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Snooki Schmoozes Sarah Palin; Governator Mulls Return to Acting

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 04 January 2011 04:42 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger Mulls Return to Acting
2. Hollywood’s Future Will Be Downloaded
3. Snooki Angles for Spot on Sarah Palin’s Reality Show
4. Discovery Yanks Michael Jackson Autopsy Show
5. ‘True Grit’ Gallops in the Tradition of John Wayne

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger Mulls Return to Acting

What does an action movie star do after serving two terms as governor of the beleaguered Golden State? Say “hasta la vista, baby” to politics and head back to Hollywood.

Arnold Schwarzenegger came to the California governor’s office as a GOP conservative. But he went through a curious metamorphosis during his second term and evolved into a Bloomberg RINO.

Word is now that Schwarzenegger is thinking about a return to his acting roots. He had walked away from a successful Hollywood career to run in the California recall election that transformed him into The Governator.

Recently, reporters have been hounding him about his next professional move after tossing the keys to the governor’s mansion to Democrat Jerry Brown.

Although some of his critics may disagree when it comes to his thespian abilities, Schwarzenegger told Variety that acting “is like bicycling, or like skiing. You get on it and you feel like there is no time lapse there at all.”

For now, his list of options is long, he says. “For me the joy of life is not to know, and you get into it and you kind of figure it out. I love that. I don’t like safety nets. I am not a believer in that.”

The fact that he made a cameo appearance in “The Expendables” while still in the governor’s office shows that he could easily get in front of the camera again, despite the extended break.

Maybe Arnold can develop a fantasy film script with the what-if premise that he won his battle with the public unions and was able to pass the four referendums to reform the state’s power structure, or got the spending cuts he sought, or rescued Californians from the death grip of the Dems in the state Legislature.

He would have been an action hero extraordinaire, and not just in the movies.

2. Hollywood’s Future Will Be Downloaded

Hollywood’s entertainment executives are biting their manicured nails because the digital wolf is at the door.

Execs have been relying on customers who rent and/or buy movies and TV episodes, but they’ve witnessed a steady decline of the standard DVD. Now they’re questioning whether the old discs will survive.

Blu-ray is the prestige format of choice, providing new potential profits for older movie titles. Execs hope the new 3-D Blu-ray machines will inject more life into the industry.

But the future is shifting toward digital downloads. As with music, consumers increasingly prefer to download films and TV shows to their hard drives.

Adding to the industry’s jitters, the box office just finished its second-worst year since 1996, according to

Studios sold 1.35 billion movie tickets in 2010, the lowest level since 1996, when 1.33 billion moviegoers went to the multiplex.

The 2010 level dropped 5.4 percent compared with 2009. The average cost of a ticket then was $4.42. Today, it’s $7.46.

Revenues were up, but only because of higher ticket prices and premiums charged for 3-D flicks. The gross revenue was over $10 billion for the second time in box-office history.

Hollywood would be in even worse shape but for the venerable cartoon feature.

Four of the 10 highest grossing movies were animated films: “Toy Story 3” with $1.06 billion, “Shrek Forever After” with $740 million, “Despicable Me” with $526 million and “How to Train Your Dragon” with $495 million.

3. Snooki Angles for Spot on Sarah Palin’s Reality Show

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, encased in a ball, was dropped from the top of a building.

Emerging from the ball, the “Jersey Shore” star rang in the New Year by proclaiming: “That was friggin’ awesome.”

How does a keep-it-in-the-headlines reality star follow up? Maybe by appearing on another reality show, such as the one showcasing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The über-tan celebrity posted the following question on her Twitter page: “Sara [sic] Palin has a reality show?”

Adding “I’m bored,” Snooki tweeted that she might “come stir up some excitement” in Palin’s Alaskan home.

Perhaps she figured that, if the Palin reality show was good enough for Kate Gosselin, it should be good enough for a Snooki segment.

After all, she is a BFF of Sarah’s former running mate, John McCain.

McCain once tweeted Snooki that the healthcare bill’s 10 percent tanning tax was “quite The Situation.”

Snooki tweeted back, “Haha Yes!!”

She also reportedly told McCain’s daughter Meghan, “The only reason why I voted for your father was because he was really cute and I liked when he did his speeches.”

4. Discovery Yanks Michael Jackson Autopsy Show

In the highly competitive world of cable television, shamelessness often drives programming decisions.

A case in point is “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson,” which was scheduled to air Jan. 13 on the Discovery Channel.

Fans of the pop singer circulated a petition to pull the re-enactment program from the airwaves.

Maybe it was because of the petition, disapproval from the Jackson estate, or even some pangs of conscience from cable executives, but for whatever reason, the channel announced that it would yank the show.

“Given the commencement of legal proceedings beginning next week, and at the request of Jackson’s estate, the broadcast of the medical documentary has been postponed indefinitely,” the Discovery Channel announced.

Evidently, a staged celebrity autopsy is too much even for the reality genre, where vacuous content seems to be the norm.

5. ‘True Grit’ Gallops in the Tradition of John Wayne

The classic Western rides again in the form of the movie “True Grit.” Though the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, couldn’t help putting their dark-humored stamp on the flick, their trademark touch is gentle, and respect is shown for the original movie version and its larger-than-life star, John Wayne.

The Coens had quite the cinematic challenge. Some may recall that Wayne was nominated for three Academy Awards, but the legend took the trophy only one time, and that was for Best Actor in 1969’s “True Grit.”

Although Wayne’s cowboy boots are nearly impossible to fill, Jeff Bridges uses his own leathery charm to create a unique variation on Rooster Cogburn.

Because the Coen brothers adapted the movie from the original book, the spotlight does not shine solely on the Wayne-Bridges character but also on that of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), who narrates her plan to avenge her father’s murder.

With a roster of characters as rough and grizzled as an old saddle, the movie is jampacked with entertainment while still managing to maintain the tried and true elements of honor and justice. “True Grit” is, at its heart, a parable about revenge and retribution. Although the Coens are famous for blurring the moral lines, this film has a message that Duke might very well applaud.

There’s something to be said, too, about the panoramic vistas that Westerns provide for a filmmaker’s indulgence.

The Coens’ style hearkens back to some of the qualities associated with Golden Age Westerns like those directed by John Ford and Howard Hawks, whose favorite leading man just happened to be Wayne.

Wayne’s final film, “The Shootist” (1976), had the iconic actor wielding his clout. Wayne refused to allow his onscreen character to do the unthinkable — shoot a character in the back — and insisted that the script be rewritten.

“Change it,” Wayne ordered.

“I’ve made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back.”

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at HollywoodHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Arnold Schwarzenegger Mulls Return to Acting 2. Hollywood s Future Will Be Downloaded 3. Snooki Angles for Spot on Sarah Palin s Reality Show 4. Discovery Yanks Michael...
Snooki,Schmoozes,Sarah,Palin,Arnold Schwarzenegger,Hollywood,Michael Jackson,True Grit,John Wayne
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 04:42 PM
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