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Daily Call Sheet: Lucas Digs, Heigl Humbled, 'Red Tails' Reviews, 'Evil' Trailer, and UltraViolet a Hit?

GEORGE LUCAS INSISTS IT’S POSSIBLE TO ‘NUKE THE FRIDGE’

Dear George,

Please see: Holes, first rule of.

Signed,

America

People wouldn’t have cared anything about the fridge thing had the rest of the movie not been so awful… and stupid. I doubt very much an inflatable life raft works like a parachute when it’s filled with people and thrown out of a plane. But we suspended disbelief for that because the third act of “Doom” made us wet our pants.

THR REVIEWS ‘RED TAILS’

The experience of black American aviators in World War II gets a whitewash in Red Tails. The story of the 996 pilots (and some 15,000 ground personnel) who distinguished themselves in the air in the face of institutional racism is a great one and, at least, will come to the attention of more people due to this long-gestating project from Lucasfilm. But every character here is so squeaky clean, and the prejudice as depicted is so toothless and easily overcome, that the film feels like a gingerly fantasy version of what, in real life, was an exceptional example of resilient trail-blazing. The tale’s considerable built-in inspirational value will move and impress black audiences of all ages and would do the same to a wider public if sufficiently promoted, but the determinedly simplistic approach will curtail interest among any viewers hungry for some real history. The anticipated low interest level for this material overseas is cited as a major reason the project took so long to get off the ground.

Related: George Lucas Heading For a Big Disappointment with ‘Red Tails’

I feel for George Lucas. I like him a lot personally. But I’ve just read the long piece in yesterday’s New York Times about “Red Tails.” Also, I followed his interview on “The Daily Show.” He really feels that his movie won’t get a fair shake because it’s only got black actors. He also thinks if it fails, black directors will have a lot of trouble getting their movies made. Here’s the problem: “Red Tails” is a bad movie. White actors wouldn’t have changed that. Plenty of all-black or mostly black acted films do business and get accolades. “The Help” is a hit. Last week, the Critics Choice Awards gave Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress to two black actors-Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Has there been racism in Hollywood? Yes, indeed. But that’s not what this is about.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SCOTT HYMAN WHO JUST LAUNCHED ZEST PRODUCTIONS

Scott is one of my closest friends, an experienced feature producer, and someone who I only have good memories of working with in the deep, dark trenches of the indie world. He just went out on his own with a fascinating project:

The first project from the former Sneak Preview Entertainment exec is a screen adaptation of a 1974 young adult sci-fi novel, “House of Stairs,” by the late William Sleator.

TORONTO – Former Sneak Preview Entertainment exec Scott G. Hyman (500 Days of Summer) has launched a Vancouver-based production shingle, Zest Productions, to make movies in Canada.

The first project is a screen adaptation of a 1974 young adult sci-fi novel, House of Stairs, by the late American writer William Sleator, whose rights Hyman optioned.

Montreal-based genre writer Doug Taylor has been hired to adapt the story about five orphaned teens in a dystopian near future suffering psychological exploitation in a seemingly endless Escher-like space of stairs.

Taylor co-wrote the $25 million sci-fi thriller Splice, which starred Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, with director Vincenzo Natali.

The VFX-heavy House of Stairs project is to be shot in Montreal to take advantage of local tax breaks for live action/CGI hybrids, with packaging to take place in the second half of 2012.

More here.

KATHERINE HEIGL WANTS TO RETURN TO ‘GREY’S ANATOMY’

Humbled, no doubt. She had a real shot at being America’s new sweetheart and worked as hard to blow it as anyone ever has.

ULTRAVIOLET COPIES ATTRACT MORE THAN 750,000 HOUSEHOLDS IN FIRST 3 MONTHS

But will this sell more Blu-rays?

Following the launch of an initial 19 UltraViolet-enabled titles, more than 750,000 households have registered with UltraViolet to create and start using personal digital libraries.

The audience of registered users is expected to grow exponentially in the year ahead, as Hollywood studios offering UltraViolet films and TV shows, through UltraViolet-enabled DVDs and Blu-rays as well as electronic sell through (EST), plan to dramatically expand the scope and scale of UltraViolet.

750,000 people signing up for UV is news, that’s for sure. You do have to pro-actively create that account. But will enough people see the value in the technology to buy titles they might not have otherwise?

I doubt it.

However, will the customers find enough value in titles they already own to buy them again just to enjoy that technology?

We shall see.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ALBUM ‘WRECKING BALL’ SET FOR MARCH 6 RELEASE

My indifference is stoked and ready to go.

‘RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION 3D’ TRAILER PREMIERE

Counting. The. Days.

In theaters September 14 from director Paul W.S. Anderson, “The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, Alice (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.”

Mock Paul W. S. Anderson all you want, fanboys, but at least he uses a goddamn tripod.

COMING SOON ON HOME VIDEO: ‘WINGS,’ SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS

WINGS: Paramount Home Entertainment kicks off the studio’s centennial celebration in 2012 by releasing the inaugural Best Picture Academy Award winner WINGS for the first time ever on Blu-ray™ and DVD

January 24, 2012. Meticulously restored to give fans the chance to view the visually stunning epic in pristine condition, the 1927 World War I drama explores the devastating effects of war through the story of two men who go off to battle and the woman they both leave behind. Featuring groundbreaking aerial dogfights and epic battle sequences, WINGS is both a cinematic spectacle and a compelling story of love and sacrifice that effectively dramatizes the bitter wages of war. The historic piece of cinema stars Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Richard Arlen, and also features Gary Cooper in one of his first feature film roles.

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My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: The Friendship Express will arrive on DVD on February 28, 2012, from Shout! Factory in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. Featuring 5 pony-riffic episodes, Friendship is Magic: The Friendship Express will also offer bonus features such as Meet the Ponies, sing-a-longs and coloring sheets. It will also include “Yipper Caper,” the very first episode of the new Pound Puppies series.

WIN A FABULOUS TRIP TO A DESTINATION INSPIRED BY ONE OF PARAMOUNT’S CLASSIC MOVIES

HOLLYWOOD CA – Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) announced today that it will launch a monthly sweepstakes beginning in January 2012 in honor of the studio’s centennial celebration. Sponsored by Delta Vacations, the sweepstakes will give consumers the chance to win roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations for three nights in any of the 48 contiguous United States*.

Destinations may include cities inspired by some of Paramount’s classic films such as New York City where Francis Ford Coppola’s epic masterpiece The Godfather and the beloved classic Breakfast At Tiffany’s were filmed; Chicago, IL where Ferris Bueller had the best day off ever; San Antonio, TX, where the breathtaking drama Wings was filmed with a cast of thousands; or Hollywood, CA, setting and subject of Sunset Boulevard and home to countless film productions. Visitors to Paramount’s Facebook page–facebook.com/paramount–can enter every month throughout the year.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

Shakespeare In Love (1998) on Blu-ray. Review coming.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

FOX ORDERS SPY DRAMA FROM ‘SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES’ SHOWRUNNER JOSH FRIEDMAN

END OF AN ERA? KODAK FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

AUTHOR CORMAC MCCARTHY SELLS SPEC SCRIPT ‘THE COUNSELOR

‘JUSTIFIED’ SEASON 3 PREMIERE RATINGS DOWN VS. SEASON 2 PREMIERE

COMCAST IS ROLLING OUT ANYPLAY LIVE TV FEATURE FOR IPAD USERS

PETER BERG AND WILL SMITH STILL PLANNING A ‘HANCOCK’ SEQUEL

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER AND ITV TO SEARCH FOR ‘JESUS IN SUPERSTAR’ REALITY SHOW

DAVID KAJGANICH WRITING BEN AFFLECK’S ‘THE STAND’

INFOGRAPHIC: WHY THE MOVIE INDUSTRY IS WRONG ABOUT SOPA

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT’S ‘GOD BLESS AMERICA’ HITS VOD IN APRIL; POSTER DEBUTS TODAY

WHY NO FILM SHOULD BE CONSIDERED UNREMARKABLE

FRANK DARABONT DISCUSSES ‘THE WALKING DEAD’ EXIT & NEW SERIES ‘L.A. NOIR’

11 BEST FOREIGN FILMS OF 2011

WHEN ROMANTIC COMEDIES ROAMED THE OSCARS

THE FIRST SCI-FI MOVIE FILMED IN SPACE TO REMAIN UNDERGROUND

A LOOK BACK AT ‘LAST ACTION HERO

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CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY, JANUARY 20

TCM:

1:15 PM EST: Hasty Heart, The (1950) — Doctors try to get a flinty Scots soldier to open up to his comrades before telling him he’s dying. Dir: Vincent Sherman Cast: Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal, Richard Todd. BW-102 mins, TV-PG, CC.

Very touching, underrated film with an unforgettable performance from Richard Todd and nice support from Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal. Big themes here.

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Please send comments, suggestions and tips to jnolte@breitbart.com or Twitter @NolteNC.

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