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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Hump Day

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31 Responses to “BYOB – Hump Day”

  1. THX5334 says:

    Since no one’s brought it up yet.
    I love the smack in the mouth Obama gave Reverend Wright today.
    And now James Cleyburn is just smashing this reverse racist down…
    Shame on this man. Shame on this man for using God as an excuse for his anger, racism and narcissism

  2. crazycris says:

    Am off to see Iron Man tonight!
    Am not expecting a great movie, but at least some damn good acting (RDjr etc) and some FUN! (the trailer gives you a good adrenaline jolt, am hoping for at least some of that in the film)
    There hasn’t been much to tempt me to the silver screen in a while, and I imagine that will help pull many other people to the showings this weekend as well.

  3. movieman says:

    Very much enjoyed “Iron Man.”
    Congrats to Jon Favreau for bringing something new to the superhero geek party–namely, a genuine (and quite antic) sense of humor, best exemplified in Robert Downey Jr.’s tour de force performance.
    And while you can bitch all you want about the generic supporting roles (“best friend;” “ruthless corporate executive;” “Loyal Gal Friday”), casting actors of the caliber of Bridges, Howard and Paltrow helps raise the stakes considerably. They give their archetypal characters fascinating interior lives strictly by virtue of their extreme talent. That’s a formidable achievement in any genre.
    (One distraction: I never noticed before how much Paltrow sounds like Lisa Kudrow. I spent a good chunk of Paltrow’s scenes imagining Kudrow in all of Gwynie’s previous screen roles. My favorite? “Shakespeare in Love” starring Phoebe from “Friends.”)
    Two more thoughts:
    Did anyone else find Tony Stark’s new heart deliciously Cronenbergian/icky?
    And doesn’t Tony’s robot sidekick look, sound and behave an awful lot like a distant metallic sibling to Pixar’s “Wall-E”?

  4. JPK says:

    Since this is BYOB, I’m saying this for the second time…
    I understand that anecdotal experience does not a trend make…but…I’m a 35 year old, white collar, middle America livn’, married, father of one who is planning on seeing Iron Man with his family on opening night, and then is going to see it with his 62 year old father on Sunday afternoon.
    This will be my first theatrical double-dip since The Lord of the Rings. The reason my superhero hating wife is tagging along? Her words – quoted verbatim – “Robert Downey Jr. is sex on a stick.” Not sure what that means but she had a dreamy look in her eyes when she said it.

  5. crazycris says:

    hehehe! I totally agree with your wife JPK! It’s a big part of the reason I’m accompanying my 60yo father to see it in a couple of hours! (but I wouldn’t go so far as to double dip… unless I had a chance of seeing it in English instead of Spanish the 2nd time, but that’s not going to happen in my neck of the woods… sigh!)

  6. TuckPendleton says:

    Women LOVE Downey Jr., especially women that have an artisic inclination to them. He has been #1 on at least two of my female friends “desert island” list, and was also the reason that my (now-ex) girlfriend was willing to go see Iron Man on opening weekend. And even I’ll admit to a healthy man-crush on the cat. 🙂

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    Just recently I have been introduced to how much women love RDJ. My wife was on the phone with her mother the other night (who most likely has no idea what Iron Man is or that it’s being released on Friday). My mother-in-law was gushing about RDJ and how she had just purchased the latest issue of GQ after seeing him on the cover. My wife shares her mother’s fondness for RDJ and also purchased GQ. She didn’t bother with the article; just stared at the pictures for a while and then tossed it aside.

  8. What the producers need to do now is sit back and say that they’re only expecting $50-$60mil so that it doesn’t look as bad if the flick goes a little under what’s expected, which it might.
    But remember when Universal did that for King Kong and it still threw under? I just don’t think the $60-70 mil is guaranteed.

  9. Me says:

    Did anyone see Rocket Science? I saw the box while wandering through Blockbuster and couldn’t tell whether it was going to be good or bad.

  10. crazycris says:

    to quote my dad, Iron Man is “very cool”! ;o)
    Not at all disappointed… but then I’m not one to expect wonders from a comic-book based film. A LOT OF FUN! Chapeau to the actors. And congrats to whoever composed/chose the soundtrack, definitely helps amp up the adrenaline levels! :p
    Now I wish it was playing in english somewhere around here… I’d go see it again!
    Only down note for me: excellent secondary actors with promising characters… who didn’t have enough to do.
    Enjoy it when you see it!
    and why do comic-book movies have to give you previews for other comic-book movies? Hancock looks like it could be a good laugh, Speed Racer… ugh! Incredible Hulk… smashing! ;o)

  11. LexG says:

    Is Paltrow as hot in this as she was in Flesh and BONE, her all-time career hotness highlight?
    Too bad Favreau didn’t find room for “Elf’s” Zooey Deschanel… Caught some of that McConaughey/SJP movie the other day, and she OWNED that movie so hard, there are no words. ZOOEY OWNS YOUR ASS.

  12. crazycris says:

    Paltrow hot in this? Hmmm… am not the best judge of that! She looks better than RDJr (who’s got a bit of a gut, but is still smoking!). Yeah, I’d say she’s got some scenes in which she looks pretty gorgeous (nice dress!)… you’ll have to wait for one of the guy’s opinion on hotness ;o)

  13. doug r says:

    LexG, lucky for me my wife’s a HUGE Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan so I get to check out showering Zooey every once in a while…in fact, I feel a “So Long and Thanks for all the Fish” moment coming on right now…

  14. doug r says:

    In DTS, of course 🙂

  15. leahnz says:

    to any parents out there, is ‘iron man’ suitable for 9 yr old boys??? i’m planning on taking a small mob of them later today, if anyone has an opinion, i’ll check back here a bit later.
    ‘sex on a stick’… you just don’t hear that enough these days. downey jr. certainly is that, he’s one of a kind with talent and charisma up the yazoo, i’d watch a film of him reading the phone book. i saw gwennie on letterman last night, she’s good people, i like that chick.

  16. scooterzz says:

    lea — this was actually a discussion several of us had after the screening monday night… i don’t have kids but a few friends there do and we all kind of agreed that twelve/thirteen would be the limit…. there are a few scenes of violence that, while not as graphic as they could be, walk the line…..
    so, even if you felt your nine year old could take it, you might not want to take on the responsibility for someone elses nine year old….
    hope that kinda helps….

  17. leahnz says:

    thanks scooterzz for that valuable input, damn those little disease-carrying rodents and their delicate sensibilities!
    not sure what to do now… i’ve messed up my boy in my own special way by turning him into a little movie freak, but i am pretty strict about violence, and while my son may be a relatively seasoned little warf rat, i’m not so sure about the others, i’ll have to do a ring round of the other parents… i’m convinced the school holidays were a torture device for parents invented by the ‘marquie de sade’

  18. leahnz says:

    marquis de sade? that looks better…all those years of high-school french, down the gurgler

  19. Fuck that. Take your 9-year-olds they can take it, and you’d be ruining their day if you didn’t.

  20. leahnz says:

    iron man was a blast! robert d. is a god, i bow down at his feet in worship. i feel like i’ve grown up with him, he holds a special place in my heart.
    so i got the blessings of my fellow mums and dads to take the pups yesterday, it was a margin call really and i was worried, but while the first section of the movie was quite brutal – the boys had that slack-jawed saucer-eyed look, esp. in the ‘magnetic heart’ bit – after the initial violence of the afghanistan section i let out my breath and it was ok for the most part. the lads thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, and the only downside was the car ride home with four boys hopped up on ‘iron man’ juice (‘boys, use your ‘in the car’ voices’…’no hitting!’…’put your seat belt back on right now!’…’DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS CAR OVER!’…) phew, i just got my hearing back
    downey as stark is a revelation; i was thinking about it and if any other actor had played the part, even someone i really dig, it would have been just another fun, pedestrian comic book film and i probably wouldn’t give two farts in the wind about ironman, but robert’s performance is so meaty (both emotionally and physically) he IS the movie and no one else would do. i thought the last line of the film was great.
    one annoying thing, while i was worried about the nine yr olds, this family with a slew of young children was sitting behind me and the three-year old never stopped babbling (‘daddy, the man fall!’, ‘daddy, why the man do that?’…blah blah blah…), near the end i honestly felt like turning around and shouting ‘horton hears a who is playing right in the next theatre for fuck’s sake!’ to ‘daddy’, it nearly ruined the movie for me. i’d actually like to see it again without the ‘toddler commentary’

  21. scooterzz says:

    glad that worked out for you…..hope you saw where i was coming from…i knew you’d be ok with it but i think some parental units might not…..
    maybe i’m wrong…thoughts?

  22. THX5334 says:

    “one annoying thing, while i was worried about the nine yr olds, this family with a slew of young children was sitting behind me and the three-year old never stopped babbling (‘daddy, the man fall!’, ‘daddy, why the man do that?’…blah blah blah…), near the end i honestly felt like turning around and shouting ‘horton hears a who is playing right in the next theatre for fuck’s sake!’ to ‘daddy’, it nearly ruined the movie for me. i’d actually like to see it again without the ‘toddler commentary'”
    This is a good reason of what Poland means by Hollywood eating itself.
    When studios decide to release DVD/Blu-Ray discs four months after a movie’s release, people figure they would rather wait and watch it at home on the ever more so affordable HDTV, and not have to deal with all that shit at the theatre.
    In LA (and I’m sure many other places) you can amplify that with people texting on bright-ass Blackburry’s all throughout the film. People walking up & down aisles all throughout the previews and first twenty minutes of the flick.
    This is why the only way to get a good show is to hit the Arclight on a Tuesday night, last show, or a Sunday morning.
    Truthfully, unless the film is an event film like Iron Man, Indy, TDK, Speed, I’ll wait for the Blu-Ray on the smaller stories and watch them at home…
    I think Theater demographics are really changing because of bad audience behavior and manners.

  23. scooterzz says:

    thx — you are so right on the money on this…. i have been a proponent of home video since its inception (actually paid a grand for that first rca top-load vhs…blanks were twenty-five bucks and the average film was a hundred)…but, even then, said that now everybody is gonna think they’re in their living room while sitting in a theater……
    the new-tech we love is killing the old-tech we love the most…

  24. leahnz says:

    scooterzz, i totally totally see where you were coming from and appreciated the ‘heads up’ on the ‘iron man’ violence; i was able to warn the other parents involved, and we collectively decided to take the gamble given the boys were so psyched up for it, but it was definately on the outer limits of acceptability for 9 yr olds. hopefully i won’t get any invoices for phychotherapy from the parents of traumatised little dudes!
    thx, i hadn’t even thought about the fact that babbling toddlers and idiots with no ‘cinema decorum’ might influence theatre viewing habits (duh), that’s an interesting point. maybe they should hire some ex-paramilitary hard-asses to start patroling the cinemas to enforce the bloody rules

  25. THX5334 says:

    If I was still in college and doing Film critical studies, I’d do a paper on how this is a symptom of a bigger problem…
    See, this is where Hollywood is behind and late and in denial on how much their precious star system has crashed. Because of them.
    I’ll explain:
    See, right now, we are in the most narcissistic age ever known to man.
    Think the 80’s were the “Me” age? Take a look around you.
    Because of technology and the internet our social and communication skills and habits have drastically changed.
    Everything has changed.
    Distribution and easy acquisition of product through the internet not only devalued the product itself, but it devalued the cultural capital of many of today’s known celebrities.
    Starting with celebrities in the music business, and now is trickling to Film and Television.
    But that is not even close to the two real things that have killed the star system, and has put that particular scale (The A-List) used to value product in disarray.
    One is another creation of the internet, but it is not BitTorrent or Napster, but rather:
    MySpace. Or Facebook, pick your poison.
    Look at it from the target demographic of teens or pre-teens in a culture that in the last few years progressively values narcissism as a social or capital advantage. They are looking at it from this perspective:
    “Why the fuck would I care to pay to see Josh Hartnett or Scarlett Johanson or Brad Pitt or Matt Damon or Tobey or Leo or Clooney or whomever when I have hundreds to thousands of my own MySpace friends(fans)??”
    They rationalize to themselves:
    “I get messages everyday, and comments, and poke’s and you can go on my page right now and see how many friends(fans) I have!!”
    “If Dane Cook and others can make it from MySpace, why can’t I? And who the fuck are you?? You got a movie? We’ll check out my movie right here on my page! You’re a musician? So am I! Here’s my record and my songs! Just click on the link! See, I do what you do!”
    MySpace and Facebook created the culture where EVERYONE IS NOW A STAR!
    Thus devaluing the real thing.
    Thus the decline in numbers or profits of star driven vehicles and increases for Event films and Comedies..
    (Those get a pass, because they are structured to provide escapist nourishing entertainment regardless of whom is playing the parts, although that variable can affect whether or not the execution is successful)
    The second thing that changed the game and caused the star system to crash is no one’s fault but the Hollywood machine itself.
    And it comes down to one other defining moment:
    The Paris Hilton Carl’s Jr. commercial.
    When Hollywood and the media showed the country (and world) that it would reward a socialite woman with no established talent, with multiple 6 figure paydays because she was filmed giving a guy a blow job and getting fucked on camera, well….That pretty much told the youth culture and the world that you no longer needed talent or craft or Art to acquire success and prosperity in the media and filmed entertainment; you just needed to be willing to prostitute yourself in front of the camera…
    (There can also be a strong argument for how much it also legitimized pornography)
    Whatever your value system may be;
    On an emotional and subconscious level it is hard to value a product or commodity from a gatekeeper industry;
    When that industry so clearly demonstrates how little one needs a formal comprehension of the elements needed to make a successful visual & narratively driven commodity, that to be rewarded with Fame & Prosperity it is only a measure of how vulgar or attention attracting, one is willing to be.
    This is demonstrated best in reality television, which I would argue, the average teenager in this information driven age, knows is owned by the same company that is making the movies playing at the movie theatre…
    I mean why the fuck do I need to take an acting class when I can go on the hills or Rock of Love and just be memorable and willing to fuck on camera?
    (Even though these “talents” name or otherwise, don’t realize they are being hustled by some incredible Pimping and how much the players behind the scenes are getting stupid fucking rich, while the best of these “talents” are compensated by small six figure payouts, red carpet invites, publicity hosting gigs and eventual audience burnout and oblivion.
    And that, folks, is another hypothesis & my take on why we’re in the midst of this great big Hollywood meltdown that everyone just doesn’t want to acknowledge.
    But, while one could get pessimistic about it,
    I am actually optimistic.
    At the same time, while this new version of the “ME” culture has devalued industry product, it has created real tools to create film and digital narrative stories in a way that can be composed on the same level of the industry, and also without the monopoly of their distribution channels.
    This effectively puts real artistic tools in the hands of those previously unable to obtain them, and when that happens, no matter the flood of product; the cream invariably rises to the top.
    (How about the fact that 13 year olds and younger, prefer YouTube to get their content? My take is, they like the hunt of finding cool new material.)
    But a side effect of this “MySpace, Everyone’s a star at the same time, culture” is people having a disregard for others. Their feelings, their perspectives or just a general lack of empathy.
    So you get assholes texting or talking during the climax in the third act, and walking through the middle of that preview you’ve been waiting to see, because emotionally in their head they’re like: “Fuck you, don’t you know who I am? I’ve got 857 MySpace peeps. So you’re not shit”
    And that is why my passion project is working on film and videogame content that helps children develop emotional intelligence…
    (See how I bring it back to me? I didn’t say I was immune to the narcissism…)
    Oh, and videogames also happen to still be one form of entertainment/content immune to this BS
    (And why I, personally, have a vested interest in pursuing it as a form of content creation. Although they have their own fair share of industry problems.)
    And all that folks, helped break the writer’s block. Thanks for indulging
    Back to work…

  26. IOIOIOI says:

    No scoot, you just see movies in an area with a high asshole quotient. No it’s not a shot, but it seems to be the case in many areas. There are some places where even the teenagers are respectful moviegoers. Some places they are not. It all depends on where you go.

  27. scooterzz says:

    io — blow me……but don’t EVER speak to me…. just do your work and leave….

  28. As someone who has expressed the same desire of IO it doesn’t exactly work, Scoot. Good luck though.

  29. scooterzz says:

    well, hope springs….you know….grrrrrr

  30. LexG says:

    As always, I have to ask, what is THX on about?
    You make some very valid points in there about the MySpace generation and the culture of celebrity, but I had to wade through the usual feel-good bromides and self-helpspeak to get to them, laced with the usual vaguely condescending judgmentalism (is that a word?) for anyone who doesn’t live up to your somewhat high standards of conduct.
    Oh, and REALITY SHOWS RULE, and PARIS HILTON COMMANDS YOUR ASS… Seriously, at this point, dealing in Paris bitterness is SO totally 2003, among millions of other reasons why it’s a tired crutch to weak arguments. Why not browbeat EVERY actor in town who had the fortune to grow up in the Valley with a stage Mom? Paris is just the logical extension of that — people who gained entree into the business FOR LIFE because of who or what their parents were. Sure, she’s from a prominent family and makes headlines for what YOU perceive as the wrong reasons… but when you get down to it, how is that any more “not working/clawing her way to a valid form of fame” than, say, Sean Astin or Mamie Gummer or Tori Spelling?
    You can argue about degrees of talent, which are subjective, but HALF THE ACTORS AND PERFORMERS IN THIS TOWN are in the biz because their parents got them in as kids.

  31. THX5334 says:

    Oh Lex,
    Spoken like someone who feels that their only route to fame and fortune is a VH1 ______ of Love show…
    Dude, you’re twisting my argument totally around into something it never was.
    This was never an example of nepotism. Nepotism never has anything to do with what I was talking about.
    Which, to re-iterate, how much Hollywood is in a state of flux and disarray. Evidenced by declining theater attendance and smaller stories that are star driven, under performing at the box office, or A-list star driven films going straight to DVD
    Thus what I call a melt down…
    (I’m sure Poland has a stat somewhere that says I’m wrong, and if so, I’ll concede but from my understanding this is the case)
    There’s nothing inherently wrong with Nepotism as it’s been a part of the system since it’s inception.
    Because while nepotism can gain someone a seat at the game, without genuine talent or dedication to craft, nobody stays in the game.
    Ask Chad Lowe or Emilio Estevez.
    But this has nothing to do with that.
    Paris Hilton’s parents were socialites, with parents that owned the largest hotel franchise. And they had nothing to do with Hollywood, so that negates your point right there.
    It doesn’t matter that it was Paris, it could have been anyone.
    It came down to not a kid using their family hookups for nepotism; but a Socialite who ONLY gained real attention from a SEX TAPE.
    She was rewarded with modeling contracts and commercial endorsements not for working hard and because her grandfather was a billionaire;
    But because she gave a dude a hummer, and got banged from behind in glorious nightvision.
    When Hollywood showed that you could get major national commercial endorsements and modeling contracts simply by fucking on camera, is one of the catalysts of this star system meltdown.
    Because her prosperity from a sex tape, is what told you and younger dumb souls that you can get the same kind of fame as a movie star –
    not by being a great actor, singer, dancer, musician, artist or entertainer – nope, you just have to be vulgar enough not to be boring.
    That validation of the sex tape, is what changed things. Not because Paris’ last name is “Hilton”
    Lex Dude, you can choose to remain the super-square you are, and fall for that reality hustle if you want. In fact, I am happy to get you on one of those shows, as I’ve got the hookups.
    I’ll take a 15% manager fee; and while your square ass gets your measly little stipend and gets to do the visual equivalent of what you do here – mugging and yelling false masculine bullshit to the camera – getting your small amount of fame, I will be cutting back end deals to sell this stupid shit all over Eastern Europe.
    And you’ll have your fame and moments, and you’ll get recognized and you’ll feel that validation you so desperately crave, and hell, you might even get laid a little!
    But that will last for six months, two years at the most, if you’re a hit and can stretch your shit into a second season.
    Then, it’s off to oblivion. Believe it.
    Nothing ever again.
    Any window you thought you had into a legitimate acting career is even more closed than when no one knew of you.
    Nothing but back to struggling actor jobs, dying for that call for the reunion show…
    Because how and why do you expect those people that cut their teeth on their craft, paid their dues, to respect you? You are that guy and girl who isn’t in it this game because you are PASSIONATE ABOUT THE WORK – (Which is why some of us are in this game)
    But rather, to fuck models and be on magazines and hopefully get rich.
    But you never get rich that way. Ever.
    Don’t believe me? Ask Puck or “New York” or the black bitchy chick from The Apprentice. Ask Richard, the naked guy from Survivor. How’s that fame Richard? Oh, you still get recognized and bothered everywhere? Wow!!! But…you’re still broke…Hmm…what’s missing here?
    Even Flava Flav got hustled! He only got 250k off of Flava of Love. You don’t even want to know how rich the owners of 51minds are from that show…
    But you believing that hustle that you can win in this game through Reality is why you’re a square.
    Definition of Square = Someone who thinks they’re the shit, but regularly gets hustled.
    And you clutch to Paris and Nicole, or Peter from My Fair Brady, thinking “If they’re still big from those shows, why can’t I be?”
    But then you miss your own variable to the equation. Nepotism (In Paris & Nicole’s case)
    Or, a more realistic truth is the only reality stars that transcend these boundaries, is celebrities that have genuinely established themselves in other forms of entertainment.
    Vis a vis: Flava Flav, Brett Michaels, Jessica Simpson, Brady Bunch guy, Brittney
    or the other type Reality show is just a high concept form of a Gameshow. Survivor, Oprah’s Big Giveaway, Amazing Race. Not much room to establish a cult of personality there.
    But anyone that is an average Joe, they never stay in the game, no matter how popular in the moment they get from Reality.
    And that’s why it’s a hustle for square’s like you.
    Like I said Lex, I can get your headshot to the right people if you really want that.
    You go ahead and be that Square…
    I’d rather stay Pimp and keep it moving. Making content that I’ll feel proud about when I’m taking my last breath…

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