Daily Call Sheet: When Comedians Go Dramatic, TV Ownership Drops, and Grinder Classics

TEN MEMORABLE NON-COMEDIC PERFORMANCES BY COMEDIANS

Jon Stewart? Really?

Pretty spotty list (“Southland Tales?”), but credit is owed for at least grabbing one film pre-1980 film, Jackie Gleason’s truly memorable turn in “The Hustler.”

My votes go to (in no particular order):

  1. Jerry Lewis: “King of Comedy.”
  2. Andy Griffith: “A Face In the Crowd.”
  3. Charlie Chaplin: “Monsieur Verdoux.”
  4. Richard Pryor: “Blue Collar.”
  5. Red Buttons: “Sayonara.”
  6. Mary Tyler Moore: “Ordinary People.”
  7. Don Rickles: “Casino.”
  8. Peter Sellers “Lolita.”
  9. Lucille Ball: “Five Came Back.”
  10. Tom Hanks: “Road to Perdition.”
  11. Jackie Gleason : Requiem for a Heavyweight.”
  12. Robin Williams: “Insomnia.”

There’s always been something missing in any dramatic performance given by Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Bill Murray and Jim Carrey. Steve Carrell is a little better, but all too often they substitute a kind of sad sack, put-upon pathos for actual character and dimension. With the exception of Williams’ terrific turn as a serial killer in “Insomnia,” think about how similar the performances of all these actors are when they go “dramatic.”

Predictable and boring.

DRAFTHOUSE FILMS ACQUIRES US RIGHTS TO ‘ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS’

This sounds fantastic:

The film, which will be helmed by Mark Hartley (Machete Maidens Unleashed, Not Quite Hollywood), follows Israeli-born cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who launched Cannon Films, an indie film studio in 1979 that went on to make over 120 exploitation films, between 1979 and 1989, dubbing itself the “seventh Hollywood major.”

Cannon Films brought Runaway Train (which received an Oscar nomination in 1986), Missing in Action, Death Wish, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Masters of the Universe and American Ninja to the big screen.

“Cannon Films was an enterprise that in many ways defined exploitation cinema of the 1980s,” said Alamo Drafthouse Founder/CEO and Fantastic Fest Founder Tim League, “We are thrilled to share their untold legacy with movie fans around the country.”

Minor correction: Cannon was only responsible for the first three “Death Wish” sequels, not the original, which was a legitimate studio film (Paramount).

There’s no doubt Cannon made a ton of crap, but they also made some genuine grinder classics: 10 to Midnight, Bloodsport, Death Wish 2, 3, & 4 (the second being one of my all-time favorite films), Delta Force 1 and 2, Invasion U.S.A., Cobra, Missing in Action 1 and 2 and the brilliant Runaway Train.

I’ll take any of these over 99% of the hyper-edited, overlong, metrosexual-driven junk Hollywood’s producing today.

The story behind Cannon should be a fascinating one, as all Hollywood stories are. But some of these movies deserve respect.

TV OWNERSHIP DROPS FOR FIRST TIME IN NIELSEN HISTORY

Seismic:

With services like Netflix and Hulu beefing up their streaming selections, it’s easier than ever to pull the plug on your TV and still remain in the pop culture loop — and increasingly, consumers are doing just that. According to a new report released this week by Nielsen Media Research, the number of U.S. households that own a television set will actually drop between 2011 and 2012, the first such decline since the company began tracking that statistic in 1970. The decrease is especially significant given that the number of households in the U.S. continues to grow from year to year.

Bigger news:

There’s one technology that isn’t doing too well, however. The number of households with DVD players is expected to slip down to 85% in 2012, down from its record high of 88%. Though that drop could be attributed to a number of different factors, including the economy, it also suggests that consumers are ditching discs in favor of Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and other digital services.

Hollywood is attempting to fight the inevitable by postponing for as long as they dare the release of new titles to Redbox and Netflix. Only problem is that there’s already so much out there to relish, so much to discover and re-discover on home video. Honestly, I think I can wait 28 days for “The Green Lantern.”

A LOOK BACK AT STANLEY KUBRICK’S ‘THE KILLING

Great, great, great heist-gone-wrong flick and a million years removed from anything Kubrick would do later in life. Part of Kubrick’s genius was casting. Who else would’ve given the great Sterling Hayden the lead role? And then there’s the amazing Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook Jr., Vince Edwards, Timothy Carey, and Coleen Gray.

As good the tenth time as the first.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

“Dark Knight” on Blu-ray. Need I say more?

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINK-TACULAR

ROBERT CONRAD DOES A WEEKLY RADIO SHOW

THE BEST & WORST MOVIE POSTERS OF 2011

GEORGE KENNEDY DISCUSSES HIS NEW MEMOIR, TITLED ‘TRUST ME

FINAL POSTER FOR ‘SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS

DIRECTOR SIMON WEST IN TALKS TO HELM RACING MOVIE ‘DUST AND GLORY

YIKES.

STEVEN SODERBERGH TO DIRECT THRILLER ‘THE BITTER PILL

NEW HI-RES STILLS FROM ‘PROMETHEUS’ PUT THEIR BEST (TERRIFYINGLY HUGE) FACE FORWARD

SCREENWRITER MARTI NOXON TO PEN ‘OUIJA’ AND, YES, IT’S BASED ON THE BOARD GAME

DANIEL RADCLIFFE TO PLAY ALAN GINSBERG IN ‘KILL YOUR DARLINGS

ANOTHER ‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL’ CLIP

HARRISON FORD AMONG ACTORS BEING CONSIDERED FOR ‘ENDER’S GAME

IS IT THE YEAR OF THE DUDE FILM?

CATCHING UP WITH DIRECTOR GEORGE MILLER

‘FULL MONTY’ DIRECTOR PETER CATTANEO TO BIRTH ‘BRIDGET JONES’S BABY’

MICHAEL IRONSIDE AND THE EVOLUTION OF HIS MISSING BODY PARTS

TOMMY LEE SUED BY FORMER ASSISTANT FOR (ALLEGEDLY) BEING A CHEAP, PETTY SLAVE DRIVER

VIDEO: LATEST TRAILER FOR TNT’S NEW SERIES ‘DALLAS’

THE 10 BEST ORIGINAL LUCASARTS ADVENTURE CHARACTERS

HEDY LAMARR: BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS BY DAY, INVENTOR BY NIGHT

7 MOVIES THAT PUT INSANE WORK INTO DETAILS YOU DIDN’T NOTICE

SOME ACTORS: BETTER OLDER THAN YOUNGER?

WHY IS NICOLAS CAGE ON THE COVER OF A SERBIAN TEXTBOOK?

10 TV SERIES ON NETFLIX INSTANT TO GET YOU THROUGH RERUN SEASON

11 HILARIOUSLY EMBARRASSING MOVIE APES

THE ZUCKER-ABRAHAMS-ZUCKER RULES OF FILMMAKING

THE TOP 10 BEST WRITTEN ANIME

PODCAST: HOW RESIDUALS WORK

TOP 10 MOVIE RIOTS

FIZZBIN AND 21 OTHER FICTITIOUS POP CULTURE GAMES

TOP 10 TV HORROR HOSTS

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CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2

8:30 AM EST: Crossroads (1942) — A French diplomat who’s recovered from amnesia is blackmailed over crimes he can’t remember. Dir: Jack Conway Cast: William Powell, Hedy Lamarr, Claire Trevor. BW-83 mins, TV-G, CC.

Never seen this, but quite the cast and a solid director.

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

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