A Television Classic Worth Remembering: ‘Liza With A Z’

_rbdave73dj1_hires219Apropos of absolutely nothing, it just occurred to us that this month marks the 42nd anniversary of the groundbreaking television special LIZA WITH A Z. We ran across a DVD copy over the weekend and couldn’t help but note that, even by today’s standards, this LIZA MINNELLI concert presentation is one of the greatest musical time-capsules ever. Originally aired on September 10, 1972, the film was produced and directed by BOB FOSSE, with MINNELLI performing a program of songs written specifically for her by the team of JOHN KANDER and FRED EBB. The winner of four Emmys and a Peabody Award, the show featured costumes by HALSTON and musical direction by MARVIN HAMLISH.

During a press conference a few years ago, MINNELLI talked about how the show almost didn’t make it to air over censorship issues and how it took a little persuasive conversation from the creative team to bypass standards and practices. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)


LIZA WITH A Z has been digitally remastered and is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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Posted by Bob Healy

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Brings The Funny To The New Fox Sunday Night Lineup

_rbdave73dj1_hires218Returning tonight on Fox, the Golden Globe-winning sitcom BROOKLYN NINE-NINE opens its sophomore season by addressing the cliff-hanger ending it left viewers with last season. Detective Jake Peralta (ANDY SAMBERG) is back from ‘suspension’ and working undercover in an FBI mafia sting as well as overcoming the awkward situation he created by admitting he has a crush on Amy (MELISSA FUMERO). Arguably one of the best workplace comedies on the air, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE continues its quirky (and sometimes random) brand of humor.

During his recent promotional tour to publicize the show, series star ANDY SANDBERG didn’t want to spill any specific beans but did admit that the sexual tension between Jake and Amy won’t be ignored.

Season two of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE debuts tonight on Fox.

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Posted by Bob Healy

It’s The Collab Of The Year! ‘The Simpsons Guy’ Is Finally Here!

_rbdave73dj1_hires217After months of teasing, the highly anticipated 13th season premiere of FAMILY GUY airs tonight on Fox. A much touted collaboration between SETH MacFARLANE and MATT GROENING, the hour-long episode is titled THE SIMPSONS GUY and centers on the GRIFFIN family as they travel from their home in Quahog to Springfield where the meet and deal with the SIMPSONS.

Rumored for years to be feuding, series creators GROENING and McFARLANE put all that to rest in a recent Entertainment Weekly cover story. Still, a major mash-up was something fans never really expected to happen.

We recently sat down with YEARDLEY SMITH (the voice of Lisa Simpson for 25 years) and she gave us a hint of what fans can expect tonight.


Both FAMILY GUY and THE SIMPSONS have season premieres tonight on Fox.

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Posted by Bob Healy


‘The Equalizer’ Tells A Tough Tale Of Revenge And Vigilantism

_rbdave73dj1_hires216They say that payback is a bitch and nowhere is it more evident than in THE EQUALIZER, a hard-boiled tale of revenge and restitution that goes so far over the top it’s almost comic book material. Centered on an ex-CIA agent who faked his own death to get a new start and is now reduced to working in a home-goods store, the story has him living an ostensibly quiet life. But when he sees a young hooker being roughed up by Russian gangsters, his old instincts kick in and he becomes an avenging angel taking on the entire mob.

A reunion for director ANTOINE FUQUA and star DENZEL WASHINGTON, the film is not as smooth as TRAINING DAY (their first outing in 2001) but it is every bit as action packed. Also in the cast are CHLOE GRACE MORETZ, MARTON CSOKAS, MELISSA LEO and BILL PULLMAN.

At a press conference to promote the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, WASHINGTON and FUQUA talked about reuniting for another collaboration. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

THE EQUALIZER is in theaters now.

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Posted by Bob Healy

Elle Fanning On ‘The Boxtrolls’: ‘It’s Just The Coolest Thing Ever’

_rbdave73dj1_hires215In theaters today, THE BOXTROLLS is another stop-motion animation film in the spirit of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and COROLINE. Set in underground 19th-century England and focused on a community of monsters so shy they wear cardboard boxes to hide their bodies, the story has them going to battle with a town villain intent on extermination.

Directed by GRAHAM ANNABLE and ANTHONY STACCHI, the top-notch voice talent includes BEN KINGSLEY, ELLE FANNING, TONI COLLETTE, TRACY MORGAN, JARED HARRIS and SIMON PEGG.

Earlier this year, we caught up with ELLE FANNING (who voices the character of WINNIE in the film) on the red carpet at ComicCon and she talked about why audiences are going to love THE BOXTROLLS.

THE BOXTROLLS opens in theaters today.

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Posted by Bob Healy