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David Poland

By David Poland

Behind The Superbad Wall

Once again, they are looking for name, birthdate, and zip code. Good luck, foreigners!
All three clips are from the first 20 minutes of the film or so, though they also contain some of the great dialogue runs that define the film.
The site…

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30 Responses to “Behind The Superbad Wall”

  1. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Can’t wait for this! Thanks DP!

  2. That Michael Cena kid can star in the remake of BREAKING AWAY.
    p.s. Why do people on message boards/blogs feel the need to “write” “first?” We can clearly see you’re first. If you’re writing “first” what you should be writing is “I’m a raving jackass.”

  3. LexG says:

    Must be nice, those of you guys who do this for a living and will get to/have seen this at a nice, comfy critics’ screening amidst the tweedy likes of Ken Turan and Glenn Whipp. Instead of how the rest of us will likely “endure” it– surrounded by the Wassup Rocker High Class of 2012, all of them doing the STUPID PERSON LAUGH and yelling “Daaaaamn, that SHIT’S. FUCKED. UP!!!!!!!!” and “Oh, SHIIIIIIT!!!!” in between text messages and runs in and out of the theater.

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    Geez, LexG. You sound so…. old.

  5. LexG says:

    Really, Joe, you honestly don’t mind sitting elbow-to-elbow and shoes-to-your-scalp with teenage thugs spouting the word “bitch” six times a sentence? Suburban teenage L.A. audiences are unbelieeeeevably hostile, and hardly the good-natured youth I think you’re envisioning.
    And really, even if it WAS Potsie and Ralph Mouth necking with their best girl two inches behind you instead of a dimwit 15-year-old exclaiming “This fucking shit’s all fucking stupid and shit, yo. This shit’s all fucking gay-ay,” can you really retain your critical faculties, to say nothing of your personal comfort, in the light of such distractions?

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    LexG: I was being, how you say, ironic. To be honest: I’ve had to put up with the sort of behavior your describe for the better part of two decades at promotional screenings. Truth to tell, I can think of more than one occasion when I fully expected weapons to be drawn and shots to be fired. No, I am not exaggerating. And, lest you think me racist, no, they weren’t all screenings for “urban market” films.

  7. Glenn Whipp says:

    Lex: Tweedy? I saw “Superbad” last Friday with the Comic-Con fanboys. I was surrounded by wizards and Apatow-worshipping freaks and geeks. The biggest annoyance were the security guards who roamed the aisles and RAISED THEIR VOICES any time they thought they saw suspicous activity. Oh … and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt (low thread count … purchased at Old Navy, for those who regularly peruse a certain other movie site).

  8. David Poland says:

    Lex… I saw it with the mouthbreathers at a multiplex in Santa Monica. (There were maybe 30 of us who were “with the movie.”) And that was fine.
    I am spoiled and pleased to be when it comes to some movies. I like having an open seat next to me and I feel free to tell someone who is making noise or flashing their cell to shut it/turn it off. I was downright obnoxious – by my standards – at some screening a few weeks ago when they were going to fill every seat in the roped off section and I had specifically chosen my seat for space over location. Guilty.
    But Superbad, like other comedies and horror films, should have all the distractions. And at the Bourne screening, there were at least two applause breaks. Fine.
    People out of LA and NY really have to deal with “real people” a lot more than we do here… lots more promo screenings as critics screenings. And there is nothing worse, to me, than a radio station screening with t-shirts flying and some DJ trying to do his/her schtick live. Yuck.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Nobody’s making you see a movie on opening night in Carson. Seeing a movie with a fully engaged audience (like I did last night, with The Simpsons Movie) is a pleasure.

  10. LexG says:

    Hey, Glenn Whipp! Awesome! I actually am a huge fan of the Daily News and your stuff and Bob’s. Read you guys every weekend– really good, smart criticism from a recognizable, accessible perspective and the sense that you guys really like movies and have fun with it. Now what’s with dissin’ the Alba last weekend though? And I miss the “U”!!! Whassup with the new layout?
    And D-Po, I can feel your pain re: your empty seat and space over location, and wholeheartedly agree. I never understand the folks who stubbornly HAVE to have dead-center, dead-middle, and will cling to it like a life raft despite that being where the masses naturally gravitate. I’ll take 2nd row off to the side over dead center, if it’s more sparsely populated. Of course, at multiplexes, that can backfire, as anyone sneaking in late makes a quick beeline for the worst seats, too. The Arclight makes me a NERVOUS WRECK, as I can’t control who they ASSIGN-SEAT inches away; One time I drew the seat next to a guy SCRIBBLING NOTES during a sold-out opening weekend screening of History of Violence.
    Jeff… Carson? Pfft. The worst audiences I’ve ever experienced have been in Burbank, Uni City, and Pasadena.

  11. Nicol D says:

    I dunno.
    I think the whole film as a communal experience is getting a bit overrated. I have had a lot of good experiences but with diminishing returns over the past decade. Modern film audiences are the worst sort: whether it’s the suburban teenage yahoos who kick your seat and talk during the movie or the urban arthouse morons who always laugh twice as loud as the teenage yahoos at subtle humour to let everyone know they ‘get the joke’ in a foreign film. Both types suck.
    I remember seeing Manhunter in 1986 during its brief theatrical run. It was a Sunday matinee and there wasn’t another soul in the entire auditorium. Only time that has ever happened to me.
    One of the best film-going experiences ever.

  12. Further proof for my argument that foreign markets are treated with the upmost contempt.

  13. Wrecktum says:

    Stay away from the east valley, LexG. Join us humans at the Arclight and shit, yo.

  14. teambanzai says:

    Yes join us at the Arclight. One of us. One of us. One of us…

  15. Ju-osh says:

    How many threads do you scroll through where you can agree with what both jeffmcm *and* Nicol D are saying?
    Superbad unites!

  16. The Carpetmuncher says:

    I feel lucky to watch most films in theatres in Hollwyood or Santa Monica or Culver City (Pacific 12 Stadium Seating!) The crowds there are never too obnoxious.
    But the point is well-taken. And I think it’s the primary reason why Mark Cuban’s whole Day-and-Date Scheme/Fiasco of releasing across multiple platforms on the same day as the theatrical release is just industry suicide. I for one would never watch a film in a theatre where I have to pay for parking, popcorn, and deal with so much bullshit, when I could just watch it on my couch at home with a pause button. Do I like seeing movies in a theatre? Hell yeah! But I’m also lazy, and would take the easiest road if it were available…
    SUPERBAD is gonna ROCK! Can’t wait!

  17. Hallick says:

    “But Superbad, like other comedies and horror films, should have all the distractions. And at the Bourne screening, there were at least two applause breaks. Fine.”
    That’s great since those people are actually watching and involving themselves in the movie. I love being in those kinds of audiences. But the distractions LexG described (especially the text messaging and the running in and out of the theater en masse countless times over) are really putting the theater experience to death ASAP. Why anybody would blow ten bucks or more on a ticket and then blow another twenty on snacks just to do shit they could’ve stayed in the parking lot and done for thirty bucks less is a never-ending bewilderment for me.
    Between those kinds of crowds at night and the zombie drones who go to the matinees, I just can’t get my collective conciousness groove on anymore.

  18. Cadavra says:

    Said it before, say it again: WAIT A COUPLE OF WEEKS!!

  19. hendhogan says:

    i think comedies especially need the communal filmgoing experience. i’ve seen some on dvd by myself that everyone raved about and thought, eh. but then you see it in the theatre and it can be one of the funniest things you’ve seen. sometimes the shared experience is necessary

  20. The Carpetmuncher says:

    True dat – seeing Borat in the theatre was so much different than showing it someone on DVD. Just seeing an entire audience duck down in their seats as naked men brawled across a hotel…that made it all the better.
    The theatre experience is still the “best experience” for me, it’s just that you have to put up with so much other crap to enjoy it.
    But yes, I LOVED Independence Day when it came out – because I saw it in Westwood on opening day with beach balls in the audience and all the accompanying dorky craziness, and it was a blast. Of course the film really doesn’t hold up on DVD, the communal experience was what made it really fun…

  21. David Poland says:

    The funny thing is that the multiplex system has downgraded that opening night rush as well. You can still get some excitement, but it’s not the same as it used to be, when people really were willing to go at 2am because they couldn’t get in at 8 and they HAD to be there.
    Not saying it’s gone… just a bit less intense.
    I noticed this first at the 1am screening of the last Star Wars film… people were dressed up, but it wasn’t like being at The Chinese… though I guess I could have dived into that if I had chosen to…

  22. TMJ says:

    Here’s a bigger issue … bigger than which tween sensation sits next to me in the theater: These clips didn’t make me laugh. I smiled during the “Seth” clip. The other two dragged. Yikes.

  23. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    TMJ you hit it on the head. These are the best clips they could find to promote the film? Amusing at most. Ha ha the sweet kid Cera swearing. Slap my knee. Someone vomiting. Ow my belly. Sounds like this film succeeds by the sheer exuberance and likeability of the young cast and not the brilliant script – a script that some old farts exclaim, “its ear for youthful dialogue is so sharp and keenly observed”… umm yeah right. I think it’ll be fun. The second coming of comedy since the last second coming of Knocked Up? Lets pull it back in a bit.

  24. Glenn Whipp says:

    Do pull the expectations back a bit … and you’ll have a good time. And Lex, thanks for the kind words. Hang with the re-design. Alba? She’s shiny. I’ll give her that.

  25. David Poland says:

    You know… I can’t say that I don’t agree that these clips are not the best representation of the film. They are, as I wrote, all early in the picture and clearly, though they are R-rated scenes, they don’t want to give it all away.
    This is a much more significant film than Knocked Up. It will be a cultural touchstone, which KU was not and, for that matter, 40YOV is barely. There is a universality to this film that is quite remarkable.
    And yes, going into anything expecting the BEST FILM EVER is brutal.
    This is not the BEST FILM EVER. But it does, fitting the thread going on about The Dead Masters, synthesize decades of teen movies and teen life and like Fast Times and Hughes films were in their times, hits the bullseye squarely.

  26. Hallick says:

    Okay, I just got back from “The Simpsons Movie” and the one question I’d like to ask everybody here is this: how small a container can I get Silly String in? So the next time I’m stuck next to THE MOST IMPORTANT HUMAN BEING ALIVE (which he must be, since he had to check his phone for text messages every five minutes because he’s THE MOST IMPORTANT HUMAN BEING ALIVE) I can blanket that goddamn thing in colored foam! And if not Silly String, how about spray paint? Or mace. I’m just about at the point where I’m seriously in the market for one of those mini creme brulee blowtorches. I think that just might convey the NON-text message I’m looking for. Grumble, grumble, grumble….

  27. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    There I was looking for a calm considered opinion and ol Dave drops the “cultural touchstone” and in a second breath drops the holy trinity of Breakfast, 16 and Fast Times. So much for not raising expectations. Sorry to tread on your enthusiasm Dave but it’s actually not up to you to declare things like that. The kids will do that without grandpa wheezing at them from his porch. Those films, though critically acclaimed and regarded as seminal works – did just super without the reassurance of armchair critics and popcultural theorists. We’ll see in 5-10yrs time if we’re still harking back to the glory that is SUPERBAD.

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    Hallick: Try waving a .38. It works for me.

  29. While I’m still looking forward to SUPERBAD and I’m sure DP and GW (welcome, btw) are right that it’s a very good film…if you’re going to have some *exclusive “r” rated trailers!!* at least make em good at worst and funny at best.

  30. David Poland says:

    Of course it’s not up to me JBD. Nothing is up to me but what I do and think.
    If a “calm considered opinion” means “agree with JBD,” you are right… tough sledding.
    I haven’t said that it’s the second coming of comedy. I do think it will be a forever teen/college touchstone for this generation… which is not my generation. The Coen Bros are my gen’s cultural touchstone of that ilk. (And yes, I think we were better for it, albeit The Coens require more than one viewing for most on most of their films.)

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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?”

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