Harvey Korman Dies At 81

Courtesy of reports that Harvey Korman, director, producer and arguably one of the best comic actors in the business, died Thursday in Los Angeles from complications stemming from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was 81.

Korman, born in Chicago, Illinois got his start as a voice actor playing The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones. He was also a guest star on numerous ’50s and ’60s TV shows including The MunstersDisney’s Wonderful World, Gidget, The Lucy Show, Route 66, Perry Mason and The Untouchables. His big break came in ’64 on The Danny Kaye Show and his career peaked in the ’70s, with the Mel Brooks comedies Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety, and a starring role on The Carol Burnett Show, for which he recieved four Emmys and a Golden Globe.

The versatile Korman spent 10 years on The Carol Burnett Show, where he, Burnett, Tim Conway, and Vicki Lawrence created a spontaneous, irreverent and inspired form of sketch comedy which would be unequaled for years to come. Korman’s speciality was vain and slightly prissy authority figures, who’s self importance often overwhelmed their good sense. He and Conway, who spent much of the last decade touring in a live show together, shared a special chemistry and a deep friendship, with Korman often toning down his performances to play Conway’s straight man, often getting laughs by simply doing nothing.

An assistant to Carrol Burnett, told The Associated Press that Burnett was devastated by Korman’s death: “She loved Harvey very much,”.

Korman is survived by current his wife Deborah and their daughter and by three other adult children Laura, Maria and Chris as well as three grandchildren.

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New Releases For Friday May 30

Sex And The City: The Movie: R. The movie version of the hit HBO series based on autobiographical columns by Candace Bushnell. From New Line Cinema HBO Film. 

The Strangers: R. A couple in a remote home is terrorized by three masked criminals in what becomes a struggle for survival. From Universal Studios.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster: PG-13. A look at steroids in popular culture. From BSF Films.

Stuck: R. Brandi, a young woman with a bright future, hits Tom and impales him in her windshield. With Tom still alive she drives to her home and and parks the car in her garage. Promising to take him to the hospital but fearing for her future should the accident be discovered she resolves to let him die. Tom, realizing her plan, plans his escape from Brandi and her boyfriend. From ThinkFilm.

The Foot Fist Way: R. A Tae Kwon Do instructor pilgrimages to see his hero after he attacks the man who slept with his wife. From Paramount Classics.

The Unknown Woman: Unrated. Seeking clues to her own past, Irena insinuates her self as deeply as she can into the lives of a young Italian couple and their fragile daughter. From Outsider Pictures.

At The Death House Door: Unrated. A study of the investigation into the possible wrongful death of Carlos DeLuna, executed in 1989 after prosecutors reportedly ignored evidence implicating another man for the crimes for which Deluna was convicted. From Kartemquin Film.

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Back Seat Producers Season 03 Shows

BSP Episode 062: The First Three Indy Movies

Welcome to the first episode of the Back Seat Producers.

In this episode, Tony, Tony and Adam discuss the first three Indiana Jones films. If you haven’t seen Raiders, Temple, or Crusade, you might want to watch them first, because we are spoiling things all over the place in this episode. (Sorry, the settings were a bit off on the mixer and it wasn’t noticed until editing, the problem will likely show up in part of the next episode too.)

We also have some special guest voices as part of the intro. Thanks to Ed, Dubshack (, Summer, Tim and Mike (all from We are going to continue to ask for movie quotes in the future. To keep up to date on what movie we are currently reviewing (and need quotes for) visit the FarPoint Forums.

Feel free to leave comments at the website –
Comments on the forum –
Send us email – backseatproducers at gmail dot com (We are still working at getting host specific email set up, hopefully by the time the next episode is released)
Send in some voicemail – 618.207.4747


"Andy Griffith" Show Composer Dies

Earle Hagen, Emmy-winning TV theme composer, author and educator, died Monday of natural causes at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 88. 

Hagen, who not only composed the theme from the Andy Griffith Show but also did the whistling for the melody, had a 33 year career in the industry composing original music for more than 3000 tv shows, among them The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Danny Thomas Show, That Girl, The Mod Squad, Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, Eight Is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, and I Spy, for which he won an Emmy. In 1960 he took an Oscar for Let’s Make Love starring Marilyn Monroe.

Hagen played trombone with both the Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman  orchestras and composed the jazz classic Harlem Nocturne. Nocturne, written in 1939 for big-band leader Ray Noble, would go on to be recorded by Les Brown, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, and numerous other bands since.

He is survived by his second wife Laura and two sons, Deane and James.


Preview Text Reviews TV Review

TV Review: In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight is the newest member of the family of the USA “Characters Welcome” family. It is a very welcome addition, and is an intriguing and fun show to watch!

The show centers on Mary Shannon (Mary McCormick), a US Marshall working with the Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC). She is a feisty, independent agent who wants to handle her cases in her own way – and lets nothing or no one stand in her way. She is extremely dedicated to her job and the people she protects, almost to the exclusion of everything else in her life.

The supporting characters include those people who are close to Mary (or try to be). Mary’s flaky unemployed mom, Jinx (Lesley Ann Warren) lives with her. Her slacker sister Brandi (Nichole Hiltz) has just arrived for a seemingly endless visit (bringing with her secrets of her own). Mary is the “adult” in the household and takes care of her mother and sister as if they were her witnesses. Raphael (Cristian de la Fuente) is her boyfriend who Mary rarely sees and seems to use only for sex and to do her errands (mostly involving her sister). Her WITSEC partner is Marshall (Frederick Weller), who tends to “get” her more than most of the other people in her life. Stan (Paul Ben-Victor) is her boss at WITSEC and just may be nursing a little crush on Mary.

The show is set up in a “case-of-the-week” style with Mary being assigned a new witness or a problem arising with a previously placed witness in each episode. In the pilot, Mary is called in to investigate the murder of the son of a mob informant that was previously placed in witness protection. She had previously placed this family, and she feels responsible for the safety of the family – and to find the killer. In the second episode, Mary is the only protection for a little boy placed in her care after witnessing his mother’s murder by his own father and his drug king-pin bosses. In another episode, Mary and Marshall work together to place a girl and her family in witness protection after she witnesses a murder by a notorious gang member. The girl’s father is extremely reluctant to leave his posh lifestyle and acclaimed career and begin a new anonymous lifestyle regardless of the danger to his family, and it is up to Mary and Marshall to make him understand why their protection is necessary.

I would definitely recommend In Plain Sight to anyone who is a fan of the current line of USA drama series or the crime and investigation genre.

In Plain Sight premieres Sunday, June 1 at 10pm/9c on USA Network.

News On The Lot

News Briefs

/Film reports that it seems more Rocky films may be possible. During a presentation at Cannes, MGM chairperson Mary Parent said that the company is entertaining the idea of the possibility of making more Rocky films saying that she believes Rocky Balboa may have some more fight in him.

Fraggle Rock Moving forward. Corey Edwards, writer for the screenplay for The Weinstein Co’s upcoming Fraggle Rock movie, has completed almost 50-pages of his first draft which is based upon a 17-page studio approved outline. “[The outline] is the product of many meetings with the Henson and Weinstein folks, and has every little story beat we could think of,” Edwards wrote in his blog. “The outline has been picked at, beat up, and shot at for any major problems. So now I have the freedom to lock myself in my laboratory and create, knowing that I am working from a road map that everyone has signed off on.”

After Tuesday’s box office returns Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull will be close to $160M for 6 days.

Smaller actors unions are starting to push for a deal with the studios while the larger Screen Actors Guild waits to restart its stalled talks with the studios. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists was early Wednesday in its second late night of talks with the producers after negotiating through the Memorial Day weekend.

After an off hand remark by Sharon Stone at Cannes indicating that the earth quake in China was the result of karma, many Chinese theaters are now refusing to show her movies.

Variety reports that the One Club will be presenting the the first annual One Show Entertainment Awards on Oct. 7. The award will acknowledge achievements by brands in entertainment with categories to include feature film, commercial and online gaming.

Google and Viacom still going at it over YouTube. In a quote from papers submitted to a U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Friday, Google said that YouTube “goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works.” Google is claiming that the Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit over YouTube’s video sharing threatens how hundreds of millions of people exchange information on the Internet. This was in response to a recently amended complaint by Viacom that alleges that the Internet has led to “an explosion of copyright infringement” by YouTube and others. The ongoing legal battle has intensified since Viacom filed the lawsuit last year, saying that it was owed damages for the unauthorized viewing of programming from its networks.

Yahoo! News
Cinema Blend


Oscar Winner Sydney Pollack Dies At 73

Entertainment Times Online reports that Oscar winning driector Sydney Pollack died Monday afternoon at his home after succumbing to stomach cancer. He was 73.

He was born Sydney Irwin Pollack in Lafayette, Indiana to Rebecca and David Pollack, Jewish immigrants from Russia.

Pollack studied with Sanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and later taught acting there for 5 years before embarking on his own acting career. His directing career began in TV in the 1960s with episodes of The Fugitive and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He won the Academy Award for Directing for Out of Africa (1985). Pollack also received nominations for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Tootsie.

Thanks in part to an active feud with actor Dustin Hoffman during the filming of Tootsie, Pollack began to appear in character roles in films such as A Civil Action, Changing Lanes, and Eyes Wide Shut, as well as in several of his own films including Random Hearts and The Interpreter. He would also appear in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives as a lawyer undergoing a midlife crisis, and as a doctor in Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her. He had a recurring guest role on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace as Will Truman’s (Eric McCormack) father, George Truman. In 2007 Pollack had guest appearances on both the The Sopranos and Entourage. His last film appearance was as Patrick Dempsey’s father in the 2008 comedy Made of Honor.

Pollack was married to Claire Griswold, from 1958 until his death. The couple had three children: Rachel, Rebecca, and Steven Pollack. Steven died in a plane crash in 1993.

Entertainment Times Online


Tolkien Crusades Against "Hobbit"


Entertainment Times online reports that 83 year old Christopher Tolkien is calling for “one last crusade” against Warner Bros who he says owes him more than $150 million.

In a 1969 deal made to settle family tax debts, Christopher signed away the film rights to his father’s works to New Line Cinema in exchange for a 7.5% share of the take. New Line had reported a $3 billion worldwide gross for the trilogy but in February of this year New Line was absorbed by its parent company Time Warner due to a string of failed releases capped by the stunning domestic losses from The Golden Compass. Warner Bros has refused to comment.

The 83 year old Tolkien is scheduled to appear in court on June 6, and will be asking to terminate all film rights to The Hobbit. June 6 is the same day that Sir Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to announce their return to the franchise.

The Hobbit set to be released in 2010.

Digital Spy
Box Office Mojo
411 mania
Entertainment Times Online


Herzog and Lynch to collaborate

NOTE: I know Edward usually posts the news, but this jumped out at me and I really dig these two guys.

Herzog and Lynch

CANNES — Werner Herzog and David Lynch are teaming for “My Son, My Son,” a horror-tinged murder drama based on a true story.

Herzog and his longtime assistant director Herbert Golder co-wrote “Son,” loosely based on the true story of a San Diego man who acts out a Sophocles play in his mind and kills his mother with a sword. The low-budget feature will flash back and forth from the murder scene to the disturbed man’s story. A guerrilla-style digital video shoot on Coronado Island is tentatively set for March.

In a separate development, Lynch’s Absurda production company has attached Asia Argento and Udo Kier to star with Nick Nolte in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s metaphysical gangster movie “King Shot.”

Marilyn Manson is touted to appear as a prophet in the “Sin City”-style film, which producer Eric Bassett said has enough sex and violence to guarantee an NC-17 rating.

Lynch is executive producing both projects, and Absurda is repping their sales rights in the Cannes market.

“Son” is produced by Eric Bassett, who also is producing “King” with his Absurda colleague Norm Hill and Clavis Films’ Simon Shandor.

Herzog, repped by Gersh, is having a busy 2008. He was set to film “Son” in the summer but postponed it to direct Nicolas Cage in a remake of Abel Ferrara’s “Bad Lieutenant” starting in July. In the fall, he will shoot the Victorian-era drama “The Piano Tuner” for Focus Features.

SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter

Text Reviews Theatrical Review

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones. The name alone brings up images of whip-swinging, leather hats, and religious artifacts. 30s pulp at its peak. The newest film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (what a mouthful), is set twenty years into the future, in the late 1950s. The change is rocky, and doesn’t succeed in my opinion.

I saw this film with my roommate at a midnight showing. I’m a fan of the previous Indy films, and came into this one with moderate expectations. I’d seen the trailer once before Iron Man and enjoyed it, but had done no other digging about the film. The theater was packed, and I was cracking jokes to my roommate through the whole movie, making several “Legends of the Hidden Temple” references, and after the plot exploded, expressing my dismay.

The shift from the 30s to the 50s is most noticable in the change in Indy himself. He’s older and stouter, and several scenes make a joke at his expense, notably one near the beginning of the film when Indy is swinging on his whip and misses his target. Despite this, Harrison Ford has a ton of fun with the role, and you can tell. Also, the enemy has changed. In the previous films, Indy took on German Nazis. Two decades later, the Reds take the spotlight, led by KGB operative Dr. Irina Spalko. Played well by Cate Blanchett, Dr. Spalko is a specialist at getting information out of people, and she plays the dominatrix-esque doctor well. Overall, I was impressed with the performances of the actors, save Mutt’s mother. She annoyed the crap out of me.

The plot (which is impossible to delve into much without spoiling the experience for the viewer) is perfect for a 50s pulp movie, but it didn’t work at all for me. At the point where it’s revealed (about an hour in), I completely lost interest in the story and did my best to block it out. It just didn’t fit my vision of what an Indiana Jones film should be. I know it was Lucas’s idea, which makes it worse. It’s a growing trend in Spielberg’s films now, as well. It’s getting tired.

Speaking of George Lucas, the special effects are great. ILM really pulled out the stops for this flick. However, it’s a problem here. Green screens are used to excess, and the CGI doesn’t fit the aesthetic of the older Indy flicks. The action sequences and the places where Indy is being Indy are awesome, and Mutt has his fair share of bad ass moments as well. Despite this, several scenes take this to a ridiculous extent, especially one involving Mutt and some spider monkeys, and another featuring a series of waterfalls. I don’t have a problem suspending my disbelief during a film, especially one as over-the-top as Indiana Jones, but this was ridiculous.

The biggest problem I have with the movie is the ending. There was absolutely no payoff once the McGuffin is taken to the place of power, no great moral choice that has to be made. Add that to my other problems with the plot, and that makes this movie a waste of my money and my time, despite the coolness of the scenes featuring Indy and Mutt together, and the fight sequences.

It’s hard for me to recommend this film to anyone, because of my extreme distaste towards the plot and gratuitous use of special effects, but all the action (save a couple of ridiculous scenes) is great. If you can just put on a tinfoil helmet that blocks out the subpar plot as well as Mutt’s mother (who will remain unnamed (but still annoying) in the review), you will really like this movie. Otherwise, go see Iron Man again.