Wednesday Call Sheet: Damn the Shaky-Cam, Can 'Variety' be Saved?

Wednesday Call Sheet: Damn the Shaky-Cam, Can 'Variety' be Saved?

WHY WE’RE SICK – LITERALLY – OF THE SHAKY-CAM

The inspiration for the piece linked above is “Hunger Games,” which the writer says is almost unwatchable during the first hour thanks to the shaky-cam.

I’ve been complaining about this thing for years and had pretty much expected the chorus of complaints that have built up around me to finally kill off this noxious “style” once and for all. I also believe that the shaky-cam has something to do with the dip in DVD sales. It’s just another factor in turning you off from wanting to experience the film again and again. I know I would’ve watched “Battle L.A” a helluva lot more often were it not for the insane camera work.

So why does this infernal “style” survive?

Laziness and fear.

One of the hardest things to do on film is to stage complex scenes — especially action scenes — in a way that makes logical sense to the audience as far as geography of action and character go.  You can’t imagine the pre-planning classic action directors like John Sturges, Robert Aldrich, and Quentin Tarantino put into ensuring they have the shots necessary to make sense of everything.

What the shaky-cam does is allow for lazy action directors (like “Bourne” director Paul Greengrass) to claim that the confusion is intentional. This way they’re allowed to create action sequences without putting all the work into pre-planning or taking the risk that their attempt at staging a conventional action sequence might not excite.

The shaky-cam = “I meant to do that.”

‘MODERN FAMILY’ CAST SAID SEEKING BIG SALARY BUMPS FOR SEASON FOUR

Because he brings more joy into the world than almost anyone, Ed O’Neill should always get whatever he wants whenever he wants it.

IS THERE A BUYER THAT CAN STEER ‘VARIETY’ INTO THE FAST LANE?

From where I sit, Variety is struggling for three reasons.

1. They’re shoved too far up Hollywood’s backside. For all their flaws, The Hollywood Reporter and “Deadline Hollywood” do at times run stories counter to the narrative Hollywood would like told. There is a sense of holding Hollywood power accountable, or at least presenting an opposing viewpoint at those outlets, but not Variety

2. Variety doesn’t break much news. Most everything of theirs I come across reads like a publicist’s press release.

3. When you combine numbers one and two and then hide behind a paywall, you get forgotten.

Every day I peruse at least 30 sites and Variety isn’t one of them.

EARLY REVIEW FOR ANDREW KLAVAN’S “CRAZY DANGEROUS”

I was a fan of Drew Klavan’s long before we became friends. He is a superb writer whose latest thriller is available for pre-order at Amazon.

Looking forward to digging in myself and again want to recommend “Identity Man” to anyone who hasn’t yet read it. This one stayed with me long after I read the last page. Just don’t tell Drew I said that. He’ll become insufferable, which means his lovely wife, Ellen, will get mad at me … again.

‘GLEE’ SCOOP: WHOOPI GOLDBERG TO GUEST STAR IN PIVOTAL ROLE

Can’t wait to miss this.

WHY LEONARDO DICAPRIO DIDN’T ATTEND ‘TITANIC 3D’ PREMIERE

Well, we can all exhale now that this question’s finally been answered.

IS NETFLIX MOVING AHEAD WITH QWIKSTER?

At this point, would anyone care? I really think Netflix is prepared for and contributing to the end of DVD as the prime source of home video entertainment. All about the streaming now.

JAMES CAMERON TO RELEASE 3D MOVIE OF RECORD-BREAKING OCEAN DIVE

But of course he will.

JON STEWART FOLLOWS LAWRENCE O’DONNELL’S CHAIR INTERVIEW BY INTERVIEWING FLOOR FAN

Why do two shows watched by less than 1% of the population get so much media attention?

‘NCIS’ IS TUESDAY’S #1 PROGRAM WITH VIEWERS, ADULTS 18-49 AND ADULTS 25-54

But-but-but I thought that in order to attract this demo you had to be hip, edgy, liberal, and gay-friendly? Not buttoned-down, pro-military and patriotic.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Can we just give Lee Daniels an Oscar in exchange for a promise not to make this? He’s like the North Korea of directors. I wonder if we’ll find out that Nancy Reagan secretly had AIDS and an incest baby and couldn’t read. Maybe Gabourey Sidibe as the sassy Jamaican ambassador? “Ear me now – ya gwan take dem bandulu plane hout me bumbaclot hairspace if ya know what’s good far ya, BUH! BUH! Now whar me put me donut?”

‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE’  $10,0000 TAX DAY SWEEPSTAKES

TAX DAY IS APRIL 17, 2012 — YOUR MISSION: SCORE SOME CASH BEFORE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT SELF-DESTRUCTS:  Paramount Celebrates April 17th Blu-ray™ Debut Of “Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol: With Sweepstakes To Win $10,000.

The Impossible Missions Force may not be able to stop tax day from coming, but they can help soften the blow to your wallet.  In celebration of the April 17th Blu-ray and DVD debut of the smash hit film “Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol”, Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is launching a sweepstakes in which one lucky winner will receive $10,000 to use for any mission, including paying taxes or just buying something really, really cool.  From March 27th through April 24th consumers can visit www.MI4TaxDaySweeps.com to enter for a chance to win the cash prize along with a copy of the two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of “Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol.”  Visitors can enter one time each day throughout the sweepstakes period and receive additional bonus entries by tweeting (see official sweepstakes rules at www.MI4TaxDaySweeps.com for details).

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

Semi-Tough (1977)Truly underrated love story/sports comedy starring Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, and Kris Kristofferson.

Remember when jocks, good ole boys, and men who chase women and drink were portrayed as the good guys?

Not only is the film witty and frequently hilarious, thanks mainly to Reynolds’ superb performance, but the love story is intelligent and poignant and the barbs fired at narcissistic self-help movements and fascist new wave, find-yourself cults, really hit home.

Scientologists beware. Everyone else needs to rediscover this gem.

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COMING SOON TO HOME VIDEO

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HOOSIERS: Celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of the most beloved stories of inspiration and redemption: all new Blu-ray perfectly timed for father’s day coming on June 5, 2012.

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MEN IN BLACK 2: Just in time for this summer’s highly anticipated MEN IN BLACK™ 3, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is re-releasing hit films MEN IN BLACK™ (on Blu-ray™ with UltraViolet™) and MEN IN BLACK™ 2 (for the first time on Blu-ray™, and also with UltraViolet™) on May 1st.  Including UltraViolet™ on both Blu-ray™ releases allows owners to add the films to their UltraViolet™ Library, enabling them to download or instantly stream the films. Both editions feature new collectible packaging, and will include a sneak peek and movie ticket offer* for MEN IN BLACK™ 3, in theaters May 25th. In addition, the North American version of MEN IN BLACK™ 2 Blu-ray™ will include the new Men in Black playable PlayStation®3 game demo from Activision, where fans in North America can sample a level from the upcoming adventure before its May 22nd release. 

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

STEVE BOCHCO TO PRODUCE NEW FUTURISTIC DRAMA SERIES, “EVOLUTION”

THE FILM KUBRICK DIDN’T WANT SEEN

CHANNING TATUM AND MILA KUNIS IN TALKS TO STAR IN THE WACHOWSKI’S “JUPITER ASCENDING”

KENNETH BRANAGH NEGOTIATING TO DIRECT NEXT JACK RYAN PIC

THE MOST-RENTED DVD OF 2011 WAS “RED” STARRING BRUCE WILLIS

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN JOINING JOEL SURNOW’S ‘SMALL TIME’

VAL KILMER TO STAR IN ONE-MAN STAGE SHOW… AS MARK TWAIN

CHECK OUT A NEW RED BAND ‘AMERICAN REUNION’ TRAILER

10 CASES OF HOLLYWOOD MAKING THE SAME MOVIE TWICE – AT THE SAME TIME

VICTORIA PRINCIPAL UP FOR ‘DALLAS’ RETURN

AMC Developing Football Drama ‘The Real All Americans’

A LOOK BACK AT JAMES CAMERON’S UNFILMED “X-MEN” MOVIE

FOR YOU WRITERS: HOW TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE SUPPORTING CHARACTERS

LOOKING BACK AT THE MOVIE CAREER OF JIM BROWN

8 FORGOTTEN 80S LIVE-ACTION CHILDREN’S SCI-FI SERIES

THE INSPIRED INSANITY OF ‘THE GONG SHOW’

13 OF THE MOST PECULIAR TV APPEARANCES BY ROCK STARS

A LOOK BACK AT “NO MAN OF HER OWN” WITH BARBARA STANWYCK

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CLASSIC PICK FOR TODAY

“Mission: Impossible 4” Blu-ray screener arrived today.

Just thought I’d rub that in.

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