Saturday, December 12, 2009

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...

...Coming in March: the updated second edition of Leonard Maltin's indispensable CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE, last published in March 2005. The guide covers films from the silent era through 1965; the previous edition cut off at 1960. Many of these films are no longer listed in Maltin's annual MOVIE GUIDE. Click the title of this post for an Amazon link. (January 2010 Update: The Amazon page for this book now says it will be published January 27, 2010.)

...At The Shelf J.C. Loophole counts down his all-time favorite Christmas music performances. It's a great list! Ivan and Retro Hound posted lists as well. I hope to answer J.C.'s tag later in the month, as time permits. P.S. I commented to J.C. in an email that I think Kristin Chenoweth is the first person in my extensive Christmas music collection to sing "Christmas Island" since the Andrews Sisters...if anyone knows of other versions, feel free to post in the comments!

...Over at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, Ivan previews TCM's March schedule, when Ginger Rogers will be celebrated as Star of the Month. On March 15th George Brent's birthday is honored with a 10-film tribute; sometimes I think I'm one of the only people in the classic film blogging world who enjoys Mr. Brent (grin).

...On March 5th Turner Classic Movies has a dandy evening planned of airplane disaster movies, including ZERO HOUR! (1957) and THE CROWDED SKY (1960); I've got a Warner Archive copy of the latter film in my "to be watched" stack. TCM blogger MorlockJeff previews Gary Merrill's CRASH LANDING (1958). (One question: does the dog live?)

...Christmas movie recommendation: This week I watched THE FAMILY STONE (2005) for the third time. I have a bit of a love-hate thing for this movie, as the characters start out incredibly self-centered and unkind, yet the film has some of the Greatest Set Design Ever, and despite the unappealing characters the film manages to convey great Christmas Mood. Everything I wrote in my review nearly four years ago still holds true for me. Worth seeing, with the noted caveats. It's on DVD with nice extras, including two separate commentary tracks.

...TV Shows on DVD has the great news that at long last Season 6 of EMERGENCY! will come to DVD in 2010.

...Don't miss Moira's tribute to the lovely Marsha Hunt at Skeins of Thought.

...Sad news, the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum, which relocated a few years ago from Victorville, California, to Branson, Missouri, closed today. The contents will be auctioned.

...Ever the narcissist, President Obama brags (complains?) that at Christmas "Here's the general rule: I give nicer stuff than I get." The narcissism was again on display this week when the President rudely refused to dine with King Harald of Norway, which did not endear the President to insulted Norwegians.

...John Nolte has added the deserving HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949) to his list of 25 Greatest Christmas Films.

...Last week I mentioned that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury open on Broadway tomorrow in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. The revival will have a cast album. In the meantime, you can hear a bit of Zeta-Jones' rendition of "Send in the Clowns" via YouTube.

...A postscript: The film version of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (1977) is one of the only movies which I can recall leaving the theater midway through the movie. MAME (1974) is another...Robert Preston's exit was too much for me to take as a child; after that the movie went straight downhill. (I think there's an inadvertent pun in there, for those who have seen the movie.)

...Web entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart has announced that January will see the debut of his Big Journalism website. Big Journalism joins Big Hollywood and Big Government, with more "Big" sites to come.

....Say it ain't so: ABC aired an edited version of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS? I'm glad I have the DVD.

...Foodie News: Publishers Weekly summarizes various lists of Best Cookbooks of the Year, and renowned chef Thomas Keller pays a house call to Orange County Register food writer Cathy Thomas.

...Sending some prayers this weekend for little Josie Duggar, born very prematurely on Thursday evening. It's popular in some quarters to make fun of the Duggars' large brood, but once upon a time in our nation's history, large families were the norm -- some of my grandparents came from big families -- and from what we can see on the surface, at least, the Duggars strike me as good folks who are capable of financially and emotionally supporting their family. (I add the "surface" caveat because as personalities from Jon and Kate to Tiger Woods have sadly shown us, what the public's allowed to see isn't always what's real.)

...Speaking of Tiger Woods, Lisa Schiffren posted a terrific essay at American Thinker about the press's culpability in selling Tiger Woods and Barack Obama to the public while deliberately leaving essential information out of the picture.

...Notable passing: Gene Barry, the star of BURKE'S LAW and BAT MASTERSON, has died at the age of 90.

Have a good weekend!


Blogger Tom said...

I'm sad to hear about the closing of the Roy Rogers museum. I would have liked to have gone to see it in Branson. Why couldn't they just take some digital photos of the collection and maybe some videos and put the museum up online?

11:17 PM  
Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

Ask the Queen and Prime Minister of Great Britain about our President's gift-giving abilities.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Two things: Lisa's essay at AT was indeed, terrific. She really hit the nail on the head.

Secondly, The Family Stone: I agree re the set, and the house was to die for, and the story fluffy but entertaining - however, as I recall there was several political slurs coming from the leftist group and it ticked me off. That the film makers felt the need to *teach* us was really annoying. And patronizing. But it seems typical.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Dana!

One of the funny things about THE FAMILY STONE, which I suspect is contrary to the filmmakers' desire, is that it's a terrible advertisement for liberalism -- those in the film who express those points of view do so in a very unkind, uncivil manner.

Thanks to all for your thoughts! :)

Best wishes,

10:53 AM  

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