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David Poland

By David Poland

The Plundering Has Begun


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42 Responses to “The Plundering Has Begun”

  1. Direwolf says:

    Just back from seeing it in Ashland, WI where it is showing on one screen and had just one showing at 7:30 this evening. It was sold out at 6 PM and people were actually tailgating in front of the theatre. The crowd loved with several cheers toward the end and applause at the conclusion. Walking out, I heard many positive comments. As for me, I enjoyed it very much. It is fun, funny, exciting, and the special effects are good but did not overwhelm the movie.

  2. Wrecktum says:

    Is that the Bay Theatre? Why only one screen…isn’t that a 4-plex? And only one showtime on a Saturday?

  3. Are we able to keep people’s thoughts on the movie over in the last thread over (the one with Dave’s review) and not this one? I don’t wanna be having the same debate in two entries. Let’s leave this one for box office.

  4. EDouglas says:

    Glad I was the low man on the predictions… early projections for Friday say it will make $40 million which isn’t awful considering the Thursday pre-opens but isn’t great. Looking at anywhere from $130 – 155 million for the four day depending on Saturday.

  5. Direwolf says:

    Yes, the Bay Theatre. The other screens had Disturbia, Shrek, and Spiderman 3.
    How do you know of Ashland, Wreck? We own a home in Bayfield and spend asmuch time there as possible.

  6. Direwolf says:

    Regarding the Bay Theatre, I assumed that the theatre was only able to get one print. Not sure how that works when theatres act for more than one print. If anyone can offer insights, I’d appreciate it. For example, does the theatre have to pay anything for the extra print or is just a ticket revenue split like I assumed on all prints?

  7. Nicol D says:

    As many people are taking Pirates 3 to task for being so long, I just noticed that I Now Pronouce You Chuck an Larry is listed on IMDB as having a 140 minute runtime!
    An Adam Sandler comedy at 2hrs and 20 minutes! Is this a mistake?
    I mean that’s longer than Brokeback Mountain!
    Why so many bloody long movies?

  8. Wrecktum says:

    “How do you know of Ashland, Wreck? We own a home in Bayfield and spend asmuch time there as possible.”
    I don’t know Ashland, but I try to stay apprised of exhibition.

  9. Wrecktum says:

    At this point I like the Mojo’s 170/77. That seems pretty right after seeing today’s numbers.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I hate to generalize, but whenever someone on this blog starts to piss and moan about “long movies,” I immediately think: Silly twentysomething with ADD. Too much Michael Bay, too much MTV.
    I’m sure glad some of you folks wseren’t around to tell Howard Hawks that, hey, couldn’t you lose 20 or so minutes from Rio Bravo? Or maybe tell Roman Polanski to snip a bit here and there from Chinatown.

  11. doug r says:

    You know, some of my favorite movies ever, Aliens and Terminator 2 which are both over 2 hours long were both cut down for theaters.
    I caught the director’s cuts of both later on TV and DVD. I prefer the longer version now, but the shorter cut definitely made for better pacing in the original theatrical run.
    I wasn’t that impressed with the first Pirates movie-seemed like a lot of pointless fighting if nobody dies-although amusing enough in spots.
    I liked parts of the second Pirates movie, too-especially the bits with the round cage-but the rest of the movie just kept going on and on and on….

  12. Jimmy the Gent says:

    No good movie is too long, no bad movie is too short.–Roger Ebert
    Preach on, Joe.

  13. Rob says:

    Joe, I get your point on the ADD, but Michael Bay movies are always interminably long.
    Larding junk blockbusters with endless action sequences to “make sure the money gets onscreen” in the hopes that people will just fast forward to them on the DVD is not the same as nurturing the whole of a director’s artistic vision.

  14. Wrecktum says:

    Comparing a 2.5 hour Michael Bay film (Bad Boys 2, anyone?) to Rio Bravo is very disingenuous. One is a lame-brained action sequel. The other is one of the best westerns ever made.

  15. cjKennedy says:

    A Michael Bay film would be too long at 20 minutes.
    For movies over 2 1/2 hours I do wish they still had intermissions, but a good movie is never too long.

  16. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I actually consider Bad Boys 2 to be a guilty pleasure. It’s almost a parody of itself without even knowing it. The scene where Smith and Lawrence terrorize Lawrence’s daughter’s date is hilariously un-P.C. Besudes any movie that gets parodied by Hot Fuzz can’t be all bad.
    There is a thesis paper waiting to be written on who is the worst most successful director working today in Hollywood. Right now I think the choice is between Bay and Ratner. I would have to give the edge to Ratner for no other reason than I liked The Rock and sections of the Bad Boys movies. I can’t think of any memorable set peices from a Ratner movie. I agree Chris Tucker is funny, but his best moments are in Dead Presidents, Friday, and Jackie Brown. After the Sunset was just terrible, a Thomas Crown rip-off.
    Who do you guys pick?

  17. jeffmcm says:

    It depends on your criteria; at least Bay has an individual style and he has better skill at crafting images, while Ratner is completely anonymous as a director and typically has to ape other, better directors’ styles. However, even the worst Ratner movie is less annoying than the typical Bay movie thanks to Ratner’s blandness and Bay’s insistence on making things louder and bigger.

  18. Me says:

    I will never let Ratner live down what he failed to do with Red Dragon (though, I really didn’t mind X-Men 3 the way a lot of people did). Bay’s The Rock will always hold a special place in my heart, as one of the last fun 80s/90s style actioners before Matrix came and changed everything (who really wants to see Die Hard 4 now?).

  19. doug r says:

    If you listen to the commentary on X-Men 3, it seems the best thing Ratner did was knowing what to leave out. Does Bay ever leave anything out?

  20. Joe Leydon says:

    Wrectum: I didn’t compare Rio Bravo to a Michael Bay movie, so don’t put words in my mouth. What are you, a Republican columnist or something?

  21. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Goodspeed: I’ll do my best.
    Mason: Your best? Losers always talk about doing their best. Winners go home and fuck the Prom Queen.
    Goodspedd: Carla was the Prom Queen.
    Good times.

  22. Clycking says:

    Wrecktum’s point is that no one here is moaning about Rio Bravo or Chinatown (or The Godfather or Schindler’s List) being too long, and thus it is disingenuous to use them as examples.
    Until you can show why any of this era’s “third” sequels, Michael Bay blockbusters, etc. deserve their running length, you would not have a worthy argument over why people should not “piss and moan about ‘long movies'”. Blaming people for discounting the masterpieces is neglecting the context under which they are making their complaint.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    Clycking — or whoever the hell you are — once again, you put words in my mouth. You must be another Republican. I wasn’t talking about “third” sequels. Go back and look at my posting, bonehead. I was responding to Nicol D’s posting. Without knowing anything about the movie in question, he/she felt compelled to dis “I Now Pronouce You Chuck and Larry” only because of its length. My response: Until you’ve actually seen the movie, that sort of knee-jerk criticism is stupid. OK?

  24. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I feel you Joe.
    I remember Tarantino being surprised by some critics taking issue with the length of Jackie Brown. He thought critics should’ve given more credit for taking his time and letting the audience to get to know all the characters. He said he was fully aware of the movie’s length. He did it on purpose. He used Rio Bravo as an example. He pointed out that the first hour of that movie is all about getting to know the Duke, Dino, Ricky, and Angie. The man knows his shit.

  25. Wrecktum says:

    You got me, Leydon. My real name is Charles Krauthammer. Glad to meet you.

  26. Nicol D says:

    You’re right. I am wrong.
    I have not seen Chuck and Larry. How dare I assume it won’t be a piece of cinema whose length and subject matter rivals such films as Rio Bravo, The Searchers or Goodfellas.
    How dare I assume, sight unseen, that this new Adam Sandler slapfest might not be worthy of a run-time that is longer than A Clockwork Orange. I mean, it’s not like I know for a fact that A Clockwork Orange is more profound than Chuck and Larry. I haven’t seen this prospective intellectual masterpiece yet. How can I possibly assume otherwise?
    How dare I assume that this potential Oscar winner would not be as narratively complex as the similar running timed Mulholland Drive.
    How dare I think that the story told in Chuck and Larry isn’t worth the same amount of screentime as Advise and Consent, which only deconstructs the American legal system? I mean hell, it IS Chuck and Larry, we’re talking about!
    I mean, if Roman Polanski can tell his story of the Holocaust in 150 minutes, why should I question that the chuckles in Chuck and Larry couldn’t justify 140?
    It could be the greatest, most important film ever made. It could be the most spectacular, most complex piece of cinematic art to ever be called art that has ever graced human existence. I mean it IS Chuck and Larry!
    How dare I assume it is not? I haven’t seen it yet! It’s not like humans learn from context or experience or anything.
    …Joe, you’re a liberal with severe 60’s hang over, aren’t ya?

  27. Joe Leydon says:

    And you are a twentysomething twit with a short attention span. Aren’t ya?
    Ah, the arrogance of youth!

  28. Nicol D says:

    No Joe. It’s called, I learn from experience.
    Your generation should try it sometime.

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    You mean that, after George W. Bush, we should never vote for a Republican again? Hey, I’ll drink to that.

  30. Nicol D says:

    Exactly. We’ll all move to Cuba and hail Che Guevara instead.
    The sixties generation taught me communism was for the worker dontchaknow?
    “Imagine all the people… living in the peace…waaaahaaaaahahaah…you may say, I’m a dreamer…”

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    God, Nicol, you are so predictable. Let me ask you: if your beloved Mr. Bush is so right about the need to wage this war on terror, then of course you’ve enlisted and are ready to be shipped off to Iraq. Right? If not, then you are just another mouthy chickenhawk. Not worth engaging in debate. Good night. Pleasant dreams. And take some comfort in knowing: History will not be kind to the likes of you.

  32. Shut up about the war, geez.
    Joe, have YOU seen the movie? Can YOU justify why a movie with Adam Sandler and Kevin James is two hours and twenty minutes? A comedy like that, which I assume Chuck and Larry is, shouldn’t be any longer than 110 at max, 100 prefered. I don’t like the idea that longer necessarily means better. So many comedies have been ruined by being excessively long. I think it was Kevin Smith (who I normally detest) who said a comedy should never exceed 100 minutes. Or something like that. But, yes, nobody has seen Chuck and Larry so I guess we can give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that it’s 2:20 runtime is totally worth it.
    Oh, and agism is incredibly patronising btw.
    On the matter of Ratner V Bay, I give the upper hand to Bay. He may have made some atrocities, but I quite like a few of his films (Bad Boys, The Rock, The Island for the most part) and his movies always look good. Ratner on the other hand? I found Rush Hour 2 to be quite the very guilty pleasure and I didn’t think X-Men 3 was as bad as some suggested, it certainly wasn’t as good as the other two and it was because of him. Other than this, his movies are sort of boring to look at (Red Dragon, anyone although he did give us the sight of Phillip Seymour Hoffman set on fire, so yay for that).

  33. cjKennedy says:

    Ratner vs. Bay: Bay takes the cake for the sheer volume of suckage. I mean come on, 20 minutes of Pearl Harbor would get a man strung up in some foreign countries. Ratner loses bonus points for totally destroying X-Men, an otherwise likeable comic franchise, but otherwise he’s easily avoidable.
    And just because Bad Boys was later parodied in the excellent Hot Fuzz doesn’t justify its existence. That’s like saying the holocaust was ok because at least it brought us Shindler’s List.

  34. cjKennedy says:

    And if you’re wondering if I’m actually so lacking in tact that I’m likening Bad Boys to the holocaust, the answer is: yes I am.

  35. jeffmcm says:

    Okay, I’ll sum this up:
    Nicol, you are an arrogant jerk.
    Nuff said.

  36. RudyV says:

    X-MEN 3 was an abomination. The Dark Phoenix was a creature that could teleport across the galaxy and snuff an entire solar system, but what did we get in this flick? Floaty columns of water. She looked even weaker than Magneto, who had just uprooted and relocated the Golden Gate bridge.
    For this I actually blame Avi Arad, since he stated that the story of Jean Grey’s conversion, degradation, and redemption wasn’t engaging enough to occupy an entire movie.

  37. Lota says:

    It would be nice if there was a law restricting all “blockbusters” to 90 min or less since most of them suck anyway (Star Wars the exception of course). LOTR should have been 4 movies, they’d be more suspenceful anyway and the fans would have been willing to wait.
    Indie or art movies if the story requires longer, then ok.
    I won;t even comment on Bay movies, but commercials would be better and get his same “points” across.
    Charles Krauthammer? Wrecktum I thought your name was Calvin Calverson?
    Huh! no wonder I didn’t see any nice calves in LA last week 🙁

  38. djk813 says:

    As far as silly comedies and running times, I’ll just say that Knocked Up earns its 2 hour plus running time. I was surprised to see how long it was after seeing it because it didn’t feel long at all.

  39. Joe Leydon says:

    Djk813: You’re absolutely right. A movie should be like an orgasm. Not so short that isn’t satisfying, but not so long that it becomes a pain in the ass. Or something like that.

  40. David Poland says:

    Hey Joe… watch the anal sex chatter on the blog… kids are in here…

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    Lots of kids, sometimes. (Just kidding, Kami.)

  42. Jimmy the Gent says:

    What are little kids doing on a movie industry blog? Do they all want grow up and become arrogant, career-obsessed industry pundits? Do they think they know it all even at a young age? do they want to fast-track their education in being a cynical hipster?
    Very sad.

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