MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB Weekend

Thinking is easy… posting is hard.
If there is more to discuss, let the players play!

Be Sociable, Share!

90 Responses to “BYOB Weekend”

  1. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Anyone know who won what at Cannes?
    I find it a little pathetic that neither IFC or Sundance Channel are carrying a live broadcast of the closing-night awards ceremony. Ratings may be low, but you’d think at least one of those channels would see the filmic-historic value of such a broadcast.
    Couldn’t someone at least stream the event? That would’ve been a compromise.

  2. The Pope says:

    Jimmy the Giant,
    From one wiseguy to another GoodFella, Cannes closes tomorrow night. If it is any consolation, not that many countries in Europe broadcast the awards’ ceremony. But I reckon with the net, you can get it pretty much within minutes of the announcement.

  3. The Pope says:

    Jimmy the Giant,
    From one wiseguy to another GoodFella, Cannes closes tomorrow night. If it is any consolation, not that many countries in Europe broadcast the awards’ ceremony either. But I reckon with the net, you can get it pretty much within minutes of the announcement.

  4. movieman says:

    Does anyone else remember when you could actually watch the closing Cannes award ceremonies on Bravo with color commentary by Ebert and Annette Insdorf (spelling?)
    I’m pretty sure that it was taped in advance and not live, though.
    I used to think it was way more exciting than the Oscars, especially when they gave prizes to crazed, borderline-frothing visionaries like Bruno Dumont and Emir Kusturica. Sigh.

  5. Jimmy the Gent says:

    So, are you the Pope of Greenwich Village?
    I love that movie by the way. A Special Edition DVD would be nice for its 25th anniversary next summer.
    It’s kind of amazing that The Pope of Greenwich Village was considered “couterprogramming” during the summer of ’84.
    Here’s a fun game: How would an older movie be “positioned” in today’s marketplace?
    I’ll go first.
    DePalma’s Scarface would not be positioned as Universal’s Oscar-Christmas offering in today’s market.

  6. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I do remember, movieman.
    Actually, it would air live on IFC, and then shown on Bravo. Insdorf was there to translate the foreign-language speeches. I can vividly remember her translating Michael Moore’s acceptance speech from the ’02 ceremony.

  7. movieman says:

    IFC wasn’t available on my local cable affiliate back then, so Bravo was the only way I could watch it. Such fun, but I’m a hopeless Francophile so Cannes has always been nirvana for me.

  8. movieman says:

    Hmmmm; I don’t know, Jimmy.
    I think “Scarface” may have actually been intended to be Uni’s big Oscar salvo back in 1983–it did open in December after all. Things just didn’t work out.

  9. tyler666 says:

    And the palme d-or goes to…The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons trailer.
    Start the oscars talk, this one is already on the run.
    =Oh my god, youre so young…
    =Only on the outside…

  10. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I know Uni positioned it as their Oscar-bait movie, but it was pretty much reviled on release. Now, we all know it is a pretty terrific movie.
    The thing is, I don’t think it would be positioned as such in today’s market. It’s not as “respectable” as something like, say, American Gangster.
    I’ll give another example. Midnight Cowboy would be released around November instead of being a May release. It wouldn’t be a studio movie. And Hoffman would be positioned for the Best Supporting Actor, with Voight positioned for Best Actor. Also, I think Hoffman would win in that category. The movie would most definitely sweet the Spirit Awards.

  11. movieman says:

    Jimmy- I somehow missed the “not” part of your original post.
    You’re right: “Scarface” is frigging awesome, and I knew it from day one. (I still remember getting into the worst car wreck of my life driving to see “S” during a snowstorm on opening day.)
    And yep, “Midnight Cowboy” would be going out thru a “specialty” division like Searchlight or Focus today; and they’d hold it until the end of the year and not open it in May (after a Toronto FF premiere).
    Of course, you could say the same thing in reverse. Movies like “Brokeback,” “Sideways” and “No Country” would have all been produced and distributed by the majors thirty+ years ago. And not just because the “boutique” labels didn’t exist yet, but simply because the major studios had a lot more balls back then (“Medium Cool,” “Zabriskie Point,” “Easy Rider,” “Cowboy,” Altman’s entire ouevre, etc.). Of course, movies cost a lot less to make back then which probably contributed to their willingness to take risks.

  12. The Pope says:

    Here’s my reason for feeling very positive about Benjamin Button. Fincher, while being a technically brilliant director by and large has limited his emotional palette to the darker colors. If anything, Fincher is more of a cerebral director than an emotional one.
    Now, take Eric Roth. A great writer whose most successful work is clearly Forrest Gump (I didn’t say best, I said successful). What Gump has is clear emotional threads. The vision there is upbeat and positve. It is also, most obviously a fairytale.
    Now, with Fitzgerald’s sad, dark fairytale, you have what promises to be a really ideal marriage. One of Fitzgerald’s gifts was that he was able to paint quite a dark story with very bright colors. His writing was so dazzling it distracted you from the underbelly.
    Button looks like a fantastic story of the ephemera of love. I haven’t read the script (is it on line? If so, please link!) but from the trailer it appears that Button meets Daisy at various points (beginning with him as an old child and she as a young child) and he sees in her the woman he perhaps can meet someday… and he waits for her… and when the time comes for them to be together… he knows that they cannot grow old together…
    I’m not making box office predictions here, but I think in terms of texture and DVD shelf-life, this has a HELLUVALOT going for it.
    P.S. Jimmy, the Gent. No, that doesn’t make me The Pope of Greenwich Village… I could never get past Eric Robert’s perm!

  13. Speaking of no American network airing the Cannes ceremony, I still can’t believe nobody over there has the wisdom to air the Eurovision Song Contest. The gaudiest, most flashiest, most amazing night of the year. Iceland? Douze pois! Estonia? Nil pois! Ba-bow.
    I remember studing the chainsaw scene from Scarface in one of my film courses. It was a hoot.

  14. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Yeah, but Mickey Rourke was pretty cool.
    Eric Roberts is an actor that deserves more respect. His performance in STAR 80 is on par with DeNiro’s Jake LaMotta or Keitel’s Bad Lieutenant or Duvall’s Apostle. It’s a marker in the evolution of male screen acting.

  15. crazycris says:

    Eurovision Kam?! Don’t tell me you get it down under?!?!?!
    Talk about mostly absolutely crappy music which is usually victorious thanks to favouritism bu neighbouring countries… Spain’s song this year was selected basically as a parody of the whole thing and I’m guessing people here will be please it ended up 17th (was a bunch of crap).
    If you want to know friend sent me a text message (I chose a bbq and live music over that nightmare of a TV show) and Russia won. Let’s hope it’s better than Tatu!

  16. T. Holly says:

    That image of Michael Moore speaking French made me laugh my arse off.

  17. LexG says:

    Absolutely agree that Eric Robert’s PAUL SNIDER is one of the great screen performances not just of its era, but of all time. It’s like Pacino-Dog Day good.
    Pope of Greenwich Village I remember liking a lot, though I haven’t seen it in 20 years.
    SCARFACE *DROPPED* December 9th, 1983. For you trivia buffs, it opened the same day as Clint’s SUDDEN IMPACT, and no, I didn’t have to look that up. Interesting that 25 years on, WB continues its tradition of the big December action movie.
    Did THE KEEP also come out that weekend? TERMS OF ENDEARMENT? I seem to remember a shitload of now-classic movies all coming out in Dec of 1983, that year being THE most awesome of my formative burgeoning film-geek years (with 1982 and 1986 way up there.)

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Trust me: If the first Rocky were coming out today, it would premiere at Sundance — and get released by Fox Searchlight.
    And Taxi Driver might wind up being distributed by Magnolia.

  19. Jimmy the Gent says:

    The summer of ’86 was also a big deal for me. I considerit and the summer of ’84 to be milestones in excessive pop entertainment. The Summer of ’84 is when MTV fully entered the mainstream of American movies. You not only had Footloose and Purple Rain, but you also had Streets of Fire and Bockaroo Bonzai. It wa also the summer of Ghostbusters and Gremlins and Dreamscape and Red Dawn and Bachelor Party.
    For me, it was the summer of ’89 where I was fully aware of the week-to-week releases of movies. Batman and Do the Right Thing and Casualties of War and When Harry Met Sally… and Sex, Lies and videotape all took equal space in my 10-year-old head.

  20. LexG says:

    You OWN. I guess ten years old is the official year for movie completism geekiness, because I was that age in ’83, and I’ll thus forever worship a year that brought my young mind:
    Scarface, Sudden Impact, Christine, The Dead Zone, The Hunger, The Keep, Jedi, Metalstorm, Jaws 3-D, Cujo, Revenge of the Ninja, Flashdance, Risky Business, All the Right Moves, Rumble Fish, The Outsiders, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Right Stuff, Octopussy, Never Say Never Again, and about a zillion more.
    To me, that was the year MTV, New Wave, British commercial directors, synthesizers, etc all merged for a perfect melding of COMPLETE OWNAGE.
    1984 is certainly no slouch, but it’s like a warm, fuzzy, orange-brown year of movies compared to ’83’s blue.
    ’86 is the total fucking package, though:
    Top Gun, Blue Velvet, AT CLOSE RANGE, Manhunter, Salvador, Cobra, Platoon, Pretty in Pink, The Fly, Aliens, Big Trouble in Little China, Three Amigos… awesome year to be in the midst of junior high uncertainty.
    By ’89 I was well into my teens and OWNING SHIT, so definitely remember seeing gems like BATMAN, TANGO AND CASH, INDY 3, PINK CADILLAC (!!!), LETHAL WEAPON 2, THE ABYSS, CASULATIES OF WAR, ROADHOUSE all MULTIPLE TIMES at the theater.
    It’s a line of discussion I wish we could get started, so I hope somebody bites:
    Ever notice how in your youthful years, or at least in the 70s/80s, EVERY calendar year had a distinct flavor, a distinct look?
    I can look at a movie from 1980 or 1982 or 1976 and TOTALLY call it as such, thanks to the haircuts and the colors and the film stock and thr music and the vibe.
    Am I just getting old, or is the last 10-12 years a TOTAL BLUR? Like I said in another thread, I rewatched the 98 GODZILLA recently and couldn’t find ANYTHING to distinguish it as a film of 1998. The hair, the style, the clothes– nothing was PARTICULARLY dated.
    But when I watched a 1978 movie in 1988, you can damn sure bet that shit looked old as a motherfucker.
    Has the world just stopped changing styles and colors? Am I just getting old? To me, 2000, 2004, 2003, 2008 all look pretty much the same, where in the 80s I could tell each and every year apart and dissect it down to the smallest quarter inch of hair length or stock of wood paneling in indoor scenes.
    Is there anything to distinguish any of the years since, say, 1996, or has just not enough time passed?

  21. Joe, it’s depressing cause it’s true.
    Interesting that so many people think of Roberts’ performance in Star 80 with such high regard. I definitely thought he was good, but not DeNiro levels. Maybe I missed something. It’s never a bad time to revisit Fosse though.
    Lex, I too have feelings that certain films just seem to BELONG to certain years. Even stuff like (picking randoms out of a hat) Lost in Translation or Moulin Rouge. Something about them would just feel out of place if they weren’t released the year they were. Odd, I know. Although, for me, 1998-2003 were the years where year to year I started to see more and more films each year, although I’d always liked movies and such. My very first class talk was about the Oscars! I had a cardboard gold-painted oscar and everything! It was that time I started to read websites like Dark Horizons (never AICN. NEVER!) to get daily news on all the movies coming out and such. I started trying to see more “critically acclaimed” movies – me and my friends had to lie to sneak into Three Kings, went and saw The Insider at 10am on a Sunday because it was the only session me and my friend could go to. And then being rejected from seeing Being John Malkovich cause we were only 14 and it was rated MA15+.
    I remember watching The Matrix last year and thinking to myself “those phones are so 1999″. So there is datedness (is that a word?) it’s just that the fashion isn’t quite as set as an era yet. It’ll be interesting to see how something like The Devil Wears Prada plays in 10 years, for such a fashion conscious film.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    Look, I am 55

  23. Obviously Bugsy Malone slipped your mind?

  24. scooterzz says:

    cripes, i’m older than joe leydon….just fucking shoot me…….

  25. LexG says:

    Joe, I gotta concede, ’76 is a hell of a year.
    But it’s to my great shame that even though I pride myself on being at least somewhat of a ’70s connoisseur (despite being a mere 35), I have NO idea what Seven Beauties is.
    Kami, that’s interesting… I’m assuming you’re a bit younger than me; Lost in Translation and Moulin Rouge are certainly memorable movies of this… decade… but without consulting Maltin or IMDB, I’d have a hard time calling whether the latter was ’00 or ’01; Those two years in particular are a giant blur for me, just as ’02 and ’03 kinda blend together without distinction. Again, it must just be related to age or what’s going on in one’s life at that time; Maybe for whatever personal reasons, 1999 is the cutoff point for me; That stands out as a vivid year, and seems decades removed from the similarly excellent 1997.
    But anything from the 00s is one big blur of sameness– aside from the tendency for men to grow their hair longer than in the late 90s, clothes, music, fashions, that 00 color palate– it’s all kind of been stuck for 8 years now, IMO.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Kam: Actually, I still have the Bugsy Malone soundtrack — on vinyl…..
    Lex: Seven Beauties was a movie that would make anything supposedly “daring” today look timid…

  27. LexG says:

    After Taxi Driver (and maybe Rocky, Network, and President’s, though maybe before them….) my fave of ’76 might be ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, though I suspect many didn’t actually see it until years later.

  28. Lex, I’m resisting the urge to make jokes about our age, but yes I am a fair bit younger than you. 1998 was my first year of high school (er, Junior High? I don’t know what you system calls it). But from 1998 was when I really started to pay attention to movies and all the stuff, which is probably why they’re all so sticky in my mind. I’ve – for some reason – been having flashbacks to the day I saw The Faculty and The Matrix right after one another. I probably shouldn’t like the former, should I? :/
    Joe, that would be worth top dollar!

  29. TheVicuna says:

    LexG FUCKING OWNS for giving props to THE KEEP! Funny how it’s practically been erased, Stalinist History stylee, from Michael Mann’s c.v. I’ll take it any day of the week over the incoherent trainwrecks that are Ali and Miami Vice, bad rubber suit and all….

  30. TheVicuna says:

    LexG FUCKING OWNS for giving props to THE KEEP! Funny how it’s practically been erased, Stalinist History stylee, from Michael Mann’s c.v. I’ll take it any day of the week over the incoherent trainwrecks that are Ali and Miami Vice, bad rubber suit and all….

  31. movieman says:

    Yikes! Some of you guys ARE really babies!! 1998…1983 and 86….wow.
    I celebrated my 10th birthday in 1968 (you can starting writing my obit now, gang, lol), and that was as epochal a time as any for a precocious movie geek-brat like myself to cut his teeth. “Rosemary’s Baby,” “2001,” “Petulia,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Faces,” “Belle de Jour,” “Charlie Bubbles,” “Weekend,” “The Killing of Sister George,”….not to mention the 1967 movies that were just making it to northeastern Ohio (or, in the case of “Bonnie and Clyde,” returning) like “The Graduate” and “In Cold Blood.” Hell, I even have warm-and-fuzzy memories of two pissed-upon Dick Fleischer flicks from that era (“The Boston Strangler” and, yes, “Dr. Dolittle”), “Oliver!,” “Funny Girl,” “The Lion in Winter” and “Finian’s Rainbow.”
    You should’ve seen the looks my mom (or pop) would get when they bought me tickets to things like “Belle de Jour,” “Faces” or “Weekend.”
    “He’s read all the reviews and knows what to expect, so it’s OK,” they’d tell the clearly distressed theater manager who would reluctantly sell them a kiddie ticket.
    P.S.= I was snuck into a drive-in to see the X-rated “Sister George:” the same procedure used for “Midnight Cowboy,” “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?,” “Myra Breckinridge,” and “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.”
    Somehow my folks actually talked indoor theater personnel into letting me see “Last Summer,” “The Damned,” “Medium Cool” and “If…” back then–I’m still not sure how they did it, but I’m eternally grateful that they did!

  32. Cris, I just finished watch it. Russia’s entry was boring – I was totally cheering for Iceland and Greece. But I love Eurovision, so it really doesn’t matter. At least the emo kd lang circa Hiro from Heroes wasn’t competing again.

  33. Dr Wally says:

    Lex, how could you miss the mighty WarGames off your list of defining flicks of ’83? ‘Mr Potato Head! Mr Potato Head! Back doors are NOT secrets!’ New 2-disc DVD 25th Anniversary Edition is out July 6th, with all the trimmings for less than 15 notes. Incidentally, the guy who delivered that line went on to play the suicidal major at the start of Dances With Wolves.

  34. Martin S says:

    Not coincidentally, the years cited are connected to major Hollywood shifts.
    Valenti took hold of things in ’68 with the X rating, which launched the direction of studio films from Oliver towards Midnight Cowboy. That changed in ’75/’76 with the rebirth of the Big Movie from B concepts. 1982 was the year Coke bought Columbia, ushering in the international/corporate formula that was perfected in ’86 and went strong until ’97 when Titanic crushed the business model. 1998-’99 was the beginning of the digital era of filmmaking, encapsulated by The Matrix and is about to end with Avatar. From there, we could see a separation of Theatre and Home, 3D v 2D, but IIRC, Toshiba already has a home stereoscopic system but you have to sit somewhat close to get total immersion. So the next divide could be between platforms – personal players and theatre, which would change what kind of movie you wanted to see, 3D epic or arthouse/indie/cable series.
    Lex – the “old color” you’re talking about is two-fold. One is due to the muted tones that took hold in the 70’s because filmmakers saw “Technicolor Bright” unrealistic. Now Couple the massive decline of theatrical projection standards under Valenti with the inability of VHS or ancient TV set designs to register and disseminate the actual color spectrum of film, and you get a muted, washed-out movie. So whenever I would read “Movie X’s release on DVD hasn’t looked this good since the theater”, I got to laugh because it probably didn’t. Another reason everything looks the same today is because we’re not enough years away to pick out the greats.

  35. Goulet says:

    Cannes ceremony will air live here:
    French site, but I suppose they’re gonna do it bilingual style, unless it turns out that Sean Penn speaks fluent fran

  36. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Goulet — At what time should I click onto the site in order to see the ceremony? Does anyone know?
    LexG — You might be interested to know that on June 18th the Internet radio show Movie Geeks United! will be doing a 2 1/2 tribute show dedicated to the Summer of ’83. I am the show’s Home Entertainment Editor and a co-host. The show is hosted by the website
    movieman — You’re from Ohio? Do you know my man Mike Clark from USA Today? I did an in-depth interview with him for the site You can find it in the archives.

  37. movieman says:

    Hey, Jimmy- Me and Mike (Clark) are regular email buddies. Funny you should mention the interview: Mike recommended that I check it out when we first became acquainted. Great reading!
    I’ve always thought that Mike was/is one of America’s greatest (and, sadly, most underrated) critics. The “Film Critic Mafia” (most of them based in NYC and, seemingly, connected to FSLC in some way) never gave him the respect he deserves because he writes for a (ewww!) populist pub like USA Today.
    For my money, Mike Clark is the natural successor to Andrew Sarris (albeit far more pleasurable to read than dear Andy ever was, sorry to say): a dyed-in-the-wool auteurist who’s seen every damn movie ever made, remembers them all and can write pithily about every one.

  38. IOIOIOI says:

    This was called years ago. It’s 1984. That’s the year.

  39. The Pope says:

    Well nothing but surprises at Cannes.
    The Class wins Palme d’Or.
    Hunger, Camera d’Or.
    Benicio for Best Actor.
    Sandra Corveloni (A Line in Passage) Best Actress.
    Three Monkeys Best Director.

  40. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Mike Clark is indeed the man.
    My interview with him is still the one I’m most proud of. The man has a story for every movie. I know his schedule is crazy, but I do wish he had some kind of column/blog for him to write more expamsively.
    His Friday DVD column is a must read. Why DP doesn’t link to it every Friday morning is beyond me.

  41. LexG says:

    I actually forgot *both* John Badham gems from big, bad ’83: WarGames AND Blue Thunder. THE THUNDER along with PETER HYAMS’ THE STAR CHAMBER are like the 83est movies to ever 83.
    Well, except for maybe Steve Guttenberg in The Man Who Wasn’t There in 3-D. Or Smokey and the Bandit Part 3. Or SCREWBALLS.
    There’s just such a distinctive look to that year on film, with almost everything having been shot in slightly soft-focus 2.35:1, all guys in these super-tight shirts, women with huge friz hair, surprising amounts of nudity and sleaze, even in PG movies, those ambient synth drones…
    In between the Reagan-folksy years of ’82 and ’84, somehow ’83 is this sci-fi, apocalyptic, sleazy, New Wave, junky, chic, Euro-porn kind of vibe that instantly calls attention to itself on film.
    Jimmy… Interesting to hear about the upcoming Internet radio show! Thanks for the tip, and I’ll try my best to check it out.
    I’ve always, ALWAYS thought Mike Clark was an underrated, unsung critic. It always seems that (at least in LA) people are a little snotty toward USA Today, which is why he maybe doesn’t get his props, but as mainstream-venue crix go, he’s always a fun and interesting read.
    No offense to Claudia Puig, but she always seems so meat-and-potatos next to MC.
    On a wholly different subject, something I noticed during the excellent Benjamin Button trailer (Chucky, get ready….)
    NO name-checking. Not even a mention of Fincher… I don’t think they even name Pitt or Blanchett, and if they do, they do not allude to their Oscars/nominations. At least one man in New Jersey must be in his glory. Now I hope they book it in the correct Jersey theaters for him, and he can finally be happy.

  42. Drew says:

    I’ve come to the sudden and shocking realization that I may well know you. We worked together for a while… didn’t we?

  43. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m looking at the weekend b.o.numbers, and I have a question: Strictly in terms of budget/gross ratio, is Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay one of the most successful movies (if not THE most successful) of the year so far?

  44. LexG says:

    The identity of LexG is a closely guarded secret, so I cannot confirm that. Unless someone’s got the hookup with Olivia Thirlby or getting me on a reality show, I’d prefer not to give up who I am when I’m Clark Kent instead of THE LEXMAN.
    Plus it would totally ruin my street cred here for anyone to tell the haterz I’m probably the nicest guy in the world… at least when sober.

  45. lazarus says:

    So Drew, does Lex translate his ALL CAPS style into his speech, like how Regis Philbin shouts a few words every other sentence?
    You can feel Lex shaking in his boots that Drew is going to bring his entire persona crumbling to the ground.
    Am I the only one who expects DP to post another “Cannes Doesn’t Matter” article because Eastwood or Soderbergh didn’t win?

  46. LexG says:

    I’m not shaking in shit, son. If Drew does know The Real, then he knows it’s true that I OWN YOUR FUCKING ASS. But nice try, laz.
    Anyone see Turan on camera from Cannes delivering his expected RAVE of the new Clint? You could kind of tell he was forcing himself to praise it more than he probably liked it… he didn’t seem as disturbingly feverish as he usual does when singing Eastwood’s praises.
    (Note, Clint is one of my all-time faves, an icon for me… it’s just Turan bugs when he acts like Clint is the only director in the world who meets THE TURANMAN’s lofty, classic-Hollywood standards.)

  47. ployp says:

    Just saw on boxoffice mojo that Prince Caspian’s budget was $200 million!?! It’s not in Thailand yet so, for those of you who’s seen it, on what did they spend that?

  48. doug r says:

    Just saw on boxoffice mojo that Prince Caspian’s budget was $200 million!?! It’s not in Thailand yet so, for those of you who’s seen it, on what did they spend that?
    Posted by: ployp
    The usual: hookers and blow.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Oh Drew, please tell us all.
    Because the revelation of Lex’s identity could only force him to act like the cool, cinephile dude who actually knows what he’s talking about and not act like…the other dude.
    Lex, I agree with you: Eric Roberts’ Paul Snider is excellent, in a very underrated movie.

  50. movieman says:

    I was happy to see the love for “Star 80” (and Roberts’ ridiculously unheralded performance). I’ve always thought that was Fosse’s personal best–with “Cabaret” a close second.
    Yeah, I’m one of those people who hates change, and when Mike Clark stopped reviewing current releases in USA Today to concentrate on his (invaluable) weekly video column, it felt like the end of an era to me. Sort of like when Vincent Canby stopped reviewing movies in the Times (another great American film critic who never got the props he deserved; Canby was as responsible as Sarris for helping spread the auteurist gospel in America).
    And Puig? PU indeed. If I want crap writing like that I can always read Christie Lemiere off the wire. It’s definitely too bad Mike isn’t able to do a semi-regular blog feature on the USA Today website like their TV critic. I don’t give two shits what Puig thinks about a new movie; I want to hear the lowdown from The Man.

  51. movieman says:

    Interesting awards dispersement at Cannes.
    I liked how Penn spread the wealth among a number of (reportedly) worthy titles: also dig how he managed to invent a special award just for his boy Clint. (The special award to the ineffable Deneueve was pretty sweet, too.)
    The only “shocker” (OK, shockers) were the Director award to Ceylan for what the NY Times (among others) thought was a disappointment; and no Best Actress award for Jolie. And I’m guessing that Benicio’s (fairly predictable) win won’t be of much help in getting “Che” (or whatever they decide to call it after Soderbergh re-edits) into U.S. theaters anytime soon.
    Think maybe IFC (or somebody small-ish like Magnolia) will eventually pick it up and give it a 1-week Oscar qualifying run in late December?
    I was a huge fan of Cantet’s “Human Resources” and “Time Out,” so I’m really excited to see “The Class.” (His Charlotte Rampling flick–whose title momentarily escapes me–wasn’t in the same league, however.)

  52. Del Toro won? Does this mean Che might be good?

  53. LexG says:

    I’ll try and resist reprinting verbatim my thoughts from the official thread about it, but anyone wanna give me your take on “The Fall”?
    I was so completely unmoved and bored by a lot of, in spite of the incredible imagery… it left me pretty cold. But in hindsight, it certainly has a good deal of value and despite its similarities to Pan’s and Tideland, is a pretty unique experience. If completely daft.
    As I said elsewhere, after its use in ZARDOZ, IRREVERSIBLE and now this, Beethoven’s 7th can only signify that some pretentious maniac is about to drop the knowledge.

  54. I just walked in from SON OF RAMBOW and damn….if you guys haven’t seen that yet, get off the internet right this second and go see it now. What a great little film!

  55. berg says:

    I can believe you never heard of Seven Beauties despite being a 70s maven … but I cannot allow myself to possibly think that you don’t know which Lena Wermuller film was remade as Which Way is Up? starring Richard Pryor …

  56. The Pope says:

    RE: Spreading the wealth at Cannes.
    It is EXTREMELY rare that any film wins more than one award. I think that is one of the unwritten directives issued to the Jury… but of course it is within their discretion to do so.

  57. Unfortunately, Lex, The Fall hasn’t opened in Toronto, but I may yet see it on the big screen. That’ll have to wait until September and Universities free movie nights though.

  58. LexG says:

    Berg, this without consulting Maltin or IMDB, so I might be wrong…
    but was it a remake of SEDUCTION OF MIMI?
    Which Way Is Up? is pretty great. Completely dated now, as it’s so rooted in its time and place, but the theme song still rules, and Pryor is electric in that… the preacher character is especially funny, and it’s one of his edgier leading man comedies.

  59. lazarus says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Lena Wertmuller the last woman to be nominated for Best Director before Sofia Coppola?
    Haven’t seen the film.

  60. movieman says:

    Pope- I know the unwritten rule at Cannes is for the jury to spread the awards wealth around to encompass a variety of different films.
    But often the jury prez will say, “screw that!,” and one movie will virtually sweep. Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant” is just one example that springs to mind. (The Coens’ “Barton Fink” is another.)
    It’s always more interesting when a whole bunch of films get cited in separate categories (Palme d’Or, director, screenplay, actor, etc.).

  61. IOIOIOI says:

    The fact that we are getting a 25th anniversary DVD of War Games this year makes me incredibly happy. If only some people at Universal would honour Midnight Run with a 20th anniversary disc this year. That would be peachy keene. Nevertheless, this is for Heat: They announced the awards at Cannes? BIG WHOOPON DEAL!

  62. Blackcloud says:

    ^ Upon hearing that news earlier today, I wondered which of today’s current events humor shows is the equivalent of Laugh In, i.e., a show at the cusp of events, but which the zeitgeist quickly passes by. Colbert? Jon Stewart? Olberman? Something else?

  63. mutinyco says:

    Saw Indy at the Ziegfeld.
    Clone Wars trailer got huge applause. Hancock trailer got huge applause. Confusion during Hellboy until “The Director of Pan’s Labyrinth” appeared and got some applause. Dead silence during Benjamin Button, as it was mysterious — talking resumed a moment after it ended. And yes, huge applause at the end of Indy.
    Not sure how I feel about Indy. First 30 minutes were pretty great. I liked that it made no attempt to hide its glee at being a ridiculous B-movie. And I liked the bad 1950’s filmmaking techniques Spielberg threw in — like the scene at the diner where the camera very obviously establishes that the wall/window is directly behind Indy, but then cuts positions to over Indy’s shoulder, a location the camera very obviously cannot physically go. Between this and War of the Worlds, with their technical and formal winks and critiques, it’s almost as if Spielberg has become the Godard of blockbusters.

  64. doug r says:

    Well, one of our local theaters that was showing Speed Racer in DLP has shoved it back over to the 35mm screens to make room for-IRON MAN!
    So my wife and I went to see-IRON MAN!-me for the third and she for the second time. I believe she finds RDJ easy on the eyes for some reason. Hey, I feel much the same way about Gwenyth Paltrow.
    Thinking back, I think Iron Man is actually a better -made picture than Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Indy seemed a little lazy and what was with the soft-focus sunlight glow. I remember the previous three Indy movies being in the spirit of the old-time serials, but new including film stock. Raiders was the first picture I saw in 70mm six track and it was crisp and sharp.
    A lot of the CG seemed lazy, whereas the Iron Man CG didn’t really get noticeably in the way, except for that one testing sequence, but at least that was funny.

  65. leahnz says:

    my son’s been going on and on about going to see ‘bangkok’, i couldn’t figure out what the hell he’s on about, thought it must have had something to do with school, until i finally got him to slow down and describe the ‘bangkok’ movie to me and realised he’s talking about ‘hancock’ (saw the preview before indy)…weird kid

  66. mutinyco says:

    What’s the capitol of Thigh-land? Bang-kok! (Quick, cover up!)
    The difference between Iron Man and Indy is that Indy is commenting on Iron Man. Iron Man is a modern big-budget blockbuster with A-list talent state of the art FX and a huge budget — it takes itself seriously, and so have critics/audiences.
    Indy, on the other hand, is reminding people that all these big blockbusters of today have their origin in crap. Crappy B-movies. Crappy serials. Crappy comic books. And so on. They’re not art. They’re crap. Indy is intentionally a big-budget bunch of crap. It’s not trying to sell it’s audience on the realism of its FX — it’s calling attention to the fake sets and silly compositing.

  67. IOIOIOI says:

    They’re not art? They’re crap? [puts in the code for Joe Biden]… “BULLSHIT.”

  68. Leah, I thought you were going to see your son wants to see Bangkok Dangerous, in which case I’d be worried for all involved.

  69. leahnz says:

    same here, kam! ‘hancock’ was weird enough, considering we saw the ‘hulk’, ‘dark night’ and ‘kung fu panda’ trailers as well, and yet it was the surly, washed-up, unkempt superhero that really caught his attention…not sure what that means but i hope it doesn’t bode unwell for his future hygene…i wonder if ‘hancock’ is catching other kid’s fancies or it’s just my wee lad :-O

  70. LexG says:

    CHARLIZE THERON OWNS (even though they barely show her and don’t NAME-CHECK HER AT ALL in any of the ads, trailers or posters.)
    Seriously. It’s CHARLIZE THER-OWN.
    Not even a MENTION???????

  71. jeffmcm says:

    So the drinking happened between 1:05 and 1:09?
    Mutiny, Spielberg has been the Godard of blackbusters since The Lost World, with its cut from the mom screaming to Jeff Goldblum yawning. It’s why, even though he doesn’t care if his screenplays make sense, that Spielberg is one of the best directors working today. And I defy anyone to compare the action sequences from Indy and the action sequences from Iron Man and say that IM is a ‘better-made’ movie than IJatKotCS.

  72. LexG says:


  73. I just still can never forgive him for that ridiculous gymnastics scene with the raptor (or whatever it was). Just… awful. The worst thing Spielberg has ever done. And I’m including the end of War of the Worlds and Robin Williams in Hook.

  74. And by “him” I mean The Lost World. Spielberg continues to infuriate me, but I still see his movies. The Lost World, on the other hand, I’ve only returned to once and I don’t care to go back again.

  75. Earl Hofert says:

    I believe that Jane Campion had a Best Director nomination for The Piano in between Wertmuller and Coppola

  76. The Pope says:

    I am delighted and intrigued by the silence which greeted the Button trailer. Now THAT is impact. Cheering and booing are by now, well codified responses to trailers. From “it’s going to suck” to “can’t wait”… but rarely do you get utter silence. Amazement? Wow factor?
    Unless of course, the silence was utter indifference.
    It is going back a LOOONG time, but I remember seeing the trailer for A Dry White Season and everyone was yapping and then Brando’s name appeared and … you could hear a popcorn drop… the trailer was meh and so was the movie… but that moment was great.

  77. Roman says:

    “”Indiana Jones” hits $311 million worldwide
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” chased down $311.1 million from moviegoers around the world, as nostalgic fans brought along their children to watch Harrison Ford’s latest escapades, distributor Paramount Pictures said on Monday.
    The tally included $151.1 million from the United States and Canada — the second-highest Memorial Day holiday weekend opening in history — and $160 million from No. 1 launches in 61 other countries, the studio said.
    Foreign highlights included $24 million in Britain and $14 million in France. Sales in France were boosted by the hype surrounding its glitzy world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera last Sunday.”
    This is extremely impressive. I’d like to see desperate reporters trying to to put a bad spin on this one.

  78. christian says:

    Only 311 million? And a sequel 19 years later starring a 65 year old man? I’m sorry, Paramount.

  79. lazarus says:

    Kamikaze you’re right on the money with The Lost World. It may be winking at the audience, but it’s one of the most soulless enterprises from an auteur that I’ve ever seen. Forget the fact that the film and book sequel were only done for the money, but you can barely even tell this film was made by Spielberg. It’s a piece of shit.
    Earl: Thanks for the correction. I should have remembered Campion. Too bad they didn’t nod Striesand for Yentl, or the Academy could have boasted have one woman per decade for the last four!

  80. lazarus says:

    Kamikaze you’re right on the money with The Lost World. It may be winking at the audience, but it’s one of the most soulless enterprises from an auteur that I’ve ever seen. Forget the fact that the film and book sequel were only done for the money, but you can barely even tell this film was made by Spielberg. It’s a piece of shit.
    Earl: Thanks for the correction. I should have remembered Campion. Too bad they didn’t nod Striesand for Yentl, or the Academy could have boasted have one woman per decade for the last four!

  81. lazarus says:

    Kamikaze you’re right on the money with The Lost World. It may be winking at the audience, but it’s one of the most soulless enterprises from an auteur that I’ve ever seen. Forget the fact that the film and book sequel were only done for the money, but you can barely even tell this film was made by Spielberg. It’s a piece of shit.
    Earl: Thanks for the correction. I should have remembered Campion. Too bad they didn’t nod Striesand for Yentl, or the Academy could have boasted have one woman per decade for the last four!

  82. jeffmcm says:

    The gymnastics stuff is stupid, but the movie is far from a ‘piece of shit’.

  83. Hallick says:

    “I am delighted and intrigued by the silence which greeted the Button trailer. Now THAT is impact. Cheering and booing are by now, well codified responses to trailers. From “it’s going to suck” to “can’t wait”… but rarely do you get utter silence. Amazement? Wow factor?”
    I don’t know. I just saw it for the first time today before Indiana Jones, and as fascinating as it looks, I felt like I saw too much. It was like somebody took a realllllllly long ruler and pulled a clip from ever notch from beginning to end. I still really want to see it but fuck you fucking asshole trailer producers for that. That sucked.

  84. Hallick says:

    “I guess ten years old is the official year for movie completism geekiness, because I was that age in ’83, and I’ll thus-”
    I’m the same age as LexG? Whoa…

  85. doug r says:

    There was some of the story wheels grinding in Jurassic Park, especially the amusement-parky slide of the Ford Explorer down the tree, but The Lost World was full of that. The vehicle and trailer sequence just seems so calculated and massless.
    Compare that with JP3-Joe Johnston’s movie has way more life and really grabs you, especially the kick-the-can sequence.

  86. jeffmcm says:

    Jurassic Park 3 is a perfectly okay movie…it’s just that I can barely remember it. Johnston is no Spielberg.

  87. It’s a shame JP3 ended with that stupid “take the egg!” bit. Apart from Tea Leoni at that point the movie was actually pretty damn good, but that ending was just ridiculous. The pteteotactyl (sp?) sequence though was better than any of the good parts The Lost World did have.

  88. THX5334 says:

    Lex, I told you I would and could easily get you on one of the major reality shows, but you never got at me…

  89. Hopscotch says:

    I wrote this on another thread, but I’ll tack in onto this one too. I’ve got nothing but high hopes for Benjamin Button. My worry is while Pitt has been good in some movies (two by David Fincher for sure), he’s never had a gift for accents. And that opening southern drawl narration…hhhhmmm. I hope he pulls it off.
    And Jesus H does the end of the trailer give away the last shot of the movie??
    The Lost World blows. There are lots of reasons to dislike it, JP3 is pretty lame too.
    I predict that Sex and The City will have a HUGE opening weekend, then nosedive.

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4