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Monday, March 24, 2014

CINEMA BuzzFEED - 24 March 2014

Bedding Down At Your Local Cinema

What are those moaning sounds? Who's that snoring? Wow - put your shoes back on! After all, we are in a movie theater.

Electric Theatre in England
Yes, cinebeds - the latest in movie viewing comfort.  Forget about recliners, it's all about bedroom style movie enjoyment complete with pillows and blankets. Why, it's better than home!

Never mind the person next to you talking or texting on their cell, they could just be ordering up more concession for delivery to their comfy digs.

Cinebeds, Olympia Theatre, Athens, Greece  

Ok, so get your jamies and let's go see a movie. Hurry, I don't want to miss the trailers.

Although we chuckle, these cinemas do draw good crowds.  Be it for novelty, date-night, or pure comfort, with admission pricing in the $25-50 range per person it may be the cinebed theatres that have the last laugh.

Iranians Says, "It's Just A Movie Prop"

Photo of US Aircraft Carrier
Reuters reported last week that a replica of a US aircraft carrier was photographed  in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.  The look-alike ship, a copy of a US neclear-powered carrier complete with jets on board, is being constructed as a prop for a movie being made about the accidental downing of an Iran Air Lines passenger plane by the USS Vincennes in 1988.  The thought is that the replica ship will be blown-up during the filming of the movie.

A spokesperson for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet acknowledged that the 'fake' ship exists and that, "it is akin to a Hollywood set, it's not an actual warship. It is made to look like one of ours. It's a bit of a head-scratcher as we don't know what the purpose of it is."

However, Iranian newspapers have reported that, "it is part of the decor" of a movie being made by the Iranian director Nader Talebzadeh. "The issue has turned into a good excuse for another wave of hype against Iran", says the Irani news website Alef, "Without any proof or real basis, western media have jumped again to paint a more negative picture of Iran."

CMG contacted the NYC Iranian Consul but were told no one was available to discuss the issue.

007 Fans Duped

Last week James Bond fans were tricked into believing that a trailer for an upcoming Bond movie, entitled 'Come and Dive', was the real thing.  Unfortunately, the trailer (posted on YouTube) and its accompanying press release were bogus.

The fake video quickly went viral in the blogosphere before YouTube realized and took it down.  The phony press release (pretending to be from Sony Pictures) had gone out to a number of media outlets, including the LA Times.  It stated, "In 'Come and Dive', Bond will be swept away by a dangerous love story.  As MI-6 rises from its ashes, 007 must protect a mysterious stranger and unveil long forgotten secrets. Spotted by both The Times and Total Film's blogs, the Times reported, "It's easy to understand how it could be real - at least for a second or so."

The real 24th installment of the Bond franchise is slated to start filming in October - with a release date of November 2015.  The film has yet to be titled.  Along with Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes will be returning, and replace Judi Dench as Bond's boss and head of MI-6.

Jim Lavorato

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pixar Hits Keep Coming

Pixar, the animation arm of Disney Studios, has won an unprecedented seven Oscars for Best Animated Film: 'Finding Nemo' (2004), 'The Incredibles' (2005), 'Ratatouille' (2008), 'Wall-E' (2009), 'Up' (2010), 'Toy Story 3' (2011), and 'Brave' (2012), and it appears that its winning ways will continue.

The Incredibles

This week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger announced that Pixar would be making a sequel to the very successful 'The Incredibles' - 10 years after its initial release. 'The Incredibles'  backstory is that of a family of crime-fighting superheros (the Parr's - which includes Bob (the father, who has incredible strength), Helen (the mother, who is super elastic) and their three children - Violet (invisibility power) Dash (super speedster) and Jack-Jack (wide range of super powers) who get involved in adventures where their superpowers must be used - and that's when the fun begins. 'The Incredibles' sequel has been long awaited and is anticipated to be a box office buster.

In his address, Iger also announced that a 'Cars 3', the third installment of the 2006 feature 'Cars' would also be produced. This announcement was more the surprise as 'Cars' was a tepid box office grosser and its sequel, 'Cars 2' (2010) was considered, at least by Pixar's standards, to be a box office flop.  However, over the years, the 'Cars' franchise (well loved by its young and loyal fans) has generated billions of dollars in merchandising sales - including, toys, books, and games. Additionally, there is a Cars' Land attraction at the Disney Land theme park in CA, which is one of the Park's most popular attractions.

The 'Cars' films are also responsible for the production of the very successful 'Planes' animated feature, which was released last year.  Its sequel, 'Planes: Fire and Rescue' is scheduled for release this summer.

Overall, Pixar's track record has been very impressive and it has taken full advantage if its successes with sequels (such as 'Toy Story 2 and 3') and spin-offs ('Finding Dory', to be released in 2016, is a spin-off of the very popular and lucrative 'Finding Nemo').

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CINEMA BuzzFEED - 19 March 2014

'Popcorn Time' Fails To Pop

Movie pirate app 'Popcorn Time' shut down just two days after its launch.  Called "the Netflix of piracy", Popcorn Time, a free app which allowed the downloading of first-run movies, was launched and summarily pulled off the internet.

Its creators, who remain anonymous, stated in their blog that, "We are enormously proud of our creation.  We are the underdog that would fight for the consumer.  We are standing up against an old -fashioned industry. The movie industry has way too many ridiculous restrictions on way too many markets". 

So, these content pirates are creating a free app that people can access to watch movies. Seems like a lot of time and effort to produce something so that a few, other dishonest, people can view movies on their cellphones and tablets.  Why don't these masterminds produce entertainment content of their own and give it out for free!  Why pirate others' works so a 'consumer' can access movies free? Why does the common man need free movies to watch? Why not build an app that is useful for everyone, like a green app, or health app, educational app. Building an app so others can pirate movies makes no sense - it serves no useful purpose other than to 'get'  big, bad Hollywood.

There is nothing new and different about 'Popcorn Time' - it's just another piracy scheme using a better platform.  It's not genius. It's not altruistic. It's spivery on the periphery of the entertainment industry and nothing more - and should be recognized as such.

3D Continues To Decline At Cinemas

According to a report by Charlotte Jones, Associate Director for Media and Technology Digest, and a source CMG has found to be very credible, 3D movies continue to be shunned by the public.

For 2013, box office revenues from 3D movies totalled $1.96 billion for N. America, that's down over 4% from 2010's total. 3D has become less and less in demand by moviegoers even for major blockbusters. Re-introduced five years ago with the release of  'Avatar' - the overuse and poor quality of 3D in a number of releases did not win over moviegoers.

The leading title in terms of revenue solely from 3D in 2013 was 'Gravity' (Warner Bros.), which grossed 81% of its total box office from 3D admissions (one of the highest shares ever recorded for a 3D release). This demonstrates that audiences will seek out 3D films which they feel bring value-added entertainment to their viewing experience and sticking with the 2D version (and cheaper admission) for those movies that do not.

Total 3D releases for 2013 were 39, with  'Iron Man' being the most successful 3D /2D release in terms of total box office draw.  3D animated films continued to underperform - accounting for just 25% of all 3D box office, down 8% from 2012.  This was compounded by the fact that there were 26 animated titles released in 3D for the year vs. only 12  in 2012.  Again, demonstrating that audiences were not convinced that the 3D upcharge was warranted.

Hollywood Filmmakers/Stars Lured To TV
Productions like 'Sons' lure H'wood Talent

Once upon a time, Hollywood movie stars and big-time film directors shunned working on TV as the 'small' screen was viewed as inferior to the cinema.  TV was for those that couldn't make it in the majors or were working their way up the entertainment food chain.  Not so anymore, in fact, major stars and directors are flocking to TV.

"TV is made fast, but often lacks the tools of cinema. Film directors are bringing more cinema to TV - to find the sweet spot between film and television", says Richard Brown, a Hollywood producer. "Typically in TV, directors are subservient to writers and producers. The reverse is true in film.  But in the new, high-quality TV series that are being made, the creative control is more equally weighted."

In movies, scriptwriters normally have their work turned over to more writers for rewrites, not so in TV. In fact, whole TV series are written before production starts.  This artistic freedom, and the high quality of modern TV production, is luring Hollywood directors and actors alike. Additionally it gives actors the opportunity to function as writers and/or directors, which rarely happens in film production.

The question becomes: could what is happening with TV be the forerunner of a new era in TV drama? Could the writer/producer shows such as 'The Sapranos', 'Breaking Bad', and 'The Wire' be giving way to the director led format of movie production.  The answer is, without question, yes.  "Where the director is responsible for the whole series and the entire aesthetic vision, offers them a way in.  It presents established film directors with the possibility of telling longer stories which go deeper into character than is usually possible in film", says Brown.

This shift is noticeable in the economics of the entertainment business. Since the 2007 film writers strike there has been a 35% fall in the number of writers working in film - while employment in TV has doubled.  Even the Oscars, hosted by TV talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, were treated like a TV show with pizza, selfies, and tweets.  But it is not only TV that is benefiting, it is also the content streamers such as, Netflix, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. that are luring big-name Hollywood stars and directors. And, keep in mind that the content streamers are not bound by viewing figures like TV, their only concern is to sell more subscriptions - and that is where the opportunity and money lies as this game  plays out.

Jim Lavorato 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Greatest Filmmaker Ever !

I was recently pressed by a friend/film buff who wanted to know who I thought was the greatest filmmaker - presuming I really knew something about the cinema - however vanity kicked in and I thought of the usual suspects: Lucas, Kazan, Lean, Peckinpah, Coppola, Scorsese, Ford, Houston, Fellini, Hitchcock, Stone but for me the best filmmaker ever has got to be Akira Kurosawa, followed closely by Stanley Kubrick.

Kurosawa directed 30 films, but those 30 were the most influential in cinema history.  As a Japanese filmmaker, and not a product of mainstream Hollywood, Kurosawa's films were neglected - but as time went by the genius of his film-making could not be denied.

In addition to film making, Kurosawa was a writer (he penned most of his own screenplays) and a painter.  He first won critical acclaim with the movie, 'Drunken Angel' (1948). Followed by 'Rashomon' , which premiered in Tokyo in 1950 and was the first Kurosawa film to go global and introduced the Western market to his films. After 'Rashomon', Kurosawa made a string of films which are now considered masterpieces which many other film-makers used as "study guides" in developing their directing style.  These iconic films included: Ikiru (To Live) released in 1952, 'Seven Samurai' (1954), and 'Yojimbo' (1961).
 Kurosawa painting

Kurosawa began his film career in 1910, working as an assistant director and learning the craft of film making.  As noted, Kurosawa wrote or co-wrote all of his films' scripts and frequently wrote screenplays for other films in various genres. For example, 'Stray Dog', released in 1949, is considered to be the best Japanese detective movie ever made as it is not only a great thriller but explores the mood of Japan during the postwar recovery (and incidentally was adopted from a novel written by Kurosawa).  The film incorporates, for the first time, actual documentary footage of war-torn Tokyo and is considered to be the father of all contemporary police dramas and buddy cop films and TV shows to this day.
Flanked by disciples Lucas & Spielberg

Kurosawa's film making genius is undisputed. 'Seven Samurai', for example, is regarded as the greatest Japanese film ever made and was the basis for the highly regarded Hollywood classic Western, 'The Magnificent Seven'.  His film, 'Record of a Living Being' (1954) is today regarded by many cinema historians and modern film makers as one of the best films dealing with the psychological effects of global nuclear war.

In 1958, Kurosawa's 'The Hidden Fortress' (an action-adventure comedy/drama) which although not critically acclaimed as one of his best efforts, was the major influence for George Lucas (which he has widely attested to) in the development of the 'Star Wars' saga.  It is not unusual for Kurosawa's works to be 're-adapted' into what have become, in their own right, cinema classics.  For example, 'Yojimbo'
(The Bodyguard) was adopted by Sergio Leone in the making of the classic 'A Fist Full of Dollars' and the start of the spaghetti western genre.
Kurosawa On Set

In 1966, Kurosawa entered the big-budget world of Hollywood film production with the WWII classic film 'Tora, Tora, Tora', this endeavor proved to be a disaster for Kurosawa and he was eventually fired from the project. This marked a low point in his career which lasted until 1977 when young film makers openly began to pay homage to 'the master'.  These included, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola (who collaborated with Kurosawa in the production of  'Kagemusha', a film about a thief hired to double as a Japanese warlord. 'Kagemusha' won numerous awards including the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Festival.

Kurosawa's next film was 'Ran' (based upon Shakespeare's 'King Lear')  it is considered by Kurosawa as his finest work. Next came the classic, 'Dreams', which, for me, is my favorite Kurosawa film and one of the best films ever made. Kurosawa wrote the screenplay and it is based entirely upon images of his own dreams. Steven Spielberg, who considered Kurosawa his idol and mentor, got Warner Brothers to fund the production of 'Dreams'.

By 1995, with his health failing, Kurosawa slipped into the background and in 1998 died at the age of 88. In addition, to being the cinema's greatest director, Kurosawa was a painter - many of his paintings were used as storyboards by film crews in constructing sets for his films. A fanatic for detail, Kurosawa went to extremes in preparing for his films.  For 'Seven Samurai', he created biographies for all of the samurai, including what they wore and ate, how they walked, talked, and even how they tied their shoes.

Kurosawa's films all dealt, in some way, with moral/ethical themes and this 'way' of film making has been copied by most modern directors and film makers who openly admit that Kurosawa was a major influence in their own development as film makers: Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Roman Polanski, Bernardo Bertolucci, who stated that "Kurosawa's movies pushed me, sucked me into being a filmmaker."  Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola, who said, "He didn't make one masterpiece or two masterpieces. He made, you know, eight masterpieces". And as Martin Scorsese remarked, "Let me say it simply.  Akira Kurosawa was my Master, and the Master of so many other film makers over the years. It's hard to comprehend his influence on the cinema."

So, I too pay homage to the Master. Yes, Kurosawa is my favorite (and the greatest) film maker ever.

Jim Lavorato

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Movies PUSH Creative Rights Industries and $s

Movies, software, apps, videogames, books, journals, TV shows, music - these creative endeavors define our culture and social identity.  They also provide enormous economic benefits.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, core copyright industries contribute more than $1 trillion in value to the U.S. gross domestic product.  Add related industries, like toys, games, TV sets, computers, and mobile devices (such as tablets) and the total GDP contribution swells to $1.7 trillion.

Additionally, copyright industries are a huge engine for export revenues.  In 2012, this positive export surplus totaled $142 billion. Add to this the fact that the copyright industries employ over 5.4 million workers in high quality paying jobs - with salaries 33% higher, on-average, than in other sectors of the economy - and you wind-up with an economic juggernaut.

However, the copyright industries are under constant attack. The Commerce Department reports that 24% of  global internet bandwidth involves traffic on copyright infringing or pirating. Additional threats concern physical counterfeiting, market access barriers, and discriminating treatment of U.S. copyrights in foreign markets.  World governments want to embrace only parts of what the U.S. represents culturally - the parts they feel benefits them. The rest of what we artistically create is ban or pirated, or both.

Our cinema industry is at this storm's center and is the spearhead in the battle, to not only, preserve our copyrights industries but to see that they grow and prosper. So, whenever you get the opportunity, support our creative rights industries and protect their right to preserve their (our national) artistic creations.

Jim Lavorato

Thursday, March 13, 2014

CINEMA BuzzFEED - 13 March 2014

Moviegoers Love & Use Cellphones

The use of cellphones at a cinema is a no-no, but baring that, cells are a cinema's best new friend.  Used for admission and concession purchases, as GPS cinema locators, or to quickly obtain current movie listings and showtimes, cellphones are also the big thing in cinema advertising.  According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a consortia representing over 600 media and hi-tech companies, 30% of cinema admission tickets are purchased via mobile phones and, a whopping, 87% of moviegoers research a movie on a cell after seeing an ad for it on another medium.

So, more and more, consumers are relying on their cells for their moviegoing decision making! The IAB  report noted, that 56% of moviegoers turn to mobile for movie research, second only to TV at 57% - with 41% of moviegoers saying that they view new movie trailers via their cells and make their go/no-go decision to see that movie based upon the viewed trailer.

Cinema exhibitors should note this trend and place pre-feature notices encouraging the use of cells (outside of the auditorium) to preview movies and particularly for the purchase of tickets and concession!

Blockbuster Movie 'Godzilla' Will Sound Life-like
'Godzilla' - King of the Monsters

The upcoming WB mega-grosser 'Godzilla' will come to life as it's soundtrack is being mixed using the Dolby Atmos sound platform.  Scheduled for a May 16th release, Gareth Edwards, the movie's director tells CMG, "I'm really excited we are using Dolby Atmos to truly bring this terrifying force of nature to life."

'Godzilla's' soundtrack will be mixed at the Warner's Burbank, CA sound stage using the full 68 channels of sound available with the Atmos system. "By using Dolby Atmos to place and move sounds anywhere in a movie theatre, Gareth Edwards and his team can recreate the world of  'Godzilla' right in the auditorium, making audiences feel as if they, too, are in the middle of the on-screen action", said Doug Darrow, Dolby's SVP Cinema.

The Atmos sound system can be installed into any existing cinema auditorium - no matter size or age - and  provides that immerse experience unattainable on any home entertainment system.

The 'Flash' Coming to Big and Small Screens 
The New 'FLASH"

'The Flash' will appear first on an up-coming TV series and then at cinemas, that's WB's plan for this superhero.  The 'Flash', a super-fast DC Comics character from the 1950s, and one of my favorites, is anticipated to be a 'hit' on TV and at the cinema.  'The Flash' is Barry Allen, a scientist who becomes a super-fast human after a laboratory accident. To be played by Grant Gustin in the new TV series (and presumably in the movie as well), 'The Flash' is expected to replicate the superhero based films which are proving to be huge box office successes - and there is no end in sight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Law To Restrict Cinema Sound Level

Some legislators in the State of Connecticut want to enact a law which would limit the sound level at cinemas, and become the first State to impose such a ban.  The bill, currently before the State Legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee, would limit the sound level in cinemas to 85 decibels. Is this even Constitutional?

Initiated by a one, William Young, a Stamford, CT resident, who claims, "We don't need such loud sounds.  Hopefully this will be a wakeup call to theater owners to get their act together and do something that is good for the public".  What?  Democratic Senator Carlo Leone, who introduced the bill, said "I support the concept moving forward.  If there are other corrective measures without legislation and it takes care of the problem, that would be the better choice."  What?  Are these guys smoking bananas?

According to the experts there is no need to limit the sound levels for movies from a health standpoint. Dr. Robert Dobie, of the Univ. of Texas, and an expert in noise-induced hearing loss, states, "The exposure, in cinemas, to sounds above 85 decibels is so brief and intermittent that no one with any expertise would ever say that they have any real risk of hazard or harm. I fell quite comfortable that the exposures are not anywhere near hazardous.  It's the combination of level and duration that matters." For example, 85 decibels is at the same loudness level as average traffic on a busy street, while a hairdryer is 100 decibels.
People go to the cinema to get the 'WOW' factor

The Motion Picture Association of America, opposes any ban.  Van Stevenson, SVP at the MPAA, told CMG, "Certainly no one is going to do anything that would have a hint of being harmful.  We have gone to great lengths to make sure that average sound level in movies is acceptable and is not harmful."  Proponents of the ban however say a limit is needed as cinemas do not stick to any standard, and levels are too high, on average.

My feeling is that moviegoers go to the cinema to view and 'listen' to the high-impact, action movies because they can't replicate the sound experienced at the cinema in their living rooms.  What these kill-joys want to ban is enjoyment.  Sound is everywhere.  We live with it.  Moviegoers want to experience it and moviemakers want to replicate the sound of, for example, a car crash.  This places the moviegoers into the movie and provides the immersive  experience they are paying for.

Doesn't the Connecticut legislature have anything better and more constructive to deal with?  How about filling potholes?  What's next, limiting the sound level at football stadiums?  Leave cinemas and their customers to decide what the sound levels should be. I'm sure that if it hurt their ears cinema patrons will complain and the operator would turn the volume down.

Jim Lavorato

Friday, March 07, 2014

MGM Lions - Roaring for Over 90 Years

You've seen this image hundreds of times - the MGM Lion roaring before each of their movies.  This iconic image is almost as old as the movie industry.  Started in 1917, the first MGM lion (Slats) was only shot in B&W and never roared. Since Slats there have been six other MGM lions - Jackie, Telly, Coffee, Tanner, George, and Leo.  Leo has been used as the MGM mascot image since 1957, the longest of any lion and the one most people have grown up with.
Tanner messing around with trainer

The biggest star of all of the lions was Jackie.  Jackie was a full-cast member of MGM and appeared in over 100 films, including all of the Tarzan movies. Jackie was very gentle, or as gentle as a male lion can be.  Tanner, who also appeared in many films, was used in the MGM logo from 1934 through 1956 - he is the lion seen in all of MGM's movies during Hollywood's golden years during the 40's and 50's.

In 2012, for the Bond movie 'Skyfall', MGM introduced a 3D animated lion - it was meet with very bad reviews from moviegoers and critics alike and was not used, to my knowledge, again. Several spoof logos have been used throughout the years, as the Tom and Jerry cartoon logo, seen at right.

The MGM lion is truly distinct and the best logo/image of any company that comes to mind - very one loves the lions.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ellen (Thinks Better) and Tips Pizza Boy $1,000

$1,000 Tip Was Great PR for Ellen D.
Martirosyan at work

As reported by CMG  yesterday, the Big Mama's Pizzeria delivery boy (who brought the pies to the Dolby Theater during the Oscar presentations) was stiffed on payment for the pies and didn't receive a tip. This faux pas went viral and to turn a bad situation into a PR opportunity, Ellen DeGeneres had the delivery boy on her daytime talk show on Monday and give him a $1,000 tip. Presumably she paid for the pies as well, although the free publicity Mama's received will reap huge sales - Nielsen Ratings Service estimated increased business for the pizzeria due to the Oscar appearance at $10 million.

Edgar Martirosyan received the $1,000 tip from Ellen. About $300-400 was collected during the Oscars from the attending stars, including Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey, Ellen kicked in the rest to bring the 'tip' to $1,000.

Regarding the historic delivery, Martirosyan said, "I didn't know.  It was a big surprise to me. They told me I'm going to deliver pizzas for writers, and when I went there Ellen came out and told me 'Just follow me'.  I realized I was on the stage. I was cool. I didn't know what was going on."  He said he was getting calls from his native country of Armenia and Russia (where he resided in Moscow).

Most viewers liked the Oscar's pizza stunt. I think it lent a 'yes, we're just like other folks' statement to celebs who seem (and in many respects are) above the common Joe.  Good luck Mama's.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

CMG Comments on The Oscars

And The Winner is 'THE PIE'

Ellen w/Big Mama Deliverer
Brad goes for  the 'works'
Harrison grabs a slice
The best moments of this year's Oscar Awards was when the pizza was doled out to the celebs. Having scrounged $300 from several of the luminaries, Ellen D. sent out for some pies from Big Mama's & Papa's Pizza - a Hollywood pie palace. Unfortunately, Mama's never got paid for their pies although plenty of tinsel town's glitterati feasted.  Not to worry, Mama's got a ton of free publicity as the eating went on for 8 minutes, and at $1.8 million for a 30 second Oscar prime-time spot, Mama Mia!

Who The Academy Forgot

The Academy, as it does every year, pays tribute to a long list of people in the 'In Memoriam' part of the show. Unfortunately, this year several that should have been honored were not, so CMG will honor them here:

Dennis Farina - Actor/former Chicago Police Officer.  Played in over 35 films and numerous TV films, episodes, and series, including over 46 episodes of  'Law and Order'.  For CMG his best role was as Ray "Bones" Barboni in 'Get Shorty'.

Tom Clancy - Writer. Copies of Clancy's books have sold over 100
million copies, with 17 being best sellers. A number of his books became very successful big screen and TV movies, as well as. TV series or mini-series.  His Jack Ryan and John Clark characters are common names in action films and his storylines have been used in a number of video game series, such a the Ghost Recon series - which have sold in the tens of million of copies.

Jean Stapelton - Actor. Best known for her role as Edith Bunker of the '70s TV hit 'All In The Family', Stapelton was a consummate actor. Starting with stage performances she starred in many Broadway and off-Broadway productions.  Then moved to movies and TV shows. Several of her movie credits included: 'Klute', 'Cold Turkey', 'You've Got Mail', 'Michael', and 'Cinderella'.  Stapelton had earned three Emmys, two Golden Globes, and was an inductee to the American Theatre Hall of Fame and the TV Hall of Fame.

Jonathan Winters - Comic/Actor. A multiple Grammy and Emmy winner Winters' career spanned over six decades, appearing in literally hundreds of TV shows and series including: 'Mork and Mindy'.  His movies included: 'It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World', 'The Russians Are Coming', 'Swing', and 'The Flintstones'.  Winters also did voice overs for such films as 'The Smrufs'.  He was a multiple Emmy winner and has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  He was a very, very funny dude.

Jim Lavorato

Sunday, March 02, 2014

CINEMA BuzzFEED - 1 March 2014

The Latest Trends in Food

Once or twice a year CMG delves into the latest trends in mass market food which is very useful information for cinema owners.  The goal being to inform on how to maximize the moviegoing experience while increasing concession profits.

Food trends, like fashion trends - come and go.  The trick is to be aware of them and perhaps adjust or endeavor to offer a twist on the trend.  Doing so, is great for business and sets your cinema apart as a destination for entertainment and not just a movie theater.
Donuts w/chicken @ Federal Donuts

Mexican 'sandwiches' @ Tortas Frontera
Some food trends endure. For example, 25 years ago sushi could only be enjoyed at a Japanese restaurant, now you can purchase it at most any supermarket.  Another example, is Buffalo chicken wing.  It currently appears that bacon, bacon, bacon is out. Restaurants moved to and pushed bacon and other pork products on their menus because pork was cheap - but no longer and it appears that the burger is back, particularly gourmet . The other notable trends are: ethnic fusion foods, soda alternatives, donuts w/everything from fried chicken to ice cream, kebobs, and super fancy grilled cheese sandwiches.
'Lettuce' Entertain You Burger @ M Burger
Burgers are back, but they are not your normal burger the trend is for gourmet or speciality burgers perhaps paired with a butterscotch milkshake.

Ethnic fusion and natural/organic is also trending. Cava Mezze Grill does both with their 'Greek Mexican' inspired menu.
Little Muenster does grilled cheese to the max, while at the Kebob Shop, Shawarmas take top billing.
Tortillas w/ Tzatziki sauce @ Cava

Grilled cheese @ Little Muenster

A Shawarma @ the Kebob Shop

'Tumbler' Replica Sells For $1Million
How about a quiet Sunday drive

If you are so inclined and have a spare million lying around a 'Tumbler' Batmobile could be in your future.  The street-legal 'Tumbler' is being sold by James Edition Luxury Goods of London, which says of the car, "we have built this insane vehicle to be street-legal; however, please understand that this in not made for the daily drive!" 

The car's specs include: 44 inch tires, 8 channel stereo which is Bluetooth and iPod compatible, CD/DVD player, and five driver assist cameras.  As you guessed, the 8 cylinder Tumbler comes only in black.  Other James Edition vehicles are a Dodge Pickup Truck with 9/11 memorial paint job, and a camo-Hummer with drone helicopter.

Keywords in Movies Show Societal Norms

There are loads and loads of data and statistics on the movie industry - but none are more esoteric and interesting as the keywords of the Best Picture Oscar Nominees.  Now, what is this exactly? And what is its value?

Compiled by IMBd.com, a web-based company that amasses info. on the cinema industry and which is owned by Amazon, scourers movies for keyword phrases which point to society's changing norms and viewpoints (see chart).

One trend in movies is the dropping of the movie's title into the dialogue of the film.  For 2013, 33 films released had a character dramatically speak the title and four of those were nominated for Best Picture Oscar.  In two of these films (Captain Phillips and Philomena) the title doubles as a character's name.  The other two (Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street) use the title in the film's dialogue.

Other key phrases often used in films last year were:"father-son relationship", "mother-son relationship", "husband-wife relationship", and "beating".  The most commonly used keyword in all the movies released last year - "bear-chested male".  Yes, you heard it here first @ CMG.

Jim Lavorato