Way too light on local links this week. What, is everyone still hungover?
In the absence of that, let’s hit some links:
Hollywood studios don’t like being taken advantage of. So when they built a business model in the early 90s that depended on DVD sales, they just didn’t expect things like Netflix, Redbox or OnDemand to become such a huge part of the marketplace and directly result in profit loss. Forget about what’s best for the consumer — these millionaires need money, dammit! So HBO decided to flip the bird to Netflix, and Warner Brothers decided to flip it to everyone in an effort to sell more DVDs. The HBO thing isn’t a big deal, it’s just a pain in the butt for Netflix. Normally they’d just say, “Well, we have to pay more so you have to pay more!” but after the year it had, if they decide to raise their prices again, there could be office firebombings. The Warner Brothers thing, however, is a big deal. Two months is a long time to wait for a DVD to become available for rental. The studio has 17 movies scheduled to come out in 2012, including two of the biggest — Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit. I’m sure Dark Knight will be out on DVD in time for a pre-christmas December release so that every 17-year-old in the country will say, “Man, I can’t get Dark Knight on my phone for another two months, I wish I owned it!” And every parent will be heading out to Best Buy to get one as a Christmas present. And if Hobbit comes out on DVD on, say, Memorial Day 2013, you’ll be waiting until August until you can rent it. That’s a pretty long time. So you have a couple choices: Suck it up and buy them when they come out, deal with it and just rent it when you can, or don’t ever buy a Warner Brothers DVD again and get your friends to do the same thing. I think I’m just going with option 2. Their company, their choice, even though they’re screwing me over royally.
Not signing stars to sequel deals is a risky measure. You can do it, pay the stars extra money because of it, and then get stiffed when Ryan Reynolds got an extra so-and-so million for Green Lantern so that he would sign on for two more sequels, only those sequels probably won’t be made. But then there are the times when you have something like Bridesmaids, a nifty little success story that came from nowhere, a movie no one possibly could have seen as a possible franchise. The stars probably aren’t signed on for sequels — including writer/star Kristen Wiig — and now you’re in a pickle trying to make a sequel to cash in on a potential franchise. If the speculation that Wiig doesn’t want to do it is because she only received a $100,000 bonus for the success of the movie, I’m with her. That amount is bad enough, but she was the star in just about every scene of the movie, and she wrote the sucker. So the chick from The Office who got about a half hour of screen time got the same amount as Wiig? Are you kidding me? What about Wilson Phillips, did they get a $100,000 bonus too? Wiig should be pissed. She should be crazy pissed. And if she can afford to tell Universal where it can stick the eight figures she might have been offered for the sequel, good for her. My respect for Kristen Wiig went up about 200 percent even though I didn’t even like Bridesmaids that much. If they make a sequel without Wiig, I’m boycotting it. And if Melissa McCarthy had any scruples, she would too.
No such problem with a possible Horrible Bosses sequel, another one of the surprises of the summer. Looks like everyone is locked and loaded for a second one. From the tone of that story, this looks like it is a case where the stars were signed for sequels on the off chance there would be one. Normally, you can’t just say in a story the stars are likely coming back when there are no contracts signed. So since they aren’t technically signed, but are under contract to make a sequel, it’s a wink-wink-hush-hush kind of thing where they’re not signed, but unless they wanna pay millions for breach of contract, they’re coming back. Someone else I have a new respect for is Jason Sudekis, who I don’t like that much on SNL but had a great cameo reprising his Always Sunny character Schmitty this year, and who I just found out is dating Olivia Wilde. I’m impressed.
Welcome to the suck of January movies. It’s pretty bad out there with another demonic possession movie as the only wide release of the weekend. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to go back and look, but what is this, like 10 years in a row where there is a demonic possession movie in January? Maybe it just feels that way. On the bright side, there is Oscar bait out there, so choose wisely, everyone.
Sorry, but it’s not cool that Van Halen is back together. It’s sad. How can fans look past the ridiculously toddler-like behavior of the band for the last two decades then go out and see them thinking this isn’t 110 percent about stealing your hard-earned money? That’s what it is, people. Stealing. The members of Van Halen are saying they don’t have enough money, so they want yours. Even though they hate each other and offstage probably can’t even carry on a civil conversation, they’re going out on the road to gleefully deposit your money into their bank accounts to buy a third yacht. And guess what? ”Van Halen” isn’t even back together because Michael Anthony isn’t in the band anymore. He was replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang a couple years ago. If you really want to bring Van Halen back again, wouldn’t this be the time for Eddie to apologize to Anthony and say, “I’m sorry for trying to start my own musical sweat shop and pushing my son into the business, thereby costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary. My bad. Wanna tour?” If that offer was extended, then I apologize. But I’m willing to bet a good chunk of change it wasn’t even considered as an option.
Further proof that the Poconos is becoming the per capita Reality TV Capital of the World — Gordon Ramsey is coming to Milford to remake the River Rock Inn’s restaurant. You laugh, but there will soon be a Real World: Saylorsburg coming in about 10 years. We can’t get through a week around here without someone calling us to tell us they are someone they know is about to be on a reality show. That doesn’t seem to happen anywhere else our size.