FROM Patrick Goldstein
Damaged Children, Clueless Adults and Hollywood Ratings Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is releasing the documentary Bully without a rating after Hollywood's Motion Picture Association of America said it would get an "R" rating because the "F---word" is used repeatedly. Weinstein says that would prevent the target audience, teen-age kids, from seeing it and learning important lessons. Bullying is now recognized as the source of long-term emotional damage, aggravated by adults who don't get it. Can a documentary make a difference? Is Weinstein seeking publicity? Should the MPAA update its criteria in the age of the Internet and cable TV? Note: Both Harvey Weinstein and the MPAA have declined our invitation to participate in our discussion.
Hollywood Meets the Internet and Economic Reality Hollywood is waking up to technology and economics. Studios are becoming revolving doors for executives, and the standards for "green-lighting" new projects aren't what they used to be.
Hollywood Meets the Internet and Economic Reality With so much free content on-line, the business model for movies just doesn't work any more. Revenues from DVD's are declining fast, as is backing from wealthy "angels" with big money to spend. And this was a summer of box-office flops. Studios are becoming revolving doors for executives, and are basing productions on comic books, graphic novels, webisodes and video games that can be serialized and "branded" for easy marketing. "Specialty" projects aimed at adults are fewer and farther between. We see how the wide world of entertainment is changing.
Talks Between Writers and Studios Break Down. Why? What’s Next? Thousands of people are going to be out of work for a long time if the producers and writers can’t reach an agreement and at the moment, they’re farther apart than ever. On Friday , the film and TV producers told the writers to put up or shut up. The writers accused them of bad faith. The producers came back with the charge that the writers were “ideological.” In any case, they’re not talking.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."