Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Short Attention Span Blogging

… or “I couldn’t think of a topic today.”

 People seem to be so polarized on BIRDMAN and NIGHTCRAWLER. They either love ‘em or hate ‘em; no in between. I dread/look forward to seeing them.

Networks are always looking for safe bets. What could be safer than a Bill Cosby family comedy? Oops, NBC.

Hollywood’s version of campaign stumping has begun. Potential Oscar contenders are schlepping to every film festival they can to hype their film. If you folks in Kalamazoo or Altoona want to meet Michael Keaton or Paul Thomas Anderson or Julianne Moore, start a film festival, screen their films (which you show anyway) and give them your “Outstanding Whatever” awards.

Paramount and AMC theatres have introduced a novel offer. You can buy tickets to see INTERSTELLER as many times as you want. Is this because the movie is so good or confusing?

Imagine how many BILLIONS Disney would have lost if it had made that offer last year with FROZEN. Although released last November, it still has made more money THIS year than all but four movies.

What was that goofy CBS “Hollywood Film Awards” show that aired a couple of weeks ago? How do you have a movie award show before most of the real Oscar contenders are released?

Keep an eye out for BIG EYES this Oscar season.

Best NFL announcer on national television: Ian Eagle.

Best NFL announcer on national radio: Dave Sims (pictured right).

Best national sportcasting newcomer: Kevin Burkhardt.

After yesterday’s post, a number of you have to asked to see the pre-show announcement I wrote for my play A OR B? Here ya go:

Welcome to the Falcon Theatre!

Please be advised that the taking of photographs or recordings of any type are strictly prohibited.

Please take a moment now to turn off all cellphones, tablets, blenders, power tools, Geiger counters, and leaf blowers.

If you think you may need a lozenge or hard candy during the show, please unwrap it now. The two loudest sounds on earth are sonic booms and crinkling candy wrappers.

The Falcon parking lot closes shortly after the show, so if you decide to go to any of the nearby establishments afterwards, either A – drive there, or B – walk there and then continue walking home.

Thank you for coming and enjoy A OR B?

Others asked if I’d post the actual script. I think that would hurt its chances for future productions, but I am exploring getting it published. If I’m successful I’ll point you to where you can then obtain it. When have I ever not shamelessly promoted something I've done?

Even Jack can't stand watching the Lakers.
Say what you will but Aaron Sorkin is a good sport.

Kathy Griffin is the next Joan Rivers.

Sorry to hear of the passing of former LA TIMES theater critic, Charles Champlin.  He was 88.  Champlin wrote for the TIMES for 26 years, back when they really had a theater section.

Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins are on the verge of a 13-year $325,000,000 deal. He’s a great kid, we go to the same dentist, but Jesus! Name me one mega 100+ million dollar deal that hasn’t been a complete disaster the last few years of the contract. From A-Rod to A-Pujos and every Josh Hamilton and Prince Fielder in between.

But at least Stanton has an opt-out after 5 years because, y'know, you don't want to be tied down to a shitty deal like that if better ones become available. 

In Rodriquez’s contract with the Yankees he has a stipulation where they have to provide a tent for him to sell his merchandise at spring training. This is not a joke. There are stories of rock stars that demand bowls of only green M&M’s in their dressing rooms. I wonder if Alex had that too but the greenies he demanded weren’t M&M’s.

THE GOOD WIFE is having another banner year. Last Sunday’s episode where you saw how political campaign spots are really created should be shown in ever Poli-Sci class in America.

Best Actress who just hasn’t found a hit series yet: Kathryn Hahn.

Huffpost Headline: What Is Going On With Robert Pattinson's Hair?

I’m already sick of Feliz Navidad.

Off to Atlanta for a few days.  You just can't get Coca Cola anywhere else. 


Matthew E said...

There are stories of rock stars that demand bowls of only green M&M’s in their dressing rooms.

Yeah, but you know what those are really for, right? I forget what band it was. AC/DC, maybe. But they just asked for that so they'd have a quick way of checking whether the venue had paid enough attention to the contract. If the M&M's weren't there then they'd know that they had to check all their more important requirements, like the sound setup and everything.

Mitchell McLean said...

"Kathy Griffin is the next Joan Rivers."

In reference to comedy, or plastic surgery?

Chris said...

Thanks for posting the announcement. Very funny.

Promoted on GMA this morning re: the kid who signed with the Marlins for umpteen zillion dollars: "And wait till you see how he celebrated!" How? With a $200 bottle of champagne. I was expecting some sort of "He built a house for a homeless family" kind of spot. Nope. Is it fair to judge him on this? Maybe not. He has the right to do what he wants as long as no one gets hurt. But I was hoping for something more elevated. And less cliched. Now I guess we sit back and watch the inevitable train wreck.

Chris said...

Oops, sorry, one more thing. Would someone please explain Ken's Aaron Sorkin reference?

Brian Phillips said...

Matthew E.: It was Van Halen.


"This is Spinal Tap" used it as a jump-off point as a joke (a very funny one), but VH and many other bands have a lot of gear and to mount a show properly, certain requirements have to be met. As Great White found out, not getting what is required could be tragic.

If it is excess you want, there was a singer (I'll omit the name) who demanded, among other things, champagne in the dressing room. The singer was to perform a three-song set, but if demands were not met the set would be cut to TWO songs.

Scooter Schechtman said...

The green M&Ms stories are nothing compared to what CSN&Y used to demand at their early 70s Fillmore concerts, if my Bill Graham oral biography can be believed (and I'm not sure it can).
Apologies for using ampersand twice in one post.

Hamid said...

Birdman hasn't opened here yet but I can't wait. He's one of my favourite actors of all time and he is the definitive Batman! I hope the Oscar buzz around his performance comes true. He deserves a Best Actor Oscar. He deserved one for Beetle Juice alone.

Nightcrawler is fantastic. I'm guessing the reason some don't like it is because it's an excoriating satire of lowest common denominator trash tabloid blood and guts news and the lead character is the perfect embodiment of the sociopathy in exploiting others to squeeze every last buck possible out of them. Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter would hate it

I love Kathryn Hahn. Her performance in Step Brothers was wonderful. Just saw her recently in This Is Where I Leave You and she was great in that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

"But at least Stanton has an opt-out after 5 years because, y'know, you don't want to be tied down to a shitty deal like that if better ones become available."

THAT IS PRICELESS!!! Maybe my Yankees will sign him for more money.

I'm excited to see both Birdman & Nightcrawler. Jake Gyllenhaal has grown on me. Really liked Prisoners. Like him in Jarhead, Rendition, & End of Watch. One of the best movies I saw this year (done in 2013 I think) was Enemy. Crazy, mind bender kind of movie. Also, I don't miss a Alejandro González Iñárritu movie. Everything he has done has been fantastic IMHO.


Charles H. Bryan said...

The M&M legend, as best I understand it, is traced originally to Van Halen. I think it was NPR's Planet Money that interviewed David Lee Roth (let that sink in for a second) as to the reason; it was because some venues didn't follow through on technical lighting and stage setups. Since such disregard presented dangers to the crew, the best way of checking to see if not all of the contracts details had been followed was to insist on no brown M&Ms. If brown M&Ms were in the bowl, the band's management knew the crew had to check out every other tech detail to see if it had been followed.

In a slight bit of retaliatory irony, some years later Eminem banned Van Halen. It's a musical fact.

This has been another great moment in M&M history. Let the ages melt in your mouth, not in your hand.


Addled Brinks said...

As of yesterday, Stanton had not yet signed the new deal, so his agent or mom will have him surfing for the homeless as soon as he needs the socially positive pub. A-Rod also had an opt out of his original mega-deal, and NY re-signed him to an even more ludicrous deal. Thanks Yankees!

As fantastic as 'home-brewed' Coke is in Hotlanta, it's best if you take your own ice. So pack cold!

Jon B. said...

Michael Keaton really is terrific in "Birdman". There is much to say about "Birdman" and many critics feel compelled to do so. For me, "Birdman" is the rare movie that I want hurry back just to see (and hear) what I missed the first time. I suspect I will feel the same way after the second viewing, too. For those who complain that movies are all the same, "Birdman" may be for you.

Lorimartian said...

"THE GOOD WIFE is having another banner year. Last Sunday’s episode where you saw how political campaign spots are really created should be shown in ever Poli-Sci class in America."

So true, and when one of the staffers sarcastically suggested using the music from "Titanic" in the spot, I cracked up.

Hamid said...

Jon B., that's great to hear! I was over the moon when I read praise being heaped upon the film and Keaton's performance, with people calling it the "comeback of the year". I cannot wait to see it and I cannot wait to see Keaton get the Oscar he so richly deserves.

Breadbaker said...

Two things: I remember Charles Champlin introducing a series of old time movies on our PBS station in Detroit when I was a kid, Grand Illusion and such, in the early 70s. Turned me on to many classics.

And when I read your line about Ian Eagle, my first thought was, "and on radio, Dave Sims". He's fine on baseball, as you know, but he has the kind of feel for football that Dave Niehaus had for baseball: he seems to know which way the game is going before it happens.

RyderDA said...

Given that everyone and their dog has a cellphone that takes pictures and makes movies, why do you not want any photos taken? I can understand you don't want your play recorded and put up on YouTube, but what's wrong with a spectator capturing a photo of your great actors? Worried that your collectable program sales will suffer? Seems to me that it would be good advertising for folks to snap a photo and put it up on their Facebook feed saying "I was at this awesome play you just gotta see!"

moona said...

Wonderful Post, I highly appreciate those people who share some good information, because I like those people who actually share :).

chalmers said...

I can top (bottom?) a two-song set. In Henry Bushkin's Johnny Carson book, he writes about how Johnny got one of his idols, Buddy Rich, to open for him in Vegas.

He wanted Buddy to play about 30 minutes, but the master drummer usually went about 40. Johnny had someone bring this to Rich's attention. Buddy didn't make a protest.

The next night, Carson's in his dressing room as Rich takes the stage. They realize that he's opening with his closing number. Johnny wanted a shorter set and he got it.

Anonymous said...

1 for 3, sportscaster emeritus. Not bad if you're a Dodger, but...

You're right about Kevin Burkhardt being the best newcomer, even if he was twice wrong on predicting challenged play outcomes last Sunday.

The best TV announcer is Mike Tirico; the best radio guy is Kevin Harlin (on TV he's just part of the pack, but on radio he's super.)


Anonymous said...

Dave Sims may be okay on NFL games, but calling 162 Mariner games a year reveals how much he 'phones it in' rather than Rick Rizzs, who is his predecessor on TV who now rules the airwaves on the radio here in Seattle.

Cap'n Bob said...

Though it was alluded to above, Dave Sims is the Seattle Mariner's broadcaster and he's great.

DBA said...

RyderDA, photographing the set of a play is against the rules in every major commercial and non-profit theater I have ever worked with or attended. This has nothing to do with the playwright. You need explicit permission to photograph a set pretty much everywhere, even if it's before the play begins. If you're thinking of taking a photo during the actual performance, that's incredibly rude and distracting to other audience members and potentially the cast as well, depending on the size of the theater. Also, if you're doing it with your phone, even if you remember to turn off the flash, which it seems almost nobody does, your screen would still be lighting up in the dark theater, which is disruptive. If you're sitting in the audience thinking "man I gotta take a picture of this" you're not paying attention to the show.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks said his contract of $64 Million, over 12 years, "sucked". I can't imagine the expletives Giancarlo Stanton would use to describe his $325 Million contract!

Watch Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb Online said...

"Kathy Griffin is the next Joan Rivers."

In reference to comedy, or plastic surgery?

Do you know there is a new movie Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb you can write about it.

Jason said...

As someone who's sat through more than a few Browns games covered by Mr. Eagle, I think you misspelled "worst after Joe Buck".

Richard J. Marcej said...

Saw "Nightcrawler" and "Birdman". Loved them both.

Anonymous said...

Another reason for the Van Halen M&M clause, if the venue didn't do it, they were in breach of contract, which allowed them to trash the place and not be responsible for it. (or so I heard)

MikeN said...

ARods contract worked out just fine. People forget that his first contract was with the Rangers, and he opted out of that to sign a new contract with the Yankees. The Yankees could have made him squirm and instead gave him a raise. Jason Giambi's and Mike Mussina's contracts worked out too, though they got no World Series out of it.

Anonymous said...

Bill Cosby's accuser went to a lawyer who didn't believe her, and apparently never went to the police. Yet somehow that is enough to derail his work.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton gets celebrated and his wife is the frontrunner for the presidency.

Anonymous said...

You mean the half dozen names on the record and one dozen not named in the court case women?

None of whom are suing Cosby? Yeah, dude loves drugging and raping women.

Anonymous said...

Regular Reader since I found google reader (now it's feedly) for some years. Posted a Friday Question once. Early fifties, still trying to hide the fact ;) I live in the North Eifel (very very west Germany at the Belgian border).
Found your blog via some link some place, can't remember. Probably it had something to do with FRASIER which is one of my all time absolute favourite shows. Sometimes, like today, when I've got things to do all over the house, I start a queue of a couple of episodes in vlc and just listen to them on my wireless earphones and walk about. Even the audio is worthwhile although most of the time I can "see" the corresponding pictures because I'm so familiar with them now.
Thank you for your work on FRASIER and maybe you can give my best regards und wishes to the marvellous cast! Cheers to you from A.

RyderDA said...

DBA: I understand you can't take pictures and it's against policy, but what I want to know is why that's the policy. I agree, folks who take flash pictures should be executed, and can readily agree that it's possible to disturb others, which is bad. So if I use a camera with a viewfinder, no one is bothered. I promise I'm not doing it for commercial purposes, and the only one I'm disturbing is me. So again, why is that policy in place?

mike said...

Ok, here we go:
Enjoyed Birdman, didn't like Nightcrawler, I felt that Gone Girl made the point of bottom-feeding media rather better. Bill Clinton's tawdry little affair was consensual; the Cosby druggings-and-rape allegations are not consensual. Stanton is a good ballplayer but $300 million plus is nuts. On the other hand, it's not my money!