selling toys more important than selling movies

Things to thing of so you don’t have to think of a press conference the press isn’t invited to

if you can't sell something like this, you can't make a movie. great message.

if you can't sell something like this, you can't make a movie. great message.

We all thought it. We all figured this was how Hollywood worked. Now, we know for sure Hollywood doesn’t care about its movies, only its merchandising. Disney is putting anything that can’t sell a toy on the back-burner, even a potentially profitable franchise-type idea like The Proposal 2. The original terrifyingly made 10 times its budget, which at just about any other studio, would immediately call for a sequel and the resulting apocalypse. Not at Disney. Not anymore. Unless it’s a big-budget blockbuster or a movie that can sell toys, don’t bother pitching it to The Mouse. We’re treading on dangerous ground here. When there are only five studios in Hollywood in 2030 and we’re paying $35 to see a matinee of Transformers 22, you know where it started.

Since when is bringing on George Lucas as a fill-in director a good thing? Probably when he’s the producer. the last non-Star Wars thing he directed was American Graffiti — in 1973. That’s 37 years if you’re checking. 37 effing years! And those Star Wars movies he directed episodes 1, 2 and 3? They sucked! George Lucas sucks! OK, so maybe the third didn’t totally suck. But the first two did. I’d say he’s lost his touch, but it’s not off the wall to say he never had a touch. Just because he directed the original Star Wars shouldn’t give him a pass for the rest of his stinky career. The man’s a menace.

When we’re all sitting around on March 7, the day after the Oscars, complaining on how it was same-old-same-old, just remember the producers actually tried to make things interesting by bringing in Sacha Baron Cohen as the host. At first, that idea takes some getting used to. We’ve actually seen Cohen as himself about five times, ever, and they’re never funny. But think for a minute about what he could do, having Borat interrupt the acceptance speech of Sandra Bullock to try and kiss her, have Bruno on the red carpet and Ali G interviewing George Clooney in a pre-taped bit. That’s gold, and I’m just thinking off the top off my head. The chances of the Academy approving him were in the negative numbers.

There’s a good chance some people in the Poconos could be getting some money thanks to the end of an investigation into Bruce Springsteen ticket prices. Many of the tickets being refunded are from shows that were at Giants Stadium last year, so it’s pretty easy to believe some local Springsteen fans are entitled to some money. It’s safe to say Ticketmaster picked the wrong act to do this to. Springsteen fans are, for the most part, educated adults getting into their 40s and 50s who know how to navigate a ticket conspiracy. And if their master ever found out? Watch out. And that’s exactly what happened here. Some people raised a stink, knew enough to contact their local state and federal representatives, who knew enough to call the press, which got The Boss involved, and viola! Ticketmaster is on the hook for $1 million. Next time, Ticketmaster, stick to Britney Spears fans.

you made my childhood better.

you made my childhood better.

First, Christopher Nolan was brought on to mentor whatever Superman movie comes next. Now, James Cameron is acting as godfather to the Spider-Man reboot, but with what seems to be a better reason than Nolan. Spider-Man will be done in 3-D, and Cameron now sits atop the Hollywood perch as the King of 3-D. He will remain in that seat until someone does something better than Avatar, and that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. So if you want his help, you gotta go kiss the ring. Spider-Man director Marc Webb wants his help. It’s a better fit for Cameron because he doesn’t have anything coming in the pipeline, he was the first director to nearly bring Spider-Man to the big screen back in the 90s and Spider-Man has a release date. Meanwhile, no one knows if there will ever be another Superman movie, Nolan is finishing up his summer movie Inception and is starting on Batman 3 and he had no comic-book experience until Batman. the moves sound like a good idea for Spider-Man and iffy for Superman. And what’s with all this mentoring anyway? Does every comic book franchise need some kind of teacher? Will people be looking to Lynda Carter when the Wonder Woman movie comes to fruition someday?

Here’s what we’ve come to in this new age of rebooting franchises — you have to make sure people know your sequel isn’t a reboot. GI Joe 2? It’s not going to be a reboot. Whew! Hopefully that means we’ll get more sinister-sounding lines from Cobra Commander like, “Ha ha ha. You and what army?” Sweet! Don’t be surprised if you see Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in court in the next couple months trying to get out his contract to make the sequel.

sri and lloyd, sittin' in a tree ...

sri and lloyd, sittin' in a tree ...

Think in your head right now in very broad strokes about what you believe the next season of Entourage will include. Go ahead … take a couple seconds … got something? Good, now read this. Isn’t that exactly what you would have thought? Are these guys even trying anymore? Cut from the article must have been “E finds keeping with Vince’s needs and a new girlfriend difficult,” “Drama will be annoying and needy” and “Ari will dump his wife and marry Lloyd.” The last one I made up. But wouldn’t that be more interesting than the same kinds of plots seven years running?

Somehow, I missed this when it was announced in January, but no longer. Friday Night Lights comes back April 30, which is two-plus long months away. But it’s better than NBC’s original announcement last year of waiting until the summer to air it. The amount of respect NBC has for the show is just about nil since it has five new hours to program starting in a week or so and doesn’t want to bother bringing in FNL to fill that. Appalling.

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