Davy Jones of ‘The Monkees’ dies of cardiac arrest

Davy Jones died of a heart attack at the age of 66
Davy Jones died of a heart attack at the age of 66

Davy Jones, the British heartthrob who set Marcia Brady aflame with desire has died of cardiac arrest in Stuart, Florida.  He was 66 years of age.  Jones, on a solo tour at the time, complained the prior evening of chest pains and went to the hospital this morning, but it was too late.  He is survived by his wife Jessica and four children.

He began as a child actor although he’d wanted to be a jockey. By 1966, he’d been cast as “Davy” (acting under the name David Jones) in a new U.S. musical/comedy TV show called The Monkees, designed to cash in on the success of the Beatles.

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And the Oscar goes to…

Who won the Oscar, and who missed out, at the 84th Academy Awards
Who won the Oscar, and who missed out, at the 84th Academy Awards

The Red Carpet was crowded with nominees and non-nominees alike, all making their way into the auditorium in what was the Kodak Theater until Kodak entered insolvency.

Host Billy Crystal owes Kodak a debt of gratitude for giving him so much extra material to work his humor with.  By the appointed hour of 5:30 p.m. local time, everyone was in place and the show was launched.

Crystal’s opening was brilliantly and wittily written as it has been each of the 8 prior times he hosted Oscar’s biggest evening.  There was even a kiss from George Clooney as Crystal stood in for the character of Clooney’s comatose wife from The Descendants, one of the films nominated for Best Picture.

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Academy Award Prognostication: Who’ll win at this years Oscars

Who’ll take home the Oscar?
Who’ll take home the Oscar?

One of the things people can wager on at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, which begins at 8:30 ET on Sunday, February 26th, is whether or not there will be any slip-ups by camera operators that show the name “Kodak Theater” on the side of the building.

For those who don’t know yet, Kodak’s financial woes have caused the company to stop paying to have its name on the theater where the golden Oscar statutettes are handed out.

While Las Vegas oddsmakers post “odds” on who will win what, you can’t legally wager on who will win an Oscar.  But there are office pools, contests and the like across the nation, so here is Tail Slate’s take on the awards.

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‘Godzilla’ roars with Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray beautiful black-and-white

Godzilla (Gojira) first trampled through Tokyo in 1954
Godzilla (Gojira) first trampled through Tokyo in 1954

[rating=4]Starring: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Takashi Shimura, Raymond Burr
Director(s): Ishiro Honda
Writer(s): Shigeru Kayama (story), Takeo Murata, Ishiro Honda (script)

Godzilla, the creature who was baptized in the fire of the H-bomb and survived. This film icon that’s crossed international and generational lines has been with us for nearly 60 years. Films, video games, television, and music videos inside Japan and out continue to draw inspiration from it. Now the 1954 film that started it all has been added to the Criterion Collection in a new digital restoration on DVD and Blu-ray.

Read more‘Godzilla’ roars with Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray beautiful black-and-white

‘The Vow’ should probably be forgotten

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in 'The Vow'
Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in ‘The Vow’

There are few phrases that will make me cringe as badly as the words “Inspired by True Events” do when I see them on a movie screen before a film begins.  The fear that liberties taken by those who adapted the true story for the screen will harm rather than enhance the presentation of the tale is a fear born of long experience.  Those fears come home to roost in The Vow.

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‘Red Tails’ soars – but lacks real historic context

Bombers take to the skies over Europe in 'Red Tails'
Bombers take to the skies over Europe in ‘Red Tails’

[rating=3]Starring: Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Marcus T. Paulk, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Daniela Ruah
Director(s): Anthony Hemingway
Writer(s): John Ridley and Aaron McGruder, from the book by John B. Holway

If you are a serious history buff, or want detailed information on the history and training of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, then director Anthony Hemingway’s Red Tails is not the best choice available to you.

Read more‘Red Tails’ soars – but lacks real historic context