September 12, 2016
The Lady Chablis, 59, the transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity for her role in the 1994 best-seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil , died Thursday in Savannah, Ga. Ms. Chablis' sister, Cynthia Ponder, confirmed the death. A close friend, Cale Hall, said Ms. Chablis died of pneumonia and had been in the hospital for a month. A modern, nonfiction take on Southern Gothic storytelling, author John Berendt's Midnight thrust Savannah into the pop-culture spotlight.
September 7, 2016 |
Kickboxer lives! A reboot of the classic 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme film, the film Kickboxer: Vengeance is hitting select theaters this weekend (and will be available on Video on Demand as well). The story, about a man avenging his brother's death, remains largely the same. However, although Van Damme has a small role in the reboot, the rest of the cast is decidedly different. Alain Moussi replaces Van Damme as Kurt Sloane. Van Damme portrays Master Durand, Dave Bautista plays the villainous Tong Po, the late Darren Shahlavi portrays Eric Sloane, Gina Carano plays Marcia, Georges St.-Pierre plays Kavi, Sara Malakul Lane portrays Liu and Matthew Ziff plays Bronco.
August 28, 2016
Veteran actor Marvin Kaplan, 89, perhaps best known for his recurring role on the long-running sitcom Alice , died Friday in Burbank, Calif., where he resided, said John Gallogly, executive director of Theatre West, with which Mr. Kaplan was associated. Besides his portrayal on Alice of Henry, a telephone linesman and frequent patron of Mel's Diner, Mr. Kaplan voiced the character Choo-Choo in the 1960s cartoon series Top Cat . More recently, he made several appearances on the Ted Danson comedy Becker . Other credits include the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World " and the 1965 Blake Edwards comedy The Great Race . The New York native also was a regular on the sitcom Meet Millie , which first aired on radio and was also seen on television from 1952 to 1955.
August 25, 2016 |
Comcast Corp.-owned NBCUniversal will fold DreamWorks Animation into its Universal films business but retain the DreamWorks campus and studios in Glendale, Calif., the companies said Tuesday. In April, Comcast agreed to buy the entertainment firm that produced Shrek , Kung Fu Panda , and other animated features for $3.8 billion. That deal closed Monday. Employee cutbacks at DreamWorks were not announced Tuesday, though they are expected among headquarters staffers. DreamWorks will now be a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, which owns feature-film brands including Universal Pictures and its movie studio, which had a blockbuster run in 2015 that it hasn't matched this year.
August 22, 2016 |
T o Catch a Thief is a great summer movie. It's not a bombastic, overproduced CGI smashfest (see: Marvel movies, even the good ones). It's not a self-serious action romp, with stomach-twisting camera work (see: the Bourne movies and all the third-rate thrillers that cribbed off that series). And it isn't a bland romantic comedy, with stiff jokes and downright cadaverous chemistry. And it's not that they don't make them like To Catch a Thief anymore; it's just that they don't have Alfred Hitchcock to bulk up slender little plots like this one. This movie is basically made up of Cary Grant romping around the French Riviera, being courted by women almost half his age - principally Grace Kelly.
August 22, 2016
BEGINNING WITH Blood Feast in 1963, Herschell Gordon Lewis took horror films to unprecedented lengths (or depths) of explicit blood and guts, defining what came to be known as the "splatter film. " He has influenced generations of independent filmmakers, chief among them superfan John Waters. On Sunday, local horror-film presenters Exhumed Films will do a marathon screening of five Lewis classics: Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs!, Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome, and The Wizard of Gore . As a special treat, the 87-year-old filmmaker will be in attendance to answer questions and lead a singalong of the theme to 2000 Maniacs!
August 11, 2016 |
For 45 years, Paul Sheriff didn't talk about his childhood. "Compartmentalizing things made it easier to move forward," said Sheriff, 60, a professor of graphic design at Temple University's Tyler School of Art. "I didn't want sympathy. I didn't want pity. I thought those were bad emotions, but I'm learning they're not. " Then, seven years ago, Sheriff had earned a sabbatical, a time of contemplation, and he decided he needed to face the disaster that changed the trajectory of his life at the young age of 10. In June 1966, Sheriff's parents and his 14-year-old sister were killed in a small-plane crash.
August 8, 2016 |
There is a certain awkwardness about Uber. With a taxi or a bus, there's a professional divide that allows passengers to disassociate and pretend the person at the wheel is apart from them. With Uber, the driver could just as easily be on the stool next to you at a bar as behind the wheel of the car. He could be sucked into your life, or you into his. Matthew Cherry's new movie 9 Rides , which plays Sunday at the final day of the BlackStar Film Festival, chronicles a night in the life of one Uber driver.
August 7, 2016 |
FILM DIRECTOR Tina Morton says 80-year-old Adeline Behlin remembers when her family fled South Carolina for Philadelphia. "Her grandfather had been beaten by a mob for trying to organize black people to vote," Morton said. "He had worked on the railroad and when they beat him, they left him on the railroad tracks. He felt the vibration of a train coming and had just enough strength to crawl off the tracks. A neighbor found him. And the family fled the next day. " Morton recounts Behlin's story in "When We Came Up Here," one of several short films about people finding new lives in Philadelphia that will be shown Saturday at International House in West Philadelphia as part of a project called the Great Migration: A City Transformed.
July 14, 2016 |
IT'S HARD NOT to think of Breaking Bad while watching The Infiltrator . And not just because Bryan Cranston stars in both - as Walter White, the chemistry teacher-turned-mad-meth-king in the groundbreaking series, of course, and as Robert Mazur, an undercover G-man who burrows deeply, dirtily, into the world of drug cartels and international money-laundering in Brad Furman's true-crime pic. Cranston was iconic, a walking tornado of moral crisis,...