It’s Oscars Monday. The story this year, as it has been for the past couple of years now, is the story of tech giants (mostly Netflix) pushing into the awards with films intended for their streaming services. This year Netflix has two films in the Best Picture race, with a third, The Two Popes, up for nominations in several categories. Within Hollywood, however, these films are seen as existential threats to cinema exhibition. Placing a vote at the Oscars is also a vote for the soul of the industry.

Up for Best Picture are 9 films:

Once Upon a Time in America
Little Women
Ford Vs Ferrari
The Irishman
Marriage Story
Jojo Rabbit

I’ve seen all of these and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is my favourite, with Parasite a close second.

Smart money is on 1917 winning, but don’t entirely rule out Parasite as delivering an Oscars happy upset.

Image result for once upon a time in hollywood

The series Power has been a huge success for US cable network Starz. Ahead of airing its series finale, Starz has announced that it will have not just one spin-off, but four.

Already announced is Power Book 2: Ghost. That show will be a continuation of Power with new stars Mary J. Blige and Method Man, who will be joined by several members of the original Power cast.

Added to that will be:
Power Book III: Raising Kanan - a prequel set in the ‘90s during the early years of character Kanan Stark.  
Power Book IV: Influence - it will follow Rashad Tate in his pursuit of political power.  
Power Book V: Force - it centers on Tommy Egan after he cuts ties and puts New York in his rearview mirror for good.

Source: Variety

An Australian version of mini golf competition comedy show Holey Moley is coming soon. It will be filmed on the same set as the US version and made by the same (Australian) production company, Eureka.

It will be named Holey Moley (there was a legal issue here due to the local chain of mini-golf centres with the same name). Hosting the show will be Rob Riggle (who also hosts the US version), and AFL commentator Brian ‘BT’ Taylor. Taking on the role as the resident golf pro will be Aussie golf legend Greg Norman. The role of the sideline reporter will be Olympia Valance.

Norman will get some attention locally, but I feel like his presence might actually detract from what the show excels at, which is not taking itself seriously. The fact that the golf pro on the US version is the young (and surprisingly funny) basketball star Steph Curry means that the show doesn’t actually have any ties to legitimate golf.

At least the Aussie version will have Riggle, who is the MVP of the US version.

Source: TV Tonight

Star of 60s western TV show The Wild Wild West Robert Conrad has died, aged 84.

From the NYT obit:

“They put me on these elevated boots and shoes, which made me extremely uncomfortable,” Mr. Conrad said in an interview done for a mini-documentary made for a “Best of the Wild Wild West” marathon TNT broadcast in the 1990s, “and then they glued me into my pants, which made me even more uncomfortable, because they wanted the matador look.”

The dark-colored pants split so often, he said, that he took to wearing dark-colored underwear rather than white.
Robert Conrad, left, as James T. West, with Ross Martin as Artemus Gordon in an episode of the TV series “The Wild Wild West” in 1966.

Also passing over the weekend was the great character actor Orson Bean. The actor, best remembered for roles in The Twilight Zone, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Being John Malkovich. The 91 year-old Bean was killed by a speeding car.

It sounds like he had a very full life:

There was also a politically active side to Bean. He was briefly blacklisted as a suspected Communist, and was a not-infrequent sight at political and environmental protests. He also founded the progressive 15th Street School in the 1960s, and once gave away his possessions to wander America in hippie-style fashion, exploring the turbulent times in a personal way.

For a time, he dropped out, moving to Australia and exploring the concepts of Austiran psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, writing a book about the experience. He returned to the US in 1971, but didn’t immediately return to show business. Instead, he followed a nomadic, hippie lifestyle, admitting in a memoir it was filled with psychedelic drugs, communal sex and other indulgences in a quest for self-discovery. He supported the family with commercial work and voice-overs in animated films.

Source: Deadline

And finally…

The Friends cast are expected to make $3-4 million each for appearing in the upcoming Friends reunion special.

Source: Deadline