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SPORTS
February 6, 2007 | By Marc Narducci INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
P.J. Shirdan did not play football in his senior year at Monsignor Bonner High because of a knee injury, but when the NCAA signing date arrives tomorrow, the wide receiver/safety will have a highlight DVD in one hand and a scholarship letter of intent in the other. In the video age, when schools don't have to see a player perform in person to offer him a scholarship, Shirdan can point to his perseverance and football talent as well as the cinematic ability of family friend Mark Verica for making signing day so special.
NEWS
April 10, 2000 | by David Bleiler, For the Daily News
Shattering existing video records in consecutive weeks, 1999's two top-grossing films, "Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace" and "The Sixth Sense," duplicated the kind of astronomical numbers garnered in the theatrical market. Released first on video March 28th, the Philadelphia-based "Sixth Sense," the thrilling story of a psychiatrist who counsels a troubled ten-year-old boy who "sees dead people," shipped over 1.5 million VHS rental units. The Bruce Willis-Haley Joel Osment chiller, which is now the 10th highest-grossing film of all time, easily surpassed the previous rental champ, "Enemy of the State," which sold just over a million units.
NEWS
November 27, 1998 | by Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
Looking for a really cool entertainment or productivity gadget to spring on a techie this holiday season? Box up and deliver one of these bright ideas. Super suckers: Here's a wild stocking stuffer - a combination lollipop holder and "bone conduction" music machine that plays sound inside your head when you bite down on the candy. Hasbro's $10 Sound Bites come with three musical themes - Rockin' Guitar, Rockin' Drum and Rockin' Saxophone, plus three special-effects versions - Space Wars, Wacky Toons and Wacky Voices.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 1999 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
An Oscar-winning performance by James Coburn is among the new offerings on video this week. Affliction . . (1998) (Universal) 113 minutes. Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Willem Dafoe, Mary Beth Hurt. This film of stunning power from Paul Schrader entwines the mystery of a hunting accident that might be murder with the deeper mysteries of the investigator's true affliction: the unhealable wounds of his abusive childhood. Nolte and Coburn lead a superb cast. R (language, adult themes)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1995 | By Andy Wickstrom, FOR THE INQUIRER
Following in the footsteps of its all-time bestseller The Lion King, Walt Disney Home Video has chosen Lion's video anniversary date of March 6, 1996, as the sale date for Pocahontas, priced at $26.99. But the animated story of the strong-willed Indian maiden will be no threat to The Lion King's video record of 27 million copies shipped to stores. The box-office total of Pocahontas was $140 million, less than half the colossal take of Lion, and it will probably prove a little less popular as a videotape.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 1999 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
A touching fact-based tale set in the 1950s tops this week's list of new movies on video. October Sky . 1/2 (1999) (Universal) 108 minutes. Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, William Lee Scott, Laura Dern. Four boys in a West Virginia mining town are inspired by the launching of Sputnik to create their own spaceship in a film that never seems cliched or predictable. This fact-based coming-of-age tale is simply a great moviegoing experience. PG (language, alcohol use). DVD available.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 1999 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
A peculiar porker and a romance with an online twist top this week's list. Babe: Pig in the City (1998) (Universal) $22.98. 96 minutes. James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Mickey Rooney, the voices of E.G. Daily, Danny Mann, Glenne Headly, Steven Wright. When the worst happens, Babe assumes the best, and his joyous spirit infuses this charming sequel to the 1995 hit about the swine who would be sheepdog. This time, Babe visits the big city, and his diplomacy makes a pussycat out of a pit bull and unifies disparate animal groups.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 1998 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses compiled by Christopher Cornell
Most of the video industry is steering clear of a giant iceberg of a video title this week, and very few other new titles are being released. What's the one pop culture phenomenon that dares to challenge Titanic? Of course: Barney. Titanic 1/2 (1997) (Paramount) $29.95. 194 minutes. Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bill Paxton, Gloria Stuart, Suzy Amis, Danny Nucci. The newest digital technology fused to an old-fashioned romance involving star-crossed lovers on the doomed liner.
NEWS
January 4, 2013 | BY KATE BRACAGLIA, For the Daily News
MUSICIAN MORGAN Taylor's act as Gustafer Yellowgold might be marketed toward children. But that doesn't mean adults don't enjoy his jaunty pop songs and companion animations. "I'm trying to entertain the parents most of all. My goal is not to exclude anyone from the joy," Taylor joked recently. He has penned dozens of songs about Gustafer, a small yellow alien from the sun, his pet eel, Slim, and their various friends. Songs explore Gustafer's hobbies (which include jumping on cake and punching cheese)
BUSINESS
December 15, 2012 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Coinstar Inc.'s Redbox is selling tickets to live events at hundreds of DVD-rental kiosks in the Philadelphia area and online. The ticket venture - Redbox's first in the nation - will be expanded to Los Angeles in January and then other markets. People purchase tickets at the distinctive Redbox kiosks using a touchscreen. Because there is no printer, they e-mail tickets to accounts for printing or retrieve them at the event. The company has partnered with Comcast Spectacor's New Era Tickets to sell excess ticket inventory for some Philadelphia events, said Comcast Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Staff Writer
Philly soccer doc When Major League Soccer (MLS) was granting franchises around the country, it overlooked Philly. Local soccer fans were chagrined. But instead of cursing their luck, a small group of dedicated fans banded together to form a group, Sons of Ben, that lobbied hard to get MLS to reconsider our market. Eventually, they helped Philly get its own team, the Philadelphia Union. The work of those valiant few is immortalized in director Jeffrey Bell' s doc, Sons of Ben: The Movie , which will be available July 22 on DVD and all digital and VOD platforms.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
No matter how explosive, extreme, or radical, most political thrillers from Hollywood usually feature a straw man for a bad guy: The crazy CIA operative, the overambitious senator, the wacko general. Rarely, if ever, do they criticize the actual institutions that make up our society. They give a pass to political bodies such as the Senate, not to mention the justice system, military, and the corporations that seem to influence so much of our lives. That is, until USA Network premiered its cyber-thriller Mr. Robot last season.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Want to give the gift of film but are afraid that handing out DVDs to family members makes you look cheap? Don't worry: Most distributors offer box sets that come with a little extra - a toy, a figurine, or some little plastic tchotchke to make the giving seem bigger, better, cooler. Consider The Walking Dead Season 5 Limited Edition from Anchor Bay Entertainment. It comes, appropriately enough, with a zombie figurine. But this ain't just a little doll. It's a whole scene: The zombie in question is crawling across a rather sizable chunk of graveyard.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comic book adaptations seem to be getting darker, bleaker, and harder-edged by the year. Just look at the history of Batman, from the 1960s TV show to Christopher Nolan's extraordinary Dark Knight trilogy. A dark spirit also is at work in Fox's beautifully conceived Gotham , which will return Sept. 21 for its second season. Developed by Bruno Heller, whose credits include HBO's Rome and CBS' The Mentalist , Gotham isn't exactly a superhero story. Set during Bruce Wayne's childhood (played on the show by 14-year-old actor David Mazouz)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Disney animal fable shot through with a hearty dose of social realism and spiced with some serious R-rated violence, White God is a strange, wonderful, disturbing, heartwarming story about a teenage girl, her pet dog, and the intense love that binds them in the face of hardship, misfortune, and separation. Brilliantly shot and edited - the picture includes sequences from the dog's point of view - and featuring a remarkable cast of hundreds of dog extras, Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó's minor masterpiece is a postmodern Lassie with a heart of gold and the bite of a rabid wolf.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders, who established himself in the 1970s and 1980s with a series of classic dramas such as The American Friend , The State of Things , and Paris, Texas , also has become one of Europe's premiere documentary filmmakers, with fascinating, no-nonsense pictures that profile other artists, including fashion designers ( Notebook on Cities and Clothes ), musicians ( Buena Vista Social Club ), and other filmmakers ( Lightning Over Water , Tokyo-Ga )
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ronald Reagan was sometimes mocked by his detractors for his less-than-stellar career in Hollywood, where he never quite reached A-list status. Yet the actor, who would go on to occupy the White House for two terms, was nothing less than brilliant as the villainous mob boss Jack Browning in director Don Siegel's veritably vicious 1964 crime drama The Killers , a remake of Robert Siodmak's 1946 noir classic. Both films have been restored in pristine 4K and will be released July 7 in an affordable single-set release by the Criterion Collection.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Elmore Leonard, best known for his crime novels, turned to the infamous location of Harlan County, Ky., for inspiration to create a new character, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. He appears in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and the short story "Fire in the Hole. " The latter inspired Canadian writer-producer Graham Yost ( Boomtown ) to create Justified for FX. Over the course of six seasons, Timothy Olyphant ( A Perfect Getaway , The Crazies ) made the character his own, imbuing the lawman with a sharp, dry wit, an ironic self-consciousness and a low-burning but ever-present anger hidden just beneath a polite veneer.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Thunderbirds are go !" That line from the family TV series Thunderbirds had to be one of the most exciting refrains from my childhood. Produced between 1964 and 1966 by British TV genius Gerry Anderson and his wife, Sylvia Anderson, the sci-fi adventure show featured distinctive characters played by marionettes who interacted with the grooviest scale-model props - planes, trains, and automobiles - in a hybrid film technique the Andersons called...
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.
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