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Don’t Look Up Hits Hard and On The Mark, Maybe Even a Bit Too Solidly to Laugh Whole Heartedly At

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It was over the Yuletide holiday season, when I got tired, just for a moment, of watching reruns of all the holiday classics and pseudo-classics I feel I have to watch every December; “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The Holiday”, “Love, Actually”, “A Christmas Story”, and “White Christmas”, to name a few, along with a few other new ones, that I turned my attention to “Don’t Look Up”, a new Netflix film that came packaged with an all-star cast and a plot that really had nothing to do with the holiday season. The Netflix movie was definitely a veering off-topic, giving a solid shock to the proverbial holiday system, smashing forth the cataclysmic destruction of our planet through a generally wicked satiric humor. The laughs were all there, almost uncomfortably because they were coming from the suggestions of exactly how we all would respond to the news that a really big comet was heading on a straight collision course towards Earth, and the total destruction of everything we know and hold dear was basically assured. Happy Christmas! “Baby it sings to me like fa la la, fa la la

Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Timothee Chalamet in “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)

Written and directed by Adam McKay (“The Big Short“; “Vice“) based on a story concept by journalist David Sirota, the film tries its best to be a satirical send-up of all the political chaos that is engulfing the world, and more specifically, America. Straddling genres with a fair bit of success, “Don’t Look Up” attempts to latch onto the discordant nature of our interpersonal obstinant connection with news and social media, and the exhaustion and anger that we all find ourselves mucking around in when we really look at what is happening in our world today. It plays with the metaphoric ideas of global warming and the annoyingly intense vast divide in American politics by re-focusing the lens on the impending destruction of our planet from a comet, all from the narrow vantage point of the United States of America, with little to no acknowledgment or investment in the rest of the globe, suggesting, in a ridiculous way, that only the great and powerful America can solve this cataclysmic problem. 

Watching from up north in Canada, “Don’t Look Up” rang oddly true in many ways. Yes, America has always liked to take the stance that they are the only ones strong or smart enough to save the world from destruction. A very clear stance, even when the U.S. of A. is, and has been, actively working against the planet’s actual salvation in the name of commerce and financial stability – i.e. that America’s wealthy stay wealthy and in charge. The framework is startling, but cinematically authentic, as world catastrophe movies have always cast America as its savior. I mean, just watch almost every film about alien invasion, and we see that very red, white, and blue lens, but this time around, without a great deal of subtlety, the President of the United States of America is not some uber-noble creature (like Bill Pullman’s President in “Independence Day“), but here in “Don’t Look Up“, the President is a cross between that orange monster we are still hearing from and that Palin creature from Alaska that we are not, most thankfully. Trying almost too hard to create a satirically witty connection between global warming and how we are foolishly destroying the planet we live on in the name of business and economy, the utter randomness of a huge comet colliding with Earth causing its complete destruction is a strained one, to say the least. One is purposeful or ignorantly blind, and the other is, well, sort of bad luck, but the finger-pointing in the film, wisely and very of this moment, is on how we respond and react. In that way, it works its magic well, in the sense that we watch the scientific denialism with horror, yet knowing that this stance has become part of the political landscape of the Republican Party and news agencies like Fox. It’s crazy and astonishing, but in many ways, the reality of our world is much scarier than the film’s stab at humor. In that chanting way that is the namesake of the movie, and in the greater metaphoric ideal, it is a pale comparison; really entertaining, I will add, but with a complex aftertaste that is too convoluted to deny. 

Leonardo DiCaprio in “Don’t Look Up” Photo: Niko Tavernise (Netflix)

Once you decide to get past those thorny issues, which I must admit I did quite happily, “Don’t Look Up” does start to become a bit of wickedly good fun, especially as we watch the big and famous movie stars dig into their parts with glee. Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook“), back from a two-year hiatus from the movies, settles into the part of an emotionally volatile doctoral candidate Kate Dibiasky as solidly as one could hope for, holding her own easily with Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood“) as the nerdy professor Dr. Randall Mindy, a part that fits him well. The two take on the world, basically, as if they split the character, Jeff Goldblum, in “Independence Day” in half, giving DiCaprio’s doctor character the more mild-mannered brainy characteristics, and Lawrence’s Kate, the more hot-headed emotional approach just so she could be heard. Both work together extremely well, finding fun engagement in the astonishing way they look towards almost all those around them.

This is not real. This is not real… Tell me this isn’t really happening!” Kate is the one who discovers the comet that is heading towards earth. At first, it is exciting; a new discovery, but with Randall being the one who runs the math and sees the collision with earth in six and a half months, the celebration quickly changes its tone and its course. With the help of NASA’s wonderfully named Planetary Defense Coordination Office, headed by Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe, played solidly by Rob Morgan (“Mudbound“), they take the alarming news to the President’s office in Washington. Naturally, but unfortunately for all of mankind, the office is held by a familiar presence, President Orlean, played deviously well by Meryl Streep (HBO’s “Angels In America“; “The Prom“). She seems to be distracted, or ominously, more concerned with her polling numbers, the upcoming elections, and a Supreme Court candidate scandal that she is in the middle of. Streep is spectacularly on target with her portrayal, making the whole experience almost traumatic to watch with its uncomfortable resemblance to some true-to-life characters who call themselves politicians. Comedy, well, this is it, but the whole thing, especially the horrendously awful son of the President played by Jonah Hill (“Moneyball“) draws an uncomfortably strong comparison to that orange monster’s family and presidency. It’s smart and spot-on, but in a way, cuts a bit too close to the real and true bone to not cause a whole heap of discomfort and some unresolved anger held within to come flying out with a vengeance. Probably the point.

Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, and Jennifer Lawrence in “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)

This comet is what we call a planet killer,” they tell her. Sadly, after getting nowhere in that ridiculous and morally-vacant oval office, Kate and Randall don’t just sit tight while those buffoons reassess. Oh no, they try to do the right thing, specifically by doing the exact opposite of what they are told to do, becoming whistleblowers, almost against their will. They decide, irrationally, to go on a morning talk show and talk about the impending doom comet, mainly because they think that maybe their very heavy and important news flash might be listened to and acted upon, but the two soon find out their belief in the media is extremely poorly placed and misguided. As misguided as anyone who sits and listens to Fox News like it actually is a news show. Silly fools. 

Obnoxiously hosted by two crass characters, expertly portrayed by Cate Blanchett (Broadway’s The Present; “Blue Jasmine“) and Tyler Perry (“Gone Girl“), the two anchors couldn’t care less and treat the story like a science project being presented by grade-schoolers. The actors find an uncomfortable balance between satire and the unfortunate reality we find ourselves trapped in with a power that is undeniable, even when we can’t stand watching it play out. Why these smart scientists would choose this television program, I’m not quite sure; one of the holes in the formula. The realness of the story gets sidelined by this strained and forced approach, in the same way, their cataclysmic scientific discovery almost gets lost under the importance of a pop star romantic breakup. Thanks, Ariana Grande. For giving us something so real, but also so thrown away. Although that hilarious scene in the green room is worth its weight in popstar gold. The news cycle engagement upsets DiCaprio’s Randall but really sends Kate over the edge, expressing all that was bottled up inside of us all as we listen to these synthetic hosts babble on about entertainment and the idea of light. Oddly enough the whole mess makes Randall a geeky science heartthrob, worthy of the interest of the plastic host that Blanchett plays to uncomfortable perfection. Does it feel right or true? Not really, but it sure makes for some fun in its own entertaining way.

Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence in “Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)

I hear there’s something you don’t like the looks of.” Well if you’re talking about the film, the answer is yes and no. McKay takes this rage and discombobulation in the framework, and runs fast and amusingly hard with it, throwing these two scientific whistleblowers under some very different buses. The points made are fascinating and solidly formed, basically hitting squarely right on the money, literally, even when surrounded by a wobbly structure that you just have to take in and believe. The satiric edge is worthy of the fun. It is entertainingly wicked, but not as sharp as one would hope for with such a pointed and disturbing topic. The always brilliant Mark Rylance (Broadway’s Farinelli and the King) is almost unrecognizable in an over-the-top portrayal of a rich tech madman, a parallel we don’t have to work too hard to unravel, while Randall’s wife, played beautifully by Melanie Lynskey (“Heavenly Creatures“) adds a thick tasty slice of humanity to the whole puzzle, especially during the final dinner scene when the honoring of what’s really important in our human existence is revealed simply and eloquently by all those at the table. With all that high star power wattage throughout gathered together inside “Don’t Look Up” to raise a doomed glass to our imminent destruction, it surprisingly comes down to the sweet and engaging Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name“; “Dune“) and his captivating, perfectly-formed dude creation, to give the whole thing some heart and some understated soul. The performance, once again, finds its way easily to center stage, delivering the piece forward to its emotional conclusion in this witty, complex story.

Don’t Look Up” has a lot of holes and convoluted moments that struggle to captivate us completely, but the sum, in many ways, is better than the parts that are thrown together strictly for the sake of satire. Some of the parallels are almost too close to home to find funny these days when anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and a number of GOP politicians fill the news cycle with their absolute traitorous ridiculousness and dangerous carelessness, all in the name of power and political campaign dollars. The targets within “Don’t Look Up” are almost too easy, but when hit squarely or comically, surprisingly work. It can also, simultaneously, make a scenario somewhat more frustrating than funny. It’s an odd blend of both. But the end product hits us hard though on our funny bone and in our heart, as we watch the dinner party, and humanity come to its bitter end. The movie does allow us to see what is really important in the big earthbound scheme of things, flashing through all of the things that will or are currently (in the real world) being lost and destroyed because, as a collective, we can’t see the self-destruction through all the lies and P.R. campaigns. The film doesn’t really offer up any clear answers other than platitudes, but for a star-studded movie about the extinction of us all, it’s worthy of the wild ride and holiday investment. And please, please, please, wait for the Meryl petting moment in the credits. That scene almost becomes the most fulfilling one in the entire movie. Almost. But without it, I would have felt cheated.

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

ALEC BALDWIN — I’ve had my own issues with Alec Baldwin for years; then, literally on a dime, it all turned around and I found him to be pretty compassionate, intelligent and a nice guy. What happened in Santa Fe on the Rust set was an unspeakable tragedy, and his trial was halted yesterday and the case was dismissed due to evidence not being given to the Baldwin-team. The Santa Fe prosecutor Kari Morrisey seemingly told two different stories on the stand and outside the court room. She is, without a doubt, toast.

Baldwin is still liable for civil suits, but this case is gone and he cannot be tried again. A win for sure, but the questions still remain: who brought live ammo onto the Rust-set. Clearly that may never, ever be determined.

Baldwin’s a good guy with a short fuse, but this situation, once and for all, is done.

Mirage

SHORT TAKES — Hard to believe the Las Vegas Mirage is closing … after 35 years. Opened in 1983 it was a great hotel and hosted The Beatles’ Love show. I have stayed there numerous times and loved it. The new owner will build a Hard Rock hotel there, with a HUGE guitar in front. Yet again changing the skyline of that town. It’ll open in 2027 …

Lyndsey Parker

Lyndsey Parker is a terrific writer. Her new site, Lyndsanity just posted a great interview with Micky Dolenz about his direction of the video “Love Is Dangerous” from Noel – masterminded by the Mael Brothers in 1979. Great piece, check it out here:  https://www.lyndsanity.com/music/micky-dolenz-on-directing-long-lost-dancing-is-dangerous-video-for-sparks-protege-noel-its-pretty-weird-huh/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2W-9c0OfpLdT3WVy52ZWliQu7XTVoVjaYREbiUMSAUcdgJatcsL547X8c_aem_8St7LVBDI_U5Qp-ZJ5lxQA

… Hard to believe there are only 8 episodes left of CBS’ Blue Bloods. Salary concerns killed this show and it’s a shame as it was really superb for 15 years. Bad move on CBS’ part …

Zach Martin

Veteran-broadcaster Denny Somach joins Zach Martin’s NEW HD radio – https://newhdmedia.com/rock-and-roll-for-grownups-debut-denny-somach/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR1j_BeyvWnRksk6pRN7IUtWK-kzu5G35zKqcjBUjVJOJ3w_b4IVFjDE6UI_aem_hW0aEBIVaHEwpJXVTItulA

Benny Harrison

Whatever happened to Benny Harrison’s album Pages? It was a great one. Heard an early advance and loved it …And, (via Deadline)

Stevie Nicks

There are special guest stars, and then there’s extra-special guest stars. Which is what Harry Styles what is as he joined Stevie Nicks at her July 12 concert in the UK for versions of her hits “Stop Draggin’ My heart Around” and “Landslide.” Styles played guitar on stage and held up on the Tom Petty/Lindsey Buckingham vocal parts. It was familiar turf, as Styles has joined Nicks on stage several times in the past. Nicks was appearing at the BST Hyde Park concert series on Friday. Nicks told the audience in London that she asked Styles to help her in commemorating what would have been her late Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie’s 81st birthday … RIP Dr. Ruth!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Nancy Ruth; Mark Bego; Freda Payne; Jerry Brandt; Kent & Laura Denmark; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; David Kramer; Terry Jastrow; Steve Immerman; Jordan Immerman; Tony Seidl; Roy Trakin; Markos Papadatos; Sparks; Pat Prince; Cindy Adams; Tony LoBianco; Tone Scott; David Adelson; Joel Denver; Pat Prince; and SADIE!

 Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Come Celebrate Harry Potters Birthday at Harry Potter: The Exhibition

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In the first Harry Potter story, The Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry turns 11 on July 31st. In honor of his birthday, Harry Potter: The Exhibition at 50 West 34th Street, is celebrating with a variety of birthday treats and specials for visitors, including: free admission for anyone named “Harry” , $11 ticket special for everyone else, with code HPBDAY2024 (on sale now!), free ice cream for visitors between 11am – 1pm , one-of-a-kind commemorative birthday buttons  and ticket giveaways & contests with Z100 host Crystal Garcia.


Harry Potter: The Exhibition
is the record-breaking exhibition taking visitors of all ages on a one-of-a-kind journey celebrating the entire Wizarding World and includes some of the most iconic moments from the beloved books and films of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Upon entry, everyone is given an exhibition wristband for a personalized experience using best-in-class immersive design and technology. From selecting a Hogwarts house (either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin) to picking your wand and Patronus, visitors will be able to create their own, uniquely magical moments while earning points for their house with each interactive activity.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition closes August 11, 2024, so now is the perfect time to visit.

 

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Gary Springer Remembers Shelley Duvall

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By Gary Springer

I loved Shelley Duvall. She very much changed my life and I am forever grateful. I was a young kid in NYC who luckily wound up in two movies – not that I wanted to be an actor – and decided I wanted to be a NY crew guy. Got cast in another film starring Shelley Duvall, Bud Cort, Dennis Christopher and Veronica Cartwright. Thought it was fun I still had the crew aspirations. Shelley became my instant best friend. She said ‘why don’t you come out to LA and stay with Patrick (Reynolds of tobacco fame) and me until you have to go back to school. I did. I spent 7 months living with Patrick and Shelley in a castle in the Hollywood Hills and then another 4 months rooming with Shelley until she called me one day from NY where she was filming “Annie Hall: and said, I think I’m going to sell the house and move in with Paul (Simon). I had to get my own place and spent the next nine years in LA as a working actor (including a television movie which also co-starred the editor of this publication). Shelley was my mentor, my love (platonically), my facilitator, my friend. I met so many people through her and experienced so much that I never would have. Her bringing me to LA for a couple of weeks changed my life completely. I quit acting and moved back to NY in 1982 to work with my dad, but Shelley and I stayed friends. She called me in 1984 and offered me a role in one of her Faerie Tale Theatre pieces (the last professional phone I had). We stayed friends. She moved to Texas and I visited. She had difficulties and I was her friend. I flew down to Texas bringing our friend Dennis Christopher last month to visit her and spoke to her twice last Sunday on her 75th birthday (one wonderful FaceTime). I loved Shelley Duvall and always will.

Shelley Alexis Duvall, inimitable actor, producer, and style icon, died in her sleep July 11, 2024  at her home in Blanco, Texas. She just turned 75 this past Sunday, July 7. Her longtime partner, Dan Gilroy was at her side. She is survived by Dan Gilroy and her three brothers her brothers Scott, Stewart and Shane.

“My dear, sweet, wonderful life, partner, and friend left us last night. Too much suffering lately, now she’s free. Fly away beautiful Shelley,” said Gilroy

She was born in Fort Worth on July 7, 1949, grew up in Houston, and returned to her Texas roots after successful decades in the Hollywood entertainment industry, Shelley was a brilliant and unique film actor and a visionary television producer.

She was first discovered in 1970 when she hosted a party to try and sell some of her husband, Bernard Sampson’s, paintings. Little did she know that crew members from a movie shoot in town were present and were captivated by her. Under the pretense of selling paintings, they brought her to meet the director, Robert Altman, and producer Lou Adler, who were blown away by her wonderfully quirky distinctiveness and cast her in the movie they were filming, “Brewster McCloud” opposite Bud Cort. In Shelley’s words: “I said, ‘don’t you want to buy any paintings?’ And they said: “No, we want you!’”

She continued working with Bob Altman on six more films such as Thieves Like Us, Nashville, Popeye, and Three Women, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Seeing her in that film inspired Stanley Kubrick to cast her in his film The Shining where Shelley’s harrowing performance is indelibly etched in film lore. Shelley had a one-of-a-kind look and manner—wide-eyed, toothy, skinny and gawky, but with her own beauty and elegance—that endeared her to industry pros and audiences alike. Beyond her striking looks, she was also a serious, dedicated, and admired dramatic and comedic actor. Shelley appeared in many other film and television roles from the 1970s, 80s, and into the 90s.

Behind the camera, Shelley also conceived and created groundbreaking TV fare through her Platypus Productions: she produced, hosted, and sometimes guest-starred in her Faerie Tale Theatre series, which also called upon the talents of her wide circle of notable actors, directors, and film veterans including Robin Williams, Eric Idle, Mick Jagger, Teri Garr, Jean Stapleton, Frank Zappa, Vincent Price, John Lithgow, Pam Dawber, James Earl Jones, Candy Clark, Francis Ford Coppola, Roger Vadim, Tim Burton and so many more who would not usually have worked on a nascent cable channel show.

The Great American Tee Shirt book – with Paris wearing my Dog Day Afternoon shirt, with Dennis Christopher & Bud Cort

Faerie Tale Theatre’s one-hour adaptations of classic stories, followed up by her Tall Tales and Legends series, enchanted children and their elders through most of the 1980s (and live on to enchant in rerun heaven). She continued the streak with Nightmare Classics, Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, garnering two Emmy nominations for Producer over the years.

Gary Springer and Shelly in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Shelley, who had been called ‘The Texas Twiggy’ and, from film critic Pauline Kael, “The Female Buster Keaton,” was a frequent host on Saturday Night Live and during those heady late 70s and 80s was also known for dating the likes of Paul Simon and Ringo Starr.

Gary and Shelly on her birthday this year

In the mid-90s, Shelley found herself retreating from Hollywood and retiring from active production; successful though she had been as a star actor and producer. Then, her three-acre home in Studio City, which hosted a menagerie of birds, dogs, and other pets, was heavily damaged in the Northridge earthquake of 1994. Shelley and her partner since 1989, actor and musician Dan Gilroy, moved back to Texas to the small town of Blanco, near Austin, where the couple became a beloved part of the protective community. In recent years, Shelley has reconnected with some old friends and admirers from her Hollywood days while living a peaceful and quiet life in the Texas Hill Country.

Dan Gilroy, her brothers Scott, Stewart and Shane, friends and colleagues, the town of Blanco, and legions of fans mourn the passing of Shelley Duvall.

 

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Comic-Con Museum Presents Julien’s Auctions & TCM 2024 Spotlight Series: Harry Potter & Other Heroes

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On July 28th Comic-Con Museum Presents Julien’s Auctions & TCM 2024 Spotlight Series: Harry Potter & Other Heroes. William Shatner “Captain James T. Kirk” Long-Lost Legendary Phaser and Iconic Communicator from Star Trek Original TV Series Unveiled for the First Time in 50 Years at the Comic-Con Museum. Ryan Reynolds Deadpool & Wolverine Film Worn Shirt Crashes the Party. Collection of Iconic Character Wands Used by Daniel Radcliffe “Harry Potter,” Ralph Fiennes “Lord Voldemort,” Michael Gambon “Albus Dumbledore,” Plus, Gary Oldman “Sirius Black” Shackle Props, Slytherin House Robe & More. Chris Evans “Captain America” Original USO Shield Prop, X2 Storyboard Illustrations and Life-Size “Spider-Man” Madame Tussaud Display Figure. (Balboa Park) 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA Stunt Grapple Gun Prop, Batarang Prop, and Unused Cowl Prop


Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the ultimate destination for Hollywood memorabilia, are heading to the world’s greatest pop culture convention for their first co-branded event with the San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con International) / Comic-Con Museum! “Comic-Con Museum Presents Julien’s Auctions & TCM 2024 Spotlight Series: Harry Potter & Other Heroes” kicks off today with an exclusive two-week exhibition featuring a collection of the most instantly recognizable props, production material and memorabilia from the epic sagas of the Harry Potter, Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Comics franchises that will be offered at a live and online auction presented by Julien’s Auctions Sunday, July 28th at Comic-Con Museum. Adding to the excitement of this exhibition will be the appearance of two extraordinary and important artifacts from Star Trek history long forgotten and believed to have been lost: William Shatner’s legendary phaser and communicator used in his iconic role as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek television series. Both props (conservative estimate: $100,000-$200,000 each) will be heading to Julien’s and TCM’s Hollywood auction this fall where they are expected to break world records at auction. They will make their first appearance to the public in over 50 years at this exclusive exhibition at the Comic-Con Museum. Crashing this party of heroes will be Ryan Reynolds “Ryan Gosling” button down shirt worn by the Hollywood legend in his iconic role as Deadpool/Wade Wilson in the highly anticipated blockbuster of the summer, Marvel’s Deadpool & Wolverine.

Comic-Con Museum,  is a division of San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC), a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation organized for charitable purposes and dedicated to creating the general public’s awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, including participation in and support of public presentations, conventions, exhibits, museums, and other public outreach activities which celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. In addition to its San Diego convention each summer, Comic-Con (the premier comics convention of its kind in the world), SDCC organizes the Anaheim-based WonderCon each spring and the SAM: Storytelling Across Media symposium in the fall. On the web: comic-conmuseum.org, Facebook.com/ComicConMuseum, and follow us on X (@ComicConMuseum) and Instagram (@comicconmuseum).

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents classic films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting “Where Then Meets Now.” TCM features insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz along with hosts Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, Jacqueline Stewart and Eddie Muller, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. With three decades as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials and Reframed along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through popular events such as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise. In addition, TCM produces the wildly successful podcast “The Plot Thickens,” which has had more than 9 million downloads to date. TCM hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app. Fans can also enjoy a classic movie experience on the TCM hub on Max.

Julien’s, exist to bring those moments back into your life through iconic artifacts and one-of-a-kind collections. Whether collaborating directly with artists, partnering with legendary estates, or working closely with discerning collectors, our auctions make culture pop with the promise of discovery and reconnection. From Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Ringo Starr to Lady Gaga, Banksy, and Kurt Cobain-from LA to the world, we are where originals find their kind.

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

ARGENT RETIRES — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Rod Argent, a founder and longtime keyboardist for the British Invasion band the Zombies, has announced his retirement from touring following a stroke.

The group’s management announced in a statement that said: “We are saddened to report that Rod Argent, founder, keyboardist and primary songwriter of the Zombies, has suffered a stroke. Rod had recently returned home from a triumphant Zombies tour of the U.K. and spent a weekend in London with his beloved wife, Cathy, celebrating his 79th birthday and their 52nd wedding anniversary, before the stroke occurred.

“He was hospitalized overnight and released the next day. Doctors have advised that Rod will need several months of rest and recuperation. Rod has asked us to convey that he has made the very difficult decision to immediately retire from touring in order to protect his health. He was already preparing to wind down his live performance schedule after health scares on recent tours.”

In January 2022, the Zombies pushed back tour dates to 2023 after an unnamed member required an “urgent but non-life-threatening” medical procedure.

The band has been active in recent years, following their 2019 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They released their seventh album, Different Game, last year.

Argent and the Zombies had their first hit in 1964 with “She’s Not There.” The Hertfordshire, England-formed band, featuring singer Colin Blunstone, scored three Top 10 singles by the end of the decade, including “Time of the Season” from their classic 1968 album Odessey and Oracle, their last before a 1991 reunion LP.

During the break, Argent led the band Argent, which had a Top 5 hit in 1972 with “Hold Your Head Up.”

Argent and Blunstone, along with original bassist Chris White and original drummer Hugh Grundy, got back together for a 50th anniversary tour of Odessey and Oracle in 2017. (Original guitarist Paul Atkinson died in 2004.) The quartet has since toured with other current members of the band.

The statement concluded, “We don’t know what the future holds. What we have to tell fans today is that all upcoming performances by the Zombies will be canceled.”

SHORT TAKES — Watched the cast of Stereophonic perform two numbers on Thursday’s Today show.

This is the show that openly boasts that the play is a performance of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and how it was recorded. I was actually surprised by just how closely it sounded like that album. If I was Mick Fleetwood, I’d ask for some of the profits. Amazing! …

Nicky Hopkins

You may not know the name Nicky Hopkins, but in the 60’s and 70’s he played with everyone from Joe Cocker to John Lennon and George Harrison.

He also put out a killer solo album called The Tin Man Was a Dreamer in 1983. He passed away years ago, but there’s a new doc on him (Session Man). He was a great player. Check out the trailer: https://thesessionmanfilm.com

… A Broadway-play on the life of Muhammad Ali is in the works … Saw the first commercial yesterday for back-to-school. does that mean the summer is officially over? …

Kevin Costner’s Horizon is going to MAX shortly. Sadly, it has not been the smash everyone desperately wanted. Check out Deadline’stake on it: https://deadline.com/2024/07/horizon-2-delayed-1236006327/

The Alec Baldwin trial has begun in Santa Fe. Will he testify? Hard call. Again, I think it was just a terrible accident. Should gun-safety be increased on movie sets? Of course …

Jeff Zucker

The Zuck returns? Rumors spread like wildfire Thursday that Jeff Zucker (NBC and CNN) will now run CBS News. He’s a visionary for sure … Happy Bday Shep Pettibone … RIP Shelley Duvall

NAMES IN THE NEWS —– Jackie Stander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Owen Bradley; Jon Bon Jovi; Brad Balfour; Jordan Gray; Steve Immerman; Tony Seidl; Frank’s Steaks; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Freda Payne; Brenda Lee; Mike Campbell; Veruca Salt; Bonnie Culpeppersmith; Roy Trakin; Daryl Hall; Jonathan Wolfson; Carl Perkins; Tommy James; Carol Ross; Marty Ostrow; Jann Wenner; and BELLA!

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