Archive for June, 2015

The animated film opening Friday that isn’t “Inside Out”

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Two animated films about young girls opening Friday deserve an audience, though only one is certain to get one.

That is the Pixar film “Inside Out” by Pete Docter, the writer of “Toy Story” and director of “Up” about the interior emotional life of a young girl, in which the emotions are actual characters voiced by actors like Amy Poehler.

The heavily marketed, highly anticipated and already critically acclaimed film is poised to become one of the most successful films of the year.

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Milwaukee tie to Rachel Dolezal; Madison native signs with CBS

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It turns out – no real surprise – the story of what Larry Wilmore of “The Nightly Show” called “that crazy white lady” Rachel Dolezal who pretended to be black has a (tenuous) local angle.

Melissa Luck, executive producer of KXLY-TV, the Spokane station that helped break the story, is a Milwaukee native and a Marquette University alum.

Her father was sportscaster Rod Luck, who spent four years at WISN-TV (Channel 12) and did play-by-play announcing for Marquette basketball.

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“The Connection” is the French version of gritty classic

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Rarely has the thin line between good and evil been so ambiguous.

Not morally. Just physically.

You don’t need a scorecard to tell good from bad in “The Connection,” but the resemblance – sharp jutting profile, flared sideburns, Roman nose, devilishly handsome – between two archetypes is just one of the odd details in this retelling of “The French Connection” from the French point of view.

The gritty 1971 thriller with a classic car chase and an indelible anti-hero Popeye Doyle, played by Oscar winner Gene Hackman was the stuff of suspense and momentum. The French version is a procedural and personal affair, and perhaps closer to what actually occurred in this “true” story.

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WRIT ties WMIL for first in May radio ratings

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WRIT-FM tied WMIL for first place in the May A.C. Nielsen radio ratings for the Milwaukee market, behind country station WMIL-FM.

WRIT is up a substantial 1.7 share, the same amount lost by now third ranked WTMJ-AM,  E.W. Scripps Company’s talk sports and information station. Perhaps the Milwaukee Brewer’s flagship station is suffering from the team’s performance. WRIT and WMIL are Clear Channel Broadcasting stations.

WMIL is also down a full point and possibly vulnerable to a change in format and call letters earlier this month by Scripps’ WLWK-FM, now Country WKTI-FM. WRIT hopes to lure former WLWK listeners to its adult pop format, even posting a greeting to former WLWK listeners.

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In ‘Jurassic World’ “more teeth” means more of the same

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Imagine what a film with the word “Jurassic” in the title might be like, and that’s “Jurassic World.”

“Jurassic Park” – four movies and 22 years ago – is a genre classic.

It is so old that it used robots and models for close-ups, but it also was a pioneer in the digital imaging common today.

So common that “Jurassic World” feels like nothing special. The first film  had terrifically staged bursts of terror by Steven Spielberg, who also gave us “Jaws.”

The creatures, I wrote in my 1993 review, were so vivid “you can smell the stench of their last meal.”

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Romenesko, media blogger, former Journal reporter “retiring”

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Jim Romenesko, the must read national media blogger who started out as a Milwaukee Journal police reporter, announced his “retirement” on his website today.

He had previously stopped posting because he was on vacation, and listed a series of things he wanted to accomplish, including binge-ing “House of Cards”

But today the word vacation was crossed out and replaced with “retirement,” in quotes. Whatever that means. He has continued to post his rolling Twitter feed.

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WDJT, WTMJ and the battle for third place

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It’s no coincidence the most watched newscasts in Milwaukee have the strongest brand identity.

While the stories all four local newscasts cover nightly are broadly similar, WITI-TV (Channel 6) serves them with gemutlichkeit informality while WISN-TV (Channel 12) takes a no-nonsense approach.

Both additionally have deep benches filled with veteran personnel.

And while the recent May ratings sweeps found the stations virtually tied at the top, WITI claimed victory because it, um, won … by the ratings equivalent of one vote in an election.

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Milwaukee media notes: Awkward RFK headline, Clay Matthews spoiler

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Yer how old?

Yeah, I graduated Pius XI high school on this date back in *mumble mumble.*

I will say that my mother woke me up that day with the news that Bobby Kennedy had been shot and killed in Los Angeles.

I remember weeding her garden later that afternoon, and a hungover kid named Eddie throwing up in his mortar board at the graduation ceremony.

Much was written about RFK’s assasination since and a movie called “Bobby” – not by Oliver Stone, who directed “JFK,” but by Emilio Estevez – was even made about it.

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Why WITI used another station’s feed for Bucks press conference

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All four Milwaukee television stations broke into regular programing Thursday afternoon to provide live coverage of the press conference, attended by Gov. Walker, Mayor Barrett and County Executive Abele, announcing funding plans for the new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

But one station – WITI-TV (Channel 6) – had to make do with the feed provided by another station, WKOW-TV in Madison. During much of WITI’s coverage the WKOW call letters appeared on screen.

WITI news director John LaPorte, who said the station broke the news of the press conference on its 9 p.m. newscast Wednesday and had two crews on the scene, said in an email that WITI had an audio issue with its feed “which appears to be due to a bad cable.”

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“Love & Mercy” captures genius, tragic life of Brian Wilson

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By the time Brian Wilson’s family pried psychotherapist Eugene Landy away from the Beach Boys songwriter the damage was already done, musically.

He never recorded anything to match his masterpieces again.

Some of it was the fault of Landy who intimidated and over-medicated Wilson. Some of it was the fault of Wilson who went from perfectionist joyously channeling the sounds in his head into dazzlingly arranged pop songs to the fragmented incoherence of LSD and mental illness.

And some, maybe most, of the blame went to an authoritarian father, also the band’s manager, whose disapproval Wilson spent his life trying to exorcise.

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