Hollywood Playbook: Tuesday's Top 5 Stories

Netflix Streams TV Shows and Bad Movies In Ultra HD 4k

Netflix just added the full  "Breaking Bad" series, "Smurfs 2," and "Ghostbusters2" to their Ultra HD 4K streaming service. 

Doesn't this seem like overkill as far as picture quality? Who needs Ultra HD over HD? How much better can the picture get, especially on a television screen that isn't 100 inches wide?

The only reason I ask is due to all the problems Netflix and some of their customers are having with Internet providers. All this bandwidth for what? On my 52-inch TV I can hardly tell the difference between DVD and Bluray. 



Disney Brands Generate Record $40.9 Billion from Licensed Merchandise in 2013

That's forty billion with a "B" -- a capital "B." And not just forty billion but forty billion in a year. One year. A single year. 
Franchises, sequels, reboots, and remakes don't just mean less risk for bigger rewards at the box office, the merchandising market is even more lucrative. If you can get "Toy Story 4" in theatres, you are not just guaranteed big box office, but also more sales of toys that have already proven popular and lucrative. 

Every incentive in the world is there for studios to pump out the tried and tested -- the familiar, the unimaginative retreads we all claim to hate but flock to. 


What Kind of Film Protagonist Will Bowe Bergdahl Make?

Partnering again with screenwriter Mark Boal, director Kathryn Bigelow (both won Oscars for "The Hurt Locker" and reteamed for "Zero Dark Thirty") is developing a feature film about Bowe Bergdahl, the likely Army deserter and POW just released by the Taliban in exchange for 5 of their top commanders. 

Bigelow is not alone, though, because two Bowe Bergdahl films are better than one, right? 

Fox Searchlight is also developing a feature, having gone so far as to option a Rolling Stone article about Bergdahl. Todd Field, the director behind the excellent "In the Bedroom" and dreadful "Little Children," is attached. 

My only question is who would be the protagonist? It can't be Bergdahl, whose story has been met with universal revuslion throughout America. Even those defending Obama's decision to replenish the Taliban's leadership in exchange for such a character are done attempting to portray Bergdahl as anything close to a hero. 

Will the protagonists be the negotiators; one of the bureaucrats behind the swap? Are we any happier with them?



Sly versus Mel In New 'Expendables 3' Trailer
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The third and apparently last chapter of  the "Expendables" franchise arrives August 15. This new trailer delivers a lot more than the last -- which was all swagger, star-spotting, and explosions (nothing wrong with that).
It looks as though it's on between Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson, who plays the villain.
That could be pretty interesting. 
I enjoyed the first, barely remember the second... If the movie delivers what the trailer promises, it could be the best in the series. 


The Short Brilliant Ride of Steven Seagal

Grantland takes a look at the early career of Steven Seagal, which was really something until it all came crashing down in 1994 with "On Deadly Ground." Seagal would flirt with a comeback in 2001 with "Exit Wounds," but the movie wasn't a big enough hit to change anything and Seagal's weight was noticably not under control.

Has there ever been a movie star like Seagal who reigned for 5 years before crashing so hard he was never-ever able to get up again? 
It's not like he disappeared. He just lives in the direct-to-video bin.

I think it was the weight gain. Had he lost the weight, moviegoers might have been more forgiving and so would producers and studios. Unfortunately, He's no longer believable as the toughest and fastestguy in the room anymore, so it's crappy scripts and low budgets. 
I don't think he even got a cameo in a single one of those "Expendables" flicks.

But we'll always have those 5 or 6 classics that still play as well today as they did 25 years ago.



Quick Hits

Billy Idol to Release First New Album in Nearly a Decade


Jason Momoa to Play Aquaman in 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice'


Will ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Deleted Scenes Make For a Better Movie?


‘Resident Evil 6′ Has a Working Title; Planned as the Last Movie


Billy Bob Thornton on Why ‘Fargo's’ Format Rules: ‘Now I Can Make a 10-Hour Movie If I Want To’



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