I never thought I would say this, but I'm almost starting to feel sorry for Tom Cruise. His playtime as a big time studio boss running United Artists is stalling, stumbling, and straining confidence with executives leaving like rats from a sinking ship, and a general inability to actually get anything done, despite having a very generous line of credit to finance their productions, and the making of Valkyrie has become the Neverending Story.
And to top it all off, like a little cherry of humiliation on top of a embarrassment sundae, Mr. Cruise has been replaced in the spy thriller Edwin A. Salt by Angelina Jolie.
I'm not saying that this development is a knock on Mr. Cruise's manhood, but.... well.... that's what it is. Sorry Tommy.
The only thing that could make it worse is if Bryan Singer was to announce that he's finally finished Valkyrie by editing Tom Cruise out and putting Renee Zellwegger as Claudia Von Stauffenberg in.
Like I said, it's almost enough to make you feel sorry for him, and I would if he wasn't rich, famous, and had his own studio, which he seems to be screwing up.
Now I can't do anything about the whole Angelina-Salt thing, but I can offer Tom and his partner Paula Wagner some advice about what to do with United Artists.
1. Give up trying to make every film "important" and "Oscar worthy." You're trying to build a viable company capable of financing and distributing feature films, and maybe someday TV productions, and lately films described as "important" and "Oscar worthy" sell only to your immediate neighbours in the Axis of Ego, they do not play in Peoria. Nobody wants another "Lions For Lambs" creating a black hole in the books. Target commercial vehicles, stuff folks want to see, deliver them with reasonable budgets, then you will have the cash, and wiggle room to be "important."
2. Don't make every United Artists project be about Tom Cruise. The company has distribution capacity via MGM, and can fill the gap in indie film distribution left with the folding of the major studio's "indie arms" and when the Weinsteins decided that sitting on films looked better on the books than actually releasing them. Indie producers will flock to you, especially if you offer a mutually beneficial deal, and don't screw them over.
3. Lionsgate's new management is looking to get out of the low-budget horror business. United Artists should step in. I know they won't win any Oscars, but they are cheap to make, and while few may be blockbusters, most don't need to be to be very profitable. If they want, make up a new "division" to release these projects, then do it, but they can't afford to let a lucrative revenue stream go, now that they're in the business side of showbiz. Also look into modestly budgeted genre projects, like science fiction, action, suspense, etc...
It's Getting Retarded
There's a growing national movement afoot to boycott Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder over it's Simple Jack subplot, and its use of the word "retard." I've already eplained that the real target of the joke was not the mentally handicapped, but Hollywood actors who pretend to be in order to score Oscar nominations, but Timothy P. Shriver of the Special Olympics obviously doesn't read this blog, because he still doesn't get it. He's organising a national boycott of Tropic Thunder and according to the New York Times...
Mr. Shriver said that he had also begun to ask members of Congress for a resolution condemning what he called the movie’s “hate speech” and calling for stronger federal support of the intellectually disabled.Now you've lost me Mr. Shriver.
I will say that although misguided, you have a right to be offended by a movie.
I will also that that you have the right to boycott said movie. This is a free society, and you have the right to not watch, pay for, or, in any other way support, something you consider offencive.
I will also declare that I will defend your right to declare to the world that you believe Ben Stiller to be an asshole and I will defend Ben Stiller's right to respond in kind.
When you start going to politicians to demand that they condemn anyone's "speech" you have changed from being an advocate for people's rights, to someone who seeks to take away rights from others.
The foundation of a free society is the right of free speech. Sometimes that speech is offencive, obnoxious, and even malicious, but getting politicians to condemn speech, is the slippery slope to regulating what people can and cannot say, and that can only lead to tyranny.
I think the Nazis showed the world how tyrannies treat the mentally handicapped.
Kind of puts Ben Stiller MAKING FUN OF HOLLYWOOD ACTORS in perspective.
The price of a free society is not only eternal vigilance, but a willingness to put up with things that annoy and even offend you. But you have the right to call those that offend you big flaming hemorrhoid riddled ass-holes, but you don't have the right to censor them.
That would be retarded.
ABC- Attorney's Best Client
According to Nikki Finke, some UK TV producers have launched an investigation into the venerable American Broadcasting Corporation for possible plagiarism. Well, it looks like my prediction is coming true. A memo released by an ABC exec outlining how to rip off foreign TV shows has come back to haunt them, like litigious herpes.
I will now make another prediction. Lawsuits will be filed in the billions of dollars by these producers against ABC, using that memo as evidence. ABC's lawyers will get them to settle, claiming that it will make them go away, but it will only inspire others to come out of the woodwork, looking not for vindication or justice, but a quick cash settlement, the lawyers will make a mint in fees, and ABC will be out of pocket for millions of bucks.
So not only must one act ethically, one must also not produce evidence against oneself.
Because to do so would be retarded.