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Posts Tagged ‘Brooks Barnes’

Hello! And Welcome to the End of Moviefone!

Although Moviefone was launched in 1989, it wasn’t until Thanksgiving 1995 that the service was officially embedded to the pop culture lexicon. On November 19 of that year, a subplot of Seinfeld episode “Pool Guy” had Kramer forced to take over 777-FILM auto-attendant duties.

And now, as noted by New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes, the service is about to be wholly transitioned from voice to Web:

Over the weekend, callers were told that the automated service would soon go silent, overtaken by new technology and shifting consumer habits.

“The 777-FILM numbers will no longer be in service in the near future,” intones a man with a voice decidedly scrawnier in timbre than Mr. Moviefone’s. “To buy tickets and for all of your showtime information please download the free Moviefone app on your smartphone or iPad.”

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Deadline’s Mike Fleming is Going Bicoastal

DeadlineHollywoodlogoBeginning next month, Nikki Finke‘s tireless film editor will divide his time equally each month between Long Island and Los Angeles. It’s a big change for Fleming, one he wants you to know is not an indication of troubles at the mother ship:

I think Deadline is thriving despite a recent batch of articles implying otherwise, and it pisses me off when journalists cheap shot us (I disagree with New York Times’ reporter Brooks Barnes and his assessment that Deadline has grown bland. The only thing that concerns me is Barnes could teach a master class on how to write blandly, so he’s as close to an authority as you’ll find on the subject).

Ha ha. Fleming goes on to share all sorts of great recollections: how his showbiz reporter career began accidentally in connection with a project involving Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Peter Bart; how a Long Dong Silver porn tape threw Variety parent company execs for a loop; how a trial run living in LA was ended by his wife’s ultimatum; and how Disney learned to live with his Jessica Rabbit revelations.

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NYT Correspondent, Hollywood Bigwigs Snack on Dog Food

Did Chelsea Handler, Snoop Dogg and Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh get their money’s worth? Per a report by New York Times west coast correspondent Brooks Barnes, it would certainly seem so.

The trio are backers of the company Dog for Dog, which recently paid $45,000 to have its gluten-free canine snack bars plastic-wrap bundled with The Hollywood Reporter. Only problem: some of the magazine’s two-legged subscribers thought it was a snack for them:

The president of one television studio chomped into it, as did one of his subordinates. A senior publicist at PMK-BNC tossed the bar into a drawer and started eating it a week later for a snack. This reporter did the same thing.

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THR Gets a New York Times Love Letter

The word of the day is “etiolated.” Put to excellent use by Brooks Barnes in his New York Times snapshot of the resurgent Hollywood Reporter:

As recently as 2010, The Reporter would have had a hard time persuading its own etiolated staff to gather for a party, much less marquee stars. The trade newspaper, founded in 1930, was bleeding from layoffs, vanishing advertisers and ferociously competitive entertainment industry blogs. It had become what moviedom dreads most: a has-been.

Indeed, there was no Spago mojo coursing through that sickly, weakened staff. It was a gang that Snoop Dogg, the DJ at the February 4 event from which Barnes leads, might have deemed distinctly lacking in  ”shizzle.”

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In This Star Wars Reporting Episode, Much of the Deserved Credit Gets Lost

The biggest Hollywood film scoop of this young year was posted Thursday at 1:33 p.m PT on TheWrap. While a number of Lucas Shaw‘s peers were immediate and effusive with Twitter praise, large chunks of the pick-up coverage about J.J. Abrams being tapped to direct the next-generation installment of Star Wars failed to credit TheWrap and this hard-working media reporter.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world in the trenches of THR, Variety, TheWrap and Deadline, with each being guilty at various times of co-opting film scoops by “confirming,” referencing same-subsequent “documents obtained”, slapping on a questionable EXCLUSIVE and so on. But a scoop of the magnitude of Shaw’s should have been exempt from the usual ticky-tack catch-up tricks.

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Machinima Makes Good Use of Halo Series

This Thanksgiving may not be the happiest of holiday seasons for executives connected to IGN, Spike TV and other enterprises trying to consistently attract the 18-to-34 male demo.

Per a report by New York Times LA correspondent Brooks Barnes, that segment of the viewing audience has largely decamped to other intersections of video games and Internet content. As a result, Hollywood-headquartered Machinima recently hit another 18-to-34 male bullseye with a little help from Microsoft:

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, which cost Microsoft $10 million to make and was meant to promote the release of Halo 4 on Xbox, has been viewed about 27 million times [on Machinima]; four related videos delivered 9.2 million additional views.

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Tech Writer Corroborates Bleak Hollywood View

At the end of her chilling New York Times Op Ed, author and screenwriter Hilary De Vries wrote that she would be thinking of her departed residential neighbors while watching the Oscars Sunday night. In the piece, she recounted how a female writer-director and a pair of soap opera actors on her block have recently been separately foreclosed on by the Great Recession.

In response to De Vries, CNET media and entertainment columnist Greg Sandoval cautions that Hollywood’s DVD cash cow has been permanently put out to pasture. He also reminds that there is now a firmly entrenched public view about the digital media space, reflected by the recent defeats of the PIPA and SOPA bills:

I’m not trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. I grew up in Los Angeles. I have family and friends who make their living in the film sector. I’ve also covered tech for more than a decade, and what’s happening to the film industry now is something I’ve seen happen to media before.

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Ghost Protocol Buzz Makes Tom Cruise Look Like a Genius

Critics who have seen the IMAX version of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opening Friday are gushing all over Facebook and Twitter.

Which leads FishbowlLA to congratulate Tom Cruise on his very wise and prescient decision to offer The Incredibles and Ratatouille writer-director Brad Bird (pictured) a live action shot. Per a recent Bird interview conducted by New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes at Skywalker Ranch:

Mr. Bird got this gig largely because of Mr. Cruise. He called Mr. Bird shortly after The Incredibles was released. “His composition and storytelling was absolutely wonderful, and I said, ‘If you ever want to direct live action, please, please direct me,’” Mr. Cruise said by telephone from Tokyo. Mr. Bird was charmed. But he went on his way, pursuing an ambitious live-action project about the wild and woolly scene in San Francisco just before the 1906 earthquake.

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NYT Takes Some Shots at Variety

“Can a movie database help save Variety?”

So begins Brooks BarnesNew York Times piece about the trade’s launch of a new paid service called FlixTracker, first reported by Fast Company.

The folks at Variety would of course counter that their publication does not need saving, and that the paywall is working out just fine. But the tone of the NYT piece is most definitely skeptical, continuing straight through into paragraph two:

The venerable trade newspaper is a shadow of its former self, eclipsed in the Hollywood media hierarchy by feisty blogs (principally Deadline.com) and starved of ad revenue by cost-cutting studios. Neil Stiles, president of the Variety Group, is nevertheless optimistic that its fortunes will improve–he said in an interview, for instance, that he expected Oscar-related ad sales to be “very, very marginally up.” But it’s tough going.

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Pair of Extra Executives Go After the ‘Haters’

New York Times showbiz correspondent Brooks Barnes has a preview of H8R, the CW half-hour reality show debuting Wednesday. Created by Extra producers Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey and Jeremy Spiegel, and hosted by their program’s on-air personality Mario Lopez, it all sounds rather contrived.

On each episode, a pair of celebrities are shown videotaped rants made by someone who “hates” them and then track down those people for a “surprise” encounter. There’s no doubt the underlying issue here is serious, but nothing in Barnes’ piece suggests the show will come close to a strange bit of family gravitas linkage involving Gregorisch-Dempsey:

One of her cousins is Glenn Berman, the New Jersey judge presiding over the trial of Dharun Ravi, who is accused of secretly taping his Rutgers University roommate [Tyler Clementi] having an intimate encounter with another man and streaming the images online. The roommate committed suicide a few days later.

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