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Thursday, September 23, 2010

A truce on War Films

Hollywood is calling a truce on war films.

Disappointing numbers for "Green Zone" and other films before it, and the reality that due to a very limited theatrical release and almost a year of sales on DVD and Blue Ray, "Hurt Locker"s considerable wins at the Academy Awards has translated into only one million in additional revenue. Variety reports that war movies are being delayed in their release dates, new scripts are not being green lighted and even HBO's much hyped "The Pacific" has shown disappointing numbers its first week on HBO.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may warrant political coverage and occasional news reports, but one impact of a professional military (as opposed to a more involving draft "people's army") and of wars dragging on seven to nine years, is fatigue.

The recession and the economy are more on the top of peoples' minds, sending them in droves to special effects laden films and escape comedies, just as the Great Depression did in the 1930's. Much of the success of "Alice" may not be Johnny Depp or Tim Burton as much as the need to escape into 3D and the type of adventure both have brought to the screen with previous films. It is doubtful that if either of them were to make a contemporary war film it would be near as great a success as the "Pirates" franchise or record breaking 3D "Alice".

How can we wage a war that people go out of their way to avoid thinking of, with soldiers who volunteer and impact family more than the overall society?

At a time when jobs, cost of living, decreases in home value and other issues are in the forefront of American's minds, the needed reflection of any art form on events in the Middle east, or those the war impacts at home, may earn critical aclaim, but are not expected to bring in the type of box office and revenue that Hollywood has grown to expect as "bean counters" replace film makers as the decision makers at studios.

What impact will this have on the greater society? Will we stick out heads in the sand? Will our enemy use this to regroup and continue their fight? What about the sacrifices of our military and their families?

"NCIS" remains the number one television show world wide, however it only touches on the war as plot points or motivators for domestic criminal investigations and a way for popular and well developed characters to interact in ways an escapist audience longs for as they turn on their sets. And reality shows are pulling the largest weekly numbers with "fat" people losing weight,  corporate owners working at entry level positions for a day, dancing with stars, people opening themselves up for attack as they compete to be America's Idol and couples putting their marital problems on prime time television.

What lessons will we, our enimies, and out "entertainment industry" learn in this post 9-11 world if the best picture is an afterthought and a box office has been? If talented people are rewarded with flops, not even given a nibble by audiences who perhaps should see the characters and events in their films?

Is it Hollywood, or are we all calling a truce on dealing with the realities of war?

First posted 3-16-2010

Union Outreach

We need your help please join us (along with our union brothers and sisters) to support of the AFL-CIO Labor to Labor Outreach for a couple of hours 
This Saturday morning We will be talking to union households, handing out information regarding the upcoming elections. 

10 AM  - Noon

-Nevada unions

Note about those who ignore you...ask why

Interesting observation:

Competitive people will belittle or lock out those who know what they are doing in favor of those they think can benefit them. 

Meanwhile truly successful people will embrace those both those who know what they are doing, and those who seek to learn or grow.

An actor came up to me and asked about local acting teachers who knew what they are teaching but are not in it for self ego or financial gain. They do exist but are in the minority. It is not IMDB or self promotion that counts, but a real passion to share, help and watch others grow and succeed in whatever way they choose to define success.

Claims are  made that were not true, and people make promises that cannot be kept. For some life is about about self-gain and ego, while a quite person, with flaws, choose who chooses to keep their light under a bushell, but work tirelessly for others is stepped on and left behind in the dust.

But are they? Who is doing the right thing, and thus truly successful in life and in being there for others?

No, this is not sour grapes.

It is not about me, as most people know I stand out.

It is an observation on human nature.

Family, friends, doing quality work are what matters.

Anyone who wishes may share quality stills of their work, non-slandering stories, self victories and war stories on this blog or on the two Facebook pages where I share administration duties.

Las Vegas Theater Forum (ATC, Vegas)and Artist Alliance.

Be sure to use the discussion and event tabs as well as the primary page.

And do take the time to read the mission statement for this blog.

We all are artists, actors, and on our own life course.

It's not about who you belittle, push aside, ignore or try to defeat.

It is about what is inside you, at your heart and soul.

We all compete. But we all should be willing willing to work with others, and reach out.

Feel free to respond to this blog, or use the two Facebook page links above, or approach me in person.

I am here to help, not drive wedges or promote egos, including my own.

Uncensored Voices: Sept 30

Once I built a railroad...

We may not be railroad barrons, but many of us have seen our incomes drop, potential future income limited, home values plunge, Wall Street retirement investments crumble and families moving back into inceasingly crowded households in the wake of the Great Recession.

And in this Internet Age, we all want fast results, unrealistically fast. And we believe it when those our of power use unemployment, loss of net worth and the tax debt burdon to scare us into voting 'the bums' out and the special interests of business or the have's back in.

If you look into "fact", reading both sides of the issue and are open to opposing views, you will find that we are making progress. Bailouts and stimulus, government programs and tax incentives have slowed what could have a slide into a true depression, into a recession that is now starting to turn around, Slowly, but not everything is a video game or a movie where things can be resolved in a few hours, days, months or even years

Fact, the stimulus did save and create jobs.

If you are unemployed you may turn off and not choose to believe this, but the Congressional Budget office and independent auditors report that Federal Stimulus did decrease unemployment nationally by 1.7%. That's close to one our to fifty Americans having jobs they would not have without the "failed" stimulus!

"Failed stimulus" is a popular slogan this year, but the numbers do not has not failed.

But for those who need a job or who are underemployed, it's hard to understand that face.

The Pew Research Center shows that 1 in 10 Americans have collected unemployment over the past year, however they are also more than fifty times less likely to actually come out and vote than those who are crying "less taxes", "extend the tax breaks" and "back to the intent of the...."

And on our health...

As of today insurers can no longer put life time caps on your insurance, you not to stay in school just for the insurance (you can not remain on your parent's insurance until you are 24), children cannot be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, you are guarenteed acceptance on insurance (but no price caps until 2014), and you cannot be dropped due to "pre-existing conditions." These are just beginning of gains that Republicans are campaigning they will end if they win the Congress. Insurance companies will be able to raise rates and continue other inflationary practices until the full health care reform package kicks in in 2016.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman interview

poster.jpgActor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Savages, The Talented Mr Ripley, Magnolia) has worked with a dream list of directors: like Sidney Lumet, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers and Mike Nichols. With Jack Goes Boating, the Oscar-winning director becomes one. Was it a dream come true?
Hoffman talks about how the original theatrical play differs from his filmic interpretation, working with Sidney Lumet and Anthony Minghella, what his acting experience brings to directing, and being bitten by the directing bug.

Election 2010

How much will change in the "wake" of the Great Recession (after all the "experts" say it ended last June)?

Is this the year of candidates who want to end support for Education, police, fire, to end women's rights, to end Federal Funds to the states, to give the rich even greater tax cuts while providing fewer services and support for the common woman and man?

The election will tell.

My bias is for the little guy, lowering the cost of an increasing the quality of education, providing coverage for all with pre-existing and other medical conditions or needs, for the Federal Government to use its safety net to save cities, counties, states and even individuals from bankruptcy. But that's me.

What are your views?

Super Harvest Moon Tonight

Tonight enjoy a Super Harvest Moon... a full moon at the time of the Equinox...and a rare event.

Watch out for early Halloween witches, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls! And enjoy the sight, at it height early this evening.