Dino De Laurentiis, 1919-2010

Dino De Laurentiis, 1919-2010 (photo)

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You sometimes hear filmmakers described as “a director’s director.” Dino Di Laurentiis, who died yesterday at the age of 91, was a producer’s producer. In a career that spanned almost seventy years, he made every kind of movie imaginable, from arthouse classics to major blockbusters, from mainstream fare to quirky genre oddities, and worked with an impressive array of director’s from Federico Fellini to Michael Mann, Sidney Lumet to Milos Foreman.

For a comprehensive overview of his life, you can read The New York Times obit by Dave Kehr, but I’d recommend Jeffrey Wells’ take over at Hollywood Elsewhere, not because he has a particularly encyclopedic knowledge of the man but because he decided to bash his body of work in the obit — calling him “a primitive showman” with the “philosophy… of a wheeler-dealer” — which prompted an interesting discussion about De Laurentiis’ legacy and the ethics of obituary writing.

It’s hard to argue that Di Laurentiis’ record was perfect. He certainly was involved in his share of stinkers (if you’ve never seen his “Jaws” ripoff “Orca” keep it that way). But I look at his IMDb page and see a lot of great movies: “Serpicio,” “The Dead Zone,” La Strada,” “Blue Velvet,” “Army of Darkness,” Manhunter,” and “Conan the Barbarian,” which turned Arnold Schwarzenegger from a punchline into a movie star (Earlier today, Schwarzenegger tweeted “Dino De Laurentiis always said to have a great life you need 3 things: brain, heart, balls. Let me tell you, he had them all. I’ll miss him.”). Stay in Hollywood long enough, and you’re going to be responsible for some flops. But only someone with brain, heart, and balls could last so long in the movie business, and make so many memorable films.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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