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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Return to L.A. (again)

I’ll be out of circulation for the next 20 hours or so… everyone play nice… have some conversations that are smarter than The Hot Blog deserves!

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55 Responses to “BYOB – Return to L.A. (again)”

  1. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Fox is betting a bunch of wallabies on “Australia”: 2 prints per megaplex, heavy TV advertising, arthouse/upmarket where possible. Off the early reviews it looks like a hot prospect for the Razzies.
    And to think megaplexes will drop “Rachel Getting Married” for Oz!

  2. Aris P says:

    Watched Rachel Getting Married last night (screeners have arrived!)
    I gotta say it’s been a while I’ve seen a movie that was at once heart-breaking, infuriating, funny, hopeful, painful, life-affirming and a cringe-inducing train wreck all at once. Really solid all around, and loved the Altman-esque, quasi-improvised feel.
    BUT, was there a resolution? Maybe it didn’t need one, as I’ve heard others mention… It didn’t feel like it had much of an arc either (and I’m definitely not one to spout film school terms here, but…) We started in full-chaos, and pretty much ended in full-chaos. I understand Ethan’s role in all of it as the catalyst for everyone’s pain (as well as, oddly enough, the glue that held them together), but did any of the characters really resolve anything? I felt everyone’s “resentment” was pretty much still there at the end.
    All in all though, slight narrative issues aside, I thought Hathaway was great (her sister was as well). Hope this marks Demme’s “return”.

  3. scooterzz says:

    re: screeners
    this might amuse…just five minutes ago, a ‘for your consideration’ screener of ‘high school musical 3’ arrived….really….

  4. Cadavra says:

    “have some conversations that are smarter than The Hot Blog deserves!”
    Gee, I thought you knew us better than that! 😀

  5. yancyskancy says:

    Dave, the most recent Wilmington on Movies column (Twilight, Bolt, Quantum of Solace) has had the incorrect link since it went up the other day. It’s still linking to the Slumdog Millionaire review instead.

  6. LYT says:

    Not too surprised, scooterzz…I imagine they’re hoping for a Best Original Song nom. A lot of crap tends to come down the pipe in that category.
    Too bad Lionsgate probably won’t send a screener of REPO.
    Australia is pretty dang tedious.

  7. YS, the link is now corrected. Thanks…

  8. Rob says:

    ‘I felt everyone’s “resentment” was pretty much still there at the end.’
    That’s why the final scene – really, everything after the end of the wedding – broke my heart. You’re left with the knowledge that all future family gatherings will be like this, and Kim will never really be healed. The only difference is that they’ll see less and less of the mom.

  9. Aris P says:

    Also, not sure how much more we needed of the Debra Winger character, but their one showdown didn’t really explore much, either than Kim’s guilt. I would have liked to learn a bit more about her mom and why she turned into such a cold bitch. I know the Ethan thing might have hardened her, but her coldness at her other daughter’s wedding indicated to me that this woman had some other issues as well.

  10. yancyskancy says:

    Aris: Well, there’s also the mom’s guilt, assuming she accepts the rather salient point that Kim makes during their confrontation. I can see where most of her issues might stem from the grief/guilt combo.

  11. LexG says:


  12. jeffmcm says:

    There was one really nice aspect to Typepad not working, and now it’s gone.

  13. Aladdin Sane says:

    I saw a FYC ad posted at for HSM3. It had a few songs named and then “Best Picture”. What? No Zac Best Actor campaign?!

  14. a_loco says:

    Whatever happened to Vince Vaughn? Two Christmas movies in a row? Isn’t that Tim Allen territory? Wasn’t he supposed to be the next big comedic star after The Wedding Crashers. Did Seth Rogen steal his thunder? Will Four Christmases fail worse than Fred Claus? I certainly hope so.

  15. Hopscotch says:

    I liked Superbad a lot. But that Adventureland preview looks pretty lame, has a “I’ve seen this movie before” vibe.
    Just saw Frost / Nixon, and I think this will be Langella’s year. Amazing work. Will draw a lot of comparison’s with Doubt, I imagine, about Plays being interpreted into movies pro and con. Kevin Bacon surprisingly is also very good in the movie.
    Slumdog Millionaire is my favorite movie this year thus far, all of you not on the coasts I hope you get a chance to see it soon, it’s worth it.
    I want to write something pithy and dismissive on Four Christmases. But what’s the point?

  16. lazarus says:

    Well, so much for “conversations that are smarter than The Hot Blog deserves!”
    We went from a nice discussion of Rachel Getting Married to Lex Getting Horny…again.

  17. Hallick says:

    TESTING: a Maxi Pad lodged in the crevass of a sewer with dead baby alligators would be more effective than TypePad right about now.
    Won’t see this one posted either, but what the hey…

  18. Aris P says:

    I just wrote a whole thing about Vince Vaughn (my opinion: Eric Gold micromanaged him to death, and he can’t seem to make any decision now).
    Also wrote that that I got the Dark Knight screener and this voting pressure is getting to me. Then I drank my martini.
    Then Typecase at it up.

  19. doug r says:

    Holy shit typepad does royally suck.

  20. jeffmcm says:


  21. LexG says:

    Allow me a second to share some advice with you on this TypePad problem; This is gonna be some mind-blowing shit, so hold on to your seats.
    a) When you log in and you go down to the bottom o’ the page, you know how it says “Thanks for signing in, YOUR NAME? Well, here’s what ya do. Before you go penning your opus, hit REFRESH. If you’re still logged in, you’re probably good to go; If it doesn’t remember you… log in again.
    b) This is some top-notch but obscure advice that can only come from having a workaday douche dayjob, but here goes: After you type out your gem of a response but before you enter it? Hit CONTROL C to copy all of it. Then enter; If it kicks you out, log back in and just hit CONTROL V in the text field.

  22. leahnz says:

    a true nature story:
    i was driving home today around the harbour and on my way all these cars were pulled over to the side of the road and people were standing on the foreshore looking at the water, so being the sheep that i am i went to have a look-see and low and behold, the shallows were teeming with a huge pod of dolphins, must have been hundreds of them frolicking right in by the beach, leaping out of the water to do amazing tricks; then the babies would jump out two or three at a time and do little loop-de-loops, it was one of the loveliest, most amazing things i have ever witnessed and brought a wee tear to my eye (i guess i’ll have to add frolicking dolphins to my list of stuff that makes me tear up now, i’m turning into a huge sap). the only bummer is that i normally take my camera with me everywhere in order to capture souls and i left it behind this one morning, talk about bad timing. i guess the dolphins will just have to live on in my memory.

  23. Not much gets resolved at the end of Rachel Getting Married because most often not much gets resolved at family gatherings. The family will re-unite for the next big gathering and act as if nothing unpleasant hapened. All of those awkward moments now become part of the family’s legacy.
    The family fell apart after the Ethan tragedy, but it is still functioning. That’s what makes the movie both heatbreaking and life-affirming at the same time. Loving families stick together even when they can’t stand each other.
    Did anyone see the series finale of The Shield? Amazing. Walt Goggins, Michael Chiklis, CCH Pounder, and Jay Karnes deserve every award they can get.
    Also, the season finale of Entourage was old-school Entourage. If Scorsese is donw with the show I think everyone else can get with the program.

  24. Kambei says:

    SPOILER? (Unless I’m wrong)
    I thought the “resolution” at the end of the film was that Anne Hathaway’s character realises that she can’t function around her family yet, and goes back to the rehab centre. I didn’t get the impression that was the plan all along.

  25. Nick Rogers says:

    Testing to see if Lex’s advice for Typepad worked.

  26. Nick Rogers says:

    By Jove, it just might have.

  27. Nick Rogers says:

    Thanks, Lex.

  28. Rob says:

    I think you’re wrong, Kambei. She was just on leave from rehab for the weekend.

  29. montrealkid says:

    Just wanted to weigh in on Rachel Getting Married. Wonderful film but for me, the performance of the film belonged to Bill Irwin. His work in the film is tremendous and he really deserves as Best Supporting Actor nod.
    Saw a preview screening of Transporter 3 on Monday and wow, is it ever awful. Wasn’t expecting high art here, but the franchise is pretty hard to mess up: Statham. Car. Action. Yet it turns into a wacky Odd-Couple-In-A-Car. People groaned during the screening and there were quite a few walkouts.

  30. As silly as it may seem to have High School Musical 3 as an Oscar nominee, I imagine they feel they actually have a decent shot at an Original Song nod considering there haven’t been many musicals with original songs that have been favoured for the last few years.
    I don’t have anything to say in regards to Vince Vaughn – he really does not register much of anything on my radar – but here in Australia they have retitled Four Christmases to Four Holidays. Political correctness gone mad – the characters are celebrating CHRISTMAS, no? – or an effort to broaden the audience from those wanting a Christmas movie to those who gag at the thought of one.
    Saw Australia last night. Yes, it’s flawed – at times glaringly so – but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t love it to bits. But, honestly, why was the CGI so poor? Unlike others though I think the movie would have been even better if it was lengthened instead of shortnened. Several moments – such as the trek across the Never Never seeking water and the resolution of Bryan Brown’s character – felt washed over as if they were an afterthought.
    Perhaps they should’ve done what they did with Moulin Rouge! and given him an extra six months and released it during Summer. Hmmm. Still, I enjoyed the hell out of it, but that was probably destined to happen.

  31. Oh, and Leah – I just watched Out of the Blue. Interesting. The middle patch could’ve used some work – once the initial attack has finished it becomes a bit slow to move on, I felt – but there’s some tense and memorable stuff in there. Your boy Urban was pretty good, too.

  32. leahnz says:

    you got that right, kam! hubba hubba!
    actually, putting aside karl’s gorgeousness for a moment, i think he is excellent in his role (he won the ‘best sup. actor’ award for that perf at enzed’s version of the oscars – which is more like a carpet on the footpath leading into a town hall with one speaker and auntie’s cook up, but hey, what’re you gonna do, we’re like freakin’ whoville)
    i take your point about the lull after the first round of shooting, but because the material is so sensitive, i know robert sarkies was trying to stay very faithful to actual events (filming the recreation of the massacre at aramoana itself must have been very traumatic for all involved, many of the residents there now were there back in the day) and in a way i appreciate and respect sarkies for the fact he didn’t try to dramatise or hype up the action and make it more compelling, instead just letting that period of confusion and idle waiting play out much as it actually did on the day, according to survivors. (plus, can anyone name another movie in which an old lady drags herself half-paralyzed on her stomach commando-syle across half a township? i think not!) as far as realism goes, ‘out of the blue’ is at the head of the class, imho

  33. I got that he was recreating what really happened, but in I think in trying to keep so much of it in there he sucked a bit of life out of the movie with only that lovely old lady to really keep me invested.

  34. leahnz says:

    thinking about that, i hear what you’re saying, kam, and it sounds like it didn’t quite work for you, but for me it’s that very realism and lack of any dramatic pretense or typical emotional manipulation we have become so accustomed to in movies that makes it such a unique film in my eyes. i’ve seen it a couple times now and watching david grey sink quietly into madness is horribly disturbing and riveting. and yet at the same time, it’s almost mundane at time, so random and matter of fact.
    (has anyone else seen ‘out of the blue’? i’m just wondering what sort of reaction people have had to it)
    as a footnote, karl is sort of hilarious with that huge mo, he looks like such a cop!

  35. leahnz says:

    david GRAY
    i don’t know why but i feel i should spell his name correctly, it feels disrespectful to his victims somehow to let that slide

  36. I have become immune to moustache’s thanks for “Movember”. My partner has grown one for it and it’s a horrifying thing indeed.
    I’m sure the story of Out of the Blue has a much stronger resenence to you as a New Zealander, and I reckon the opening hour are quite incredible and tense in the same way that Elephant was. Unflinching and just… there. In a way. But, yeah, I kind of understood that David was a psychopath and didn’t really need to see him sitting around or walking around his house doing nothing of any importance as a way of, as you say, demonstrating his drift into further madness. But, hey, that’s just me.

  37. Kim Voynar says:

    Saw Out of the Blue a couple years ago, and found it absolutely riveting. I thought it was rather necessary to show Gray’s descent into madness; this is a guy who shot in cold blood people he’d lived around all his life, including the guy who helped him build his house, and little kids.
    The point of the film (and the title) for me was that it *didn’t* really come out of the blue, his madness was a slow burn that built up to the point that he snapped; it felt out of the blue to the townspeople, because no one expects someone they’ve known his whole life to do something like that, but his madness had been a long time coming.
    Anyhow, it’s a solid, compelling film.

  38. Kim Voynar says:

    Oh, and FYI, most of Out of the Blue, including the massacre scenes, was not shot in Aramoana; by agreement with the residents and survivors, most of it was shot in another town about six miles away. Only a very few scenes were shot within the town itself.

  39. leahnz says:

    thanks for sharing your thoughts, kim! i couldn’t agree more.
    i don’t know robert sarkies well but i got a chance to chat with him after the movie opened here (mostly about his choices re: direction and the outstanding camera work, but also his fear of fucking it up and disappointing the survivors, which weighed heavily on his mind) and i’m so impressed with him, he’s a real talent. i hope he can forge a successful, lasting career.
    and yes, that’s right about most of the filming taking place down the road a bit; aramoana is on a peninsula with a single road going in and out, so they did a lot of filming in the area just outside aramoana (literally down the road), but many of the exteriors were shot at aramoana itself for authenticity. i know people who worked the shoot had mixed feelings about those days at aramoana; reverence, intrusion, a bit of creepiness to think what had happened there, but also solace, which is interesting.

  40. leahnz says:

    i’ve got to stop posting my comments in such a hurry, that last sentence i wrote above makes little sense.
    anyway, i wanted to link these before but i ran out of time, for anyone at all interested in aramoana and ‘out of the blue’.
    news item on the real-life tragedy:
    movie trailer:

  41. The DVD actually features the original NZ tv news reports, which were quite fascinating.

  42. LexG says:

    Has anyone seen the trailer for BRIDE WARS?
    I don’t think Ted Bundy, the Night Stalker and The Spur Posse COMBINED could create a screenplay (or at least a trailer) that casts the entire female gender in a more negative light. Like, I have a library of Jenna Jameson movies that are more forward-thinking and feminist than that fucking trailer, which, like seemingly half the romcoms of the last decade, presents women as shrill, petty, marriage-obsessed harpies. Yet you KNOW it will both make bank with female audiences, AND probably get special mention in all these bullshit EW pieces about SEE, WOMEN REALLY WANT TO GO TO THE MOVIES.
    But to THESE movies?

  43. leahnz says:

    i’ll explain: because women are a bunch of marriage-obsessed knitwits. so there you go

  44. I find it amusing (or, perhaps, not) that whenever a movie like Bride Wars comes along people start up about how it casts women in such a negative light, or in the case of Sex and the City, casts them as superficial man-eating shopping whores. And then a movie like – oh, take a random pick – Dude, Where’s My Car yet nobody seems to get into a tizz about how it portrays all men as dumbarse loser stoners. People realise that, hey, not all men a like that, right? So why can’t people realise that there probably are some marriage-obsessed women out there who care more about Jimmy Choo’s than they do Wall Street, but there are probably a lot more that aren’t.

  45. christian says:

    Yeah, why can’t women have as evolved role models as we get with Vince Vaughn and Seth Rogen and Johnny Knoxville?

  46. LexG says:

    One of my favorite movies is Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13; For 25 years I’ve heard it’s a REMAKE or REIMAGINING of RIO BRAVO.
    Even though I’m fairly well-versed on Wayne and Hawks, one of the shameful gaps in my filmgeek education is I’ve never seen RIO BRAVO in full;
    So I bought the DVD the other day, and I’m scanning thru this thing now; HOW IN THE SAM HELL is this like PRECINCT 13 IN AAAAAANY WAY?
    I’m all waiting for some multiculti gang to OWN some kid at an ice cream horse, or some SEIGE scenario, or some mute posse of bad motherfuckers rolling around and aiming guns at homeless people, or SOMETHING.
    Other than JOHN T. CHANCE, there isn’t ANYTHING in this that feels like PRECINCT 13. It’s great and all, but ZERO OWNAGE.

  47. leahnz says:

    hey frankbooth, if you’re lurking out there in the cold, dark lonely void of cyberspace, i finally managed to borrow ‘tekkon k’ and you’re right, it’s way trippy; terrific animation, beautiful imagery (loved treasuretown), great fights, brotherly love, sorta heartbreaking really. so glad i finally watched it, now i see what the boy is on about.

  48. LexG says:


  49. yancyskancy says:

    Lex: I’ve been meaning to give Rio Bravo a fresh look ever since I bought the DVD a few weeks ago. If I get around to it anytime soon, I’ll weigh in. There IS a siege though. And it’s Carpenter’s favorite movie, I think, so give it a fighting (John T.) chance.

  50. CaptainZahn says:

    Anyone seen another movie called Out of the Blue from 1980, directed by and starring Dennis Hopper? I’ve heard it’s worth a look.

  51. jeffmcm says:

    Rio Bravo is a great movie and only a FUCKING MORON SUFFERING FROM SEVERE DEPRESSION AND LASHING OUT AT THE WORLD AROUND HIM would measure it based on its body count or similar retardedness.

  52. LexG says:

    I said it seemed cool in its own right; I like Hawks and I love The Duke; I was just saying I don’t really see any of these ballyhooed elements from ASSAULT ON OWNAGE 13 (a better movie.)
    Settle down, Jared.

  53. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, pardon me, then. My generalized loathing, hatred, and contempt has spilled over into a relatively well-written (albeit wrong) comment.
    By all means, do continue.

  54. LexG says:

    AFTER I SELL MY SCREENPLAY “TOTAL OWNAGE,” I’m going to see more clam than the Gortons Fisherman.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    Lex, I will give you a hundred bucks ($100!) if you write that screenplay. It doesn’t even have to be good, just get up to the 90-page mark with normal-sized margins and stuff happening on every page.

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