Thursday, September 27, 2007

Buy R.J. Stuff

MCOF kicks off Friday

Panel discussions include national film critic Leonard Maltin and Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan.

It's been scaled down in length and number of screenings, but the Malibu Celebration of Film is still promising a unique display of entertainment and education as it returns for the sophomore edition of the "Best of the Best" film festival.

The celebration takes place Friday through Sunday with screenings at Pepperdine University's Elkins Auditorium, Smothers Theatre, Raitt Recital Hall and Alumni Park, as well as outdoor screenings at Bluffs Park and Calamigos Ranch. The movies featured have all won awards from previous festivals this past year. Additionally, on Saturday there will be a silent film accompanied by the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra and Orson Welles' final film, "F is for Fake" will be shown.

The program begins at 10 a.m. on Friday at Smothers Theatre with the FILMS'COOL' contest. Six short films made by high school and college students will be shown, and a winner in each category will be selected by a panel of judges, which include FILMS'COOL' co-Chair Amy Magidan, actor Daniel Stern, Malibu Youth Services Librarian Lora Cokalat and Miss Malibu Pageant founder Kristen Bradford. The winners of the competition will receive internships at a production company or studio and $1,000.

The celebration continues at Calamigos Ranch on Friday with the opening night film and party. The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction benefiting FILMS'COOL.' Following dinner, "an intimate conversation" will take place with three members of the Motion Picture & Television Fund: actress Valerie Allen, cinematographer Ralph Woolsey and director Charles Jarrot. The fund assists people in the entertainment industry who have fallen on hard times. This will be followed by the screening of "Man in the Chair," the tale of a rebellious young filmmaker who enters a student competition in hopes of winning a scholarship to a prestigious Hollywood film school. He receives help from a person living at a Motion Picture & Television Fund home.

Director Michael Schroeder and producer Randy Turrow will attend the screening with cast members Michael Angarano and Robert Wagner. They are expected to participate in a question and answer session following the movie.

The festivities continue on Saturday with screenings at various locations beginning at 12 p.m. Among the highlights are "Hearts of the Hills," a silent film made in 1919 that will be shown at Smothers Theatre with the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra doing a live performance of the score.

A screenwriter panel discussion will take place at Raitt Recital Hall at 2 p.m. Moderated by movie producer Trevor Albert, the panel will include Peter Dunne, who has written for television and authored a book on screenwriting. Catherine Ann Jones, who has written for film and also penned a book on screenwriting, and John Logan, a playwright and screenwriter, will also be on the panel

"This event will try to generate discussion amongst the panelists to show a breadth of knowledge and a breadth of experience," said John Evans, co-owner of Diesel, A Bookstore, which organized the discussion. "It's sort of a workshop that can go in any direction."

Diesel is hosting another panel discussion on Sunday at 2 p.m., also at Raitt Recital Hall. National film critic Leonard Maltin will converse with Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan. A similar discussion took place last year with Turan and critic David Thompson, with a moderator. But Evans said it was evident a moderator was not needed this year.

"They were so good at talking, and film critics in particular don't really need a moderator," Evans said. "It's really up to them what way to go, and people in the audience will be there to quiz them."

More screening will take place on Sunday, and the event will conclude at Bluffs Park at 7 p.m. with the documentary, "Sharkwater." Writer/director Rob Stewart will be in attendance to discuss the movie, which deals with the threat to the shark population in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands. His talk will be followed by a festival-closing party at Malibu Inn.

Last year, Robert Altman was given the Courage Award on the final day of the celebration. This year, the festival will not be recognizing anyone.

"We couldn't find an appropriate person to honor that could follow in the footsteps [of Robert Altman]," said Kim Jackson, the festival's executive director. "So we decided just to have a quiet year, and we'll bring it back next year."

Tickets can be purchased for individual events at the festival's Web site, The cost is $10 for most events, with the opening festivities costing $100 and the closing night party costing $75. Three-day program passes are also available for $100 to $750. A schedule for the screenings and other events can also be found on the Web site.

Video from April 2007

Robert Wagner accepts award on behalf of Christopher Plummer - the Methodfest Life Achievement Award. Plummer was doing a play on Broadway at the time (Inherit the Wind, for which he received his seventh Tony nomination). Unfortunately, the clip does not include the taped acceptance speech that Plummer provided, but does include Wagner's comments.

(You have to listen to a commercial first, then scroll to find the clips.)
There's second clip with a short interview with Wagner and director Michael Schroeder.

Three mix it up in FX transsexual pilot

LOS ANGELES - Joseph Fiennes, Blythe Danner and Robert Wagner have been cast in U.S. cable channel FX's transsexual drama pilot.

The untitled project, formerly known as "4 oz.", centres on a family man named Bob (Fiennes) who decides to get a sex change. Danner and Wagner will play Bob's parents, Bunny and Scotch. The roles of Bob's wife and kids have yet to be cast.

The pilot comes from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, respectively the creator and a writer/producer on FX's "Nip/Tuck". Production will begin at the end of October, with Murphy directing.

Fiennes recently appeared on the big screen in "Running With Scissors". Danner won two Emmys for her role on Showtime's "Huff". Wagner recently guest-starred on CBS' "Two and a Half Men" and AMC's "Hustle".

Monday, September 24, 2007

R.J. Update

He is in Los Angeles this week and next week filming episodes of Two and a Half Men.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Katie Wagner Married

I just found out that Katie Wagner got married (at the end of July, I think). She got married at her father's house (before he sold it)!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Riley is One

R.J.'s grandson, Riley, is one-year-old today.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Dennis The Menace Christmas Premiering on DVD November 6th

One of the most recognizable comic strip characters ever created returns in live action form for the third time

BURBANK, Calif.--Just when you thought it was safe to celebrate the holidays, the Menace returns to jingle your bells and deck your halls in A Dennis The Menace Christmas. The DVD is set for release by Warner Premiere on November 6th. This holiday season, naughty or nice, Dennis The Menace Mitchell is going to deliver Mr. Wilson the Christmas spirit whether he likes it or not. A Dennis The Menace Christmas will be available on DVD for $19.97 SRP.

Continuing on with the success of the franchise, A Dennis The Menace Christmas combines A Christmas Carol with the live action version of one of Americas most widely recognizable, chaos wreaking comic strip characters. Taking the reigns of a reimagined Mr. Wilson, film and television star Robert Wagner (Hart To Hart, It Takes A Thief, and the Austin Powers films) picks up where previous Mr. Wilsons (Walter Matthau and Don Rickles) left off. Rounding out the all-star cast is Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest) as Mrs. Wilson and newcomer Maxwell Perry Cotton (Brothers and Sisters) as the newly defined Menace.

This Christmas Dennis will face his greatest challenge to deliver Mr. Wilson the Holiday Spirit and secure Santas delivery of his ultimate present the Raleigh Mite-Y-Max bike. Along the way, hell ruin his schools Thanksgiving pageant, take on the neighborhood bully, and, as always, make life miserable for poor Mr. Wilson. However, all is not as it seems, and for the first time Mr. Wilson will come away from the holidays with a newfound understanding of himself and his next-door Menace, thanks in part to Bob The Christmas Angel, played by comedian Godfrey (Phat Girlz, Zoolander).

The DVD also comes with a stocking's worth of bonus features including, a Making of featurette, bloopers, outtakes, deleted scene, an audio commentary with Robert Wagner and director Ron Oliver, and a video commentary of key moments of the film - featuring Maxwell Perry Cotton (aka Dennis the Menace).

Originally created as a comic strip by the late Hank Ketcham in 1951, the Dennis The Menace comic strip appears in over 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and 19 languages. Throughout the years the character has evolved into an animated series, two feature films, as well as the face of the Dairy Queen Franchise.

Email requests for materials to or fax to 323-939-1566.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Fall TV Preview: Two and a Half Men

When you think about it, it’s easy to see why Two and a Half Men is the highest rated sitcom on TV. We spend so much time during the week trying to keep up with complex, serialized dramas like Lost and 24 that it’s comforting to spend half an hour every Monday night with two brothers who we know will never change. Charlie (Charlie Sheen) will always be a shallow, materialistic skirt chaser. Alan (Jon Cryer) will always be a neurotic single father who can’t quite get over his (recently remarried) ex-wife. The only characters who we may see changes in this season are the guys’ mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor), who will continue her romance with Teddy (Robert Wagner) and Alan’s son Jake (Angus T. Jones), who is just hitting puberty. Pretty soon they’ll need to change the title to Two and 3/4 Men.