Roger Ebert presents At the Movies – coming in January 2011

The show that spanned over three decades is back. The show that got me (and a big chunk of my family) hooked on movies, er, on films – is heading back to television. We’re willing to forgive ABC and Disney the last few years of less-than-stellar reviews (and hosts), along with terrible past-midnight timeslots. We’re going to ignore the fact the Gene Siskel is long gone, and Ebert is only vocal in his massive twitter and blog universe. We’ll even put up with a bunch of new hosts, and new ideas – which may make it better, or may not. We just want to watch.

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Machete – from fake trailer to real movie

You remember those fake movie trailers in Tarantino’s Grindhouse? A couple of them played just before the first film, and a couple more – during the intermission. Looks like one of them is being made into a real movie – Machete with Danny Trejo. This is either another sign of the looming apocalypse (you know, it’s officially the end of the world when Hollywood runs out of ideas), or just a hilarious ‘idea becomes concept, which becomes product’ cycle, which makes sense – and money. After all, The Colbert Report was originally a promo for a non-existing segment. It became a show.

Anyway, Danny Trejo is filming it, and according to IMDB, most of the people that were featured in the fake trailer are involved in the actual movie. Lohan, Seagal, De Niro, Johnson, Alba, Rodriquez. Seemed like a hilarious stunt-casting at theĀ  time, but now you can actually see a plausible (and immensely enjoyable) film in there. Hope Robert Rodriquez (who’s directing it) will get all the creative freedom he needs. Here’s the trailer, enjoy:

George Carlin RIP – catch TV specials

We knew it was coming, and his last few appearances on TV have been pretty telling. The guy’s been on stage, entertaining us, our parents, our grandparents for decades. That heart can only take so much, you know. How appropriate – heart failure. My guess is George just got tired. And can you blame him – fighting idiocy, and observing the morons who surround him every day. There are no others like you, George. I’m sorry you got tired of all of us. We should have tried harder to be decent beings.
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Best TV shows of all time

This is a strange time for top-ten lists – usually people do them around the holidays. But here’s yet another list for your pleasure. Britain’s Empire magazine has chosen the 50 best TV shows ever made. Many good, respectable shows listed here, and a few gems completely shunned. We’ll post links to similar lists shortly. What do you think are the best TV shows?
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WGA strike update – affected shows

The writers’ strike is beginning to affect the current shows. There are the basics – November is normally a sweeps month, so most of the shows have many episodes in the bank, already written and completed. Because December and January are typically slow – holidays and reruns – a few networks complete at least half of the season before the end of November. In other words, these shows can have enough new episodes to last into February. Many new shows still don’t have a full-season order, therefore, no new shows scripted or produces, and they are going to run out of new shows pretty soon. Here’s the tally so far, across the networks. We fully support the writers, but take a look at this list and beware – your faves are going into reruns pretty quickly. You may not notice it over the holiday season, but come January – you might as well start going to sports arenas and opera houses.
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TIFF 2006 – First few days

Wow, what a lineup this year. We thought Toronto Film Fest was outstanding in 2005 (Everything’s Illuminated, Mrs. Henderson Presents, A History of Violence, and dozens of other films), but so far this year we haven’t seen (or heard of) anything bad. Every screening we go to, every review we hear is just great. Stay tuned for in-depth reviews coming to the site, meanwhile a little tease. Babel is a multilingual drama, a tearjerker in today’s ever-shrinking world; Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fairytale, told in a background of 1944 fascist Spain, a fascinating parable of today’s evils…
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Fall TV (06-07) premiere dates

Wow, look at the list of all the shows this season. You’d think there would be a few less, since WB and UPN have merged, and FOX with NBC has seen a lot of cancellations last year. Nope, they’re all back – your favourites, as well as newbies, waiting for your approval. A few notes: FOX is leading the pack, starting the season early, once again. I guess the other networks still think that FOX doesn’t count, too bad for them. CBS and NBC are stubborn in their late premieres – watch for their new shows in the end of September. ABC – with Lost, Gray’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives – have nothing to worry about. A network only needs a handful of standout shows. Let’s see who will be the first to get canceled. Any early bets?
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