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Sep. 13th, 2015 08:47 pm The Business Man before he met THE Mouse

Opening tomorrow, Walt Before Mickey is about the pursuit of happiness. It is not necessarily about avoiding hardship, poverty and betrayal, but it is about the life of the American Business legend, Walt Disney (Thomas Ian Nicholas). One can guess the (spoiler alert) happy ending when Walt Before Mickey concludes.

During his childhood, being raised on a Missouri farm, young Walt would compulsively draw characters on barn doors and walls. As a young adult, Walt and his friends Ub Iwerks (Armando Gutierrez) and Rudy Ising (David Henrie) form their own animation studio and produce Laugh- O-Grams for the Newman cinema chain. However, the high cost of producing the animation forces Walt Disney’s first business into bankruptcy. His future business dealings get even worse.

It is refreshing to see a modern day movie that celebrates entrepreneurship and moral values. Disney’s perseverance is directly proportional to both his creativity and his loyalty to friends and family. With nary a cuss word, Walt Before Mickey is a fine family movie to go see this Labor Day weekend.

It was made in South Florida by Floridans. For screening locations, visit www.waltbeforemickey.com

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Sep. 13th, 2015 08:42 pm Skrait Outta Compton is Modern History

Despite cultural differences, Straight Outta Compton shares similar business values about loyalty and entrepreneurial success. We watch three young men Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr. – who is actually the son of the real Ice Cube) and Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) crawl out of a Los Angeles ghetto and form the pioneer rap group – NWA.

While enjoying the fruits of their success, the three young men are manipulated by the suspicious business dealings of Jerry Heller, portrayed by Paul Giamatti – who has added depth to similar roles that he played in Rock of Ages and Love & Mercy.

For peers my age who enjoyed the music of Bruce Springsteen, and Huey Lewis and the News, Straight Outta Compton provides a history lesson about the rise of rap music.

The film presents Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E as the next generation’s Rat Pack. Like Frank Sinatra’s connections to the mafia, Straight Outta Compton reveals these artists’ connections to some pretty vicious thugs with pit bulls.

The film has earned $130 million during the month of August, the only box office success of the month. Modestly produced with a great attention to detail, one sees the financial model for films like Straight Outta Compton setting a trend on the big screen in the future.

During the next couple of months, we can look forward to some fascinating motion pictures from Guillermo Del Toro, Johnny Depp, James Bond 007 and Disney’s first Star Wars feature at Christmas time. In the meantime, have a safe Labor Day.

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Sep. 13th, 2015 07:42 pm "Best of Enemies" plants the seeds to modern journalism

There is a saying that national politics begin after Labor Day. While we are still a year away from when the national media begins to dissect the potential presidency of Joe Biden or Donald Trump, etc. this is a great time to review American history and ask the question “How did we get here?”

Best of Enemies is an 87-minute documentary about an experiment that third place ABC New Broadcast attempted, circa 1968. It was the time when President Johnson’s administration went up in flames and he announced that he would not seek a second term. Robert F. Kennedy was supposed to be a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination, but he was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan earlier in the year. As home television transitioned from black-andwhite to color, the nuclear family unit witnessed the United States losing the Vietnam War on CBS News with Walter Cronkite and NBC News with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

Both NBC and CBS provided gavel-to-gavel coverage with multiple camera angles at the Republican Convention in Miami and the Democratic Convention in Chicago during the summer of 1968.

Lacking the financial resources of NBC and CBS, the ABC National News bureau decided to use fewer cameras, cover the major speeches and provide political commentary from political experts representing Democratic and Republican perspectives. Given their public sophistication and that both men were writers, Gore Vidal was chosen to represent political left and William F. Buckley was chosen to represent the political right for a series of 10 debates at both conventions.

As we learn from this documentary, both Buckley and Vidal had a deep-seated hatred for each other that was masked by their media training, poise and education. Through the series of debates, we see two master debaters spar with each other with minor tweaks and taunts. When in the sunshine of the Miami convention, the first five debates seem as jovial as a checkers match on Collins Avenue.

Yet, as the location transfers to the notorious convention in Chicago, the oppressive atmosphere outside the convention hall permeates the political discourse between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley. Directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville wisely let Buckley and Vidal speak for themselves. The 10 debates grow in intensity and by the final debate, the sophisticated faÇades melt into raw anger.

Given the manufactured controversy of today’s news cycle with broadcast news, cable news, websites and personal blogs, Best of Enemies is an important historical documentary that explains the rise of modern journalism. With fewer resources and celebrity news readers, and working in a broken down studio, ABC News set into motion the way the news media today covers political conventions each leap year.

Best of Enemies features some intriguing behind the scenes outtakes. It is an entertaining documentary with much humor. Yet, it is the intellectual showdown between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley that you will remember long after viewing it.

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Aug. 18th, 2015 02:54 pm 17 years ago.....a President lied

Given the Pre9/11 mentality at the time, the Clinton Impeachment scandal does seem quaint. However if the "blue dress" was not discovered, President Bill Clinton would have stonewalled the investigation.

"Bush Lied, People Died" was chanted on the streets during the Bush Administration. However people forget that when Clinton lied, people did die. People forget when Clinton bombed Osama Bin Laden's aspirin factory on the day the Monica Lewinsky gave testimony. Let us not forget in December of 1998, President Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq on the day that the House of Representatives were prepared to vote on the Articles of Impeachment.

So much of modern day trust of Federal Government can be traced to this man's arrogant behavior during his presidency.

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Aug. 5th, 2015 11:13 pm Supergroup "Hollywood Vampires" releases new album on September 11

Cinema Dave interviewed Alice Cooper in 2011, he asked if he ever asked Paul McCartney to collaborate, this is Alice's response;

"That would be on my bucket list! When he was with "Wings" we shared a studio and I wrote a song titled "I am having a Heart Attack." We are both lyricists and Paul McCartney does not need an Alice Cooper."

Here is the rest of the interview;

That said, Paul McCartney & Alice Cooper have now collaborated with Joe Perry and Johnny Depp as a Supergroup titled "Hollywood Vampires." The much anticipated album will be released September 11.

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Aug. 5th, 2015 10:52 pm

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Aug. 4th, 2015 10:39 pm Avengers Age of Ultron kicked off the Summer of 2014

One of the stereotypes about comic book fans is how lonely individuals come out of the woodwork for a comic book movie like Avengers: Age of Ultron.

With a domestic gross of $191 million, lonely individuals found unity at local movie theaters this past weekend.

The conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron is solid, but open-ended enough to carry the Marvel supehero comic book franchise through 2019. With nine previous motion pictures produced since 2008, the wisdom of each of these Marvel films is the self-contained storyline of each motion picture. It just enhances one’s viewing pleasure if one is more familiar with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America’s (Chris Evans) personal motivations.

After a successful raid on Baron Stucker’s castle, the Avengers party in Manhattan. The science bros. (Iron Man & Hulk) skip out of the festivities to experiment with Loki’s scepter and create an artificial intelligence that names itself Ultron (James Spader). Ultron assumes command of Iron Man’s technology and decides the best course to achieve peace in our time is to exterminate the human race.

With echoes of classic mad scientists like Dr. Frankenstein (Iron Man) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Hulk), Avengers: Age of Ultron strives to be a darker version of the original Avengers movie from three years ago. That is why this new film is not as much fun as the previous incarnation. In terms of antagonists, Ultron lacks the charisma of Loki and this film misses the clear moment when good defeats evil.

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Aug. 4th, 2015 10:33 pm "Ant-Man" is popcorning eating fun Saturday Matinee Entertainment

Thus far, two studios have dominated the box office, Disney and Universal. 2015 will be remembered for Universal’s blockbusters Jurassic World, Furious 7 and 50 Shades of Grey, while Disney featured family favorites like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out and Cinderella. Currently Disney’s Ant-Man is keeping box office momentum surging during this record-breaking summer.

Being part of the Marvel Comics Universe, Ant-Man is both a stand-alone movie and another chapter of The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America universe. For entertainment purposes, this film stands alone with multiple “Easter eggs” found in the fabric of the film.

Meet Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a gifted scientist who works in association with Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and S.H.I.E.L.D., circa 1989. Professor Pym discovers a scientific breakthrough, but he does not want to share it with S.H.I.E.L.D., an organization that he is losing faith in. Pym goes into exile and contemplates his family’s future.

Enter Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a divorced father who spent time in jail for stealing money from a thieving corporation to give it back to those who lost it. Lang has a hard time landing a rent-paying job and has a harder time providing child support for his adorable daughter. Despite his prison record, Professor Pym spots a nobler quality in Lang and recruits him.

From the movie poster alone, one can deduce that Pym’s scientific breakthrough is to create a suit that shrinks a normal-sized man to the size of the ant, while obtaining extra strength and faster speed. Like Mickey from the Rocky series, Pym trains Lang to be the best Ant-Man he can be.

Not since Captain America: The First Avenger has Marvel provided us with an origin story. It is a timely move that reboots the franchise for people entering Phase 2 of the Marvel Universe and reduces the complication of knowing the relationships between many costumed characters.

In fact, the scale is so reduced that the big showdown occurs in a children’s bedroom, with sly nods to a child’s evening spent reading comic books and playing with non-electronic games.

Ant-Man delivers good old-fashioned popcorn-eating Saturday Matinee fun and may be the last hurrah for the blockbuster summer of 2015.

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Aug. 3rd, 2015 08:51 pm Cinema Dave meets The Lion King @ ANIMAL DANGER KINGDOM!

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Aug. 2nd, 2015 10:40 pm Happy Birthday Sid Graves, Fright Asylum Inmate

Cemetery Prints Sid Graves hanging our with Ari Lerhman, #FirstJason.

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