Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #694: Questionable Decisions

Welcome to the show folks...


Mini-major Lionsgate has signed a movie development deal with singer/actress Janet Jackson. A deal that Nikki Finke considers stupid, and while I'm not inclined to use Ms. Finke's colorful phraseology, I do wonder about the logic behind it. Musically she hasn't had a hit song in a very very long time, her movie career consists of roles in Tyler Perry films, but her presence doesn't really improve his box office performance. Tyler Perry's audience goes to Tyler Perry's films because they are Tyler Perry films, not because of the cinematic appeal of Miss Jackson (if you're nasty). The last time anyone really seemed to give a hoot about Janet Jackson when her nipple popped up and said hello during the Super Bowl half-time show, and those who did were the kind of people with nothing better to do than write cranky letters to the FCC.

Some say that it's a sop to Tyler Perry to keep him pumping out low costing/high grossing flicks for Lionsgate, but I think there may be something else influencing this decision.

That is

Hollywood loves the familiar, and there's nothing more familiar to Hollywood than the last name Jackson, which had been rejuvenated slightly when her brother Michael died and stopped actively associating it with the sort of freaky shit the tabloids love to talk about.

Will this work out? I don't know, I don't think so, but you never really know.


MGM is re-editing, and using digital effects to dramatically changing their long delayed remake of the 80s action flick
Red Dawn.

The original was about a Soviet Russian/Cuban invasion of America, the remake was originally supposed to be about the Communist People's Republic of China invading, but now they're being digitally reworked into becoming North Koreans. Why? Because China's communist government told them too.

Oh dear.

But MGM acquiesced because China is the golden goose of global markets. It has over a billion people, a fast growing economy, and a shitload of America's governmental debt.

You can understand why they don't want to offend a market with such potential, but does this golden goose really lay golden eggs, especially for Hollywood? While the country is getting rich, only a small percentage of the population is actually enjoying said wealth. The rest of the population will be extremely old before any of that wealth trickles down their way. There will be a dearth of young people to take care of that same aging population and there's a grievous shortage of women in China, due to the combination of the Communist Party's 1 child policy partnering with the ancient cultural preference for male children.

But that's in future, in the present, China is extremely protectionist in its trade policies, has a history of manipulating its own currency, and in terms of Hollywood, is a major center of industrial scale film piracy and box office ticket prices are tightly regulated, subsidized, and subject to all sorts of local political/financial interference.

So not only are we seeing a major film company censor itself because of pressure from what is still a dictatorship, but they're also doing it for some pretty weak, potentially pie in the sky, reasons.


  1. Hollywood do not want to offend anyone unless it is Middle-Americans. This might also be some cross promotions as well.

    I wonder if the change also has to do with that HOMEFRONT video game where NK invades the USA. Which was also written by the writer of Red Dawn.

    This new film has so many delays on its release date, due to money problems and whatelse.

  2. I agree about Janet, while she may be the sanest and most honorable of the Jackson family. Face it she is not a major DRAW anymore. She has not had a hit album in years, due to the fact the music industry has been taken over by the Disney/Nick crowd.

    I lice Lionsgate some credit, at least she will show up to work sober and on time and not pull out at the last minute like Michael had a history of doing.

    This also a family that did that godawful Jackson family honors special years ago, and the IATSE crews were suing them because they did not get paid for their work 3 years after

  3. Typical, HW let's not offend and insult the chinese, but insulting America and it's military is OK. Why? because they do not need our money anymore.

    It is all about international distribution now, so screw America. Then HW wonders why theatre attendance is down, bootlegging is up and theatres need to shill 3D just to stay afloat.

    This is why I prefer to be entertained by my XBOX360.


    I cant wait for your blog post on it.

  4. Talk about a leap of imagination: a country of 24 million, with no navy, invading a country of 300 million.

    I think I'll pass.

  5. Dirty McDingus Sezs:
    Funny how desperation can twist an already twisted idea~ hollyweird is as hollyweird does and we get to hear about its' head crushing slam into yet another concrete wall of cowardly acts. Who needs to watch jackass when we read it happen every single day? nk is a small country will small firecrackers - so who's scared of that? hollyweird don't get a dime out of that country as well, so it's "safe" to turn them into the bad guys.. like NEO-nazis!
    Addendum to an older post in regards to 'the Cape': I know why that show failed! Outside of the lousy writing, it also had Summer Glau in it! She has KILLED more shows than an other actor I've ever seen~ Some where DOA like 'the Cape', but others like 'Firefly' and 'the Terminator~' showed good promising beginnings to be destroyed by studio BS. Regardless; I put the full blame on her death touch! I'm still surprised hollyweird hasn't noticed this pattern yet.

  6. Murdoch set the stage in dealing with the China. The man removed BBC from his network package to sell Foxtel to them. Why? 'Cos they were offended at the BBC's scathing propaganda and lies against them including making up stories about Tiananman square. Stupid is as stupid does...that's right follow little sheep...follow him straight to hell!

  7. Blast Hardcheese17/3/11 7:44 am

    Dirty Dingus, you have an intriguing theory there. I know of only one way to test it. We will have Summer Glau touch me all over, and see if I die.

    I know, it will be a huge sacrifice on my part, but it's for the greater good. Tell my family I love them...

  8. For Lord's sake, a NORTH KOREAN invasion of the U.S.? They can't even take over South Korea or grow rice, let alone invade the U.S. Why not just feature invaders from Lichtensten or Andorra, and be done with it? In any case, re-making "Red Dawn" is a stupid idea anyway. It was a Second Cold War period piece, and that period is over. I personally enjoyed Red Dawn back then, if only because it made all the Best People squeal.

    Hey, here's an idea; let's get Milius to write a screenplay where Muslim hordes over-run the U.S., in cooperation with Mexico, and are fought off by scantily clad female freedom fighters led by Sarah Palin. I mean, the Middle East is a dead zone for American movies anyway, it would make liberals squeal even louder, and Hell, the Arabs and Mexicans would probably like it. I'd certainly buy a ticket...

  9. Hollywood has already shown that the view middle America with utter contempt, and care more about pleasing China and turd world dictators that the American audience.

    America by and large has shown that contempt in return by voting with our dollars and walking away. Call of Duty Black Ops, a pro-military anti-commie game is now the HIGHEST GROSSING GAME in history.

    They do not care about giving us what we want anymore. So we will contunie to bootleg films on bittorent until the theatre chains go under and they are forced to panhandle on the streets to raise funds for their next "important" film

  10. I also think this PLEASE CHINA move for Red Dawn reeks of desperation. The studio execs know that this movie will under-perform. So they need to pull out all the stops to lessen the blow.

    If this film was foretasted to make millions, they would not care about offending the Chinese, but they know the need that market ti compensate and changing China to North Korea might get a few Homefront players to buy tickets.

    It might also cause confusion with Homefront players who think the game is based on the movie or vice versa.

    This plan has the potential to blow up in their face.