Jay Leno Hosts New You Bet Your Life for Fall 2021 Syndication

Jay Leno is the latest funnyman to helm You Bet Your Life, the classic comedy quiz show established and best remembered as the radio-and-TV vehicle for Groucho Marx from 1947 to 1961. Leno’s latest will be distributed by FOX Television Stations.

You Bet Your Life has an unrelated contestant couple engage in a humorous chat with the emcee then emcee starts the Q-and-A session. One famous feature is a bonus prize if a contestant utters the Secret Word anytime they’re with the host. YBYL isn’t about sky-high stakes, complex gameplay, or ad break-straddling suspense; it’s essential that emcee is capable of providing light entertainment.

Bill Cosby (1992-93), Richard Dawson (1988 pilot), and Buddy Hackett (1980-81) hosted later, lesser revivals. Several episodes starring Marx and his sidekick George Fenneman have seen DVD releases officially by Shout Factory and unofficially in public domain episode collections.

PDComedy.com has episodes of Groucho’s YBYL. YouTube, too, but it may also have videos from the other revivals.

Continue reading “Jay Leno Hosts New You Bet Your Life for Fall 2021 Syndication”

[REVIEW] Why is We Bare Bears: The Movie?

Disclaimer: Warner Bros provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Also a disclaimer and a warning, I’m a late 30s male who knows about We Bear Bears only due to nieces who watched the show before.

We Bare Bears: The Movie (or WBBM) is a feature-length journey of big brother Grizzly (Eric Edelstein), smartphone-wielding Panda (Bobby Moynihan), and bear of many talents, Ice (Demetri Martin) forced to travel to Canada after causing some city-wide annoyances. This final adventure of the ursine trio would be most enjoyable to fans who stuck with the entire series. As an outsider, WBBM is very silly episode with a few pleasant nods to other WBB characters and a familiar iconic vehicle, a piecemeal plot, and pro-animal messaging muddled by pro-social media antics.

Continue reading “[REVIEW] Why is We Bare Bears: The Movie?”

Naomi Did Nothing Horribly Wrong in the 2020 Royal Rumble

In the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble match, WWE Superstar Naomi made her return. She’s one of the WWE’s best in pure athletic ability and, what I’ve seen from matches and Total Divas, one of the nicest people in a wrestling business that requires people to have a mile-deep mean streak.

Naomi, in making a Royal Rumble moment, avoids being eliminated from the match by landing on the barricade wall. Moving from the top of the barricade to the announce tables, she takes her time making her move back into the ring. Pacing along the three tables, she ultimately decides to cross to the ring steps via the table top. Continue reading “Naomi Did Nothing Horribly Wrong in the 2020 Royal Rumble”

[PRESS RELEASE] 2019 RUSSIAN FILM WEEK NEW YORK ANNOUNCED

A NEW FILM FESTIVAL
CELEBRATING INDEPENDENT AND COMMERCIAL FILMS THAT REPRESENT THE DYNAMIC LANDSCAPE OF RUSSIAN FILMMAKING TODAY

DECEMBER 6-13 IN MANHATTAN

Presented by The Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation and Rock Studio Films

18 Films * 22 screenings and Q&As * 10,258 prospective viewers
15 star guests, directors and actors

The 2019 Russian Film Week in New York (RFWNY) – a new film festival celebrating independent and commercial films that represents the dynamic landscape of Russian filmmaking today. The event, which will take place in New York City, December 6-13 at the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd St), Peter Jay Sharp Theatre and Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway) and the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway (1871 Broadway).

RFWNY was co-founded and successfully re-launched in 2018. This partnership aims to develop a multi-state, annual week-long showcase, in an effort to present independent, commercial, documentary and arthouse Russian films with subtitles to mainstream US audiences.

“At a time when some want to highlight differences among us, we want the 2019 Russian Film Week in New York to be a bridge to unite people across the oceans,” said founders and presenters Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis of The Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation. “We truly feel that artistry is a powerful force and can be the catalyst to show our commonalities.”

Highlights of Russian Film Week in New York include:

ACID

Movie screening and discussion / Q&A with film director Alexander Gorchilin
Acid is a silent manifesto of the generation of twenty-year-olds in search for life’s meaning. The main characters have been abandoned in a world adorned with concepts such as family, friendship, love, and opportunities. They justify their reckless and infantile behavior by the lack of communication with their parents, since they grew up without fathers. Now, the time has come for them to face adulthood.

ANOTHER WOMAN

Movie screening and discussion / Q&A with director Anna Parmas and actress Anna Rytsareva.
Masha’s successful life has her completely consumed in her work until she discovers that her husband has been having an affair with his twenty-something fitness trainer. Her life begins to spin out of control, as she struggles to balance work, child-rearing and navigating the breakdown of her marriage. Desperate to keep her family together, Masha won’t stop at anything to get her husband back, including turning to supernatural forces. But her new life opens up new opportunities, and she wonders if this old barely flickering flame is really worth reigniting. This feature-length comedy debut by Anna Parmas is full of superb performances and witty punchlines.

THE BATTLE

As a street dancer, Anton is building a remarkable career: his team wins all the battles, he is a recognized choreographer, and all his future depends on dance. When Anton loses his hearing in a tragic accident, all his plans and all hopes are destroyed. Finding himself in an empty and strange world of silence, Anton gradually realizes that this is not the end. His passion for dance, the will to win and his love of life show him a new way to his cherished dream. And his greatest battle is yet to come.

HIGH ABOVE

A young girl spends her summer in a countryside resort under the strict supervision of her mother. A young guy with a secret past draws her attention. The girl does not foresee that her life will change forever after meeting him, and her feelings will send her high above the sky.

THE LENIN FACTOR

It’s been almost three years since the start of World War I, the bloodiest war in the history of humanity. Vladimir Lenin is an immigrant, living in Zurich. Having devoted his life to preparing the revolution, Lenin “missed” its beginning and is now searching for an opportunity to return to Russia and annex control of the situation.

THE SNOW QUEEN: MIRRORLANDS (Animated movie)

A powerful king nearly lost his family due to the Snow Queen’s evil deeds. He finds a way to withdraw all the magic from the world – they who master the magic powers get trapped in the Mirrorlands. The only one who can stop him and keep the fairytale in our world is Gerda – as her own superpower is not sorcery but her faith in kindness and friendship. The Snow Queen herself along with trolls and pirates will help Gerda in her new adventures.

VAN GOGHS

Movie screening and discussion / Q&A with Aleksey Serebryakov and Sergey Livnev conducted by the film’s director Sergey Livnev
Winner of four Russian National Film Academy Awards (Nika), Van Goghs sensitively explores the complicated relationship between Mark Ginzburg, an artist, and his oppressive father Viktor, a famous conductor Mark moved from Latvia to Israel just to escape his father’s shadow, but now circumstances have forced the two to live under the same roof again. Will they manage to see beyond their mutual dependency and rediscover the love they have for each other? An exceptionally moving film about families, and how they shape our expectations from – and perceptions of – life.

For the full list of films, please visit:

www.russianfilmweekusa.com/events/list/

In June of 2019, RFWNY started a new initiative to promote Russian movies: we presented free screenings of two Russian films (with subtitles) at New York’s Wolfe’s Pond Park in Staten Island, as part of the NY City Council’s Cultural Initiative, supported by New York City Councilman Joseph C. Borelli (district 51).
LISTINGS INFORMATION:
 
Russian Film Week in New York (RFWNY) takes place in New York City December 6-13, 2019 at the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd St), Peter Jay Sharp Theatre and Leonard Nomoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway) and the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway (1871 Broadway).
For tickets and information, please visit: www.RussianFilmWeekUSA.com
*   *   *
About the presenters:
Cherry Orchard Festival (www.CherryOrchardFestival.org) is a leading independent international arts organization with a solid reputation for presenting musical performances, theatrical productions, multi-disciplinary performing and visual arts attractions by a stunning array of global artists to audiences in the US. Founded by Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis in 2013, the festival is now embarking on its 7th season and has presented more than 55 unique world-class events, concerts and theatrical performances to over 90,000 audience members.
Rock Films Studio (http://www.rockfilm.ru) was founded in 1991 by film director Alexey Uchitel. Since then, the studio has produced 45 feature and documentary films which have received over 100 awards at international film festivals, and were distributed theatrically both in Russia and abroad. The films include The Major (Cannes Film Festival) and The Fool (Locarno) by Yury Bykov, More by Alexandra Strelyanaya (Karlovy Vary), and others. Besides film production, Rock Studio Films is involved in two additional festivals – Message To Man in Saint Petersburg and Russian Film Week in London.

Age Out (2019) Movie Review

Review courtesy of LastHouseOnTheRight.com. Their review is from a screener copy provided by the filmmakers.

We’ve all seen numerous shows and films showing happy new families united by the noble institution of adoption. In fact, adoption is often the happy ending at the end of a heartwarming movie. From Little Orphan Annie on through to the Blind Side, the list goes on and on.

But what about those kids who never get their happy ending? What happens to the child whose ride never comes to pick them up? Age Out begins by exploring this theme, and meanders its way into an improbable whodunit combined with a strained, muted love story.

Continue reading “Age Out (2019) Movie Review”

Night Sweats (2019) Movie Review

NOTE: Screener copy provided for review.

Aloof New York City stages solid, but not provocative if one’s paying attention, indie thriller. Skater’s sexy night ends in roommate’s bizarre death. He finds cause of death while eluding corrupt antagonists. Two leads’ chemistry’s fine, but not fiery.

Expanded, spoiler-light review.

Night Sweats is told in lower-class parts of the Big Apple where the glamour of Manhattan is always distant. Yuri, a skateboarder who moves to NYC (Kyle DeSpiegler), is enjoying the company of Mary Kate (Mary Elaine Ramsey). Their session of coitus is interrupted by the vomiting death of Yuri’s friend (John Francomacaro). From there, Yuri uncovers the cause of friend’s death while avoiding a motorcycle man (Brett Azar) and the fury of a self-help company president (John Wesley Shipp). When the ending reveal happens, it’s not very shocking if one’s paying attention to a certain character’s reactions.

Overall, I enjoyed Night Sweats. The chemistry between Yuri and M.K. lacks spark, but I don’t fault the actors. With the exception of Shipp’s blustering, the plot and low-key atmosphere typical of indie films doesn’t allow over-emoting. I can’t immediately place which true events Night Sweats is based upon, but the disaster that would occur if the plot happened on a wide scale is creepy to think about.

Directed by Andrew Lyman-Clarke. Written by Clarke from a story by Seth Panman. Runtime: 99 minutes.

Visit the official Night Sweats website. View the trailer:

Cherry on Top: A Look at the Horror-Filled Adventures of Ernest P. Worrell

Ernest P. Worrell, the prolific pitch man shilling all sorts of products in the 1980s, is the result between John Cherry’s opportunism and Jim Varney’s rubber-faced charisma. Ernest became an advertising icon who moved into the star protagonist of seemingly a zillion movies. Being the idiot yokel gave struggling actor Varney a steady paycheck, fame, and fortune.

I have some nostalgia for Ernest’s antics — one of the first movies I saw on VHS was Ernest Goes to Jail. However, my now adult sense of humor can take idiotic attempts at hilarity in small doses. Let’s trace the creative evolution though a sample of horror-themed works. Continue reading “Cherry on Top: A Look at the Horror-Filled Adventures of Ernest P. Worrell”

NWA Press Conference Notes - 30 September 2019

National Wrestling Alliance held a press conference this morning at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta. They are holding TV tapings at the GPB Studios tonight and tomorrow and announced their weekly show will be on Tuesdays, 6:05pm on YouTube and Facebook Live. Here are some notes of what happened. I paraphrased comments, so there may be errors. Continue reading “NWA Press Conference Notes – 30 September 2019”