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Daily Call Sheet: Mel Gibson Wants to Change Everything, ESPN Fights Back, True Crime-a-Palooza

MEL GIBSON’S FILM ‘GET THE GRINGO’ BYPASSES THEATERS WITH DIRECTV VOD DEAL

“Get the Gringo” is actually the new title. The film has been advertised as “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”

This is a radical move on Gibson’s part. “Get the Gringo’ will never see the inside of a movie theatre (other than some special screenings). Instead, 20 million DirecTV subscribers will have the opportunity to VOD the film for a very reasonable $10.99. Then, later in the year, the film will move to other VOD outlets and Fox will release it on home video.

The smartest move here is the price point. $10.99 is a very attractive figure for a brand-spanking new Mel Gibson action picture. You’re able to enjoy this in the comfort of your own home with the entire family. Also, the advertising is much cheaper. Everything is done through DirecTV, who has a stake in the success of the film, as opposed to mass media markets.

While “Margin Call” was also released in theatres, it still managed to gross a very impressive $4 million on VOD while in theatres, and that’s without the attraction of an A-list star in an action flick.

Crunch the numbers. 2 million buys, or 10% of DirecTV subscribers, equals $22 million. Toss in the subsequent VOD release and DVD and what you have here is a potential game changer.

Another brilliant move on Gibson’s part (his Icon produced) was to not allow himself to be put in a position where theatre owners could blackmail him. “Tower Heist” was a theatrical release that wanted to experiment with same-day VOD. Theatre chains freaked and threatened to not screen the film. Universal blinked and that was that.

By not putting himself in that position, Gibson can take this concept for a serious test drive, and while it may not be a rousing success, that won’t be the end for VOD. Others will simply learn from the experience and try again.

NEW ‘DEATH WISH’ TO BE SET IN LOS ANGELES

Details from the remake’s writer/director Joe Carnahan:

“I’m doing ‘Death Wish.’ But this version is a re-imagining of the book and set in present day Los Angeles. The L.A. of ‘Collateral.’ It’s on buses, cabs, metro trains. I want to show an unseen version of L.A. L.A. on foot. Prowling. Hunting. The vast emptiness of downtown.”

“Death Wish 2” (my favorite of the series) was set in Los Angeles, as well. Carnahan’s also cast Frank Grillo, but not for the lead.

‘G.I. JOE’ SEQUEL IS ‘BETTER THAN THE FIRST,’ SAYS CHANNING TATUM

There’s a low bar.

ESPN FIGHTS THE DIGITAL FUTURE

ESPN President John Skipper refuses to use any platform other than cable television:

Skipper says that ESPN is prepared for the growth of digital platforms. Since 2005 it decided that when it bought broadcast rights for games “we would acquire all rights for content on any devices.” But the sports channel doesn’t want to use digital platforms to take viewers away from cable and satellite. Distributors “pay us money for that. We’re not going to undermine (that) by giving it away to anyone else.” Still, the digital rights could give ESPN an edge over potentially muscular new competitors such as NBCUniversal’s NBC Sports Network. Over the next year ESPN will face “more competition than ever and new competition,” Skipper says.

Or NBC could go digital. Because that’s where the people will be.

Skipper also believes…

“… it makes sense to charge people for a bundle of channels that includes ESPN instead of paying for just the ones that they watch. “If people pay a la carte they will end up paying as much or more” than they do now.

As far as my cable viewing goes, thanks to Redbox, Netflix Streaming, and my personal DVD collection, I am down to Fox News and Packer games. My Dish contract, where I’m currently paying $50 a month for, expires in December, and I’m going to cancel it.

Am I alone with this sentiment?

NETFLIX: MOST PROFITS STILL COME FROM DVD-BY-MAIL

The by-mail DVD service is five times more profitable for Netflix than streaming, and yet Netflix is putting all its focus on streaming.

I wonder why.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IN TALKS TO PLAY CLINT EASTWOOD RIVAL IN ‘TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE’

Timberlake is a very good actor.

INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY CELEBRATES FOUR-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH ITS BEST-RATED MONTH

Because I refuse to pay the additional $30 required to up my Dish package to include Investigative Discovery (or AMC or TCM), I’m no longer able to enjoy this 24/7 true crime-a-palooza, but I eventually catch up to their programming on Netflix Streaming.

What I love about true crime docs is how fascinating the stories are. It’s a perfect mix of mystery, procedure, and insight into human nature — both good and bad. Even better, these non-fiction programs don’t come with the all soapy personal and agenda-driven stuff that clogs up too many narrative crime procedurals.

It’s also a very conservative genre. Law enforcement represents the competent good guys, evil is portrayed as frighteningly real through the perpetrators, and the heart of the story comes from the plight of the victims and the loved ones they leave behind.

You can’t watch these shows and oppose the death penalty. There be monsters and those monsters deserve to die. Not only is that almost always the point-of-view of the victims’ families, but the show itself stays out of the debate and lets the facts speak for themselves.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

In Time (2011) — Blur-ray screener. Review coming soon.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

QUESTIONABLE TREK VOL. 2 – ANDREW PRICE AND SCOTTDS DISCUSS ‘STAR TREK II

MGM REVS UP YET ANOTHER WRITER FOR ‘ROBOCOP’

READ AUTHOR DOUGLAS ADAMS’ FRUSTRATED LETTER TO DISNEY FROM 1999

007: NEW ‘SKYFALL’ PHOTO

WATCH TEST FOOTAGE FROM A PROPOSED ANIMATED ‘JOHN CARTER’ ADAPTATION FROM 1936

NEW PROMO BANNER FOR ‘THE AVENGERS’

WATCHMEN PREQUELS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED

HOW MUCH DOES A MEGA-PRODUCER MAKE AND SPEND?

NIKKI FINKE’S COURTROOM BATTLE WITH THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER SET FOR JULY, 2013

12 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT LIAM NEESON

THE 50 BEST USES OF SONGS IN MOVIES

‘GREEN ARROW’ TV SHOW CASTS ‘90210′ ACTOR IN LEAD

HUMOR: THE 2012 BEST PICTURE NOMINEES RECAST WITH DOGS

ADAM SANDLER TO HEADLINE AND CO-WRITE ‘CANDY LAND’ MOVIE

14 JAW-DROPPING OPENING TITLE SEQUENCES FROM MOVIES

THE 100 GREATEST NICOLAS CAGE QUOTES (NSFW)

16 FACTS ABOUT ‘FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF

INSIDE THE FIRST SCREENING OF ‘A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

20 FACTS ABOUT ‘FARGO

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COMING SOON TO HOME VIDEO

On March 6th, Shout! Factory will release TRANSFORMERS PRIME: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON on Blu-ray & DVD!! Fans and collectors can pre-order the DVD release of TRANSFORMERS PRIME: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON today! The Limited-Edition 4-Disc Blu-ray Collection (featuring the 96-page IDW graphic novel) is available for preorder exclusively on Amazon.com and ShoutFactoryStore.com.

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On April 10th, Shout! Factory, in association with Marvel Knights Animation, will release ASTONISHING X-MEN: DANGEROUS on DVD!! Fans and collectors can pre-order the DVD release of ASTONISHING X-MEN: DANGEROUS today! The DVD is available for preorder on Amazon.com.

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CLASSIC PICK FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2

TCM:

9:30 AM EST: Johnny Belinda (1948) — A small-town doctor helps a deaf-mute farm girl learn to communicate. Dir: Jean Negulesco Cast: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford. BW-102 mins, TV-G, CC.

Wyman won a Best Actress Oscar for her brilliant performance as an innocent deaf-mute put through emotional hell in this mature and very moving forgotten classic.

The most difficult role for an actor or actress to play is that of a wide-eyed innocent. When you look at Wyman’s performance here, Jennifer Jones in “The Song of Bernadette” (for which she won the Oscar), or Joan Fontaine in “Rebecca,” you can tell that one wrong move would’ve undermined the entire performance. There’s so much room for error in these portrayals because it’s so easy to slip into melodrama or sticky pathos — it’s so easy to want to communicate something “more” with a flash of “knowing” in the eyes.

But to pull a character like this off convincingly, to be able to hide the strings in a performance that relies almost completely on the eyes and buries so much of who the actor really is … that’s a real feat.

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

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