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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estmates by Klady

Cars managed to drop almost 50% and still win the weekend. Still, the weekend was up from last year as three new entries split almost than $65 million between them.
Nacho Libre‘s $27.5 is a solid success for Paramount and don

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105 Responses to “Sunday Estmates by Klady”

  1. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Mr. Poland called it on the button. Congratulations!
    Wonder if Par will expand “An Inconvenient Truth” further? Next 3 weekends have a major star, a franchise and a franchise/sequel in that order.

  2. Aladdin Sane says:

    Is Cars gonna make it to $200 million?
    At first I was gonna say no, but given the longevity of other Pixar flicks, it might. Not bad for a talking vehicle movie. Bring on the Knight Rider movies!

  3. Eric says:

    According to Mojo, X3 cost about $100 million more to make than X2, and it will get about $10 million more domestic and about the same worldwide.
    I hope Fox has taken some notes about what happens when you choose hurried mediocrity over long-term quality.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    So if Monster House comes out on July 21 and Ant Bully comes out on July 28…then Any Bully is _not_ the next kids-only movie after Garfield, correct?

  5. brack says:

    I’m not sure whether or not it’s some joke by, but if you check out the Top Ten Estimated there, you’ll notice that The Omen is down by 66.6% from last week, which I find absolutely hilarious.

  6. TJFar67 says:

    the devil made them do it, brack

  7. James Leer says:

    DP seems to think that “Monster House” is going to have broad appeal. I’m not so sure…unlike the other CG cartoons as of late, this one is actually about kids, starring “kids.” It’s easier to get adults to see a cartoon about talking cars or animals or superheroes than it is to get them to see something about children.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, that was what I was saying. Both Any Bully and Monster House look like movies exclusively for kids with virtually zero appeal for teens or adults. At best MH will do Chicken Little business (which is still not bad – $135m).

  9. Eric says:

    I have to believe that “Monster House” will be worth seeing– it’s been touched by the hands of Spielberg and Zemeckis. That counts for something.

  10. anghus says:

    Monster House is gonna come too late in the Summer. With more CG kiddie fare being made, theyre gonna have to split the pie. I don’t know if there’s another 135 million left after Cars and Over the Hedge netting over 300 million by the time Monster House hits theaters.

  11. MattM says:

    I wonder how much F&F got off the late ads that featured the earlier “secret” Vin Diesel cameo. I think that might have sold some tickets.

  12. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Did anyone see tonight’s Entourage? I have two questions.
    1. Is Spider_man still the biggest 3-day opening? I have a bad memory that I couldn’t remember if X3 broke the record. (Actually, I like bullshitting about the numbers, but really don’t care enough to haave ’em memorized.)
    2. What would be a reasonable number for the next James Cameron movie? Do people think that Titanic’s success automatically means he should have the biggest opening ever? People seem to forget that Titanic had legs. At its peak it never had more than $30 million in a weekend. (Poland would know the exact numbers. I’m just guessing.) Is Cameron’s laid-back approach to storytelling outdated in the era of comic-book action?
    Have any thoughts Poland?

  13. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Harry Knowles saw Superman Returns. Guess what he thinks of it?

  14. Blackcloud says:

    Spider-Man = biggest 3-day opening weekend (Fri-Sun).
    ROTS = biggest 3-day opening (Thurs-Sat).
    Pirates could give Spider-Man a run for its money, maybe ROTS, too.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    James Cameron’s next movie will not have a massive opening, any more than Spielberg’s movies necessarily do these days, and considering that his movie probably won’t have any major stars in it. Ten years is a long time to go with no release bigger than Ghosts of the Abyss.

  16. Nicol D says:

    People will look for Cameron’s next film to be a marked work of quality and on that level it must succeed. It will not have to perform Titanic numbers but if it does under 150, I suspect people will call it a flop regardless.

  17. Nicol D says:

    Just read Harry’s gushing and fawning review of Superman Returns.
    That just gave DP’s review a huge gush of credibility.

  18. Tofu says:

    Harry’s review was leveled enough… Massawyrm’s, however, was pure gush. Ugh. I got nerd juice on me. Still, I’m starting to think this movie WILL be special, instead of just competent.
    James Cameron is likely going to comeback in a big way if this new 3D technology catches on. Avatar could be a large hit for the tech fact, the return of the director fact, and all-around looking good. James Cameron’s name doesn’t equal automatic box office, but it will create plenty of press. The key will be the marketing, as the cast will likely be unknowns.

  19. MASON says:

    The AICN gang loving it is one thing, but Variety and the Reporter seemed to love it as well. Guess it simply wasn’t DP’s cup of tea.

  20. Sandy says:

    I always thought Spidey or Xmen were way cooler than Supes. Will all these positive reviews matter to the public? Nah, but I think it has to do as well as Batman Begins.

  21. James Leer says:

    I think “Avatar” will do huge box office, or at least open massively. They don’t need stars when they’ve got the first film in a decade from the director of “Titanic.” To say that “Titanic” never did more than $30 mil a week is less important than the fact that it’s the HIGHEST-GROSSING MOVIE EVER. There will be huge curiosity at least, and when the movie comes out and is ultra eye-popping (and presumably 3-D) and features a strong romantic hook, I don’t think it’s going to need any stars. Cameron is the name here.

  22. MASON says:

    Newsweek and Time loved Superman as well. My expectations are starting to rise again.

  23. JckNapier2 says:

    looks like Dave might be in the same position I was in the last two summers in regards to Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Grizzly Man (2005), two insanely well-reviewed movies that I detested. In that case, regardless of what I eventually think of Supey, he has my sympathy.
    Random question… what other movies have you (anyone here) hated that everyone else loved?
    A few from me…
    Spider-Man 2
    Life Is Beautiful
    Grizzly Man
    Blair Witch Project (the opinions are divided today, but back then, it was frusterating watching critics I trust fall for this on)
    Your turn…
    Scott Mendelson

  24. palmtree says:

    I didn’t get much into Mystic River…when David Denby called Crash the best American movie since Mystic River, that pretty much cemented my dislike for him.

  25. Tofu says:

    The critical appeal of the Spider-Man films is a downright mystery. They aren’t bad movies, but they aren’t very memorable or unique either. The editing job on #2 was the worst of the year, no question.
    The character is appealing enough, and Superman is starting to become relevant as well, but they both have an overly sentimental look about them. They both represent the ideas of America and such, but I suppose I’m looking for a little more ‘POP’ in my presentations.
    At any rate, I’m not without my own bias. Batman Begins was my favorite film of last year right next to Munich. To see Begins compared directly in quality with Spider-Man 2 actually has me scratching my head, but to each his own in this genre.
    What exactly is there to detest from Grizzly Man? Herzog is a sexy, sexy man. =D

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Crash is a bad movie, but fortunately not everyone was suckered into it except for several hundred doddering, guilty-liberal Academy members. Mystic River is well-acted but very uneven and generally mediocre and I have no idea why it is so beloved.
    So Tofu, you consider Spider-Man 2 to be the worst-edited film of 2004? Worse than The Perfect Score or Eurotrip or Blade Trinity? I find this notion odd (as someone who loves both Raimi Spider-Man movies).

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, a good example of a movie that I didn’t care for that just about everyone seems to love is L.A. Confidential. I thought it was tedious, meandering, and inauthentic, and I was glad it lost best picture to Titanic.

  28. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Mystic River might be the most overrated movie of the decade. I really hate when a murder mystery sets up its evidence in such a way that it can interpreted in two completely ways. Also, I hated Laura Linney’s big Macbeth scene at the end. Where did that come from? We hadn’t heard a word from her the entire movie, an now she’s plotting to rule Boston?
    I also hated the stilted, West-End-of-London bullshit that was Closer. No one talks like that. If they do, they should be shot. When a woman describes herself as a “waif” I run for the hills.
    The ’80s had a lot of critics’ darlings that always baffled me. Anyone remember Chariots of Fire? Or, Out of Africa?

  29. Me says:

    I found every single moment of The Squid and the Whale painfully pretentious and precious. I still can’t fathom why so many people loved it.
    On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I never liked The Lion King, either.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    Re: Closer, most plays are hard to successfully make the transition into movies. Play dialogue does not sound like normal real-life dialogue, and plays don’t typically let people sit in silence, which is how most people spend a lot of their time.
    Laura Linney’s Lady Macbeth speech was actually one of my favorite things in that movie, because it was one of the few things in it that seemed surprising and new.

  31. Telemachos says:

    CHARIOTS OF FIRE is one of my faves (heh). FORREST GUMP has always been wildly over-rated, as far as I’m concerned. And I couldn’t stand MILLION DOLLAR BABY either.

  32. palmtree says:

    Lion King is overrated, but still good.
    L.A. Confidential is a masterpiece…I can see how it plays slow, but I call it subtlety. It’s on par with some of the great film noirs, and I don’t say that lightly.
    I like Hero at the aesthetic level, but it is pretty shallow for all the attention it got.

  33. palmtree says:

    Forrest Gump…good call.

  34. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I never understood the apeal of The Sting.

  35. Wrecktum says:

    L.A. Confidential is my favorite film of the past decade. It OOZES authenticity.

  36. Eddie says:

    I hated almost every moment of In The Bedroom. I never understood the praise that one got.

  37. Hopscotch says:

    Erin Brockovich – TV movie of the week.
    Crash – we’ve said it before.
    Aviator/Gangs of NY – though plenty of people are vocal about their shortcomings.
    Sin City – Yes, it’s cool-looking. but i was not enamored with this one like the other film geeks out there.

  38. palmtree says:

    LA Con doesn’t really meander either…it appears to but that’s why when everything converges at the end is it so thrilling. Titanic is easily a worse movie…and I like it.

  39. Hopscotch says:

    Oh, totally forgot: Rain Man.
    while not a “bad” movie, completely over-rated. Modern classic my back side.
    I think Chariots of Fire is good, btw. sure a little slow, but I like the movie a lot.

  40. JckNapier2 says:

    I always enjoyed and have defended Forrest Gump as a dark, twisted black comedy that comments on America as the land where a man can completely succeed on luck and random chance (while all those around him who try and want fail or die). Or, on a simpler level, Gump is the luckiest man on the earth and everyone who comes in contact with him suffers terribly.
    As for Grizzly Man, I saw it during the first round of screenings, before any consensus was drawn. As for me, I hated, loathed Treadwell and found spending 105 minutes with him to be painful.
    And the movie featured some of the most staged and phoney-feeling interviews I have ever seen. And the whole bit about Herzog ‘sparing’ us the sounds on his death tape was hypocritical (as an objective documenter of history) and highly suspicious (considering there is much debate on what actually happened to Treadwell during the attack). I found it to be a boring, aggrivating movie about a no-nothing loser who’s only achievement was to fail abjectly at the one thing that made him slightly unique.
    Scott Mendelson
    And yes, Batman Begins is 10,000x better than Spider-Man 2. Heck, Batman Forever is a better film than Spider-Man 2. At least the character interaction makes a little sense in that one.

  41. Richard Nash says:

    LA CONFIDENTIAL is one of the best films of the past ten years. It gets better on repeat viewings. BATMAN BEGINS is inching up into that category too.
    But don’t be sacreligious and even attempt to say BATMAN FOREVER can even hold a candle to SPIDEY 2. Schumacher is one of the worst directors Hollywood keeps letting direct and it was a shame they ruined that franchise by giving him the reins.
    Much like Fox did with XMEN and giving it to Ratner.

  42. Tofu says:

    Yes, Spider-Man 2 had a lesser editing technique than Blade 3, even if that flick came to a screeching halt everytime Dracula hit the screen. I’ve never seen so many action beats bungled, and so many character moments fall limp in a single sitting.
    Is there a debate to Treadwell’s attack? The coroner pretty much explained in full detail the events, yes?

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Can you elaborate more on what you mean by ‘editing technique’ and action beats bungled in Spider-Man 2? I did not see any of this.

  44. palmtree says:

    Forrest Gump is not about luck or randomness. It is about stupidity…it doesn’t matter how smart you are as long as you have a good heart, etc. The problem with people around Forrest is that they’re too smart, too aware of their own surroundings…Forrest’s stupidity is able to transcend that. The lucky part is how the story rewards him for that trait.
    I guess my qualm is I prefer people to be smart.

  45. Hopscotch says:

    Gump, in my pov, is kind of a mixed bag. There is some scenes in that thing that feel really out of place. Some of the call-backs later in the movie are funny, some aren’t. But technically it’s pretty brilliant. Some of the FX work has not aged a day (some).
    And there are two scenes that kill me. When Forrest realizes he has a son, and when he visits Jenny’s grave. I’ve seen the movie many times and can barely keep it together in those scenes. I know they are typical “let’s move the audience emotionally” scenes, but they work for me.
    I don’t know how Robin Wright didn’t get nominated for that movie. her arch is really what keeps the story afloat.

  46. Tofu says:

    It has been two years since I viewed Spider-Man 2, but the central editing problem is that it just hangs, and hangs, and hangs. The cake eating scene. The cup of coffee scene. Most any character interaction moments move like they have been dumped on with wet cement. The terrible choice to try to provide both a rousing AND ominous ending. The action beats were covered with too much premonition, allowing for very little surprise. To sum up, it is honestly the most ackward blockbuster I’ve viewed, not from what is happening on screen, but from what is not happening. The movie moved less like an action picture, and more like a document of misery.
    The fact that this all came from the usually manic Raimi is the biggest surprise of all.

  47. jesse says:

    I’m pretty suspicious of anyone who talks about “beats” and expects to be taken even halfway seriously. Terms like that reek of hack screenwriters. I’m sure lots and lots of movies I love (like Spiderman 2) use them, and I accept that, but to me talking about “beats” will always sound like Hack Screenwriting (and/or Marketing) 101.
    As far as movies I hate that everyone else seems to love… hmmm, I’ve grown to dislike Gladiator — actually, most Ridley Scott movies that aren’t Matchstick Men could qualify. I recognize how influential and smart Blade Runner is (and I’ve seen it several times), but it’s also dead boring for stretches.
    I certainly don’t have much love for Braveheart, which many people seem to love. And I consider the Lord of the Rings movies vastly overrated, although I definitely didn’t hate them.
    This certainly didn’t set the world on fire but I was surprised how many critics basically gave a pass to Kinky Boots, which I really truly hated.
    Erin Brockovich, already mentioned, is a good one for this category; it’s the weakest Soderbergh movie I’ve seen by far.
    “Overrated” is easier than “hated,” since if I really think I’ll hate something, I try to stay away. But I can safely say that The Hours and The Pianist were wildly overrated.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    I think ‘document of misery’ is probably why it was so well-reviewed at the time.

  49. Tofu says:

    For the record, I’ve never written a screenplay in my life, and refer to ‘beats’ as a flow of editing as one would refer to a flow of music. With good action, a rhythm is created, and it isn’t easy to keep moving. In the context of a screenplay, it is correct to say that one should never write (beat) but instead (pause), even if a load of professional writers still fall into that trap.
    Ridley Scott films are too much a feast for the eyes for me to find fault in. Yes, I even thoroughly enjoyed Hannibal.
    Spider-Man clearly hits a note with many critics on the social outcast level, and watching him triumph must be a delight.

  50. palmtree says:

    Using the word “beat” as in story plot point/development is pretty standard lingo…
    Spiderman 2 was not perfect, but it was nice to see something that quirky made on the level that it was.

  51. Telemachos says:

    “Gump, in my pov, is kind of a mixed bag. There is some scenes in that thing that feel really out of place. Some of the call-backs later in the movie are funny, some aren’t. But technically it’s pretty brilliant. Some of the FX work has not aged a day (some).”
    Hopscotch, my hate for the film is largely because of its gargantuan success. At its core there’s a very lovely and touching story… unfortunately that story is overwhelming by Zemeckis’ desire to be clever. I also found it over-obvious and about as subtle as a sledgehammer…. no doubt that’s why it was so tremendously successful. Hanks & Co. give solid performances though.

  52. ThriceDamned says:

    Regardless of how appropriate the word “beat” is, I personally found S2 to be one of the best pictures of that year.
    Hell, the train sequence alone features some of the most heart-pounding action I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.
    The fact that I saw “The Incredibles” only a short while later confirmed that I still have the ability to be truly energized by a well staged and executed action scene (100 yard Dash), of which I was no longer certain. Hell, both sequences had me in goosebumps and barely contained glee.
    Oh, and regarding S2 being poorly edited, phooey. It was one of the better edited and paced films in recent memory as far as I’m concerned.

  53. Hopscotch says:

    for that movie, my girlfriend says, “It’s as subtle as a knock-knock joke.” I like your phrase too. It’s not one of the great movies. It’s not perfect. It was over-rated at the time of the release. I don’t know anyone who’d call it one of their desert island movies.
    Still, it never got under my skin like others.

  54. Chucky in Jersey says:

    From what I read the Garfield sequel was made mainly for outside US/Canada. That tells you why Fox dumped it Stateside the week after “Cars” opened.
    Variety pi$$ed on the expansion of “An Inconvenient Truth”. Peter Bart & Co. have yet to report about Regal not playing “A Prairie Home Companion”. Another case of “Dig Here, Not There”.
    FWIW Warner Bros. aimed “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” upmarket/arthouse, thus that pic turned a profit in its theatrical run.

  55. Hopscotch says:

    As far as S2 and Superman Returns. I’m guessing they’re getting raves because they DON’T suck.

  56. Tofu says:

    Anyone have any actuals on Aquaman? I’ve been hearing it opened bigger than Spider-Man!
    Oh, and Forrest Gump hated the counter-culture like no other movie in recent memory. Too bad.

  57. jeffmcm says:

    ^^^That raises an interesting question, was Zemeckis aware of how much Forrest Gump hated the counter-culture or was it all a big accident? Cast Away was certainly an anti-materialist movie, but Contact and Polar Express were very pro-faith and critical of science. So my question is, is Zemeckis making coherent statements in the course of his films?

  58. Tofu says:

    Zemeckis likely would back his views on faith, and his portrayal of America. Couldn’t confirm on science, as listening to his commentary tracks are agitating at best. It is like listening to Peter Griffen bleat out a fact or two every five minutes, while the dead inbetween grows more tiresome yet merciful as the picture progresses.
    Thankfully, Contact came with wonderful Jodie Foster track as well.

  59. James Leer says:

    I don’t buy that theory completely, though I can see how others might.
    Isn’t Jenny, the representative of the counterculture, the soul of the film? Isn’t she the true love of Forrest’s life? In what way does the film hate her? Yes, she dies, but I found that more of a character beat than a comment on society. Even if it is a comment, it could be taken satirically (as Quentin Tarantino maintains) as a nod to the counterculture’s burial around the same time.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    Jenny is loveable, but is relentlessly punished by the film for her ideals by bad relationships, drug habits, suicide thoughts, and finally death by AIDS, while Forrest, who does everything by the book, ends up wealthy (albeit sad). So it’s not as simplistic as a pure piece of propaganda, but it has a certain slant.
    In college a professor asked one of my classes what we thought the point of the film was and if it was critical of the counter-culture, didn’t that bother us? And the consensus answer was, since we were all born a decade or so after the fact, that the movie did not bother us.

  61. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Chucky in Jersey, has anyone, anywhere in the country, noticed that Regal is not playing Prairie Home Companion except for you?

  62. palmtree says:

    It wasn’t just the depiction of the counterculture…it was its entire depiction of American history, the way it glibly zooms past the landmarks. It reduced history in a pretty terrible way, which is probably why the generation who didn’t grow up with those events have embraced it the most (that includes me, btw).

  63. Hopscotch says:

    The two pivitol scenes revolving around Jenny’s character both involve the home she lives in and the child abuse she (implicated) had to endure. Message: kids who are abused end up abusing themselves later in life.

  64. Joe Straat says:

    Movie I didn’t like that everyone loved: Requiem for a Dream. There’s nothing worse for me than a movie that slugs you with a sledgehammer visually and doesn’t impact emotionally. I have a lot of difficult movies that I love. “Capturing the Friedmans, while being far from an objective documentary, is an example. It shocks me deep down every time I watch it from simply how horrible and broken everything and everyone is. The phone call where someone describes the competition of the neighbors (“My son was molested 3 times.” “Well, MY son was molested 4 times” or something to that effect) is simply jaw dropping.
    For Requiem for a Dream, the characters were slightly shallow and comepletely predictable (I took one look at Connelly’s character and said, “She’s selling her ass for drugs at the end of this”), and all of Aronofsky’s camera tricks, while I’m sure were well planned out, were more “look at ME!!!!!” than “look at the tragedy ofthese characters.” All of the shots were like the last shot of “Pi” that shoved any point the movie was trying to make aside for “See, I can do CAMERA TRICKERY! OOOOOOOOOO!!!” It was annoying, like someone was stabbing my brain from the inside, and thank God for Ellen Burstyn’s great performance keeping me from smashing the TV in.
    Lars von Treir’s “Destroy and Rape a Random Woman and Blame Society Like a Bratty High School Kid Part 10” films fall into that category.

  65. jeffmcm says:

    Oh yeah, I loathe Dancer in the Dark. But his films are usually pretty divisive, no?

  66. Blackcloud says:

    The Matrix.
    The Two Towers.
    American Beauty.

  67. jeffmcm says:

    The Matrix but not Reloaded or Revolutions?
    Two Towers but not Fellowship or ROTK?

  68. Telemachos says:

    I think the SPIDEY films are over-rated — especially in the geek community. Same with X1 and X2. All of these were decent enough movies, but never really had much weight or heft to them. X1 was like a warm-up prologue. X2 had an over-extended third-act and ending up wearing out its welcome (MHO). SPIDEY 1 had the horrendous decision of reducing Willem Defoe to an idiotic cackling mask… and SPIDEY 2’s second-act was far too long and redundant for what it was setting up (that Peter Parker was sick of being Spidey).
    wandering a bit off-topic:
    Looking back over the last 15 years or so, it’s quite surprising how far the Hollywood action genre has fallen. I haven’t seen LETHAL WEAPON in years, but caught most of it the other day on TNT…. and damn if it wasn’t a surprisingly solid drama in addition to having excellent adult-oriented action. The old pros (McTiernan, Cameron, Walter Hill, etc) used to crank out solid movies that hold up strongly over the years. Today’s action films — by and large — are overly obsessed with brief, nonsensical spurts of CG-enhanced action with little effort made to actually construct a solid roller-coaster of a story…. because no one wants to take the time to actually set-up a good sequence, and no one realizes or cares that action movies not only need quiet moments to help build momentum to the next sequence, each action sequence should have its own ebb and flow as well.

  69. Blackcloud says:

    As you’ll note from one of the other threads, I’m one of the ones who likes Reloaded best of the three Matrices. I don’t care much for Revolutions, but I’m not alone there. The Matrix I loathe. Pompous, shallow, juvenile, are three adjectives that spring to mind. I can pile up many more. It has all the preening obnoxiousness of a freshman who’s read philosophy for the first time and can’t wait to tell the world he’s solved all life’s problems. Someone touched about this regarding V, which suffers from the same half-balked ideological musing, but the brothers W seem to have reined it in a bit there, so it’s not nearly as annoying.
    I love Fellowship, specifically the extended version. It has flaws, but also has a soaring majesty. ROTK is okay. Has strong moments, but doesn’t quite come together. Two Towers is a disaster on almost every level. Its philosophizing is almost has moronic as that in The Matrix, the narrative is turgid and sterile, and the plot does not advance at all. It is also astoundingly over- and self-indulgent. TT was a major letdown. Fellowship was the peak. It was all downhill from there. It’s a shame the guy who made TT made King Kong, not the guy who made Fellowship. His Kong Kong might have been great.

  70. Geoff says:

    Really interesting blog, going on, here.
    I am glad to see that I am not the only one who didn’t “get” the hype about Mystic River. That ending just came completely out of left field. Infact, I would have to say that just about EVERY Clint Eastwood film since Unforgiven is very overrated. Man, the critics just have such reverence for this guy that they cut him so much slack on wacky, unreastic endings always following two hours of punishing, dreary grittiness.
    To wit:
    Unforgiven – all about de-romanticizing the Western myths, showing how unpleasant killing is and in the end……William Munny walks into a salon with about a dozen guys who have the drop on him, kills them all, and walks out alive?!
    Absolute Power – Presidential adviser is able to walk into the Oval Office, murder the President, and stage it as a suicide?!
    Space Cowboys – Tommy Lee Jones ends up floating to the surface of the moon and lands in a position, so that he can stare at Earth, forever.
    Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby – Do we even have to discuss the ridiculous endings to those movies?
    Clint is due for a big backlash. Could this be the year?

  71. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I don’t have the stats, but the best action movies are usually rated R. What was the last great human-sized action movie? The fugitive? In the Line of Fire? T2? Die Hard 2? Speed? Heat?Face/Off? Since the late 90s action movies have moved from the human and strayed into pure spectacle. That’s why I think the Bourne movies have been so interesting. Human emotion is at the center of the action. Even the Matrix movies push humanity to the side so it won’t get in the way of the action.
    I’d also like to nominate Point Break as one of the most underrated action movies of the ’90s. I know it get a lot shit for its mileu, but the fact is the movie never makes fun of its subject matter. Neither do the characters. The movie could easily slide into bad luaghs, but the actors seem to believe in what they’re doing. That’s important for any action movie. The movie’s high energy wins the audience over. While it’s not as good as a Mann movie, it does swim in the same macho waters.

  72. jeffmcm says:

    Space Cowboys? Give me a break. It’s not the best movie in the world, but that ending, silly thought it may be, has poetry to it. You can’t knock poetry.
    The best action movie now in theaters is District B13.

  73. JckNapier2 says:

    I’ll always defend Point Break for the simple reason that it treats its violence so seriously and as a tragedy. When the killing finally starts, it’s supposed to be a terrible, horrible thing and the film acknowledges (unlike few other action films) that just because justice was served, it isn’t a happy ending because innocent people died and lives were ruined.
    Scott Mendelson

  74. Cadavra says:

    Amen, Jeff. DISTRICT B-13 is the kind of rollicking, kick-ass action film that Hollywood used to be able to do in its sleep. Nowadays, all we get are bloated, CGI-drenched zeppelins that would bore a discriminating five-year-old.
    And I would sooner gnaw off my own testicles than watch TITANIC, A BEAUTIFUL MIND or any of the MATRIX films again.

  75. palmtree says:

    I know I’m pretty much alone on this but Two Towers is my favorite LOTR movie. For me, all three are deeply flawed and bloated and indulgent. What TT offered was much more subtle characterizations. You get Gollum. You get the Ents, which work really well to add humor to the proceedings. You get a much more human/hobbit size drama that felt more epic to me rather than something more lavish. I will probably forever be in the minority on this, but I don’t care…TT was the one where I genuinely moved and cared.

  76. Lota says:

    “CGI-drenched zeppelins”
    yes, so true. They are a poor excuse for a real story and even the ADD generation is begging for mercy for them to STOP it already.
    Jeffmcm, a curse upon you. How in hell could Titanic elicit such praise vis-a-vis LA COnfidential?! LA Confidential is what Hollywood is capable of, Titanic is what it resorts to out of lazyness–a Tepid romance on a fricking GCI model sinking ship.
    I didn’t so much like the type of ending LA C had, but easily it was the best movie of the year in my unhumble opinion.

  77. Hopscotch says:

    Two Towers is my favorite one too, the extended version is great.

  78. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Lota, I don’t know what to tell you except what was in my gut. Maybe I was too sleepy when I saw LAC, or maybe it was overhyped for me, but I thought it was fairly disappointing, predictable (character-arc wise) and bewildering (plot-wise) so that I just didn’t care about anything that happened in it after a point (I have never seen it a second time). Titanic, meanwhile, despite its many moments of clumsiness, I think reaches moments of true grace and power.

  79. Jimmy the Gent says:

    L.A. Confidential and Titanic were good, but we all know that Boogie Nights was the best movie that year. And don’t forget Hard Eight, In the Company of Men, The Sweet Hereafter, Jackie Brown, Face/Off, Donnie Brasco, and Ulee’s Gold.
    1997 was a kick-ass year.

  80. palmtree says:

    Jeff, you need to watch LA Con again. It is a major work…and the plot is not nearly as bewildering as say The Big Sleep.

  81. jeffmcm says:

    But in The Big Sleep, they had the sense to know that the plot was insignificant and just a vehicle for the what people really wanted to see, Bogart and Bacall.
    I’ll see it again…some day.

  82. Lota says:

    “reaches moments of true grace and power.” (Surely you are referring to the iceberg Jeff?)
    But seriously, See LA C–listen to the palmtree, really. If you were too sleepy, if something was in your guts that shouldna be there–then yes, perhaps you couldn’t be swept into its dark underworld.
    character arcs? nuts! Please watch it again (and the book was good too).
    Bump it to the top of your netflix queue.
    popular movies I don;t like were Forrest Gump, Jerry Maguire, the last Matrix, and while I can see the sop appeal of Titanic, I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece (but at least it didn’t preach hero comic philosophy like matrix movies)

  83. palmtree says:

    You make a valid point. LAC doesn’t grab you by the lapel…the way Titanic does. It’s themes are about image versus reality, not as relatable as say love or passion. But that’s the beauty of it, it’s greatness takes some time to sink in and grow. Titanic’s will mellow out with time.

  84. jeffmcm says:

    The character arcs did seem pretty obvious to me: Crowe is the tough guy who becomes nice, Pearce is the uptight guy who becomes…um…(like I said, it was 8 1/2 years ago).
    One of the reasons I prefer Titanic is its greater degree of visual storytelling. There’s a shot in it of dishes and cups falling out of a cabinet as the ship is tilting that I find mildly heartbreaking, plus I’ll take Winslet’s performance over any other female performance from that year.
    I don’t do Netflix. I did really want and expect to like the movie…but it didn’t happen.

  85. Blackcloud says:

    Two Towers: Extended Edition . . . quite possibly one of the worst movies in history.

  86. palmtree says:

    Crowe’s character does not become “nice.” He goes from being a tough hatchet man to being a smart detective, outsmarting the by-the-book Pearce. Pearce in turn learns to bend the rules that he was so uptight about. And don’t forget Spacey’s great part…I love the moment when he realizes the conspiracy and says a mythical criminal name with a chuckle. LAC is also quite visual in its use of imagery and symbolism. I don’t want to oversell it, except to say you won’t regret it.

  87. Lota says:

    you can’t oversell a good movie palmtree, I’ve been forcing folks to see Army of Shadows and only one person has been less than enthusiastic. Last day folks in New York, Army of Shadows at the film forum. It supposedly will be out on DVD in 6-8 months.
    Jeff, just watch LA C again unfettered by chores and ringing phones and we’ll leave you alone until the next time you insult my viewing intelligence.

  88. jeffmcm says:

    When did I do that?

  89. Lota says:

    i am being slightly hard on you for praising Titanic at the expense of LA Confidential (no character arcs indeed).
    so it feels like an insult Jeff despite the thick hide I developed by having to listen to the bicycle bob snake-oil show in the last year.
    i won;t hold a grudge.

  90. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, okay.
    The difference for me is that I don’t think a strong character arc is necessarily a vital part of every film. Titanic didn’t need such things to succeed, but character and plot were the backbone of LAC.

  91. Hopscotch says:

    I saw LA Con twice in the same weekend. The images from that movie really stuck with me. I think that it is probably one of the best photographed movies in the last decade.
    It’s not without its problems, I’ll admit that. Masterpiece is a stretch for me. But I love that damn movie.

  92. palmtree says:

    The Onion offered a few classic movies to hate:
    Star Wars
    Clockwork Orange
    Shawshank Redemption
    Big Lebowski
    The ones I at least partially agree with: Shawshank, Exorcist, and Star Wars.

  93. gg says:

    ^^^^ They also mention Roger And Me
    I have to say, Caddyshack was a little boring. And Shawshank Redemption was good, but not that good.

  94. Blackcloud says:

    Am I supposed to take the Onion’s movie coverage any more seriously than I take its “news” stories?

  95. jeffmcm says:

    I think this is some of that ‘hipper-than-thou’ film criticism that we’ve been talking about lately.

  96. Telemachos says:

    Since when is CADDYSHACK considered a classic?

  97. Blackcloud says:

    Ditto Big Lebowski.

  98. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    why didn’t anyone yell at Blackcloud before when he said LOTR:TTT-EE was one of the worst movie ever made.
    Am i that disliked around here?

  99. Blackcloud says:

    Don’t take it personally, Camel.

  100. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    If I took every online comment personally I’d be a double-guessing emotional wreck. I’d be SHARON STONE, and nobody wants that.

  101. Blackcloud says:

    Just curious, is TTT: EE your favorite movie or something? Or did you just want people to yell at me for fun?

  102. palmtree says:

    Blackcloud, yeah, the Onion’s entertainment coverage is pretty serious. They do interviews and reviews without the rimshots.

  103. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    lol, TTT is in my Top 100 but not my fave. Did you see the other thead Blackcloud about Straw Dogs? I got lambasted for calling it one of the worst movies ever. I thought it was odd that LOTR could be criticised and nobody would say anything.

  104. Blackcloud says:

    Oh, yeah, I did see that. I guess Straw Dogs has more partisans here than TTT does. Who’d have guessed that?

  105. jeffmcm says:

    Hooray! We’re atypical geeks!

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