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Friday, April 5, 2013

Does New York story hinge on LA Dodgers Promotion? R.I.P. Roger Ebert! 'Evil Dead' to battle 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation.' Making good on The Americans.

After the coffee. Before trying to find somewhere to hide.

Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in "42."
Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in "42." (Associated Press)

Jackie Robinson film '42' capitalizes on Dodgers 

Baseball icon and Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson never played for the franchise in Los Angeles, but marketing and outreach efforts tied to a forthcoming biographical film about the famed second baseman are tapping the L.A. team. 
The move by Warner Bros., which is distributing "42," makes sense. Robinson, universally revered for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, is a key part of the Dodgers' history. And the team's home is right in Warner Bros.' backyard.
"42," which was directed by Brian Helgeland from a screenplay he wrote, will be released April 12. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the Dodgers general manager who signed the baseball player to the team. Legendary Pictures produced and financed the movie.
In an effort to appeal to the 18 to 49 demographic, key roles by older actors and the historic reality of the times are underplayed in promos and promotional material. The theme used in several commercials and one trailer even has a Rap beat, something Robinson would not recogonise. 
So far, the outreach and promotion has occurred behind the scenes. On March 11, Dodgers star Matt Kemp hosted a screening of "42" in Glendale, Ariz., not far from the team'sspring training facility. More than 300 big league players, staff and their families and minor league players attended. On March 22, Warner Bros. screened the film for Dodgers front office staff.
A few days after the release of the movie, Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, an annual occurrence on April 15, the day that Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Warner Bros. will be a presenting sponsor of the celebration at Dodger Stadium that day, with actors from the film slated to participate in pregame ceremonies, a spokesperson for the Dodgers said.
Ford is expected to be in attendance, along with Kelley Jakle, Rickey's great-granddaughter, who has a small role in "42." She will sing "God Bless America" during the game against the San Diego Padres.
During the April 15 game, the film's trailer will air on the stadium's video boards. And fans in attendance will receive a statue that features the likenesses of Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammates Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe.
On Thursday, Ford and Boseman and other members of the "42" cast met with sports media at the stadium for a series of interviews. Kemp and Newcombe were also on hand to speak with reporters.

The Skinny: One of my favorite things about Roger Ebert, besides his movie reviews and musings on life, was his willingness to go on Howard Stern's show and have a few laughs with the shock jock. Go on YouTube and watch Gene Siskel and Ebert on Stern's old TV show. Hilarious. if you can find it find their first show on WTTW Public Television Chicago, before the whistles and bells. Friends who often disagreed with each other the way friends do. Opposites in dress and manerisms. Friday's headlines include appreciations of Ebert and previews of the weekend box office.

Daily dose: If you're like me and you recorded FX's "The Americans," you might have wondered what happened to the last seven minutes of the show. Turns out FX didn't send out the proper run time to the folks who do listings, which ultimately means DVRs didn't know the episode ran longer than its usual hour. So FX put the whole episode online and commercial-free.

In 1975 Roger Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize.

The balcony is closed. Roger Ebert, the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, died Thursday after a long struggle with cancer. Ebert was the long-time reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times but he became famous through the TV show "At the Movies" that he hosted for years along with the late Gene Siskel, of the Chicago Daily News and later the Chicago Tribune. While Ebert and Siskel were credited for making film criticism mainstream, there were also complaints in the early days that the show and its thumbs up - thumbs down grading scale was a blow to serious film criticism. Still, in the long run, Siskel and Ebert did a lot to boost awareness for movies, particularly smaller films that often struggle to get national awareness. Appreciations of Ebert from the Los Angeles TimesNew York TimesVarietyHollywood Reporter and USA Today.

Evil Dead Jane Levy Under Floor - H 2013
Will 'Evil' triumph? This weekend's box office battle is between "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "Evil Dead." In other words, once again I'll be staying home watching television. Industry analysts expect both to take in more than $20 million. Also opening is a 3-D version of "Jurassic Park," which may take in $15 million. Previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Downsizing at Disney. The brass at Walt Disney Co. is getting ready to make some cuts at its movie studio as well as in its consumer products division, according to Variety and Reuters. The move to trim staff at its own studio is a reflection of the fact that the bulk of Disney's big movies are from itsPixar and Marvel units. No word on how many people will be let go.

Filming text messages. The revolution in communicating via text, often on tiny phone screens, is presenting filmmakers with a huge challenge: How do you show it on the big screen? From Gordon Gekko and his brick phone to “You’ve Got Mail,” the first Hollywood movie to tackle internet romance, filmmakers have tried to show people communicating in modern ways without boring the audience. 
As technology changes the way we all communicate, movie and TV producers are having to figure out how to make watching people text look exciting. The Wall Street Journal looks at how Hollywood is wrestling with the switch from "talkies to texties." I suggest looking at the scene in "All the President's Men" where Woodward and Bernstein are typing notes to each other because they fear they are being bugged.

First hire. Al Jazeera America has hired CNN financial reporter Ali Velshi to host a business show for the cable network, which is expected to launch later this year. Velshi is the first on-air hire for Al Jazeera America, which plans to open bureaus in several major markets in the United States and has a pretty big check book. More from TV Newser.

S. Kwane Stewart

American Humane Association names first chief veterinary officer

The American Humane Assn., which oversees the treatment of animals on television and movie sets, has named its first chief veterinary officer and also added a veterinarian to its board of directors.
The moves come in the wake of increased concern from animal rights activists about whether the AHA is being aggressive enough in policing how animals are used in entertainment.
Tapped as chief veterinary officer is Dr. Kwane Stewart, who will also act as the National Director of the association's Humane Hollywood division and its "No Animals Were Harmed" program. Stewart was most recently the county veterinarian for Stanislaus County in Modesto. Before that to that he spent five years at Vetco Hospital Inc. He will be based in Studio City.
“Through AHA, we will help guide the industry on a transformative path toward ensuring that our beloved animal actors receive the most compassionate care and humane treatment before, during and after their working lives," Stewart said in a statement. 
Joining the board of the AHA is Dr. Marty Becker, who is a frequent contributor to ABC's "Good Morning America."Becker, an adjunct professor at Washington State UniversityCollege of Veterinary Medicine, also still practices at two veterinary hospitals in Idaho.
Last week, the AHA named John Payne its new chairman of the board. Payne held top posts at Mars Global PetCare and Banfield Pet Hospitals. Payne replaced Eric Bruner, who resigned in January amid concerns about financial ties between the AHA and Bruner's business partner.
The AHA is also going to meet with key members of the Hollywood production community as part of an outreach effort it has launched to boost its own visibility and better educate the industry on safety issues.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Meredith Blake on what Jimmy Fallon brings to "The Tonight Show." Kenneth Turan on Roger Ebert.

Follow me on Twitter. It's your civic duty. @JBFlint.

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