Archive | July, 2013

Dennis Farina: Remember Me “Just as a Person”

22 Jul

dennis-farinaI had the great fortune of interviewing many actors, actresses, musicians, authors, and other celebs during the seven and a half years I worked for Continental magazine. (Yes, the inflight magazine of the late Continental Airlines.)

One of the coolest people I had the chance to speak with was Dennis Farina, who passed away earlier today in Arizona.

Dennis is, of course, best known for his performances in such films as Get Shorty, Heat, Out of Sight, and Saving Private Ryan, and on TV shows like Law & Order, Crime Story, Luck, and, most recently, New Girl, where his tough guy persona was often used to great comic effect.

When I talked with Dennis in 2005, he was promoting the HBO TV movie Empire Falls. We talked about how his 18 years as a Chicago cop informed his acting career and the performances he gave. Continue reading

Everybody Run. Helen Mirren’s Got a Gun.

18 Jul

red-2-posterThe 2010 movie RED was a bit of a surprise, with its unlikely cast of Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich starring alongside Bruce Willis as action heroes.

It grossed more than $90 million in the United States and more than $186.5 million worldwide, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy).

But do you know anyone who actually saw it? I don’t. Which leads me to ask this question …

Who, exactly, asked for a sequel?

Having seen the new film, I have to say I’m less concerned with the answer than with making sure more people I know check it out. Continue reading

I Tweet for Myself. Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Too.

10 Jul

twitter-maskYesterday, I tweeted that I’d rather someone not have a Twitter handle than have someone else tweet generic stuff for them.

Suffice it to say, the reaction was interesting. I got responses that ranged from “a good [social media] specialist can tweet like the person without making it seem generic,” to, more amusingly, “Wouldn’t that put a lot of social media specialists out of a job?”

I replied that yes, good social media specialists may be able to do a decent job of ghost tweeting. But more often than not, they just tweet headlines and links, and maybe an occasional “thanks,” and that makes the real person look bad, like he/she doesn’t care. Ideally, people would just tweet for themselves. After all, it’s really not that hard.

And I meant that. People should be tweeting for themselves. This “ghost tweeting” stuff is for the birds. (Pun intended.) Continue reading

Let’s Try to Get That Score Up

8 Jul

way-way-back-bannerIt’s appropriate that much of the new film The Way, Way Back takes place at a waterpark.

That’s because, like the water slides at Water Wizz, the movie is a fun ride, with surprising twists and turns, and even though it’s one with a predictable destination, it’s still cool and refreshing.

Written and directed by Jim Rash and Nat Faxon (the Oscar-winning writers of The Descendants), The Way, Way Back is a throwback movie, the latest in a long line of summertime coming-of-age stories where a loser kid finds himself with the help of some older, immature types. Continue reading

Spirit Walker, Texas Ranger

2 Jul

It’s become a tradition for actor and comedian Jay Thomas to go on The Late Show with David Letterman every year at Christmas time.

He always tells the same story, about how when he was just breaking into the radio business, he did an appearance at a local car dealership with Clayton Moore, who is most famous for playing the Lone Ranger on TV from 1949 to 1957.

It’s a colorful story involving a car chase, afros, tight jeans, “hippie freaks,” a beat-up Volvo, and getting “herbed up,” and the punchline involves Moore, in full Lone Ranger costume, coming to the aid of Thomas and his coworker.

Here’s a video of one version of the story for you:

If you’re looking for good Lone Ranger entertainment this summer, that’s what you should watch — not the new Lone Ranger movie that’s hitting theaters this week. Continue reading