Daily Call Sheet: New James Garner Tribute Site, The Truth About the Box Office Blues, and 'Lost' Ruined Everything

JAMES GARNER’S DAUGHTER OPENS TRIBUTE SITE TO HER AWESOME FATHER

The Mighty James Garner’s daughter, Gigi Garner (a successful talent manager in her own right), has opened a tribute website to her father. She seems to be updating it fairly regularly with a number of terrific family photos and excerpts from Garners’ new memoir “The Garner Files,” which I loved and reviewed here.

Please check the site out.

Anyone who’s been reading me for any amount of time (or who has seen my Twitter wallpaper), knows of my all-consuming affection for all things James Garner, most especially “The Rockford Files.” You can imagine how much this tweet meant to me.

Tell me how it gets any better than that. You can’t, because it doesn’t.

The only bad news is that if this photo on Ms. Garner’s site displays the actor’s real signature, that means I got robbed on Ebay.

Cue my well-rehearsed of-course-I-got-swindled-again Rockford face.

FINALLY: AN HONEST ASSESSMENT OF HOLLYWOOD’S BOX OFFICE BLUES

With all of Hollywood and most of their sycophant entertainment media blaming box office and DVD woes on everything but bad product, this is the rare break from that absurd narrative:


Basically, films aren’t the draw they once were. With streaming and cable and TV shows getting better and better, there’s a lot more competition now, and the longer studios ignore it and try to operate like they always have (releasing all their “smart” movies at the end of December, for instance), the more it’s going to continue to decline. Almost without exception, all the decent movies I saw this year were films that the distributors considered too niche for a broad audience and almost no one saw them, because they barely had a chance to. Meanwhile this week’s top three releases have a 2, 3, and 4 next to the titles, and all had concepts created in the 1960s or earlier. If films are going to compete long-term, they’re going to have to start giving the “niche” stuff that gets people excited about movies a chance to compete with the bland blockbusters that make money. There are only so many Dark Knights. The general public has a major ambivalence towards movies right now, and if it doesn’t get better soon it’s going to turn into a grandpa medium the way late-night TV has.

And let’s not forget Hollywood’s non-stop, 15-year assault against the 70% of their audience that isn’t liberal.

Goodwill is crucial to institutional brands and this industry has arrogantly worked overtime to squander almost all of it.

Chickens, meet the roost.

SIX MORE JAMES BOND FILMS FOR DANIEL CRAIG?

“Filming has gone very well so far and I’d love Daniel to surpass Roger’s record and do eight pictures,” Michael G. Wilson told the UK’s Sunday People. “Daniel’s been an absolute pleasure to be around because he takes the role so seriously. There’s really no one more passionate about making these films work than him – he’s a filmmaker’s dream.”

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY TRAILER ONLINE TUESDAY AT 7PM PST

Gentlemen, start your nerdgasms.

I kid because I love.

EVA GREEN EYES ‘300: BATTLE OF ARTEMISIA’

Ever since her memorable turn as Vesper in “Casino Royale,” I’ve been a fan. Unfortunately, Hollywood seems to be more interested in girls than women these days, and the ridiculously sexy and womanly Green hasn’t been in much.

Hopefully, everything will work out. Not that I’ll need another reason to see this.

NEW YORK TIMES BLAMES ‘LOST’ FOR EVERYTHING BAD ON TELEVISION

This is just silly:

A similar process is under way in the post- “Lost” television world. The first three seasons of “Lost” may have approached the imaginative charms of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, but the next three were nearly as awful as George Lucas’s catastrophic prequels. You could easily picture the stumped writers of “Lost,” helpless in the face of an ever-growing pile of unsolved mysteries, madly skimming Wikipedia entries on space-time geometries and black holes.

The show’s finale was the crowning disaster, the Scooby-Doo ending to end all Scooby-Doo endings. After hinting for years that their nonsensical mess would add up to something, not only did the producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof fail to address a tiny fraction of the trillions of mysteries they introduced, but they threw out the Lostpedia with the bath water, scrapping all of those riddles for the equivalent of Lucas’s teddy-bear victory dance: a celestial moment with the survivors, hugging and holding hands in the afterlife.

This is all ancient history — or would be, if not for the fact that the implosion of “Lost” was like a dirty bomb that made the world unsafe for serial dramas to this day.

The writer then goes on to blame “Lost” for what he sees as the sloppy execution of “Homeland” and “American Horror Story.”

First off, I caught “Lost” on DVD and while some individual episodes lacked (especially during the writers’ strike), as a whole I found the series and the finale very, very satisfying. This, I think, is the best way to watch programs that work like the old movie serials from yesteryear. Waiting a week and a full summer between chapters is a completely different experience than sitting down and devouring it like a good novel.

I haven’t seen “American Horror Story” or “Homeland” yet, but I have seen enough of Kelsey Grammer’s Starz series “Boss” and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (two series released after “Lost”) to argue that television’s current golden age is alive and well. The writing, acting and overall storytelling occurring on the small screen these days makes life worth living.

BROADCAST NETS DOWN, CABLE UP IN 2011

The major broadcast networks continued to see an erosion of their audiences in 2011, while cable networks saw theirs expand, according to TVbytheNumbers.com. The website said on Thursday that while ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC saw their total household audience decline 3 percent this year, the audience for ad-support cable as a whole was up 3 percent and the top ten cable networks recorded a 4-percent gain.

A+ ‘EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE’ MOVIE REVIEW

The largest issue I had with this film was figuring out how to describe the effect it had on me emotionally. It’s a crushing film that will leave many moviegoers in a heap, but I don’t look at it as an overly sad movie even though the level of sadness on display is undeniable.

‘SURVIVOR: SOUTH PACIFIC’ WINNER REVEALED

This show is still on the air?

MARSHALL FINE’S ‘DRAGON TATTOO’ REVIEW

Is Fincher’s film better than Niels Arden Oplev’s? Not really. It’s different; it’s probably as good as the Swedish version. But better? Nope, sorry – which brings us back to the issue of the movie as a commodity, rather than an artistic vision.

I’m not impugning Fincher’s intentions; I’m just saying that, as good as his film may be, it’s redundant and unnecessary.

Is it entertaining and well-made? Absolutely. For the audience that would never dream of seeing a foreign film, this movie will be the last word in “Dragon Tattoo” movie-making. And they’ll get a quality product.

‘THR’ REVIEWS JOLIE’S DIRECTORIAL DEBUT

Jolie deserves significant credit for creating such a powerfully oppressive atmosphere and staging the ghastly events so credibly, even if it is these very strengths that will make people not want to watch what’s onscreen. All the director’s decisions were taken in the interest of heightened verisimilitude, from working in the Bosnian language (an English-language version is available as well) to using as many authentic locations as possible (some in Bosnia, others in Hungary) and having cinematographer Dean Semler employ a combat-ready style.

SHERLOCK RETURNS TO THE BBC: ‘HE’S DEFINITELY DEVILISH’

Superb series. Season one is, I think, still on Netflix.

There’s so much good television these days, you can hardly keep up.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

A Christmas Carol” (1984) — Most people choose Alistair Sim’s 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” as their favorite, and for good reason. But after watching the 1984 television adaptation again last night, I have to say that George C. Scott is my favorite Ebenezer Scrooge. The Academy Award-winner’s interpretation is the most human and down-to-earth, which gives an added impact to those classic lines of dialogue we all know by heart.

Scrooge’s redemption scene is especially poignant in this version, which was directed by Clive Donner, the editor of the 1951 film.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

‘THE DINGO STOLE MY BABY! — PART DEUX’

BRAD BIRD GIVES AN UPDATE ON HIS EARTHQUAKE MOVIE, 1906

RIDLEY SCOTT TALKS ‘PROMETHEUS’

FIRST PHOTO OF SYLVESTER STALLONE IN ‘BULLET TO THE HEAD

‘HOMELAND’ SEASON 1 FINALE REVIEW

WILLIAM SHATNER IS COMING TO BROADWAY

‘DEXTER’ SEASON 6 FINALE REVIEW

PROFILE: PAM GRIER

IT TAKES A THIEF’: THE DVD DEBRIEF REVIEW

MAX VON SYDOW LOOKS BACK AT HIS WORK ON ‘FLASH GORDON’ AND ‘STRANGE BREW

RIDLEY SCOTT SAYS THERE WILL BE NO ALIENS IN PROMETHEUS

REAL-LIFE RUDY ACCUSED OF SCREWING INVESTORS OUT OF $11 MILLION

8 GREAT TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS

NEW FOOTAGE FROM ‘THE AVENGERS’ IN GERMAN TRAILER

WHY ‘PERSON OF INTEREST’ IS A SUPERHERO SHOW DONE RIGHT

REJECTED GREEN GOBLIN MAKE-UP TESTS FOR SAM RAIMI’S ‘SPIDER-MAN

100 GREATEST JEWISH FILMS

TOP 100 CULT FILMS

10 GREAT PERFORMANCES IN BAD 2011 MOVIES

MEET THE NEW POP CULTURE, SAM AS THE OLD POP CULTURE

JOHN WILLIAMS: THE LAST MOVIE MAESTRO

6 AWESOME MOVIE AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES AND THEIR REAL LIFE LOCATIONS

TOP 15 JAMES BOND DEATHS

REVISITING THE ‘LETTERMAN’ EPISODE FEATURING ANDY KAUFMAN AND JERRY LAWLER

A LOOK BACK AT JOHN FRANKENHEIMER’S ‘SECONDS

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CLASSIC PICK FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20

TCM:

12:30 PM EST: Age of Innocence, The (1934) — A young attorney risks his career for love of a glamorous divorcee. Dir: Philip Moeller Cast: Irene Dunne, John Boles, Lionel Atwill. BW-81 mins, TV-PG, CC.

This is a rare opportunity to see the first film adaptation of Edith Wharton’s 1920 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about an aristocratic New Yorker who meets the only woman he’ll ever love after it’s too late. However, I only recommend this as a rare curiosity.

While many films produced during the same Production Code-era (like 1936’s “Dodsworth”) were able to tell stories that covered similar themes of adultery and divorce in a mature and dramatic way, 1934’s “Age of Innocence” is pretty lacking. For starters, Dunne is miscast and the overall production is stagy and surprisingly slow moving for an 81-minute film.

This is in stark contrast to Martin Scorsese’s beautifully realized 1993 adaptation that captures the longing and loss of its source material as well as any film ever could.

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Please send comments, suggestions and tips to jnolte@breitbart.com or Twitter @NolteNC.

NOTE: There will be no Call Sheet tomorrow. I am taking a vacation day.

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