Sunday, October 31, 2010

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...

...Here's a fascinating photo tour of actress Gene Tierney's childhood home in Connecticut. It's currently on sale for $3.25 million. (Via Gene Tierney Movie Page.)

...The next Hallmark Hall of Fame movie coming to CBS on November 28th: NOVEMBER CHRISTMAS (2010), starring Sam Elliott, John Corbett, Karen Allen, and Sarah Paulson.

...As of next week, the Hollywood Reporter ceases to be a weekday publication and becomes a weekly magazine. As a onetime subscriber, when I was a young film fan in the late '70s and early '80s, I find the news rather sad, although certainly not unexpected in today's changing media environment.

...Reviews, reviews, and more reviews: Clark Gable and Ava Gardner in LONE STAR (1952) was reviewed at Riding the High Country. I watched it a lot growing up; it wasn't all that good, but it was Clark Gable. (It airs on TCM November 26th.)...Cinema OCD reviewed JUPITER'S DARLING (1955), which I think was Esther Williams' strangest movie...Another Old Movie Blog takes a detailed look at NIGHT MUST FALL (1937), which has an Oscar-nominated performance by Robert Montgomery...the history of STRANGE BARGAIN (1949) was discussed at Just a Cineast. (It's on TCM tomorrow, November 1st)...Lou Lumenick reviewed -30- (1959) and FIVE STAR FINAL (1931).

...Apparently some opinions expressed by NPR reporters continue to be more acceptable to this publicly funded network than others.

...Lime and black pepper cookies, anyone?

...Over at 50 Westerns From the 50s Toby spotlights one of my favorite Westerns, WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951). This gritty William Wellman film was based on a story by Frank Capra, of all people. It airs on Turner Classic Movies November 17th, 2010.

...Amazon recently won an important court fight. I'll never understand why those who want "tax fairness" think the only way to achieve that is to tax ever more entities. Why not lower or eliminate taxes elsewhere to level the playing field? That's a rhetorical question, of course, because doing that won't feed government's insatiable desire for control and our money, although it would help revitalize the economy and give sellers and consumers alike far greater freedom and purchasing power.

...Lou Lumenick spotlighted the "appalling quote of the month" by Sony Pictures head Michael Lynton, who claimed "If you had shown, for example, someone back in the 1950s an edit where there is a woman crying and there is an image of a gravesite, they would not have understood what we as a modern audience understood, which is that the woman is grieving over someone who has died." Apparently folks back in the '50s were dunces or something...and as Lumenick points out, this man -- who apparently has a total lack of understanding of film history and audiences -- controls the release of the Columbia classic film library onto DVD!

...Raquelle reviews the Humphrey Bogart Essential Collection at Out of the Past -- complete with a video "tour" of the set, which was a fun touch. Nice job, Raquelle. :)

...Attention Southern Californians: the Ruby's Diner at South Coast Plaza has been completely made over; now it rather bizarrely looks more like a Coco's. If only they could instead improve the service and the french fries, which were ruined when the company went "trans fat free."

...Speaking of trans fat, do we really want to live in a nation where restaurants can be ticketed for cooking with margarine? Really?

...Hollywood Heritage tours sound very interesting...

...Christmas decorations are tiptoeing into Disneyland.

...London's Daily Telegraph in its 4-star review of THE KING'S SPEECH (2010): "’s an uplifting audience pleaser that also showcases film-making arts and crafts at an exalted level."

...Notable passing: those of us of a certain age may not know the name James Wall, but we certainly know the name "Mr. Baxter," along with Mr. Green Jeans, Mr. Moose, and Bunny Rabbit. Wall has passed away at the age of 92.

...Esteemed historian Victor Davis Hanson sums up the current state of politics and Democrat governance and concludes: "Vote on Tuesday with a passion as if you have never voted before." November 2nd should be a most interesting -- and possibly historic - Election Day.

Happy Halloween, and have a great week!


Blogger Colin said...

Laura, thanks for the plug on my Lone Star piece.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very welcome! Enjoy your blog a lot. :)

Best wishes,

4:59 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thank you for the link. I'm also very interested in seeing "The King's Speech." Pleased it got a good review.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Thank you so much for the link. I was secretly hoping that you would add it to your post.

I only just subscribed to Lou Lumenick's blog so I missed that quote. I hate it when people place ideas and notions on time periods that they don't understand!

I've been reading a lot about Amazon and the tax stuff because I work in the book business. I love that Amazon is tax free especially since in MA sales tax went up from 0.05% to 0.065%. I like buying discounted items AND not paying tax. However, is one big bully. Whenever a state makes charge their residents tax, Amazon immediately cuts off all Affiliates from that state. That's a lot of business that lose business because Amazon cut them off. Eek. I'm very conflicted by this!

9:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome, Jacqueline. :)

Hope THE KING'S SPEECH is as good as advertised!

Best wishes,

9:43 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Raquelle! Really enjoyed your post. The set looks gorgeous -- your video showing it off was a unique fun touch!

Here in CA the sales tax in my county is 8.75% -- and in L.A. County it's 9.75%. I believe we have the highest sales tax rates in the nation. It really makes you think twice about making a local purchase when you realize the "real" price is nearly 10% higher!

I agree that the situation some Amazon affiliates find themselves in is extremely difficult, and I certainly feel sympathy for those businesses which have been negatively impacted by the situation. Amazon's position, which I have sympathy with, is that it's the states which are ultimately responsible for Amazon having to "pull the plug," in order to preserve the tax situation for all Amazon customers as it currently exists.

These states unfortunately engage in static tax analysis -- assuming that taxation doesn't change behavior, whether it's pushing business out of the state, reducing purchases, etc. Or, for example, causing me to buy virtually all my DVDs online instead of at Target or Costco. (grin) It may be counterintuitive, but lower taxation and regulation actually leads to a thriving economy and higher tax revenue; studies here in CA show that every single time tax rates were slashed, tax revenue zoomed up, not down. I'd love to see the states which are going after Amazon's tax dollars instead focus on a more hospitable business climate which would help all those Amazon vendors thrive and grow. JMHO, of course! :)

Thanks so much for your thoughts on varied topics. Isn't that quote by the Sony President something? He has also been quoted that nothing good has ever come of the Internet!!

Best wishes,

9:57 AM  
Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Laura - Although our sales tax isn't as high as yours (wow yours is super high), we do have really high cost of living which makes us into penny pinchers. When my boyfriend and I bought our new Mac computers, we traveled to nearby New Hampshire because they have no sales tax. It saved us $100+ each that we would have spent had we purchased the computers in Massachusetts. That's money we could use for other things! I agree that lower taxation could definitely stimulate the economy. :-)

3:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Raquelle,

My dad lived in Waltham, MA, for a couple years about a decade ago...I remember the cost of living was very expensive there! (I would love to get back there to visit many fabulous places to visit connected with U.S. and literary history. I think Concord was my favorite place to date.) Sounds like you found a really good deal on your Macs...that was a big savings, which I'm guessing you've been able to, or will, put into the economy elsewhere. :)

Here's hoping for better economic times for all of us coming down the road --

Best wishes,

3:39 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Hi Raquelle. I think Amazon has to take a high hand in this tax battle. Yes, it's hard on affiliates, but Amazon is not the bully. The state imposing taxes is the bully.

2:30 PM  

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