I’m recovering from the fest and doing other stuff as well, so I’m going to try and keep things fairly short tonight.
* The non-extra initial Blu-Ray/DVD release of “Avatar” has, guess what, done very, very well.
* Thanks, Hef! He saves the world for heavily retouched naked women, pays writers more than just about anybody, and now he ponies up the missing funds to save the Hollywood sign.
* One item I don’t actually have to link to report on is that the TCM Classic Film Festival is going to be back next year, with the idea of being an annual event. I can do that because I was present at last night’s big screening of “Metropolis” where none other than Robert Osborne announced it to the assembled multitudes at the more beautiful than ever Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
What was interesting about the way this festival was marketed is that people who live in Los Angeles were clearly not the primary target. Individual ticket prices were roughly double what film geeks like myself are used to paying to see similar presentations — actually more than double when you consider that most repertory programs are actually double bills. With the exception of fellow press and a USC film student who had picked up one of thirty free tickets that has been donated, everyone I spoke to was from elsewhere, and usually a place where the opportunity to see such frequently revived cinematic warhorses as “Casablanca” and “Some Like it Hot” on the big screen are nevertheless beyond rare.
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The new Girls Next Door from E! premieres tonight at 10:30 PM EST. Holly, Kendra and Bridget have left the show, and Hef is sporting three new girlfriends: The Shannon Twins, Karissa & Kristina, and Crystal Harris. They’re younger, blonder and . . . . . oh well, just as boring as before.
Many women love this show (over two-thirds of the audience is comprised of women), so we can expect that to continue even with the new gang. Tonight’s episode will introduce the new girls, and the three of them get together with Holly in Las Vegas. Naturally, the 19-year-old Shannon twins loved Vegas.
As for the guys, one has to wonder if this show has ruined the Playboy fantasy a bit. Sure, the girls are beautiful, and we see plenty of the new girls in the first episode, but listening to their banter week after week makes them less sexy, not more. So while the E! show has exposed the brand to a whole new audience, particularly a whole new generation of young women, it doesn’t seem to click with the audience Playboy magazine needs, which is young men.
Karissa & Kristina Shannon, Ida Ljungqvist, Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris