November 19, 2013 |
When the highly anticipated "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. " premiered this fall on ABC, its ratings looked solid, if not downright heroic. Just as important, the network had reason to believe it had finally found a show that young men would watch and its own superhero franchise. Now it seems that the helicarrier is losing some power. The heavily marketed "S.H.I.E.L.D. " - Marvel's first foray into network television since Walt Disney Co. bought the comic book brand in 2009 - drew more than 12 million viewers to its original telecast, according to Nielsen. FALL TV 2013: Watch the trailers That figure grew to 15.8 million in the next three days as people caught up via digital video recorders and video on demand.
November 15, 2013
Re "A rapid-fire surge in PG-13 violence," Nov. 12 Many film and television producers are wrong to think that the content of a film or a TV program has no effect on the viewers. Violence does not satirize the media culture; it succumbs to it, idolizes it and exploits it. People are being numbed by the extreme violence in media; kids are especially affected. How many people, after seeing "Jaws," refused to swim in the ocean? How many couples, after watching a movie in which a couple patches up a lousy relationship, examine their own situation?
November 10, 2013 |
Veteran TV director Michael Pressman got a surprising response when he asked students in his film directing class to describe their dream jobs. “Your job,” he said they told him recently. “We want to be the director in charge of a TV series.” Pressman, who has directed episodes of “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order” and many other series, was stunned. This class, at New York's New School, focused on film. But the students weren't “dreaming of Oscar,” said Pressman, who has also directed several movies, including a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” picture.
November 8, 2013 |
"Speciesism: The Movie" feels like, and is, a product of youth. Director Mark Devries began making his awkwardly titled first-person documentary in college, and its tone is so painfully earnest it might well have begun as a class project. Heavily influenced by PETA's messaging and inflammatory tactics - the first half-hour is practically an ode to the animal rights organization - the film is more polarizing than persuasive. Devries initially models himself after Michael Moore, affecting a gee-whiz naiveté that's both grating and implausible.
November 7, 2013 |
"Ender's Game" may not be the best-executed adaptation in the history of moviedom. But it's based on a major bestseller and a longtime fan favorite, so by all rights it should have made a boatload of money instead of eking out $28 million on its first weekend and going quietly into that dystopian night. It's hardly alone, of course. Why the young-adult boom has gone bust has been a hot topic in development circles in recent weeks. There are rarely the kind of feeding frenzies in Hollywood of the kind that followed the first "Harry Potter" movies (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the first “Twilight” movie)
November 6, 2013 |
We can all agree that it's been a pretty great year for movies. But when it comes to this year's best picture Oscar race, that's probably where our accord ends. At the moment, the critically lauded historical drama "12 Years a Slave" and the equally acclaimed box-office juggernaut "Gravity" head the list. Their Oscar nominations are secure. Likewise, the high-seas hostage drama "Captain Phillips" looks like it's in, thanks to its estimable craft and strong commercial reception. That leaves a crowded group of contenders vying for ... what ... four, five or six (if there are nine best picture nominees, as was the case last year)