Hollywood Take 2: “Life of Pi”

29 Sep

For all of the many political events to occur over the last few weeks this Hollywood Take 2 may sound a little evasive.  Yet rest assured, there is a reason for so much partisan neutrality in this political season. Hollywood has the uncanny ability to just keep on going despite changes in national temperament, changes of the status quo, or any other change to the national ecology (whether any of these events occur or not).  Maybe it’s “the show must go on,” or another productive aphorism yet resilience can’t be underestimated or ignored in the US’ entertainment capital.  If there were any ongoing mandatory policy in the town, entertainment sustainability is always in fashion.

That said most of this week’s stories contradict conventional expectations regarding their content.


  • Life of Pi
  • Sheppard Smith apologizes for Fox News airing video taped suicide
  • John Travolta 1, Tabloids O
  • Judge Dredd Box Office Dead despite Comic Con Endorsement
  • Another Abraham Lincoln Bio pic


Almost every entertainment news site (Deadline.com, the Hollywood Reporter. com, Variety.com, Hollywood.com, etc.) gratefully reported that Ang Lee’s “Life Of Pi “ made a glorious appearance at the 50th annual New York Film Festival.  The obligatory Oscar buzz seemed to be a frequent mention as well [1].

As documented by LIH’s Hollywood Take 2, Oscar predictions and movie buzz are updated almost every week on many sites.  So is it really any surprise that the frequently well-reviewed Lee film would inspire this praise?  Or instead is this more likely a report about anxiety about the inability to predict the outcomes of supposed creative contests in Hollywood?


More of a media story than a Hollywood story, apparently the politically biased news station feels it does have responsibilities to its audience.  Reported by the Huffington Post.com (and almost everyone else) [2].

A shaken Shep Smith apologized to Fox News viewers after the network failed to cut away from live video of a carjacker shooting himself in the head in an apparent suicide.

Given the number of outlets that covered this story, in this political season, we can imagine many take exception to Fox’s typical political stance.  If this interpretation is true, than it is a statement about entertainment news more than it is a statement about the currently self-reflecting media giant.


Despite the title of this topic, this statement does not believe this is an equal contest between two parties.  You may have noticed that regardless of their popularity, LIH doesn’t regard the tabloids as legitimate news outlets.  If you pay attention to the tabloids, Movie matinee idol of three or four decades John Travolta has had an ongoing recent battle with the tabloids regarding his supposedly exposed sexuality.  As most celebrities tell their audiences, the honesty of what we read in the tabloids is frequently non-existent.  This frequently leaves fans confused about what and how much to believe regarding what they are seeing and hearing.

Maybe readers should regard the court’s ability to evaluate differently.  According to the BBC (and many others):

A judge has dismissed a defamation case against actor John Travolta, filed by a man who wrote a book claiming he had sexual encounters with the star.

We’ll leave it to viewers to decide whether other previous accusations about the actor should be retroactively questioned also.


Almost answering their own cryptic title to a previous article; “Comic-Con: ‘Dredd’ Plays To Cheering Fans, But Will It Play To The Mainstream?” Deadline scores a distinctive predictive evaluation.

You need not look any further than LIH’s own column “Movie Buzz” to find out the movie was reviewed positively.  Yet poor marketing, a weak trailer, an ineffective poster, and a poor previous movie starring Sly Stallone have helped this movie disprove a list of forgone conclusions that may need to be rethought.  Graeme McMillan of Comicbookresources.com’s  Spinoff online.com may have said it best [4]:

But those previews at conventions should be seen as outside of the process of opening a movie or promoting it; having advance buzz from a niche audience is nice, but it’s an additive, not a replacement to the process of introducing the movie to everyone else in the world.

Seems like Deadline and Spinoff Online may have a point.


Even if imitation was the sincerest form of flattery, after four years of films you might assume this Honest Abe trend was starting to peak; yet maybe not.  After movies like: “The Conspirator,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” and the forthcoming “Lincoln,” one might assume this apple was thoroughly gnawed but others feel this 19th century Republican President has more to offer.  Director Terrence Mallick must think the core is edible too.

Though discussed on Comingsoon.net [5] and Collider.net, sites like the Daily Blam.com described this film this way [6]:

The Green Blade Rises tells the untold story of the youth of America’s greatest hero. It chronicles the hardships that shaped him, including abandonment by his father in the harsh winter wilderness, the tragedy that marked him forever and the two women who guided him to immortality, putting him on the path to becoming one of the most influential Presidents in United States history.

Or is this topic’s popularity really a metaphor for something else?



[1] http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117948443/


[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/shep-smith-apologizes-fox-news-apparent-suicide-live-messed-up_n_1923971.html


[3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19757448

[4] http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2012/09/25/will-dredd-3d-finally-kill-the-comic-con-myth/

[5] http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=95323

[6] http://www.dailyblam.com/news/2012/09/28/wes-bentley-brit-marling-join-terrence-malicks-abraham-lincoln-biopic-the-green-blade


2 Responses to “Hollywood Take 2: “Life of Pi””

  1. Open Book September 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM #

    Hmm! Interesting video for Green Blades. Alrighty then! Thanks for that CR.

    Do u think given it’s election year maybe the reason Lincoln is so popular?

    Its remarkable people fail recognize the Evening News can be more violent then any film in Hollywood.

    • Comic Relief September 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM #


      I’m not sure this helps better understand the Lincoln Bio pic but here goes;

      The Green Blade Rises is a very famous religious song about Jesus Christ, I do not particularly understand the connection to Abraham Lincoln (yet I’m willing to wait until later to find out).

      Words: John M. C. Crum, in the Oxford Book of Carols, 1928.
      Music: Noël Nou¬ve¬let, 15th Century French melody; arranged by Martin F. Shaw (1875-1958)

      Words to the song:

      Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
      Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
      Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
      Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.
      In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
      Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
      Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
      Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.
      Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
      He that for three days in the grave had lain;
      Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
      Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.
      When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
      By Your touch You call us back to life again;
      Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
      Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

      You can see a picture of Martin F. Shaw and the website I collected this information from at:http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/n/g/ngbrises.htm

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