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David Poland

By David Poland

Apology Of The Weak

Howdy, y’all…
I’m in Champagne-Urbana now. Roger Ebert has returned to the Steak-n-Shake… Guy Maddin has me thinking in black and white… the guys from Murderball continue to travel endlessly… Zupan doesn’t dig Tati and showed up by walking out of the screening last night before going out and wearing the party out of UIUC…
As for Palm Beach… well, not there anymore…
I am getting too old to work as relentlessly as I worked just a few years ago… I’d apologize, but working that relentlessly was somewhat insane…
I look forward to the summer starting in earnest. Movies, movies, movies…

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76 Responses to “Apology Of The Weak”

  1. L&DB says:

    Wow. You are travelling your arse off there Poland.
    At least you ended up at a great film festival. But
    it begins next week. The fun part of a moviegoing
    year. Funtimes. Funtimes.

  2. Martin says:

    Poor guy has to go to Park City, then Bermuda, then Palm Beach to watch movies. It’s a tough life.

  3. ray Pride says:

    Just so long as you didn’t pack the Wrong Trousers.

  4. Mark says:

    Too old to hangout in Palm Beach and talk about movies??? Rough life.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    You mean, hang out in Palm Beach and talk about studio executives, which is all that Dave seems to be interested in lately.

  6. KamikazeCamel says:

    wow, the Poland bashing started early in this thread!

  7. bicycle bob says:

    why can’t these festival things be in better places than palm beach, sundance, hollywood, etc? for davids sake and the sake of all other journalists who live a tough life?

  8. KamikazeCamel says:

    Who knew that this was actually Dave Poland’s blog and that he could express his own thoughts on it? IT BOGGLES THE MIND.

    At university the other day we had a guest speaker who works as a freelance journo and she was saying that the most annoying question she gets asked occurs when she comes back from overseas (she’s a sports writer so she goes overseas to view sports games and the like) and her friends always ask “How was ______” and she always replies “I don’t know. I was working”

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Kaz Camel: How true, how true. You tell folks that, however, and you find they have little sympathy. Indeed, they don’t seem sorry at all when you tell them about all those times at Sundance when you were waiting in the snow at a shuttle bus stop, and you suddenly discovered (the hard way) that your boots really weren’t waterproof.

  10. Terence D says:

    I have little sympathy but great admiration for Dave working in great locations and doing what he loves to do. He is living the dream. Congrats!

  11. David Poland says:

    Don’t get me wrong… I feel very fortunate to have my life… the thing that irks me is that the amount of productivity in these periods has dropped and I am, essentially, embarrassed.
    I do appreciate the support… and even the sarcasm. But this was meant as an apology, not a complaint or a request for sympathy.

  12. White Label says:

    “Zupan doesn’t dig Tati and showed up by walking out of the screening last night before going out and wearing the party out of UIUC”
    I hope that this was an expression, as from what I recall Zupan doesn’t have much mobility in his legs. And I guess that shows who they feel is a bigger Murderball star as the Minneapolis-St. Paul Int’l Film Fest had Joe Soares last weekend for the closing night gala and Ebert gets Zupan. Soares will be pissed.

  13. David Poland says:

    Soares was here for the Murderball screening too…
    And given the lack of handicap with which Zupan lives, the walkout felt like a walkout, even without working legs…

  14. Mark says:

    Since this is a downtime for movies, (lets face it, what has opened since january?), you get a free pass.

  15. L&DB says:

    But this weekend will answer the question Poland
    posed way back in March; “Ashton Who?” Very
    interesting indeed.

  16. Chester says:

    The question is answered. It’s semi-official: Ashton’s newest appears to be “A Lot Like a Dud.” It came in third on Friday behind “The Interpreter” and “The Amityville Horror,” with less than $3 million worth of business (compared to about $7.5 million for “The Interpreter”). Despite some heavy promotion and a fair number of surprisingly positive reviews, it isn’t even doing as well as last month’s “Guess Who.” (Anyone still doubt the Bernie Mac/urban-audience influence on that film’s success?) Looks like we won’t have to suffer through the promised Calvin Klein freak show – nor, I hope, any more debates about Kutcher’s B.O. appeal and drawing power.
    I feel bad for Amanda Peet, though. She’s sexy, genuinely talented (she’s gotten rave reviews for her current stint Off-Broadway with Ben Stiller in Neil LaBute’s new play), has done a lot of good work on film, and this may be the final nail in the coffin for her movie career. Whoever her manager is has completely dropped the ball. With the right material, IMHO she absolutely had the potential to be another Julia Roberts.

  17. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m not so sure. There’s always been something about Amanda Peet that’s been a little off-putting — well, OK, a LOT off-putting — for some guys. She’s not my type (frankly, I think I have ties older than her), but I’ve also heard from fellows closer to her demographic that she comes off as too hard-edged, too brittle… and mind you, those are the POLITE terms I’ve heard used. (Ball-buster is one of the less polite terms.) I thot she was exceptional in “Changing Lanes,” but perhaps altogether too convincing for her own good in “Whipped.”

  18. Martin says:

    Amanda Peet basically won the lottery by even being chosen to act across Kutcher. And $9 mill for this film is not a disaster, I really doubt it cost that much. As far as I can tell, this is the only legit semi-hit of her career outside of the freakish hit status that Nine Yards achieved. Personally I think she’s kinda hot in a goofy way and a decent actress, but she aint box office, and in fact may be box office poison.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    Poison? Maybe. You know, I sometimes wonder how many people who are sold to us as “stars” actually are quite UNAPPEALING to huge chunks of the moviegoing audience. For reasons that, IMHO, aren’t entirely fair, I know some people out there (including a few critics) have a reflexive contempt for Alec Baldwin, Richard Gere… and, come to think of it, Julia Roberts.

  20. Chester says:

    Martin, Oh yeah, the opportunity to act opposite Kutcher in a romantic comedy is a real actress’ jackpot. Just look at the soaring careers of Brittany Murphy, Tara Reid and Amy Smart, all of whom have been punk’d and branded for life simply for ever being his co-stars. And when was the last time an opening weekend gross of under $10 million qualified as “a legit semi-hit” for a wide release? Maybe in 1998, not 2005.
    As far as Amanda Peet’s appeal goes, I get what you and Joe are saying, but, like Joe said, I’ve certainly heard many of the same things over the years about Julia Roberts. (She’s not “America’s Sweetheart” in everybody’s eyes.) I still maintain that Peet’s problem has mostly been with her career management and trajectory. She never should have been lumped together with the “brat pack-ish stars du jour,” and has too many movies like this one and “Saving Silverman” on her resume. If her career was handled more like Reese Witherspoon’s, Peet might be in a whole different realm by now.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey, what makes an actress appealing (or f*able, to be crass) is so subjective as to defy rational measurement or explanation. (I have a lesbian friend who hates Julia Roberts simply because “her lips are too big.” Excuse me, but I’m not going there.)But it strikes me that everytime some critic or commentator anounces that this or that actress is hot, hot, HOT — well, nine times out of ten, he/she is talking about someone who, five years down the road, will be doing long-form TV and/or direct-to-video flix. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have respect for the woman as an actress, but what the hell ever happened to Jill Clayburgh’s career after “An Unmarried Woman”? And what about all the talented babes who were co-starring with Freddie Prinze Jr. not so long agao?

  22. Chester says:

    I’m in total agreement, Joe. And although I happen to like Peet, I can certainly see that she’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
    As for Jill Clayburgh, she’s a prime example of someone who was the right actress at the right time, but that time period was particular and brief, and a lot of her work hasn’t held up that well. I remember finding “An Unmarried Woman” to be utterly compelling when it came out in the ’70s, but I recently saw it on cable for the first time since and it was pretty excruciating.
    Speaking of careers that were lightning-hot flashes in the pan, what the hell happened to Chris Tucker? Not one acting job since Rush Hour 2, not even any voiceover work. Is he in recovery somewhere?

  23. Martin says:

    I believe Mr. Tucker is busy spending the $20 mill. he has deposited into his bank account every four years. He has said on many occasions he doesn’t want to work on something that may not be a hit. Next up: Rush Hour 3.

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    I’d say $9 million is an OK opening for A Lot Like Love. Not great, not a disaster. As for Peet, it all depends on the movie. I think she did excellent work in Igby Goes Down and I liked her in Identity. I think Reese Witherspoon is overrated. Yes, she’s great in Election, but what about since then?

  25. L&DB says:

    Again, Ashton, proved WHO sold Guess Who. I hope he
    does not get any props this time around because this
    film shows his true marketability. It also shows
    who carried Guess Who, and I hope someone gives a
    little dap Bernie Mac in the near future.
    But a question should be asked; who sold the
    Interpreter to the people? Kidman or the man who
    needs a personality upgrade, Penn?

  26. Chester says:

    I suspect what sold “The Interpreter” was the well-packaged synergy of the stars, director and genre. While I haven’t seen it yet, it comes across as a very classy piece of work even though quite a few of the reviews found it too tepid for a thriller. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up at the box office next weekend.

  27. Chester says:

    Stella, even if $9 million is an OK opening, to me the main thing is that it ain’t enough to bump up Kutcher’s rep or his asking price. I can pretty much guarantee that his agent is running calls at this very moment, desperately trying to package Ashton and Demi into something before it’s too late. For some precedent, see Freddie Prinze Jr. as well as Bennifer.

  28. KamikazeCamel says:

    1. If “A Lot Like Love” was a comedy aimed at teenage boys then L&DB would have a definite point but it’s a romantic comedy that had some bad advertising and arrived THE WEEK BEFORE the official Summer season starts.
    2. I think The Interpreter has succeeded because it looks like an adult thriller that adults will actually like. It doesn’t look controversial in any way and it stars recognisable actors that are respected and is directed by Pollack who a lot of old audiences probably know. Plus, I’m not sure on this, but I’m sure it got some decent write-ups in papers and magazines that aren’t targeted at teenagers.
    3. King’s Ransom may not even make the top 10. HI L&DB’S RACE THEORY!!!!
    4. Kung-Fu Hustle looks like it will make around $7mil for a Top 5 spot. Good or should have been better?

  29. bulldog68 says:

    I have never thought that Ashton Kutcher’s fan base extended beyond the MTV audience. He has always been a bit player, and with the exception of The Butterfly Effect, plays essentially the same character in all of his movies.
    Guess Who was a great marketing mix, as it brought in the urban audience and the rest of the gang who wanted to see more white meets black comedy shtick.
    A lot like love failed because it looks like a boring ass movies. It’s like Before Sunrise/Sunset for dummies. A 9million weekend is not want the studio hoped for. They hoped that they were catching Ashton on the rise.
    As for Amanda Peet, she works well with better material. She’s an actress who can rise to the occasion but I think that Chester is right, ‘too many saving silvermans on her resume.’ If she gets work with better directors and keeps on getting parts in films like Something’s Gotta Give, Identity and does not have to be cute or a goofball, she could go far.
    Interpreter was sold as the first quality film since the oscar season closed, and the pulic bought it. Have’nt seen it but Nicole/Sean/Sydney is a sellable package. If it had opend to any less they would have really dropped the ball. Week 2 holds all the answers to whether they people continue to buy or we just want to see shit blown up.
    I say Hitchhiker opens to about 32million with a 110million eventual gross. I think that it’s just off center enough to find an audience. What do you say guys?

  30. L&DB says:

    King’s Ransom had very little advertising Camel.
    Folks will go see a movie, but folks know when
    something is shite. My hypothesis still works, but
    disagree all you want. Ashton Kutcher pretty
    much has been proven to be just another b-level
    star. I am glad he got knocked now a notch this
    weekend. Plus, CK can save money! A WIN WIN!

  31. Martin says:

    Theres no way in hell Hitchhikers will make over 30 mill this weekend. If it does half that the studio will be ecstatic.

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    To tie a couple of dangling threads together: Maybe some people (not a lot, perhaps, but some) went to see “Guess Who” because they’re enchanted by Zoe Saldana, a very talented, very promising, very beautiful young actress who previously graced “Drumline” and “The Terminal.” Oddly enough, however, I’m not reading a lot of stories about how Zoe is a hot, hot, HOT newcomer who should be getting all kinds of scripts tossed her way. Gee, you don’t think the lack of attention has anything to do with her being black, do you? Perish the thought. Like, I’m sure blackness has had nothing to do with Angela Bassett (one of the hottest babes alive) not getting all the work she deserves. I’m sure AB’s just picky. Yeah, that’s right, she’s just picky.

  33. Martin says:

    What that chick even in any ads for the film? I saw a bunch of trailers and tv spots and all I remember are Ashton and Mac, the rest were wallpaper.

  34. Lota says:

    I think Peet showed some charm & humor & promise in “She’s the One” but most of her characters have limited range since then and I don’t see any animal magnetism off her, although I suppose that’s because I’m not a guy. She also should have left her teeth alone and not had them fixed, now she looks like everybody else.
    A Lot like Love was a lot like TEPID. Dull.

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    First of all, the opening of A Lot Like Love does not prove that Bernie Mac opened Guess Who. Second, Chester, believe me, I am not losing any sleep over the mediocre opening of Kutcher’s latest masterpiece. The sooner he goes away, the better.

  36. jeremy says:

    Part of me thinks HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE will be doing well to reach a $32 million domestic total. It’s a cerebral HUDSON HAWK — which, to me, is a good thing, ‘cuz I like HH, though I’m kinda in the minority on that one — with no stars and an uncertain ad campaign. If you’re not well-acquainted with the novel, you’ll be lost.

  37. Joe Leydon says:

    To go back to the original posting: I fully realize that David can get so swept away by the festival circuit that he can’t post as often as he’d like. But could I humbly request that, when he does know he’ll be away for a while, he temporarily turn the blog over to someone else, and let him/her post up-to-date conversation starters? Because, as you can tell by this thread, sometimes we wind up going off on tangents because there’s nothing new to respond to. Just a sugestion. And, no, I’m not volunteering for the gig.

  38. Stella's Boy says:

    I think that is a good idea Joe. Then someone could, say, post something about early box office numbers if David doesn’t have the time.

  39. Chester says:

    You’re absolutely right, Stella. The stink-o gross of “A Lot Like Love” (below $8 million and ranking 4th on its opening weekend) does not prove that Bernie Mac was the driving force behind the “Guess Who” bonanza. But it is extremely powerful evidence that either Ashton Kutcher had almost nothing to do with it or that his performance there drove audiences away from this one.

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    I think Guess Who had a lot more studio support than A Lot Like Love. I could be wrong, but in terms of seeing the trailer before other movies as well as TV spots, I saw a ton more of Guess Who. And though I have zero desire to see either one because of Kutcher’s presence, I’d rather see Guess Who. It looks like the better of the two. Maybe that had a lot to do with the performance of each movie. Even Kutcher’s fans won’t pay to see something that looks really awful (though somehow A Lot Like Love managed some decent reviews).

  41. bulldog68 says:

    One surprise this weekend is the VERY LOW box office dip for The Amityville horror. Breathing further life into the remake genre, why make a new film when you can remake an old one and make a shitload of money.
    Sin city, a much better reviewed film fell by 60% in it’s 2nd weekend. Do you guys have any thoughts on whether TMH’s small drop speaks the audiene’s percieved quality of the film or is this just as they say in the Martix, “an anomoly?”
    Also earlier, I pegged Hitchhiker at doing 32M opening weekend, wihtout considering that XXX2 is also opening. I’d like to revise that a bit and perhaps knock off about 12-15m or so. Do you think the studio chose a wrong weekend to open Hitchhiker, as XXX2 will draw upon some the same audience?

  42. Stella's Boy says:

    Considering that horror movies almost always drop 50% or more their second weekend, and that Amityville Horror is just as shitty as most horror flicks, I am surprised that it held up so well. Michael Bay already has a remake of The Hitcher in the works. Big shocker. I’m not sure what weekend would have been a better choice for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. May is pretty crowded.

  43. KamikazeCamel says:

    “Also earlier, I pegged Hitchhiker at doing 32M opening weekend, wihtout considering that XXX2 is also opening. I’d like to revise that a bit and perhaps knock off about 12-15m or so. Do you think the studio chose a wrong weekend to open Hitchhiker, as XXX2 will draw upon some the same audience?”
    i love that. Somebody here actually thought for themselves but then just takes it back and goes with what everyone else is saying. Competition barely factors in at all lately. Last year The Incredibles and The Polar Express opened 1 week apart and neither were hindered. All the recent horror movies opening lately haven’t hindered each other, so I doubt XXX2 and Hitchhikers will hinder each other. If Hitchhiker’s (or XXX2 for that matter) fail to do big business you can’t really blame the other one, specially considering they’re two completely different movies. One a British sci-fi book adaptation and the other a US big loud dumb action movie staring Ice Cube.
    The Amityville Horror’s (quite remarkable, considering) hold should be noted as a very rare occurance. Although Michael Bay’s horror movies are becoming known for having decent legs. If Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released one week later than it was it’s hold would have been excellent for a horror movie. Instead, it fell 49% in its second week and 25% in its third (Halloween).
    But I still wanna know if people view Kung Fu Hustle’s gross of $7mil a disappointment?
    And, yeah, A Lot Like Love doesn’t prove that Bernie Mac was the reason for Guess Who’s success just like Mr. 3000 doesn’t prove it was all Ashton. Can we just admit that it was the mixture of the two actors AND THE FILM ITSELF. It may not have been any good but it was what a lot of people wanted to see.
    And, yes, Zoe Saldana is great. She was the only great thing in The Terminal (apart from the sets). Love to see her in more stuff, personally…

  44. bicycle bob says:

    i think u can blame it on the curse of amanda peet. she could be in episode three and it would tank

  45. Ben Grimm says:

    Meanwhile, Ebertfest was great and it was fun seeing Mr. Poland in person… although it made me wonder just how old the photo on his main page is….

  46. CadavraOnTheRoad says:

    I happen to rather like Peet–that creepiness is kind of part of her appeal–but there’s no question she’s got the worst taste in scripts since Halle Berry. Still, considering how many talented actresses can’t even get arrested in this biz, that she continues to get work in spite of her track record indicates that whatever she does have is not going unnoticed.
    As for Kutcher, he’s basically the gentile Ben Stiller–someone who’s lucky enough to end up in extremely commercial projects and then manages to translate that into “heat.” (Really, now, does anyone believe for a second that Stiller’s the reason FOCKERS made half a billion?) GUESS WHO could have starred Ving Rhames and Tom Welling and the grosses would have been exactly the same. Like Prinze, Kutcher’s clock is ticking…
    And as for KUNG FU HUSTLE: they spent a bloody fortune on TV and newspaper, and they ended up with a $6.5 mill opening. They’re gonna hafta sell one hell of a lot of DVDs to dig out of that hole.

  47. jesse says:

    Cadavra, I think the Kutcher/Stiller comparison makes sense… up to a point. I don’t agree that GUESS WHO could’ve starred Rhames and Welling and made the same amount. No way. Kutcher and Mac may not be huge stars, but they are brand names, and the movie was sold largely on recognition of their personas.
    Similarly, Stiller movies are often sold on the familiar Stiller persona, and of course he’s not box office the way Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson is box office. But that’s not to say he can be replaced in a snap, that he’s doing shtick that anyone else could sell. I don’t think you can look at Stiller’s 2004 cash machine (Along Came Polly, Starsky & Hutch, Dodgeball, Meet the Fockers — only Envy stalled, and that was poorly promoted and clearly a dumper) and say he’s not the reason. He may not be the *only* reason, but it’s that mix of right stars, right material… and he’s one of the stars (even if the material, as with Polly and Fockers, in fact sucks; it’s the “right” material for audiences).
    I’m seeing, in recent years, a lot of stars that are HUGE … in their “main” genre. Mainly this seems to happen with comedians. Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, and Ben Stiller are big money in comedies (and maybe familiy films, in the case of Carrey). Not so much in dramas or more challenging work (not the way that Tom Hanks can get a hitman movie to $100 million). Sandler in a broad or romantic comedy is $120 million in the bank. Stiller in a broad or romantic comedy is $80 million or so in the bank (at the moment, anyway). Kutcher isn’t quite there yet, but I bet if A Lot Like Love (which I haven’t seen, don’t plan on seeing, and, to be honest, would be most likely to see for Amanda Peet, who can be very funny, and/or her ass) had a bunch more slapstick, more in the “Just Married” vein, he could’ve gotten it to profitability.
    My point is: He’s a niche star (mostly teenage girls), yes, but so are most stars these days.

  48. Terence D says:

    Say what you want about him but Kutcher is a movie star. He gets people in the seats. It’ll just be interesting to see if he gets better material to work with. Or what his first action flick will be.

  49. GdB says:

    Wasn’t Kung-Fu Hustle only made for 5 million? And did they really spend a fortune on P&A? Or did they just flood P&A on the coasts? I don’t think this film will have a hard time seeing profit. Even though it’s not killing at the theatres, it’s already got the “cult” vibe thing going.

  50. Stella's Boy says:

    Kung Fu Hustle has already made over $60 million abroad. Kutcher doesn’t deserve better material. He doesn’t have the talent for it. He is a one-trick-pony. A male Sandra Bullock.

  51. GdB says:

    Bottom Line: Kung Fu Hustle rocked hard. I am very impressed with Steven Chow.

  52. jesper says:

    what abought Cannes, David ? we need YOU there !

  53. Mark says:

    One thing I will guarantee is that Kutcher will see better material. He is getting the best scripts right now. He is getting first look on every role for a male between 25-35. Its really up to him now. Curious to see how he plays it.

  54. Stella's Boy says:

    Mark, please satisfy my curiosity. How do you know that Kutcher is getting “the best scripts right now?” And specifically what scripts are they? What roles for actors between the ages of 25-35 are you speaking of? I would really like to know. Why would you be curious as to how he plays it? He has no talent to speak of, save for being a moron.

  55. Martin says:

    I don’t think that Kutcher’s career is in a bad place now because of this movie, if he had a decent leading lady the flick would’ve done good $$. I mean, Tara Reid and Amanda Peet? WTF were the casting director’s smoking? Not to say I wouldn’t bang both of em, hard, but they’re not exactly money in the bank. As far as Kung Fu Hustle, $7 mill. seemed decent to me until I saw the # of screens it was on, and it did fairly poor #’s per screen, very low for an opening weekend and hardly sellouts. So yeah, for the theater owners it had to be a disappointment, as well as the studio that booked it.

  56. GdB says:

    Theatre owners never make any money of B.O. anyways. That’s why you get high concession prices and commercials.
    I still have a feeling this movie wasn’t pushed very much in between the coasts. Plus, it is essentially a foreign language violent comedy. Part of me says that’s hard to market, another part of me (who loves the movie)says it’s a no brainer. Thoughts?

  57. Joe Leydon says:

    I don’t know if this counts for much, but I saw MASSIVE lobby displays for “Kung Fu Hustle” during recent days in theaters in Nashville and Houston. And I know there were national TV spots. Makes me wonder: Could the success of “Hero” be attributed to great marketing AND the presence of a crossover star (Jet Li)?

  58. LordEnigma says:

    No, I think Here had a great deal of help due to
    the “QUENTIN TARRINTINO PRESENTS” tag placed before
    it. And I quote the folks sitting behind me when
    I saw it; “Man, I thought we were going to some of
    that QT action. Instead we got this shit.”

  59. KamikazeCamel says:

    Interesting fact. Ashton Kutcher was offered “In Good Company” but dropped out due to creative differences… whatta dope. But that’s great cause it should be a law that states everyone must be in love with Topher Grace. I bet this “creative differences” were with the ending. And the female actress he had to snog.
    I still think that for an Asian movie a $7.3 million opening is good. I mean, it’s a niche film and one that is not easily sellable unless it’s from a recognisable name (Quentin Tarantini) and in English. But we’ll see if it’s hold next week is any good. I think it might…
    and lastly;
    “Kutcher doesn’t deserve better material. He doesn’t have the talent for it. He is a one-trick-pony. A male Sandra Bullock.”
    Sandra is actually talented. Have you see “Crash” (it’s opening in Australia this thursday but I have already seen it) and she definitely gives the best performance of her career. And she was going to be our Million Dollar Baby until she couldn’t get anyone to direct it!
    That’s kinda sad, cause I probably would have like Sandy in it MUCH more than I did Hilary.

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    Have you seen Murder By Numbers? I rest my case. One of the worst leading performances I have ever seen in my life. Maybe Crash will change my mind, but as of now I stand by what I said. Bullock is completely one-dimensional and one of my least favorite actresses. She would have been awful in Million $ Baby. No way she could have pulled that off.

  61. dcgent says:

    Any thoughts on this interesting Slate article?

  62. JoeLeydon says:

    DCQENT: Confirms some of my worst suspicions.

  63. CadavraOnTheRoad says:

    Yes, KUNG FU HUSTLE has already made money for its producers, but Sony Classics is paying for all that marketing, so it’ll be their red ink.

  64. L&Db says:

    Jesse James’ old lady could not make M$B any f’n

  65. Stella's Boy says:

    How much did Sony Pictures Classics spend on marketing Kung Fu Hustle? Sandra Bullock would have made M$B a hell of a lot worse. People can actually picture her in that role? I sure as hell can’t. Not without laughing my ass off.

  66. L&DB says:

    That Slate article proves the best thing the studios
    ever did for themselves was to make propaganda films
    during WWII. Which in turn gave them, essentially,
    their own way to look at their finances. Which in
    turn makes it possible for a studio like Paramount
    to say; “Forrest Gump really did not make that much
    money. Seriously.”
    This thing with German money has been going on for
    years. Without it, Hollywood would be pissing blood
    right now from all of the financial risk IT would
    have had to take.
    Thus the reason everyone should remember one rule
    about awards season; WITHOUT THE SUMMER SEASON, THERE

  67. L&DB says:

    M$B already made me laugh. Good to know Sandy would
    help you feel the same way about the film SB. Of
    Yeah, female boxers get hit in the back of the head
    all of the time! Sure they do! When the devil comes
    to collect from Clint. I hope he takes his Oscar
    for directing that film, and ships it FedEx to Marty
    with a note that reads; “The Academy might hate you,
    but the Lord of Darkness knows a miscarriage of
    justice when he sees one! Not even close to being
    you friend-Satan.”

  68. Stella's Boy says:

    L&DB, since the M$B discussion was quite a while ago, you may not remember my position on the film. I am not a fan of it. Didn’t care for it. But, I did like Swank’s performance. One of the only things I did like.

  69. L&DB says:

    My Bad SB. My bad. Excuse me, back to golf.

  70. Stella's Boy says:

    No problem. I just wanted to clarify. Golf? Lucky.

  71. Joe Leydon says:

    Hate to disappoint all you Sandra B. haters out there, but the rumor that she was originally offered the lead in “Million Dollar Baby” is, according to the lady herself, a myth. Or, as she puts it, “total rubbish.” Evidently, her production company had an option on the material before Eastwood did. As she has told more than one reporter, “We had Million Dollar Baby with someone else for a while, trying to get it made. I couldn’t get it made. We tried and tried and tried. (They were like) Female boxing movies don’t sell.” This is not exactly unprecedented. There was another actor who was VERY interested in the original script for “Unforgiven,” and he has said that he was tracking the material for years, just in case Eastwood ever decided not to film it. The actor? Kevin Costner. No kidding.

  72. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes I read that a couple of weeks ago. I was just responding to those who feel that she would have actually been good in the movie.

  73. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    Bullock mashes her teeth and flips her hair in CRASH but its no oscar turn or even a Spirit turn. CRASH makes up for the pretentious Cali turd that was GRAND CANYON, with a humbling and acute perf by Dillon. It interweaves nicely and everyones crashes into the right folks at the right time, which makes the less saavy critics out there in the glitterdome wet themselves. It does reach a few moments of raw versimilitude that elevates it out of the tv movie trappings and for that it is worth seeking. Ebert has glistening eyes at the industry screening in Toronto.

  74. KamikazeCamel says:

    I never said Bullock was Oscar-worthy in Crash, I simply said that as far as acting goes it was her best perf. She may not be in it that much, but a great perf is a great perf.
    I thought Crash was quite good and liked a lot of the performances (Thandie Newton, Sandra, Matt Dillon and Don Cheadle being the best I thought), some of the dialogue was bit :/ (that line about black people riding in buses was odd. I don’t know about America but lots of people use the bus in Australia. Hell, I use the bus, it ain’t embarassing, it’s just common sense if you don’t drive) but merely as an acting showcase it was good. Nice cinematography too!
    And I can see Sandy in the Hilary role in M$B.
    And I’m not even Sandy’s hugest fan.

  75. bicycle bob says:

    if i have to see that commercial with sandy screaming one more time about the gun on her….

  76. Mark says:

    Sandra Bullock isn’t half the actress Hillary Swank is. Why do you think Eastwood didn’t want Sandy?

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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.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“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.

~ David Simon