MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Apolitical

For those who really do come here exclusively for movie stuff… sorry… kinda…
The election is, I feel, much more important and the behavior being exhibited lately is so extreme that silence about it seems like acceptance (see: The Clintons)… I can’t live with that.
But here is some space for something else.
And there will be more movie stuff as we come to the end of the election cycle.
Meanwhile, there is lots of good stuff on the cover of MCN, including the closing part of The 48 Hrs Diaries, 4 looks at Paul Newman (1, 2, 3, 4), a look at German cinema, Wilmington reviews and more.
And in BYOB, any ideas you feel like throwing out there….

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30 Responses to “BYOB – Apolitical”

  1. IOIOIOI says:

    Flash of Genius is a solid film, that should earn Kinnear should get some love for this performance. It’s tremendous little role, that shows he’s still the best thing the E! network ever gave the world!

  2. jeffmcm says:

    I saw Appaloosa today and liked it quite a bit, terrific performances, nice cinematography and direction. Not quite sure what I think about the ending but very good work overall.

  3. Anyone watching the new season of Entourage. It has definitely returned to form with Vince and the goys trying to claw their way to the top again. Last week’s episode was one of the most densely packed of the series.
    And I thought SNL had 2 classic non-political sketches: Mary Poppins and Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals.
    Any thoughts?

  4. mysteryperfecta says:

    I saw the Mary Poppins sketch on I wouldn’t consider it a ‘classic’, but Hathaway was fantastic and incredibly appealing. You can tell she has a great singing voice, too.
    Anybody follow ‘The Shield’ on FX? I think the writing this season is the best it been, and they’re really effectively generating an impending sense of doom.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    Finally got around to seeing Tropic Thunder this weekend, and laughed a lot. I was particularly impressed by Nick Nolte, who managed to convey a human dimension of a cartoonish character simply by not going completely over the top. I’d actually put this performance up there with his work in Clean — another great performance by a lion in winter. Nolte’s giving us the same level of vividly detailed late-career character work that we’ve come to expect from people like Albert Finney. I just wish someone would give him another juicy part like he had in The Good Thief.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    Jimmy: LOVED the “Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals” segment. As I wrote on my blog: There’s something almost Monty Pythonesque about the off-the-wall, WTF absurdity of this sketch. It helps, of course, that Andy Samberg has Wahlberg nailed. But it also helps that… well, his co-stars are so delightfully deadpan.

  7. Dave, my only problem with your politic stuff – and I generally don’t care outside of the fact that I don’t have the energy to follow your country’s election day-in-day-out – is that… you’re not a political writer. You’re a film writer. And as such if I want to read about politics I’d rather go somewhere that actually writes about it with a more focused eye and not just stuff like that “what I think Obama should say” speech.

  8. Oh, that and I’d love to discuss movies but either they haven’t come out in America or, if they have, nobody has seen them or movies out in America haven’t been released yet.
    We only just got Wall-E two weeks ago. Pathetic.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Kamel: What the hell ever happned to Carl Schultz? He directed two of my favorite Australian movies of the 1980s, Careful, He Might Hear You and Travelling North… and then, not much else.

  10. scooterzz says:

    leydon — nice work on ‘at the movies’… certainly altered the demo curve tonight…

  11. scooterzz says:

    mystery — this isn’t a spoiler but it does underline your ‘sense of doom’ feeling:

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    Scooterzz: I wanted to say something like, “Hey, when they came to The Old Film Critics Home and told me they wanted me to talk about Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, my first thought was, ‘Wow! They’ve turned The Thin Man into a musical!'” But you know, if somebody really does follow my suggestion to cast Michael Cerra in a remake of M, I’m going to ask for an executive producer credit.

  13. scooterzz says:

    and you should get it!….actually, i was with you completely…it must have been hard to be the voice of reason in that group….in fact, as a viewer, my impression was that they were ‘given’ their opinions by producers…
    oh..and, btw—they wouldn’t have gotten the ‘thin man’ ref…and that’s just sad…..
    ’nuff said…nice work…

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I kinda-sorta thought I was the weak link in the chain. Seriously. I’m not trying to be fake modest, or fish for compliments: the whole time we were taping, I felt like I was charting heretofore unplumbed depths of total suckage. Just goes to show you what miracles they can achieve in the editing room. I think — hope? — I’ll be better next week when they show the discussion we taped for Religulous.

  15. LexG says:

    Leydon, you were AWESOME!
    Good stuff, man — no need to be hard on yourself, because you were funny, made some nice references, and covered interesting points on a show that’s often pretty superficial.
    Plus it allowed me to let out a drunken, Spicoli-esque I KNOW THAT DUDE!

  16. LexG says:

    BTW, in case anyone misses it in the other thread, BLINDNESS = TOTAL OWNAGE.
    Sheck it out.

  17. T. Holly says:

    Joe sell out six pack, say it ain’t so, it’s like coming in first in a beauty pageant for politicians. Was it total suckage again with the show cut and paste together? Best to check it out commercial free for laughs mid week on their website.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, T. Holly, thanks to some judicious editing, I think I managed to sustain the illusion of… adequacy. And the other folks were kind enough not to make rude gestures during their reaction shots.

  19. T. Holly says:

    Get over yourself, I meant the reviews.

  20. LexG says:

    Well, THolly, I think it’s getting… slightly better. Amazing to some, Lyons seems to be more on target than Mankiewicz; Mank was PRO-BH Chihuaha and ANTI-Rachel Getting Married tonight.
    Lyons doesn’t combat with the most incisive opinions, but I seem to be agreeing with the younger Ben more often than Mr. TCM.
    Hey, that Greg Kinnear WINDSHIELD WIPER movie looks kinda pleasant and interesting; Is there a reason it seemed to ONLY BE ADVERTISED on FOX NEWS network?

  21. T. Holly says:

    Mr. Cool Ownage, why don’t you come up with some newish movies with smoking hot male babes in them for Leah (and me)?

  22. scooterzz says:

    mankiewicz comes off as a tool…i tend to agree with lyons but he’s such a wimpy guy (watch how he holds his hands…he reminds me of the guy on ‘boston legal’)…..leydon’s presence gives one hope that they might spread the demo around a bit and not try to look like something on G4…. we can only hope…..
    joe–next time wear board shorts and a tank top….talk ‘queercore’ bands…chew stuff….. you will be so scene…….

  23. LexG says:

    People like to talk up, say, summer of ’89 or summer of ’82 as stretches where so many landmark formative movies *dropped.*
    But can I safely declare OCTOBER 2008 as one of the greatest months of MUST-SEE MOVIES ever to hit all at once? I can’t BELIEEEEEEEVE Poland isn’t more excited about MOVIES at a time when in ONE MONTH, we’re getting:
    SAW 5
    Fuck, I’m finding myself going to TWO MOVIES EVERY SINGLE DAY this month, and I can’t keep up with all the cool shit.
    How is this not a LANDMARK SEASON for everybody?

  24. scooterzz says:

    lex — we’ve several of those already…there’s no need to get excited….
    although, w is tuesday and i am excited about that…

  25. jeffmcm says:

    I know I saw that people shouldn’t judge movies until they see them, but Saw V will be complete and utter garbage.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    that should be ‘say that people…’ not ‘saw that…

  27. movielocke says:

    Terry Pratchett’s latest, Nation is one of his finest novels (it’s not a discworld book), up there with Small Gods and Night Watch, imo. It’s a tremendous piece of work, charming, bittersweet and masterfully put together. It should be on everyone’s must read list, imo. By far the best thing I’ve read this year, and I may break it into my top ten list ever.
    note, because the protagonists are teenagers, borders had hidden this book away from all the other pratchett novels in the children/teen section. It certainly doesn’t belong there, and in fact I think this is probably his most mature and sophisticated work.

  28. movieman says:

    …sorry I missed your attempt to class up the only nationally syndicated movie review show on television, Joe.
    But my local affiliate dropped the current incarnation of “At the Movies” after just two airings.
    I wonder how long before Disney pulls the plug.
    (Hope you were paid upfront!)

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    Uh-oh. Hope that cancellation wasn’t a pre-emptive strike because the affiliate heard I was going to be on the show. Some people still blame me for the closing of the Houston Post 13 years ago.

  30. Joe, wish I could help you but I think Schultz is living of off his royalties (I’m sure those Indiana Jones videos got him something worth while).

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