Category Archives: Film & TV

‘Adam Newman’ We’re Sorry, But You Can’t Leave Y&R!

Justin "Adam Newman" Hartley
Justin “Adam Newman” Hartley

*Look, I had no intention of going there today! After all, I’m sure many of you are thinking there are more important things happening in the world. We have ongoing news about the dangers of voting that man into office (he must not win!!!), this is the final day of the Olympics in Rio (and the U. S. is looking to bring home even more gold. Yippee!!); and the talk of threats about losing Obamacare and any number of other important events deserve our attention.

But sh*t, you’ll have to trust me on this one: those issues will still be there tomorrow. TODAY, there are dozens of Young & The Restless fans on the Electronic Urban Report (EURThisNthat) who watch Y&R, and have watched the show for decades, like me, and this is important to us!!! Race be damned! Have you heard the rumor going around that we are about to lose yet ANOTHER Adam Newman (Justin Hartley) …i.e. badass…i.e. wayward son of the most powerful man in the soap world, Victor Newman (played immeasurably well by Eric we-use- to- have-the-same-agent Braeden)?

Eric-Braden
Eric Braeden is Victor Newman

Nuh-Uh. THIS CAN’T HAPPEN!!!

But as the source says, “All signs point to yes!” Now look, if you are a serious Y&R fan you know that the Adam Newman role is not for the weak. Because he is such a prominent figure on the show; one with any number of complex, ongoing issues (I won’t name them here, you know what this man has been through!), not just any actor can fill his shoes. It is not an easily replaceable character. Continue reading

Accio! New Harry Potter-ish Butterbeer M & Ms Coming Soon

57b35548170000ae02c73888

*In a world where racist megalomaniacs can have a legitimate shot at the Oval Office, and where Olympic medalists vandalize gas stations and fabricate muggings to cover it up, I take pleasure in pausing every weekend to nurture and celebrate the kid in me — that part of me that’s optimistic, joyful, and appreciative of the little things.

This weekend, the “little things” are very little — but I’m told they’re pretty darn delicious! 

First, let me get the uninitiated up to speed:

Every fall, a “limited edition” flavor of M & Ms comes out, just in time for the holidays. They are only offered at M & M retail stores and Target.

Can we put our hands up for Target? I am here to tell you that past seasons’ Cordial Cherry, Pumpkin Spice, and Candy Apple M & Ms brought me closer to God.

I’m not a huge M & M fan…except for the Peanut Butter ones. I avoid them as much as I can since I’m also trying to avoid the cardiologist.

Oh, yeah…and the dark chocolate ones. I refer to them as the Michael P Coleman variety: a hard outer shell protecting an endless well of deep, dark, decadent chocolate.

And then there are the peanut ones that I sometimes add to my salad,  just to provide a little protein.  Gee, maybe I AM a huge M & M fan… Continue reading

Olympians Have To Pay Federal Taxes On Their Medals

Olympian Simone Biles, earning her 4th gold medal this week in Rio.
Olympian Simone Biles, earning her 4th gold medal this week in Rio.

*Simone Biles is bringing home mucho oro from the Olympics in Rio…

(that’s “a lot of gold”…thank you, Rosetta Stone!)

…but Uncle Sam will be expecting his cut after she gets back.

I guess I should have known. Lottery winners often pay hefty taxes on cash prizes. But I guess I figured that after athletes like Biles gave their blood, sweat and tears to beat out every other athlete in the world in their sport of choice, the US government could give them a break on the tax bill.

Nope.

It seems that in addition to the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded to Olympians, cash awards are also dispensed. Big ones: $25,000 for gold medals, $15,000 for silvers, and $10,000 for bronze ones.

With maximum taxes that look like this…

Continue reading

Review: With Star Trek Beyond, the Enterprise is in Good Hands

star-trek-3-beyond-trailer-star-wars

*Thanks to Twitter teaching me about the beauty in brevity, I can sum up my feelings for the rousing new Star Trek Beyond with a simple sentence:

The Enterprise is in good hands.

Maybe not GREAT hands, as I think the movie may have been a little more coherent if director J.J.Abrams had stayed at the helm. But with his promotion — or demotion, depending on which team you’re on — to the Star Wars franchise, Justin Lin’s taken over and delivered a very, very good movie — not quite as good as the 2009 reboot, but better, actually, than Abrams’ 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.

I pride myself on writing reviews that don’t give away plot points, but let me say keep your eye on EVERYONE in this film. Several characters aren’t quite what they appear. Continue reading

‘Suicide Squad’ Audience Member Threatens to Sue Because…(You’ll wanna hear this!)

Jared Leto plays "The Joker" in the film. But one fan feels he should have had more screen time.
Jared Leto plays “The Joker” in the film. But one fan feels he should have had more screen time.

*WTF? How’s this for a head-scratcher?

WHAT, I ask you, has this world come to? Why do people feel they can just SUE on ANY grounds, by ANY means necessary…or in this case, UNnecessary? I am seriously starting to believe that people no longer want to earn their money, they just sit around thinking up ways to sue someone for it: “Hmmm…she rolled her eyes at me. I think I’ll sue!” Sounds like one audience member who saw the film, ‘Suicide Squad’ when it opened, last weekend, fits the bill. Because he feels his favorite actor didn’t get enough screen time, he is threatening to sue…somebody.

And get this, he’s related to a lawyer. I don’t want to assume that relation is egging him on.

I saw the film, and though there were a few minor scenes that I felt were slow, I’ll be damned if I am going to sue the director, or the film’s editors because of it.

But that’s just me.

Suicide Squad, a Will Smith starrer, broke records for an August release,  and this dude thinks it may be due to “false advertising” which he feels was evident in the film’s trailer, where Leto was prominently displayed. Yet NOT in the film itself.

And that’s why he is suing both Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Continue reading

Sesame Street Legends May Not Be Leaving The Show After All (And There’s More…)

Sesame_Street_sign.svg

Publish AFTER 2 p.m. Friday *Sometimes, I’m reminded that a voice — or chorus of voices — can make a difference.  And it’s times like that — like today — that I love my job.

Last week, I reported on the firing of three veteran Sesame Street cast members:  Roscoe Orman, who had played “Gordon” since 1974, along with actors who played “Bob” and “Luis”.  Bob had been on the show since its premiere in 1969.

Roscoe Orman, 72, who'd played "Gordon" on Sesame Street since 1974.
Roscoe Orman, 72, who’d played “Gordon” on Sesame Street since 1974.

The show’s producers said the terminations were part of an ongoing retooling of the show and its curriculum.  I (and dozens of other journalists) thought otherwise, particularly as everyone fired from the show was over 70.

A couple of days ago, I heard from Orman.  It seems that, in the wake of the extremely critical media coverage about the firings, the producers of Sesame Street are rethinking their decision and extending an olive branch to the legendary actors. Continue reading

Harry Potter Mania Is Back — New Book Draws Crowds, Breaks Records (Photos!)

911Xmhn9+rL

*Some of my fondest memories of my eldest daughter growing up are the times we shared with Harry Potter. And it wasn’t just Harry: Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Draco, Snape, and of course Volde…oops…HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED were all a part of a wonderful shared reading experience between the two of us.

I remember rushing to get caught up on the first couple of novels early one summer, as Janet anxiously awaited the publication of the new one, The Goblet of Fire I believe. Yes, we enjoyed the movies, too, but it was really all about the books for the two of us.

And it wasn’t just us. JK Rowling’s wizard world created a publishing phenomenon that we hadn’t seen in generations. Pre-orders for the novels broke records worldwide. I remember waiting for a plane at the airport one day immediately after one of the book’s release. Almost everyone at my gate was reading a copy of the almost 900 page hardback.

Back in the day, people lined up by the thousands at bookstores to count down to a midnight release of each novel. Many of those fans dressed up as their favorite characters for the events, and I will admit to attending one or two of them myself. (No, I didn’t dress up…but I wanted to.)

My daughter’s all grown up now (sniff), but I felt a tinge of excitement last spring when I read that an eighth tale in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was on the way. I wondered whether the fervor would continue, almost 10 years after the publication of the last novel. Also, this 8th installment was to be a “script book”, not a traditional novel, and it wouldn’t be written by Rowling. I wondered whether kids (of all ages) would still have a hunger for Harry.

I hadn’t pre-ordered a copy, but as last Saturday’s sun set, I couldn’t resist heading over to my local Barnes & Noble. Simply put, the store was a glorious, packed to the gills madhouse. I’d say Harry’s back, but I’m not sure he ever left. Continue reading

Evidently, the People In Your (Sesame Street) Neighborhood Were Too Old

150702135707-10-sesame-roscoe-orman-super-169

*Sesame Street is being brought to you today by the number 3 and the letters F, I, R, E, and D.

Three longtime, beloved human characters — including Gordon! –were released today from the longstanding children’s program.  

The actor who played Gordon since 1974 is 72 years old.  Others released include Emilio Delgado, 76, who played Luis, and Bob McGrath, 84, who had played Bob since the show premiered in 1969.

I was a part of Sesame Street’s original “class” in ’69, and my kids loved the second Gordon.  I reached out to Orman by phone for a comment.  His rep said he had none.

We all know how to read between the lines of “No comment.”

McGrath confirmed the cast members’ release earlier this week. “I have completed my 45th season this year,” he said. “And the show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has gotten involved also. And they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka — who is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us — and Chris Knowings, who is also young.” Continue reading