MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Interesting Screener Thing

I just threw Little Miss Sunshine into the DVD player for the first time, mostly to make sure the disc was working, and I have had a bit of a baby revelation .
This movie plays a lot better on DVD than on a big screen.
People talk about the number of DVDs and the delivery dates a lot. But a small scale movie with strong performances, a lot of close-ups, and of course, status as a comedy, does seem to have a real advantage on DVD. And in this case, it is a movie with a lot of pastels, which really jump in a different way on the TV screen. The color is dense in a way you rarely see on TV.
I was already feeling like LMS had moved into a likely BP slot. But watching it on TV, even more so. I think that a lot of people who were so-so-on it will see it over the holidays with their families who want to watch it and find themselves surprised by being more engaged.

Be Sociable, Share!

29 Responses to “Interesting Screener Thing”

  1. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Intersting you feel that way, but in my experience, comedies typically play better in front of large audiences, because laughter is frequently contagious. The crowd at LMS was rolling in the aisles during that last dance sequence.

  2. David Poland says:

    Every audience is different, Munchy.
    Yes, optimal is a big rolling audience… for any movie.

  3. The Carpetmuncher says:

    I have to admit I saw LMS in a press/industry screening at Sundance too, which as you know are usually staid affairs, but even there it killed. Just like BORAT did in Toronto.
    When the press and acquisitions execs, in their 5th screening of the day, still laugh their ass off, you know you’ve got a likely winner.
    I think Dave’s right that LMS is moving up, partly because people will remember how much they loved it, and partly because highly expected films like FLAGS have gotten luke-warm reviews…

  4. William Goss says:

    Do you think that voters will support an arguably lightweight film in an effort to somewhat compensate for the likely dismissal of weightier offerings like Babel, U93 or WTC?

  5. T.H. Unfassung says:

    Totally agree, this screener is going in lots of luggage home for the holidays, and it’s going to resonate.

  6. PetalumaFilms says:

    I say more power to it, I really enjoyed the flick and I’ve always admired Faris and Dayton from their video work and LMS was really good.

  7. JWEgo says:

    I love your obsession with goddamn Oscars. LMS gets Zero. For certain.
    I am Jeff Wells Ego and I love LUNCH WITH DAVID because it makes me feel better as a person!

  8. Me says:

    It’s certainly one of the few movies I’ve seen this year that I remember fondly. And as I’ve yet to see anything that has gotten me mildly interested during this so-called quality season, I don’t see why LMS can’t break into the BP race, the same way The Full Monty did a while back.
    Another thing is that it’s not really an out there comedy, the way Charlie Kaufman’s movies have been (and been overlooked for it). LMS is very approachable, and in some ways conventional. I think the Academy could end up embracing it, at least as much as they did Sideways (though I think that will have had more critical acclaim going for it than LMS will).

  9. Blackcloud says:

    Totally off topic, but am I the only one who’s been having problems with Fandango today (Halloween)?

  10. PetalumaFilms says:

    Good call on putting the trailer for THE HAMILTONS up on MCN!! My buddies made that…here in F-ing PETALUMA and it got picked up by Lionsgate!! 350 screens in 50 cities in the next 2 weeks! Truly a great local boys make good in cinema fairy tale.
    Who was it that said the days of CLERKS and EL MARIACHI are over? Oh yeah, me. I stand corrected.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    JWEgo, you’re completely new to this blog and not at all a new alias. Welcome.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Actually, this screener thing kind of sucks. It certainly explains how CRASH won because it plays like a made-for-TV movie. I kind of feel like Academy members who don’t see the movies in theaters shouldn’t be allowed to vote for Best Cinematography.

  13. lazarus says:

    Personally, I don’t think they should be allowed to vote for anything if they haven’t seen all the nominees in the theatre. If they’re too geriatric to get their asses outside, scratch them off the list. What’s lame is that you can be too young to be in the Academy, but not too old. They should phase people out after they hit 70 or something so you don’t have these out-of-touch feebs affecting the outcomes.
    Yes, asking people to judge a film’s cinematography at home is like Grammy voters listening to nominees on a transistor radio and voting for best engineered album.

  14. EDouglas says:

    “JWEgo, you’re completely new to this blog and not at all a new alias. Welcome.”
    Or maybe he just forgot which blog he was posting to…
    I am a has-been Hollywood producer with way too much time on my hands.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    LMS still gets my vote for most overrated movie of the year.

  16. MarkVH says:

    Let’s get one thing straight here – Little Miss Sunshine is a nice movie with a killer ending – but it’s not fit to lick the dirt off Sideways’ boots.
    It’s easily the most overpraised film of the year, and I’m really kind of sick of people shoehorning this movie into the Best Picture race simply for counterprogramming reasons. Gleiberman was right – everyone in the film, with the exception of Abigail Breslin, is playing a “type.” They’re not really characters. Arkin is funny, but he overplays.
    All the advance Oscar hype for it seems to me like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – somebody mentioned it in relation to Sideways, and all of a sudden it became “This Year’s Sideways!” Oy.
    Yes, I know there are people who genuinely love it. And yes, I know the B.O. has been strong. But it still feels to me like it’s being thrown out there as the “indie comedy” alternative to stuff like Flags, The Departed, etc. If it does managed to squeak into the final five, this is a really, really weak Oscar year.

  17. Josh Massey says:

    Well, it’s definitely a weak year. I think we all know that. Hell, I think “Slither” is still in my top five.

  18. Me says:

    It doesn’t feel like people are shoe-horning in LMS any more than people are shoe-horning in The Departed, which is nothing but Scorsese-lite.
    It’s a very weak year for films, so the few that people enjoy and remember thinking were well made are getting mentioned.

  19. Me says:

    Oh, and let’s not start building up the legend of Sideways, no matter how many middle-aged critics saw themselves in it. It was a rip-off of Swingers for old people.

  20. movielocke says:

    “it was a rip-off of Swingers for old people.”
    And here I’ve been describing it as, ‘Garden State with middle-aged kids.’
    I like the Swingers one too, though. Three very similar films.

  21. THX5334 says:

    Sideways is not holding up for me at all.

  22. James Leer says:

    I liked Sideways but I’m surprised more critics didn’t pick up on how it was — from characters to plotlines to even specific scenes — basically an older version of Swingers.

  23. Cadavra says:

    Personally, I’m saddened that PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION seems to have fallen into the abyss. I wouldn’t expect anything for movies no one saw, like DISTRICT B-13 or BRICK or KEEPING MUM, but jeez, it got to almost $20 million and it’s out on DVD. Whatta damn shame.

  24. Richard Nash says:

    I thought this was a good DVD movie when I saw it in the theatre. This could be a darkhorse come awards time if nothing jumps out between now and then.

  25. Yeah, in my initial thoughts of it that I wrote on my blog, I said that it’s one those sorts of movies that you’ll be able to put in the dvd player at any time and have a good hour and a half. Cause while it’s not deep and meaningful, it’s just a well made funny movie.
    Can I just say that I’m so bloody bored of people constantly moaning, groaning and bemoaning movies. If you don’t like movies anymore, why do you still watch them? Give it a rest for a while. It’d be beneficial to you and to the people who have to read about it.

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    Can I just say that I am so bloody bored of people moaning, groaning and complaining if others have the audacity to not like the same movies they do. Give it a rest for a while.

  27. Cadavra says:

    Can I just say that I am so bloody bored of people moaning, groaning and complaining about anything?

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m sorry, but no you can’t do that.

  29. James Leer says:

    Is this the same KamikazeCamel that said he was “really happy” that Flags of our Father was flopping…without even having seen it?

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