18
Nov
2011

scattercastIt’s episode #169 and Scattercast is preparing to take off to the land of tea and crumpets.

Some thoughts on the never-ending stream of productions coming out of Hollywood.

Updates on the status of Scattercast for the next few weeks, short version is there won’t be an episode for the next two weeks.

And, yes, I’m still working on getting the embed player to work.

subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

17
Nov
2011

Woody WoodpeckerOnce a staple of weekday morning kids shows, Woody Woodpecker has all but disappeared from the American memory.

… so it makes perfect sense that someone is exploring the possibility of doing a new movie based on the character.

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that Universal’s animation house, Illumination Entertainment, is looking into a new Woody Woodpecker project.  This would be the first time the character created in the 1940’s would hit a movie screen in decades, and he has even been absent from television for many years.  While people are certain to remember the character, it is doubtful that anyone even cares about him any more.

Universal bought the rights to the character and all of his shorts in 1985, so why they are suddenly anxious to do something 26 years later is beyond me.  We’ve seen how washed up characters do in films over the past few years (the Marmaduke and Underdog movies come to mind), but apparently having a standout success such as Alvin and the Chipmunks makes everyone think they can bring old characters back for a few dollars more.

I’m telling you right now, this movie is doomed to failure.  Illumination does not turn in cheap productions, (Despicable Me had a $69 million budget, but it did turn a profit) and this is almost a sure fire flop at the sort of numbers they would be talking.

Hollywood continues to show us daily that they are out of ideas, but this one is really getting down to the bottom of the barrel.

[thanks to Steven for the tip]

16
Nov
2011

The MunstersJoining the growing ranks of rehashed TV shows being brought back is growing today with the announcement that NBC has ordered a pilot for The Munsters.

Originally airing from 1964 to 1966, which was at the same time as  The Addams Family, The Munsters has had a cult following ever since it went off the air.  Seeing as the television networks are trying to resurrect just about everything these days, Bryan Fuller – the creator of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies – has sold a pilot for a new version of the series to NBC.  There’s no word yet if it will go to series, but it looks somewhat likely from the talent being put together.

Reportedly Fuller is looking to go darker with the series than the original sitcom and remove the camp aspects from it.  I’m not quite sure why it would still go by the same name at that point, but oh well.

Considering how other rehashes of old series has gone as of late, I imagine this will go just well, which is sad since I like Fuller.

15
Nov
2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenIf there was ever a film project with the name “Tim Burton” written all over it, it has to be Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Deadline is reporting that 20th Century Fox, which bought the rights to the novel last spring, are in talks with Tim Burton to helm the project. Considering his resume of odd films, this is a project that is tailor made for him.  Here’s the official synopsis of the book:

A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Yep, this sounds like Burton to me.

The only issue is that this will have to be down the line for Burton as he is currently wrapping up Dark Shadows, and has already lined up Frankenweenie and a stop-motion version of The Addams Family, so it would be some time before he could get to this film.

While this isn’t a done deal, I can’t see 20th Century Fox not making sure this happening.

14
Nov
2011

Immortals movie posterIt seems if you put men in armor and make a movie all shiny, people will rush out to see it.

The same folks who produced 300 came back with another period film, Immortals, and it did okay, but not exactly the best.  After a $15 million Friday, the domestic gross came in at $32 million for the entire weekend which means it fell off sharply.  It pulled in $36 million internationally this weekend as well which was healthy, but off of a $75 million budget this film has a ways to go.  Comparatively it pulled in less than half of 300‘s $70.9 opening weekend and even Clash of the Titans‘ $61.2 million.

Jack & Jill had the second lowest opening of any Adam Sandler comedy with $26 million.  With no clue on the budget yet we’ll have to see how this performs, but it would seem the luster is finally wearing off of Sandler.

After last week’s surprising second week strength of Puss in Boots there was some speculation that the third weekend would see a huge fall.  Surprisingly it only fell 22.9% and brought in $25.5 million, and could see it land in second place when the final numbers come out.

The  Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy comedy Tower Heist fell 45.1% to $13.2 million to land it in fourth place.  That’s an average performance in a second weekend for a comedy, but on a $75 million budget and only $43.9 million domestic thus far, things aren’t looking good for this movie to hit profitability while still in the theaters.

Rounding out the top five was the smaller release, J. Edgar.  It pulled in $11.4 million from a somewhat limited release with 1,910 screens.  (in comparison, Immortals had 3,112.)

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas fell 54.5% to land in sixth with $5.9 million, and in eighth was Paranormal Activity 3 which brought in $3.6 million, finally breaking the $100 million dollar mark off of a $5 million budget.

Next week will see Happy Feet Two and … unfortunately … Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1.  Get ready for a stupid amount of money to come in.

13
Nov
2011

Sasha GreyApparently one can never live down their past, especially if it happens to involve porn.

Back on November 2, Sasha Grey, an ex-porn star, took part in the Read Across America program by reading to 1st and 3rd grade children at the Emerson Elementary School in Compton, California.  She tweeted after leaving the school:

Spent the am with Read Across America Compton, reading to the sweetest 1st & 3rd grade students @ Emerson Elementary!

As parents heard about this, and complained to the school about a former porn actor being at the school, the school issued a statement saying:

We have several celebrities who read to our students each year. The actress you have indicated was not present.

Too bad there are photos of her being present.

As criticism of her presence has escalated, Ms. Grey has issued a statement:

I am proud to have participated in the “Read Across America” program at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, CA. I read “Dog Breath” by Dav Pilkey to the sweetest 1st and 3rd grade children.

“Read Across America” is a program that was designed to promote literacy and instill a lifelong love of reading in elementary school students. Promoting education is an effort that is close to my heart. Illiteracy contributes to poverty; encouraging children to pick up a book is fundamental.

I believe education is a universal right. I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent.

I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am.

I will not live in fear of it. To challenge non-profit education programs is an exercise in futility, counter-productive and anti-educational.

I cannot thank my fans and ‘Read Across America’ enough for supporting my decision. Your support and kind words continue to inspire me. I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives.

As anyone who knows me, or reads this blog for more than a day or two can tell you, I have zero tolerance for child molestation, teacher-student sex scandals or anyone that preys on children in any way.  Ms. Grey does not fall into any of these categories.  She has not been involved in the porn industry for two years now and has moved into mainstream acting amongst other projects.

Essentially I can’t see the issue here.  She volunteered her time to read to children who are far too young to have any clue who she is.  She did not come dressed in any provocative manner – judging by the photos that surfaced of her in the classroom – , she did not speak of her past according to reports and she certainly did not advocate it as a career path.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually do understand the parental concern here, and the school certainly messed up denying she was there when there was evidence to the contrary, but I have never understood condemning people who have engaged in legal activities and then aren’t even involved in those activities any more, never being able to move on from that.  I’ve seen similar stories over the years where it is discovered a teacher used to be a stripper years before and they are asked to leave their job or just flat out get fired.  If they are doing their job, and are not in any way involved in that activity at the present time, what the heck does that matter?  This is far more about the hang-ups of parants than the possible harm to the children.

As someone who has talked time and time again about protecting children, I just don’t see the issue here.  Our schools need more volunteers, and if you start cutting off folks from doing that due to their pasts, you’re going to find some very empty schools.

12
Nov
2011

Modern Warfare 3 timeThat’s it. I’m done with Modern Warfare.

The other day I was all excited about the release of Modern Warfare 3, after enjoying the first two games so much, I was sure the third one would suck me in just as hard.  What you see to the right is an image of how long it took me to complete the single player campaign: 5 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds.

You have got to be kidding me.

I’m sorry, but when a game is that short it isn’t a game, it’s an expansion pack.  And that is what has been happening since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  The first game was a classic, and now they are simply tweaking each release and putting all of the emphasis on the multiplayer aspect of the title.  While online play is nice, there has to be something said for playing the campaigns as well.  And at $60, a game should last longer than watching half a season of a sitcom on DVD.

As for the multiplayer … the magic is gone.  I finished the campaign and logged in to play someone online games, and after two rounds I ejected the disc and logged into Amazon to trade the game in.  Luckily with the pre-order guarantee I had picked the game up for $51.99, and I got $35 in trade in value, so my three days of play ended up costing me $16.99 … I should have just rented it.

Perhaps my taste in games has changed, or maybe I’m just not as forgiving as I once was, but this has left a seriously bad taste in my mouth for gaming in general

11
Nov
2011

scattercastIt’s episode #168 and Scattercast had a bad, bad travel day.

Some recapping of California, and most specifically how bad the trip home went.  Yay!

And, yes, I’m still working on getting the embed player to work.

subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

10
Nov
2011

Billy Crystal to host the OscarsIt took only about 24 hours for the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to name a new host for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, and it’s the one they probably should have gone with in the first place.

Eddie Murphy stepped down yesterday amid controversy with Brett Ratner who was set to produce this year’s show, but then left over stupid comments he made in various locations.  While Many, including myself, called for Crystal to host this year’s show should go back to a tried and trued solution after last year’s debacle.

While Crystal may not appeal to the younger views, he’s a wise and safe choice for this year, and it really doesn’t matter who takes the gig as no one will even remember who won, let alone who hosted, come the following Monday.

Good luck, Billy, we’re counting on you.

9
Nov
2011

Eddie MurphyApparently the 84th Annual Academy Awards is on the hunt for a new host as Eddie Murphy has dropped out after Brett Ratner had to step down as producer.

After a week of saying insanely stupid things, director Brett Ratner has been removed, or stepped down, from his role as the producer of the next Academy Awards. Showing unity with his friend, Eddie Murphy has stepped down from his role as host a mere two months after being named to the job.  He issued the following statement in regards to what happened:

First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.

In response, American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS) Tom Sherak said, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”

Considering I questioned the choice of Murphy for the job, I’m not too depressed to see him go, and Ratner did this to himself.  (You can see what got him in trouble here)  Good riddance to both of them, now actually book someone for the hosting gig who should actually be doing it.

And the lesson here?  Actions have consequences no matter who you are.

8
Nov
2011

Like clockwork, it’s time for another entry in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series. Or, in other words, “that time every two years where Sean disappears.”

Actually, unlike with Modern Warfare 2, I haven’t been counting down the days this time around.  I still preordered a copy, I’m still about to pop it in and check it out, but somehow I just don’t think the obsession I have had in past years will be there.  Between a combination of work, getting ready for a vacation and more, I just don’t have a ton of time for gaming any more.

… course that doesn’t mean I won’t be giving it a healthy go.

Modern Warfare 3

7
Nov
2011

Puss in BootsApparently people who missed going to the theaters last weekend due to the weather made up for it this weekend by keeping last week’s top contender rolling in the catnip.

Falling a mere 3.1% from last weekend, Puss in Boots brought in another $33 million. This is probably a little bit of an oddity due to the weather, but hey, when you set a new record, you set a new record for the smallest drop ever for a wide release.

The new Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist came in second with $25.1 million, a lower than usual opening for one of his movies, and definitely lower for Eddie Murphy, his costar.

Stoner comedies might be falling in popularity somewhat judging by the performance of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, coming in below Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, and seeing as 95% of the attendance was at 3D locations, that means attendance was even lower due to the higher ticket prices.  The true story will be told in the coming weeks.

Paranormal Activity 3 came in fourth with another $8.5 million bringing the domestic gross to $95.3 off of a $5 million dollar budget.  That puts it only $12 million behind the original film, and it seems like it could easily surpass it.

In Time, the new Justin Timberlake action vehicle , slipped into fifth place with $7.7 million, not leaving thins to hopeful this ending up being a big film. I can’t say I’m overly surprised.

The only big release for next weekend is J. Edgar, so don’t expect to see too many changes in the line up of what folks are going to see.