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David Poland

By David Poland

Nikki Finally Passes Into Unredeemable

I’ll keep it brief.
Nikki Finke, apparently exhausted by pretending to report anything, is now exposing exactly what she does and who she is. “Irresponsible, willfully ignorant, mean-spirited hack,” comes to mind first.
And everyone knows it.
And no one wants to say it out loud

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31 Responses to “Nikki Finally Passes Into Unredeemable”

  1. cjKennedy says:

    I’m happily ignorant of the business end of things when it comes to movies so can you please explain something to me?
    I understand Finke and Friedman are both rooting for Valkyrie to become a UA destroying mega-bomb (why is a little more mysterious, but I suspect it would be clear if I paid more attention to either one of them), but how does an internal memo rah-rahing the splash some new Valkyrie marketing materials have made add fuel to Nikki’s fire? How is this an example of “up is down” and “left is right”?

  2. storymark says:

    Was there an actual correction somewhere in there?

  3. David Poland says:

    It’s nothing, cj… just Nikki showing that she got a private e-mail and continuing to shred for self-aggrandizement. I doubt this will have the same happy ending as her attacks on Michael Clayton, but we’ll see…
    Not sure what the question is, storymark.

  4. cjKennedy says:

    Just to prove her and Friedman wrong, I hope the movie walks off with big box office and multiple Oscars, but sadly it doesn’t seem like that kind of movie.
    I doubt his cameo in Tropic Thunder has fully redeemed Cruise in the eyes of the mass audience and this doesn’t feel like it’s built for Oscars despite the December release date.
    As a straightforward action thriller, I’m kind of looking forward to it, but even if it’s a good one, Nikki will be able to crow about its failure.

  5. LexG says:

    Take that shit to the BANK.

  6. Rothchild says:

    I wish Nikki Finke would just go away. She hates movies. I have no idea why she would go on and on about The Women and shit all over this movie when it’s apparently pretty great. Who knows whether it will make money domestically or not, but crazier things have happened.
    And that is a very good trailer.

  7. David Poland says:

    I don’t really care whether she likes or hate Valkyrie or The Women or anything else.
    The problem is, she has seen neither, has no interest in seeing either, and has no significant information that leads to her opinions, aside from people with something to sell whispering in her ear.
    That is what is so terribly inappropriate. It’s the lie of objectivity when there is none… and no actual info to inspire the subjectivity.

  8. mysteryperfecta says:

    And Valkyrie is bad because its release date has been shuffled around. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

  9. EthanG says:

    At what point can I refer to you as Keith Olbermann and Nikki as Bill O’Reilly?

  10. jeffmcm says:

    A movie getting its release date moved around only means that the studio doesn’t know what to do with it. There are plenty of good/great/excellent movies that your standard studio marketing department didn’t know what to do with in the past that got the same fumbling treatment.
    That said, I understand they did two months of reshoots on Valkyrie, which suggests that there was something pretty wrong with it.

  11. David Poland says:

    I wish Nikki was nearly as serious about her work as O’Reilly is. Bill-O may be a self-indulgent idiot, but he offers a real perspective that is of his own creation. He may have dumb ideas about politics, but he has ideas.
    Nikki offers no insight, no real argument… nothing but regurgitated gossip.
    I suppose I can accept the idea that I bloviate in Olberman ways. But Nikki isn’t up to carrying Bill-O’s jock, much less wearing it.

  12. David Poland says:

    Mystery… again, you simplify too much.
    When a movie moves from a summer to the fall to the spring, there is little question how the studio feels about the product. Not good. And unlike what J-Mc says, there are VERY few examples of good movies that have been mishandled this way.
    It is likely that the real reason that Valkyrie was moved into December were financial. MGM has no pay-TV deal after Jan 1. They are having issues with financing and the 2008 date may be due to that as well.
    As far as the movie, I have not heard horrible things about it, ever. I have heard some negative stuff about Cruise, but less about the film. And some very positive stuff about the movie.
    Business is business. Art is art. They are no often well integrated into studio thinking.
    I always wait until I see a movie that seems to be aspiring to anything of value before I decide what I think of a film. Sure, Valkyrie could be the best movie of the year. The strong odds against that start without any of the details of the flubbed distribution.
    But I also don’t buy into the recent rush of excitement from more people who have not seen the film. That is what publicists are there to stoke.
    Funny side story… a movie has been getting a certain kind of buzz and one element of the film has been given a lot of positive buzz lately. Why? Not many have seen the film. And people close to the film disagree with the assessment that has been published all over town. But one group have pushed this one element based on a couple of voices that, like all anonymous voices, cannot be trusted… not because they have to be wrong, but because we have no way of judging.
    It happens all the time.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    DP, your idea of a good movie (or the studios’) is probably not the same as mine.

  14. David Poland says:

    Not really relevant, J-Mc.
    That’s kinda my point.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Not following you. I’ll reiterate: a studio not knowing what do with a movie is not the same thing as a movie being bad. They may correlate, but not precisely.

  16. David Poland says:

    J-Mc… you tend to talk like someone who doesn’t know anyone who makes decisions at studios, whose idea of execs comes from raging, populist rants and not from any reality.
    Execs sell Kool-Aid. Sometimes they drink it themselves. But in the end, they know when movies don’t work and when they do. And when they fall in between – which is probably where Valkyrie is – and they aren’t comfortable with the marketing approach and/or the movie, that is when it gets weird.
    But was there enough additional revenue in Jesse James, for instance, to make a decision by WB to invest another $10m – $20m in going wider make sense? Probably not… no matter how great the movie.
    Some at Par loved Fincher’s Zodiac. Others hated it. But they did launch it and launch it wide. And it never had a week with a drop of less than 50%. Why? Because it has a limited audience. And that’s okay.
    I’ve been in this for a pretty long time. I, obviously, think a lot of mistakes are made. And I am wrong about that sometimes too. But I have come to understand that there is a thought behind everything that is very well thought out. Often, when the execs are claiming publicly has nothing to do with their real thinking. Why? Because the truth has all kinds of downsides.
    Of course a studio having problems selling a movie and the movie being bad do not necessarily match. Nor does the studio knowing exactly how to position the movie and its quality. Duh. But certain choices are absolutely clear – albeit occasionally, but rarely inaccurate – signals.
    When your fourth release slot on a Tom Cruise movie is a late december Oscar slot, it is NOT a good sign on any level. But the movie is the movie is the movie.
    Flip side, no one is saying that Potter is being released next summer because it sucks.
    The movie itself is not really the issue for the public until the 2nd weekend of release. And before that, all truths are in play.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    We are obviously talking about two different sets of criteria. I’m purely talking about the movie itself and not the business side. If this movie is more Jesse James than Mission Impossible 3, that sounds fine and dandy to me just as it would be horrifying to any studio exec.

  18. LexG says:

    Own him, Poland.
    OWN HIM.

  19. mysteryperfecta says:

    “It is likely that the real reason that Valkyrie was moved into December were financial. MGM has no pay-TV deal after Jan 1. They are having issues with financing and the 2008 date may be due to that as well.
    As far as the movie, I have not heard horrible things about it, ever. I have heard some negative stuff about Cruise, but less about the film. And some very positive stuff about the movie. ”
    None of that matters, DP. Valkyrie is dead. There is NO SUCH THING as a movie being moved from summer to fall to spring. Obviously, the awards issue is moot.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Lex, I’m agreeing with you (partially) that the movie looks fun, although I think Cruise is going to be the weakest link in the cast.

  21. scooterzz says:

    i’m going to toss this into the mix just because it might be of interest…over the past few months, i’ve had occasion to speak with three pretty big name actors with roles in the film… when asked about it, none wanted to comment and their backing away was accompanied by eyes rolling or a wink or a sly smile…all of which suggested (and i wasn’t discouraged from thinking this) that, in their minds, the movie was a punch line…
    i have no reason to want the movie to bomb but nobody i’ve spoken to so far has led me to believe it won’t……

  22. mysteryperfecta says:

    scooterzz- You forgot to add, “So remember friends, this is off the record, on the QT and very hush-hush.” 😉

  23. LexG says:

    Kneeel before Cruise.
    Let his Cruisepower FLOW through your inferior being.

  24. Roman says:

    “I understand Finke and Friedman are both rooting for Valkyrie to become a UA destroying mega-bomb (why is a little more mysterious).”
    Why is blatantly obvious. Like most bloodsucking wenches with no talent on her own, she is looking for an opportunity to not just say “I told you so” but also, “you heard it here first”. And she is smelling blood. No matter what the publuc position on Cruise is, the movie does seem shaky from a commercial perspective.
    Not too worry though. If somehow the movie does end up being a major success, she’ll find a way to put a spin on this too.
    That’s the key to Finke’s “journalism”. It’s TMZ for the rest of u… the industry. She is what Harlan Ellison politly refers to as a “creative typist”.
    And as for Friedman, he is actually quite soft. And quite stupid too. I wouldn’t be suprised if he was following Finke’s lead (yeah, I invite all kinds of ridicule with this one).
    “She is what AICN was at the start (it

  25. Roman says:

    “Flip side, no one is saying that Potter is being released next summer because it sucks.”
    Actually some people are saying it. That it sucks I mean. Not going to suggest that this is why it got moved. I am saying that if it sucks really bad (i.e. as much as I hear it does) the summer release date will make little difference.

  26. Roman says:

    Lastly, they are selling this as the movie about a group of people who try to kill Hitler. Is there any wonder why people, any by people I mean the movie going public at large, will not go see it?
    This isn’t just about spoilers. It’s about futility. People went to see the Titanic because it was a lover story foremost. AND A FICTIONAL one at that, so there was always SOME doubt about how it my end (call it a wwbtotd movie – who will be the one to die).
    Futility. I think the studios understand it. A trailer featuring a scenes of killed Nazis (no matter on which side) woulda got the blood a-pumpin’. Audiences love ’em dying nazis – just ask Spielberg. Though part of me wishes that the bit the bullet at took the page out of the Tarantino handbook for the advertising of this film.
    Picture this:
    REVENGE is a dish best served by Scientologists.
    Now who wouldn’t want to see that 😉 ? Instant $100 mil.

  27. Krazy Eyes says:

    I wonder if Nikki has even seen THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS? I love that movie.

  28. bmcintire says:

    Krazy Eyes – I’m betting MGM would love to send her a complimentary copy of the DVD. With extra-sharp, poison-laced edges.

  29. David Poland says:

    Gotta tell ya… it turns out that MGM didn’t mind the Nikki thing so much… no one listens to her wailing and the internal memo she printed was 100% positive. So most of their feedback was actually positive… so much so that I am beginning to think THEY leaked it to her.

  30. Roman says:

    “So most of their feedback was actually positive… so much so that I am beginning to think THEY leaked it to her.”
    Actually, it’s the way it was WRITTEN that makes me think they were planning to leak it from the beginning.

  31. David Poland says:

    All the more AICNish…

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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.

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