Sunday, June 30, 2019


Yep, I'm a 45 year old man, but I cry at movies. Yep, I cried this morning when I went to see Toy Story 4 with my children. Yep, I loved the movie! Toy Story 4 is a 2019 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the fourth installment in Pixar's Toy Story series and the sequel to 2010's Toy Story 3. It was directed by Josh Cooley (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Andrew Stanton (who had co-written the first three films) and Stephany Folsom; the three also conceived the story alongside John Lasseter (director of the first two installments in the franchise), Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Valerie LaPointe, and Martin Hynes. The film stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, and Joan Cusack.

The film continues from Toy Story 3, where Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, among their other toy friends, have found new appreciation after being given by Andy to Bonnie. They are introduced to Forky, a spork that has been made into a toy and embark on a road trip adventure. The film is dedicated to Don Rickles and animator Adam Burke, who died in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Most of the previous voice actors, including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, signed on to reprise their past voices. Hanks stated in May 2016 that he had finished recording his first lines for Woody. Annie Potts was confirmed to be returning as Bo Peep, after being absent from Toy Story 3. Don Rickles intended to reprise his role as Mr. Potato Head, but died in April 2017, before any lines were recorded as the script was still being rewritten. According to Cooley, Rickles' family contacted Pixar and asked if there was any way to include him in the film. Pixar reviewed 25 years of archival material that Rickles had participated in, including unused lines from the first three Toy Story films, video games and other related media for the franchise, and other works, and were able to assemble enough material to use within the film.

Tony Hale was cast as Forky, a homemade toy suffering an existential crisis. Hale has performed roles before with similar panicked characters, notably Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep. When asked to voice Forky, Hale said, "A utensil's existential crisis? I'm in!". Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were cast as a pair of carnival prize plush toys named Ducky and Bunny. Cooley said that while they brought them on to provide some improvised comedy to the film, "they were story motivated which elevated Ducky and Bunny and the film to a level I never could have expected".

Additionally, Keanu Reeves was announced to be voicing a character in the film, named Duke Caboom. Reeves said he was contacted out of the blue by Pixar for the role, seeking him to voice the part and letting him develop his own riffs on the character. On March 22, 2019, Madeline McGraw, who previously voiced Maddy McGear in Pixar's Cars 3, was revealed to be voicing Bonnie, replacing Emily Hahn. Comedy legends Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Betty White were added to the cast to voice a set of four toys that Bonnie played with as a toddler but had since outgrown, acting as "veteran" toys to help Woody prepare for when the same happens to him.

Okay, so I didn't cry through the whole but just three times. The first two times were just tears in my eyes, but the third time (at the end of the movie) was just almost sobbing. I am a modern man that is in touch with my emotions. It is fun for my family to see what movies I will cry at! Anyways, the Toy Story series is my favorite series of cartoon movies, and this one did not disappoint. The ending will leave you speechless, and even my six year old daughter (who takes after my wife and is not a crier) had tears in her eyes. After the third sequel you would think the series would be getting tired, but the movie was great and emotionally it takes you to infinity and beyond!


Thursday, June 27, 2019


Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Bob Dorian, an actor, magician and avuncular movie buff who presented more than 10,000 classic films, B-movie serials and pre-Code Hollywood gems as the first prime-time host of American Movie Classics, died June 15. He was 85, although he often said he preferred to give his age by way of film history, declaring that he was “born between ‘Flying Down to Rio’ and ‘Top Hat.’ ”

His daughter Melissa Dorian confirmed the death but did not say precisely where or how he died, noting that the family prepared only a two-line obituary in keeping with his desire for privacy.

Mr. Dorian performed on the stage, radio, television and occasionally on film, appearing in two movies by one of his favorite contemporary directors, Woody Allen, and lending his voice to Sam Raimi’s 1981 horror classic “The Evil Dead,” as an archaeologist whose tape-recorded readings from an ancient text summon demonic spirits to a cabin in the woods.

Bespectacled and bushy-browed, he began acting at 14; dabbled in stand-up comedy and trapeze-catching at the circus; played the bass in a New York jazz group, the Four Dimensions; and performed mind-reading tricks and other illusions as the Amazing Dorian, sometimes incorporating his wife and three daughters into his act.

Mr. Dorian appeared in a 1976 television special alongside magicians David Copperfield and Carl Ballantine, but became far better known as the principal host of American Movie Classics, later shortened to AMC. The network launched in 1984 as a premium-cable showcase for old films, presenting movies without cuts or commercials a decade before the creation of Turner Classic Movies, the channel’s main competitor.

Although he was later joined by daytime hosts Gene Klavan and Nick Clooney, Mr. Dorian was “the heart and soul of AMC,” Los Angeles Times journalist Susan King wrote in 2002, about one year after Mr. Dorian left the network. His departure coincided with sweeping programming changes at AMC, where old movies were replaced with contemporary films and, eventually, original series such as “Mad Men.”

During his tenure, Mr. Dorian introduced movies with a two-minute segment filmed at a living-room set, where he roamed between bookshelves, a black Maltese Falcon statue, and portraits of stars Jean Harlow and Hedy Lamarr.

Regaling viewers with Hollywood history and behind-the-scenes trivia, he explained how the filmmakers of “Casablanca” wrote the script as the movie was being made; how Bette Davis landed the lead role in “All About Eve” only after Claudette Colbert suffered a cracked vertebra while filming “Three Came Home”; and how no fewer than 188 actors had played the roles of Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson.

While TCM host Robert Osborne was an urbane film historian, Mr. Dorian insisted that he was little more than a movie fan. “We never use tape-overs,” he told the Dallas Morning News in 1994, explaining his process. “If I make a mistake, we leave it in. I want to seem like a human being who enjoys movies, not a superior professor talking down to an audience.”

He recalled that he got the AMC hosting job in large part through chance, when he met a producer in the early 1980s after being cast as Dracula in a television ad for a video game. “It was a very long two-day shoot, with most of my time spent in a tight coffin filled with way too much smoke,” he told GoFatherhood, a parenting blog. “Lunchtime usually lapsed into long conversations about all those great old movies the producer and I enjoyed when we were growing up.”

The producer, Norm Blumenthal, later helped start AMC, and asked Mr. Dorian if he would be interested in serving as an announcer. Executives were considering “two Broadway actors, a well-known TV film critic and a few others who were more involved in writing as a profession,” Mr. Dorian said.

After Mr. Dorian was suggested as half of a Siskel-and-Ebert-style duo, one executive purportedly had a breakthrough. “Wait a minute,” Mr. Dorian recalled his saying. “The critic might not be too crazy about some of the films we’ve brought in. This guy Dorian likes everything!”

Indeed, he favored classics such as “Citizen Kane” and “King Kong” as well B-movie serials such as “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” encouraging viewers to give the 1952 science-fiction film a try — if only because it featured Leonard Nimoy, who later played the pointy-eared Spock, in a supporting role as a Martian.

Mr. Dorian was born in Brooklyn in April 1934, two months after the release of “It Happened One Night.” He rarely discussed his upbringing, aside from recounting the Saturdays he spent evading matrons at local movie theaters, where he watched three or more films for the price of a dime.

He later worked as a theater usher, a job that enabled him to catch 86 screenings of the swashbuckling 1950 film “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and appeared in television shows such as “Suspense” and “Studio One,” according to one Washington Post report.

Mr. Dorian performed in the Allen movies “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” (2001) and “Hollywood Ending” (2002), along with an independent Civil War film, “The Last Confederate” (2005). He was also a mainstay of regional theater productions — including at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J. — before retiring to Florida in recent years.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Jane Dorian; three daughters, Melissa Dorian, Robin Dorian and Jane Dorian; and two grandchildren.

Mr. Dorian likened his work at AMC as that of a historian or archivist, keeping old films alive for younger generations. But he seemed to find equal — if not greater — delight in his theatrical performances, notably in a 1998 touring production of “The Wizard of Oz,” during which he served as the understudy to the wizard, played by Mickey Rooney, and began the show as Dorothy’s Uncle Henry.

“Then we go through the tornado scene,” he told the New York Times, explaining his transformation into a new character. “I’m upstairs becoming a citizen of Oz, and I come out a little bit later when the Winkies are working for the Wicked Witch. I’m the head Winkie. We hired a line of Broadway ensemble dancers to be the Winkies, and I kept saying, Couldn’t you put me behind these people?

Monday, June 24, 2019


Dean Martin was loved the world over. He was a private man to say the least, and he did not let the public into his personal life much. Many people did not even know he had an older brother. His brother William Crocetti, led a much different life than Dino did.

Born to Gaetano, Alfonso Crocetti and Angela Crocetti, the older Crocetti brother was born on June 21, 1916 in hard working town Steubenville, Ohio. His younger and more famous brother Dino Paul was born nearly a year later on June 7, 1917.William Crocetti, Bill to his friends and colleagues, was an engineer at North American Rockewell. He worked on the engines for the Saturn rockets, the very ones that powered men to the moon. During the War he was in the Air Force as well.

According to Bill's daughter Adri: "My father and his colleagues were Cold Warriors, to a man. They understood the need to be first, and they did everything they could to ensure the primacy of the United States. When I was ten, my dad told me we are going to have men on the moon by the time you are twenty. I didn't believe him, but seven years later in 1969, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon."

Despite Bill's success in the space industry, his had some family tragedy when his mother died on Christmas Day 1966 at the age of 69. His father would die as well the following year on August 29, 1967 at the age of 72.

On October 20, 1968 Bill died in St. John's Hospital of a brain tumor. He was only 52 and he left behind a widow and four children. Dean would not mention his brother much in the public but he helped out the family and Bill's widow. Josephine would die at the young age of 52 on March 13, 1976...

Thursday, June 20, 2019


Like I have written before, all of the movies I seem to see in theaters now are children's movies. Before we went on our Disney World vacation, I took my daughter to see a Disney movie - Aladdin. I was pleasantly surprised by the film. It was better than the recent remake Dumbo, but not as good as the live action Beauty And The Beast.

Aladdin is a 2019 American musical fantasy film directed by Guy Ritchie, who co-wrote the screenplay with John August. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, it is a live action adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated film of the same name, which is based on the eponymous tale from One Thousand and One Nights.The film stars Mena Massoud, Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad and Billy Magnussen, as well as the voices of Alan Tudyk and Frank Welker. The plot follows Aladdin, a street urchin, as he falls in love with Princess Jasmine, befriends a wish-granting Genie, and battles the wicked Jafar.

In October 2016, Disney announced Ritchie would direct a live-action Aladdin remake. Smith was the first member of the cast to join, signing on to portray Genie in July 2017, and Massoud and Scott were confirmed for the two lead roles later that month. Principal photography began that September at Longcross Studios in Surrey, England, also filming in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan, and lasted until January 2018. Aladdin was theatrically released in the United States on May 24, 2019, and has grossed over $733 million worldwide, becoming the third highest-grossing film of 2019.

The movie is a good movie. The problem with the film is the memory of Robin Williams. Williams did the voice for the 1992 animated version of the story. His version of the Genie, with all its over the top magnificent, is still remembered over 25 years after the film. While Will Smith does a great job as the Genie, and I almost forget William's version, Smith just misses the mark by a little bit. Will Smith's musical talent work well for the musical numbers, but Smith is just no Robin Williams.

Young children may not remember or fully appreciate the Robin Williams version, so they will love this film. I liked the film as well, and when I went to see this film with my daughter I accidentally bought tickets for the 3D showing, so it was an added bonus. A few times Will Smith jumped out right out at me! It's a great story, and a great film for the whole family...


Monday, June 17, 2019


On July 5, 1948 we lost of one of the most beautiful stars in Hollywood. On that date Carole Landis was found dead of an apparent suicide. However, was it so apparent? Next month from July 1 - July 8 we have three stories dedicated to Carole Landis and her unfortunate death.

Please join us for a special week and feel free to comment on Carole Landis and her death which happened some 71 years ago...

Friday, June 14, 2019


URBAN LEGEND: Actress and comedian Martha Raye tended to wounded soldiers while performing during the Vietnam War

STATUS: 100% True

Many may be too young to have known the comedian, Martha Raye. She was a loud mouth actress/comedian from several years ago, much unlike the foul mouthed four letter word spewing comics of today. This is a little known fact about what she did, but truly a patriotic, good American by any standards.

For going to Vietnam, Col. Raye was considered a “hawk”. Hollywood blacklisted her for more then ten years. Most of the old time entertainers were made out of a lot sterner stuff than today’s crop of activists and whiners.

The following is from an Army Aviator friend who takes another trip down memory lane:

It was just before Thanksgiving ’67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku, Vietnam. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.

All of a sudden, we heard a ‘take-charge’ woman’s voice in the rear. There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF (Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard. ‘Maggie’ had been visiting her SF ‘heroes’ out ‘west’.

We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad pax’s, a ‘Smart-Ass’ USAF Captain said to Martha…. Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!

To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said… Captain, see this eagle? I am a full ‘Bird’ Colonel in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a ‘Caduceus’ which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty…. now, take me to your wounded. He said, yes ma’am…. Follow me.

Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would ‘cover’ a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.

Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft. Bragg...

Saturday, June 8, 2019


It is hard to believe that world traveler and famous chef Anthony Bourdain has been gone one year already. A year after his sad suicide, there are still many sad questions that never will be answered. However, since his death some remarkable stories have come out about Bourdain. Anthony Bourdain was a remarkable man who led an amazing life.

Evan Benn, the editor-and-chief of Miami Indulge, wrote on Twitter that he was covering an Anthony Bourdain book stop when a boy in the audience, who had leukemia, asked Bourdain where he should travel when he’s in remission.Bourdain told the boy that he should visit Spain. But then, Benn says that Bourdain reached out to him privately, wanting to arrange for that boy in the audience to get a trip to Spain. With the help of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the boy did end up getting to go to Spain. But nobody knew until recently that Bourdain was involved; he took none of the credit for it.

Bourdain was a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, and he has evidently been fighting against sexual harassment in the workplace for years.Vera Papisova, a writer for Teen Vogue, shared on Twitter that she was once sexually harassed by a busboy while working at a restaurant. Although she was vocal about the issue, the managers finally took it seriously when Bourdain spoke up.

He wanted to make sure Harvey Weinstein paid for his actions. After Bourdain’s death, journalist Yashar Ali took to Twitter to honor him. Ali said that while many people moved on from the Harvey Weinstein story, Bourdain didn’t, and he continuously texted him with information.“He texted me repeatedly with ideas and every time a Weinstein survivor was attacked he would let me know because he was determined to stop Harvey’s machine,” Ali wrote. Ali also said that Bourdain was so incredibly proud of his girlfriend, Asia Argento, and would send him a clip of every one of her press appearances. Finally, on a personal note, Ali said that he went through a bout of depression earlier this year, but Bourdain was able to inspire him to keep going.

Back in 2017, Ali Allouche, a teenager who was being treated for bone cancer, decided he wanted to travel the country and eat the best foods in every state. Bourdain had inspired him to do so. When Bourdain himself found out about Allouche’s story, he donated $3,600 to his trip, the amount of money needed to reach his goal, according to Now This News. Bourdain himself also told The New York Post at the time that he was “incredibly moved and humbled” to hear about the story and that “I hope as well to meet with the young man at the earliest opportunity.”

Comic artist Shivana Sookdeo says that she bumped into Bourdain at a food festival, and it sounds like he was incredibly approachable. Rather than saying hello, he said, “hey kid, you hungry?”

“He spent the ten minutes listening to me talk about the home country of my parents, Trinidad & Tobago, with the utmost engagement,” she wrote. “Like an ambassador studying up, ready to go.”

She says that at the end of the conversation, Bourdain “thanked me for my time like he’d had an appointment with me all along.” I really wish we would have the opportunity to thank Anthony Bourdain for his time just one more time...

Monday, June 3, 2019


One of the greatest actors and yet the most elusive was William Powell (1892-1984). He left Hollywood in 1955, and he never looked back. Here are some great candid pics of the great actor...

William in 1899 at the age of 7

William his mother and agent leaving Jean Harlow's funeral in 1937

With his only son William David.. His son would commit suicide in 1968 at the age of 43

William with Marilyn Monroe in 1954

William Powell and his wife Diana Lewis enjoying retirement in the 1960s

Last known photo of William Powell at the age of 86 in 1978.