Robin Williams: last comic standing

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There's a meme going around Facebook with Robin Williams in what looks like a hoodie that says: "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." The 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor and comedian died Monday of an "apparent suicide." He is said to have been suffering from a deep depression and has long battled alcohol and drug addiction. As recently as last month, he entered rehab to "fine-tune" his sobriety.Williams was also a husband and father. He was no saint, but he … [Read more...]

“Last Comic Standing” premiere was very, very good

The judges of NBC's 2014 "Last Comic Standing": Russell Peters, Roseann Barr, Keenan Ivory Wayans

As an sort-of alumnus of "Last Comic Standing" (Season 5, Episode 7) where I was actually paid scale for being one of several persons the comedians had to make laugh in order to get votes to advance (I am still getting residuals; the last check was for 8 cents after taxes), I wanted to see if the new version of LCS would be actual comedy and not just a series of quick lines intended to shock a snort from audiences. (If you recall, the one comic was so gross that I made the sign of the cross over … [Read more...]

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

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It is never easy to define, much less critique, a Wes Anderson film. They are filled to the brim with quirky characters who march a crooked but adventurous journey to the finish line. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most bizarre caper of them all.It is 1985, and the once stately hotel in the Republic of Zubrowka—somewhere between Germany, Hungary, and Russia—is worn and sagging. We travel back further in time to its former owner, Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). We learnClick here to con … [Read more...]

“In a World …” a funny, pointed look at a mostly male industry

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 Because I did not want to wait an hour to see "Lee Daniels' The Butler," I saw "In a World...", writer/actor Lake Bell's directorial debut that premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. What a pleasant surprise.Carol (Lake Bell) is an employment-challenged voice coach and daughter of a famous movie trailer voice-over narrator, Sam (Fred Melamed). Up to this point, her voice-over work is limited to training actors to speak in foreign accents. Sam is ready to retire … [Read more...]

“Veronica Mars” fundraiser for feature film raises $2.5 in just a few hours

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I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed the UPN television show "Veronica Mars" - starring Kristen Bell - that ceased production in 2005.The New York Daily News reports that the show's creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell began a "Kickstarter" campaign to raise funds for a movie and her fans have responded:"The "Veronica Mars" movie is coming to a theater near you in 2014!"In just 10 hours, scores of fans of the hit television show starring Kristen Bell rallied to raise more than … [Read more...]

What people are saying about the new pope!

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Watch late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel's reporter interview people on the street about the new pope!Even though, as yet, there is not a new pope. Remember, these people will vote, probably marry and have children. These are the people to whom the new Holy Father will want to direct the new evangelization. The good news is, these young people have good hearts. But what a commentary. … [Read more...]

Feeling grinchy about family movies? Don’t miss “Parental Guidance” it’s one of the good ones

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 Artie (Billy Crystal) is the sports announcer for the Fresno, CA minor league baseball team. At the end of the season when he is suddenly let go due to the team’s reorganization,  he and his wife Diane (Bette Midler) get a call from their daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) in Atlanta. She and her husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott), a computer application inventor, are going away for several days and want the grandparents to take care of their three children. Besides, the other gr … [Read more...]

“Weaving Life” “Where Do We Go Now?” and a “Girl with a Book” Images of peacemaking in the Middle East

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In the last month or so, a narrative film, a documentary and a poster on Facebook came across my desk. The films were sent for review, but the Facebook poster (or image) arrived in my newsfeed this morning, unbidden, a "share" from my youngest sister."Weaving Life" a documentary on The Life and Death of Peacemaker Dan Terry - is a film from MennoMedia that will air on participating ABC stations beginning Oct. 21 (check local listings). It is the story of Dan Terry, one of 10 humanitarian w … [Read more...]

Cardinal Dolan & Stephen Colbert meet Fordham c/o Jim Martin, SJ to evangelize anew

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   I was not there last night, where new kinds of Bronx cheers must have been heard when Cardinal Dolan of New York and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" met at Fordham University. Their host was Rev. James Martin, SJ, a lover of good humor and author of "Between Heaven and Mirth."Here are a couple of paragraphs from Jim's post at "America" magazine this morning and a link to the whole thing. Jim also explains why there was no television … [Read more...]

Iris – a journey through the world of cinema by Cirque du Soleil

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Iris is “A journey through the world of cinema” as seen through the lens (iris of the camera and the human eye) of live theater, street theater, mime, circus, dance, gymnastics, special effects and film.Sister Madonna and I were given free tickets in hopes we would write a review for the faith community that would correspond with a group sales promotion for the show. Sister Madonna had been talking about seeing “Iris” since it opened at the now Dolby Theater here in Hollywood a year ago on Se … [Read more...]


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