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Apologies for this later reminder of yet another documentary on the JFK assassination, but this one should be both worthy and worth your time: CNN's "The Assassination of President Kennedy," Thursday at 9, and produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (and Mark Herzog). It'll repeat at 11, and again Sunday at 9 and 11. (And there will be other airdates. Hard to miss this one.)
I've only sampled this two-hour film (and will watch more) but what I've seen makes this particular entry stand out because it's one of the rare films to actually build the entire tragic day -- Nov. 22, 1963 -- almost entirely through archival material, some of which I had not yet seen before. There are also many interviews, including of Dan Rather.
Again, I'm impressed with what I've seen, and no re-creations or docu-dramaturgy here, which has tended to distract or distort some of the other films.
Some clips, and Newsday app readers please head to Newsday.com/tvzone to view:
Ah, "Toy Story of Terror!" has finally arrived but... this annoying question remains: What exactly is a "Toy Story of Terror!" (airing Wednesday night at 8 on WABC/7).
To be brief: It's 22 minutes of Pixar-packed special effects, famous voices, and a condensation of one great movie franchise into an original, one-time-only Halloween special that is sure to be seen by many millions, if only because this will be rebroadcast on a half a dozen Disney-owned networks from now until the end of time.
But what's truly intriguing — besides the fact that this is Pixar's first-ever TV show much as "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is Disney-owned Marvel's first-ever TV series (not counting the many Marvel character-based series and movies licensed to other producers) — is that this could be the first of other holiday themed "Toy Story" specials.
Not that ABC has confirmed as much but logic would dictate that where there is one, another is sure to follow. And "Terror!" does look terrific. That is to be expected, as Pixar — run by a genius, John Lasseter — is not about to devalue a brand as beloved as "Toy Story."
Take a look at this short trailer (the gang, or some of the gang, go to a motel, and then, one by one, disappear... It's OK for little children; don't worry). The voices are familiar and well they should be: Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Carl Weathers as Combat Carl/Combat Carl Jr., Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex and Kristen Schaal as Trixie.
(Mobile/app readers watch here: http://bit.ly/16asygi)
Dean Norris's Hank Schrader has twice cheated death on "Breaking Bad," but as several million fans wondered in heartsick disbelief as last night's episode came to a calamitous end, could three be the charm? Both Hank and his steadfast DEA stalwart, Steven Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) -- one of only two genuine good guys on the series -- came under enough firepower to stop...Read more »
This has gone viral so the virus may as well spread to the TVZone! Hank and Marie Schrader check out the VMAs; they are suitably non-plussed:
Cars and "Breaking Bad": Is there any relationship deeper, fonder and more conflicted anywhere on TV than the one between "Bad" and our wheeled friends? (Deb and Dex? Hmm. Maybe.)
It's amazing how profound a role -- pun, and a bad one, most definitely intended -- cars play on "Breaking Bad." As I noted in the review of last week's "Blood Money," Walter arrives at his wreck of a house in a beautiful wreck of a '79 Coupe de Ville. The model, the year, are so specific as to be inescapable in terms of meaning, and not just to the gearheads among us. (Why '79? Why a C de V? The Caddy was the preferred model of mobsters and Carmine Galante was gunned down in '79 in NYC -- but of course I'm just spitballing; the C de V is a perfect car for the fallen Walter.)
Cars were strewn everywhere on Sunday's episode, "Buried." That opening scene, with that wonderful old truck puttering in the driveway; Jesse's car, with the blinker on, at the playground -- and don't you also just love the fact that Jesse had the presence of mind to actually put on the blinker before he docked the thing next to a playground? That little yellow toy car ... and best of all, that destitute wrecking yard out in the middle of nowhere, which Lydia -- Laura Fraser -- gently picks her way through en route to the massacre of her current, and now dearly departed, meth cook crew.
Cars, cars, cars! What does it all mean? What do they all mean? I've warned (in print) about the temptation of overthinking "Bad," but it's just too much fun not to, and in this instance, it's so very easy: Cars are people. Their hopes and dreams, desires, a mirror into their soul, or a mirror of their face.
Cars, like people, live and die. Sometimes they end up rusted, burned-out hulks, dust-covered in the desert; sometimes they die violently in a hail of bullets. Ah, remember that time Hank's SUV was shot to pieces by Tuco Salamanco (Raymond Cruz)? And remember how Hank was presented the "grill" of Tuco as a gift? Oh, I really could go on and on -- don't tempt me. Sometimes, they just expire -- sadly, slowly, with one last bump. Ah, remember in that same episode Jesse's low-rider, and how it bumped away unto its death?
Cars live and die here and everywhere, just like people: They have life cycles but end up in only one place, and it's a bleak one. At first they are new and shiny. Then the rust creeps, the end approaches.
Cars get us -- and of course by "us" I'm speaking of "Bad's" characters -- from point A to point B, but they all usually just end up back at point A, as though the trip were just one big meaningless circle. No progress was made -- simply regress. Witness the time Walter blew up that beautiful red muscle car a couple of seasons ago. I've posted the clip below for a reminder.
I could keep driving the point home -- risking becoming like that Challenger that Walter disposes of -- so I will say just one last thing: All hail the cars of "Breaking Bad." They are the unsung stars of this singularly great TV series. Without them, "Bad" could not exist, have never existed. They make it all happen, and all hang together. Rubber, steel and glory: The car IS "Breaking Bad."
Anyway, enough. As we sail -- er, drive -- to the end here ("Bad" wraps Sept. 29), I will be taking similar excursions down other byways. No reason to do "recaps" -- they are everywhere and many quite good. Instead, I'll take one element from each week's episode and explore it a little deeper. I'm thinking maybe quantum physics next week ... or maybe Dine (Navajo) culture.