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See the groovy Dock Ellis art that inspired his viral 'LSD No-No' video

Dock Ellis was an All-Star pitcher for the powerhouse Pittsburgh Pirates teams of the early 1970s, but he’s best known for a rather dubious athletic feat. On June 12, 1970, he pitched a no-hitter, one of only 286 in the history of the game. But most likely, his gem was the only one recorded while under the influence of LSD.

Ellis’s athletic accomplishments, his civil-rights activism, and post-baseball career—when he sobered up and counseled other addicts—are part of a new documentary that opens in theaters today, No-No: A Documentary. But there’s no getting around the LSD no-hitter. Ellis loved to tell the tale of his hallucinatory no-no, and after he died in 2008, his legend got a boost when Brooklyn-based filmmaker Christopher Isenberg and artist James Blagden posted a YouTube video that became viral hit.

Back in 2006, the two men collaborated on a Frank magazine feature, titled “An Illustrated History of Recreational Drug Use in Sports,” a hall of shame that included the exploits of Lawrence Taylor and Steve Howe. Readers responded particularly to Blagden’s trippy depiction of Ellis (click on above image), and the duo were eager to turn his tale into an animated short. “Of all those stories, his kind of captured the imagination in an exciting way that some of the other, more tragic, stories maybe didn’t,” says Blagden. READ FULL STORY

Alex Rodriguez cut out of animated Yankees movie 'Henry & Me'


Alex Rodriguez is currently serving a 162-game suspension from Major League Baseball for violating drug policy, but even though he’s 39 years old, he has every intention of making his way back to Yankee Stadium in 2015, if only to collect his more than $20 million per season salary. But though he’s won two Most Valuable Players as a Yankee and helped them win the 2009 World Series, Rodriguez’s infamy will likely prevent him from ever being considered an all-time Yankee.

Just look at the new animated movie Henry & Me, which tells the story of a cancer-stricken 11-year-old Yankees fan who magically finds himself in a field of dreams that features pinstriped legends from the past and present. (See the trailer below.) Richard Gere voices the title role of Henry, and Chazz Palminteri gives life to Babe Ruth. Initially, Rodriguez was slated to play a heroic role in the film and the All-Star provided his voice. But in light of his suspension, the filmmakers made some last-minute changes and replaced him with former Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui. (Rodriguez’s likeness remains in a few quick scenes.)


Brett Ratner acquires rights to Yasiel Puig biopic

Jesse Katz’s Los Angeles magazine story about breakout L.A. Dodgers star Yasiel Puig’s journey from Cuba to California is getting the movie treatment: Brett Ratner and his RatPac Entertainment nabbed the rights to turn the story — published only weeks ago — into a film.

Katz’s article chronicles Puig’s attempts to leave his home country of Cuba, including getting caught up in a Mexican drug cartel and being held captive by them for nearly three weeks. Now, Puig is a wildly successful Dodger with a seven-year contract. READ FULL STORY

The nasty curveball of '42': Alan Tudyk puts an unexpected face on racism


Fans of Suburgatory and Firefly know actor Alan Tudyk as the actor with an open face and daft smile while the audiences that saw I, Robot remember the humanity he invested in a character of man-made machinery. This weekend, however, the audiences that sat down in the dark for the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 saw a startling new aspect of the 42-year-old actor’s craft. Playing Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman, who more than any other character in the film embodies the angry face and venomous voice of mid-century racism in America, Tudyk taunts Robinson (newcomer Chadwick Boseman) with a relentless geyser of vile and humiliating epithets.

“The way Brian saw this role and the reason he wanted me in the role [was] he didn’t want a straight-up villain,” says Tudyk, who has been good friends with writer/director Brian Helgeland since working together on the medieval adventure A Knights Tale. “He didn’t want the kind of the guy that everybody sees come on screen and the minute they see him they say, ‘Oh, I hate this guy.’ He wanted somebody that might be funny. If you read up on it and go back, the people who knew Ben Chapman really liked him, they thought he was a good guy. He wasn’t viewed as a villain. When he comes up out of the dugout and yells all these insults, there’s a lot of it that he’s doing to entertain his players and it has this schoolyard quality to it: ‘You doing a little dance for us, ‘Jangles? You can do it, can’t you? You can dance, you got rhythm.'” READ FULL STORY

FIRST LOOK: Clint Eastwood back on screen in 'Trouble With the Curve' -- EXCLUSIVE


Clint Eastwood is never out until he says he’s out.

Following 1992’s Unforgiven, the actor and filmmaker ended his storied Western career, and that was years after closing the book on Dirty Harry.

When he made 2008’s Gran Torino, and hinted he might be done acting altogether, and seeing as he was 78 years old then, it seemed very likely. He’d already quit performing for every filmmaker except for one ­ — himself.

But when his longtime cinematic sidekick Robert Lorenz took the helm of the family baseball drama Trouble With the Curve (in theaters Sept. 28), the iconic actor was persuaded to step in front of the camera once again — with another director behind the camera for the first time in almost 20 years.

All right, batter up! Check out the first photos of Eastwood’s return to the screen. READ FULL STORY

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