Friday Call Sheet: Roku Revolution and How To Watch 'The Wire'

Friday Call Sheet: Roku Revolution and How To Watch 'The Wire'

STREAMING REVOLUTION: FOX NEWS (SORT OF) AVAILABLE ON ROKU

Received a ton of helpful emails about Roku, which is this gadget right here. Once I cancel my satellite provider at the end of the contract, I will definitely be looking into this. It’s not the same Fox News you get on cable, but it’s an online version, so you will at least know what’s going on.

People are also telling me that some sports are already available through Roku and that it’s just a matter of time before the NFL shows up.

That would solve my last problem.

Like I said, eventually content providers, including the NFL, will have to go where the people are. They’re not going to lose millions of customers in the stubborn hope we come to our senses and go back to the evil that is bundled cable.

I read somewhere that Roku just sold their millionth unit. That’s a lot of eyeballs not watching your product.

GARY ROSS WILL NOT DIRECT ‘HUNGER GAMES’ SEQUEL

Guess he’s already bored with the “Games” thing, so it’s not about the money.

NO LACK OF BUYERS FOR FAMILY FILMS ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

IMDB:

Family films continue to outperform on home video – the only bright spot on an otherwise dreary business. The latest evidence is the strong performance of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which easily captured the top spot on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart for overall disc sales and Blu-ray Discs. No. 2 on the list: another family film, the Easter-themed Hop[.]

I wonder, though, how these sales compare to, say, 5 years ago.

WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO WATCH ‘THE WIRE’?

David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” is peeved that the show, which was always on HBO’s cancellation bubble, is now more popular than ever with fans. He wants to know where the hell we all were five years ago. This answers him pretty perfectly:

Simon’s also pinpointed a fundamental issue with how we look at television that’s worth being taken seriously:  Television coverage skews hugely toward the recap, toward looking at shows episode by episode instead of by season or, in Simon’s views, per run.

It makes sense — after all, that’s how TV is made, and that’s how we watch it. But it definitely shortchanges series built around a larger vision (a luxury most don’t have). You wouldn’t watch a half-hour of a film, review it, watch another 30 minutes, and write another review, and so on. If Simon sees “The Wire” as a 60-hour whole, it’s easier to understand his annoyance with anyone who watches five episodes and thinks they get what he’s trying to say.

I first saw four or five episodes of “the Wire” after it had been off the air and when DirecTV announced it would run the entire series, but only at the rate of one episode a week.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t wait. The series was so involving, I ended up buying the boxed set of all five seasons and watching them all over just a few weeks.  

It was the same thing with “24.” One episode a week drove me crazy, so I would wait for the season to be released on DVD so I could sit down over the course of a weekend and feast on the whole thing.

We don’t watch television the same way anymore. Even if I had AMC, I wouldn’t watch “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” every week. I would DVR the series and then watch it in a few sittings.

By the way, those of you who haven’t seen “The Wire,” need to. Extraordinary television.

P.S. Simon has since apologized for being so cranky.

SCHWARZENEGGER CALLS LAST ‘TERMINATOR’ AWFUL

“Terminator: Salvation” wasn’t just awful, it was heartbreakingly awful. Probably the worst third act I’ve seen in 10 years.

That said, I’ll bet “Triplets” is worse.

‘SKYFALL’ EXTENDED FEATURETTE; TRAILER ATTACHED TO ‘MEN IN BLACK 3′

Genius marketing of both films.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

[Chevy] Chase was back to host again in 1985 and seemed to piss off literally everyone. He made fun of Robert Downey Jr.’s father (“Didn’t your father used to be a successful director? Whatever happened to him? Boy, he sure died, you know, he sure went to hell.”) and was relentlessly hateful to Terry Sweeney, suggesting that SNL’s first openly gay cast member star in a sketch where they weighed him every week to see if he had AIDS. “So then he ended up having to apologize and actually coming to my office,” Sweeney says. “He was really furious that he had to apologize to me.”

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

Every Easter season I watch a superb three-part documentary about the life of Jesus Christ. “Jesus – The Complete Story.” Some years ago, I recorded it off the Discovery Channel and have yet to see anything better. The approach is not from a religious or dogmatic point of view, but from a historical one. Using archeology, the Gospels, ancient history not written by Christians, and historical context, the doc makes a logical and compelling case that Jesus is who He said He was.

A great example can be seen in the first part, “The Early Years,” which not only offers a biological explanation for a virgin birth but also explains that, in that region of the world during the first century, it was a suicidal move for a fledgling religion like Christianity to claim that the Messiah was the product of an illegitimate birth. In other words, why would the Gospels say something like that if it weren’t true?

In spots, the documentary is challenging and does raise some tough questions, but the intellectual honesty is apparent in every frame.

Other than that, I’ll be watching my new Blu-ray of “Ben-Hur,” my amazing Blu-ray copy of “The Ten Commandments,” and of course “The Passion of the Christ.” If there’s a time, I’ll throw a little “Jesus of Nazareth” on the pile.

Last Easter the wife and I attempted to Watch “Jesus of Nazareth”, only to have our neighborhood put on lock down after a cop was shot in the streets (two blocks from our house) and the shooter was loose in the area. Helicopters circled all night and things were, as you might imagine, a bit tense.

And now you know why I own unregistered firearms and no longer live in Los Angeles.

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COMING SOON TO HOME VIDEO

ROADRACERS: On April 17th, Director Robert Rodriguez’s first studio film and US film debut of actress Salma Hayek, ROADRACERS, releases on Blu-ray! It’s greasers (David Arquette, John Hawkes, William Sadler) and fast cars with high-speed action. Bonus material includes Director’s Commentary and 10 Minute Film School with Robert Rodriguez.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

 

SCHWARZENEGGER AND STALLONE’S “THE TOMB” ADDS NEW CAST MEMBERS

“X-MEN” SEQUEL TO SHOOT IN JANUARY

THE 25 GREATEST FOX COMEDIES IN THEIR 25-YEAR HISTORY

THE BEST MOVIES ABOUT DRUNKEN WRITERS YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T SEEN

JIMMY SMITS JOINS FX’S “SONS OF ANARCHY”

PRODUCER GAVIN POLONE: WHO REALLY DETERMINES THE FATE OF ASPIRING SCREENWRITERS?

TRAILER FOR SIMON PEGG’S “A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING

WHAT WE LOSE WHEN WE LOSE VIDEO STORES

MODERN TV SHOWS AND THE CHARACTERS THAT STEAL EVERY SCENE THEY’RE IN

NO SURRENDER IN FRENCH ‘ASSAULT’ ON TERROR

10 NOTABLE COMEDIES IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

FAMOUS ACTORS IN THEIR FIRST ROLES

THE RAUNCHIEST COMEDY MOVIE POSTERS (SFW)

10 TV SHOW QUESTIONS THAT NEVER GOT A STRAIGHT ANSWER (SPOILERS)

10 WEAK MOVIE CHARACTERS WHO BECAME INCREDIBLE BADASSES

VIDEO ESSAY: FAMOUS FACES IN THEIR FILM DEBUTS

JAVIER BARDEM TALKS BOND BADDIE FROM “SKYFALL” SET

THE 10 MOST MEMORABLE “SCOOBY-DOO” VILLAINS

THE ULTIMATE LIST OF MOVIE SOUND CLICHES

10 MOST RIDICULOUS USES FOR THE INTERNET IN MOVIES

MOVIE THEATER ETIQUETTE: 1910 – PRESENT

 

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CLASSIC PICK FOR SATURDAY, APRIL 7

Watch “The Seven-Ups” (1973) on Netflix Streaming. It’s sort of an unofficial follow-up to “The French Connection” with the co-star of that classic, Roy Scheider, headlining this gritty detective story. It also gets my vote for the best car chase ever put on film.

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As I said on Twitter earlier today…

…I’d like to wish my  Jewish friends a Happy Passover, my fellow Christians a Happy Easter, and you atheists the best of luck.  

See ya’ Monday!

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