Monthly Archives: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Save The Date: Bruce Vilanch To Host Comedy Special On Showtime June 2

The Wrap April 30, 2010, 5:00PM PDT By: Lisa Horowitz Showtime Sets Summer Premiere Dates Augmenting its previously announced summer premieres, Showtime has set debut dates for several more series. Premiering Thursday, June 10, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, the half-hour “The Green Room With Paul Provenza” puts the comedian-actor together with his fellow comedians in a round-table setting before a studio audience. Panelists include Roseanne Barr, Sandra Bernhard, Eddie Izzard, Paul Mooney, Bob Saget and Jonathan Winters. Starting Sunday, June 20, at 10 p.m. is “The Real L Word” (left), a reality show “inspired” by Showtime’s long-running “The L Word.” It follows a group of lesbians at work and play in Los Angeles. Dark comedy “The Big C,” starring Laura Linney, debuts Monday, Aug. 16, at 10:30 p.m. Linney plays a reserved, suburban wife, mother and teacher whose terminal cancer diagnosis forces her to shake up her life and find the light side of a dark situation. Oliver Platt plays her husband, and Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe has a recurring role as her precocious student. As for season finales, “Nurse Jackie” will wrap its second season on June 7 at 10 p.m., followed at 10:30 p.m. by the second-season finale of “United States of Tara.” Returning shows include “Penn & Teller: Bulls–t!,” whose eighth season starts Thursday, June 10, at 10 p.m. “Weeds” kicks off its sixth season on Monday, Aug. 16, at 10 p.m. Showtime also plans several comedy specials. On Wednesday, June 2, at 9 p.m. is “Pride: Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam,” hosted by Bruce Vilanch and featuring Alec Mapa, Sandra Valls, Poppy Champlin and Scott Kennedy. “Hal Sparks: Charmageddon” debuts Friday, June 4, at 10 p.m., featuring the actor and former “Talk Soup” host. “I Am Comic,” debuting Friday, June 11, at 11 p.m., is a documentary exploring the world of working comedians through the eyes of retired comedian Ritch Shydner. Interviewees include Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, Lewis Black, Tim Allen, Jeff Foxworthy, Janeane Garofalo, Kathy Griffin and Carlos Mencia. In July, former Vibe host Chris Spencer presents four ethnically diverse rising stars in “Chris Spencer’s Minority Report.” Kevin Pollak returns for his third one-hour stand-up special, “Kevin Pollak: The Littlest Suspect,” in August. Also airing in August is music documentary feature “The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights,” following the White Stripes on a 2007 tour of Canada. Source URL: Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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“If I’m waking up at 7am…”

Mister D: Then you better be walking with Bette or Donating! LOL To Donate: CLICK HERE Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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Movie Review: ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’

Posted on Thu, Apr. 29, 2010 ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ opens door on Disney & animation’s big leap forward By Gary Thompson Philadelphia Daily News Daily News Film Critic Feature animation had an explosively great year in 2009, so it’s startling to be reminded in “Waking Sleeping Beauty” that it was all but dead 20 years ago. This inside documentary (made by animators) about the fall and the rise of the House of Disney starts in the early 1980s, when once-mighty Disney bombed with “The Black Cauldron” and corporate bean counters talked about junking the white-elephant animation division to free up money for Bette Midler movies. New chairman Michael Eisner, though, was a believer in animation (or at least in the power of its brand) and decided to revive it, bringing in a young corporate hustler named Jeffrey Katzenberg to do the job. “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” with some fairly amazing home-video footage, details the massive culture clash between Disney’s nerd army of goofball animators and the hard-nosed Katzenberg, a corporate realist who shook them out of their self-pity and got them working again, on projects like “The Little Mermaid.” Katzenberg gets it rough in the movie – he’s indicted for being a pushy jerk on evidence that never actually surfaces – but his decisions look awfully good in hindsight. Like bringing in Broadway tunesmiths Alan Menken and Howard Ashman to score ‘The Little Mermaid.” We know that Ashman provided the lyrics for the movie’s great songs, and “Waking” shows that Ashman (who died of AIDS on the eve of the “Beauty and the Beast” premiere in 1991) was a hugely influential creative force in the conception and narrative structure of big Disney titles. The movie is at its best here – showing the collaboration and inspiration and perspiration that go into the labor-intensive process of making animated movies. Less interesting is the corporate squabbling among Katzenberg, Eisner and Roy Disney – “Waking” devotes irksomely long minutes to this three-way hate-fest, then wonders aloud why it bothered. In the epilogue, a narrator tells us the personality clashes ultimately didn’t matter, that what ended up on screen is the entirety of the legacy. I agree, which raises the question: Isn’t your movie about 20 minutes too long? The movie is best appreciated for oddball nuggets of information, like the fact that the most revolutionary movie in the history of animation might have been “The Rescuers Down Under,” a commercial and dramatic failure but the first produced by digital animators. “Rescuers” created the computer drafting framework and basic computer language that John Lasseter (who started at Disney) took with him to his little start-up Pixar. Produced by Don Hahn, Peter Schneider, directed by Don Hahn, written by Patrick Pacheco, music by Chris Bacon, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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New Mister D’s Playlist

There’s new music uploaded in Mister D’s playlist featuring new music by Hole, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Armatrading, Levi Kreis, Jason Castro, and more. Hope you enjoy. This month I will be bypassing Same Songs, Other Voices due to losing all my source material through hackers. I need time to rebuild my library. However I will be up and running again by next week. Love, Mister D Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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Applying Make-up

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Video: Come Back Jimmy Dean

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BetteBack: Taking A Chance On Caan

The New York Times James Caan Rises From the Ashes of His Career By BERNARD WEINRAUB LOS ANGELES— James Caan glances around the dimly lit living room of the big rustic home in Bel Air that he has just sold. The actor built the house years ago at the peak of his career; it is a movie star’s home, richly paneled and filled with leather furniture and cluttered with Western-style paintings and reproductions of Remington statues. One of the actor’s former wives said something unprintable about the masculine nature of this place. “It’s the one funny thing she ever said,” Mr. Caan remarks with a laugh. Giving up the house and its often vivid, painful memories and trying again to accommodate his new family is, for Mr. Caan, a metaphor for renewing himself. At 51, he is at an age when most movie actors find it virtually impossible to revive their careers. But Mr. Caan, whose personal and professional life crumbled in the 1980’s, who virtually disappeared from the screen, has suddenly returned to the Hollywood mainstream, held in the same regard as his actor friends Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall. Advance word on his co-starring performance opposite Bette Midler in the big-budget musical saga “For the Boys” has given an extraordinary boost to a moribund career that was jump-started last year by “Misery.” The film, directed by Mark Rydell, opens Friday, after lavish publicity and strong favorable reaction from preview audiences. Mr. Caan is enjoying it all: he has been mentioned as an Academy Award nominee, “friends” he hasn’t heard from in years are calling (“Typical,” he says with a laugh), and new scripts are arriving. “They’re from 20th Century Fox and Universal,” he says. “It used to be Podunk Productions. “Thank God,” he adds quietly. “The No. 1 luxury of success is being able to choose the director you want to work with.” He pauses. “There was a pretty scary period there for me. A pretty dead period. I missed a decade.” In “For the Boys,” Mr. Caan portrays a song-and-dance man named Eddie Sparks, a U.S.O. performer who teams up with a character named Dixie Leonard (Ms. Midler) in the early days of World War II. The film covers half a century. They entertain troops through the advent of television and the McCarthy era, through Korea and Vietnam. The two become show business legends. The Caan character, as written, is a faintly sleazy figure, compulsively unfaithful, forced to yield to the Communist witchhunt and betray a friend. As performed by Mr. Caan, however, Sparks is multidimensional, weak but compassionate. “Somehow Jimmy’s acting never shows,” says Ms. Midler. “Believe me, his acting school is so much better than mine. Mine is a school of mugging. He has a more languid way of working. And everything he does is very small — he’s a master of the small gesture, the flickering eyelash; everything was exquisitely right. “He has all these deep layers of macho stuff; he’s very boisterous, very outgoing, but then you work with him and get him in a corner, and you realize he’s very smart and very sensitive.” Ms. Midler, whose company, All Girl Productions, produced the film, acknowledges that she was reluctant to cast Mr. Caan in the movie and did so only at the insistence of Mr. Rydell. “I had cast the role in my mind 100 times,” she says. “Mark insisted. I was skeptical. I remembered him from ‘Godfather’ and ‘Gardens of Stone‘ and ‘Misery.’ Real tough. Then I looked at ‘Funny Lady‘ and ‘Harry and Walter Go to New York.’ He was hilarious. Mark told me that Jimmy was the most underrated actor in America. I said O.K.” Ms. Midler’s reluctance was prompted by Mr. Caan’s reputation as difficult and temperamental and his well-known bout with what he calls “craziness” in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The bitter breakup of two marriages, poor career moves, emotional depression, highly publicized bouts with cocaine, money problems and a family tragedy left him devastated. Today, the actor is married to his third wife, Ingrid Caan, a Queens-born pastry chef with whom he has a 6-month-old son, Alexander. Another son, Scott, 15, lives with him; he also has a daughter, Tara, 17, who lives in Phoenix. Back then, he acknowledges, his days were spent coaching Scott’s soccer and basketball teams, and too many nights were spent dating Playboy bunnies. Finally, he turned reclusive, until Francis Coppola, Rob Reiner and Mr. Rydell, directors who are old friends, stepped in to help salvage his career. “My real friends never quit on me,” Mr. Caan says. Mr. Rydell has known Mr. Caan since the 1960’s, when both were actors in New York. “He’s one of the four or five best actors in America,” says Mr. Rydell. “There are very few actors who could have played this part — a megalomaniacal, entertaining, charming and complicated character. I needed someone to carry their weight against as giant a talent as Bette Midler.” Mr. Rydell says it was crucial to solidify the personal relationship between Ms. Midler and Mr. Caan before filming began. So, over Ms. Midler’s strong objections, Mr. Rydell insisted that the two spend four months, eight hours a day, learning to tap dance. “She wanted to do it alone; she didn’t want to be embarrassed,” says Mr. Rydell. “I knew this would be a perfect crucible for their relationship. Everyone’s very awkward. They’re making mistakes in front of each other. She relies on him. He relies on her. I knew a relationship of trust would develop.” Ms. Midler says with a laugh: “It was torture. Both of us were overweight. We both lost 20 pounds. I was ashamed of the way I looked. I was so self-conscious in leotards. I looked horrible. Yeah, it was a binding experience.” If Mr. Caan had a reputation as a difficult actor, he is also blunt and engaging, a man who speaks about his troubled career and life without self-pity. “I don’t want to talk about the great art I once did — there wasn’t any,” he says. “It wasn’t that I did bad pictures. I just banished myself for a while.” Few actors in the 1970’s emerged so quickly as a major star as Mr. Caan did after his portrayal of Sonny Corleone, the swaggering, violent, doomed son in Mr. Coppola’s “Godfather.” Before “The Godfather,” he had appeared on and Off Broadway and in television series ranging from “Wagon Train” and “Ben Casey” to “The Untouchables” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” After more than 20 years of living in California Mr. Caan still speaks in the accents of New York: he was born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, where his family owned a kosher meat market. To escape the family business — “the meat market was looming closer and closer” — he aimed for a pro football career but was too small to make the team when he went to Michigan State. To be closer to home, he transferred to Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., but left to take acting lessons at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, where he met Mr. Rydell. “I was a class clown,” he said. “The appeal that acting had for me was: there I was, center stage.” The year 1972 was the high watermark of his career. He was nominated for an Academy Award for “The Godfather” and won an Emmy for his television performance as Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears’ running back doomed by cancer in “Brian’s Song.” In the next decade, Mr. Caan was offered an array of major roles that he turned down, including parts in such films as “Kramer vs. Kramer” (“it was such middle-class, bourgeois baloney”), “Apocalypse Now,” “Superman,” “M*A*S*M*A*S*H” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” If Mr. Caan’s rejections were unfortunate for his career, his choices were even more unfortunate. Although he appeared in some films of which he is proud — such as “Cinderella Liberty,” also directed by Mr. Rydell, as well as “Thief” and “The Gambler” — there were numerous flops. He walked off the set of one movie, “The Holcroft Covenant” and was replaced by Michael Caine. He says his one directorial effort, “Hide in Plain Sight,” was marred when “some jerk” at United Artists altered the movie. “There are pictures I made that I still haven’t seen,” he says. “I was depressed when I was making them. In the middle of some of these pictures, I kept thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ It’s like you’re in a hallway and you can’t get out.” Beyond this, his personal life unraveled. The death of his sister, Barbara, at 38, after a prolonged battle with leukemia, left him feeling vulnerable and despondent. “She was like my best friend, my manager,” says Mr. Caan, recalling that she lived close by, ran his production company and “was the only person I was afraid of.” “After Barbara died, I realized passion is such an important thing to have in life because it ends so soon, and my passion was to grow up with my son,” he says. Those nights, in the 70’s and early 80’s, he partied, and his reputation for cocaine use was well known in Hollywood. He speaks about his cocaine use haltingly. “First you have peer pressure,” he says. “You have parties. I was single. There were girls. That was the way to get girls. “I went through it, but not to the degree you’ve heard about. I wish I had done half the things people said I did.” Facing money problems, even the possible loss of his house, Mr. Caan tried to return to work. In 1987 he was seen in Mr. Coppola’s “Gardens of Stone,” in which he plays a tough sergeant chafing under burial duty at Arlington National Cemetery during the Vietnam War. He was then in “Alien Nation,” which he shrugs off. Last year, he finally returned with a major hit, Rob Reiner’s “Misery.” The adaptation of the Stephen King work, about a bedridden novelist taken hostage by a crazed fan (Kathy Bates), was initially intended for Warren Beatty, who dropped out because he was working on “Dick Tracy.” Mr. Caan is now playing a starring role in a new film, “Honeymoon in Vegas,” a comedy written and directed by Andrew Bergman. His immediate priority, he says with a laugh, is finding a house in which to start all over again with his new family. In response to the suggestion that his life and career seem to contradict F. Scott Fitzgerald’s observation that there are no second acts in American lives, he says: “Yeah, it’s unusual to have a second act. “Especially in this town.” Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do I Hear ‘Letter Writing Campaign?’ Waiting to be noticed Commander Coconut ENTERTAINMENT 2:42 PM EDT, April 29, 2010 Here’s the address if you want to nominate an artist or an artiste for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors: Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Kennedy Center Honors; 2700 F St. N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20566. This address bidness is yet another offshoot of the Florida Film Festival. Standing in line to see Solitary Man, I ran into Barry Sandler, a professor at the University of Central Florida’s film school and also the writer of such movies as Making Love and All-American Murder. Barry introduced me to his friend Tom Scahill, who, it turns out, had just sent me an e-mail about the K.C. Honors. Tom wrote to the address above to nominate Shirley MacLaine, Bette Midler, the Smothers Brothers and the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David — all worthy nominees, if you ask me. You know, they say that Doris Day has been asked to accept the honor but has turned it down. I don’t get it. People love you, Doris; do it for them. Afraid to fly? Get a chauffeur and get your own self to D.C. Other non-honorees so far: Carol Channing, Meryl Streep, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Jerry Herman and William Shatner (just kidding!). I’m still angry with them for not honoring Rosemary Clooney while she was alive. They must have something against singers: Mel Torme, Eddy Arnold, Merle Haggard, Joan Baez, Ethel Merman and Patti Page never won. Torme, Merman and Arnold are dead; the others are waiting — not for death, for the honor. Suggestion: Give one posthumous award each year. The first group, in 1978, was Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Richard Rodgers, Arthur Rubenstein. (You have to attend the show, which explains why dead folks aren’t considered, and, thus, Rodgers won but not Oscar Hammerstein II, who died in 1960.) Postscript: The American Film Institute Life Achievement Award also is prestigious. It goes back to 1973 when the winner was director John Ford. This year’s recipient, to be honored in June, is director Mike Nichols, a Kennedy Center winner in 2003. Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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Bette Strips Again!

WoW Bette Midler takes it off Liz Smith April 29th, 2010 OK! Back to the St. Regis night. It’s important for me to salute Lily Tomlin who turns out to be not just adorable, as when she performs her famous characters, but equally fabulous as herself. She pretends she doesn’t quite know what she is doing up there onstage, or at the mike, where she is actually running everything. I have seldom seen her comic equal as an emcee. And she performs in such a throwaway manner, as if everything is happening on the spur of the moment. Just a great talent! We were all captivated toward the end of the show when Bette Midler suddenly burst upon us in a surprise appearance, in all her glory. She sang a song with special lyrics to her fellow actor Mr. Lane. “The Divine Miss M” was certainly in her element and when she exited, Lily said sardonically that it was too bad Bette wasn’t donating something glamorous to the regional theater auction. Whereupon, Bette’s gown itself was thrown out onstage to a burst of hilarity from the shocked audience. Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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It’s Elton John Day!

New York Daily News Bette Midler announces Elton John Day at Breast Cancer Research Foundation‘s “Hot Pink” benefit Thursday, April 29th 2010, 4:00 AM April 27 is officially “Elton John Day.” Says who? Bette Midler! The Divine Miss M made the announcement, on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg, at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s “Hot Pink” benefit Tuesday night. “Elton has sold out Madison Square Garden more than anyone ever has, more than the Knicks and the Rangers,” Midler exaggerated at the Crumbs bash. “Even though he doesn’t know what either of those things are.” Elton wasn’t offended — he broke into “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” right after Midler’s roast. Read more: Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
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