...Fox Movie Channel plans to rebrand itself on January 1, 2012, changing its name to FXM.
The channel will continue to show commercial-free classic films in the morning hours. The contemporary films which are shown in the afternoon and evening hours will now have "limited commercial interruptions." Hopefully that doesn't forecast bad news down the road for the classic film block.
...The new George Clooney film THE DESCENDANTS (2011) is getting very fine reviews. Leonard Maltin wrote it's the kind of film which "renews my faith in American movies," while Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times says the film is "winning and warm-hearted" and Clooney is "is hands-down terrific... one of the last true Hollywood stars."
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said THE DESCENDANTS received the only four-star review he's given this year. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle, while not particularly impressed by the film itself, says the film contains "one of the signature George Clooney performances...a movie that shows who Clooney is, what he can do, and what he means onscreen."
...Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been awarded the National League Cy Young Award. Fantastic news. Kershaw had 21 wins, 248 strikeouts, and a 2.28 ERA.
This is the 10th Cy Young Award won by a Dodger, including three times for Sandy Koufax.
...It's that time of year! The annual Starbucks Christmas compilation CD is out this week.
This year's edition is titled LET IT SNOW. It features an eclectic selection of tracks with Elvis Presley, Julie London, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Bing Crosby, and more.
I find that these CDs are usually well-selected and enjoyable, and they've also introduced me to some new Christmas music.
...I've enjoyed what I've heard so far of the new Michael Buble album, CHRISTMAS. Fans of Bing Crosby will recognize some of the arrangements.
...Both seasons of the POLDARK series, which have previously had individual releases, will now be released in the United States as a combined set, POLDARK: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION. It becomes available January 31, 2012.
Fans of star Robin Ellis can visit his blog and follow him on Twitter at RobinPoldark.
If you would have told me when I was a POLDARK-obsessed teen that one day Robin Ellis would Tweet me, I'd have been both completely baffled and very happy. The internet continues to make this a much smaller world than it used to be!
A MAVERICK LIFE: THE JACK KELLY STORY, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, is now available for pre-order from Bear Manor Media. It's expected to be published by month's end.
I'll have more information on this book as it becomes available! I'll be getting it as soon as it comes out. The underappreciated Kelly has been a favorite of mine since I first saw MAVERICK, which of course also starred the better-known James Garner.
...The December Now Playing informational video is now available online at the Turner Classic Movies site. Next month I'm looking forward to the new TCM special, A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: MERRY CHRISTMAS!
...For more news hot off the presses, please visit my recent posts In Disney News... and Warner Archive News.