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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – 10/19

Another week, another four new movies with expectations. (The complaining in New York about the number of new movies that needs to be reviewed each week is understandable, but the truth of every other city is that four newbies from studios with real hopes is still a pretty busy week.)
Did Sony see 30 Days of Night as being soft as The Messengers? Probably not. But it might be interesting to note Sam-Raimi-as-producer produced that soft seller as well as the more unexpected, but still not $20m opening Boogeyman. I

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58 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – 10/19”

  1. anghus says:

    finally saw Assasination of Jesse James. Whoever said the movie didn’t need to voice overs, spot on. I liked the movie, but i felt like i was getting spoon fed.
    Gone Baby Gone at 92% Positive on Rotten Tomatoes? I didn’t know it was that well reviewed. Makes me want to see it that much more.
    Is Sarah Langdon and the Paranormal Hour only playing in cinemas with digital projectors? I noticed it opened at the theater with digital, but not the one that shows print only? I ask because at 1000+ screens, that box office is atrocious, unless they didn’t have to incur the cost of prints.

  2. brack says:

    Good for Ben Affleck. Gotta root for a guy who’s hated by so many.

  3. lazarus says:

    It is nice to see the good reviews, but GBG should be making much more money. Very thrilling, keep-you-guessing story that really makes you think about your moral stance at the end. I don’t think I’m exaggerating in saying this blows the overrated Mystic River out of the water, by easing off on the histrionics while creating a much more believable portrait of blue collar Boston.
    Casey and Ed Harris are stunning too, and both deserve noms. I was actually more impressed by the former here than in James/Ford, and Harris does something a lot different than usual (maybe it’s the hairpiece?).

  4. CloudsWithoutWater says:

    GBG does indeed deserve better. It’s not one of the very top movies of the year, but it’s a lot better than you expect going in. It’s entertaining to watch, great performances, and it’s got a climax of true moral complexity, and how often do we really see that?
    Come to think of it, maybe I would put it in my top 10 so far this year. It might even survive there til the end of the year.
    Casey Affleck has got two really great performances out right now, he should be breaking out soon…

  5. ManWithNoName says:

    Agree with all on GBG. It really deserves to reach a wider audience — such a rewarding film.
    I’m a huge fan of the Kenzie/Gennaro novels (GBG is the fourth of 5), and I wasn’t sure if they could pull off the important moments of the book. Affleck knocked them both out of the park (the “house of horrors” and the fantastic ending).
    This is easily the best of the three recent Boston crime dramas (Mystic River, The Departed being the others). It’s probably in my top 5 for 2007.

  6. David Poland says:

    Note To Joe Leydon: Please read the following and point out the Truth.
    SATURDAY AM: It’s an R-rated film festival at the box office this weekend. But did moviegoers respond to the new crop of adult-themed pics, many of which have Oscar buzz? Well, mostly no. The exception was Sony’s Halloween-timed 30 Days Of Night which turned Friday into fright night by opening with $6.2 million from 2,855 theaters. The something-evil-lurks-in-Alaska theme didn’t have to resort to torture porn to scare, so moviegoers should reward it with a solid $15 million weekend.
    1. Did the film perform up to anyone’s estimates?
    2. Does this opening have anything to do with torture porn?
    3. Does this opening paragraph of Nikki’s “box office reportage” have anything to do with facts other than her relationship with Sony and her endless attempt to make all stories about her delusions?
    Oh yes… and I forgot the Attack Shaye headline – “New Line Flails With Yet Another Flop”
    Is any of this sticking with you, Joe? Do you see why this becomes something other than “okay” because the numbers Sony gave her were not inaccurate? Or do you just want to keep making it about me?

  7. Andrew says:

    Thanks for a sensible try at explaining why some of those movies did what they did. At least NK and other sites aren’t movie star bashing this weekend as before (Jodie, Nicole, Ben, George) – no Reese can’t open movies, no vampire movies are dead, and no Halle’s career is done.

  8. lazarus says:

    ManWithNoName: GBS is probably a better “Boston” film than The Departed, but overall I think the latter is the stronger film. While the weight of the moral question is heavier in Affleck’s film, there are some present in Scorsese’s relating to loyalty, and of course it says a lot about identity and class, with much more subtext than GBG. The Departed is a better-oiled machine, even if you don’t leave thinking about it as much.

  9. Crow T Robot says:

    It’s just a story well told. It’s not Scorsese or Eastwood’s big Boston. Affleck’s from there, and there’s a reality he ads that builds the movie (I could actually smell the inside of these rooms). In a way he outguns them. I found GBG way more enjoyable that the romantic nihilism of Mystic River and pleasantly less showy than The Departed. (And any Oscar charter who doesn’t have Amy Ryan in supporting is frankly amateur hour; the chick is a mindblower)
    This is a quantum leap for Ben Affleck. It’s one of the year’s best movies coming out of nowhere, told with restraint and moral courage. It’s also going to put him in a different place acting wise now I think… he’s got a chance at being up there with Damon, Clooney, Pitt and DiCaprio now.
    As for Casey… between rioting Mexicans in Ocean’s 13, perving on Brad Pitt and now this, he gets my vote for actor of the year.

  10. waterbucket says:

    Hallelujah, I finally get my wish of a sequel to Brokeback Mountain. It’s called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

  11. lazarus says:

    bucket, you won’t even have to wait that long; apparently they’re changing #6’s title to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Queen.

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    1. Who knows? She didn’t think that was important enough to mention.
    2. Maybe. It sure opened bigger than Captivity or Hostel 2.
    3. Yes. But, then again, “delusions” is your judgment-call term, not mine, so we likely are using different standards here.
    4. Well, it sure looks like Rendition is tanking, right?
    5. Sticking with me? Why should it? It’s just a box-office story, David. I read them all the time, then forget them. Like columns on the sports page. It ain’t Lie Down in Darkness or Theophilus North.
    6. No. I’m just interested in the numbers. That’s all I ask for: Get them to me first, and I’ll read your site first. Don’t, and I won’t. I can anaylyze the numbers myself, thanks.
    7. Actually, David, you seem to be doing a good enough job making it all about you without me helping you. For someone who says “shut up” or “they should all just shut up” or some variation thereof in his blog almost as often as Bill O’Reilly on the air, you sure play that ego-free card a lot.
    Now, I have a question for you. You seem to obsess over Nikki and I a lot these days. Do we remind you of your parents or something?

  13. anghus says:

    I don’t see how you spin Rendition into a positive.
    A few months ago i said id be surprised if kingdom and rendition added up to 60 million in box office. It’ll get past that, barely.
    The middle east and the war on terror might be interesting to Hollywood filmmakers, but no one wants to see movies set in the middle east.
    I can’t believe there’s SIX more of these features dealing with the war on terror coming out.
    1. dig hole
    2. insert money
    3. pour lighter fluid
    4. ignite

  14. CloudsWithoutWater says:

    Lions For Lambs- I think this is the one with the most risk. Trailers look preachy, obviously a big budget. Cruise risk on top of that.
    Charlie Wilson’s War- current marketing seems to be trying to mitigate risk. Playing up story as good ol’ likeable Hanks in a rollicking period satire, complete with funny hair and accents. Also seems to straddle the political line well. May turn out to do ok.
    Redacted- DOA. No way this makes any appreciable domestic box office, though it might do well overseas.
    The Kite Runner- looks like a relatively low budget. Could do ok on the arthouse circuit if it didn’t cost too much. Probably was never intended to be huge.
    Grace Is Gone, sorta- Geared towards awards, might pull out ok if the noms actually come in.
    I’m overlooking whatever other war on terror movies there are…what are they?

  15. David Poland says:

    Well Joe… one more reminder not to take you seriously. I don’t like to think of you as a goof, but you don’t seem to be interested in engaging in any real conversation that isn’t about you trying desperately to put me in my place. C’est la vie. You’ve made your point. Again.
    Anghus… who is saying Rendition’s opening is a positive. It’s a car wreck. Just not an unexpected one.
    And I disagree with all the “no one wants a war/Middle East movie” talk. People want movies that engage them, not lecture them. That is what will break this presumption.
    Also, note that The Kingdom has done almost the same exact amount as The Rundown. I think the lesson there was that the only $100 million movie launching in September – and just barely $100m at that – was Seven. And the only other two over $60m were female skewing – Flightplan and Last of the Mohicans.
    You can fight history, but mostly, you will lose.

  16. The Pope says:

    Has anyone seen it? I don’t see any comments on it.
    The movie may be a little flat, but what really impressed me was the structure. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie in which the plot employs one of its strands exclusively as a flash-back… and you never know until the end. On the level of structure alone, it really did impress me. Can anyone think of another movie that does something similar. I am certain it is a first to tell a movie in real time with a flashback that you are convinced is part of that real time.

  17. The Pope says:

    Sorry. What I said “real time” I should have written present tense.

  18. Noah says:

    Great hold for Michael Clayton. I think that beating out the other new “adult” movies Rendition, Things We Lost in the Fire on their first weekend is big news. I think it will be the go-to thinking person’s movie for at least another week and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities for it to do something like 40 million, which is pretty good considering it was made for something like 25 and it’s a hard film to sell.

  19. David Poland says:

    The problem with that gimmick, for me, Pope, was that it had no dramatic impact. The ending was signaled early and often… and did it really matter that it was twisted near the end? Not for me.
    I would suggest discussing this in a spoiler thread, but I don’t think many would be interested.

  20. anghus says:

    i stand by my comment that the rendition marketing was terrible. They made Reese look like she was starring in a Sally Field/Not Without My Daughter movie of the week. That scream at the end of every commercial was every male moviegoer deciding not to buy a ticket.
    and when will finally someone declare that no matter how many times you cast Jake Gyllenhall in a movie, it doesn’t make him a box office draw.

  21. Ian Sinclair says:

    Dave, ATONEMENT just passed the $20m mark in Britain. It’s a massive, massive hit. Will be interesting to see what it does stateside. One things for sure, it’ll do better than an Iraq war movie.

  22. movieman says:

    Did anyone else see “Sarah Landon”? Had a “private screening” at a local megaplex yesterday afternoon and, Wow!
    All you Ed Wood fans should make a beeline for this glistening hunk of crappola. Idiotic script, threadbare production values and, uh, “special effects.” As for the performances: well, I’ve seen better acting in elementary school Christmas paegants.
    Saw 10 minutes of the animated new “Ten Commandments” which was quite enough, thank you. Besides piss-poor animation, the loopy vocal casting (Christian Slater as Moses; Elliott Gould as God; megawhore Ben Kingsley as “Narrator”) would drive anyone–except, possibly, very young Christians–positively batty.
    Does anyone know why these two films were even given a theatrical release? Wouldn’t straight-to-dvd have been more charitable (and considerably less expensive)?
    Absolutely loved “Gone Baby Gone,” though.
    It’s the best “first film” I’ve seen since “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” (which made my top-ten last year), and a remarkable achievement on many levels.
    Casey Affleck is having quite a year for himself (he’s a lock for a Best Supporting nod for “Jesse James”), isn’t he?
    It’s nice to see underappreciated talent (Casey and Ben) finally receive their due.
    And let me be the second on this message board to wish Amy Ryan a happy trip to the Oscars next February. (She was great on HBO’s “The Wire,” too.)
    Gotta love any Hollywood film that dares flirt with moral relativism.
    (Hell, the Casey Affleck character is practically Jamesian.)
    Great stuff!
    Happy to see that “Rendition” and “Reservation Road” both tanked. Let’s see whether Focus goes ahead with their original plan to take “RR” wide-ish on November 2nd now.
    I really wish that “30 Days” could have topped out at least $20-million, though. It’s the best horror flick I’ve seen in ages, and only has one weekend of biz before getting devoured by the monstrous beast that it is the insidious “Saw” machine.
    “30” reminded me a bit of two of my favorite ’80s genre films: John Carpenter’s “Thing” remake (the snow, the cold, the claustrophobia) and Kathryn Bigelow’s blue-collar vampire masterpiece “Near Dark.” High praise indeed. And it might be the first time I’ve actually liked Josh Hartnett in a movie since “The Virgin Suicides.”

  23. That tomato thing is the stupidest analogy I’ve heard in a long time. Who eats tomatoes whole anyway?

  24. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, what are you going to say next week when Saw IV (regrettably) opens to a larger number than 30 Days?

  25. movieman says:

    Also glad to see that “The Comebacks” was pretty much DOA.
    Maybe Fox will finally stop their rash of loathsome parody movies (“Date Movie,” “Epic Movie,” this, groan).
    Oh wait: don’t they have a “300” spoof opening early next year?
    Guess it’s too late to put the kibbosh on that one. Damn!

  26. Wrecktum says:

    What with the good reviews I’m seeing and the positive word of mouth I’m reading, is it possible that Gone Baby Gone might actually *gasp* hold next week?

  27. movieman says:

    …your blog entry to God’s ear, Wrecktum.
    Considering the fact that the only wide releases next weekend are “Saw 4” and Disney’s touchy-feely dramedy “Dan in Real Time,” “GBG” has a legitimate shot at holding onto a grown-up (read: middle-aged) demographic interested in serious adult drama. At least it has a shot of holding as well as “Michael Clayton” (a lesser film) did this weekend, buoyed by excellent w.o.m. and stellar reviews.
    I’m actually thinking of putting “GBG,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” on my 2007 10-best list as a three-way tie.
    They’re all equally terrific.

  28. Citizen R says:

    “Also, note that The Kingdom has done almost the same exact amount as The Rundown. I think the lesson there was that the only $100 million movie launching in September – and just barely $100m at that – was Seven. And the only other two over $60m were female skewing – Flightplan and Last of the Mohicans.”

    Dave, unless I’m somehow misreading you here, although I can’t see how I could be, you’re pretty far off the mark here. Sweet Home Alabama, Rush Hour, Remember the Titans, Double Jeopardy, and The First Wives Club were all launched in September and all went over $ 100 million.

    September releases that have gone over $ 60 million, in addition to Flightplan and Last of the Mohicans – have included The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Jackass Number Two, Open Season, The Game Plan, The Forgotten, Barbershop, Blue Steak, and In & Out.

  29. Citizen R says:

    Whoops, that should be Blue Streak above, not Blue Steak obviously.

  30. Rob says:

    I also thought Gone Baby Gone was fabulous, but as a Bostonian, I may be predisposed.
    Pretty disappointed with Reservation Road, too. Terry George just isn’t a talented director, and Phoenix’s performance is miscalculated. Nice work from Mark Ruffalo, as usual, though.

  31. Wrecktum says:

    “‘GBG’ has a legitimate shot at holding onto a grown-up (read: middle-aged) demographic interested in serious adult drama. At least it has a shot of holding as well as ‘Michael Clayton’ (a lesser film) did this weekend, buoyed by excellent w.o.m. and stellar reviews.”
    I liked Michael Clayton significantly more than Gone Baby Gone, but I agree that both films are very satisfying adult movies that should hopefully find an audience before their DVD street date.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    Mmm. Blue steak.

  33. movieman says:

    Speaking of satisfying adult movies that deserve to find an audience before home video, the fact that a film as solid as “Things We Lost In The Fire” didn’t even open—not even remotely–is just plain tragic.
    Bier is a terrific director (I hope the movie’s commercial failure doesn’t prevent her from working in Hollywood again because they could sure use her), Benicio gives one of his best performances to date and it’s great to see Halle “in the moment” again after years of dismal post-Oscar movies/performances.
    Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but could “Fire” (and “Eastern Promises” and “Feast of Love” for that matter) have all fared a tad better at the box office if they’d been released in the adult-movie graveyard of August?
    Hell, I bet even “3:10 to Yuma” (one of the few fall releases that’s even a qualified hit) could have had a shot at $75-million or better if it had opened a month earlier.

  34. Scott Mendelson says:

    Regarding Rendition’s structure…
    Not having seen the film yet, I can only hazard a guess. But, in regards to what other movies have done similiar tricks, this does seem very similiar to the central gimmick of Saw II.
    Speaking of which, anyone else find it funny that the ‘Oscar-bait’ ‘mature grown-up movie’ Reservation Road seemingly has the same plot and much of the same moral questions as Saw III? Just a thought.
    Scott Mendelson

  35. Ian Sinclair says:

    You watched SAW II? And SAW III? Good grief.

  36. ployp says:

    Does this mean we’ll be getting Saw V?

  37. David Poland says:

    Citizen R… I guess I left out the phrase “action movie” that I was thinking as I wrote… if so, my apologies.

  38. ManWithNoName says:

    DP…can we get a full review of GBG? You essentially wrote the film off with a ridiculous tomato analogy that made absolutely no sense. Can we get some specific instances of too many close-ups, or failure to navigate space? This strikes me more as a reactionary comment to all the positive reviews and the need to be different.

  39. Scott Mendelson says:

    Yup, saw Gone Baby Gone yesterday, saw Michael Clayton and Eastern Promises last week, and I’ll be seeing Saw IV on Friday (been a Tobin Bell fan for years, ironically enough, his appearance early on ruined the ‘surprise’ of the first Saw, which is still the weakest of the series).
    Say what you will about the Saw films, but they aren’t torture porn. The third one especially makes a real effort to be a real movie, a character-driven drama that happens to involve graphic violence along the way. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s a surprisingly thoughtful film (have not seen Reservation Road, but all I’ve read about it seems to suggest that it deals with a similar story and similar themes in a more ‘mature’ way).
    The second one is simply a fun acting showcase for two very entertaining character actors (Bell and Donnie Wahlberg, who is a genuinely stronger actor than his more high-profile brother). The original still stinks, but the sequels are better than most in the genre and I hope the fourth one is at least as good as part II (doubtful, I know…).
    Scott Mendelson

  40. Noah says:

    I have to disagree with you, Scott. While I’m not someone who feels particularly strongly in either direction about “torture porn”, I have to say that I don’t think either of the Saw sequels are good movies especially the third one. You say it makes an effort to be a real movie, but it’s more like a videogame. You have that one character who is making his way through a haunted house of his own past. The problem with this is that it begs the question of how all these people went missing without anyway alerting authorities as well as where is this warehouse? Do they pay rent on it, are the squatting or did they buy it outright? Someone must’ve noticed them lugging in all this equipment to set up this house of death. And that’s the problem with the movie. It makes you want to believe that this man’s struggle to make it through this house, through his past, is real yet I couldn’t stop thinking about the logistics of everything.
    The other problem with the Saw sequels is that it doesn’t follow its own rules of giving the characters an out if they successfully complete their mission. In the third one, the doctor finishes the job but she is killed because Jigsaw’s helper goes crazy and wouldn’t let her go. So why should I bother being invested if the film isn’t going to play by the rules it sets out. I think the Saw movies are not offensive in their gore, they are just offensive to my mind. The first one is okay, though.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    I would say that both Saw II and III have the semblance of being about ‘moral questions’ but nothing that actually happens on screen in either movie convinced me that the filmmakers really were interested in such questions beyond the level of pretext (i.e. providing excuses to set up the scenes of gore). In fact, if anything the pretense of ‘thoughtfulness’ seriously hurts both movies because serious issues are raised but not seriously treated.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    Sorry about repeating ‘serious’ so many times there.

  43. Sure, you can create a meaning for any movie basically, but I don’t think the writers were sitting around go “now while this girl puts her hands into the box to retrieve the key – selfish bitch that she is – and then her wrists get cut up and she bleeds to death we’re really trying to disect the moral decay of our society and the lengths people will go to for their own selfish desires.” Or perhaps I’m just underestimating the Saw writers?
    I’m happy for Gone Baby Gone and hope it does well next w/e as well. I like Ben and actually want him to succeed.

  44. Spacesheik says:

    LIONS FOR LAMBS is not going anywhere.
    I mean it looks like Streep and Cruise don’t leave the fucking room in that film. Must have been the most comfortable acting jobs in their careers.
    And Redford plays the morally righteous professor lecturing some kids in a library.
    Throw in a COURAGE UNDER FIRE 10 minute flashback and that’s a movie?!
    Flick is supposed to run for like 88 minutes – are they kidding?

  45. Citizen R says:

    “I guess I left out the phrase “action movie” that I was thinking as I wrote… if so, my apologies.”

    Ah, that explains it. Thanks for the clarification.

  46. IOIOIOI says:

    Yes; there will be a fucking SAW V. If I remember what Tobin Bell hinted to Quint early this year. The plan is to go up to SAW VI. So… hopefully… only two more years of Saw films. HOPEFULLY…

  47. jeffmcm says:

    My understanding is, as soon as a Saw movie underperforms theatrically, the next two will be direct to DVD and maybe after that point we will be spared.

  48. movieman says:

    “Lions for Lambs” is only 88 minutes, Spacesheik?

  49. anghus says:

    I can’t believe i’m going to say this, however, were their too many adult films released in the same span of time?
    Just looking down the list of films released in September, you have
    The Brave One
    The Kingdom
    The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    Gone Baby Gone
    Michael Clayton
    Elizabeth: The Golden Age
    3:10 to Yuma
    We Own the Night
    Darjeeling Limited
    Lust, Caution
    Eastern Promises
    Into the Wild
    In the Valley of Elah
    Are their too many adult films out there competing for the same dollars?

  50. movieman says:

    There most certainly are too many “adult” films competing for a finite number of box-office dollars, Anghus.
    As I suggested in an earlier post, odds are that at least a few of them (“Yuma,” “Eastern P.,” “The Kingdom”) would have done better if they’d been released in the waning days of summer.
    It would have easier for any of them to stand out pitted against the likes of “The Last Legion,” “Underdog,” “Daddy Day Camp” and “Balls of Fury.”
    Of course, no release date could have salvaged the likes of “Reservation Road” or “Rendition.”

  51. Dr Wally says:

    You’re all missing the real story here – a movie that’s 14 years old pulled in nearly 2 million in a single day on 500-odd screens? Awesome! I hope that Nightmare 3-D becomes an annual October tradition with these results, just like IMAX Polar Express each December seems to have become. I’m absolutely stoked to watch Beowulf IMAX 3-D next month too.

  52. movieman says:

    I think much of the success of “Nightmare” in 3-D can be attributed to the exclusivity of its engagements.
    I’m guessing that if there were actually 3000+ theaters equipped to show the film in digital 3-D, the per-screen average would be a lot lower.
    Am I the only one who thinks that IMAX (3 or 2-D) is a lot of smoke and mirrors? I haven’t been blown away by anything I’ve seen in Imax yet. It’s more of a distraction than an enhancement.

  53. Ju-osh says:

    The companies currently putting out Imax and/or 3D releases are being pretty upfront about what they are doing — they’re attempting to lure stay-at-home audiences back into theatres again by showing them something currently unavailable in their home theatres. (It’s exactly the same as when Hollywood first went 3D crazy in the 50’s.)

    It’s the future, big budget Imax and/or 3D releases (like James Cameron’s Avatar and Robert Zemeckis’ post-Beowulf films for Disney) that are hoping to make their technological ‘smoke and mirrors’ seem like an integral part of the storytelling.

  54. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Gone Baby Gone” = Missing Little Girl Movie of the Week. Its UK release is on hold as the film is too similar to a real-life case in England.
    “Rendition” = sabotaged? The rubes don’t get it that the title is a US government euphemism for torture.
    “Things We Lost in the Fire” = relied on Oscar-whoring for promotion. Got what it deserved.
    “The Comebacks” = adverts were sexist and stupid. Got what it deserved.
    “Assassination of Jesse James” = Elegant if slow, should get Oscar noms despite being mishandled by WB. I saw it in Bucks County because I didn’t want to have to go into police-state Manhattan.
    “Sarah Langdon” and that animated “Ten Commandments” = Pure Filler. At least 1 AMC megaplex took those over “The Darjeeling Limited” and Jesse James.

  55. brack says:

    “‘Gone Baby Gone’ = Missing Little Girl Movie of the Week.”
    It’s about more than that.

  56. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, but Chucky apparently makes all of his judgments based on marketing campaigns.

  57. Aris P says:

    “Police-state Manhattan”?
    What’s the matter with you?

  58. grandcosmo says:

    >>>”I saw it in Bucks County because I didn’t want to have to go into police-state Manhattan.”
    Then its having its desired effect.

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