MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Looking Desperately For Anything Worth Talking About

Any ideas?

Be Sociable, Share!

57 Responses to “Looking Desperately For Anything Worth Talking About”

  1. Paul8148 says:

    Well the Betting Odds for best picture is out.
    Cinderella Man 6-1 Syriana 8-1
    Good Night and Good Luck 10-1
    Memoirs of a Geisha 10-1 Munich 12-1 North Country 13-1 A History of Violence 15-1 All the Kings Men 20-1 Brokeback Mountain 20-1 Capote 20-1
    The Constant Gardener 20-1 Kingdom of Heaven 22-1
    The New World 25-1
    King Kong 28-1
    Ask the Dust 30-1 Crash 30-1 Match Point 30-1
    Mrs. Henderson Presents 30-1
    Walk the Line 30-1 Oliver Twist 40-1 Rent 40-1
    The Producers 40-1
    Broken Flowers 50-1 Derailed 50-1 Jarhead 50-1 Pride and Prejudice 50-1 Proof 50-1
    The Matador 50-1 Three Burials of………… 50-1
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 75-
    The Chronicles of Narnia 75-1
    The Family Stone 100-1
    Hustle & Flow 250-1
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 500-1
    Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith 500-1
    War of the Worlds 500-1

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Jeff Wells says Brokeback Mountain is the movie to beat for Best Picture at the moment.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    One thing that often gets overlooked in all the talk about DVD sales: Sometimes it’s a serendipitous treat to stumble onto something relatively obscure but fondly remembered on the new release shelf. I was in a video store today, and came across

  4. The Premadator says:

    Lets talk about how funny it is to see that, after 28 years, old geezers Spielberg and Lucas again have the top movies of the year.
    (though that will almost certainly change next month)

  5. James Leer says:

    See, I’d give “All the King’s Men” sliiiightly longer odds than 20-1. Like, none at all, since it’s been moved to 2006.
    But thank you,, for trying.

  6. EDouglas says:

    I think Pride and Prejudice and Jarhead have a MUCH better chance than Derailed.
    Incidentally, I’ve seen almost all of the above except Munich, The Producers, and King Kong (not ironically, all Universal).
    Right now, I think the Best PIcture noms will go to:
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Brokeback Mountain
    and two of the following:
    Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana and/or The Constant Gardener

  7. Hopscotch says:

    Brokeback Mountain
    the other two slots are wide open in my eyes…naturally, when i see the movies my mind will change.
    And there seems very little to talk about now. You’d think we’d all be talking about Potter, oh well.

  8. James Leer says:

    Did DP see “The Producers” yet or is bad buzz circulating? It’s taken a bit of a tumble in all categories in his latest Oscar charts.

  9. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Well, Hopscotch, you gave me my story!
    “Press Whores for Harry Potter 4;
    Avoids Hollywood’s Sorry ’05”
    Those midnight shows tonight for Harry Potter 4 are a smash-and-grab tactic. That franchise and a heavily hyped remake won’t be enough to keep ’05 from doing less than ’04.
    The weekly print version of Variety had a good story 2-3 weeks ago: In summer ’05 moviegoing was off slightly among older audiences — and off bigtime among those ages 12-24. What does the older crowd want? Storytelling, entertainment value, believability. What does the 12-24 crowd want? Franchises, remakes, sequels. What is Hollywood providing for the most part? Franchises, remakes, sequels.
    Hollywood has learned another lesson too late.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Cinderella Man leading the pack at 6-1!?!?!?
    These people have no credibility (having All the King’s Men in there hurts them too).

  11. Hopscotch says:

    I think both Kong AND Narnia have to be Huge to push ’05 past ’04. I mean HUGE HUGE. And Fun with Dick and Jane needs to be big too (a la Meet the Fockers). so in the end ’05 will be smaller than ’04. big fat whoop.

  12. Lynn says:

    Um, did anyone see this week’s South Park? They made fun of that, um, “religion” and mentioned it by name approximately 1000 times. Oh, and there are celebrities. The episode title is “Trapped in the Closet” and every credit belongs to John or Jane Smith.
    It was hilarious. I hope those guys have really good lawyers… and possibly bodyguards.
    And for the industry angle: Comedy Central, which airs SP, is owned by Viacom, which also owns Paramount… the guys who will be promoting MI:3 in a few short months.

  13. sky_capitan says:

    South Park is as hilarious as ever. Totally fearless. Tom denying he was in the closet, R. Kelly always pulling out the gun in that song… I kept on laughing.
    And Family guy! That opening intro with Bin Laden a few weeks ago… funniest thing I’ve seen all year in tv or movies. I need another Stewie movie.

  14. MattM says:

    A few topics:
    1. How solid is “Walk The Line” looking, and what will its BO fortunes do to its Oscar fates?
    2. What’s getting the third “Animated Feature” slot–“Corpse Bride” and “W&G” seem to be gimmes, but will “Chicken Little” or “Madagascar” get in off of high gross and leave “Howl’s Moving Castle” in the cold?
    3. The “Superman Returns” trailer–good enough to erase the memories of “Superman IV?”
    4. Can “Pride and Prejudice” hold up and cross over? Does it make Kiera a movie star or at least redeem her for “Domino?”
    5. Will the “Rediscover ‘Cinderella Man'” campaign go anywhere? Will the DVD release (12/6) help the film’s Oscar chances as happened with “Seabiscuit?”

  15. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    On MattMs questions
    1. I’ve been thinking lately that Walk The Line was actually looking like the most likely nomination for BP (Munich could fall on its face or just be abother Empire of the Sun for Spielberg – Brokeback could easily fall under it’s subject matter – Geisha could stumble ala Cold Mountain and Last Samurai, etc) but apparently the reviews aren’t THAT great and it’s not looking as likely. Oh well.
    2. It all depends on whether the same people are on the animation committee now. Cause isn’t it just like the foreign film nominations where you can choose to be on the committee but you have to agree to see every film. If Howl’s doesn’t get in I’d put my money of Chicken Little getting in over Madagascar. Chicken seems more similar to Jimmy Neutron.
    3. Haven’t watch it yet.
    4. I think Pride & Prejudice can easily get to $30mil at least if they handle it properly, but they could screw it up. It deserves to get to $100mil and beyond though. I have a feeling that after February next year we will be seeing trailers for movies stating “Staring Academy Award Nominee… Keira Knightley”
    Those Oscar odds are completely Bonkers! Cinderella Man? Syriana second favourite? North Country? ALL THE KING’S MEN?! Derailed? It’s a wonder they even bothered coming up with that list. There are so many movies listed that have absolutely no hope of getting anywhere near Best Picture and most won’t get anything period.

  16. The Premadator says:

    The Superman trailer just gave me goose bumps dude. This movie could hit the same cultural nerve Spider-Man did three and a half years ago.
    Bryan Singer seems to be saying that despite all the horror in the world, all the death and division, the human race is still worth saving.
    Right on.

  17. Blackcloud says:

    Spiderman hit a cultural nerve? So that’s what it was. Felt like mild nausea to me.
    I liked the Superman trailer, but I didn’t care much for the logo at the end. Here’s hoping the movie is like Batman Begins and Singer’s X-Men movies, and not like the mediocre Spider-Men.

  18. The Premadator says:

    I didn’t like Spider-Man much either, Blackcloud, (though adored #2) but there’s no denying the last shot of Spidey swinging through a rejuvinated NYC and eventually spinning around the American flag provided a major catharsis for this country. It validated our belief in heroes at that time — a belief that seems to be slipping away.
    $400 million domestic tells me its success went beyond marketing.
    (So how much gay subtext will Singer weave into Superman? Come on, kids, you’ve all been thinking about it!)

  19. jeffmcm says:

    I love both Spider-Man movies. The Superman teaser looks very promising (Singer seems to be finally developing a style) but I can’t be the only one who thinks this Brandon Routh guy looks too young,right? And there’s something very weird about Brando’s presence. I guess WB is going to finally get their money’s worth out of how overpaid he was back in ’78.
    Is the Best Animated Feature award limited to three nominees? I think there can be more depending on if there are enough qualifying films in any given year (don’t know how many that would be, though).

  20. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Spiderman 2 is definitely one of THE best superhero/comic book movies of all time. Definitely. Just so much fun. The original I could take for leave.
    Jeff, MCN’s homepage lists the 10 eligible films for the Best Animated Feature Oscar as:
    Chicken Little
    Gulliver’s Travel
    Howl’s Moving Castle
    Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
    Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
    There will only be three nominees. W&G is a certainty for a nod. Corpse Bride looks like a good bet too. Then it all comes down to whether they go for Howl’s Moving Castle, or whether they prefer to more studio-centric Chicken Little, Madagascar or Hoodwinked. If Hoodwinked turns out to be any good (which it very well might) then it has as much a shot as the others. Especially if you remember when Jimmy Neutron got a nomination off the back of it’s December release date.
    The only one I had never heard of was Gulliver’s Travel.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Why do you prefer Spider-Man 2? I think of them as extremely similar in quality.

  22. Blackcloud says:

    I thought they were extremely similar in terms of story, as well as quality, down to the bad guy talking to his costume.

  23. bicycle bob says:

    batman begins was better than spiderman 2.

  24. Terence D says:

    I can’t see how Brokeback can be considered a best picture front runner if Dave isn’t even taking it seriously. I don’t think he’d compromise his ethics for any reason especially concerning awards which are his bread and butter.

  25. Paul Hackett says:

    “I can’t see how Brokeback can be considered a best picture front runner if Dave isn’t even taking it seriously. I don’t think he’d compromise his ethics for any reason especially concerning awards which are his bread and butter.”
    Dave just lifted it to the #3 position for Best Picture in his latest Oscar charts. “Munich” is his #1, and obviously this is a big point of disagreement between Jeff and him. “Walk the Line” is Dave’s #2, and with good but not great reviews, this one will likely live or die at the box office this weekend.

  26. Scooba Steve says:

    Can we change the subject to Anne Hathaway. When did she become such a hot potato? I’ve spent years seeing this girl and all of a sudden this week, bam, it’s babeville.
    And to be gay with her around shouldn’t be in a western… no, that’s SCIENCE FICTION.

  27. LesterFreed says:

    She’s always been a piece of ass. Now she’s just a little more grown up.

  28. Terence D says:

    Basically, from my understanding of the charts and the articles lately is that it’s Munich’s to lose. And it’s not even close at this point.

  29. Josh says:

    If they’re more critics who take Dave’s POV on Brokeback, the chances of it winning aren’t good.

  30. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Hey, I just had a thought about the Best Actor race. If Phillip Seymour Hoffman wins at the IFP awards (which he probably will knowing that institutions desperate need to be something more than just a worthy award for indie films) will the IFP curse fall on him and make him lose Best Actor at the Oscars…?
    “I can’t see how Brokeback can be considered a best picture front runner if Dave isn’t even taking it seriously. I don’t think he’d compromise his ethics for any reason especially concerning awards which are his bread and butter.”
    Well, just because David didn’t think it was too flash, doesn’t mean other people won’t. Geez. David’s just one man. And besides, Oscar prognasticating isn’t about whether you like a movie or not, it’s about whether it has the chance to be nominated, which considering Brokeback Mountain’s pedigree and (most of the) early reviews, definitely looks like a possibility.
    The Academy has shown remarkable good will in the past if the movie is good enough. And BM certainly looks good enough.
    On the matter of Spiderman films. I can’t remember why I didn’t enjoy the original that much. I haven’t seen it since I saw it in the cinema, but I remember not being that enthusiastic about it at the time and never being particularly excited about the second on. And then I saw it in the cinema and I fell in love with it. I had a grin on my face the entire time. It felt better developed, no manditory exposition, the villain was better, the action scenes felt… i dunno. I can’t explain it. Go read Roger Ebert’sreviews of Spiderman 1 and 2 and you’ll get what I mean.

  31. James Leer says:

    “Munich” looks the best on paper, but who can really say at this point? DP has it down for two supporting actor nods and certainly the actors in those roles are immensely skilled, but nobody knows whether they’re going to have enough screen time or knockout moments until they see the film. I think the Oscar buzz for “Munich” is a given with that kind of pedigree, but it helps that no other film has opened yet that is seen as a sure-fire dominator. So people are kind of expecting “Munich” to be that.

  32. Krazy Eyes says:

    Hey, how about that Robert Blake decision?
    First OJ, now Blake. Doesn’t this whole criminal=win, civil=lose court case trend kind of make a mockery of the whole legal system? I mean how kind someone take it seriously when it seems to go both ways?

  33. Mark Ziegler says:

    In California they consider the civil trial more important apparently. In criminal trials no one gets convicted even if they have you holding the murder weapon with a confession and shouting you did it. What a joke.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Correction: in Los Angeles, not California. Or even better, in Brentwood/Beverly Hills.

  35. PandaBear says:

    It will be funny if Munich comes out and isn’t great. And considering Spielbergs output lately? What makes you think it will be?

  36. Eric says:

    Was anybody else kind of surprised at the religious overtones in the Superman Returns trailer?
    You know, with the booming faceless voice of authority telling his all-powerful only son that he has sent him to live among the people of earth to act as a light to show them the way?
    I mean, wow.

  37. Scooba Steve says:

    And with Marlon Brando. Arguably the god and/or father of contemporary actors no less…
    Or “godfather” if you want to combine them, but that just sounds silly.

  38. joefitz84 says:

    The Hot Blog is becoming the Religious Movie Blog.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Considering Spielberg’s output lately, it will probably be very good and financially successful.

  40. David Poland says:

    I actually don’t think a lot of critics will take my specific point of view. But a lot of people will just roll their eyes without thinking about it too much.
    If Brokeback was about a man and a woman, it would be slaughtered by most critics. And I’m not even suggesting it a pro-gay thing. There is a real conviction that different is better. And many feel this is really different.
    To me, same old shit, different orifice.
    And for me, someone who is a sucker for melodrama, the tragedy just doesn’t play for me.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think the “If Brokeback was about a man and a woman” argument works. That’s like saying, “If Citizen Kane was about a poor guy, he wouldn’t have those problems.”

  42. joefitz84 says:

    If Brokeback didn’t have the gay thing going for it it wouldn’t have half the buzz it has now.

  43. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh. My. God. If Brokeback Mountain “didn’t have the gay thing going for it” it wouldn’t bloody exist! If it were between a man and a women the entire story would have to be changed.
    That’s one of the dumbest arguments I could imagine against Brokeback. It’s like when people complain that in movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre (it was on my brain at the current time) “why didn’t they just not pick up the hitchhiker!” like… without it there wouldn’t be a freakin movie you dimwits.
    On the matter on Munich, if Spielberg takes anywhere where the political/controvercial stance that he took with “The Terminal” (ie, none whatsoever) then it will be in trouble.

  44. Stella's Boy says:

    That just isn’t true joe. And we now have raves from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Jeff Wells, Esquire (they say it’s the best movie of the year), GQ and Newsweek. It’s certainly starting to appear that the general consensus is that BBM is an excellent movie. Poland’s opinion seems to be the exception at this point.

  45. PandaBear says:

    There wouldn’t be buzz if it wasn’t a gay film. You have to agree with that. It would be just another boring cowboy love story. It wouldn’t have an edge.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    The point is, there wouldn’t be a film at all without it being a gay cowboy film. It’s like there wouldn’t be a movie Jaws without a shark.

  47. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Just like “Walk The Line” wouldn’t have buzz if it were about some unsuccessful busker. Just like “Memoirs of a Geisha” wouldn’t have buzz if were “Memoirs of Japanese White Trash”, just like “Munich” wouldn’t have buzz if it were directed by a no name and was just about Germany.
    …there’s a whole of stuff you can say. But it is a gay film, it does have buzz and it’s fruitless trying to say otherwise.

  48. Sanchez says:

    Walk the Line has been made before. It’s a bio pic. Ask Ray.
    Brokeback Mountain hasn’t been made before. That’s the point. If it weren’t for the man on man love thing it wouldn’t be talked about. Even with Ang lee directing.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, it wouldn’t be talked about because IT WOULDN’T EXIST!
    Jeez, I wish it was out so that it could be properly argued about.

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, if the “X-Men” didn’t have super powers, nobody would have gotten excited about their movies.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m not sure if this is old news or not, but Mel Gibson has sued Clean Flicks over their cutting of The Passion. I think that’s pretty interesting. Does he have a case? Will others follow his lead?

  52. Mark Ziegler says:

    Nothing would exist then by that logic, jeffmcm.

  53. James Leer says:

    Now you’re gettin’ all existential on me.

  54. Angelus21 says:

    Deep. Very deep.

  55. James Leer says:

    Here’s something worth talking about: according to Variety, Paul Greengrass’s semi-imporovised “Flight 93” (about the plane hijacked on 9/11 whose passengers brought it down) has begun shooting…but “the producers are not identifying any starring roles out of respect for all those who died.”
    Huh? I don’t follow that logic. I mean, the actors’ identities are going to come out at some point. Does anyone know anything about this? I’ll admit, I’m now a bit curious as to who might be in the film. It’s Universal, so I’d expect some names in there, even if they’re just solid character actors.

  56. jeffmcm says:

    I guess they mean that just because Passenger Q is played by Ben Affleck, and Passenger R is played by a no-name, they don’t want to send the notion that Passenger R was less of a hero than Passenger Q. Which is silly. They can tell us who’s in the cast without saying which real-life person they’re playing.
    (I do not think Ben Affleck should be in this film – not improvisational enough)

  57. Richard Nash says:

    They should wait a minimum of 10 years before even considering this movie.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

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