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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Richard Donner on Superman, Directing Again, and The Goonies Musical

The Movieline Interview  ||   ||

richard-donner-tease.jpgTo give you an idea about what kind of mark Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie left on the pop culture landscape, think of it like this: 33 years later, the Donner origin story — and its sequel, which he didn’t get to finish — is still being talked about in reverent tones. No disrespect to this summer’s overloaded crop of superhero films, but: Does anyone think that 33 years from now people will still be talking about Thor?
Despite what Donner accurately described as a “shitty connection,” the legendary 81-year-old director phoned Movieline late last week to discuss the Blu-ray release  Superman The Movie Anthology 1978-2006, Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman reboot, his own future plans behind the camera, and just when fans can expect to see that Goonies musical.

This December marks the 33rd anniversary of Superman: The Movie. This week, the film and the subsequent sequels, get released on Blu-ray. There’s another Superman reboot in the works. In 1978 did you ever imagine that Superman would still be so relevant to pop culture in 2011?

Hell no! No, no, no, no, no. I was hoping just to get a movie in the theaters and see it do well and have people enjoy and keep Superman alive. I had no idea whatsoever.

Why do you think Superman still resonates as a character today?
That’s a tough question. I just think he’s very much a personification — a memorial of — Americana. He’s something the world was brought up on, but America, specifically, was brought up on him. Because when you say, “Truth, justice, and the American way” now, that sounds so stupid; but there was a time where that really meant something, and I think that time somewhat still exists. And you’re talking to a liberal. I think he was really the living shape of that period of time. I think if he was alive and back on Earth, he would have some very interesting things to say about America today.

Like…
I ain’t getting into that! No way, baby!

Ha! Well, then back to Superman: The Movie. Nowadays there seems to be a new superhero movie in theaters every week, but back in 1978 it was an anomaly. What was the reaction you received when you told people you were directing Superman?
When I said to my friends, “I’ll see you, I’m going away for two years,” they said, “What are you doing?” (whispers) “I’m doing Superman.” They said, “What?!” I said, “I’m doing Superman. I’m going to make the film.” My friends, who were real filmmakers, said, “Wow, what a great opportunity.” The ones that really weren’t — y’know, I’m not going to knock anybody. Most of my friends said, “Go to it, what a great opportunity.” And it turned out to be just that: a great opportunity. And I’ve never heard anything but niceties from them.

It might have been a great opportunity, but then you ran into some trouble when trying to complete Superman II.  That story is Hollywood lore, of course, but how does it feel to have your version of Superman II available, again, for the masses.
I made one, and I made two at the same time. We had to because, supposedly, the time wasn’t there to complete both and deliver the picture on time. I never actually thought that — I had full intentions of going back and finishing it. But when the producers felt the picture was such a success, they didn’t need me anymore, I figured well, that’s it — nobody will ever see that again. Then, a young filmmaker named Michael Thau kept pursuing the fact that there’s an audience that wants to see it. I would say, ‘You’re nuts!’ He says, ‘No, I’m telling you, there’s a fan base.’ So I said, ‘Look, Michael, if you can get it going, fine.’ And sure enough, one day he called and he said, ‘People are pressuring the studio that they want to remake it now. They want to take all your footage and release a cut of yours.’ I was thrilled! It was something that I never thought would happen, and I quite honestly owe to Michael Thau.

When you revisit your cut of Superman II on occasions like this anthology Blu-ray release, do you find things you would have liked to have done differently?
When we made Superman I and II, we put most of it away. If I had gone back — and I wanted to: there was a lot of II that was never shot by me, and there was a lot of II that I would have reshot, given the opportunity; I either shot it on the run or tried to get it in before somebody left or something happened. We were always against the clock. So when this thing came along, I was thrilled because it was pretty well patched together. But there are scenes in there that are actual screentests with Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, both with each other and with other people, that are part of that film now. It’s not exactly the way you want to make a movie, but that’s the way I had to.

christopher-reeve-630.jpg Obviously finding the perfect Superman is the key to making a good Superman. What was it about Christopher Reeve that stood out to you initially?
Chris came in, and we were casting in New York, and I always say the reason he got the job was that we were on the 55th floor and he flew in. But he was 25 pounds skinner than he was in the film. His hair was honey brown; he had good strong features, but he blew me away as an actor. Then I went downtown, to the Village, and saw him in a play, and I thought he was really great. He came back and we talked, and I said, ‘Look, I really respect you as an actor, and I think you’ve got a lot going for you.’ And he really was inside Superman. But I said, ‘This guy is Superman. He looks like Superman. But he’s got to be buff. He’s got to be our hero that we’ve known since the 30s.’ And he said, ‘When I decided to become an actor, I lost 25 pounds. I used to be a jock.’ So I said, ‘You’re telling me the truth.’ He said, ‘I swear to you.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m gonna go on a limb, pal.’ And we went on a limb.

David Prowse (who played Darth Vader in Star Wars) — he came in and was Chris’ trainer. Months and months and months. Everyday you could see the difference. He built up, and he built up. He was — in his mind, as an actor — he was Superman. And then there are others out there that are and could be wonderful in the role, but to me — in my heart — there will always be one Superman. [Pauses] And I will miss him forever.

He is the person people think about when they think of Superman now. Henry Cavill certainly has a lot to live up to.
You know what, that’s very right. He’s got a lot to live up to. But he’s really qualified; as long as he has the belief in the character that is required of any good actor, he’ll bring him to life.

Which is a roundabout way of talking about the new Superman reboot. Zack Snyder is directing — as a former Superman director, what would you tell him given the opportunity?
Hey, good luck, Zack Snyder! He’s the new kid on the block, I’m the old fart. I wish him all the love and luck in the world. I do that for anyone who is making a movie. It’s such a tough process. Anybody that I know that’s making a movie, I wish them all the luck in the world.

Speaking of making movies: Your last directing credit is 16 Blocks. Are you comfortable with that being your last film? Do you want to direct again?
I want to direct again, but I only want to direct — it’s tough. I have the opportunity to direct some films on a fairly — somewhat — regular basis. But, it’s got to be something different. I can’t just go back to things that I’ve done in the past. I have a wonderful life now — if I’m going to give up those days and months, it has to be something I’m really dedicated to. I assume it will come along. [Dramatically] I assume it will come along!

One of your other beloved past projects is The Goonies. Any update on the Broadway musical adaptation that has been discussed for the past year?
We’re really trying extraordinarily hard to get it made. It’s a tough road — Broadway is another world totally — and hopefully, probably around September, we’ll be talking a lot more positively. We have Tim Long doing the book, and it’s quite good. The process on Broadway is another world. But if we’re going there with Goonies — which has such a great following, a great life — it has got to be the right thing. Hopefully we’ll be presenting it to you in the spring of the following year.

I would imagine the recent run of successful film-to-stage adaptations has made things a bit easier: The Producers, Catch Me If You Can
Hopefully they all succeed! But if they do, it’s going to make it easier for the next one. But Goonies has an incredible following, and we must be true to it. Hopefully Broadway accepts what has worked for Goonie fans before. If they do, we’re a hit; if they don’t…

Five Reasons You Should Play Pinball

By Alexander Bevier
From http://www.joystickdivision.com/
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While I wrote last Friday that we're all going to E3, I actually made a brief detour to the Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show in Seattle. It was a weekend long expo filled with freeplay arcade games, pinball games, and more pinball-related panels than one could reasonably comprehend. There was also an early exhibition of the new Tron: Legacy machine, which is due out next week.

I'm not a major pinball player. Arcade culture was long-dead before I picked up an NES controller, and the only pinball around me was at the local Red Robin restaurant. However, after spending a day playing everything I could, I learned a few things about this fantastic hobby. And, as a kind journalist, I've decided to share them all with you.
 
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Game Mechanics and Real Mechanics
There are two major components to pinball machines. The first is game design; the pinball table has to be fun. The second: the game has to work. Making a game work requires vast mechanical knowledge. Pinball are like cars. The gears degrade over time, and you have to keep working on them to ensure the best machine possible. It's like Zen and the art of Pinball Maintenance

5.JPG
It's like Tetris, but with Variety
At their core all pinball tables are the same: keep the ball in play. After that, everything else is determined by the machine. This leads to a game with a real tangible flow, but each machine varies. You may be good at Dracula, but horrible at The Simpsons. Still, you're keeping the ball going. The entire thing makes a vast field for an assortment of things to master. 

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It's an Awesome Restaurant Skill
As a child, I remember watching cool old people play pinball at my local Red Robin Restaurants. My folks never gave me quarters to play, but I loved watching other people play this game as we waited to be seated. This is one of the many factors that's made me boundlessly curious about games, and playing pinball preserves this curiosity for others.

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Everyone's Doing It
The Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show's arcade and pinball machines were all donated by the machine's owners (fancy that!). Doing so gets you a free weekend to the show. In other words, people are letting other people play their games in order to play more games. The pinball community are a select few, like those who still collect vinyl or classic cars, and they love their hobby. 

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Really, it's just pretty cool
Games are fun. Pinball is fun. Fun is good. That's all there is to it. Pinball is one giant skill-based puzzle game, but it's also a mark of pride. Having a pinball machine in your loft simply sounds fun, and we like fun.

Hipster Bicycle Wheelie Fail



Uploaded by on Jun 7, 2011
Certainly a lesson on how not to ride the fixed gears. Maybe he should have had a few less PBRs.

THE WORLD'S MOST EMBARRASSING DAD

From: http://www.shortlist.com/

A different costume every day


Unlike most mums, dads take unnatural amounts of pleasure in humiliating us.
Whether it’s cruelly beating us in a race, the week after we learnt to walk, or educating our friends on the joys of parental karma sutra, their behaviour often makes us wish for lesbian parentage. Yet while we might think that we’ve had it bad, it’s nothing compared to the daily plight of poor Rain Price.
The high schooler is waved off by his dad when he boards the school bus. Not ideal but not the worst. Problem is, Rain’s dad Dale also dresses up in a different costume every day of the week. From a mermaid to Princess Leia to a psychotic clown, Dale’s sheer enthusiasm for embarrassing his son knows no bounds.
We’re amused but also a little bit scared for Rain’s safety during breaktime…
You can check out the family blog here.
(Images: Rex Features)
  • Bride
  • Star Trek
  • Michael Jackson
  • Chick
  • The White Rabbit
  • Wonderwoman
  • Surgeon
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Poseidon
  • Magician
  • Football Goalkeeper
  • Batgirl
  • Harry Potter
  • Scary Clown
  • Werewolf
  • Roman Emperor
  • FBI/Secret Service
  • Mariachi Band Player
  • Band Member
  • Princess Leia from Star Wars
  • Jedi Knight from Star Wars
  • Graduate
  • Ninja
  • Leprechaun
  • Pirate

Smartphone OS Preview: iOS 5 vs. Android 2.3 Gingerbread vs. Windows Phone 7 Mango vs. Blackberry 7 OS

iOS 5 wowed the friendly WWDC crowds, but how will it fare in the real world when it releases this fall? We pit iOS 5 against its likely competitors, and the results may surprise you.
 
iOS 5 Sure, Lion and iCloud are big news, but, for the millions of iPhone users out there, the real news at the center of the Apple's WWDC conference was iOS 5, equipped with cutting-edge (though, in some cases, strangely familiar) notifications, messaging, and cable-free connectivity. These goodies—and hundreds of other (unspecified) features—now available in developer release, won't appear until the fall, perhaps at the same time as a new iPhone. It seems like just about all the competition –Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry—will be releasing new versions between now and then, too.

Using Apple's release as the baseline, I've pulled out 13 of the most exciting new features of iOS 5. The iPhone—and iOS 5—will face three popular challengers this fall. Each of these contenders will a bit sprier by the iOS 5 debut: Microsoft will deliver Windows Phone 7 Mango in Q4; Blackberry OS 7 also ought to be available; and Android 2.3 Gingerbread will be ubiquitous, with Android 3.1 Ice Cream should be served up for the holidays. How will iOS stack up?

Apple review, Apple commentary, Apple news... Everything Apple
Below I've charted the results as simply as I can, but be advised there are nuances to particular comparisons. For example, in call cases there are plenty of third-party apps that may fill in gaps. Furthermore, when it comes to Android, OEMs tend to skin the phones (albeit with mixed results), often adding additional functionality to the stock version of Android. In order for any sort of comparison to work, I'm looking at what you get out of the box on stock versions of each mobile OS. Check out the table first, and then take a look at my explanations of each category and the caveats that go with it.

Smartphone OS preview: iOS 5 vs. Android 2.3 Gingerbread vs. Windows Phone 7 Mango vs. Blackberry 7

Notifications
When it comes to unified notification systems, Apple's newly-minted Notification Center bares quite a resemblance to that of Android. As with Android, you can both access notifications from the lock screen or, when using the phone, pull down a tray of notifications from the top of the screen. Blackberry simply pins updates to the home screen. Finally, Windows 7 Mango uses live tiles, which is a bit less unified, but considerably more flexible (I gave it the "check" on account of said flexibility).

Phone-to-Phone Messaging
Apple is clearly watching its competitors. The iOS phone-to-phone messaging system, iMessage, looks a lot like Blackberry Messenger. So much for that iOS app.
Newspaper/Magazine Subscriptions
Newspaper/Magazine Subscriptions
Apple is leading the way into the print subscription market, though it remains to be seen how much users will appreciate reading the New Yorker on the iPhone, as opposed to an iPad.

Advanced Reminder System
All four mobile platforms allow users to set basic reminders, but no one can touch the iOS Reminders tool on account of its geo-fencing location-based notifications.
System-Wide Twitter Integration
System-Wide Twitter Integration
The one third-party software with which iOS consistently integrates is Twitter. Because it's built into the system, once you sign-in, you ought to be able to Tweet from just about anywhere on your phone. The forthcoming release of Window Phone 7 does this and a step better—it includes deep Facebook integration. Finally, while Twitter can appear in the Android Gallery, you must install the app first—so it's not integrated out of the box.

Quick-Camera Access
If you're using your mobile phone as your camera—as more and more people are beginning to do, for better or worse—quick access counts. Both Windows 7 Mango and iOS 5 let users jump directly into camera mode from the lock screen. iOS 5 goes a step further and lets you snap photos without entering a passcode (if you have one). Blackberry does allow users to map a side button to launch a camera, but unfortunately you'll still need to unlock your device.
Photo Editing Tools
Photo Editing Tools
When it comes to photo editing on the go, iOS 5 is a clear winner out of the box. While Android allows some editing (crop and rotate), iOS goes a step further (crop, edit, red eye reduction, composition controls, and auto-enhance).

Tabbed Browsing
Considering how many great browsers are available for Android, it continues to baffle the mind as to why Google hasn't added tabs into its stock browser through an incremental update. Now that Safari has tabs, Android remains the odd-man out.
Reader View
Reader View
Because Apple has essentially rolled Instapaper into Safari Mobile, iOS has a clear edge over the competition when it comes to clutter-free web reading. Add the cloud-based Reading List and it looks even better.

Rich Text Email
When it comes to composing HTML email all mobile OSes except Android rise to the occasion. That said, Android does allow users to receive formatted mail.

PC-Free Setup, Updates
Desktop-free setup and updates is one area where Apple played serious catch up with iOS 5. It now joins all the other platforms in the (sort of) post-PC world. One caveat: remember how Apple used to make you download 400-megabyte files for an incremental update? Now that Apple is rolling out delta updates, all that you'll need to download is what has changed from one version of iOS to the next. Now that you're wireless—and probably on a tiered plan—that could spare you a significant cellular bill.

Wi-Fi Sync
Wireless synchronization is another area where iOS has lagged behind the competiton—except for Google. That said, what Apple has finally delivered is quite powerful: Everything in your iTunes library—including photos and video—can sync over the area. In this respect, iOS Wi-Fi sync tops Blackberry, which handles music, but not video.
Online Gaming Community
Online Gaming Community
Game Center already looked great, but it's even better now that you can download and review games without leaving. The only service that rivals game center is Microsoft's Xbox Live. However, when it comes to actually finding games to play, Apple has the liveliest marketplacee, for the time being.

The Best Smartphone OS?
Any judgement will have to wait until we actually get our hands on the OSes in question and test them out on real-live phones. And it's also worth noting that our feature set for this comparison is pretty heavily influenced by Apple's WWDC presentation. Still, judging by what we know so far, it's clear that Apple's iOS 5 looks to be the smartphone OS to beat this fall.
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pace Shuttle and Space Station Photographed Together: APOD June 8th 2011

from: http://apod.nasa.gov/

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2011 June 8
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.
Space Shuttle and Space Station Photographed Together
Credit: NASA
 
Explanation: How was this picture taken? Usually, pictures of the shuttle, taken from space, are snapped from the space station. Commonly, pictures of the space station are snapped from the shuttle. How, then, can there be a picture of both the shuttle and the station together, taken from space? The answer is that during the Space Shuttle Endeavour's last trip to the International Space Station two weeks ago, a supply ship departed the station with astronauts that captured a series of rare views. The supply ship was the Russian Soyuz TMA-20 which landed in Kazakhstan later that day. The above spectacular image well captures the relative sizes of the station and docked shuttle. Far below, clouds of Earth are seen above a blue sea. The next and last launch of a US space shuttle is scheduled for early July.

'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' at 25: Where Are They Now?

Steven Bryan
from: http://news.yahoo.com/


On June 11, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," an iconic movie from the 1980s, will celebrate its 25th anniversary. To honor the silver anniversary of Ferris' golden day off from school, here's a look at what happened to some key cast members.

Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller)
1983's "Wargames" made Matthew Broderick a household name and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" turned him into a star. Broderick took the audience on a glorious joyride through Chicago, making stops at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Wrigley Field before taking over an afternoon parade. Broderick's performance inspired the "Ferris Bueller" TV series, which featured a pre-"Friends" Jennifer Aniston, and the cult series "Parker Lewis Can't Lose."

Broderick, the son of "Family" star James Broderick, continued his onscreen career, even starring opposite Marlon Brando in the hilarious comedy "The Freshman." Broderick also lent his voice to the adult Simba in "The Lion King," a film that continued Walt Disney's animation domination of the early 1990s. The actor also received critical acclaim for playing a conflicted high school teacher in 1998's "Election," a dark comedy featuring Reese Witherspoon as ambitious honor student Tracy Flick.

For Broderick, however, the Broadway stage offered even greater rewards. The actor starred in the Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" before teaming up with Nathan Lane for Mel Brooks' stage adaptation of "The Producers."

In May 1997, Broderick married future "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, a union that has been rocked by allegations of infidelity. Still, as these recent Memorial Day photos show, Broderick and Parker are still maintaining their family unit.

Alan Ruck (Cameron Frye)
The talented Alan Ruck played Cameron Frye, the hypochondriac best friend of Ferris Bueller. Though Cameron was intended for comic relief, his neglectful father was shown as the root cause for his paranoia and unhappiness.

In the years following his success in "Ferris Bueller," Ruck has been a frequent guest star on such shows as "Mad About You," "Scrubs" and "Stargate Atlantis." He also completed a six-season stint on "Spin City," the popular sitcom that featured Michael J. Fox and Charlie Sheen. Recently, Ruck appeared as Dean Bowman on "Greek," which gave the writers the opportunity to throw in some "Ferris Bueller" references.
Mia Sara (Sloane Peterson)

Pretty Mia Sara played Sloane, the only girl capable of keeping up with Ferris as he mapped out his wild day in the city of Chicago. Sara starred opposite Tom Cruise and Tim Curry in the 1985 cult classic "Legend" and later played the wife of a time-traveling Jean-Claude van Damme in 1994's "Time Cop." One year earlier, she also was the love interest of another time-traveling peace office in the syndicated TV series "Time Trax."
More recently, Mia Sara played Princess Langwidere in "The Witches of Oz," a television mini-series slated for a fall debut in the United States. The series looks at Dorothy Gale's continuing battle with the Wicked Witch of the West.

Jeffrey Jones (Dean of Students Ed Rooney)
1980s films often portray educators as clowns or buffoons, and no one did it better than Jeffrey Jones. As Dean of Students Ed Rooney, Jones waged a battle of wits against Ferris Bueller and his school-skipping ways. By the end of "Ferris Bueller," however, Dean Rooney hobbles away in a shredded suit and muddy shoes, his car having been towed to the police impound.

Jones' life and career has at times been marred by controversy. After co-starring in the cult classic "Beetlejuice," Jones appeared with "Saturday Night Live" alum Mary Gross in "The People Next Door," an innovative CBS comedy created by Wes Craven that lasted only five episodes.

In 2003, Jones was arraigned on charges of hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos. Jones pleaded no contest to the charges and became a registered sex offender. He has since been twice arrested for failing to keep his sex offender status current in Florida and California.

Jennifer Grey (Jeanie Bueller)
Though most people thought her brother was a "righteous dude," Jeanie Bueller, played by Jennifer Grey, couldn't stand his slacker ways. Jeanie spends the bulk of "Ferris Bueller" trying to expose her brother's illness as a con to get out of school, but she relents in the end, saving Ferris from another year of school under the close personal supervision of Ed Rooney.

Grey was hilarious here and, a year later, she starred opposite Patrick Swayze in the mega-hit "Dirty Dancing." Before the film came out, Grey and Matthew Broderick, then her boyfriend, were involved in a car crash in Ireland, resulting in the death of two people. Broderick came out of the crash with a broken leg while Grey suffered only minor injuries.

Considered unconventionally pretty by fans, Grey had cosmetic surgery to remove a bump on her nose, but the results of the surgery were far more dramatic than she intended. Almost unrecognizable next to photos of her classic 1980's look, Grey has said she went from being a celebrity to anonymous. Grey made lemons out of lemonade on the short-lived series "It's Like, You Know" playing an actress named Jennifer Grey who had botched plastic surgery.

In 2010, Grey slipped on her dancing shoes once again for "Dancing with the Stars," becoming the Season 11 winner.

Ben Stein (economics teacher)
Delivering a hilarious explanation of " voodoo economics," Ben Stein also is credited for saying the classic "Bueller? Bueller?" line in the movie. A former speech writer and lawyer for President Richard Nixon, Stein has a dry, slow manner of speaking that makes him instantly unforgettable. Stein's acting ability is second only to his intelligence, which became the basis of "Win Ben Stein's Money," a game show where contestants matched wits with Stein to win $5000 of the host's money. Jimmy Kimmel appeared as Stein's announcer on this Comedy Central show.

Stein came under fire, though, in 2008 for "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," an anti-evolution documentary. Critics specifically attacked the film's position that Darwin's Theory of Evolution contributed to Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust.

John Hughes (director)
The director who set the tone for many 1980s teen movies, John Hughes suffered a fatal heart attack on Aug. 9, 2009, but his legacy continues to inspire and recruit new legions of fans. After the successes of "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club," Hughes offered up mature comedy in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," a road trip film featuring the odd couple of Steve Martin and John Candy.

Hughes also had great success as a screenwriter, creating the script for "Home Alone," the wild Christmas comedy about a little boy accidentally left at home. Hughes' films and style are so recognizable that the parody film "Not Another Teen Movie" both honors and tweaks his work. Director Joe Gallen even had his characters attend John Hughes High School.

Edie McClurg (Grace, the school secretary)
Herb Tarlick's wife finally hit the big time thanks to John Hughes. Appearing as school secretary Grace in "Ferris Bueller," McClurg, a featured played on "WKRP in Cincinnati," explains to boss Ed Rooney why Ferris Bueller is so popular. A talented character actress, McClurg had Grace using her wig as a place to store pencils and pens.

Now a recognizable voice-over actress, McClurg has done character for "Cars" and "The Rugrats Movie." Arguably, she will be fondly remembered as the overly chipper car rental agent in another Hughes project, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," who delivers a memorable variation of the F-bomb.

Charlie Sheen (Garth Volback)
Before "Platoon," "Wall Street" and the failed "Torpedo of Truth" tour, Charlie Sheen had a memorable cameo in "Ferris Bueller" as Garth Volback, a scruffy teen who charms Ferris' sister Jeanie. Currently, Sheen is between jobs and seeking new career opportunities

Proof that British cops are 500% kinder than American cops


By Ross Borden
Drunk napper

“Can we give you a lift?” Wow. I was shocked when I saw this.
In America, this guy, who obviously stumbled into the wrong house when he was blacked out drunk and proceeded to pass out cold on a stranger’s floor, would have woken up to a knee being dropped on his back and probably a taser to help him wake up – had this been a scene from a house in the US.
He almost certainly would have been taken to jail too, and charged with trespassing and maybe breaking and entering or reckless endangerment. In England, he was helped to his feet and offered a ride home.
No, I don’t believe this behavior should be condoned, but it is refreshing to see police officers in some countries show a bit of compassion and react in a way that is somewhat constructive, instead of just being violent because they have an excuse to.

The doorbell that tricks burglars into thinking you're home - and the boy, 13, who invented it

By Lee Cain
From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Smart boy: Schoolboy Lawrence Rook, 13, invented Smart Bell, which calls your mobile when it is rung
Smart boy: Schoolboy Lawrence Rook, 13, invented Smart Bell, which calls your mobile when it is rung 



ferris bueller doorbell scene

Where he rigged the doorbell to play a recording he can't answer the door. A dorky but funny greeting




A schoolboy is on course for a £250,000 windfall after inventing a doorbell that fools burglars into believing somebody is home at an empty property. 

Smart Bell, designed by 13-year-old Laurence Rook, dials the homeowner's mobile phone when pressed, allowing them to talk to whoever is outside their front door.
The device even produces a small amount of white noise to give any unexpected guest the impression they are speaking to someone inside the house on an intercom system. 
The invention, which uses an inbuilt SIM card and existing mobile-phone technology, would also allow homeowners to give instructions to drivers making deliveries at their property. 

Laurence has already sold 20,000 units to telecoms giant Commtel Innovate and is finalising a deal with an unnamed second company for a further 25,000 units.
When the deal is signed, he will be £250,000 richer. 

The teenager, from Whyteleafe, Surrey, said: 'At first I designed the idea because my mum was fed up going to the Post Office to collect deliveries made when we were not at home. 

'When I started to develop the Smart Bell, I realised it could also be a great burglar-deterrent.

'Most opportunist burglars ring the doorbell first to see if anyone is at home, but Smart Bell has the perfect way to counteract this. 

'If you are out and a burglar comes up to your door and rings the doorbell, after ten seconds Smart Bell will ring through to your mobile phone and you will be able to answer. 

'There is a small amount of white noise so it will sound like an intercom and the burglar will never know that you're not actually inside the house.' 

Inspiration: Lawrence initially came up with the idea for a Dragon's Den style contest at his school - but wasn't allowed to enter without a prototype
Inspiration: Lawrence initially came up with the idea for a Dragon's Den style contest at his school - but wasn't allowed to enter without a prototype
Laurence had the idea for the Smart Bell after his school challenged pupils to come up with an invention for a Dragons' Den-style competition. 

Laurence, who won a scholarship to attend private Trinity School in Croydon, South London, was initially unable to enter the contest because he didn't have a working prototype. 

But his parents, James and Margaret Rook, then showed his plans to family friend Paula Ward, who was crowned the world's top female inventor in 2004 for designing a web chatroom safety system. 

Laurence said: 'Paula thought it was brilliant and sent off the designs to China for it to be made into the actual product. 

'I was gobsmacked that she thought it was so good.' 

Less than 12 months after the prototype was developed, Commtel Innovate is preparing for the wholesale release of the product and High Street giants B&Q, PC World, Currys and Comet are now set to stock the Smart Bell, which will cost £40.


Riches: Lawrence is expected to earn around £250,000 from his invention which expected to cost £40 from High Street giants including B&Q, PC World, Currys and Comet
Riches: Lawrence is expected to earn around £250,000 from his invention which expected to cost £40 from High Street giants including B&Q, PC World and Currys 
Laurence is trying to decide what to do with his windfall. 

'When I found out I was going to make a quarter of a million pounds, I thought, "Wow, that's a lot of computer games",' he said. 

'It's amazing having that amount of money, but I haven't told any of my school friends yet. I don't know what they'll think. 

'I'm going to save most of the money – I want to go to university, so I'll need it for that.'
Mrs Rook, 39, an administrator who has two other sons, Matthew, 11, and Oliver, eight, added: 'It's extra¬ordinary but I'm just trying to keep Laurence grounded at the moment.' 

Richard Drewnicki, chief executive of Commtel UK, said: 'There is certainly a market for this kind of product. We hope it will prove popular.'



reminds me of Home Alone:

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