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David Poland

By David Poland

My First Toronto List


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37 Responses to “My First Toronto List”

  1. Krazy Eyes says:

    What’s the “strong story” for HOSTEL other than the director is responsible for the lamest, overhyped, and overpaid horror film of the last few years?
    THE DUELIST is my only must see that didn’t make your list.

  2. Bruce says:

    Eli Roth knows how to hype his work(crap).

  3. Josh says:

    They have a really nice and deep field at Toronto this year.
    Three I’d like to see:
    A History of Violence – David Cronenberg
    Elizabethtown – Cameron Crowe
    Bubble- Steven Soderbergh

  4. MASON says:

    No kidding. DP went out of his way to bash Ehren Kruger — not having read one of his scripts — when Eli Roth has an entire career based on hype and being friends with Harry Knowles.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    Is Hostel an official film at TIFF? Since when do they screen “grindhouse” 42nd street shlock?
    Is Chaos on the bill too?

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Hostel is probably a Midnight Madness flick.

  7. BluStealer says:

    I strongly doubt Hostel is in any kind of competition. At least I hope not.

  8. MASON says:

    Just watched the trailer for Brokeback Mountain and thought it looked real good. I’m not gay or a cowboy and I still want to see it.

  9. Mark Ziegler says:

    Only gays and cowboys want to see it? Then they’re market is going to be really small.

  10. Angelus21 says:

    Ang Lee always do something interesting. He has to be a must see.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    Whether or not Dave P. or anyone else has read an actual Ehren Kruger script, the movies he’s written have certain common features, and sharp dialogue or plotting have not been amongst them. Arlington Road, Reindeer Games, Scream 3, Imposter, Skeleton Key…all pretty mediocre. Only The Ring was good and then it was a remake.
    Eli Roth, meanwhile, has at least made a good, fun movie, in my opinion.

  12. David Poland says:

    I believe that Cabin Fever was way overhyped mediocrity at best.
    But I do want to see the next film to see whether he has taken a step or just wallowed in that mediocrity.
    Similarly, I think you have to look at the Larry Clark film, even if Ken Park was a horrid, pornographic piece of shit.

  13. joefitz84 says:

    Larry Clark? He is a child porn director. It straddles that line and thats not a good line to straddle.

  14. PandaBear says:

    Movie scripts are not novels. You can’t take what you see on screen and say Kruger had much to do with it. Since most of his work is doctoring or has been changed twenty times since his original. When he writes a novel or two we can get a better idea of his work than his screenwriting.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Granted there are a lot of cooks in the oven, but so many things are shared by Kruger’s movies – thrillers with twist endings, etc. – that I think we can attribute things to him. The movie didn’t write itself.
    I doubt he’ll ever write a novel.

  16. JBM... says:

    jeffmcm: “…Only The Ring was good and then it was a remake.”
    Scott Frank had a lot to do with that.
    I found out the other day that Kruger rewrote Mindhunters. Yuck.

  17. Eldrick says:

    these films look bad, apart from the chappelle one.

  18. bicycle bob says:

    jeff hates kruger. then again jeff hates everyone. and see the japanese version of the ring. doesn’t differ that much. a little better but what original isn’t?

  19. Terence D says:

    Don’t be mad that Eli Roth uses the system for his own benefit. But being buddies with AICN is not good enough for someone to greenlight a film om his.

  20. PandaBear says:

    I’m mad that Cabin Fever was really, really terrible. It was billed as the greatest since Nightmare on Elm St. Not even close.
    Far, far from it.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t hate Eli Roth. Panda, were you expecting a true horror movie like Elm Street? If so I don’t blame you for being disappointed by what you got.

  22. joefitz84 says:

    Kruger has made a fortune writing in Hollywood. Not his fault the talent and the directors and the producers rip his work to pieces. To save his rep he needs to direct. Otherwise everyone will keep thinking hes crap.

  23. JBM... says:

    Since when did a fortune in Hollywood equal talent?

  24. bicycle bob says:

    his original works have to be semi good if they all keep buying them and hiring him. theres not much one can tell from a shooting script. and its not like hes been working with spielberg here. i hate defending a guy who wrote scream 3 and reindeer games.

  25. MASON says:

    Kruger ain’t exactly a genius, but he’s far more talented than Eli Roth. I mean, please.

  26. BluStealer says:

    Eli Roth is talented at marketing himself. Which is all you really need when you’re a poor director. Or be William Friedkin and marry the head of a studio.

  27. Geoff says:

    I have to say that Brokeback Mountain sounds interesting, but I have no doubt that Ang Lee will make it sleep-inducing. The man does not know how to make a film that does not move slowly, whether we are talking about Sense and Sensibility or Hulk. I really dug Crouching Tiger, but even that was probably 30 minutes too long.

  28. Josh says:

    Ang Lee made The Hulk a snoozer. The Hulk! You have to try to make the Hulk uninteresting. So him with a movie about gay cowboys isn’t exactly on must see list.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    I love the ‘if the studios keep hiring them, they must be talented’ argument. Do you watch movies? Notice how an awful lot of studio movies aren’t made for the sake of quality, but because the producers and studio heads are just trying to avoid being fired? That’s how the same hacks keep getting hired over and over again.

  30. Mark Ziegler says:

    I have read many a script by Kruger. I’ll say this. What he writes doesn’t end up on the screen. That is not his fault. If you want control over your work you’re going to need to become a novelist because this is not the medium for writers.

  31. Angelus21 says:

    Even William Goldman who many concede is an extremely talented writer has had many a bomb. Dreamcatcher anyone?

  32. PandaBear says:

    Tv is becoming a nice writers section. With all the great shows especially cable. They really give writers the ability to do what they want to do.

  33. JBM... says:

    Angelus21: “Even William Goldman who many concede is an extremely talented writer has had many a bomb. Dreamcatcher anyone?”
    True, but who in the world has or would ever go so far as to concede that Ehren Kruger’s an “extremely talented writer”? Decent, maybe, but “extremely talented”?
    On jeffmcm’s note: some magazine (Premiere? EW?) called Simon Kinberg a Hollywood power player, yet every film he’s been involved with — Charlie’s Angels 2, Catwoman, xXx 2, Elektra, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four — is bottom-of-the-barrel sludge.

  34. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Cabin Fever was indeed very bad. There’s that line where paying homage becomes merely copying.
    Scream 3 however is one of those bizarre films that I defend. It seems really misunderstood! I figure that what better way to end a trilogy of movies that continuously mocked horror movies than to mock the series that did it…?
    That or I’m hopelessly defending a movie that nobody else likes. Sorta like Showgirls!
    And Mason, it’s ALRIGHT, we don’t think you’re gay because you want to see the movie. We’d think you were gay if you thought the idea of Jake and Heath getting it on was a bit of alright, but until then…

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    I remember hating Scream 3 when it first came out. I didn’t find it all that funny, scary or interesting. But I wonder if it would play better now. If time is on its side.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    What was Cabin Fever copying? I can’t think of a lot of flesh-eating virus movies for it to mine.
    Scream 3 is by far the weakest of the series. Lots of missed opportunities there. The climax should have happened in the studio version of the house from the original.

  37. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Trust me Jeff, I was part of a Scream 3 forum for months before and after (and everyone involved is now still together and we’ve actually met up! Americans, Aussies and Dutch! anyway) and we’ve already discussed what SHOULD have been. I was very disappointed when I saw it because Scream 1 and 2 were two of my religous experiences as a teenager. They both in my Top 100 of all time and they meant SO much to me back then. I think I’ve seen the original over 80 times. YES.
    But, i recently rewatched it (recently being a few months back) and I found it sort of hilarious. I really got into a vibe with it and while, yes, it IS the lesser of the trilogy I think it’s not actually trying to be like the other two. A series that lampoons horror movies is now lampooning the very series that resurrected the horror industry. The Scream franchise had said all it needed to say by the end of Scream 2 so I figure what they tried to do with 3 was quite apt.
    But I can totally understand people disliking it and obviously not having the same views as myself.

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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