Sunday, November 18, 2012

Around the Blogosphere This Week

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

...It's that time of year again! The annual Starbucks Christmas compilation CD, this year titled UNDER THE MISTLETOE, is now available in stores. This year's edition has 18 tracks, with performers including Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Stevie Wonder, Diana Krall, Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Bing Crosby, and Ella Fitzgerald.

...Last spring I participated in the For the Love of Film Blogathon, which raised funds to score the early Hitchcock film THE WHITE SHADOW (1924) and offer it for free viewing via streaming. The three reels of this film which still exist are the earliest surviving Hitchcock movie. It can now be watched online at the National Film Preservation Foundation website. There's more info on this from the Self-Styled Siren -- who also posts a list of her dozen favorite Hitchcock movies -- and from Susan King at the Los Angeles Times.

...A few years ago I was surprised to learn that cable TV business anchor Melissa Francis, currently on Fox Business Channel, was Missy Francis, the cute child actress from late in the run of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. She's just published DIARY OF A STAGE MOTHER'S DAUGHTER: A MEMOIR. Sounds as though she had a rough childhood in some ways, but she overcame it, went to Harvard, and found a new career. Thanks to Kristina for making me aware of the book.

...Earlier this year I loved ROAD HOUSE (1948), a noir with Richard Widmark, Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde, and Celeste Holm. Great actors and wonderful atmosphere! It's the latest film reviewed by Colin at Riding the High Country.

...Thanks to my friend Constance for passing on the link to an article titled "Dial L For Literature: The History of Hitchcock in 9 Book-Based Movies." Those who enjoy reading the original novels which inspire movies will want to take note of titles and authors!

...Last year I posted links to photos of the former Robert Taylor ranch in Brentwood. Toby kindly sent me the link to a batch of fresh photos, and last week's Los Angeles Times published a story on the ranch, with the info it will be auctioned on November 30th.

...This week at Out of the Past, Raquelle had an excellent interview with Margaret Talbot, daughter of actor Lyle Talbot and author of the new book THE ENTERTAINER: MOVIES, MAGIC AND MY FATHER'S TWENTIETH CENTURY. Links to several reviews of the book are near the bottom of last week's link roundup.

...Greenbriar Picture Shows features a nice essay by John on the magic of in film, not digital. That said, be sure to also read John's thoughts of a couple months ago on the digital revolution.

...The Criterion Collection will be releasing ON THE WATERFRONT on February 19, 2013. Potential buyers should be aware that many of the extras, including the commentary by Richard Schickel and Jeff Young, were part of the 2001 Special Edition; there's more info on the Special Edition in my 2007 review.

...A MACGYVER movie? Doesn't anyone have any new ideas?

...The Warner Archive now has its own dedicated website separate from the WBShop, though you can also still access the Archive via that address. Warner Archive also announced it's releasing its first two Blu-ray titles this month, with one or two Blu-ray titles per month to follow beginning next February. Unlike the "manufactured on demand" concept for regular Archive DVD releases, the Blu-rays will be produced in "limited quantities." In other words, those interested in a certain title on Blu-ray should purchase immediately, as it could become unavailable within a short time frame.

...Kristen reviews Disney's MAKE MINE MUSIC (1946) at Journeys in Classic Film. I've been enjoying Kristen's Disney reviews; she also recently took a look at THE THREE CABALLEROS (1944).

...Notable Passing: Boot Hill posted that actress-dancer Olympe Bradna has passed on at the age of 92. Her short filmography includes SOULS AT SEA (1937) and HIGHWAY WEST (1941).

...A passing of another kind: Farewell to Hostess. When the news came out Friday that the company was shutting down, I went over to Target and scored a box of cupcakes for my husband and a couple bags of powdered sugar Donettes for our Sunday breakfast, as well as a loaf of wheat Home Pride bread for this week's Thanksgiving stuffing. (Another loaf is now in the freezer for Christmas!) Hopefully another company will purchase some of the most popular brands, as was the case when Kellogg's purchased the logo and recipes from bankrupt Mother's Cookies a few years ago.

...Feel-good story of the week: Check out the "before and after" photos of Cheeto, a starving kitten rescued by an indie filmmaker on location in Virginia. The cat's transformation from a scrawny, sickly little thing into an alert, happy furball is heartwarming. (Via Susan King on Twitter.)

Have a great week!


Blogger Kathy said...

You forgot the Twinkies!!!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Kathy, LOL!

You know what's funny, is no one in our family eats the famous Twinkies! The kids do like Ding Dongs, but they were already gone...

Best wishes,

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ding Dongs and King Dons are the way to go. Do y'all have Little Debbie out West?

3:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This is funny, but I've heard of Little Debbie but don't know if that brand is sold in CA -- have never bought any, in any event! Maybe someone else can chime in with that info. :)

Best wishes,

3:55 PM  
Blogger SimpleGifts said...

Oh, Olympe Bradna was wonderful in SOULS AT SEA. As the doomed lovers, she brought out an unexpectedly sensitive, moving performance by George Raft. How lovely to read about her long, fulfilled life and 70 years of marriage. Thank you for sharing. - Jane

10:29 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jane! I loved reading Olympe Bradna's personal story as well. Very heartwarming!

I have a copy of SOULS AT SEA I'm looking forward to checking out -- thanks for your feedback on that movie!

Best wishes -- and happy Thanksgiving,

9:38 AM  
Blogger Vienna said...

Look forward to your Around the Blogosphere . Lots to read.Thanks

10:09 AM  

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