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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estimates

Box Office Mojo is amusingly reporting X3‘s second weekend drop as 66.6%. Klady just has it as 67% One wonders whether this is Fox’s idea of a promotional event.
The drop isn

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99 Responses to “Sunday Estimates”

  1. Spacesheik says:

    Interesting, so DA VINCI is gonna end up with slightly KING KONG numbers domestically but it’s huge internationally. The best I could hear from people concerning the film is “it’s not as bad as critics said it was, but it wasn’t good either.”
    XMEN III drop off as expected but still very nice considering it was a rushed production and was helmed by Ratner – $250 isn’t impossible.
    Who would have thought Magneto would outgross Opus Dei…
    POSEIDON has better legs than expected judging from its b.o. but it will to about at $60 or so. Wolfgang Peterson had all the right ingredients but he shaved so much footage off the film – down to its basics – that its now just set piece after set piece with no characterization at all. One of the most expensive 90 minute films ever made – what a waste; seems more like a trailer than a film. If it was a better film it would have gone over $100 million domestic.
    OVER THE HEDGE is another CHICKEN LITTLE which is not bad.
    MI3 is finito.
    No film so far has been truly satisfying from my moviegoing’s perspective. XMEN III had its good moments but wasn’t a great flick; POSEIDON was a dissapoinment, albeit a fast-paced one; MI 3 was more of the same, give or take; DA VINCI offered nothing new to readers of the book.
    THE OMEN looks like a Gus Van Sant PSYCHO type shot by shot remake (I think I’ll pass, and besides I don’t buy the premise of Liev Schrieber as US Ambassador to Court of Saint James).
    What’s left? SUPERMAN RETURNS scares me now the more Brian Singer talks about it (“my first chick flick”). PIRATES 2? Was I the only one who found the first film dull?
    It’s a shit summer.

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    “PIRATES 2? Was I the only one who found the first film dull?”
    Yes. (Sorry, but you asked.)
    But seriously: Someone else on this blog recently asked the same question, in almost precisely the same manner. We’re not back to multiple aliases, are we?

  3. Blackcloud says:

    Twenty minutes too long? Yes. Dull? Hell no!

  4. Eric says:

    DP, awareness leads to action. And your portrait of the audience for Inconvenient Truth is probably the most condescending thing you’ve ever written.
    Spacesheik, you’re right– the big summer movies have been really underwhelming. And I can be very forgiving of summer movies.
    I do think both Superman and PotC will be worthwhile. My bet for best movie of the summer remains Miami Vice.

  5. Jimmy the Gent says:

    So, if I drive a hybrid and live in a solar-powered hut, my liking An Inconvenient Truth will have more wieght? Is that what you’re saying Poland?
    I know you’re “trying” to be humorous, but you are coming off a little defensive. I mean, most people on this blog probably haven’t seen the movie. Nobody hasn’t even accused you of being a “rightie” who doesn’t support the movie. Yet.
    Ebert’s review made me excited about the movie. It doesn’t really matter if he says everything I need to know about the movie in his review. It’s not what the movie is about, but how it’s about it.
    P.S. I’m glad you finally came out of the closet and stated you’re a Democrat. It’s nice to have you on the team. We welcome you. (See Friday’s Hot Bottum.)

  6. Blackcloud says:

    “I’m glad you finally came out of the closet and stated you’re a Democrat.”
    David’s said it before. I wasn’t aware it was news.

  7. Josh Massey says:

    Stealing my “canny cross promotion” 66.6 joke from the other thread, huh? If it had hadn’t been a blazingly obvious observation, I would be mightily offended.

  8. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Anyone here watching the finales of The Sopranos or Big Love? They should be better than anything at the movies.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Jimmy: Actually, I caught Rocco DeLuca and the Burden on Friday night — their set was more exciting than anything I’ve seen at the movies lately. But I think “An Inconvenient Truth” is a very good documentary. If Al Gore would have come across as that charmismatic and comfortable during the 2000 election, we might be living in a very different world today.

  10. Spacesheik says:

    Agree with Jimmy The Gent, Ebert’s review was brilliant; wanna see the film now.

  11. Spacesheik says:

    Joe, Al Gore came off ‘charismatic’ and ‘comfortable’ during his concession speech, but by then the SNL ‘locked box’ jokes had taken their toll on the persona.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Re: Poseidon, I have a friend who worked on it, and he told me that the scenes that were cut out latest in post-production were really awful – worse than anything in the film as released. This suggests that any ‘character development’ scenes that could have made the movie longer would have also made the movie harder to sit through.
    Hey DP, what kind of car do you drive?

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Space: You have a point. (Righties tend to overlook that Lefties like the “SNL” crowd delight in skewering stiff but decent folks like Gore, Kerry, Dukakis, etc.) (Of course, it might help if the Dems actually nominated someone as telegenic as Clinton every election.) But give “SNL” credit: They gave Gore the chance to prove he’s a good sport. And he’s been a laugh riot every time he’s appeared on the show as himself.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    I asked the POTC question a while ago. I’m glad I’m not alone.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Not alone, but in the minority.

  16. James Leer says:

    DP, only a slim amount of the people who will see “An Inconvenient Truth” are Arclight-going Westside SUV drivers. Why do the Republicans’ job and tar every concerned filmgoer with that brush? I’m seriously asking.

  17. Jimmy the Gent says:

    The thing about the 2000 election is that I knew nobody could be as charismatic as Clinton. The country needed to come down from the previous eight years. Presidents like Clinton don’t come every election. Before Clinton it was JFK. Before JFK it was FDR. You almost have to deal with normal-looking presidents like Truman, LBJ, Nixon, and Bush 1. I gladly embraced Gore’s intelligence over Bush 2’s “folksy,” “everyman” persona.
    There seems to be a need in our society for people to “relate” to celebs, as if they have a headacke they must be just like me. Call it the fallout from American Idol.
    Just because Jolie had a C-section and you had a C-section, doesn’t mean you two are equals.

  18. Aamir says:

    Space, I think DVC will outgross XIII both domestically and internationally.

  19. jesse says:

    Does anyone else think The Break-Up’s word-of-mouth won’t be that bad? Not stellar, but not that bad? I know everyone on this blog has offered anecdotal evidence at one point or another, and we all know that it’s not a great measure of anything (example: someone said in a previous thread that they saw X-Men this past Friday night in L.A. at 8:30 and it wasn’t a full showing, so it wasn’t a bad sign; I went at almost exactly the same time in NYC and all of the showtimes in that range were sold out… and of course, X3’s second weekend was neither a notable disaster nor a show of staying power). But I’m going to do it anyway, just throwing it out there: I saw The Break-Up on Saturday night, and the crowd seemed OK with it. Maybe I just read too much about how the film was actually much more bitter and dramatic and dark than expected, but I was actually surprised by how relatively tame it was. More serious than they were selling, yes, but not nearly the levels of ugliness I was expecting (and kinda interested in, although I half-liked the movie as it was). I heard a surprising amount of recognition laughter during the more “realistic” fights (in quotes because a lot of it still traded on male/female stereotypes). I can see it dropping as “little” as 45-50% next weekend. Which is not good for a typical romantic comedy, but not quite the plunge some are predicting.
    But again, that was just my experience; maybe most audiences were more hostile.

  20. Josh Massey says:

    Jimmy: Political viewpoints aside, you don’t think Reagan was charismatic?

  21. EDouglas says:

    David, have you seen Cars yet and are you going to?

  22. David Poland says:

    1. Condescending? Funny, I find every review that tells me how important the movie is to be completely condescending, as in, “Educated people already knew… but now here’s your chance to understand.”
    2. This is not the first movie in which I have suggested that it lets people off the hook for action with the sale of a movie ticket. Of course not everyone who sees AIT is a westside liberal who drives an SUV. But take a look around the parking lot at the Arclight and you tell me…
    3. I drive a Ford Mustang convertable. And as soon as I see an hybrid with a ragtop that I don’t have to pay $5000 over sticker for, I will be more than happy to be there.
    4. Not everything is about me, Jimmy. Every time I see a reference to AIT, anyone who does anything less than cream over the movie is refered to as those evil righties. As I wrote in my review, buy the book. But a recycling bin. Find a good Democratic candidate for 2008. This movie is preaching to the converted and while th emovie is not smug, the attitude of those pushing it is.
    5. Just got back from lunch… ran into a couple who saw the movie at a sold out show at The Arclight last night… took them 20 seconds to answer the question, “how was it?” They got into their SUV and left. (ha ha ha)
    6. I have acknowledged my party, my ethnicity, my age, and my graying hair openly here. If we were going to do plotics on a Kinseyesque scale, 1 for hardest right and 5 for hardest left, I imagine I would be a 3.75.
    7. Time to get over 2000 and 2004 and look to a better future. If there is something in IAC that truly strikes terror into my heart, it is that it has comvinced some otherwise sane people (Joe excepted… ha ha) that Gore dould be a good candidate for the presidency. Ironically, The West Wing is a prtty good predicter of what 2008 could be like. Two actual independent-minded candidates going at it on issues. Whaty we will not get is a Bush Administration figure nominated by the Republicans. And therefore, the Democrats best not put up a retro candidate or there will another loss and then, the left will truly be endangered.
    But this isn’t really a political blog, is it?

  23. David Poland says:

    8. Haven’t seen it. Missed the screening on Saturday. Will try to see it sometime.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    AIC is playing at 77 theaters. Are you saying they’re all the equivalent of the Arclight? (and if so, are any of them in Los Angeles so I can see movies there?)
    You seem to have your hate on for this movie, so there doesn’t seem much point in discussing it, but it is a good reminder that there’s no shortage of political ‘preach-to-the-converted’ docs out there. I thought both Why We Fight and Darwin’s Nightmare were prime recent examples, the latter of which was just barely crafted in a competent way.
    But that said, just because some of us already know these facts and figures, is there not some value in packaging them in a simple, easy-to-follow 100-minute package? Which is more condescending, urging people to educate themselves or telling people not to bother?
    (Of course I have not seen the movie, so who knows, maybe DP’s right and it is in fact deeply offensive).

  25. JckNapier2 says:

    For the 2008, I’d love to see..
    Russ Feingold (hardcore populist, but not quite as uber-liberal as people think, and quite a straight shooter)
    John McCain (usually a straight shooter, allegedly populist appeal, neither as liberal or conservative as people think, depending on the issue).
    Besides, since they both are hard-core into campaign finance reform, it just might be the cleanest election in ages.
    Scott Mendelson

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, after reading David’s posting, there are several things I’d like to say. But everytime I respond to anything David posts, I am accused of being mean, or kicking him in the balls, or being a really bad person. The fact is, David is a coward. He makes nasty comments — and whenever someone stands up to him, Dave starts whining and moaning, or he erases the comments from his blog. (And if you claim that you don’t Dave, well, you are a liar. I am living proof that you do.) And, as such, he is pathetic. Anytime anyone stands up to him, or questions him, or corrects him, he starts whining and pissing and moaning.
    The fact is, Al Gore has done more the future of mankind than David ever will. If David chooses to mock him, well, never mind: David will wind up quoted in the history books, just like the Nazis quoted about Jews, the rednecks quoted about blacks, the Righties quotes about Vietnam, etc.
    This may be my last positing on the blog here. So, for as long as you can read this, let me warn you: If you want a free and open exchange of ideas, maybe you should go elsewhere.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Yikes Joe, comparing DP to the Nazis is a bit much.

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    As Tom Petty might say: I won’t back down. And if you doubt me: Look in the history books.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Well, DP hasn’t massacred anyone…yet.
    I do agree with you that he has grown, over time, increasingly intolerant of anyone questioning him, his tactics, or his motives. Even when they’re not doing any of those things, but he only thinks they are.
    But this is old news.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    Please do not misunderstand: I am not likening DP to a Nazi. That would be gross and stupid insult to DP, and a ridiculous understatement of what Nazis did. But if you use similar tactics, you will risk comparisons.

  31. Josh Massey says:

    Jesus, man, let it go. He deleted ONE of your comments, almost a year ago – and he not only admitted it at the time, but has said he regrets it. I know that’s not your only complaint, but he’s been pretty upfront about it at least.
    Also, I’m pretty sure you lose your moral footing when you equate David Poland, Nazis, rednecks, and “righties.” One of these things is not like the other… (and I’m a “rightie” from Georgia, so I’m not talking about Poland).

  32. Jimmy the Gent says:

    On a lighter note, The Sopranos season finale was one of the saddest episodes of the show’s history. The final Christmastime scene was something out of Dickens. The use of The Rolling Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” wiped away any memory of that half-decent, half-cloying Brad Silberling weeper that everyone was creaming about four years ago. Remember how everyone was predicting Oscar nomination for the cast? Then Pianist, Chicago, Adaptation, Gangs of New York, and Far From Heaven came out and made everyone shut the hell up.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Josh: And I am from New Orleans, by way of Houston. Your point?

  34. Blackcloud says:

    “AIC is playing at 77 theaters. Are you saying they’re all the equivalent of the Arclight?”
    I’ve never been to the Arclight, but I suspect the theaters where it’s playing here in DC are similar in terms of the crowd’s sympathies. Two of them are in the Landmark chain. Another is an AMC (formerly Loews) that had F9/11 on two or three screens for a long time. I can’t say if the people drive over in SUVS–you park in a garage, and I take public transportation, so I don’t go inside.

  35. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Reagan had a personal effect on my family, as my father was an Air Traffic Controller. So, I would have to say I never found him charismatic. He falls in to that “folksy,” “everyman” category that people seem to equate with being able to get the job done. The Governor of California suffers from the same problem. Everyone is a star fucker from time to time. I’m a star fucker from time to time. But I try not to confuse good acting with the ability to run a state–or a country. Sooner or later you have to cuddle after the fucking.

  36. Blackcloud says:

    “The fact is, Al Gore has done more the future of mankind than David ever will. If David chooses to mock him, well, never mind: David will wind up quoted in the history books, just like the Nazis quoted about Jews, the rednecks quoted about blacks, the Righties quotes about Vietnam, etc.”
    Someone’s predicting the future without a license. And I don’t mean Al Gore.

  37. Josh Massey says:

    Though I’m from Atlanta, my blood is part south Georgia redneck (sans accent and NASCAR love) – so I take umbrage to being compared with Nazis myself. I’m all about painting in broad strokes at times, but that’s just a little too broad for my taste.

  38. Nicol D says:

    As someone who posts here on a semi-regular basis with views that are no where near popular on this blog and are in many cases different that Dave’s, I must say I have never had any of my views censored or blocked (except for that computer glitch a few weeks ago that many experienced).
    “David will wind up quoted in the history books, just like the Nazis quoted about Jews, the rednecks quoted about blacks, the Righties quotes about Vietnam, etc.”
    I’m sure in real life you are a sincere and nice chap. Please know that when you write statements like this you come off like a complete and utter ignoramus.
    Feel free to disagree, but you lose a lot of cred on both sides of the aisle when the ‘ole Nazi comparison gets thrown up.
    In fact, it is you who comes off as the extremist in this scenario.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    But Nicol, do you understand where Joe is coming from at least?

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: The future will decide if I’m right or wrong. Right?

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    Josh: I was born and raised in New Orleans, and lived there until I was 23. So I’m likely as red-neckish as you, OK? And my late mother was a lifelong Democrat (while my Irish emigre father — a fomrer IRA activist — has also voted Democratic). But… Reagan was INDEED a charismatic President. No doubt about it.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Excuse me: Jimmy….

  43. Blackcloud says:

    Is this the first time on this blog someone has violated Godwin’s law?

  44. jeffmcm says:

    You must not have been around here long.

  45. Joe Leydon says:

    Godwin’s law?

  46. Blackcloud says:

    Er, I’ve been here from the start. I can’t recall any previous violations off the top of my head, but I’ll take your word for it that there have been.

  47. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Who’s Godwin?

  48. Joe Leydon says:

    Blackcloud: Trust me, I’m not the first. Or event the tenth.

  49. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, I mean EVEN the tenth.

  50. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I don’t want a link. I want a definition.

  51. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Where’s my man Crow T. Robot? He should get in on some of this action.
    Does anyone ever get sentimental and miss Chester? I didn’t think so.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Hell, how about Hicksville? Now there was some fun.

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Green Acres, that’s the place for me…

  54. Crow T Robot says:

    I’ll agree that DP has lost much of the nice guy luster that brought me to this site 8 years ago (this probably says more about the spirit-crushing nature of the industry than anything) and his recent obsessive opinions about the obsessive opinions of other journalists is turn off (he still hasn’t realized that this old media vs. new media dance doesn’t interest the movie nuts in here AT ALL:-). But the guy says what he means and means what he says, and still manages to get worked up about the few morsels of real art that struggles its way to the screen each year. Every now and then The Hot Button even takes the Nestea Plunge back to its movie loving glory (the 5/12 column).
    And apparently the dude and I drive the same kind of car. How cool is that. The new one with the V8, right? High five!
    (And three cheers to Tony for being the bigger man with that maddog Phil Leotardo, opting to go at him with the high moral ground instead of a .45 and a shovel. Higher five!)

  55. RoyBatty says:

    Poland – I will have to agree, there is the stench of hypercriticism to your views on AIT.
    And the kicker was the line “…while the movie is not smug, the attitude of those pushing it is.” So in turn you decide to be smug about those who decide to go see it, without any sort of polling data to support yourself. Riiiiiiiight.
    Whats worse is the fact that here is a film that according to everything I’ve read about it, does not get hysterical and screechy about its premise. That unlike the tactics used almost exclusively by the GOP these days, decides to present its evidence in a straightforward, clear-eyed manner. Yet, here comes Davey Poland who sees it as his mission to lay into it because the MARKETING upsets him.
    When I think of all the crap films I have seen that you admitted had faults but liked them never the less because of some saving grace, it makes me want to chuckle and retch at the same time…

  56. RoyBatty says:

    Meanwhile –
    Did anyone else see that pull-quote ad today for CARS and think “Oh shit, not good”?
    Also, no one seems to have commented on the fact that on a weekend after a holiday, after weeks in releasee, OVER THE HEDGE only dropped 23%????
    Which I would say is a probable sign that CARS is poised to clean up, no matter how not-as-good-as-expected-from-Pixar it is (and judging from the aforementioned ad, it would seem to be the case).
    PS – And as a Southern born and bred progressive, I do without the “ignorant rednecks are all from the south” bullshit. Visit upstate New York sometime…

  57. RoyBatty says:

    “I can do” Sorry, in a rush to finally watch SOPRANOS

  58. Crow T Robot says:

    (And Jimmy, I’m home this weekend for a family wedding. Did manage to catch DaVinci today — as much as I disliked the film I couldn’t help rocking “Mary Magdalene for president!” to the Jesus nuts STILL picketing outside our small town theater. God I love those goofy bastards.)

  59. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Crow, you crazy devil.

  60. Joe Leydon says:

    Roy Batty: True enough. Consider how all those nice folks in Boston responded to school integration…

  61. Wrecktum says:

    What was the pull-quote for Cars today? It didn’t violate Godwin’s Law, did it?

  62. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: Just caught the last several minutes of “All That Jazz” on an Encore cable channel. In your WILDEST flights of imagination, can you imagine any Hollywood major green-lighting anything like this today?
    On a related note: I think we don’t often give enough credit to sound effects in movies. For example, near the end of “House of Sand and Fog,” the sound of Ben Kingsley ripping that stretch of tape near the ned was devastating: You abolsutewly KNEW at that point that he was going to die. And in “All That Jazz,” the sound of the zipper… Omigod!

  63. Joe Leydon says:

    D’oh! Of course, that last sentence should read: For example, near the end of “House of Sand and Fog,” the sound of Ben Kingsley ripping that stretch of tape near the END was devastating: You absolutely KNEW at that point that he was going to die. And in “All That Jazz,” the sound of the zipper… Omigod!

  64. David Poland says:

    I thought you were leaving, Joe.
    Drama, drama, drama.
    And again… not mocking Al… not even mocking the boring movie… mocking the hype.
    Roy B, I hear you. And the discussion is no different than The Break Up… sell one movie, deliver another… except that this one has people doing crazy shit like calling be a Naxi equivalent for saying it’s boring and overhyped. I only wish it had been as entertaining as Eight Legged Freaks. But that is not the point. Hysteria and “we know what’s good for you” is. And no, not everyone who sees the movie or likes the movie is that way. But many are.
    Joe, you are as welcome as ever. I just like you a lot better when you are talking about the subject and not about me.
    And sorry if some don’t care a e-journalism… some don’t care about festivals… some don’t care about marketing… I am equal opportunity at writing lots that bores lots of people. And in that massive amount of content, I hope that 20% interests you, as an individual, each week.
    Personally, I think I am a lot nicer and a lot less reactive as a journalist now than I was 9 years ago. But yes, having people who are not strangers hitting me in ways I consider personal and not about the news we’re discussing does grate. And when I stop doing this someday, it will be those people and what I consider the slow death of journalistic standards that cause my choice to exit, far more that the work itself, which I still dearly love.

  65. James Leer says:

    But you’re not mocking the hype OR the movie…you’re mocking the people who would go to see a movie on global warming. Which makes the hype and the movie irrelevant. Why you are doing so, I do not know.
    And consider that the movie is doing gangbusters in NYC, where many people don’t even own a car, let alone an SUV.
    You seem to want to see the movie fail. Finding it boring, I get. But it presents a viewpoint you claim to agree with and people are seeing it and coming out enlightened (even self-described Democrats like Roger Ebert, whose behavior it did affect), so why are you determined to denigrate that?

  66. Joe Leydon says:

    You’re not knocking Al? And you’re not knocking the “boring” movie? OK, so who wrote this:
    “[N]o matter how much generosity critics and activists show this movie, it is still a boring slideshow by a boring speaker and no matter how many cool graphics are included, it’s still a boring movie.” (The Hot Button, May 24, 2006)

  67. palmtree says:

    All That Jazz is the movie Chicago wishes it were.
    Mr. Poland, $8 is still cheaper than buying the book. And I’m a sucker for animated graphics.

  68. Wrecktum says:

    Anyone hear the rumor that Bill Condon has been pulled off Dreamgirls and that he’s been replaced by Davis Guggenheim? Anyone? Bueller?

  69. Joe Leydon says:

    Palmtree: Not only that — I see this movie again, and I have to wonder: What ever happened to Roy Scheider’s career?

  70. Joe Leydon says:

    And right after “All That Jazz” comes “Punchline,” with Tom Hanks and Sally Field brilliantly cast against type. I love cable.

  71. Jimmy the Gent says:

    All That Jazz is America’s answer to Italy’s 8 1/2.
    Sometimes I’ll just watch the opening to pick up my spirits. Cliff Gorman’s thin take on Hoffman’s version of Lenny is priceless. One of EW’s senior writers just wrote an appreciation of Sheider’s ’70s work. The appreciation came on the heels of the DVD release of The Seven-Ups. He’s always been one of my favorite actors. Even in junk movies like Night Game and Listen to Me he brings his trademark authority. I remember thinking at the time how much more better Air Force One would’ve been with him as the President.
    I wish a DVD company like Anchor Bay or Blue Underground would get the rights to 52 Pick-up and do a proper Special Edition. It still remains the best adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel ever. Yes, that includes Out of Sight and Jackie Bronw. It’s Frankenheimer’s last truly great theatrical movie. John Glover creates the third best villain of 1986. He comes after Tom Noonan’s Tooth Fairy (Manhunter), and Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth (Blue Velvet). 1986 was a stellar year for movie bad guys.
    Scheider is one of those actors that Tarantino or Soderbergh needs to give a nice supporting role to.
    Does anyone remember Finch saying that All That Jazz is the movie that influenced him the most as a director. (it’s in the Wazman book.) If you think about it this makes perfect sense. Bob Fosse was one of the greatest directors with one of the smallest list of credits. Cabaret, Lenny, All That Jazz, and Star 80 are all masterworks. Any director would be proud to just have these four titles on their list.

  72. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I meant Fincher.

  73. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    All That Jazz is my all-time favourite movie. I was extremely fortunate to see it on the big-screen 3 weeks ago and it was even better! The opening 10 minutes of Jazz is surely the greatest opening sequence ever, right? And that ending with Bob Vereen and Roy Scheider? That whole movie is, to me, my idea of PERFECTION. I can honestly not think of one single frame of that movie that isn’t less than perfect. *sigh* I wish that movie had a greater DVD package.
    And what DID happen to Scheider? Last time I remember seeing him was in The Rainmaker looking quite scary. But I’m sure there’s been other stuff I’m forgetting.
    On the matter of An Inconvenient Truth
    David’s reaction about the people seeing the movie isn’t good. But it’s the exact same argument that at least half of you used for people who liked Crash so y’all need to shut up.

  74. David Poland says:

    I don’t know that I can explain myself much more. “Mock,” not “knock.” I have knocked the movie. But not as hard as I mock the sell.
    I have no problem at all with people who would go to an environmental doc. I do, again, believe that movies that ae pushed this hard tend to become the end instead of just the mean.
    And I don’t know what you think “failure” is for this film, J Leer. I really don’t care one way or the other. That doesn’t preclude me from feeling it is The Liberal Guilt Movie Of The Year… so sayeth the guilty liberal.

  75. David Poland says:

    All That Jazz is one of my very favorite films. Very underappreciated on editing alone. There are things they do in this movie that you still don’t see done as well.
    The intimacy of the film is singular, beyond 8 1/2 for me, and the only weak point, in form, not function, is Jessica Lange as Death. It’s the only thing in the film that doesn’t quite stand up. It is still the best feature about making a Broadway show (going away) and it layers emotion in ways that few more weighty dramas can match.

  76. Spacesheik says:

    Roy Scheider was the goateed, chain-smoking, womanizing Bob Fosse was magnificent – ALL THAT JAZZ was his cinematic peak, and the flick was great.
    Speaking of Roy Scheider and ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to,’ it kinda made me think of what a great decade the 70s were for flicks where Hollywood could greenlight something like Scheider’s other flick THE FRENCH CONNECTION with an ‘unglamourous’ over 40 actor (Gene Hackman) who *doesn’t* have a love interest, who is borderline racist, boorish and violent, who kills another cop at the climax of the film and doesn’t give a shit, and who *doesnt* even get the bad guy (Fernando Rey) at the end.
    A movie like that could never be made, cast or plotted that way today by the chicken shit studios. It’s quite disheartening if you think about it.

  77. jeffmcm says:

    “Joe, you are as welcome as ever. I just like you a lot better when you are talking about the subject and not about me.”
    See, this is one of the things, DP, that you don’t seem to get: this is a personality-driven website and a personality-driven blog, and you are that personality, as much as Ebert or Matt Zoller Seitz on their websites. How can we discuss your take on the news or your opinions on movies without, from time to time, discussing you? It’s impossible. Didn’t you get upset, a couple of weeks ago, when someone said, “…in your opinion” about some movie, and your response was “Of course in my fucking opinion”?
    You can either be an objective, non-judgemental observer, or a personality with opinions. Walking the tightrope is where people give you problems.

  78. Martin S says:

    Do you know when Ebert became irrelevant? When Siskel died. Because Gene would have taken him to the woodshed for such a review. I think this piece is the final mutation of his move from critic to wannabe editorialist.
    And all the flack given to Dave – it’s his f’ing site. His bills. His income. That means it’s his forum for his opinion – not for his personality. A personality site is AICN. It’s used to justify every impartial judgment and, originally, made Harry’s lack of credentials subjective for the reader. Poland does not take that approach.
    A lot of people don’t want to see the difference between opinion and personality because then they can’t justify personal comments/attacks.

  79. Martin S says:

    If critics want a little insight into why they’re becoming irrelevant to the audience, just go look at the AIC links at Rotten T. Of all the positives, I think I found that was an actual *review* of movie. Amazing. The trees block the view of the forest, again.

  80. Joe Leydon says:

    Spaceshiek: I know it’s annoying to some younger film buffs whenever this gets pointed out — but, yes, you’re right, the ’70s was a great time for ballsy, envelope-pushing MAJOR STUDIO flicks. And yes, it was a time when heroes (or, more appropriately, ANTI-heroes) didn’t have to be all PC and cuddly and inoffensive. Never mind “French Connection” — how about “Saturday Night Fever,” eh? I was recently talking with a filmmaker who’d been told that his producers wanted his current project to be “more like ‘Saturday Night Fever'” — meaning, more teen-skewing. He couldn’t help but laugh. As we agreed: Here was a gritty, R-rated, profanity-laced drama about a guy who’s openly racist, and who very nearly commits what we’d now describe as date rape — but people tend to REMEMBER the movie as a romantic dance comedy-drama. Sheesh.

  81. JckNapier2 says:

    A – What was the pull quote from Cars that people are referring to?
    B – Execs and the like always forget seemingly obvious things about successful properties and why they are successful. I relate the story of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Co when they were making Batman Beyond back in 1998 (it would air in 1999 of course). The Warner execs (who to be fair had given them all kinds of editorial freedom for their previous projects and beyond) were constantly talking about how they wanted the show to be like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Of course, as Timm correctly pointed out, if they ended up with a show like Buffy, it would in no way shape or form be appropriate for the demographic that Kids WB was aiming for.
    Point being, execs and politicians always forget that legendary projects usually involve characters and situations that are not appropriate for everyone and involve flaws, warts, and other stuff that usually would be the first thing to get notes in a first screenplay.
    C – Question, to anyone reading this, does anyone remember that long detailed story about how women are written in romantic comedies (specifically involving trying to make a movie about a pregnant lead) that linked here about a year ago. If it still exists online, I’d love to find it to show to people. I always thought it was fascinating.
    Scott Mendelson

  82. Joe Leydon says:

    At the risk of sounding like I’m pimping for The site curently is taking a poll for Warner Home Video, to decide what library titles should be released on DVD. I voted for two admittedly odd choices — Francis Ford Coppola’s “You’re a Big Boy Now” (his first significant feature, a sweet coming of age story that got totally overshadowed when “The Graduate” was released later that year) and Oliver Stone’s “The Hand” (a very under-rated horror flick with a truly startling performance by Michael Caine). For what it’s worth, I also voted for these currently unavailable films: Brian De Palma’s “Get to Know Your Rabbit,” “Up Periscope” (Warren Oates’ film debut in a minor role), John Frankenheimer’s “All Fall Down,” Paul Mazursky’s “Blume in Love,” “Al Capone” (with Rod Steiger), James Bridges’ “Mike’s Murder” (still haunts me after all these years), “There Was a Crooked Man” (great pairing of Henry Fonda and Kirk Douglas), and a sentimental fave, “Made in Heaven.”

  83. palmtree says:

    According to wiki, Scheider was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and was treated in 2005.
    Mr. Poland, the editing in All that Jazz is amazing. Aronofsky totally stole the ritualistic drug taking scenes.

  84. Eric says:

    Joe, where did you find that poll on Amazon? I’d love to see the list.

  85. Joe Leydon says:

    The late Cliff Gorman (whose career ranged from “The Boys in the Band” to “An Unmarried Woman” to TV’s “Law & Order”) actually played Lenny Bruce on Broadway under Fosse’s direction. (He won a Tony Award for his performance.) But Dustin Hoffman replaced him in the movie version of “Lenny.”

  86. Joe Leydon says:

    And I swear to God, I’m not hyping this so Amazon will restock my book! LOL.

  87. Cadavra says:

    “Just caught the last several minutes of “All That Jazz” on an Encore cable channel. In your WILDEST flights of imagination, can you imagine any Hollywood major green-lighting anything like this today?”
    Actually, it almost didn’t. The picture was set up at Columbia, but then they got nervous and pulled the plug while it was in production. The producers quickly ran down Motor Ave. and got Fox to pick up the film, which Columbia happily ceded (though for their troubles they retained international rights). Production was completed with only a small bump in the road.

  88. Eric says:

    Fantastic. Thanks for the link.

  89. Joe Leydon says:

    Cadavra: I vaguely recall that Roy Scheider wasn’t the first choice for the lead role. In fact, I think Richard Dreyfuss was originally set, then bailed right before production began. Could that be why Columbia pulled the plug?

  90. Hopscotch says:

    My girlfriend forced me to watch All that Jazz last year. I said fine….boy was I in for the night.
    And I agree what was said earlier, who’d have the cahonies to make THAT movie today.

  91. Spacesheik says:

    Thanks for the link Joe, I’ll definitely vote there.
    As fas as NIGHT FEVER you’re right it was pretty graphic but these days we look back at it with innocence; bee gees, disco etc – I even remember Paramount releasing a PG version of that flick minus the sex and profanity shortly after the release.
    I remember MIKE’S MURDER vaguely…it was regarded as a dissapointment when it was released; surprisingly the only thing I rememeber well is an overweight Paul Winfield in a large robe — I think that’s the film, not sure.
    THE HAND is a great flick and Michael Caine pulled another edgy DRESSED TO KILL type role in that – 1981 I think but it flopped then – caught it on HBO and still remember the graphic car accident that crushes Caine’s hand and the blood on the windshield. Crazy film.
    BLUME IN LOVE – I love George Segal’s 70s stuff and I don’t think I saw this, so it gets my vote.
    THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN = great Western about a jailbreak I believe. Both stars were top notch.

  92. Cadavra says:

    Joe: Dreyfuss was in early talks to do the role, but he had left long before the cameras rolled.
    CROOKED MAN is one of my favorite movies of that era. Fabulous cast and funny as hell. Definitely overdue for a DVD release.

  93. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: I don’t know how many of you folks have digital cable, or dishes, and how many of you get the Encore channels (where I caught “All That Jazz”). But for those of you who do, here’s a head’s up: Tomorrow night (Tuesday): John Cassavetes’ “Husbands” at 9:35 pm EDT on Encore Drama. Cowabunga.

  94. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Very underappreciated on editing alone. There are things they do in this movie that you still don’t see done as well.”
    The editing in that movie is probably the best example I’ve ever seen. Whenever I say a movie had good editing my non-movie obsessive friends will ask “what IS good editing?” and while it’s hard to explain I tell them to see “All That Jazz” and see.
    “The intimacy of the film is singular, beyond 8 1/2 for me, and the only weak point, in form, not function, is Jessica Lange as Death. It’s the only thing in the film that doesn’t quite stand up. It is still the best feature about making a Broadway show (going away) and it layers emotion in ways that few more weighty dramas can match.”
    8 1/2 I liked (love the final fantasy sequence tho) but, yeah, All That Jazz beats it. For me when I originally saw it (and for the next few times I watched it also) the Jessica Lange Angel of Death thing was what was stopping me from finding it perfect, but as I watched it more and more I have since grown to realise it’s the perfect way to do what Fosse was trying to do. Lange’s character is essentially Bob Fosse in female form, which is why he gets on so well with her. That moment at the very end when Joe Gideon is gliding down the corridor and we just see her at the end is magical.
    I’m so glad so many others also consider All That Jazz a classic. I thought I was one of the only ones, it seems to unappreciated today.
    As others have said, this movie wouldn’t be made today. Has their ever been a more cynicle movie that has been so uplifting. All That Jazz, to me, is life-affirming perfection with great performances, kick-ass musical sequences, brilliant direction and one helleva finale. *sigh* they really DON’T make ’em like they used to
    My favourite decade is the 1950s tho, unfortunately the 1970s are bit underviewed by me.

  95. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Update. The Break-up actually made $39.2mil.

  96. David Poland says:

    I think the idea of The Angel of Death was brilliant. But for me, the execution is what’s weak. Love the conversation. Love the lust. But the gauziness of it all is distracting, even from Lange’s beauty. The movie tells us that Gideon/Fosse is deeply, sexually attracted to death and is pusged away over and over. In the film, she is always at a distance. He uses his verbal skills, but not his physicality, which is so much of his appeal to women – not his height, but how he moves and makes them move and feel about themselves – to seduce.
    It’s the only part of the film in which I think Fosse was too kind to himself. Is that white outfit really his idea of seductive perfection? I think not.

  97. Joe Leydon says:

    Speaking of “All That Jazz” — which I am always happy to do — it’s amsuing to consider that this was only Jessica Lange’s second film, after her debut in the ill-starred “King Kong” remake of 1976. She was pretty much hooted off the screen for that one. Who could have predicted that, six years after that debacle, she would get double Oscar nominations for “Tootsie” and “Frances”?

  98. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    It was indeed Lange’s second film, and it came a whole three years after Kong. Goes to show how vicious it was back then I suppose.
    You know what the most surprising thing about All THat Jazz is? It was only nominated for one Golden Globe – Best Actor Musical/Comedy. That’s very strange. I do love that it actually won the Palm d’Or (well, tied alongside Kagemusha). Seems like such an odd Cannes winner.

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