Six Things You Didn’t Know About Tom Hanks

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You know him best as Forrest Gump and the voice of Toy Story‘s Woody, but how well do you really know superstar Tom Hanks? Sure, you might’ve heard he’s related to Abraham Lincoln but that’s just one fun fact about this Hollywood icon. Here, are six other details about Hanks that may have flown under your trivia radar (just in time for AMC’s Crazy About Tom Hanks, a marathon of his movies on AMC on Fri., Sep. 28).

1. He Owes His Career to Happy Days
Hanks got his big break starring in the TV sitcom Bosom Buddies, but his guest-star turn as the Fonz’s foe on Happy Days led to a breakout role on the big screen. After working with him on Happy Days, former co-star Ron Howard asked Hanks to read for a supporting role in Splash (1984). Hanks ended up landing the lead.

2. He Has an Asteroid Named After Him
Hanks has had a lifelong fascination with space exploration: As a child, he wanted to be an astronaut; he played a real-life one in Apollo 13; he co-produced the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, as well as the IMAX feature Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon in 3D. Heck, he’s even on the the National Space Society Board of Directors. So to honor Hanks’ commitment, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid “12818 tomhanks” in 1996.

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Story Notes for Apollo 13

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Weeknights during prime time on AMC, you can catch Story Notes — real time trivia and facts about your favorite movies. Below is the online version of the Story Notes for Apollo 13.

Award Notes
Apollo 13 was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Kathleen Quinlan earned an Oscar nomination for Apollo 13.

Ed Harris earned an Oscar nod for his performance as Gene Kranz.

Apollo 13 is one of many Ron Howard movies scored by composer James Horner. Horner got two Oscar nods that year: Apollo 13 and Braveheart.

Biographical Notes
Lovell didn’t really find out he was on Apollo 13 on Halloween. It was actually August.

Bill Paxton (Fred Haise) got his big break acting in outer space in Aliens (1986).

Ed Harris also worked with director Ron Howard on A Beautiful Mind (2001).

Though he was only in his 20s, John Aaron was a trusted member of Mission Control. He also helped Apollo 12 get out of trouble when they were struck by lightning during takeoff.

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5 Western Miniseries for Your Must-See List

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You’ve already seen every Western starring Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. You watch The Rifleman on AMC religiously on Saturday mornings. You’re a bona fide Western lover to be sure but have you seen all the top miniseries of the genre too? Check out these great star-studded, multi-part excursions into the Old West then take a shot at choosing a favorite. (All were Emmy nominees; some were Emmy winners.)

Broken Trail (2006)
A weathered cowboy (Robert Duvall) saddles up with his estranged nephew (Thomas Haden Church) to wrangle 500 mustangs from Oregon to Wyoming. Along the way, the pair rescues five young Chinese girls from slavery and display acts of bravery and rough-riding that would make John Wayne proud.
Emmy scorecard: 16 nominations; 7 wins

Comanche Moon (2008)
In this prequel to the hit Lonesome Dove, Steve Zahn (Sahara) and Karl Urban (Star Trek) play the younger versions of Gus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call, respectively, during their Texas Ranger days. Val Kilmer also stars as their captain who leads the hunt for a horse thief. The stampedes and horse chasing are some of the best ever on TV.
Emmy scorecard: 5 nominations; 0 wins

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Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels and The Walking Dead up for Creative Arts Emmys

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This weekend, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will hold its ceremony for the 2012 Creative Arts Emmys (the precursor to the Primetime Emmy ceremonies on Sun., Sep. 23). This year, four of AMC’s original series were nominated in a variety of categories. Will Mad Men win its fifth Emmy for Outstanding Hairstyling? Will The Walking Dead walk home with the Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup award again? Will Breaking Bad take home an award for Editing? Will Hell on Wheels win its first-ever Emmy for its first season? Click here for a complete list of AMC’s Emmy nominations.

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Flashback Five – Aaron Paul’s Best Movies

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Season 5 of Breaking Bad may have just ended, but that’s not keeping Aaron Paul out of the limelight this Fall. The actor is up for his second Emmy award for Best Supporting Actor. Plus, he’s starring in the new movie Smashed (which debuted at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival). Even more exciting, Paul is currently filming the big-screen adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, A Long Way Down. But before you look into his future, take a look at his best movies so far..

1. Smashed (2012)
Aaron Paul shines in this indie drama about an alcoholic married couple who must come to terms with their drinking. As the husband who’s not so willing to sober up, Paul’s portrayal is marked by gut-bursting humor and gut-wrenching heartache.

2. The Last House on the Left (2009)
Even Paul’s most diehard fans will recoil at his creepiness in the remake of Wes Craven’s horror classic. As a psycho-killer with an eye for the ladies. Paul is disturbing. (Even he admits he “couldn’t look at the screen” when he saw the movie.)

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Story Notes for Four Brothers

sn-four-brothers-284.jpgWeeknights during prime time on AMC, you can catch Story Notes — real time trivia and facts about your favorite movies! Below is the online version of the Story Notes for Four Brothers.

Anthology Notes
A script for the sequel has been written. It’s called Five Brothers.

Biographical Notes
Director Singleton called Four Brothers the movie that really shows Mark Wahlberg becoming a man.

Mark Wahlberg’s next two movies were Invincible and The Departed (both 2006).

Mark Wahlberg (Bobby) created Entourage (2004-2011) the year before this.

Ironically, Garrett Hedlund is the only one of the Four Brothers who didn’t start out with a music career.

This is Andre Benjamin’s first lead role. He was in Be Cool (2004) the year before this.

Mark Wahlberg is a devout Catholic. He visits church every day and consults his priest on movie roles.

Wahlberg first gained attention as a serious actor playing a drug addict in The Basketball Diaries (1995).

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) was the movie John Singleton directed right before this one. It also starred Tyrese Gibson.

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Flashback Five – Giancarlo Esposito’s Best Movies

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The character may have been a bad guy but Breaking Bad fans can’t help but love the late Gustavo Fring. No small thanks is due Giancarlo Esposito, the Emmy-nominated actor with a 30-year history on screens big and small. Curious to see the best movies of the man behind Gus. Put these in your Netflix queue.

1. Do the Right Thing (1989)
Esposito is brilliant as a powder keg behind exploding racial tensions in a Brooklyn ‘hood. A mix of humor with volatility (“Who told you to step on my sneakers?!”), Buggin Out ranks as one of the most memorable characters in what may be Spike Lee’s greatest film.

2. Bob Roberts (1992)
Tim Robbins stars in this mockumentary about a crooked politician with a seemingly ineffectual reporter (Esposito) on his trail. But never underestimate Giancarlo! Although his Bugs Raplin appears like a stereotypical nebbish, he ends up so much more than that.

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Story Notes for Crimson Tide

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Weeknights during prime time on AMC, you can catch Story Notes — real time trivia and facts about your favorite movies! Below is the online version of the Story Notes for Crimson Tide.

Award Note
Crimson Tide was nominated for a Best Sound and Best Sound Editing Oscar.

Biographical Note
Denzel Washington won his first Oscar for another military movie, 1989′s Glory.

Blooper Note
The Navy says a captain would never address his men in a rain storm like the one in the movie. That was added for dramatic effect.

Casting Notes
Gene Hackman had appeared in over 60 movies by the time he took this role in Crimson Tide. Screenwriter Michael Schiffer (Colors) wrote the part specifically with Hackman in mind.

Denzel Washington had just been in Philadelphia (1993). Producers said there weren’t many with his “acting firepower.”

Daniel von Bargen (Radchenko) plays George Costanza’s boss in four episodes of “Seinfeld” (1997-1998).

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Top Ten Reasons We Can’t Get Enough Pretty Woman

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Pretty Woman is best-known as the movie that made Julia Roberts a star, but this 1990 rom-com is so much more than that…like one of the 50 Greatest Romantic Movies of All Time, too. So what makes this modern fairytale about a prostitute rescued by a billionaire so special? Here are ten reasons to consider…

10. The Unexpected Fairy Godmother
What would a Cinderella story be without a fairy godmother… or in this case, godfather? The snooty Barnard Thompson (Hector Elizondo) may not carry a magic wand, but when street-hustling hooker Vivian (Roberts) needs to buy appropriate attire for Beverly Hills, Barney’s phone call to a Rodeo Drive shop is as powerful as a “bippity boppity boo.”

9. The Sexual Undertones of I Love Lucy
At first, Edward (Richard Gere) is reticent to take advantage of Vivian’s services, so she decides to entertain herself in his hotel room by watching reruns of I Love Lucy. Next thing you know, Vivian is in her bra and panties, getting to know Edward better, while Lucille Ball is stomping a vat of grapes in the background. Hot!

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Q&A – Ken Druckerman (Executive Producer of Small Town Security)

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Ken Druckerman, Executive Producer of AMC’s Small Town Security, reveals exactly how the series came about, and the third cast member in love with Joan.

Q: How did you first learn about JJK Security?

A: One of our agents is a guy named Matt Saul. Matt is originally from a town in Georgia called Dalton… and Dalton is next door to Ringgold. So he knew as a kid that the Koplans were “characters.” Joan is also the kind of woman who doesn’t forget when a local boy moves to Hollywood and becomes a big-shot talent agent. So she kept in touch with Matt, and always said, “You should make me famous one day!” Matt told her that the best thing to do would be to put herself on tape… so he could share it with a producer — that’s me. It was basically an hour of raw footage of everyone just hanging out in the office… but as I watched and listened, I noticed this stranger-than-fiction quality to the dialogue. For example, there was a long debate about the size and shape of male and female genitalia — and whether or not, with enough manipulation, the female sex organ could shape-shift into the male sex organ, and vice versa. The conversation had an unreal quality to it, yet I could tell that it was entirely real. I had to meet them right away!

Q: Was there one particular moment that made you decide “we need to put this workplace on TV”?

A: When I went down to film some sample footage at JJK, I honestly thought that it would be a really fun process and that I might be able to make a really funny tape… but I had serious doubts. The footage that I shot in that one day was funnier and more engaging than anything I had ever shot before, but I still couldn’t tell if it was just funny and interesting to me. At the time, I was working with a brilliant filmmaker named Mike LaHaie… so I asked him to look at the footage and to see if he could cut something together. A couple of weeks later, he showed me a 10-minute clip that he had assembled, and it was amazing! I knew at that moment that we would be able to sell the show. 

Q: Tell us about the first time you met Joan.

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