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By David Poland

BYOB 2 – Bring Your Own Blog

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29 Responses to “BYOB 2 – Bring Your Own Blog”

  1. I asked on my blog today whether there are any roles in the final Harry Potter book/film for the likes of the Helen Mirrens of the world. The 1%* of British actors who have yet to appear in the franchise. I haven’t read the books but it’d be pretty dawn amazing if Maggie Smith’s character had a sister. Or something. I dunno.
    *obviously denotes a joke.

  2. adorian says:

    I rented “Bug” and “The Black Book” today. Did “Bug” even get any kind of wide release? Ashley Judd gives a great, if overwrought, performance. “The Black Book” has a tremendous role for the lead actress. I enjoyed both DVDs, for differing reasons.

  3. Maggie Smith doesn’t have a sister, but Michael Gambon does turn out to have a brother — so there’s a job for Ian McKellen if he wants to complete a geek trifecta.

  4. IOIOIOI says:

    Yes; there are a few roles Helen Mirren could play in the Deathly Hallows. It just depends on how much of that book they want to translate into one film. Again, it all comes down to what Warners wants to do with that book. Hopefully they will make it two movies, and give HP the grand send off he deserves. Also, it’s Tuesday, and that means new music! Go listen to some Betty Lavette. Depressing as hell, but in a good way.

  5. LexG says:

    “Did BUG even get any kind of wide release?”
    Absolutely; It was a wide release with an elaborate, hilariously misleading (mis)marketing campaign from Lionsgate, who tried to sell it as one of their typical gross-out horror pix. Sort of SAW MEETS ARACHNOPHOBIA.
    I knew what it was about going in, of course, but you should’ve witnessed the fascinating sights and sounds of my random multiplex audience rebelling in anger as the movie progressed; It was a typically random mix of thugs and young couples, not to mention a SINGLE DAD WHO BROUGHT HIS SMALL CHILDREN, all apparently expecting a good-natured monster movie. Let’s just say they did not get what they came for, nor did they enjoy the substitute.
    I believe if you peruse the IMDB boards circa the film’s release, you’ll hear all manner of ranting from horror fans who were duped by the misleading campaign.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Black Book is great – I picked it up today and hope to watch it as soon as I’ve gotten through the dozen or so movies in theaters that I still need to see.

  7. IOIOIOI says:

    The dozen or so movies in the theatre you need to see? Spill brah. Spill.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Basically everything currently playing: 3:10 to Yuma, Eastern Promises, Into the Wild, Jesse James, Brave One, In the Valley of the Shadow of the Moon of Elah, etc. I have gotten very behind recently thanks to travel and work.

  9. LexG says:

    Black Book IS pretty great.
    I was annoyed the other day reading a flippant capsule review of its DVD release in EW, where the clueless reviewer opined something to the tune of, Paul Verhoeven is known for sci-fi and sex, but you wouldn’t expect him to tackle a serious World War II movie.
    Obviously someone hasn’t seen (or heard of) Soldier of Orange. Shouldn’t actually knowing something about film be some sort of prerequisite for writing about it in a major publication?
    Jeff, I usually try to keep up with everything, but there’s so much mid-level limited release Hail Mary Oscar Bait out there now that I know I’ll never get around to:
    In the Valley of Elah
    Hunting Party
    King of California
    And if someone who sees 90 movies a year in theaters can’t get to that shit, you know Joe Public doesn’t care at all. I’m sure Hunting Party in particular is a fine film, maybe even a fun one… but something seems too medicinal about it to exert the energy.

  10. Noah says:

    Well, I’ve now seen 114 movies so far this year and still haven’t seen Rescue Dawn, In the Valley of Elah, Into the Wild, or Eastern Promises!
    By the way, LexG, The Hunting Party is actually more of a rollicking good time than medicinal. It’s worth a few bucks to rent the DVD, a perfectly pleasant moviegoing experience, but something you could definitely skip in theaters. I think it might actually work better on the small screen.

  11. IOIOIOI says:

    Lex; there is a reason to have countless movie channels. It has to do with catching up with all those INDIE flicks I never get to see in a theatre. Also… thanks to shootout… I know that there are 90 something films being released in September and October. So, cable, is a good thing. Nevertheless; I really need to bring up 30 Rock. Give Liz Lemon your time.

  12. LexG says:

    For what it’s worth, Into the Wild and Jesse James are currently my #1 and #2 faves of the year. Both highly recommended, though the latter obviously has a fair share of detractors.
    On the off chance anyone remembers or cares, I was Joe “Kingdom” a couple months back when D-Po was talking it up. Having seen it now, I obviously pumped myself up just a bit much for an ultimately mixed bag of a movie.
    For those who’ve seen it, don’t you feel the generic CSI plot seems all the more mundane when, at the 80 minute mark, all that shit gets thrown out the window anyway, when there’s an arbitrary kick into action-movie mode?
    I won’t say it negates everything that came before plot-wise, but it certainly renders everything as arbitrary. Imagine a LAW AND ORDER episode that spent half its run time with the usual clues and perps and suspects and stuff, then out of nowhere everyone just starts shooting at each other for the remainder of the length, and the crime is only solved because the gunfight improbably spills into the true culprit’s apartment.

  13. Aris P says:

    Random thoughts:
    Inland Empire. What was that? I’m all for watching challenging movies but come on. Can that be considered a film? It took me two weeks to put that dvd in my player and it was painful. And I like most of Lynch’s film.
    Also, someone PLEASE give Sigourney Weaver a job. If I have to watch that Aliens Direct TV ad one more time, you might read about me in the newspaper and see me on CNN.
    And note to PBS – if you’re going to hype Ken Burns’s War to death and spend so much money developing it, maybe you should spend a few more bucks on getting the sound synched to the interviews. Is it me or have the first two episodes been off-track sound-wise?

  14. Noah says:

    Sigourney Weaver is the best thing about The TV Set, which is coming out on DVD soon I believe.

  15. Ian Sinclair says:

    DP (like Jeff Wells) has been very quiet about New Line losing the first round of their legal battle with Peter Jackson.
    Here is Nikke Finke, calling Robert Shaye “a prick”
    The Dog Ate New Line’s Balance Sheets…
    What a scumbag studio New Line Cinema is turning out to be. Because of this nugget buried in that legal victory which Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson just won during the discovery phase of his 2005 lawsuit to enforce the audit provision of his contract: Back in October 2006, New Line’s counsel produced only “one third of a box” of audit documents for Jackson’s discovery process and claimed that’s all there was. This, even though Jackson’s side had requested communications and documents from profit participant audits on any New Line property: film, television, sound tracks or video games. But, in a deposition, New Line auditor Ken Horowitz described five to 10 cabinets filled with audit records. (I haven’t seen discovery this egregious since the Disney vs Slesinger Winnie The Pooh royalty case.) The federal magistrate on September 18th blasted New Line’s “persistent disregard” of not just the U.S. District Court’s discovery orders, but Jackson’s right to documents “that the court has already determined are relevant to the claims and defenses in this action. Without the true facts, there can be no just result.” The magistrate sanctioned New Line $125,000 and ordered the studio to produce all third-party audits, as well as any internal audits of licensees from The Fellowship Of The Ring, the first in the Rings trilogy which grossed nearly $3 billion at the worldwide box office. A week earlier, the court refused to grant 8 out of 11 summary judgments that New Line had brought in the case. The great irony here is that, while New Line and Jackson litigate, the two sides continue to work on a diplomatic track to solve their differences. “The ice is thawing, meaning the first focus is on having consistent civil dialogue,” an insider tells me. “They’re not near a settlement yet, but there is dialogue.” Yet I have to ask: how can anyone negotiate with prick Bob Shaye? A source concurs: “A PR picture is beginning to be painted, not by Peter’s side, but by the courts.”

  16. IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH was surprisingly awesome. Surprising cuz I haaaated CRASH. I don’t think the film is any less heavyhanded than CRASH but I guess I liked the message more. Wasn’t so…pandering.
    BUG was awesome! It did scrape the tip of “over the top” a few times, but I dug it.
    Over on the Film Threat blog, one of our writers is watching INLAND EMPIRE every night while he sleeps…maybe thats the secret. I loved it when I saw it but it’s more than a little bit difficult.

  17. David Poland says:

    Pretty shitty company you have me in, Ian.
    The situation between New Line and PJ and Fran Walsh is more personal than anything else at this point and teh bad behavior in terms of documentation is part of that. Some people report on minor court decisions, like this, as major. I wait for something important to happen before I go ape. (See: Pellicano)
    More important is this piece.

  18. sloanish says:

    Re: Black Book. Is it just me or does every Verhoeven movie end with me feeling like shit because he wanted me to. Even Robocop has you hating humanity.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, isn’t it great?
    Re: Inland Empire, it’s definitely Lynch’s most impenetrable movie ever, if for no other reason than because it’s twice as long as Eraserhead. The word ‘indulgent’ has a negative connotation to it, but it’s appropriate. Either you’re up for the ride or you aren’t.
    And yeah, I feel bad for Sigourney too.

  20. Everyone feels bad for Sigourney. How long until she moves to TV like Sally Field, Glenn Close, Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Hunter…
    Inland Empire is a film I don’t think you’re meant to understand in the slightest as anything other than David Lynch giving your a guided tour through his nightmares (or are most people’s nightmares David Lynch’s dreams?)

  21. swordandpen says:

    Re: Inland Empire. That movie felt like a film student doing a rather poor imitation of Lynch. Big step down from Straight Story and Mulholland Drive.
    It could have lost half of its running time and it wouldn’t make a difference. Seriously, I think about 1/6th of that movie was just shots of Laura Dern walking down creepy hallways.

  22. Alan Cerny says:

    BLACK BOOK is wonderful. I haven’t seen BUG yet. But Verhoeven did a terrific job.

  23. ThriceDamned says:

    I’ve seen 332 films so far this year (yeah, I keep tabs), but only 24 2007 releases, and only gone to the theater 25 times this year so far (some of which were 2006 releases).
    Some of it has to do with the fact that I live in Europe and certain titles have a lag time of several months before arriving here, but also my enjoyment of going to the movies has diminished considerably of late. I used to see about 75-100 films at the theater a year, but high prices (converts to 16 USD), people talking/SMSing/generally being rude more than ever before (or I’m getting older and noticing it more) and my getting a dedicated home theater have made me more patient to just wait for the DVD release (or recently, HD-DVD/Blu-Ray).

  24. bmcintire says:

    I have been a fan of David Lynch in the past, but INLAND EMPIRE might as well have had “Go ahead and push eject” burned into the screen. Unwatchable.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Then how have I watched it three times? Must have been a different movie.

  26. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff likes Inland Empire, and has watched it 3 times. Yep… Jeffy Mac is one of a kind!

  27. bmcintire says:

    Jeff – nope, same movie. You apparently have the patience of Job. I will respect another person’s opinion on this one. I clearly just didn’t get it. And could honestly not recommend trying to anyone else. Which makes me sad, because I was looking forward to this one for quite a while.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    It wasn’t a movie that required patience, like I said earlier, either you’re on its wavelength or you’re not. If you’re not, I can totally understand why it would seem like an incomprehensible self-indulgent mishmash. But for me, it was a pleasing, nerve-jangling incomprehensible mishmash.

  29. I don’t think INLAND EMPIRE needs patience or thought…you just gotta let it wash over you…and pray you don’t have bad dreams.
    Granted, I saw it with Lynch in attendence (and Chris Isaak opened the movie then had Lynch come up afterwards and play teeny, tiny maracas on WICKED GAME) so I was just having such a good time, the critic in me wasn’t present.

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