Tags: Bidenomics

Hollywood Ponders Biden-omics

Tuesday, 21 Jul 2009 05:47 PM

By James Hirsen

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Hollywood Ponders Biden-omics
2. Johnny Depp to Play Carol Channing?
3. Brad Pitt Goes Geek
4. David Arquette Apologizes for His Sotomayor Comments
5. Hollywood Vampires and D.C. Draculas

 

1. Hollywood Ponders Biden-omics

There’s a lot of Hollywood heartburn over the decline in DVD sales, the industry component that has provided huge revues over the last several years.

A slide in sales started last year, and the first half of 2009 saw a drop of 13.5 percent.

DVD grosses have provided the largest portion of movie revenue for the last decade. No doubt that the studios' bottom lines are being threatened in these difficult economic times.

Some entertainment business experts are looking to more promising forms of home entertainment, such as high-definition Blu-ray discs, in hopes of pulling Hollywood out of the hole.

Others are predicting that innovations in digital distribution and 3-D projection will eventually overcome the current DVD sales slump.

However, the ultimate answer may lie in the budding field of mediocre academic studies known as “Biden-omics.”

Similar to former veep Al Gore and his scientific level of know-how, the probable future Nobel Prize-winner in economics, current veep Joe Biden, recently instructed the nation on how “we’ve got to spend money to keep from going bankrupt.”

Word has it that President Barack Obama is asking a few dozen of his czars to look into ways that the administration can apply Biden-omics to other governmental brain busters, like how to house prisoners at Gitmo to make sure it’s closed down, picking up the tab for vacationing Social Security employees to trim departmental costs, and providing seminars on new and improved redacting methods to make good on his transparency promises.


2. Johnny Depp to Play Carol Channing?

I’m not kidding.

Johnny Depp is making a play for the lead role in a movie biography of singer-actress Carol Channing.

Forty-six-year-old Depp was out promoting his latest flick, “Public Enemies,” when the subject of future role choices came up.

According to the U.K. Daily Mirror, the actor is ready to get in touch with his inner songstress. “My dream role would be to play musical legend Carol Channing in a biopic of her life,” he explained.

“I love her, I really do. She's amazing,” he added. “With all the digital technology available these days, I could probably pull it off.”

Jack Sparrow-turned-Dolly?

Well, he got the mascara thing right, but he’s going to need some major hair highlighting help from Kojo.


3. Brad Pitt Goes Geek

Brad Pitt appears on the August cover of Wired magazine. Inside the technology magazine, the actor gives some good geek advice.

Pitt wanted to be a tech cover boy so he had his people call Wired’s people.

The mag cover shot shows Pitt wearing a Bluetooth device in his ear, and the article inside is titled, “How to Behave: New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans.”

Pitt used the opportunity to channel his inner comic.

Some of his amusing advice includes direction on whether one should talk on the phone while using the restroom.

“No, you can't talk on the phone!” Pitt tells Wired. “Do you want the guy next to you to hear your entire conversation?

"That's why you should only text in the bathroom,” he counsels. “Just be sure you don't hit the wrong button and end up putting a photo of your junk on Twitter. Trust me, you don't want those followers.”

He also weighs in on the proper cell phone etiquette while in a movie theater and tells people not to answer the call because “it may be a brief interruption — just a few seconds — but what if someone sitting near you is trying to make a decent bootleg? Did you ever think of that? Now all those street-corner copies are permanently defiled by your so-called 'emergency.'”

“Don't be so damn selfish,” he adds.

Another thing Pitt is asked is whether someone who overstates his or her salary on an Internet dating site should confess.

“Hell no,” Pitt says. “Everyone lies online. In fact, readers expect you to lie. If you don't, they'll think you make less than you actually do. So the only way to tell the truth is to lie.”

I think Pitt may have been studying Biden-omics.


4. David Arquette Apologizes for His Sotomayor Comments

David Arquette recently spent a little time sitting in a box atop the Madison Square Garden marquee in New York City.

Courteney Cox Arquette’s spouse was trying to raise awareness of the hunger issue as part of the Snickers “Bar Hunger” Campaign when he offered an opinion on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

“I think Latino women are — it depends on the women — but I think they are, they have great judgment but there are some that are just nuts. I would just say it — I mean, you can't . . .” [laughs].

When asked by an interviewer whether his wife was a Latina, he replied, “No, she's not Latino, but I'm from Los Angeles so we know all about the Latino women. I don't know what I'm talking about but . . .”

After the inevitable uproar ensued, David apparently felt compelled to say he was sorry. “I would like to issue an apology for the comments I made on Fox & Friends. My intent was to be humorous and not offensive,” he said.

"I have nothing but love and respect for Latina women and women in general of all cultural backgrounds. What saddens me most is that it took away from the issue of Hunger in America, for which I was on the show to begin with,” David lamented.

The actor went on to describe his work in a pantry in Venice, Calif., alongside a Hispanic woman named Delpia, whom David described as his “personal hero.”

“Having been raised in Los Angeles I have grown up with a deep and profound love for the Latino culture,” he added.

In what may be symbolic in his life in relation to this incident, he just signed up, along with his wife, for a fourth installment of the horror series, “Scream.”


5. Hollywood Vampires and D.C. Draculas

If you’ve been able to take a few minutes break from the 12 jobs you now have to work in order to pay your tax increases, you may have noticed that our culture has become obsessed with vampires.

HBO’s “True Blood” is dominating the cable ratings. It’s a phenom that’s reaching ratings levels that “The Sopranos” did in its early seasons.

The movie “Twilight” recently did so spectacularly at the box office it’s now in franchise overdrive.

The CW’s fall television adaptation of “The Vampire Diaries” is the talk of Tinseltown. And pretty much all of the actors in the films and shows are headed for superstardom.

Focus Features is promoting its new vampire movie, “Thirst,” which incidentally opens later this month, by sending the entertainment press a red soft drink concoction that looks like a hospital blood bag. For convenience, the promo folks have included a straw.

The movie is about a priest who turns into a vampire, courtesy of a blood transfusion gone wrong.

Christian books, too, are jumping into the vampire genre, an example being Eric Wilson's “Jerusalem's Undead.” It’s a trilogy, which features creatures that have taken on the undead status because they’ve been infected with the blood of Judas.

There’s also a new book that’s a religious version of “Twilight.” It’s called "Thirsty," and the main vampire, whose name is Markus, is a kind of demon.

Public fascination with vampires has quite a spooky legacy. Traditionally portrayed as dark, sinister and depraved, vampires have represented the eternal struggle of good versus evil.

But with the relative morality of today, vampires are not being shown as night-stalking monsters who prey on innocent blood. They’re frequently de-fanged and presented as “complex” characters who actually struggle with ethical issues.

For example, “New Moon,” the “Twilight” sequel that is set for release in the fall, has a lead vampire, Edward, who fights against his bloodthirsty nature in search of an undead dignity. It’s the old concept of the villain with a conscience, the good vampires using their supernatural powers to fight the bad bloodsuckers in their midst.

All this vampire stuff has me thinking about why the fad has taken hold of the Hollywood biz, and our entertainment pleasure, at this particular time in history.

As children we often release our fears through fictional tales and somehow real life threats seem a little less scary.

A lot of frightening things have taken place in our country these past six months. Maybe the vampire fixation is a kind of coping mechanism.

Like with Goldman Sachs, for instance. The firm just reported profits of more than $2 billion. An article about Goldman in a recent issue of Rolling Stone characterized the firm as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Investment banking firms as real life Draculas. Where’s my remote? Is “True Blood” on yet?

Then there are the fangs protruding from our city halls, county seats and state capitals. Folks are trying to flee to another city, county and even state only to find the bloodsuckers have multiplied.

Time to catch “Twilight” again.

But the biggest vampire population of all is huddled together in Washington, D.C. Mostly Draculas of the Dem kind, they’re sucking the lifeblood out of us. And they’re doing a number on our spirits as well by demoralizing us with talk of crises, urgencies, and things getting even worse if we don’t heed their words and offer up our necks willingly.

How many days till “The Vampire Diaries” airs?

The lib undead dig up health scare reform to suck the soul out of the free market. GM is prevented from going through a normal bankruptcy process and is turned into a corporate zombie for the ghoulish unions to feed on.

Maybe I’ll catch a midnight preview of “Thirst.”

C’mon GOP. And blue dogs, too. Save us from death by a thousand bites.

Get the garlic, don your crosses, and bring along a few stakes just in case.

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