Thursday, 22 July 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #559: Little Things Mean A Lot

Welcome to the show folks...

It's nice to see some folks are liking the new look for this little blog. I'm hoping you find it easier to read and navigate and all that. But enough about the new streamlined look, this blog needs the sort of irate obnoxious content that I do best, and that you all know and love.

So let's get started with a few smaller stories...


Sometimes you can sum up all the problems with the literary scene in one neat little package. Here's the story, but if you're too lazy to click the link, I'll sum it up. A writing contest was started in honor of the groundbreaking science fiction scribbler HG Wells. Sounds fairly simple, but it wasn't, especially when you see the rules:

-All entries must be handwritten.

-All entries must be about life in the British county of Kent in the year 2010.

That means--

-No fantasy,

-No horror


Not surprisingly, they didn't receive a single entry. Especially when you look at the fact that most HG Wells readers tend towards being technophiles, and fans of science fiction.

I'll leave it to you, my gentle and fragrant readers, to figure out for yourself how this reflects on the publishing business/literary scene in general.


As I predicted when I gave him his Magnificent Bastard Award, takeover maven Carl Icahn has opened the doors of the cages and unleashed the fury of his attorneys on Lionsgate for their recent poison pill stunt.

A poison pill is when a company prints off more shares in order to dilute the ownership of major shareholders. Now Lionsgate's management tried this a couple of months ago, but was denied by Canadian regulators, because when you dilute stock, you will inevitably devalue it. Lionsgate's management is claiming that they were cleaning up the company's debt, when they printed off more shares and traded them to major shareholder/former Icahn ally turned management ally Mark Racheskey in exchange for the $100 million in debt that he bought from their creditors.

I don't know the ins and outs of high finance law, but I suspect that Icahn feels that he has a case, especially if he points out how this plan was tossed before by regulators when it was under a different name.


The Walt Disney Co. has inked a deal with film-making fantasist Guillermo Del Toro to make a new movie based on their Haunted Mansion theme park attraction.

For those with short memories, Disney did make a Haunted Mansion movie back in 2003. It starred former comedian Eddie Murphy, and it was an un-funny, un-scary steaming pile of shit.

Now when I was a kid, I loved old haunted house movies, especially the ones that sprinkled some humor among the ghostly ghoulishness like The Cat & The Canary, or anything involving Abbot & Costello, so there is precedent of this genre succeeding. Also a good scary movie doesn't have to be "R Rated" and graphic. Look up The Changeling directed by Peter Medak and starring George C. Scott. It has no graphic violence, no gore, and no obvious monster, but it's one of the scariest movies I've ever seen, and still is. Compared to
CSI, it's downright bland, but the suspense is almost overwhelming. So you can make a movie that is scary, and palatable for a wider family audience. (Though I don't think most parents were like mine allowing me to see The Changeling on TV when I was 12 years old)

I wish Del Toro luck. He's got a very hard job ahead of him consigning the last version into the dustbin of cinema history where it belongs. It's not impossible, just tough.

1 comment:

  1. jepressman@gmail.com23/7/10 1:11 am

    I do wonder what Walt Disney would think of these films derived from Disney amusement park rides.First there was POTC and now the Haunted Mansion.Wasn't Walt big on innovation,originality and quality? A very interesting American.When I hear about yet another kiddie movie extravaganza about to be made,well I wonder about the future of film.