Morning Call Sheet: 'Dead' Streams, Unions Rise, Theatres Whine

CINEMARK THEATER CHAIN REFUSES TO SHOW ‘TOWER HEIST’ AS A RESULT OF EARLY VOD PLAN

As I mentioned yesterday, Universal is closing the window on VOD even further, offering Brett Ratner’s upcoming “Tower Heist” just three weeks after its theatrical release on pay-per-view for $59.99.

Theatre owners see the writing on the wall and have now decided to further cut their own throats by becoming even more difficult to deal with. Cinemark is the third largest theatre franchise in America. Translation: a huge chunk of Americans won’t be able to see “Tower Heist” and will now get even more used to WAITING for home video.

With the convenience of Streaming as the future and people becoming more and more unwilling to purchase DVDs, Universal’s attempt to turn those negatives into a positive with this idea is a smart move.

If you have a family of four, $60 is cheap. If you and your buddies see everything new every Friday night, $60 is cheap. We’re not just talking about the ticket price, we’re talking about the obscene cost of food and drinks and gas and parking.

Furthermore, you don’t have to deal with obnoxious theatre-talkers at home, a phenomenon that’s only getting worse — and that, my friends, is solely the fault of crybaby theatre owners like Cinemark.

Cinemark refusing to screen “Tower Heist” is like buggy whip manufacturers refusing to sell Ford Automotive employees buggy whips.

UNIONIZATION SHUTS DOWN REALITY SHOW

Unions are muscling their way into the genre of reality series, an arena where they previously had no power. In a nutshell, the writer’s strike a few years ago forced producers to create reality shows, and then a beautiful thing happened. Audiences loved reality shows, producers discovered they were cheaper to produce and avoided the headaches (and paperwork) that come with unions (and stars), and all was right with the world. That is, except for the unions who suddenly found themselves left out in the cold.

Personally, until the federal government starts bailing out welfare queen private unions, I don’t really care what a private business does with a private union. Let liberal Hollywood stew in the juices of their own ideology.

NETFLIX TO STREAM ‘WALKING DEAD’

Someone told me they’ve already started streaming “Breaking Bad.”

One more reason to cancel cable.

My DISH contract has another year or so on it. After that, it’s buh-bye cable TV and hello Hulu Plus, Netflix Streaming, and Amazon Prime.

I may not get EVERYTHING through those services, but guess what? I will somehow survive. Yessir, me and cable are headed down to Splitsville.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINK-TACULAR

LATEST ‘TRANSFORMERS’ PASSES LAST ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ AS #4 BOX OFFICE FILM OF ALL TIME

MEET LOIS LANE

‘PRINCESS BRIDE’ CAST REMINISCES

AND THE SECOND CANCELLATION OF THE FALL SEASON GOES TO …

FIRST LOOK AT NEW FOX DRAMA ‘TOUCH’ STARRING KIEFER SUTHERLAND

IS ZORRO GETTING REBOOT TREATMENT?

BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD ARE BACK

LEGENDARY WRITER RICHARD MATHESON PEDDLING 150 STORIES FOR POSSIBLE MOVIE ADAPTATIONS

’90S SCI-FI MOVIES THAT SHOULD GET THEIR OWN TV SPINOFFS

THE 5 MOST DESPISED SHOWS ON TELEVISION

’50/50′ STRIKES A CHORD WITH CANCER PATIENTS

MOVIE POSTERS THAT RIP OFF OTHER POSTERS

FOR YOU SCREENWRITERS: WHY CONFLICT MATTERS

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CLASSIC PICK FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8

TCM:

2:15 AM EST: Little Caesar (1930) — A small-time hood shoots his way to the top, but how long can he stay there? Dir: Mervyn LeRoy Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. , Glenda Farrell. BW-79 mins, TV-PG, CC.

Terrific and still potent gangster drama with Robinson in a star-making performance. Along with “Public Enemy” and “Scarface,” this was the beginning of the original gangster genre that wouldn’t close until 1949’s “White Heat.”

Currently, I’m reading James Cagney’s autobiography, which he wrote in 1976. It’s somewhat disheartening to discover how little regard he had for his own early gangster films, including “Public Enemy,” “Each Dawn I Die,” and “The Roaring Twenties,” all of which are regarded as minor classics today.

But things were quite different in 1976. If these older films screened at all, it was late at night on independent stations that pummeled them with commercials. They were treated as cheap commodities, relics of the past and all but tossed off.

I wish Cagney would’ve lived long enough to see the resurrection his work has received thanks in large part to home video and Turner Classic Movies. Maybe through the eyes of others, he would see his historic work for the art it really is. At least, I would like to think so.

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-Please send tips/suggestions/requests/complaints to jnolte@breitbart.com

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