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1. A very good "TV" show you haven't heard of
There's a very well-done 61 minute show that you very well may not know about. Thankfully, you have me to tell you about it. Well, and Amazon.
2. Milwaukee Film Festival announces 2015 dates
This morning, the Milwaukee Film Festival announced the official dates of its upcoming 2015 edition. The 15-day extravaganza of movies, short movies, educational movie screenings, post-movie conversations and panel discussions - likely about movies - will run from Thursday, Sept. 24 through Thursday, Oct. 8.
3. Amazon Studios aims to produce and acquire original movies
Amazon Studios announced earlier today that it will produce and acquire original films for theatrical release and, of course, for Amazon Prime Instant Video service.
4. The 2015 Oscar nominations are in
Bright and early this morning, the joint forces of Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams, Alfonso Cuaron and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs prattled off the 2015 Oscar nominees. "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" lead the pack with nine nominations for each - including Best Picture nods for both.
5. Celebrate Orson Welles' 100th birthday this May in Kenosha
Born on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, legendary director, writer, producer, and actor Orson Welles altered the mediums of theatre, radio and film. Nearly 30 years after his death, his influence is still felt around the world and many consider his 1941 film "Citizen Kane" to be the best ever made. The city, along with Citizen Welles Society of Kenosha, will commemorate his centennial year with a series of events designed to engage, entertain, and inspire, much like what Welles accomplished throughout his career.
6. TV midseason: 10 new series to watch
Whether you like family drama, married couples, cop shows, a loner, a dubious lawyer, or superheroes, there's bound to be a series premiering soon that'll capture your attention. Here are ten shows to keep an eye on over the next three months.
7. Mike Rowe, CNN show in Milwaukee
CNN and its show "Somebody's Gotta Do It," hosted by Mike Rowe, will be in Milwaukee on Wednesday to tape a segment of the show.
8. "Dear White People," "The Overnighters" and more at UWM Union Theater next month
It's a new year, which means a new slate of films for UW-Milwaukee's Union Theatre, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. After being on a holiday break, the theater will be back into full swing starting on Jan. 28 with showings of the "The Skeleton Twins" starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader (which I reviewed a few months ago), followed by a screening of the much-acclaimed documentary "The Actress."
9. TV midseason: what's new and what's coming back
From the final seasons of NBC's "Parenthood" and "Parks and Recreation" to the return of "House of Cards," "Girls," "Modern Family," and more to the series premieres of "Backstrom," "Last Man on Earth," and "Togetherness," there's a lot to watch and keep up with. I've compiled a TV calendar to track all the midseason returns of your favorites along with upcoming season and series premieres.
10. The desperately modern "Annie" is cinematic artificial sweetener
Before the movie's going to congratulate itself for nixing its namesake, it ought to replace or reinvent it with something at least a little bit better. And unfortunately, this new "Annie" - encased in layers of fake sugary pop-song gloss and forced modernity - isn't all that much of an improvement.
11. "Phineas and Ferb" find a new hope in "Star Wars" DVD
Former "The Simpsons" writers Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh couldn't say no to putting "Star Wars" on a collision course with their "Phineas and Ferb" on the Disney Channel.
12. Disney's Minnie presents her "Winter Bow Show" in new DVD release
As an extension of "Mickey's Clubhouse" on the Disney Channel, Disney Junior released "Minnie's Winter Bow Show" on DVD just in time for the holiday shopping season.
13. Sony hack: George Clooney calls out Hollywood
A few familiar faces have already tweeted their disapproval over Sony's decision to scrap "The Interview" because of hackers, but it was George Clooney who actively reached out to many top players within the entertainment industry, who "ran for the hills" when he, along with his agent Bryan Lourd, asked them to sign the petition he drafted that initially supports Sony. Now, with hardly any signatures on the petition, Clooney spoke to Deadline in a recent interview to talk about Hollywood's lack of courage.
14. "Maleficent" puts an outstanding twist on original "Sleeping Beauty"
When "Maleficent" had its box office run, this live action adaptation re-imagined for the big screen brought in more than $700 million worldwide.
15. Art direction, classic characters drive storytelling in "Sleeping Beauty"
When I think of a true Disney movie, I think of "Sleeping Beauty." It is a pinnacle achievement from the animation studio's golden era.
16. "Guardians of the Galaxy" Blu-ray is simply stunning
"Guardians of the Galaxy," taking the same comic book universe of "The Avengers" to the stars, was a gamble for Marvel and Disney, but was one that was worth the effort as proven by its huge international box office take.
17. Marcus plans renovations for four Milwaukee theaters
This morning, Marcus Theatres announced renovations to made to several of its cinemas, including Milwaukee's South Shore, Southgate, Menomonee Falls and Majestic locations.
18. Taste flavor and soul in "The Hundred-Foot Journey"
When it hit the store shelves on Tuesday on Digital HD and Blu-ray, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" offers a perfectly-timed gift for those who enjoy great actors working on a film with only a couple of explosions.
19. Spoiling "The Walking Dead" and what TV shows should learn about social media
This past Sunday, AMC dropped a spoiler on social media that seemingly had the same affect as an atomic bomb. A lot of fans of the hit zombie show "The Walking Dead" found out the death of a main character in a way that sometimes cannot be avoided: social media. The fans didn't find out from a few comments on Facebook or a bunch of tweets on Twitter, they found out from the official Facebook account of the show itself.
20. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer to play Friday at the Majestic
Bad news, Marcus Majestic employees; your Black Friday crowds are going to even bigger than usual this weekend. The Brookfield movie house is one of 30 theaters nationwide that will witness the power of a fully operational 88-second "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer.
21. Packers trade out their helmets for harmonies in "Pitch Perfect 2" trailer
The trailer for "Pitch Perfect 2" came out this morning. The original cast - Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, etc. - is all here, as well as a few new faces. Among those new faces, however, is one very familiar to sports fans: Packers linebacker Clay Matthews - flanked on both sides by fellow Packers TJ Lang, Josh Sitton, Don Barclay and David Bakhtiari.
22. "The Lost Missions" uncovered in new "Star Wars: Clone Wars" Blu-ray
"The Lost Missions" is considered Season 6 of the franchise, which aired on Disney XD and was available on iTunes. This two-disc collection is a great example why "The Clone Wars" won honors as an Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation in 2014.
23. Seth MacFarlane drops by Lucille's to perform a few songs
If you happened to be at Lucille's Piano Bar last Saturday night, you got more of a show that you were probably expecting, as Seth MacFarlane took a break from "Ted 2" and took the stage at Lucille's this past weekend to drink, do a little dance and perform a couple of classic songs.
24. Lena Dunham is not that kind of girl
I've accepted the fact that people love to hate Lena Dunham. Now, to add to this ever-so-growing list of relentlessness, you might've read this online in the past couple of days: Dunham is a sex offender. Yes, rub those eyes and read again. But, come on, is she really? Nope.
25. WISN surprises with an important piece that teaches real lessons
On occasion, a local television station does something that has such an impact and is so vivid that I have to tip my hat. This tip goes to Toya Washington and WISN-TV for a piece that aired Monday night amid all the hoo-rah about the next day's election.