Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tribute To Charlie Chaplin

Before Chaplin, Hollywood was in it's infancy and not the dominate international film industry it would become. Charlie Chaplin became the world's first true movie superstar and helped build Hollywood into an entertainment juggernaut. Here is a few of his facts.

Born in London, England.

When Chaplin moved to America he was roommates with Stan Laurel.

Made his film debut in February 1914 and began directing two months later.

Started United Artists Pictures in 1919 with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith.

Wrote the music to the song "Smile".

Won three Oscars; a special award for "The Circus" (1928), a lifetime achievement award in 1971 and one for best musical score for "Limelight" (1972 - film made in 1952 but not released in the U.S. until twenty years later).

Charlie Chaplin dated many famous women including Tallulah Bankhead, Carole Landis, Paulette Goddard, Hedy Lamarr, Delores Del Rio, Marion Davis, Louise Brooks, Mabel Normand, Mildred Harris and Edna Purviance.

Exiled from the U.S. in 1953 for supposedly being a communist, he would live the rest of his life in Switzerland. He returned to Hollywood in 1972 to receive an honorary Oscar.

Fathered twelve children, including actress Geraldine Chaplin.

Chaplin was knighted in 1975.

Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the famous movie tramp in the 1992 film "Chaplin", directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.

Cartoons Made into Live Action Films

Flash Gordon (1980): Star of a fantasy / sci-fi comic strip that began in the 1930's and later became a film serial. The 1980 movie version starring Sam Jones in the title role was a box office bomb but the music soundtrack by the rock group Queen is now considered a classic.

Popeye (1980): Popeye started out as a character in a comic strip called Thimble Theatre in 1929. He quickly grew in popularity and was adapted to the big screen in a series of animated shorts produced by Paramount Pictures from 1933 to 1957. Comedian and TV star Robin Williams made his movie debut playing Popeye in the 1980 film version.

Dick Tracy (1990): Dick Tracy was a popular comic strip created during the 1930's. He later became popular on radio and in a series of live action B-movies. Warren Beatty adapted a big screen live action version of Dick Tracy in 1990 co-starring Madonna, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino.

The Addams Family (1991): A comic strip created by Charles Addams during the 1930's. In 1964 the Addams Family became a popular live action TV series. A successful movie version was made in 1991 starring Raul Julia, Angelica Huston and Christina Ricci.

Dennis The Menace (1993): The Dennis The Menace comic strip first appeared in newspapers in 1951. A successful live action TV series followed in 1959. A film version starring Walter Matthau as next door neighbour Mr. Wilson was made in 1993.

The Phantom (1996):  Another popular comic strip from the 30's. Billy Zane starred in the unsuccessful 1996 film version.

Mr. Magoo (1997): Originally started as a series of animated shorts during the 50's and later appeared in books and newspapers and on TV. Leslie Nielsen starred in the live action film version. Considered one of the most politically incorrect cartoon characters of all time.

Garfield (2004): Garfield has always been a commercial goldmine and the 2004 movie starring Bill Murray as the voice of the CGI rendered cat was no exception.

The Spirit (2008): Created by legendary comic artist Will Eisner in 1940, the Spirit got the big screen treatment in 2008. The film was directed by another comic artist Frank Miller.

Marmaduke (2010): This comic strip first appeared in 1954. A movie version with Owen Wilson as the voice of Marmaduke was made in 2010.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Great Beatle Quotes

John's Aunt Mimi: "That guitar is okay, but you'll never make a living with it."

Ringo Starr: "We thought that if we lasted for two to three years that would be fantastic."

John Lennon: "When I was twelve, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody's noticed. If there is such a thing as a genius...I am one, and if there isn't, I don't care."

George Harrison: "As far as I'm concerned, there won't be a Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead."

John Lennon: "As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot."

Paul McCartney: "There are only four people who knew what the Beatles were about anyway."

John Lennon: "It doesn't matter how long my hair is or what colour my skin is or whether I'm a woman or a man."

Ringo Starr: "So this is America. They must be out of their minds."

George Harrison: I wanted to be successful, not famous."

Yoko Ono: "what the Beatles did was something incredible, it was more than what a band could do. We have to give them respect."

John Lennon: "I don't believe in killing whatever the reason."

Ringo Starr: "I was the new boy. It was like joining a new class at school where everybody knows everybody else but me."

Paul McCartney: "I definitely did look up to John. We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest."

John Lennon: "We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the new world. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest of that ship."

George Harrison: "The Beatles will go on and on."

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tribute To Bill Murray

A few facts about one of Hollywood's most talented and underrated stars.

Born in Wilmette, Illinois.

One of nine Children. his brothers Brian-Doyle, John and Joel are also actors.

Began his career on Saturday Night Live (1977 - 1980).

Made his big screen debut with "Meatballs" (1979)

In 1982 he was the first ever guest on "Late Night With David Letterman".

Stripes (1981), Tootsie (1982), Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989) and Charlie's Angels (2000) are Bill's biggest box office hits.

Tom Hanks was considered for the lead role in "Groundhog Day" before Bill was cast.

Won an Academy Award nomination for "Lost In Translation" (2003).

His favourite baseball team is the Chicago Cubs.

Bill is an avid golfer and won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with D.A. Points.

The movie "Moonrise Kingdom" is Murray's sixth film with director Wes Anderson.

Roles turned down by Bill include: The Dead Zone (1983), Splash (1984), Rain Man (1988),  Batman (1989), Forrest Gump (1994), Toy Story (1995),  The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)

Famous Movie Quotes

Judy Garland - The Wizard Of Oz (1939): "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Humphrey Bogart - Casablanca (1943): "Here's looking at you, kid."

Gloria Swanson - Sunset Boulevard (1950): "Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close up."

Sean Connery - Dr. No (1962): "Bond. James Bond."

Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove (1964): " Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room.."

Harrison Ford - Star Wars (1977): "May the force be with you."

John Belushi - Animal House (1978): "Food fight!"

David Prowse (Darth Vader) - The Empire Strikes Back (1980): "I Am Your Father."

E.T. - E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982): "E.T. phone home."

Clint Eastwood - Sudden Impact (1983): "Go ahead, make my day."

Arnold Schwarzenegger - The Terminator (1984): "I'll be back."

Tom Cruise - Top Gun (1986): "I feel the need...the need for speed."

Michael Keaton - Batman (1989): "I'm Batman."

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991): "Hasta la vista, baby."

Tom Hanks - A League Of Their Own (1992): "There's no crying in baseball."

Jack Nicholson - A Few Good Men (1992): "You Can't Handle The Truth!"

Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump (1994): "Life is like a box of chocolates."

Cuba Gooding Jr. - Jerry Maguire (1996): "Show Me The Money."

Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense (1999): "I see dead people."

Andy Serkis - The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002): "My precious."

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Behind The Scenes Facts About The Avengers Movie

The movie "The Avengers" is based on a comic book of the same name, first published by Marvel in 1963.

Neither Hawkeye nor The Black Widow were founding members of The Avengers.

Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, but before he was cast Joaquin Phoenix was considered.

Joss Whedon directs this movie, he is best known as the producer of  TV's Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly. He also wrote the screenplay for X-Men, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Samuel L. Jackson Plays S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Nick Fury in five films: Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and, of course, The Avengers (2012).

Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo Previously co-starred together in the movie "Zodiac".

Joss Whedon had Previously directed Chris Hemsworth in "The Cabin In The Woods" (2011).

Cobie Smulders, who plays Maria Hill, was once considered to play Wonder Woman.

Stan Lee, who created The Avengers, makes a cameo in the movie.

Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Joss Whedon have all been nominated for Oscars.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Famous Songs About Famous People

Going To California - Led Zepplin (1971): The lyric "...she plays guitar and cries and sings" is about Joni Mitchell.

Love Reign o'er Me - The Who (1973): Pete Townshend originally wrote this song about British singer Shirley Bassey, whom he had a crush on during his adolescence.

Killing Me Softly With His Song - Roberta Flack (1973): Supposedly inspired by a poem written by Lori Lieberman about singer Don McLean.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd (1975) This nine part song was inspired by former lead singer Syd Barrett, who ironically visited the studio while the group was recording. It took awhile to recognise him because no one had seen him for several years.

Hurricane - Bob Dylan (1975): A protest song about boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who Dylan felt was wrongly sent to prison in the late 60's.

Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (1978): From the album "Slowhand", this song was written for George Harrison's ex-wife Pattie Boyd.

Empty Garden - Elton John (1982) Written and recorded after the death of John Lennon. The two artists were close friends, with Elton being named Sean Lennon's godfather.

Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses (1987): From their multi platinum selling album "Appetite For Destruction". Axl Rose co-wrote this song about his then girlfriend Erin Everly, daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers.

Black Velvet - Alannah Myles (1989): This song is a tribute to Elvis Presley and hit number one on the U.S. Billboard charts.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

John Travolta's Hits And Misses

John Travolta first became famous during the mid-seventies on the TV show "Welcome Back, Kotter". Since then he's gone on to be one of Hollywood's biggest stars. But Travolta has not always been flying high, he's also had his share of bombs. Here's a look at some of the highs and lows of his movie career.

Hits: Carrie (1976), Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978). These three films put him on the map and made him a superstar.

Miss: Moment By Moment (1978) A love story with Lily Tomlin? What was he thinking?

Hits: Urban Cowboy (1980), Staying Alive (1983). The second film is a sequel to Saturday Night Fever that was directed by Sylvester Stallone.

Misses: Two Of A Kind (1983), Perfect (1985), The Experts (1989). A string of bombs that put him in the D-List.

Hit: Look Who's Talking (1989) A surprise smash that put Travolta back on top. This was his biggest hit since Grease.

Misses: Look Who's Talking sequels, Shout (1991), Chains Of Gold (1991). Talking babies can only take you so far.

Hits: Pulp Fiction (1994), Get Shorty (1995), Broken Arrow (1996), Phenomenon (1996), Michael (1996) Face / Off (1997). John enters the peak phase of his career and becomes the hottest actor in Hollywood.

Misses: She's So Lovely (1997), Mad City (1997), Primary Colors (1998). Just because you put John Travolta in a movie doesn't mean it's going to be a hit.

Hit: The General's Daughter (1999). This was his lone hit during a period of decline.

Misses: Battlefield Earth (2000), Lucky Numbers (2000), Swordfish (2001), Domestic Disturbance (2001), Basic (2003), The Punisher (2004). The amazing thing about this period of his career was how he stayed so busy despite his box office decline.

Hits: Be Cool (2005), Wild Hogs (2007), Hairspray (2007), Bolt (2008), The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009). Wild Hogs is the second biggest hit of his career after Grease.

Misses: Old Dogs (2009), From Paris With Love (2010). His box office status is currently down but if history is any indication he should be back on top again soon.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

George Harrison's Best Beatle Songs

1. Something (1969) George's best song, one which Frank Sinatra described as "the greatest love song ever written." The first number one by the Beatles not written by John or Paul.

2. Here Comes The Sun (1969) From the album "Abbey Road". Peter Tosh and Richie Havens both had hit versions of this song.

3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (1968) George's best song off  the white album. Some people might be surprised to know that it was Eric Clapton doing the guitar solo. Jeff Healey did a great Cover version.

4. Taxman (1966) George's protest song which appears on the album "Revolver". The guitar solo is actually played by Paul McCartney. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Franz Ferdinand and Power Station all did cover versions.

5. Within You Without You (1967) This song helped popularise world music. Featuring mostly Indian musicians, George is the only Beatle to perform on this track from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

6. Old Brown Shoe (1969) Released as the B-side to "The Ballad Of John And Yoko". George plays both guitar and bass on this one.

7. I Need You (1965) From the movie and album "Help!". One of the first original compositions by George to appear on a Beatles record since 1963's "Don't Bother Me".

8 I Me Mine (1970) The last song recorded by the Beatles (without Lennon). Also the title of his autobiography.

9. For You Blue (1969) From the album "Let It Be". Released as the B-side to "The Long And Winding Road".

10 You Like Me Too Much (1965) From the album "Help!".