Category Archives: Celebrity Chatter

“Person of Interest” comes to an end . . . and what an ending says Michael Emerson

All things come to an end. Even great things. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released Person of Interest: The Complete Fifth and Final Season on Blu-ray and DVD.  This is the end of one of television’s most compelling, action-packed, crime dramas. 

For years, the Person of Interest team, consisting of tech genius Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), ex-agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel), NYPD Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), cyber-hacker Root (Amy Acker) and missing-in-action operative Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi), have been protected by The Machine. As worlds collided, however, and a rival AI known as Samaritan finally cornered The Machine inside the nation’s power grid, it was the POI team’s turn to protect Finch’s creation.

 In season five, the cold war is over. The world might appear to look the same, but something has drastically changed. Samaritan’s lethal “correction” has initiated its control. Finch’s Machine is essentially dead. Shaw is still missing. And the team is once again hiding in plain sight. But with Samaritan’s invisible grip tightening everywhere, will Finch be able to rebuild and resurrect The Machine? And if he does, will it be the same Machine when it comes back online?

We wonder what Michael Emerson (best-known for his theater work, including a great run as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and a greater Willie Oban in The Iceman Cometh), feels about Person of Interest ending.

“I feel good. I think we were surprised when we first heard that it was coming to an end,” he says. “You always think that as long as your ratings are high, you’re good to go. But it doesn’t necessarily always play out that way. There were other kinds of concerns and such.  Once we got used to the idea, and when they said, ‘We’re just going to shoot 13,’ somewhere in my heart there was a leap of joy because I thought, ‘Praise God. I think I can get through 13.’ I wasn’t sure I could do another 22.”

As for the way the series ended? “Oh, that’s alright. That’s a human ending, not some contrivance or irony or device. I’m really pleased with it and at peace with it and so happy that I’m not still out there shooting,” he adds.

Billy Zane, Chad Michael Collins and Dennis Haysbert hit the “Sniper: Ghost Shooter” target

We are die-hard members of the Billy Zane Fan Club. We love the hunky actor, even if he makes films that are pretty bad. One film that is not bad: Sniper: Ghost Shooter, the latest in the popular Sniper franchise. This latest action-packed direct-to-video chapter has arrived on DVD and Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and we’re watching it (again) as soon as we finish typing.

Sniper savors know that Chad Michael Collins and Dennis Haysbert also return for this explosively entertaining installment in which Corporal Brandon Beckett (Collins) and his Marine sniper unit must face off against an infamous extremist sniper who has seemingly perfect accuracy. Directed by returning series’ director Don Michael Paul and co-starring Nick Gomez, Stephanie Vogt and Enoch Frost, Sniper: Ghost Shooter is loaded with the non-stop military action series’ fans (and BZ fans) and newcomers won’t want to miss.

Elite snipers Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) and Richard Miller (Billy Zane) are fighting extremists in the Middle East when Colonel (Dennis Haysbert) gives them a new mission: to protect a gas pipeline stretching from the Republic of Georgia to Western Europe from terrorists eager to make a political statement. But when skirmishes with the enemy lead to U.S. snipers being killed by a ghost shooter who locks into their exact location, a security breach is suspected. Fingers are pointed and battle lines are drawn, all leading up to an explosive climax.

Warning! Andy Samberg will have you pissing in your pants in “Popstar”

There’s something funny about Justin Bieber. We’ll star with this bon mot: He has no talent. On the other hand, Andy Samberg is funny. In Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping , a mockumentary  about a former boy-band member trying desperately to salvage his failing solo career (think Bieber), he is fucking funny. If you miss the flick in your local theatre, the film comes to Digital HD on August 16, On Demand on August 30, and Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. You can thank Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for this side-splitting comedy.

We won’t give away too much, but Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping goes behind the scenes as music sensation Conner4Real (Samberg), the breakout star of a popular but disbanded hip-hop group, finds his popularity plummeting after a disastrous album release, leaving his fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he’s no longer the dopest star of all . . just as he launches a highly publicized solo tour.

It’s funny because SNL alums Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (the comedy collective known as The Lonely Island) wrote the screenplay, a razor-sharp, music-filled send-up of pop celebrity chronicles the exploits of the lovably egotistical singer-rapper (and his 32-person entourage) as he attempts to win back the hearts of his once-adoring fans. The trio also produced the film, along with comedy mastermind Judd Apatow.

And oh! Popstar co-stars a who’s who of comedy superstars, including Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Imogen Poots, Chris Redd, Bill Hader, Kevin Nealon and Will Arnett. And there are laugh-out-loud cameos from such music-world VIPs as Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Carrie Underwood, DJ Khaleed, Seal, P!nk, Nas, , Usher, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ringo Starr, , Simon Cowell, Questlove, Mariah Carey, RZA, T.I., and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Could this be the life story of Bieber? Never say never.

 

 

Lee Greenwood has a hot new gig: He’s Ambassador for Disabled American Veterans

He may still be looking for love in all the wrong places, but Lee Greenwood is in love with his latest job: The 73-year-old country crooner has become an Ambassador for the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a non-profit charity that provides support for America’s ill and injured veterans.
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Greenwood, who was recently named one of Billboard’s 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time, performed his most recognizable patriotic song, “God Bless the USA,” for 4,000 DAV members at the closing ceremonies of the DAV National Convention in Atlanta on August 3. The event marked the start of Greenwood’s official partnership with DAV.

“It was an exciting night at the DAV National Convention in Atlanta,” says Greenwood. “These proud men and women are dedicating their lives after military service to help those who are struggling to fit back into civilian life. They address the challenges of all wounded veterans head on and give hope to each soldier who otherwise might not survive.”

A known champion of military and veteran causes, Greenwood will work with DAV to bring much-needed attention and support to the needs of the country’s 22 million veterans, their families and survivors. His ambassadorship will include support of many DAV campaigns, including Keep the Promise and Thank a Vet.

Coos said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess: “Mr. Greenwood has shown a deep and abiding respect for our nation’s service members and veterans, and we could not be more thankful for his support. Our members were absolutely thrilled to hear him perform, and appreciate his patriotism and genuine gratitude for those who served. He is greatly admired within the veteran community and we look forward to working closely with him as advocates for our nation’s heroes.”

Want to thank Greenwood yourself? Catch him at one of his gigs; we share his concerts dates across below.

Aug. 7 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Game – Canton, Ohio
Aug. 26 Pentagon Auditorium – Washington, D.C.
Aug. 27 Donna Dean’s Old Dominion Barn Dance – Highland Springs, Va.
Aug. 31 Chuckwagon Races – Clinton, Ark.
Sep. 2 The Sweet Corn Festival – Millersport, Ohio
Sep. 3 Freedom Hall – Louisville, Ky.
Sep. 9 SCI Kiwanis Balloon Fest – Bloomington, Ind.
Sep. 10 Bristol Racetrack – Bristol, Tenn.
Sep. 11 Frederick Brown Jr Amphitheatre – Peachtree City, Ga.
Sep. 15 Mass Comm Bldg – Clarksville, Tenn.
Sep. 16 Plaza Theater – Glasgow, Ky.
Nov. 1 Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center with Crystal Gayle – Midland, Tex.
Dec. 1 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Event Center – Battle Creek, Mich.
Jan. 21, 2017 Meadow View Conference Resort & Convention Center – Kingsport, Tenn.
Jan. 27 Country Music Cruise – Tampa, Fl.
Feb. 25 Orange Blossom Opry – Weirsdale, Fl.

An intense story, a disturbing payoff make for a super DC Universe Original Movie, “Batman: The Killing Joke”.

We never tell jokes unless they involve farmers’ daughters and Republicans. It’s no joke when we suggest you delve into the demented history of the Dark Knight’s arch nemesis–The Joker–as he sets out to prove insanity is only a horrifying moment away for anyone in the latest DC Universe Original Movie, Batman: The Killing Joke.
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Based on one of the best-selling graphic novels of all time, this R-rated, feature-length animated film brings together some of the key creative team behind Batman: The Animated Series with executive producer Bruce Timm  at the helm and Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill returning to their seminal roles as Batman and The Joker, respectively. You can see what the fuss is about: Batman: The Killing Joke has arrived (from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray Deluxe Edition, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. Super, man.

Let us share a moment featuring Batman searching the fun house as the Joker chides him with a monologue that ends with his famed “One Bad Day” line.

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, Batman: The Killing Joke takes a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime–from his humble beginnings as a struggling comedian to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Years later, and now escaped from Arkham Asylum, The Joker devises a plan to prove that one bad day can make anyone as insane as he is–setting his sights on Commissioner Gordon. It’s up to the Dark Knight to put a stop to The Joker’s latest scheme and save one of Gotham City’s finest. Following a gripping prologue introducing Barbara Gordon’s heroic adventures alongside Batman as Batgirl, Batman: The Killing Joke stays true to the authentic tale that has held fans’ imaginations for nearly three decades–spotlighting the birth of a Super-Villain, the fortitude of a Super Hero and the punchline that will leave you speechless.

We ain’t saying anymore, but we Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing, the final words. She promises the film has an “intense, often disturbing storyline, but we are extremely pleased with how true to the graphic novel we have been in this original film.”

 

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner fans will be stung big-time by Sting

The news is so great we simply gotta spread the buzz: On September 30, A&M/Interscope Records will release The Studio Collection, a career-spanning vinyl LP box set featuring all of Sting’s seminal solo studio albums brought together for the first time.unnamed

The Studio Collection includes eight essential A&M Records albums across 11 LPs–The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985); …Nothing Like The Sun (1987, double LP); The Soul Cages (1991); Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993); Mercury Falling (1996); Brand New Day (1999, double LP); Sacred Love (2003, double LP); and The Last Ship (2013)–with both Brand New Day and Sacred Love available on vinyl for the first time ever.

All of the included LPs appear in exact replicas of the original artwork presented in an exceptional slipcase package, with brand new vinyl masters cut at the legendary Abbey Road studios to ensure exceptional audio quality.

Contained within The Studio Collection are some of the most iconic albums and songs of all time, including numerous Grammy-winning tracks as well as a plethora of multi-platinum, platinum and gold worldwide awards. Beginning with Sting’s first solo album, the revelatory The Dream Of The Blue Turtles from 1985–featuring the cream of America’s young jazz musicians in a politically-charged set–through 2013’s The Last Ship, exploring the central themes of homecoming and self-discovery in the North East of England, The Studio Collection showcases Sting’s meticulous song writing, evocative storytelling, and continual innovation in a ground breaking mix of musical genres and styles that have continually evolved throughout his remarkable career to date.

To complete The Studio Collection, Sting’s new album 57th & 9th will be released November 11. Take a listen. Your beating heart no longer needs to be still.

 

“American Masters” celebrates its 30th anniversary with the launch of “In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive”

Everything old is new again. And in the case of THIRTEEN’s American Masters, the old is very new and very special. The series made in debut in 1986 on PBS with Private Conversations: On the Set of “Death of a Salesman, a cinéma vérité documentary about the making of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece for network television, and its stars Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich.

Today, American Masters celebrates its 30th anniversary with the launch of In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive and the American Masters Podcast, featuring previously unreleased interviews filmed for the documentary series: 2,156 tapes, approximately 1,388 digitized hours, 800-plus interviews and counting.

A selection of short-form videos showcasing interviews with David Bowie, Gloria Steinem, Herbie Hancock, Bernadette Peters, Mike Nichols and other luminaries discussing America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants are available now on the American Masters website (pbs.org/americanmasters). New videos will be released on an ongoing basis as the archive is digitized.

The American Masters Podcast, hosted by series executive producer Michael Kantor, will feature long-form interviews from In Their Own Words. The first season, “Women on Women,” presents interviews with influential women discussing women cultural icons. Episode one features Gloria Steinem in conversation with the late, multiple Emmy-winning filmmaker Gail Levin taking a critical look at the life and career of Marilyn Monroe from 2006’s American Masters Marilyn: Still Life. New episodes will be released biweekly on the American Masters website, iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.

All full-length, digitized interviews will be archived by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between WGBH and the Library of Congress to preserve and make accessible significant historical content created by public media.
“I’m thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts has provided major funding to get this project off the ground so we can finally share gems from the cutting room floor with the public,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “Series creator Susan Lacy built a rich library of more than 200 documentary films, which is a treasure trove of American arts, culture and intellect, and the amazing interviews that informed these films are largely unseen. While we are still seeking funds to create a comprehensive, interactive digital archive website, we are confident that In Their Own Words and the American Masters Podcast will inspire and entertain a broad audience both today and in the future.”
Here, A gem of Betty White chatting about her (and my) pal Carol Burnett.

Bah Humbug! Kenny Rogers calls touring quits after this holiday season

Everything comes to an end. Kenny Rogers, who has done an annual Christmas tour since 1981, is taking a gamble. No, we don’t mean more plastic surgery.  We’re still trying to figure out who’s had more: Dolly or Kenny?

After more than five decades of touring the world, Rogers’ farewell tour, “The Gambler’s Last Deal,” is underway and expected to run into 2017.
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“Christmas has always been a special time of year to me,” Rogers coos. “The feeling I get performing on the Christmas tour is one of the things I’ll really miss about not being on the road. We will be sure to take extra time to cherish some moments on this last go around, and I hope as many people as possible will be able to join us in creating a new set of holiday memories.”

For his upcoming Christmas & Hits tour dates, Rogers will perform holiday favorites, selections from his 2015 Christmas album Once Again It’s Christmas and (of course) his hits at concerts across the U.S. The tour currently includes 16 dates. Making this final Christmas tour experience even more special, a limited number of VIP ticket packages will be offered, allowing fans the opportunity to meet Rogers and receive one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Two types of VIP packages will be available for each show of the tour. We find such marketing pretty rude. Just as Dolly.

“The Gambler’s Last Deal” concerts feature an all-new show, including a reflective look back through Rogers’ storied 50-plus-year career. Enhanced with personal stories, vintage photos and video clips—including never-before-seen footage—the music-filled retrospective will touch on every part of Rogers’ career. Along with his long list of hits, Rogers is singing songs in concert that he hasn’t performed in years.

For the most up-to-date information on all of Roger’s final world tour dates (including on-sale dates and links to purchase tickets and VIP packages), please visit www.kennyrogers.com.

Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler’s Last Deal” Christmas & Hits Tour
Nov. 25 – Independence, Mo. – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Nov. 26 – Branson, Mo. – The Mansion Theatre
Nov. 27 – Cincinnati, Ohio – Taft Theatre
Dec. 2 – La Crosse, Wisc. – La Crosse Center
Dec. 3 – Green Bay, Wisc. – Resch Center
Dec. 7 – Norfolk, Va. – Ted Constant Convocation Center
Dec. 8 – Detroit, Mich. – Fox Theatre
Dec. 9 – French Lick, Ind. – French Lick Resort Casino
Dec. 10 – Mount Pleasant, Mich. – Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Dec. 14 – Greensburg, Pa. – The Palace Theatre
Dec. 15 – Englewood, N.J. – Bergen Performing Arts Center
Dec. 16 – Uncasville, Conn. – Mohegan Sun Arena
Dec. 18 – Reading, Pa. – Reading Eagle Theatre at the Santander Arena
Dec. 20 – Verona, N.Y. – Turning Stone Resort Casino
Dec. 21 – Red Bank, N.J. – Count Basie Theatre
Dec. 23 – Westbury, N.Y. – NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Dolly Parton asking her poor fans to fork over hundred$ for “collectible” crap

She doesn’t work 9 to 5 . . . according to her flaks, “without a doubt, Dolly Parton continues to be one of the most aggressive artists in music when it comes to marketing themselves.” This time, Dolly is spreading herself as thinly as she can as she prepares for the August 19 release of her new CD Pure & Simple–with four different pre-order bundles to help promote the album.

“I may not be pure, but I’m as simple as they come!”she coos. “This new Pure & Simple project is really special to me because I’m taking my fans back to my roots. I feel like these songs have a pure, tender side and we didn’t go overboard with arrangements. I’m so glad we’ve teamed up with our friends at Sony to get this album out to the fans.” Spoken just like a well-seasoned, well-paid press flak.

Dolly should be ashamed that in this economic market, she knows her fans cannot fork over hundreds of $ for such crap.

Pure & Simple Standard Bundle

Standard Bundle ($40) Pure & Simple album cover art on black 100% preshrunk cotton T-shirt, Pure & Simple CD, as well as an album digital download that will be delivered via email on August 19.

Pure & Simple Deluxe Bundle

Deluxe Bundle ($60) Pure & Simple CD, as well as digital download of the album (to be delivered via email on August 19), a set of three notebooks with different Dolly logo designs (each notebook measures a measly 3.5″ x 5.5″) and a rhinestone and lace Dolly tote bag.

Pure & Simple Collectible Bundle

Collectible Bundle ($100) Pure & Simple CD, as well as a digital download of the album (delivered via email on August 19), a Dolly guitar string bracelet and gift box, the set of three notebooks and the Rhinestone and lace Dolly tote bag.

Pure & Simple Commemorative Bundle

Commemorative Bundle ($400) Pure & Simple CD, as well as a digital download of the album (will be delivered via email on August 19), as well as the Dolly guitar string bracelet and gift box, the three notebooks, the rhinestone and lace Dolly photo tote bag and a “Collectible Limited Edition” plaque commemorating the release of Dolly’s new album Pure & Simple.

Sean Combs combs through Bad Boy’s inventory to release a cursed box set

Someone’s got to take the rap, so we figure Sean “Diddy” Combs, known to too many people as Puff Daddy. Combs will be puffing his pride as he celebrates his 20+ year legacy as the ruling authority on hip hop and R&B with the release of the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition, escaping on August 12.  Bad Boy Entertainment, whose founder and chairman  is Combs, is also puffing the fact that they relish explicit lyrics. How can they accept a song (let’s take the ditty “Blessings”; how can we mix God with the lyric Man, the clique is the tightest, the pussy’s the tightest pussy?

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Disturbed music fans will find the CD constipated with tunes such as “I Need a Girl,” “Juicy,” “I Don’t Wanna Know,” “Hypnotize,” “Money, Power, Respect,” “Peaches & Cream,” “Can’t You See,” “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix),” “Love Like This,” “Feel So Good,” “Pop That,” “Damaged” and “I’ll Be Missing You,” from a lineup of “artists” including Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Faith Evans, Total, Carl Thomas, Mase, 112, The Lox, Cassie, Janelle Monáe, Danity Kane, Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana.  The Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition is available for preorder now digitally and physically at iTunes and Amazon.

Accompanied by a 64-page historiography and foreword by hip hop journalist Michael A. Gonzales, the collection will take readers on a journey through the history of Bad Boy Entertainment, reminding fans of the label’s reputation as hip hop’s most notorious vanguards.  With contributions from music industry veterans, readers and listeners alike will gain a 360 view of the rise of the label and their revolutionary sound.

Following a painstakingly thorough selection process, which was curated by Bad Boy President Harve Pierre, the collection arrives at the perfect time, the announcement of Puff Daddy & the Family’s highly-anticipated Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, set to kick off August 25.  Tickets for the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour are available at Livenation.com. For additional information about the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, click here.

Coos Combs: “Bad Boy helped make hip hop what it is today and this collection highlights all the music, history and vision that made Bad Boy number one. We want to thank our fans, celebrate the music, the people and the Bad Boy lifestyle that have defined the past two decades.  We’ve always made music that makes the people dance; this collection does all that and more, and it is a celebration of all things Bad Boy.”

Earplugs not included.

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Setting such a good example