CEO Jeff Bewkes must be glad that he only has to meet with ordinary shareholders once a year. Two dominated the Q&A session at today’s gathering with questions based on a view that Time Warner is engaged in campaigns to promote President Obama’s political fortunes, and gun control legislation. One found it suspicious that Michelle Obama awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, won by Warner Bros.’ Argo. He noted that actor George Clooney — one of the film’s producers — had hosted fundraisers for the Obama campaign, and that the President and First Lady attended TNT’s annual Christmas In Washington special to raise money for the Childrenís National Medical Center. “What a way to say ‘thank you’,” the shareholder said. Bewkes explained that the TNT show invites “sitting office holders that we have elected, whether wisely or not. They are not candidates.” As for the Oscar, “thatís done by the members of the Academy….Thatís a whole forest if you wander into that.” A second questioner said that Time Warner was “hypocritical” for allegedly deciding to reject some gun ads after last year’s Sandy Hook tragedy, and airing pro-gun control commentary from CNN’s Piers Morgan, even though the company’s entertainment often depicts gun violence. The shareholder said that gun crimes are down, but people believe that they’re increasing. “Why would the company’s leaders make a political decision” based on “extreme bias,” he asked. Turns out the policy to ban ... Read More »
I don't know if this is a bad NBA draft or just a mediocre one that's been overly maligned, but I'm certain that it's an easy one for GMs to botch. There are no locks for stardom and only a few for starter-dom. There will be a few shrewd picks and far more flops, and no one will know on draft night which is which. Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is likely to go No. 1 because of his projectable defensive value, yet the Cavaliers are so enamored with him that they're already shopping their pick. When a frail center with limited offensive ability -- who's coming off an ACL tear and won't be available to play until Christmas -- is atop most big boards, it does not say much for the projectability of the rest of the Class of 2013.
Another Jason Reitman movie is getting prime awards-season placement. Paramount said the Juno and Up In The Air director’s latest, Labor Day, will open in limited release December 25 this year before expanding January 10 and going wide January 31. Tobey Maguire, Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, J.K. Simmons, James Van Der Beek, Brooke Smith, Gattlin Griffith, and Brighid Fleming star. The studio is also co-financing the pic, which Reitman also wrote as an adaptation of the Joyce Maynard novel. The story centers on a 13-year-old boy (Griffith) from New Hampshire who learns valuable life lessons over a five-day Labor Day weekend after an escaped convict (Brolin) seeks shelter with the boy’s single mom (Winslet). Mr. Muddís Lianne Halfon and Russ Smith are producing along with Helen Estabrook and Reitman. Indian Paintbrush is exec producing. The date obviously is chock-full of big pics including Paramount’s own Jack Ryan, Universal’s 47 Ronin, and Fox’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty as well as expansions for The Weinstein Company’s Grace Of Monaco and Fox Searchlight’s Twelve Years A Slave.
The Cannes Film Festival is currently in full swing and while the rest of us wait at home to hear the news and see the reviews of the films currently playing, we do have two treats to share with you. First is the trailer for director Arnaud Desplechinís ďJimmy P.Ē which stars Benicio Del Toro as Jimmy Picard, a Native American WWII vet who is diagnosed with schizophrenia. When his diagnosis is called into question, French psychoanalyst George Devereux (Mathieu Amalric) is brought in to assess the situation. This film will mark Desplechinís first feature length project since 2008's "A Christmas Tale." The second trailer is for ďA Touch of SinĒ which is playing in competition for the Palme díOr at Cannes. This is the highest award that can be given at Cannes and is presented to the director of the best feature film in competition. ďA Touch of SinĒ is directed by Jia Zhangke and takes a hard look at four separate lives in China that are on a path towards violence....
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