The New Pennywise Is Revealed


The newest film adaption of Stephen King’s IT, is picking up more steam with the release of our first look at the new Pennywise. The image can give us a queasy feeling when you look into the eyes of Pennywise the dancing clown. Made famous by the words of Mr. Stephen King in the masterpiece IT. Mr. King’s novel from 1986.

But the evil Pennywise couldn’t just rest in the words of a book. The first film adaption of IT brought Pennywise to our TV screens in 1990. Pennywise was first portrayed masterfully by Tim Curry. The actor brought a heightened eeriness too Pennywise that still scares audiences to this very day. There’s something very odd about a middle aged man dressed up as a clown preying on little kids. IT is something that feeds on our fears, and if you were a kid growing up, then you know that their can be many fears.

Bill Skarsgard will be playing the new Pennywise, the ageless creature that feeds on the fears of kids. Skarsgard who is only 26 has some very big clown shoes to fill. Following a performance such as Curry’s has to be very hard thing to think about tackling, but I believe fans are ready for a new Pennywise. A new film adaption has been off and on for years. With the images that are showing Skarsgard in full Pennywise décor it gives fans hope for the new film.

The production team relied on Janie Bryant (Deadwood, Mad Men) for crafting the new design of the Pennywise outfit. The outfit draws from many eras of the past- among them Renaissance, Medieval, Elizabethan, and Victorian eras. “It’s a different technique than what the Elizabethans would do. It’s more organic, it’s more sheer. It has a whimsical, floppy quality to it. It’s not a direct translation of a ruff or a whisk, which were two of the collars popular during the Elizabethan period. For Pennywise, there’s no need to stay faithful to any era’s fashions. He is a manifestation of what an immortal, supernatural being thought of as a clown, amalgamating various styles it finds appealing. …Or maybe he’s just thinking of a toy that once belonged to a child he devoured.” Bryant told Entertainment Weekly, about how she went about creating the newer up to date Pennywise.

The newest adaption of Stephen King’s IT is scheduled to hit theaters September 8th 2017. The film will be directed by Andy Muscietti (Mama) and looks to be a much darker film adaption then what we first saw in 1990. Only time will tell, but keep you’re lights on be aware that Pennywise could be out there.


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Happy Birthday Buffy! (January 19th)


(PCM) Buffy Summers, a.k.a. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a.k.a. “The Chosen One” was born on this day in 1981.

Created by writer, director and geek superstar Joss Whedon (also famous for fan favorites like Firefly and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), cheeky cheerleader-turned-vampire-killer Buffy Summers first appeared in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Kristy Swanson and Donald Sutherland.

Former soap star Sarah Michelle Gellar reprised the role in the 1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, along with an ensemble cast of monsters, misfit teens, and a dourly handsome British librarian. The show aired for seven seasons and spawned a Buffyverse of related novels, comics, games and toys, as well as countless wikis, blogs, fan fiction and art. Buffy is also the darling of academia; the show is considered the most studied work of pop culture for its influence on everything from vampire mythology to modern feminism.

Although any resurrection (get it? Resurrection? Vampires?) of the show seems unlikely, Buffy lives on in the hearts of her legions of fans. So slay a piece of cake today in her honor. Happy Birthday Buffy!

Ethel Merman Born January 16, 1908

EthelMermanNoBusinesstraileEthel Merman (Born Ethel Zimmerman) was born on January 16, 1908.  She passed away on February 15, 1984.

Ethel Merman was born in Astoria New York.  Merman got her big break in 1930. Previously to that she worked as a stenographer.  This job, however was only to pay the bills, in the evenings in she performed in Nightclubs.  She was first hired by Lou Clayton, Jimmy Durante’s’ partner.

Merman was soon noticed and she was contracted to Warner Brothers.  In those days movie professional did not go from project to project being produced by different studios.  In the 1930s it was the studio system.  Actors and actresses would be hired by a single studio and only worked for them.  They could occasionally be lent out to other studios, but basically you worked where you were hired.

She was cast in only one film during her time in Hollywood.  That was Follow The Leader starring Ed Wynn and Ginger Rodgers.  This was produced by Paramount so she was lent out for that.  She was paid $125.00 a week by Warner Brothers who never used her.  In those days you were paid by the studio whether you worked or not.  Ethel began to get bored and so she again began performing in Night Clubs.  It was during this time that she actually met Durante and the two would become lifelong friends.

Merman soon went back to New York.  She was hired by The Palace Theater as a Torch Song singer.  Merman’s voice was a powerful Mezzo Soprano and she could be heard throughout a theater without a microphone.  She was paid $500.00 dollars a week for her work at the Palace.  Soon she was noticed by George and Ira Gershwin and was hired to work in their new show Girl Crazy.  Her show stopping number in that show was I Got Rhythm, a song that would go on to be popular for many years  New York Times noted Merman sang “with dash, authority, good voice and just the right knowing style”, while The New Yorker called her “imitative of no one.”

Merman was kept busy between Hollywood and New York for four years.  In 1934, she was hired in her first starring role that of Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.  This show spotlighted Merman’s talents both as an actress and as a singer Beside the title song Merman had two other songs that would become standards, I Get A Kick Out Of You and You’re The Top.  Anything goes still performed to this day in professional, regional, community and High School Theaters.

From that point on Merman’s career was set, she performed in many films and Broadway musicals but her next big show was Annie Get Your Gun which opened in 1945.  Annie Get Your Gun was loosely based on the life of Annie Oakley a female sharp shooter who made name for herself working with Buffalo Bill Cody.  Merman’s role of Annie gave her many memorable moments, You Can’t Get A Man With a Gun, Doing What comes naturally, and Anything You Can Do I can Do Better were a few of the big numbers performed by Merman.  The big hit form the show and the song which Merman would perform the rest of her life was There’s No Business Like Show Business.  This song would have an entire movie wrapped around the song itself which stared Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor and the forever remembered Marylyn Monroe.  The music and lyrics were composed by the great Irving Berlin who was at least one of if not the most prolific song writer of the 20th century; many of his songs are recorded by artists even today, most notably White Christmas.

Ethel’s next big hit was the musical Call Me Madam again with a score by Irving Berlin.  In this show Ethel played a ambassador to a small European country where she falls in love with one of the government officials which causes a scandal and sends her back to Washington.  Of course all turns out right in the end.  The songs from this show which are notable are You’re Not Sick You’re Just In Love, The Hostess With The Mostest and It’s A Lovely Day Today.

On May 21, 1959 Ethel Merman would again star in a show that is still performed today.  GypsyGypsy was based on the life on the world renowned Stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.  Though the show as was called Gypsy it was the story of the relationship between Gypsy and her mother Rose.  Rose was the leading role, a scheming woman that would go to any lengths to make her girls stars.  Merman’s Co-Star in this musical was Jack Klugman who would go on to make a name for himself in the TV shows The Odd Couple and Quincy.  Three of standout numbers from this show were, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Together and Small World.

Annie Get You’re Gun, Call Me Madam and Gypsy all had Hollywood adaptations the only one Merman was allowed to star in was Call Me Madam.  The loss of the role of Rose in Gypsy to Rosalind Russell, according to Merman herself, was the most disappointing time in her career.

Merman would go on to star in revivals of her hit shows and the Broadway world still loved her.  Merman was called “the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage.”  In the 1960s, however music styles changed and The Beatles along with Elvis Presley and many others would soon reign over the musical scene while the Broadway style would fade into the back ground.

Merman however still continued to perform.  She was featured in the Comedy It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World in the 1960s and in the 70’s she had a cameo appearance in the Movie Airplane.  Where she sang Everything’s Coming Up Roses.  This appearance gave her career a brief resurgence and she recorded a disco version of her hits.

She would be featured in many variety and other types of TV shows.  Memorable performances were on such shows as The Lucy Show, That Girl and The Love Boat  When her career slowed down Merman began to volunteer in a gift shop in New York City Hospital.  Merman died in her home at the age of 76 on February 15, 1984 from Brain Cancer.  On the evening of her death all 36 theaters on Broadway dimmed their lights at 9 P.M. in her honor.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas Turns 50 December 9, 1965

Peanuts-ChristmasDecember 9, 1965 was a very special evening in television history.  On that night A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut.

In April of 1965 Lee Mendelson got a call from CBS asking if Charles Schulz was interested in doing a Christmas special based on his Peanuts characters.  CBS would air the special and Coca Cola would be the sponsor.  They wanted it for December of the same year so that gave the team about 6 months to do the whole project.

Schulz agreed immediately.  The first problem was getting an outline to show to CBS within 24 hours.  Schulz being the genius that he was had story idea fairly quickly.  Peanuts had, by that time, 15 years of success. Schulz had written a number of strips for Christmas and so he had material to draw from but still would be able to produce a new story.

The 24 hour deadline was met.  Both CBS and Coca Cola were pleased and the green light was given to produce the special.

Charles Schulz had worked previously with the animator Bill Melendez on advertisements using the Peanuts characters so it was to him that Schulz turned to again to bring the whole Peanuts gang to life.  This would not be an easy task.  The heads of the characters and their legs even Charlie Browns hair would all be problem that would have to be overcome.

Melendez believed that as an animator his job was to stay as close as possible to Schulz work.  This he accomplished with expertise and experimentation.  Peanuts would never be an easy job to lift from the comic’s page to the TV screen.  But Melendez made it happen.

The script was written by Schulz.  The story of Charlie Brown being disillusioned by the commercialization of Christmas and Linus bringing him back to the real meaning is well known.  What is not well known is the fact that the idea of having Comic Strip Characters quoting the Bible on TV was at the very least considered crass.

Schulz thought, and rightfully so, that the Bible is for everyone and it was not inappropriate to do this.  He had, in fact, used many Bible verses and references in the strip already.  This was not new territory for him.

The next problem was casting the show.  It had been the general policy of animation to use adult character actors to voice cartoons.  Schulz did not want this either.  He believed children’s voices should speak children’s lines and so a cast of young children were used.  The only professional child actors used were Peter Robbins, the voice of Charlie Brown and Eric Shea the voice of Linus.  The other children used were literally kids from the neighborhood.  Some of the children were so young they were unable to read so their lines had to be fed to them one at a time.

There was, however, one adult voice used.  The animator Bill Melendez made some odd sounds for snoopy.  What he didn’t realize was that those sounds were so good that he would be the only person to play a character throughout all of the Charlie Brown specials history including the recent film that opened in November of 2015.

The children were cast the animation complete all that was left was the score.  This task was given to Jazz Composer Vince Guraldi who would score many of the following Peanuts specials.  His instrumental background for the kids dancing scene known as Linus and Lucy is frequently played on radio stations as a Christmas song.  The opening song, Christmas Time Is Here is also a well played standard for the holiday season and continues to be recorded by various artists.  Originally Christmas Time is Here had no lyrics but it was decided that there should be lyrics for the opening scenes.  The task of writing the lyrics was given to the producer Bill Mendelson and though he had never written a song. He ended up writing one that will not soon be forgotten.

It takes 12 cells a second to animate characters.  That’s twelve separate drawings per second for a total of 13,000 cells to make A Charlie Brown Christmas come to life.  Always remember this team of people had about six months to complete the task and complete it they did.

The show was finished and sent to CBS and Coca Cola for final approval.  Neither the network nor the sponsor was thrilled with the final product.  The problem was they could not just allow the show go unaired as it had already been scheduled for public viewing.  In other words Charlie Brown was coning to television and it was too late to stop it.

The network needn’t have worried.  A Charlie Brown Christmas was aired at 7:30 on CBS and garnered a 49% share of the ratings.  In other words during that half hour almost half of the nations television sets were tuned in to watch Charlie Brown.  It took the number two spot for the week and was second only to Bonanza which was very popular at the time.

A Charlie Brown Christmas also took home an Emmy award in 1966 as well as the Peabody award.  Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez took 15 years of work home with them as they produced more Peanuts specials.

A Charlie Brown Christmas has not missed a single year being aired since 1965 and is considered to be the only Christmas special to have that honor.

For those who love trivia, there is a missing scene from the show that only aired once.  When the kids are skating all hand in hand in line together and Snoopy then whips them out, Charlie Brown is flung into a tree, but we never see where Linus ends up.  This is because Linus flung into a sign that read Coca Cola.

Fantastic Four Star Michael B. Jordan Addresses Casting Controversy

Fantastic_Four_Human_Torch(PCM) As a person of mixed race and as a member of a blended family, the controversy surrounding Michael B. Jordan’s casting in director Josh Tranks’s Fantastic Four reboot as Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, continues to baffle me.

Many critics called the casting a politically correct move, an attempt by 20th Century Fox to appeal to the increasingly diverse masses, and were awaiting for some kind of an explanation as to how Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara, playing Sue Storm, could possibly portray brother and sister in a film about four young scientists who are transformed into superheroes after a radioactive accident.

I cannot understand why it’s so inconceivable that a black man could have a white woman as a sister, but Michael B. Jordan is more even-tempered and has a bigger heart than I do, which he displayed in an editorial he wrote for EW yesterday, addressing the controversy surrounding his casting. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961. Plus, if Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, “You’re good. I’m okay with this,” who am I to go against that?

Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of “Black Film.” Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself—a reflection of what a modern family looks like today.

This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.

Read the full article here.

Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

Fantastic Four is written and directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle) alongside co-writers Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and stars Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara (House of Cards) as Sue Storm aka The Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) as Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch, and Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ben Grimm aka The Thing.

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Johnny Depp is the Most Notorious Gangster in U.S. History in the New Trailer for Black Mass

BlackMassBanner(PCM) Warner Bros. Pictures released the new trailer for Black Mass, director Scott Cooper’s crime drama based on real-life convicted murderer and former mob boss Whitey Bulger.

The new trailer enters on a scene between Whitey and his six year-old son at the dinner table. Whitey, educating his young son on the in-and-outs of crime, gives him some priceless advice: “If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen.”

Cue Rick Ross’ “The Devil is a Lie” as Johnny Depp mows down multiple people and commits horrible crime after horrible crime. Watch the new trailer for Black Mass, in theaters nationwide September 18, below!

In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.

Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) from the screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow), Black Mass is based on the book, Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

Starring alongside Johnny Depp are Adam Scott, Sienna Miller, Kevin Bacon, Juno Temple, Joel Edgerton, Rory Cochrane, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, and Corey Stoll.

Black Mass opens in theaters nationwide starting September 18, 2015. Visit for more info!

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