The Wizard of Oz, and Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick and company made the decision to shoot entirely in black and white, whereas Oz is famously presented in both black and white and color. Obviously, for a long time after, filmmakers felt very free to select either approach to filming and displaying their movies. Although color was steadily becoming the preferred format, if you take a look at the top-grossing films of 1964 you will find a few that were released in black and white, including Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Zorba the Greek, The Night of the Iguana, and A Hard Day’s Night. You appeared to need a motivating artistic reason for shooting in black and white, but studios were apparently not yet dead set against it and there was plenty of audience left that didn’t seem to mind (at least one commenter here at LeBlog claims to never watch black and white movies).
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Best Actor Oscars Bracket Game: George C. Scott vs Jack Nicholson

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There have been some truly legendary and some sadly under appreciated performers to be named Best Actor at the yearly Oscars party. Which is which? With the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony approaching later this month, we here at LeBlog decided to have another of our popular bracket contests to throw a little attention at some of these great performances. There are only 16 available slots in these things, while there have been 86 Best Actor designees so far, leaving 70 acting greats on the outside looking in from the beginning. That’s some pretty brutal math. I tried to represent the entire history of the award by including at least two actors from each of the last eight decades and pairing those up in the first round. That will almost certainly result in some stunning early exits, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.
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