Showbiz Sandbox 188: Remembering Roger – Personal Recollections of the World’s Most Famous Film Critic

April 8, 2013

The death of film critic Roger Ebert last week after a lengthy and public battle with cancer was followed by an endless stream of heartfelt appreciations. Arguably one of the most recognized and influential movie critics in the world, few were aware of Ebert’s generosity, especially when it came to fellow critics and journalists.

David Poland of Movie City News and Anne Thompson of Indiewire join our hosts in discussing a few of the personal memories each has of Ebert from spending time with him over the years. For instance, did you know filmmaker Michael Moore credits Ebert with helping spread the word about the his first movie? Or that Ebert was an early investor in a little web startup named Google?

Meanwhile, late night television dominated the entertainment news last week as NBC officially announced they would not be renewing Jay Leno’s contract as host of the “Tonight Show” in order to bring in the younger Jimmy Fallon. The move has been widely hailed as a boneheaded attempt to win ratings in key demos as competition increases, but in the end Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” might still bring in more viewers.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” sequel, “American Idol’s” declining ratings and why take-down notices issued by movie studios are actually helping pirates, not hindering them.

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Showbiz Sandbox 21: Name Dropping At The Emmys and Toronto

September 21, 2009

Three very special guests join us on this episode to discuss the Emmy Awards and the Toronto International Film Festival, including Brill Bundy from, Noel Murray from the Onion’s AV Club and David Poland from The Hot Blog and Movie City News. Before we get into either of those hot topics Michael Giltz and J. Sperling Reich duke it out over 3D movies while discussing this week’s North American box office topper, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”. Karen Woodward still isn’t convinced to see animated content, whether it’s 3D or not.

Brill wasn’t all that suprised by any of the Emmy Awards handed out on Sunday, except for maybe Jon Cryer’s trophy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Like last year, Both “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” repeated their wins for Best Drama and Best Comedy. In the end, it was host Neil Patrick Harris who stole the show, if not an Emmy for himself, by winning rave reviews for keeping the awards program light and fast paced (even at three hours).

Jay Leno began his new primetime talk show last week with enormous ratings, though Brill says it will take a few months, if not a year, before the show’s success can be determined. Certainly, having Kanye West as a guest, fresh from his stage storming moment at MTV’s Video Music Awards, was a major coup.     Read more


Showbiz Sandbox 16: Hollywood Thinks Outside The Redbox

August 17, 2009

David Poland of Movie City News joins us this week.  You might know Poland from his days at the Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly or Roughcut, but he is most known as the columnist behind The Hot Button which has morphed into his blog, The Hot Blog.  He can also be seen on DP30 or his new video podcast Super Movie Friends.  You can follow Poland on Twitter by visiting

“District 9” topped the box office in North America over the weekend with $37 million, but will it have legs?  Warner Bros saved a New Line movie once again with “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which had been sitting on the shelf since last year.  It made a respectable showing with $19.2 million.

Some interesting/baffling/exciting movie news this week. Aaron Sorkin uh, is writing, uh, a draft of the Facebook movie, which, um, is a movie about social networking.  (Listen to the episode to, ah, get the joke).  And if you think that’s crazy, Warner Bros is putting together a movie based on the Legos toys, and Bryan Singer is directing a big screen version of “Battlestar Gallactica.” Will Starbuck still be dead? Does anyone care? Read more