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Daily Call Sheet: Monty Python Returns, R-Rated 'Terminator,' Studios Losing Netflix War

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NEW ‘TERMINATOR’ FILM TO BE R-RATED

That’s the ONLY news on ‘Terminator 5.’ Nothing else is really happening, just a tweet from the woman funding the film.

This might be heresy, but I thought “Terminator 3” was damn good and could care less about the rating. The story was tight, held my attention, surprised at the end, and contained all kinds of superb action scenes. “Terminator: Salvation,” on the other hand, was utter crap; a third act right out of a Sy-Fy Channel movie.

Worry about the storytelling. Let that process take you to the rating, not the other way around.

MONTY PYTHON MEMBERS SET TO REUNITE FOR SCI-FI COMEDY ‘ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING

“Life of Brian,” “Meaning of Life,” and “Holy Grail” are all brilliant, but something happens to these guys as they get older. They lose their comedic edge and just get meaner towards “safe” targets, and an obvious political correctness seeps into their work:

“a group of aliens who endow an earthling with the power to do ‘absolutely anything’ to see what a mess he’ll make of things — which is precisely what happens. There’s also a talking dog named Dennis who seems to understand more about the mayhem that ensues than anyone else does.”

Who knows where this could lead, but let’s hope that self-importance is off limits. As a Christian and Catholic, it’s an honor to get my butt kicked by the boys in the trio of films listed above because the films are clever, not mean-spirited, avoid preaching, and come from a less fascist time when it was still okay to make fun of everyone.

Because liberals ruin everything, that’s just not the case today.


SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AUCTIONS OFF MOVIE MEMORABILIA

I’ve walked through many a studio prop and wardrobe warehouse, which is just as delightful as you would imagine. What’s amazing is how cheap, fake, and worn out everything looks in reality and how perfect it looks on a television or movie screen. Some of this stuff goes back to the Golden Age — suits worn by Cary Grant, gowns worn by Irene Dunne — and yet it might show up on “Law and Order” the following week.

I’ve never understood why the studios don’t track down the history of every dish, chair, hat, and rubber gun, and auction this history off. You would think there would be a market for it, a market for a piece of Hollywood history.

Back in 1989, I came across a shirt John Wayne wore in one of his films. It was for sale at a store in Disney World for only a couple of hundred bucks. That’s still a lot of money, but at the time it was a fortune. I still should’ve bought it, though, and wish I had.

‘LOCKOUT’ TRAILER: GUY PEARCE BREAKS INTO SPACE JAIL

Well, this sounds promising:

Guy Pearce stars in the film as a man wrongly convicted of conspiracy and espionage, who is offered his freedom in exchange for a big task: break into an orbital prison that has been overrun by inmates, in order to rescue the president’s daughter (Maggie Grace). That premise alone has a throwback action movie feel to it (in the best possible way).

This can only go two ways: Awesome or suck.

The good news is that Guy Pearce has finally put a decent amount of weight on. For a while there he looked like someone Sally Struthers might lose sleep over.

NETFLIX: DVD IS DYING

In a nutshell, Netflix is reporting that streaming subscriptions are up and DVD subscriptions are declining and won’t stop declining. This, after the studios enacted a 28-day wait period and are about to increase that wait to 56 days. But here’s /Film’s bizarre conclusion:

All of this suggests a power shift away from Netflix back towards studios, as Netflix accepts less than favorable DVD deals. And that power shift cements the idea that Netflix doesn’t believe in DVD as a media any longer, with all its priority going towards streaming media and original content.

What!?

Where’s the context? Today the number-one DVD rental retailer is Redbox, an outlet the studios hate as much as Netflix and one that is under the exact same 28 to 56-day wait period as Netflix. Sure, you could say that the power shifts back to the studios if the studios were seeing a bump in DVD sales, but they aren’t. DVD sales have continued to decline since these wait periods were enacted.

The only way you can say the studios have the power again is in the same way a worker has the power to go on strike. But that worker isn’t making a salary and the company is suddenly discovering that worker is more obsolete than they originally thought.

More and more of the customers are deciding that the days of purchasing crappy moves are over and so are the days of paying more than a buck or two to rent a crappy movie.

And how much of this is a political statement; is Middle America hating Hollywood back? I don’t know about you, but every time I Redbox or Stream, it feels like I’m sticking a finger in the eye of Hollywood — and it feels pretty good.

We like Redbox and we love Streaming. In the meantime, the studios are stomping their feet and cutting their own throats under the mistaken belief they hold some kind of leverage with these waiting periods, when they don’t.

As the 2011 data proves, wait periods did not increase DVD sales, did not stop Redbox from becoming the top rental outlet in the country, and did not stop Netflix from rebounding through… STREAMING.

Bottom line: We don’t need your stinkin’ movies, Hollywood. We can wait. In fact, we’re happy to wait. Those aren’t chips in your hands, that’s shit. Your product is shit and you can’t carrot-and-stick us with shit into purchasing shit or renting shit.

Want to see even more throat-cutting? Read on…

WARNERS WON’T ALLOW NETFLIX CUSTOMER TO WAIT-QUEUE UPCOMING RELEASES

Talk about petty:

There’s also a weird wrinkle in the Warner Bros. delay window plan. The LA Times points out today that Netflix uses won’t even be able to add WB movies to their disc queues until a 28-day window is over. That’s a pretty strange thing; as most Netflix users are aware, discs that are not currently available can still be queued via the ‘save’ option, which helps keep user queues current.

Obviously, Warners is under the strange belief that if one of their new titles is in our queue, sitting there until the waiting period is over, we’re more likely to wait during the waiting period — as opposed to running out and buying the title.

This is what you call “flailing.” You can smell the desperation.

Out of sight, out of mind. We’re not going to run out and buy a lousy title because we’re not allowed to queue it up in advance. WE’RE GOING TO FORGET ABOUT IT.

The customers are at Redbox and Netflix and the studios are pitching and promoting their wares elsewhere as though they’re in possession of a high-end specialty product like Bose radio. But it’s not Bose. It’s shit.

Hollywood has spent the last ten years self-destructing with lousy product, a fetish with metrosexuals that killed the movie star, insulting over 60% of their customers, and betraying their country during a time of war. And today the chickens have come home to roost because the industry doesn’t have the product quality or the goodwill necessary to survive this market shift.

You’ve already lost, Hollywood. It’s just a matter of how many more casualties you want to take.

In the meantime, we’ll be at Netflix and Redbox. If you want to stop by, great. If you don’t, nobody cares. Go watch “30 Rock,” you’ll feel better.

Idiots.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

Thank heaven the GOP debates are over for at least a month.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

R.I.P. JOHN LOWRY, RENOWNED RESTORER OF CLASSIC FILMS INCLUDING ‘SNOW WHITE’ AND ‘CITIZEN KANE

INTERVIEW WITH OUR OWN ADAM BALDWIN WITH OUR OWN CARL KOZLOWSKI

STEVEN SODERBERGH’S ‘SIDE EFFECTS’ GETS CATHERINE ZETA-JONES BUT LOSES ITS FUNDING

TOP TEN STEVE MARTIN FILMS

HANGOVER 3′ STARS NEARING DEALS FOR BIG PAY INCREASES

LISTEN TO SOME OF MICHAEL GIACCHINO’S SCORE FOR ‘JOHN CARTER

10 BADASS ADVERSARIES WORTHY OF FIGHTING LIAM NEESON

JOSS WHEDON’S SCREENWRITING HURDLE: DOES ‘THE AVENGERS’ HAVE TOO MANY CHARACTERS?

THE ARTIST’ PROVES WE HAVEN’T ALL FALLEN UNDER THE 3D SPELL

BLOOPER REEL FOR ‘THE ARTIST’ ONLINE

MEET THE EXPERTS WHO PUT THE SCIENCE IN HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE FICTION

10 SHOWS THAT WOULD BE MUCH BETTER IF THEY KILLED OFF A MAJOR CHARACTER

HOW INDIE MUSIC HYPE CANNIBALIZES ITS YOUNG

WYLD STALLYNS! THE BEST FICTITIOUS MOVIE BANDS

6 MYTHS EVERYONE BELIEVES ABOUT SPACE (THANKS TO THE MOVIES)

6 GREAT TV SERIES TO MARATHON

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COMING SOON TO HOME VIDEO

Meet the Browns: Season 5: The Brown family will have you rolling on the floor with laughter as Lionsgate releases Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns: Season 5 on DVD this spring. Starring the 2011 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, David Mann (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family) as Mr. Brown – a kind father and friend who tries to keep his family together despite the ongoing craziness – the laugh-out-loud comedy also stars Tamela Mann (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family), Lamman Rucker (Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?), Denise Boutte (Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?) and Juanita Jennings (Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls). Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns: Season 5 DVD is complete with 20 episodes across three discs.

Mr. Brown’s “retirement home” started as a complete fluke – a result of a misunderstanding followed by a happy accident in a neighborhood full of lively and unique individuals. While Brown might not be the brightest bulb in the house, he’s managed to create a combination safe haven and circus act under his “Brown Meadows” big top. The new “family” members – young and old – who now call Brown Meadows home hail from all walks of life, but more importantly, they share trials, tribulations and lots of laughter. Meeting the Browns will surely make you a part of this fun family too. –Pricing: DVD – $29.98

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Crew 2 Crew: Break out the dance moves as Lionsgate debuts Crew 2 Crew on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand this April. Inspired by true events, the drama tells the story of one person’s love of hip-hop dance. With the old school vibe of Dirty Dancing, the film stars Jordan Bridges (TV’s “Rizzoli & Isles”) and Brooklyn Sudano (Alone in the Dark II) with Kate Nauta (Transporter 2). The Crew 2 Crew DVD includes an alternate ending and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Luca (Andres Londono, Kingdoms of Grace), longs for more than his small town can offer him. Inspired by his love of hip-hop dance, he joins a break dancing troupe that allows him to travel the world in pursuit of his passion. But soon Luca struggles to choose between his love of dance, and the love of his family and girlfriend. –Pricing: DVD – $26.98

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CLASSIC PICK FOR SATURDAY, JANUARY 28

TCM:

12:00 AM: Soylent Green (1973) — A future cop uncovers the deadly secret behind a mysterious synthetic food. Dir: Richard O. Fleischer Cast: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young. C-97 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format

I’ve read that the last scene The Mighty Edward G. Robinson would ever film was his poignant death scene in “Soylent Green.” The legendary actor was dying in real life, everyone knew he was dying, and it was quite an emotional day’s work. And it’s really Robinson who makes the film work, especially his scenes with Heston that glow with human warmth.

Imagine how much better off today’s film industry would be if they had even a quarter of the star-power that was around in 1973.

The great thing about DVD is that today’s lack of star-power is Hollywood’s problem, not ours. Whenever we want them, they’re just a click away.

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