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David Poland

By David Poland

By The Way…

Roger Friedman is doing his regular I-covered-it-but-I-hate-it coverage of the Globes…
But the backstory – you know the part that he always leaves out and always explains the venom – is that he managed to get himself a ticket to get in the ballroom from a supporter and was seen, carded, exposed as not being the original ticket holder, and bounced right out of the place.
That didn’t keep him from sucking the air out of the afterparties.

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186 Responses to “By The Way…”

  1. grandcosmo says:

    You’re better than that post. Why so petty?

  2. Hopscotch says:

    Because Friedman deserves it.

  3. PandaBear says:

    Friedman is a hack. The Weinsteins couldn’t get hima ticket?

  4. joefitz84 says:

    I’d hate free drinks and free food too. Poor guy.

  5. AgentArc says:

    This news brought a smile to my day.

  6. Josh says:

    Now this is what we need on video.

  7. Fades To Black says:

    Friedman is the ultimate kiss some ass and bite back when it’s not reciprocated. He gives journo’s a terrible name.

  8. Bruce says:

    I used to read Friedman all the time. I realized, though, that he was obsessed with Michael Jackson, The Weinsteins and Scientology. He was just rehashing things on a daily basis.

  9. Rufus Masters says:

    I can peruse Michael Jackson stories all day long. The man is fascinating.

  10. joefitz84 says:

    That’s true but have you ever sat through a Roger F article on Jackson???
    I know more about his finances than my own.

  11. Sanchez says:

    I do like gossip though. Even from a hack of a writer like Friedman. Foxx got with Eva Longoria? Now I am really jealous of his life now.
    “The CAA party, at which there were no other journalists, was twice as good as anything in the Hilton ballroom during the show.”
    I guess he was still TO’d he was kicked out of the other ones. HA.

  12. Josh Massey says:

    You gotta love the picture of Friedman on Wells’ site right now. Now it’s easy to understand why he’s so bitter.

  13. Terence D says:

    I just saw that. That’s really funny. Not a real flattering picture of Roger. Who’s he with? Michael Clarke Duncan??

  14. BluStealer says:

    I really wish I was at those parties. The cold days of winter. I needed a red carpet, free drinks, sightings of Heath Ledger, party pick me up.

  15. Terence D says:

    Interesting story from the Drudge Report. May as well post it here:
    As the first wave of Oscar voting closes, a sibling rivalry between films at UNIVERSAL has turned sour.
    The enthusiastic backing of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN by UNIVERSAL chief Stacey Snider has come at the expense of MUNICH, a top source involved with the Steven Spielberg drama tells the DRUDGE REPORT.
    “Stacey and her team believe BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is their winner this year,” claims a well-placed insider. “The movie has been spoiled, spoiled and spoiled again, with endless promotion and support. MUNICH, on the other hand, has been horribly neglected. Steven has been thrown in the backseat. It has been painful.”
    Tensions flared further with news that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN passed MUNICH at the boxoffice in total receipts!
    BROKEBACK has been far more profitable, costing only $14 million to make, while pulling in $34 million so far in domestic sales. While MUNICH cost $70 million, with a $33 million return.
    A UNIVERSAL source strongly denies a BROKEBACK preference at the studio.
    UNIVERSAL President Ron Meyer is said to be MUNICH’s top advocate and supporter, calling it a masterpiece.
    “We are behind the movie 1000%, and strongly believe it has a great shot at winning Oscars,” says the studio source.
    “More money has been spent on TV advertising [for MUNICH].”
    Hollywood players watched Spielberg’s polite reaction as Ang Lee’s controversial western won award after award Sunday evening during the nationally televised GOLDEN GLOBES.
    But behind the scenes, a quiet anger has developed over the handling of MUNICH during the award season run-up.
    “She says she loves all of her children equally, but Stacey [Snider] and her team have given every priority to BROKEBACK,” charges the MUNICH source. “Gay romance is easier to sell to the academy than a complex study of an Israeli assassin.”

  16. Bruce says:

    Munich couldn’t even bag a nomination. They can’t be that angry. You have to put your eggs in the basket of the lead horse when you’re a big company. But why would they upset Spielberg? He’s more of a moneymaker overall than Lee will ever be.

  17. EDouglas says:

    A lot of that is Spielberg’s own fault. They rushed to get this film out by December and then pretty much snubbed all press covering the movie besides reviews and the editorials we’ve seen. Spielberg and Kushner and Bana and Craig and the rest of the cast should have been out there talking about the film and getting it out there into the public’s mind. Instead, they just let the more vocal or opinionated journalists and critics loose on it, and personally, I think that’s been a turnoff for regular people not to mention those in the industry such as actors, producers, etc. Ang Lee and the cast of Brokeback were very generous with their time and they took a very laid-back approach to promoting the film, and I think that’s helped them greatly.

  18. James Leer says:

    I reeeeally doubt the veracity of that story. Universal conducted its campaign exactly like Spielberg wanted. He knows that. And that last line, “Gay romance is easier to sell to the academy than a complex study of an Israeli assassin”? Give me a break!

  19. DannyBoy says:

    I don’t buy the story. Since when has Druge been right about anything? Universal knows it’s ALREADY profitable with “Brokeback,” and will actually look worse to its shareholders if “Munich” tanks than if “Brokeback” flattens out, considering how much money they put into “Munich.” If anything, I would imagine Universal would be desparate for “Munich” to succeed. If Universal IS, now, putting any more “umph” behind “Brokeback” than “Munich,” it’s like Bruce suggests, once something starts gaining traction, there’s an instinct to start betting on that “winning horse.” If Universal were to botch the “Brokeback” campaign after the botch of “Munich,” they’ll just lose twice to another studio’s film: “Crash” or “Walk the Line,” and I’m sure at the end of the season they at least want ONE of their films to get the gold.
    The only thing that makes me think their might be some truth to the story is that Spielberg has always acted like he feels he’s entitled to just one Oscar after another, and if he doesn’t get them, it’s not because other films are better, it’s because the Academy made a mistake. Even in the mid-seventies, when he wasn’t nominated for “Jaws,” I remember that he said something like “yes, I’m dissapointed. ‘Jaws’ is really a director’s picture. How could it get nominated for Best Picture and not best director?” A more humble (or politically savvy) person would have said: “I’m just honored that my second film was actually nominated for Best Picture. It would be greedy to expect more considering how successful I’ve already been in my career.”

  20. Terence D says:

    You might not be buying it but that doesn’t seem it doesn’t have some truth in it. Definately, an interesting story and an even more interesting competition between the two films. Putting their company in some tough water.

  21. Rufus Masters says:

    Munich made the mistake of coming out too late and than not doing any publicity for the Globes or showing it to those members. Spielberg didn’t help his case by not going out and hitting the talk show circuit and the interview circuit. I still think it will be in the Final Five.

  22. Hopscotch says:

    Danny Boy, I remember that quote too. And I agree that he should be more politcally savy, but it’s also noteworthy that he was I think 28 or 29 at the time and let’s be honest young people feel they get hosed on everything.
    I used to work at Universal and Spielberg’s treated as a god! The next on the totum pole is the Imagine team. But Spielberg’s movies made that studio and everyone there knows it.
    I doubt the veracity of the story too. This is the Drudge Report for pete’s sake, not the Times. I’d imagine some staffer from Universal or Spielberg’s team probably said something and Drudge went with it. Because above all else Drudge gets a kick of MAKING stories and problems, not reporting them. We all remember his quote from the Chris Rock interview last year taken WAY, WAY out of context.

  23. Hopscotch says:

    I still predict it’ll be in the Final Five too. But there hasn’t been a big public sprint to see it and after finally seeing it myself I really like and respect the movie, but it’s certainly alienating for some. My girlfriend hated it. Some of the audience couldn’t wait to leave the theater, others sat in awe while the end credits scrolled.

  24. LesterFreed says:

    Making Spielberg out to be a jealous guy? If he cared so much he would glad hand more with the people who matter. Right? Makes sense to me. I liked it better when I thought he didn’t give two craps.

  25. Josh says:

    If they want to complain about box office and marketing that’s one thing. But a drama from Steven Spielberg cannot complain about selling itself for awards and to the Academy. It has a built in advantage being from Spielberg. It was the leader before it even finished. This reeks of sour grapes. Why they seem to be crying now though? The race has just begun.

  26. bicycle bob says:

    they’re gonna blame their lackluster award non-campaign on brokeback mountain winning awards? do what everyone does when theyre behind. u fight harder. if ur gonna lose go down fighting. give some interviews. get ur face out there. get some buzz going. don’t blame a picture from ur own studio.

  27. hepwa says:

    Drudge has a history of trying to smear Spielberg. I guess he’s seen as some lefty propogandist by the wingnuts on the right. Drudge is a mouth-breathing gossip monger who throws everything against the wall, hoping it might stick. When it doesn’t, there is no retraction (“What? Accountability? Me!?”), the story simply disappears into the ether.
    I expect that this Oscar race is going to be quite predictable and there will be plenty of people trying to stir something up just to make it more interesting.

  28. hepwa says:

    This may not be the time or place, but I’m going to mention it anyway…
    Brokeback Mountain was just listed as Tuesday’s top-grossing film.
    Pardon my language, but holy shit.

  29. Wayman_Wong says:

    JamesLeer, I agree with you about that last quote from the ”Munich” source: ”Gay romance is easier to sell to the Academy than a complex study of an Israeli assassin.” What the f#$%&?
    Since when? Gee, let’s put together a list of ”gay romances” that have won Oscars. And then let’s put together a list of pro-Jewish or pro-Israeli films that have won Oscars. Hmmm. Which list would be longer? 😉

  30. PandaBear says:

    What did it beat out? Hoodwinked and Glory Road? Coming off a Globe win it had better be doing well right now.
    Drudge is a newsman. He’s equal opportunity. Slandering him as a “nut” isn’t right. I’m sure he likes to poke at Spielberg but in no way does that mean the story isn’t true. There are a lot of people out there who are working on Munich and have a stake in it. And right now they’re pissed off. You can’t see them being pissed off at BBM? They didn’t even get a Globe nom! Yea, I bet they’re a little pissed off and blaming people other than themselves.

  31. Mark Ziegler says:

    I liked “Munich” a lot but I can see why it hasn’t gained any traction in the Awards race. It’s not readily accessible. It doesn’t have any buzz right now which is weird for a Spielberg Oscar movie. But I don’t see how this story is a smear job against Spielberg? It never even names him as the one who is mad at the turn of events. It could be he doesn’t care less about awards or any of these games. If he cared he would have responded back in December to people taking shots at the film.

  32. hepwa says:

    Saying Drudge is a newsman is like saying Bush is a war veteran because he is served in the Texas Air National Guard. The closest Drudge gets to a journalism degree is delivering newspapers for the Washington Star when he was a kid.
    I didn’t slander him as a nut. I called him a mouth-breathing gossip monger (it’s his followers who are nuts).
    As far as the Spielberg/Universal story goes, who the hell knows if it’s true or not. What I do know is: the friends I have at DreamWorks all speak VERY highly of him. This one-day controversy is the CEO equivalent of the Nick & Jessica breakup and about as interesting.
    Here is Matt Drudge’s bio from Wikpedia:
    Drudge was relatively unknown before he began his Report and made national headlines. He was raised in Takoma Park, Maryland, near Washington, DC, where he was reportedly a “loner” and a news junkie. He graduated from Northwood High School in 1984 ranked 325th out of a class of 355. He said, “The only good grades I got in school were for current events.” At an early age, he worked delivering papers for the Washington Star and spent much time reading the paper.
    For many years, Drudge took a number of odd jobs such as night counterman at a 7-Eleven convenience store, a Time/Life books phone salesman, and sales assistant at a New York City grocery store. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles where he took up residence in a small Hollywood apartment. He took a job in the gift shop of CBS studios, eventually working his way up to manager. It is here that he was apparently privy to some inside gossip, part of the inspiration for founding the Drudge Report.

  33. hepwa says:

    A quick P.S. I don’t realistically think BBM is going to be the top movie of the week, I’m just excited that it, for one day, is the top movie in God-fearing, city on a hill, sea to shining sea U.S. of A.
    I think the reason it’s number one is because it has an adult audience and the kids were home last night watching American Idol. If you look at the entire chart, the movies that showed any sign of success yesterday were G.G. winners or aimed at adults. Just an observation.

  34. Hopscotch says:

    I didn’t believe that BBM news until I checked it on Box Office Mojo. My god the sky has fallen.
    I wonder if this’ll make the Drudge Report?
    I know it expands bigger this weekend and I think it’s got a good shot of coming in at #2 just behind Underworld: Evolution.

  35. PandaBear says:

    Give Drudge some credit. He worked hard to get where he is. Now his name and his website are household names. Only in America. I don’t know of anyone who became a success or didn’t because of high school grades. You work hard and good things happen to you.

  36. joefitz84 says:

    If BBM would just expand already they would have the number one movie this week. Why shouldn’t it at this point? It’s great for marketing and great for word of mouth. Especially coming off a Globes win. I know people who want to see it now who had no interest in it a week ago. Buzz and word of mouth are real things. They have to take advantage while the iron is hot.

  37. Hopscotch says:

    I think you’re going to need some more ammo, PandaBear to defend Drudge with some of the shit he’s pulled. “He worked hard to get where he is” bit is not going to cut it.

  38. hepwa says:

    Yes, I think BBM is ready to stand or fall with a wide release. Then again, why mess with a good thing. Focus is playing this one very carefully (and so far, very smart).
    Drudge, by the way, did work hard to get where he was. He went through movie stars’ garbage to find anything scandalous. Seriously, he went through their garbage cans. Then, a garbage can came to him and Lucianne Goldberg leaked the Lewinsky story, understanding the growing reach of the Internet and Drudge’s website in particular and, lo and behold, today’s political climate was born.

  39. PandaBear says:

    If you’re a Left Winger there’s nothing I’m going to say anyway that you will believe on the subject of Drudge. It’s really not worth my mounting a defense. You believe what you you believe and I know what I know. I’m not, and I hope you won’t, lose sleep over it.

  40. jeffmcm says:

    Just because he wears a fedora does not make him a newsman. He has a clear slant to his reporting. He is not fair and balanced.

  41. Bruce says:

    If Brokeback isn’t going to roll open wide now they are missing the boat and really being too cautious. I can’t find a reason they’d be.

  42. Melquiades says:

    Drudge has broken his share of legitimate news stories, and he’ll go after both the left and right if the scoop is juicy enough.
    He’s also posted a trove of bullshit, most of which disappears off his site without mention once it’s proven wrong. And he has his favorite targets.
    He may be a journalist, but he’s not an ethical one.

  43. PandaBear says:

    I don’t recall him ever saying he was Edward R Murrow. What’s fair and balanced for him? He doesn’t write most of these stories. He just links to them. And the stories he does write of the scoops he gets the Mainstream Media/Old Media WISHES they had.

  44. waterbucket says:

    Brokeback hasn’t passed Munich in total earning yet: 32.8 mil to 34.2 mil.
    I’m happy that Brokeback won’t go wide this week. Why? This shouldn’t be its peak. After Oscars time, that’s its peak and should go wide then. This is speaking of a fan’s point of view and assuming that Brokeback will rock the Oscars as well. *knock on wood*

  45. Angelus21 says:

    Oscar time will be it’s peak? It has to maintain this buzz and this many news stories for two more months?
    Not going to happen. And by that time there will be a lot better movies than “Underworld” opening up. The window is now.

  46. Bruce says:

    It should pass Munich this week. I’m really interested in seeing how it does wide.

  47. Melquiades says:

    Brokeback should keep expanding slowly, then go wide the weekend of Feb. 3, following the Oscar nominations that Tuesday. Assuming it gets 9+ nominations, likely leading all films, that will be a natural time to go wide.
    It can then ride out the four weeks until Oscar night and get another boost when it wins (assuming there isn’t an upset).

  48. waterbucket says:

    What I meant was after Oscars time, assuming it wins Best Picture. The movie shouldn’t go wide now because sure, it ranks #1 but it’s still the same amount of money as last week. It’s just that the other movies are doing badly while BBM is able to maintain its earning status.
    Brokeback still needs more word-of-mouth to do business. I see now more old hetero couples and women going to see it so obviously they will help to get the word out. By Oscars time, enough of people will have heard of this movie and with the Best Pic as the stamp of approval, it should be able to survive the wide release.
    I’m a die-hard fan but I don’t think the movie will do well with a wide-release right now.

  49. Angelus21 says:

    It is surprising me with its success so far. In a weak market right now I think it could do pretty solid business.

  50. steve4992 says:

    On the subject of the BBM wide-release, I’m really surprised that the film hasn’t drawn more criticism and attacks from the religous right–boycott threats, etc. This could be because they regard BBM as a movie that bleeding heart liberals will care about but that will otherwise get no real attention in the red states. On the other hand, Robertson, Falwell et al. are real masters of timing when it comes to effective fund raising. They could be holding their water until the Oscar noms come out, figuring that they will get maximum media play if they wait until after the Oscar noms come out to begin their attack.
    In any event, I agree that once the Oscar noms are announced, that would be a good time for BBM to go wide. And if the fundamentalists really begin to attack it, that could actually increase its audience and its chances of multiple Oscars.

  51. Fades To Black says:

    Very juicy story on the BBM-Munich rivalry. I still haven’t seen BBM so I can’t really compare the two yet.

  52. Angelus21 says:

    Steve, I don’t know where you’re from but the right likes movies too. I know it’s a dirty little secret. They’re also not scared of homosexuals and homosexuals in movies.

  53. steve4992 says:

    I’m from one of the redest of the red states–Texas, which just recently passed a defense of marriage amendment to the Texas Constitution (no civil unions even) by a 77% majority. And the culture wars are one of the central themes that Robertson and his ilk use to raise funds and attract media attention. Remember Sponge Bob Square Pants? It would seem that BBM would be a tempting target–Godless Hollywood homosexuals attempting to seduce and corrupt our children into that disgusting life style.
    I certainly hope that you are right–maybe homosexuality is becoming so blase at this point that nobody really cares, but I doubt it.

  54. Hopscotch says:

    If memory serves Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly’s pounce on the “politics” of Million Dollar Baby didn’t happen until after it was nominated (i.e. when the movie had been in theaters for already a couple of months).
    I don’t think they’ll jump on this movie just for the sake of it…oh wait…what am i saying??

  55. DannyBoy says:

    If Focus is going to take Brokeback wide (1200+ screens), there’s no reason to wait a day longer than the Friday after the Oscar nominations are out. I’m sure that will be the peak of interest, unless it wins some surprisingly high number of statue: 8 or 9 or more–I’m thinking it’ll get between 4 and 7.

  56. Hopscotch says:

    That reminds me…I’m doing (naturally) an potential nominee pool and the wild card question is which movie gets the most nominations and what number.
    And while Brokeback will get the most…I don’t see getting more than 8 or 9 nods. And then what’s second. I’m sure Kong will get 5 to 6 on technical stuff alone. Munich and Geisha probably will too. curious.

  57. James Leer says:

    I’d put “Brokeback” at 9:
    Suppt. Actor
    Suppt. Actress
    Adapted Screenplay
    However, based on the guild nominations, I think Crash has the best shot at being runner-up.
    Suppt. Actor
    Original Screenplay
    Original Song
    I know, you’re like, “Original Song?” But that’s how bad that category is this year and there’s not much in contention. Crash also has two strong Suppt. Actor candidates in play (Dillon and the surging Howard) and could actually hit eight nominations, which would make things a lot tighter.

  58. DannyBoy says:

    I think Brokeback will get 7-8 with an outside chance of ten, in this order of probibility:
    Supporting Actress–Williams
    Supporting Actor-JG
    Supporting Actress–Hathaway
    Then, I think we’ve got a bunch of films that will get five each, some mostly tech nominations, others mostly non-tech nominations. “Munich” is probably the only film that will straddle both types of nominations (Screenplay and Editing, for instance)
    These are the ones that I think will then all be fighting for four to six Oscars each.
    Good Night, and Good Luck
    Walk the Line
    King Kong (all tech)
    Star Wars (all tech)
    I also predict that Munich and Walk the Line will be the two films spliting each others’ votes. In other words, Walk the Line might get Best Picture, but Munich will get that fifth Director slot but not a best picture nod…

  59. DannyBoy says:

    Oh, and Geisha will get 4 or 5 (costumes, music, cinematography, art direction…)

  60. James Leer says:

    I also agree that Mangold will cede his Director nom to Spielberg.
    Also, though Editing is strictly defined as a tech nom, they tend to line up almost exactly with the Best Picture noms (last year, 4 out of 5). So I think that’s an easy expectation for Brokeback.
    I agree that Hathaway has potential as a surprise nominee in Suppt. Actress but that’s actually one of the most crowded of fields this year. I really think Bello and Johanssen should have gone Lead — yes, they wouldn’t have won, but their nominations would have come easier in a weak crop.

  61. DannyBoy says:

    Looking at James’ list for “Crash” makes me think that that could break out of the pack. I think it could get all those nominations that James predicts, but TWO or THREE supporting acting nods, which could bring it up to eight or nine– right up there with “Brokeback.” Too bad the Globe-winning “Brokeback” song isn’t eligible for an Oscar, which would have helped it get an easy 8-9 and a possible 11..

  62. Hopscotch says:

    I think Mangold won’t get the Best Director nod either. But I think David Croneberg will sneak in there with a slot and not have a Best Picture to match it. I still think Munich will get a Best Picture and Best Director…but it’s chances of winning our pretty slim.
    I’m in the minority here, but I don’t think Crash is going to take the Best Picture slot, I think Constant Gardener will take it’s place.

  63. Hopscotch says:

    And God willing William Hurt will get a Best Supporting nod.

  64. DannyBoy says:

    I forgot about Constant Gardner and Syriana! They’re the kind that could easily rack up four to six nominations with a mixture of tech and non-tech nods. I really hope Ralph gets in there, and Weiss seems like a safe bet now, and that’s the kind of film that even if it doesn’t get Best Picture could get editing, cinematography, music…

  65. Hopscotch says:

    And maybe Fernando Meirelles will get a Best Director nod instead of Mangold. Constant Gardener for me is still the best movie last year.
    The other underdog (with an $80 million budget and a bunch of Oscar winners working on it) is Cinderella Man. I think Giamatti will get his due, but how about tech stuff for that one?

  66. DannyBoy says:

    I don’t know, HC. I think C Man is one of those films that, no matter how good it is, is still considered a disappointment because of the box office. I’d have to go back and look at the people who worked on it. You know some of those plumb nods are going to go to people who are just personally loved and revered in their fields, regardless of what people think about the film as a whole: i.e. Conrad Hall for “Road to Perdition.” It’s probably a bit early to start making predictions for wild card nods. Maybe the day before the announcements. =)
    As for Gardner, the Globe Win will make people give it a second look. Maybe it will overtake “Good Night, and Good Luck” which I agree with politically, but think is pretty simple. I loved to use of jazz and the cinematography and spot-on editing, but that’s about it.

  67. jeffmcm says:

    There was a song in Crash? Geesh.

  68. DannyBoy says:

    “Collisions of the Heart (Love theme from ‘Crash’)” by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. It came half way through the end credits. 😉

  69. waterbucket says:

    I’m still mad that the producers of Brokeback didn’t play its theme song over the end credits. How hard is that? That’s one easy Oscar down the drain, giving its competition.

  70. DannyBoy says:

    What are you talking about, waterbucket? I know there are songs in Brokeback, but none were “eligible” for an Oscar–was the Willie Nelson one a pre-existing song? What was the one at the Globes and how could it win a Globe and not be eligible? I

  71. waterbucket says:

    Brokeback’s theme song “A Love that Will Never Grow Old” was played on the radio in one scene when Jack was driving but it was barely audible and lasted for maybe 10 secs so it was deemed ineligible by the Academy. I was just saying that if they have played the song again over the end credits, it’d have made the song eligible and thus an easy win.
    Another sucky thing is that the producers didn’t submit other songs from the movie for consideration. God knows that movie has many songs played during all those dancing scenes.

  72. waterbucket says:

    The Willie Nelson song “He Was a Friend of Mine” has been recorded before, I think Bob Dylan. Most of the other songs, however, are original. The soundtrack is doing well as it’s #1 at Amazon in the music CD category.

  73. DannyBoy says:

    Thanks for the info. That is odd, I loved the use of the Willie Nelson song, but think it’s preexisiting. Considering producers will write songs for films for the express reason that they want to get that extra nomination, you would think they’d have put it on, at least at the end of the end credits….

  74. waterbucket says:

    No problems, DannyBoy. Speaking of your name, “Danny Boy” would make a good theme song for Brokeback as many have interpreted it as a man’s farewell to his gay lover at the end of their summer together.
    Unfortunately, I think we’ll hear some “Enough with the Brokeback talk!” pretty soon.

  75. DannyBoy says:

    I guess it just proves they really simply wanted to make the best film possible, and didn’t do it for oscar gold or other vulgar considerations, unlike the people working for Speilberg who supposedly would actually say to each other, on the set of Schindler’s List, “we’ll get Oscars for Oscar!” Still one of the most outragious stories I’ve ever heard. Wonder if they said it on location in Europe, in the Camp setting….

  76. waterbucket says:

    Really? That story sounds really unbelievable but I don’t know much about Schindler’s List aside from watching it. Whether it’s true or not, the movie was still great so that’s the important thing.

  77. Sanchez says:

    Brokeback is Heaven.

  78. Sanchez says:

    If BBM doesn’t go wide I have to be suspect. Why wouldn’t????

  79. Rufus Masters says:

    How didn’t the winners of BBM thank homosexuals in their acceptance speeches?
    I don’t get.

  80. jeffmcm says:

    What did you want them to say? “Thank you, gays, you’ve been great! Hang in there!”
    I think if they had made a big deal of anything, there would be complaints of ‘how dare they use this as a platform. it should just be about the movie’ and so on.

  81. Rufus Masters says:

    I think it is down to Giammati and Howard for Best Supp Actor. I’ll throw Clooney in there too. Not a bad category. Three well deserving guys.

  82. jeffmcm says:

    If Howard has any chance it’s for Hustle & Flow, not Crash. Matt Dillon and Don Cheadle have much better chances out of that film.

  83. Rufus Masters says:

    Howard has a great shot for Crash. You haven’t been paying attention. But we all look alike, right, Jeffmcm? Racist jerk.

  84. jeffmcm says:

    No he doesn’t.

  85. bicycle bob says:

    even dave poland has howard at #1 for crash in the supporting section. that would seem to mean he has a chance.

  86. Josh says:

    I’m with ya Hopscotch. Constant Gardener is the tops this year. I think Meirelles could grab one of those best Director slots even if the movie gets passed over.

  87. Rufus Masters says:

    “we’ll get Oscars for Oscar!”
    Did they really say that or is that conjecture??
    Maybe it was a joke. It was a Holocaust film after all. Seems in bad taste.
    To say that Howard has no shot when he’s now the favorite for Crash makes no sense to me. In a weak field he may get his acclaim.

  88. Terence D says:

    I hope for a Constant Gardener nod but I feel now it’s highly unlikely. It deserves it but I don’t think it’s going to happen now. Maybe it was the release date being so early. People forgot about it.

  89. Terence D says:

    The BAFTA’s are announced:

  90. BluStealer says:

    I don’t think Capote should be counted out either. It’s even better on a second viewing too. Catherine Keener should be a shoo-in for a Best Supporting Actress. She was real funny in 40 Year Old Virgin too. She has real nice range as an actress.

  91. palmtree says:

    The Oscar for Oscar thing sounds like a bit Kate Winslet did for the show Extras, starring Rick Gervais of the Office. On it, she plays herself as an Oscar hound that says there are several ways of getting an Oscar, including acting in a Holocaust movie which she was doing in that episode.

  92. palmtree says:

    I feel that Howard will get it for Crash for not only being good in that, but also in Hustle and Flow and Lackawanna Blues. It will be a case of overwhelmingly good acting that should in a perfect world get best actor, but if he can’t win that, at least he’ll have supporting. Hey, it worked for Jamie Foxx last year (Ray, Collateral, Redemption).

  93. Hopscotch says:

    I’m not sure about Howard for Crash. It could be a three-way race with them all cancelling each other out, but the most noticable person in that movie is Matt Dillon, heads and tails.

  94. palmtree says:

    The Clooney threat could easily happen too. Again, he has legitimate chances as writer, director, and supporting. Chances are his supporting award will come as a semi-acknowledgement of his other achievements.

  95. Wayman_Wong says:

    Terence D, I believe ”Munich” WAS eligible for BAFTA nominations. Earlier, there was a story about how the ”Munich” screeners in the mail wouldn’t be getting to the BAFTA members until the preliminary short list was practically done. In any event, enough BAFTA members saw ”Munich” to put its script on the BAFTA short list, but it just didn’t make the final nominees list.

  96. Josh says:

    They may want to reward Howard for his complete body of work knowing that he won’t win Best Actor for Hustle and Flow. A Supporting win for Crash would be a 3 for 1. Like Academy members don’t play those games?

  97. Terence D says:

    I should have added a question mark there to my last sentence. I read somewhere that said that Munich didn’t make it in time. I don’t know for sure and I assume someone here would know for sure. I would assume they would send them to get it seen. I’ll take your word for it. I can’t see them not sending it out either.

  98. MattM says:

    The Academy’s rules on eligible songs are just bizarre, with “Brokeback,” most of the “Corpse Bride” songs, and the Alanis Morissette song over the Narnia credits out, while “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish,” which has no original lyric, is in. The eligible “Crash” song is Bird York’s “In The Deep,” which is haunting, if not lyrical. Seems to me it’ll be an oddball category, with nominees likely:
    “Can’t Take It In” from Narnia
    “Hustle and Flow” or “Hard Out Here For A Pimp” from Hustle and Flow
    “Mad Hot Ballroom” from Mad Hot Ballroom
    “Travelin’ Thry” from Transamerica
    “There’s Nothing Like A Show On Broadway” from The Producers

  99. Bruce says:

    Songs have some obscure rules to them in regards to whether they can be nominated for Oscars. I would guess that Hustle and Flow will dominate this one.

  100. Wayman_Wong says:

    David Poland on ”Brokeback Mountain” in his latest Best Picture chart: ”It’s hard to make an argument against this film being in the lead spot … but I still feel it has peaked too early and could fall.”
    Gee, it hasn’t been too hard for Poland. He’s been making the argument for weeks that the Oscar race is still wide open and that there’s no front-runner.
    On Dec. 25, Poland wrote: ”My September number [on ‘Brokeback’] was $20 million max. … I am sure the film will get to $40 million now.”
    As of Jan. 18, ”Brokeback” is already at $33.5 million, and the Oscar nominations haven’t even come out, let alone the Oscars themselves.
    It seems some folks are destined to underestimate this movie and its appeal.

  101. DannyBoy says:

    “I still feel it has peaked too early and could fall.”
    Dave just can’t make a reference to “Brokeback Mountain”, without throwing something negative at it in the same breath. I

  102. Mark Ziegler says:

    He’s an analyst. Where would he be if he didn’t give his opinions? You may not like it but that’s why you come here, right?
    It may be peaking too soon. But what film is going to step up and beat? Munich? Walk the Line? Capote? Good Night? They have an uphill battle.

  103. PandaBear says:

    How much are Oscar nom’s worth to a film box office? It has to be a nice bump for a film still playing in theatres.

  104. Melquiades says:

    Sheesh, if a movie can peak too early in mid-January, that really does kill once and for all the idea of a movie released before December winning the Oscar.

  105. DannyBoy says:

    Mark, my problem with Dave not giving up his negativity about Brokeback Mountain, is that it seems to be something that’s clouding his professional judgement. He didn’t like the film and he just can’t believe it will win. He’s been saying that since the beginning and though he’s saying it less and less emphatically, he still won’t give up this idea that Brokeback mountain is a mediocre movie that simply can’t win the Oscar.
    It’s as if we were back a year ago, in late January of 2005, and he was still hanging on to his initial reaction that “Phantom of the Opera” was Best Picture bound. He adjusted his thinking on that one to conform to reality as it unfolded. I just wish he would do it now in terms of Brokeback Mountain, so I could enjoy the rest of this blog, and take advantage of his other, usually good, insights without being annoyed so much at his anti-Brokeback Mountain obsession. Hell, I wouldn’t even put it in my top five films of the year, but come on. It’s the film to beat and everyone in the world knows it but Dave Poland.

  106. DannyBoy says:

    …who I hope is having a lovely time up in Park City. Say hi to Cooper and Trevor for me!

  107. Mark Ziegler says:

    He has the film listed Number 1. What more can he do besides fawning all over it? He thinks it may have peaked. He’s just giving his opinion on it. I really doubt he’s taking BBM personally. He said he’s seen the movie six times. That doesn’t sound to me like a man who dislikes it so much it’s clouding his judgement. If it wins the Oscar, you can jump all over him. But he’s just giving his analysis on it now. Two months from the event. If he turns out to be right, I expect you to acknowledge it. Like I’m sure he’ll acknowledge the job it did if it does win.

  108. Rufus Masters says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of articles and people say “Walk the Line” is making a charge. Now that I can’t believe totally. I just didn’t think it was great. I didn’t think BBM was great either though. My vote would go to “History of Violence” but I don’t have a vote. My money would be on BBM at the moment but favorites have choked before. Should be a good race coming down the stretch.

  109. joefitz84 says:

    If Munich does come from nowhere and win this thing, I’d have to give a ton of credit to DP for making that call and sticking with it. Very keen sense of the market. Any drama added to this race is good for everyone and every film involved. Maybe it will get more people into the theatres which is the goal of everyone behind these films. To be seen by as many people as they can.

  110. palmtree says:

    Um…I know that was just an example, but I really care about The Last Emperor. It’s one of my favorite films.
    Maybe maybe BM will peak too early, but the key is that it hasn’t peaked yet. And if they can hold off until the nominations come out and it opens wide, then we will finally know how the rest of the country feels about it. Contrast that with a film like Munich, which hasn’t been building like BM and has few chances left like the DGA to assert itself.

  111. joefitz84 says:

    Well, you really don’t know if something peaked or not til after it’s run is over. Than you can go back and pinpoint the peak and all that. Could be just starting up or this week could be its peak. It’s random and you can never know.

  112. Angelus21 says:

    They can reward Clooney for all his movies this year in the Best Supp group as well as they can Howard.

  113. palmtree says:

    Oscar nominations haven’t come out yet. And BM hasn’t opened wide yet. I’d say it can’t technically peak until those things happen. A small blip like a post-GG box office anomaly shows that it has the ability to pull in more people. Not saying that it won’t eventually peak too early, but if it’s already peaked, I’d like to hear arguments how that is.

  114. Fades To Black says:

    Sure a film can peak in limited release before it goes wide. It’s happend before. Look at Memoirs of a Geisha. It was selling out limited showings. Technically it peaked in limited release. Will it happen here?
    I tend to doubt it. I think it will do modest business.

  115. Sanchez says:

    When is BBM going wide already???? It’ll be July before it rolls out at this snails pace.

  116. Bruce says:

    It’ll be at 1200 this weekend. So, it’s on its way.

  117. Filmsnob says:

    ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is #1 Movie in America; Thursday January 19, 2:01 pm ET Film Surges Following Golden Globe Wins; International Boxoffice Also Off to Chart-Top Start as Film Garners 9 BAFTA Award Nominations
    NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Demonstrating its clear-cut filmgoer appeal worldwide, Focus Features’ “Brokeback Mountain” has ascended to the top of the national domestic boxoffice, and is also off to a chart-topping start in its first overseas engagements in the U.K. and France. The breakout business follows the film’s 4 Golden Globe Award wins earlier this week (more than any other film) and 9 BAFTA Award nominations (including Best Film) earlier today. Playing to a steadily expanding audience in a host of U.S. cities and towns, the Ang Lee-directed film vaulted to the top of the national boxoffice charts on Tuesday to rank as the #1 film in America. “Brokeback Mountain” had been #9 over the recent four-day holiday weekend, which was then capped off by the film being honored with 4 Golden Globe Awards (including Best Picture [Drama] and Best Director) during Monday’s televised ceremonies.
    The “Brokeback Mountain” domestic gross on Tuesday was $742,412. The film had already been maintaining the highest per-theater average of any film in the national boxoffice Top 20 over the holiday weekend, and continues to do so. The Wednesday gross rose again, to $748,028, as the film retained the #1 slot. The total domestic theatrical gross of “Brokeback Mountain,” through Wednesday, now stands at $33.6 million. The film is already among Focus Features’ Top 5 boxoffice performers of all time, and is on track to become the company’s biggest ever.
    Focus president of theatrical distribution Jack Foley commented, “The unusual midweek surge to — and hold on — the top slot is particularly impressive in that the film is playing in only 683 theaters, which is but a fraction of the runs of the other films in the national boxoffice Top 10. The growth potential is still evolving and more and more exhibitors are requesting the film, so we’re going to expand to 1,194 theaters for the coming weekend.”
    Overseas, “Brokeback Mountain” is #1 in the U.K. in only its second week of release. Playing in only 275 theaters, the film has earned nearly 3.5 million pounds sterling (equivalent to $6.1 million) to date. Debuting yesterday in France with 155 prints, the film is the highest-ranked new release with 37,331 admissions, and is the #1 film overall in Paris.
    Focus co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus said, “Focus has worldwide rights to “Brokeback Mountain,” and we are gratified that this universal love story is being embraced not only in America but now abroad. The BAFTA Award nominations the film earned earlier today will solidify the great business in the U.K., and, coupled with our Globes and other awards wins, provide the ideal launching pad for a successful international run through the winter and spring.”
    Focus Features ( is a motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company committed to bringing moviegoers the most original stories from the world’s most innovative filmmakers.
    In addition to “Brokeback Mountain,” current and upcoming Focus Features releases include Fernando Meirelles’ “The Constant Gardener,” starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz (nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards); Joe Wright’s “Pride & Prejudice,” starring Keira Knightley (nominated for 6 BAFTA Awards); Sanaa Hamri’s “Something New,” starring Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker; Rian Johnson’s “Brick,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival); Gaby Dellal’s “On a Clear Day,” starring Peter Mullan and Brenda Blethyn; Peter Cattaneo’s family film “Opal Dream”; Phillip Noyce’s “Hotstuff,” starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke; Allen Coulter’s “Truth, Justice and the American Way,” starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, and Diane Lane; and Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic “9,” produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov and Jim Lemley & Dana Ginsburg. Focus Features is part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

  118. palmtree says:

    Snails pace sounds like the smart move if you’re posting “when is it going wide?” Keeps people in anticipation mode rather than letting it all hang out and blowing the wad. Not saying that this will work for every film, but it seems to be working for BM.
    I think Geisha peaked in limited only because they didn’t go wide first for a big opening weekend. The bad reviews in limited curbed its wide release audience. It’s completely different with BM as the generally positive reviews are making its transition from limited to wide rather smooth and healthy.

  119. Hopscotch says:

    There’s a radio guy in D.C. named Michael Savage who is apparently referring to the movie as “Bareback Mounting”, when Don Imus heard this he says one of his guys has been calling it “Fudgepack Mountain”.
    I also heard that there’s a DJ in San Antonio, TX that asked will the leads of this movie be nominated in the Best Actress category. It was an “Unscripted” remark said the station owner, who apologized immediately.

  120. Angelus21 says:

    Every successful movie gets jokes at it. How many Million Dollar Baby jokes were thrown around last year? This shouldn’t really be a shock.

  121. Sanchez says:

    People like to be held in anticipation for a short time. But then they get restless and their attention spans get tremendously shorter. They move on to the next big thing that comes out. Moviegoers have short attention spans. You can’t tease.
    The people that are going to see BBM are going to see it no matter what. Being in limited release won’t stop them. They’re trying to get the buzz going for the people that won’t see it.

  122. palmtree says:

    Sanchez, I agree with your second part. They’re trying to get the people who are on the fence (oh I don’t want to see it, but if so many people like it or are telling me to go I might). But the core has already gone and probably is still going.
    It’s true moviegoers are fickle. But you’re assuming everyone has heard of Brokeback. My guess is if you go to people out on the street, most would still not be that familiar with it. If you’ve had a different experience, that’s fine. I could be wrong. But the foregone conclusions for us devotees of films and awards may not be obvious to millions who don’t read this blog or actively seek out quirky films.

  123. palmtree says:

    Let’s use an example lest I get too theoretical. Hero was out in trailer form on the web and in bootleg DVDs. The core had seen it. But it still came out, opened big, and did $50 million. It had the bonus of the core going as well as a new crossover audience who wasn’t there at the buzz stage.

  124. Josh says:

    If you keep up with any reasonable amount of current events you have heard of “Brokeback Mountain”. Especially after it’s Oscar wins. It’s not Harry Potter here or Star Wars but it is out there enough by now. No matter how great it is or how many awards it carts off it still has the same problem it has had from day one. The straight males market.

  125. palmtree says:

    Yes, I agree, most informed people know about it. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily sick of it. 683 theaters is not “out there enough” to me. Some of us feel inundated with it, and that’s totally understandable. But for the most part, people have heard of it, but it hasn’t played in nearby theaters so they haven’t had a chance to see it or hear about it from someone who has. It won’t be until it goes wide that that will happen.
    Crouching Tiger opened in early Dec. 2000 and didn’t hit 1000 theaters until the following February. People weren’t sick of being teased then. And that film had other hurdles with cultural differences and subtitles. But alas yes, the straight males will hurt BM.

  126. jeffmcm says:

    Most people aren’t as immersed in this stuff as those of us on a movie blog anyway. When you consider that most people see less than one movie a month, there’s still plenty of ground to be covered in marketing and audience grab.
    Young hetero males are the ones who race out and see movies in the first two weeks anyway. Older moviegoers and women are probably much more likely to wait and see films on a leisurely basis.

  127. Wayman_Wong says:

    DannyBoy, I agree with you: I think Poland’s negativity toward ”Brokeback” is affecting his credibility. So he doesn’t like the movie, fine. But give credit where credit is due. When it was doing record numbers in very limited release and hit the top 10, it was a ”slight obsfucation.” When it started expanding, BBM critics would say: Yeah, but it’ll flop in the red states and outside the big cities. Well, it hasn’t. And now Poland says it’s already ”peaked” before it even goes into really wide release. No matter what numbers ”Brokeback” posts, in limited release or in wider release, it’s never enough to convince Poland that it’s already a winner. It’s gonna far surpass the $14 mil it cost to make.
    Joefitz84, if ”Munich does come from nowhere and win this thing,” I’ll be the first to congratulate Poland on his persistence. But for now, I remain skeptical, especially in his predictions for ”Munich”: Until recently, Poland had Eric Bana in the No. 4 slot for an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and he currently has Michael Lonsdale, from the same movie, getting a Best Supporting Actor nomination over Jake Gyllenhaal, Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon. Lonsdale? He hasn’t scored a single award for Supporting Actor, let alone a nomination, from ANYONE. I actually think ”Munich” still has a shot at a Best Picture slot, but Lonsdale? No way! To Poland’s credit, though, his latest ”20 Weeks to Oscar” column is the first time I’ve seen him squarely lay out all the film’s woes.
    Hopscotch, here’s the details on that story you alluded to. There was a report on KENS, a TV station in San Antonio, Tex., about the People’s Choice Awards. It was announced that Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress. At this point, KENS anchorman Chris Marrou wisecracked, ”Why didn’t they just give one of those guys from ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Best Actress?” Then Bill Taylor wondered how Heath Ledger could also play the legendary lothario Casanova in another movie. And Marrou added, ”That’s right. He plays it both ways.” KENS received complaints, and its executive news director, Kurt Davis, apologized.
    Josh, you are right. No matter how many rave reviews or awards ”Brokeback” gets, there are a number of straight males who won’t go to see it. But Focus knew from the start that women are the key to the box office. And they are bringing their husbands and boyfriends. The N.Y. Daily News says according to exit polls, ”Brokeback’s” audience started as women in their 30s and now is about evenly split along gender lines. BBM’s critics can deny it all they want, but this movie has defied expectations and is doing better than anyone could’ve dreamed.

  128. Rufus Masters says:

    Some of us feel inundated with Brokeback but we’re also hardcore film junkies. We’re into talk about the box office fight between Hoodwinked and Glory Road. We’re real easy junkies here.

  129. Fades To Black says:

    I think of Brokeback Mountain like I think of The Notebook. No men wanted to see that either. You couldn’t drag men there.
    And look what happend. That little movie did 80 million dollars.

  130. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    It should’ve been plainly obviously to everyone that females were going to be the main target (other than gay men).
    It’s amazing that the film got to #1 on Tuesday and Wednesday, beating films with four times as many cinemas booked. That’s crazy.
    Has Brokeback now got the record of the film to reach #1 with lowest amount of cinemas? I know it was mid-week, but that counts.

  131. hepwa says:

    The thing that still boggles my mind is why any film fan would avoid going to see Brokeback Mountain. You hear the same old arguments: it just doesn’t interest me, I don’t like love stories, I’m not a homophobe I just don’t wanna see two guys gettin’ it on…This movie is so rich and full of human experience, I just feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t see it (and, for crying out loud, see it in a theater). I avoided Pulp Fiction for years because I really have trouble with highly-stylized violence in films and, while I’m no fan of Tarantino’s other work, I regret that I never saw it on the big screen because it’s a singular work of vision. If I can handle the Gimp, I’ll bet you can handle two guys kissing each other for all of ten seconds.
    I suspect a lot of people who hang out here are highly interested in film and many of you may actually work in it in some capacity. Anyone who is remotely involved in the film community really ought to see it and observe the grace and care of everyone involved in making it.
    I run a school for young actors and they all want to see (or have seen) Brokeback Mountain to experience the story, but also to see the performances.
    But, in the end, it doesn’t matter if it makes another dime. It’s part of the culture now and the culture is better for it.

  132. jeffmcm says:

    …why don’t people spend more time in museums?
    Art is a luxury and also requires a personal invsetment. Brokeback is not the most challenging or complicated film in the world, yet even to see it is a stretch for many, many people.

  133. bicycle bob says:

    a lot of guys are film fans but not in the fan sense that ur thinking of. im sure a lot of the brokeback crowd wouldn’t be rushing out to see a hard core action film. it works in both ways.

  134. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    But there’s people on HERE who refuse to see, and I would think that if you’re on Dave Poland’s blog that you are more interested in film than the regular film fan.
    And it seems bonkers that one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, the film that has many many MANY awards and the film that is currently the leader for Best Picture at the Oscars is going to go unwatched by so called film lovers just because it’s a romance about two men. No matter what people say it IS an important film and one that will be talked about for years to come and it’s bizarre that some film lovers (not just men mind you) are going to ignore it.
    However, wholeheartedly decided to ignore it doesn’t prevent them from talking about it and having their own two cents about anything and everything to do with the film.

  135. bicycle bob says:

    u can be a film lover and not want to see something in the theatre that u might not like. its not a requirement of a film lover to see every movie that wins awards. most people don’t want to see everything in a theatre anyway. money concerns, time concerns. all play a role in what the average film fan pays to see. im sure personal preference plays a part too.

  136. Rufus Masters says:

    I’m from the school of a film fan should see everything. In theatres. On video. You can’t beat the experience of seeing things on the big screen.
    Problem is it is just not cost conducive for people. Myself included. I have to be somewhat picky and I can’t see everything I would really like to see.

  137. Josh says:

    A lot of great movies never find an audience or much success at the box office. Look at the winner and nominee’s list from the past few years. Sure you have your Lord of the Rings types but you also have your Sideways and Chocolats. Some movies can totally crossover. Some can’t. If BBM can hit Chocolat numbers they’d have to do a dance.

  138. Wayman_Wong says:

    Hepwa, like you, I’m not a fan of violence in movies, but because ”Pulp Fiction” got so many awards and rave reviews, I went to see it, and enjoyed it more than I expected. Ditto for ”A History of Violence.” Some movies become such a part of our culture that if you’re a true film lover, you wanna see what the buzz is about.
    At the same time, there are legitimate reasons not to see ”Brokeback.” Maybe you don’t like love stories or Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal. Or as Rufus suggests, it’s not ”cost conducive” for everyone. But … if the only reason is that seeing two men in love makes you uneasy, I think the viewer should wonder why he feels that way. Seeing two women kiss is considered ”hot and sexy” in this culture, but not two men. Why is that? Someone once posted here (hyperbolically) that he’d rather ”cut off his balls than see ‘Brokeback.”’ What would cause anyone to post a reaction like that – even as a joke? Why, as jeffmcm suggests, is it ”a stretch for many, many people”? It’s not as if watching a gay movie turns people gay. One of the eye-opening things about ”Brokeback” is that it asks you to empathize with the longings of 2 people in love – these 2 people happen to be guys, and what they want isn’t that different than what everyone wants: to be loved and needed by someone special.
    If you have problems with the movie’s direction or performances or pacing, that’s one thing. But to dismiss it out of hand simply because it’s about ”gay cowboys,” is turning down the opportunity to get a glimpse of how other human beings grapple with life & love in this world, and isn’t that what we do at movies all the time?

  139. Bruce says:

    You’re going to find plenty of people out there that won’t see it for that reason. Not wanting to see two guys fall in love and makeout.

  140. steve4992 says:

    This thread has taken a strange turn. The talk about “two guys kissing” reminds me of a documentary that I once saw about a VD outbreak in the suburbs of Atlanta. Evidently, the kids were going at it like rabbits when their parents weren’t home–which was most of the time. They interviewed some of the kids, and the boys all considered girl-girl sex to be hot and put pressure on the girls to do it, who happily obliged. In a line that I’ll never forget, one of the kids remarked that two guys would never do that “because that ain’t cool.” And so it continues to be today.

  141. Rufus Masters says:

    Society plays a part in it. You have hot lesbians as throwaway scenes in many movies and tv shows and radio programs. You never have those involving men. Proof that it’s a man’s world after all.

  142. Hopscotch says:

    The fact that Underworld didn’t open to critics might be the tipping point. I think Brokeback could take #1 this weekend. That’ll shut those conservative fat heads up.
    “Brokeback Mountain #1 movie in America”. It’s in the grasps.

  143. BluStealer says:

    Even I like seeing two hot girls get it on. Who doesn’t??? But seeing a few hot guys do it now and again wouldn’t hurt either. Equal opportunity makeouts now.

  144. Hopscotch says:

    It’s just funny how insecure some groups are about it.
    When I was in college I went to a Fraternity recruitment party. And I swear it was the gayest thing I’ve ever seen. It was a bowling social and everyone is slapping everybody on the ass. This one guy did a dance before he bowled and everyone shouted and applauded. I remember these two guys were looking at there arms and talking extensively about working out together and which exercises shapes there bodies and they ended the conversation by setting a workout date for each other. I’m not saying they are all closeted gays, but I just thought it was pretty amusing in that context.

  145. PandaBear says:

    How many of the people who will see Underworld this weekend will see Brokeback Mountain? I would hazard a guess of not many. Different markets. Different audiences.

  146. joefitz84 says:

    Guys set up workouts together so that makes them closet cases???
    I’m in a frat and I’ve seen some really gay things but that’s not it.

  147. Mark Ziegler says:

    BBM should have upped its theatres this week. They had a good chance at the number one spot. Would have added to their positive buzz.

  148. Hopscotch says:

    No doubt you have joefitz. And I didn’t say they were closet cases, i wrote that I thought the situation was kind of amusing.
    To quote the Simpsons when Homer asks Bart if he’s excited about going hunting, which Homer takes him on to “butch” Bart up:
    “I don’t know. Bunch of men hanging out together in close environment for a weekend. Sounds kinda gay.”

  149. Hopscotch says:

    Finishing at #2 over a disney movie and an animated movie would still make headlines for BBM.

  150. DannyBoy says:

    Bruce wrote: “You’re going to find plenty of people out there that won’t see it for that reason. Not wanting to see two guys fall in love and makeout.”
    There’s a term for that kind of person: a homophobe. Now before you get “medieval on my ass” (so to speak), imagine taking out the words “two guys fall in love and makeout” and changing it to “a movie with spiders”. If someone said “I don’t care how many people loved “Arachnophobia” I do not want to see a movie with any spiders in it, and I don’t care how many awards it wins, how many critics liked it…. (This is of course based on the hypothesis that Arachnophobia was actually a great movie.) What would you think they’re suffering from? Arachnophobia, maybe?

  151. jeffmcm says:

    Well, the obvious counterargument is how could they be homophobic if they like to see two attractive ladies getting it on? Riddle me that?

  152. Rufus Masters says:

    Seems to be more personal preference than homophobia. Just like I’m positive there are plenty of people who are homophobic and won’t see this or even turn “Will and Grace” on.

  153. joefitz84 says:

    You can’t just call people homophobes because they don’t want to see two men kissing on screen. There are lots of people who don’t even want to see any sex on screen. Just because two men kissing turns you off doesn’t make you homophobic.

  154. jeffmcm says:

    Has anyone remarked as to how little kissing there is in Brokeback anyway? In a 135-minute movie I believe there’s all of about 20 seconds of liplock.

  155. Hopscotch says:

    I agree, doesn’t make you homophobic. I never wanted to see Cold Mountain, why? because it didn’t look like a movie I’d enjoy. There’s no psycho-analysis needed, I just didn’t want to see it.

  156. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, plus there’s more female nudity in Brokeback than there is male. If you ever wanted to see Disney’s Anne Hathaway topless, here’s your movie.

  157. steve4992 says:

    Speaking as a gay man who goes to the movies a lot, I’ve sat through countless–and some very explicit and lengthy–hetero love scenes. It seems to me that straight men ought to be able to sit through what amounts to less than a minute of relatively tame kissing scenes between two male actors. Close your eyes if you want to.

  158. palmtree says:

    I think the key is that the kissing isn’t there just to be there. It moves the story forward. Watching guys kissing is unusual in our society, so it may not be a cut and dry homophobic reaction. But by the same token, I don’t think that that should invalidate an entire movie. As many pointed out already, the weirdness of the gimp scene in Pulp Fiction doesn’t stop that film from being a modern classic.
    And to those of you who think lesbian kissing is hot, how many lesbian films have you seen? Saving Face was a recent lesbian film that was very good and showed at Sundance and was distributed in limited by Sony. Additionally, it had a nude sex scene between hot Asian girls. It did barely over $1 million. Where were all you lesbian lovers then?

  159. PandaBear says:

    My point is just this. A lot of guys are not going to want to see a movie that one of the main selling points is a man on man kiss.
    I’ve seen it. I don’t care. But many out there won’t even give it the time of day.

  160. PandaBear says:

    The only lesbian scenes that people have seen are in pornos, college type comedies, and cinemax after 11pm.

  161. jeffmcm says:

    And Bound, Mulholland Drive, My Summer of Love, Monster, Kissing Jessica Stein, High Art, Gia, Basic Instinct, Wild Things, Femme Fatale…

  162. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, Panda, I had to laugh at this:
    “a movie that one of the main selling points is a man on man kiss.”
    Yeah, I think we’re all sick of those 30-second spots where that’s the focal point of the advertising. The radio spots are especially annoying, because you can only _hear_ the slurpy-sucky, not see it. What a tease.

  163. Hopscotch says:

    let’s not forget Cruel Intentions my friends.

  164. Fades To Black says:

    The question of “will straight men see Brokeback Mountain” is a loaded question. Saying you should see it because it is good, award winning and all the rest is fine. But no one tells women to run out and see a good action movie. Or adults over 50 to see a funny gross out comedy. Certain movies will pull in certain crowds. It is very hard to cross over and be a movie that appeals to every market out there. BBM won’t appeal to the straight male market. Just like “Wedding Crashers” won’t appeal to adults over 50. Just like women won’t see “Serenity”.
    What a studio has to do is get enough of those other groups to make that extra money and max out the film. If BBM even gets 25% of the straight male market it is ahead of the game. The more awards it wins, the better it is for it.

  165. Hopscotch says:

    you’re right, and one reason Wedding Crashers was the big success it was is because th 50+ crowd went and saw it also.
    My parents are near 60 and they said it was the funniest movie they’ve seen in a theater in years.

  166. PandaBear says:

    Your parents were right. It was the funniest. I can’t get the dvd out of my dvd player.

  167. Sanchez says:

    It’s not Cinemax. It’s Skinamax.

  168. Joe Leydon says:

    “u can be a film lover and not want to see something in the theatre that u might not like.”
    Er, Bi-Bob: Aren’t you the same guy who was busting somebody’s chops in the blog here a few months ago becauise he didn’t care to see “Revenge of the Sith”?

  169. jeffmcm says:

    But that guy was an ‘elitist’, hence his tastes.

  170. Wayman_Wong says: has a feature piece about how women are flocking to ”Brokeback Mountain” and debating whether husbands and boyfriends who won’t go are ”homophobes” or not.

  171. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    People not wanting to see BBM because of two men kissing, having sex, whatever doesn’t make you a homophobe. If the thought of it, however, makes you angry at the state of homosexual propaganda being distributed throughout your country then, yes, a clear argument could be made.
    And I personally don’t care if people do or do not see the movie. Obviously, i’ve love ordinary folks to see it, but those sort of audiences routinely ignore prestige sort of movies.
    However, what I do not understand is how people from a place such as THIS can say they will not see the movie for whatever reason. As I said earlier, the fact that you come here shows that you probably like film much more than your regularly movie-goer, and the fact that one of the seminal films of the year and of the decade so far for many is in cinemas right now yet you refuse to see it…? That speaks volumes.
    You don’t have to see it because it’s won awards, or because it’s critically acclaimed, but it is indeed one of those zeitgeist movies. And it’s wierd that people would refuse to see it while they can because they don’t want to see two men fall in love. I suppose they like their gay characters to be token flamboyant men who sprout zippy one-liners about how someone’s shoes are in the same state as Celine Dion’s career (or something like that).
    And considering that some of these people are the ones going to see stuff like “Hostel” just makes it even more bizarre.

  172. jeffmcm says:

    That’s not true, Camel. To date I believe I (and Poland) are the only ones who’ve admitted to seeing Hostel.

  173. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Okay, well that was a general comment to attain to much larger issue. In that they will see movies such as Hostel yet won’t see a movie that’s actually meant to be really good.
    It’s sort of like that person who said they saw EVERY single horror movie released last year and was annoyed that most of them were bad. Like… be me selective or you’re destined to be disappointed.

  174. Josh says:

    My girlfriend has seen it twice already. Her and her friends are definately the target market. Seems to be doing well with women. Whether it gets their boyfriends in the theatre, I tend to doubt it but it could go either way. I went because, for one, I’m a film junkie and I was going to see it anyway. Two, I’m whipped. And there are a lot of whipped guys out there.

  175. Wayman_Wong says:

    Josh, if you hadn’t seen it, USA Today did a story about how ”Brokeback Mountain” has become a No. 1 date movie. When Jake Gyllenhaal was on ”The Tonight Show” recently, he slyly suggested that smart guys who went with their gals would be more likely to get some lovin’.
    And here’s some more news: Oprah Winfrey has taped a show devoted to ”Brokeback Mountain,” starring all four leads: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway. She showed a clip of it in her ”coming soon” segment. Oprah is seen asking Heath and Michelle: ”How did you fall in love?” And Jake pipes up: ”We [Heath and I] made out, and they [Heath and Michelle] had the baby!” No word on the air date, but I imagine it’ll be announced on this thread at Dave Cullen’s ”Brokeback” site.

  176. DannyBoy says:

    Camel is exactly right. There’s a difference between a casual filmgoer, who sees, maybe 1-2 movies a week who’s looking at the newspaper and goes: “‘Brokeback Mountain” or ‘King Kong’? Eh, I’d rather see ‘Kong.'” or even, “Brokeback Mountain” or stay at home and watch TV? Eh, there’s a good football game on tonight, so I’ll stay home…”
    It would of course be wrong to call that type of person a homophobe. On the other hand, there are people who make a point of seeing every Oscar contender, every “watercooler” movie, every major movie out there, and if one of those type of people says: “Sorry, I’m just not going to see a movie with two guys in it making out,” THIS after they’ve seen Janet Leigh stabbed to death in a shower, Linda Blair vomit onto Max von Sydow, etc., then I’m sorry: If it looks like homophobia and smells like homophobia, and sounds like homophobia…. What is it Larry David said in the NY Times? Maybe they’re a bit afraid they’d like it too much.

  177. Wayman_Wong says:

    As if ”Munich” didn’t take enough hits from various critics and conservative columnists, real Israeli agents are giving a thumb’s-down to the Spielberg movie and saying it ”has no connection to reality whatsoever.” In the N.Y. Daily News, Michele Green reports that a former head of Mossad intelligence agency, Shabtai Shavit, as well as other veteran members of Israel’s intelligence community watched the movie in a private screening in Tel Aviv earlier this week. Rafi Eitan, who headed the Mossad’s operations at one time and had inside knowledge of the Israeli reprisals, said the film was pure fantasy. And a former Mossad agent said, ”A team that amateurish and clumsy would have been arrested by the local police within a day of arriving for their mission.”

  178. frankbooth says:

    Maybe so, Wayman. Of course, since the mission wasn’t supposed to have officially happened, why would they admit to it now? But it really doesn’t matter. Let’s say it was complete fiction. Then it has to be judged as fiction, on its own merits. I think it’s an exceptionally gripping, well-made thriller in the vein of Day of the Jackal, and the best Spielberg film in many years. I knew that it was longish, but it was not until after I’d seen the film that I read it was two and three-quarter hours long. At first I thought that must be a mistake, because it didn’t feel like it, as opposed to Kong, which dragged in its last half-hour (when we should have been the most involved) because of the overkill of the earlier part of the film. (The more I think about Kong, the worse it gets in my memory. And I’ve been following PJ’s career since I read about a weird little movie called Bad Taste in Fangoria magazine. Let’s hope he learns that more and bigger and louder is not always better.) Back to Munich–yes, there’s some preachiness and didactic stuff, but it’s not overwhelming. And for the first time since I don’t know when, he didn’t tack on a sentimental ending. I think his smaller films have been better lately. I liked Munich and Catch Me if You Can better than AI, Minority Report, or what I saw of War of the Worlds (which was most of the good stuff). This is not a Munich vs Brokeback argument. I quit taking awards seriously when Raging Bull lost the best picture Oscar to Ordinary People, which was a nice but clumsily directed movie of the week. What I want to know about Brokeback is this–is it going to open wider? It’s playing in San Francisco, of all places, in an impersonal art-multiplex with small screens in the land of Mordor, otherwise known as the Financial District. (It is, however playing on 3 of 5 of those screens.) I hate that theater and that part of town and will go there if I have to, but am hoping it plays at a better theater closer to me. BTW, I was going to skip it because I’ve long thought Ang Lee overrated, sort of an art-house Ron Howard: a competent technician who moves from genre to genre but shows no real personality. But all the controversy and the testimonials that it’s changed people’s lives have compelled me to check it out for myself. And the anti-Brokebackers on this site have, if anything, nudged me toward wanting to see it. As a rule of thumb, if they dislike something it has a high likelihood of being good. Plus, the girlfriend wants to go. Most smart, open-minded urban women love to see two cute guys together–don’t believe otherwise. They like it as much as guys like to see two women

  179. Wayman_Wong says:

    But ”Munich” doesn’t present itself as ”complete fiction.” It starts off with documentary footage of a real event and gives the sense that it’s showing you a behind-the-scenes look at how Israeli agents struck back at the terrorists. No, it’s not a documentary, but you’re led to believe that this is how things happened – roughly. If Israeli agents who actually worked on those missions take issue with the film, couldn’t they have valid criticisms? … Don’t get me started on the length of ”King Kong.” I don’t think it should’ve taken over an hour to get to Skull Island. … As for ”Brokeback” going wider, it’s on about 1,200 screens this weekend. It’s been platforming like a number of Oscar contenders before it; it’s not exactly a sci-fi epic or family film you can open instantly in 2,500 theaters. And the Oscar nominations haven’t even come out. You can bet it’ll be playing more theaters when that happens. I think Focus has done a very shrewd job of releasing it.

  180. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think Munich in any way other than the most literal is presenting itself as a documentary-style ‘what really happened’ kind of film. Spielberg’s visual rhetoric is far removed from basic realism and is quite stylized and heightened. If the actual Mossad agents are taking issue with the film, it shows they’re more concerned with the mechanics of the hits than with the moral ramifications. Which is one of the points of the film.

  181. frankbooth says:

    What he (Jeff ) said.
    I’ve learned not to get my history from movies. Anyone who takes Nixn or JFK as literal truth is a fool. Even a pseudo doc recreation like Bloody Sunday, which strives for accuracy, is by definition fiction because the filmmaker wasn’t there when the event happened–and even if he was, he couldn’t be everywhere at once.
    So yes, the agents have valid criticisms. But as far as politics go, I didn’t find the film anti-Israel in any way. We see everything from Eric Bana’s point of view. We meet some Palestinians, and they’re depicted as human (which is what the hard-liners object to–apparently they prefer the Chuck Norris movie approach) but we don’t get to know any of them very well, and our sympathies remain with the protagonists. It’s a morally conflicted revenge film, but still a revenge film.
    (Watch Symathy for Mr. Vengeance if you want to see a revenge movie that turns the genre and the audiences loyalties on their heads and inside-out.)
    Brokeback is still at the Embarcadero. Damn.
    By the way, I consider the appearance of more than three of the suspect names on the same thread to be enough of a provocation to nullify the current cease-fire, no matter how civil they pretend to be. Are you with me, o my brothers?

  182. frankbooth says:

    It’s actually at one other out-of-the-way theater in the city. But in the entire Bay Area, I’m sure it’s playing at a number of other places. I don’t know. Way out East, across the Bay, anything could be happening,
    but I’ll turn into a pillar of salt if I cross moving water.
    There are two big multiplexes within walking distance of Union Square, and I was sure it would play at either or both of them. Lost in Translation did, and that was a similar “mainstream art film.”
    Park is great, isn’t he? I’ve heard him referred to as some kind of gore-meister. I’m not sure what drugs those people were taking when they watched his films, but they must have been pretty good ones. Die Hard is ten times more violent than Sympathy or Oldboy. The difference is that Park’s violence actually hurts. Looking forward to Lady Vengeance.

  183. jeffmcm says:

    I agree that Z plays as pretty lame today, but I think that Munich will probably hold up well…reserving some judgment until I see it a second time.

  184. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Man, “The Battle of Algiers” was fan-freakin-tastic.
    I love how on January 26 in Australia we have Brokeback Mountain and Munich opening, plus my city finally gets Good Night And Good Luck. And then on that same day we also get… Big Momma’s House 2. Wow. Guess which one I’M seeing.

  185. DannyBoy says:

    Yeah, they don’t get much better than “Algiers.” Interesting to read Spielberg’s comments right next to Kushner’s comments about Munich that came out today or yesterday. It’s clear who’s the brains in that duo!

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