Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wolverine Reviewer Attacked by Scientologists?

Roger Friedman Files $5.2 Million Lawsuit Against Fox News

You might not remember Roger Friedman by name. He's the jackass that was fired for reviewing a downloaded workprint of the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine that had made the news a week or two before the film premiered in theaters. Apparently, he didn't

X-Men Origins: Wolverine_ teaser posterImage by marthouli via Flickr

think that his employer's parent company, 2oth Century Fox, would have a problem with one of their journalists legitimizing online pirating of their blockbuster theatrical releases by watching and reviewing one.

Well, Roger's got a surprise for them. He's suing them to the tune of $5.2 Million dollars, nearly enough money for him to produce his own version of The Room. That's a big chunk of change for a film reviewer to demand for a Wrongful Termination suit. There must be an angle.

The angle, of course, is that Friedman decided that he hadn't quite pissed off enough Hollywood elites yet. So, he's upped the ante by claiming that he wasn't let go because of his poor decision-making skills, but because of the Church of Scientology. It seems that Roger has written some articles in the past that are a tad critical of the L. Ron Hubbard founded religion. His lawsuit states that Scientologists and those sympathetic to the cause within News Corp weren't happy with him, and were just looking for an excuse to get rid of him.

Roger Friedman might not care who he pisses off, but he might want to tread lightly when throwing around accusations that include the Church of Scientology, one of the most litigious religious groups in existence that has been known to sue news organizations for defamation at the drop of a hat. His new employers over at the Hollywood Reporter must be thrilled.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Oscars Eliminate Presentations and Awards in order to "Broaden Options"

I'm sure we weren't the first ones to do it, and we certainly weren't the only ones, but the minute the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announce the doubling of the Best Picture

Silhouette of the Oscar award statueImage via Wikipedia

category, we quickly predicted that other awards and presentations would soon be cut to make room for all of those Best Pictures in the televised award ceremony.

Well, the news came out today, and we heartily say "I told you so!"

The Academy announced that the rules would be changed involving the selection of Best Song so that, if the board decides that there aren't any exceptional songs that year, the category can actually be dropped. This means that if only two or three really great songs are released in films in a given year, the board can arbitrarily decide not to honor any of them. How much do you want to bet that the first Ten Best Pictures ceremony sees the first inaction of this rule. Any takers?

The other big announcement, and even a bigger blow, is that the 'testimonial' awards won't be performed live during the ceremony, but instead be awarded during an non-televised black tie event prior to the main event. Among these are the Honorary Oscars for Career Excellence, also known as the We-Screwed-Up awards that they always end up giving to exceptional actors and directors who aren't recognized for their brilliance until they are either dead or retired. This half-assed way of apologizing for ignoring major talent until after the fact has always been a bit suspect, but now that they aren't even including it in the big show, its even more of an insult as well.

More cheesiness from the Academy as it occurs...

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Weekend Box Office Estimates 6/26 - 6/28

1 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen P/DW $112,000,000
2 The Proposal BV $18,466,000
3 The Hangover WB $17,215,000
4 Up BV $13,046,000
5 My Sister's Keeper WB $12,030,000
6 Year One Sony $5,800,000
7 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Sony $5,400,000
8 Star Trek Par. $3,606,000
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Fox $3,500,000
10 Away We Go Focus $1,678,000
11 Land of the Lost Uni. $1,143,000
12 Terminator Salvation WB $1,085,000

Let it also be known that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen made $201 million in its 5 day tally. This is only second to The Dark Knight, which made $204 million in the same 5 day span.

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