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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Friday

Can we please keep the personal blog politics to a dull roar? It’s more than a little boring.
How will Caspian open? Who is interested in seeing it?
Anyone still revving their Cannes engines?

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57 Responses to “BYOB – Friday”

  1. mysteryperfecta says:

    I don’t have any interest in seeing Prince Caspian. The first flick was mildly diverting, but I’m not in the core audience of people who read the books (which is substantial).
    I have no idea how it will open. People in general seemed to like the movie. I would be really surprised if it opened bigger than the first. There’s a lot of graduations happening this weekend.

  2. LexG says:

    This weekend could serve as Exhibit A as to why I consider the summer the most boring time of the year for movies.
    Sure, not to studio bean counters or to prognosticators like Poland who like to play “How high can it go?”
    But there’s not a single other major film being released this weekend. Just one, big kiddie-family picture. If you’re the type who doesn’t care about animated films or fantastical, clean-cut adventure, there’s nothing to see, nothing to talk about.
    I know it’s common logic to write off February, April and September as unimportant and filled with dumped throwaway pictures, but I’d gladly take a spring weekend of B-horror, second-string star vehicles, erotic thrillers, and cop sagas right about now. Shit, there were weekends last month where there were two or three movies I wanted to see. Since I don’t really like cartoons, I’m not 12, and I don’t have a brood of ill-behaved children, I’ll probably finding myself sitting out most of the big “events” of the next three months.

  3. The Pope says:

    Narnia bored me. Just too much STUFF that I had seen too often and too recently to even feign interest.
    The Happening looks like he has wasted money at another studio. What’s that three in a row now? Disney, WB and now Fox. I know that The Village Idiots made money… but was he not escorted from the lot?

  4. Wrecktum says:

    Night will do his next bomb with Sony, the one after with Uni and the follow-up (his attempted “comeback”) with Paramount. He will then graduate to being a director for hire to a second-tier MGM thriller, and then do a Saw rip-off for Lionsgate, and finally finish his ignoble career with a line of moderately successful DTV prequels to Unbreakable.

  5. SJRubinstein says:

    No interest in “Caspian.” May check out “Reprise.”
    And anybody know if “Trumbo,” “Gonzo,” or “Lou Reed’s Berlin” are docs worth seeing in the theater this summer or will be perfectly fine in my Netflix queue?

  6. Mr. Gittes says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but after seeing the new red-band trailer of Tropic Thunder, isn’t it obvious they’re making fun of Heath Ledger? That is, Downey Jr’s character is from Australia and is described as a method actor, and even in the new trailer, there’s a shot of a nude Downey Jr. giving the finger to what looks to be a paparazzi camera. Well, I remember a picture of Ledger doing exactly the same thing in the very posture Downey does in the trailer to the paparazzi in Australia or some resort town; not nude, however. To put a point on it, I wonder if Stiller and company now feel a little awkward given Ledger’s death…I mean, in the trailer, they’re also obviously making fun of Eddie Murphy, and I believe they’re obviously making fun of Ledger, too. Yes, fair game perhaps — Ledger passed away after the film was shot — but just a little, uh, awkward.
    Movie looks absolutely hilarious, though. Stiller may be forgotten for the crap he’s been in lately as well.

  7. hendhogan says:

    “Can we please keep the personal blog politics to a dull roar? It’s more than a little boring.”
    says the man with four posts on the front page of his blog dedicated to politics. i don’t disagree. it’s why i’ve stopped looking in those posts. but, jeez, pot meet kettle.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    I hated the first Narnia movie, so no desire to see this one. Fortunately instead I can see Redbelt, or Standard Operating Procedure, or The Visitor, or Son of Rambow, or they’re screening Vertigo tomorrow at the Egyptian, and a weird Italian thriller called Death Laid an Egg at the Silent Theater. There’s another movie showing there tomorrow called The Boost that might be up some peoples’ alleys.

  9. Hallick says:

    “How will Caspian open? Who is interested in seeing it?”
    It will open like a wound that never heals…
    So, nah, I just don’t even have a sparkle of interest in this one. Prince Caspian himself looks like a guest actor playing a prince on one of ABC’s old TGIF sitcoms, in a dream sequence where the unpopular girl is fantasizing about being swept off her feet by the cutest guy in the school. Bleccch.

  10. LexG says:

    “There’s another movie showing there tomorrow called The Boost that might be up some peoples’ alleys.”
    Oh, that wacky Jeff.
    Hey, “The Boost” isn’t a silent movie.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    I know.
    Is that some of the hilarious ‘dumb guy schtick’ I’ve heard so much talk about lately?

  12. movielocke says:

    i honestly don’t know how anyone could get Heath Ledger out of Tropic Thunder, I thought it was pretty clearly a Russell Crowe inspired character.

  13. LexG says:

    No, bitch, I just assumed they showed silent movies at the fucking silent movie theater.
    I’ve never been there, so this was news to me.
    But bonus passive-aggressive bitch points for hinting that “some people here” would like a completely random and middling 20-year-old movie that happens to be about coke. Very witty.

  14. David Poland says:

    Personal politics, hend.
    Namecalling? Grandstanding? Get it?
    But thanks for the intentional misread.

  15. David Poland says:

    And did I miss my endless discussion about this weekend’s box office that so thrills me, Lex? Just wondering. Maybe I’m sleep-blogging.

  16. David Poland says:

    I went to the red band on your suggestion, Gittes. Didn’t laugh once.

  17. David Poland says:

    I could see Ledger, Locke… but Crowe makes more sense… except that he doesn’t seem to be an angry jackass.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Really enjoyed Son of Rambow — reminded me of the melancholy comedies of eccentricity that Bill Forsyth used to give us. But thinking of those movies made me think: What the hell ever happned to Bill Forsyth’s career? Geez. Forsyth got great performances from Burt Reynolds in Breaking In and Christine Lahti in Housekeeping. And I love Comfort and Joy and Local Hero. And, really, Being Human wasn’t that awful, was it?

  19. LexG says:

    I was talking about the summer season, which this weekend is indicative of, David.
    Seems there were some weeks in April where you were pretty dismissive about entire weeks chockfull of new releases, eager to get to the good ol’ summertime. I didn’t really say you were champing at the bit to discuss this particular week’s seemingly obvious results.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Lex, it was 50/50 with me that you would have any idea what The Boost was at all.
    But if you don’t like the subtle mockery, I can just come to your next open mike and throw bottles at you in person.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Also: I liked How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer. But… well, as I wrote in my review today: It “premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival… but only now is getting limited theatrical release. That says a lot

  22. scooterzz says:

    in anticipation of sunday mornings ‘indy 4’ screening (and because it’s ninty degrees where i live in the valley) i’m doing nothing but sitting in the pool reading and catching up on dvds…oh, and monitoring the mcmahon/lex war……
    btw— i, too, was bored to death w/’caspian’….

  23. lazarus says:

    I laughed out loud at the mention of The Boost, personally.
    Of course Lex didn’t know sound films played at that venue. Like he would go anywhere near a place called The Silent Movie Theatre, unless he was tricked into seeing Broken Blossoms for the sex and drugs.

  24. Jonj says:

    Did MCN scrap the box office showdown where the gurus guess the weekend outcome? I rather liked that feature and the Prince Caspian predictions would be interesting.

  25. hendhogan says:

    “Personal politics, hend.
    Namecalling? Grandstanding? Get it?
    But thanks for the intentional misread.”
    not intentional. your definition of personal poliitics isn’t the definition of personal politics. but, hey, thanks for lashing out.

  26. scooterzz says:

    ‘lashing out’ is what he does……you should know that by now…..

  27. hendhogan says:

    don’t make it right. especially if he’s calling for civility.

  28. LexG says:

    To salvage something out of an unfortunate detour regarding “The Boost.”
    Harold Becker always seemed a somewhat interesting director to me. Pretty hard to pin down or classify… I guess many would say he’s a journeyman or worse, but he’s had a tight little filmography for the most part.
    Strong start with two excellent Wambaugh adaptations, the dirge-like “Onion Field” and the EXTREMELY UNDERRATED AND AWESOME “Black Marble,” which all Harry Dean Stanton fans ought to look into. (Robert Foxworth should’ve been a bigger film star.”
    Then “Taps” — awesome. “Vision Quest” — underrated. “Sea of Love.”
    I guess after that, and maybe because of that, he mostly has done potboilers since — “Mercury Rising,” “Malice,” “Domestic Disturbance” and the like.
    I don’t know, his movies always have this kind of old-school, strangely warm styless-ness that kind of works well with his all-business approach. Again, probably not a “sexy” director to film geeks and students, but I think someone who was fairly underrated.
    That said, yeah, “The Boost” isn’t particularly distinguished, though Woods is electric as usual in it.

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I rather liked Malice. Love the idea of a movie doing a switcheroo like that at midpoint. And BTW, Lex: Bebe Neuwirth OWNS your ass.

  30. LexG says:

    Oh, I don’t get me wrong; “Malice” is extremely entertaining. I tend to like “potboilers,” so I wasn’t really dismissing it.
    Truth told, I actually sort of liked “Domestic Disturbance,” but I’m sure I’m in a distinct minority on that opinion. I wouldn’t argue there’s anything especially distinguished about it, but as unpretentious thrillers go, it was acceptable in a “Kiss the Girls” kinda way.
    I wouldn’t agree that Bebe Neuwirth owns much of anything, but when I saw “Summer of Sam,” I was fairly surprised that she was wheeling out the body that she had.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    Bebe Neuwirth in Malice: “I don’t how to respond to that. Oh, wait, I know: Fuck you!”

  32. Aww, Bebe. She’s awesome.
    On the Tropic Thunder bit I’ve read the inspiration was indeed Russell Crowe, which kind of annoys me considering Crowe has given more great performances than the three leads of Tropic Thunder combined.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Kam: Out of the Blue is the movie, I think, that is the new version of Bad Blood.

  34. scooterzz says:

    kam — great perfs or not, he really is an arrogant asshole….. i’ve been there when he’s treated assistants and publicists like doormats….
    leger, on the other hand, was always a gent (at least, whenever i talked with him)….
    just a personal observation….

  35. Mr. Gittes says:

    Still, I betcha movie critics will draw the comparison between Downey Jr’s character and Heath Ledger, and probably emphasize it – even if the filmmakers aren’t trying to make fun of Heath in the first place.
    Poland, you didn’t laugh? Not once? I’m looking forward to it…especially for Tom Cruise.

  36. Hallick says:

    Out of the Blue has similarities with Bad Blood, but it’s actually based on a shooting rampage in New Zealand a few years ago, whereas Bad Blood’s story was based on a shooting spree/manhunt that happened in the early 1940s.

  37. Cadavra says:

    Neuwirth has owned my ass for years. Last year she came back to CHICAGO for four months, this time playing Roxie. She was so fucking brilliant and inventive in the “other” part that it almost seemed like a new show. I’ll never forgive Harvey for giving her role as Velma in the film version to the more modestly talented Zeta-Jones.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Hallick: Thanks for the info. Jack Thompson, I think, gave the performance of his career in Bad Blood.

  39. IOIOIOI says:

    I finally saw Redbelt. Mamet really did make a movie about honour and tradition in a time without both. No wonder it tanked. It was more confusing to people than the Matrix Trilogy. It’s also a tremendous movie that I cannot wait to own on DVD.

  40. David Poland says:

    “personal blog politics”
    i hadn’t even realized that i was misquoted.
    so please define what I actually said for me, hend. enlighten me as to how it translates to me making entries about politics.
    you too, scoot!
    i need some schoolin’!!!

  41. movielocke says:

    see think of Downey Jr. role from the public’s pov rather than the pov of the well informed cineaste. Russell Crowe is the big oscar/awards winning australian actor that’s gotten in a lot of trouble for being an angry jerk. Ledger is a former teeny bopper dreamboat who had one big role (in a gay movie) during his adult career, but he wasn’t an awards winner, or considered a jerk.
    looking at the early reports, Narnia looks like it’ll pull in 50-60 and Iron Man a third 30+ weekend which may indicate it has the legs to get past 300, impressive how well it is holding up, Speed is puttering along in a go-cart in the box office race. Overall I think Narnia will perform like Azkaban did in comparison to Chamber of Secrets.

  42. scooterzz says:

    dp— ok, i’ll attempt some “schoolin'”…..
    a few weeks ago when i jokenly referred to one of your posts as ‘gay’, you called me a ‘homophobe’ (probably THE most offensive epithet you could direct at me)…i let it slide because:
    a–it’s your house and i’m just passing through…and
    b–at that moment, i lost all respect for anything you’d ever written or will ever write… i also understand why the very mention of your name to almost any studio publicist in town elicits the word “asshole” (this really is true)…
    then, about a week ago, when it i pointed out to your little pal (io) something factual about the box-office failure of ‘speed racer’ , i was called a ‘hater’…..
    my (long ago forgotten) point is that you really should check yourself before dissing folk for ‘name calling’……..
    jus’ sayin’……

  43. leahnz says:

    ‘out of the blue’ is a grim recreation of the aramoana massacre in 1990. A nutjob named david gray went on a shooting spree in a lovely little settlement near dunedin on the south island, killing 13 people, including several kids. needless to say, it shocked our tiny country to its core. t
    he film is actually very good, definately worth a look, with good performances including karl urban as the cop in charge.

  44. movieman says:

    Yeah, Joe, “Being Human” WAS pretty dismal. But I totally agree with you about missing quirky Scottish humanist Forsyth.
    I was a huge fan of “Gregory’s Girl” (a damn near perfect movie) “Local Hero,” “That Sinking Feeling,” “C&J,” “Breaking In” and “Housekeeping” with the divine Lahti’s career performance.
    If I’m not mistaken, Forsyth’s last film was his merely OK “GG” sequel that played Toronto (1999?), but never opened in the states.
    Lex is right about Becker (and “Visionquest”) being underrated. I’ve always loved “VQ” with Matt Modine (speaking of “Whatever happened to?”), Michael Schoeffling (now working as a carpenter somewhere in PA last I heard) and the !!SMOKING HOT!! Linda Fiorentino in, I believe, her screen debut.
    “Sea of Love,” “Taps” and yes, even “Malice” are other Becker faves. (His early Wambaugh adaptations really didn’t do it for me, though, and I’m old enough to remember seeing them both during their initial ’79-’80 runs.)
    “Caspian” is perfectly OK, but a bit of a slog, no?
    “Narnia 1” wore its length a lot more comfortably.
    I sorely missed Tilda Swinton’s delicious White Witch, altho Sergio Castellitto earns a few stray giggles for merrily channeling Rossano Brazzi in “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t.”

  45. Tofu says:

    Downey’s character is clearly based off Ledger, and any hocking to say it was on Crowe is just last minute damage control. The Paparazzi stuff is modeled after Ledger’s numerous houndings by those jackals, Ledger was always one to change his look like Downey’s character, he is from Australia, and the dead giveaway?
    Downey opens the movie playing a gay priest, who then makes out with Tobey Maguire.
    Pretty simple connection.
    Oh, and Prince Caspian? No interest after being bored to death by the first. The fifth book was nice. Wake me up when they get over to that one. PC $18m opening day? Uh-ohhhhhhhhh.

  46. Ben C says:

    So then, they’re basing Downey on Linus Roache?

  47. Ben C says:

    So then, Downey’s based on Linus Roache?

  48. Ben C says:

    oops. thought I could correct that in one post.

  49. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Skip “Standard Operating Procedure” — 1 week and out in New Jersey thanks to combination name-checking/Oscar-whoring in the print ads.
    I’m gonna have to go into Manhattan to see “Redbelt” at a decent showtime. Most New Jersey megaplexes downgraded it to nights only in its 2nd week.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if some megaplexes picked up “Son of Rambow” over Memorial Day just to have something on screen.

  50. bmcintire says:

    Joe, Hallick and Kam – I’m not sure if you’re aware, but OUT OF THE BLUE is being released on DVD June 10. Thanks for the Netflix tip. It’s now sitting at the top of my queue.

  51. THX5334 says:

    Now that you’ve seen RedBelt, tell me, if you had the chance wouldn’t you have casted Chiwetel over Terry Howard for Iron Man??
    I don’t dislike Iron Man but Terry Howard sucked in that movie, & Chiwetel would’ve rocked that part so hard, they’d be shooting the War Machine spinoffs right now.

  52. LexG says:

    Given the ass-ownings Poland’s been handing out since late last night on this blog, I’d be inclined to hazard as guess he’s either in a REALLY bad mood or an awesome bender. It’s awesome… Dude is laying laws left and right.

  53. Joe, I was going to tell you Out of the Blue wasn’t a remake of Bad Blood but Hallick and Leah already told you as much. I also haven’t read anything about a remake of Thompson’s flick. Leah might know, considering the original was actually a NZ flick.

  54. leahnz says:

    i’ve not heard a thing, but i hope no-one is stupid enough to remake ‘bad blood’. i suspect joe is thinking of ‘out of the blue’, just got his killing sprees messed up, but i’ll ask around

  55. Aladdin Sane says:

    Dave Poland is already sharpening his knives for Tropic Thunder. Not that I’m really surprised.

  56. jeffmcm says:

    Is Chucky telling us to skip Standard Operating Procedure – one of the absolute best movies of the year – because it got dropped from some New Jersey multiplex and because he disapproves of its ad campaigns?
    What is this insane logic?

  57. hendhogan says:

    it didn’t say “personal blog politics” before. it said “personal politics.” i wouldn’t have made the comment if it was the original iteration.

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