Friday, December 2, 2022

Clarence Gilyard Passes On

Clarence Gilyard, who played computer hacker Theo in Die Hard (1988), the title lawyer's detective Conrad McMasters on the TV series Matlock, and Ranger James Trivtte on Walker, Texas Ranger, died on November 28 2022 at the age of 66 following a long illness.

Clarence Gilyard was born on December 24 1955 in Moses Lake, Washington. As his father was an Air Force officer, he spent his childhood on military bases in Hawaii, Texas, and Florida.

He spent a year at the Air Force Academy before attending Sterling College in Kansas. He later moved to Long Beach, California where he attended California State University, Long Beach. He finished his bachelor's degree at California State University, Dominguez Hills and later received a master's degree at Southern Methodist University.

In 1979 Clarence Gilyard moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He made his television debut in a guest appearance on Diff'rent Strokes in 1981. In 1982 he began playing the recurring role of Officer Benjamin Webster on CHiPs. During the Eighties he also had a recurring role on the short-lived sitcom The Duck Factory. It was in 1989 that he began his run as Conrad McMasters on Matlock. He guest starred on the shows Making the Grade, Riptide, Simon & Simon, 227, and The Facts of Life. He made his movie debut in 1986 in Top Gun. In the Eighties he appeared in the movies Off the Mark (1987) and Die Hard (1988).

In the Nineties Clarence Gilyard continued to appear on Matlock. He his run as Ranger Trivtte on Walker, Texas Ranger in 1993. He guest starred on the TV show Sons of Thunder, playing Ranger Trivette. He appeared in the movie Left Behind (2000). In the Naughts he continued to appear on Walker, Texas Ranger. He appeared in the movie Left Behind: Tribulation Force (2002).

In the Teens he appeared in the movies Little Monsters (2012), Chasing Shakespeare (2013), A Matter of Faith (2014), The Track (2015), Rabbit Days (2016), The Sector (2016),  and The Perfect Race (2019). He appeared the TV movie Christmas on the Coast.

Clarence Gilyard was a talented and versatile actor. This can be seen in what may be his two best known roles. In Die Hard he played villain Hans Gruber's computer hacker Theo. Theo was arrogant and sarcastic, and a bit lacking in feelings for others (he even jokes when people die). On Matlock he played Conrad McMasters. In contrast to Theo, Conrad is easy going and good natured. He truly cares for others. Clarence Gilyard could play a variety of characters and play all of them well.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

IMDB Should Return to the Old Name Page Design

Today IMDB debuted its redesign for Name Pages for actors, writers, filmmakers, and other crew members. To say that it is mess would be putting it lightly. The Name Page redesign is harder to navigate and it is also much less intuitive than the old Name Page Design was. It also happens to be aesthetically unappealing.

To wit, in the redesign there is a huge amount of empty space on the screen, in contrast to the old design which was tightly put together. Both the Photos section and the "Known for" section on the Name Page redesign are much too large. The items on the right sidebar are also much too large.  In fact, even the fonts used in the redesign are too large.

Of course, the right sidebar on IMDB's Name Page redesign has other problems besides the items on it being too large. It is missing some important information, such as Awards, Trivia, and so on. Now some of this information can be found by scrolling down on the page, but some (such as Awards) have apparently disappeared. With regards to the items that are included on the sidebar, I noticed that on the user lists there is no way to view all of the lists on which an individual may be included.

The Name Page redesign is harder to navigate in yet other ways as well. By default filmographies are sorted by year. I know many IMDB users, myself included, prefer to have the filmographies sorted by media (television, movies, et. al.). Now one can still view filmographies this way, but to do so one must use filters, which might not be obvious to everyone. Worse yet, IMDB does not save your filters, so if you visit another actor, director, producer, writer, or crew member's page you have to apply the filters all over again.

Perhaps the worst change made with the redesign is the way individual episodes of television shows in an actor or other crew member's filmography are handled. In the old Name Page design, the episodes on which a particular artist, be they an actor, director, writer, or whatever, worked were all listed under the particular television series. For instance, with my dearest Vanessa Marquez, every ER episode in which she appeared would be listed under ER. On the Name Page redesign there is merely a link reading how many episodes on which a crew member worked (in Vanessa's case with regards to ER, "27 episodes"). One has to click on this link to see the individual episodes, which are displayed in a pop up. This pop up is not particularly easy to navigate, with the episodes divided by season. Worse yet, for many it may not be easy to read, given it has a charcoal grey background.

IMDB claims that the Name Page redesign is meant to "make your IMDb experience easier and more enjoyable by providing better access to photos and videos, an upgraded view of an individual’s credits, and improved mobile navigation making it easier to view IMDb features on the go." Quite frankly, none of this is true. The redesign does not give better access to photos and videos than the old design. The view of an individuals' credits is a downgrade rather than an upgrade. As to the navigation, it would be horrible on a smart phone, let alone a computer. Worst of all, the redesign is, to put it bluntly, ugly and far from sleek or modern. A commentor on the IMDB community compared it to a combination of Windows 8 Metro and the redesign of Netflix from many years ago.

At any rate, given to the reaction on the IMDB community, IMDB users seem to be united in their hatred of the Name Page redesign. My suggestion to IMDB is that they revert to the old Name Page design immediately and fire anyone and everyone involved with the Name Page redesign. Yes, it is that bad.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Christmas Movies on Turner Classic Movies in December 2022

Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan
in Christmas in Connecticut
If many Turner Classic Movies fans are like me, then a part of their holiday celebrations is watching Christmas movies on TCM. For me, at least, this year will be no different. I am happy to see that once again TCM will be showing my all time favourite Christmas movie, The Apartment (1960), this year. What is more, they're showing it twice and one of those time is on Christmas Day at that! Of course, TCM is also showing many of my other favourites as usual, including The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Christmas in Connecticut (1944), The Bishop's Wife (1947), It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947), and Holiday Affair (1949).

Below is a schedule I compiled of all the Christmas movies on TCM next month. Here I must point out that I included some movies that I do not necessarily consider Christmas movies, but others do. As much as I love Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), I have never thought of it as a Christmas movie! Anyway, just keep in mind that some of the movies TCM shows for Christmas may not be movies you think of as Christmas films! I also have to point out that, as is usual of this site, all times are Central.

Saturday, December 3
3:00 PM  Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
5:00 PM The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Sunday, December 4
3:00 PM Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
5:00 PM Remember the Night (1940)

Saturday, December 10
3:00 PM In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
5:00 PM The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Sunday, December 11
3:15 PM Holiday Affair (1949)
5:00 PM The Bishop's Wife (1947)
11:00 PM Christmas Past (1925)

Tuesday, December 13
11:00 PM Lady in the Lake (1947)

Saturday, December 17
1:00 AM Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
7:00 AM "The Captain's Christmas" (1938)
4:00 PM King of Kings (1961)
11:00 PM Mr. Soft Touch (1949)

Sunday, December 18
1:00 PM Life with Father (1947)
3::15 PM A Christmas Carol (1938)
4:45 PM It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
7:00 PM Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
9:00 PM In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
11:00 PM The King of Kings (1927)

Monday, December 19
1:45 AM Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983)
4:00 AM Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)
5:45 AM Hell's Heroes (1930)
7:00 AM Roadblock (1951)
9:56 AM Boys Town (1938)
11:30 AM Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)
1:00 PM Love Finds Andy Hardy (1948)
3:00 PM The Great Rupert (1950)
4:45 PM Meet John Doe (1941)
7:00 PM The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
9:00 PM The Apartment (1960)
11:15 PM Metropolitan (1990)

Tuesday, December 20
1:46 AM Bachelor Mother (1939)
2:45 AM Bundle of Joy (1956)
4:30 AM All Mine to Give (1957)
6:15 AM My Reputation (1946)
8:00 AM Kind Lady (1935)
11:00 AM Larceny, Inc. (1942)
1:00 PM Lady in the Lake (1947)
3:00 PM Backfire (1950)
5:00 PM Mr. Soft Touch (1949)
7:00 PM Going My Way (1944)
9:15 PM The Holly and the Ivy (1952)
11:00 PM O. Henry's Full House (1952)

Wednesday, December 21
1:15 AM Period of Adjustment (1962)
3:15 AM Fanny and Alexander (1982)
6:30 AM Christmas Past (1925)
8:45 AM A Christmas Carol (1938)
10:15 AM A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)
12:00 PM Alias Boston Blackie (1942)
1:30 PM Crooks Anonymous (1963)
3:15 PM Blast of Silence (1961)
5:00 PM 3 Godfathers (1949)
7:00 PM Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
9:00 PM Holiday Affair (1949)
10:45 PM Little Women (1949)

Thursday, December 22
1:00 AM Auntie Mame (1958)
3:30 AM Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
5:00 AM Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
6:45 AM The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
8:00 AM The Thin Man (1934)
9:45 AM Susan Slept Here (1954)
11:30 AM Never Say Goodbye (1946)
1:30 AM Bachelor Mother (1939)
3:00 PM Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954)
4:30 PM The Lion in Winter (1968)
7:00 PM It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
9:15 PM The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
11:15 PM Fitzwilly (1967)

Friday, December 23
1:15 AM Lady on a Train (1945)
3:00 AM The Silent Partner (1978)
5:00 AM Bundle of Joy (1956)
7:00 AM The Daughter of Rosie O' Grady (1950)
9:00 AM On Moonlight Bay (1951)
11:00 AM Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)
1:00 PM All Mine to Give (1957)
3:00 PM Penny Serenade (1941)
5:15 PM Room for One More (1952)
7:00 PM Remember the Night (1940)
9:00 PM Desk Jet (1957)
11:00 PM Bell, Book and Candle (1959)

Saturday, December 24
1:00 AM Susan Slept Here (1954)
2:45 AM The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)
4:30 AM Big Business (1929)
5:00 AM Three Godfathers (1936)
6:30 AM Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
8:00 AM The Great Rupert (1950)
9:30 AM Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)
11:00 AM The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
12:45 PM It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
3:00 PM Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
5:00 PM Meet in St. Louis (1944)
7:00 PM The Bishop's Wife (1948)
9:00 PM A Christmas Carol (1938)
10:30 PM Meet John Doe (1941)

Sunday, December 25
12:45 All That Heaven Allows (1955)
2:30 AM Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
5:00 AM "Star in the Night" (1945)
5:30 AM Little Women (1933)
7:30 AM Babes in Toyland (1934)
9:00 AM Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
11:00 AM The Apartment (1960)
1:15 PM The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
3:15 PM Holiday Affair (1949)
5:00 PM In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

Sunday, December 31
7:00 PM The Thin Man (1934)

Monday, November 28, 2022

Directors' Final Films on Turner Classic Movies in December

Director Ida Lupino
On December 5, 12, and 26 2022, Turner Classic Movies will be showing the final feature films of 26 different directors. The directors whose films will be featured range form WS Van Dyke to Tony Richardson. As might be expected, some big names are included, among them Tod Browning, George Cukor, Ida Lupino, and Vincente Minnelli.

Below is a schedule of director's final films being shown on TCM next month. All times are Central.

Monday, December 5
11:00 AM Journey for Margaret (1942)
12:30 PM The Girl Most Likely (1958)
2:30 PM The Singing Nun (1966)
5:30 PM Solomon and Sheba (1959)
7:00 PM Imitation of Life  (1959)
9:15 PM Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
11:45 PM The Trouble with Angels (1966)

Tuesday, December 6
1:45 AM A Matter of Time (1976)
3:30 AM Rich and Famous (1981)

Monday, December 12
11:00 AM Miracles for Sale (1939)
12:45 AM Lola Montes (1955)
3:00 PM Five Days One Summer (1982)
5:00 PM Confidentially Yours (1983)
7:00 PM A Passage to India (1984)
10:00 PM Blue Sky (1994)

Tuesday, December 13
12:00 AM A Dandy in Aspic (1968)
2::00 AM That Lady in Ermine (1948)
3:45 AM The Human Factor (1980)

Monday, December 26
11:00 AM Plymouth Adventure (1952)
1:00 PM Ambush (1950)
3:00 PM Lafayette Escadrille (1958)
5:00 PM A Distant Trumpet
7:00 PM Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
10:15 PM Seven Women (1966)

Tuesday, December 27
12:00 AM Madadayo (1993)