THE CALL SHEET IS BACK AND HERE TO STAY
I don’t think I have to explain why this column was suspended for two weeks. The least of it was the training and launch of this awesome new site — which we hope you love as much as we do.
One thing that has obviously changed is that we no longer have all of those marquee links up top, which I know many of our friends will miss. Please do keep sending in those links and I will be happy (if appropriate) to add to the linktacular below.
Essentially, what Netflix is doing is organizing its television content by network which, of course, will give it the look of a cable package, but where the programming is on demand and blissfully commercial-free. Obviously, this is a very attractive way for Netflix to present its content and make expensive cable packages look even less necessary.
Hollywood has to be reeling. Netflix zagged on them in a big way by going after television content. The studios were all freaked over the misguided fear Netflix was cutting into DVD sales of their feature films, so they zigged on that front with self-defeating 28 and 56 day waiting periods, that only decrease the urgency and visibility of new titles. But while Hollywood was slitting their own wrists to protect their lousy films, Netflix went for the throat by grabbing television content. What the studios fear now, and rightly so, is cord-cutting — is people cancelling their cable packages because Netflix Streaming offers so much.
This is a real threat to the studios because cable bundling, the dark art of forcing cable customers to pay for packages that include a ton of channels we never watch, is a money-printing machine.
Is there any part of that headline that doesn’t look like a bad idea?
This is a story about the moves Channing Tatum and all those around him are making to turn him into a star.
What exactly is it about Tatum that could accomplish that? Like most “leading men” thrown at us today, he’s criminally generic and uninteresting. He has plenty of muscle but will always look boyish, and so what we have here is Hollywood proving the definition of insanity by trying to make work what didn’t the last 900 times.
Hollywood’s stopped looking for the next Brando, Eastwood, McQueen, Mitchum, or Newman. It’s always the next Ryan Phillippe, Orlando Bloom, and Shia Le-what’s-his-name. You know, because those guys put butts in seats.
Meanwhile, dramatic television is going through a Golden Age, and I’ll bet you money that part of the reason for that is due to casting. Look at the men and women who star in the programs that have captured America’s imagination — and not just scripted television. Some of the most popular reality shows around are also cast the same way.
It’s all about grown-ups — fascinating, complex, mature, and interesting adults.
Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is one few things (if not only thing) hipsters embrace that lives up to its billing. Written over sixty years ago and published a few years later, up till now it’s been considered impossible to adapt into a feature film, and if you’ve read it you understand why.
The trailer linked above doesn’t give me much hope that the essence of the novel, its spirit, has been captured. And that’s what “On the Road” is really about — not the plot, the characters, or even the situations. It’s about being young and dumb and a little pretentious, but also FREE in that way you can only be free in America.
If anyone’s incapable of grasping that concept, it’s neo-fascist, State-worshipping Hollywood. Hope I’m wrong about the film, but if not, another screening of “Easy Rider” might be in order.
It’s about the liberty, man.
Hopefully we will soon get similar news regarding that other awful “green” — “The Green Lantern.”
LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING
Spent my first day off in weeks watching a pile of review screeners. Nice work if you can get it, right?
SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR
CLASSIC PICK FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 13
10:00 PM EST: 20,000 Years In Sing Sing (1932) — When his girl commits murder, a hardened criminal takes the rap to protect her honor. Dir: Michael Curtiz Cast: Spencer Tracy , Bette Davis , Arthur Byron. BW-78 mins, TV-PG, CC.
Look at that cast and director. You probably haven’t seen this film but you should.
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