Saturday, February 12, 2011

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...Last summer I posted about a very interesting upcoming book, MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot. It's due out this month, on February 15th. (Via Warner Archive Twitter.)

...Thanks to Missy for passing on Top 10 Must-Have Apps for the iPhone. Voice-activated Google is pretty nifty. I also got the QuickOffice Mobile Suite so that I can easily access Excel spreadsheets, such as a file I keep with price comparisons for DVDs I'd like to acquire.

...This upcoming book looks interesting: THE WILDER LIFE: MY ADVENTURES IN THE LOST WORLD OF LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. The book was written by Wendy McClure; it debuts April 14th. I like the cover; reading LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS for the first time as a new reader is one of my most vivid book-related memories.

...The venerable Films in Review has an online website. Wouldn't it be something if they'd put their articles dating back to the '50s online?

...Disney composer Richard Sherman recently reflected on his work on MARY POPPINS (1964). (Via ConMartin.)

...An interesting book noticed on the BearManor Media website: LITTLE GIRL IN BIG PICTURES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 1930S CHILD STAR MARILYN KNOWLDEN. I've always had a particular interest in child actors of the classic film era; Knowlden's credits included playing Jessie in IMITATION OF LIFE (1934), Young Cosette in LES MISERABLES (1935), and Kim as a child in SHOW BOAT (1936). Other well-known films in which she appeared include ANTHONY ADVERSE (1936), MARIE ANTOINETTE (1938), ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (1938), and ALL THIS, AND HEAVEN TOO (1940).

...Amazon is closing a distribution center in Texas due to an ongoing tax dispute. Governor Rick Perry says the state comptroller is in error and hopes to work with the legislature so that Amazon will stay, saying, "Texas doesn't need to make itself less competitive with its tax decisions."

...Here's a list suggesting the 100 Best British Films.

...New from America's Test Kitchen: SLOW COOKER REVOLUTION. It comes out on Tuesday.

...The Turner Classic Movies series MOGULS AND MOVIE STARS comes to DVD on April 26th.

...Last weekend I linked to stories about financial troubles for Borders. Looks like the company may file for bankruptcy next week.

...Glenn Erickson reviews the Warner Archive release of BACHELOR MOTHER (1939) at DVD Savant, calling it a "nearly perfect light comedy." He says it's a "good but not sensational transfer of this wonderful picture. The very popular movie was heavily printed and reissued after its initial release, leaving Warners with less than optimal elements."

...The L.A. Times recently published a lengthy interview with Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, now in its final season.

...Thanks to my friend Michele for telling me about Enchanted Serenity of Period Films. There's lots here to explore, including a section on DOWNTON ABBEY. (I watched Chapter 2 last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.) While perusing the site I realized that Hugh Bonneville looked familiar because he was in NOTTING HILL (1999). Another interesting site looks at DOWNTON ABBEY'S use of color.

...Speaking of period shows, the new version of UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, will return for a second season. I'll be curious to take a look at the first season when it's available here.

...I was delighted my recent review of WESTBOUND (1959) helped spur a discussion of the best Randolph Scott and Budd Boetticher films at 50 Westerns From the 50s.

...Happy Thoughts, Darling looks at Fred MacMurray in HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE (1935) and paired with Claudette Colbert. (My reviews of the films discussed are here, here, and here.)

...Notable passings: Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Chuck Tanner has died at the age of 82. I have fond memories of watching his "We Are Family" Pirates winning the 1979 World Series...Rene Verdon, who was 86, was White House chef in the Kennedy Administration...I was very sad today to read of the passing of Joshua Goldberg, editor-in-chief of one of my favorite political websites, Joshua's younger brother is Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online. Joshua died following an accident at the age of 43.

...Finally, a reminder that the For the Love of Film Noir Blogathon begins on Valentine's Day.

Have a great weekend!


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