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11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - ABC's 'GCB': More Chri... · 0 replies · +21 points

I'd love to know the mindset of the suits at ABC who think that shorting the show's name to simply it's initials is going to fool anyone about the position the show is taking, especially with this interwebs thing being available all over the country, or so I hear.

ABC has to know just the title alone is going to alienate 50 percent of their potential audience. That might work for HBO or Showtime, which as pay services can get away with insulting a swatch of viewers because their programs have no advertising, but the show's rationale for being is in the same vein as all those military-bashing Hollywood movies that were made between 2005 and 2008. The idea isn't to make a profit, it's to gratify their own personal ideology and beliefs, which is kind of strange for a network that lives and dies on ad rates.

If ABC wants to keep it on as a sop to the bi-coastal trendies, that's their prerogative. but I'm sure whatever show or local newscast that follows isn't going to be happy trying to pull viewers back because some programming guy or gal wants to be popular at Hollywood and Upper West Side cocktail parties.

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Broadcast News' Predi... · 0 replies · +6 points

Hollywood's actually done some decent examinations/skewerings of the media in the past, but not for the same reasons conservatives skewer the media.

Ideologically, the big media and Hollywood remain in lockstep, but what allows Hollywood to point out the excesses of print and/or TV journalism is that because they are celebrities, some of those excesses happen to them -- the obsessive coverage to boost ratings or circulations, to the point that the truth often gets run roughshod over by the need to be as sensationalist and salacious as possible. So you can get a "Broadcast News" or Paul Newman's 1981 "Absence of Malice" that go after the big media based on some of the same concerns you hear people on the right have about the big media.

The problem is Hollywood's only situationally mad at the media when it's excesses annoy them. Unleash the same hoards to hype or fabricate stories about people they don't like (see Palin, Sarah for the best recent examples), and Hollywood is perfectly fine with the actions of the big media (and it would be fun to query some of the folks behind "Broadcast News" on what they think of network news coverage of the 2008 and the ongoing 2012 campaigns. My guess, other than a few invective-filled rants about Fox, they'd have no problem with how the media's done their job).

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - But the decision to debut the movie on March 10 remains interesting, to say the least, since HBO does have to set their schedules up months in advance.

The closest thing this resembles is all the companies (including at least a couple of Hollywood studios and/or TV networks) that months in advance made major preparations to broadcast from, or tie things in with, the 1980 Summer Olympics from Moscow, only to see Jimmy Carter ban the U.S. from participating because he suddenly realized the Soviets had snookered him by invading Afghanistan. That left a lot of people having invested a lot of $$$ holding the bag, and the same thing applies here -- HBO and all those liberal stars were already well into the process of making "Game Change" when Palin opted not to run for president, leaving them with a white elephant of a movie to try and market, and at a time of the year when debuting the movie makes no sense, unless you did it specifically to link it to the biggest primary day of the year that was to take place four days earlier.

Unless you're a rabid Palin-hater, why on Earth are you going to sit home on a Saturday night and watch this movie? Non-political junkies have no reason to care about Palin now, since she's only tangentially in the spotlight, with the focus centered on Romney, Santorum and Gingrich. With no rationale to go after Palin that they could hide behind if she were in the political campaign, "Game Change" is likely going to be the political version of "Mommie Dearest" -- the 1981 film on Joan Crawford that was so over-the-top awful that it was almost entertaining in its melodramatic ineptitude (the movie also set back the careers of many of the people involved, which due to the politics of the people involved, "Game Change" won't do. But it will come across as the equivalent of the political left's wet dream).

11 years ago @ Big Journalism - ESPN's Historic Racial... · 0 replies · +1 points

and connecting it to this story, Whitlock got into his own Linsanity kerfuffle last Tuesday after his joke tweet about Asian men's alleged, um, shortcomings, that followed Lin's buzzer-beater basket that beat Toronto.

Unlike the ESPN situation, Whitlock apologized and was neither fired nor suspended by Fox.

11 years ago @ Big Journalism - Keith Olbermann & Tomm... · 0 replies · +2 points

Given the way he's treated past girlfriends, Olby's a misogynistic loon who might actually believe his own hype about there being no rapes in the OWS camps (and if there were, Keith's probably convinced himself they were likely done by evil Republicans merely disguised as OWSers to ruin the good name of the movement).

Christopher on the other hand knows better both about the OWS camps and about Olbermann's instability and habit of throwing out fraudulent charges. But he's decided that since he ideologically agrees with most of what the OWSers stand for, he's willing to stand with Keith on this one and pretend that his side's street protesters travel the country on unicorns and crap rainbows, because not to do so would hurt The Cause. Deliberately denying reality is in a way worse than being batshirt crazy enough to demand that reality conform to whatever you believe at the moment, which is pretty much Olby's credo.

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - Big Movie Flashback: '... · 1 reply · +2 points

I started riding the No. 6 line to visit my relatives in Parkchester back in the early 1960s, when the old clunkers were brand-new, so I had fondness for them, too. But apparently you're going to get some of the older trains (at least the 1980s ones) back in a few years. I read a story that said because the MTA wants to computerize the Flushing line's signal and train operations systems, they're going to have to take the newer trains from the No. 6 and move it's 30-year-old cars over to the Lex.

At least they can realistically do the hostage set-up/escape plan in "Pelham 1-2-3" again. But I hate those damn bucket seats on the Flushing line.

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - Big Movie Flashback: '... · 3 replies · +4 points

Trivia about the remake -- Since they needed a single car to decouple, and the current subway cars on the Pelham Bay Park line are locked into five-car sets, they had to take one of the older NYC cars built in the mid-1980s that could be operated by itself and "apply make-up" to it to redesign the outside so it would look like a current No. 6 train. Too bad they didn't spent as much time working on the actual script.

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - Oprah Mag Sales Slump,... · 2 replies · +9 points

Jeez Louise -- Just type "Oprah network ratings problems" into Google, and the first link is to Forbes, while the second link is to the HuffPo and there are no links to News Corp. sites on the first page of hits.

If you're going to make a statement, at least fact-check your own claims before you post them.

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - Broadcast TV Veteran: ... · 0 replies · +11 points

On the other hand, if they had done the halftime show on MSNBC, MIA's gesture would have fit in perfectly with the attitude towards America of the rest of their lineup.

11 years ago @ Big Hollywood - Theater of the Absurd:... · 0 replies · +1 points

Part of the problem is Hollywood hedged their bets starting in the 1970s against a single theater getting stuck for 2-3 weeks showing a bomb by coming up with the multiplex concept, which was taken to the extreme in the 1990s when AMC Theaters unveiled the massive 24-screen movie 'palaces'. That way, even if AMC was stuck showing a turkey on 5-6 screens, there were still 18-19 other ones where they could make their money back.

But part of the cost-savings was via consolidation of both snack bars and rest room facilities. Get in the wrong theater all the way down near the fire exit, and not only is it a long walk to the snack bar (if the auxiliaries are closed) and the potty (ditto), but you're sharing them (i.e -- standing in line) with people from 23 other screens. No matter how comfortable you make it, you're not going to have the same level of accessibility as back when you had single-screen movie houses.

The theater owners don't want to go back to the single-screen concept, especially now with the number of crappy films exponentially higher than 30 years ago. At best, you might be able to segregate the types of movies into theaters showing those designed more for adult audiences and those catering the the teen cell phone texting crowd, but that would probably only work in the biggest cities, since again, the theater owners don't want to end up booking a bunch of 'artsty' films of limited interest or a bunch of teen flicks that turns the theater into something resembling the island from "Lord of the Flies".