Monday, January 11, 2010

Don’t Scrap Spider-Man 4!

There were so many new stories in the Entertainment Industry for me to talk about, but when I read this one, I had to address it right away. Columbia Pictures has decided not to make Spider-Man 4. Instead, they are going to reboot the series in 2012 without director Sam Raimi or actor Tobey Maguire.

There are times when a series is due to be remade. The Batman franchise from 1989-1997 went from an exciting part one to a cheesy part four. Remaking that series, the films were made darker and more serious. With the success of The Dark Knight being the second highest grossing film in U.S. history (Avatar may change that), it is safe to say that rebooting the Batman franchise was an excellent idea.

It appears that the Spider-Man franchise was getting very expensive to make. Tobey Maguire had his salaries for Spider-Man 2 and 3 already locked in when he made the first film. There were reports that he would have received a huge raise to make Spider-Man 4. Add his potential salary of $40 million to the already high cost of making another Spider-man film, Columbia Pictures could risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars if Spider-Man 4 does not deliver the same audience as the first three films.

Who said that Spider-Man has to spend so much time in the air? I loved the Spider-Man franchise, but they can use a good story and great action to replace battles in the air between Spider-Man and another villain. There are ways to reduce the amount of special effects that a film uses and still make the film more exciting.

I think part of the problem is that the recent Spider-Man franchise felt like a trilogy and part 4 could feel like just adding an episode to it. Issues that developed in the first Spider-Man were resolved in part 3 and there was a feeling that the series had ended on the proper note. That being said, rebooting the series so soon will probably be a huge mistake. Unlike the four Batman films from 1989-1997, the Spider-Man series only had one man playing the lead role (Tobey Maguire), not three. I have a feeling that a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise would be a big mistake and the film could potentially be a box-office flop.

I say that you don’t fix something that is not broken. Spider-Man 3 was the highest grossing film of 2007 inside the United States. Does the franchise really need to be rebooted? I do not think so. I believe that blocking Spider-Man 4 in favor of rebooting the franchise is one of the worst decisions in the Entertainment Industry.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

He Took Jay’s Job!

I remember when Johnny Carson retired after being the host of The Tonight Show for 30 years, Jay Leno was chosen to replace him. When Johnny Carson left The Tonight Show, he truly retired from the entertainment business. The point I am trying to make is that, Johnny Carson left The Tonight Show because he wanted to retire.

Jay Leno did not retire from The Tonight Show. He was booted after being the host for 17 years. He was not booted for saying something offensive or for declining viewership. He was booted because NBC was too scared to imagine Conan O’Brien leaving them for another network to have his show on at the same time as The Tonight Show.

This is the Entertainment Industry’s version of “Younger, Faster, Cheaper, Better.”

But it is backfiring big-time.

David Letterman used to joke around about being #3 in the ratings behind both Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. Now David Letterman’s show is ranked #1 in front of both of them. Why is this? In my opinion, it is because no one messed with his show.

NBC executives were so worried of losing Conan O’Brien, that they took The Tonight Show away from Jay Leno and gave it to Conan. They announced this a few years ahead of time so everyone can prepare for the change. It was also reported that Conan’s contract includes a $40 million penalty if NBC takes away The Tonight Show from him. What were they thinking? Did they really have to make the penalty on themselves that high? Conan O’Brien is funny, but NBC completely tied their hands behind their own backs by doing this.

Now The Jay Leno Show, which is on for an hour before Conan, is tanking in the ratings. In addition, Conan’s show is doing poorly to The David Letterman Show. When I would watch some of the new Tonight Show, I cannot hold back the feeling that I am watching a man (Conan) who stole another man’s job. It feels different to me to watch Conan now than it did when he was on at his old time slot. I believe that Conan is probably an extremely nice guy, but not only did he step on Jay Leno’s toes, it feels like he smashed them and you can see the bloody footprints on the floor as Jay had to walk away. In a way, NBC has turned Conan O’Brien into the villain, Jay Leno into the victim, and thrown their ratings into the toilet.

Now there is talk of moving Jay Leno back to the 11:35 time slot for a 30-minute show and then have The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien afterwards. Will this work? I don’t know, but it is clear that NBC made some bad decisions and any change would be better than the status quo.

I want to clarify that I love NBC. I also prefer to get my news from NSNBC than from any other organization. I also think that Jay Leno is one of the nicest human beings in Hollywood. But from my view, I just have a negative view about Conan O’Brien because I feel that he stole, not inherited, Jay Leno’s show from him. Did anyone at NBC ask themselves this question, “Will people be angry at Conan O’Brien for taking Jay Leno’s show from him?”

I think that Conan should address that question, because a lot of people are secretly thinking it. From my view, Conan took Jay’s job while knowing that Jay Leno wanted to continue to host The Tonight Show. I have always viewed Conan as being very funny and talented, but I cannot help but to have a negative view of Conan O’Brien.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Brown-Eyed Hoax

This article is dedicated to Courtney Herrell, who is proud to be a Brown-Eyed Girl.

It is not often that I have to completely side with a celebrity over reporters, but this is one of those few situations. Normally I feel that celebrities choose to be famous so should not complain when their personal lives become public news, but in this situation, the personal life of Van Morrison became fake news. Van Morrison did not deserve for this to happen.

It was reported on the website of Van Morrison, who is known for songs like Brown-Eyed Girl, that the 64-year-old singer had recently become the father to a newborn baby. I was surprised to read this and felt that this was another situation of an old-male celebrity who had a baby that he will probably not see graduate from high school. But in this situation, it turned out that a hacker had posted the news of the newborn on Van Morrison’s own website.

I do not blame the media for following this story because it is usually safe to assume that what a celebrity has posted on his or her personal website is true. Celebrities use their websites, Twitter, and Facebook to directly reach out to their fans. Sometimes we can assume that the celebrity has someone posting the updates for them, but we should never have to assume that the websites have been hacked.

Some people may feel that a hoax like this can be easily dealt with, but it would be difficult for a celebrity to have to take charge of correcting the hoax. Van Morrison probably received congratulations from friends and relatives. He may have had to call each of his children who had heard through the grapevine that they had another sibling, just to tell them that this was false. Imagine if you lived far from your parents, and then heard that one of them had another child, without you ever being informed that a child was on the way? Then you may feel the excitement of knowing that you have another brother or sister. Then you find out that the story was false. It is possible that a lot of people were hurt by this hoax.

There is no moral to this situation. Van Morrison was a victim. I hope that a situation like this does not discourage other celebrities from using websites, Twitter, and Facebook to reach out to their fans, because direct communication is usually the most honest way to hear news about celebrities.
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