The latest in the Family Movie Night series on NBC is Who Is Simon Miller? this Saturday, August 6, at 8/7 central. It is the story of a family discovery that the husband and father they thought they knew had another life — maybe many other lives. Stars include Loren Dean (“Say Anything” and “Mumford”) and Christine Baranski (“Mamma Mia”). It is an exciting spy story and a warm-hearted family drama. And it raises some good questions for family discussion about when it can be difficult to find the time and the right words to tell our families the things they should know — and about how getting away from our daily concerns can strengthen family bonds, even in a high-stress environment.
Some peeks behind the scenes:
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“Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” welcomed children with low-key warmth and delivered its affirmations and lessons with great sweetness. It ran nationally from 1968-2001 and its reruns are still watched by the children and grandchildren of the original viewers. PBS has announced an animated spin-off featuring some of the characters from the neighborhood. It will be called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and will premiere next year and it will focus on the next generation in the Neighborhood of Make Believe, including Prince Wednesday, son of King Friday and Queen Sara; Miss Elaina, daughter of Lady Elaine Fairchild; Katerina Kittycat, daughter of Henrietta Pussycat; and O the Owl, nephew of X the Owl. Trolley and Mr. McFeely will be on hand as well.
Sounds like a very nice neighborhood to visit.
Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me and Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the host of a new series on Current called “50 Documentaries to See Before You Die.” He quotes Alfred Hitchcock: “In feature films, the director is God. In documentaries, God is the director.” He will discuss the list with fellow documentarians and film experts and catch up with some of the people and stories
The shows will count down from fifty to one, eventually revealing what our panel of preeminent film critics, academics and industry insiders has chosen as the most entertaining, powerful and influential modern documentary. However, this is not your average list show. Renowned documentarian Morgan Spurlock will embark on a road trip to track down the filmmakers and characters behind some of the most remarkable moments in contemporary cinema. Along the way, he’ll meet maverick directors and eccentric contributors, travel to iconic locations and explore the impact that the documentaries have made on both their subjects and society, all the while counting down to number one.
Current will also be running some of the documentaries he recommends.
In honor of this week’s release of the new “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” prequel, I have something really spectacular — one copy of the 40th anniversary Blu-Ray box set of the classic Apes series: “Planet of the Apes,” “Beneath the Planet of the Apes,” “Escape From the Planet of the Apes,” “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” and “Battle for the Planet of the Apes.” The first disc has commentary by actors Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Natalie Trundy, and makeup artist John Chambers. Extras include make-up tests, costume design sketches, trailers, and backstage footage. You’ll even get a close-up look at props like the Apes newspapers to see what they were reading.
Send me an email at email@example.com with “Apes” in the subject line and tell me your favorite character in the series. Don’t forget your address! I’ll pick one lucky winner August 8, 2011.