Monday, 1 February 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #445: Some Drippings From My Brain Pan...

Welcome to the show folks...

Not much movie biz news really grabbed me today. The Sundance Festival continued its course of becoming like the films it showcases, an increasingly tedious, irrelevant project, designed solely for boosting the egos of movie stars, and the Oscar noms are being announced tomorrow, and you really can't make me care any less about the Oscars, which leaves me with doing one of my little snippet posts.

So away we go...


Sony Pictures had a pretty good year in 2009, earning their best box-office performance ever, and in honour of that success, they're laying off 6.5% of its workforce.

Now I'm sure that the laid off employees are feeling pretty bad about their situation, but they should remember that their sacrifice will ensure the bonuses and stock options of the people who showed them the door.


According to some sources, it looks like the Miramax film library isn't the cash cow many analysts said it was.

Let's just file that under "Well d'uh!"

Most analysis when it comes to Hollywood and revenue is glorified guesswork, but not without its silver lining. That silver lining comes in the form of a serious game of hard-ball on the part of the potential buyers like Summit Entertainment, Studio Canal, Relativity Media, former Snapple entrepreneur billionaire Nelson Peltz.

I've already discussed the pros and cons of Summit buying Miramax so let's look at the other players.

Studio Canal- This French cable TV giant is one of the biggest players in the world, and no doubt would love to get their hands on the Miramax library for their range of TV interests. But the question of whether or not they would use the Miramax brand for new productions is unanswered at this time.

Relativity Media- Claims to produce movies based on sound scientific principles to make them hits. However, they've been recently slammed with a lot of what they claim are "outliers" but everyone else calls money-losing turkeys. They could use some of Miramax's hits and Oscar winners to beef up their library, but it's still open about whether they're serious, considering they're one of the potential bidders for MGM as well. That's a bad case of mergermania.

Nelson Peltz- Self-made billionaire with businesses like Snapple, and pieces of Cadbury Schweppes and Kraft. What he plans to do with the library is a mystery to me. He might be looking to get into home video and TV licensing, or he might be interested in becoming a movie producer, I don't know. Some sources say Peltz's a Republican, which might give former Miramax owner and life-long Democrat Harvey Weinstein that stroke he's been saving up for all these years.

Anyway, all I can say is that while I hope they play hard-ball, because no one can do anything productive with a film company buried under mountains of debt in this economy, I hope they don't bring the price down so low that even the cash-crippled Weinstein Co. gets into the game. TWC's creditors already have enough on their plate.


There's a lot of talk about the Coen Bros. recent release
A Serious Man, accusing it of possible Antisemitism and of showing Jewish people in an unflattering light.

Which makes me ask this question:
When did a Coen Bros. film show anyone in a flattering light?

The Irish and Italians don't come off too well in
Miller's Crossing, nor do desert dwelling crackers in Raising Arizona, and neither do the snow-dwelling Mid-Western Scandinavians of Fargo. The list goes on. I can't think of any character who doesn't have at least one scene where they don't come across as either venal, petty, or at the very least naive.

The Coen Brothers possess an overall misanthropy that encompasses all the facets of humanity. When they start being all sunshine and unicorns about someone is when you should start worrying that they've been replaced by pod people.


Let this video imbue itself into your dreams....

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