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Bigelow and Affleck snubs roil critics! Big win for Warner Bros.

January 11, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Gangster Squad" hopes to clean up at the box office.
"Gangster Squad" hopes to clean up at the box office. (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before getting my Golden Globes outfit together.

The Skinny: Normally I welcome the weekend, but since I'll spend much of this weekend at the TV Press Tour in Pasadena it won't feel like a break. Oh, well, there are worse things in life than a nice hotel and free food. Friday's headlines include a preview of the weekend box office, the backlash against the Oscar nominations and a review of "Gangster Squad."

Daily Dose: NBC's "Rock Center" looked less like a newsmagazine and more like an infomercial for the network Thursday night. The show did a puffy profile of Josh Gad, a costar on the network's new sitcom "1600 Penn, about a family trying to deal with life in the White House. NBC even managed to work in a clip of Jay Leno in its excerpts from the show: a rare twofer in self-promotion. The piece itself was a softball interview by Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of President George W. Bush. Maybe next week Chelsea Clinton will interview the actress who plays the daughter on "1600 Penn."

Round up the usual suspects. "Gangster Squad," a period piece about the LAPD's efforts to bring down the mob, is the big new movie this weekend. The question is will "Gangster Squad" overcome so-so reviews to make a killing at the box office or will it fail to get arrested. I'm guessing the latter, but then again I'm old enough to remember "L.A. Confidential," and "Gangster Squad," you are no "L.A. Confidential."  Opening wide this weekend is "Zero Dark Thirty" and the horror parody "A Haunted House." Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Plot twists. The Oscar nominations were announced Thursday but we'll still be talking about them through the weekend. There are a lot of critics wondering how Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences voters didn't nominate Kathryn Bigelow as best director for "Zero Dark Thirty." Did the political backlash against the movie sink her? Maybe. But how does the academy also overlook Ben Affleck's directorial work in "Argo," a good old-fashioned drama about the rescue of Americans from Iran during the hostage crisis? Analysis of the Oscar nominations from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Movie City News, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.

Name change. Chinese television manufacturer TCL is shelling out more than $5 million to change the name of Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theater to TCL Chinese Theater. It must be nice to have that kind of money to throw around. I'm not really sure what that will get TCL but then again I don't get naming rights at all. I don't shop at Staples more because of Staples Center and at times I've boycotted FedEx when the Redskins (whose stadium is FedEx Field) have done something particularly annoying. More on the new name from the Los Angeles Times.

Super win. Warner Bros. beat back a legal challenge to the rights to Superman. Heirs of the artists who created the Superman comic book had tried to stop the studio from making new movies about the super hero claiming it did not have the rights. Warner Bros.' next Superman movie, "Man of Steel" comes out this summer. More on the ruling from the Wall Street Journal.

A sordid story. Jimmy Saville, a popular British TV personality who died in 2011, used his fame and power to prey on hundreds of young children over a span of decades, according to a scathing report from London's Metropolitan police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. More on the report and Saville from the Guardian.

Is there a consolation prize? Satellite broadcaster Dish was slated to win an award for its new Hopper  receiver that comes with both its commercial skipping function and a Sling Box, the device that lets users watch their TV on computers and other devices outside of the home. But the award was from the tech website CNet, which is owned by CBS, which is suing Dish over AutoHop. You can figure out the rest. No award for Dish. Details from the New York Post.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "Gangster Squad."

Follow me on Twitter. I have no internal censor. @JBFlint.

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