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ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Barry Nelson was the first actor to portray James Bond on the screen, in a 1954 TV adaptation of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale . But the Bond films we all know and love, which were made by Eon Productions, began half a century ago with the release on Oct. 5, 1962, of Dr. No , starring a then-32-year-old Sean Connery. Five other actors have assayed the role: George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and the current 007, Daniel Craig, whose third Bond outing, Skyfall , is in theaters.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 2011 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, takiffj@phillynews.com 215-854-5960
GETTING the hardware and software synchronized for a high-tech product introduction isn't always easy. In the case of 3D TV, the complaint "there's nothing to watch" may have held some weight. But this holiday season, there are wonders galore to explore on 3D Blu-ray video discs. And some pay TV customers can have it really good if they've invested in a 3D-ready television and increasingly comfortable companion glasses. Major figures like Martin Scorsese ("Hugo"), Wim Wenders ("Pina")
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2011 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jamaican-born writer-director Tanya Hamilton caused quite a sensation last year at the Sundance Film Festival with her feature debut Night Catches Us , an intense political-and-romantic drama set in Philadelphia. Anthony Mackie stars as Marcus, a former member of the Black Panther Movement who returns to his working-class neighborhood in 1976, many years after he left town as a very young man. Marcus is branded as a traitor by his former comrades. He's offered comfort by his best friend's widow, Patricia (an incandescent Kerry Washington)
NEWS
February 19, 2008 | By Maria Panaritis INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Attention consumers: It is now safe to enter the high-definition DVD aisle. A series of stunning moves over the last week by DVD retailers suggests the war over the next generation of at-home movie players has ended. Yesterday, Toshiba Corp., which had strenuously promoted its favored HD DVD format against fierce competition from Sony Corp.'s preferred Blu-ray format, was said to be reevaluating its strategy. Toshiba's apparent retreat followed announcements last week by Netflix Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that they were dropping HD DVD from their product lines in favor of Blu-ray - the only other competitor in the fledgling high-definition DVD market.
NEWS
February 19, 2008 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Attention consumers: It is now safe to enter the high-definition DVD aisle. A series of stunning moves over the last week by DVD retailers suggests the war over the next generation of at-home movie players has ended. Yesterday, Toshiba Corp., which had strenuously promoted its favored HD DVD format against fierce competition from Sony Corp.'s preferred Blu-ray format, was said to be reevaluating its strategy. Toshiba's apparent retreat followed announcements last week by Netflix Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that they were dropping HD DVD from their product lines in favor of Blu-ray - the only other competitor in the fledgling high-definition DVD market.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 2012 | Carrie Rickey FOR THE INQUIRER
The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston's 1992 film debut, crystallized the late pop sensation's success as a woman for all media. Commemorating both the 20th anniversary of the movie that nearly wasn't and the life of the talent that is no more, Warner Home Video releases a Blu-ray video of this film Tuesday that had a longer gestation than an elephant. On Wednesday, The Bodyguard will have a one-night-only revival on a big screen near you, the ideal context for fans to sing along with Houston's renditions of "Queen of the Night" and "I Will Always Love You," songs that made the film's soundtrack one of the best sellers in history.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Want to get the most out of Sunday's Academy Awards? Take time out to watch some top nominees on disc. Many already are out on DVD and Blu-ray. Some are due in the next few weeks. Argo. Ben Affleck's third film as a director is an intense drama about a 1979 CIA operation to rescue six Americans who escaped the embassy in Tehran before militants stormed it, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. It has picked up seven Oscar nods, including best picture and best supporting actor for Alan Arkin.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since he captured the public imagination in 1999 with his remarkable breakout hit The Sixth Sense , M. Night Shyamalan has directed 10 features (an 11th, Split , is due in 2017). And each one, including The Happening , Devil , Lady in the Water , and personal favorite The Village , has received wildly mixed reviews. Yet Shyamalan, 45, who was born in India, retains a core fanbase in the Philadelphia region where he lives and where he consistently shoots his pictures.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Twentieth Century Fox cranks out the big blockbusters, but its sister distribution arm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, specializes in indie films and British imports that are more likely to pick up Oscars than hundreds of millions at the box office. Founded in 1994, the company marks its anniversary with a Blu-ray boxed set that makes an ideal holiday gift. The Fox Searchlight Pictures 20th Anniversary Collection features 20 films in high-def, including The Full Monty , Boys Don't Cry , Crazy Heart , The Descendants , Juno , and The Last King of Scotland . ( www.foxconnect.com ; $299.99; not rated)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Martin Scorsese's Hugo scooped up five well-earned Oscars on Sunday though none were among the top awards, which went to Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist in the best picture and best director categories. A poetic, magical-mystical paen to all things cinema, Hugo features Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz as two wide-eyed preadolescents in 1930s Paris who reexperience the birth of cinema through the eyes of film pioneer Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley). Filled with loving tributes to dozens of films, Hugo , released on DVD this week by Paramount Studios, ranks with the lush, exotic masterpieces of Scorsese's heroes, Michael Powell, and Emeric Pressburger, including The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus . ( www.paramount.com/dvd ; $29.99 DVD; $44.99; Blu-ray/DVD combo; rated PG.)
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Staff Writer
To call Christian Petzold a political filmmaker would do injustice to the beauty and emotional power of his work. The German director's films are informed by political passions and ideas, but they are expressed through deeply personal stories - from the 2000 breakout feature The State I Am, from the daily struggle of a pair of former terrorists who live in hiding with their teenage daughter, to 2012's Barbara , which features a stunning performance...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of the most significant cultural events of 2015 was the hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton . The movie told the story of the rise of the Compton, Calif., outfit N.W.A., founded by future music legends MC Ren (Aldis Hodge), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), and Ice Cube (played in the movie by the rapper's son, O'Shea Jackson Jr.). Universal will release the film Tuesday for the home video market. Straight Outta Compton was directed by F. Gary Gray ( Set It Off , The Negotiator )
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since he captured the public imagination in 1999 with his remarkable breakout hit The Sixth Sense , M. Night Shyamalan has directed 10 features (an 11th, Split , is due in 2017). And each one, including The Happening , Devil , Lady in the Water , and personal favorite The Village , has received wildly mixed reviews. Yet Shyamalan, 45, who was born in India, retains a core fanbase in the Philadelphia region where he lives and where he consistently shoots his pictures.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Fans knew something special was in the offing when director David Wain ( Wanderlust ; They Came Together ) announced the cast of his 2001 comedy, Wet Hot American Summer . It was a veritable Who's Who of comedy: Janeane Garofalo, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Judah Friedlander, and David Hyde Pierce. What's more, they were backed by a group of great actors including Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, and Bradley Cooper. A raunchy, sharp-edged satire that was equally affecting and nostalgic, the film was about the crazy goings-on at a summer camp in 1981.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Twentieth Century Fox cranks out the big blockbusters, but its sister distribution arm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, specializes in indie films and British imports that are more likely to pick up Oscars than hundreds of millions at the box office. Founded in 1994, the company marks its anniversary with a Blu-ray boxed set that makes an ideal holiday gift. The Fox Searchlight Pictures 20th Anniversary Collection features 20 films in high-def, including The Full Monty , Boys Don't Cry , Crazy Heart , The Descendants , Juno , and The Last King of Scotland . ( www.foxconnect.com ; $299.99; not rated)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Few characters in TV history gave viewers such an emotional roller-coaster ride as anti-hero extraordinnaire Tony Soprano in HBO's crime saga The Sopranos . We loved Tony one moment - for his humor, his emotional vulnerability, his humanity. Yet he could morph, in the blink of an eye, into the most repulsive, frightening monster one could imagine. Ah, life with North Jersey's premier mob family! There was Ma Soprano, Carmela (Edie Falco), who had quite a taste for the most ridiculously expensive, and equally gauche, fashions.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's sometimes best not to put too much stock in what stars say. Especially when they make grand pronouncements, as did hip-hop megastar Jay Z when he promised to make Philadelphia the envy of American cities by creating a world-class music festival. Jay Z followed through on his promise and delivered the impossible in 2012: He corralled a disparate group of artists to perform outdoors on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the last weekend of the summer. More than 30 acts played, including Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, Kings of Leon, Jay Rock, 2 Chainz, and Pharrell Williams.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Columnist
THE DRIVE-IN theater is virtually extinct. But it's easier than it's ever been to sit under the stars on a warm night with family and friends, sharing ice cream and a great flick on a portable screen (or garage door or tacked-up bed sheet). Give thanks to the high quality and affordable prices of today's video projectors, which put on a really big-screen show indoors or out when fed a diet of DVD and Blu-ray discs, a connected cable/satellite box or content stored on a USB thumb drive or computer.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
On Aug. 16, 1896, gold was discovered in the Klondike region of the Yukon in northwestern Canada, sparking a media frenzy that helped draw a massive influx of prospectors, adventurers, and con men. The story of the Yukon gold rush is told in the Discovery Channel's first scripted drama, Klondike , a three-part, 270-minute mini-series now out on disc. Game of Thrones ' Richard Madden and English thesp Augustus Prew ( Kick-Ass 2 ) star as best friends from New York who find themselves bored with the idea of leading regular lives as would-be businessmen.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Walter White, the antihero of AMC's ingenious drama Breaking Bad , once was a good man. A brilliant scientist and chemistry teacher devoted to helping his students expand their knowledge, he also was a dedicated husband. Then it all hit the fan. When Walt is told he has only a short time to live, he realizes he needs to leave his wife a decent nest egg. He also realizes his life has been meaningless, as has been his decision to be a good, law-abiding citizen. So he turns to drugs, becoming one of the biggest manufacturers and suppliers of methamphetamine in the Southwest.
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