There was another theater massacre last weekend. Casualties ran to nearly 200. Victims were incinerated, bludgeoned, beaten, stabbed, pulled apart by cars (really) and, oh yes, gunned down by the dozen.
It all happened on the screen, to fictional characters. But when Hollywood stars begin demanding gun control for the rest of us, as many have in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, it’s worth taking a hard look at the violence they portray and often glamorize. (video after the break)
The Newtown massacre spurred another round of calls for gun control, with a bill banning “assault weapons” emerging in the senate and the president threatening to take as yet unspecified executive action.
To be sure, Vice President Biden is meeting with entertainment industry representatives to discuss the violence ubiquitous on film and in video games. Given the cozy relationship between Democrats and Hollywood, those talks should produce nothing but photo-ops.
How can someone who garnered nearly 60 million votes in a recent presidential election not be considered the least bit influential? As inexplicable as it sounds, that's what GQ Magazine declared when it selected Mitt Romney to headline its annual list of the 25 most uninspiring and insignificant people of the year. According to the author however, they were ranked in no particular order, "because all zeros are created equal."
Seeing a perfect opportunity to have a little fun at the expense of others, the hosts of MSNBC's The Cycle compiled their own list on Thursday. Token conservative S.E. Cupp appeared to have taken the assignment literally with a clip that introduced the world to a mild-mannered man from Indiana. Krystal Ball and Touré Neblett followed, and having some inkling of where their heads were at -- Cupp pleaded with them not to pick her. Instead they chose Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh respectively, gloating about how wrong they both were about Romney's legitimate chance to emerge victorious. [video below the page break]
You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.
By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]
Throughout his tenure as Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has chosen to maintain a surprisingly low profile. Think quick: how much footage have you seen of him in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath compared to his cross-George Washington Bridge buddy, Chris Christie?
But has Cuomo finally decided the time has come to make himself more visible? A PSA for Hurricane Sandy relief, aired on Morning Joe today featuring a star-studded cast of Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg, Edie Falco, Michael J. Fox, Julianna Margulies and Nathan Lane. One panel, devoid of reference to the relief organization, starkly read "Join Governor Cuomo and New York." View the video after the jump.
A fresh insertion of leftist politics into prime time entertainment television. On Sunday night’s The Good Wife on CBS, which is set in Chicago, a judge strode into court and observed: “I hope you’re staying cool today on this unusually hot November day.” He then declared, “I hope you don’t mind me saying: Global warming 1, skeptics 0.”
He next insisted, in a case of a contractor who supposedly assaulted a soldier in Afghanistan, “I have great respect for all those in uniform, no matter how our government sees fit to employ them.”
Chuck Lorre, executive producer of three sit-coms on CBS (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly), used the ends of two of his shows Thursday night to tease an online diatribe ridiculing Mitt Romney’s “magical underwear” as part of a series of questions mocking right of center policies, such as: “What does it say about us when we export democracy with Hellfire missiles, then restrict the right to vote here?”
Appearing on the Conan O'Brien show on Wednesday night, talk show host Chelsea Handler started laughing at the most inopportune time. Judging by the somber look on O'Brien's face, the comedienne hadn't just cracked a joke. No, the unfortunate reason for her giggling was in remembrance of a child who was deprived the chance to live.
Asked to recollect her adolescence, Handler couldn't resist oversharing. Her rebellious lifestyle resulted in an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, but apparently there was nothing to think twice about. That's when the laughing started. She tried to stop herself, admitting the subject wasn't funny. Yet she continued, trying to justify the humor of her abortion by saying her baby would've been biracial. [ video segment below the page break ]
National Geographic Channel’s decision to air SEAL Team Six two days before the election, along with Harvey Weinstein’s insistence Barack Obama be more prominently featured, is raising reasonable concerns. We don’t want to pass judgement on the content, because we haven’t watched the film. But timing is what matters.
If the National Geographic Channel puts off airing this documentary by just three days, and there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t, it shows they have no agenda. If they don’t postpone it by just 72 hours, it will clearly show that they do. We want to believe that they don’t have an agenda. We’re asking the National Geographic Channel to delay the airing of this documentary until after Election Day. [For the full press release, click here.]
A gratuitous shot at Rush Limbaugh is coming in tonight’s (Wednesday) episode of ABC’s Modern Family sit-com.
In a promo clip played during the network’s post-debate coverage Tuesday evening, “Jay,” played by actor Ed O’Neill, tells a female character: “You’re huge and you’re loud. It’s like sleeping with Rush Limbaugh.”
Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond is reporting that "Hating Breitbart," the Andrew Marcus film which was to hit theaters two days from now has been pushed back to October 19 in a dispute over the film's rating.
Marcus has pushed for PG-13, but the MPAA retained its R rating of the film even after the filmmaker deleted all F-bombs except a few delivered by Breitbart himself. So nine days from now, because time is running short, the film will be released with an R rating. Why MPAA is being so inconsistent? I think it would be useful to look at who is in charge of the organization and who runs the day-to-day ratings operation, and will do that after excerpting key paragraphs from Bond's report:
Traditional media weren’t the biggest fans of the movie “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” when it was released in April 2011. With “Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike” set to hit theaters on Oct. 12, it’ll be hard to top the derision of the last movie. Most reviews of the first film were short and to the point – this movie was terrible because conservatives, more specifically the Tea Party, will like it.
National Geographic's cable television channel is defending its decision to air a new live-action movie entitled "Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden," which focuses on the May 2011 operation that led to the death of the world's most wanted terrorist right before the November election. And if you miss the first showing, you'll be able to catch it on Netflix starting on Monday, still with plenty of time to vote the following day.
"This is a story people have been waiting to witness for themselves, and we feel the combined force of the National Geographic Channel and Netflix will ensure that everyone has the chance at a glimpse inside the heroic efforts of that courageous team of SEALs," according to a press release from the network.
It’s surprising that Hollywood would make a film that sympathetically argues for school choice, the movie Won’t Back Down, starring accomplished actresses Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s not surprising that liberal Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday would then offer a withering one-star review that seemed more like a political judgment than an artistic estimate.
Hornaday huffed: “More than a portrait of spontaneous motherly outrage, it becomes clear that the movie has been designed as an anti-union, pro-charter screed, the fictional counterpart to the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.”
Taking into account how the majority of Hollywood supports the Democratic Party no matter what, it should come as no surprise that Entertainment Tonight continues to produce segments of political fluff in an election year.
The president himself showed up for a softball interview with his wife on Aug. 15, where he insisted that his re-election campaign hasn’t “tried to divide the country.” While avoiding questions from the White House press corps earlier this summer, the president did find the time to sit down with People Magazine, a couple newspapers in Iowa, and called in to a few radio stations however (including a sports talk show).
But far from being excoriated for his obvious pandering scheme, the lapdog media seemed to love it, seeing it as a pitch for the youth vote. Senior Newsweek Editor Tony Dokoupil recently said on Entertainment Tonight that, "young voters want to feel like they're behind the hip party. That's what matters most."
Media liberals are rooting for NBC’s two-gay-dads sitcom The New Normal. USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco made it number two on his favorite new shows: “For the most part, Normal plays like a lovely, small movie, mixing humorous moments with sweet, gentle grace notes.” Alessandra Stanley at The New York Times tries to make the bold statement: "Gay is the new straight."
Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever is less impressed, given that its producer (Glee creator Ryan Murphy) tends to lose creative steam. But Stuever loves the “deliciously acid” Phyllis Schlafly character with Callista Gingrich hair:
In a video interview, anti-Obama filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza told The Hollywood Reporter that MSNBC and other media outlets were “cowards” because they would not acknowledge his new documentary 2016: Obama’s America, despite the film’s emergence this last week in the Top Ten.
D’Souza said: “Look at MSNBC. You could watch that channel and not even know we have a film out – unless you saw a commercial that we’re running for our film. You look at Lawrence O’Donnell, you look at Rachel Maddow, you look at Chris Matthews. I mean, look at those cowards!”
Box Office Mojo shows that "2016: Obama's America" was the fourth-highest grossing film on Friday, taking in $2.255 million, and trailing only "The Expendables 2," "The Bourne Legacy," and "Paranorman." What's more, its per-theatre gross of $2,067 is almost twice that of "Expendables," and well over double every other film in Friday's top ten.
The film also seems assured of becoming the highest grossing post-1982 political documentary coming from the political right.
The upcoming documentary "Occupy Unmasked" is getting the kind of promotional push too rarely received by right-of-center films.
The movie, directed by Steve Bannon and featuring the late Andrew Breitbart, tells the story of the chaotic, destructive Occupy Wall Street movement. The message hardly fits the standard theatrical template, which routinely sides with or sympathizes with the bedraggled protesters seeking their "fair" share of the one percent's cash.
If the recent past and present are any kind of guide, there won’t be much of anything in TV comedy for principled adults to look forward to. Each season sees a little more depravity and immaturity, to the point where juvenile sex humor is almost ubiquitous.
Comedy Central is prepping a new animated series for release this fall. Titled “Brickleberry”, it appears to have one purpose in mind -- to be as offensive as possible. Critically lauded, incredibly vulgar animated shows like South Park and Family Guy provide some indication of what to expect.
He's not exactly a poster child but apparently rapper and heavy metal singer Tracy Marrow (stage name Ice-T) is a supporter of gun rights.
In an interview with a British television channel, Marrow stood up for the Second Amendment saying that the right to bear arms is "the last form of defense against tyranny" and not merely for hunting. Video and transcript below.
The makers of TNT's Rizzoli and Isles, a show which revolves around the careers and friendship of two women, a detective and a medical examiner, apparently aren't fans of the choices made by conservative females who opt for marriage and motherhood over a career. According to the July 17 episode, it's possible that some of these mothers could be driven to kill.
The episode begins with the murder of a prominent psychologist and author of a book called, "No Need to Breed," which advocates for childless marriage. Their primary suspect is a stay-at-home mother of nine who is also the founder of a pro-family website that has spoken out against the victim in the past. As with most people in this day in age, the subject has a profile on the site where she posts website. This causes Officer Rizzoli to scoff, "it's because she leads such a fascinating life that she wants everyone to know what she's doing at all times." [Video follows page break]
In an interview with Meet the Press moderator David Gregory for the Sunday show's web-based feature Press Pass, Political Animals star Sigourney Weaver explained her support for President Obama: "...the Democrats are always going to be about what the people need. And the Republicans are much more serving big business, and I don't think we can afford to serve big business for another four years with Mr. Romney." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Weaver prefaced her slanted observation by admitting: "I'm not a professional politician, so forgive me if it's very simplistic." Gregory encouraged Weaver to discuss her liberal leanings, as he wondered: "What about President Obama? You've been supportive of him, you say you'd be supportive again. And I know that you told Politico that once a president gets a second term, the gloves come off and that a lot of us have sort of been waiting for that."
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today to promote her new USA series Political Animals, actress Sigourney Weaver admitted that her character, a former first lady turned secretary of state, was based in part on Hillary Clinton: "Elaine Barrish Hammond is this very gifted politician with a very strong moral compass....we are inspired by Mrs. Clinton, who's such a remarkable woman and a great secretary of state. She was a great senator for New York State." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
From the twisted imagination that spawned the pro-gay high school show “Glee” comes another new sitcom that is poised to take the gay agenda even further. Aptly-named “The New Normal,” the show depicts a gay couple’s quest to have a child via a surrogate mother and the awful conservative grandmother who dares oppose them.
The show premieres on NBC in September, but it already shows the stamp of its conservative-hating creator Ryan Murphy. The show sets up a typical TV comparison. The gay couple in the show is portrayed as loving. And the “small-minded” grandmother who is against her granddaughter serving as their surrogate mom has “Callista Gingrich” hair, is a “bigot” and must be from the South. Throw in pro-Obama comments and you have a show.
On Thursday's NBC Rock Center, just days after calling for more liberal media bias against conservatives, left-wing screen writer Aaron Sorkin dismissed the idea that he has a reputation as an outspoken liberal: "I don't know so much about my being known for my liberal politics.... I don't have very much political sophistication at all." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Correspondent Savannah Guthrie skeptically replied: "Really, you're not known for your liberal politics?" Sorkin argued: "I don't feel that way about myself. Maybe I am. I've met activists, I'm not one of them. You know, they'll march. They'll do things that are hard. I, I don't."
Writer/producer Aaron Sorkin, whose new drama, Newsroom, about a cable news anchor -- which debuts this Sunday night on HBO -- proved in a USA Today piece he lives in a fantasy world. First, he maintained that when watching broadcast network news “I don’t see the liberal bias — and I’m trying to — that I hear about,” insisting: “What I do see is a bias toward fairness, a bias toward neutrality...”
Second, in the imaginary world he created for HBO, he inserts liberal bias by having his lead character castigate the Tea Party from the left, which – implausibly – upsets network executives. USA Today recounted how cable news anchor “Will McAvoy,” played by Jeff Daniels, “goes after the Tea Party activists and billionaire Koch brothers who helped fund it for seizing control of the Republican Party, earning the ire of the network’s parent company, led by...”