Friday, May 07, 2010

Iron Man 3 could go to consumer: FCC poised to kill movie theaters

Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man
Iron Man 3 could bypass theaters when it's released.

In a shocking report, explains The Federal Trade Commission has been asked to let movie studios completely bypass movie theaters and transmit flicks directly to the consumer. Here's the posting that was on's site last year:

Washington, D.C. - In a filing today with the Federal Communications Commission, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) reinforced the benefits of allowing studios the option of sending movies fresh from the box office to tens of millions of American households.

"Many of us love movies, but we just can't make it to the theater as often as we'd like. That is especially true for parents of young children, rural Americans who live far from the multiplex and people with disabilities that keep them close to home," MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said. "Having the added option to enjoy movies in a more timely fashion at home would be a liberating new choice."

In its filing, which was in response to letters of opposition filed by the group Public Knowledge, the MPAA said: "grant of the waiver would for the first time allow millions of consumers to view high-value, high-definition theatrical films during an early release window that is not available today. MPAA has explained that release of this high-value content as part of an earlier window, especially with respect to movies released for home viewing close to or even during their initial theatrical run, necessarily requires the highest level of protection possible through use of SOC."

SOC, or selectable output control technology, would allow televisions with digitally secure interfaces to receive first-run, high-definition content from a cable or satellite provider. Using SOC protects content because it essentially disables non-secure, analog outputs to avoid illegal circumvention and distribution of copyrighted material. These outputs would be disabled ONLY with respect to the proposed new content, and this technology would NOT have any impact whatsoever on the ability of existing devices to receive all of the content that they get today. Consumers will continue to have access to everything they have today, including DVDs, Netflix, etc.

The MPAA filing noted: "By Public Knowledge’s odd reckoning, however, no consumer-oriented technological breakthrough ever could be introduced to American homes unless and until every single American home had access to the same opportunity at the same moment in time. That is a recipe for holding every innovation hostage until the last consumer adopts a new technology.

"Under Public Knowledge’s approach, the Commission would have taken decades to permit television stations to broadcast in color, since millions of American homes already had purchased black-and-white sets when color broadcasts were introduced in the 1950s. Indeed, whenever innovative technologies bring consumers new and better opportunities to media content, there is always a lag between when early adopters take advantage of these opportunities and when they become ubiquitous."

Glickman added: "I, like most movie-goers believe the best way to enjoy a movie is to go to the theater with friends and share a communal laugh or adventure together. But I also believe there is ample room for additional choices that satisfy consumer demand to enjoy movies in diverse new ways. If allowed by the FCC, I believe this new choice will be just one of many exciting innovations to come that benefit consumers and sustain the future of this unique creative medium."

The FCC has allowed this now, so forget about many theaters surviving past the first three years of the FCC action. I hope the FCC realizes that just because a technology can be done is no reason to do it. Movies like Iron Man should be seen in the theater with people. But it seems too late now.

Obama to the rescue?

Stay tuned.

Amy Victoria Beck: teacher arrested for sex with teen student

In the "How many times has this happened" department, we have the very, very sad news of Amy Victoria Beck, a teacher who was arrested for having one count of unlawful sex and committing a leud act on a child, with a 14-year old student. The 33-year-old mother of three walked into Burbank, California Police Headquarters and confessed to the affair when started in March 2009 according to The Huffington Post.

Amy Beck has been sentenced to two years in jail and bail was set at $175,000 (she did not post it), but has served six months already because she gave herself up rather than police arresting her. She could get out earlier with good behavior plus the fact that her husband's an LA police officer.

Amy Beck and her husband remain married and he's standing by her.

Frankly, it seems that this does happen a lot. So much so that are websites devoted to coverage of such news like Hott For Teacher and Bad Bad Teacher, which reports another recent sex scandal where 30-year old Jennifer Gardel, a teacher at Las Vegas High School in Las Vegas, allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old student in her home and even in her classroom. She confessed and was in jail as recently as May 5th, but released.

Sexual Misconduct is such a large problem that the website claims its the number one reason why teachers are forced to surrender their licenses. The website reports...

Records shows Utah has nearly 20,000 licensed educators. Since 1992, the State Board of Education has suspended or revoked 313 teacher licenses -- 208 of them for sexual misconduct. That number excludes 10 cases still being investigated by the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission.

In 2005, The Associated Press conducted a survey that revealed 2,500 sexual incidents in just five years and "across all types of school districts," according to MSNBC.

Contrary to the media's pattern of reporting female teachers, nine of ten cases involve men. And the survey states that the teachers involved generally receive awards for excellence in education and are popular with students.

A copy of the Associated Press report can be downloaded here: AP STUDY.

The study is more report than data-laden case study. Moreover, the missing part is what role the students have in this. All of us remember one particular teacher we thought was "hot" when we were in middle school and high school. Some guys thought it would prove they were a man if they could make a pass at a teacher, but frankly that was very rare as I recall.

But what I remember most is that when I was "little" the teachers were generally much older than the students; in their 40s and 50s. The teachers reported here seems to be younger today, especially the women.

Why it happens? Who really knows. But it seems like one side of the story is being told and not the whole story.

Chevron-Ecuador filmaker of Crude ordered to turn over footage

In yet another court room victory for American Oil Company Chevron, a New York Judge ordered a filmmaker to turn over his footage used in the production of the documentary film Crude: The Real Price of Oil.

As the Smith's would ask What Difference Does it Make? Plenty to Chevron and apparently to the filmmaker Joseph Berlinger and Steve Donziger who filed the lawsuit against Chevron and that Ecuador's a party to. They reportedly fear it will harm their case against Chevron. But how?

They claim the decision will harm "journalist's privilege" and investigative reporting activities. But according to Chevron's Kent Robertson, as told to the Wall Street Journal, a version of Crude that's available via Netflix has evidence of improper involvement by Ecuador operatives.

That version of Crude was systemically removed from view and the DVD version altered to eliminate any scenes that have Ecuador officials in them in such a way that the country is acting as a party to the lawsuit.

I've long said that Ecuador was very much involved in the lawsuit and has stated that they would collect the award monies from a court decision should Chevron lose the case. Indeed, there are clear signs that even Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has been an involved observer in the case.

Stay tuned.

Times Square evacuation again: green cooler found

Just days after New York City's Times Square was evacuated after a car bomb was discovered, Times Square was evacuated again today. A suspicious package was found near 45th Street and Broadway and outside the the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

According to, the package turned out to be a cooler, and the whole deal a false alarm. But New Yorkers are clearly on edge after the first Times Square bomb threat and that was a real one.

That bomb was left by Faisal Shahzad, an American citizen who is originally from Pakistan. He's still in custody and said to be cooperating with authorities.

Lawrence Taylor arrested: condom found in hotel room

Lawrence Taylor on "Dancing"
NFL and Dancing WIth The Stars star Lawrence Taylor was arrested Thursday and post $75,000 bail after being accused of assaulting and raping a runaway 16-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution by a Bronx man.

While Taylor says he is innocent and vows to fight the charges vigorously, today's new news doesn't put the image of the NFL's Best Defensive Player Ever in a good light.

A condom was found in the Suburban Ramapo, New York hotel room Taylor was said to have stayed in. According to, the condom along with other physical evidence was removed from the Holiday Inn Hotel Room Taylor was sleeping in when police took him into custody.

The police also assert the girl was "under the control" of a pimp and that she had a "fresh" black eye, but it wasn't clear who attacked her.

The condom alone is a massive problem. Of course it will be analyzed to see if there's a match with Taylor's DNA. If so, he's in big, big trouble.

Meanwhile Rasheed Davis, the Bronx man charged with pimping the girl, was formally charged with child trafficking according to ABC News.

Stay tuned.

Iron Man 2 and Scarlett Johansson were awesome - review

Scarlett Johansson 
Iron Man 2 and Scarlett Johansson were awesome! This blogger has no idea what critics were thinking who elected to pan Iron Man 2, but no where has their been a larger disconnect of thought since Tiger Woods crafted his goody image while simultaneously screwing every cocktail waitress in his orbit.

Iron Man 2 opened at The Grand Lake Theater at midnight, bringing in Friday with a repulsor-ray brightness that rivals today's sun.

What was so great about Iron Man 2 was it gave more form and face to its characters and added new ones but did a better job of forming them for the audience.

I don't know what movie SF Chronicle / Heart Corporation's Amy Biancolli was watching when she wrote...

"Iron Man 2" is a better-than-average follow-up, but Tony doesn't suit up enough. He almost never flies it...


That is just plain massively wrong. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) used and flew in his Iron Man suit in the opening scene, in the well-done Monte Carlo battle with Mickey Rourke, in his house battling with Lt. Cmd. James Roady (who used the older Mark II version of the suit, and in the final battle scene sequence. All of those scene sequences had Tony Stark activating the rocket jets in his boots, either for short bursts or long flights.

Her criticism seemed to mirror other critics, and made me wonder if there was some kind of PR-driven "kill effort" underway. How can so many people be so wrong about one movie? How can their evaluation be so out of touch with what people say? Something's wrong here.

But there's nothing wrong with the movie. The audience at The Grand Lake Theater laughed, applauded, and cheered a number of times. In fairness, the crowd was a mix of fanboys (like me), older adults, and a lot of college students taking a break from finals. They hissed Sam Rockwell and swooned over Scarlett Johansson.

(And a special mention for Garry Shandling, who played the combative "Senator Stern" in a role that is more than memorable because he dropped an F-bomb on Tony Stark.)

It's that last demographic group that Iron Man 2 and the entire comic book-to-screen movement have been fueled by. They're the reason for the proliferation of successful super hero video games and for the record-breaking crowds of 39,000 people at 2010 Wonder Con San Francisco, and the total sellout of Comic Con months before its July date in San Diego. To write a review of a movie from anything less than their point of view is to miss what this is all about.

Scarlett Johansson plays "Black Widow" and provides an intoxicating mix of sex and violence. One of the people I interviewed after the movie said she "if you're listening. Scarlett Johansson, my God!"

Scarlett Johansson was the hit of Iron Man 2. That's taking nothing away from Robert Downey, Jr. or Gwyneth Paltrow or Don Cheadle or Mickey Rourke, who were all good and Downey, Jr., who was even better than in the first Iron Man, but Johansson just killed it. Period.

Marvel Entetainment has captured a Zeitgeist created by not just by its iconic characters and their already solid place in our culture, but incredible improvements in movie special effects and the mainstreaming of tech news and geek culture, all aided by the emergence of New Media. Marvel's captures a wave and knows how to ride it, as evidenced by the neat way references to upcoming movies Captain America and Thor are weaved into Iron Man 2.

Stay tuned.  Iron Man 2 was a fun ride.  Look for more from Marvel.

Lawrence Taylor charged with rape post by Suzannah B. Troy

"Lawrence Taylor was blinded sided by Lawrence Taylor"

Before I write about Lawrence Taylor, let us talk about the true victim, a minor without a name, without economic power and any resources to prevent her from falling in to the slavery of an abusive alleged pimp that gave her a black eye for objecting to have sex with a "special customer". 

What of her?  What lead her to this living hell?  How can we prevent this from happening here and *anywhere on the globe?  What will happen to her now that this horror story has gained world wide attention?  Will she finally get the resources and tools to walk away from this life of hell?  The only reason we happen to know of her suffering --which too many young women, even girls, children endure, in some countries quite openly --is this nightmarish existence was exposed because it involved an alleged "John" who happens to be one of footballs' greats, Lawrence Taylor;  the catalyst, "the backstory" for the telling of the acclaimed book "The Blind Side" written by Michael Lewis.

When the Disney movie with the same title opens, we hear Oscar award winner, Sandra Bullock read Lewis's words explaining how Lawrence Taylor is the reason for the the 2nd highest paid salaries in the NFL for the men that protect the "blind side" of the highest paid football players -- the quarterbacks.

Now let us get to the "backstory" of Lawrence Taylor....Steve Serby has an editorial in The New York Post, "Grid demon is staring at a life in hell".  Serby co-authored a book with Taylor and clearly he admires, loves and is hoping Taylor is truly innocent.  Serby loves Taylor warts and all.  What are his warts... A head line from The New York Daily News sums them up like that 10 plagues listed during a Passover Seder..."Coke, crack, booze, women and jail".  "Women" falls under the really title of sex addiction.  Bad boys say it doesn't exist but it does if you are sexually consuming people like an over eater sucks down gallons of ice cream without stopping to taste the food and exhale. It becomes only about consumption.   These guys have no idea there is an actual human involved when it comes to sex addiction.   All they care about is the thrill, the next conquest, and like all addictions it leaves them lonelier and more empty than before if that is possible.   Many men secretly admire or openly admire the sex addict.  If asked the sex addict might admit it is a lonely habit that doesn't leave them feeling good about themselves and causes major destruction to their families and careers. Fall-out for Taylor has begun by Nutrisystem swiftly dropping him.

Lawrence Taylor doesn't do anything half way and the same for how people feel about him.  They either love him or hate him.  The folks that love him believe his story and say he was set up.

I am not a LT fan but I do I think he was set up.  Yes.  But I don't think he and any of his supporters have stopped for a minute to think about the underage woman being set up and the hell she was living that brought her to this place.

I have "petite fame" and I am an artist-citizen journalist muck raker and I already know from "little fame" the freaks that come out of the wood work even asking me to have their babies and these are not guys that you would bring home to your family and they also have no real income and they are looking for a meal ticket.   One is actually really old and gross and I know no NFL football player has had an elderly woman asking them to have their baby.  Well maybe they have. Celebrity breeds people wanting to use you.   That being said....

Lawrence Taylor was blinded sided by Lawrence Taylor.  He has been and  is his own worst enemy but there is no doubt that his fame makes him a target.  Do I hope he is innocent and that in fact he did not have sex with this young woman?  Yes.  Do I hope even more that he would have stepped up and protected this woman, helped her to break free of an alleged pimp that beat her rather than exploited the horrifying situation?  I hope he did not have sex with her.

I don't want him to go to jail.  I do not want him destroyed by his own worst enemy -- himself but my greater concern it the alleged pimp beater of women goes to jail for as long as possible and the true victim here, the underage woman gets the help and resources she needs.  I want her to have a safe place she calls home and income that allows her to not fall victim to monsters like this alleged pimp.

Were drugs involved?  Did the pimp use them as a form of bondage like invisible chains as well as threats of physical violence?  I don't know.

I do know The New York Daily News shows striking photos of a rapist laughing until he is sentenced to prison time for raping a prostitute.  Than he started to cry.  You see, he thought he would not go to jail for raping and terrorizing this woman because she was a prostitute.   He robbed her and raped her at gun point.  He thought he would never get caught because "nobody cared about" this woman.  You see he saw her as having no value.

So what if nothing is done to help this underage woman in the Lawrence Taylor case, the true victim here that has no celebrity, until being linked to LT?    She had no escape.  If nothing is done for her with her life...the cowardly "laughing rapist" is right, not about his victim but about the under age prostitute in the high profile LT disaster;  the newest one in way too many in Lawrence Taylor's life.  (I want to give the NYPD the highest praise for catching the rapist, the DA and judge  for making sure this coward goes to jail and proving this woman's life had and has value.)

I am repulsed by  Tiger Woods and I believe he doesn't have much remorse.  He put his family on the back burner yet again for sports and his massive ego but I look at the photos of Lawrence Taylor and I see what appears to be remorse, even shock.   In one photo he looks up possible to Heaven and maybe he is praying to God, for help and asking how did I get here?

Taylor changed the game of football for better or worse.  He inspired Michael Lewis to use him as the defining factor of the best seller "The Blind Side".  Sandra Bullock utters his name like a god in the opening minutes of the film.  Taylor even if he is innocent of not actually having sex with an underage prostitute has fallen again and fallen hard.  Unlike Tiger, I believe his remorse is sincere...even for just being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and allowing himself to be connected with a vile, low life thug, alleged violent pimp master and beater of women.  

Lawrence Taylor has to take a good long look at his life yet again and shape up finally, once and for all, never find himself in this or any kind of situation like this ever again.  Too many male star athletes find themselves on the front pages of newspapers and sharing headlines that might make people forget the mega disasters like the horrific oil spill off of the Gulf of Mexico or the massive budget catastrophe  right here in New York which has yet to but might bring us in to an economic depression.  We are seeing violent out breaks in Greece because of similar issues.

What Lawrence Taylor needs to do is plead his case.  If he is innocent plead innocent, if not plead guilty.  He needs to think long and hard about the real victim here, this underage woman, a teenage girl.  His fame brought her hellish existence to the front pages of major newspapers around the world and I am sure "Lawrence Taylor" are hot words in Google's search engine.  Can he use his fame to help to stop the exploitation of underage prostitution here and elsewhere.  It needs to be stopped and removed from this planet as far as I am concerned.  I also think prostitution should be legal as well to prevent violence towards women as well as other issues.

Time will tell how this actually plays out for LT.  For now he was sacked and if he is guilty the police did a good job.  The police have found a used condom in the hotel room.  Either way the police did good work and now I hope and pray a young woman's life will be saved and the alleged pimp goes to jail for a long time.   If Lawrence Taylor  is innocent or guilty it is up to LT to take this and some how turn it  into a positive.  He can use  his fame to help make a positive difference and one suggestion is to help fight child prostitution here in this country.

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