Hollywood Playbook: Wednesday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Wednesday's Top 5 News Items

John Wayne: The Epic Collection Set for May 20 Release

John Wayne fans rejoice. On May 20, Warner Brothers releases a massive collection of 40 John Wayne films on DVD. The collection also includes a book listing his films and 17 pieces of memorabilia (script pages, correspondence, etc. ). There is also a DUKE belt buckle.

1932 – Big Stampede / Ride Him, Cowboy / Haunted Gold 1933 – The Telegraph Trail / Somewhere in Sonora / The Man From Monterey 1939 – Allegheny Uprising 1942 – Reunion in France 1944 – Tall in the Saddle 1945 – Back to Bataan 1945 – They Were Expendable 1946 – Without Reservations 1947 – Tycoon 1948 – Fort Apache 1948 – 3 Godfathers 1949 – She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 1951 – Operation Pacific 1951 – Flying Leathernecks 1952 – Big Jim McLain 1953 – Trouble Along the Way 1955 – The Sea Chase 1955 – Blood Alley 1956 – The Searchers 1957 – The Wings of Eagles 1959 – Rio Bravo 1962 – Hatari! 1962 – How the West Was Won: PART 1 1962 – How the West Was Won: PART 2 1962 – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1963 – Donovan’s Reef 1965 – In Harm’s Way 1965 – The Sons of Katie Elder 1966 – El Dorado 1968 – The Green Berets 1969 – True Grit 1970 – Chisum 1972 – The Cowboys 1973 – The Train Robbers 1973 – Cahill: United States Marshal 1974 – McQ 1976 – The Shootist – Bonus disc

Amazon is selling the package for 115.00 — which works out to a paltry $2.87 per film.

What’s nice about the collection is that it includes a lot of the Duke’s lesser known films that are expensive to purchase individually: Allegheny Uprising, Reunion In France, Tall In the Saddle (a favorite), Without Reservation, Tycoon, Big Jim McLain, Trouble Along the Way, The Sea Chase.

Here is another upcoming Warner Brothers release to be excited about: George Pal’s “The Time Machine” (1960) hits Bluray on July 8. If the transfer is done right, the Metrocolor should look amazing.  


Charlton Heston Stamps Arrive on Good Friday

How perfect that the Postal Service is releasing its official Charlton Heston stamp on Good Friday. You can order them here. Also on Friday, Turner Classic Movies will host a dedication ceremony at the TCM Film Festival.  Afterwards there will be a screening of Heston’s “Touch of Evil” (1958).

It’s always good to know that the left’s culture war against everything good wasn’t able to stop a great actor and even greater man from receiving his due. Oscar winner, acting legend, early Martin Luther King civil rights advocate, WWII Veteran, champion of America’s 2nd Amendment Civil Rights…

Heston joins John Wayne, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland in the Postal Service’s “Legends of Hollywood” series.


‘Fargo’ Premiers April 15 on FX

Other than a fabulous cast — Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Keith Carradine, Oliver Platt — FX has been running a series of clever and appealing promos during “Justified.” In general, my immediate reaction to anything remakey is to stay as far away as possible, but I’m going to give “Fargo” a go — not like the rest of you who live week-to-week for each episode.

We binge-watch in this house. Gunna fatten up my DVR with 9 episodes and then catch up to y’all when the season finale hits.

One of my first celebrity moments after I moved to Los Angeles was running into Billy Bob Thornton at a film festival. Whatever the movie was, it was awful, and I found myself out in an empty lobby with him. At the time, his nasty break-up with Angelina Jolie was the biggest news in Hollywood. He actually struck up a conversation with my brother and I and  seemed relieved that we only wanted to talk about how bad the movie was and how awesome “A Simple Plan” and “One False Move” are.

Thornton is one of the rare actors who actually looks taller in real life than he does onscreen. He’s a full six feet. In boots, he was at least 6′ 2″.

Where as I…?


‘Neighbors’ Red Band Trailer *NSFW*

Sex in front of a baby. Dildo in the mouth. I laughed at the “gay science lab” joke but squirmed through the rest.

It all feels so … nihilistic.

Last night I temporarily lost my mind and wasted two hours of my increasingly short life watching Sandra Bullock’s “The Heat.” And for two hours I sat there asking myself, “Why aren’t I enjoying this?” And then it hit me…

There are more laughs in a 23-minute sitcom than in most comedies today , and I don’t have to sit there embarrassed for Bullock as she talks about her vagina every 15 minutes.

R-rated comedies used to be naughty. That was a sense of fun and joy and freedom in that naughtiness. Too many comedies today treat smut and porn and sexual debasement like it’s an everyday thing; normal, the way things are… So they’re just dirty. Dirty isn’t funny. Dirty is dirty. Naughty is funny.

I like Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is a real talent, but I didn’t like either character in “The Heat,” and I can’t stand the screen persona of Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, or almost every other comedic film actor today. There’s no warmth, just smarter-than-thou ironic distance and smut without the eye twinkle.

In two hours I can watch six reruns of “Married with Children” or “Seinfeld” and laugh myself silly. It’s a sure thing.

I will say this about “The Heat,” the scenes with Tom Wilson (Biff!) as McCarthy’s boss were genius.  


Gap Between Critics and The People

The openly Christian box-office hit “God’s Not Dead” scored an 18% rotten with critics and a 87% fresh with moviegoers.

Moreover, only 11 Rotten Tomatoes’ critics bothered to review a film that has ranked in the top-five at the box office for three weeks.


Quick hits:

‘Game of Thrones’ renewed for Two more seasons

Ultimate Warrior Dead: Professional Wrestler James Hellwig Dies at 54

Amazon Studios Confirms Pilots ‘Cosmopolitans’ & ‘Hand Of God’

20 Wealthiest Gay People in the World

The Odd Couple added depth to a classic “roommates clash” premise


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Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC