Today, Hollywood has lost one of its brightest stars, and it’s a man who wasn’t up on the big screen, and wasn’t behind the camera. Roger Ebert has passed away at the age of 70 due to cancer. Just a few days ago, he wrote on his blog that his cancer had returned, and that he was taking a “leave of presence” from his job as chief movie reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Not a leave of absence, as most people would; he still intended to keep working and writing reviews. But he intended to let other reviewers that he had hand-picked handle the majority of the reviews, while he would review only those movies that he wanted to review. He sounded as if he was looking forward to it, describing it as a lifelong dream. One supposes that after a lifetime of reviewing movies, no matter how terrible, that the idea of watching only those movies that actually sound interesting would indeed hold a lot of appeal. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. But perhaps it’s better in some ways that he goes out at the top of his game, after having had one of his most prolific review-writing years (he wrote in that blog post that he had written somewhere around 300 reviews in 2012.) We can remember him as the great writer and reviewer he was. Continue reading
Actor Charles Durning passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 89. Though he seldom headlined a film, he should be immediately recognizable to any movie fan as a very prolific and accomplished supporting actor. Durning, whose film credits span six decades, had over 100 film credits to his name, in addition to numerous television appearances. His first credited role was as Dooley in Harvey Middleman, Fireman, but he is more likely to remembered for the many times he’s held a supporting a role in a major critically acclaimed picture. His credits included The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon, The Muppet Movie, Tootsie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and more.
Durning kept acting until his death, with his latest films being the independent films Rogue Assassin and Amazing Racer. At the time of his death, he had a role in an upcoming horror film, Scavenger Killers, currently filming. There is currently no word on whether his role was completed.
Even in lesser films such as the B-movie Solarbabies, Durning was often a highlight of the movie. He was an accomplished actor on both stage and screen, and his presence lent a certain weight to films, often strengthening the performances of other actors. He will be missed by film goers, particularly here at Morgan on Media.
Director-producer Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott, has died at the age of 68 in an act of suicide. Officials say that Scott left a suicide note in his car, climbed over a fence on the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach, California, and jumped off.
Suicide is always tragic, and nearly always surprising. When it’s a celebrity, the tragic nature of it is the same, but the surprise factor always seems a little higher, especially when it’s a man like Scott, who had projects currently in production, such as the upcoming miniseries Coma. It’s easy to forget that success doesn’t necessarily render a person immune to depression or other problems.
Tony Scott was director of nearly two dozen films, and producer on nearly twice as many. His cinematic legacy includes Days of Thunder, The Last Boy Scout, and Beverly Hills Cop II. He also directed the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Man on Fire, and Spy Game. And, of course, Top Gun. He was rumored to have been looking into a sequel to his 1986 classic when he died. Continue reading
It’s time for the Weekly Weblinks! This week, it seems like a lot of people are tackling series of movies, or putting out interesting lists of films. Bloggers are tackling the entire series for a couple superheroes, or picking the most iconic films within a theme.
In the news, more Marvel mayhem as Disney starts work on their first animated Marvel feature, a biopic that doesn’t want to focus on the popular part of its subject’s life, and a list of upcoming sci-fi films that have no connection to existing franchises.
This week’s posts may take a while to read, so sit back and read on for the Weekly Weblinks! Continue reading
It’s Friday morning, and so it’s time for another dose of the Weekly Weblinks. This week’s blog posts include another take on Brave, a review of a film that is coming out soon, and a few reviews of films that range from a year old to a 1960s classic.
In the news, an unlikely TV adaptation, a prog metal group’s demise, Keanu Reeve’s next big thing, and yet more puppet film news. So read on for a Weekly Weblinks that is surprisingly heavy in the Scottish influence. (I swear I don’t plan these things.) Continue reading
This morning I’m starting a new feature here on Morgan on Media, the Weekly Weblinks. I’ve been seeing a few other bloggers start up various “Follow Friday” features, or other ways to share readers around the net, and I felt like this would be a good way to do my part. Each Weekly Weblinks feature will include several links to specific blog posts that I have enjoyed reading, and think are worth sharing. It will also include various news tidbits that I felt like saying a few words on, but which didn’t warrant a full post on their own (news pieces where I do have more to say will remain as their own posts under Media News). And it’ll often have another item just for the fun of it.
Because these are articles that I’m finding as I go along the week, the exact nature and number of the links will vary from week to week. Bloggers who I follow are likely to have a greater representation — I wouldn’t be following them if I didn’t like what they write, after all — but other posts I come across can and will show up as well. If any of the posts sound interesting to you, check them out; that’s what it’s all about. Continue reading
Apple has announced that Steve Jobs has passed on at the age of 56, presumably from complications due to pancreatic cancer. Steve Jobs was one of the co-founders of Apple, along with Steve Wozniak, and brought the same company back from the brink of financial ruin in the late 90s. He was responsible for the concept and marketing of the iPhone and iPad, and also helped guide Pixar from their origins as a hardware company to the release of Toy Story and the cinema juggernaut they are today.
Mr. Jobs, I may never have bought any of your company’s products, but I can’t deny the impact you’ve had on pop culture and technology. Rest in peace.