Category Archives: Film & TV

Hey Peanuts Fans! Check Out The Charles M Schulz Museum and Research Center

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*I’d been in Santa Rosa the night before for Johnny Mathis’ show, and couldn’t resist checking out the Charles M Schulz Museum & Research Center before heading home. Fans of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, or any of the Peanuts gang will love the center, while learning something they didn’t know about the revered comic strip.

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“It Was A Dark And Stormy Night” is the name of the Center’s newest exhibit, outlining the history behind Snoopy’s hysterical writing career.  Other attractions included Snoopy’s presentation of famous United States presidential pets — did you know that long before we met the Obama’s dogs, a pet alligator lived in the White House?? — and an exhibit that details the Peanuts gang’s devotion to health and fitness (Peppermint Patty was ahead of her time in trying to eat a healthy lunch). Continue reading

The Lego Batman Movie Cracked Me Up, Delivers Laughs For Kids Of All Ages

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*I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can take another Trump announcement, pronouncement, or tweet!  Yesterday, I needed a break from the dismal news cycle, so I snuck into a showing of the hysterical new The Lego Batman Movie. Even a die-hard Superman fan like me loved it.

Maybe that’s because the Man of Steel himself has a role in the movie, and provides a fairly significant plot point to the action-packed romp, during which Batman struggles with…

…wait a minute. Am I ACTUALLY writing a review about a film that’s based on Lego building blocks??

Yes, I am. I was drawn into the story from the first few frames.  I howled with laughter during the flick, which has lots of action and humor that will appeal to the little ones, along with many jokes that will go right over their heads while leaving you in stitches.

Will Arnett, who provides the voice of the most vain Caped Crusader we’ve ever seen on screen (“…I get up at 4:30am and pump iron until my pecs are just sick!”), may well be my favorite cinematic Batman. Continue reading

El Capitan in Hollywood Presents ‘Festival of Fairytales’ Series

Festival of Fairytales

*HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (February 14, 2017) – In anticipation of the upcoming release of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the latest live-action adaption of a classic animated film, the legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a series of films, FESTIVAL OF FAIRY TALES: Disney’s Live Action Adventures, from March 3 – 12, 2017.

The Festival of Fairytales will kick off with Disney’s “Maleficent” (2014) directed by Robert Stromberg, March 3-4, followed by Disney’s “The Jungle Book” (2016) directed by Jon Favreau, March 5-6;  “Pete’s Dragon” (2016) directed by David Lowery, March 7-8,  “Cinderella” (2015) directed by Kenneth Branagh, March 9-10, and concluding with “Alice in Wonderland”(2010) directed by Tim Burton, March 11-12.

A re-imagining of Disney's cherished film, PETE'S DRAGON is the story of a boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon. Photo Credit: © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
A re-imagining of Disney’s cherished film, PETE’S DRAGON is the story of a boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon. Photo Credit: © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Recently Disney has taken some of its most beloved stories and made them into new films for new audiences – of which “Beauty and the Beast” opening March 17 here at The El Capitan Theatre is the latest,” said Ed Collins, General Manager of The El Capitan Theatre.  “Many of these new films which have been very popular with audiences and critics alike have become classics in their own right.  They have given a whole new generation a way to have a unique experience with these characters. We know that our El Capitan Guests will welcome a chance to see these films again on the big screen as they were meant to be seen and we are thrilled to present them now.”

The El Capitan Theatre is offering a special FESTIVAL OF FAIRYTALES Package; for $50 per person, guests receive a Reserved Ticket, small box of popcorn & 12 oz. fountain drink to each of the five films, tickets for this package must be reserved in advance by calling 818-845-3110.  Guests will choose show date & seats for all five films at the time of purchase.  A $20 VIP preferred ticket is also available for each film individually, which includes a VIP Preferred Seat, popcorn in a souvenir tub and 20 oz. drink. Continue reading

‘Walking While Black, L.O.V.E. is the Answer’ — The Must-See Doc for Anyone Truly Willing to Affect Change (Watch)

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*Don’t get it twisted. “L.O.V.E.” aside, this documentary will be hard to take… at least within the first five minutes. It doesn’t necessarily get any easier throughout, but it does shift consciousness along the way, and asks that you do the same.

You may think twice about going to see, ‘Walking While Black, L.O.V.E. is the Answer.’ At least those of you who may find it hard to wrap your brain around anything that immediately brings to mind (and dare I say unites) the words cops and love in the same sentence.

But let me put your mind at ease.

In this sense, LOVE is an acronym for LEARN (about your community and the people in it), Open (your heart to the humanity within), Volunteer (your service and skillset where you live), and Empower (others to do the same).

Created by producer/director AJ Ali and Academy-award-winning cinematographer Errol Webber as director of photography, ‘Walking While Black, L.O.V.E. is the Answer’ features interviews with police officers, faith leaders, educators, activists and more. There is nothing ordinary about this film. It’s a documentary that doesn’t ask that you go to your nearest movie theater and check it out, then file it under the “Oh yeah, I saw that film” category as you move on with your life. It’s a film with a goal in mind. A film with expectations. A film that begs you to stay present (as in aware), as you move forward.

It may cause you to think of something Barack Obama said in his Final Speech as president.

“If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing.  If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.  Show up.  Dive in.  Persevere.”

You want to see things change as it relates to walking while Black?

This film will test just how bad you want that to happen. Continue reading

It’s Black History Month, What’s Happening? We Got You Covered! (Watch)

Black History Month Events

*Black folk get ONE MONTH, the shortest of the twelve (But hey, we’ll take it!) to commemorate the impact our race and culture have had on the world. Our people have done a LOT to develop the many treasures that make this country what it is today. A country that everyone in the world is trying to get to and build a life for themselves and their families.

And now, thanks to the site Discover Los Angeles, we don’t have to wonder about all the events set up to help us and anyone else celebrate and learn more about Black History.

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their important role in U.S. history. The event was originally the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

Here are some of the exciting events (and cultural institutions) participating in Black History Month events in the Los Angeles area.

Battleship Iowa (February 2017)

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“Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Black History Month” | Photo courtesy of Battleship IOWA

Located at the L.A. Waterfront in San Pedro, Battleship IOWA is presenting events and tributes throughout February to honor Black History month. There is no better place in Los Angeles to celebrate and commemorate the impact African Americans have had in the United States Navy and to this country than on the “Battleship of Presidents,” the same ship where Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, the first African American to command a Navy warship, served during his illustrious Naval career.

The Battleship IOWA Museum is featuring Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Black History Month, a temporary display that will be part of the ship’s tour through Feb. 28. Guests will learn about the achievements that many African Americans made in the United States Navy and service for this country. The exhibit focuses on five pioneering black servicemen: Robert Penn, a Medal of Honor recipient; Alex Haley, the first chief journalist for the Coast Guard; John Henry “Dick” Turpin, one of the first African American Chief Petty Officers in the United States Navy; Doris “Dorie” Miller, the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross; and Samuel L. Gravely. Continue reading

Al Pacino and Judith Light Star in ‘God Looked Away’ at Pasadena Playhouse

 

Al Pacino and Judith Light star in 'God Looked Away' at Pasadena Playhouse
Al Pacino and Judith Light star in ‘God Looked Away’ at Pasadena Playhouse

PASADENA, CA (February 2017) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Danny Feldman, Producing Artistic Director) is pleased to announce a new partnership with TodayTix, the theater ticket app, to launch a mobile Rush program for Dotson Rader’s GOD LOOKED AWAY, directed by Robert Allan Ackerman, and starring Al Pacino and Judith Light.

Now, ticket-buyers will be able to purchase Rush tickets on their mobile devices for The Pasadena Playhouse’s inaugural PlayWorks development production on the day of the performance using the TodayTix app. Each day beginning at 9:00 AM, a limited amount of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rush tickets will be sold exclusively by TodayTix for $25. To gain access to the Rush tickets, ticket-buyers must download the TodayTix app and unlock the functionality by sharing on their Facebook or Twitter pages. Tickets will be available for pick up at Will Call at The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office one hour prior to the performance. Mobile Rush concludes when inventory has sold out or two hours before the performance.

“This partnership is an exciting, future-focused, and convenient way to provide Rush tickets to GOD LOOKED AWAY,” said Danny Feldman, Producing Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse. “As the State Theater of California, accessibility, inclusion, and innovation are very important to us, and the TodayTix Rush program allows us to bring these things together for the benefit of the community.”

God-Looked-Away

Continue reading

Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Comes to Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre! (Photos)

Courtesy: © Disney
Photo courtesy: © Disney

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (February 2017) – Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a special engagement of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST March 17 –  April 30, 2017, in Dolby Vision™ Laser Projection and Dolby Atmos® Sound Technology.  Plus, an additional show on Thursday, March 16 at 9:30pm!

Exclusively at The El Capitan Theatre, the theatre will come alive under the magical spell of an immersive light and projection show before the movie featuring a dazzling SWAROVSKI crystal curtain, bringing the tale as old as time to life in a new and spectacular way. Continue reading

1950s TV Western Features Con Man Named Trump Who Wanted To Build A Wall

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*They say life imitates art.  Sometimes, it’s the other way around.

A western drama TV series called “Trackdown,” ran from 1957 to 1959.  One of the series’ episodes, entitled “End of the World,” featured a con man named Walter Trump who told everyone that he could prevent the world from ending by…

wait for it…

building a wall.

For real.  

While OUR Trump wants to keep all of the raping, murdering Mexicans out of the country, the fictional Walter Trump’s wall was envisioned as the ultimate protector from a “cosmic explosion.”

Hilariously, the similarities don’t end there.   OUR Trump and THAT Trump had similar speaking patterns.  Check out this snippet of dialogue from the 1958 episode, and see if you agree: Continue reading