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Latest Commentary News


Peter Bart: ‘Black Panther’s Triumph Sends Studios Scurrying To Find The Next Magic Formula

Black Panther

Hollywood's focus always shifts magically at this time of year from the fresh to the familiar. The Shape of Water, quirky and innovative, already is yesterday's news as the next Avengers prepares to battle Rampage for the first shot at summer franchise business. It's all about following the money: After all the Oscar hoopla, The Shape of Water managed in the end to gross $61 million and Call Me By Your Name $17.4 million, but the gold standard for the summer blockbuster… Read


National Geographic Apologizes For Past Racist Editorial Coverage In Its Magazines

The new editor of National Geographic has issued an apologetic editorial citing past transgressions that the century-old magazine now has determined were racist in nature. Susan Goldberg, the first woman editor of the publication, made the editorial confession as part of an ongoing study of race undertaken by National Geographic. The commentary leads off a series on racial, ethnic, and religious groups that will run throughout the year and includes coverage of Muslims… Read


President Donald Trump Calls ‘Meet The Press’ Host A “Sleeping Son Of A Bitch”

President Donald Trump’s rambling, hour-long speech outside Pittsburgh today reserved special ire for Meet The Press host Chuck Todd, who was called a “sleeping son of a bitch.” The NBC News host was lambasted along with Oprah, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and several news channels, as Trump free-associated his way through a speech designed to support congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who is locked in a tight special elections race that goes to the polls on… Read


Bart & Fleming: Oscar Ratings & ‘Red Sparrow’ Sunk By Hollywood’s Liberal Trump Bashers?

Jennifer Lawrence Jimmy Kimmel

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: Why were the Oscar ratings down 19% to the smallest viewership level of all time? I found it a most satisfying show. Jimmy Kimmel and producers Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd did a fine job all the way to the finish line this time, owning last year’s gaffe and ensuring it didn… Read


Oscars: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Oscars Jet Ski

It was a very good year for women, for fish and for non-pros next door in a multiplex theater. Not such a good year for high-speed water conveyances, set design and big-box shop shipping containers. Here are some of the high/medium/low moments of Oscars90. JIMMY KIMMEL ACCURATELY FORECASTS THE SHAPE OF WATER HAD TO WIN BEST PICTURE IN #METOO YEAR "Congratulations, I'm very happy for Guillermo [del Toro]. You made a beautiful movie. And thanks to Guillermo, we will always… Read


Oscars: Pete Hammond’s 100% Final Predictions In All 24 Categories

Oscars Predictions 2018

Editors note: This story originally ran February 28. It is crunch time as now I am forced to put up or shut up. What follows — beginning with the last award of the night, Best Picture — are my predictions for all 24 categories at Sunday’s 9oth Oscars. Some are solid take-it-to-the-bank and stick-a-fork-in-it calls, while others, particularly in some crafts and shorts categories, are a bit more wobbly. From the print version of this list written three weeks ago (and which… Read


Peter Bart: Ad Spending Soars In Oscar Season Thanks To New Players, Lack Of Frontrunners (And Despite No Harvey)

Oscars 2018 Red Carpet

The Oscar season is about to wrap, which means that media ad reps will stop cashing checks and filmmakers will return to shooting movies instead of doing Q&A sessions. Remember, this was supposed to be a quiet awards season in post-Harvey Hollywood, but in fact it's turned out to be the year of the "big spend." One reason: The absence of a clear favorite. Another factor was the arrival of some important new players, especially Netflix. Harvey Weinstein may be old news… Read


President Trump Asked Chief Of Staff To Remove Ivanka And Jared Kushner – Report

A New York Times column by Maggie Haberman and Mark Landler claims President Donald Trump asked his chief of staff John Kelly for help in ousting first daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner from their advisory roles at the White House. The column alleges that Trump’s managerial style, dubbed “chaos theory” by the writers, has caused emotional grief for the White House staff. It further claims that aides have “expressed frustration” that Kushner and Ivanka… Read


Fox News To Air Live Donald Trump Interview With Jeanine Pirro Tonight

Donald Trump

Fox News channel’s Justice with Judge Jeanine will present a live interview tonight with President Donald Trump. Jeanine Pirro will talk live via telephone with Trump on the economy and the debate on gun legislation in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shootings. A full transcript of the interview will be sent out following the show.  Trump has enjoyed a good relationship with Pirro, once even tweeting out a message to watch her show when she was going after… Read


Bart & Fleming: One Of Us Has Oscar Vote And Is Reluctant To Cast It On A Netflix Film

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. BART: I'm going to post my Oscar ballot this week and, not coincidentally, I notice that an abundance of Netflix ads are crammed into the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Which triggered me to ask: Do I want a Netflix project to win an Oscar? My answer: not really. Sure, Netflix has… Read


LeBron James Speaks Out On “Shut Up And Dribble” Comments

UPDATE: LeBron James spoke after the afternoon NBA all-star game sessions, vowing that he will continue to “talk about what’s really important.” James made his first comments following Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” comments last week, in which she took James and fellow hoopster Kevin Durant to task for criticizing President Donald Trump. James initially made a social media post as a retort, leaving others to comment on his behalf. Saturday was a… Read


Pete Hammond’s Notes On The Season: Contenders Gird For Final Battle; ‘Get Out’s Awards A-Peele; James Ivory To Set Oscar Record?

A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit. Even though we are just days away from final Oscar voting, which starts for a week on February 20, talk of this year’s contenders is overshadowed by today’s debut of Black Pantherwhich threatens to be one of the biggest openings of all time, and even more significantly a major Oscar contender itself — for next year. I won’t be going too far out on a limb to predict right now that Marvel’s latest, and… Read