Here’s What Happened To Frankenstein’s Custom Death Race 2000 Corvette

Probably my most favorite car movie of the 70s was Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000. The movie starred Sylvester Stallone as Machine Gun Joe and David Carradine as Frankenstein. The cars were all designed with themes, including an alligator-look for Frankenstein’s mean green killing machine.

Curious whatever happened to the car, we Googled and learned it went from a display in a museum to a private collection in 2002 and ultimately auctioned off to another collector.

This car was designed by James Powers and constructed by Dean Jefferies, with additional work performed by George Barris prior to completion. It follows the movie’s storyline of being built from a hodge-podge of vehicles, featuring an unusual combination of a Volkswagen chassis, Corvair air-cooled, dual carburetor power plant with a 3-speed manual transmission and Corvette-style body riding on custom wheels and BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires. This show-stopping head turner also features a reptilian-like “spiked spine,” intimidating “teeth” up front, Green diamond-pleated interior with wrapped steering wheel, unique wind screen and custom tail lights. This car was formerly on display in a museum, and has been in the MY Garage Museum collection since 2002.

Custom Death Race 2000 Corvette | T236 | Indy 2015

$20,000 USD doesn’t seem like that much money for this extremely rare specialty movie car, especially if it works. Not that I’d be an interested buyer, but can you imagine pulling up to the grocery store in Frankenstein’s ride?

Problems with Cheap Smart TVs Powered By Roku?

Sluggish Roku menu navigation. It’s true. We bought a 65″ super cheap TV and sometimes navigating through the Roku menu is like walking through quicksand.

There is a reason for this — and it’s not entirely Roku’s fault — or is it?

Scanning reviews for inexpensive smart TVs from Roku-powered brands including not just TCL, but also Hisense and Westinghouse, a theme emerges. Users seem to complain about a preponderance of product defects, like cracked screens, as well as an overall feel of cheap build quality. That’s what you get with cheaper consumer electronics. But a more common theme is an overall sluggishness of the Roku OS on these sets. 

Roku’s Looming Problem? A Lot of Those Cheap Smart TVs Aren’t Any Good | Next TV

So, by targeting low-end, cheapest of the cheapest Smart TVs, Roku could be underpowered, which is likely causing some of the slow responsiveness.

TCL might be the ticket if you want a cheap, non-Roku-powered TV, see: Chinese Backdoor Scare in non-Roku powered TCL Smart TVs. Or maybe the answer for a faster streaming smart TV is to go with Sony, Samsung, etc.

Kate Winslet Knows Gay Male Actors Afraid To Come Out Because Of Their Careers

One of the more refreshingly honest portrayals of a gay love affair in 2020 happened in Harley Quinn

Here we are in 2021 and discrimination based on sexual orientation is still happening in Hollywood? According to Kate Winslet, at least mostly for men, it is.

“It’s bad news,” she added, “Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, ‘Can he play straight because, apparently, he’s gay?’ ” “That should be almost illegal,” she said. “You would not believe how widespread it is. And it can’t just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts. Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons. And it’s nobody’s business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame.”

Kate Winslet Says She Knows ‘at Least 4’ Actors ‘Hiding Their Sexuality’ Due to ‘Homophobia’ in Hollywood

Kate is partially wrong, discrimination in the workplace is illegal. An actor should be chosen based on his/her suitability for the part, never on his/her sexual orientation. I do understand if it’s for a gay part, that the actor should be able to convincingly be comfortable with same sex contact and affection. If s/he is not, then that’s a legitimate reason to give the part to another actor. I don’t buy for a second, however, that only gay men and women can play gay parts and they can’t play straight roles. Look at actors like Raymond Burr? He brilliantly played a straight part as Perry Mason. George Takei (Sulu on Star Trek) came out, but not until much later in his career. Heck, the rebooted Star Trek even showed his character as gay.

I can see this being an issue in the past, but in 2021 we should have moved past this type of discriminatory casting, yes/no?

It’s not only gay actors either. Look what’s happened on the Simpsons with voice actors (see: Kevin Michael Richardson to voice Dr. Hibbert instead of Harry Shearer on The Simpsons and Hank Azaria No Longer Voice of Apu on The Simpsons possibly being replaced by Indian Actor = Insanity)

Say that again: voice actors.

Hollywood is a strange, strange place.

This might be one small area where men are discriminated against more than women. Gay men in Hollywood. Male actors seem to get work into their senior ages more than aging female actresses. At least I’ve read that complaint over the years.

Will Netflix, Amazon or Apple Pay $400 million plus for two Knives Out Sequels?

Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This past week I missed this rumor from Deadline that Netflix, Amazon and Apple are in a bidding war over two Knives Out sequels, with Netflix looking to edge the competition out — to the tune of $400+ million.

Netflix is closing in on a deal to make two sequels to the 2019 hit whodunit Knives Out, which Rian Johnson will direct with Daniel Craig reprising his role as super sleuth Benoit Blanc. Johnson, who wrote the original, has written the sequels and is producing with partner Ram Bergman. Sources said the deal will be worth north of $400 million, making it one of the biggest streamer movie deals in history.

Netflix Two Knives Out Sequels $400 million plus deal; Daniel Craig Rian Johnson – Deadline

Wow. $400 million?!?! for two sequels? We’re going to the school of James Cameron budget bloated sequel mania here — for streaming channels?.

Readers already know what we think of (not all) $100 million+ budget movies (see: $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid) — and that’s for theatrical release, but $200 million for streaming reaches a new level of absurdity. Especially sequels. It’s not like we’re talking about the sequel to Star Wars, Knives Out was a fun, entertaining movie, but this deal if it goes through is more than the first movie grossed. Seriously?

Good for Rian Johnson, I suppose. Bad potentially for Netflix subscribers that almost certainly will see another increase in the monthly subscription price (see: Will Netflix Price Itself Out Of The Streaming Market?). The more they spend on content, the more we’ll pay to view it. I like Netflix, but at some point they will price themselves out of our household. Is that when they push past $20/month? $25? $30? We’re getting there….

Do you like this deal? Or do you think this is kind of crazy? It’s not a 100% done deal and for that reason maybe this is floating out there for public sentiment. No, I say. I don’t want to see Knives Out 2 and 3 so bad that Netflix overspends for it. Do you?

Wonder Woman 1984 Subjected To More Criticism Because of Multiple Moves? No, It Just Wasn’t As Good As The First Film

Wonder Woman 1984 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The opinion piece quoted below makes some good points about movies that are moved around being subjected to more scrutiny, but I think Wonder Woman 1984 is a bad example to use. The film was underwhelming compared to the first, as are the vast majority of sequels. Did it help that it was delayed multiple times? No, but by the time we got to see it, over a year later than originally planned and through 9 months of a crippling pandemic, people were expecting a better movie than screened. That’s on Patty Jenkins and her creative team.

But check out the piece.

Nielsen continued, “I think that what happens psychologically is that a lot of movies like that then get into this insecure territory where they’re up for a judgment that would not normally have happened. The fact that it was moved so many times, put it under scrutiny that it did not deserve. It also, as a sophomore film, will always be compared to the one before.” “Wonder Woman 1984” was originally going to open on December 13, 2019, before Warner Bros. settled on November 1, 2019. The movie’s first big release push came when the film bumped to June 5, 2020

Connie Nielsen Defends Wonder Woman 1984: Release Day Caused Backlash | IndieWire

Had Wonder Woman 1984 released originally, instead of the studio getting greedy and trying to milk more $$$ out of it in summer 2020 it would have made more money. I don’t think anybody would argue differently there, but if you want to do so, the comments area is below.

Hindsight is 20/20 but we all know what happened in March 2020 and it spelled doom for that release date. There weren’t any theaters open to show the movie, so they had to push it back again — and again. Ultimately Christmas 2020 wasn’t much of a present when the movie wasn’t that good.

Now, to go back to the beginning of this post, even if Wonder Woman 1984 had released in 2019 has planned, I don’t think the reviews would have been any less critical. We’ll never know, but the article speculates this contributed to the overall criticism of the film itself. I can’t disagree any more. It simply doesn’t matter how or when a movie is released what the review community will think of the movie. I might prefer a movie be screened in a theater vs. home, but that doesn’t have any impact on the review itself. If I like the story, the acting, the experience enough, it’s getting a recommendation. I could care less when it is reviewed.

Look at Avatar 2 for perhaps a better as yet unproven example. We don’t know anything about if the film will be any good and it’s been delayed more than Wonder Woman 1984 ever could have been. Whenever we finally see Avatar 2 in theaters — presumably December 2022 as of this current writing, but who knows if that date will hold — will the many delays make critics more critical? I think some will focus on the delays in their commentary but I don’t think it will increase their criticism of the movie itself. Maybe I’m wrong.

Back to Wonder Woman 1984.

What do you think? Did Wonder Woman 1984 received more negative reviews simply because of the delayed screening date? This seems like a bogus argument to me. Did it make less money? Absolutely I think it did. Sooner is better than later I think with most movie releases, especially those that have already been marketed. If you don’t market and promote the film releasing it sooner will hurt the sales. The movie, once release, stands on its own with critics. I don’t see how there is a correlation otherwise. What do you think?

HBO Max CEO Thinks When Dust Clears That Five or Less “Major” Streaming Channels Will Remain

This means he doesn’t think Roku will ever be a major streamer, because they are ad-supported. It’s a bit ironic, considering HBO Max is going to be releasing an ad-supported version of their service, similar to what Hulu, Paramount+ and Peacock all currently offer.

What defines a “major” streaming service? The CEO of HBO Max, Jason Kilar says “hundreds of millions of paying subscribers.”

Speaking at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecom virtual conference Thursday morning, Kilar said that there’s only a handful of major streaming services “that I think can ultimately get to scale, defined by hundreds of millions of paying subscribers around the world.” How many is a handful? “Less than six,” the former Hulu CEO said. 

HBO Max Chief Kilar: ‘Less Than 6’ Major Streaming Services Will Get to Scale and Survive | Next TV

Amazon Prime Video isn’t 100% paid subscribers, because they include their streaming service as a perk for joining their Amazon Prime service. Yes, they also sell subscription separately, but the vast majority of their 150+ million subscribers are not paying to only subscribe to Prime video, they’re getting it as an included benefit. Their service would have dramatically fewer paid subscribers if it was only the streaming service. We’ll probably never know these numbers but if we could guess, we’d say it was less than 10 million subscribers, maybe way less.

This leaves the elephant in the room, the king of the hill, Netflix as the only “major” streaming service currently with hundreds of millions of paid subscribers. That’s all. One streaming channel. Disney+ is paid subscribers only, but it’s nowhere near 200+ million paid subscribers.

What Kilar is trying to do here is position HBO Max as one of the three or four primary paid subscription streaming services so when households start budgeting and cutting, they keep his service. Although HBO Max have been targeted as being too expensive — after all, they are the second most expensive streaming service currently — the reality is their content makes them one of the major streaming providers.

Then there’s Disney, the second elephant in the room. They don’t have as many paid subscribers yet, but they are climbing — fast. Don’t count them out by any means, not with such lucrative IP as Star Wars and Marvel, not to mention their own animated kingdom of family films. Disney, if they don’t screw it all up by failing to produce more movies and TV shows based on their IPs that fans are clamoring for, has the potential to one day rival Netflix. They are crippled at the moment by a variety of factors, but counting them out is ill-advised.

We don’t need Kilar to predict the streaming future. There are currently three major streaming services: Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ — and then everybody else. I could argue that Disney+ isn’t as good as HBO Max (especially with movies), because they aren’t putting out anywhere close to as much new original content, but that doesn’t matter. Disney is working on changing that. Heck, they have like a dozen Star Wars projects in the hopper alone, not to mention the Marvel stuff. If even a quarter of these projects are as successful as The Mandalorian, they can ride this to hundreds of millions of subscribers.

None of the services, even Amazon, compete with Netflix on quantity of new content released. Netflix has been working that corner market for several years and their pipeline is bursting with new content. Everybody else is playing catch-up. Once other streaming channels catch up, though, who’s on top could change. Netflix might be all about quantity but they have some quality control problems. So will everybody else. Not everything created is a smash hit.

Bottom line: Kilar isn’t wrong with what he said. He just focused on “paid” subscribers which is more than misleading considering the many ad-supported “FREE” streaming channel options. Many people will suffer through ads to watch their favorite movies and TV shows, just as has been the case with traditional TV that is fading for streaming..

What Kilar should have pondered is how many will switch to HBO Max ad-supported version to save $5-10/month? That answer depends on how invasive the ads will be.

Some Independent Data Suggests Raya And Last Dragon Premium Sales May Have Underwhelmed for Disney+

We’ve kicked around Disney+ $30 Premium fee (see: Mulan is available on Disney+ now, Have You Seen It, Yet?) for watching some of their movies available in theaters and whether or not it worked for us. So far, we haven’t bitten on the deal, but how many others have reached for their plastic?

New data found Raya and the Last Dragon had 20% less purchases on Disney+ during its early March opening weekend that Mulan had last fall, per Antenna. The analytics startup additionally found there to be a 30% decline in signups for the streaming service between March 5 and 7 in comparison to the first four weekends Mulan was available on Premier Access (via Business Insider).

Did Raya And Last Dragon Make Money On Disney+? Here’s What The Data Suggests – CINEMABLEND

The most obvious sign that the deal is working better than some might think — perhaps much better than this independent data suggests — is that Disney+ has committed to further experimentation (or implementation, depending on your perspective) with Black Widow and Cruella both receiving the same day in theaters and premium.

We still haven’t seen Raya and the Last Dragon yet. Almost zero percent chance we’ll pay $30 and watch on Disney+, but we’ve talked with the grandchildren about seeing in the theater. Kara has literally no interest in seeing this film. I might have to go see it alone while it’s still screening. There is only one new movie in theaters this week (Nobody), so catching up with Raya might be just the ticket.

Since we didn’t see it right away on opening week suggests it wasn’t a film either of us were hugely inspired to see, but that isn’t a reliable barometer to whether or not we’ll enjoy the movie. There are several examples of movies we had similar anticipation for that we were fully entertained watching.

Have you seen Raya and the Last Dragon yet? Let us know if/when you’re planning to do so or not in the comments below.

DC Comics for Sale? The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman Might Be Interested, Among Others

Harley Quinn comforts Batgirl on the Harley Quinn Animated Series — Season 3 is under development

It’s no secret, and not too much of a stretch to believe that AT&T isn’t that interested in being in the comic business any more. At least to the extent of publishing comics. They want to hang onto the more valuable IP for movie, TV and videogames based on DC characters, but the comics? Not so much.

So who might be interested in buying DC comics? Comic book business veteran, Ethan Van Sciver claims to have sources that suggest potential DC Comics interested buyers.

Ethan Van Sciver, who recently received credit for thanks in Zack Snyder’s Justice League movie, offered that sources have filled him in that two individuals in the comic book business are interested in buying DC Comics, which includes The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and Diamond Distributors founder Steve Geppi (the writer of the Bleeding Cool article tweeted it’s not Todd McFarlane).

Robert Kirkman Rumored To Buy DC Comics | Cosmic Book News

This is all part of the rumor mill at this point, but definitely would like to see somebody buy DC Comics and keep making comic books.

Would you like to see Batman vs. The Walking Dead? Harley Quinn crushing undead skulls with her mallet?

Sharon Stone Slapped Director Paul Verhoeven After Seeing Basic Instinct Legs Uncrossed Privates Reveal

If you haven’t seen Basic Instinct (1992), you might have heard about the scene involving Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs and leaving her exposed privates in clear view. After almost 30 years, we thought Stone was on board with how that went down.

Turns out she had no idea this would ever end up on film, despite taking her panties off for the shoot because of alleged camera reflection issues.

Following the screening, Stone says she headed into the projection booth, “slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.” Singer advised her that the film could not be released in its current form—at the time, the interrogation scene would have landed Basic Instinct an X rating—and that if she wished, she could “get an injunction” to stop its release. Upon further reflection, Stone says she spoke with Verhoeven about the discussion she’d had with her attorney. “Of course, he vehemently denied that I had any choices at all,” she wrote. “I was just an actress, just a woman; what choices could I have?

Sharon Stone Opens Up About #MeToo Experiences In Upcoming Memoir – Deadline

Sure enough, after reading the Basic Instinct Wikipedia page production notes, the story is revealed there. Who do we believe, Stone or Verhoeven? In Stone’s new book coming out, and on a promotional tour, readers are asked to believe Stone.

Stone has been noteworthy as a sex symbol in films for a long time. This is either from her own choices taking roles like in this erotic thriller or what films she’s been cast in, but she didn’t deserve this type of treatment. I’ve noticed a trend of news stories always coming out around these book launches. Seems like if you want to get news for you book, you put in juicy stories that will make headlines, then watch the bonus promotion come in.

This is neither condemnation or agreeance with Stone’s claims, but it seems that when we should be talking about how good her acting performances have been, instead we’re being subjected to what happened to her behind the camera.

Sure, We’re Interested In Seeing R Rated Cut Of Mrs. Doubtfire – But Will It Ever Happen?

Despite being a talented comedian, Robin Williams was a great human being (see: Robin Williams helped homeless with stipulation in his contract)

It’s sad that the comic genius of Robin Williams isn’t alive any more. In his place, though, apparently there are outtakes of Mrs. Doubtfire where he improvised scenes that went into really adult humor. Yes, we’d like to see these, please.

In addition to there not actually being an NC-17 version, it’s unlikely a full R-rated edition of “Mrs. Doubtfire” will ever be available. But that doesn’t mean audiences might not get more of Williams’ comedic genius. “I would be open to maybe doing a documentary about the making of the film, and enabling people to see certain scenes re-edited in an R-rated version,” Columbus said.

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Director Reveals Existence of R-Rated Cut – Variety

After all, this is the era of the Director’s Cut, the extended versions, so why not have the Robin Williams outtakes version? The director seems to be at least partially on board. At least for a documentary that covers the making of the hilarious film.

Would you be interested in watching these outtakes in an R rated version of Mrs. Doubtfire or prefer the behind the scenes documentary approach?