Oklahoma Theater Owner Scolds Seinfeld

By | Tuesday February 27, 2007 @ 1:52pm PST


I received this email today from Gene Oliver, of the RKO ALLRED5 movie theater in seinfeld.jpgPryor, Oklahoma. He’s responding to Sunday night’s Oscar diss of cineplexes by Jerry Seinfeld. (Said the comedian: “In movie theaters now, they’re trying to get you to pick up the garbage around your seat. I’m picking nothing up. I’m the one who threw it down. How many different jobs do I have to do?” Then Jerry accused movie theater owners: ”You rip us off on overpriced crap.”) I live-blogged that I thought the theater owners would be pissed. (From the Internet: The Allred is located in downtown Pryor, OK. From its big triangle-shaped marquee to its tiled ticket booth to its blinking light bulbs, it dominates the street. Operational since 1919, the Allred underwent an expensive renovation to put three screens in the main building, and another two screens in an annex.)

Oliver starts: “Hello Miss Finke: I am a theater owner in small town America and read your column every day. My family has been in exhibition since 1933. Thank you for including your statement about Seinfeld and the price of concessions. My theater works on a profit margin of 8-10% and we work very hard to keep movies available to the public. movie_ticket.jpgThe only reason that theaters MUST charge the prices for concessions is to survive. Without concessions there would be NO venues for the exhibtion of film. Without popcorn there would be no industry, it is that simple. There is distribution AND exhibition of films. One does not exist without the other. “It would be helpful if ‘stars’ understood that without concessions they would have nowhere to play their films. It is hard enough to withstand the criticism of our customers who have no idea what it takes to keep a theater profitable. Now they have an advocate who benefits in dollars for the fact that theaters are open at all. Read More »

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Post-Oscar Paramount: J.J. On ‘Star Trek’; Marty/Mick/Monahan Team On Music Biz

By | Tuesday February 27, 2007 @ 11:37am PST

paramountlogo.jpgPost-Oscars Paramount is going announcement crazy today. Guess it’s that studio’s way of over-compensating for Babel‘s Best Picture loss. (Chin up, guys: at least you got the An Inconvenient Truth documentary win.):… Read More »

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Seinfeld Auditioning To Host 80th Oscars?

By | Monday February 26, 2007 @ 3:13pm PST

seinfeld.jpgJust remember, you heard it here first: I predict Jerry Seinfeld will be next year’s Oscar host, and he’ll have the gig for several years. His memorable appearance on the 79th Academy Awards was … Read More »

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UPDATE: 39.9 Million Watch 79th Oscars

By | Monday February 26, 2007 @ 1:25pm PST

oscar1.jpgUPDATED: *According to news reports, ratings for the 2007 Oscars improved a little over last year’s telecast. An average of 39.9 million people watched the 79th annual Academy Awards on ABC last night. … Read More »

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The Award For Most Oscar Mentions… Goes To Endeavor!

By | Monday February 26, 2007 @ 4:29am PST

nikkioscarbox.jpgI heard Alan Horn’s name (Warner Bros.). And Brad Grey’s name (Paramount, along with John Lesher’s at Paramount Classics). But one merciful first of this Oscars broadcast was that hardly any lawyers or agents were thanked this time … Read More »

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Why Marty & ‘Departed’ Won Four Oscars

By | Monday February 26, 2007 @ 4:10am PST

martyoscar.jpgThere’s no great mystery as to why The Departed won Best Picture and Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. It was a terrific film. It made a lot of … Read More »

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Finke Final: I Bear The Scars Of Oscars

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 10:51pm PST


I’ll remember this 79th Academy Awards show as a mostly black-and-white amateur hour shot in the style of the 1950s. I feel compelled to ask whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is aware that the world now has color television? Where James Taylor singing Randy Newman’s song “Our Town” from Cars performed on a bare black stage with just a piano and a guitar. ellenoscars10.jpg(At the very least, Sweet Baby James could have taken off his shirt and shown some middle-aged eye candy.) Where Ellen was performing shadow puppets behind a white screen to simulate a lame joke about Snakes On A Plane. (Looked more like Lobsters On A Plane To me. I’ll be seeing those shadow-puppets in my nightmares tonight.) Where the monologue and the commentary ignored topical jokes ranging from Bald Britney to that other dead blonde bimbo, Anna Nicole Smith. As a friend emailed me, “this was like a Reagan era show.” That was the low-tech level of this year’s broadcast. Which makes me wonder in disbelief why the very rich Oscar telecast seriously stinted on tonight’s production values. For chrissake, it didn’t even spring for a translator for lifetime achievement award winner Ennio Morricone, leaving poor Clint Eastwood to make sense of all that Italian. Tell me: Did Bernie The Accountant abscond with the show’s hefty budget? It was lacking in razzle-dazzle. It had no trash and flash. Halfway through this snore-fest, ABC was about to voluntarily pay the FCC $500,000 just to make Beyoncé’s boob pop out.

Nor did Sacha Baron Cohen appear. Asked to be a presenter, he said he would do it only if he could be in character as Borat. But the Powers-That-Be said, “No way,” thus eliminating what surely might have been an oasis of humor in a desert of mediocrity. Morons. (Click here for my live-blogging of the Oscar telecast.)

sherry.jpgIn summary, it was the night that the Academy finally killed off what used to be its show-stopper of a movie awards. The problem is that I and the rest of America are the ones who bear the scars of Oscars tonight, while Hollywood skips out the next morning to the doctor’s office for an emergency round of Botox. (Will someone please send me the name of Sherry Lansing’s plastic surgeon? He did a fab job. Or maybe people just look great when they’re no longer brow-beaten by Viacom’s Sumner Redstone.) Well, I say enough is enough. Who isn’t sick of getting stuck sitting through an ass-killing show that runs on and on beyond reason with no entertainment within it to speak of? Or waiting a full 15 minutes for even the first film clip to be shown? As a comedian friend told me: “If this goes on any longer, they’re going to be reporting next weekend’s Friday night box office, the obituary package is going to be out of date, and the ballots will be going out for next years’ awards.” Frustration echoed by this emailer: “If they show another montage, I think it should be of people killing themselves while watching the Oscars.” Read More »

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Finke Wrap: Live-Blogging The Oscars

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 4:41pm PST

nikkioscarsml.JPG Erroll Morris’ interviews of the nominees kicks off the show. And it lays a huge egg. The package is too inside. And the TV viewing audience has no idea who most of these people are. When, oh when, is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences going to stop being so “insider” on their telecast. How, in the world does a quirky piece like this endear movies to the world audience? It doesn’t!

Standing are the 177 Oscar nominees scattered around Hollywood’s Kodak Theater. Here comes Ellen in maroon velvet pantsuit and white wingtips. Without a tie, she looks like she’s in a lounging outfit. I’m still waiting for her to crack a few jokes, any jokes. She’s pointing out how this is the most international Oscars ever. “I think I see a few Americans — the seat fillers. Nobody can fill a seat like an American.” She points out that only the British know they’re going to win.

martyoscar2.jpg“It’s my job to relax you and put you at ease…. I can’t even imagine what you people are going through… But don’t worry about that. What you should worry about is there are a billion people watching you.” (I don’t think that’s true anymore!)

Now comes the audience-pointing segment of the host’s monologue. Ellen picks out Abigail Breslin and Peter O’Toole (“He’s been nominated 8 times, but, Peter, third time is the charm.”) She points out that “Al Gore is here. America did vote for him and…” HUGE APPLAUSE … “it’s very complicated”. So now they’ve broken the ice of the first political joke of the night.

Now Ellen’s dancing with a tambourine while a large gospel choir group goes up and down the Kodak Theater aisles. (Hey, pundits, I thought she wasn’t going to dance?) And the reason for this is… well, there was no point to it. Truly, in whose mind is it that this is a funny, smart or cool way to open the Oscars? Fifteen minutes in, and we’re just glimpsing our first film clip. And by trying not to be controversial, Ellen wound up being pablum. It was a truly forgettable performance. And that’s far worse than being awful.

It’s going to be a looooooong night. Already, the commercials are better than the show.

What the heck is Nicole Kidman wearing around her neck? The top of her red gown looks like it’s trying to strangle her. Read More »

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Academy/ABC Lied About Starting Time

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 4:38pm PST

nikkioscarsml2.JPGHey, weren’t the Oscars supposed to start early this year? 5oclock.gifThat’s what the official Academy Awards website kept saying. That’s … Read More »

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Pre-Oscars: Joan Rivers Disses Deneuve

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 4:28pm PST

Joan Rivers is sounding sane, although someone has given Melissa a thingamajig to “illustrate” the Red Carpet activity. So, on your TV screen, all you see are white scrawl marks. Will Smith’s son, who starred with him in The Pursuit Read More »

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DHD UPDATE: Back Up & Live-Blogging

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 4:12pm PST


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By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 3:55pm PST

DHD is having technical difficulties. Please bear with us.

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Don’t Piss On Hollywood Today, LA Times!

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 2:52pm PST

oscarprep1.jpgHere it is, the Sunday of the Oscars, and the one day of the year that Hollywood deserves a free pass. The rest of the Los Angeles Times is covering every inch of the Academy Awards (including Read More »

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Pre-Oscars: E! Starts Boobs Coverage…

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 1:41pm PST

scarlett-joha.jpgE! Entertainment has started its usual insipid but slick coverage of the Academy Awards. (And just think, I could have been part of it. Gag.) Now the hosts are plugging Victoria’s Secret bras — a custom one, … Read More »

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Oscar Spoilers Update: Weekend Changes

By | Sunday February 25, 2007 @ 11:55am PST

OSCAR TELECAST SPOILERS WARNING: Please don’t read further if you wish to be surprised tonight… I have just found out that, after posting here “My 8 Spoilers On Oscar Telecast” very early Friday morning, some of the plans for tonight’s Academy Awards show have changed. I’m told these alterations were … Read More »

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Oscar Diller Thriller: Picnic Of The Moguls

diller.jpg carter1.jpg

Ostensibly, it’s in honor of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. But if you ask me, Barry Diller’s annual Oscars picnic today, complete with four buffet stations, is the ultimate mogul meet’n'greet. Sure, on … Read More »

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Live-Blogging The Indie Spirit Awards…

By | Saturday February 24, 2007 @ 2:02pm PST

nikkioscarnf.jpgLive from Santa Monica, the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, with comedian Sarah Silverman hosting, was not as lively nor as funny nor as nutty nor as hoochie-mama as in past years… even with Sharon Stone presenting. What a shame.

Fox Searchlight's Little Miss Sunshine

WRAP-UP: Little Miss Sunshine won Best Feature and Best Director and Best Supporting Male and Best First Screenplay. Half Nelson won Best Female and Best Male. The Road to Guantanamo Bay won Best Documentary. Pan’s Labyrinth won Best Cinematography. Quinceanera won the John Cassavetes Award. Sweet Land won Best First Feature. Thank You For Smoking won Best Screenplay. Friends With Money won Best Supporting Female. The Lives Of Others (Germany) won Best Foreign Film. For all the winners, see below:

LIVE-BLOGGING: Sarah Silverman intros with a filmed piece. She says this year she hasn’t seen any of the movies so she can remain impartial, referring to Pan’s Labyrinth, “What’s a labryrinth? Speak English.” Does a riff about how studios won’t fork over money for pics with a “talking vagina” so that’s why they go indie. Pretty lame intro, in my opinion. Sorry, but she ISN’T funny even when she uses various anatomical references and swear words. Going to be a long two hours.

Now Sarah is addressing the audience “live from a tent. The porn awards were in a buildings…” Goes into a riff about indie film awards vs. adult film awards. Praises the crowd of indie filmmakers present. “If a bomb went off, there would be nobody left to make a documentary about it.”

halfnelsona.jpgAbout Little Miss Sunshine she says, “I have a joke for this. It starts with, ‘The last time I was in a van with five strangers…” and it ends with “…crack a window.’”

Uh-oh, Silverman has just gone way over the line. Referring to a German movie that’s nominated, she’s just made a joke about raping Ann Frank. (That’s a favorite subject for Silverman, who clearly was too lazy to prepare any new stuff for the awards show. Like she actually had something better to do.) Nervous scattered laughter. Same when she says, “Go easy on the political statements. ‘Oooh, there’s a genocide in Darfur. What the fuck is a Darfur? My feeling is, if Steven Spielberg hasn’t made a movie about it, we don’t need to worry about it.” This is the best punchline she could come up with?

Now the awards are starting to be given out: Read More »

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Cage’s ‘Ghost Rider’ Revs To #1, Leaving Carrey’s ‘The Number 23′ In Its Exhaust

By | Saturday February 24, 2007 @ 12:47pm PST

Jim Carrey stars in New Line Cinema's The Number 23This weekend’s box office won’t get much publicity — not with the Oscars happening on Sunday night. Based on Friday’s gross receipts, still on top after one week out is … Read More »

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UPDATE: My 8 Spoilers On Oscar Telecast; Don’t Read If You Want To Stay Surprised

By | Friday February 23, 2007 @ 3:46am PST

nikkioscarbox.jpg SUNDAY AM UPDATE: I have just found out that, after posting this Friday morning, some of the plans for tonight’s Academy Awards show have changed. (Click here for latest.) I’m told that some of these … Read More »

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