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October 7, 2015


Hip Hop Star Heavy D Has Died, Aged 44

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 9th 2011 6:50AM
Heavy DA sad start to the day with the news that hip hop artist and actor Heavy D has died at the age of 44. He was rushed to a Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles Tuesday after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home.

No cause of death has been released, but police are not treating his death as suspicious. There have been several reports that he may have been suffering from pneumonia. According to TMZ.com Heavy D collapsed with breathing difficulties following a shopping trip. His neighbor Adam Mills found him leaning against a railing, clearly in distress, saying "I can't breathe, I can't breathe."

Only a few hours before his death the Jamaica-born rapper, who grew up in New York, Tweeted a tribute to the late boxing great Joe Frazier -- "SMOKIN JOE FRAZIER..RIP.. truly one of the best heavyweight champs that ever lived.. GODS SPEED,MR FRAZIER!" -- and sent his fans a typically positive message: "BE INSPIRED!"

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Brett Ratner Tells Kimmel About Playing Pranks With Michael Jackson (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 27th 2011 8:25AM
Brett Ratner, 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'Director Brett Ratner stopped by 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (Weeknights., 12AM ET on ABC) and reminisced about his friendship with Michael Jackson. They were such good buddies that Ratner even stayed in "The Elizabeth Taylor Suite" at Jackson's house when Taylor wasn't there.

They met when Ratner was making the first 'Rush Hour' movie and he says all the King of Pop wanted to do was play practical jokes on people. One night the pair went for a drive around Santa Barbara in Jackson's enormous stretch limo and they got their kicks by throwing water balloons out the window.

Unfortunately for a homeless guy who just happened to be walking by, Jackson had a good arm and hit him with a water balloon before driving off. Fortunately for Jackson, he was wearing a Hulk mask so his victim never knew who'd soaked him. Until maybe now, that is ...

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NBC orders Bret Ratner's Blue Blood pilot

by Brett Love, posted Sep 12th 2007 2:00PM
Brett RatnerSure, we haven't even got to the premieres of the new season yet, but television never sleeps. As the peacock network gets set to try and sell me on just why Silar didn't die, they are ordering up new pilots. The latest is Blue Blood, from Brett Ratner, executive producer of Prison Break.

Based on a book by New York City policeman Edward Conlon, the series follows his first year on the force. Ratner is signed on to direct and produce, with Neil Tolkin set to write the pilot. It's being described as a 'true crime drama pilot.' I'm not really sure what that means. 'Yet another cop show' didn't have the same punch?

I'm fully aware that it's unfair to judge the show based only on this limited information, but I can't help it. At the end of the day, even if it is 'true crime drama', even if it is directed by the man that brought us Rush Hour, and even if it is written by the guy that gave us the two Corey's in License To Drive, it sounds to me like another cop show. And it's hard to get too excited about that.

[via tvweek]

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On The Lot: Contestant Films

by JJ Hawkins, posted Aug 8th 2007 1:25PM

Adam, Jason, and Sam

(S01E15) It's a sad thing when the reveal of who's leaving a reality show is more interesting than the actual show.

Case in point, Zach went home this week and we were forced to hear his stifled crying while Adam, Jason, Will, and Sam were named the final four. I liked Zach, but his odes to such-and-such director were getting old and lacked any originality.

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On The Lot: Contestant Films (Romantic Comedy)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jul 25th 2007 7:42PM

The only romantic comedies my palette can tolerate are of the British variety. This may or may not make me a complete tool. I haven't quite decided.

These comedies usually star Hugh Grant playing Hugh Grant and are full of witty banter, unlikely but enjoyable scenarios, and slightly tolerable romance.

Going with that criteria, none of tonight's films came close for me and that's pretty sad considering I've set a pretty low bar for the genre. For the most part, the judges disagreed with me.

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On The Lot: Contestant Films (Action)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jul 17th 2007 11:35PM
Adriana with the contestants who didn't get the boot.

(S01E11) I'm really surprised On The Lot has made it this long without getting yanked.

My suspicion is Fox doesn't quite have the guts to cancel a show produced by the venerable Steven Spielberg, but they're covertly doing everything in their power to get this stinker off the air. Hence, the double eliminations for the last two weeks.

By my calculations, if we continue cutting two people a week, we'll only be subjected to four or five more episodes tops.

I think this may be the first time I've ever consistently watched a show on a weekly basis while simultaneously wanting it to die.

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On The Lot: Contestant Films - Round 3

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jul 9th 2007 10:22PM
On The Lot(S01E10) I'm pretty sure the On the Lot studio audience is tricked into thinking they're at a "My Favorite Things" taping of an Oprah show each week.

The only way they could possibly be as enthusiastic as they let on is if they think they're getting a free iPhone, a fresh batch of crepes Fedexed in from Paris, or an early copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Seriously, the crowd is in such a frenzy each week, it's nearly impossible to hear Adriana Costa during her introduction. She practically has to shout and the funny part is, she's using a microphone.

There is no way a sane human being could like this show that much. It's against nature.

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On The Lot: Contestant Films - Round 2 (continued)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jul 4th 2007 2:17AM
Adriana and the directors

Last week a reader by the name of Videophile posted a link in the comments to this YouTube video noting the similarities between it and Zach's film Die Hardly Working.

After watching the film, I tend to agree and encourage you to have a look for yourself.

I'm not accusing Zach of stealing from the SecretFunTime crew, but the video was posted on their site on May 1st and apparently, Zach only shot this film last week. Also, On The Lot didn't start airing until May 23rd which presumably means Zach could have seen the video before leaving to participate on the show. Just something to think about.

I apologize for the rampant conspiracy theorizing. I have to keep myself interested in this show somehow.

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On The Lot: Contestant Films - Round 2

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jun 27th 2007 10:24AM

On the Lot(S01E08) I hate to sound like a broken record, but once again, On The Lot underwent a few more tweaks this week.

To begin with, thanks to a somewhat revealing outfit, the studio audience was mere millimeters away from finding out what exactly resided on Adriana Costa's lot. I'm pretty sure Garry Marshall would have had a heart attack had this actually occurred.

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On The Lot: The Final Personal Submissions

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jun 19th 2007 11:36PM
On The Lot(S01E07) I'm pretty sure Fox has an intern whose sole job is to check the web every Wednesday morning to see what the bloggers and web magazines had to say about the previous night's episode.

I say this because it feels like the producers take the online criticism into account and have been making little adjustments here and there to try and make the show a little bit better.

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On The Lot: Five More Finalists Present Films

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jun 13th 2007 1:13AM
Kenny's Film

(S01E06) To the producer's credit, we finally have a format for this show, and it appears we're sticking with it. We also seem to have hit upon a trend with easy on the eyes but hard on the ears host Adriana Costa.

I could be wrong, but it appears her outfit gets a little skimpier every week.

If I'm right, somewhere around week 10 Fox's ratings are going to kill in this time slot since it's likely Adriana will have her outfit whittled down to a couple of squares of toilet paper held together by some fishing line.

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On The Lot: Five Finalists Present Their Films

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jun 6th 2007 12:52AM
Sam's Short

Tonight's show was a definite improvement over last weeks, but that's kind of like saying being forced fed one turd sandwich is better than being force fed two. At the end of the day, you're still eating a turd sandwich.

Never in my history of TV watching have I encountered a show so maligned by schizophrenia. The producers of On The Lot know they want to find "the next great Hollywood film director," but they have absolutely no clue what the means are to reach this end.

And what's the deal with Adriana Costa. I think one of the readers mentioned that he and a friend created a drinking game that revolved around one of them taking a shot every time she botched a line.

Sadly, I received email confirmation that the both of them died of alcohol poisoning after this evening's episode.

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On The Lot: 3 Directors Voted Off

by JJ Hawkins, posted May 29th 2007 11:52PM
The judges judging.
This may go down as the longest hour of TV in the history of TV. Tonight's episode was only an hour long, but it felt more like thirteen thanks to the lame effort to American Idolize the show with all the awkward pauses and the "we'll tell you right after the break" nonsense.

It probably sounds strange for a guy who practically typed a novel during yesterday's review to be criticizing the length of anything, but what else could I do? There were still 24, pardon me, 18 contestants left, and I couldn't very well not talk about someone's film. It'd be like the producers of this show completely leaving out an episode. Things like that just shouldn't happen.

Anyhow, I guess there's no real reason for me to stretch this out any more than it needs to be. I'll tell you who got cut, but we're going to have to wait...until...after...you...click..the...jump.

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On The Lot: 18 Directors Compete

by JJ Hawkins, posted May 29th 2007 1:19AM
Piano falling on lucky penny guy
New host, new show format, and a new time slot on a new night. If I didn't recognize the judges and the directors, I wouldn't have even realized I was watching On The Lot this week.

Call me crazy, but they should have gone with this American Idol like format from the get go. After watching tonight's episode, the shows from last week feel even more disjointed from the series.

I'm afraid that the plodding, "me-too-reality-show" that was portrayed last week probably turned more people off the show than anything. It's a shame too, because this week the pace really started picking up, and we got to see what the show truly has to offer.

Namely, a great bunch of films from a great bunch of directors. Well, mostly great films from mostly great directors. Click on for a walk through of 18 one-minute comedy shorts from 18 good and not so good up-and-coming directors.

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On The Lot: Auditions #2

by JJ Hawkins, posted May 25th 2007 2:33AM
Zach's amazing special effects
I find myself questioning two things about On The Lot and neither is really a negative thing about the show, which I find myself enjoying.

Foremost, what's with the bizarre airing schedule? Like I said last week, Fox really should have capitalized on the huge American Idol lead in by airing a two hour episode that really illustrated what this show is all about.

These first few episodes really seem to be focusing on the "personalities" and the conflicts they appear to be having. Specifically, the beef between Marty and Jeff and the issues Hanna and Jessica have with Kenny.

If there was ever an opportunity to break the inner quarreling so prevalent (and popular) in reality TV, this show could have been the one that did it simply by focusing on the movies.

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