Russell Crowe is coming out with a new movie in 2014 called Noah. It's about the biblical story of the flooding of the Earth and the man who shepherded every type of animal onto a giant ark that was able to weather the waters. (Sorry, spoiler alert to anyone who hasn't seen or read a Bible in their lives.) Is it going to be a great movie or will this be one of those overwrought big budget films that ultimately wind up in the cheap DVD bins in a year or so?
People who point to the Charlton Heston portrayal as Moses seem to miss the point: he at least carried some biblical gravitas. When I look at Crowe, I tend to think of an action-movie type. (Yes, I know he was fantastic in The Insider and A Beautiful Mind.) But when I see him in an ancient time setting with his flowing beard, I think of him as Maximus from Gladiator. For some reason, I could imagine a scene in Noah where he stands at the bow of the ark, with all these animals (CGI, of course) surrounding him and he bellows, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!"
The thing that may present a REALLY big problem is that they embellished on this story and that may anger a LOT of Christians, who tend to view that as ... I'm trying to think of the word. It's right on the tip of my tongue. Oh yes. Blasphemous. That's it. There's a human nemesis for Noah to contend with as well ... as if the original huge waves, tons of animals in a cramped space and wicked angels wasn't enough of a challenge for one man, they had to add this extra thing that wasn't in the original source material. Hollywood sure loves to change stuff around, even with classics. Hey, you can ask Nathaniel Hawthorne. There might not be a hugely receptive audience and depending how this is presented, there might even be protests.
One thing that gives some hope is that the movie is directed by Darren Aronofsky, he of Black Swan fame. He's an excellent director. Add Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson and the movie is suddenly in good shape acting-wise. It depends which Crowe shows up. When he puts his mind to it, he's one of the best actors on the planet.
My prediction: It may start off well in the box office due to the curiosity factor, but then word-of-mouth will be the determining factor. It may continue raking in big dollars or it might tail off horribly like Godzilla did in the late '90s. Then we'll be monitoring the DVD racks.
Giovanni Rufino/Warner Bros. Entertainment
Person of Interest is moving into new territory, with the whole "Endgame" arc having reached its conclusion. The death of Taraji P. Henson's Joss Carter leaves a big void (the image of Jim Caviezel's John Reese cradling her as she passed away after being shot by corrupt cop Patrick Simmons still endures). That means that creator Jonathan Nolan and other showrunners are taking a big risk that fans may leave the show because of her departure. Granted, it would have been a lot worse if Reese or Michael Emerson's Harold Finch happened to die, but this is close. On one hand, Henson had pretty much made it known that she wasn't going to be on the show forever and that there would be an exit strategy.
Even with the HR storyline finished, there's still plenty of other pieces to push forward. First, there's the group of privacy zealots who will do anything, including kill, to preserve that. Then there's the whole "The Machine is Planning Something Big" plot, and I must say that I'm very, very intrigued to see how this plays out, especially with Amy Acker's Root, who is being such a huge paradox: she can be a cunning, calculating killer in one moment and an extremely helpful ally the next. It was quite cool, I admit, to see her dual-wielding guns in the last Endgame episode. Let's also not forget that Boris McGiver's assassin, the singularly-named Hersh, is going to probably pop up at some point. He will NOT be grateful that his life was spared -- twice -- by the crew, the first time being in a fight with Reese and the second when Root stood down after the Machine told her not to kill him. He'll probably want to eliminate one or both of them.
In terms of the ratio of females to males on the show, the groundwork was actually laid out pretty early for Carter to shuffle off this mortal coil. Sarah Shahi's Samantha Shaw was brought into the fold last season, and Root was brought first as a villain and now exists as someone who is an uneasy ally. Add the recurring guest role of Paige Turco's Zoe Morgan, the ubercool fixer, and there's more than enough to offset the testosterone of Reese and Kevin Chapman's Lionel Fusco.
The people who stop viewing this show in protest might have had some valid points, especially the way that the shocking death was almost telegraphed with Reese and Carter kissing for the very first and last time in the same episode. It's true that losing someone who brought extra toughness and yet carried herself with extra grace like Carter did is a bad blow, but then again, things happen in real life that aren't fair either.
It seems that the roller-coaster ride is far from over. In fact, I'd say that it's only cresting its second or third hill. Buckle up, folks. It's going to be intense.
Nick Frost is going to be in his own movie in 2014, Cuban Fury. He won't have Simon Pegg as a co-star. Will this be a good move on his part or will it cause him to have to retreat back into life as a second fiddle, not to get top billing again?
This will be a big test. Sure, Frost is a very funny man, but he's always been the sidekick: the best friend who becomes a zombie, the bumbling partner ... he's never really been front and center. I actually have to say, good for him. He's decided to take a shot at a bigger part in the movie world, and if the gambit succeeds, then he was well worth the risk and if the movie does poorly, he'll be able to look himself in the mirror and say that he at least tried, which is more than many of us do.
Frost has relied a lot on physical comedy and this movie looks like it's not going to be any different, if scenes like his doing a face plant on the windshield of Rashida Jones ' character's car are a barometer. Of course, a movie about dance offers plenty of opportunity for pratfalls. In the other movies, though, Frost has not been a main focus, so when he does something silly, it's a welcome surprise. Can we take a whole movie of it or will the novelty wear thin in the first half hour?
Some may say that he doesn't have the body or face for being a leading man, but then again they said the same of John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley. Let's not let the fact that all three are prematurely deceased change the fact that they were hugely successful despite not sharing the same body type as say... a Dan Ackroyd or Chevy Chase. Frost could very well become a star in his own right..
The main thing is that it is just weird to see Frost without Pegg involved somewhere. Then again, the sidekick can step out of the shadow of the larger star. Ben Affleck can become just as big a star as Matt Damon.
So let's say that Cuban Fury does great in the theaters - getting Jones and Ian McShane to appear in it was a good move to help take some of the edge off for Frost - then he might be the one having Pegg call him to appear as a co-star. That's not so farfetched. It could happen. Wait, I think there's a zombie at my do-
Oftentimes it seems like celebrities start taking themselves way too seriously once they reach a certain level of fame. Zach Braff apparently didn't get that memo - he regularly interacts with his fans and recently he managed to photobomb a wedding picture - the one you see above. Here's hoping that the two newlyweds were Scrubs fans, otherwise they will probably be asking the photographer to Photoshop out the goofy looking dude in the baseball cap.
It's not just Braff that's doing stuff like that. Donald Faison, who is his former Scrubs co-star and also his best friend, is the same way - not afraid to act silly in public. In fact photobombing seems to be a big thing, with the participants ranging from Amy Poehler and Tina Fey to basketball superstars Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard. It's just their way of reminding us that we can be silly to each other no matter how much money or popularity we may have (actually, Donald Trump would probably not react well to a photobombing nor would he photobomb anyone).
While Braff's photobomb was epic, the best one of all time has to go to Faison just for his target. Recently, there was a red carpet event going on and Tom Cruise was there, doing his Cruise thing - you know, flashing that big grin and generally giving the impression that he's in his 30s rather than his early 50s. Flashbulbs were going off and the movie veteran was in his element ... except for the fact that Faison's head and upper torso was bursting into the background from behind a curtain. The fact that the victim was the same guy who had jumped up and down on Oprah's couch made it all the more glorious.
Perhaps this will become even more prevalent. Social media apps like Instagram and Twitter have played a big part in it - the reason that the Braff photo became such a sensation was because the photographer tweeted the picture and mentioned Braff’s Twitter handle - which then made it viral. The celebrities can actually act like their own paparazzi by taking pictures at candid moments and post them immediately to their followers. Who knows ... but the more that it happens, the better it it is. This can serve to lower the pedestal that they perch upon. We all know that, but seeing them either on the television or movie screens or on a stage makes them feel much larger than life.
So, people, when you're outside taking pictures, especially if you're on a crowded street in Manhattan or Hollywood, look closely at the people in the background. You never know who you'll see.
It's the baseball offseason and I'm handling it just about as well as someone with a very strong addiction can. Not well, that is. I miss the fact that there's usually a game on sometime, somewhere, even if its not my beloved Mets. (Some may say that my rooting for a team who hasn't won a World Series in nearly 30 years presents a possible flaw in my personality.) Football offers some comfort, but the time between games is too long for me. Hockey and basketball can't gain my interest until at least June, during the playoffs and Finals. I'm a baseball addict and having to face months at a time without new games to watch is a very, very daunting task. That is, until I got the MLB Network. It'll keep me going until Spring Training starts anew.
What sets the MLB Network apart from, say, ESPN's Baseball Tonight is that it is a 24/7 station devoted to baseball and nothing but baseball. From the time that people rise in the morning to when they go to sleep, the topic is baseball: Trade talks, free-agent signings and even things like Arizona Fall League. They'll show baseball movies. I feel like Barney Gumble did in that episode of The Simpsons when he saw the tanker truck full of Duff Beer: "Just put it in my veins!"
It doesn't get boring either, because the network has enough of a rotation of former players and front office people who are articulate and knowledgeable enough to be able to share space with other on-air talent who have never played an inning of professional baseball at any level. The recognizable names, among others, are Dan Pleasac and Harold Reynolds. Red Sox fans must love seeing Kevin Millar on Intentional Talk; he was an integral cog in their winning the 2004 World Series, the first for Boston since 1918.
Even the sets are able to evoke baseball memories: they look like baseball diamonds in some parts of the studios. If I were to visit, I'd be tempted to try to run around some bases. It's the perfect combination of a news studio and a stadium. I wouldn't bat an eye if a popcorn vendor suddenly walked behind one of the anchors, though the programming brass might frown at a beer vendor.
There are plenty of sports channels out there vying for eyeballs, but as the days grow shorter, I'll be watching the MLB Network and thinking of warmer days to come.
Cobie Smulders is winding down her run on How I Met Your Mother. Her character, Robin Sherbatsky (fka Canadian teen-pop sensation Robin Sparkles), will likely wed Neil Patrick Harris' Barney Stinson and then move aside for Josh Radnor's Ted Mosby to finally meet his freaking wife-to-be after 8 seasons of his meandering stories. She's already got one foot in the door when it comes to a possible transition to the big screen: She played Agent Maria Hill in 2012's summer blockbuster The Avengers and she's appearing in the upcoming Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn.
Smulders has a pretty good repertoire. She can do comedy (obviously) and she also showed that she can do action - the opening scene in The Avengers showed that. It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out in Delivery Man and what direction she decides to go. Smulders does have an avenue to pursue if Delivery Man does badly and she realizes that there is the possibility that she would be paid better and recognized more on the smaller screen: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She appeared in the pilot and I'm sure they would bring her back if her shooting schedule allowed. After all, the whims of audiences can be very hard to predict; one actress can have a long and successful movie career while another can only do a few movie projects, if anything, and then go back to television, if the opportunity presents itself. There's always commercials, too.
The window for opportunity in Hollywood can be really, really small - sometimes it feels like a doggie door, and it can slam shut very quickly, because there are so many hungry actors and actressess (both literally and figuratively) out there that will grab any opportunity. She may be a known face now, but she also has to see that the public memory can be very fleeting. She's got to know that she's swimming with a lot of sharks and the comprtition is fierce.
Let's just hope Smulders can do a show years from now called How I Made A Lot Of Money In Hollywood. There could be eight seasons of her telling her stories about that and she would be a lot more fun to listen to than Mosby.
FOX recently premiered its new sci-fi show Almost Human over two nights. This event was teased on the network for what felt like six months, but was probably more like a month and a half. It did pretty well the first night (3.1 adult rating), since it had a football lead-in, but it didn't fare as well on Monday (2.3). Can Karl Urban and Michael Ealy stay the course with this show or will it suffer a Firefly-type fate? Then again, the creators would probably accept the cult following that Joss Whedon's show as a worst-case scenario in a flash.
The show seems to blend a variety of influences. There's a slight Blade Runner feel to it, and the writers most likely read Isaac Asimov's classic detective novels like The Caves of Steel. Kennex has an Elijah Baley-type aura to him and Michael Ealy's Dorian seems to register some of R. Daneel Olivaw's characteristics.
What helps is that Urban is a pretty well-known face, especially given his appearance in the Bourne movies, Judge Dredd (Not the Sylvester Stallone one) and the Star Trek reboots. Science-fiction fans know him. Ealy has shown enough charisma in the two episodes to warrant his casting. They may be benefiting from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. too, while not having to directly compete against it (the shows air on different nights).
There's work to be done to sustain its audience. Personally, I found it a good start, with Urban and Ealy developing a good chemistry immediately. Their bringing in sexbots in the second episode might have been just a bit too early. Overall, it's a good premise: in a nutshell, it's in the future with human detectives being paired up with scary looking robots to solve and fight crimes. One guy gets a throwback robot that looks human as well. It's not entirely new, of course. We've had plenty of human/robot interaction shows and movies over the years. (Side note: In the premiere, when Urban's character John Kennex was introduced to the 'synthetic' robot known as Dorian, the robot caretaker, for a lack of a better word, introduced them to each other as "John, Dorian. Dorian, John." and I thought of the character John Dorian from Scrubs. Was I the only one? OK. I was. Carry on.)
The main problem that it has is that sometimes it does things in a contrived way.There was a scene towards the end of the second episode where they had to find out where a sexbot (think Austin Powers' fembots without the breast guns) had been first activated...or 'born.' Rather then access that information right away, they spent a lot of precious time interrogating her in a holding room. There was just a less clunky way to go about it. They should still keep the banter between Kennex and Dorian, though we could use less talk about the state of Kennex's testicles.
Right now, the show still deserves a spot in either live-watching or at least on a DVR list. It's up to the people running it to see if it stays that way. Otherwise, it will be another promising science-fiction show that met an early demise.
The show opened without its usual "You are being watched". It jumped right in with a montage. John Reese (Jim Caviezel), attached to a heart monitor, was on a hospital bed at the library after being shot by corrupt cop Patrick Simmons. Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) was sitting by him. Johnny Cash's "Hurt" began to play and I had a much harder time writing this due to the room getting really dusty. Then it showed Joss Carter's (Taraji P. Henson) ex-husband and son at her funeral, with Finch and Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi) hanging back. Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman) was there. Then there was a bar scene with Shaw beating people up and showing Simmon's picture. Then to a seedy place with money being exchanged - Simmons was getting a fake passport. The passport go-betweens were then riding in an SUV, counting Simmons' money and laughing. A big truck t-boned the SUV and Reese, who was in the truck, strode to the rear seat, where one person was still conscious. He showed the picture of Simmons. The guy, who was in bad shape, babbled something and Reese, showing about as much emotion as a robot, walked away as the SUV exploded. That was the opening. Some shows down't pack that much in an HOUR.
The episode used its flashback method of bouncing back and forth between a timeline. This time it showed each member of the team sitting across from someone at various points in time and talking about an aspect of their personality. The first was in 2010: Finch was with a therapist, after the ferry bombing that had cost him his co-partner. He wanted to talk about grief. He was sitting in a wheelchair and he said that he had lost his closest friend. They were debating the use of grief in evolution. He said he was thinking of doing something radical to honor the memory of his friend. The therapist said that he was not God and that his friend's death was not his fault. He asked if survivor's guilt would go away if everything WAS his fault.
Back to 2013. Finch opened Root's (Amy Acker) cage to give her food and she looked at him with a worried glance and offered her help again. He said it was too late. She said not for Reese. She also that there was a bigger problems at hand. Whatever the Machine was planning was coming soon. Finch's cell phone rang. It was Fusco. He met him at the burned SUV. Fusco alluded to it probably being the work of a psychopathic vigilante, prompting a snarky Finch reply: "Which one?" Fusco said Reese and Shaw's scorched earth was not good, it was making it harder to find Simmons. The guy told Reese about the forger, a guy named Yorke - which meant they needed to find him. Too late. Shaw had him hanging - literally - by his arms from the ceiling. She ignored three voicemails. Soon Fusco and Finch strolled in. It turned out Reese had gotten to him first and thrown him off the roof and disappeared. Shaw was just working with leftovers. Finch warned her that Reese's injuries were life-threatening. Quinn was the only one who knew where Simmons was coming and going. They decided to get Quinn's lawyer. The problem was, the Russians were also after Quinn as well as Reese. The lawyer was dead, courtesy of the Russians.
It looked like they were at a dead end. Or were they? Shaw then realized that she had to make Finch swallow the possible poison pill: They had to bring Root into the fold.
The next flashback was 2005. Shaw, who was a medical resident, was called in to the office for her lack of emotion after telling a family that their father was dead while eating an energy bar. Her sociopathic personality traits were called out. The man said that she was supremely bright and talented, but she was a risk; she might be bored of the job soon, since she only thought about fixing things, not healing people. She wouldn't be a doctor.
Back in 2013, Shaw was telling Finch that Root was his only option, with Finch still displaying understandable reluctance, but he acquiesced, opening the Faraday Cage that was holding Root. She came out and a cell phone rings for her. She answered it with a smirk while putting a bluetooth piece in her ear. Later, they were driving and Fusco was not happy about sitting next to Root, saying that if he had known, he would have driven to the location by himself. Root guided them to the right place in the dark by using the machine. They pulled into a desolate area. Fusco was skeptical, but Root told him information all about himself, including how he got the name Lionel. She promised that she was there to help. "Just when I thought life with you was weird enough, one of you takes it to the next level." he fumed. Root asked for a gun, Shaw declined...she then told her to turn around, with Shaw shooting a U.S. Marshal in the leg just in time.
They found Quinn's hideout - a very large hotel that had been taken over. Any doubts that it was the right place was dispelled when a car in front bust into flames. This drove marshals outside to investigate. Shaw could only smile at that.
Another flashback brought us to 2007. Reese was in a military uniform and getting raked over the coals before joining an elite program. The interviewer wanted to make sure he was tough enough to do his job. Reese replied that he had been through it already and he'd been in the program for three years. His job was to find the person who had sold secrets to the Chinese. It turned out it was the interviewer who had betrayed his country. Reese shot him under the table, with no compunction.
Back in 2013. Reese was coming for Quinn, even though he was still losing blood and looked quite haggard. He locked the doors and turned off the power. Upstairs, Quinn's bodyguard thought his men could handle the situation, but the head of HR knew that Reese can't be stopped. The scene shifted to the hallways. First he set some kind of explosive on a ceiling and then took a bag of flares and dumped them in the hallway. Quinn's protection team came downstairs wearing night vision goggles. Reese jumped some of them and then shot the pile of flares to blind night vision. Then he blew up the room to finish off other guards. Several seconds later, the main bodyguard of Quinn's was neutralized and knocked out. Reese was back with the defiant Quinn.He put his pad down for him to write where Simmons was exiting. Quinn talked about loyalty and that he wouldn't give up the corrupt cop.
Reese too that too well. He said that he kept his word. "I'm going to kill you. In 3 minutes." He told him that he knew how to kill people painlessly, but was going to forget that. Instead, he was going to make the last three minutes of Quinn's life last forever if he didn't tell him the exit.
The cavalry got to the hotel and this time, Root asked for and got two guns. Seconds later, the Russians came to the hotel entrance and the two parties shot it out, with Root being a badass with her twin guns blazing. Shaw grudgingly admitted, "OK, that was kind of hot."
Finch made his way to the room and got to a rapidly deteriorating Reese just as the three minutes ended. He was trying to talk sense into the grieving ex-military man. His strength waning as his blood continued to flow. Sinking to the ground, Reese aimed his gun at Quinn, but it was empty. They had a choice: either get Simmons or take Reese to get help. Shaw was fuming that it looked like Simmons would get away to fight another day. Quietly, Root said, "The machine never said that Reese was the only one that wanted to kill Simmons." it cut to the hotel room, with Fusco organizing the arrest of Quinn. He looked down at the pad, shoved it in his pocket and walked off.
Back in time to 2005: Fusco was in therapy and talking about a shooting. The therapist asked how he was doing, and he said that he was sleeping just fine. He was being a hardass, but then he asked about doctor-patient confidentiality. The therapist expected him to break down, but Fusco turned the tables and admitted that he tracked down the perp, who had shot an off-duty cop. He said the guy got what he deserved and practically walked out of the office whistling.
Back in 2013, Simmons was making his way to a plane. He smiled as he left the hangar. Fusco greeted him and told him he had sent the pilot off. Simmons asked if he was going to shoot an unarmed man. They fought which didn't seem like the best idea, since Simmons seemed to be in better fighting shape and Fusco still had broken fingers from the last episode. Sure enough, Simmons had the upper hand at first,. but Fusco rallied and broke his arm. Beaten, Simmons egged him on to shoot him, but Fusco was having none of it. He said that Carter had been the best thing for him and shown him that he could be a good cop. He handcuffed him and led him off to the precinct.
The scene shifted to Reese recuperating and they found Root, who apparently was free to have slipped off to wherever she wanted to go, in the library. She had decided to stay for whatever the Machine had planned. At least in the beginning.
Finally, we were in the hospital, where Simmons was under police guard while he recuperated from his injuries. He groggily woke up to find someone in the shadows. It was the gangster, Elias (Enrico Colantoni). Simmons asked him what he wanted, since HR was dead. There was nothing. But Elias was not satisfied. He wanted to collect a debt, and he admitted that he was not civilized. He liked Carter. She had been civilized to the end. and now he was going to kill Simmons. Well, he watched as his bodyguard garroted him and the final scene showed Simmons' heart rate monitor go crazy and then flatline in a reversal of how the episode began.
After last week's episode where all the would-be entrepreneurs got chomped when it came to deals, would this one be more fruitful?
First In The Tank
First came Yubo, a customizable and easily-cleaned lunchbox that was created by Paul & Cyndi Pedrazzi. They wanted $150,000 for a 15% stake. They presented it as an alternative to regular lunchboxes, which only have a set design and get dirty really fast. This one was able to be taken apart for dishwashers and also people could create their own designs. Their presentation was really energetic and they gave out cute customized ones that had caricatures of the Sharks on them.After they finished the presentation, they sent their two daughters to model the lunchboxes out of the Tank. It's never good for kids to see Mommy and Daddy potentially get raked over the coals.
They went into further detail: they had been in the market for four years, they owned the trademark for Yubo and Cyndi had a grander vision, selling them at amusement parks. They wanted Disney, but they would need a Shark for that.
Things always seem to be going smoothly in many pitches and then a problem surfaces. This one was no different. They had given an industrial designer a 20% stake and a royalty of 5% to 1% on sliding scale. 5% of sales. Then they uttered the two worst words EVER: In Perpetuity. Every Shark nearly slapped their foreheads simultaneously at that.
The fallout was swift. Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran were out fast - Cuban didn't like the royalty and Corcoran took issue at the size of the boxes, finding them too bulky. In a really dumb moment, Cyndi tried to stop Cuban after he said he was out. "Just let me stop you there..." "You can't stop him...he's OUT" retorted Corcoran. Even Cuban smirked at that.
Kevin O'Leary thought the whole idea had merit and offered them $150,000 for 10% plus the same royalty deal that the designer had. Robert Herjavec stirred the pot and offered $150,000 for 30%. He wanted them to make a decision fast. Lori Greiner decided to throw her hat in the ring and after there was a commercial break to raise the dramatic tension, she offered 150,000 for 20% and also added that she's in good with Disney. O'Leary, sensing that it was a major sticking point, dropped his royalty and offered the same amount and a 20% stake that would drop to 12.5% if they paid him back in 18 months. Not one to be denied, Greiner offered $150,000 for 15% that needed to be paid back in 15 months. Herjavec sweetened his pot by offering $150,000 for 15% and no loan. O'Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, offered more pressure: if they paid back in 18 months, it would drop to a 10% stake.
The entrepreneurs asked if any Sharks would team up and Herjavec said he would team up with Mr. Wonderful. That sealed the deal and the prospect of another shutout was vanquished quickly.
There was an update on a previous success: DropStop, which keeps keys from falling in the side of car seats. It was a Greiner deal and it's done really well, creating jobs and $5 million in sales since it aired five months ago. They projected $15 million in sales. They got into 3,500 Walmarts and as a sign of good PR, they also donated DropStops to a police department.
Second In The Tank
Kelly Coughlan and Jenn Deese were pitching Pursecase. They wanted $55,000 for 12%. It looked like a cellphone case with a handle and could hold credit cards and licenses in a side pocket.It also had a compact mirror.
Herjavec immediately said that he saw cases like that in Europe, but they didn't have pockets. They were making these for iPhone 4 and 5 and were filing a utility patent for the functionality of the flap. They had $33,000 in preorders and they impressed the Sharks with their margin. Then like the previous entreprenerurs, they had given up something early. They gave 15% equity to a manufacturer, but this time no royalties, and even nicer, they had a million-dollar credit line. What they needed the money for was to make molds for Samsung Galaxy. Greiner then mentioned that she sells something similar to that, but they apparently didn't do research.
Herjavec immediately bowed out and Corcoran thought it should be more streamlined. She was out. Cuban hated the accessory for tech market. He was out. Kevin offers $55,000 for $1 a unit and then .75 in perpetuity. Greiner jumped in. She used her favorite phrase, whether something is a hero or a zero and she saw it as a hero. She offered $55,000 for 15%. The two girls took about .3 seconds before accepting the offer. Herjavec, dumbfounded they hadn't even acknowledged O'Leary's offer, was channeling Home Alone, saying, "WHAT ABOUT KEVIN?!"
That was two straight deals.
Third In the Tank
The third entrepreneur was Joe Dauenhauer, who had a wicked Boston accent. His company was Chocomize, where people could create chocolate bars online. He wanted $500,000 for a 10% stake. The Belgian chocolate was really good, and customers could put edible pictures on the bars. He made customized ones for the sharks. The sales were good, he did $440,000 this year, though that was a slight dip from year before. He said there there are repeat orders and they were aiming for corporate sales. He says a Shark will be getting money back in 3 to 4 years. He has partners though, which can eat up equity and Cuban was immediately arguing that it was not proprietary.
O'Leary was the first to make an offer. He wanted Dauenhaer to leave to leave his partners and that he would give $500,000 for a 25% to start from scratch to make Mr. Wonderful's Chocolate.
The dominoes fell fast. Herjavec, Cuban, Corcoran and Greiner got out in really quick order. So it was back to Mr. Wonderful. Dauenhauer couldn't accept his deal and O'Leary snarked that he was going to make his "You're Dead To Me Bar" and send it to him. No deals. It wasn't going to be a perfect game this episode
Fourth in The Tank
In the previews for this episode, Herjavec was seen as saying, "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness" and it was going to happen in this one, so it looked kind of grim for a deal.
The entrepreneurs were Rick and Melissa Hinnant and the company was Grace & Lace, which made frilly socks for those who wear boots. They wanted $175,000 for a 10% stake and they had over $1 million in sales with no marketing, which nearly knocked the socks off the Sharks (har har). What helped was the canny use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. They sell for $34 per pair, for a cost of $5 each.
Greiner couldn't get into it and she was out. Rick said they need a strategic partner, which prompted Corcoran to make an offer - $87,500 and 5% if they could get another Shark. O'Leary offered $175,000 for 20% and would drop to 10% when they repaid the loan.
Herjavec thought they needed guidance. He offered $175,000 for 10%, which is what they wanted. Now it got really messy, really fast. Instead of grabbing the deal, they asked if Barbara can come into the deal with Herjavec, who then got mad. He'd met their offer and they still wanted to to hear others. Herjavec wanted an immediate answer. To compound matters, they asked if they could go outside to discuss the offer. Now, if you had high-def TV, you could actually see the steam coming out of Herjavec's ears. He withdrew his offer and said he was out.
Cuban, despite their waffling, made an offer. Again, they stalled and asked to go outside and discuss it. By now, even Greiner was shaking her head at their tactics. Not to be denied, Corcoran offered, and after what seemed like an eternity of the two entrepreneurs staring at each other, they accepted her offer over Cuban's while all the other Sharks shook their heads again.
Three out of four netted a deal, which was a marked improvement over the previous episode.
KMart recently released a commercial for a brand of boxer underwear, which you can see below. It's already raised a bit of an uproar and I think that it's warranted.
First of all, imagine if the genders were switched and it was women standing there in a line gyrating their hips to the song in nothing but a bra and underwear? The word 'misogynistic' would probably be the first one of many people's mouths, along with things about reducing women to mere sex objects, among others. There'd probably be picket lines in front of the stores' headquarters. Inches and inches of columns would be written about it in newspapers and online. It'd be on the news for at least several days. This is garnering much, much less attention than something like that would.
While it happens far less often than women, men can be objectified too and this commercial shows it. What makes it worse is that it's near a holiday like Christmas. A very bad message to send to people, I think. If it were near summer and the guys were getting ready to go to the beach, it wouldn't be anywhere near as controversial.
There are those who would dismiss it as a mere lark or a spoof and ask why no one complains about ads for Calvin Klein. KMart, and whoever they use for advertising, really dropped the ball here (no pun intended). It's a family store. They sell to all kinds of people,and why should a parent have to explain why a commercial about underwear is showing things like this. Calvin Klein is targeting their demographic. Its a clearly defined one. KMart's demographic is broader and their commercials should reflect that.
I say that if women want to see guys thrust their pelvises at them, they can go to Chippendale's or watch late-night television. They should not see it in something like this.