3In a career filled with plenty of memorable movies, Tom Hanks’ most beloved role would have to be the title character from a film that was released 20 years ago this summer: Forrest Gump. Released on July 6, 1994, Forrest Gump won six Academy Awards, including a second consecutive Best Actor win for Hanks (who had won the previous year for “Philadelphia”) and the Oscar for Best Picture.

Starting Friday, Gump fans can take a walk down memory lane, as the film is being re-released for the first time in the IMAX format. Although it may be more appropriate to take a run down memory lane, since Hanks spent a good portion of the film running — on a football field, in the fields of Vietnam, or on his famous cross-country run. Hanks did almost all of the on-screen running himself, and when the movie was first released, he spoke to us about the pressure he felt to stay in shape during filming. (Click on the media bar to hear Tom Hanks)

Another aspect of the movie that amazed viewers at the time was how Hanks‘ character was inserted into historical film footage, which effectively showed him interacting with U.S. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, along with meeting John Lennon on The Dick Cavett Show. Hanks recalls being amazed by the process of making those scenes, and how the revolutionary visual effects pushed the boundaries at the time. (Click on the media bar to hear Tom Hanks)

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2With five NBA championship rings in his collection, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. A 16-time league All-Star, he’s been among basketball’s most dominant players ever since he was drafted right out of high school, at age 17. But now, at age 36, it appeared that time has caught up with Bryant, who has sustained several significant injuries in the past few years.

He missed most of this past season due to a serious knee injury, and without him, the Lakers staggered to their worst record ever: 27-55. Before the season started, though, Bryant agreed to let a Showtime film crew follow him around to shoot a documentary. While Kobe Bryant’s Muse did not turn out to be the story of his sixth NBA championship, it did capture all of the struggles, trials and tribulations of a year that was very frustrating for a man who lives to compete.

Bryant not only granted the filmmakers full access to his life, but — as he told us — was also willing to give them creative control over the final product, even if it didn’t always show him in the best light. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kobe Bryant)

Kobe Bryant’s Muse airs this month on Showtime.

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137Beginning tonight (and concluding tomorrow), The History Channel’s special event mini-series HOUDINI chronicles the career of the legendary performer who captivated the world with his work. An unparalleled illusionist who gained international fame with his daring escapes and audacious challenges, HARRY HOUDINI is considered the gold-standard in the world of magic.

Once he became famous, he made it his goal to debunk spiritualists taking advantage of wealthy clients willing to part with big bucks in an effort to reconnect with departed loved ones.

Directed by ULI EDEL from a script by NICHOLAS MEYER, the film stars Oscar-winner ADRIEN BRODY in the titular role of a charismatic performer who managed to beguile the likes of a worldwide audience. While no stranger to TV work, BRODY doesn’t do it often. During an interview we did with him a couple of years ago, he talked about winning the Academy Award and how that doesn’t limit his choices. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

HOUDINI airs on The History Channel 9/1 and 9/2.

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Posted by Bob Healy


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136Airing tonight on Pivot TV, PLEASE LIKE ME is an Australian import created by and starring an unknown (at least, here in America) comedian by the name of JOSH THOMAS. Based largely on his own experiences, the story is centered on a charmingly quirky young gay man (named ‘Josh’) trying to cope with his parents’ divorce, his father’s remarriage to a much younger woman, the arrival of a newborn stepsister, his mother’s admission to a psychiatric hospital and his own struggling sex life.

As Josh, THOMAS is both witty and wise as well as being delightfully awkward and inappropriate. At the age of 25, he’s already taken the Australian comedy scene by storm as well as winning awards at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Currently in its second season, PLEASE LIKE ME is well worth catching up with and a real feather in Pivot’s cap.

At a recent Television Critics Association press conference to promote the series, THOMAS addressed a question about how working with an American network for the new season might have affected the content of a show set in Australia. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO NSFW)

PLEASE LIKE ME airs Friday nights on Pivot TV.

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Posted by Bob Healy


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135It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Pierce Brosnan is coming back to the action genre with The November Man. After all, this is a man who played Agent 007 in four James Bond movies from 1995 to 2002. Of course, 007 has always been played by a revolving door of actors, and when it was his turn to hand the keys of the Aston Martin over to Daniel Craig, he did it without any regrets. (Click on the media bar below to hear Pierce Brosnan)

The November Man opens in theaters tomorrow.

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134Before 1994, Jennifer Aniston was just a struggling young actress, hoping that one of her projects would finally draw the public’s interest. Well, you know what they say, right? Be careful what you wish for! Once Friends became an overnight success and launched her into the super-stardom stratosphere, her private life suddenly became public domain, with headlines splashed across every tabloid and celebrity gossip mag you can imagine.

As you can imagine, Aniston has a few words to say about the subject, and she’s adamant that, like Vegas, what happens in her private life should stay private. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jennifer Aniston)

Jennifer Aniston can be seen in Life of Crime, which opens in theaters this Friday.

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133At 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, Stephen Colbert won two Emmy awards for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series and for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for his nightly talk show, The Colbert Report. After winning the award, Colbert came back to the press room where all the talk was about him taking over the Late Show with David Letterman next year.

When he was asked what to expect after he takes over for Letterman, Colbert said to expect more of the same-but different- and goes on to say that it’s hard to concentrate on taking over The Late Show because he has four months of The Colbert Report still left to do and he loves watching David Letterman.
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132After starring in both the Lord of the Rings trilogy and now Hobbit trilogy, Orlando Bloom is facing the end of the series with mixed emotions. With the premiere of the finale, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, just a few months away, he’s happy to have had the experience, but sad to know he’ll never visit the mythical land of Middle Earth again.

But as torn as Bloom is about it, he knows it will be even more difficult for Peter Jackson, who wrote, produced, and directed all six of the movies. In other words, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit has been the primary focus of Jackson’s life for more than a decade. Bloom tells us that dedication on Jackson’s part is what made the movies so great, and why it will be so difficult to say goodbye. (Click on the media bar below to hear Orlando Bloom)

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17.

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130The catchphrase is a staple of every action movie, so Vin Diesel is accustomed to playing roles with a catchphrase. But when it came to Guardians of the Galaxy, his catchphrase is more than just a catchphrase - it’s his only phrase! In playing Groot, a character who only knows how to say “I am Groot,” he found a role that was truly compelling to him on several levels.

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goth_39-jada-publicity-two_3195rca-11Entertainment communities on both sides of the pond are mourning today’s passing of RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH. The actor/director/producer was 90 years old.

A veteran of almost 80 films, ATTENBOROUGH made his screen debut in NOEL COWARD’S 1942 war story IN WHICH WE SERVE. From there he went on to act in such familiar titles as I’M ALL RIGHT JACK, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, THE SAND PEBBLES, A BRIDGE TOO FAR and, of course, the JURASSIC PARK franchise (to name just a few). As a director and producer he won two Academy Awards for the 1983 biographical epic GHANDI and was nominated for several awards for his work on CHAPLIN, CRY FREEDOM and (the often derided) A CHORUS LINE. An enduring force in the world of entertainment, LORD

RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH will certainly be missed. During one of our many interview sessions, he talked about working both in front of and behind the camera and what it meant to him.

LORD RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH 1923-2014

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Posted by Bob Healy


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