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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

More Duty Today

Fight amongst yourselves… please draw no blood.

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55 Responses to “More Duty Today”

  1. Hopscotch says:

    Running Scared, for all those who are curious, is what I would call a “Watchable Bad” movie. It stinks, no question about it, but it’s not completely awful and oddly compelling. There are cliches on cliches, there’s Russian mobsters, Italian greaseballs, dirty cops, pimps, hookers, torture scenes, kids in jeopardy, gratuitus violence and sex. I have no desire to ever see it again, but it almost grew on me. Almost.

  2. Yodas Left Nut Sac says:

    I live for those watchable bad movies. Paul Walker is the top of the food chain for those crap filled pieces of garbage that you can’t seem to turn off and you wonder to the heavens, why?
    Is he going to have back to back #1 movies???

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    I haven’t seen Running Scared yet, but based on the trailers and clips I’ve seen, the directing looks incredibly obnoxious and migraine-inducing. Reminds me of Tony Scott’s direction of Domino and Man on Fire, and the way 99% of horror flicks are directed these days. I, for one, loathe it. Stylish is one thing, but IMO too many directors are taking it way too far. I guess a lot of younger viewers eat it up and think it’s “cool.”

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    No way Running Scared hits number one. It’s only in 1,500 theaters, and Madea’s Family Reunion will easily be number one this weekend.

  5. Hopscotch says:

    Stella’s Boy, you hit it right on the head. It’s a cheap imitation Tony Scott movie. The camera movements and editing cuts are just as absurd and for no apparent reason either than to “juice up” the scene. there’s crazy accents, tons of cursing, and its REAALLY violent.

  6. Kambei says:

    could it actually be that i will have more fun watching Spidey 3 than the last two? That teaser poster looks excellent!

  7. Crow T Robot says:

    This Tyler Perry is an interesting guy… conservative Christian values preached by a dude dressed up as a 70-year-old woman!
    Madea is shaping up to be the 21st century Billy Jack… a pistol packing, tough-love promoting unapologetic contradiction. I can just imagine Pauline Kael falling in love with the weirdness of it all.

  8. Bruce says:

    Domino was tough to sit thru even with Keira Knightly looking fabulous as always. Tony Scott is the master of the jump cut and overhead shot. He overdoes it to the extreme though. I hate to think he’s the Scott being copied.

  9. waterbucket says:

    I’m watching Kill Bill right now on one of the cable channels and I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying it the second time around.
    Uma Thurman is so awesome. Should have won the Oscar in my opinion. She cries, she laughs, she kicks butt, what else does she need to do to get some respect?

  10. Charly Baltimore says:

    The Spidey 3 poster has more excited than any film coming out this week.

  11. JBM... says:

    Man on Fire is probably the best movie in the last few years to use this rapid flashcutting style. There’s something strangely evocative about it — something shit like Domino and Boogeyman just plain lack. I don’t know how to explain it.
    I might see Running Scared if only to see how a filmmaker can go from The Cooler to this.

  12. JBM... says:

    And if that’s what Spider-Man looks like in the symbiote, what the fuck is Venom going to look like?

  13. Charly Baltimore says:

    I watched the first 8 minutes of RUNNING SCARED online. It got me interested enough where I may see it.

  14. Josh says:

    I have faith in Sam Raimi but Topher Grace as the great and dangerous Venom??? My faith is being tested a little. But I still have it in Sam.
    The film is also over a year away here. Aren’t they a little early with the promo’s?

  15. waterbucket says:

    Of all the superheroes who wear tights, Spiderman has to have the sexiest suit. He’s also supposed to be a little nerdy too. Nerdy hot boy. Yum.

  16. bicycle bob says:

    just from the commercials i would think running scared is pure over stylistic crap. but then i read an ebert review where he gives it 3 stars. maybe hes losing it or its not that bad after all.

  17. Hopscotch says:

    Ebert’s review (and I can kiinnnnnda see where he’s coming from) is based on that the movie is so over the top its kind of charming. But I would not go that far. It’s over the top crazy…and you lose interest after about 10 minutes.
    Ebert picking Crash as Best Picture is a signal he’s losing it.

  18. Angelus21 says:

    It’s not like Eberts alone in picking Crash to win it. He’d be losing it if he thought Good Night was going to win.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    But, GNGL is a much better movie than Crash.

  20. joefitz84 says:

    Every big budget movie has to promote as early as they can. Wet a few appetites in the process. We’ll probably see a teaser for it during the summer too.

  21. Angelus21 says:

    GNGL may be much better but still. No one is picking it to win the big prize. There’s no accounting for taste if Crash pulls it out.

  22. Wrecktum says:

    ^^^ It’s not that Ebert’s picking Crash to win the BP Oscar. It’s that he picked Crash as the best movie of the year and got the Chicago Critics Assoc. to go along with him.

  23. Angelus21 says:

    I hope Ebert is at least getting paid for all the PR work and all the campaigning he is doing on Crash’s behalf.

  24. Nicol D says:

    Ebert may really believe Crash will win. He is wrong. All of the Crash vs. Brokeback debate is really just in order to make a very boring Oscar season seem exciting and keep Brokeback as the underdog.
    Brokeback Mountain has this wrapped up. Next!

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Ebert’s only reward is the satisfaction he gets from thinking he’s right (and something of a movie martyr since he’s revelled in defending his unpopular choice).

  26. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Running Scared is surprisingly good. A lean piece of action filmmaking that’s about four times better than the trailer would lead you to believe.In fact, the trailer does not do the movie justice. I suspect this movie will OK business but find its audience on DVD. It has the feel of a True Romance.
    Wayne Kramer proves himself to be unique stylist who is NOT worshipping at the church of Tony Scott. He uses his tricks when needed. He only ocassionally overhypes the images. This is the movie that Domino wishes it was.
    Walker gives a strong perfromacne that shows he can get hardcore if directors would let him. Cameron Bright is a spooky-cool kid actor. Vera Farmiga is a real find. This, along with Down to the Bone, proves she is ready to be a star.
    Running Scared is a mean movie that is not for everyone. It should not be taken as realistic. But, the movie has an energy and sense of morality all its own. The sequence taht will have most people fleeing the theater is necessary and not gratuitous. It takesa director of real skill to pull of a seqence like this and not come off as an exploiter. (You’ll know the sequence I speak of when you see the movie.)
    People need to lay off Paul Walker. He’s a fine actor with the right material. Joy Ride is proof of that. He’s not meant to play Hamlet, or is he dying to play Hamlet. Running Scared is the perfect showcase for his talents. I hope people take a chance on it.

  27. palmtree says:

    The Cooler was a very good movie. I walked out of that knowing that Alec Baldwin would get an Oscar nomination. And all you Maria Bello fans can see her in another fine performance. Stylistically, Running Scared sounds about as far away as you can get.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Walker’s acting in Joy Ride wasn’t as bad as it often is…but it wasn’t good either. Merely adequate.

  29. PandaBear says:

    Both Fast/Furious weren’t out and out stinkers either. Timeline was. It’s not like Paul Walker is Paul Newman. But he’s not the worst actor working today. I don’t think he’s ever seen a good review in his life.
    Now Walker in Hamlet I’d pay to watch.

  30. Charly Baltimore says:

    I can’t believe he’s the same guy who made THE COOLER. A film that was slow moving and told a story very deliberately. Took its time in revealing parts of the plot. RUNNING SCARED, from what I saw in the clip I watched, is a gung ho action flick. That moves fast and quickly. No room for a character study.
    He picked a good film to do a follow up with. Completely different than his first. Why would they only release it on 1600 screens? If they had more it could have opened #1.
    They think the word of mouth is going to be that strong to sustain a second week drop of under 40%?
    I’ll see it this weekend because there is nothing else out there to see.

  31. Crow T Robot says:

    I’ll say this for Walker… as uninteresting as he is, the guy really TRIES to act. You can’t say that about Vin Diesel.
    And Joy Ride was hilarious… “Candy Cane… Candy Cane…” Somebody please find John Dahl more work.

  32. Hopscotch says:

    Paul Walker’s limitations are out in full force in Running Scared.
    you know he’s mad because he looks REALLY MAD.
    you know he’s intense because he has a really INTENSE LOOK on his face…
    it goes on from there.

  33. Sanchez says:

    Is this how bad the new movies are now? That we are defending Paul Walkers acting skills and his movies? Has Hollywood made us sink this far?

  34. EDouglas says:

    Running SCared is pretty bad… but The Shaggy Dog is worse.
    I’m embarassed for Tim Allen’s relatives.

  35. steve4992 says:

    I understand that Paul Walker has a role in Eastwood’s “Flag of our Fathers”. Any one want to make a bet on “Academy Award nominee Paul Walker?” LOL.

  36. Fades To Black says:

    I’d say no chance in hell to Paul Walker getting nominated for an Oscar but I’ve seen Cuba Gooding win one, Mira Sorvino win one and Michael Clarke Duncan get one.
    So, it’s not like impossible.

  37. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh god, The Shaggy Dog is definitely this year’s Son of Mask. I can’t even feel sorry for Tim Allen because it’s clear that this is the sad and sorry state he wants his career to go into. I mean, Home Improvement wasn’t exactly risque but it at least had a bit of bite to it, and Galaxy Quest was a great example of what family films can do. But the Santa Clause movies (the third out this year), Christmas with the Kranks and now this… it makes me want to weep.
    As much as I detest the man, Paul Walker is definitely an attractive bloke which is why he keeps getting work. However, I will go to all lengths to defend “Joy Road” (strangely retitled “Road Kill” here in Australia). That movie was somethin’ else. John Dahl is such a wasted director. How come the double shot of The Last Seduction and Red Rock West didn’t lead to him becoming one of the biggest director’s around? Shame really.
    Plus, I also (in terms of P Walker) I have a soft spot for “2 Fast 2 Furious” despite he absolutely rediculous. I have to give the movie some respect for having the audacity to do half the things it did. Who comes up with this crazy stuff?

  38. lawnorder says:

    Running Scared is my kind of movie. A lot of people are going to outright hate it for all the reasons I think it will become one of my absolute favorites. It’s insane in the way that risky and provocative cinema usually is. Here’s a director who’s determined to test your limits and is not afraid to send you running from the theatre when the blood and guts starts to fly. There’s also a freaky sequence that will go down as one of the most disturbing in filmdom. Sort of on a par with Tarantino’s The Gimp segment. If anyone sees this as anything but a hardass rollercoaster ride of a classy B movie they’re taking life way too seriously. It’s 100 percent pulp intensity which acknowledges its influences with a nudge nudge, wink wink here and there – but it sure as hell compels you to keep watching. There are scenes in this film that I don’t think have been depicted in a main stream American release since… I don’t know, maybe the freakin “Exorcist.” I thought Paul Walker did an exceptional job. Vera Farmiga is a goddess in the making. The kids were good, too. As visually dynamic as I’ve seen in a long time. I think I’m getting a sense of Wayne Kramer’s vibe. People are either going to love his shit or hate it. I don’t think this guy makes films in the middle ground. Even The Cooler was very violent and very sexual, but it also told a sweet story. Running Scared is pure popcorn attitude and sensory overload. I don’t think this one is going to clear my head anytime soon. Fans of the genre are going to love it. Not sure if it will do any business due to poor marketing and lame trailers, but I’m convinced it’s going to be a cult film that gets embraced heartily over the next few years. It’s too bad, because a film this outrageous and visually audacious should be seen on the big screen.

  39. Nicol D says:

    Ebert had another ineresting point.
    As of the Oscar telecast the presumptive winner for best documentary, March of the Penguins will have grossed more than any of the Best Picture nominees.
    That has to be a first in cinema history, yet no one is talking about it.
    Oh well, maybe if the penguins were cowboys.

  40. Spacesheik says:

    I’ll take Dean Jones over Tim Allen any day of the week.

  41. joefitz84 says:

    I’d feel sorry for Tim Allen if he wasn’t making 20 mill a picture.

  42. Wrecktum says:

    ^ Tim’s got Zoom and Santa 3 coming out. He’s about as bankable in family comedy as you can get.
    Have people seen Shaggy Dog or is the hostility based on the (rather weak) trailer?

  43. palmtree says:

    “March of the Penguins will have grossed more than any of the Best Picture nominees. That has to be a first in cinema history, yet no one is talking about it.”
    In 2004, Fahrenheit 9/11 outgrossed Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Ray, Sideways, and Finding Neverland. And that even includes their eventual post-Oscar grosses.

  44. palmtree says:

    BTW, though I know Moore withdrew his film from contention, I think it definitely would have won.

  45. Wayman_Wong says:

    The ”Brokeback” cowboys are only a few million behind the Penguins, and should overtake them soon.
    Meantime, here’s Box Office Mojo’s take on the 10 most impressive box office performances of 2005:
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2012&p=.htm
    Let it to the gay ranchhands to be on top … of this list. 😉

  46. Sanchez says:

    Brokeback is one of the tops of the nominees. What a terrible year for the box office of nominees.

  47. Cadavra says:

    The SHAGGY DOG hostility might be based on the fact that this is the THIRD time for this story, and that’s not even counting SHAGGY D.A. Remakes of remakes is really pushing it.

  48. Angelus21 says:

    The hostility may be based on a bad film.

  49. Chucky in Jersey says:

    I woulda seen “Running Scared” but the print ads said it was “From the Director of ‘The Cooler’.” Name-checking an Oscar Bait picture to sell a B movie — another example of what’s wrong with Hollywood!
    Palmtree: “Fahrenheit 9/11” was submitted for best picture, not best documentary. AMPAS did not nominate it — because AMPAS wanted to send a message: No criticism of Bush or his policies.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    I have never understood Chucky’s hatred of ‘name-checking’. It’s a good practice. “A Movie you haven’t seen, from the director of A Movie you liked or heard good things about”. Why is that a bad thing?

  51. Sam says:

    “”Fahrenheit 9/11″ was submitted for best picture, not best documentary. AMPAS did not nominate it — because AMPAS wanted to send a message: No criticism of Bush or his policies.”
    Riiight, that must be the reason. Conservative Hollywood didn’t like Michael Moore picking on their favorite President, so they refused to nominate F9/11 for Best Picture. Because otherwise, a documentary would have been a shoo-in, just like all the other documentaries that have been nominated for Best Picture over the years.
    Come on. Of any documentary that has ever been made in the history of cinema, F9/11 undoubtedly had the best *chance* of a BP nom, but is it anti-anti-Bush that it didn’t, or just business as usual? And if F9/11 had been submitted for Best Documentary, is there any question that it would have not only been nominated but won?

  52. Cadavra says:

    Name-checking isn’t a bad idea when you consider how dim some audiences are. It was suggested that the MAJOR DUNDEE reissue would have done more business if the ads had read “From The Director Of THE WILD BUNCH” rather than “A Sam Peckinpah Film.”

  53. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I must admit that advertising a movie like Running Scares as being from the director or The Cooler is really quite silly. Like… do they have ANYTHING in common except occasional bouts of extreme violence?

  54. James Leer says:

    Considering how much said extreme violence informs both movies, it doesn’t seem like a reach to me.
    Obviously, they’re advertising it that way to say to the slightly informed film consumer, “Hey! This MIGHT not be your run-of-the-mill Paul Walker programmer!” It just didn’t help that so few people saw The Cooler anyway for that to matter much.

  55. Bruce says:

    “Fahrenheit 9/11″ was submitted for best picture, not best documentary. AMPAS did not nominate it — because AMPAS wanted to send a message: No criticism of Bush or his policies.”
    Now you say the Academy is conservative??? I hope that’s a joke. Did you not see the 5 films nominated this year? Maybe they realized that F 911 was fiction and didn’t belong in a documentary category too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ David Simon