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Did You Know: Ian McKellen

image via imdb.com

image via imdb.com

Fans know Ian McKellen as Magneto in the X-Men series or Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films. To the moviegoers prior to the year 2000, McKellen covered the classics like Richard III and David Copperfield. Now, as the final Hobbit film prepares to make a hefty impression on box office stats, is a great time to look back and find some facts about Sir Ian McKellen that you might not have known.  Continue reading

Top Gifts for Media Savvy Friends

Photo Credit: Christmas at Mom's House by Jen Gallardo

Photo Credit: Christmas at Mom’s House by Jen Gallardo

If you are anything like me, chances are you are trying to work your way through a list of folks you need to shop for this holiday season. While some friends and family are easy to shop for, others are a little bit more challenging. Personally, I find my media savvy friends the most challenging to shop for as they have all the latest and greatest gadgets and a ton of accessories for them, to boot. However, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge! Here are some unconventional gift ideas for the photographers, filmmakers and media-lovers in your lives.

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

For your comedy-television-loving friend, consider purchasing Amy Poehler’s biography Yes, Please. In this hilarious read, Poehler shares stories that ultimately help us understand how she went from Upright Citizens Brigade to television star and frequent host of the Golden Globes. For a great one-two comedic punch, you may also want to include Tina Fey’s biography Bossypants or comedy legend Martin Short’s latest I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. Continue reading

What to Watch: The Hobbit Part 3

In 2001, a cinematic odyssey began. For the large mass of people who had already read the books, J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic journey is one that left a permanent mark in the genre of fantasy. Little did we know that the films would make the series more popular than ever before. Now, the final chapter is being released. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Kingdoms hits theaters this weekend and is expected to be one of the biggest releases of the year. With anticipation at its zenith, it should be expected that the film will deliver one last memorable romp before closing out the series. Continue reading

White Christmas in Los Angeles

© 1954 Paramount HE. All rights reserved.

© 1954 Paramount HE. All rights reserved.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and baby it’s cold outside, so why not curl up indoors with a movie? Christmas songs aside, the spirit of the season — riddled with gift giving stress — often shines through in classic movies. While most of us are well aware of films like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story there are several other old flicks that deserve a watch during the holidays.  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: The Gay Divorcee (1934)

image via imdb.com

image via imdb.com

Few things in the 1930′s and 40′s made people smile more than a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire whimsical romantic comedy. It all began in 1933 when both Rogers and Astaire danced their way through supporting roles in Flying Down to Rio. One year later the two would get their first chance to steal the spotlight in The Gay Divorcee. Not only did it charm audiences, but also proved to be a historic launching pad for what is now known as one of the greatest movie duos in history.  Continue reading

Did You Know: Bible Movie Edition

image via screenrant.com

image via screenrant.com

Exodus: Gods and Kings ushers in the newest wave of Bible films this Friday. As a genre, religious inspired dramas have littered the history of Hollywood and even proven to be watershed moments in special effects, storytelling and presentation. Below are just a few things you may not have known about some of the more famous Bible movie adaptations.  Continue reading

Video Didn’t Necessarily Kill the Radio Star

Serial Podcast Logo via Time.com

Serial Podcast Logo via Time.com

More often that not, we hear that a certain medium has been declared dead. It’s not uncommon to hear people give radio the death knell. Traditional radio stations for music lost their monopoly over the airwaves to satellite radio and online streaming services like Pandora. However, even those newcomers are struggling to consistently turn a profit in a business where many mouths need to be fed. That said, I contend that while radio struggles with music, it provides opportunity for other content creators to grow audiences with limited investment in resources via podcasting.

In case you are unfamiliar, podcasting is essentially Internet radio. You can record your podcast and very easily broadcast it through a number of different services. While you can do video podcasts, traditionally it has been audio only. This eases the barrier to entry as most people have a means of recording themselves such as on their mobile device or on a laptop computer with a built in microphone. Plus, you don’t need to worry about hair and makeup when all that gets recorded is your voice.

Recently, I learned that podcasting is so easy that even aging comedians can do it (I kid!)! Continue reading

What to Watch: The Captive

image via imdb.com

image via imdb.com

The last group of blockbuster films will begin hitting theaters this weekend as Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings continues the trend of biblical entertainment sweeping Hollywood. While it will more than likely dominate cinematic headlines for a myriad of reasons, a smaller film is hoping to grab a few eyeballs less interested in religious grandeur. That movie is The CaptiveContinue reading

John Huston Retrospective at Film Society

Scene from Key Largo; Credit: The Kobal Collection / Warner Bros

Scene from Key Largo; Credit: The Kobal Collection / Warner Bros

During the months of December and January, New York City’s Film Society of Lincoln Center will be doing a retrospective featuring the work of filmmaker John Huston. Let There Be Light: The Films of John Huston will feature an exhaustive collection of over forty films where Huston was involved as director, screenwriter or actor. For the majority of these films, he both directed and wrote the screenplays. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Dr. No (1962)

image via dailymail.co.uk

image via dailymail.co.uk

Today marks a momentous day for the James Bond franchise. The series’ popularity has grown to such an epic proportion that the slightest bit of news seems worthy of an event. A perfect example is today’s cast announcement for the next James Bond film titled Spectre. For that reason, today’s Throwback Thursday film takes us back to the franchise’s origins. It all began in 1962 with Dr. No. Continue reading