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Chapter 007*
November 19, 2010 9:18 AM   Subscribe

SLNPRA (Single Link NPR Audio) on the MGM bankruptcy. Will Bond succumb to a "lack of shelf space"?

*Well, Chapter 11 actually, but it just doesn't have the same ring

Coincidentally, I have been following this series [Flash] of documentaries on TCM. Last night's installment chronicled Marcus Loew's purchase of Lou B Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn and Metro studios and combining them into MGM. (Mayer and Goldwyin reportedly hated each other)
posted by mmrtnt (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Single Link NPR Audio

THERE... ARE... FOUR... LINKS!
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:25 AM on November 19, 2010


Sorry. It started out as one link. The others came to me as I was fashioning it in fear and trepidation - it being my first post and all...
posted by mmrtnt at 9:28 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just want to see Cabin in the Woods. Is that too much to ask? *sigh*
posted by kmz at 9:28 AM on November 19, 2010


Will Bond succumb to a "lack of shelf space"?

How is this even a possibility any longer? Are studios so lazy and at the same time so selfish that they haven't made high-quality, uncompressed (doesn't require codecs) digital copies? How is "storage space" even a concern when hard drives hold so much and take up such little space? Hell, cost probably isn't even an issue when companies would trip over themselves to be able to be the trusted archival solution for MGM studios.

It all comes down to selfishness. The mine-mine-mine that keeps stuff out of public domain and ensures the complete loss of it, instead. Google could (and would!) be providing a comprehensive archive of movies if only they were granted access. But because Disney might want to spice up some old Donald Duck cartoons with "wacky" voices, it gets locked up, lost, and ruined.

Not everything is meant to withstand the test of time, but current copyright laws are seemingly designed to purposely prevent anything from doing so.
posted by explosion at 9:51 AM on November 19, 2010


The "lack of shelf space" was in consumer homes, not MGM's archives.
posted by lodurr at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I heard this on the way in today. For me this was one of those "NPR tries to make it interesting by being funny" things that fell so terribly, terribly flat that it gave me a headache while I waited for the meat. So much time wasted padding out a 90 second story.
posted by lodurr at 10:06 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


lodurr: Agreed. I had to switch the station to sports radio just to stop the agony. Consider that. NPR to sports radio equalled an improvement to my morning commute.

Anyhow, MGM is supposedly going bankrupt due to getting themselves into debt as a result of betting that the company would make tons of money off of DVD sales alone with MGM's impressive library. Somewhere along the way they forgot that DVD sales are dropping off and you don't run a business with $4 billion in debt by resting on your laurels; you might want to try to make new movies. This results in no new Bond movie.

(Mayer and Goldwyin reportedly hated each other)

"The reason so many people turned up at his funeral is that they wanted to make sure he was dead. " - Samuel Goldwyn on Louis B. Mayer, at his funeral
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:19 AM on November 19, 2010


I found it amusing, not least because it reminded me of one of my favorite xkcd comics.
posted by straight at 11:15 AM on November 19, 2010


Wait, I'm supposed to be disappointed that Hollywood is not beating yet another dead horse of a franchise? The Sean Connery films that made the franchise a success are so old at this point that today's filmgoers are more likely to see the most recent Daniel Craig films as a reboot of a series of mediocre Pierce Brosnan films. And I doubt the casual misogyny of the early films would even go over very well with younger generations anyway. So all that's left is a few catchphrases and a well known character name that can be pasted onto an otherwise completely generic action film. I would much rather see film producers spend money and producing new IP that is actually relevant and unique rather than trying to convince people to see the 23rd film in series based on 14 books that were written by someone who has been dead for over 40 years.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:31 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, I'm supposed to be disappointed that Hollywood is not beating yet another dead horse of a franchise?

No. I heard an enjoyable piece of Audio Theater on the way in to work this morning which coincided with an interesting documentary series about the same company and I thought it would make a good post with a couple of entertaining links.

I do agree, I have no interest in any Bond film without Sean Connery, though.


Sheesh. tough crowd...
posted by mmrtnt at 12:00 PM on November 19, 2010


mmrtnt: burnmp3s wasn't attacking you personally, just decrying the infinite idiocy of major motion picture studios. Your post is perfectly valid, as I'm sure he would agree.
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on November 19, 2010


burnmp3s wasn't attacking you personally, just decrying the infinite idiocy of major motion picture studios. Your post is perfectly valid, as I'm sure he would agree.

Yeah no offense to you or your post. If I had thought it was a bad post I would have flagged it, I was just commenting on what I thought about the topic like I would in any other FPP.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:27 PM on November 19, 2010


Wait, I'm supposed to be disappointed that Hollywood is not beating yet another dead horse of a franchise?

A new Bond flick is hardly the only movie affected by MGM's troubles.
posted by kmz at 12:39 PM on November 19, 2010


I heard this on the way in today. For me this was one of those "NPR tries to make it interesting by being funny" things that fell so terribly, terribly flat that it gave me a headache while I waited for the meat. So much time wasted padding out a 90 second story.

True, but if you'd left the radio on for a few more minutes, you would have heard Coolio and Susan Stamberg talking (and briefly rapping) about relish recipes.
posted by TrialByMedia at 3:18 PM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still want MGM to make Bond movies that are Mad Men period pieces instead of influenced by Jason Bourne (speaking of a franchise that's also beating a dead horse by a guy that's no longer with us, and is now apparently spinning off without its main character). I love both Bond and Bourne, but I'd rather see them do something a little different rather than try to keep Bond "relevant".

Also, thanks for the pointer to that TCM series. I really want to see that; I hope it comes out on DVD/streaming Netflix soon.
posted by immlass at 4:39 PM on November 19, 2010


MGM is supposedly going bankrupt due to getting themselves into debt as a result of betting that the company would make tons of money off of [something something] with MGM's impressive library.... This results in no new Bond movie.

This is, by the way, about the fifth or sixth time the first part has happened. This is at least the second time that the second part has happened (formally).

A lot of people are too young to remember it, and even if old enough never paid attention to the intricate maneuvering, but the original MGM was bought and then later sold three separate times by Kirk Kerkorian, who leveraged the studio's wealth into the casino and resort business, often with accompanying litigation. At various times, I have the creeping sense that Kerkorian was suing himself.

Some of these affairs are almost sufficient to be worked into the plot of a Bond movie. The Parretti years, in particular, which also involved the once glorious European studio Pathé (not to mention the B-movie powerhouse Cannon), ultimately brought down a major French bank with state political implications.

Most movie series would have long since bounced to another studio, but the way that 007 is structured, MGM is a formal partner of the Bond franchise owners, the Broccoli family, due to the original partner Harry Saltzman selling his half stake to MGM back in the 1970s. As a result, ever since, they've been at the mercy of MGM's rather parlous finances, especially following the 1970s occupation of Hollywood by various corporate investors.
posted by dhartung at 9:35 PM on November 21, 2010


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