MCN Commentary & Analysis

29 Weeks To Oscar: The Oscar Season Starts… Or Does It?

September 5, 2021

Venice and Telluride are off to rip-roaring starts. Well… Here are the films that survived the weekend, between the two festivals. Not frontrunners. Not a one of them. But well-liked and in the game… in order… 1. King Richard2. The Power of the Dog (both festivals)3. Belfast 4. Spencer (both festivals)5. Dune 6. Cyrano Half […]

Tweeted: Academy & Oscar (September 3)

September 5, 2021

The problem with The Academy Awards, as a popular TV event, is not the difference between a 2hr 30min show and a 3hr 15min show. It’s about a failure to understand the brand that has been going on for years and years now. If this Matt Belloni report is true, it is profoundly idiotic. “I’m […]

When Chaos Came To Town – Episode II: If 100 Million People Watch A Tree Fall For Two Minutes, Does It Make A Sound?

August 28, 2021

Monday, I looked at what the studios are chasing in streaming (the world)… and the long road ahead. Today, a little about how they are chasing it and the unexpected consequences that are still being mostly unexamined outside of the deep, dark rooms inside the offices of the streamers. A cottage industry has quickly grown, […]

When Chaos Came To Town – Episode I: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

August 23, 2021

There once was a time in this business when they had the eyes of the whole world in theaters! But that wasn’t good enough for them, oh no! They had to have control of the homes of the whole world, too. So they opened their big libraries and out came VHS. DVD! STREAMING! — apologies […]

Uncle David’s House Of Box Office: Reboot

August 2, 2021

I haven’t written about weekly box office in a really long time. Even before the pandemic, it became an overwrought exercise. But Disney has triggered me. I’m not even clear in my own head about what it is that so worries me about their behavior around Black Widow and Jungle Cruise. Even when they announced […]

A Year Later… Movie Content Scoreboard

July 7, 2021

Last year, on July 23, I wrote the first “Movie Content Scoreboard.” I am a little early with this final look at the pandemic effect on choices made on theatrical releases. Front-and-center in the column was a list of The Untouchables… films that seemed, at that point, too significant throw to the whims of exclusive […]

What Did Pandemic Box Office Actually Look Like

June 4, 2021

I haven’t been writing much (besides on Twitter) in a while. I just don’t want to contribute to the endless churn of writers pretending to know what they do not, suggesting that every event is defining, and basically acting like gossips. What can I add to the conversation? How about a domestic chart of the […]

When Netflix Met Cinemark… And Nothing Happened

May 4, 2021

So news today, on May The 4th Be (fill in your favorite), that Cinemark and a bunch of the smaller chains will unite for a 600-screen run for Zack Snyder’s latest masterwork, Army of the Dead, opening in 17 days. There are a lot of ways to look at this. Of course, the expected “they […]

The Little *Oscar Show That Couldn’t

April 26, 2021

“A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The restClung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;They thought, ‘If only Casey could but get a whack at that—We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.’” “Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,The band […]

Gurus o’ Gold Pull Into the Station

April 23, 2021

A handful of dead certs, say the Gurus, taking a nod from the last of the guilds voting.

Can TV Engage Racism Without Being Racist?

April 18, 2021

I ran into this Vulture piece by Angelica Jade Bastién that is presented as a review of a new limited series this week. It is titled, “Them Is Pure Degradation Porn.“ My first reaction was to roll my eyes. I think the series is masterful and perhaps the most significant fictional work on the experience […]

The Gurus Predict Best Picture And Make Three Little Wishes

April 16, 2021

The Gurus foresee Nomadland with The Trial of the Chicago 7 not far behind; each guru reveals Thee Little Wishes for wins that would make them grin.

13 Days To *Oscar

April 12, 2021

Final voting starts on Thursday (the 15th)… end of Tuesday (the 20th). And still, outside of the nominees, their companies, their parents, their agents, and the possibility that Steven Soderbergh will do something really interesting… it’s such a “so what?” at this point. It’s been a pretty nice season. The Holy Complainers basically sat this […]

17 Days To Oscar: I Am So Sad & Angry.

April 8, 2021

Writer’s block happens. But it isn’t happening to me right now. What is happening is that for over a week, I have been writing columns about different subjects and never quite getting to the end because everything feels like a bottomless pit. It’s not COVID anymore. I am feeling pretty good about that, even as […]

Movie Content Scoreboard: The Experimental Window… Spoke Too Soon

March 25, 2021

I wrote last week that the theatrical experimental window was closing. But then Disney did its reset for the coming summer. And it makes perfect sense, really. There are two clear, opposing ideas in play. First, for the bigger movies to make the money they hope to make, theaters need to be open and at […]

*Oscar Nominations: The Morning After

March 16, 2021

If a tree falls in the woods, but everyone is watching their TVs, does it make a noise? It’s been more than 24 hours since The Jonases, beautiful, talented, and from media other than film, adorably announced the *Oscar nominations. And for that day+, I have been – and it seems others have been, too […]

Movie Content Scoreboard: The Experimental Window Closes

March 16, 2021

Like the movie business itself, the media wants answers about what will happen as the option of seeing movies in a movie theater becomes normal again. But as we saw this past weekend (March 5, 2021), landmarks like reopening New York theaters are not anything close to turning the key and getting back to March […]

The Gurus Polish the Gold On Nomination Morning

March 15, 2021

What Monday is it? Oh! Oh!

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Variety

"With Toronto, Telluride, Ven­ice, New York and other key fests opening amid an overcrowded field that includes films postponed from 2020, the acclaim, buzz and dis­tinction festivals bestow on award contenders is more important than ever — especially for spec­tacles such as Dune, which lose impact on the small screen in hybrid streaming/theatrical releases. Yet the surging Delta variant now threatens to derail premieres, star appearances, in-person screenings and the press, the public’s and Oscar vot­ers’ willingness to attend them.

"On August 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci­ences postponed all screenings and in-person events for 2021. And on August 30, despite the U.S. having around 60 times as many COVID-19 cases as Canada and a much lower vaccination rate over the previous four weeks, per Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. State Dept. advised Americans to “reconsider travel to Canada due to [a high level of] COVID-19” there.

“There’s nothing conclu­sive right now, and everyone is not quite sure how to proceed because of the nature of the COVID pandemic,” says Sony Pic­tures Classics co-president Tom Bernard. “Telluride and Toronto have changed what they are going to do dramatically in the last few weeks, putting in a lot more proto­cols. The New York Film Festival is to be determined—what are they and AFI Fest going to do? Running a festival is like trying to [control] an oil tanker. You can’t just stop it, [and most events] don’t have festival insurance where you can say, ‘COVID shut us down, we gotta get paid.’ It brings up a lot of questions that are really difficult to answer.”

"It wasn’t supposed to be this way..."

Variety | September 9, 2021

Twitter

“A coalition of some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions is pressuring the Federal Trade Commission to put the brakes on Amazon’s $8.45 billion gambit to buy MGM as the agency decides whether to approve the would-be takeover.”

Twitter | August 11, 2021

Twitter

Ethan Coen Quits?

Twitter | August 3, 2021

LA Times

Crisis Consultant Tells HFPA: “Consider what will happen if you do not pass the bylaws… Some of you may wish for an alternate future but the reality is totally different. As journalists, you understand what the headline will be if you do not pass these bylaws.”

LA Times | July 26, 2021

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