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Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest Forrest@moviecitynews.com

Fall Movie Preview Part I

It’s that time once again, boys and girls: good movies are just around the corner. As much as I bemoan the fact that studios seem intent on releasing films seasonally – stinkers in the first few months, blockbusters in the summer, prestige films in the fall – it is nice to know that the films that will be released in the next four months will mostly be aiming a bit higher. Summer films are like going on vacation; you’re excited to go, you don’t mind being a little bit lazy, you get a little bit sunburned and you can’t wait to get home. After the big-budget, explosion-laded flicks of the last few months, I’m excited to delve into something meatier.

Release dates are, of course, subject to abrupt change (just as Entertainment Weekly), but what follows is an outline of what to expect in the coming months:

September 5

Bangkok Dangerous (Dir. The Pang Brothers) – Okay, this is probably not the most auspicious way to start the summer; a Nicolas Cage actioner, remade from a 1999 Thai flick that was also directed by the Pangs. I never saw the original, but apparently it was about a hitman in…Bangkok and I’m guess it gets…dangerous?

Nicolas Cage has long been one of the more frustrating actors because he vacillates between dreck like Ghost Rider or Next and terrific turns in films like Adaptation and Matchstick Men. He is definitely a talent, but he’s also become one of Hollywood’s premier sellouts who is cruising lazily through underwhelming films when he could be wowing us like he did inLeaving Las Vegas.

Fun Fact: the last time Nicolas Cage starred in a remake that was released in September was The Wicker Man!

Other Releases: Anne Hathaway starring in Rodrigo Garcia’s plane crash creeperPassengers with Patrick Wilson.

September 12

Burn After Reading (Dir. The Coen Brothers) – Fresh off their Oscar success for No Country For Old Men, the Coens return with an offbeat comedy about a CIA agent, two gym employees and blackmail. Oh, and it stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.

With a cast like that and the Coens seemingly on top of their game, it would be hard for this film to miss. My only reservation is that Clooney has been the star of two of my least favorite Coen films (O Brother Where Art Thou and Intolerable Cruelty), which is strange because I love the Coens and I love Clooney. I’m hoping the third time is the charm.

Early word on the script is that this one is a winner; a return to their zany, Raising Arizonaesque ways. This one probably won’t be the awards winner that No Country was, but hopefully it will be just as great.

Fun Fact: The last time the Coens won an Oscar (for Fargo), they returned with the classicThe Big Lewbowski. Hopefully history will repeat itself and they’ll follow up a terrific crime drama with an even more astounding comedy.

The Women (Dir. Diane English) – This film has been long-delayed, which isn’t usually a good sign. It’s always interesting to see the final product of a film that has been stuck in development hell because the end result is usually not what the authors intended. For this remake of the classic 1939 flick, Diane Englishhas been toiling away, trying to assemble a star-studded female cast to rival that of the original. With names like Rosalind Russell, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford being replaced by the likes of Meg Ryan, Annette Bening and Eva Mendes, I don’t think the wattage is nearly the same (in terms of star power oracting ability).

The original film concerns a society woman who finds that her husband is having an affair with a shopgirl. The original is a film that has scene after scene of women talking in rooms and it’s never boring for a second. The trailers for this remake have clearly opened things up a bit more, but it also seems as if they’ve dumbed things down considerably as well. Remaking a classic is always a tricky proposition and often a losing one; as is the case with most films mired in development, I doubt this one will be worth the wait. But I hope I’m wrong.

Fun Fact: Julia Roberts was attached to this film at one point, which definitely would have upped the star quotient.

Other Releases: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up for the first time since Heat in Jon Avnet’s Righteous Kill and unfortunately Avnet is no Michael Mann; Alan Ball’s long-delayed Towelhead hits theaters the same week his HBO show True Blood premieres; Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys will most likely dominate the weekend box office, followed by articles written by dumbfounded journalists who never saw this “surprise” coming.

September 19

Appaloosa (Dir. Ed Harris) – It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a real, honest-to-goodness Western to be excited about. The last one that really qualified as a classic oater was Kevin Costner’s underrated Open Range. Once again, it takes an actor stepping behind the camera to bring us horses in the desert and this time it’s Ed Harris, who brought us the biopic Pollock. Starring alongside Harris are Viggo Mortensen (a man who seems like he was born to be a Western hero) and Renee Zellweger.

The story follows two cops (Mortensen and Harris) saving a small town from a mean rancher. In other words, it sounds like typical, gritty Western material that doesn’t fit the revisionist mold.

After Unforgiven, I was unsure if any other Western would be able to play it straight ever again. That Clint Eastwood film was so dark and realistic that it seemed like it would be hard to get back there again; but with Costner’s Open Range and last year’s remake 3:10 to Yuma paving the way for classic Westerns to be relevant again, I’m hoping this will be the one that really hits it out of the park.

Fun Fact: the last time Mortensen and Harris teamed up, we got the excellent, Westernish A History of Violence.

Lakeview Terrace (Dir. Neil LaBute) – There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Neil LaBute and those who detest him. I was one of the people who loved him, until he made the detestable remake of The Wicker Man. With this film, about an interracial couple that moves next door to a dangerous LAPD officer, I’m hoping LaBute is getting back to his roots. Hot button topics like sexism and racism have been manipulated in the past to great effect by LaBute in his wonderful films Your Friends and Neighbors and The Shape of Things and this one seems right in his wheelhouse.

I’m betting this will be a return to form for LaBute, although it is a bit worrisome that the plot is reminiscent of the Michael Keaton-Melanie Griffith flick Pacific Heights.

Fun Fact: this is the first film directed by LaBute that he hasn’t written since Nurse Betty.

Other Releases: Keira Knightley in a corset, starring alongside Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess, which is based on either 18th century aristocrat Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire or a Fergie album; Stuart Townsend’s directorial debut Battle in Seattle putsCharlize Theron in the middle of the WTO riots; long-delayed Star Wars geek flick Fanboysfinally get release in one of the hundreds of versions they cut; Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear try to remake Over Her Dead Body in David Koepp’s Ghost Town; the words “Dakota Fanning rape flick” will hopefully stop being uttered once Hounddog gets released; the genius of Howard Deutch will be foisted upon the world with the help of Dane Cook andKate Hudson in My Best Friend’s Girl.

September 26

Miracle at St. Anna (Dir. Spike Lee) – Words cannot express how excited I am to see this film. I’ve long written about my adoration of Spike Lee’s films and now we get to see him attack a genre he has yet to tackle: the war film. Lee has an uncanny ability to capture quiet moments in a loud way and loves shining a bright light on some of the most fragile issues and this gives him an opportunity to do both. I can’t wait to see how a Spike Lee war film is photographed, with the aid of the brilliant cinematographer Matthew Libatique.

The film follows four members of an all-black unit during World War II, trapped behind enemy lines in Tuscany. It is based on a novel by James McBride, who also did the honors of adapting it into script form. Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso and Omar Benson Miller play the four soldiers, with support from John Turturro, Kerry Washington andJoseph Gordon-Levitt.

Ignore all the lame trash talk between Lee and Clint Eastwood because all that truly matters is what ends up on screen. While I didn’t have the issues with Eastwood’s WWII pictures that Spike did, I didn’t fall in love with them either. Despite all of his brash bravado, Spike is one of the more compassionate and contemplative filmmakers today. At the heart of all his films is a humanist and hopeful message, which should fit perfectly in a film about the last great war.

Fun Fact: Terence Blanchard will be providing the score for this film, as he has for each of Spike’s films since Jungle Fever.

Blindness (Dir. Fernando Meirelles) – Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener was one of my favorite films of the last ten years, a film that looks at the macro and the micro, examining some of the larger problems of the world while crafting an intimate portrait of what love is. It’s really an astounding motion picture that takes what Meirelles did in City of God and expands on it, giving the later film a humanity and compassion that his first feature didn’t quite have. And I’m hoping that if Meirelles keeps growing as a filmmaker at the same rate he has so far, then Blindness should be an absolute masterpiece despite the so-so reviews from Cannes.

The film stars Julianne Moore as the only person that can see in a town that suddenly goes blind. Mark Ruffalo, Danny Gloverand Gael Garcia Bernal add their support in this adaptation ofJose Saramago’s novel.

With a film that has this much talent both behind the camera and in front of it, I can’t imagine it could possibly miss the mark.

Fun Fact: Don McKellar, co-writer and co-star of the excellent 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and The Red Violin, is the screenwriter.

Eagle Eye (Dir. D.J. Caruso) – Shia LaBeouf reteaming with his Disturbia director in a film that is based on an “idea” by Steven Spielberg seems like a surefire, can’t miss, mass-market thriller. Caruso wowed me with his first feature, the little-seen The Salton Sea, and I actually found his follow-up Taking Lives to be an effective suspense flick. Two for the Money was an embarrassment to everyone involved and I’ll give him a mulligan, but Disturbiawas actually one of the better Rear Window knock-offs that was actually a lot of fun despite the lame ending. Caruso has a great eye and understands pace better than a lot of filmmakers, never outstaying his welcome and is often able to ratchet up the tension which should make him a good fit for this outing.

The film stars LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan as two strangers who are brought together by mysterious phone calls and an elaborate conspiracy. Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thornton co-star.

Despite LaBeouf’s recent appearances in the gossip columns and his unfortunate turn as Tarzan the vine-swinger, he’s proven to be an engaging leading man. This will be the first time that we’ll see him in a film that really requires him to ease up on the wisecracks and we’ll see how he handles toplining an action flick.

Fun Fact: Spielberg’s idea was so huge it required four (credited) screenwriters to rush this film into production!

Other Releases: Clark Gregg’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s wickedly acerbic Chokestarring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston; The Illusionist filmmaker Neil Burger takes a stab at trying to make money with an Iraq War film with The Lucky Ones starring Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Pena; Richard Gere and Diane Lane team up once again in Nights in Rodanthe, let’s just hope things work out better for them as a couple than they did in Unfaithful.
October 3

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Dir. Peter Sollett) – Sollett finally returns behind the camera after his remarkable debutRaising Victor Vargas came out six years ago. This time he’s got another romantic-comedy-drama set in New York City, but this one is based on a novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Oh, and it also stars Superbad superstar Michael Cera as Nick and the scene-stealing Kat Dennings, who you may remember from Charlie Bartlett or The 40 Year Old Virgin (or maybe Raise Your Voice).

The story follows those two kids as they meet-cute at a concert and spend the rest of the evening getting to know each other. I guess it’s kind of like Before Sunrise for emo kids, with a dash of Apatow thrown in for good measure.

I have high hopes for this film, being a fan of the leads and Sollett, but the trailer looked a little too American Pie for my tastes.

Fun Fact: American Pie filmmakers Chris and Paul Weitz produced this flick.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (Dir. Robert B. Weide) – Simon Pegg looks to continue his run of being Americanized in this adaptation of a popular memoir about a British writer who works at a Vanity Fair type of magazine and promptly loses his soul. Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox and Jeff Bridges help speed up the process.

Fun Fact: this film has the worst trailer ever (here).
Rachel Getting Married (Dir. Jonathan Demme) – This one is a bit of a cheat because I’ve seen it already in a slightly unfinished form. I will say that while Anne Hathaway andRosemarie DeWitt excellent in it, I want to start beating the Best Supporting Actor drum forBill Irwin. He plays the patriarch of the fractured clan and he is so damn good that I couldn’t stop shaking my head, awed by how effortlessly he brings both pathos and humor to the role.

The film is Jonathan Demme’s return to his genre-bending 80’s films and Anne Hathawaystars as Kym, fresh out of rehab to attend her sister Rachel’s (DeWitt) wedding. Debra Winger also stars as their mother.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the film has beautiful music, excellent performances and a few surprises I didn’t see coming.

Fun Fact: Demme’s first original film after the back to back remakes of The Manchurian Candidate and Charade.

Other Releases: David Zucker’s right-wing slapstick An American Carol comes out in time to remind us that Republicans aren’t funny; Beverly Hills Chihuahua comes out in time to qualify for the Oscars; Bill Maher smugly makes fun of religion in Religulous; Guy Ritchietries to wipe the stink of Revolver off of him with the Gerard Butler vehicle RockNRolla; Barry Levinson directs the adaptation of the seminal Art Linson book What Just Happened? starring Robert De Niro as the producer that is trying desperately to get his lead actor to shave his beard.

October 10

Body of Lies (Dir. Ridley Scott) – Leonardo DiCaprio andRussell Crowe starring in a film written by The Departed’sWilliam Monahan should have anybody excited; even me, the man questions the genius of Sir Ridley. I feel with the right actors and the right script, Ridley should have no problem putting the right elements together as he has in Blackhawk Down andMatchstick Men.

The plot concerns an ex-journalist (DiCaprio) who is working for a CIA agent (Crowe) to locate an Al-Qaeda leader. So we have a timely story, great actors, Oscar-winning screenwriter…what could possibly go wrong?

The first trailer indicates that perhaps something went wrong. DiCaprio with a horrible Southern accent, Crowe gaining a bunch of weight unnecessarily, I’m hoping and praying that Ridley Scottactually did some, you know, directing and didn’t just cater to his actors’ every whim. I’m going to believe that this film will eventually be a player come awards time, but that first trailer made me a little nervous.

Fun Fact: this will be Russell Crowe’s fourth film with Sir Ridley.

Other Releases: Bill Murray teams up with Monster House director Gil Kenan in the sci-fi kid flick City of Ember starring Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan; Dexter’s sisterJennifer Carpenter stars in Quarantine, a Cloverfieldish flick about a building that’s been, um, quarantined; Mike Leigh does his thing with Happy-Go-Lucky, a film that I’m sure will be as over-praised as all his previous social comedies; Rob Brown who has been a basketball player in Finding Forrester and Coach Carter will now turn to football and try to win the Heisman Trophy in The Express co-starring Dennis Quaid.

October 17

W. (Dir. Oliver Stone) – The long awaited biopic of our current president is finally here and it’s not going to be made-for-television. Nope, there’s actually a real filmmaker and lots of real actors (Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Thandie Newton, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn and a host of others) lining up to play real-life cabinet and family members in this wholly unnecessary film.

The film has something to do with a guy named George W. Bush who basically screws up everything in his life, somehow gets elected president and proceeds to screw up everything in everyone’s life. And we all know that when you want fair and balanced, Oliver Stone is the guy you go to.

Whether or not this film is intentionally aiming for comedy is kind of pointless because it is near-impossible to tell the story of a president’s life while he is still in office. When Stone made Nixon thirteen years ago, everyone thought they had a good handle of what kind of president Nixon was; however, time has colored Nixon’s presidency a little bit differently. Wmight be an entertaining diversion now, but there is virtually no chance that it will be a lasting document of our idiot president; it can be no more penetrating than the thousands of articles that are written about him daily. Maybe five years could have provided some perspective.

Fun Fact: Dick Cheney has an uncredited role as a police official in Die Hard With a Vengeance.

The Secret Life of Bees (Dir. Gina Prince-Blythewood) – Prince-Blythewood gave us the very good Love and Basketball and she finally returns with a follow-up eight years later. This one stars Dakota Fanning and Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson as her housekeeper in 1964 South Carolina. They flee an abusive household and wind up in the care of three beekeeping sisters played by Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okenedo. It’s based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd.

This is the kind of film that is hard to make and is especially hard to make well. Films that deal with racial prejudice, especially ones involving children and hoping to appeal to families, are difficult. When dealing with our country’s racial history, it’s important to take a long, sober look at the tragedy. Denzel Washington’s film The Great Debaters did this to great effect, knowing that it was more important to get the history right than it was to appeal to family audiences.

Dakota Fanning burst onto the scene years ago with great promise, but unfortunately has been lost in big-budget spectacles like Charlotte’s Web and War of the Worlds; she is such a great young talent and this sounds like the kind of film that would enable her to sink her teeth in and help us to see if she can make the transition from child actor to plain old actor. And Jennifer Hudson gets to show us that Dreamgirls wasn’t just a fluke and that she can act even when she isn’t belting out show-stopping numbers.

Fun Fact: Nate Parker, star of The Great Debaters, has a supporting role in this one.

Other Releases: A film about three kids driving cross-country so that one of them can get laid, Sex Drive, might be worth looking for because Clark Duke is in it; Greg Kinnear andGilmore Girls’ wonderful Lauren Graham take on the auto industry in Flash of Genius; Mark Wahlberg stars in the videogame adaptation Max Payne alongside Mila Kunis.

October 24

The Brothers Bloom (Dir. Rian Johnson) – Rian Johnson wrote and directed the teen detective picture Brick, which I thought was a great first feature that showed a lot of promise and a few flaws. The Brothers Bloom is his follow-up flick starring Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody as conmen brothers with Rinko Kikuchi filling out their gang. They set their sights on the wealthy Rachel Weisz in a film that looks somewhat reminiscent of lighthearted con flicks like The Sting.

Flicks about con men are hard to pull off (see Confidence, Criminal, etc.), but the best recent ones like The Grifters or The Spanish Prisoner (or really anything by Mamet) have labyrinthine plots that make perfect sense at the end. The important thing is to remember the lesson taught to us by Houdini: misdirection. With actors like Brody, Weisz, and Ruffalo in front of the camera, I’m hoping we’ll be properly distracted.

Fun Fact: Brick’s femme fatale Nora Zehetner returns for Johnson’s second outing.

Changeling (Dir. Clint Eastwood) – I have had a strange relationship with Eastwood over the last few years. The films of his that most people love (Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River), I detested and the ones that people detested (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Space Cowboys) I love. I’m not usually such a contrarian, but I find Eastwood is at his best when he doesn’t get too maudlin because I find it a bit suffocating. Well, unfortunately for me this film sounds as somber as could be, about the real-life story of a woman whose child goes missing. When he is returned to her, she is convinced that the child she gets back is not hers.

The good news for me is that Angelina Jolie is playing the mother. After her truly exquisite turn in last year’s A Mighty Heart, I’m willing to follow her anywhere. This role will also require her to be in a fair amount of distress and nobody does distress quite like her.

Fun Fact: this is the first of two films Eastwood directed that are coming out in the next few months. The other is December’s Gran Torino.

Pride and Glory (Dir. Gavin O’Connor) – Edward Norton and Colin Farrell star in a film about a family of New York City police officers that is embroiled in a corruption scandal. Somehow this film is not directed by James Gray, instead it’s directed by O’Connor who brought us the fun hockey flick Miracle and Tumbleweeds.

Farrell has had a good year so far, giving great turns in both Cassandra’s Dream and In Bruges, opening my eyes to how wonderful he can be in the right performance, especially in crime dramas. This film definitely seems to fit into that mold and we’ll see if he can make it 3 for 3; if he does, then I think the man deserves an Oscar nod for being able to turn in three excellent performances in a role.

Norton segues from The Incredible Hulk into this one, even though this film was shot first and sat on the shelf for a while. I’m hoping Norton, in a role that doesn’t give him an opportunity to do an accent or to rely on any actorly tics, will remind us how subtle and powerful he can be.

Fun Fact: Co-written by Narc’s Joe Carnahan.

Synecdoche, New York (Dir. Charlie Kaufman) – The guy who wrote the most original films of the last ten years (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will always have my admiration for subverting the ideas of what you can write in a script. For his directorial debut, Charlie Kaufman has Philip Seymour Hoffman as a theater director whose life works involves creating an exact replica of New York City in a giant warehouse for a play about his life. Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, and Emily Watson are the indie dream babes providing the support.

The film got decidedly poor reviews at Cannes, but I won’t believe that until I see it. With a one-of-a-kind talent like Kaufman and an actor like Hoffman, I don’t see how it could miss unless Kaufman truly went off the deep end. And if that’s the case, then it should at least be fun to watch.

Fun Fact: frequent director of Kaufman scripts, Spike Jonze, serves as a producer.

Other Releases: Zac Efron makes girls squeal in High School Musical 3; Jigsaw somehow comes back for more money in Saw V; Wayne Kramer’s long-delayed border dramaCrossing Over comes out, with Harrison Ford wearing a fedora and using his whip as a customs agent.

October 31

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Dir. Kevin Smith) – I really do love Kevin Smith. I read his blog, I bought his book, own each of his DVDs and laugh at the commentaries and have watched his Evening with Kevin Smith DVDs multiple times. The Clerks Animated SeriesDVD that I bought doesn’t work anymore because I watched it too many times (oh man, the Anime ending to the courtroom episode is brilliant). I even started watching Veronica Marsbecause he recommended it on his blog and I wound up loving it. I simply like the man, I find him funny and I think he’s got good taste.

Having said that, his movies have been hit and miss for me. Clerks and Mallrats both hold a special place in my heart, since I watched both of them hundreds of times during my early teen years. Chasing Amy is his masterpiece, a film that is remarkably insightful about relationships (both friendly and intimate) and I’m hoping his new film resembles it in spirit.Dogma has some great scenes and is incredibly ballsy, but falls flat towards the end. After that, I haven’t been a fan of most of his films; laughed a bit, but been disappointed ultimately that he never got back to that line he straddled with Chasing Amy where he mixed the profane and the poignant.

With Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks attached to a film called Zack and Miri Make a Porno, I have a feeling this might be Kevin Smith once again taking a stab at Chasing Amymaterial: take a controversial topic, put a love story around it, add that classic Kevin Smithdialogue and hopefully you’ve got a great flick. Rogen has shown in Knocked Up that he can be both hilarious and heartfelt and Banks is only one of the most underrated comedic actresses working today (just take a look at her work on Scrubs). This one could be really good and really funny.

Fun Fact: porn star and HBO sex expert Katie Morgan lends her ample support to the project.

Other Releases: Gossip Girl’s dreamboat Chace Crawford stars in The Haunting of Molly Hartley.

– Noah Forrest
August 27, 2008

Noah Forrest is a 25 year old aspiring writer/filmmaker in New York City.

The opinions expressed in these columns are the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Movie City News or any of its editors or other contributors.

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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