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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Halloween

I am out for most of the day today, though there is a new Hot Button going up sometime today, as well as Gurus 2.0 on MCN.
Let me also say that while her coverage is extremely narrow because of how it is being fed to her, Nikki Finke’s site is clearly worth reading in these early pre-strike days. She is getting propaganda from both sides and running it. She seems to have no idea when she is being played or not, but if you can parse it, there is some great stuff there and she is clearly working her ass off lately to be the one on top of this all. So credit to her… and let’s hope the fools are still letting their working members work this time next week instead of pretending to be heroes of the working class who are driving their Porsche SUVs to the rallys to bring down the system that they simply want a bigger piece of. (Strike when it’s right… not when expedient.)

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85 Responses to “BYOB – Halloween”

  1. Andrew says:

    All due respect David, but you sound like the bigger idiot when discussing the strike. You’re the one that comes off like he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Can I point out that a good majority of the WGA can’t afford Porsche SUVs?

  2. T. Holly says:

    No one seems moved by Dave’s “Need to Know” post of a seemingly leaked, official, information gathering, WGA communicae to a member. So, was he possibly played, or is he possibly playing the strike through The Hot Blog?

  3. waterbucket says:

    D-Po, why do you have Ellen Page as both the unexpected snub and the unexpected nominee? It’s time for you to lay that crack pipe down, hit the gym, shave the beard, and then call me.

  4. Wrecktum says:

    Poland’s out most of the day because he’s putting the last touches on his fabulous costume for tonight’s street bash in WeHo.

  5. MASON says:

    Nikki’s coverage of the negotiations is far from perfect, but it still has been the most informative and objective by far.
    The LA Times has been the worse — Nick Counter might as well be the editor over there.

  6. RoyBatty says:

    The LA Times can’t even catch the fact that the opening sentence of their strike story on the front page of Calendar for Monday claimed there were DVDs in 1988 and on Tuesday Patrick Goldstein pretty much sucked studio cock by trashing writers as drunk, high maintenance assholes, are you surprised?

  7. Hopscotch says:

    On an unrelated topic,
    Anyone check out the WANTED trailer at
    Yeesh. Looks awful. though I admire the boldness of the Universal marketing department to let Morgan Freeman narrate over the action. What a completely original and spontaneous thing to do.

  8. Andrew says:

    Oh God, I found myself rolling my eyes at WANTED. The trailer tells me it’s Jolie and Freeman training the son of a great assassin into an assassin. James Mcavoy as an action hero? I don’t think so, and surprisingly any hotness a gun-wielding Jolie had, has long left her (for me anyway).

  9. brack says:

    Feels like the WGA goes on strike every year.

  10. hepwa says:

    Has anyone actually seen “Atonement”?! I can’t imagine it holding its current ranking until it gets a wide release (and subsequently sinks like a stone).
    It’s the first movie in ages where I heard another patron yell out (after a particularly ridiculous line of dialogue) “Oh, for Christ’s sake!”. It was the most honest sentiment floated in that theater when I saw it at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

  11. movielocke says:

    I’ve seen Atonement, it’s the best film I’ve seen in the last two or three years. I can’t wait to see it again. it’s already been released in England and I think it’s a resounding success over there, commercially and critically.

  12. ATONEMENT is at 100% after twenty reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and has made over twenty million dollars so far in England. Period drama + universal critical acclaim + box office smash = mortal lock for a nomination in many major and minor categories. At the moment, anyone who doesn’t have it as their #1 is barking mad.

  13. brack says:

    I will see anything starring Keira Knightley.

  14. Wrecktum says:

    And her jaw.

  15. brack says:

    site doesn’t work. probably for the best.

  16. brack says:

    that website doesn’t work anymore. any good?

  17. brack says:

    damn this blog, talk about refresh problems

  18. lazarus says:

    Sinclair, is your sex change to Mistress Malevolent complete now?

  19. IOIOIOI says:

    Oh yeah… HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! Also… the I’M NOT HERE soundtrack came out this week. Check it out.

  20. Anyone seen NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN yet? Nest movie of the year…? Anyone?
    Also-there’s a special screening of THERE WILL BE BLOOD Monday in San Francisco at the Castro….should be a great night.

  21. Wrecktum says:

    I agree that No Country is the nest movie of the year.

  22. IOIOIOI says:

    Yes Pet; we have all seen a movie that does not open until freakin NOVEMBER 9th! NEST MOVIE, INDEED!

  23. adorian says:

    Which holiday movie do you think is going to flop big-time?
    My vote is for “PS I Love You” with Hillary Swank.

  24. WinslowLeachtheComposer says:

    Expedient?! Don’t you mean “strike when it’s right, sure…but only if it’s expedient”? Not too gutsy, I admit, but more representative of your stance, I think.

  25. brack says:

    “Which holiday movie do you think is going to flop big-time?
    My vote is for “PS I Love You” with Hillary Swank.”
    I don’t think I’m going to see it, but to be honest the trailer is pretty good compared to most.

  26. Ian Sinclair says:

    Well, one movie definitely NOT flopping is BEOWULF, which is tracking for a $50m opening weekend.
    EARLY TRACKING: ‘Beowulf’ Tracking Like a Four-Quadrant Blockbuster Event! Digital 3D Could Drive It to $50M-plus Opening Weekend!
    by Steve Mason
    Paramount’s Beowulf has popped onto the film industry tracking with some very impressive numbers. Based on the epic poem read by many a high school student, this Robert Zemeckis-directed adaptation is set for release on Nov. 16, and with a huge IMAX push along with over 700 traditional locations offering Digital 3D, this action/fantasy should generate a fantastic opening.
    My sources tell me that Paramount has burned only 20 percent of its massive marketing budget, yet Beowulf, starring Angelina Jolie, Ray Winstone (The Departed), Sir Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich among others, is at 4 percent Un-Aided Awareness as of 19 days prior to release. That’s stronger than 2006 release Casino Royale (3 percent) and on par with February’s Ghost Rider (4 percent) at the same point in their marketing cycles. Un-Aided Awareness is an excellent measure of buzz, and, even early in the game, Beowulf has got it.
    I’m using Casino Royale ($40.8 million opening, $167.4 million cume) and Ghost Rider ($45.3 million opening, $115.8 million cume) as comparables for Beowulf. Both are big budget PG-13-rated spectacles, although Ghost Rider was more geared for Males Under 25 and Casino Royale had the advantage of being the latest installment in a legendary franchise. Beowulf already has a Total Aware of 67 percent, nearly matching the 69 percent Awareness scored by Casino Royale and in the neighborhood of Ghost Rider

  27. Wrecktum says:

    Ian’s Beowulf Boner is almost as confounding as the Ridley Rimjobs I’ve seen posted here throughout the day. What a peculiar place.

  28. brack says:


  29. brack says:

    lolocaust I should say.

  30. doug r says:

    Nice to see a picture getting released in Real-D AND IMAX 3-D simultaneously. I was starting to get worried about some kind of non-compete clause.

  31. Wrecktum says:

    National Geographic’s Sea Monsters was released in both IMAX and Real-D about a month ago.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    I think “Beowulf Boner” and “Ridley Rimjob” are late-60s Hanna-Barbera characters (I’ve been watching a lot of Boomering lately. Or maybe it was Spice).
    PS, Justin Lin’s Finishing the Game is massively lame. if you must see it, wait for video.

  33. jeffmcm says:

    BoomerAng, that is, dammit.

  34. brack says:

    Not Eddie Murphy’s best movie.

  35. I mean BEST… B button must be noken….hahahahahaah! Oy. But, yeah….great movie that one.
    BEOWULF isn’t doing much for me…and I’m a big Zemeckis/Gaiman and huge Avary fan. It looks like some computer game though. ZZZzz…

  36. CloudsWithoutWater says:

    The Atonement trailer makes it look pretty stanard-issue awards season drama. I’m assuming it’s better than it’s made to look?

  37. SJRubinstein says:

    Is everybody kind of writing off “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” as a real Best Picture candidate because the studio probably won’t have the capital to push it out there as a frontrunner?
    Or because it’s really small in the first place?
    I haven’t seen “No Country” yet, but have to say, it would take a lot to convince me that the Lumet pic isn’t just one of ’07’s best flicks.
    And the “Wanted” trailer looks like those NBC’s “Chuck” commercials that ran ad infinitum ramping up to the fall season – just with a much bigger budget.
    Oh yeah – singing cat:

  38. It’s not just that Thinkfilm are tiny, but have they had any success with any movie whatsoever before in the past? Even minor?
    I wonder what normal people (as in, the sort of people who don’t obsess on blogs about movies) are reacting to Beowulf. Some of the reactions to the trailer I saw were hilarious. The lady behind me was so confused. “Why is Angelina Jolie in a movie where everybody else is animated. What’s a beo wolf?” I had a nice chuckle. I can’t imagine how lost she was during Michael Clayton. My friends weren’t exactly clamouring for it.

  39. movieman says:

    On a completely unrelated topic (lol), has anyone seen “The Wendell Baker Story”? I watched the dvd yesterday since ThinkFilm barely opened it earlier this year, and found it to be a surprisingly enjoyable film.
    I say “surprisingly” since it sat around for two years after playing some regional fests. Luke Wilson (who cowrote and directed it) gives his best performance to date, and there’s terrific supporting work by Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Eddie Griffin, Harry Dean Stanton, Kris Kristofferson, Seymour Cassel and Eva Mendes (among others).
    What was most interesting about the movie was how reminescent it is of TV’s “My Name is Earl” (Luke’s voiceover narration sounds just like Jason Lee’s “Earl” v.o.: the only difference is that he never says “karma”).
    Is it possible that the creative team behind the sitcom saw “Wendell” and were “inspired” by it? The similarities seem too great to make this coincidental.
    And ThinkFilm will be lucky to get an acting nod for “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.” It’s a great film, but they’re absolutely hopeless and don’t have the war chest of, say, Miramax or Focus to mount a successful awards campaign.
    “Atonement” is terrific, too, but I’d hardly call it a “lock” in any category. It’s brilliant, but pretty frigid emotionally which might translate to lukewarm w.o.m. with Oscar voters. I wish it well, though: it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.

  40. brack says:

    I’ll probably check out Beowulf. I’ve never seen a bad Robert Zemekis film, though I missed Death Becomes Her. And yes, I liked the Back to the Future sequels even if they could never recapture the original’s “magic.”

  41. Armin Tamzarian says:

    ThinkFilm ran a campaign that got Ryan Gosling a Best Actor nomination last year. So, yeah, they are probably capable of doing something with the Lumet film.

  42. RDP says:

    “Can I point out that a good majority of the WGA can’t afford Porsche SUVs?”
    That comment seemed directed at the leadership rather than the rank-and-file.

  43. The Carpetmuncher says:

    I have to say that the Beowolf trailers just look terrible to me. iI do appreciate Zemeckis’ envelope pushing in the past. But this looks like a geek fest that will be hard pressed to get adult audiences into the theatre.
    In today’s world, that probably means it will be a tremendous hit. But I have trouble seeing this film reach people beyond the fanboy audience.
    I also still question whether the young audiences that typically support this kind of thing are going to turn out in mass for Beowulf, which is just about the most despised text of high school kids everywhere. Do they really want to see a film about it?
    I’m not saying they won’t – Zemeckis clearly gets that audience a lot more than I do – but it would scare me if I was the distributor.

  44. brack says:

    I thought Beowulf was a pretty good story. That was back in 7th grade.

  45. storymark says:

    I just finished teaching Beowulf, and while, yes, a lot of kids struggled with it due to the nature of the language, they did enjoy the story quite a bit. A lot of them have been talking about the movie.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, Zemeckis’ film can only do better boxoffice-wise than the last film based on the story.

  47. movieman says:

    Thanks, Joe.
    I actually checked out your review last nite on the Variety website after finishing the movie.
    Are you familiar with “My Name is Earl” by any chance? If so (and if you remember “Wendell Baker” two and a half years after seeing it) do you detect any similarities?

  48. waterbucket says:

    “My Name is Earl” is the bomb. I can relate to that show because I’m one Hot Pocket away from being white trash.

  49. movieman says:

    Waterbucket- If you like “Earl,” check out “The Wendell Baker Story.” I think you’ll recognize a lot of elements from the show.

  50. David Poland says:

    Andrew… it’s the ones who can afford Porsche SUVs and the unemployed who make these strikes happen when they should be strategizing differently.
    Again, pro-strike if it comes to that… it has not come to that now.

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: Don’t know if you’ve read my other postings on this subject, but you should be happy that I have never watched My Name is Earl. Because, trust me, when I watch a show — and start to like it — it’s the kiss of death. My latest victim: Raines. Other recent victims: The Nine, Peacemakers and the Ving Rhames reamke of Kojak. It’s a mircale to me that House is still on the air. It may have survived only because, for the past three spring semesters, I’ve taught a college course on Tuesday nights, so I’ve had to catch most episodes of the show in reruns.

  52. Ian Sinclair says:

    The reviews have started coming in for THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Concensus is it’s just an arthouse movie with no commerical prospects whatsover. Shame. I had been looking forward to it when it had been called another TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Also: I didn’t know Wendell Baker was available already on DVD. So I went to Wal Mart on my lunch break today, just to gauge how wide a release it’s getting. (Trust me: If it’s on sale at Wal Mart, it’s on sale everywhere. The only exception: The weird and obscure movies available on DVD for $1 a pop. Things like Five Minutes to Kill — aka Door to Door Maniac with Johnny Cash, or Eliza’s Horoscope with “Tom Lee Jones.” It seems those things are available ONLY at Wal Mart and 99 Cents stores.) Well, I see the DVD package, and I’m quoted on it. Of course, I had to buy it. Is that pathetic, or what?

  54. adorian says:

    Each time I read something about “There Will Be Blood,” I am reminded of Coppola’s “Tucker: the Man and His Dream” with Jeff Bridges…a serious drama about an important industry in the USA during an earlier era and….
    Well, most moviegoers will not be interested in it, no matter how bravura the acting from DD Lewis and Paul Dano.

  55. David Poland says:

    I only wish it was as solid as Tucker. It is a much more demanding piece of filmmaking. Tucker is one of Coppola’s most sentimental films and this is not sentimental at all. But…
    More to come this weekend.

  56. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “I think “Beowulf Boner” and “Ridley Rimjob” are late-60s Hanna-Barbera characters”
    Is the first genuinely funny comment from Jeffmcm on this blog?
    DP you really think Finke doesn’t know whats propaganda? Isn’t letting it spill from both sides actually a more honest representation of the climate – than her taking a stance or showing an agenda?

  57. movieman says:

    Good to know, Joe. My problem with television–and why I never even gave any of the new fall series a try (even “Pushing Daisies” which actually sounded interesting)–is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
    Between the (roughly) 500 feature films I see per year, and the TV I’m already addicted to, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I even continue watching shows (e.g., “The Simpsons”) that have been running on fumes for years simply because of my stubborn “completist” streak. It really is a sickness. Trust me: I don’t need to get hooked on another television series.
    If you ever decide to give “Earl” a try, I think you’ll discover that it’s a smart and funny sitcom. And “The Wendell Baker Story” is sort of its big brother. (Awful title btw; maybe that explains why it had such a hard time finding a distributer.)
    P.S.= I would buy any dvd that had my quote on the box, too.
    (Kind of surprises me that they didn’t send you a free copy; the cheap bastards!) I’m so shameless that I actually clip out movie ads that use my quotes. Since I’m not Earl Dittman, Jeffrey Lyons or any of the other blurb whores featured in 90% of the movie ads, it’s still a kick when I see my name attached to a quote in a print or TV ad.

  58. lazarus says:

    “I only wish it was as solid as Tucker.” WHA?? Not even one of Coppla’s better films.
    Looks like we’ll be adding TWBB to the list of great films that DP doesn’t care for.

  59. movieman says:

    “Tucker” is damn good; I think it’s quite possibly Coppola’s best post-“Apocalypse Now” film, although I am inordinately fond of “Peggy Sue Got Married,” “The Rainmaker” and, yes, even “The Godfather Part III,” “One From the Heart” and the S.E. Hinton movies.
    Speaking of part-time teaching gigs: In honor of Halloween, I showed Tobe Hooper’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” to my college film history class yesterday, and some students actually thought it was too “tame.”
    I guess that’s what a steady diet of “Saw”s and “Hostel”s will do to you.
    Monday’s film–Fassbinder’s “Merchant of Four Seasons”–was, I think, a lot scarier for them. Must have been the subtitles…or maybe the nudity, lol.

  60. RDP says:

    I very much liked “Tucker”, as well, though I’m kind of a sucker for movies from/about that era in American history and have always been fascinated with automobiles.

  61. movieman says:

    I think we can all agree–at least I hope so–that “Jack” is the nadir of Coppola’s directing career.
    Can’t wait for “There Will Be Blood.”
    “Blood” and “Sweeney Todd” are the two remaining ’07 releases I haven’t seen that have a fighting chance at making my top-ten list.
    Todd McCarthy’s Variety review only helped stoke my off-the-charts enthusiasm.
    Ironically, I received a pass in the mail today for a “special screening” of “TWBB” at the Writers Guild Theater on Nov. 12th (PT Anderson, D-D Lewis and Paul Dano are participating in a post-screening Q&A). But since I live in Ohio (not LA), it’s like rubbing salt in my wounds.
    Hopefully Paramount Vantage will mail out screeners before the BFCA deadline!

  62. Joe Leydon says:

    Texas Chainsaw Massacre, then Merchant of Four Seasons? Damn. I thought I was going to give whiplash to MY students by showing them The Green Berets this week, M*A*S*H next week.
    BTW: Tucker is a great movie. And I’m not saying that just because I got to interview Coppola and Lucas together during the junket for it. (Yeah, I’m name-dropping, we’ve already established I have no shame.) But I have to admit, I also liked The Rainmaker, for pretty much the same reason I enjoyed The Gingerbread Man. In both cases, it was fun to see a great filmmaker working within the confines of a genre narrative (in both cases, not incidentally, provided by John Grisham) and still bringing a personal touch to the proceedings.

  63. movieman says:

    Totally agree with you, Joe: it’s the very definition of the auteur theory–a director’s ability to impart their personal touch (style, personality, whatever you want to call it) onto otherwise straightforward genre material.
    I’m going to try and be a little easier on my students next week by showing them “Mean Streets” and “The Wanderers” as a sort of 1960s-70s NYC/rock-and-roll companion piece. And a case might even be made that Charlie and Johnny Boy are sort of twentysomething versions of Richie and Joey.

  64. IOIOIOI says:

    Yay… fans of Tucker… very nice. That’s a movie I never get tired of watching. May it pop-up on HBO at some point this month. Nevertheless; Earl has a pick up for fourth season, and HOUSE is one of the biggest shows on TV. Trust me: your mojo is not too powerful to effect either show.

  65. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Wow, I sure love Tucker, too. It has a certain American optimism that is hard to hate. And I’m also a fan of The Rainmaker. While not a brilliant film, it is a beautiful film, with a wonderful score and beautiful composition. Plus, it was the first time I ever saw Matt Damon, and you just knew that kid had something going on. He wasn’t an eccentric like Ed Norton, but an everyman type. I’m not sure I ever liked him as much as I did in that film until I saw his work in Syrianna.
    I can’t stomach One From the Heart, which I consider a huge disaster, but the Hinton movies are quite good (though I’ll take Rumblefish over The Outsiders), Peggy Sue is a crazy sort of masterpiece, and yes, parts of Godfather III are quite stunning. I still think the scene where Al Pacino confesses to the Cardinal in the Vatican is one of the most moving scenes in the entire trilogy. And Andy Garcia did a brilliant job as the bastard son of Sonny. It’s too bad that the entire film doesn’t work as well as it should – and there is no question the casting of Sofia is one of the main reasons.
    On TV, I also urge people to check out MY NAME IS EARL if they haven’t. Last season was one of the most inventive and funny seasons of television I have ever seen. It is exactly what a single camera comedy should be. Love that show. HOUSE is constantly fun as well.
    And with shows like MAD MEN, 30 ROCK, THE OFFICE (although it has been disappointing this year) and of course the great all-time brilliant couldn’t be better THE WIRE, TV these days has as much to offer as movies in terms of creativity. And unlike a great movie, which last 3 hours max, a great TV show just keeps giving and giving. A 5th season of THE WIRE coming up is every bit as exciting to me as a new Paul Thomas or Wes Anderson film, and more likely to be great.
    Of course, the key to being able to keep up with great TV is the greatest invention of the past 10 years, TiVO, or the DVR.

  66. movieman says:

    Carpetmuncher-I’m in total agreement with your enthusiasm for “Mad Men” (Sam Mendes had better hope that he can match its brilliance in “Revolutionary Road”), “The Wire” (if season 4 had been a theatrical release it would have topped my ’06 10-best list–it was better than any movie I saw last year), “30 Rock” and “The Office” (last week’s Jason Reitman-directed episode was, hand’s-down, the best of this season so far).
    Truth be told, I’ve sat through many a recent clunker wishing that I was back home watching the previous night’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or “Tell Me You Love” (two other can’t-miss shows).
    Re: “Tucker.” Is there a better actor working in American film today than Jeff Bridges? Also love-love-loved Vittorio Storaro’s utterly luminous cinematography, Joan Allen’s beautiful, heartfelt turn as Mrs. Tucker and Joe Jackson’s crazy hepcat score.
    And “One from the Heart” is a movie that just gets better every time I see it. I remember being disappointed when I first saw it (opening day 2-12-82 in Paramus, New Jersey), but have since grown to love its heart-stopping beauty and palpable, aching romanticism.
    In a sense, “OFTH” sort of anticipates the visual tone poems of Wong Kar-wai.

  67. doug r says:

    I look forward to each new episode of MY NAME IS EARL the same way I used to look forward to new episodes of THE SIMPSONS and then the way I used to look forward to new episodes of FUTURAMA.
    EARL is not to be missed.
    New episodes of Futurama on Comedy Central in 2008!

  68. One From The Heart is, quite literally, one of my very favourites. It would rank in my top 20 – granted my own “list” is threadbare comparatively – I know it’s sacrilige to rank it higher than the Godfather movies, but I’d rather sit down and rewatch OFTH than The Godfather, which I love nonetheless.
    I’m a fan of The Rainmaker also. It’s a genuinely classy legal thriller. And I think of Rumble Fish and Peggy Sue Got Married quite good, if not exceptional.

  69. If TWBB is truly “just an arthouse movie with no commerical prospects whatsover” as mistress Ian says (and I’d like to add, why the hell is that a bad thing??) then that makes three AMAZING art house films that made it to the big stage this year. “Assassination of Jesse James….,” “There Will be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men.” Of course I have yet to see TWBB so calling it “amazing” isn’t fair.
    But if DP hated it, then I hold high hopes for it. Sorry, DP….but your angle on the Jesse James film has earned you some side glances from me for a few more months.
    I wonder what all three films’ sure to be “flop” status will do for future artistic endeavors that are sure to piss off the “common” moviegoer. I wonder if we’ll look back at 2007 as the death knoll for the big budget art film or some such thing. Monday can’t come soon enough for me to see PTA back on the big screen.

  70. jeffmcm says:

    Evan/Ian/Mistress was mocking this movie and Anderson fans for months, so the question is, was he serious back then or now?

  71. Noah says:

    Petaluma, the big budget art film has been declared dead before, like after Apocalypse Now. But true artistic filmmakers will always find ways to make good movies if they are tenacious enough. After all, none of PTA’s films have been monster hits and yet the budget for There Will Be Blood is probably larger than the amount of money any of his films has made. The Coen Brothers are going to continue to churn out flicks, same with Wes Anderson and Fincher. The good thing about these filmmakers is that big names like Pitt, Clooney, Daniel Day Lewis, Matt Damon, etc. want to work with these guys and will get the films greenlighted. I think we’ll be okay, but then again, those are famous last words…

  72. I saw Death Proof today. It was released yesterday (Nov 1) and at 4.30pm on the second day of release there were four people in a 500-seat cinema. Ouch.
    Nevermind, I freakin’ loved it. Over-indulgent, most definitely, but I still had a hoot. I’m not entirely sure why the second half ditches the “grindhouse” aesthetic, but that car chase act was just… wow. Fantastic.

  73. I can’t believe you people are saying THE OFFICE has been “weak” this season. it’s finally truly become it’s own show (as in, separated from the British version) and not only that, it’s been hillarious and wildly inappropriate all season. I think it’s the best comedy on TV…which isn’t saying much. But still.

  74. christian says:

    THE WIRE might be the greatest anything in the history of everything. If a show could have wings and touch the veil of God himself, it would be THE WIRE. On my deathbd I hope to come back as one minute of THE WIRE which would be in fact like coming back as Jesus…
    Oh sorry, I was channeling James Lipton.

  75. The Carpetmuncher says:

    The last two episodes of THE OFFICE have been great, but the one hour episodes that began the season were a big ugh to me. I tune in to watch THE OFFICE, not JOANIE LOVES CHACHI.
    And the hour long format just allowed the show to stretch the jokes out too much. I’m happy we’re back to half hours. Quality over quantity.

  76. I totally agree, CMunch. I wonder how running hour long episodes will come back to bite them in the ass with this writers strike? They could have had an extra what….4 new episodes had they just left them as 1/2 hour shows.
    The other annoying thing about that is, they really were just 2 1/2 hour shows tacked together. They broke off perfectly for syndication….I don’t know why they felt the need to supersize. The shows were still awesome though.

  77. jeffmcm says:

    When your network is in 4th place, you need all the marketing gimmicks you can think of.
    KCamel, happy to hear from another convert to the Death Proof cause. I’d say that the reason it feels less ‘grindhouse’ than Planet Terror is because Tarantino is less able to submerge his voice into something generic (which is a good thing).

  78. Anyone else notice Joss Whedon directed last nights THE OFFICE too….odd…

  79. movieman says:

    Last night’s Wedon-helmed “Office” was good, but the previous week’s ep (directed by Jason Reitman and written by B.J. Novak) was a classic: easily the best of the season so far.

  80. Ian Sinclair says:

    The first ever BEOWULF review is up at AICN – a deliriously happy and wildly enthuiastic rave, calling it “a masterpiece.”

  81. jeffmcm says:

    In other news, water is still ‘wet’.

  82. Thanks, Miss Ian. I’ll pass…
    Incidentally though…the website that started my career in blabbering on and on and on on messageboards has RE launched at:
    Yes, Roger Avary has a cool website (or did) and a group of us congregated there prior to RULES OF ATTRACTION and for a good what….year or so after had a grand ole time. Then, the fans of SILENT HILL crept in….and it got gamey. No, they’ve rearranged the forums so there’s something for everyone.
    BEOWULF still does nada for me, but welcome back, Roger! (I go by “don” there but have had nothing to say thus far…)

  83. jeffmcm says:

    What are you saying? Silent Hill is awesome!

  84. IOIOIOI says:

    The games are awesome. The movie… balls… Radja Mitchell rejects balls for Ally Sheedy in HIGH ART that also stars Patricia Clarkson in a role that can best be described as “bumbling german accent woman”. Clarkson also starred in Far From Heaven with Dennis Quaid. Who starred in Far From Heaven with Julianne Moore. Who co-starred with Nicole Kidman. Who just happened to owe someone money and starred in Cold Moutain with BEOWULF HIMSELF… RAY WINSTONE. I bet you didnt know that?

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