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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Geeky Afternoon

Off for a bit… an interview for very geeky horror film… a quick meet with a director who has played a lot of geeks on film… and then on to G4 to get attacked by the show…
The bridge is yours… for now…

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31 Responses to “BYOB – Geeky Afternoon”

  1. NickF says:

    Kevin Smith?

  2. Blackcloud says:

    Kudos to Glenn Kenny for his response to Ebert and Wells (and Scott). He is exactly right about the core issue, namely that kids “inherited” dumb. The rest is just sepia-toned whining and mindless, nostalgic handwringing. Wells is off my radar, but I sure expect better from Ebert and Scott.

  3. SJRubinstein says:

    Caught “G.I. Joe” and – for me – it really felt straight out of the early nineties in places a’la “The Phantom,” “Judge Dredd” or “The Shadow.” I probably won’t see it again until it’s on television, but it really did feel like the cartoon complete with unexpected slapstick here and there. Even at its most absurd, I was entertained and thought Sienna Miller and Christopher Eccleston really knocked it out of the park.
    In a perfect world, they’d bank a few of these (Devin Faraci is right in labeling this a PG-13 movie for ten year-olds) and then do a “Hard Target”-style spin-off with Zartan versus Snake Eyes directed by, say, Nic Refn.
    That said, it still didn’t touch the best parts of the Marvel comic series, which got downright interesting when it starting unpacking its mythology (oh, around issues #20-50).

  4. bmcintire says:

    I see that the actuals for this weekend shaved another $2M off of GI JOE’s boxoffice take. Paramount tried to pull the same bullshit Universal did last weekend with FUNNY PEOPLE, wildy underestimating the Saturday-to-Sunday drop off. Why do they even bother? It just smacks of ridiculous desperation.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    Distributors report overinflated weekend estimates all the time, but G.I. Joe’s $56.2m estimate versus their $54.7 actual really isn’t that bad. Other studios had them at over $55m over the weekend so a $56.2 isn’t that out of line.
    Estimating Sunday drops is not a science, and it’s impossible to get a rock-solid full weekend number based on Fri-Sat. gross. Being off by less than $2m isn’t that bad when all is said and done.

  6. EthanG says:

    I don’t take them seriously usually, but EW’s list of the 50 Best Biopics of all time is downright inflammatory.
    Did you know that “Gandhi” is the 43rd best biopic of all time, trailing the likes of “Girl, Interrupted” and Oliver Stone’s Nixon?
    Or that “Patton is a pretty decent flick, but doesn’t reach the wondrous heights of Will Smith’s portrayal of Ali, and can’t even hold a candle to Hayden Christensen’s “Shattered Glass?”

  7. Blackcloud says:

    Ethan, EW is only good for kindling, so it’s not incredible at all.

  8. Wrecktum says:

    EW will no longer be around in a year’s time, so I wouldn’t sweat it.

  9. IOIOIOI says:

    EW is too much of a promotional tool for TW, for it to be scuttled.

  10. Wrecktum says:

    It’s bleeding money, is losing subscribers left and right, has gone through umpteen publishers over the past few years and will probably be out of business by this time next year.

  11. Telemachos says:

    Entertainment Weekly’s Top Whatever lists are usually so ludicrious (in ordering if not actual content) that I suspect they deliberately make loopy choices just to create buzz.

  12. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I viisted Kenny’s site about the Ebert post and found this post by someone I wish would post here. He absolutely nails it.
    “Glenn, I seem to recall the Algonquin Round Table of my teenage youth in much the same way as you do, although before I made it behind the football field I’d usually get tagged by some jock or snoose-lipped rancher’s son for some stress-relieving abuse. If these were the intellectually curious teens Wells and Ebert remember, they sure seemed to have a mighty strong taste for ripping books up over actually reading them. And not many of them beyond my tight circle of three or four friends– hopeless dweebs one and all– took the movies of the day, which weren’t marketed specifically toward teens at all, any more seriously than a diversion or background noise for make-out sessions.
    But I think Brian Darr might be right too that the real difference between teens of today as opposed to those of the past is indeed “the position of importance their tastes and interests are given in the mass media marketplace.” Suddenly teens are being told, forthrightly and subliminally, by the inescapable presence of content geared to them throughout the culture, that their interests, or what someone has decided are their interests, should be of primary importance. I don’t think it’s so much that THE HURT LOCKER is given no emphasis to the teenage market– were movies like NETWORK or DELIVERANCE or DOG DAY AFTERNOON marketed to teens? It’s just that movies with an obvious adolescent bent are the ones Hollywood has trained itself to make and market now. The parallel to something like G.I. JOE getting a $175 million budget and a huge marketing push might be if Disney, back in 1972, pulled out all the marketing stops to convince everyone that SNOWBALL EXPRESS was the can’t-miss movie of the summer.
    It seems to me that, contrary to what Ebert and Wells seem to be worried about, THE HURT LOCKER is reaching exactly the audience for which it was intended. It’s an art-house hit, the first movie “about” Iraq to reach anything like a wide audience. So what’s the complaint? That the marketing machine for G.I. JOE is louder than the one promoting Bigelow’s movie? What’s new? Movies like G.I. JOE are disposable; they scorch the earth on opening weekend, but they usually end up meaning little. However, over time a movie with genuine worth (and this may be the eternal optimist in me speaking) tends to rise to the surface of the culture, as long as there are good writers around to continue the conversation. It ain’t instant gratification (another offense this generation of teens supposedly invented), but I’d rather run with that and pretend, in my tiny little mind, that movies like G.I. JOE don’t even exist, than take time to fret that they do.”
    Posted by: Dennis Cozzalio | August 10, 2009 at 03:57 PM

  13. bmcintire says:

    The overinflation is common to a degree, but the last two weekends’ struck me as particularly ridiculous. A 9% drop? An 11% drop? When the average drop from Saturday to Sunday is closer to 20%, the “our movie is special and better than all of those others” stance looks more like ignorance/arrogance than optimism. Especially in light of the fact that both films had already suffered Friday-to-Saturday drops.

  14. Dave’s appearance on Attack of the Show:
    Was hoping for more fireworks with Sanchez, but oh well. Would like to here more on why David thinks there won’t be a sequel, seeing as today they’re saying there will be one.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Dennis Cozzalio is a very smart guy who has a very good blog.

  16. frankbooth says:

    Jeff beat me to it by a minute or two. Here’s the link:

  17. mutinyco says:

    Apparently, Shia LaBeouf has stepped in for Eric Bana:

  18. chris says:

    I don’t get the quibble. “Girl, Interrupted,” “Nixon” and “Gandhi” are ALL horrible movies.

  19. IOIOIOI says:

    1) What idiot agreed to a close to a 200m dollar GI JOE Movie. Seriously? Who did this?
    2) Of course they are going to make a sequel. THEY NEED TO MAKE SOME MONEY BACK! If the next one cost more than 200m dollars. I give up. It makes no sense that a movie featuring Snakeeyes vs Storm Shadow fighting would cost so much damn money. It really fucking pisses me off, that it would cost that much money.
    4) Wreck, I will take you up on that bet.

  20. Blackcloud says:

    Someone’s been fucking with the entry for “The Matrix” on Wikipedia. Check it out before someone else restores it to normal. This is why you can’t trust Wikipedia.

  21. NickF says:

    Just watched the segment on the not a videogame network. That might be the 3rd time or 4th I’ve seen David on those segments. I don’t know who’s right or wrong, but as a Steven Sommers supporter I have to get around to seeing it for myself.
    The budget does is outrageous considering how things didn’t work out on Van Helsing, that cost a similar amount.

  22. Wrecktum says:

    “4) Wreck, I will take you up on that bet.”
    Are you crazy? Haven’t you figured out that my predictions never come true?

  23. frankbooth says:

    They either changed the entry back or I didn’t look hard enough. What was I supposed to see, Blackcloud?

  24. SJRubinstein says:

    T-minus 1 hour, 18 minutes before “Pee-Wee Herman Show” tickets go on sale people!

  25. SJRubinstein says:

    And I hadn’t seen this before, but there was an interesting Screen Daily story about the failures of Euro-financed, English-language/U.S.-starred films to get domestic distribution:
    As I’m more of a Netflixer these days than a denizen of Blockbuster, I had no idea how many straight-to-video movies Paul Walker has had lately, but even moreso, I had no idea “Mutant Chronicles” cost $25 million, only to go straight-to-tape as well.
    Recalls the debate we just had over in the “Parnassus” thread.

  26. Mutant Chronicles sure got its money’s worth for just $25 million. It has its issues, but it’s a well-cast and entertaining action film with a number of noteworthy set pieces (and I kinda dig the ultra-fake blood).

  27. christian says:

    Pee Wee Herman Show? WTF? Where? Maybe I’ll use this internet thing to find out…

  28. SJRubinstein says:

    Reubens is bringing “The Pee-wee Herman Show” back on stage for a series of shows at the Music Box here in L.A.
    Bought my tickets at about 8:01 a.m.

  29. storymark says:

    “Mutant Chronicles sure got its money’s worth for just $25 million. It has its issues, but it’s a well-cast and entertaining action film with a number of noteworthy set pieces (and I kinda dig the ultra-fake blood).”
    I felt pretty much exactly the opposite (other than the casting). Horrible writing, cheap-looking effects (I NEVER wuld have guessed it cost that much) and I thought the blood was goofy as hell.

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