Jack Goes Confidential: With Latest ‘PIRATES’ Disney Gets It Right

Let’s be honest, Captain Jack Sparrow had become a bit long in the tooth…

Disney’s slightly pickled and down-on-his-luck swashbuckler didn’t fare very well the last time we met up with him some six years ago.

Sparrow’s search for the fountain of youth had nearly done him in.

Well, all is forgiven as Walt Disney Pictures – after numerous delays, script issues, Depp issues and budget issues (among other concerns) – now extends its PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise with a rousing fifth installment.

Here Henry Turner, the young offspring of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, is determined to resurrect his cursed father from the ocean’s depths all the while Captain Jack is facing deadly ghost soldiers led by Captain Salazar who is determined to eliminate every pirate at sea.

I’m going to be honest and admit I got a little lost along the way.

But that didn’t matter because of the film’s immense production values.

Not only does it answer many questions you might have as to the origins of the tale, but it does so with overwhelming visual doses.

Disney got this one right! Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Charts Chiefs QB Alex Smith’s Final Days

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith  got a $70 million contract a couple years back…

Not a bad deal, with $30 million of that guaranteed and he becomes a free agent in 2019.

That said, the Chiefs picked quarterback Patrick Mahomes as their No. 1 this year.

So Mahomes will be hopefully be the Chiefs starter at some point, likely next season. Meaning that Smith will have to play better than ever to keep his job as a starter in 2018, unless Mahomes is looking bad when he does play.

So it’s likely this could be Smith’s final season in Kansas City as a starter.

Would he accept a back-up roll and teachers spot next year to get his final payday?

Apparently Smith was a bit unhappy with his brief talks with Mahomes.

“It’s his job to seek me out for help not really mine,” Smith said.

And while Smith never said he wouldn’t help his Mahomes,  reality has sunk in for Alex that this is likely it.

The question being, will Smith try and become a starter somewhere else as soon as next year? Will the Chiefs cut him next year if this season is like the past few, one playoff game and done?

Would Smith go somewhere else as a back up?

Lots of questions no answers. Not yet. Continue reading

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New Jack City: More Non-Stops @ KCI – Who’s Kidding Whom?

Much as I favor a new, modern, single terminal at KCI

Don’t believe for a minute that we’ll see a noticeable uptick in arrivals and departures because of it.

Does anybody actually think our international service beyond Toronto and Cancun will dramatically increase? Or that the frequency of service to Chicago will as well?

Highly unlikely.

So WHY not?

These sorts of decisions are based on passenger demand – load factors – not nicer facilities.

Because when an airline can make more money deploying its aircraft to-and-from Denver instead of Kansas City—-they will.

Simple as that.

As an example, here are weekday and Saturday departures of KC’s No. 1 carrier at KCI to five non-stop destinations.

Southwest Airlines weekday and Saturday spring departures eight years ago:

KC–Chicago Midway—Weekdays 10 / Saturday’s 8

KC–Dallas Love Field–Weekdays 8   / Saturday’s 7

KC–Denver————–Weekdays 6   / Saturday’s 6

KC–Las Vegas———–Weekdays 5  / Saturday’s 4

KC–St. Louis———– Weekdays  5  / Saturday’s 4

Now compare Southwest’s departures to these same five non-stop markets today: Continue reading

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Hearne: New Star Editorial Writer Works K.C. Schmooze After D.C. Axe

Talk about controversial couples…

Seems the newest Kansas City Star addition comes with a bit of journalistic baggage.

Editorial columnist Melinda Henneberger’s been all over the map since splashing down at 18th and Grand recently. She’s weighed in on everything from FBI honcho James Comey to Mother’s Day to fake news to stuff she likes about KC.

You know, the kind of stuff of vital interest to locals.

Not surprisingly, the things Henneberger likes about the Cowtown range from less traffic to freebie concert tix to Star sponsored shows and Midwestern greetings.

And while that’s all fine and good, it may also be of interest – to Star staffers anyway –  that Henneberger did not come to 18th and Grand controversy free.

Far from it.

According to Politico Henneberger was ousted late last summer from her position as editor of Washington D.C. political watchdog Roll Call after less than a year on the job.

Henneberger tried to spin her sudden departure as a “disagreement with leadership over staff cuts.”

However according to Politico, Henneberger’s “tenure was fraught with staff departure and turnover.”

There’s more.

“There are a lot of problems at CQ Roll Call,” said another source with knowledge of Henneberger’s tenure,” Politico adds. “While many started before Melinda came on, her vision for Roll Call only exacerbated the issues. Traffic on the site fell significantly on her watch, which only led to an even greater emphasis on clicks and less emphasis on Roll Call’s traditional focus of Capitol Hill. In the end, the newsroom was left with a paper without a vision or mission.”

On top of which, “Another source familiar with her tenure said Henneberger was ‘disengaged’ and ‘constantly absent,’” Politico added. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘ALIEN: COVENANT’—Acid-Dripping Beast(s) Shocker!

Director Ridley Scott’s 1979 space-age horror thriller ALIEN ranks as one of the most terrifying sci-fi shockers of all time…

I remember literally jumping out of my seat during THAT scene—you know the one— where the beast bursts out of John Hurt‘s body.

Fast forward to this weekend which has Scott unleashing a second installment of the current ALIEN prequel series.

It’s ALIEN: COVENANT which thankfully is more intent on gripping content than the previous semi-sequel PROMETHEUS turned out to be five years ago.

Here Scott gets back to basics.

And that’s a good thing—even though there could be at least one more prequel in the offing before we reach the actual origin of the 1979 movie.

Confused? Don’t be.

It will all make sense in this edition of the franchise which should answer a lot of questions fans were left with after 2012’s film.

They’ll get those answers now in COVENANT.

This time we find the crew of the spaceship carrying a large number of human embryos in deep freeze mode to a possible better world and future–or something like that.

Along the journey they come across a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, only to discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but that’s really a threat beyond their imagination.

You guessed it; a new encounter with an alien life form that is now forcing the crew of the Covenant into a diabolical fight for survival.

Any nasty critters bursting from humans in this edition, you ask?

Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Sees Royals Glass Half Full

I waited a few weeks to see if the Kansas City Royals could right the ship and…

so far so good!

Kansas City swept Baltimore – a top team in the East – then took three of four from Tampa. Eric Hosmer is back to being his old self, raising his batting average from under .200 in April to .298. Lorenzo Cain is now hitting over .300 and Sal Perez has found his bat with a .283 average. Moose has nine homers and is doing well at the plate – his fielding has been great as well as of late.

So the Royals are now 16-21 – still in last place – but only five games under .500 and 4 1/2 out of first. That’s not where you’d want to be, but hey, it’s a long way from being 10 or more under .500 and on the way to a fire sale of ball players in June.

The $64 million question: Can this team compete for a playoff spot? 

There are two reasonable reasons for hope. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 17 Comments

Hearne: Long, Slow Death Throes Continue @ 18th and Grand

Don’t look now but the inevitable is upon us…

The question being, when and where will it all end where the Kansas City Star is concerned?

When the Star dropped its most recent bombshell – on Monday April 17, 2017 in a front page “Editor’s Note” – the news was both grave and ominous.

As of that moment, Kansas City’s longtime newspaper of record would be making yet more severe cutbacks. They bandaged the bad news by introducing the changes by first noting that there would be three additional pages of coverage every Monday followed by a page of arts and entertainment stories on Tuesdays.

Not bad, eh? More is more.

Not so fast…

Cloaked between that half hearted positive thinking was the raw fact that Thursday’s more than 30 year-old Preview section was going for a dirt nap.


The editors were killing off Preview and what remained of their vaunted FYI section without so much as uttering a few words over their moribund bodies?

True story.

Talk about disingenuous…

How shallow and callous to try to spin the awful truth as if readers either wouldn’t notice the subtractions or might somehow find them palatable based on a few token “additions.”

However that’s the way the game is being played these days – not just at 18th and Grand – but everywhere. Little to no accountability. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher, Uncategorized | Tagged | 21 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Waxes Poetic

As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost a number of my closest friends…

In just the last few weeks I’ve lost my uncle Morton Glazer, a friend I grew up with that was a manager at Stanford’s, Joel Weinberg and another best friends wife.

Which means I have fewer stops to make on holidays to visit relatives because they’ve checked out. Thus my world seems to be growing smaller.

Which makes me wonder what those last thoughts are when we go.

Do those magic moments in life come back in our final memories or is it just the pain of seeing it all end?

My guess is it’s different for each of us.

Yet rich or poor – well known or not – we all face the end of days at some point.

It’s part of life – the end part.

My Uncle, who I loved very much, was an older man, 83. He dropped from a heart attack. He’d been ill the last few years and was lucky to have a great wife at his side to see him to his final days.

Joel Weinberg was in his early 60’s and also had a loving wife to help care for him in his final days.

Most of us work so hard in our daily lives from childhood dreams to sorting out adult issues – trying to make it all matter and count for something.

We all have ‘those magic moments.

Having that Eagle Scott badge planted on our chest or winning a trophy for our team as kids. Those special women we met and dated thinking, “This is as good as it gets.”

Until it wore off and ended in a sad, painful split.

Doing well in business or in our careers – getting that big promotion – or opening that smash hit store. But often those things disappear in time.

As most of you know I had an unusual life. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 17 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Amy Schumer Unfiltered In ‘SNATCHED’

When did so-called chick flick comedies take a sharp turn to the left with heavy doses of sex—and raunchy language?

To my way of thinking it happened six years ago.

BRIDESMAIDS set the stage when Melissa McCarthy and gang potty-mouthed their ways across the screen to huge box office success.

And as time passed things have gotten even raunchier.

Female audiences seem to no longer be offended by the wildest acts or vilest language as long as women – not men – are doing the talking.

Which brings us to SNATCHED, Amy Schumer’s second movie since her very successful debut with TRAINWRECK two years ago.

And while the plotline here is extremely predictable, its execution pushes the envelope in several scenes.

The buddy-adventure comedy has Schumer’s boyfriend dumping her on the eve of a great vacation trip to Ecuador.

Making matters worse, the trip was purchased as a non-refundable package.

Now what? Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 4 Comments

Lefsetz: The Comey Conundrum

My inbox went quiet…

Are we in a constitutional crisis? Is it the end of the world as we know it?  Or is it business as usual?


The internet is de rigueur. Everybody’s got a smartphone. Technologically we’re up to date, but emotionally we haven’t digested the change.

Twenty-odd years ago we would have turned on the TV and been told what was right, by esteemed personages we believed more intelligent and more informed than ourselves.

But now we know most of the talking heads are overpaid wankers and the experts…EVERYBODY’S AN EXPERT NOW! My opinion is as good as theirs, so is yours.

And frighteningly, not a single so-called expert got it right last November.

So is this just an issue of two camps, each in their own silo?

It certainly isn’t about fake news. That’s a canard employed by those who are living in the last century. People have the power of discernment…WHEN THEY WANT TO! However they like reading stories that reinforce their viewpoint. But where did they get said viewpoint to begin with?

There’s been all this talk of the Saturday Night Massacre. And yes, President Nixon had just been reelected, but we’d come off the 1960s, an era of tumult and everything appeared to be up for grabs.

Today however our heroes are Ivy League dropouts who run the internet and billionaires – sometimes the same people. We’ve got so many channels we can afford to cut the cord. The wall fell and communism ended and it was supposed to be clear sailing.

Only it isn’t.

So you flip the channels and hear diametrically opposed views. And this is one crisis wherein the written word does not suffice. We want talking heads. We want live. We want video. We don’t want to read. We’re living it in real time, EXPLAIN IT TO US!

But what they’re not explaining is how we got here.

I’m not talking the 109 days since President Trump took office, but the changes in our country that allowed him to become president.

One thing’s for sure; we’ve got no idea what the temperature of the country will be until there’s another election. Hell, look at France. The good guy won, but the polls were off significantly – it was never that close.

And is this about math? With the Republicans in power, so it’s business as usual?

Is this about carpetbaggers or ineptitude? Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | 29 Comments

Hearne: Feeling Bored, Like Butter on a Pancake? Visit Kansas

Don’t look now but the Great State of Kansas is on a trajectory to nail the distinction of being most boring state in the nation…

While that may not exactly be a shocker to people from places like New York, LA, Chicago or Hawaii, it’s not exactly a spirit lifter for folks from Lawrence, Topeka or Wichita.

Because not only did Kansas not fare well in WalletHub’s recent Most Fun States in America 2017, it staggered into a lowly 43rd place behind New Jersey.

Yep, beat out by New Jersey for crying out loud.

The twin categories that spelled doom for the Jayhawks:

Entertainment and recreation and nightlife.

Which unfortunately makes perfect sense.

Anybody ever confuse Kansas with a vacation destination?

Hey, but don’t take WalletHub’s word for it!

A few years back Kansas made Gawker’s Worst 50 States.

“The geographic center of the U.S. is a flatland with few surprises,” Gawker sniped.

Kansas good points were few and far between; as in two.

KU – “one of the best college towns” and K-State – “apparently a good place to retire young.”

Duly noted.

Now Gawker’s bad points. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Almightiness of Facebook

When was the last time you changed your word processor?

Anybody remember arguing over WordPerfect and WordStar? Maybe you were a fan of the Mac-only WriteNow. But now you just use Word, Apple’s Pages or some notes app. Maybe something built-in – Google Docs, something that is free.

The point being we saw decades of constant evolution, tumult, change, and then it all stopped. Now maybe word processors will be superseded, by collaborative tools like Slack, but you give not a thought to your word processor of choice, assuming you pay at all.

That’s another thing that’s gone by the wayside.

Used to be you needed not only a word processor, but a standalone spell-checker. Then spell-checking and all the rest of the add-ons were baked into the behemoth word processing programs and the little companies disappeared.

Hell, even the little mobile app companies have disappeared. Hell, software in general, the kind you buy, is a moribund field.

Change happens. Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | 7 Comments

Glazer: ‘King of Sting’ Preps for Liftoff

I’m baaaack….

King of Sting director David Jung put some hard work into a killer trailer for the movie project of. my book.

Jung and I wrote a new script for the movie and this is his take on how the it should be promoted via a one minute sizzle of what its about and how it will look.

It’s a fairly new concept in taking a picture to its final level before filming and hiring actors.

Jung has put his agency APA and the film company Mayhem with its partners on board to package the film with top actors to play the lead roles of be and my former partner Don Woodbeck as well as our love interests.

The trailer will be given to actors and their managers and agents so they can quickly see what the picture’s about and how exciting the story and movie will be when filmed.

Mayhem specializes in true stories, including movies like ‘Invincible’ ‘Game Plan’ and ‘Secretariat.’

All of which did well.We signed with Mayhem two years ago and I flew to LA a year ago to work with him on the script and complete the project. The last thing to do is hire the stars. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 29 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Marvel’s ‘Guardians’ to Rule Box Office

It’s that time again…

The season of change from everyday movies to studio tentpoles.

(Translation: Hollywood’s summer movie season is upon us!)

For the past several years that high velocity popcorn timeframe has been ushered in by the latest Marvel Studios offerings including THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN 3 and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Last year’s summer season kicked off exactly one year ago with CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR—and we all remember the kind of blockbuster that one turned out to be.

So why mess with success?

Marvel once again jump-starts the season this weekend by unleashing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY—VOLUME 2.

And believe it or not this sequel ranks right up there with the 2014 original.

The entire gang is back with Chris Pratt as Peter Quill again leading his rag-tag band of alien misfits on their reward seeking mission and intergalactic battles while getting ever closer to learning who his father is.

Enter Kurt Russell as Ego, an eccentric traveler who has created a planet derived from his DNA and, and………. Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger, Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lefsetz: 10th Anniversary iPhone 8

Tech is about utility, not fashion…

And there’s no breakthrough coming, other than a curved screen.

You needed a new phone when they went from 3G to LTE.

You needed a new phone when they increased the screen size.

You no longer need a new phone, especially since the carriers have stopped subsidizing the purchase, now that the true cost is evident.

People drive their cars ever-longer, but analysts believe consumers are all gonna fork over a thousand bucks for a fashion statement?

Not gonna happen.

Otherwise, 3-D TV would have been a juggernaut and you’d be throwing away your present flat screen for one with 4k.

Not that Apple isn’t powerful.

While the fanboys cheered on ever more expensive and less unique products, all power was consolidated in the four horsemen – Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook.

That’s the story here, not the iPhone.

With a beachhead in tech you can get ever-bigger. Hell, Facebook bought Instagram, never mind WhatsApp, and it looks like Snapchat is gonna struggle. Maybe not, but going it alone is nearly impossible these days, because of deep pockets and network effects. Continue reading

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Glazer: Have This Year’s Royals Given Up?

Our Kansas City Royals are baseballs worst team!

With a record of 7-16, they’re in last place with worst record in the majors.

Worse yet, even if they went 20-10 over the next month they would only be maybe .500. And going 20-10 is highly unlikely right now.

The team can’t hit at all with a league low .210 team batting average. The Royals top hitter, Lorenzo Cain is batting just .272.


Core stars like Eric Hosmer is loping along at just .225 with only one home run. Alex Gordon is batting .184, and so on.

It’s ugly.


The answer is simple.

There’s no energy and the players are playing for their future homes and contracts, not to be in KC anymore. There’s just a general lack of interest as a group.

These were the same young excited guys in 2014, and committed players in 2015 that won it all.

Unfortunately it all started falling apart last year with a .500 team and now it’s much worse.  Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 27 Comments

Hearne: Fun & Games @ 18th and Grand Aboard Sinking Ship

Priorities, priorities…

In a testament to how out of it daily newspapers like the Kansas City Star have become, after making huge cuts recently – Thursday’s venerable Preview section and almost all of FYI – the one thing still standing:

A full page and a half of black and white cartoons.

Yep, as the news media of record for KC has withered to a shadow of what it once was, it’s still choking out the holy grail of cartoons, puzzles, horoscopes and obituaries like it’s 1959.

Allow me to explain.

For some reason – a strange one to me – studies seem to indicate newspaper readers simply must have their daily dose of outdated cartoons and the like…

or else!

Honestly, I don’t get it, never quite did.

I mean, you don’t see Fox News or CNN intersplicing cartoons into their programming. Like an Adult Swim or something.

And lord knows, the Star has axed and/or trimmed to the bone just about everything else news related but cartoons, puzzles, horoscopes and obits.

At least the obits are halfway legit.

Although for decades (if not centuries) obituaries passed as actual news. That is, until belt tightening in the ’90s lead to hawking them to loved ones as paid ads.

Thus in lieu of fielding a news section columnist a la Art Brisbane (or even Mike Hendricks for crying out loud) – instead of serving up a colorful, diverse accounting of people, places and things going on around town similar to my column (highest read in the Star for most of 16 years) – readers get a you-know-what load of cartoons like Dennis the Menace, Family Circus, Beetle Bailey and Blondie.

I can’t even believe I’m typing those names in 2017. Continue reading

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Hearne: Bleacher Report Gives Chiefs QB Draft Pick Low Marks

We interrupt this local media hoopla day to bring a dose of stark skepticism…

While the Chiefs startling, aggressive move to spend a 1st round draft pick on Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes was certainly – let’s call it – refreshing,

Talk about God’s gift to local sportswriters and sports talk radio.

That said, Bleacher Report analyst Mike Tanier provided a more sobering overview.

Unlike Kansas City Star sports scribe Sam Mellinger who’s front page headline commentary was headlined “spectacular” and “smart,” Bleacher Report was far more critical.

“Mahomes is Brett Favre-like in the way the neighborhood teenager throwing rocks from the sidewalk and breaking windows of the old abandoned warehouse is Brett Favre-like: You love the arm but question the judgment,” Tanier writes. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 18 Comments

Glazer: Scribe a Little Giddy Over Chiefs 1st Round QB Pick

The last time the Chiefs picked a quarterback in the first round was Todd Blackledge in 1983…

Blackledge was picked at No 7 and was a total flop. A couple years before that they chose quarterback Steve Fuller in 1979 – another bust.

And for the next nearly 40 years the Chiefs have made a living taking quarterbacks from other teams – veteran players for the most part on their down side.

A few of them worked out; like Joe Montana, Steve Deberg and Trent Green. Oh, and now Alex Smith.

KC was able to field a winning team often during the regular season with those QBs with many playoff chances.

The problem: close but no cigar – no Super Bowls – and only mild glory. 

Only Montana was able to take KC to an AFC title game, which we lost to Buffalo in 1994.

The latest:

In a draft day shocker the Chiefs traded up to the 10th spot on, giving up several draft picks to Cleveland and took Texas Tech‘s Patrick Mahomes.

Deshaun Watson was also available, but John Dorsey and Andy Reid were in love with Mahomes the GUNSLINGER. Watson would go several picks latter to Houston.

Mahomes was named as a top 5 quarterback along with Mitch Tribisky, who went No. 2 to the Chicago Bears.

Ah but Kansas City wanted Patrick over everyone from the start.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Lefsetz: The Conundrum That Is Twitter

Twitter Results are being misjudged…

Tomorrow the short-messaging social network will reveal its numbers and the analysts will gasp, the pundits will swoon, and everybody will say that Twitter needs to be fixed.

But that’s not the truth at all.

By Wall Street standards Twitter’s a diving joke. A company that’s hit a financial wall with no obvious upside.

By cultural standards it’s a juggernaut, far exceeding the impact of Facebook and Snapchat, even Instagram.

How can this be?

You see our nation has gone topsy-turvy, it’s all about the money.

It’s ruined the arts and it’s ruining business. If you’re not making a ton of dough and increasing the number every quarter you’re falling behind, out of the conversation. And yes, an entity needs cash flow to survive, but how much? And isn’t impact more important than money, especially when it comes to changing the conversation?

Look at Tesla.

Anemic by automobile standards, gargantuan regarding impact, it took the electric car off the shelf and put it back into the conversation.

But Tesla’s stock is through the roof, for now anyway, defying all realistic fundamentals. Let’s focus instead on BMW, which has lost the sales crown to Mercedes-Benz.

BMW is a juggernaut of innovation. Do you think we’d see all those features in Hondas and Chevys if it weren’t for the bleeding edge developers? Of course not!

Not that automobiles are a perfect analogy.

The point being, someone has got to lead. Someone has to move the conversation forward and that all happens on Twitter. Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | Tagged | 3 Comments