Hollywood Playbook: Monday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Monday's Top 5 News Items

1. ‘Noah’ Could Top Out at $110 Million

The folks at Box Office Mojo believe “Noah” could top out at $110 million or better in North America. A lot will depend on how it does next weekend. A brutal “C” from audiences and the arrival of the “Captain America” sequel this Friday are big hurdles to overcome.

With its production budget of $125 million and a marketing budget that has to be somewhere around $50 – $75 million, “Noah” will have to clear $400 million worldwide to break even.

If “Noah” is a success and encourages the studios to invest in more biblical epics, that would be awesome. If it encourages the studios to make more pagan films disguised as Christian epics (which is what “Noah” is) that’s not so good.  

My concern is that with “Noah,” Hollywood has cracked the code on how to undermine the Judeo/Christian faith while making a profit with the help of some duped Christian “thought leaders”: Use the awesome propaganda power of the motion picture to lead people away from God by telling them the Judeo-Christian faith is something it is not.

In the case of “Noah,” Satan is a happy camper this morning: Over the last ten days, throughout the world, millions have been told the dark lie that Christianity, or any religion based on the Old Testament, has a foundation seeped in environmental extremism and has nothing to do with leading a moral and charitable life as defined by the Ten Commandments and Christ’s 11th Commandment.


2. Help! These Bluray Prices Are Killing Me

My standard on purchasing movies is the following:

1. I won’t purchase Blurays that cost more than $5 – $7.

2. I won’t purchase DVDs that cost more than $3 — and then only black and white DVDs.

Very quickly: The reason I only purchase black and white films on DVD is because of the home theatre I built for myself last year. Black and white DVDs look every bit as amazing projected through my high-def projector as black and white Blurays. There’s no reason for me to upgrade. Sure, they look a little better on Bluray, but are still sharp and gorgeous enough on DVD.

Anyway, two color films I very much want to purchase on Bluray in order to see projected on my personal big screen (8′ x 17′) are “The Swimmer” and “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.”  Combined I’m looking at over $50 for two movies. Both are specialty prints, so I get the cost and why they will never be as cheap as “The Matrix.”



If y’all could use the comment section to help me rationalize the purchase, I’d appreciate it.


3. Instead of a “Passion” Sequel, Mel Gibson’s Aims for ‘Taken’ Comeback

According to AICN, Mel Gibson is going to attempt a comeback with a “Taken”- style action film.


Gibson has a Scrooge McDuck pile of money. Why doesn’t he make a “Passion” sequel? I’m not trying to be funny or crass. Seriously, why not a “Passion” follow-up based on the “Acts of the Apostles,” which is the story of how the remaining Apostles spread Christianity after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection,  and were then martyred.

That’s the movie I want to see, and no one could pull it off better than the creative force behind “The Passion of the Christ.”  


4. Daily Beast: Schwarzenegger’s Still a Movie Star

With the dismal failure of “Sabatoge” this weekend, the headlines are all about how Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback is over before it really began. The Daily Beast agrees that “Sabotage” was awful but still sees a movie star in the 66-year-old former governor.


His starring role in the upcoming “Terminator” reboot aside, I thought Arnold was perfect in the criminally underrated “Last Stand” and formidable in the hour of “Escape Plan” I saw before my flight landed.  

Late middle age has done nothing to diminish Arnold’s appealing onscreen presence. That means he just needs to find the right films. Forty years ago, John Wayne was still kicking ass in his mid-sixties, and just look at Stallone’s comeback.


5. William Friedkin Dead Wrong on ‘Faith’ and ‘Exorcist’ Sequels

William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of “The French Connection” who followed that up with “The Exorcist,” took a swipe at all the “Exorcist” sequels by claiming “they are rotten chunks of excrement because they are made by non-believers.


Granted, “The Exorcist III” (1990) doesn’t touch the origina, but it is no “rotten chunk of excrement.” Okay, that’s a subjective opinion. What isn’t subjective, though, is that “Exorcist III” was written and directed by William Peter Blatty, the devout Catholic responsible for the original “Exorcist” in both book and screenplay form.   

If you watch “Exorcist III” outside of the context of the brilliant original you are in for a horror treat with a few memorable chills and a strong sense of faith.

“Exorcist III” is no masterpiece, but it certainly doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with the other godawful sequels. 


Quick Hits

Steven Seagal Applauds Putin Over Crimea, Eyes Russian Citizenship

‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Will Be Film Trilogy

Orson Welles’ Camera, Scripts, ‘Citizen Kane’ Memorabilia Up for Auction

Insiders: Chelsea Handler Leaving E! When Contract Expires

Adam West’s Batman Pitches Vietnam-era U.S. Savings Bonds


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