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David Poland

By David Poland

Out Bermuda-ing


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30 Responses to “Out Bermuda-ing”

  1. Noah says:

    Where are you staying, Dave? The Princess? Elbow Beach? Somewhere in Hamilton?

  2. So, umm, I guess I’ll do it:
    1 TMNT 8.7
    2 300 6.0
    3 Shooter 4.8
    4 Wild Hogs 4.0
    5 The Hills Have Eyes II 3.9
    6 Premonition 3.2
    7 The Last Mimzy 2.7
    8 Reign Over Me 2.5
    9 Pride 1.2
    10 Dead Silence 1.1
    I’ll be the first to admit my surprise at the numbers for TMNT. I thought it was going to be smaller. I just couldn’t see it connecting with today’s audiences. I guess it was a lot of people who liked it as a kid going back with their kids (er, if they have some. I’ll be seeing it because I loved it as a kid, but I don’t have kids)
    Also, as much as I liked the Hills Have Eyes remake, a sequel is so totally unnecessary. Although that first teaser was pretty great.

  3. Oh, and that god Colour Me Kubrick didn’t do that good. That movie was horrible. John Malkovich was embarassing, really.

  4. JustinS says:

    Dave – Bermuda must be sweet but the world keeps turning. LAT scandal and the Taymor vs. Roth story. What’s up?

  5. jeffmcm says:

    To Nicol or anyone else who saw Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon – saw it tonight and was pretty disappointed. It wasn’t scary, it was only sort of funny, and it was really only interesting in an intellectual sense as yet another road on the self-destruction of the American horror movie – and even then it fails because after mocking all slasher cliches, it proceeds to reiterate them without irony in its final act.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Please note, I’m not trying to pick a fight – just puzzled by how mediocre it turned out to be, a film that for the most part didn’t do anything I hadn’t already seen before a few times and didn’t really seem to have any final point.

  7. Hallick says:

    The trailer for “Behind the Mask” had exactly the same problem as the movie you’re describing, j. At the beginning, when he’s talking about how much cardio you have to do to be able to “walk stalk” a running victim, I was ready to run to this thing; but by the end, I wasn’t all that enthused anymore. Bummer.

  8. James Leer says:

    It’s a one-joke movie, and even that joke is uneven.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m not going to defend the movie as a masterwork, but I found it genuinely clever in its self-reflexivity. (And boy, there’s a term a never thought I’d use outside of a scholarly paper.) I also liked the fact that, even while mocking the slasher-movie tropes, it gradually became something of a tongue-in-cheeky slasher movie itself — even to the point of having an “It’s still alive!” ending. And I loved Scott Wilson as the retired serial killer. This guy needs to make more movies.
    On the other hand, I would agree that it’s a bit late in the horror cycle to attempt a satire like this. Which likely explains why it’s getting only limited theatrcial play before DVD.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    “I also liked the fact that, even while mocking the slasher-movie tropes, it gradually became something of a tongue-in-cheeky slasher movie itself — even to the point of having an “It’s still alive!” ending.”
    That was exactly what I didn’t like about it – it seemed perversely wrong-headed and lazy.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. All I know is, I laughed a lot, and so did a companion who doesn’t usually see horror films.
    BTW: The movie played quite well with an audience at last winter’s Denver Film Festival, and Dave raved about it at last year’s SXSW Film Festival. Maybe it seems even better if you view it in a festival context? I’m not trying to be snotty here, just curious: I’ve often wondered if some comedies and parodies seem even funnier when you see them before or after some HEAVILY serious festival fare. It’s like, several years ago, I saw “Water” (the Michael Caine comedy, not the more recent drama) in the market at the Cannes Film Festival, and thought it was one of the most hilarious movies I’d ever seen. But I must admit: It may have seemed funnier than it actually was because I caught it between official festival screenings of drearily artsy-fartsy European productions.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    It was fairly empty at the Sunset 5 Midnight show, and the movie had been talked about for months so I’m sure my expectations were high. But I’m pretty sure I would have disliked it no matter what setting I saw it in. Having never been to any festival screening, though, I’m sure it would be a breath of fresh air coming out of something really tedious.
    “…and so did a companion who doesn’t usually see horror films.”
    This makes perfect sense.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    I should also add that most of the audience seemed to like it more than I did.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m afraid something similar is happening to “The Host” — which, for my money, is the best movie to hit US theaters so far this year. It created a major buzz on the festival circuit, got rave reviews — but doesn’t really seem to be clicking with ticketbuyers. Too bad.

  15. 555 says:

    caught Severance the other night at FFF, and it was equal parts funny and horrific, played well with the audience, too.
    and I saw TMNT today and was very surprised by how serious and moody the film turned out. i really expected it to be goofier and more dumbed down.

  16. Direwolf says:

    I saw Reign Over Me and enjoyed it. It hit on too many cliches at times but the acting was good and I thought it was well done. The scooter scense were really good.
    It was a large, pretty full theater in the northern suburbs of Chicago. There was scattered applause at the end and audible gasp at one point in the court room scene. Sandler was quite good especially when he does a monologue telling his story. He and Cheadle also had good on screen chemistry. Seemed like there were a lot of younger folks there to see Sandler along with the expected adult crowd. And if you are a baby boomer into music, the soundtrack is great.

  17. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    jeff – good to hear someone else didn’t fall under the hoopla spell of BEHIND THE MASK. I found it fun but rather pedestrian and not groundbreaking in ‘shape’ or form. I remember a year ago I pointed out to Dave that his prediction for the film (ahem 30 million) was way off – and for someone who attends a lot of fests he appeared quite naive about crowd reaction to midnight shows. Our film got a huge response at SXSW but I’m not fool enough to buy that as anything more than your normal maginfied festival reaction, hitting a primed, hyped targeted audience. btw I totally agree with Joe about Wilson.. pure golden.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Jeffrey: And your movie might be..?

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks for agreeing, JBD. I’m not surprised that DP would make a mistake in his box-office prediction for it since, as we all know, he’s not a horror movie person.

  20. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I think I prefer to keep the film anon Joe, for reasons I won’t get into on here. I do know you didn’t get along to see it which is unfortunate…. for the both of us.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    As always: Too many movies, too little time.

  22. Nicol D says:

    Yes, I did like Behind the Mask, but nevertheless not so much that would disagree with your criticisms of it or defend it too rigorously.
    Overall, I agree with you that it is neither as extreme as it should be in either violence or comedy and when it veers off into being just a straight slasher movie in the third act, it really doesn’t push it far enough, like say Man Bites Dog, does.
    Almost as though they didn’t realize if they wanted to be a film for teens/kids or adults.
    Nevertheless, I loved the concept and thought the lead was very engaging and wry in a way that made me laugh enough times that I could recommend the film for his performance. I definitely thought that it showed potential on behalf of the filmmakers and I look forward to seeing what they do again.
    Perhaps perception is something too. I sort of stumbled upon it and found it refreshing where I could see if you went in based on all the hype you could come out disappointed.
    The other thing I will say about it though is that it is a horrible title.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    I would agree that both Wilson and the actor who plays Leslie are very good in this (the female lead, not so much, although hers is also a really poorly written part and you can see her flailing with it).

  24. Triflic says:

    On Behind the Mask. I liked it A LOT the first time I saw it (didn’t hurt that it was with a packed crowd over over 600 folks at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival last October. I’m not even a fan of the slasher genre, but I did like the way it played on the conventions, celebrated them and trashed them, and ultimately still loved them.
    I managed to catch it again at another film festival in January and it didn’t ring with much as much, and came across as a bit too clever for its own good.

  25. waterbucket says:

    Oh my god, my friend (grown male) is asking me to go see Ninja Turtle with him. Yikes.
    I normally don’t go see cheesy action or bad comic movies unless I know I’m going to get me some hot nerdy love.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Canadians love their horror flicks. I can still remember seeing “Hellraiser II” with a packed house at the Bloor Theatre during the Toronto Film Festival several years ago. I’ve been to heavy-metal concerts where the crowd wasn’t THAT pumped.

  27. I still wanna see BEHIND THE MASK, but I’m figuring I’ll fall somewhere between the Leydon and jeff camps. Bummer, seems like an awesome premise.
    And Joe-I hear ya on the whole SXSW vibe. it’s pretty much a given that any horror genre-riffic film at a midnight screening at the Alamo Drafthouse is going to get ALOT of buzz. I saw BLACK SHEEP there this year and once I stopped myself from getting caught up in the audience hype, I realized what a lame ass flick it really was. You can either let yourself get sucked in (which I wish I could do more often) or you can take a step back and pay attention.
    I learned to watch carefully at a fest long ago after seeing HAPPY, TEXAS and believing it to be the best comedy movie in a long, long time. I still love that movie, but was totally bowled over by festival audience madness.

  28. Ju-osh says:

    RE: The Host
    It’s too bad that this film isn’t making bigger waves in theatres, but I’m telling you, it’s gonna do very well on dvd. I’ve been hand-selling the region free import of this like crazy in my shop for the past three months. Just saying that there is a new, asian, giant monster movie that can hold its own against Jaws and the original Godzilla is enough to make most genre film fans salivate and fork over the cash. Most of the long-term, better-selling dvds (The Big Lebowski, Fear & Loathing, Office Space, etc…) have had a similar history: limited cinema audience that morphs into a strong cult/word of mouth dvd fanbase. While I’m not saying that The Host will enter the public zietgiest with the force of Lebowski, I do think that it will do quite well for a foreign film with no pretensions, Oscar nominations or wire-fu.

  29. PetalumaFilms says:

    I saw THE HOST and liked it O.K…but they utterly failed to knock it out of the park…and they should have been able to so easily.
    Had the movie been anywhere near as exciting as the trailer was, it would’ve ruled. Instead…meh. I liked it O.K. but it could have been so great. They dropped the ball and the ending was lame. LAME.

  30. “…it really doesn’t push it far enough, like say Man Bites Dog, does.”
    God, I hated Man Bites Dog (that black and white film right?) Like, a lot. Terrible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ David Simon