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David Poland

By David Poland

Did Ya Hear About The Guy Who Wore Blue Tights?

From 20 Weeks Of Summer – Week 10
“On the Shitty Summer Movie Scale, I would rate the major films that I have seen (leaving out any negative I might feel towards Cars or Over The Hedge) so far:
1. Poseidon
2. The Da Vinci Code
3. Mission: Impossible II
4. The Break-Up
5. Superman Returns
6. X-Men 3”
“On a much smaller scale of disappointment is Nacho Libre, which fulfills the promise of the commercials, trailers, and video confessionals for about one act

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106 Responses to “Did Ya Hear About The Guy Who Wore Blue Tights?”

  1. Josh Massey says:

    It’s a movie I’ve been looking forward to for years, but one decision – the casting – has left me a bit cold. Having a 23-year-old play a Pulitzer Prize-winning single mom – who’s supposed to be a five-years-down-the-road Margot Kidder – is on par with Denise Richards being a nuclear physicist in that Bond flick.
    I’ll definitely see it, but with only a fraction of the anticipation I might have had.

  2. Blackcloud says:

    Why aren’t Cars and Hedge on the list? Were they not crappy enough? And is Poseidon the crappiest or least crappy summer movie at the top of the list?

  3. Nicol D says:

    Not terribly surprised about the Superman review.
    Disapointed that we will have to wait another two decades or so for another incarnation of the Man of Steel. I guess I’ll have to stick to my Reeve films for the time being.
    The big cock up seemed to be a simultaneous standing of two much reverence for the Donner films as cannon and not enough reverence for the actual mythology of the character proper.
    The youth/pretty people factor really seems to be a major mistep to greatness here.
    Pity…but no real suprise.
    Bring on Mann’s Vice! I like that it is going into the summer as the underdog. It seems fitting.

  4. Josh Massey says:

    I have no problem with the reverence to the Donner flicks, actually. That’s probably the best idea Singer had, in my opinion (but only because I was born in the ’70s have have an affinity for those first two movies).

  5. Hopscotch says:

    I’ve just been constantly on the “what the hell is the big deal” thing when it comes to these big comic book movies. I thought the first teaser-trailer to this one was brilliant, if a little self-important, but since then I haven’t quite been as wowed.
    I’m not hold my breath for anything until Miami Vice.

  6. Crow T Robot says:

    I don’t trust this Superman review here. It’s more concerned with everything outside the film (the previous movies, the filmmakers, the casting) than anything else. This is probably why industry journalists don’t make reliable critics.
    (And no, this doesn’t change my opinion of the great South Park post below. Ka-Chow!)

  7. David Poland says:

    A note already came in from an MCN reader…
    “Get this…Superman II, did not happen in relation to events that occured before Superman Returns. Which means, as you originally hypothesized. A early 20’s Superman got himself some barely legal tail, as soon as he moved to Metropolis. Thus leaving the audience scratching their heads for years to come at how Lois and Clark somehow had sex in film that they were not even close to having sex in. Have a nice day…”

  8. palmtree says:

    I can’t speak for Cars, but Over the Hedge was one of the better CG animations of late. The comedy came from character, not just haphazardly cobbled pop culture references, and it had some semblance of awareness regarding its own contradictions (pointing out the vanity of suburban life even as they are selling this movie to those same people). And I even liked the celebrity voices, which aside from Avril didn’t really take me out.
    I love the Donner Superman films too, but they still should have reimagined it. Batman Begins shows what you can do when you throw out the bath water. And are the youth audience familiar with the Donner films or even care whether Singer was faithful or not?

  9. David Poland says:

    Crow –
    It’s concerned with what’s on film. The filmmakers spend a lot of time reminding us of the old film, so don’t blame me for that. And one point of actual criticism, as opposed to civilians writing on film, is that these subtextual issues have a real effect on the experience of the film, even if they are not on the tip of your tongue. I am interested – in avery film, whether serious or silly – in all the text and the subtext. If I wanted to go scene by scene, I could do that to, but it wouldn’t be fair to people who haven’t seen the film or to the studio that still has another 13 days to go before release.
    I hope you LOVE the film. But don’t denegrate me by pushing my thoughts into an easy box. I have noticed, over these many years, that when someone agrees or wants to agree with me, I get it and when they don’t, I don’t. I accept that. But you might want to do so also.
    You want a gut reaction? BLECH! Does that make it more “real” for you? Would it be more real to you if I ran a Q&*A with Bryan Singer and didn’t post all the negative stuff that is coming into my “fan site?”
    We may well disagree. That would not shock me. But not because I am self-maginalized. And not because you are “some web geek.”

  10. Nicol D says:

    I watched the original Reeve film recently…
    You can’t cast an actor who looks and sounds like Reeve, use the Williams score, the same title font/credit sequence, Marlon Brando footage as Jor-El and even have a quick photo of Glenn Ford and then tell people to forget the Reeve films because this is neither a sequel or remake.
    It would seem Warner’s and Singer made a mistake because they did not know what they wanted to do and half assed both.
    As for the Superman catching ‘…barely legal tail…”
    Perhaps if Stone and Parker get a hold of that idea they could sell it as a parody and have Larry Flynt finance it.
    I’d buy that for a dollar.

  11. Wrecktum says:

    Cranky Dave!

  12. Goulet says:

    Not seeing SUPERMAN RETURNS until next Thursday, but if it’s as “shitty” as X-MEN 3, I’ll probably love it.
    Anyway, what really concerns me is the endless pimping for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2. Poland can slam AICN all he wants for supporting NACHO LIBRE and SUPERMAN, but he certainly seems to be on Gore Verbinski’s payroll. I don’t know man, the first movie was so dull that I don’t even think I’m gonna see the sequel, no matter how hard Poland tries to convince me that I and everyone else in the universe wants to see it.

  13. Crow T Robot says:

    Your misunderstanding me, DP. You might be right on the money with this one. I just think if you’re going to tapdance through the embargo (like only “the new media” can), you’ve got to give us more than softballs about underage sex and how Pirates is going to swab the deck with this one.
    I’ll see the film and like or dislike it, I hope, according to its own merits as a story. But your egocentric “preview review” for this film (and a lot of others I might add) seems based on what the movie is not. A good critic has a nose for story, the heart and sound of all cinema, and centers on that first and foremost. Personally, I would have started with Singer’s intentions and made my way out from there (again, very delicately, there is an, uh, embargo in place here).
    And sir, please don’t ever, ever suggest I’m a geek again. I am a ROBOT… and we have feelings to. 🙂
    “Oh and senator… love your suit.”

  14. yabigdumi says:

    Sorry Mr. Poland, but I’d like to see you give a word or two about these “kool-aid drinkers” here:
    because although I agree with you about X3, your massive overhyping of V FOR VENDETTA makes me take this review with a sizable lump of salt.

  15. Martin S says:

    Awesome review. A perfect summation of the broad mistakes. Still, I can see why Horn bought into it. A remake without calling it a remake, hence thinking you’re going to avoid the curse of remakes. That’s the same bullshit tried for Godzilla and POTA.
    What sucks is that it’s going to be near impossible to get an exact box office number because the window is massive.
    Dave, any guess what kind of effect the sprawling opening will have on week2 numbers? To me, it looks like Horn covered his ass for both weeks.

  16. Martin S says:

    yabigdumi – Save THR, it’s a bunch of fansites. I would say DH has some clout, but it’s not Garth’s review.
    CBR, Bluetights, Supermanhompage…
    whatthefuckelse are these people going to say? They’ve been getting inside play from WB for years now. This would be like going to Batman-on-film and believing everything that placating robot Jett has said over the years.
    If I could resurrect Siskel, I would.

  17. cherokeechic says:

    Martin – what about Schaefer from the Boston Herald and Davey’s arch-nemesis, Jeffrey Wells? Are they fansites getting inside play from WB too?

  18. Geoff says:

    I love what Dave does and love reading his stuff, but he kind of puts himself in this position, by critiquing box office, marketing, AND the actual movies. Makes his reviews of films like Da Vinci Code seems almost like self-fulfilling prophecies.
    I think his predictions for Pirates have been a tad high. It’s gonna be huge, but I can’t see it doing much above the original or much above $300 million. And really, that’s nothing to sneeze at. And it’s not like he’s had constant ads or plugs for it on his web site, either. But when he does his review, there’s going to be some pressure not to have a rave, because of his prognosticating for this film.
    Undoubtedly, it’s tricky waters that he’s navigating and I’m guessing a rave will probably be on the way for Monster House.

  19. Geoff says:

    Along those lines, is there anybody NOT expecting a rave from Dave about Dreamgirls in a few months?

  20. Josh Massey says:

    About that reader note – I may have misread it (I tried a few times), but is it saying “Returns” is not, in effect, “Superman III” (despite Brando, Glenn Ford, etc.)? Plus, Clark Kent and Lois Lane DID sleep together. I’m not trying to go all geeky here, but wasn’t it when Clark lost his powers in the second film?

  21. JckNapier2 says:

    Yup, Singer has said on many occasions that, sequel or no, the film takes place after Superman II.
    So, we can assume that any sex that does or does not play a role in the story is the lovemaking that occured at the Fortress of Solitude after he gave up his powers in Superman II.
    Of course, this makes the young casting (really my main concern of the movie) seem all that sillier, since by that timeline Lois Lane would be nearing forty and Superman would be at least in his early thirties.
    Kal-El may age differently (a point dealt with in Lois And Clark and other versions) or maybe his five-year space journey stopped his aging. But there is no logical reason for a 38-year old-ish Lois Lane to look like 23-year old Bosworth.
    Scott Mendelson

  22. Blackcloud says:

    Yeah, that reader note was pretty garbled. I’m still not sure what it says despite reading it several times.

  23. palmtree says:

    If you go to the Superman Returns myspace page, you’ll see yet another new trailer…it’s even more revealing in terms of story. And tries to be even darker.

  24. Blackcloud says:

    The Myspace trailer looks like the one that was before X3.

  25. repeatfather says:

    While I often disagree with Poland’s taste in blockbusters, especially when it comes to the Wachowskis (I hated the Matrix sequels and have no desire to see V), he pretty much identifies all that I feared was wrong with Superman. Not only did there seem to be too much reverence to the Chris Reeve movies, but the plot seemed far too similar to Superman I.
    Singer made some great casting choices with X-men, but also some horrible ones. Unfortunately the same is true here. Spacey and Parker Posey are dead on. Routh and skeleton girl? Ehhhh, not so much. Hopefully, this movie will do well enough that Superman gets another shot, but I’m not optimistic.

  26. Blackcloud says:

    If reader “Me” is out there . . .
    Superman Returns will be playing in IMAX at the Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center starting June 28.

  27. Aladdin Sane says:

    Well, the negativity had to come from someone…looks like Dave got it rolling in style. It’s almost the exact opposite of Wells’ reviews. I’m gonna not count anything a fan boy writes into AICN as gospel truth…but I dunno…the review of the film seems a tad harsh. Did you really not enjoy it that much? I am not expecting Batman Begins amazing here, but I am expecting it to be decent. My expectations are not diminished, but I am not expecting the second coming of Christ (no matter what the trailers may want me to believe). Anyhow, I’m looking forward to this.
    But I do agree that this summer isn’t exactly great…the only 3 movies that I’ve seen since May that I would recommend to people are:
    1) The Proposition
    2) A Prairie Home Companion
    3) Mission: Impossible 3
    Everything else has been okay or forgettable.

  28. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Nacho Libre” is an El Stinko from the one trailer I’ve seen. Not to mention that it resorts to name-checking (From The Director Of “Napoleon Dynamite”).
    FWIW that trailer also happens to carry the original (June 2) release date.

  29. estavares says:

    Yikes. Dave’s cranky. I sure miss the old days when he didn’t swear on-line. 😉
    I wonder if it was a tough sell to restart the Superman franchise without connecting it to the Donner series. Christopher Reeve’s legacy has made such a film so soon after his death probalmatic

  30. MASON says:

    Interesting. This is the first negative review I’ve seen. Wells and Anne Thompson LOVED it, as did two of my friends who saw it.

  31. Cadavra says:

    So when Lois was 18, was she already working for the Daily Planet? Or did she and Supe have some sorta Smallville High Prom Night fling?
    Incidentally, I heard that–over Singer’s objections–Warners insisted on cutting the original opening scene with Ma and Pa Kent, because they didn’t want the movie to start with “a couple of old people.” Even more bizarre: CBS is revamping their procedural series “Close To Home” next season to bring in “younger actors”–evidently they feel the show’s star, Jennifer Finnigan, is getting a little long in the tooth at 27. And the infantilization of show biz continues…

  32. Blackcloud says:

    Do we actually know that Lois is only 23 in the movie, or are people simply equating her age with Kate Bosworth’s?

  33. Hopscotch says:

    Some friends of my roomate saw it and they hated it…keeping in mind they were females over the age of 30. Not exactly the key demo.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, “From the director of Napoleon Dynamite” is a logical and smart thing to do for that movie. People loved ND and it grossed over $50m. How else are people supposed to know that it’s the same comic sensibility since Jon Heder’s not involved? Your perpetual crusade is very frustrating.

  35. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Fuck Christopher Reeve.
    There, somebody finally said it. I’m being provocative because a lot of people seem to be treating the first two movies like Citizen Kane. They’re great entertainmets, but they didn’t reinvent the fucking wheel. Singer’s reverence for the Donner Superman can only bring him heartache. He should be respectful but not beholden to it.
    A perfect example is Cameron’s approach to Aliens. He respected Ridley Scott’s vision but knew he had to make it his own. He did.
    I decided early on to ignore Singer’s constant talk of his movie picking up where the second one left off. That just doesn’t make sense. If you say that but keep it vague you’re just being a scared director.
    Why don’t we just judge Superman on its own terms.
    BTW: Dave needs to calm down. People start to break his balls a little and right away he gets fucking fresh. If I really watned to break his balls I’d tell him to get his shine box. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend you.
    Now go get your fucking shine box.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    I agree, Jimmy, that Singer should have had the balls to come up with a fresher version of Superman, one that isn’t a ‘Superman III’ I would have loved to see a period 1930s Superman, but there’s no way WB would have wanted that.
    Also agreed re: DP’s unnecessary outburst to a pretty simple “I don’t agree” criticism. I’ve noticed that the easiest way to make him mad is to question his motives or his qualifications.

  37. PetalumaFilms says:

    That was provacative? Seemed just kind of goofy to me. To say Fuck Reeve as Superman is silly because aside from comic books and really old TV, we have nothing to compare this new Superman to. For our generation (lets say, age 27 and older) the only Superman we’ve known that wasn’t animated was Reeve. I guess there was Dean Cain and that dude from Smallville…but those aren’t exactly rousing successes.
    Any fan of Kevin Smith’s knows that Lois Lane could never have sex and conceive a child with Supes because his Krypton strength sperm would rip her uterus to bits. Duh.

  38. palmtree says:

    “they didn’t reinvent the fucking wheel.”
    Arguably it was the beginning of the new comic book superhero movies that are now reaching their peak. It wasn’t groundbreaking storytelling, but it showed how it could be done in a serious way.
    The very idea of doing Superman III is nauseating…Godfather III comes to mind. Besides, I have a special place in my heart for the Richard Pryor movie.

  39. Jimmy the Gent says:

    To quote Office Space:
    “Superman III is an underrated movie actually.”
    What I meant by “Fuck Christopher Reeve: is that people seem to have already decided that no one can replace Superman. It’s an iconic performace but it certainly isn’t Brando in Streetcar. I’m of the opinoion that if Jeremy Davies had been cast as Norman Bates in the Van Sant remake things might’ve turned out a little different. Vaughn is just too phyiscially impressive a person to have played a mamam’s boy.
    Like Reeve at the time Routh is an unknown. It’s bad enough that he’ll be burden (or blessed) with being Superman. Why don’t we eait and see the movie before we start saying nobody can replace the star of Somewhere in Time.

  40. jeffmcm says:

    At least Godfather III was made by the same director and actors and not by, say, David Fincher and some unknown as Michael Corleone trying to ape the success of the originals (although you can say Coppola and Pacino doing the same is even worse).

  41. David Poland says:

    What gets me frustrated is that when someone agrees, they agree, and when they don’t or don’t want to, they tend to find a way to dismiss the opinion as tainted.
    What is the answer to the Dreamgirls question… hate it? Not review it?
    I was really wanting to love Nacho Libre. But I didn’t. I thought a great production of The Producers was an Oscar likely… but the production sucked. I was saying early on that Poseidon could be a surprise… but it was a terrible movie.
    (BTW, you might notice that the movies that get the most intense raves from me are the surprises, not the expected successes.)
    I don’t think you can do a chart of things I thought would be good and things I praised and find a consistent correlation. Yes, I don’t just post reviews every Friday. But I’d like to think that people who invest the time to read me often would get that. Maybe not.
    I do hope to love Monster House. And maybe I will and maybe I won’t. I don’t know. What I do know is that the family market is not being wonderfully served this summer and that based on the idea and the materials, I think it can find the right nerve. But I’ve been wrong (and right) before and I will be wrong (and right) again.
    It is not as bad and certainly not as badly intended, but it smacks to me of arguing that a Jew can’t have an independent opinion on Israel or a woman can’t be angry without it being about her period.
    Worst of all, it’s a conversation killer. It is, essentially, saying that I can’t have an opinion. And while I have very strong opinions, I would never do that to anyone, no matter how much I disagree with them. I have learned things from people I agree with and people I disagree with. And I suspect that it will continue as such.

  42. Drew says:

    Ah, David… you will never ever understand how much you complain about the things you do to other people without a moment’s hesitation.
    “You want a gut reaction? BLECH! Does that make it more ‘real’ for you? Would it be more real to you if I ran a Q&*A with Bryan Singer and didn’t post all the negative stuff that is coming into my ‘fan site?'”
    First of all, you don’t know what is or isn’t coming into AICN’s mailbox, and you don’t know what we’ve run out of what’s come in. As always, you choose to focus on things like the interview Harry did as a way to automatically negate OUR opinion, but when someone does it to you, you cry and cry and yell and scream.
    You spend much of your week questioning the motives of others, railing against whether or not they’re allowed to write what they do. You position yourself as some sort of final arbiter of what is or isn’t acceptable in writing about film. And yet, when a simple reader on your blog makes one crack, here come the tears.

  43. Crow T Robot says:

    Dude, you’ve been sneering at the Singer movie with this tired “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a fag!” thing for months now. So when you come out (ahem) and do pan the movie, understand please that some of us are gonna roll our eyes a little.
    Of course, again, I can’t say yet if you’re right or not. But, come on DP, this has been a very smarmy, very Jeff Wells approach to build up of this film by you (I mean, the fucking studio even had to step in and demand you ease up). And accusing Wells of bending the embargo with his positive pre-review last week and then going ahead and printing an equally slippery negative one yourself is more than a little hypocritical.
    (And Jimmy, you did not just use Reeves’ name in vain did you? That’s some cold blooded shit right there man.)

  44. martin says:

    crow, you mean Dave’s blogs like “Superman Returns marketing finally turning the corner”?
    Dave has been 50-50 on this movie for the last few months, commenting on good trailers, bad posters, etc. I have not noticed a particular slant for or against it. And from what I can tell, Dave is certainly not alone in dislike for the movie.

  45. martin says:

    As far as AICN, rare is the day that they post a negative review for a movie that Harry is super-excited about. Can you imagine them posting a negative review of a big new Peter Jackson or Guillermo Deltoro movie? Lets not kid ourselves. Or if they do, it’s usually from a AICN crew thats along the lines “I guess I get why people like it, it just wasn’t for me” – see Massawyrms review of the Jack Black movie. That site is good for scoops and the tv section aint bad, the reviews are a joke.

  46. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I was just trying throw some cold water on people before a riot started.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    You have to admit though, when you go to AICN you pretty much know what you’re gonna get, review-wise. I disagree though, about scoops. They haven’t been good about those for a long time.

  48. David Poland says:

    Crow… if you really want to discuss embargo, we can. Jeff did break it. I did not.
    As for that photoshop piece I removed, it was the only request from the studio on this film. And the mock up was very mean, although very funny. I shouldn’t have put it up and I rethought it, trying to do the right thing.
    Drew – Glad to know you are still delusional and defensive about AICN. Please keep reviewing movies from companies that have financial relationships with you and Harry… and then complain some more about being accused of conflict of interest.
    Oh yeah.. forgot… that’s different.
    I do, actually, think it would be unfair of someone to accuse you of trying to make AICN look more legit by panning the movie, if you were to do so.
    You always try to equate us, but we don’t do the same things. I don’t run reviews from real critics very often, much less “reviews” from anonymous sources. I am not building a case. I offer my opinion.
    Likewise, I don’t run tracking – which is meant to be a private business tool and requires interpretive skill and is often misleading – that I get from people who have built-in, known biases (whether they are studio execs or former studio execs) in order to be able to say I am running tracking. This is the new version of the test screening review. And it is equally as selfish and damaging. Or have AICN’a test screening reviews made the system better for filmmakers after a decade?

  49. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Right on, Poland.
    The sooner AICN admits it’s an elaborate blog, not an entertainmet news site, the easier it’ll be to discuss business with ’em.
    I prefer their TV coverage, although they seem to not be willing that good sturdy shows like Law & order, CSI, and The closer have a place in the marketplace. The only time they acknowledge CSI was when QU directed an episode. You can’t have it both ways.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    AICN runs tracking? Where can I see it? I have wondered about this mystical oracle for some time.
    Regardless of Drew’s own compromised position, does he not have at least a partial point re: DP’s overreaction? Or is it ‘attack the messenger’ time once again?

  51. David Poland says:

    No… others are running tracking, J Mc. But you must have known that, no?
    And… nah… get some new bait.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    No, I honestly do not know where on the internet one can see tracking. I know there are plenty of places to see box-office predictions, but AICN doesn’t even do that. I am not being ironic or sarcastic. We aren’t all as inside as you are, Dave.

  53. Crow T Robot says:

    Hey, Poland, remember that multi-alias guy you banned a few months back for spamming the site with BS?
    Well it looks like he’s on Jeff Wells’ Superman rebuttal post talking smack about you, dude.
    What a shithead.

  54. jeffmcm says:

    I’m amazed that there are people who would say ‘Poland’s site feels like a blogger’s but Wells’s feels like a real journalist’s’ or whatnot.
    Anyway, Wells and Hicksville deserve each other.

  55. Lota says:

    How do you know Robot? Did he say Mr. Wells was “pure Genuis”?
    And to think I will be within 10 miles of Hickstown next week (but only for a moment)
    I have so little interest in Superman at this point I think I’ll go see Eraserhead instead. I;ll get more memorable nightmares at least.

  56. Wrecktum says:

    This is fun!!

  57. Drew says:

    Ah, all of David’s greatest hits in order to avoid the point I made.
    Who do I have financial relationships with, David? You always get this wrong when you accuse me of collusion. What studios are paying me? What are they paying me? Can you answer the question?
    Since we’re talking about SUPERMAN specifically, who at AICN is being paid by Warner Bros? Harry? Me? Anyone?
    “You always try to equate us, but we don’t do the same things. I don’t run reviews from real critics very often, much less “reviews” from anonymous sources. I am not building a case. I offer my opinion.”
    You link to all sorts of headlines on MCN, and you certainly follow your own agendas in doing so. You link to what you want based on what it says about the subjects you choose.
    I offer my opinion. But the primary difference between us remains that I can offer my opinion without having to tear down someone else’s. You, on the other hand, seem so painfully insecure about yourself or your place in the cesspool of entertainment reporting that you feel the constant need to belittle and attack others in order to establish yourself as some sort of “pure” voice.
    I believe you write from your heart, David. Your fetishes are too transparent for it to all be an act. I write from my heart, too. Everything I’ve ever published is my honest opinion.
    But please… attack me again and tell me how that can’t possibly be true because I’ve been paid to write films. Go ahead. Tell everyone how I’m always kind to the studios that have paid me. Tell Tom Rothman and the guys at Fox that for me sometime, since they evidently don’t understand that I’m sucking up to them when I call them chimps in cheap suits.

  58. Aladdin Sane says:

    I think Drew, Dave and Wells should have a cage match to the death. Whoever wins will automatically be crowned, “Purest Voice in America”! No, the World!

  59. Wrecktum says:

    Drew’s in a different weight class so it would hardly be fair.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    Drew’s also younger.
    BUT only one of them is a Fijian wrestler (or was it Samoan?)

  61. Crow T Robot says:

    Now now fellas, I didn’t mean to release the Kraken here today. I just, like good ole j-mac, respect enough about Poland’s site to call him when I think he’s out of line. And knowing what I know about the guy, if I make any kind of a point, he’ll be compelled to respond. Which is totally cool. That’s why we’re all here right?
    And as much as I profess my loathing for the geek mentality, here they come to back me up! LOL… too funny.

  62. newsltd says:

    Hi guys,
    Long time reader.
    Just a quick heads up to David to not pull his punches once the print media starts inking reviews. I’m never felt the need to comment here previously however a CON review of this thing is going to be difficult to find from the looks of things.
    Our office has just seen a taste of “some” reviews to come, Variety, HR are extremely PRO with Variety being a little PRO for our tastes (350+ was the pred).
    All the majors, Time, Ansen, NYT, Travers are going with an extremely positive take on the film.
    Stand your ground and please don’t back peddle on your review cause from what where seeing your statement of reviewers “being kind” to the film is an understatement.
    All the majors seems determined to push SR ultra hard.

  63. cherokeechic says:

    newsitd — you think the critics are “being kind” as if it’s some kind of conspiracy? As if they have an agenda? People WANT to tear this movie apart. It’s been a target for bad news since it started. Why on earth would critics suddenly decide to play nice?
    Should Dave change his opinion in a wake of good reviews? Hell no. He made up his mind before seeing the flick anyway. But gosh, imagine if other critics actually and truly like it and aren’t trying to “push it” as you imply.

  64. jeffmcm says:

    Hey newsltd, what’s your interest in this? Have you seen the movie too?

  65. Jeremy Smith says:

    I really hate this business sometimes. Like right now.

  66. wholovesya says:

    I have had just about enough of this! Some clarity gentlemen…
    The bigger issue, Drew and David, is whether the American public are actually going to like the movie. The fact is, that in the middle of August — no matter what the reviews — no one will be waxing about how “they can’t wait for a sequel to Superman Returns.” They won’t be dying to get the movie on DVD. The collective response of most Americans will be, “Eh.” This is NOT Batman Begins, the first Pirates or Spider-Man. Hell, to most Americans it won’t even be as entertaining as Armageddon (and most of us can agree what a piece of shit that is, but at least it had some freakin’ action).
    As to those wondering why David is the lone voice out there dissenting on the movie, he isn’t. A number of journalists have seen the movie and those who DON’T like it, have been asked not to review till opening day. Those who do? Well, they are supposed to only write a paragraph, but some like Wells and Schaeffer (don’t even get me started on him) broke the rule. There will not be universal critical acclaim on this movie. It will be mixed, because the movie isn’t a disaster, but it’s not great (or very good) either.
    And not to flame the fire (but why not), but can someone explain how this movie cost $260 million (WB’s official number these days)? Cause it doesn’t look like that on the screen.

  67. jeffmcm says:

    I believe it’s been stated that the $260 figure includes all the past incarnations of this movie that never happened, with Tim Burton, Nicolas Cage, McG, Ratner, etc.

  68. wholovesya says:

    Keep dreaming.
    Corporations as a rule write off expenses within 3 business years. Even Ratner’s expenses would have been written off by now. And the pay or play with Cage/Burton? No way it’s part of the $250.

  69. jeffmcm says:

    Like I said, “it’s been stated”. Not necessarily what I think, but I haven’t seen the movie either so who knows, maybe my socks will be blown off by Spacey’s baldcap.

  70. David Poland says:

    Warner’s offical position a month back was $210m with $50m million holdover. Seems to have slid up to $260m… which would seem to be accurate fpr production for a $310m total, before P&A.
    As for you, Drew… your same old b.s. response… “prove I’m part of a business with conflicts… how much is my contract for?!” Please. You sound like a guy who gets caught with his secretary’s lipstick on his penis and says, “Prove it, you jealous bitch!” And when the secretary confirms, you say, “You trust that whore?!?!”
    You never seem to deny anything… you just run this “prove it” schtick.
    I have said it a million times. I don’t care enough to waste my time. I don’t need to tear down AICN. You have done a good enough job of that yourselves, led by you and Harry continuing to try to have it both ways and having a hissy fit – and if anyone thinks my response on the blog this morning was harsh, you haven’t seen anything compared to Drew going off – anytime someone even tiptoes into mentioning it.
    If you want respect, explain Nacho Libre.

  71. Drew says:

    That’s the hands-down stupidest analogy you’ve ever run, David.
    I asked you a question, and I didn’t call you a whore in doing so. But you chose to respond by being petulant and falling back on an unproveable lie… the same one you love to repeat.
    It’s not a schtick, David. It’s you printing a lie, over and over. And you run the vague lie because that’s all you can run. You don’t care to waste your time except to defame people in an effort to create some false moral superiority.
    If you want respect, back up what you say. Isn’t that good journalism? Isn’t that what you ask of all those you slam? Anyone can make vague accusations and anyone can cast aspersions.
    For example, I hear you like to molest lizards. I hear you lick them all over, and then you insert them into your various bodily cavities. Now, I don’t want to waste my time. I don’t need to. You’ve done a good enough job of that yourself, led by you putting lizards up your ass. And if anyone thinks my response was harsh, you haven’t seen anything compared to David putting a lizard up his ass.
    No, seriously. It’s true because I say so.

  72. Geoff says:

    Drew and Dave,
    I really enjoy both of your stuff on the web.
    I guess neither of you is real eager to show that you are above the fray or the bigger man than the other, are you?

  73. Stella's Boy says:

    I wonder if POTC2 will get good reviews on AICN?

  74. seymourgrant says:

    Drew vs. David
    Thank God for ‘new media’!
    We’d never get anything this real from old media, or at least not with this kinda turn around time.
    There has got to be a Celebrity Deathmatch episode in here somewhere.

  75. the keoki says:

    WOW, this is insane. I read both places and read them for what they are worth…enjoyment!!! You guys are just different sides of the same coin. The idea that you guys don’t get that is mind-boggling. I have always somewhat agreed with DP’s politics on Harry, but his stance on Mori makes no sense. I never feel like i need a shower after reading Moriarty’s reviews but Harry’s…..mmmmm yes! And by the way DP it seems like the Superman thing has really gotten to you, it never seemed like you were going to like this movie ever since you adopted the whole MEFE thing. Who cares man, they are going to spend it anyway!

  76. David Poland says:

    You still haven’t answered any questions, Drew.
    Sunlight is the ultimate disinfectant. And you HATE the sunlight.
    Just keep making the questions about your business practices about me. Avoid what you do and make it personal.
    Come on… just say the words… “I won’t review movies that have anything closer than three degrees of separation from a conflictual relationship and I will complain publicly when anyone on AICN does it.” Come on… you can do it!
    And if you can’t, you are just a bullshit artist.

  77. Tofu says:

    This is the most badass movie thread on Earth.
    No question.
    A few bodyslams, and this will be better than WrestleMania III.
    New Media is cooler than Old Media for this type of content, and I salute you both for not trying to act all high and mighty by just talking from a distance, through newsposts and the like.

  78. wholovesya says:

    Guys, guys, guys, take a chill pill please.
    We’re getting into Ann Coulter territory here. This is pointless. You are both in different businesses. Drew, as much as you hate to admit it, you’re site is strictly for movie geeks and maybe lovers of big action movies. David, on the same page, you’ve made your name in the Oscar business and commentary on the movie industry. To criticize each other again and again and again is futile and makes both of you look like you just stepped off a show for Fox News.
    Let. It. Go.

  79. Drew says:

    And I repeat, David, since it appears not to have penetrated your skull yet… not in all the years you’ve chosen to make vague, shitty, snide accusations…
    … what should I respond to? I can’t disprove a negative. I can’t disprove something that has no connection to reality. I can’t disprove your general distate for us, anymore than you can now disprove the lizardfucking.
    I will point out to your audience that this is always, and always has been, your drum to beat. There has never been this sort of attack run on you on our site, and there never will. The only time I’ve ever mentioned you was after you started in with your attacks, and even that stopped when I realized that the only one who really cares about any of this is you. You’re the one who harps on this. You’re the one who continually fosters the ill will. You’re the one who lies about people for a living.
    Knowing what I know about you and the way you do business just from my own personal perspective, I could easily choose to dismiss you as someone who only prints fabrications and slander. Yet I’d like to think you’re something more than that.
    There I go being optimistic again.
    Now please… print some more vague accusations about me or about Harry, and then I guess we can call this round of “Sling Shit At AICN” closed and be done with it. Well-played as always.

  80. Goulet says:

    Hey Drew, you should put the lizardfucking in your next Masters of Horror. That’s some funny shit!

  81. martin says:

    not to continue this laborious discussion, but Drew, Dave printed fairly specific allegations that you haven’t responded to. You however just made a couple of very vague, potentially inflammatory accusations yourself.

  82. palmtree says:

    ^^^^I agree with above. Mr. Poland said pretty plainly in the other thread…Drew can’t even be bothered to deny the charges.
    It’s classic Sherlock Holmes. When someone is accused of a crime, their first reaction (if they didn’t commit it) is to deny the allegations. Instead, Drew asks for proof, as in please tell me how you found my hand stuck in the cookie jar. Does not sound like an innocent man to me.
    (Yes, I posted this twice by accident)

  83. Martin S says:

    Drew – chill. The last time you did this, (Dave’s Hostel review), you claimed it was because of your love of horror movies and how Poland doesn’t get them. After this latest diatribe, it’s quite apparent what a crock of shit that argument was. You hate the guy. We get it.
    Me and you have enough in common that I know you shouldn’t have the spare time to get into a flame war. I also know that no matter what Dave says, it has no real-world bearing on your life. So it leaves me to wonder how much of this is just you looking for an opportunity to drop a slander/libel suit on Poland.
    What all of this comes down to is how AICN still presents itself as a fansite site, when in practice, it’s an indie production house. Promoting projects of your friends and business acquaintances out of the hope it can elevate your career(s),is normal movie business. But when it’s done via AICN, the outcome is different because you have an unaware audience. It creates coverage, awareness and provides tracking data.
    If you really wanted all of this solved, tell Knowles he can no longer play the middle-road and redesign AICN to represent what it actually is. The problem, is you will never get Harry to go along with it. He’s had numerous opportunities to do this, but never does. I’m guessing it’s about site traffic and relevancy to the industry.
    I’m not expecting a response and this wasn’t an attempt to atagonize. But if you need to blow your gasket and call me out like Dave, I’m your huckleberry.

  84. Martin S says:

    Since this was supposed to be the SR review – I hope everyone read the Newsweek review. This movie sounds god-awful…
    A few excerpts from a “positive” review…
    “You know that you are in the presence of kitsch of a very high order when a comic-book romance can actually produce a lump in your throat. Newcomer Routh may or may not be a real actor, but he effortlessly lays claim to the iconic role, just as Reeve did. Indeed, he virtually duplicates Reeve…”
    “The movie follows form by making Lex Luthor a comic menace. Spacey, who can do ironic megalomania in his sleep, has a decidedly lighter touch than Gene Hackman. Both he, and Parker Posey as his moll, are great fun to watch. But Luthor’s evil schemes are the most nonsensical and forgettable aspects of the movie”.
    The drop-off should be immense.

  85. Ponderer says:

    Uhm…you know…if you have to selectively quote to make an argument that something’s not actually a “positive” review, it’s a sad argument indeed. From the same article you snipped:
    >>(If Jean Cocteau had directed $200 million action movies, they might have looked a little like this.) Next to Singer’s champagne, most recent superhero adventure movies are barely sparkling cider.< This has nothing to do with David's review, which is entirely valid. And anyone is free to agree or disagree with it. But let's do everyone a favor and represent things honestly and spin-free.

  86. wolfgang says:

    Here’s the link for David Ansen’s review:
    Ansen writes:
    Singer did the right thing. From the start of this gorgeously crafted epic, you can feel that Singer has real love and respect for the most foursquare comics superhero of them all, as well as a reverence for the Donner version, which serves as his visual and emotional template.
    Sure, he took a few swipes at SR, and acknowleged that he was becoming a “victim of Chronic Summer Superhero Fatigue Syndrome” but on the whole, Ansen admitted “I felt happy to have Superman back, as if I’d actually missed the guy.”
    It will be interesting to see what Time Magazine’s reviewer writes.

  87. Ponderer says:

    I don’t know if David was right or not about the film, but he was right about the emerging critical consensus – it’s kind indeed. Ansen’s above, Hollywood Reporter liked it about as much, and Variety gave it a full-scale rave (with a caveat that their only mild complaint was Bosworth being too young, and not enough of a newshound).

  88. wolfgang says:

    FWIW, Time magazine’s Richard Corliss liked SR too:
    “O.K., O.K.,” we hear you saying. “The thing is profound. But is it a good movie?” You bet. Made with precision and vigor, the film never forgets to entertain, packing its 2-hr. 33-min. length with cool visions (like Krypton’s crystal cathedral) and spectacular set pieces.
    You can get that here (hopefully the link accessible to everyone) –,9171,1205367-1,00.html
    – but I would issue a spoiler alert. Corliss doesn’t reveal a major plot point but he does offer too many details of an intriguing action scene near the end of his review. I’d rather have the fun of watching that for myself.
    One thing: Corliss did not comment on the performances of Routh or Bosworth. Considering Superman is such an iconic figure, and Routh is a newcomer, we should have gotten something. On that issue, I felt Corliss chickened out.

  89. Jerry Colvin says:

    Faulting Superman Returns based mostly on the age of the actors makes no sense. What about the older actors on Smallville still playing teenagers? What about Christian Bale playing a teenage Bruce Wayne (at least in part of that movie)? [and except for Katie, what about the all-Brit casting of Batman Begins? We can ignore nationality, but not age?] What about Tobey playing a 10-year-younger Spider-Man? Logically, if they hope to start a new series of Superman films retaining the same cast throughout, it only makes sense to cast young. Yeah, I remember when Poland suggested Keanu for the role, when the dude was already in his 40s! Truly, is S.R. any worse than your beloved Superman II (truly an overrated entry), or the dreadful Superman III/IV? Any worse than the 1990s Batman films? Just curious, sorry for sounding so defensive. This new actor playing Superman is the first one younger than me… That was hard to get used to at first, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get over it and enjoy the movie….

  90. jeffmcm says:

    Older actor playing younger characters is pretty much a convention in TV and movies. Younger actors playing iconic characters who have gone through more life experience, and who are supposed to be sequels to Kidder and Reeve, for the purposes of launching a new franchise, seems crass and obvious.
    I’m starting to pick up on what Poland has been saying, that there are people who really want this movie to be good, sight unseen.

  91. David Poland says:

    What people who seem to be angry about the age issues are kind of missing what I am actually saying. It’s not that they are too young to be Lois or Clark. Brandon Routh is the same age Chris Reeve was when he first arrived in Superman.
    That said, the movie puts years of experience on their shoulders, plus a 5 year old. And that is why it makes no sense.
    As for the profundity of this movie… if you think that the laughable “Jesus Christ Superman” elements of this summer movie makes this a profound film, great. Just don’t bitch too loud while I am laughing my ass off.

  92. jeffmcm says:

    Way to build bridges there, DP.
    I think the bigger problem with the casting is not that Reeve and Rough are/were the same age, but merely that Routh looks much younger than Reeve did, more teen-y, more intended to appeal to ‘youth culture’ which is the same reason why 60-year old Gregory Peck was replaced by 38-year old Liev Schreiber. Routh and Bosworth are Jim Henson’s Superman Babies.

  93. Crow T Robot says:

    It’s just a movie, guys.

  94. jeffmcm says:

    Sorry, didn’t realize I was repeating myself two hours apart.

  95. Martin S says:

    Ponderer -“Uhm…you know…if you have to selectively quote to make an argument that something’s not actually a “positive” review, it’s a sad argument indeed”.
    I pulled those quotes because it exemplifies what I’ve said will be the problem with this film. I never said it wasn’t a positive review. It’s over-the-top positive to the point that Ansen sees pluses out of things that do not have a track record of playing well. If kitsch played well, Clooney would still be Batman.
    Don’t start dropping accusations when you haven’t been following the argument. From THR –
    “And its villain, Lex Luthor, and Luthor’s female companion, Kitty Kowalski — deliciously played by Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey — spice the film with extravagant comedy”.
    My point, Ponderer, is simple; why do older reviewers assume that Donner’s take on Superman will play well today when an entire generation has been raised on more serious fantasy? In the specific case of Superman, we have a decade of non-Donner that is more relevant to an entire generation who happen to be the audience’s bread-n-butter.
    None of these reviewers bother to question this because they view it from a sentimental, nostalgic perspective. Neither Variety nor THR compared it, from any angle, against Spider-Man or even X-Men. It’s the same genre, the same audience…not a word. Why? Because they are lost in the mind-fog of Donner and Reeve.
    The big plus I will give it, is that it should play very well as a family movie. That and the summer release should save it from being Kong redux.

  96. Ponderer says:

    Well, I can’t speak for other reviewers, but nostalgia fueled three Star Wars prequels to a minimum of $300 million domestic, even though at least two of them sucked to high heaven with (at best) laughable performances.
    And never underestimate the drawing power of a film with a theme you can whistle. 🙂
    You’re incorrect on the Variety angle, though. While it didn’t make a specific, point-by-point comparison, it certainly did say that it was going to be rated with Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins, specifically, on the list of best superhero movies.
    Me, I certainly prefer that they reviewed the film itself and not by way of another film. Comparisons elsewhere and later are valid and needed, but judge the film on whether or not it succeeded on its own merits. We’ll all be doing the comparison game ourselves soon enough.
    (I’d also take issue with your premise that Supes is going for the same audience as X-Men and Spidey, but that’s an old Marvel-vs-DC debate that doesn’t need to be rehashed here, methinks.)

  97. jeffmcm says:

    We don’t necessarily know what John Ottman will have done with Williams’s themes yet.

  98. palmtree says:

    I don’t know any film composers out there who can equal Williams at his game. Elfman, Horner, Newman, etc. all have their own styles that work outside of the Williams paradigm, but Ottman here is specifically going to play Williams just as John Barry’s successor tried to imitate his Bond film scores. I thought Patrick Doyle butchered Williams’ theme, which are quite harmonically intricate…but the Superman theme is composed of big splashes of primary color harmony, so I expect Ottman will be up to the task of making it sound decent. For the record, I consider it to be Williams’ finest overture theme music.

  99. palmtree says:

    btw, I meant Doyle butchered the Harry Potter themes.
    Williams’ music often features the multi-layer orchestration…fugal textures, extensive thematic development, adventurous jazzy harmonic voicing that are rarely used anymore. I’d be very very impressed if Ottman pulls that off.

  100. jeffmcm says:

    As much as I’ve liked Ottman’s work, he simply isn’t strong enough of a composer to match Williams. Singer should have just gone back to the source instead of going with his buddy.

  101. Ponderer says:

    Listening to Ottman’s soundtrack on the Rhino site right now. He’s not Williams, but it’s really good work. God knows it’s impossibly better than the Ken Thorne hackery from Superman II and III.
    Then again, most things are.

  102. Martin S says:

    Ponderer – “Well, I can’t speak for other reviewers, but nostalgia fueled three Star Wars prequels to a minimum of $300 million domestic…”
    It’s not the same kind of nostalgia. People were interested in Star Wars because it was a continuation of what was supposedly a finite story. Superman nostalgia, by the reviewers, is about trying to re-capture Reeve and Donner. Every review throws the story aside for the invoked melodrama.
    Ponderer – “You’re incorrect on the Variety angle, though. While it didn’t make a specific, point-by-point comparison, it certainly did say that it was going to be rated with Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins, specifically, on the list of best superhero movies…”
    It was in Variety and THR’s place to compare running time, pace, level of action, and especially, tone. You could even use LOTR or Star Wars, but superhero films make more sense because, I dunno, it’s Superman.
    Ponderer – “(I’d also take issue with your premise that Supes is going for the same audience as X-Men and Spidey, but that’s an old Marvel-vs-DC debate that doesn’t need to be rehashed here, methinks.)”
    Wait – Marvel sells, at best, 100K Spidey issues a month. The film broke every record. It wasn’t because of the fanboys alone. WB is praying for Spidey’s audience to show up.

  103. James Leer says:

    JeffMCM, why WOULDN’T people want this movie to be good, sight unseen? They’re not claiming it’s good, merely hoping it will be so, and isn’t that what anyone would do when a well-reviewed film is around the corner?
    Compare that behavior to the equally vocal contingent that is convinced that the film is terrible, will bomb, will drop off perilously in its second weekend, etc. These people are truly convinced the film is terrible, sight UNSEEN. And why you would hope it is, I do not know.

  104. James Leer says:

    I don’t mean why JeffMCM would hope it is, but why anyone would hope it is.

  105. jeffmcm says:

    Of course we all (well, most) want it to be good, but there seem to be a lot of people who, because of the iconic nature of the character, are really desperate for the movie to be good, especially in the face of negative reviews like Poland’s. It’s a psychological behavior, going after the bearer of bad news.

  106. James Leer says:

    Oh you guys got my hopes up. There’s no Hickstown on H-Elsewhere, just posters who don’t like DP. I’d recognize Hicks’ poor spelling and consistent grammatical errors anywhere, and they ain’t there.

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