MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

BYO New Year

Happy New Year to all of you.
2007 was full of adventure, mostly for better in my personal camp. I hope it was for all of you too.
May the writer’s strike soon end… may movies be surprising in the best ways… and may we all indulge our passions and our empathy for the passions of others in the year to come.

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42 Responses to “BYO New Year”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Happy New Year to you, David, and continued success in 2008. And the same best wishes to everyone else here — well, OK, almost everyone else here — as well.
    I have just returned from a sad duty, attending the final screening of the final movie (Lars and the Real Girl) shown at the Greenway 3 Theatre, an art-house that has operated here in Houston off and on for nearly three decades. It is, or was, a holdover from the days when the only theaters that showed art movies were theaters that for various reasosns — lack of parking, outdated facilities, competition from newer nearby theaters — could not attract customers showing anything else. There was a time when a movie like La Cage aux Folles might play the better part of a year at the Greenway. But that was back in the day when, after two or three successful weeks at an art house, a foeign or indie film wouldn’t expand to screens at various megaplexes. The Greenway shuttered for good tonight. Indeed, by the time I left the theater, they’d already taken all of the posters out of the outside display cases. I will now open a bottle of champagne, and toast the theater where I saw so many great films, knowing full well that, in less time than I care to think, I will be talking to students who have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention the Greenway.
    To paraphrase the original ad tagline for, of all things, Heaven’s Gate: Sometimes, what we love most in life are the things that fade.

  2. EDouglas says:

    Happy New Year, David! Here’s hoping that sometime this year, the MCN techs can figure out how I can post comments from Safari in the new year, ’cause it’s such a pain having to open Firefox anytime I want to post a comment/response, I just don’t bother. Not sure why this happened when I reset my browser settings/cookies but I still can post to all Typekey blogs except this one from Safari. Real drag.
    Anyway, great work in ’07 with the Lunch with Davids… look forward to more in ’08!

  3. mysteryperfecta says:

    I’m remodeling a bathroom, and in ripping out the back wall of the tile tub surround, I found (inside the wall, mind you) a balled up old newspaper scrap, which I always find fascinating to look at. It’s from the Friday, Sept. 13th, 1968 edition of the Kansas City Star, and the scrap is in really bad shape.
    Why am I sharing this? Well, this half page (its the top half) contains the movie ads of the day, which you may find interesting:
    Top left (big ad): “After ‘The Pink Panther’ and ‘A Shot in the Dark’… Put Clouseau in another case? THEY WOULDN’T DARE!” The Mirisch Corporation presents ‘Alan Arkin’ “Inspector Clouseau” (Color!)
    Below that (also a big ad): “Their love could never be. She knew it. He knew it. So did his wife.” Oskar Werner. Barbara Ferris. ‘Interlude’ “…The bitter-sweet love story of a young girl and a married man.” (Color! Mature Audiences!)
    Below that (small ad): 30th week! Academy Award Winner! ‘The Graduate’
    Middle Top (big ad): “Trap him! Tease him! Throw him in a coffin! But don’t get the stranger mad!” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents An Allen Klein Production starring Tony Anthony ‘The Stranger Returns’ “He’s the living– and dying– end in excitement!” ‘Metrocolor’ ‘Suggested for Mature Audiences’
    Middle Middle (medium-sized ad): Jack Lemmon Walter Matthau are ‘The Odd Couple’ (Adults 90

  4. anghus says:

    Happy New Year Dave and all the posters here on the blog.
    Let’s hope 2008 is as good cinematically as 2007. So many good films last year. It’ll be hard to match the level of quality, but i’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. Crow T Robot says:

    end of the year poll time…
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: This Is England
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: The Iraq War metaphor in “28 Weeks Later”
    THING I HATED BUT EVERYONE LIKED: Judd Apatow’s sense of comedy.
    SEXIEST MOMENT: Virtually nude (and nudie virtual) Angelina Jolie rising from the water in “Beowulf”
    BEST OPENING CREDITS: Rose McGowen pole dancing up a storm in “Grindhouse”
    BEST END CREDITS TRANSITION: In Ultimatum, Julia Stiles smiling as the remix of “Extreme Ways” kicks in. The crowd went nuts.
    BEST LINE: “Call it, friend-o.”
    COOLEST PROP: Russell Crowe’s hat in “3:10 to Yuma” (even Stephen King had to bring it up)
    BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: Scott Frank’s “The Lookout”
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: Joe Cocker singing “Come Together” in “Across The Universe”
    BIGGEST SHOCK: The truth about Viggo Mortenson’s character in “Eastern Promises”
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: Jim Sturgess
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: At the fade out of “No Country,” the frat boy sitting behind us yells, “Wait? That’s IT? Oh great choice, Carl!”
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: Wes Anderson’s ability to grow as an artist. He can’t.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: “Beowulf” in mesmerizing 3-D
    BEST BAD GUY: Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: The attack by the lake in “Zodiac.”

  6. anghus says:

    Crow, not to be combatitive, but just in terms of taste, i think i disagreed with every choice you made except for Biggest Shock.
    Grindhouse? Beowulf? Really?

  7. lazarus says:

    EDouglas, I used to have the same problem with Safari and TypeKey where I’d sign in and it would reload the page, but not give me the comments box. Have you tried holding down [control] when you click on the Sign In link, and then open it in a new window before entering your name and password? That seems to work for me.
    Happy New Year to everyone.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    I hope you mean ‘movie of the year’ the same way Putin can be Time’s Man of the Year.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Crow: Agree with you on The Lookout, a film I’ll bet will eventually develop a following as a cable-TV staple. (Maybe not to the degree of Shawshank Redemption, but a following nonetheless.) Also: You’re spot-on about Cocker in Across the Universe, a movie I love tremendously and irrationally, and the twist in Eastern Promises, a movie thatneeded only a little more ass-kicking by Armin “Bad Boy” Mueller-Stahl to be perfect.

  10. Happy New Year guys!!
    Since this is a BYOB….PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch this new video from the band I manage!
    We’re trying to make a HUGE push in 2008 and this video is the first step. We got Ice-T, Eddie Furlong and Rumer Willis to star in it so….yee haw!

  11. anghus says:

    I watched the video.
    I liked it. I had that thing going on when i watched it where i was thinking “This is interesting”, and then i thought “this might be too much for some people”, like the WTC footage.
    Other than that, major props.

  12. Dr Wally says:

    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Ratatouille
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Erm, same thing isn’t it?
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: Haven’t seen enough of the award-season movies to comment really, but i thought the performance of the year was the husband in ‘Away From Her’, if someone can remind me of his name that would be great.
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: Shrek The Third wasn’t nearly as bad as was made out.
    THING I HATED BUT EVERYONE LIKED: Didn’t really hate anything apart from Ghost Rider but hey, so did everyone else.
    SEXIEST MOMENT: Jason Bourne’s flashback on the train to Marie smiling and asking ‘What?’
    BEST OPENING CREDITS: Spider-Man 3. All downhill after that.
    BEST END CREDITS TRANSITION: Zodiac, as ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ reappears on the soundtrack when the witness identifies the Zodiac, taking us back to the start of the movie
    BEST LINE: The Yoda-like ballistics expert that Mark Wahlberg visits in Shooter. ‘They said the guy’s name was Bob Lee Swagger. never met the man so i wouldn’t know. ‘Course they also said that artificial sweeteners were safe, that WMDS were in Eye-Rack, and Anna Nicole married for love’.
    COOLEST PROP: The waste bin that literally gets kicked around throughout Hot Fuzz.
    BIGGEST SHOCK: Live Free or Die Hard not only being good, but better than all the other non-Bourne blockbusters. Either that, or Mclovin getting socked in the face in Superbad.
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: Seeing 300 projected digitally and realising that celluloid is now antideluvian.
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: My faith in smart audiences, in spreading enough positive word-of-mouth on the wonderful Stardust to get it’s tally at least respectable, they embarrassed Paramount for shamefully dumping it.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: ILM’s work on Transformers, the robots and actors seemed to convincingly share the same physical space for once.
    BEST BAD GUY: No contest. Skinner in Ratatouille.
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: The Tangiers sequence in Bourne Ultimatum. Paul Greengrass seems to be one of the few who knows how to use rapid pacing and cutting whilst still keeping the flow and coherence of a movie intact. Bravo.

  13. Nicol D says:

    Happy New Year everyone!
    I certainly would not say 300 was the best film of the year…BUT…if there were any justice to the Oscars it would have a slew of noms such as art direction, sound, special effects, score, editing, cinematography, costume etc.
    In many ways it was a true cinematic marvel and guaranteed it will be talked about long after many of the currently loved films are forgotten.

  14. EDouglas says:

    Holy crap!!! THat worked!! Why didn’t anyone suggest this months ago? Thanks for that New Year’s present, lazarus… I’ve missed debating jeffmcm about my taste in movies. 🙂

  15. Crow T Robot says:

    By Movie of the Year, I mean the one that the year will be remembered for… cultural impact, popularity, originality. 2006) Borat 2005) Brokeback Mountain 2004) The Passion of The Christ 2003) Finding Nemo 2002) Spider-Man 2001) Shrek. 2000) Crouching Tiger…
    Funny enough, I wasn’t a particular fan of any of these films.

  16. IOIOIOI says:

    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Ratatouille
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Michael Clayton/The Waitress
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: The Cast of Once, Clooney, Keri Russell, Will Smith, and Jonah Hill.
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: The Darjeeling Limited.
    MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY OVERRATED: That’s a subjective question.
    BEST LINE: Damn near anything Clooney or Wilkinson utter in Michael Clayton.
    COOLEST PROP: McLovin’s Driver’s License.
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: The closing number of the Darjeeling Limited.
    BIGGEST SHOCK: The way Gore Verbinski and Co. took a freakin easy lay-up like Dead Man’s Chest, and bricked it with At World’s End.
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Who doesnt love the Babysitter Twins?
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: Nikki Blonsky.
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: Watching I AM LEGEND with a bunch of vapid and callow motherfuckers.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: Lord Cutler walking through an exploding ship in AT THE WORLD’s END.
    BEST BAD GUY: Llewelyn Moss.

  17. I think you meant Anton Chigurh for best bad guy, IO….or maybe not in which case you’d be wrong. 😉

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Are not all of these ‘subjective questions’?

  19. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff; you just have to be a dick to me no matter what. Some of those questions are more so than other. No Pet, I Llewelyn will not take the hit. If he takes the hit. His wife is saved, but he decides against it. That’s some grade-A bitchery and villainy.

  20. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: Maybe you’re being just a little harsh. Maybe Moss thought he could save himself and his wife by killing Anton. Sometimes, we delude ourselves.

  21. What Joe said. Moss decides to make Chirgurh his “personal project,” but the 2 never meet up again because the Mexican gentlemen meet him first. Who knows, maybe he would have killed Chigurh and saved his wife as well?

  22. I haven’t seen a bunch of movies yet like NCfOM or TWBB, but I love a list, so…
    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: I still don’t get what you mean. I will remember the best movie of the year, even if nobody else does.
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: This is England
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: Amy Adams, Enchanted – Not my fave of the year, but Adams had the “Disney Princess” thing down perfect.
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: I actually really enjoyed Transformers.
    THING I HATED BUT EVERYONE LIKED: Once and La Vie en Rose (and Marion Cotillard within). Ugh.
    SEXIEST MOMENT: Hotel Chevalier sort of.
    BEST OPENING CREDITS: Probably Superbad
    BEST END CREDITS TRANSITION: Noise – Jesus Christ metaphors all over that ending.
    MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY OVERRATED: Once, The Host and Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose
    BEST LINE: Either “You don’t want the money?” by Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton
    COOLEST PROP: That chain in Black Snake Moan.
    BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: This is England, Noise, Electroma, Taxidermia and Dr Plonk all had their virtues.
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: “Transmission” from Control from a non-traditional musical, and “Run and Tell That” from Hairspray from a traditional one.
    BIGGEST SHOCK: How great the 3D looked in Beowulf
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Seth Rogen. I know it’s weird, but I think he’s kinda cute (the police uniform helps). I’d say Shia LeBeouf but I’ve liked him for years so he doesn’t count.
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: Emma Booth (Clubland), Sam Riley (Control) and Matthew Saville (Noise director)
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: Seeing Death Proof on opening Friday evening and being one of only three people in the cinema. So. Depressing. The movie was aces though!
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: My hatred for the Weinsteins continues to grow year by year.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: That weird spacecraft thing in Still Life confuses me to this very day.
    BEST BAD GUY: Combo (Stephen Graham) in This is England. Frightening.
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: The first scene with “Craig Finlay” in Noise. Tension? Meet this knife.

  23. “Either” shouldn’t be there next to best line. I don’t know why I typed that.

  24. EDouglas says:

    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Marion Cotillard, Glen Hansard
    SEXIEST MOMENT: one of those awesome Kama Sutra moves in Lust, Caution (I took notes)
    BEST LINE: Dunno
    COOLEST PROP: Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan.
    BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: Vitus, Joshua
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: JOanna from Sweeney Todd
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Tang Wei from Lust, Caution
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: Saoirse Ronan, Glen Hansard, Sam Riley
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: Not sure if this counts but seeing The Swell Season in concert (it was in a theatre ) and the electricity and love in the place.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: Ian McKellan’s polar bear in Golden Compass
    BEST BAD GUY: Anton Shigurh in No Country. Easy.
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: Probably something in No Country

  25. Tofu says:

    David will love, love, LOVE this one:

  26. IOIOIOI says:

    Joe and Pet: Moss continues to act like a chump throughout that entire film. Anton may be a lunatic, but Moss has a wife. Yet he goes off on a foolish ass mission ignoring the danger that could put her in. He’s foolish, he’s egostistical, and he got what was coming to him. He’s a villian in his own right because his actions put his loved ones in danger. Hell. He put random freakin strangers in danger. Maybe I have a different idea of personal responsibility that makes me feel this way about Moss. Nevertheless, he’s a ponce, and deserved Anton taking him out.
    Camel… thanks for proving me right :D.

  27. SJRubinstein says:

    Re: Leydon
    The Greenway closed?! I was just in Houston over the holidays and took my wife to the River Oaks 3 (“Atonement”), but told her about the Greenway where the rest of the “arthouse” pics I saw were after they closed whatever place that was out on Post Oak near the Galleria (this is ten-plus years ago – the last movie I saw there was “Dazed and Confused”). Just trying to remember all the movies I saw at the Greenway and am just coming back with “Swingers,” though that might’ve been the place I caught “Faraway, So Close” as well as any other flicks that somehow didn’t end up at River Oaks.
    Weird on the parking. Wasn’t it in an office building with a bunch of food court like places in the lobby? I thought they had that whole garage under there.

  28. MarkVH says:

    Happy New Year to David and all –
    Are we getting the usual THB lists this year, e.g. best/worst/movies I didn’t get?

  29. 555 says:

    BIGGEST SHOCK: a big freakin’ free pass from so many people for “Live Free or Die Hard.” What a horrible movie. Did everyone forget what made Die Hard great?
    Maybe if it was called Commando II and starred Arnie instead I would have dug it. But Willis surfing on a fighter jet? No thanks. I’ll take my McClane with feet full of glass and eyes full of tears any day.

  30. movielocke says:

    The Dark Knight
    Prince Caspian
    Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Half-Blood Prince
    all look poised to easily break 200 million, the question is which one wins the year, and will any of them get past 300 this year? I suppose it’s also possible that Speed Racer, Iron Man and Day the Earth Stood Still can make 200, but I think those are more 150 plus movies.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    Tofu: If David loves that, what will he think of this?

  32. SaratogaFilm says:

    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: No Country For Old Men
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Into The Wild, Paris Je T’aime, Eastern Promises
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: Marisa Tomei (damn). The cast of Rescue Dawn.
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: King of California (liked–not loved), Ocean’s 13
    THING I HATED BUT EVERYONE LIKED: I’m cheating, but when I finally saw Last King of Scotland last April.
    SEXIEST MOMENT: See Ms. Tomei, above. Every damn scene…
    BEST OPENING CREDITS: Superbad, maybe?
    BEST END CREDITS TRANSITION: Into The Wild. Paris Je T’aime.
    MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY OVERRATED: All of the same films–great as they may be–that show up on all the 10 best lists and awards categories that most will have to wait months to see. I don’t like when I watch a film with so many expectations. Make sense?
    BEST LINE: “to Eric Bana!!”
    COOLEST PROP: Jason Scwartzman’s moustache, “The Darjeeling Limited”. I never could make that work.
    BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: ROCKET SCIENCE dammitall!!! (and maybe 12:08 East of Bucharest)
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: Jason Bourne and his dancing Identities (or, the whole of “Once”)
    BIGGEST SHOCK: That “The Real Girl” didn’t come alive at the end. The mark of an independent production…
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Ms. Tomei, see above
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: director Ben Affleck.
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: at the risk of sounding like a one-track sleazy pants, watching the opening shot of “Before the Devil…” in a room full of senior citizens. Before Christmas.
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: The Celluloid Experience is indeed waning.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: Marion Coitillard
    BEST BAD GUY: Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: No Country. Take your pick.

  33. LexG says:

    2007 was a sad year. We lost both Jessica Alba and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
    The former will never be the same again now that she’s gotten knocked up; Watch THE EYE, which would’ve been a huge hit, now tank, because her fanbase doesn’t want to picture the one-time world’s hottest (if not really sexiest, too bland) woman as some fat, pregnant hausfrau.
    People in general just shouldn’t have kids.
    At least Hewitt can maybe get that fat ass back down.
    Caught THERE WILL BE BLOOD yesterday. Is there ANYTHING in this movie that ANY WOMAN, EVER, will enjoy? Christ, it made fellow sausage-fests like NO COUNTRY, JESSE JAMES and 3:10 TO YUMA look like fucking ENCHANTED.
    All these arguments I’m seeing on the Hot Blog and HE as to whether this film will play in the heartland? Hell, outside of a few film geek chicks, DDL fans and literary types, you can pretty much guarantee that the ladiez aren’t gonna be turning up in droves for three hours of brown-colored, dust-coasted, female-character-free, period-set LAND NEGOTIATIONS.
    Great movie, though. Plainview RULES. Were we supposed to dislike him or something? I thought he was AWESOME, and is my new idol. I got the sense PTA and DDL liked him– a lot– too.
    And why shouldn’t they? His kid was annoying, especially when he was a bitch-ass adult, and Sunday was a loon.
    And really, being alone and better than everyone is what life is all about. Close family and friends is for fucking hippie douchebags who can’t be alone with their own thoughts for a second.
    Man is king.

  34. David Poland says:

    Not even comparable, Joe.
    Nikki is a hack and a liar. Always has been. Always will be. I don’t get exercised about gossips the way I do about a real paper with real journalists. I don’t know anyone who takes Nikki seriously unless it’s in their own interests, except as a troublemaker.
    But there is no question about her owning this story. She does. She isn’t doing much reporting, but she is posting up a storm. People tell her what they want posted and she posts it.
    If anyone thinks this wouldn’t be an option for any outlet in town, including this one, they are mistaken. But she is the WGA Strike captain on the web. And the Guild has had to warn people not to pay attention to her at least three times already… when she runs what the other side tells her they want published. So be it.
    May she enjoy her moment. It’s all scorpion and frog to me.

  35. Joe Straat says:

    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: No Country For Old Men
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Paprika (Well, I thought the Cell would’ve been a great movie if it had junked the Seven wannabe crap and just went with the concept,and this movie does just that and I loved it).
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: Tom Wilkenson, definitely.
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: Elizabeth: The Golden Age (I understand why people don’t like it, but even if it distracts from the characters and the story, I haven’t gotten so caught up in simply watching the visuals of a movie in a long time).
    THING I HATED BUT EVERYONE LIKED: 300 (Compensation: The Movie)
    SEXIEST MOMENT: Shia’s love interest from Transformers standing over the trunk of the car…… am I under arrest now?
    BEST OPENING CREDITS: Paprika (A credit to the opening sequence too)
    MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY OVERRATED: I wouldn’t go into such harsh wording, but recently watching Eastern Promises, it didn’t connect for me. It is quite obvious there is something up with Viggo’s character early on since he’s way too cool and obedient considering the things he has to do, so the revelations didn’t shock me at all.
    BEST LINE: “I am Shiva, god of death.”-Michael Clayton
    COOLEST PROP: The book from Bourne Ultimatum
    BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: I’ll go Paprika again. The National Board of Review doesn’t count as people who’ve seen it.
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: I didn’t see any of the musicals this year, even if I’m waiting on Across the Universe for DVD and Sweeney Todd to come to town.
    BIGGEST SHOCK: When you see behind Arthur’s madness in Michael Clayton (Moment may vary depending on the audience)
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Who was Elizabeth’s attendant in Golden Age? Um, her, I guess. I didn’t really develop any crushes this year.
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH:Director Matthew Vaughn. While the plot elements in Stardust being completely telegraphed and its dogged refusal to end 20 minutes after the movie had worn out its welcome eventually put me off the flick, Vaughn created a convincing fantasy world on a moderate budget, which is a rather difficult thing to do.
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: The guy who kept saying “JESUS CHRIST!!!” every time Javier Bardem showed up in No Country for Old Men.
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: A good Transformers movie can be done.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: The main character’s daemon in The Golden Compass
    BEST BAD GUY: Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. Very few villains have put so much dread into simply showing up.
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: The scene where Moss and Chigurh face off after Moss discovers the tracing device. I always enjoy two smart people taking on each other.

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    You mean she’s going to sting somebody while she’s riding them?

  37. Joe Leydon says:

    SJR: Far Away,So Close did indeed play at the Greenway. The trouble with the theater — indeed, the reason why it could never make money before it started showing art-house product — was its underground location. To put it simply — a lot of folks had trouble finding the place. Seriously. I have lived in Houston since 1982, and I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve heard people complain about difficulties they had trying to figure out where to enter the parking area. Hell, there have been more than a few times when even I missed the entrance while driving along the Southwest Freeway feeder road.

  38. Nicol D says:

    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: 300 (It was the zeitgeist movie of the year, whether one liked it or not)
    BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: tie: Ratatouille and Zodiac
    ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHO BROUGHT THE GOODS: Russell Crowe (two quality hits that made you remember why you liked him in the first place)
    THING I LIKED BUT EVERYONE HATED: Mr. Brooks (cheese, yes…but highly entertaining. Kinda like prime, aged gorgonzola)
    SEXIEST MOMENT: Christina Ricci, Blake Snake Moan (whole film)
    BEST OPENING CREDITS: Beowulf 3D (first impressions in 3D were stellar)
    MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY OVERRATED: The Passion of the Rich, White Kid
    BEST LINE: “That’s how you get pink-eye.”
    COOLEST PROP: The knives in Eastern Promises
    BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: Zodiac, Seraphim Falls
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: Sam Jackson on his guitar explaining the significance of Black Snake Moan
    BIGGEST SHOCK: The mainstream religious content in I Am Legend, Alvin’s gross
    NEW ACTOR/ACTRESS CRUSH: Amy Adams, Enchanted
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: Anna Sophia Robb, Bridge to Terabithia, Seth Rogen
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: The first bass rumble of the remastered Blade Runner. Glorious. True cinema.
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: There is a change coming…it is slow and gradual, but it is coming. I only hope I can hang in until it does.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: Angelina Jolie (Beowulf 3D)
    BEST BAD GUY: Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: Bathhouse Attack, Eastern promises

  39. IOIOIOI says:

    555; do you know what a Die Hard movie is about? Seriously… this response to Die Hard 4 continues to baffle me. Die Hard, Die Harder, and Die Hard with a Vengeance feature all sorts of ridiculous shenanigans that John overcomes (HE WHACKS THREE DUDES IN AN ELEVATOR FOR JESUS’ FREAKIN SAKE!), but LIVE FREE AND DIE HARD is where you draw the line? Really? Beating Hans Grueber with a gun taped with inadequate packing tape on a sweaty and bloody back is more probable than outrunning a jet? Really?
    That aside; do not under sell Iron-Man movielock. No one thought that Spidey could be the first flick to gross over a 100 million in a weekend. No one thought that Pirates would be a franchise. I can go on, but Tony Sark will not disappoint. He’s also one of the better known characters of the last 50 years. DO NOT GO SOFT ON STARK!

  40. Saratoga, I’m with you on Last King of Scotland. Dreadful.
    I forgot to put AnnaSophia Robb in the “new talent to watch” bit. The moment she smiles you can’t help but smile too. Hopefully she ditches the lame scary child thing and sticks to quality flicks like Bridge to Terabithia.
    “Camel… thanks for proving me right :D.”
    IO, eh?

  41. L.B. says:

    MOVIE OF THE YEAR: ZODIAC (Like Blade Runner and others, this will be a movie future generations will think ill of us for not making a success.)
    SEXIEST MOMENT: Nothing stands out.
    MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY OVERRATED: ONCE (Maybe not exruciatingly so, but I wasn’t as blown away by this as I was lead to believe.)
    BEST LINE: “No matter what I say, it draws controversy. It’s sort of like the abortion issue.” KING OF KONG
    COOLEST PROP: Chigurh’s compressed air gun
    BEST MUSICAL NUMBER: “By the Sea” SWEENEY TODD (Until it goes one gag too far, it’s the best part of the movie.)
    BIGGEST SHOCK: The pre-ending of THE MIST
    NEW TALENT TO WATCH: Josh Meyer (The “Were you in a car accident” kid from NCFOM and the accused chicken-abuser in VALLEY OF ELAH.)
    MOST IMPRESSIONABLE MOMENT IN A THEATER: The lakeside attack in ZODIAC, where Fincher says, “PSYCHO’s good, but this will haunt your dreams.”
    THING I’VE CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS YEAR: The Affleck Brothers have much to contribute.
    BEST SPECIAL EFFECT: The brilliant location recreations in ZODIAC.
    BEST BAD GUY: Anton. There are no substitutes.
    BEST DIRECTED SCENE: Final scene in GONE BABY GONE and any number of scenes in JESSE JAMES

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