The Inevitable Minecraft Movie Hits A Stumbling Block

Dec - 16 2014 | 1 comment | By

Sorry, we couldn’t resist the pun. If we didn’t let a pun through once in awhile, our staff would get writer’s block. There, we did it again, we just can’t block them out. Anyway, plans for the upcoming Minecraft movie have hit a roadblock as Shawn Levy has turned down the offer to direct.

Not that he doesn’t dig the premise, but he feels that he’s not the right person to mine this media franchise. The block-buster game has become one of the most popular entertainment franchises ever, with a fan base branching to both young and old alike. However, the structure of the game, which is an open-world sandbox where literally anything can happen, doesn’t lend itself very easily to a story.

Tom Rothman reports in the Hollywoodreporter that Levy details that his best idea would have been a scrap of an adventure story set loosely within the Minecraft universe. That’s the problem with the game is that Notch and the Mojang company he founded never intended the game to have a story, or even a linear progression. It’s more of a world simulator; you get dropped in the middle of nowhere and then you start punching trees.

Tom Rothman: An Amazing Hollywood Career

Dec - 14 2014 | 1 comment | By

For most people who graduate from college and become English teachers, the last thing they expect is for them to wind up as a Hollywood executive. However, that’s exactly what happened to Tom Rothman. From humble beginnings as an English teacher and coach of soccer and lacrosse, Tom found his way to Hollywood and has a list of accomplishments few people in the industry can match.

Currently the head of TriStar Productions, Tom has played a large role in bringing some of the most well-received and highest-earning films to the silver screen. In fact, the list of films Tom has been involved with reads like a list of the greatest films ever made. Titanic, Avatar, Cast Away, Black Swan, Walk the Line, X-Men, Waiting to Exhale and many others have had Tom at the helm, working with some of the most influential actors and actresses in Hollywood including Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Will Smith and many others. Working with such acclaimed directors as Steven Spielberg, Tom’s films have been nominated for over 150 Academy Awards while winning the coveted Best Picture Oscar three times along the way.

In addition to the films he has been associated with, Tom has also had a hand in helping to develop some of television’s most popular programs. While serving as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000-2012, he was responsible for the production and distribution of such popular shows as Modern Family, Homeland and the wildly successful Glee. One of the few executives in Hollywood who has had the Midas touch with both the silver screen and small screen, Tom has demonstrated a unique ability to establish great working relationships with the many actors and actresses involved in the productions. Along with this, he also has a keen sense of what the viewing public wants, and has been able to produce extraordinary results every step of the way.

While establishing relationships with people is one of Tom’s greatest strengths, others also point to his willingness to help others in the industry gain valuable experience that allows them to climb the Hollywood ladder of success.  Tom is also a big believer in equal opportunity for everyone, and has been a strong proponent of women advancing into positions of leadership in Hollywood. In fact, his mentoring of many women executives led to all four of Fox’s major film production divisions being led by women, which was a Hollywood first.

As Tom continues his amazing Hollywood career, the Hollywood Reporter notes that Sony is excited for many more fantastic films and television shows coming to theaters and living rooms.  For more information on Tom Rothman, check out his official website or you can follow him on Twitter.

Spider-man in Captain America:Civil War

Dec - 12 2014 | 1 comment | By

Sony pictures was recently hacked by an unnamed attacker and many Sony e-mails have been coming out. One of the e-mails had to do with the upcoming Marvel movie, Captain America Civil War.
Apparently, Marvel has wanted to add Spider-man to its movie empire for several years now and was using the new Captain America movie as a chance to bring the webbed crusader to the Marvel world. Spider-man was extremely important to the Civil War storyline in the comic books and it appears that Marvel had an equally important role for him in the movie version of the story. Sony did not agree to the deal.
Sony has been struggling with what to do with Spider-man ever since “Amazing Spider-man 2” struggled at the box office. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez doesn’t know what they exactly have planned. The web slinger has been a part of the Sony empire for more than a decade. Sony pitched a trilogy of Spider-man films to be developed at Marvel and distributed by Sony recently, but those conversations did not go anywhere.


Sony pictures plans on holding a summit to decide the fate of the Spider-man universe in January. Hopefully, more answers will come out of that summit.

Precious and Weird Collections

Dec - 11 2014 | 1 comment | By

While many collect the usual suspects such as playing cards and postage stamps, there are many others who choose to collect more esoteric things. Have you ever known people with weird collections? It seems that collecting fountain pens is a new trend.

It has so many followers that the number of products is smaller than the number of customers. It is not just the average fountain pen that is required. People want either vintage or brand ones.

Items designed by Montblanc or Dunhill can cost as much as $800-$900. Fakes have been spotted though. Yes, imagine that the industry is so developed that there are specialist who can check the authenticity.

The vintage fountain pens are harder to fake because you can’t make an item have that old clumpy look and make it look worn at the same time.Collector Mark Ahn explains their passion for fountain pens is based on the possibility to choose styles of writing, on the fact that they make specific sounds when you write on paper.

The smell of ink can also be found pleasant. In the era of fast technologies, they wan to have the possibility to take it easy.

George Lucas: Avoiding the “Force Awakens” Trailer

Dec - 11 2014 | 1 comment | By

Scores of people have seen the trailer for the new Star Wars film. George Lucas is not one of them.

Should it though? Anyone remember when Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted on TV and William Shatner issued a terse “I didn’t see it” to the press?

Lucas is not helming the project, but he is not saying anything negative about it. He’s just telling the truth. He hasn’t seen the trailer yet. The rationale behind his attitude is pretty simple.

He wants to wait until the film hits theaters so he can watch it on the big screen. Lucas hinted he is “old school” and would not be interested in looking at the trailer on a DVD screener or YouTube. (100 million people have watched it online) Lucas would enjoy seeing the trailer for the first time on the big screen. Honestly, that is the best way to see the trailer.

Lucas was also asked if he was interested in seeing the new direction J.J. Abrams takes the film. His response was “Not really.” Is Lucas being coy with the press? Only he knows for sure. But I’m sure that even prominent businessmen like Igor Cornelsen would agree that Lucas staying hush about the whole thing brings a new level of intrigue to the project, which could be good news for the film.

Waitress Receives Unexpected Tip From Dining Couple

Dec - 11 2014 | 1 comment | By

An Arkansas couple tipped their waitress with a vehicle after seeing the condition of her car. I read about this story the other day after reading about Kenneth Griffin.

The waitress, Cindy Grady who works at a Cracker Barrel in Branson, Missouri, had been driving an older vehicle that was in severe disrepair: the hood was strapped down, the driver side window was missing and had been wrapped in plastic wrap, and the body of the vehicle had large dents. 

The couple, Gary and Roxann Tackett, regularly ate at the Cracker Barrel and noticed the waitress’ car. They decided to give her a 2008 Ford Fusion to help make her travels to work reliable and safe.


It is not unusual for patrons to tip servers more during the holidays. The average American spends more that $150 on tips for various services during the holiday months, according to a new survey done by

Jared Haftel: The Tony Stark of Finance

Dec - 10 2014 | 1 comment | By

Duke University graduate, Jared Haftel, is not your run-of-the-mill finance guy. He has accomplished more in his 4 years of college than many adults in over 15 years. He is currently a professional investment banking analyst, however, his past endeavors make him a worthy adversary for any competitor in his field.

Haftel attended Duke University from 2005 to 2009, plowing his way through bachelor’s degrees in Science, Mathematics and Economics. Haftel later finished with an MBA at the Stanford School of Business. While many would chuckle at his choice in majors, his current profession is allowing him to utilize 100% of his skills acquired in college. Needless to say, his career choice was well planned.

During his summer break after Junior year, Haftel participated in an internship with Credit Suisse. It is evident that he performed exceptionally with Credit Suisse as he soon after secured a position for the Global Industrials Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, responsible for tracking commodities information, focusing on metals, chemicals, mining, defense, and aerospace industries. During his time with Merrill Lynch, he acquired and consulted with high profile clients such as CONSOL Energy, Huntsman Corporation, GeoEye, and EMS Technologies. He is currently an Associate at Vector Capital, with whom he has worked since 2011.

Furthermore, CNN’s Arnold Harol posted an article featuring Haftel’s tips on crafting a resume geared toward acquiring a job or internship in investment banking. His tips on acquiring the a finance specialist’s dream job have resonated with so many people across the globe that his words have been echoed in blogs and finance websites for the past several months.

Haftel is most certainly an outlier when it comes to accomplishments, however, it is evident that he took advantage of his situation and has become a role model for people around the world. Make sure to follow him on Twitter, as well as other social media, so that you can keep up on this rising star.

Woman Successfully Gives Birth on Airplane

Dec - 10 2014 | 1 comment | By

Of all the places to give birth when one can’t get to a hospital, an airplane is a birthing mother’s worst nightmare. While most women avoid traveling by air during their last month of pregnancy, a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight to Phoenix successfully gave birth to her baby on board, with the help of several airline personnel.
My boss at Occidental, Jonathan Veitch told this crazy story about this woman who gave birth on the airplane on his flight back to California. He said that  while the woman was giving birth on the airplane, passengers heard the call for a doctor, but did not know what medical emergency had prompted the search for a doctor on board. It was not until the pilot announced the birth of a baby that it became clear.
Due to the sudden birth, the plane landed in Los Angeles instead of Phoenix, and the passengers then took a different plane to Phoenix. Firefighters and Paramedics boarded the plane in Los Angeles and took the mother and newborn to a hospital.
The mother, whose name has not been released, was reported to have been pacing in the airport before boarding, which meant that she could have been having contractions before boarding the flight.

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