Director Peter Jackson has announced that he will be shooting both chapters of his "Hobbit" tale in 3-D. Real 3-D, not the crap conversion that in my opinion threatens the entire 3-D experience.
If you're in New York City this weekend see if you can catch a preview performance to the musical, "Spider-man: Turn off the Dark," which opens Sunday night. Caught a fine preview on "60 Minutes" and, while the show looks clumsy with too much going on (the only show I've seen that I can compare it to is "Starlight Express") the few song snippets I heard were classic Bono/Edge tunes.
Last month the French periodical "TV Mag" apparently mis-quoted actor David Duchovny during an interview when it printed the "facts" that not only would there be a third "X-files" film but that the script had already been written. "NY Mag" caught up with the actor and his former co-star, Gillian Anderson, who was appearing in an off-Broadway production, and while both expressed interest in a third film, neither confirmed anything imminent.
Ingrid Pitt, one of the biggest British horror stars of the 1970s, pased away this week in London two days after she celebrated her 73rd birthday. No cause of death was immediately given. Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland in 1937, as a child she and her parents were placed in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. After the war she began a stage career in Berlin but avoided Communist police and escaped to England in the early 1960s. She toiled in relative obscurity until she won the role of "Heidi" in the Clint Eastwood war film "Where Eagles Dare." In 1970 she began a successful run in a series of vampire films for Hammer Studios, beginning with "The Vampire Lover." She followed that film with an appearance in "The House That Dripped Blood" and wore the fangs again in "Countess Dracula." Among other films she appeared in, the best was the original 1973 version of "The Wicker Man."
As I was finishing the Rant news broke that Leslie Nielsen has passed away. Not wanting to do a rush piece, I will give Mr. Nielsen his due in next week's Rant. He was 84.
RINGO - Ringo Starr
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Original Soundtrack and Music
While looking at past "shelves" I noticed that I've featured all of the Beatles seperately except for one Mr. Richard Starkey, known world wide as Ringo Starr. Believe it or not, but Ringo had a solo #1 record before John Lennon when the song "Photograph" hit the top of the charts in October 1973. Lennon didn't hit #1 until a year later with "Whatever Gets You Through the Night." This was Starr's third solo album, the first to feature "rock and roll." His first album, "Sentimental Journey" was an album of standards while "Beaucoups of Blues" was more country and western tinged. Starr had released the occasional single, with "It Don't Come Easy" hitting #4 in 1971 and "Back off Buggaloo" #9 in 1972. In fact, "It Don't Come Easy" was the first solo Beatle song to sell a million copies.
The album is best known as the closet thing to a Beatle reunion ever created, with all four of the lads from Liverpool playing on various tracks, though sadly not all four on one song. It should also be noted that John Lennon ("The Greatest"), George Harrison (co-wrote "Photograph" and three other songs on the album) and Paul McCartney ("Six O'Clock") contributed songs as well as played on the tracks. Other musicians lending a hand included Nicky Hopkins, Marc Bolan, Billy Preston and Klaus Voormann. Besides "Photograph," the song "You're Sixteen" also hit number one for Starr while the album made it to #2, kept out of the top spot for weeks by Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
Here's a listen to "Photograph" performed by Ringo and his All-Starr band. Look for the Who's John Entwistle on bass and Ringo's kid Zack on drums.
First airing on NBC in December 1964, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" is the longest running holiday special to be shown on television. It will air for it's 46th time this coming week on CBS.
Produced and filmed in "animagic" by the Rankin/Bass company, this is a show I strive to watch each year, even though I've owned it on home video for decades. The show is also something that both my wife and I share a love for...long before we met. Our tree is full of Rudolph inspired ornaments, our front yard a menagerie of inflateables and lights and our whole house, really, is like a true to life version of the Island of Misfit Toys. From music boxes to bobbleheads to the paper plates we use during our holiday entertaining, it's Rudolph, Bumble and his pals at our home each Christmas.
Here's a look at the song "We're a Couple of Misfits"
Which was replaced during the second running of the special with "Fame and Fortune"
In an effort to create more time for commercials the special has been cut and re-cut, so that many of the musical numbers are either lost or butchered. My advice is to get the DVD, which has restored the special as best as it can be.
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. And don't call me Shirley! See ya!
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