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By Mark Bell | November 26, 2007

I’ve been meaning to start up a blog column for a long time, and for some reason today seemed like as good as any to get the ball rolling. I’m not promising anything as far as content or even the title of the column goes, as this is going to be a work-in-progress until it feels really comfortable. That said, let’s look at today’s Five Headlines from Hollywood!

Writers and Producers Return to the Negotiating Table!
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety
The WGA and AMPTP are scheduled for three meetings this week in an attempt to end the Writer’s Strike of 2007 (possibly 2008) in what could be considered an almost last-ditch effort to resolve things before the holidays. We’ll see how everything shakes out, but it wouldn’t surprise me if nothing gets accomplished until after the New Year, which is when any real effect of the lack of writers, outside of the current late-night debacles, would be felt or seen by the general public.

I do enjoy the idea that a federal mediator has been stepping in and possibly working towards a press blackout of the whole ordeal, in an effort to make things easier on both parties without daily news coverage. Then again, not like it’s really worked thus far…

Lauren Ambrose Goes “Where the Wild Things Are”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Michelle Williams is out and Lauren Ambrose is in to voice one of the main Wild Things in Spike Jonze’s film adaptation of the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.” Nothing bad to be said about Williams, it just turned out that the direction they went with the Wild Thing was not the way her voice sounded… or something. So Lauren Ambrose sounds more like a Wild Thing? OKAY.

Nikki Finke: “…a scoop is better than sex.”
Source: New York Times
Okay, so the story is actually more about how Nikki Finke is more well-read than Variety or The Hollywood Reporter, what that means to the Writer’s Strike and other fun “another aspect of the world has noticed who Nikki Finke is” tidbits, but the part I dig is the quote about her constant strike coverage, which reads:

“It’s been brutal, but it’s also been exhilarating because I love news. I love it “” a scoop is better than sex”

Now hang on there a second. Better than sex? As much as I love finding out new and exclusive info on the films or filmmakers I like or love, I’ve never had an orgasm over it. Sure, I may use the term “geek-gasm” sometimes, but it’s never caused me to actually cream my jeans. Until that happens, I’m going with sex on this one…

Can Russell come out to “Play”?
Source: Variety
Sloppy seconds. That’s what the producers of “State of Play” hope Russell Crowe will be content with as they woo him to star in the film in a role previously held down by Angelina Jolie’s majordomo Brad Pitt. Apparently Pitt didn’t like the state of the current script, and decided to bail… or Universal shoved him out the door… or something. The official story on this one has not been decided on yet, but what we do know is that “State of Play” was supposed to start filming on November 15 and the hope is that Crowe can step in for Pitt and help get filming under way before Crowe’s other engagement in Ridley Scott’s “Nottingham” begins filming in March.

Honestly, do I give a f**k? No, not really.

Monday’s Box Off Re-Structuring
Under my belief that good movies do not necessarily equate to box office success, and vice versa, every Monday I intend to do a top ten box office re-structuring, which is where I take the top ten box office films and re-order them according to their critical ranking (courtesy of MetaCritic) so folks can really see if what is good ever equals what is making the most money. So, for the box office of November 23 – November 25, 2007:

1/0 Enchanted $35.3/$50.0
2/0 This Christmas $18.6/$27.1
3/1 Beowulf $16.2/$56.4
4/0 Hitman $13.0/$21.0
5/2 Bee Movie $12.0/$112.1
6/4 Fred Claus $10.7/$53.1
7/0 August Rush $9.4/$13.3
8/3 American Gangster $9.2/$115.8
9/0 The Mist $9.1/$13.0
10/7 No Country for Old Men $8.1/$16.6
1 No Country for Old Men
2 American Gangster
3 Enchanted
4 This Christmas
5 The Mist
6 Beowulf
7 Bee Movie
8 Fred Claus
9 August Rush
10 Hitman

There you go, column precedent set out before you. Will every day be like this? Every Monday? Just how consistent with this thing be anyway?

Don’t know. I’d like it to be daily, but we’ll see. I already know a couple days this week will make that difficult, but I can try. Definitely Mondays though, I like the way it starts my week. Now listen/watch this, and your week will be complete as well:


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  1. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    I’d read this weekly fuh sho.

  2. Rory L. Aronsky says:

    “Ranked by Quality” is enough to get me reading every Monday! I like that better than the charts that show up over the AP newswire.

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