Category Archives: Film & TV

Clinton Wins Monday’s Presidential Debate While Trump Earns a Timeout


*The biggest political nightmare of Hillary Clinton’s lifetime could have occurred last night.  During the first of three scheduled presidential debates, a different Donald Trump could have showed up:  measured, informed, poised, articulate, and ready for the Oval Office.


I joined an estimated 100 million people to view what is projected to have been the most watched presidential debate ever.  And its spectacle rivaled Ringling Bros.

Trump managed to hold it together for about 10 of the 90 minute, uninterrupted broadcast, although he gave viewers a hint of the misogyny he’d bring to the White House.  After referring to Hillary as “Secretary Clinton,” he condescendingly said “Is that OK?  I want you to be happy.  It’s very important to me.”

Trump started by trying to attract voters in states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania who are frustrated by the loss of manufacturing jobs.  He sounded almost semi-literate, but he quickly devolved into…Donald Trump. Continue reading

House Used as Harry Potter’s Home in Film Series up for Sale


*Attention Harry Potter fans!  You’ll want to move quickly if you want to own a piece of film history.  The house used as the exterior in the original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film is for sale!

The current asking price is a cool $616,000 — but that may change soon.

“The original plan was to take this property to market without using any reference to Harry Potter,” real estate agent Paul Bosanko said.  But since news of the property’s connection to the movie got out, interest has increased sharply, “and that may or may not influence the final price that we achieve at this property,” he said.

Translation:  the price is going up quick and in a hurry.  

The three-bedroom house is in Bracknell, a town about 30 miles west of London.  While the home was used in the original movie, a studio set based on the house was built for later installments of the eight-film series.

Real estate agency Chancellors says the house “has recently undergone complete renovation to an extremely high standard.”  But yes — as I know you’re wondering just as much as I am — THE HOUSE STILL HAS A CUPBOARD UNDER THE STAIRS! Continue reading

Isaac Hayes’ Son Tells THR Dad Didn’t Quit South Park, ‘Someone Quit It, For Him’ (Video)

Isaac Hayes III
Isaac Hayes III

*I miss Isaac Hayes, don’t you? Do you recall that his role as the Chef on the adult animated series, ‘South Park,’ was suddenly killed off? Now in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the late icon’s son opens up to share what really happened.

Rumors spread like wildfire saying that Hayes had quit the show in protest in 2006, after an episode showed Scientology, the religion to which he was devoted, in a disparaging light.

But now, after all these years, Isaac Hayes III tells THR that’s bull!

“Isaac Hayes did not quit South Park; someone quit South Park for him.”

Sidebar: I wonder what brought this on? Continue reading

Batman’s Bike Is For Sale


*I’ve always been on #TeamSuperman, but ever since Adam West jumped in the 1960s-era Batmobile and said “Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed!” followed by Burt Ward’s “Roger!  Ready to move out!” I’ve wanted one of Batman’s vehicles.

Hell, I won’t front:  I’d have jumped on Batgirl’s cycle if given half a chance.  

Now I can have one of those Bat-toys!  

The Batpod was the only thing left from the destroyed Batmobile in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and one of the bikes used in that flick and the follow-up The Dark Knight Rises is up for auction.  

The bike features fiberglass body panels, a custom-made chassis, 31-inch Hoosier tires, and a Honda 750 engine.  It also features a laser-targeting unit and (sadly) non-functioning cannons. Continue reading

‘Queen of Katwe’ Special Engagement & Audience Surprises at Hollywood’s El Capitan Starts September 23rd

Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair. Photo Credit:  © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair. Photo Courtesy © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (September 1, 2016) – Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a special engagement of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” September 23 – October 6, 2016.  Over opening weekend (September 23-25), 20 year old Grand Master Chess Player Daniel Naroditsky of San Mateo, CA, ranked #7 in the nation, will take on two audience members in simultaneous chess matches with El Capitan guests prior to each movie.

“The audience will be able to cheer on as they view the games projected onto the big screen.  Naroditsky will also share tips and tricks about chess. “’Queen of Katwe’ is based on the true story of a girl from Uganda whose world changes when she starts playing chess, and the El Capitan Theatre is the perfect place to experience this heartwarming new film from Disney,” said Ed Collins, General Manager of The El Capitan Theatre. “Before the movie Grand Master Chess Player Daniel Naroditsky will be prepared to take challenges from El Capitan guests on stage, and then, following the film, he will answer any  questions they may have in our lower lounge.”

Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” opens in U.S. Theatres, including the El Capitan Theatre, in limited release on September 23, expanding wide September 30, 2016.

Daily showtimes are 10 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale now, available at the El Capitan Theatre (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), online at or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6. Special group rates for parties of 20 or more are available by calling 1-818-845-3110. Showtimes and dates are subject to change.

The El Capitan Theatre will also host a very special Tiny Tot Tuesday every Tuesday at  10 a.m. during the run of “Queen of Katwe.”  During these special screenings, parents and small children may enjoy the movie in a tot-friendly way—with lights dimmed rather than out and reduced sound levels.

Continue reading

Actor Gene Wilder Remembered By Willy Wonka’s ‘Charlie’ (Video)


*Aww…I had to share this one. Especially for all of us who adored the classic film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and have, of course, learned of the death of its central character, owned by Gene Wilder (June 11, 1933-August 29, 2016).

All kinds of folks, celebrities and otherwise, continue to express their condolences and share experiences about the actor. But one in particular stands out.

Remember Charlie Buckett…the kid that found the ‘golden ticket’ and got to fly away in Willy Wonka’s golden glass elevator…while that beautiful music played… and Willy told Charlie that he was going to give him the Chocolate Factory…and he could bring his family to live there and he would be trusted to care for the Oompa Loompas?

TMI? OK sorry. I got carried away back there.

But him. The actor who portrayed the glorified role was Peter Ostrum. And you can bet the moment that word of Wilder’s passing got out, media outlets looked him up to hear his feelings about the legendary actor’s sudden death.

Ostrum, who reportedly loved playing the role of Charlie, left the movie business after the film wrapped and has made a career as a veterinarian. He spoke to Variety following the actor’s passing and likened it to “losing a parent.” Continue reading

A Winans Who Doesn’t Want To Sing??? Deborah Joy Shines On OWN’s Greenleaf

Photo courtesy of Derek Blanks
Photo courtesy of Derek Blanks

*Can you imagine a member of the Jackson family who didn’t want to sing? (Even LaToya tried.) How about a Bush or Clinton who didn’t want to be president? (Too soon?)

Deborah Joy Winans, one of gospel music’s Winans dynasty and one of the breakout stars of OWN’s Greenleaf, never wanted to sing. She spent decades eschewing it, in fact, in favor of acting.

I know — it’s hard to believe.  Heck, that family even had singing in-laws!  

As the superb series’ first season prepares to wrap up next week, and OWN releases an accompanying soundtrack album, I had to catch up with Winans and ask her about this “no singing” thing.

“My dad [Carvin Winans, one of the original Winans group] and mom never wanted to force us into the singing thing,” Winans, 32, told me. “They wanted us to find our own path. Singing was just never a passion. Since I was a little girl, I felt that acting was what I was called to do.”

Winans acted on that calling, ultimately earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in theater. As she performed in workshops playing CeCe Winans for the stage play Born For This, Winans caught the eye of a woman in the audience who would guide her towards God’s purpose for her life — and her own heart’s desire.

“I was at a point of asking God whether acting was what He really wanted me to do,” Winans recalled. “Oprah Winfrey came to one of my workshops, and a couple of months later she reached out to Uncle BeBe, who co-wrote Born For This. Oprah told him she was interested in me for the role of “Charity” on Greenleaf, and asked him to help her contact me.” Continue reading

TV Station Suspends Female Anchors, Orders Them To Lose Weight


*They say the camera adds 10 pounds, and that everyone looks a little…healthier on TV.  Egypt’s state broadcaster thinks it’s more than the camera for eight of its female anchors, and has suspended them and ordered them to lose weight!  

The Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) has given the women just one month to take off the pounds before allowing them to appear again on air with what they say will be “appropriate appearance.”

Interestingly, the ERTU has a female director, Safaa Hegazy, who used a be TV anchor!  


Lest you ask, yes, Hegazy is what many in the US would call a “skinny beeeatch.”   I think she looks like Sally Field, but anyway… Continue reading