the Hollywood Hucksters shorts

Extreme, Whatever the Intent

Violence in popular motion pictures is a staple, a given. It has been part of movie making since the beginning, as it has been a part of storytelling. It would seem that, right or wrong, it is so ingrained in our human nature, that it is an inseparable part of who we are and how we think, and so, it is forever a part of our “life story”.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BloodLust: Hollywood’s insatiable taste for violence.

Always been. Always will be?

From The Passion of the Christ to Hostel, extreme violence has become more graphic, more explicit, more marketable and more mainstream. But will it become more profitable? is a SparxLab™ Project.

©2007-2010 SparxLab™ Projects. All rights reserved.


How can this be a good thing?

Disney’s High School Musical teaches class on creating a “’Tweeners” marketing bonanza.

Clarifications and Disclaimers

Yes, you are still in the Screening Room. Yes, the topic of this commentary is indeed the Disney cable movie High School Musical and it’s recent regurgitation, High School Musical 2. And yes, we’re slightly embarrassed to be..

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Everybody’s in a hurry, but where are we going?

On the way out of the theater after catching a showing of Matt Damon in the new Jason Bourne movie, I realized the film has a lot more to do with the very best action chase sequences than it does the very best spy flicks.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chasing a Hit.

The Bourne Ultimatum leads Bond and pack on the chase for smart action audiences.

The Advantage of being Harry.

Order of the Phoenix plays to an audience that’s been growing up along with the characters.

A generation of fans.

Looking around the theater on the opening night of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it was easy to notice the large amount of older teens (including boys) in the audience. “Didn’t you think the audience would be...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cute but deadly.

Polar bears start off as impossibly cute, white, fluffy, frolicking cubs that grow into one of the deadliest and most ferocious species of bears on the planet. Making a nature documentary can seem as innocent as an animated ...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Has National Geographic grabbed a piece of Walt’s legacy?

Arctic Tale may teach Disney that there’s still a market for educational entertainment.

Assassinating your box-office.

You Kill Me is one of the best reviewed films of the year. So why is it so hard to see?

Independent shouldn’t mean obscure.

In 1983, Ben Kingsley won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi, a pacifist who believed in passive non-aggression and meditative contemplation before action. IFC Films could have his picture hanging on their wall as...

Friday, June 29, 2007

A negative attraction.

What’s light is dark. What’s expected is masked and behind the mask lurks the unexpected. Like the photo image in a film negative, light falls in opposites and reversed contrasts but the subject we see is the same as in the...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hyping Against Type.

Mr. Brooks is the latest example of box-office betting on a dark twist of character.


Icon and Touchstone team up to put art into the movie marketplace.

Selling smart.

Apocalypto was released to DVD on May 22nd and immediately proved two things. 1. a DVD doesn’t need reviewer’s quotes on it’s cover to attract attention. (Apocalypto saves one quote for the back) and 2. Mel Gibson...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Waylay that record book.

Before the second sequel in Disney’s theme park ride turned cinematic treasure trove had even left the dock, records were being cannon-balled into history. On opening day, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End will have...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Plundering the Movie Market.

Pirates broadsides the competition by capturing screens and reflagging theaters.

Hey Shrek, kiss my @%$ you #@*%ing green bag of @#*$!

For the best animated musical satire, go bigger, longer & uncut with South Park.

Remember innocence?

In one of the most classic of Movie Musicals, 1952’s Singin’ In The Rain, Gene Kelly explodes onto the screen in a lavish production number belting out “Gotta Dance... Gotta Dance... Gotta Dance.” In the best tradition of that landmark film...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Don’t kill the messenger.

28 Weeks Later, the Fox Atomic sequel to 2003’s critically acclaimed 28 Days Later, bowed at theaters throughout the US this weekend and through all the blood splatter and corpses, earns a meritorious point of honor; if you bought a ticket...

Friday, May 11, 2007

An Outbreak of Honest Advertising.

28 Weeks Later delivers gory, violent madness, and in doing so, lives up perfectly to it’s billing.

DVDs that bear Repeating.

The Prestige sets a benchmark for why you’ll want to watch again & again.

Are you watching closely?

The tag-line on the poster for The Prestige draws you in with a question, “Are you watching closely?”. If you’ve seen the film, and you should have by now or you’ve missed one of 2006’s best, you were likely watching very closely. And you will the next time as well...

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pushing past the status-quo.

On Friday, April 27th, Mark Cuban’s HD Net Films and Magnolia Pictures released the new movie Diggers to American cineplexes. Though the film garnered some very positive reviews, you likely couldn’t find it in your local listings. That’s because on Tuesday...

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Maverick’s take on Moving Pictures.

Diggers tests Mark Cuban’s sense of fair play.


Who’s responsible here? “The Condemned” blames the audience for sleazy movie making.

How does a lug-nut like Vince McMahon get stinking rich?

World Wresting Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon is doing quite well for himself. The man has figured out that the act of slamming combatants with chairs, ladders and trash cans is the kind of entertainment that people, apparently lots of people, will pay to see...

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Windup

History. Epic battles with barbaric weapons and blood lust. Unconquerable odds against insurmountable enemies. Clean decisive lines between just men and evildoers. Ahh, the good old days. Maybe that’s the audience connection to Warner Bros. recent release...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bold. Bloody. Box-office.

Why being surprised by the success of 300 means you just weren’t paying attention.

The Re-think of Cool.

Grindhouse spits up some blood of its own.

This past weekend, Easter weekend, two of cinema’s so called rebels were planning on having audiences rolling in blood and gore while they would be rolling in the cash of another box-office slam-dunk. Their studio, Dimension Films, fully expected that the ubercool of Quentin Tarantino...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

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