Hollywood Playbook: Thursday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Thursday's Top 5 News Items

AT&T Bids to Become as Big as Comcast/Time Warner Cable

Should the government approve the merger between Comcast and Time-Warner (and after Comcast spent billions buying Democrats, that’s likely to happen), that would give Comcast close to 30 million pay TV subscribers. If AT&T gobbles up DirecTV, that giant would have 26 million pay TV subscribers.

If both mergers go through, you are looking at two multinationals controlling roughly 50% of the pay television systems in this country.

Remember when Democrats pretended to oppose big business, mergers, buyouts, and takeovers?

The Wall Street Journal:

Acquisition of DirecTV would give AT&T a national footprint in pay television at a time when the telecom company sees video delivery as core to its future. An acquisition would allow AT&T to offer bundles of wireless and TV services, and could give AT&T new ways to deliver video to its mobile and broadband customers.

AT&T’s interest in owning a satellite television provider has been speculated about for years. The telecom carrier has held talks with both Dish Network Corp. and DirecTV in recent years, according to people close to the situation.

AT&T already has a partnership with DirecTV to sell its service in areas where it offers broadband but doesn’t offer its U-verse television service.

It’s really about bundling … about giving AT&T more leverage to sell more Internet subscriptions with a DirecTV package. After being juiced already by Comcast and Verizon, that should make Netflix nervous.

Bundled cable is affirmative action for wealthy, low-rated leftists like Stephen Colbert, Morgan Spurlock, and Wolf Blitzer that is paid for by the working and middle class. And Big Media is not going to go down to “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” without a fight.

A guy from Charter Cable was here today dealing with some tech issues. He told me that Charter is experimenting with a wireless modem that will send cable to every TV in the house via streaming. Cable knows  this is the future and is doing everything they possibly can to catch up.


Peaches Geldof Died of a Heroin Overdose: Report

You ask a hundred smart, wise, experienced people what they would want in life, and 90% or more would want everything Peaches Geldof had: Youth, health, beauty, prosperity, a dream career, and a family of her own.

Peaches Geldof was 25, famous, thin, lovely, wealthy, made a living as a writer/artist, and had two young children.

We keep being told by our popular culture that being a Peaches Geldof is the key to happiness: be beautiful, young, thin, arty… Have everything!

What hole was this poor young woman who “had everything” trying to fill with heroin?


Step away from the MTV.


“People Are Discovering You Can Lose Money On a $500,000 movie.”

The quote above is from writer/director Paul Schrader who probably just lost money on a $500,000 movie he funded through Kickstarter. “The Canyons” starred Lindsay Lohan, and along with that piece of stunt-casting and the explicit sex scenes (her co-star was a porn star), the film got all kinds of free media hype.

“The Canyons” grossed $57,000.

Think about that: Lindsay Lohan, Paul Schrader, free publicity, and a porn star couldn’t put this one over $60,000.

Now filmmakers like Schrader are chasing the Streaming Bandwagon. Instead of hawking a spec script, everyone has an eight-episode “event series.”

I miss the halcyon days of the independent film movement, which died in a fit of nihilism and conformity-disguised-as-envelope-pushing more than a decade ago.

It is all about television now. Enjoy it while you can.


Wrong Question About Clint Eastwood’s Son Scott

Clint Eastwood’s son Scott just landed his first lead role in “The Longest Ride,” another adaptation of another Nicholas Sparks novel. The Los Angeles times asks, “Scott Eastwood may have inherited his father Clint’s good looks, but what about his acting talent?”

It is very hard for me to believe Fox would hand anyone a lead role if they couldn’t at least act. That includes someone with the last name Eastwood.

Therefore, the only question that matters about Scott Eastwood is … is he cool like his old man?

Cool as in Man with No Name cool; Michael Caine in “Get Carter” cool; Denzel Washington in everything cool; pre-army Elvis cool; Robert Mitchum cool; Richard Roundtree cool; Jim Brown cool; Joe Namath cool; Steve McQueen cool; Elliott Gould in the 70’s cool; Bogart cool.   

Hollywood has completely suffocated cool under a pile of generic meterosexuality. Cool as I define it is dead in cinema. And I define cool as a man who can wear a fur coat and look like he can kick your ass.  

Movies desperately need to bring back masculine cool. If Scott Eastwood has that kind of cool, great. If not, then he is just another good looking, well-sculpted log on the fire of meterosexual Hollywood nepotism.


Criterion Streams On Hulu-Plus

Laugh at me for not already knowing this, but I was just about to write something complaining about Criterion’s Bluray prices when I came across this.  

Criterion has 800 fantastic titles available to stream if you already subscribe to Hulu Plus.  

Those of you interested in “Wages of Fear” after all this talk about “Sorcerer,” that title is included.  

Someday I want to take a two-week stay-cation to do nothing more than watch Criterion and Warner Archive streaming.



Quick Hits

Will Netflix and Amazon’s Push Into Original Series Hurt the TV Business?

’24: The Complete Series’ for just $79.99

Elvis Presley Biopic Developing with Baz Luhrmann in Talks to Direct

Celebrating Jerry Seinfeld’s Birthday With His 10 Funniest Quotes

Black star, white ceiling: Why can’t Lupita Nyong’o find a role worthy of her?



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