Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from The Flaming Nose!

Various events have caused a little slowdown in posts here, but we're still watching television like crazy and will be chiming in on the upcoming finale of Dexter, as well as all the other November sweep events out there!

Has anybody else seen the movie 2012? Not the ultimate disaster movie, but with enough giddy destruction to thrill any jaded moviegoer. A dignified performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor, an energetic one by John Cusack, a prissy one from Oliver Platt, and lots of others with varying degrees of impact will keep you awake, at least!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Viewing, everybody!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Star Trek DVD Release Party

I had the fortune (figuratively speaking - this was actually a pro bono job) of attending and working the Paramount "Star Trek" DVD release party last night at LA's fabulous Griffith Observatory. Paramount's "restart" Star Trek movie from earlier this year is out on DVD today. Even With all the glitz, glamor and splendor of the event, the highlight for me was the 5 minutes I spent interviewing Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.

My partner Harry was signed on to help with the broadcast media relations work (Paramount Pictures is one of his clients). I assisted by conducting red carpet interviews. How thrilling to ask questions of director JJ Abrams (it was all I could do NOT to ask questions about "Lost"), John Cho (young Sulu), Zoe Saldana (young Uhura), Zachary Quinto (young Spock), Bruce Greenwood (Capt. Pike), and the two teenagers who played childhood versions of Capt. Kirk & Spock. Unfortunately, Chris Pine was on location back east and could not attend. Leonard Nimoy walked the carpet with the grace and dignity of an A-lister, and when he stopped at my position his handshake was warm and his smile inviting. What a gentleman. I asked him about getting back into the role of Spock, and how Quinto did following in his shoes. His answers were gracious and thoughtful. His voice as booming as ever. I got all "fan boy" but kept it inside as best as I could. This is MR. SPOCK, for crying out loud! I was also asking humorous questions on behalf of Canada's Space TV, pitting Star Trek characters against Star Wars characters. I asked Nimoy who would be most likely to talk a cop out of a traffic violation, Mr. Spock or Obi Wan Kenobi? Nimoy laughted a hearty laugh (thank God he saw the humor, because that could have gone down like a lead balloon!)... and said, of course, "I don't believe Mr. Spock would ever get himself into that position in the first place! So not a problem for him!" Love him.

The event was spectacular. I arrived in the afternoon while the crews were setting everything up. AV crews, satellite truck, florists, caterers, party planners, party suppliers, media personnel, etc. It was one of those perfect days: 70s and not a cloud in the sky. You could see the ocean with the sun shining off of it, with Catalina in the distance. Panoramic view with just a little smog inland. The event began at 6:30 just after twilight & a gorgeous sunset. Two outside areas on the terrace overlooking the LA Basin were set up with ultramodern couches, tables, vases and accessories worthy of Star Trek and Hollywood. An impressive, 30 foot tall sculpture of the Starfleet emblem was created and placed on the grass mall in front of the observatory (see pictures). The observatory was lit with all sorts of groovy lighting, and there were glowing "runner" lights along the walkways and the roofline of the observatory. Paramount spared no expense on this one!

Access Hollywood Video Clips:

JJ Abrams (also talks about "Lost")

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Antiques Roadshow

Hello Flaming Nose readers everywhere. I must apologize for being absent for so long. I'm just starting a new job and moving to Silicon Valley at the same time. It's been rather hectic. There is nothing more dreadful than the endless packing of boxes, particularly if one has collected a lot of "stuff" over the years. There are times that I'd like to chuck the whole lot of it into an over-sized dumpster and just walk away. That's when I know it's time for a break, and I turn to the glory of the legendary PBS series, "Antiques Roadshow". Originally a BBC Series that first aired in 1977, the US version has been going strong for years as well. It reminds us all, that the chipped vase in the attic or the old blanket draped over the armchair might be worth thousands of dollars.

It's lovely to watch the fascinating pieces of furniture, art, old toys and vintage clothing that parade through the episodes of the Antiques Roadshow. And some of the appraisers on the Roadshow have become celebrities in their own right. I'm quite fond of the Keno brothers (Leslie and Leigh) who are experts in antique furniture. But the best part for me is the always astonished reaction of the owners, when they learn that the old pot they've been stuffing umbrellas into by the front door is actually worth $10,000. One of the most moving segments of all time is posted in the video above. An older gentleman of modest means, finds out the the Navajo rug passed down from his Grandmother is worth half a million dollars.

So before you do your next household purge you might want to watch a few episodes of the Roadshow. One man's junk truly is another man's treasure. I say this as I wait for the Salvation Army to come pick up a giant stack of...hmmmm. Maybe I should go through that pile one more time!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Charla Nash, Chimpanzee Attack Victim, on "Oprah"

There's a lot of discussion over the decision of Charla Nash, the woman who was the victim of the horrific chimpanzee attack last February, to come forward on Oprah Winfrey's show a couple of days ago to tell her story and reveal herself. We think Charla is a remarkable woman and salute her fortitude in getting out there and giving people the opportunity to try to come to terms with their own prejudices and fears.

Was she exploited? I don't think so. I think people need to see. They don't have a right to see, but they need to. It will change the viewer. There is no way that you cannot experience empathy with this human being if you see and listen to her. If you're someone who doesn't...well, we know there are people like that out there without humanity and I hope I never meet up with one.

I have always felt that most folks have no idea how lucky they are; they don't realize that anything could befall them at any moment and change their life forever. Charla Nash didn't ask to undergo the terrible ordeal she's faced for the past nine months, but she's dealing with it, straight on.

In a television world which routinely celebrates the superficial, the impossibly beautiful, the very thin and overly trim, we need to remember that what makes a person isn't what's on the outside, it's the character within. This is something we probably all learned as children, but so many seem to have forgotten it. People like Charla remind of us of that.

I am posting the Oprah interview (it's in three parts) and I recommend that you watch and send your most heartfelt good thoughts to Charla. This could happen to any of us -- and I don't mean the specific circumstances of her attack, but something catastrophic -- and we can learn much from the determination of Charla Nash.

(The audio seems to be a little low so you might have to turn up your speakers.)

Note: Unfortunately the entire interview seems not to be available anymore, and only short reports about the show are still up. (Read this article about the disappearing clip issue.) This does a disservice to Charla and her story. It turns the show into nothing but the reveal of Charla's face, exactly the opposite of what the interview did -- taking the time to put everything into context and build compassion. However, in the absence of the complete interview, take a look at this:

We salute Charla Nash.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Germans in the Woods" -- A WWII Story Told in Animation by The Rauch Brothers

It may be the day after Veterans Day, but this the message of this short film is always relevant.

From The Rauch Brothers

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Mad Men" Season 3 Finale Tonight on AMC!

As if the Mayan Apocalypse weren't enough to ponder, be sure to tune into tonight's season finale of AMC's fine series Mad Men, at 10pm. As we've said here before, Mad Men isn't so much a television program as a work of art, to be contemplated with all due respect. We thought that last week's episode, with events taking place at the time of the Kennedy Assassination, was superb. Everyone was at the top of their game, with a special shout out to January Jones, who has been taking Betty Draper into fascinating territory.

Things are changing, and tonight's episode -- "Shut the Door, Take a Seat" -- finds the Draper marriage in much turmoil, mirroring the country's severed affections. We can't wait to watch it, and will miss the Sunday night ritual of savoring Mad Men, at least until its return.

We've also got to bring your attention to another season finale of another terrific show, HBO's droll Bored to Death, which ends its short eight-episode run tonight. It's been picked up for another season, fret not, but we will be sad to see this utterly charming and genuinely amusing show end its freshmen season. What a delight it's been, and we look forward to more!

And of course there's Dexter on Showtime, Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO, and those half-nekkid Mayans on Nat Geo! Happy Viewing tonight!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mayan Calendar Countdown

2012: Are You Ready for Some Apocalyptic Fun?

Sure you are! Here's a trailer for director Ronald Emmerich's movie extravaganza 2012, opening next Friday. Just today we've been reading that there's a possibility of a TV series spinning off the movie, and we certainly hope you don't consider that a spoiler. The movie looks over-the-top goofy, probably a little too special-effects-heavy, but what did you expect? This is just what the mad scientist ordered!

In case you're thinking it's only a movie, the wonderful Nat Geo Channel offers up a companion documentary this coming Sunday -- 2012: Countdown to Armageddon.

You may get John Cusack in Emmerich's film, but Nat Geo will give you scantily clad Mayan warriors, and it really doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Count on Nat Geo to offer up the science (if any) behind the spectacle, plus a wonderful collection of Earth-ending scenarios guaranteed to delight the most avid Apocalyptist out there. Can you be a fan of the end of the world? Only in the movies, baby...only in the movies!

Needless to say, The Flaming Nose will be tuned in this Sunday night to Nat Geo, and we'll be among the first in line to see Mr. Emmerich's opus. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009