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By David Poland

BYOB – Thursday

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112 Responses to “BYOB – Thursday”

  1. mutinyco says:

    So is WB an anomaly? Or is this the beginning of an industry trend that sees the demise of the dependents?…

  2. berg says:

    did you notice that Roger Allam spoke with the phrasing and intonation of Orson Welles during Speed R?

  3. JBM... says:

    Read a New York fixer script called The Inside Man by Michael Mann. Would have made Michael Clayton look like he really did deal with wills and trusts.
    And Brolin in W. warpaint is bizarrely perfect.

  4. hendhogan says:

    i was having a conversation yesterday about who will be the new action stars. there are very few who are under 40 right now and doesn’t seem to be a new crop coming in (no, i’m not willing to count shia or emile).
    the only ones we could come up with are statham and damon (although he is verging on 40). i suppose you could count bale, but what really outside of “batman” has he done in that category?

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    How about Daniel Craig? Or is he over 40? I know a lot of the younger folks like Statham but I find him to be a boring one-trick-pony. He does nothing for me.

  6. Nicol D says:

    I think Statham is more in the Seagal, Van Damme B-list category. He has his fans and will always work but I cannot see him doing a 200 million summer blockbuster any time soon.

  7. hendhogan says:

    according to imdb, craig is 40 exactly. but good call, forgot about him.

  8. MarkVH says:

    As I’m sure most have read by now, Glenn Kenny is the latest shoe to drop – out at Premiere. Worst news ever, as I’ve always found Glenn to be pretty much the best critic around. He walks just the right line between populism and stuffy elitism – enormously difficult to do.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    I think it begs the question, how badly do we need pumped-up male action stars? If there aren’t a lot of new ones it suggests a shortage of demand.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    And they are more versatile these days. Someone like Craig is also a good actor. Damon too. I don’t think too many people were saying that about Van Damme, Seagal, etc.

  11. hendhogan says:

    how much do we “need” any type of movie?
    if someone wanted to make a “die hard” or a “lethal weapon” you’d be hard pressed to find someone to do it. so, are the movies not getting made because the public doesn’t need to see them or are they not able to get the right actor (or actress) to greenlight an action flick?
    p.s. forgot will smith (although, he too is on the cusp at 39)

  12. LexG says:

    Lex has spoken.

  13. Nicol D says:

    I think it is a combination of a whole bunch of factors. Just saying they are not made because the public doesn’t demand it is too easy. The public is not demanding a double shot of Che either.
    Hollywood is in a bizarre paradigm right now. I think there are actors who could play the sort of Die Hard or Lethal Weapon roles, but those sorts of characters have a “stigma” of “stupidity” now. I am not saying they are…just that Hollywood in its mach-3 feminized model looks down on them.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Hendhogan, Die Hard starred a guy who, until that point, was known for starring in a romantic-comedy TV show and for looking schlubby. If there are good movies with interesting characters, there’ll be no problem finding the right actor for them. But at the moment audiences’ taste in action movies is in the direction of superheroes and CGI, not in the direction of the Stallones and Schwarzenegger pumped-up heroes of the past. I’m sure that’ll change again in the future, and there’ll be a crop of actors who are right when it happens.

  15. Eric says:

    All this talk reminds me: I watched True Lies this week for the first time in years and I really do love that movie. You would never think from his previous movies that James Cameron had a comedy in him.

  16. hendhogan says:

    see, jeff, i don’t know how you can say that. they aren’t making any movies that aren’t superhero/cgi, so how do you know? it’s like feeding the public a steady, exclusive diet of popcorn and saying they don’t like gummy bears.

  17. brack says:

    T2 had a lot of humor.

  18. LexG says:

    The Rock, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and arguably Jamie Foxx have all also done classic, straight-ahead action star duty in recent years, though of course the point stands that they all do other things.
    Though I’d argue that of course Stallone and Schwarzenegger never did just exclusively action. If you’re speaking specifically of a Van Damme, Seagal and Norris type, no, there is no one comparable… though those guys seemed so specially tailored to the VHS/international market zeigeist of their day.

  19. Nicol D says:

    Exactly, how can one say the public will not like something if it is no longer offered on the menu.
    300 (although it had many CG components) would seem to prove the public will definitely take something different.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Hendhogan, I think they are making them and they’re going direct-to-video or grossing relatively low amounts like the Jason Statham movies people were talking about before – War, The Transporter, etc. If those movies had been huge hits it would be a sign for a bigger hunger than I think there is.
    I guess there’s also Gerard Butler in the young-action-star category but who knows if he can carry a movie by himself.

  21. bmcintire says:

    After BLADE III and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR remake, I thought Ryan Reynolds was heading down that road, but it would appear not. I’m sure someone had the same hopes for Matthew McConaghey at one point as well (with SAHARA and REIGN OF FIRE / U-571). Both seem happy with forgettable romantic comedies for the time being.

  22. hendhogan says:

    see, we need lex. completely forgot about those guys (specifically the rock and vin). i’d say the jury’s out on walker. and i’m on the fence about foxx.
    jeff, i see your point, but would argue that the quality of those movies was really low (sorry, lex). so, is it an indictment of the genre or the specific films?

  23. brack says:

    “I think they are making them and they’re going direct-to-video or grossing relatively low amounts like the Jason Statham movies people were talking about before – War, The Transporter, etc. If those movies had been huge hits it would be a sign for a bigger hunger than I think there is.”
    I’ve never seen any of his movies, he doesn’t seem appealing, and that’s probably why they don’t do very well. That and shitty release dates, marketing, etc.

  24. LexG says:


  25. jeffmcm says:

    Well, in the past low quality hasn’t really mattered much to the audiences for action movies.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    I should add, the same is true for most genres – horror, romantic comedy, etc.

  27. Nicol D says:

    Remember, it’s not just the performers or the actors, it’s also having the top flight directors, screenwriters and producers who want to tell those stories on a large canvas.
    Shane Black, Joel Silver, Laurence Gordon, Walter Hill, John Milius, Richard Donner, McTiernan all were a force in that era of filmmaking too. It was bigger than just Sly, Arnie, Willis and Gibson.
    The Statham, War etc. comparison is not really apt because there was always a B-tier (Van Damme, Norris, Seagal). That is the realm Statham is in.
    Sadly, I think QT could have made a fantastic hard action film like these but doesn’t seem to want to. Instead he became fascinated with the B-movies and babes genre. It is much more than the actors, it is the entire culture of Hollywood that has changed.
    Once could also argue the immense popularity of the Bourne films suggests that there would be a market for a hero of a more analog variety.

  28. bmcintire says:

    I’m gonna have to go with Lex on Statham and CRANK. And the TRANSPORTER movies, though silly, were a blast.

  29. brack says:

    I thought last year’s “Shoot ‘Em Up” did a good job of standing the genre on its head.

  30. Jimmy the Gent says:

    What people forget is that Seadgal DID do a couple of movies of quality. Above the Law and Under Seige were terrific action movies, with US making Tommy Lee Jones a star.
    What happened to Andrew Davis? He did those two Seagal movies, The Fugitive, The Package, and Code of Silence, Norris’ best movie ever.
    The real shift in action movies can be traced back to the summer of ’94. That’s when you had Arnold’s last great action movie (the sexist-racist terrorist comedy True Lies), and the classical, human-sized Die Hard update, Speed. Laugh if you must, but Keanu Reeves’ performance set the template for every action movie that decided to make its hero life-like, from Stanley Goodspeed to Jason Bourne to the new James Bond.
    Stallone even got into the act with Cop Land, hist best piece of ACTING since First Blood.

  31. LexG says:

    Stallone OWNS, of course, but it’s astonishing how few A-list directors he worked with in his heyday. Awesome star, but definitely the kind of star who was the defining voice of his films more than their directors.
    In working with Cameron, Verhoeven, Milius, and McTiernan, Arnold seemed to take the opposite approach.

  32. The Big Perm says:

    I think analong action movies have also turned into martial arts pictures now…Jackie Chan, Jet Li, etc.
    There’s no shortage of action movies, it’s just that times have changed and who wants to see the same old “angry cop/buddy cops after the coke dealer” bullshit from back in the day? We may miss Predator style action flicks, but who misses Tango and Cash?

  33. hcat says:

    I am amazed that the Rock is not a bigger star. I was very skeptical about his abilities due to my revulsion of pro wrestling, but his perfs in Rundown and Be Cool (God, everything else about that movie was a complete trainwreck) brought me around. Hopefully the disney movie he did will bring more people around and he can finally break through to bigger projects. Remember Arnold was thought of as only an niche action guy until he broke 100 mil with Twins.

  34. LexG says:

    And Van Damme had a few years there where he was bordering on more mainstream stardom and worked with some strong action directors — Hyams and Emmerich, not to mention John Woo and Tsui Hark.

  35. LexG says:

    I’ve seen that at least 80 times, and to this day the Harold Faltermeyer score is lodged into my skull a fair share of the time.
    It represents the height of Kurt’s hair awesomeness.

  36. hcat says:

    and based on this poster I think we can take this off the list of box office hits for the summer. This looks like shit, did Lucas hire the Winx crew to animate this?

  37. LexG says:

    LexG in THE OWNING.

  38. MarkVH says:

    True Lies racist? Really? I’ll totally give you sexist, but hey, that’s the movie business. Don’t really recall the racism though (it’s been a while since I’ve seen it).

  39. jeffmcm says:

    True Lies is racist in the sense that most of the bad guys are bumbling buffoon Arabs, especially at the end of the movie. In other words, just a little of the same-old.

  40. MarkVH says:

    Eh, the Indiana Jones flicks had bumbling buffoon Nazis as the bad guys. Not really seeing a huge difference.

  41. Nicol D says:

    Not the same old at all, Jeff. Cameron at the time was under a lot of heat and the film took a lot of flack for using Islamic terrorists. Cameron gave many interviews where he said he was tired of the “same old” at the time which was always Irish (IRA) terrorists and the real threat happening was with radical Islam. He said he wanted the film to be more realistic in that respect.
    Feel free to disagree but Arabs have rarely been the villains in Hollywood with any consistancy. Chinese and Japanese people historically speaking got much worse treatment.
    Not even in the old John Wayne days. For the most part Arabs, when taken as a whole, have just not factored much into Hollywood history at all as a plus or a minus. Yes, I am sure you can find some exceptions…but they are that…exceptions.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    (Sigh) I’m not saying True Lies is a movie that bothers me. But there are definitely scenes in it that you look at, like at the end where they guys are in the teetering truck, and you can’t really call it ‘realistic.’

  43. Nicol D says:

    Cameron meant realistic in a “what is happening in the world today” sense Jeff. Cameron did not mean realistic in a laws of physics sense.

  44. jeffmcm says:

    It’s still a comic book movie, Nicol. Granted, Irish terrorists were played out pretty quickly in the 80s-90s.

  45. Joe Leydon says:

    Lex G: You might appreciate this. After the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, a friend and I rented a car and drove through Eastern Europe, to see how things were changing in that part of the world. One day, we found ourselves on Lenin Street, in Budapest, Hungary, standing in front of a movie theater where there were gigantic posters of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell

  46. Nicol D says:

    “It’s still a comic book movie, Nicol.”
    I’m sure Cameron was aware of that.

  47. leahnz says:

    i heard from a reliable source here that cameron was forced to do ‘true lies’ as part a bundle contract involving t2.
    the ethnicity of ‘dumb movie terrorists/bad guys’ has always followed the cultural tide; remember ‘lethal weapon 2’ back in the olden days, the villains were white south africans? just one notch down from nazis and with funny accents to boot.

  48. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I was flipping pass HDNewt Movies yesterday, and guess what was on?
    Who knew we needed to see THAT movie in HD?
    I must admit it did bring back a lot of childhood memories. Oh to be young, dumb, and a fan of really bad white-bread rock music.
    Also, the bad guys were Middle Eastern.
    Did Hollywood execs think Jason Gedrick was going to give Tom Cruise a run for his money? Too bad Hollywood racism couldn’t find better roles for Lou Gosset, Jr. He deserved Morgan Freeman-level of success.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Exactly, Leah.
    My point is, just because James Cameron was smart enough to know that Irish and Commie bad guys were passe, that doesn’t let him off the hook for making his Arabs buffoonish.
    And once again, I like True Lies quite a bit and I don’t think it’s an especially offensive movie, just calling it for what it is: a comic book movie that resorts to some stereotyping.

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, Middle Eastern terrorists have been a staple of Hollywood movies as far back as 1975, when that noted Arab actor, Richard Attenborough, masterminded a terrorist kidnapping plot in Rosebud.

  51. The Big Perm says:

    Remember the big stink over how racist Hollywood was for making The Siege, and daring to speculate that Middle Eastern radicals would commit terrorist acts against the US?
    The TRUE threat…Neo Nazis!

  52. Stella's Boy says:

    It seems that some would disagree with the assessment that Arabs have never been villains in Hollywood.

  53. hendhogan says:

    and once again a fun conversation about who will be the new action stars turns to politics.
    you might as well as the reason there aren’t any american action heroes is because hollywood thinks the american as hero doesn’t play internationally.

  54. jeffmcm says:

    I didn’t think we were talking about ‘American’ action heroes per se, but I’m sure you have a point, HH.

  55. scooterzz says:

    and who can forget the most buffoonish middle eastern heavy of all:

  56. Eric says:

    I don’t remember any of the jokes in True Lies being specific to the villains’ ethnicity. Some of the lesser henchmen were bumbling, of course, but to me that doesn’t qualify as racism. We’re not talking about humor based on Jews being greedy or black people being lazy, you know what I mean?
    The sexism thing might be a bit more accurate. But even though Jamie Lee Curtis’s interrogation scene is sort of cruel, she makes it a really heartbreaking character moment.

  57. LexG says:

    I did indeed enjoy that, Joe.
    As for INVASION USA, of course I think it owns and all, but this whole, recent “ironic” culture of Norris kind of annoys this long-time fan. Even in recent years I’d watch those goofy, dated B-movies of his in all earnestness; Now it’s become one of those annoying prolific “in the know” jokes that sort of tarnishes a lot of fun stuff by rendering it camp. Sure, “Forced Vengeance” and “Good Guys Wear Black” were junky even in their day, but now it’s just assumed that we all think they’re some HI-larious goof.
    I’m sure Chuck is enjoying the resurgence and he’s clearly a good sport about it, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

  58. David Poland says:

    With all this arab talk, I thought you were talking about Iron Man.
    leahnz, the problem with that T2/True Lies story is that the only connective tissue between the two films is Jim Cameron and his people.
    T2 was Carolco, release by Tri-Star. True Lies was funded and released by Fox.
    None of the same producers (aside from CameronCo) or companies, as best I can tell.

  59. Jimmy the Gent says:

    On the 3-disc edition of Hot Fuzz, Tarantino states, in all seriousness, that Chuck Norris’ Silent Rage (1982) was his favorite movie of that year. The scary part is I believe him. He also says it has one of the best opening sequences ever.
    Silent Rage might actually be a good B movie. (Tarantino is usually pretty smart about these sorts of things.) I just don’t see it being Best-of-’82 material. Just off the top of my head, I think I would give the edge to E.T. or The Verdict. I also think An Officer and a Gemtleman is one of the best romance movies of the last 25 years. You also had Tootsie that year.
    I do show love for Code of Silence from ’85. It’s one of the best Chicago movies, ranking with Thief.
    The interrogation scene isn’t the only cruel scene in True Lies. The scene where Curtis does her striptease is actually pretty cruel, too. Yes, we know her husband is the one watching her. The cruelty comes from her not knowing that fact. She thinks she’s stripping for a total stranger.
    True Lies represents Cameron working out his anger from the fallout of his most recent marriage. If you really think about it, nothing in True Lies hints at the beauty and sensitivity of Titanic.
    The racism comes from the fact that a point is made that the bad guys are Arab. They are such cartoon-ish characters that they could’ve been anyone. By making them Arab the movie is making a racist point, even if the obvious intention is broad humor.

  60. Cadavra says:

    Put me down in the pro-Statham camp. The guy has a genuine physicality and screen presence, and proves in THE BANK JOB that he is, if not Clive Owen, still perfectly capable in a straight dramatic role. He also has an understated humor that served him well in the TRANSPORTER movies, which are much funnier than most people seem to realize and models of what the action movie can be when not made by AVID-addicted imbeciles.

  61. LexG says:

    Jimmy, Code of Silence is terrific. So is Davis’ Above the Law; GREAT Chicago atmosphere and use of local actors. Actually, I’d have to assume many of those movie cops were the real deal, since you can’t fake that kind of authenticity.
    We all know Silent Rage can’t have been the best movie of 1982, since Jekyll & Hyde Together Again clearly holds that disctinction. But that opening sequence IS impressive. The villain in that, Brian Libby, still gets a fair amount of acting work and yet I always associate him with that piece of awesomeness. I love that he’s this unstoppable specimen of futuristic science… and he’s brought down by Norris kicking him into a deep well.
    It’s certainly one of the more entertaining (and strange) Halloween/Fri. the 13th clones of its day, all the weirder because every few minutes, a decent slasher movie takes a break so Norris can do some redneck action that’s out of an entirely different movie.

  62. jeffmcm says:

    Ironically, since DP brought it up, I’d say the use of Arabs/Afghans as bad guys in Iron Man is pretty benign. If we want to go into the subject of recent movies that were more offensive, especially on the ‘white man’s burden’ front, I can think of a few.

  63. doug r says:

    I don’t see the big problem with True Lies-kind of ahead of its time, if you ask me.
    Listening to the commentary on The Kingdom, Peter Berg mentions that people were bugged by what crappy shots the terrorists are-but the Special Forces guys say it’s true.
    Where are the True Lies really bumbling, anyway? I know the bit in the truck seems a little Keystone Kops, but have you ever walked around a panel truck at speed? Cameron just recycled a gag from Sudden Impact, the rest is all believable.
    Even Arnie manages to get himself captured in his own city.

  64. doug r says:

    I don’t see the big problem with True Lies-kind of ahead of its time, if you ask me.
    Listening to the commentary on The Kingdom, Peter Berg mentions that people were bugged by what crappy shots the terrorists are-but the Special Forces guys say it’s true.
    Where are the True Lies really bumbling, anyway? I know the bit in the truck seems a little Keystone Kops, but have you ever walked around a panel truck at speed? Cameron just recycled a gag from Sudden Impact, the rest is all believable.
    Even Arnie manages to get himself captured in his own city. Oh, c’mon how long does it take to load comments anyway?

  65. The Big Perm says:

    I’ll give Tarantino this: he’s a great filmmaker and I love all of his movies, but he’s the last guy who I would take a movie recommendation from.

  66. leahnz says:

    dave p, heard it from one of cam’s peeps. all i can say is mexican liquor was involved

  67. LexG says:

    The prolonged humiliation of Jamie Lee in “True Lies” is EXTREMELY mean-spirited; I remember when I first saw it, I couldn’t believe how far it went beyond anything that was required of the plot of the comedy of the scenario at hand. There’s something very uncomfortable about that element of the film.
    Not to mention it throws an otherwise light and exciting action movie woefully off balance, making it feel lumpy and misshapen. Good thing the finale is so rousing, as it does a yeoman’s job of clearing away the residual bad taste of the middle third.

  68. leahnz says:

    and i should have added to the comment above, i was not told anything in confidence, many people were around at the time!

  69. Yes, True Lies may be cruel towards Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, but just watch her work magic with it! The fact that she was SAG-nominated and even WON the Golden Globe Awards will forever fill me with glee. But, then again, I really enjoy True Lies. Even Tom Arnold, which is a feat in itself, really.
    Perhaps another reason that the action films of the ’80s aren’t as common these days is because of the rating systems. The American PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984, which – considering the genre of films we’re discussing – seems quite apt. Movies could be rated R then and it wasn’t quite as big a deal, but now if your movie isn’t PG-13 you have to work really hard to get the box office.
    I watched Rambo IV on DVD last weekend and down here it was deservedly rated R18+ (our equivelent of NC17 but not reserved purely for sex-driven films) and as silly and fun as it was, there was no way a movie like that could reach the box office heights of likeminded films in the 1980s. Whether it starred Stallone or Christian Bale (who, to whoever it was that asked, has T4 as well as the Batman films).
    I recall the debate that rang about last year when Die Hard 4.0 (or whatever silly name it had in America) was rated PG-13 instead of R like all the others.

  70. brack says:

    It’s because less and less adults are going to the movies. It’s mostly kids, women, and families, and therefore PG-13 or less rules.

  71. jeffmcm says:

    KCamel, I think you hit the True Lies nail on the head: in theory, the movie should be obnoxious because of the inherent sexism, but whenever I watch it Jamie Lee Curtis makes it play so well, because of her innate charm and comedic timing, that she takes the sting out of it. Any other actress and the movie would feel a lot uglier.

  72. leahnz says:

    brack, i’m sorry to break it to you, but women actually are adults, not delicate flowers…most of us like good r-rated movies as much as men do.
    i always thought cameron was taking the mickey out of the sexist ‘bond’-type spy genre in ‘true lies’, rendering suggestions that the film is sexist or offensive mute, is that just me? i seem to recall seeing an interview with curtis saying as much, that she would never have taken the role if the film weren’t a bit of a send-up, but my memory is growing hazier with the passing years

  73. leahnz says:

    i’m such a spaz today, i keep posting stuff before i finish writing it! i give up, i’m off to have a beer

  74. And on with what Leah said, is it not the Jamie Lee Curtis character who is having an affair, not Arnie?
    I also just thought I’d mention that Leah is awesome.

  75. Also, I’m not sure who reads IMDb’s “news” pages (i do because I enjoy laughter) and I found this bit particularly amusing:
    “In its first week in the stores, Grand Theft Auto IV took in more than $500 million, more than any movie in history has made in its first week.”
    How is it even remotely possible to compare box office with the number made by a computer game that sells for, what? $50? $75? Although, it must be said, the game is very good.

  76. brack says:

    leahnz, sure, women like R-rated movies just fine. though they’re not the driving force at the box office, and certainly not for R-rated action flicks. I wasn’t talking about quality anyhow.
    Of the R-rated movies that have come out this year, I’d say Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and maybe Untraceable, are the only ones women have been interested in. the only R-rate movie that’s coming out soon that is going to interest women is Sex and the City. and those aren’t your typical R-rated movies.
    Most of the time, it’s movies like Juno, 27 Dresses, P.S. I Love You, Baby Mama, Made of Honor, etc. that really bring out a large female audience. All PG-13, btw.

  77. LexG says:


  78. Brack, nice to know you speak for all female cinemagoers with statements like that. For a moment there I thought that maybe all women aren’t the cliches you think they are. Silly me.
    Also: Girlfriends don’t get into movies for free.

  79. brack says:

    Wow Camel, you’re really reaching in making me out to stereotyping women. This is entertaining.
    What about “most of the time” and “large audience” do you not understand? You think women are the one’s generally lining up for R-rated movies, especially action movies? Without their males counterparts, not really. I’m speaking in generalizations here, because this is how Hollywood makes decisions about making most of their movies.
    You think I’m making this stuff up?
    “The audience for the $30M-budgeted 27 Dresses was overwhelmingly female. Studio research showed that a remarkable 75% of the crowd consisted of women, but the audience was evenly split between those over and under 25.”
    “Girlfriends don’t get into movies for free.”
    I’m not sure what you mean by this statement, I’m assuming you’re referring on my “driving force” comment, and I stand behind it. Women weren’t the ones pumped up about seeing “300.”

  80. You’re right. Gay men were the ones pumped to see 300 😛

  81. The Big Perm says:

    Brack, if 27 Dresses were R rated, I’m sure it’d still be women interested in it. Unless maybe it’s suddenly R rated for rampant lesbian nudity.

  82. brack says:

    Yeah, but if that was true Perm, why didn’t they make it R-rated? They knew they’d get more women into the theater if it was simply PG-13. How many chick flicks are R-rated? There are some, but they come out maybe once in a blue moon, and usually have movie stars.

  83. leahnz says:

    brack, you said, ‘i’m speaking in generalizations here, because this is how hollywood makes decisions about making most of their movies’. boy you said a mouthfull there, mate, and therein lies the rub!
    maybe that’s why ‘hollywood’ poops out so many steaming piles of poorly written, ill-conceived, utterly forgettable shite (with little gems hidden within here and there, of course), because instead of making innovative, thought-provoking, original, well-crafted fresh material for adults, they greenlight ridiulous fluff thinking ‘this is how women think, this will make money’ (or men, for that matter). i’ll tell you what, us chicks are a diverse, complicated, complex bunch, so don’t put us in a box, man.
    r-rated movie are not necessarily action movies. and plenty of women i know went see ‘300’ to watch the rather beautiful butler and his most chiselled mates raise hell. never underestimate female pervitude and blood-lust. women secretly like that shit.
    kam, 🙂

  84. brack says:

    leahnz, thanks for making this into a gender war. you really don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the numbers. I wasn’t making it a discussion about “if there were better movies, women would come to them.” I’m telling you the reality of the situation, but you want to turn it into some idealistic argument about the American woman. it really isn’t called for, and I never implied that women were simple in any way, so please, stop with your nonsense. There’s plenty of diversity between the women who enjoy Juno to the ones who like 27 Dresses. I’m not putting you in a box, you’re doing that fine all on your own.

  85. LexG says:

    How did we get from Stallone to 27 Dresses in the same BYOB?
    Anyway, on the subject of chick flicks, the other day it occurred to me that at one time, a strong woman’s picture might be something like “China Syndrome,” “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” “An Unmarried Woman,” or “Silkwood.”
    Now it’s “Made of Honor” or “13 Going on 30” — giggly, poppy, estro-fests about babies and marriage, or sometimes marriage and babies.
    You can blame the big, bad Hollywood machine for this drop-off… or you can blame the audience. I’m pretty sure any of those ’70s/’80s pics mentioned above would tank today; Their more modern-day counterparts like “In Her Shoes,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” or “North Country” certainly did.

  86. jeffmcm says:

    It didn’t help that WDLHA and North Country kind of sucked.

  87. LexG says:

    Yeah, North Country was pretty silly, though I seem to remember Poland was a mega-fan of it. I thought it was pretty ridiculous and over-the-top, with CT’s co-workers just shy of Simon Legree levels of subtlety.

  88. jeffmcm says:

    I was mostly embarrassed for Frances McDormand, who had to do the Big Courtroom Scene and have some kind of palsy at the same time.
    But that movie was at least mediocre, next to WDLHA, which I thought was just mind-numbingly miserable.

  89. LexG says:

    There’s also an extended flashback scene involving Theron and Jeremy Renner’s characters in high school, which COULDN’T take place more than 10 years earlier, and they’re both played by radically different looking actors who appear to be two decades removed for their present-day counterparts.
    As a WTF aside, that courtroom scene you mention is scored to pretty much the exact Santaoalla guitar instrumental from 21 Grams and Amores Perros, which constitutes a huge part of the Babel soundtrack; For months I’ve wondered how Johnny Greenwood got disqualified this year for TWBB when much of the OSCAR WINNING Babel score had been used in other prominent movies.

  90. David Poland says:

    Uh… wrong again, Lex.
    My review.

  91. leahnz says:

    brack, i’m not trying to turn anything into an idealistic arguement about the american woman (and definately not trying to start a gender war, all you need is love, man)… i’m talking about the sorry state of movies today. seems like back in the day, movies were made for adults or children, not men or women, and were far better for it. i’d say those movies lex mentioned (china syndrome, looking for mr. goodbar, etc) with strong female leads were not made ‘for women’, but for an adult audience.
    ‘there’s plenty of diversity between the women who enjoy ‘juno’ and the one’s who enjoy ’27 dresses’… i must say, i can’t even begin to tell you how inane that is. those are our designated options? yikes.
    i’m going over to my friend’s tonight for our regular ‘girls movie night’, dinner and flicks. we got ‘true romance’, ‘wild at heart’ and ‘mulholland drive’. now those are proper chick flicks.

  92. leahnz says:

    brack, i’m not trying to turn anything into an idealistic arguement about the american woman (and definately not trying to start a gender war, all you need is love, man)… i’m talking about the sorry state of movies today. seems like back in the day, movies were made for adults or children, not men or women, and were far better for it. i’d say those movies lex mentioned (china syndrome, looking for mr. goodbar, etc) with strong female leads were not made ‘for women’, but for an adult audience.
    ‘there’s plenty of diversity between the women who enjoy ‘juno’ and the one’s who enjoy ’27 dresses’… i must say, i can’t even begin to tell you how inane that is. those are our designated options? yikes.
    i’m going over to my friend’s tonight for our regular ‘girls movie night’, dinner and flicks. we got ‘true romance’, ‘wild at heart’ and ‘mulholland drive’. now those are proper chick flicks.

  93. leahnz says:

    bugger, bugger, bugger! no idea how i did that. i’m such a goof.

  94. brack says:

    “i’m going over to my friend’s tonight for our regular ‘girls movie night’, dinner and flicks. we got ‘true romance’, ‘wild at heart’ and ‘mulholland drive’. now those are proper chick flicks.”
    the irony, since all those bombed at the box office. why didn’t all you nonstereotypical women go see these good movies when there were out in theaters?

  95. brack says:

    there = they

  96. jeffmcm says:

    I’m actually surprised at the inclusion of Wild at Heart on that list (the one and only Lynch movie I don’t like) but ‘bombs’ is kind of harsh, especially when you factor in realistic expectations.
    Brack, I’m beginning to feel a kinship with you: in your last couple of arguments with people, it’s been more a matter of semantics that have been the real source of friction, than actual disagreement. I hope you take that as a compliment of sorts.

  97. christian says:

    Whoda thunk LexG would nail the odious misogyny of TRUE LIES? I hate that film. It’s perfectly made, but it’s inner fascism is so prevalent — look how Paxton is tortured by the big government bullies — while Jamie Lee Curtis is basically proto-raped by being forced to dance for her husband at gunpoint. The film lacks any deeper irony. It’s an ugly stupid film, worthy only because of Curtis and Charlton Heston with an eye patch.

  98. brack says:

    well thanks jeff, I don’t really want to come off as the resident douchebag around these parts.

  99. jeffmcm says:

    Brack, we have plenty of those already.
    Christian, I agree with you-in theory. But in practice, even though I know the movie has huge ideological issues, I just can’t stop myself from being entertained by it. The damn thing works.

  100. But Brack, what I think Leah is saying (and feel free to correct me Leah, you’re awesome so I’d just stare goofily at what you write and think “she’s talking to ME! I am unworthy”) is that if there were movies that were of the same quality as (for instance) Juno (the only film generally seen as being great from the list of movies you gave) that were rated R then women (and men!) would probably go. “They” don’t have this allergic reaction to R-rated movies. Except shit ones. Instead “they” get movies like Made of Honour and the like. All of which seem to gross around the same $50mil-and-change number. I can’t imagine there are that money tweeny girls getting all gaga of Patrick Dempsey. And women go to the big summer movies, too. I know when I go to see a movie like Iron Man that the cinema has a lot of women in it.
    I went to see Juno and 27 Dresses with my two top gals and we liked them both. We also saw Gone Baby Gone today and liked that too.
    Also: Erin Brockovich. Rated R, grossed over $100mil, generally well-liked, probably seen as a “chick flick” these days because it’s Julia Roberts, when really it plays quite broad to women, men and even younger audiences.
    And In Her Shoes was one of my top ten of 2005. Just throwin’ that out there.

  101. BTW, wow, when did I grow this big blog crush on Leah? I think it was that story about Stand By Me.

  102. brack says:

    But Camel, every movie you’ve listing were PG-13 except for Erin Brockovich, which was a Julia Roberts vehicle, and must be taken into consideration due to her superstardom, and that it’s almost 10 years old, it’s a whole new world. In Her Shoes had Cameron Diaz. Sex and the City has a built in audience from TV. They don’t seem to like to take a “risk” on R-rated movies unless there’s a star or something of that nature.
    For every one of those movies, there’s around 100 more like “Monster,” or “Monster’s Ball” for that matter, starring women that not many women (or anyone) see. And Jeff, before you say anything about being realistic about those movies’ expectations, that’s my whole point. The studios don’t expect these “quality” movies to make real money. If people were going to the select theaters and selling out these movies every week, these films would expand, and there would be more of them in the theaters. But they don’t, because there really isn’t a huge market for these films. Sad but true. Gone Baby Gone did only okay, and I love that movie.
    I never disputed that women don’t see the summer movies, but what are they typically rated? My point exactly.

  103. jeffmcm says:

    Brack, nobody would be arguing against you if you hadn’t implied that there was some kind of gender split involved.

  104. brack says:

    The split has to do with women wanting to go see R-rated movies without their male counterparts. It just isn’t the norm.

  105. jeffmcm says:

    Who are their ‘male counterparts’?

  106. brack says:

    their dudes.

  107. jeffmcm says:

    So, your argument is only about single heterosexual females, presumably within certain age parameters?

  108. leahnz says:

    kam, 😛 lol
    (i’d be like this… 😀 … but i had a bit of a late night and then got woken up early ON MOTHERS DAY by a tandem tag team of the boy and the cat…haven’t had a good nights sleep in like nine years so i’m used to it)

  109. brack says:

    “So, your argument is only about single heterosexual females, presumably within certain age parameters?”
    Whoever wears the pants. Better?

  110. brack says:

    Actually, I misread what you said jeff.
    No, being single has nothing to do with it. But I’m willing to bet a lot of single women don’t go to those R-rated movies by themselves or just with their girl friends. At least I never see it much at such films.
    That’s right, I people watch at the theater. I’m creepy.

  111. Blah, whatever. This argument is stupid and going around and around.
    Leah, have fun on this Mother’s Day. Eventually your son will be like me and rally against the corporatisation of life and will refuse to participate in days such as Mothers and Fathers Day.
    Fun fact: A person’s rally against corporatisation usually correlates with how much money they have in the bank account. Example: “We’re not doing Valentines Day this year. It’s become too corporatised. We’re just going to have a quiet dinner at home.”

  112. leahnz says:

    kam, rallying against ‘the man’ and refusing to participate in commercial holidays will be fine with me, if that’s all my son gets up to i’ll be thrilled, he’s a cheeky little bugger. can’t imagine where he gets it from ;0

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