Hollywood Playbook: Thursday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Thursday's Top 5 News Items

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Sequel in the Works

Chris Columbus is attached to return as director and Robin Williams is attached to return as star.

The original made a mint but the reason a lot of moneymaking drag-comedies don’t get sequels is due to the fact that it’s hard enough to figure out a conceit to get a guy in the dress the first time. What premise could possibly get an audience to buy into a second?  

It worked for Martin Lawrence’s “Big Momma’s House” because he was a cop who went undercover.

Serious question: Can anyone think of a way to put Robin Williams back in a dress that an audience would buy?

Maybe Mrs. Doubtfire could marry Yentl and it’s all a wash?


‘Heaven Is For Real’ is For Real….

My colleague Christian Toto reports that the new Christian film, “Heaven Is for Real” earned an incredible A+ CinemaScore and an impressive $3.7 million at the box office on a Wednesday.

The film earned north of $3.7 million on its Wednesday opening and is estimated to bring in at least $20 million over its first 5-days in theaters. Most major films receive at least 3,000 screens, but Heaven was released on 2,400.

That box office forecast could be conservative given the audiences’ reaction to the film so far. Movie goers 35 and under gave the film an A+ CinemaScore, while the film received an overall “A” from those who saw it opening day. …

Next month, another faith-friendly film will follow in Heaven’s footsteps. Mom’s Night Out, starring Emmy winner Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin and Trace Adkins, marries parental humor with a Christian perspective

But we’re losing the culture wars….


Let Me Introduce Leftists to the Concept of the Anti-Hero

Leftists, including Markos Moulitsas at the Daily Kos, FREAKED out about number 5 in my column titled “11 Reasons the Left Has Not Won the Culture War.”

Here is what I wrote in full:

5. While the rise of the weak, neurotic, man-child metrosexual-nerd dominates one forgettable movie after another, a new Golden Age in television has brought us an assembly line of flawed but masculine anti-heroes — “real men” protagonists like Jack Bauer, Don Draper, Walter White, Raylan Givens, Tony Soprano, the cast of The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, and even House of Cards. 

When push comes to shove, the same Left that often prides itself on being nuanced, forgiving, laid back, and non-judgmental, frequently expose who they really are — a bunch of uptight, uncool  Church Ladies who know nothing about popular culture.

If people like Moulitsas need to pretend that I called these fictional character “conservatives” or role models as a way to placate their pained souls, it’s a free country. But the fact that masculine men (my obvious and only point) are returning as major league cultural icons is very healthy for our society.

The Left has used culture for decades to diminish, marginalize, and ridicule masculinity. Nerds, metrosexuals, and weak-chinned man-children rule of much of film today. And a lot of TV. The Left hates masculinity because with it comes a sense of independence.

What I’m talking about there are iconic popular culture figures, and in that respect, thanks mainly to television’s Golden Age, masculinity is making a healthy comeback.

And can we stop with the pearl clutching over the fact that Walter White is a meth dealer and Tony Soprano is a mob boss.

The outside-the-law anti-hero protagonist is as old as storytelling. Read a book, for crying out loud. “Crime and Punishment” is around 150 years old and the protagonist is a murderer every bit as conflicted as Tony Soprano.

Over 80 years ago there was Jimmy Cagney in Public Enemy  — a stone cold killer with mommy issues. In the original Scarface, Paul Muni was a mercenary gangster with a thing for his sister. There’s Eddie Robinson in Little Caesar, Bogart in Petrified Forest and High Sierra and Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Dead End and, and, and… Gable in Manhattan Melodrama, Ladd in This Gun For Hire, Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Eiger Sanction, Escape from Alcatraz; almost the entire cast of The Dirty Dozen; The Wild Bunch, McQueen in The Getaway, Newman in Cool Hand Luke, Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, Nicholson, Fonda and Hopper in Easy Rider…

Except for boobs, blood, and the F-word, there is absolutely no difference between Tom Powers and Tony Soprano. They are the exact same kind of flawed, morally compromised protagonists capable of good and evil. 

These actors and the characters they created all live outside the law, all remain iconic, and therefore all make a huge impression on our culture.  And in that respect, I’ll take Tony Soprano over Johnny Depp any day of the week.

So… Take a few deep breaths before releasing your pearls.  

Wouldn’t want all you Church Ladies to get the bends, or anything.


The Quiet Radicalism of Nickelodeon’s ‘All That’

The Atlantic reminisces about the good old days when Nickelodeon’s “All That” slipped into your homes to subversively “radicalize” your kids:

Although All That was clearly designed as a SNL, Jr., of sorts, it wasn’t merely starter sketch comedy–it was an admittedly daring venture for a children’s network to embark on.

In its own right, All That was a weirdly subversive little show. It never explicitly crossed the line into “mature” territory, but it constantly flirted with the limits of FCC-approved family-friendliness. Take, for instance, the “Ask Ashley” sketch. A barely tween-aged Amanda Bynes (Seasons Three to Six), played an adorably wide-eyed video advice-columnist. Ashley (“That’s me!”) would read painfully dimwitted letters from fans with clearly solvable problems. (Example: “Dear Ashley, I live in a two-story house and my room is upstairs. Every morning, when it’s time to go to school, I jump out the window. So far I’ve broken my leg 17 times. Do you have any helpful suggestions for me?”) She would wait a beat, smile sweetly into the camera, then fly into a manic rage; emitting a stream of G-rated curses, always tantalizingly on the verge of spitting a true obscenity into the mix.

The greatest trick the Devil ever played was disguising himself as bundled cable.


Ugly American Oliver Stone Blasts China for Lionizing Mao

Oliver Stone is of course correct about China’s film industry lionizing Mao Tse-tung, another of history’s secular left-wing mass-murderers (along with Hitler and Stalin). But how in holy hell can a guy who made a film lionizing Castro and another lionizing Hugo Chavez go all Ugly American in China about the Chinese lionizing their own scumbag?

Man alive, this guy’s a piece of work.


Quick hits:

‘X-Men’ Director Bryan Singer Accused of Raping Teenage Boy In ’99

Cannes Line-Up Of Films No One Will Ever See

19 Movies at the Tribeca Film Festival This Year That No One Will Ever See

Valerie Harper: I Am Not ‘Absolutely Cancer-Free’

‘Gosnell’ Becomes Most-Funded Film To Date on Indiegogo




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