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September 1, 2015


New At The Movies promo introduces new hosts, dumps on the old ones

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 3rd 2009 3:27PM
I'm glad that At The Movies has new hosts. The two Bens just didn't work out. The new hosts in the reviewing chairs are A.O. Scott from The New York Times and Michael Phillips from The Chicago Tribune, both of whom filled in for Roger Ebert several times. Here's a preview where the two critics tell us about themselves.

Funny how the announcer says that there will be "serious reviews" by "serious journalists." I'm taking that as a dig at Ben and Ben. It premieres this weekend.

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Disney's new family movie on demand service offers free peek

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 19th 2009 10:02AM
Disney Family Movies on-demand channel will be free the first week of September.Disney Family Movies, the new video on demand subscription service offering animated and live action titles from the studios' voluminous vaults, will offer a free trial Sept. 3-7 for viewers to get a feel of The Magic Kingdom's latest offering.

Subscribers to the service get access to a rotating selection of Disney's classic and contemporary films and animated shorts. Obviously, the on demand lineup is put together with the emphasis on family friendly. Each title in the selection menu remains in rotation for about a month, with new movies added weekly.

While this looks like a great thing for parents looking to have a steady inventory of safe video babysitters, the only concern is how this service might gut the programming on Disney's other cable entities -- or how it might affect the availability of DVDs.

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At the Movies critics now at the unemployment line

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 6th 2009 11:02AM
ABC's At the Movies fired its young hosts and is moving forward with more experienced critics.At the Movies, the long-running cinema review show that once starred well-respected critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, is going back to the idea of employing experienced reviewers as hosts.

Disney and ABC film-canned Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz this week. The show's now-dismissed young, hipster critics never really showed any particular cinema savvy besides the ability to unfurl sarcastic reviews. And their writing credentials won't be mistaken for the bylines Ebert and Siskel piled up in their careers.

To reverse course in hope of saving At the Movies, executives are turning to two guys with established chops.

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Chiklis hints at return of Vic Mackey and The Shield on big screen

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 5th 2009 12:02PM
Michael Chiklis hopes Vik Mackey will live again in a big screen version of The Shield.Michael Chiklis is regularly hinting that a feature film version of The Shield is in the offing, while official news of any such production is still under wraps.

With posts like,"Vic Mackey lives!" and others, Chiklis is using his Facebook page to hype the Shield movie rumor. He linked to an E! article on the possible film no less than three times.

The problem is it's difficult to find any other media coverage on the possibility of The Shield heading to theaters. In fact, Chiklis' favorite article above is pretty much it. So, is Chiklis leaking something producers would just as soon keep quiet for now?

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Evans bringing ITV's UFO to big screen

by John Scott Lewinski, posted May 22nd 2009 1:03PM
Purple-haired women battle mysterious aliens in ITV's UFOIn Hollywood's never-ending quest to locate every single piece of pre-existing intellectual property to make into a movie without actually purchasing an original screenplay, they'll be turning to flying saucers and shiny women with purple hair.

The iconic 1960s British sci-fi series UFO (right) will be brought to the big screen by an even more iconic producer -- Robert Evans. According to Variety, Evans will team with ITV Global to update the Earth vs. aliens premise.

The original UFO featured a secret team of elite Earthlings (SHADO: Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization) fending off a mysterious collection of invading creatures.

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Wolverine on FX! In ... 2011

by Nick Zaino, posted May 5th 2009 2:03PM
FX NetworksAre you ready for 2011? Not the first part, the latter part. That's when FX is going to have all of your favorite blockbuster movies from the past few months. According to Variety, FX has secured rights to show X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Taken, The Wrestler, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Marley and Me. Variety also points out that it takes about 30 months for films to go from the big screen to television in these kinds of deals.

So, if you can keep from seeing them in the theater, or on DVD, or on demand from whichever cable system you subscribe to, on Netflix or Blockbuster, or from one of the torrents these scofflaw kids are into these days, you can see it for free on FX!

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George Segal joins the cast of Entourage

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 2nd 2009 6:06PM
EntourageDid you like Just Shoot Me? It was one of those shows I didn't really watch when it was on NBC but later caught in syndicated reruns, and it was really an underrated sitcom. It was actually quite funny and had a great cast. When people talk about the great NBC sitcoms over the years they always talk about Seinfeld, NewsRadio, and Friends, and while Just Shoot Me wasn't up to the greatness of those shows, it was good and funny. Now one of the stars is joining HBO's Entourage.

George Segal will play a veteran manager/agent who Kevin Connolly's character looks up to and seeks for advice. It doesn't look like a permanent gig (The Hollywood Reporter describes his stint as a "multi-episode arc"), but I think he'll be a great addition. It might even make me get back to the show. I loved the first few seasons but it kinda lost me a couple of seasons ago.

But isn't that great casting? You can just picture Segal getting all loud and chomping on a cigar.

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TV Squad Ten: The best movies about television

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 20th 2009 11:02AM
TV movies
As much as there have been movies about the theater and movies about movies, the films that have been made about television are some of the best ever. This year alone, there are two movies nominated for Best Picture of the year by the Academy Awards that are all about television -- Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. Without TV, neither of these films would exist. Looking back, here are the films about TV that set the standards by which Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon are measured.

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Academy Awards to accept movie ads for the first time

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 19th 2009 5:30PM
OscarNothing tests ethics like a recession. To prove this, the Academy Awards ceremony broadcast is now accepting spots for films and has cut the price of an advertisement to $1.4 million.

I could understand the concern. If someone sees an advertisement for the latest Adam Sandler flick, they could confuse it for an Academy Award nominee. The Academy has put some restrictions on the types of ads that can be used which will hopefully prevent such a mix-up. Sadly, these restrictions have only permitted for one studio advertisement so far: Disney-Pixar's Up.

It does seem a bit of a conflict of interest from getting advertising revenue from organizations to whom you are giving awards. At least Hollywood will not be confused for a society of principle. Studios big and small have always used their bank accounts and marketing campaigns to purchase an Academy Award nomination anyway. This just makes the process more obvious.

How do you feel about watching an Academy Awards broadcast with movie ads?

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LG to sell televisions that directly stream Netflix movies

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 5th 2009 12:11PM
LGIf I were a cable company, I'd have mixed feelings about this. LG is working with Netflix to sell televisions that directly stream movies to the set via an Internet connection.

This is yet another step in guaranteeing that nobody will use the cable companies to watch movies anymore. No wonder HBO, etc. have long since gotten into the business of original content.

I'm not sure how successful this formula will be, considering there is still a monthly service fee involved with the use of Netflix. Perhaps they could change their pricing model for the purchase of one of these LG televisions. I'd have issue with paying for cable, Internet and monthly movie rentals particularly when so many televisions can now be directly hooked up to a computer.

I'd like to think that this is the beginning of the all-in-one television, which along with being flat and pretty light will have built-in wi-fi, a PVR including Blu-Ray (or whatever the future generation recording technology is) and an ice cream maker.

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What's On New Year's Day

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 31st 2008 7:18PM
Leave it to BeaverHere's what's on TV tomorrow. Lots of marathons, movies, and bowl games.

  • Sci-Fi's Twilight Zone marathon continues from last night.
  • AMC is showing classic westerns all day.
  • Cartoon Network has Looney Tunes all day.
  • Hallmark has Christmas movies all day.
  • At 6am, USA has a Monk marathon.
  • At 7, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning, America, and CBS' The Early Show will all have New Year's tips, predictions, advice, and recipes.
  • At 8, TNT has a Bones marathon.
  • History Channel has Ice Road Truckers episodes all day starting at 8.

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Cinemax: all HD, all the time

by Debra McDuffee, posted Aug 25th 2008 3:23PM
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne UltimatumSeptember first brings Labor Day, back-to-school, impending autumn, and... Cinemax HD. TV Squad received a press release stating that as of September first, Cinemax will be the only 100% HD channel, promos and all.

So what's this mean to us as viewers? I'm having a hard time wrapping myself around this one. Sure, they mention some new-ish movies they will premiere, like The Bourne Ultimatum, Shrek the Third and The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. But to me, Cinemax is synonymous with B movies from a decade or so ago, one of those channels that you get for free in your cable TV movie package bbut never watch.

I know what you are thinking... your burning question that you are too embarrassed to ask...

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Non-story of the day: Deadwood movies are dead

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 11th 2008 2:01PM
There's such a thing as beating a dead horse and then there's beating a dead horse, chopping it up into tiny bits, and flinging it around like a monkey flings poo. The fact that we're still reading news items about Deadwood nearly two years after it aired its final episode just goes to show you how much it's missed. Well get this - as if we didn't already know - those two final "wrap-up the series with a neat little bow" movies are as dead as Wild Bill Hickok.

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TiVo to offer Disney movie rentals

by Brad Linder, posted May 28th 2008 9:32AM

TiVo and DisneyTiVo has announced plans to offer customers the option of renting Disney movies directly from their set top box. The company has already partnered with Amazon to offer Unbox video downloads. But Disney titles aren't available through Amazon Unbox, so TiVo is instead partnering with CinemaNow.

Some movies will be available in standard definition only, while some titles will be available in high definition. Rentals will be viewable for up to 24 hours.

There's no word on pricing, but CinemaNow typically charges $3.99 to rent a new release, and $1.99 for an older video. I suspect Disney movies will be offered for a similar price when the service is launched. According to the press release, the service will go live "soon," but it's not clear whether that means today, next week, or sometime before the end of the year.

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Hulu now the top network video web site

by Brad Linder, posted May 20th 2008 5:27PM


Hulu is now the top network video web site, according to Nielsen data. Hulu sent out an email today letting users know that the site has server up more than 63 million video streams, and that the average Hulu user watches 2 hours of video on the site each month.

There are probably at least two keys to Hulu's success. First, the service actually offers videos that people want to watch including full length movies and TV shows. And second, Hulu doesn't just distribute videos through its own web site. You can also find them through partner sites including MSN, AOL, and Comcast's video portals.

The company is also continuing to sign new partners for its video distribution network. Starting today Hulu videos are available through TV.com. And over the next few weeks Hulu will roll out partnerships with TVGuide.com, Break.com, Zap2it, BuddyTV, Flixter, and MyYearbook.

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