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1933January 31Produced by George Trendle and written by Fran Striker, right, the “Lone Ranger” is broadcast on WYXZ in Detroit.1949The Lone Ranger makes his television debut in a series starring Clayton Moore as the masked man and Jay Silverheels, right, as Tonto.1954George Trendle sells the Lone Ranger rights to Jack Wrather1956“The Lone Ranger,” the first Hollyw…

It’s about time. There’s a line in Roland Emmerich’s rip-roaring and irresistible action thriller “White House Down” that explains why Emmerich is so drawn to architectural mayhem and the sight of national monuments blown to smithereens.There’s a point to all this it seems – a point, anyway, beyond instructing real terrorists how they might take the wind out …

When “The Heat” premieres in theaters Friday, it may show Melissa McCarthy changing movies yet again.McCarthy was part of the ensemble in “Bridesmaids” – and to many, the most memorable part – which showed that women could star in a successful movie that was as unapologetically raunchy as male fare like “Superbad” and “The Hangover,” but without the upp…

Zombies were never the same after they met Pittsburgh.They were an entirely different thing 70 years ago in Hollywood – eerie, decorous and called forth with incompetent cloudland simulations of voodoo. See Jacques Tourneur’s B-movie semi-classic “I Walked With a Zombie.”Then came the original “Night of the Living Dead” by the cinematic auteur of Pittsburgh, Ge…

Academy-Award winning actresses Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, and Melissa McCarthy, star of the 2011 hit “Bridesmaids,” will be in Niagara Falls Thursday to shoot scenes for a movie.“Tammy,” a comedy, is about a woman, portrayed by McCarthy, who after losing her job and finding out her husband has been unfaithful, hits the road with her hard-drinking grandmother,…

Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” is a horror film. And one of the better ones in a while too.Of course, it’s not exactly meant to be that. It’s not in the “Paranormal” or “Saw” business after all.Coppola’s fifth film (her best, I think, was “Lost in Translation”) is a sharp little look at the horrors of a very real world she made herself familiar wi…

Something rather quietly wonderful is happening these days. Enormously bright young actresses are deciding that if the world won’t offer them the roles they want, they’ll write them themselves.Their young queen is Lena Dunham – a sort of mini-Oprah by virtue of her prominence as the creator and star of “Girls” on HBO. And in Noah Baumbach’s recent “Frances, H…

It’s a good thing that bad Pixar is, at worst, just mediocre. Which means a bad Pixar movie is still an important rite in American movies. The reason is simple: American families need Pixar films. They need G-rated computer-animated features to which they can take the kids – ALL the kids – in perfect confidence.Which is going to make the newest Pixar “Monsters Univ…

From now on, every glowing profile of Joss Whedon will comment on how he followed his blockbuster to end all blockbusters “The Avengers” with a black and white, low-budget adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing,” opening here Friday. It was filmed at his Santa Monica home in just 12 days during an “Avengers” post-production break. Surely, the cult filmmaker and…

NEW YORK – It’s apocalypse season again, those fun few summer months when instead of wearing white the Hollywood movies are clad in artfully tattered rags. This June alone, in addition to Will and Jaden Smith’s “After Earth,” we have Brad Pitt leading us through the CGI carnage of “World War Z” and the maestro of world-ending mayhem himself, Roland Emmerich …

You don’t want to think of Superman as a bully. At least I don’t. But that’s what Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” is.No, I don’t mean the fictional character is a bully in the movie (though at odd moments when he’s not keeping his super powers hidden, his concern for vulnerable humans is worrisomely minimal). And no, I don’t mean there’s anything remotely …

It began 18 years ago. That’s in what we now quaintly call “real time,” i.e., the time that passes as the clock ticking (or humming) next to you registers the seconds and the minutes.The movie was called “Before Sunrise.” That’s when the two fictional lovers met on a train to Vienna. And couldn’t seem to part.Then, in 2004, came its sequel with the same actor…

I was 4, maybe 5. It was my first movie. The theater was the North Park.The name of the movie was “Dynamite!” – a “truth in packaging” title if ever there was one.My older brother and I had somehow arrived late so we had to sit in one of the first five rows. The movie began with a guy setting a dynamite charge on a mountain and getting his foot trapped between tw…

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nathan Fillion is the star of a popular TV show – “Castle.” And every show has its share of fanatical fans. He was on a soap opera for years, whose enthusiasts take “fan” to a “whole different level.” But that’s nothing compared to the devotion that comes from a TV show (“Firefly”) he briefly did with Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire …