Richard Burton Being Honored With Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Veteran actor Richard Burton will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Burton will be honored at a ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, March 1st.  His star will be placed next to that of Elizabeth Taylor.  The placement is largely symbolic as it honors the duo’s relationship both on-screen and off.  The ceremony is planned to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Cleopatra.  Taylor and Burton co-starred in the movie as the Queen of the Nile herself and her lover, Mark Antony.  Cleopatra will be re-issued on Blu-ray this year.  A release date for the upcoming re-issue has not yet been made official.

The effort to give Burton a star was led by Welsh business academic professor Dylan Jones-Evans.  His effort was made on behalf of the Western Mail, the official newspaper of Wales.  Jones was very happy when asked about the news of Burton’s new honor.  “I am delighted that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has agreed to partner with us to recognise one of Wales’ greatest ever actors with a star as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Cleopatra,” he said.  “I am also sure all the people of Wales will be thrilled that he is receiving this accolade on the most special day for the Welsh nation, St. David’s Day.”

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Mary Daily, President of Worldwide Marketing Chief Marketing Officer of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment also offered her thoughts on the news.  “Richard Burton remains one of the greatest actors of his generation whose iconic voice, rugged good looks and talent knew no bounds.  From My Cousin Rachel, which cemented Burton as a Hollywood leading man to The Robe and the Blockbuster Cleopatra, Burton is an integral part of the 20th Century Fox Legacy and we look forward to celebrating his contribution to stage and film with the country of Wales and the rest of the world.”

Burton, who was the son of a Welsh coal miner, started his career as a distinguished Shakespearian stage actor.  It was his role in Cleopatra that led to his eventual marriage to Taylor.  The pair’s marriage made headlines the world over.  They went on to star in nine other films together, including: The Taming of the Shrew, The V.I.Ps, and Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  This latter film garnered Taylor her second Oscar for Best Actress.

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New Eagle Rock DVD, Blu-Ray Presents The Life Of One Of Music’s Greatest Producers

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Andy Wallace.  Rick Rubin.  Bob Rock.  To most people, names such as these mean very little to most music lovers.  The names in question are those of some of the music industry’s most well known and respected producers.  Just as the director is the head of a movie, the producer is the head of a popular record’s creation.  Wallace, Rubin, and Rock are just three of a slew of other very famed names behind the boards.  Every generation has had its share of famed producers.  One of the most famous to this day is one George Martin.  Don’t know who he is?  Then a journey back in time in the brand new DVD, “Produced by George Martin” will introduce audiences…or rather re-introduce….them to a man who is perhaps one of the greatest producers ever.

George Martin is known largely for his work with one of rock music’s greatest bands ever.  The band in question is none other than The Beatles.  In the new DVD and blu-ray, audiences get a glimpse into how Martin rose from an impoverished youth to become an employee of Parlophone Records, and eventually the label’s head.  In between, he shares stories of his time serving in the military.  Under Martin’s leadership, Parlophone Records became one of Great Britain’s leading labels during the 1960’s.  And that was by and large due to having signed not only The Beatles, but also the lies of Peter Sellers (of the Pink Panther movie franchise) and Millicent Martin. 

One part documentary and one part video bio, “Produced by George Martin” tells Martin’s story through his own words and those of former Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney.  The presentation spends an expansive amount of time on Martin’s relationship with The Beatles early in the band’s career.  One of the funnier moments in Martin’s discussions with Ringo and Paul was that while he liked the band, he didn’t like the band’s original drummer.  Unknown to him though, while he was looking to get a session drummer to replace the band’s original drummer, the band had already replaced him with Ringo.  His wife is along for the ride, too for many of the stories, laughing and joking with him all the while.  As a matter of fact, the entire piece starts off by telling how George and his wife, Judy, met.  It’s set against the music of one of Britain’s greatest pop singers, Matt Monro.

For anyone who is an avid Beatles fan, or wants to even learn about one of the music industry’s most famed producers, “Produced by George Martin” is one of those pieces that’s worth the watch.  The actual presentation included on the DVD and blu-ray runs just short of an hour and a half.  However, there is nearly an hour’s worth of extra material that fans will love.  It should be noted though, that there is some brief language and nudity.  So some moments may not be suitable for some younger viewers.  That aside, it is still an interesting piece of music history for any fan of classic rock or music in general.

“Produced by George Martin” is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com

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D.O.A. Re-Make Another Product Of Its Time

Courtesy: Touchstone Pictures/Mill Creek Entertainment

Touchstone Pictures’ take on the 1950 crime thriller D.O.A. is a near total re-imagining of the original, right down to the movie’s end.  While there are some hints of the original such as the protagonist being poisoned after a night at a bar and going to the hospital, those similarities are fleeting at best, as even they have been altered, too.  Whereas the original 1950 rendition starring Edmond O’Brien focused on accountant Frank Bigelow, the 1988 remake focused on star Dennis Quaid, who played college English professor Dexter Cornell.  Almost the entire story has been changed in the near forty years between the two versions. 

Touchstone’s take on D.O.A. is a product of its time, much like the 1950 original.  Stories written in the era of D.O.A. were stories in every sense of the word.  The 1988 remake is also like movies of its era.  While it does have a story, its story is nothing like the original.  Like so many other crime/action/dramas of its time, it relies more on overt violence and sexuality to attract audiences than story.  That’s not to say that there isn’t a story.  But apparently, those behind the script for the story seemed to think that audiences wouldn’t watch the story without the amount of sex and violence that is existent there.  There is even a moment when one of the story’s main characters is shot in the head while driving a car in one of the movie’s many amped up action scenes.  Audiences see the woman shot in the head, and are even given more than one opportunity to see the rather large bullet hole left in her head from the gunshot as she drives off a road, gunman on the car’s hood the whole time.  Are the people behind this rendition of D.O.A. to blame for the level of violence in the movie?  Yes.  But again, this is just one more story that is a product of its time.  And movie makers from that era (and ever since) have seemed to think that using such methods is what sells tickets.

While the 1988 re-make of D.O.A. is a product of its time, what it really does is serve as a reminder of the larger picture of movie making, and how it has changed since the release of the original work.  The story behind the remake is a gripping one.  But it doesn’t necessarily need the amount of violence and sexuality that was added in.  In that same vein, perhaps the ultimate function of this remake will be to be one more reminder of movies made during Hollywood’s golden era.  It will remind movie makers and audiences alike of what made movies great.  The stories made them great, not the special effects and everything else.  Keeping all of this in mind, touchstone Pictures 1988 remake of D.O.A. isn’t D.O.A. itself.  But it will sadly never have the “life” of the 1950 original.     

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