Hollywood Playbook: Friday's Top 5 Stories

The United States Navy Loves Michael Bay's 'Last Ship'

Judging from this Los Angeles Times article, director Michael Bay's longstanding and positive relationship with the American military is paying off in a large way for his new TNT series "The Last Ship," which premiers this Sunday. 

The high-concept, 10-part series costs somewhere around $2.5 million per episode and uses not one but two active Naval destroyers while in production. 

Even throughout the Bush years, Bay's films gave our military and the men and women who protect us, the respect they deserve.  As upset as Hollywood makes us, one of the biggest and most popular directors (and now a television producer) is proudly and openly pro-American. 

Don't miss "The Last Ship" on TNT this coming Sunday. I certainly intend to tune in, if possible.


L.A. Times Upset about  'Last Ship's' 'Nationalistic Triumph'

In the kind of pan you would expect from the Los Angeles Times, the left-wing outlet summarizes its butthurt this way:

Pyrotechnics and nationalistic triumph over stereotypical foes (the Russians are, not surprisingly, at it again) will take you only so far. "The Last Ship" may indeed deliver the cure, but for it to survive, audiences need to care.

The reviewer's primary complaint is that "Last Ship" isn't character driven like "Game of Thrones" or "Walking Dead," which seems like a silly complaint when you are talking about a 10-part action series that attempts to bring a blockbuster dynamic to television. 

I hate to break this to the L.A. Times, but I don't think Michael Bay & Company are going for a "Game of Thrones" or "Walking Dead" vibe. The most-watched series on television and in the world is "NCIS," which also is nothing like "Thrones" and "Dead."


How L.A. Mayor Garcetti Botched the Hollywood Tax Credits 

The L.A. Weekly believes eager beaver Los Angeles Mayor Gil Garcetti got ahead of himself in declaring victory in his lobbying of Gov. Jerry Brown to push a whole lot of corporate welfare for Hollywood.  

Perhaps there are other explanations as well. Jeff Millman, Garcetti's spokesman, declined to weigh in on why the mayor's prediction had failed to come true. Instead, he chose to focus on the future.

"Mayor Garcetti is pursuing this as standalone legislation," Millman said.

Indeed, the tax credit expansion is still very much alive, even though there's no funding for it in the budget. The state Senate is expected to hold a hearing on the bill next week.

Such a dirty business. It's not  bad enough the rich and powerful who run Hollywood use their films to insult who we are and push to raise our taxes and energy prices through their dishonest product. On top of that, with these tax credits, those of us who make a whole lot less money than Harvey Weinstein also get to pay for that privilege -- and do so against our will with our hard-earned money being taken from us through government coercion. 

Garcetti might have botched it, but as this story makes clear, that is only for now. In the end, the wealthy always find a way to convince the government to do their bidding by screwing the rest of us. 


‘Better Call Saul’: ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff Gets Second Season at AMC

"Better Call Saul," the much anticipated prequel to AMC's "Breaking Bad," will debut sometime in early 2015 with ten episodes. The network must be thrilled with what they have so far seen. A second season of 13 additional episodes has already been approved. 

That's a good sign we are not getting "After M*A*S*H," a fear series creator Vince Gilligan admitted to having. Of course the series was supposed to premiere this November, but from what I'm reading, the push to 2015 was about AMC's lack of new series for next year.


It's Official: There Will be 5 New 'Star Wars' Films

With the anouncement today that "Looper's" Rian Johnson will write and direct "Star Wars" 8 and 9, that brings the total number of new "Star Wars" films in active development to 5. On top of those two we have JJ Abrams currently in actual production on 7 and two additional "Star Wars" spinoffs with "Chronicle‘s" Josh Trank and "Godzilla‘s" Gareth Edwards taking over as directors.

As long as I'm not reading the words "George" and "Lucas," all is right with the world.


Quick Hits

Ben & Jerry’s Announces Two New ‘SNL’-Themed Flavors

Warner Announces Diamond Luxe Anniversary Edition Blu-rays 

Critics’ Choice Television Award Winners (Complete List)

'Bourne 5′ Rumor Update: Producer Says Matt Damon Will Not Return


Final 'Dawn of the Apes' Trailer

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