So Long Leslie Nielsen! Beloved Comedian Dead at 84 

Leslie Nielsen, the guy who made us laugh in films like "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" has died. He was 84.

The actor died Sunday near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla due to complication of pneumonia.

His nephew, Doug Nielsen, told Canadian radio station CKNW, that "he just fell asleep and passed away."

Let's remember the great funny actor with the video mashup below using the best of the best from two of his best films -- "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun."

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"Harry Potter" Vanquishes Everyone with $50.3M Box-Office 

Even Rapunzel couldn't break "Harry Potter's" magical box-office spell. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" remained the No. 1 movie in America with $50.3 million over Thanksgiving weekend.

Disney's "Tangled" came in very close with $49.1 million.

So far, "Harry Potter" has raised its total to $220.4 million in just 10 days with a worldwide total of $609.6 million.

Meanwhile, "Tangled" featuring the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi raised its five-day total to $69 million since opening Thanksgiving eve.

While "Tangled" did not beat "Harry Potter," the film exceeded industry expectations delivering the second-biggest Thanksgiving debut ever just behind "Toy Story 2" which opened with $57.4 million.

Sitting mightily at No. 3 is DreamWorks Animation's "Megamind" with $12.9 million beating new films such as "Burlesque," "Faster," and "Love & Other Drugs."

Christina Aguilera and Cher made a so-so debut with "Burlesque" landing at No. 4 with $11.8 million, and a $17.2 million five-day total.

The dramedy "Love & Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway debuted at No. 6 with $9.9 million with a five-day total of $14 million since opening Wednesday.

Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton must settle for No. 7 with "Faster" selling $8.7 million in box-office tickets, and $12.2 million since its Wednesday opening.

Meanwhile, "The King's Speech" featuring the much-talked about Colin Firth performance as British monarch George VI, debuted with $349,791 in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles! Per theater average? That's about $87,448 compared to "Tangled's" $13,628 per theater.

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office Films for weekend of Nov. 26:

1. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," $50.3 million.

2. "Tangled," $49.1 million.

3. "Megamind," $12.9 million.

4. "Burlesque," $11.8 million.

5. "Unstoppable," $11.75 million.

6. "Love & Other Drugs," $9.9 million.

7. "Faster," $8.7 million.

8. "Due Date," $7.3 million.

9. "The Next Three Days," $4.8 million.

10. "Morning Glory," $4 million.

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! And Thank You For Everything! Now, You Can Eat Me, Your Turkey! 

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Palm Springs -- Hollywood of the Desert, Playground of the Stars! Take a Look at my Insightful but Fun Piece About the City I Call Home! 

Everytime I interview a celebrity and I tell them where I'm from, their eyes grow bigger and they all almost unanimously say "Palm Springs? I love Palm Springs."

Sure, we've heard about Palm Springs and its Hollywood connection. If you've been to the desert, you've seen the names of celebrities (Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Kirk Douglas, Gene Autry to name a few) used as street signs.

And you've also heard of the Palm Springs International Film Festival attended annually by the best of Hollywood.

But our Hollywood connection did not simply begin and end with street signs and festivals. For that, we have to go back in time.

Check out my fun but insightful piece on why Palm Springs is known as Hollywood of the Desert. Let me take you on a journey in and around Coachella Valley and discover the Playground of the Stars:

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Busy Thanksgiving Weekend at the Movies! From "Burlesque," to "Faster" to "Tangled," See My Pick of the Week! 

It will be a busy weekend at the movies this Thanksgiving -- Christina Aguilera's "Burlesque" gets "Tangled" up with Dwayne Johnson's "Faster." But there's only one pick of the week:


The film is a fairy tale set in the world of risqué business. Cher is Tess, a retired dancer and owner of the Burlesque Lounge. She's broke, both financially and creatively. But all that is about to change with the dramatic entrance of Ali (Christina Aguilera), a small-town girl from Iowa who has big dreams and a much bigger voice. Vavoom!

Careful not to be a musical version of Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls," writer-director Steve Antin weaves a predictable and safe storyline with buoyant energy. Cher and Aguilera command the screen, and for some folks, that's a good enough reason to watch this movie. You'll have a gay, old time! :25k


Dwayne Johnson is an ex-con out for revenge and Billy Bob Thornton is a veteran cop. Their paths will cross when the ex-con decides to avenge his brother's death after a failed heist.

Director George Tillman Jr. directs "Faster" in a hyper-kinetic way and literally takes the title to heart. This is a shoot-em-up revenge movie that doesn't elevate the genre although it's watchable and entertaining, thanks to Johnson's decision to return to action. Burn your silly tutus in "Tooth Fairy" Dwayne! :25k

Which leads me to my pick of the week, and that will be...


(To watch my "Tangled" review, click here)

I was not impressed by “Tangled’s” marketing campaign. The trailer made the movie look horrible and second-rate. So to my surprise, “Tangled” is one of the best animated movies of the year.

Directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno succeeded in updating the beloved fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Within the movie’s first 10 minutes, we are catapulted into the magical world of Rapunzel. I suggest to arrive early or you will miss the film’s mythology.

Helping tell the story of Rapunzel is Mandy Moore in arguably the best role of her movie career. She lets her hair down as the voice of our heroine, a princess who’s been kidnapped from the palace when she was just a baby.

The culprit is Mother Gothel, voiced by Broadway star, Donna Murphy. She wants to stay young forever and the source of her fountain of youth is Rapunzel’s long, golden hair.

Locked in the tower and never allowed to leave, Rapunzel’s quest is to see the outside world for her 18th birthday. Every year on Rapunzel’s birthday, the kingdom has a festival of lights in remembrance of their lost princess. Rapunzel wants to see the floating light up close.

Her wish may soon be granted upon the arrival of the dashing bandit, Flynn Rider, voiced by “Chuck’s” Zachary Levi. Flynn stumbles upon the tower as he tries to escape the palace guards after a burglary. What happens next is a magical journey full of wonder and surprise.

“Tangled” is fittingly billed as the 50th Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film. It’s a beautiful movie and I suggest you watch it in 3-D. There are two key impressive scenes. First, when Flynn and Rapunzel are engulfed by water after escaping the guards.

The tsunami that swallowed Flynn and Rapunzel is so real and life-like even though computer-generated animation of water is hard to do. Another great visual scene from the movie is the presentation of the floating lights. Surrounded by thousands of flickering lights, Flynn and Rapunzel get carried away with the enchantment.

All of the characters are well-drawn out. You will believe the chemistry between Rapunzel and Flynn, you will understand the dynamics between Rapunzel and Mother Gothel, and you will fall in love with the fun creatures.

The animals in “Tangled” do not talk but they’re visually communicative. There’s Rapunzel’s best friend, the chameleon Pascal, who changes skin colors to fit his emotion. But my favorite is Maximus, the head of the palace guard horse and Flynn’s nemesis.

The original music by Alan Menken helped move the story forward. There are many memorable production numbers, one of which involves thugs who really love showtunes.

I laughed, cried, and sang. “Tangled” is finer than frog’s hair and is the perfect movie to see this Thanksgiving weekend.


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