Hollywood Playbook: Monday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Monday's Top 5 News Items

Another *Yawn* Alec Baldwin Meltdown

Just when you think being rich, handsome, enormously talented, married to a beautiful young woman and the father of a new baby might help Alec Baldwin find some inner-peace and stop him from baring his ass to all of America, he goes and does it again. Maybe it’s a piece of performance art and Baldwin really isn’t in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Or maybe Baldwin really is such an insecure crybaby that he let a fly-weight like Shia LaBeouf own him on Broadway.

Other than blaming Breitbart (among others) for his litany of self-inflicted wounds, Baldwin’s riding atop a unicorn with this particular flight of fancy:

I know we all had to move on because [“30 Rock”] is Tina Fey’s show and Tina had worked herself to death. She’s a mom with two kids.

Pure fiction. “30 Rock” was canceled because nobody watched it. It should have been canceled after the third season but NBC offers affirmative action programs for rich, white liberals like Fey and Baldwin.

Contrast the crybaby, all-about-me classlessness of the ridiculously blessed Baldwin to Liam Neeson, a man who lost his beloved wife in a terrible skiing accident just five years ago…


Liam Neeson: I Thought ‘Taken’ Would Go Straight-To-DVD

With all that is going in with the IRS, FCC, and ObamaCare, you would think “60 Minutes” might use their time for something more important than a profile of a movie star. But it is what it is and as a result Neeson comes off as a centered, decent guy who still mourns his wife and is legitimately surprised over his surge to middle-aged movie stardom.

What started that surge was 2008’s “Taken,” which Neeson says he thought would go straight to video. Instead the action-thriller made a bajillion dollars.

Moviegoers are and always have been hungry for simple, satisfying action films starring masculine men.

At 61 years of age, Neeson is enjoying the same kind of career Charles Bronson fell into during his early fifties in the 1970’s. If he’s anything like Bronson, Neeson has another decade in him and we should all thank the movie gods for that.


Comcast, Netflix Cut Deal to Keep Streaming Streaming

Last week I covered the news that some Netflix subscribers were and are having their Streaming service interrupted (sometimes to the point where it’s unwatchable) due to Internet providers (many of whom are also bundled cable providers competing with Netflix) not offering the broadband necessary to effectively stream. Internet providers resent the amount of bandwidth Netflix eats up and want some sort of compensation.

Personally, as much as I hate these bundled cable profiteers, I don’t find that unreasonable, and Netflix seems to agree. Netflix just entered into a payment agreement with Comcast, one of the biggest Internet providers in the country — and one that is about to get bigger if the FCC approves their merger with Time Warner Cable.

Early reports indicate that not a lot of money changed hands, at least not enough to hurt Netflix’s bottom line. And that makes sense.

Internet providers do not hold all the cards in this arrangement. Streaming customers who cannot stream are going to be unhappy with their Internet providers, not Netflix. They are paying for Internet service and expect it to work.

My first month back in North Carolina I had a terrible time with Netflix Streaming and it was my cable/Internet company who heard from me, not Netflix. To their credit, the company could not have been more helpful and responsive.

How can Internet companies sell a service to customers and then not provide it?


Capsule Review: Ron Howard’s “Rush”

Director Ron Howard’s racing drama “Rush” is new to DVD and a big disappointment. The story ends pretty well, but the racing scenes and the overall film are so choppily edited you keep waiting for both to dig in, settle down, and get going.

Almost a half-century has passed since John Frankenheimer’s “Grand Prix” (1966). As a consequence, you would think Howard would have all kinds of history and new filmmaking resources at his disposal to add something new to his race scenes. All he does, though, is put the camera in weird spots, chop up the editing, and manufacture bizarre POV shots.

I have a home theatre primed for this kind of action — a 17 foot screen. The only reason I bothered to rent “Rush” was to have my sweet spot hit with the racing scenes. Bummer.

On a smaller scale, the film also fails to adequately explore the exotic world in which its set.

Redbox only charges $1.60 for the Bluray but it is just not worth your time. Check out “Grand Prix” instead.


HuffPo: House of Cards a Republican Fantasy World

Yes, it is — a fantasy world where Democrats and the DC media are all sleazes, unions are corrupt, and cutting entitlements is a good thing.

Using their own narcissism against them, Netflix brilliantly suckered much of the DC media and political establishment into promoting and praising this “Republican Fantasy World.”

Love you, Netflix!


Quick Hits

Poll: No One’s Seen the Best Picture Nominees

Who will be presenting at this year’s Oscars?

Sam Worthington Arrested After Scuffle with Photographer

NBC’s ‘Heroes’ to Return as Miniseries in 2015

Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Mission to Become Fox Movie


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Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC