BEIJING— China is wooing filmmakers at the same time as it's cracking down on them. But while China is avidly pursuing what it considers serious content to replace popular dating, reality and game shows, it is also stifling material with any whiff of challenging the Communist Party line.» Read More
Folks, we are in for a long, ugly strike in Tinseltown unless something gives this week. I covered the Writers strike in 1988, and people lost their homes. Nineteen years later, as Julia Boorstin is reporting, both sides have less leverage because consumers have so many more entertainment outlets now compared to then, from YouTube to Xbox.
Seems I struck a nerve with yesterday's post on the format war involving next generation DVD's. I came into the office today, welcomed by a flood of nasty e-mails challenging the blog, the premise, the spelling (sheeesh, "their" vs. "there" -- it's been corrected!)
Could it be a "black-and-blue" Friday for Blu-ray? There are rumblings about a big announcement coming from Wal-Mart that could give a big boost to HD-DVD. I'm hearing that the company will begin selling the Toshiba HD-A2 for $98 in a special one-day, in-store secret sale. The unit sells for $198 at Circuit City and Amazon, so this is a steep discount.
Here's an update to my previous post: Best Buy now confirms it will match Wal-Mart's $98 HD-DVD sale on Friday on the Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player. The web site Gizmodo says Best Buy online is already sold out, but that local pick-up might work. And Blu-ray? The ball's in your court.
In the entertainment industry, the idea of being green is very, very cool. You can't go two feet without seeing a Prius--they're even becoming the limo-of-choice for the Oscars. I myself bought a Prius in May and I love it. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it's also incredibly convenient. Not having to fill up that often saves a ton of money, and all that time wasted at the gas station. Tons of time.
As many of you know, yesterday was the Taco Bell World Series promotion. I’ve received tons of e-mails from people telling me that I’ve underestimated how many tacos Taco Bell was going to give out. As I’ve said, I admit I underestimated because I didn’t think Taco Bell would promote the giveaway as much as they did. But maybe they really did want to give away tacos.
My head is buzzing at the moment. I've been out on the farm trying to separate fact from fiction in the "great bee disappearance of 2007." This on the same week Jerry Seinfeld debuts in an animated movie in which he plays a bee. It's all about the bees lately. Seinfeld's film, "Bee Movie," is his first big splash since his hit show's final broadcast in May 1998.
NBC Universal and News Corp's HULU.COM finally launches after six months, plenty of delays, name-calling, and mocking. The joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp's Fox was announced in March, conceived as a media company-controlled way to distribute a broad range of professionally created content--a viable alternative to YouTube.
"American Gangster"--starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe--is one of the most highly anticipated Oscar contenders. It's not hitting theaters until a week from today, November 2nd, but it's already available on Manhattan's piracy central, Canal Street, and in downtown Los Angeles.
Haven't had much time to blog as I'm out here covering the California wildfires. Wish I could tell you all I've seen but here's at least one slice. For all the problems people sometimes have with their insurance companies, here in Southern California, right now those agents are heroes.
Malibu is so beautiful, and so far from the grind of LA traffic, it's a natural fit for Hollywood moguls and celebrities who want peace and quiet on their private beach, and the ritziness of the local Malibu Country Mart, which of course is home to a Nobu sushi restaurant. The dozens of high powered Hollywood honchos and are now suffering from the terrible wildfires.
Microsoft has momentum as its friend when it comes to the game console business. Finally. Halo 3 has been like a magic elixir for Xbox 360, by some measures tripling console sales in the wake of the title's release, and for the first time, Microsoft beat sales of Nintendo's Wii during the month of September, selling an average of 105,600 units a week last month.
Fox knows how to produce content--and now its interactive division is producing a special kind of content for the web. But, these aren't just ordinary 'mobisodes:' this is a show created solely for MySpace TV, which is of course owned by News Corp.
The Hollywood screen and TV writers have all cast their votes on whether or not to strike--the deadline was yesterday. And today, at about two or three pm pacific time, the WGA is expected to announce that they've gotten authorization to strike--a nice threat to have in their pocket when they go into the 11th day of negotiations with the Producers on Monday.
Do you remember the bug scene in King Kong (the 2005 version) where the heroes get dumped by Kong into the bottom of a ravine filled giant insects? Well, one of those creepy crawlies might just have been a weta.
"Mad Men," a TV show from Lions Gate about Madison Avenue AdMen in 1960, has been a hit among a very small audience. It airs on a division of Cablevision, Rainbow Media's AMC, which has only 90 million subscribers.
Disneyland's California Adventure was never a hit like the rest of the parks, largely because it lacked the draw of Disney's brands. Now a $1.1 billion overhaul aims to fix all that, starting by tapping into the power of Pixar with a "Cars World" theme, pegged to the successful digitally animated feature.
I've been blown away by the response I've gotten to my blog yesterday about Ann Coulter. More of it can be read in my next post! (Notice how I worked her name into the headline). Meantime, I'm too shallow to swim in deep thoughts for long, so let's get back to more ridiculous topics, like O.J.
Even though an O.J. Simpson mask made in the mid 90s sold for nearly $300 on eBay a couple weeks ago, this blog is happy to say we're confident that this year's pick for best sports Halloween costume isn't O.J. And it's not going to cost you $300 either.
The response to the Ann Coulter blog streams in! From Roald M: "Miss Wells states very well what christians believe. Ann Coulter, as is her style, put christian beliefs in a way that meant to bring on discussion or comment, but believe me, was not mean spirited..
Discussing summer traffic, and the attention to safety associated with park rides, with Matthew Ouimet, Cedar Fair president & CEO.
California will triple its tax breaks for entertainment companies doing business in the state in an effort to bring production back to the state.
Amazon launching its third wave of original pilots: three half-hour comedies and two hour-long dramas with big names attached.
Amazon Studios is set to premier its third pilot. Quartz contributor Jason Lynch, discusses Amazon's slate of shows and challenge to Netflix.
That changed with digital video recorders and Internet streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. I used some recent trips to finish Showtime's "Dexter" and start CBS' "The Good Wife." In between, I breezed through Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" and the second season of " House of Cards.
This is why a breakthrough TV product from Apple has not emerged, according to Walter Isaacson, "Steve Jobs" biographer.