Sunday, December 21, 2014

The December 2014 Follow-Up Post

It's been a while since we've had one of these, hasn't it? If you're new to the blog, these are posts where I write up brief additional comments updating pieces that have been previously posted, specifically where I don't feel I have enough to say about the matter to justify writing an entire new post about them. And here we go:

The MoviePass Math - MoviePass has turned out to be a viable business, so AMC has decided to get in on the action, announcing that they're testing out monthly subscription plans that will allow theatergoers to watch a movie a day for a flat fee. With theater attendance dropping and similar subscription plans gaining popularity in other countries, I expect that we'll see other chains follow suit, hopefully with more competitive pricing.

They're Calling the Movie What? - Well, it's finally happened. We have a major studio that has changed the title of a movie after its theatrical release. In this case, the Tom Cruise action movie released as "Edge of Tomorrow" is being marketed for home media under "Live. Die. Repeat.: Edge of Tomorrow." "Live. Die. Repeat." was initially the tagline. Apparently the crummy marketing campaign confused potential viewers who mixed up the two. It's a shame because the movie was a lot stronger than most of Tom Cruise's recent efforts. And I still prefer the source material's title, "All You Need is Kill," proper grammar be damned.

My Last Blockbuster Trip - It turns out you don't need a physical Blockbuster store to rifle through their inventory. The discs that couldn't be sold during the liquidations have been dumped in bargain stores. I found more pre-viewed Criterions of Jean Renoir's "The River, " Yasujiro Ozu's "Floating Weeds," and Oliver Parker's "The Importance of Being Ernest" in a display at a local Grocery Outlet, for $3 a pop. This could turn into a terrible habit.

Say It Ain't So, Spill.Com - Spill is no more, but its members have created two new sites to carry on its mission. Korey Coleman and Martin Thomas rounded up the Spill fanbase, went to Kickstarter, and created, releasing podcasts pretty close to the same format as what they had on Spill, though I miss A Couple of Cold Ones. Chris Cox and Brian Salisbury started, which celebrates geek culture. Alas, the Co-Host 3000 has been MIA, but I'm still holding out hope he'll be back someday.

What to Do About Wonder Woman? - The best news to have come out of the Warners camp about their slate of DC films is that Michelle McLaren, veteran of "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones," has been attached to direct "Wonder Woman." That means the Zack Snyder nightmare scenario I had been dreading won't come to pass. McLaren has been a geek favorite for a while now, and I'm happy to see her making her film debut. However, the Wonder Woman property is such a minefield, I'm a little worried that this could all fall apart and impact her filmmaking career badly before she even gets started.

Dubious Days for Dreamworks - The bad news just refuses to let up for Dreamworks. "The Penguins of Madagascar" didn't exactly bomb at the box office, but it's falling well short of expectations. Its domestic numbers are actually worse than "The Rise of the Guardians" at the same point in its theatrical run. Foreign numbers are helping, but not very much. At the time of writing, the total gross is $175 million, and the film cost $132 million. If a dependable franchise like "Madagascar" can't attract audiences anymore, Dreamworks looks to be in deep trouble. It's no wonder they moved "Kung Fu Panda 3" to 2016, to avoid the competition from "Star Wars."

Greta Gerwig is Starring in What?! - Though its creators are holding out hope for a resurrection in the future, "How I Met Your Dad" didn't make CBS's fall schedule and Greta Gerwig has yet to make her television debut. Thank goodness. Meanwhile, none of the "Wizard of Oz" themed television shows I wrote about in TV's "Oz" Overload have gotten anywhere. The closest was NBC's "Emerald City," which was ordered straight to series, but never got past the script stage.

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