New Jack City: Hotels Take Page From Airlines

Guilty as charged!

Yes, I admit it. That I’ve double-booked hotel rooms in the past only to cancel them at the last minute—or not at all.

It used to be when you canceled your reserved room by 6:00 p.m. on day of arrival there were no consequences. However those days are rapidly coming to an end…especially if the Marriott or Hilton hotel chains have any say in the matter.

With occupancy and average room rates continuing their year-to-year climb, hotel managements continue to adopt policies from the airlines.

After all, both industries deal in perishable products.

Airlines in seats. Hotels in rooms. Continue reading

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Glazer: Royals Stay Loyal & End Up With Zip

Most KC Royals observers concluded by mid May that they sucked…

That while they might bounce back and be average, they were not good enough to be a playoff team.  And that they should upload Eric Hosmer, Moose, Cain and other soon-to-depart stars in order to get something for them before they will leave next year.

For the record, I too was on that boat.

However, when the Royals played well in July and got back into the hunt they abandoned that strategy.

GM Dayton Moore‘s hope of a power offense with home runs came true. My God, with seven hitters with over 10 home runs. Yikes!

The problem: No pitching.

Yes, Jason Vargas for a bit, but that’s all but over now. Meanwhile the power has faded somewhat and the Royals are just an average team going nowhere again. In the end, they’re probably just  a .500 team without even even a wild card. Damn. Continue reading

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Glazer: ‘Predator’ Pal Bites the Dust

Actor Sonny Landham was one of my best friends in life…

Sonny died Thursday of heart complications. Landham lost both legs over the past two years. He was in Kentucky where his young son, Mo lives in his final days.

We spoke weekly and I knew he was nearing the end.

HIs health was beyond repair and at age 75 his acting days were well behind him. Boy did he and I have some great times in LA and KC though.

Sonny is best known for co starring in two monster hits – Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger and 48 Hours with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy.

Sonny was best known in the 80’s and 90’s as a big time movie bad guy.

Including in films like Fire Walker with Chuck Norris, Lock-up with Sly Stallone and Best of The Best with Eric Roberts.

He was a wild man on and off camera. Continue reading

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Leftsetz: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About ‘Allbirds’

I’m thinking of buying a pair…

Publicity comes last. Unless it comes first, then I ignore it.

If I turn the pages of the newspaper, of a magazine, click online and find a story about something I already know about, with soft touches saying how great it is, sans facts and figures, I ignore it – it’s hype.

Hype no longer works.

It’s ink, usually physical, sometimes digital, to make the perpetrator feel good about themselves, so they can point to the words and get kudos from their boss. This is their job, to spread the word, in a fake manner.

Kinda like that recent story in the Times about the War On Drugs. Isn’t it funny that it’s their first major label album. Who else has the connections to get it placed, the pull, which is why you sign with a big company.

I ignored it.

Even though fans like these victory laps because they illustrate their crush has finally made it. But usually the opposite is true; it’s the beginning of the end. Kinda like that squib in today’s rapidly declining, in size and influence, LA Times saying that Arcade Fire is overrated. It’s a reaction to the hype about the new album, that’s the thing about media; it’ll turn against you, especially if it thinks it’s being manipulated.

But fans are already long gone. Once it’s penetrated the mainstream, they’re out.

Unless they’ve never heard about it before, like Allbirds. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Snakes On A Plane’ Meets ‘Deadpool?’

They call this an Action-Comedy…

And it is. THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD is nearly two hours of non-stop R-rated mayhem—with a bloody body count to match.

What makes the movie unique is its primarily Dutch setting. You don’t see that too often.

But Amsterdam certainly gives director Patrick Hughes the opportunity to capture the visual action not just along Amsterdam’s narrow streets but through its canals as well.

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD has Ryan Reynolds playing a high priced bodyguard (who’s seen some bad days of late) charged with delivering incarcerated badass felon Samuel L. Jackson to the international criminal court case against Belarusian war criminal Gary Oldman.

The delivery must occur before 5:00 p.m. local time or charges are dropped.

How to get Jackson to the Hague is now Reynold’s deadly task. You get the picture.

MIDNIGHT RUN anyone? Continue reading

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Hearne: Through the Looking Glass @ The American Royal

This isn’t exactly super secret but…

The reporting standards are far laxer these days at the Kansas City Star. That in the wake of going from more than 2,000 employees to 300 or fewer the past 10 or 12 years.

That’s totally understandable and easily explained;  simple arithmetic.

Unfortunately, in addition to that the trepidation by Star writers over reporting errors – even arguably minor ones like spelling mistakes – seems to be missing in action now that most breaking news debuts online where errors can be quickly corrected prior to going into the indelible print editions.

The looser journalism practices and standards have resulted in lower quality news coverage – like the recent spate of stories triggered by a shooting in Westport – in which balanced reporting, (sans any input whatsoever from Westport officials) was nowhere to be found.

All of that said, now that Star editor Mike Fannin has largely completed the house cleaning of oldster reporters he told me about a couple years back and brought in younger guns, the news does seem fresher and more compelling…even given the content cutbacks.

Just one problem…

The Star continues to suffer from a failure to drill down and ask tough questions. 

Take Steve Vockrodt’s recent front pager about the American Royal: Continue reading

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Glazer: P.S. Royals Fans

Another sad statement that the Royals are done for 2017…

The Royals bench Alex Gordon – the $72 million bust.

Gordon is finally benched, batting just .204 with almost no homers and few RBI’s..

So he gets the bench, when we could have signed World Series MVP Ben Zobrist last year. Instead KC opted for hometown hero/not…Gordon.

Alex could have been traded, but nobody wants him now.

He is a great guy with only that one giant home run in 2015 post season that made him a bigger star than he ever was, huh?

So now Eric Hosmer gone. Moose likely gone. Cain likely gone…next season.

Now what?

Hey, there’s always Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs!

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 22 Comments

New Jack City: Hollywood Cuts Out Print Ads

Say it ain’t so Star gazers—but it is!

I went to the library recently to look over some older editions of THE KANSAS CITY STAR from the 1980’s and 90’s. I just wanted to wanted to see what the Friday movie sections used to look like during the high profile summer movie seasons.

Sure enough, there would be two to four pages of giant movie display ads from the likes of Warner Brothers, 20th Century-Fox, Paramount, Universal—from every studio.

And if the advertised film was big enough, there would be full page ads—-even the so called two page, double-trucks.

All that plus plenty of up to date movie fillers and local reviews.

Then one by one the movie ads began to shrink in size.

I remember one particular weekend years ago when a film company decided to open its movie here without a display ad altogether.

It was unheard of.

Then a second distributor went printless—except for placements in major markets and just like that, we were no longer part of their plan.

At least the local theater circuits like AMCTheatres continued to run directory ads with showtimes.

However those ads began to shrink too.

And finally AMC threw in the towel. Its weekend directory ads disappeared earlier this year.

So who is left?

Continue reading

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Glazer: Brace Yourselves, Royals Fans

A few weeks back it was just a question of if the Royals won the division or became a wild card…

That’s before KC sank like a rock to barely .500 ball with Cleveland enjoying a 4 game lead. And the written-off Minnesota Twins are tied with us at .500.

What happened?

Our starting pitching is average at best and we have no real ace on the team. Danny Duffy is back from injury but has not been very effective at 7 and 7 with an ERA of 3.48.

Meanwhile, all-star pitcher, Jason Vargas has fallen to 13-6 with an ERA of 3.40. And our other two starters are worse…Jason Hammel is 5-9 with an ERA of 4.73 and Ian Kennedy is 4-8 with an ERA of 4.83.

Now the really bad news… Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Dysfunctional ‘GLASS CASTLE’; Nomination Bound?

Brie Larson’s star is certainly rising…

She won the Best Actress Oscar for last year’s ROOM. However that was not so much a mainstream movie as her upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL.

But we’ll have to wait until 2019 to meet up with that superhero adventure

In the meantime we can appreciate Ms. Larson’s talents in the bio-drama THE GLASS CASTLE.

This is the true story chronicling the adventures of the tight knit—yet quite eccentric —Walls family.

The story of how young Jeannette Walls (Ms. Larson) overcame the poverty and chaos of her childhood and a dysfunctional, dreamer-like family led by her alcoholic father portrayed by Woody Harrelson.

Then there was her hippie-like mom played in quiet, emotional fashion by Naomi Watts.

Family turmoil—including sexual—all around. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Movie Marketing Magic 2017 Style

Hollywood’s great at patting itself on the back…

They have awards for just about everything in Tinsel Town.

But wait!

Should there be an award category for the best all around marketing strategy for a motion picture?

If there were such an award it would surely be presented this year to  the creative marketing geniuses at Warner Brothers Pictures Corp.

For what you ask?

One word: DUNKIRK.

Warner Bros pulled off the nearly impossible task of turning a pretty much unknown British World War II story into a box office hit.

All that while facing competition from powerful summer popcorn movies the likes of of the Apes and Spider-Man franchises.

And no, it’s not just counter programming.

This was one of the best thought out and executed multi-level marketing campaigns we’ve seen in ages.

Look what the movie DIDN’T have going for it: Continue reading

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Glazer: Don’t Look Now But Here Comes the NFL & Chiefs

Tyreek Hill mug shot

Seems like only yesterday the New England Patriots and Tom Brady pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all-time..

Yet on Friday the Kansas City Chiefs play their first pre season football game.

Damn, how time just zooms by…

So how do this year’s Chiefs stack up for 2017?

Las Vegas has it like this:

Super Bowl winner: New England 31-10, Cowboys 10-1, Packers 11-1, Seahawks 12-1, Steelers 12-1, Raiders 15-1, Giants 22-1, Chiefs 28-1 and Broncos 30-1!

So KC is the 8th best team in the NFL? A likely playoff team, again?

I don’t know about you, but I think we need to find some weapons for our Chiefs just to become a wild card team!

Oakland is real and could not only win the division – which they probably would have last year had their quarterback not been hurt – they could even go to Super Bowl.

And yes, Chiefs QB Alex Smith is back.

As is Spencer Ware, with no real dangerous offensive weapons outside Tyreek Hill.

Notice that I left out Travis Kelce.

Travis is good – some think All Pro – but he makes too many mistakes.

He had only four touchdowns last year…Hill was the offense with 12 TD’s.

Without Tyreek HIll the Chiefs were at best a .500 team. Continue reading

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Glazer: Playing the ‘Hate Game’

Why does it seem like almost everyone is playing the hate game these days?

“It’s the money, Jimmy.”

That’s why.

Man, the stock market is at 22,000 today, a record and still climbing. Big business is on fire, like Apple with a recent profit of over $8 billion.

Nice, for them.

So why all the hate?

BECAUSE WE’RE THE ONES PAYING THEM.

Most folks struggle just to pay their monthly bills, let alone get ahead. A single person making $40,000 to – $50,000 a year has to live pretty lean these days just to get by.

Remember just 15 years back when a decent one bedroom apartment was say 500 bucks a month? Just an average joint.

Today that same apartment is likely $850-$1,100!

An average car used to cost about $12,00 to $17,000. A similar car today is $22,000 to $28,000.

Now its about the payments.

Car insurance has gone up and the deductibles are huge- $500 to $1,000 per damage claim.  So if it’s say $1,300 in damage you get 300 bucks to fix your car. Plus the towing service to boot.

How bout those phone bills mixed with internet and cable?

Used to be about $100 a month. Now?

Try a couple hundred for your cell phone bill and $150 and up for cable.

And don’t forget health insurance!

The list is seemingly endless.

What the hell happened? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Ultra-Cool ‘ATOMIC BLONDE’ Savages Berlin!

How to best describe ATOMIC BLONDE?

How about, “Hot Badass Cold War Spy Thriller!”

The movie opens with newsreel footage of President Reagan in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin proclaiming to the world: “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!”

So is this the story of the Wall?

Not at all as the graphics on the screen make very clear.

Sure the setting is Berlin but the timeline here  is about a week before the FALL of the Wall.

That’s where top level British MI6 agent Charlize Theron’s next assignment has taken her. Her mission, to retrieve a top secret document/list of missing agents and take down a deadly espionage operation in the process.

However it’s not the storyline that makes this movie so much fun to watch. Continue reading

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Glazer: Next George Brett Fuels Royals Attack

Man, eight wins in a row – longest winning streak of the year for KC…

Just 1 1/2 games out of first behind Cleveland. If it ended today, we’d be a wild card team in the American League.

TheRoyals ended the first half of season cold but man have they heated up.

Signing three pitchers, not trading any core players and the home run bats are back!

Eric Hosmer is on heat street with 16 home runs with the second most hits in the league at 122 and batting .319. Last night he had a grand slam – his first – 5 hits and 6 RBI’s.

It would appear that Eric is on his way to his best season ever with well over 20 homers and perhaps close to 100 RBI’s and a plus .300 batting average.

Moose will break KC’s home run record and is in line to even win the home run title from Aaron Judge – he’s got 29 and New York’s Judge has 32. So the race is on.

No doubt this team has been streaky. A super cold start and it looked like they were toast.

Everyone including me wrote them off in May Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Handwriting On The Wall For NFL

Is there a connection?

In case you’re unaware of today’s JAMA report, 110 of 111 NFL players were found to have CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Now this is a select group, deceased players whose brains have been donated to Boston University, but if even every other dead player since the study began was found to be clear, that would still mean 9% of NFL players have dementia.

The stories are horrifying.

Even Tyler Sash, who played safety for the Super Bowl winning Giants in 2011, had it.

How long before people stop watching football?

They’ve already stopped playing.

People think everything’s forever.

Like the answering machine; like rock and roll; like baseball. I remember when football was a second-class citizen to baseball, when the latter was truly the “National Pastime.”

Now I’m not saying baseball will disappear, the internet has taught us that everything marginal survives to a point. I will say that the NBA and soccer and e-sports dominate the minds of millennials and younger, and the boomers refuse to accept this.

But the boomers gave up smoking. It’s rare to find a boomer who didn’t used to puff. But they stopped. When they saw it killed.

And these same boomers are racing to electric cars. Which conservative voices keep saying are propped up by subsidies and will never triumph.

Tell that to BMW and Mercedes, German companies who are doubling-down.

And to Volvo, which is going all electric, albeit hybrid, soon. They got the message. Along with self-driving cars.

When are the owners and the public going to get the message about football? Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe says, ‘Stop Picking on Westport’

For years it’s been called the Wild, Wild Westport...

Truth is, it’s only wild after about 3 am on the rare, odd weekend nights.

The inner city bad guys are out late at night looking for trouble and they often cruise the area in and around Westport.

Why? Its near where they live.

It’s been a popular entertainment district for decades and the hood people think it’s cool to do their dirty work where they’ll get attention.

Sad thing is, Westport, our most popular entertainment district over the past 50 years, gets blamed for not doing enough to prevent crime.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I was there for over 30 years with Stanford’s,

All we did then – and they still do – – is work on security day and night.

Westport has one of the best private security forces in the city and the Midwest. They have the Kansas City Police down there nightly and in force on weekend nights in the summer.

Almost all the problems go down after 3 a.m. weekend nights.

And yet anything that happens nearby is blamed on Westport. Why?

It’s a name part of town that everybody knows and media like the Kansas City Star loves to crucify them.. Continue reading

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Hearne: The News Desecration of Westport

About Saturday night’s wee hours shoot ‘em up in Westport

Naturally local TV news and the Kansas City Star were quick to pounce on the story, dramatize it then milk it for all it’s worth.

In the case of the Star, that translated into back-to-back stories on Monday – with the second a front page rehash on Tuesday – garnished with sensational, dog whistle words like “melee” and “mayhem” stitched together after-the-fact by reporters who were not even on the scene.

Add to the above breathless “reporting” on the commonplace practice of police using pepper spray and a headline designed to titillate.

“Amid shots, pepper spray, police acted to close Westport early,” shouted the newspaper’s front page headline Tuesday for a largely regurgitated story from page four in Monday’s Star (in case somebody missed it).

Unfortunately the newspaper did what it does all too often and failed to drill down to come up with easily obtainable answers that might have provided a more balanced perspective.

Of course that might have diluted the Star’s sensational headline.

For example, the closing wasn’t a broad based decision by police, according to sources. It was largely a knee jerk decision by a single, police sergeant with limited experience in the party zone.

What’s more according bar owners (Remember them? They’re the ones nobody talks to when they’re being written about), closing an hour early was a foolhardy decision that exposed patrons to needless risks during the peak of the disruption.

‘It was a mistake,” says Westport businessman Bill Nigro. “It was just the decision of one guy. I mean, if there’s a problem outside, why would I send my customers out into it? Most of those problems happened early, then (the police) forced the crowd out into the area. That’s just not good for our customers. For example, the shooting happened at quarter to three, a half hour after they forced everybody outside.” Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Acclaimed Director Christopher Nolan Succeeds with ‘DUNKIRK’

Can you imagine a superhero movie right smack in the midst of summer?

And no, I’m not talking about masks, spider webs are pointed ears here.

What you get with DUNKIRK is the true story of the nearly impossible battle at Dunkirk during World War II which was really a mass evacuation of gigantic proportions.

Some would refer to it as the MIRACLE at Dunkirk.

DUNKIRK found tens of thousands of British and Allied troops trapped on the beaches of this oceanside town facing certain death by the German forces that surrounded them and were actually driving them into the English Channel.

There was but one slimmer of hope left to save those forces…

Round up and enlist every available private vessel on the British side of the English Channel and send them across to evacuate the the thousands of troops stranded on the beach and turn it into a never before attempted rescue mission by sea, air and land. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Epic Third Ape Journey Concludes Franchise

Apes together—STRONG!

Caesar and the apes are back in a face-off with humans led by brutal Colonel Woody Harrelson.

In WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES  Caesar guides his flock while wrestling with his darker inner instincts as he gears up to avenge his kind.

The effects and battle scenes in this epic conclusion to the trilogy are terrific—my personal favorite being the incredible avalanche sequence near the end of the film.

What really stands out though in this sequel to 2014’s DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is Andy Serkis‘ astounding performance as the lead ape.

His facial expressions and dramatic detail to emotions within the Performance Capture process makes this conclusion of the franchise a very special cinematic experience.

To realistically transmit all of the given emotions, Serkis almost relies entirely on playing to the camera through his magnetic eyes which could very well earn him an Oscar nomination. Continue reading

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