On Movies: Defying Gravity, Embracing Technology

Hollywood’s Magic Castle said on its Facebook page Friday: “We are very sad to report that Mr. John Calvert, our oldest performing magician, has passed away at the age of 102.” Calvert impressed many of Hollywood’s most famous personalities with his sleight-of-hand tricks, and he invited some of them to perform in his stage shows. Among the stars he counted as friends were Cary Grant, Danny Kaye and Gary Cooper. His magic shows were often humorous and usually involved sequences such as firing a woman from a cannon and sawing volunteers with a buzz saw. His wife, Tammy, sometimes served as his onstage assistant. In his heyday during the ’40s and ’50s, Calvert performed regularly in Hollywood to star-filled audiences. He also brought his acts to Las Vegas and Broadway. Known for his robust physical presence, Calvert often flew his own airplanes and sailed the world aboard his yacht. Calvert managed to parlay his stage success to the big screen, appearing in a handful of movies. His most famous role was as the detective Michael Watling, better known as the Falcon, in 1948’s “Devil’s Cargo” and two more movies. He also worked as a Hollywood stuntman, and his hands stood in for Clark Gable’s in a card-playing scene in the 1941 movie “Honky Tonk.” As a technical advisor on “The Silver Chalice” in 1954, he taught Jack Palance the tricks of the trade for the role of a magician.

Notable deaths of 2013

Related Stories FDA to start regulating health-related smartphone apps Parents can target what their kids watch on their phones, tablets and TVs, thanks to a new digital video service. Target Ticket launched by the discount chain store offers a whopping 30,000 movies and television shows to buy, rent, download or stream starting at 99 cents. Titles include blockbuster releases like Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness and HBO shows like Game of Thrones and True Blood. RELATED: WHAT THE EMMY VOTERS GOT RIGHT – AND WHAT THEY GOT WRONG But parents have the ultimate say about their kids viewing options. The big-box retailer partnered with San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media, which provides movie and TV reviews, to make it easier for users to select age-appropriate content for their kids. Melinda Sue Gordon/AP Target are aiming to compete with Netflix, which offers its own original series like ‘House of Cards.’ The political drama, which stars Kevin Spacey, won three awards at the 2013 Emmys. Worried parents can also set filters according to the level of violence and profanity and ratings given by the Motion Picture Association of America. PHOTOS: EMMY AWARDS 2013 NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED They can customize profiles for family members so they can watch varied content simultaneously on different devices. The service is aimed at parents who want a kid-safe, easy- to-use service, the company says. Viewers can watch rented content as many times as they want within a 48-hour period. Target Ticket is currently available on PCs, Macs, Android and iOS, along with Internet-connected TVs and Xboxes. Guests can visit TargetTicket.com to access the service or download the app through the App Store or Google Play.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Movies, On Her 41st Birthday

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John Carter of Mars proves once again that expensive budgets, mind boggling special effects and lots of marketing will not make a movie hit. Great writing, a strong cast and a cool concept does which were all lacking in this movie from Disney. BattleShip When I first heard that they were going to make an action movie based off a board game where I put down pegs and call out postions in hopes of shipping my enemies battleship I scratched my head. Whats next a movie based off Scrabble? Or Pong? Oh wait they are doing the last one. Battleship is a story of aliens, inter galactic warfare and Brooklyn Decker in as little clothes as possible. Oh and it stars Rihanna which is one of many reasons I wanted my money back. I watched this movie to find out if it was as bad as everyone said it was so I suppose I have nobody to blame but myself and the internet bloggers. This movie is a case of somebody sitting down and asking how do we make a block buster? Lets get a super hot chick, ( Brooklyn Decker ) lets get a popular name amongst the teens these days ( Rihanna) and lets throw in giant friggin spaceships and space aliens. oh and lets blow sh*t up Michael Bay style. This movie is horrendous! Bad editing, bad dialogue, ridiculous characters its nothing more then a great example for film students on how to REALLY screw the pooch.

. . that would go in and out of the cube all the time. More coverage “And in both wings of the stage, it was just rows and rows and rows and rows of geeks on computers. . . . “It was an amazing experience, but it’s not what I consider ‘moviemaking.’ ” The reason for all the geeks and gizmos was that for much of Gravity, its two characters – NASA astronauts played by Bullock and Clooney – are floating in orbit around Earth. Zero gravity inside their space craft – and outside the craft, spinning and cartwheeling in the vast, empty, silent void. In order to create the effect of weightlessness, all sorts of rigs – nest-like rigs, bicycle seat-like rigs, rigs designed and manipulated by the puppeteers behind the stage production of War Horse – were deployed. And while the actors were in their rigging, CG animation sequences, produced over the two years leading up to the live shoot, were projected in that cube, or onto it, or something like that.

The Worst Movies of 2012

The Worst Movies of 2012

Pontypool plays out like a stage play and is a truly monumental apocalyptic movie with so many fine points from its script to its cast and its overall look and feel. Planet of the Apes What is scarier then the world coming to an end? Mark Wahlberg saving it? Ok I joke! I am not talking about Tim Burtons remake or even the most recent one starring James Franco which was a fun twist. I am talking about the original 1968 Planet of the Apes starring the original big screen bad ass Charlton Heston. When the world comes to an end if I have to fight off the dirty apes I am going to have a problem since my end of days stock piling did not include bananas. Zombieland Emma Stone is a babe and if the world comes to an end I sure hope that I somehow find myself camped out in Bill Murrays mansion trying to get it on err sorry I mean get by with Emma Stone. Zombieland is one of the funniest movies of the last decade and is an example of what great film making can and should be in a sea of otherwise lame Hollywood horror films. The untested directors delivered one of the best film experiences in theaters for horror fans since Shaun of the Dead. Transformers Transformers? You are probably at this point wondering what in the hell I am smoking but yes Transformers.

5 Movies to Watch When The World Ends Friday

5 Movies to Watch When The World Ends Friday

“The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001) 80% 10. “Iron Man 3” (2013) 78% 11. “Iron Man 2” (2010) 73% 12. “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (2004) 72% What’s your favorite Gwyneth Paltrow movie? Blue Book Ball at Rockefeller Center in New York. In this Monday, April 22, 2013 photo, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. pose for a portrait at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. This film publicity image released by Disney-Marvel Studios shows Robert Downey Jr., left, as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in a scene from “Iron Man 3.” (AP Photo/Disney, Marvel Studios) Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the world premiere of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” at the El Capitan Theatre on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) This cover image released by People shows actress Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of a special double issue. The 40-year-old actress tops the magazine’s annual list of the “World’s Most Beautiful,” announced Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (AP Photo/People Magazine) U.S actress Gwyneth Paltrow poses for photographers during the Iron Man 3 premiere, in Paris, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Gwyneth Paltrow, left, and Robert Downey Jr.