December 18, 2014
THE FUN WE'RE all having reading the embarrassing emails of Hollywood big shots is tempered by the fact that we really shouldn't be seeing them at all. The hacked Sony emails arise (very probably) from an attack by a foreign government. It's (very probably) a form a terrorism, it's illegal and death threats have been made, and that's unacceptable. Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin said as much recently when he labeled as "morally treasonous" and "spectacularly dishonorable" anyone who publishes the emails.
August 14, 2014
HOLLYWOOD LOST one of its last links to cinema's Golden Age yesterday with the passing of Lauren Bacall, a name that might leave film-deprived millennials scratching their heads. She died of a stroke at her New York home at age 89, and when the news reached my house, a teenager who lives there said, "Who?" Well, young'uns, go on YouTube and search for Bacall in "To Have and Have Not," her debut role back in 1945. See if you can find a scene of the actress asking Humphrey Bogart if he knows how to whistle.
May 25, 2014 |
On May 6, 2010, a 15-year-old boy named Oriel died of diphtheria in Haiti. Normally, the world would not have noticed. But the boy was living in a refugee camp managed by the actor Sean Penn. With the listless teenager in his sinewy arms, Penn had spent hours, rushing from hospital to hospital in the capital of Port-au-Prince, searching for the antitoxin that would save Oriel's life. It was found too late. Shortly after the boy was taken off life support, Penn appeared on CNN, expressing outrage about the many factors that led to his death.
April 11, 2014 |
THERE WASN'T a monster Corey Feldman couldn't handle in the movies. Feldman, 42, starred in a string of blockbusters and cult classics in the 1980s that Generation Xers and their siblings probably played over and over on VHS tapes until they broke. Feldman slayed vampires in "The Lost Boys," traded wisecracks with Mama Fratelli and her sons in "The Goonies," battled gremlins in "Gremlins" and shed youthful innocence in "Stand by Me. " But monsters lurked in Feldman's offscreen life, too. Adults in the Hollywood system and his own family abused him mentally and sexually, he says, at a time when he was one of the world's biggest child stars.
March 4, 2014 |
NOT EVEN a mid-show pizza order can turn Hollywood's biggest night into a dorm party. Ellen DeGeneres, on her second go-around as host, steered the 86th Annual Academy Awards on a safe, only slightly wacky course last night, popping in and out of the audience, taking selfies with some of the world's biggest stars and, yes, ordering pizzas. Here's some of what we noticed: So that's what she was doing there: Doylestown's own Pink, whose place in the show had been left something of a mystery, sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in front of Judy Garland's kids - Liza Minnelli and Lorna and Joey Luft - to mark the 75th anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz. " Best sport: Minnelli, of whom DeGeneres quipped: "One of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have ever seen.
February 13, 2014 |
WHEN the world loses one of its most shining stars, a role model, trailblazer and icon, you can count on Hollywood to create some fairly terrible (and certainly grammar-free) Twitter posts about the person who's just passed. Celebrity social media didn't let us down when it came to commenting on the legacy left by Depression-era child actor-turned-international diplomat and overall do-good great-grandmother Shirley Temple Black , who died Monday night at age 85, at her home in San Francisco.
January 14, 2014 |
WATCHING THE Golden Globes to see who won is like reading Playboy for the articles. You can do it if you want, but you're probably missing the point. We watch, if we watch, for the party, for the spectacle of famous people, some of whom haven't eaten in a day or two, becoming gradually more inebriated and saying and doing unexpected things. Or for the moment when the wrong thing comes up on the teleprompter and presenters have to scramble. And, of course, last night for Amy Poehler and Upper Darby's Tina Fey, who hosted the show for the second year and acquitted themselves with loopy aplomb, like the cool designated drivers for all of Hollywood.
January 8, 2014 |
* INTELLIGENCE. 9 tonight, CBS3. Moves to 10 p.m. Mondays next week. JOHN DIXON'S probably had worse days. The West Chester writer's first novel, a young-adult thriller called Phoenix Island , is being published by Simon & Schuster today. Tonight, CBS launches "Intelligence," a drama inspired by the former middle-school teacher's book, which stars Josh Holloway ("Lost") as a federal agent with a chip in his brain that makes him, among other things, a walking, talking search engine.
December 9, 2013 |
You've heard of "high concept" movies. Now there's a new genre that could be called "high conception. " The latest example is Delivery Man, in which Vince Vaughn plays an "affable underachiever" who finds out he has fathered 533 children through anonymous sperm donations he made 20 years earlier. The flick is a remake of the 2011 French Canadian film Starbuck . It joins the seminal 2010 movie The Kids Are All Right , in which a lesbian couple's children bring their father into the family, and MTV's new reality series Generation Cryo . High-conception stories explore the evolving nature of families, the meaning of parenthood, and privacy in the Internet age. They also make you wince (as does Vince)
November 6, 2013 |
OBAMACARE is going Hollywood. Since the healthcare.gov website is turning users into the Incredible Hulk, the .gov is calling on TV creative folk to make a difference and persuade the uninsured to sign up. The California Endowment, a private foundation, recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure that TV writers and producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can be stitched into plot lines watched by millions. The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success.