Every now and then I have one of these busy days at work, so in lieu of anything actually interesting or substantial, here are some random thoughts:
Gil Cates has been hired to produce the Oscars once again when the broadcast airs on Feb. 27. This will be his 12th time. That's a record. Nobody has done it more. I'm just wondering, though – does the Academy pay any attention that every time Cates produces, the show is boring as shit? I don't care how many times it gets Emmy nominations; all anybody does after the Oscars every year is complain about how dull the show is. Excuse me, but isn't Hollywood supposed to be a "creative" community? Is the Academy's consistent rehiring of Cates an acknowledgement that creativity is dead? Can't you bring in someone to literally revamp, reinvent and reformat the entire show from top-to-bottom in order to make it more interesting to watch? I know the Donner family have given it a shot and so did Laura Ziskin, and conventional opinion after their attempts seemed to indicate that they each did a worse job than Cates, but at least they experimented a wee bit and tried to do something slightly different. How about taking a big risk, Oscar, and getting a younger more energetic producer in there. Someone who doesn't think Bruce Vilanch is the end-all, be-all of comedy writers and who can actually bring ideas to the table. Someone who was born, say, in the second half of the 20th Century. I'm not trying to be ageist here or denigrate the careers of any of these producers, all of whom have created some great films during their careers. But would it be so wrong? To try to instill a little life and energy into the Oscars from a production standpoint? I'm just saying.…
Vanity Fair contributing editor Bruce Feirstein has been hired to script the feature adaptation of The A-Team. Yes, The A-Team. I remember many years ago when The A-Team premiered after a Super Bowl broadcast and it quickly became my favorite show. Of course, I was 11 at he time. And it was one of those typical early-80s slightly corny action series with just enough sarcasm and anti-realism to keep you coming back for more. And Mr. T. In fact, did anybody ever watch the show for any reason other than Mr. T? Really?
Producer Stephen J. Cannell says he'd really like to have Mr. T in the film, "but we haven't begun casting." Like you really need to start the casting process to offer a role to Mr. T, the whole reason the series lasted more than five minutes. Besides, you're not exactly talking about one of the four leads here, are you. "I always think it's nice to see the stars of the old show in cameo roles in the movie. But obviously he won't be playing B.A. Baracus."
Feirstein is also a screenwriter responsible for three of the more recent James Bond films. I guess having a thin storyline with a lot of serious, rather than silly, action and violence is what Cannell wants in order to appeal to moviegoers, and that would make Feirstein's hiring seem like an ideal choice. The producer plans for this film to be, "less cartoony." Because, you see, all that's important is that the violence-quotient be upped a notch. I'm sure we can all agree that the biggest problem with the series itself was "nobody ever died," which Cannell states hoping that such a comment doesn’t "denigrate the TV show." Jackass.
Seems like critical reaction for the Val Kilmer starring stage musical version of The Ten Commandments has been sufficiently horrible enough to
canceldelay the scheduled opening of the show at Radio City Music Hall on Jan. 18. Yay!
If you were wondering why TV was so damn sexist with the great America's Next Top Model focusing only on female models, tonight Bravo gives you equal opportunity television. When Manhunt: The Search for America's Most Gorgeous Male Model premieres on the cable web at 10 PM, you can see how stupid, vain and shallow men can be as well. In fact, while I don't expect this show to be anywhere near as fun and interesting as ANTM, I'll bet you the guys are even more annoying than their female counterparts. Going along with the cheesy title is a cheesy hostess: Carmen Electra. Should be "fun."
Veronica Lake was one of the greatest of all screen sirens, but by the time she died, she had long suffered from alcoholism and been forgotten by the Hollywood community. By the '60s, one of the biggest stars from the '40s – if you've never seen her in Sullivan's Travels, you've missed one of the greatest films of all-time, and her femme fatale in The Glass Key is one of the all-time best – was discovered living in a hotel and working as a bartender and waitress. Well, according to this story, people continue to have trouble keeping track of Lake, even 30-plus years after she died. TCM should devote a night to Lake, although, let's not mention this as a reason.
I mentioned him last week, but The Rude Pundit is now officially my latest favorite blogger. Not because he's crude, but because what he writes actually has merit. Check-out his post-second Presidential debate analysis. His language may be colorful, but his content is dead-fucking-on! Be sure to check out his site tomorrow when I expect he will be posting what Kerry should say in debate #3.
And finally, hopefully you've heard about this bullshit that Sinclair Communications is trying to pull by preempting network programming on it's ownership group of local stations in order to air an anti-Kerry documentary days before the election. This is the same media company the previously refused to air an episode of ABC's Nightline which featured Ted Koppel reading the names of US Soldiers who had been killed in Iraq because the company thought it would illicit anti-Bush sentiment. The DNC web site has an online petition that everyone should want to sign. This shouldn't be a partisan issue: this should be about what large media companies have the right to do with the public airwaves. If Viacom and CBS can be sued because of an errant nipple, then the FCC should be investigating Sinclair's licenses for airing blatant political advertising in the guise of news, preempting network programming only when the shows aren't among the most popular and highest revenue grabbers. The reason why media watchers are always so scared of deregulation and allowing major corporations to own a greater percentage of outlets is specifically due to situations like this, where a company run by people who believe in and contribute to a certain political base specifically alter their normal programming to help support their chosen candidate. If they were airing a pro-Kerry documentary, this would still be wrong.
And for a more coherent and reputable discussion of why this situation is such a grevious problem, read this letter former FCC Commissioner Reed Hunt sent to Josh Marshall.