Best Films Never Made: Sylvester Stallone’s Poe

John Rambo, Rocky Balboa, Lt. Raymond Tango — Sylvester Stallone has been an icon of cinema for almost 40 years, keeping his ’80s troupe current with the kids through The Expendables franchise. Yet behind all his bravado, through the smoke of the explosions and amongst his gargantuan muscles, there lies a darker dramatic side.

Since 2005, Stallone has wished to direct a biographical picture on the late horror writer Edgar Allan Poe. Although comparisons between “The Pit and the Pendulum” and Rambo are not forthcoming, Stallone has always wanted to bring Poe’s life to the big screen. He admits himself that producers are a tad skeptical of the change of pace.

“I keep telling my producer Avi Lerner, ‘Make Edgar Allan Poe!’ He says, ‘Does he have a gun?’ ‘No, he doesn’t have a gun.’ ‘Can he throw a knife?’ I say, ‘No, he writes poetry!'”

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‘War Horse’ From Book To Movie: How Richard Curtis, Jeremy Irvine & Co. Brought It To Life

From the moment Steven Spielberg signed on to direct “War Horse,” one thing was clear: He could not tell the story from the point of view of the horse, even though that’s exactly what author Michael Morpurgo did in the award-winning 1982 children’s book from which the film is adapted.

In the book, the innocent equine protagonist, Joey, knows only what he can see and sense. He doesn’t learn the larger stories of the many men and women he encounters as he journeys from the English countryside through the battlefields of World War I. The winding plot gave Spielberg a lot of ground to cover and a limited amount of screen time to devote to each human character. The job of making it work fell to screenwriter Richard Curtis — and to the actors in the cast.

“If you are going to do quite an episodic film, [you must] lavish attention on the episodes almost outside the run of the story,” Curtis told The Huffington Post. “Try and do unnecessary things, so that when you arrive in that story, you think, ‘Oh, wow, I’m arriving in a real world,’ rather than, ‘I’m arriving in a world where all the information I get is the information necessary for Joey’s story.'”

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Karl Pilkington On ‘An Idiot Abroad,’ Endangered Animals & Ricky Gervais

Karl Pilkington is the star of “An Idiot Abroad,” but to be fair, the show’s title is a bit of a stretch. To be more accurate, Sky and Science Channel, where it debuts in America on Saturday, could call it “An Honest Guy Who Gets Sent On Outrageous Vacations By His Mischievous Friend.”

At once Ricky Gervais’ best friend and punching bag, Pilkington has become something of a cult star in England. He first appeared on Gervais’s radio show in 2001, invited into the studio when Gervais and partner Stephen Merchant couldn’t help but laugh at his very curious points of view and silly interjections from his producer’s box. From there, he’s gone on to publish four books, frequent talk shows in the UK and now stars in the second series of “Idiot,” which features him being dispatched to go through ridiculous adventures in far off regions like islands off New Zealand, the plains of Mongolia, dwarf villages in China and huts in Africa.

Pilkington spoke to The Huffington Post over the phone on Friday, giving his unique insight into traveling, his relationship with Gervais and nature.

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Education with Reading Rainbow

It comes as no surprise that the founder and co-executive producer of the twenty-time Emmy-award-winning show, Reading Rainbow is an educator and avid reader herself. Dr. Twila Liggett was born to teach.

Liggett’s passions led her to various jobs, including school principal, state reading consultant for Nebraska, a handbook writer and teacher of grant-writing courses. When Nebraska Educational Television decided to be the progenitor of a national children’s series, Liggett was their choice. With her talents, Reading Rainbow was born.

Reading Rainbow found a formula that works and sticks with it. Each episode highlights three books that are reviewed by real children. LeVar Burton, the host of the show, talks candidly to viewers and asks questions that encourage them to answer from their living rooms. Burton goes on location to explore topics addressed in the books so children can see real footage of the events being discussed. Kids are taught to question and research, skills that teachers and parents encourage.

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