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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Travellin' North

Driving up to San Francisco today for the SF International, America’s eldest film fest with some of America’s smartest and ambitious fest programming.
You have the con’…

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51 Responses to “BYOB – Travellin' North”

  1. Blackcloud says:

    Dave, where’s your essay on the tenth anniversary of “The Matrix”? Did I miss it? I figured you might have something to say about it.

  2. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    Yeahhh….Poland is on my turf now!! Enjoy the freezing cold and rain this weekend…wheeee!!
    I was just informed that my fat mug will be featured on “The Rotten Tomatoes Show” tonight at 7:30 pacific on Current TV. We get the channel on our Comcast cable so if you get it, check me out as I eviscerate “The Informers.” The show plays throughout the week so lots of chances to see me burn 30-45 seconds of my 15 minutes of fame.

  3. hcat says:

    Anyone else see “Dear Zachery”? I would like to hear some other takes on this movie. I heard plenty of raves about it, and I can see why it affected people, but the filmmaking seemed amateurish and unfocused. I can’t help but think that it was only the subject matter that created the strong (I won’t say positive, I can’t imagine anyone claiming that they loved this movie) response to this film and not the abilities of the filmmakers.

  4. movieman says:

    In total agreement with you re: “Zachary,” Hcat.
    I, too, found it a pedestrian piece of filmmaking whose chief asset was a great, tragic hook.
    And I truly believe that every person who’s told me just how “great” they thought it was was simply responding to the devastating nature of the true-life story, and how they were touched by it.

  5. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    I agree with you 2 guys…”Dear, Zachary” is not a good movie. It’s condescending/plays down to the audience and tells us what to think when it’s pretty damn obvious what should be thought of the story.
    I mean, all they had to do was present the facts and let the story show itself for how sad and tragic it was. I/we didn’t need those lame cartoon inserts and filmmakers forcing us to see how screwed up and avoidable the whole situation was. When you’re already toying with our emotions, don’t beat us over the head.

  6. hcat says:

    Good, just felt a strangely guilty for not liking it since the subject matter is so tragic. The whole making a documentary of friends or family members thing leaves a weird taste in my mouth. Though I do think 51 Birch Street was excellent and terrifying (Are those my parents? Will that be me?)

  7. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Count me as someone who found Dear Zachary powerful filmmaking. The director lays out his cards, admits to the work as being personal and manipulative. How could it not be, it was his best friend. Calls of it being amatuerish completely miss the point I think and I also think they’re kind of unfair when there is actually some incredibly effective editing in the work.
    “It’s not a good movie” – well d’oh its not a movie at all. Its the shattered pieces of someones family and a friend who wanted to come to terms with it the only way he knew how.
    The very nature of the piece is what sets it apart from all those dry objective crime docs. The director as narrator even chokes up in places, this is raw material and if you’re not affected by it and pick it apart for sloopy filmmaking then I feel you have no empathy for how this horrifying incident affected all those around Andrew Babgy. To me its faults are what makes it a very unique and stunning work.

  8. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    hcat. We agree on Birch though. I didn’t mean to completely squash others genuine opinions on the film in question, even though I did eaxctly that.

  9. Hallick says:

    “‘It’s not a good movie’ – well d’oh its not a movie at all. Its the shattered pieces of someones family and a friend who wanted to come to terms with it the only way he knew how.”
    By making a movie.
    If this story were published with paper pages glued into a spine that was attached to a cover, either hard or soft, no matter how personal and raw the material was to the writer, it would still be a BOOK.
    “Dear Zachary: A Letter To His Son About His Father” is on MOVIE film and people had to buy MOVIE tickets to see it in a MOVIE theater.
    gasp Homie…it’s a movie.
    And besides, whatever it wants to be called, it is still an attempt to tell a story which can be rightly called out when the storytelling is found to be below par just as much as people who believe otherwise have the right to argue against that.

  10. LYT says:

    Wow…Harry Knowles trashes Wolverine sight unseens because Fox wouldn’t let him see it for free:

  11. Wrecktum says:

    …and claims he’s not going to see it because other critics don’t like it. This is the richest shit I’ve ever seen on that lame-ass site.

  12. sloanish says:

    AICN looks like a horde of assholes.

  13. Gawd, AICN are pathetic.
    For a moment there I thought people were praising Simon Birch. Alas it was not the case (thankfully).

  14. LYT says:

    Even better…reading Harry’s comments in talkbacks in turns out that he WAS invited to a free midnight show…but declined because he had another screening at 9 a.m. the next day.

  15. leahnz says:

    he must need his beauty sleep

  16. Maybe if studios stop inviting him to stuff then he’ll just disappear?

  17. anghus says:

    Mother fucker do i find these clowns frustrating. How out of touch are you with people, actual film going people, when you throw a fit over not going to see a movie because you weren’t invited to a free screening.
    What a sad year this has been for internet film sites.
    Wells and his 2 meltdowns. Faraci and his ‘you’re not legitimate’ drunken rant. Knowles being forced to return to being a presence on the site he created and quickly returning to form.
    These ‘fan’ sites aren’t run by fans anymore. They’re run by spoiled children. Gits with an enormous entitlement complex.
    It’s sad that they think this kind of behavior endears themselves to people. It’s weird when your editorial filter is skewed by your particular hatred for a studio, and you believe your readers feel the same way.
    What’s also weird is with all this talk of Wolverine, there’s little discussion about Battle for Terra in the geek community. Especially since the film is getting positive reviews from a number of noted critics. I would have thought this was the kind of movie the geek sites would have gotten behind.
    With Battle for Terra, Coraline, and the 9, it seemed like we’re getting some animation with higher ambitions. It’s a shame that so few sites are helping promote some of the more ambitious films being released instead of wasting more words on a movie that has already been discussed to death.
    Blech. Just blech.

  18. Martin S says:

    Knowles post is pretty revealing. If AICN doesn’t get invited to a screening from a company that they’ve been outright hostile with, Harry runs the movie, unseen, into the ground for that reason. A first for a guy who’s sat through so much useless pablum, he’s literally wrecked his health.
    But, say, if Poland doesn’t get invited to something like Watchmen, then sees it and gives it a lukewarm review, he gets flamed with accusations of what Harry has now actually done.
    I wonder when I should expect Green Machine, IO, etc…to start burying Knowles for disparaging a fanboy project, for trying to hurt the careers of the people involved because of a personal fight with the studio.
    Yeah, it ain’t coming, is it? Why? Because relativism is easy, principles are hard.
    If you go back and read his post about Trek being marketed as “hip”, you see he’s having a problem aging out of the core demo. Look at his addendum – he’s now going to see it because of talkback “dialogue”. Or – he was always going to see it but going about it this make him the focus of the discussion and not the movie.

  19. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    Wow….AICN sinking lower. Shocker. The irony here is…”Wolverine” doesn’t need AICN so who cares what Harry says. Who cares what Harry says period anymore, but I digress.
    ALl these internet movie sites have run themselves into the ground by surly, boorish, childish (shocking) behavior to the point where it’s all one big pissing match. Who saw what first. Who won’t see what because someone pooped on their shoe. Who got on the movie poster. Who makes fun of who because their dad paid for their site. The thing is, just as Jeff Wells keeps getting invited places and AICN keeps getting pampered….nothing changes. It’s all the same old same old because no one wants to lose their gig.
    It’s actually kind of cool because you can do whatever you want in terms of “reporting,” schmoozing, writing, saying whatever….and there’s no repercussions!! It’s the wild west baby! Manners and professionalism fall by the wayside in the mad dash for property and quotes!! Yee hawww!

  20. The Big Perm says:

    Battle for Terra is in the worst possible genre…animation made for teenage boys. Who of course are the last people who want to see an animated movie. I think animation is best when it’s for kids or all ages, or something really adult. But those animated action movies…have any of them ever done well?
    The new trailers for Star Trek make me want to see it now. Lots of explosions and some girl is in her BRA!!!

  21. hcat says:

    TWC apparently announced they are releasing The Road on October 16th. About Damn Time.

  22. ployp says:

    Just watched the new Star Trek trailer too. I want to see it now.
    I admit to visiting AICN once in a while, but I never pay attention to what’s written there.

  23. hcat says:

    I was going through the cd’s in my car this morning and found my soundtrack to Once. It got me thinking about how jazzed I was about it when I finally saw it but have never really watched it again. For all the love it got on this site is there anyone here who has rewatched it in the last year? For all the regard it received it seemed to have a pretty short shelf life.

  24. David Poland says:

    On some level, I feel that Harry deserves a defense.
    Indeed, if a studio doesn’t want me to see their movie, it’s pretty rare that I will do much to see that movie on my own.
    What I would never do is to tout bad reviews or negative geek buzz or whatever in lieu of a review to slam the movie without having seen it.
    What I would do – and have done – is to read tea leaves before I have a chance to see a high-profile film… and once I do that, I do feel compelled to make a real effort to see that film and to offer my opinion in depth.
    Reading the Talkback – something that happens about once every two years – Harry also has a point that the playing field has changed a lot. Of course, he is a little delusional in arguing that there used to be real news… it was always gossip and studio placement and stuff stolen off of people’s desks… and no one took more advantage of that than AICN.
    It also makes me laugh everytime he refers to himself or his staff as “editors.” Actually, they are… since they do more management of other people’s opinions than of their own. But we’re a long way from “we’re not journalists… we’re film advocates.”
    Wolverine is a tough dance for everyone, especially the geek sites that have been taking up the fight for Gavin Hood for a year, only to have him argue that his relationship with Fox is good and more importantly, that this film is mostly his vision. So what do they do? Hate Fox more? Start hating Gavin? Get banned forever at Fox forever for crossing the stolen leak border?
    Harry still doesn’t admit his world reality. For instance, this is not about the price of a ticket. This is about a print not showing up in Austin for him… and Paramount tickling his metaphoric scrotum with Leonard Nimoy and the crew showing up to screen Trek first for him and his.
    Harry still has a big voice in the geek world… so geek movies tend to want to cover the AICN base first. The site is now in professional bed with almost everyone, nowhere more so than Paramount… nowhere less than Fox.
    I can empathize with some of what Harry’s position on this specific film is. But for me, the great sin of AICN 2.0 is that they all want to forget their history. Sorry, but after the “Tom Rothman is a Nazi” and mocking his wife’s cancer (intentionally or not), I have zero problem with Fox under Rothman keeping any distance they choose to keep FOREVER in regards to those who wrote and published those words… over a movie.
    And before anyone feels the urge to call me a Fox Apologist, please know that all I ask is a little perspective and honesty. If Wolverine does, indeed, open in the 90s this weekend, Tom Rothman has won the battle he is paid to win. It won’t make the movie better or bigger or more what many geeks want. But it’s a franchise knockoff that will make over $400 million worldwide.
    Marley and Me to Taken to Wolverine marks the strongest box office run of any studio since Christmas… not to mention Searchlight pushing Slumdog Millionaire to another $140m domestic gross for a Dependent and winning Best Picture.
    There is a good chance that Fox will gross more than any other studio this summer, with Wolverine, Museum 2 and Ice Age 3. (Paramount is the biggest threat to top them.)
    He’s got Avatar and Chipmunks 2 coming to dominates the holiday season.
    And by the way… all that Watchmen stuff… Fox never did anything that got in the way of a remarkably elaborate release effort by WB… every court order found in Fox’s favor, as did the settlement… and in the end, besides being the only company (other than effects houses) to make a profit on the film, it looks like the studio made the right financial call by putting the movie in turnaround.
    You don’t have to like or root for the studio’s films. You don’t have to like Tom or how he works with talent in some situations (though while you are busy pissing on Skip Woods, you might note that Rothman hired Hood AND Benioff on Wolve-fucking-rine). But you have to admit, on a business basis, that 2009 is looking as good for Fox as 2008 looked soft and disappointing. This is not me apologizing… it’s just admitting the facts… and putting it all in perspective.

  25. storymark says:

    Oh. My. God. You went and did it…. You gave Lex a column. Wow.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Complete with “Lex’s Sexist Sidebar”.
    What a curious tangle of psychopathology.

  27. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    While I agree with your sentiment about if a studio doesn’t make is easy to see their film (screener, press release, etc) then you’re under no obligation to pay to see it or go out of your way. But in that case, you (or anyone) should remove themselves from commenting on it as a film. Talk about the money, the gross, the selling strategy, but what Harry did is just plain low.
    He’s trying to hurt the movie and more inportantly, trying yet again to hurt FOX. Do I *really* give a shit about FOX? No. Not either way. I am sick of this lame geek FOX hating bandwagon but whetever. Can’t expect more from petulant children.
    And I somewhat agree with what you said about the geeks not winning either way in regards to taking up the Gavin Hood fight but again…what knowledge or right do they have to DO that anyway? I seriously don’t even know who the hell Gavin Hood is let alone if he should be “entrusted” with a Wolverine movie. *Wait, I just looked him up. “Tsotsi” was a great movie! I’m sure AICN talkbacker Trekker69 loved it. Not.
    What I do pretty much guarantee is, Gavin Hood took his case to Harry and other “influential” geeks and they like him as a person. Because he talked to them. That’s the whole impetus behind 3/4 of these genre/geek fansites: getting people making movies for a living to talk to them so they can feel a part of the machine. A part of the movie. A buddy with the director. That’s how the studios appeased AICN in the beginning and how they’ve been able to snow all these AICN writers and readers for so long.
    As long as Harry keeps stamping his feet like this, it’ll bring the roosters home to rest alot quicker and we can all move on with our lives.

  28. The Big Perm says:

    Lex has a column? Well free labor is free labor.
    Did he mention the girl in her bra in the Star Trek trailer? Did she give him a boner?

  29. David Poland says:

    We don’t need more copy at MCN… we’re choking on it, frankly.
    I believe in trying things… and this week, Lex is one of those things. Taking someone out of the context of a blog, bouncing off of himself instead of others, can lead to interesting results… sometimes not.
    Kim Voynar, obviously, came into MCN with a lot of experience and a well-developed voice… a voice that MCN was missing. Lex represents a kind of thinker about movies – outside the media bubble… frank… sometimes silly… but knowing what he likes and able to explain why – that we have also been without at MCN.
    And so, we will see.
    I hope you give him a fair chance… and are as tough on his writing as you honestly feel appropriate.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    This is good because Lex is a smart and funny guy who basically just needs editorial supervision/accountability (although the idea that his sexist rants are now an official, sanctioned part of MCN could be interesting).
    I’m now looking forward to Chucky’s impending column where we get a weekly rundown on what’s playing at the Edgewater 16 in Jersey City.

  31. LYT says:

    Battle for Terra’s not getting geek backing because it sucks.
    Sorry – I appreciate it being independent and a labor of love and all that, but it’s for naught. The Final Fantasy movie did a similar story better, and with better animation. This is Titan AE as made by Pixar if everyone there suddenly forgot how to tell a story.

  32. Drew McW says:

    Dave, this is simply factually inaccurate in every way:
    “Sorry, but after the “Tom Rothman is a Nazi” and mocking his wife’s cancer (intentionally or not), I have zero problem with Fox under Rothman keeping any distance they choose to keep FOREVER in regards to those who wrote and published those words… over a movie.”
    No. No. No.
    As the person who wrote the Rothman open letter, that is as wrong as can be, and you’ve continued to distort it further and further every time you bring it up.
    No one called Rothman a Nazi. Ever. And no one mocked his wife’s cancer. In fact, does his wife have cancer? Because if so, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that anywhere.
    Let’s be clear what was said, since you want to bring it up again.
    He was honored in front of a roomful of genre filmmakers at the Saturn Awards. Many of the people in that room had been somewhat legendarily mistreated by the Fox process, something I’ve been through as a writer twice, so I can speak directly to the difference between that studio’s process and any other studio’s process. To give Rothman an award in that room as a “friend of genre” struck me as insane, and the exact quote was “Seeing the Saturns give Rothman an award as a friend of the genre was like going to a Shoah Foundation dinner where Goebbels was given an award for all his great work with the Jews.” That is not calling him a Nazi, and you know it. The point is obviously that he is one of the least friendly studio heads towards genre. He’ll make it, but only because of the $$$. Not because of any great love of the material. If the comparison stings, great, but if you think I am actually calling the man a Nazi, you are insane.
    And while he was onstage, he said, AND I QUOTE, “You know I’m a geek, because I get to go home tonight and fuck Jessica Harper, who was in ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ and ‘Suspiria.'” That is not a paraphrase. That is not me trying to articulate subtext. That is what he said to a roomful of people. Classy, huh?
    And all I said in my piece was, “He even attempted to prove his geek cred by making a crack about fucking Jessica Harper.” That’s it. How is that mocking his wife’s cancer, which I’m not even sure exists?
    If you don’t like the comments, fine. I’m a big boy. BUT GET THEM RIGHT AND STOP TWISTING WHAT WAS SAID TO MAKE ME SOUND LIKE I DID SOMETHING I DID NOT. No one called him a Nazi. No one mocked his wife’s cancer.
    You claim accuracy in journalism counts, David. Prove it.

  33. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    “Seeing the Saturns give Rothman an award as a friend of the genre was like going to a Shoah Foundation dinner where Goebbels was given an award for all his great work with the Jews.”
    Yeah, I can’t see where/why Dave might have thought you called Rothman a Nazi. You simply compared him to the minister of the 3rd Reich. Totalllllly different. Goebbels wasn’t a Nazi, he was just in charge of Nazi’s and was best buddies with Hitler. Because Lord knows, genre films and those who make them are easily comparable to genocide.
    Also baffling is why you’ve never made it in showbiz, Drew. You seem like an amicable fellow who doesn’t hold grudges. Plus your motives have always been transparent, at least to me.

  34. Drew McW says:

    Yes, because I am the first person to ever hyperbolize to make a point.
    And considering I’ve been a working WGA member since 1994, Don, I’m fine with whatever your definition of “never made it” is.
    But by all means, Mr. “I’m a filmmaker come see my movie I’m a filmmaker come see my movie!” who also runs a film blog, continue to discuss my “motives.”
    Considering I’ve made them transparent BY STATING THEM EXPLICITLY, you’re not exactly a rocket scientist for figuring them out. I would like to see Fox not only make better movies but not treat filmmakers like toilet paper in the process. Oh, my, how dare I advance such a radical agenda.
    And, as I said, I’ve worked for the studio twice as a writer. I speak from actual experience. You can dislike what I have to say, but I guarantee I have more practical knowledge of what that process is like than you do, Don, or David, or 90% of the people who write about Fox, pro or con.

  35. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    Dude, who asked you to defend all these people so sorely mistreated by FOX?? I have zero pity for any of them. If it’s soooo terrible, why do people keep working for them? I mean, come on Drew. Who appointed you defender of those fallen by the wayside of FOX’s behavior? Does it do any good? Has the geek community wising up and turning away from FOX product put a dent in their slate or their revenues?? Have they turned away from it??
    I think they (the geek filmgoer) is exactly like the directors and writers FOX hires. They go in knowing they’re gonna get bent over, they GET bent over then go crying to the talkback like they didn’t see it coming. The constant bashing of FOX is a moot point by now and you and everyone else might as well piss in the wind…it would do more good.
    Truth be told of all the horror stories I’ve heard about them, your getting hosed seems the most f-ed to me, and I mean that. But, even so, it’s your JOB (and AICN’s) to review movies, not studios. While I admire you all being so forthright with your hatred of FOX, thus stating your bias ahead of time, who is this constant sniping benefiting? Who is it informing? What is the point?

  36. Drew McW says:

    Nobody appointed me, Don. I work in this creative community. I am not asking on anyone else’s behalf. I write about my own experience. And if it’s all just pissing in the wind, then what do you suggest? That everyone just write positive things? That’s moronic and you know it.
    I write way, way, way more positive than negative in my film coverage in general. That’s because (gasp) I love movies, and I try to focus on the things that excite and energize me. Sorry if a small percentage of what I’ve written over the years seems to hang you up.
    And again… stop talking to me about what AICN does. I have no control over any choice made by anyone at that site. You want to talk about what HitFix is doing editorially, fine, but I didn’t write or post Harry’s editorial today, and I don’t have any part in that decision.
    My job is to review films. There are more films released every year than any one person reviews. If I choose not to review product that is not shown to me for review, then how is that a failing? And if you can find anything in my work on HitFix (or even at Fox) where I have prejudged a movie and reviewed it negatively simply because of who released it, have at it. You can’t, though, because that’s not what I do. I think the last Fox film I watched for review was “Marley & Me,” which I thought was fine, although heavy-handed in its manipulation. I certainly didn’t use it to forward any agenda.
    I review few of their films because they show me none of their films, and there is always always always something else I could write about instead that I have seen. That’s not an agenda. That’s time management.
    I am not the talkbackers. I am not Harry. I am not anyone else. I am responsible for MY WORDS, and that’s it.

  37. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    I totally agree with what you wrote, Drew. And although I don’t know it for sure (or know you personally) I’ve assumed you stepped away from AICN for exactly the reasons and frustrations I’ve noted. You’re a better writer than that site as well.
    It’s wel, well, WELL documented you don’t like FOX and feel stabbed in the back by them. Clearly others in the “creative community” share your animosity. But when you (and yes, this is where Harry and AICN comes in) constantly chirp on and on about a studio, I feel it’s actually giving the STUDIO more attention than it deserves. Just review the movies, like you said. I don’t need this petty inside baseball shit and I guarantee the only people who do only read it out of morbid curiosity.
    Have a personal blackout on FOX films. Act like they don’t exist just like they do to you and AICN. Just move forward man, Jesus-H. I mean, I honestly could give 2 shits about who runs what studio and only know who one studio chief is anyway: TOM ROTHMAN! Because you and the group you want to disassociate with constantly snipe at the guy.
    And my original post on this subject was to call BS on you saying you didn’t call Tom Rothman a Nazi cuz, you did. You didn’t say it directly but your implication is clear as day.

  38. Drew McW says:

    But I don’t write about them constantly. I’m no fan, but go look at my “Wolverine” coverage at HitFix. I don’t spend time ranting about Rothman or the past. Far from it.
    In fact, I can’t think of the last time I really brought it up. It’s brought up to me or about me, but I haven’t been beating that drum repeatedly. I am more than on the record at this point about my feelings towards the process there. I think it hurts the movies in the end, and that’s what matters most to me. I really don’t understand how, four films into an “X-Men” franchise, they’ve already run out of fresh ideas. A prequel? Already? That’s not me harping on about an agenda… that’s just a creative choice I find puzzling.
    There are very few Fox films I’ll have any reason to cover this year. “Avatar.” That’s it. And if you can see anti-Fox bias coloring how I’ve written about that movie, I’d be shocked.
    Again… it’s possible to draw an analogy, even a hyperbolic one, without literally calling someone something. I’m sorry the comparison bothered you so deeply, but when did Tom Rothman ask you to defend him? I’m sure he’s capable of handling it himself, so just as you think maybe I should drop all mention of Fox, I’d suggest David and others could drop their constant need to drag up five year old comments that were directed at Rothman, especially if David’s going to add things to what I said each time he mentions the incident.

  39. Drew McW says:

    And Don… I don’t feel stabbed in the back by Fox. I think the way the development process works there is counter to good filmmaking. Period. I don’t use terms like “stabbed in the back” about my professional life because that’s silly. I think there is a way to develop material that takes into account both the artistic ambition of a project and the financial realities of the business. I think Fox has its eye on only one of those things, and that’s why I think the product is exactly that… product.
    I really, truly, honestly don’t care if people agree with me. My issue is only when people misrepresent what I say or do or why I say or do it, especially since I’m more than happy to clarify, and I’ve never been anything less than forthcoming about my motives. I know… it’s fun to pretend there’s some shadowy something behind it, but there’s not.

  40. Nicol D says:

    “I think the way the development process works there is counter to good filmmaking.”
    What exactly is that process? I am a screenwriter based in Toronto and all I ever read on these blogs is how horrible the Fox process is compared to other studios with very little explanation of what it is. Why are they so bad? Why are they so different? I always here how horrible they are…why? Is it a political thing? Do people just hear “Fox” and read into it all kinds of negative with nothing to back it up? Saying they only think of financial is not really good enough for me. Angels and Demons and Terminator Salvation were not exactly made for artistic reasons and I suspect Wolverine is nowhere near as bad as some are saying.
    Can you explain?

  41. David Poland says:

    On via iPhone today, so reading what has seems to have become a detailed discussion isn’t hapening right now, but…
    I did read Drew’s concern on the details. And I want to admit publicly that I seem to have remembered a vulgar it’s-his-fault-I-am-bringing-his-wife-into-it attack as attached to the medical issues Mrs Rothman was having at the time. As for the Nazi thing, judge for yourselves.
    I do think that Drew has moved on to a new chapter, Fox has not penalized anyone at HitFix other than him for this umcomfortble history, and I hope that he will sincerely apologize for excesses and that they will give him another shot someday. And if not, I will completely understand… and I think he will too. But he can speak to that – or not – himself.

  42. Martin S says:

    I don’t know what Dave and Drew are talking about regarding what was said at some awards show that barely registers as existing, but the Fox/AICN thing didn’t start there.
    AICN was right in the beginning to ride Fox for some of its genre decisions. IMO, it started with putting PW Anderson in charge of AvP. It then morphed into Ratner and X3. These were piss-poor choices to wreck properties that’s sole financial viability was due to the audience Fox was banking on supporting them. Rothman didn’t like being told this, so he became an asshole to AICN and took it out on them anyway he could. At some point, Drew lost a gig and this squabble over bad creative decisions was allowed to foment and become part of a larger anti-Newscorp bandwagon. AICN never bothered to make a distinction, never cared to define what the problem was and was not. The game then became how much heat can be raised on Rothman and will it lead to him being fired. The Watchmen issue played perfectly into this storyline, no matter what the truth was.
    As much as I think Rothman is a disaster compared to Mechanic and should have been let go in the restructuring, I don’t think AICN’s approach was justified. To go from true criticism, (AvP was junk, X3 was junk), to a distortion of the reality around Watchmen and then a one-man boycott hoping to create a larger boycott over Wolverine, proved Rothman’s argument about relevancy. If AICN simply didn’t cover Fox, at all, it would have had more impact.
    That said, I’m curious how Predators is going to play out. Rodriguez has made a career using AICN as a promotional tool. If Rothman doesn’t object, will they no longer be evil? What’s more ironic is that Robert’s idea is actually not that good, but because it’s him, no one will say otherwise.

  43. sloanish says:

    Nicol, Fox micro-manages tentpoles and non-tentpoles alike, and you can see the results. Money-wise they’ve done pretty well, quality-wise… well… This starts in the writing process. You do what they say or they fire you or move on. They don’t want to hear any creative responses to notes, they just want you to write/direct/edit exactly what they want. They cut the talent out of filmmaking.

  44. IOIOIOI says:

    S: I miss your point. Douchebaggery is douchebaggery. Harry pulled a douchemagoo moment. Not as bad as giving Lex his own column… DAVID… but pretty damn douchemagoo on it’s own merits.
    So I hope he turns it around, stops being a douche, and reviews the film. If not; it’s another sad fucking chapter in AICN’s history. You know it’s sad and bad when Anghus is going off on them.

  45. Martin S says:

    IO – “what’s good for the goose…” is all I was getting at.

  46. Nicol D says:

    Thanks for the response. Again, just asking. Is the process like this even on films like Ice Age or Night at the Museum? I haven’t seen those films, so I do not know if they are good or bad…they are not to my taste…I just never suspected they were any worse than other garden variety blockuster types.
    If you cannot respond to notes though…that’s pretty lame.

  47. Hallick says:

    “For all the love it got on this site is there anyone here who has rewatched it in the last year? For all the regard it received it seemed to have a pretty short shelf life.”
    I’ve seen it maybe 3 or 4 times in the last year, and I’ve lost two copies to friends who didn’t want to return the DVD after they fell in love with the movie.
    I’ve been in your shoes plenty of times hcat, but not in this case. I still love everything from that opening foot chase (which never really got credit for bringing the reality of a thief who gives up because he’s an out of shape junkie that got knackered, and not a goddamn Olympic athlete like in most every other scene of that stripe) to the last crane shot pulling away from Marketa’s ambivalent face. It isn’t the best movie I’ve seen in the last five years, but it might be my favorite.

  48. Lota says:

    Well Perm…how about Tron? For its time it did well I think (I say that retrospectively since I was in that very young demongraphic) and it was unique. It’s a pity those kinds of films didn;t proliferate–smart, engaging anime for young people and geeks.
    Other than that only Japan seems to produce young adventure stuff that engages 8-16 yr olds.

  49. Lota says:

    demongraphic…that’s poetic.

  50. The Big Perm says:

    Tron doesn’t count because it still used live actors. And I think it was considered a box office disappointment and only gained a following through video.
    Yeah, I’d say stuff like that works in Japan. I think they just have more of a culture that accepts animation in general, so they have a lot more leeway. Never seen any of that anime porn, but that seems weird as shit.

  51. storymark says:

    “I think they (the geek filmgoer) is exactly like the directors and writers FOX hires. They go in knowing they’re gonna get bent over, they GET bent over then go crying to the talkback like they didn’t see it coming. The constant bashing of FOX is a moot point by now and you and everyone else might as well piss in the wind…it would do more good.”
    I know this conversation is likely well past over – but what a dumb statement.
    Blame those who got screwed over, and not the ones doing the screwing. Brilliant.

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