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13 May 2011 15:27


Culture: What Charlie Sheen thinks about his replacement, Ashton Kutcher

  • nice When asked to react to news that Ashton Kutcher would replace Sheen on “Two and a Half Men,” he had this to say: “Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer.” And he has way more followers than Charlie.
  • not-so-nice However, Chuckie had more to say to the producers of the show. “Enjoy the show, America. Enjoy seeing a 2.0 in the demo every Monday, WB,” he said. Hear that? That’s the sound of a man with a chip on his shoulder. source

04 May 2011 15:01


Biz: Warner Bros. buys up Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster

  • A conflict of interest on the side? One of the internet’s most popular movie review websites will now be owned by one of America’s major movie and entertainment studios. The acquisition has less to do with Rotten Tomatoes, however, than it does Flixster, a movie review/streaming company that counted RT as one of its subsidiaries — Warner Bros. wanted Flixster to push a competitive advantage against Netflix, and their new ownership of the widely-known review aggregator is a byproduct of that. So, if Warner Bros. makes a piece of utter dreck, hopefully you’ll still be able to see that not-so-fresh “tomatometer” rating. source

13 Dec 2010 23:25


Culture: Loser AND winner in ultra-dark “Yogi Bear” parody case? Warner Bros.

  • Credit where credit’s due: Warner Bros. could’ve totally ripped apart Edmund Earle for creating this spot-on (and very dark) parody of the much-derided “Yogi Bear” film that’s coming out this week. But instead, the company’s letting Earle keep it up. There might be some back-end benefit for the Warners, anyway – the parody (which looks like the “Yogi Bear” film, almost too closely) riffs on “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” That film, an Oscar-nominated flick from 2007, only made back half of its budget, so it could stand to benefit from the fresh notoriety. And guess who distributed that flick? That’s right. Warner Bros. source

11 Oct 2010 23:18


Music, Tech: By catering to majors, eMusic loses a simple, effective model

  • simple eMusic starts out with a basic, credits-based model which allows you to download tons of indie music each month.
  • busy To win over Sony and Warner Bros., they slightly modify the model to make full albums worth a little more.
  • complex To win over Universal, eMusic will charge a variety of different prices for different songs. This is a bad idea. source
  • » And credits are going away, too: To win Universal over, they’re going to have to charge 89 cents per track for some of their songs. While this is cheaper than iTunes, it’s also nearly twice as much as many of their other tracks. We don’t know what eMusic’s profitability is like, but this, to us, feels like it’s going to backfire. The changes are a little too extreme, and it no longer feels like they’re the cheap alternative. Can we lament the loss of eMusic (circa 2007) yet?

31 Jul 2010 16:58


Culture: “The Thief and the Cobbler,” the saddest story in film history

  • In the era of startup culture, there’s much to learn from Richard Williams. Williams, a brilliant, highly respected animator, had a crazy dream to build his own masterpiece, based loosely on Persian culture. Williams started the project in 1968 as a side-project on top of a bunch of other things, and later turned his skill into a gig as animation director for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” which won him a bunch of Oscars. That’s where the trouble began.
  • losing a projectThe film, built around two largely mute characters, was picked up by Warner Bros. in the late 1980s. They eventually grew angry with Williams after he went over deadline and over budget, and dropped out of the project altogether. The insurance company then kicked Williams out of his own project. The heartless bastards! What nerve!
  • blame “ALaddin”At the time that “Thief” had been pulled out from under Williams, a movie greatly inspired by his work was being produced by Disney. “Aladdin” was a monster success. When “Thief” was finally released as “Arabian Knight” in 1995, it was loaded with unnecessary dialogue, terrible songs, and cheap, awful animation. And it bombed.
  • legacy and lessons“Thief,” a massive failure that Williams doesn’t talk about anymore, has been re-cut by a fan (see above), but it’s not the same. If you ever needed proof that sometimes money ruins great things, here you go. Protect your ideas. Protect their integrity. Fight for their creative purity. It can be taken away like that. source

10 Jul 2009 14:39


Music: Perez Hilton starts record label, still aiming for global domination

  • He says he really wants to be a gay, white Oprah. Well, he’s not starting a production company or opening schools in Africa – yet – but the guy does seem pretty intent on world domination. His gossip blog got a whopping 268.9 million hits in June and he can take credit for “discovering” the likes of Mika and Lady Gaga…that’s good, right? source

09 Jan 2009 15:00


Culture: Producer to movie companies: “Let Watchmen come out!”

  • Infighting over a big-time movie. The anticipated release of the comic-book movie “Watchmen” has been gummed up a little by lawyers for 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. The $130 million movie is supposed to come out in March, but Fox claims the Warners never secured property rights to make it. Producer Lloyd Levin released a statement asking Fox to relent, noting they repeatedly passed on the film. source