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Sunday, December 19, 2021

The AMC Saga: The Best Hollywood Story of the Year


Being resurrected from the brink of bankruptcy was only the start of this entertainment saga.

More than 4 million retail investors betted billions on AMC's future as the entity was rocked and battered by COVID and content streamers.

Amassing on social media, these retail investors took AMC's shares price from $2.20 to $76.02 and the new 'crowd' investors ended up owning 80% of the company. Empowered by Robin Hood, Webull, and other online investment apps, that have made stock trading easy and cheap, the mob rescued the faltering movie house. 

Robin Hood founders: Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Phatt

Not guided by Wall Street's normal financial investment motives, these retail investors were moved by internet buzz. AMC and video game retailer Game Stop were 2021 'mob' favorites. Fancied a populist revolt against Wall Street take-over predators who had bet heavily on both companies' demise.

"It was the 99% against the 1%. I love the movies, we would go every week. I knew there was a bunch of people that would come together for this battle", stated Kathy Larsen, a 40-year-old bartender from Oceanside, CA. 

Larsen, and her mates, call themselves 'apes', a reference to the film 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'. The apes made AMC their cause, and AMC CEO, Adam Aron, climbed on board. To appease the apes, AMC began accepting cryptocurrencies and hosting mixed martial arts tournaments.

$2 billion had been raised but Aron felt he would need double that to survive the impact of the pandemic but the new 'owners' shot down that idea. Led by several leaders, including Trey Collins, a 24-year-old Army officer, the apes told Aron to "forget about AMC's business fundamentals" and instead put trust in the ape collective.

Now, looking in from the outside, Wall Street analysts cited AMC's pandemic losses, a $5 billion debt load, and the changing consumers' viewing habits make AMC's performance outlook extremely dim.

Numbers don't lie, and AMC's share price currently stands at $29.12 (as of 12/18/21). The apes did allow AMC senior executives to become rich however as they unloaded their shares - to the tune of $80 million. 

Trey Collins and other ape influencers tell AMC mob investors to hold their shares - predicting the stock will soar again.

The apes vs. Wall Street, there can only be one winner. Who do you think will come out on top?

Friday, December 17, 2021

"I Didn't Pull The Trigger"

 Things got a lot worse for Alec Baldwin this week as a warrant to search his cell phone was issued. 

In the continuation of the investigation of the fatal shooting on the set of 'Rust', the lead investigator, Santa Fe Detective Alexandria Hancock stated that she had asked Baldwin and his attorney to voluntarily turn over the phone, but her request was refused. She was told by Baldwin's attorney to "get a warrant." Which she did!

Hancock also indicated that in a search of Halyna Hutchins' (the cinematographer that was killed) phone found conversations regarding the protocols during the production of 'Rust' that went back to July 14th. 

                                 Alec Baldwin in a world of hurt

The affidavit for the warrant included details of Baldwin's initial interview with detectives. In that interview, Baldwin stated that he had exchanged emails with Hannah Reed, the armorer of the production, about what type of gun was to be used and that he selected the Colt .45 used in the fatal shooting.

In an interview on ABC, Baldwin stated, "it's highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally."  Hmmm...not so fast Alec. So far no charges have been ruled out and criminal negligence and 2nd-degree manslaughter are not far-fetched charges in a case such as this.

The warrant included all voice, text, photos, videos, call history, contacts, and GPS date regarding anything to do with the 'Rust' production.

CMG thinks Baldwin is in a world of hurt.

In a related story, the Head of Lighting on the 'Rust' production has filed a lawsuit over Baldwin's fatal shooting, alleging negligence that caused him "severe emotional stress that will haunt him forever."

                             Serge Svernoy and attorney

Serge Svetnoy, said the fatal bullet, that killed Hutchins, narrowly missed him.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names many, including Alec Baldwin, who was a star and a producer of 'Rust". Svetnoy stated that he had seen guns setting unattended in the dirt and had warned the people responsible for them.

"I felt a strange and terrifying whoosh of what felt like pressurized air from my right. I believe I felt gunpowder and other residual materials strike the right side of my face."

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Clooney Blasts Baldwin

 "I've been on sets for 40 years and the person that hands you a gun, the person that is responsible for the gun, is either the prop person or the armorer, PERIOD." quoted George Clooney.

                                Clooney very outspoken on 'Rust' shooting

In the case of the fatal shooting on the set of  'Rust', assistant director David Halls handed the gun to Alec Baldwin - who never checked the gun. Supposedly, Halls told Baldwin it was a "cold gun". Clooney called that a term, "I've never heard".

Clooney was very outspoken about the fatal shooting. "Every single time I'm handed a gun on the set... I open it, I show it to the person I'm pointing it at, I show it to the crew. Every single take, you hand it back to the armorer when you're done and you do it again for every take. For the life of me, this low-budget film with producers who haven't produced anything wouldn't have hired, for the armorer, someone with experience is insane and infuriating."

                                   Baldwin is in a heap of trouble

Alec Baldwin, who was one of the producers of 'Rust', is now claiming he never discharged the gun that fatally shot Halyna Hutchins and wounded Joel Souza.

"Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set, hired by the production, to specifically monitor weapons safety", says Baldwin. 

No Alec. You just need to follow the protocols and be smart and not cheap-out on crew and staff. Hire good and experienced prop people and armorers and make sure the person holding the gun checks it BEFORE it is used. This is basis 101 gun safety. NEVER point a gun at anyone no matter what and ALWAYS check to see if it is loaded and with what.

The great irony of all this is that an activist group, BLD PWR, an arm of Black Lives Matter, demanded that the studios stop using police on all movie and TV sets. Citing police brutality and racism. The Group wants Hollywood to divest itself from the use of police ties and push the industry to invest more in black productions. 

CMG says, if black or other ethnic films made money, they would be produced all day long. Fact is, the color Hollywood is most concerned about, like all businesses, is GREEN. Another fact, the black community is the worst of all moviegoing demographics.