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David Poland

By David Poland

And so…. Summer Begins

Are you in a rush to see xXx: State of the Nation or The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy?

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29 Responses to “And so…. Summer Begins”

  1. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    it hurts to see how much they missed the marketing boat with HGTG – the tv spots are bloody dreadful. Remember when you first read the story or saw the TV show or heard the radio play as a kiddie and you instantly thought about how you’d feel being whisked away on the ultimate intergalactic adventure. These TV spots don’t even attempt to get this universal appeal across to the key demographic.. its all empty whizz bang booms.. that can’t compare to SITH.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    As far as I’m concerned, this is still Spring…neither of these movies are going to make the breakthrough money that we have come to associate with the first week of Summer, a la Van Helsing/X2/Spider-Man etc. This year summer begins with Episode III…which is as it should be. I foresee no movie opening to more than 35 million until then.

  3. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    Well it’s opening nearly 3 mths earlier but I also don’t think a early 30s weekend is out of the question since the first did 44m. Don’t underestimate the Cube and the monster ancillary aud of the first pic.

  4. Brett B says:

    All I know is that I’ll be seeing H2G2 tonight and I don’t plan on ever seeing XXX2. And to agree with the doctor from above, it is nearly painful to see the ads for this film on tv. I love the books so much, and I think the film would have potentially much greater success if they had ads that reflected the kind of humor that makes the guide so appealing. Instead it just looks like a lame PG-rated sci-fi adventure story.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    XXX is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and XXX2 looks even worse. I’ll never see it. And HGTG just doesn’t interest me. The reviews I’ve read don’t convince me that I’ll miss much if I don’t see it. Boring weekend. Kingdom of Heaven could open to more than $35 million.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m not particularly excited about either movie. I think Hitchhiker missed a real oppurtunity to open big. In the few clips I have seen with the Robot voiced by Alan Rickman, it was hilarious. Why was it not played up more? I will probably see both movies eventually, but I am more interested in seeing the Enron movie tonight when it opens here in Toronto.

  7. bicycle bob says:

    lets just say. no.

  8. jesse says:

    Hitchhiker’s! I think the opening-day audience for it will be sizable– c’mon, what nerds and/or sci-fi fans aren’t going to go?
    I admit I’m curious about XXX2, though I hated the first one. It looks sillier but a lot less toolish (no Vin Diesel yelling “start thinkin’ Playstation!” in the middle of a shoot-out). But I already have tickets to Hitchhiker’s, and will see XXX2 on Saturday if I’m bored. The latter really seems like more of a drive-in movie (there are still a ton of drive-ins in my native upstate NY, but, of course, not so much in NYC, where I liev now, or even Westchester County!).
    I don’t see Kingdom of Heaven doing over 40. Maybe 30something. Then again, I think all of the pre-Star Wars May movies have a shot at doing decent, if unspectacular business. Kingdom of Heaven, House of Wax, Kicking and Screaming, Unleashed, and Monster-in-Law… that’s a decent amount of product/audience diversity, even if I’m only excited for Unleashed.

  9. Joe Straat says:

    My housemates will probably get me to go to Hitchhikers since they’re huge fans and I hardly see movies in theaters any more, since they get cold feet on everything I want to see. Guess I’m going rogue for Kingdom of Heaven….

  10. Matt P. says:

    I saw a sneak of Hitchhiker’s the other day and I came away even more perplexed. Is it a good movie? Yeah, pretty good. Nothing revolutionary, but funny.
    Never read the book, but based on the early previews I thought it looked like a Galaxy Quest-MIB type movie.
    Coming out of it, it has more the tones of MIB, but feels very 1980s. The villians in the flick are done by the Henson Compant, which was a welcome surprise, and done well. The problem is, they feel like something Henson did for the Dark Crystal, Witches or Labrynth. It’s like the something from a bygone era.
    I think they go for the Rickman comedic beats one too many times. Once was very funny, twice was funny, 10 times was just wearing out its welcome.
    There are other concerns I have about it’s connection to audiences. It’s rated PG but never feels like a “kids movie” at all. The humor is adult and so are the characters. There’s no cursing or violence per se, it just would all go over a normal kids head. It’s too “British witty” for them and probably middle America. A small handful of people were walking out of the screening with about 40 minutes to go.
    Many times, you could hear the forced guffaw of a from the audience of someone who sounded like he read the punchline before. The hardcores will go. I’m not sure who else will.
    I know I sound picky here but I want to say overall I liked it. I just didn’t love it.

  11. hatchling says:

    Count me out. I have no idea what Hitchhiker is about, as I guess I’m not the targeted insider audience. I saw a preview and am just as perplexed as before. As for xXx…are you kidding? I’d drink liquid Draino first.
    I’m waiting for Kingdom to open next week. In the meantime, I’ll go see one of the indies that have opened in my area. Walk on Water looks interesting.

  12. L&DB says:

    As the only person here to admit that Xzibit being
    in XXX2, is enough to get me to see the flick (Pimp
    My Ride rules). I have to side with what Poland
    said in yesterdays Hot Button. It’s a big stupid
    action flick. Time to have fun watching Scott
    Speedman act along side Sam Jackson. HOOAH!
    The problems with the Hitchhiker’s ad campaign absolutely
    baffles me. I have no idea how people could want
    more from those ads. They sell it as a big space
    sage through the viewpoint of a totally normal guy.
    There you go. And I have never read the books,
    heard the radio serial, TV show, nor have I played
    the video game. Which surprising featured a rather
    difficult puzzle. Go figure.
    I would conjecture; if you go see all this other shit
    but not the HHGTTG. You just do not have any sense
    of adventure. Again, that is just my conjecture
    on my part.

  13. teambanzai says:

    I’m going to see hitchikers tonight, XXX can bite me, is there anything in this film that isn’t CGI and Sam Jackson is a great actor but how can he criticize rappers for muttering the craft of acting when he does crap like this?

  14. Dan R% says:

    HGTG or XXX2 or nice day outside?
    Ah, what am I thinking? Yeah, HGTG for sure!

  15. L&DB says:

    Team, Sam L just lives by the Ben Affleck rule of
    acting: “First you make the money picture. Then you
    make the small picture.” You see. It all evens

  16. Dark says:

    If you check moviefone … HHGTG ranks first (for a mere THREE weeks or so). Runners up are Monster in Law (*cough*), Interpreter, XXX2 and SW3. XXX2 will TANK (15m) and HHGTG is goin for a 27m opening. But what do I know, not coming from the US of A?

  17. Chester says:

    Cough all you want at “Monster in Law,” but early reports say it is tracking through the roof. Preview audiences have said it is MUCH better than it looks and that Jane Fonda’s performance is an unexpectedly real hoot. The only question left is whether the movie can approach “Meet the Fockers” numbers. (I doubt it.)

  18. bicycle bob says:

    tracking thru the roof? this is a j lo movie. they don’t track thru anything

  19. Mark says:

    I’m interested in Hitchhiker. I think this one is going to surprise people.

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    bi-bob, Monster-In-Law (which looks awful IMO) is tracking through the roof. People who’ve seen it say Fonda is hilarious and that the movie delivers. Not enough to get me to see it, but don’t be surprised if it’s a pretty big hit. Does Samuel L. Jackson really do one for them and then one for himself? Seems like it’s more like 10 for them, then one for me. What small movies has he done lately other than the terrible In My Country?

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    By the way, anyone read Kevin Thomas’s review of XXX2? Is he on crack?

  22. Joe Straat says:

    Is Kevin Thomas ever NOT on crack?

  23. NonStarter says:

    Jeffery Boam’s Doctor.
    Few things–
    1. You’re one of the few people to have watched the show or read the book in America. There’s 18 of them, all white guys over the age of 30 who have a hard time getting off the couch. And as you can tell from the above comments, it didn’t matter what was in those ads–if they consider themselves “fans” they are going to go.
    2. Weird British humor does not play to mass American audiences.
    3. There’s only been one sci-fi comedy that has opened and that was powered by Will Smith. Are you daft enough to think that Sam Rockwell is Will Smith? Or that a childish looking Robot compares?
    I think Hitchhikers is going to open just fine. Not huge, but enough to be #1. I don’t know for sure why the TV spots looked like that, but frankly, I don’t know what they would have done.
    Should they have sold it like Galaxy Quest and have opened to $10 million dollars?

  24. KamikazeCamel says:

    “tracking thru the roof? this is a j lo movie. they don’t track thru anything”
    Biased much? Sure, J.Lo is annoying lately, but when she gets the right material she can actually be good (see, Selena and The Cell as prime examples) and Monster-in-Law actually looks kinda fun. I know I wanna see Jane Fonda ruin Jennifer Lopez’s life. And Jane Fonda is sitting pretty for a Globe Musical/Comedy nomination. I know it’s early, but these populist movies always sneak in a nod or two.
    I saw Hitchhiker’s last night and, well, it’s kinda shithouse. The sets and special effects are good and there’s some good acting going on (specially Sam Rockwell and Alan Rickman’s voice) but it seriously wears out it’s welcome. It perfectly bizarre for a while and then it’s just like “…so… what now?” It’s too long (for someone who hasn’t read the book), dull, unfunny (there’s some great lines and the scenes of the book are great, but overall… it was too dry) and just plain old boring.
    I’d much rather watch the original Star Wars again, which I really dislike doing yet have done way too many times for my liking.
    Never-the-less, I loved the feel of the movie. Like, the retro feel with the puppets and sets and such. But, yeah, whoa – boring.
    I don’t see many people who haven’t read the book liking this, to be honest.
    And xXx2 looks god-awful. Is this eligable for Best Animated Feature at next year’s Oscars?

  25. KamikazeCamel says:

    I’ve also noticed that you have called it “xXx: State of the Nation”
    …in Australia at least, they’re calling it “xXx 2: The Next Level”

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    Out of Sight is J Lo’s best performance.

  27. Stella's Boy says:

    Friday estimates from showbizdata:
    XXX: STATE OF THE UNION – $4.4 million
    INTERPRETER – $4.2 million
    AMITYVILLE HORROR – $2.6 million
    A LOT LIKE LOVE – $1.7 million
    SAHARA – $1.6 million
    FEVER PITCH – $1.1 million
    KUNG FU HUSTLE – $1 million
    GUESS WHO – $700,000
    SIN CITY – $600,000

  28. KamikazeCamel says:

    I knew I was forgetting a movie of her’s! Out of Sight was great.

  29. TheBrotherhoodOfTheLostSkeletonOfCadavra says:

    The reason for the “State of the Union” subtitle is that the film’s climax takes place while the President is giving that particular speech. Since that term has no meaning outside the U.S., they went with “The Next Level” elsewhere.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

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