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By David Poland

BYOB Humpday 819

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62 Responses to “BYOB Humpday 819”

  1. LYT says:

    The only possible defense I can think of for that remake, which I just ranted about at my blog, is that perhaps this is what it took to have the rights of the original revert to the surviving Beatles. Remember that the original was initially made without their permission, then got their blessing after they saw a rough cut.
    If that isn’t the case, then no excuse.

  2. dietcock says:

    LYT: Paul, Ringo, Yoko and George’s widow will surely make a lot of money for licensing the masters, newly embedded in kid’s minds due to the pending Beatles version of Rock Band, and they’ll get to sell lots of merch and a “new” soundtrack album (most likely remixed in 5.1), no doubt. But the rights to the publishing are still owned by MJ’s estate and Sony (that’s why Julie Taymor was able to make “Across The Universe” despite the surviving Beatles’ objections and lack of endorsement). And Disney’s involvement (the original film was made by UA, the Beatles tried unsuccessfully to have it count as the 3rd movie in their 3-picture deal, a commitment fulfilled by the “Let it Be” doc instead) suggests that there will probably be a theme park element to this, too. So basically, the only reasons for this are a) greed and b) Robert Zemeckis’ misguided notion that he can somehow improve on a classic. Wonder if noted impressionist Jim Carrey is going to do the voices….

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    Just curious: Does this qualify as the first remake of an animated feature? (Sequels, direct to video or otherwise, don’t count.)

  4. LYT says:

    Might depend what you consider a remake, Joe.
    Look at the DVD racks at the 99 cent store or drugstore, and you’ll see numerous cheapie animated films with the same or similar titles to Disney movies – Pinocchio, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Robin Hood, etc.
    This is certainly the most high-profile one I can think of.

  5. hcat says:

    Anything that Disney, or anyone, puts out that is in the public domain is going to have cheap knockoff copycats. I always thought it was ironic for a studio that protects its intelectual property so vehemently that so many of their biggest hits Snow White, Cinderella, Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and even Uncle Remus were all taken from sources they wouldn’t have to pay royalties to.

  6. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    I hate to say it because it feels wrong, but a Zemeckis directed “Yellow Submarine” using that freaky 3D technology would actually be SUPER cool. Especially in 3D and IMAX. Seriously. Cool. Nice loud digital sound and a creepy, freaky cool reimagining of “Yellow Submarine?” I’m there.
    In this case it’s using new technology to improve on something and make phat cash whereas remaking “Straw Dogs” or “The Birds” is designed to make cash while stripping away artistic intent.

  7. Nicol D says:

    So my partner (that’s for you Jeff MCM) had some friends over last night and I do a double bill of GI Joe and The Hurt Locker.
    Love Hurt Locker even more now. It really channels Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Renner is fantastic.
    GI Joe is fun. Sienna Miller really brings her A game and with no real attachment to the cartoon I have to say I had a good time. Miller should definitely win one of those MTV best villain things.
    But did anyone else get the vibe that the scenes with Pryce as the President were shot afterwards to give it a more American vibe. They had nothing really to do with the plot proper and could have easily been taken out. But with them in…it gave the vague feel that he was in charge of Joe without actually saying it. Was this in a response to earlier test screenings and not in the first script.
    Curious and wondering if anyone else felt this way.

  8. LYT says:

    Nicol, I would say no. The master plan of Destro seems a lot better calculated — and much more of a Star Wars prequel riff — if Destro’s ultimate plan is to create a threat to the world, have the world come to America, yet have America be under the command of one of his sleeper agents so that he could sell arms to both sides.
    He even says to the Joes that they’re not looking at the big picture. It fits in perfectly with his initial attack — sell NATO the weapons, have secret organization he’s actually in charge of steal them back, keep money and weapons.
    Of course, his weakness is that he doesn’t see that his own right-hand man is planning to use the entire conflict to usurp power.
    And btw, I am as pissed as any of the righties that G.I. Joe is not an all-American force.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, Nicol: How do you have copies of these movies to show the people who were “over last night,” eh?

  10. Wrecktum says:

    A proper remake of Yellow Submarine is a great idea. As difficult as it might be for some people to admit, the original movie is unwatchably terrible. Sure, as a late ’60s head movie it has some utility and its historic legacy is large, but, c’mon it’s awful. It’s glorious Beatles music destroyed by juvenile jokes and ugly, ugly animation. Wrapped up in a grim puce Deluxe color scheme. The only thing worse in the Beatles canon is Magical Mystery Tour.
    People who defend Yellow Submarine are either a) high or b) crippled by nostalgia.
    As I said, the music in the movie is astounding. Think of this same music and a (very roughly) similar plot nurtured by a real filmmaker? Imagine the immersive experience of 3D as Beatles masterpieces ring out in 5.1 sound? This is a flawless no-brainer and I cannot wait to see it move forward.

  11. So, I was at the cinema today (the I go to most of the time about 20minutes by tram from my place) to see The September Issue and I see a poster for this movie called Three Blind Mice. It’s an Aussie film that I saw last year at a fest and is finally being released this week (in the barest of limited releases). It’s the best Aussie film of last year and probably this year too.
    Nevertheless I saw a poster I had never seen before (I can’t find it online) and it’s covered in pull quotes. I notice the Sydney Morning Herald and Variety and then I see “Baldly funny, ultimately devastating… one of the year’s strongest debuts” with INCONTENTION.COM under it. I’m all “hah, neato. I’ll have to tweet that to Kris and Guy from IC.
    And then I keep reading them and I notice another that reads “Astoundingly good”. Who should be the writer of said quote? ME! Aah, yes. I am officially a movie poster quote whore. Next step? Selling out to a major corporation… er… maybe not.
    I’m off to the opening night tonight. I fear my crushing on Gracie Otto will reach intolerable levels if I actually get to meet her in person (she told me via Facebook that I was her first fan, aw, cause I wrote about her last year.)
    Anyway, that’s my self whoring outta the way.
    The September Issue was quite good. That’s all.

  12. LYT says:

    Wrexktum: disagree 100%. Saw it recently at the Cinerama Dome stone-cold sober, and liked it just as much as when I was a kid. It’s perfect for what it is, and I’m not even a huge Beatles fan.
    Any remake will inevitably be “retro,” and I fear that.

  13. Wrecktum says:

    “liked it just as much as when I was a kid.”
    That’s called nostalgia. I like The Cannonball Run as much as I did when I was a kid. That doesn’t make it a good movie.

  14. LYT says:

    I don’t know what else it could be, other than what it is.
    My track record on revisiting childhood movies is pretty honest. I think The Goonies and Red Dawn absolutely do not work today as they are, for example.
    But Yellow Submarine perfectly encapsulates its time, and any attempt to redo it now would smack of faux-nostalgia. If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it when the new version comes out, but I think songs of the era should have visuals of the era, not futuristic animation.

  15. Wrecktum says:

    Beatles songs are timeless and are not rooted to any particular era.

  16. LYT says:

    Again, disagree 100%.

  17. Biscuits says:

    Is that a statement of fact, Wrecktum? Because you’ve worded it as an authoritative statement of fact.
    Am I allowed to disagree with you?

  18. christian says:

    Wrecktum, you are in the minority on your opine. YELLOW SUBMARINE is widely considered a pop-art cartoon classic and it holds up wonderfully. Good Lord, even cranky ol’ John Simon praised it in the day. And the Blue Meanies are still scary…
    “Are you bluish? You don’t look bluish…”

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Kami: Nice job!
    Wrecktum, I would agree if I thought that Zemeckis had been ‘a real filmmaker’ in the last several years, as opposed to making very expensive SFX demo reels.
    And ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ not rooted to any particular era? ‘I am the Walrus’? Anything with a sitar appearance? Really?
    Lastly, Nicol: so you’re deliberately trying to bug me with your weird cultural oddity, right? Just making sure.

  20. leahnz says:

    ‘yellow submarine’ is bizarro and ticketyboo and freaks me out to this day (in the very, very best way)
    personally i hope robert ‘dead eye animation’ zemeckis keeps his mitts off it. but that’s just me

  21. “ticketyboo”? Is that New Zealand thing?

  22. anghus says:

    Avatar teaser es muy bueno.

  23. Amblinman says:

    Avatar seems interesting and all of that but I’m not getting the hype around the FX. Looks like more of the same mo cap stuff Zemeckis does. The animations look just like that – animations.

  24. EthanG says:

    Wolfman teaser>Avatar teaser

  25. Avatar looks like a pretty solid science-fiction action adventure film. I never expected it to reinvent the wheel, so the fact that the teaser isn’t mind-blowing doesn’t bother me. James Cameron always goes for broke and always more or less delivers the goods, so I expect just the same this time around. And yes, The Wolfman teaser is fun too, but more for the cast than the ages-old story being told.

  26. The Pope says:

    If they do go through with doing Yellow Submarine, I presume they are going to radically rework the dialogue. The story itself is nice and silly (although I always, always feel incredibly sorry for Nowhere Man) but as far as I remember the “jokes” were lame… or maybe they were lame because the voices were not the Frb Four. I think if they can get the humor to work on one level for kids and then on another level for adults, they will do fine.
    As for Avatar, I like the trailer. It sells us the overall concept without giving that much of the story. And what impressed me most were the eyes. A lot of recognition and nuance going on in there. Most importantly, it has not deflected my interest in seeing the film.

  27. Nicol D says:

    “Er, Nicol: How do you have copies of these movies to show the people who were “over last night,” eh?”
    I never said I had copies. I had to re-read my original post to see how you got that. You should have asked me as opposed to assumed what I meant.
    What I meant was…My partner has her friends over…and I went out to the theatre to do a double bill of GI Joe and The Hurt Locker.
    I thought it would have just been assumed that’s what I meant.

  28. Telemachos says:

    AVATAR — and I mean this in a good way — looks like a mix between a hardcore Pixar movie and Halo. The 1080p version looks quite nice; you lose out on a lot of detail in the lower quality trailers (especially the streaming ones), which tends to make it feel more “animated”. (Which is an ironic term to use, because isn’t the whole point of Cameron’s tech research to get away from animation and into more detail-oriented performance-capture?)

  29. yancyskancy says:

    jeff: Nicol finally used a pronoun, so the “partner” mystery is solved.

  30. Nicol D says:

    I am sure there will be a later Avatar thread but the biggest threat to Avatar may be Cameron’s bravado itself.
    Put me in the camp that loved it until the Na’vi showed up. They look creepy in a bad way. I have never liked the initial design and this kinda confirmed it.
    I will still see the film but in no way am I expecting the gamechanger Cameron is promoting.
    And I don’t want to hear “wait till 3-D”. I knew nothing about 300 before I saw the trailer on my computer the first Saturday it was released. After one showing, the visuals blew me away and I ran out to see it that afternoon.
    This just looks like more of The Phantom Menace.

  31. Telemachos says:

    Cameron’s “gamechanger” quote has been mis-quoted all over the internet: he’s referring to filmmaking technology; in terms of being able to pre-viz rough composites in real-time, in being able to capture facial acting without keyframe animation, etc. It means nothing to someone watching a movie based on such technology.
    That being said, I understand that the look of the film isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Story is king; if Cameron has another solid story, then this will be a massive hit. If the story is weak and the characters poor, then it will be a modest and generic hit (like GI Joe or WOLVERINE) and relegated to a technological curiosity.

  32. IOIOIOI says:

    The Avatar trailer is trippy. Really trippy.

  33. martin says:

    I liked the more serious first half of the teaser, then it became the videogame like action/romance stuff I’m not interested in. It’s a teaser though, so we’ll see. Certainly it looks good visually, even groundbreaking. But that action stuff just looks like a bore.

  34. mysteryperfecta says:

    I haven’t been following the Avatar development closely, and have been bemused about the insane level of geek hype surrounding the project. Not surprisingly, the teaser is not meeting THEIR expectations. For me, the fx work here is plenty good enough to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride, with a couple of alien moments looking completely convincing.

  35. Wrecktum says:

    The design of the planet, lush forests and floating mountains, is straight out of World of Warcraft. In fact, the design is strongly reminiscent of the first WoW expansion set, The Burning Crusade. Is Cameron is a gamer?

  36. The Big Perm says:

    Yeah, Cameron is correct that the technology really is a game changer. The movie though…eh. Looks like a usual aniamted action movie. I don’t know if people would want to see these designs (big blue cat people) as main characters in a movie. Maybe this would be like the Thundercats movie we’ll never get?
    Maybe Nicol’s partner is a trannie, that would still be a “she.”

  37. matro says:

    I made much the same comment on the thread with the Worthington picture, Wrecktum. The aliens look just like Night Elves.
    Maybe that’s why I think the trailer looks ridiculous.

  38. martin says:

    I agree that the creature/alien designs look like Thundercats and basically like a generic animated character we’ve seen a lot of before. It’s the live-action stuff that I really thought looked great, hopefully a good chunk of the movie is the real actors.

  39. The Big Perm says:

    I don’t think it is, martin. Sounds to me like most of it takes place on the planet.

  40. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    At CineVegas they put together this truly amazing showing of “Yellow Submarine.” It was on a HUGE screen at the Mandalay Bay beach at night and we all sat around drinking free drinks in lawn chairs on the beach. And I loved seeing the film again and got incredibly nostalgic. Then I bought it and brought it home to my wife and child and I’m with Wrecktum, it’s pretty terrible.
    I dig the pop art of the time and the psychedelia and all that but it’s a very chincy movie. A reimagining will be amazing….especially on 3D IMAX. Trust me.
    As for the “Avatar” trailer…..c’mon. Seriously, c’monnnn. If you don’t like that, you just have a hard-on for Cameron. And lets face it, it hurts that “titanic” was as huge as it was and dethroned “Star Wars” and all that geeky stuff we movie geeks pride ourselves on loving. But that trailer looks like the trailer for a kick-ass movie. Add 3D and IMAX…and I am now a believer. Besides, as a director, has Cameron ever let you down??

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I have said some really bad things about Nicol D — and likely will say worse things in the future — but I must say, I’m never been as curious about his sexual preferences as some of you guys seem to be. Geez. I don’t know what crowd some of you fellows hang out in, but I hear people refer to their “partners” all the time. I mean, how do you straight folks identify the person you live with, but aren’t married to? Your girlfriend/boyfriend? Your lover? Your bedwarmer?

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Damn! Sorry about the double post!

  43. The Big Perm says:

    “My bitches.”

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    No, Perm, I don’t mean your stable. I mean your No. 1 lady.

  45. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    If gay republicans in America are called “Log Cabin Republicans,” what are Canadian ones called? “Maple Syrup Mounties?”

  46. dietcock says:

    re AVATAR: Don’t be so quick to count Cameron out or, if you do, do so at your own peril. Anyone who was in Hollywood 12 years ago and doesn’t have a Nikki Finke-like Stalinist revisionist memory might recall that TITANIC had, perhaps, the worst production and pre-release buzz of any movie in history, save, perhaps, WATERWORLD. The trailers were underwhelming, Fox panicked and left almost a $1 billion on the table by selling off domestic to Paramount for a fire-sale price, it’s $25mil opening weekend was seen as a disappointment, etc. etc.
    Granted, a lot has changed in 12 years, but Cameron seems to thrive on people underestimating him. Just a thought.

  47. The Big Perm says:

    Joe…she would just be “my main bitch.” Singular.

  48. Martin S says:

    Diet – You’re right about Titanic, but there’s a big difference between the two; Titanic was supposed to be a small, painless shoot, even by Cameron-standards. There’s video of him during early Titanic Pre-prod referring to the production with a nonchalance that, in retrospect, is jaw-dropping. Instead he lost control to the point where if Titanic didn’t become the event, if it simply did well or broke even, he would have been relegated to T3, Aliens 4 and True Lies 2, but only if he could have handled the studio clampdown – which means he would have prematurely ended his career.
    With Avatar, it’s the exact opposite. No restraints – scope, budget,length, schedule or vision. He’s been working at a level of freedom that only Kubrick, Lucas and Spielberg have known. So any pressure he feels is self-imposed which makes it artificial compared to Titanic.
    While I believe Avatar will excel on every level but story, I think it’s very, very telling that for the first time he lined up two productions in a row without a break. He’s been developing Battle Angel right along side Avatar, which IMO, is his tell on how much a crapshoot Avatar truly is. If Avatar stalls, or worse yet, the audience is nonplussed over the 3D, Battle Angel is his mulligan.
    And though I have no evidence, I think he’s a shadow player in this Terminator lawsuit. Why would a hedge that has zero Hollywood experience want total ownership over a damaged franchise that no studio is going to offer top dollar for now, unless a back-channel to Cameron has already been opened?

  49. leahnz says:

    martin s, why do you think ‘avatar’ will excel on every level but story? esp. since you don’t know the story

  50. Aris P says:

    It won’t excel on story because none of his films have excelled on story. That’s a pretty safe bet. Visuals come first for Mr. Cameron. Everything else serves that. IMO.
    More interesting is Martin’s mention of the Terminator franchise. Not sure what the play would be there though. I don’t see Cameron getting involved in that franchise. He claims to be all about moving forward, new ideas etc. This seems like a step back, creatively. Still, interesting.

  51. Eric says:

    “If Titanic didn’t become the event, if it simply did well or break even, he would have been relegated to T3, Aliens 4, and True Lies 2…”
    Avatar looks cool and all, but holy crap would I trade it in a heartbeat for a Cameron-directed T3, Aliens 4, and True Lies 2.

  52. Hallick says:

    “It won’t excel on story because none of his films have excelled on story. That’s a pretty safe bet. Visuals come first for Mr. Cameron. Everything else serves that. IMO.”
    I call bullshit on some of that. Cameron has a well-deserved reputation for his interest in the visuals and all things technical, but if you look back at the movies he’s made, it’s the characters who made those films great. “Titanic” would never have been the mega-hit it was without people buying DEEPLY into the Jack and Rose relationship; “Terminator 2” was feted almost as much for the transformation of Sarah Connor into an ass-kicker as for the effects; “The Abyss” has Mastrantonio and Harris keeping it alive (I can NEVER skip past that CPR scene when its on cable); “Aliens” had Weaver, that group of marines, Bishop, Newt, and Paul Reiser’s sleezebag. If all Cameron was about was the visuals, there’d never be an “Avatar”.

  53. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, I have absolutely zero interest in Nicol’s sexual activities. It’s his linguistic oddities that make me curious and frustrated (once an obsessive-compulsive English major, always one).
    And no, I have never heard anybody refer to their non-married-significant other as ‘partner’. I’ve heard ‘boy/girlfriend’ and ‘fiance/e’. Also, since we know Nicol is very conservative, Catholic, and has a child, I doubt very much that his ‘partner’ is anything other than his ‘wife’.
    Back to James Cameron, he’s totally a story-first filmmaker. The two Terminator movies are very story- and character-heavy for those types of films. Ditto Aliens. The Abyss is his weakest movie precisely because the characters and story take a back seat to the premordial CGI and action.

  54. christian says:

    I should throw out that I can’t believe Mastrantonio and Harris weren’t nominated for Oscars for THE ABYSS — that CPR scene being one example.

  55. Hallick says:

    That whole sequence in “The Abyss”, from the point where they’re inside that pod and realize they only have one suit to the resuscitation scene is really REALLY great filmmaking and has dick-all to do with any visual razzmatazz. Watching Mastrantonio flip out as the water gets up to her face just twists my soul into knots (because I do not want to EVER experience something like that); and then watching Harris go totally over the top in exactly the right way puts my tear ducts through the ringer every time. In a really weird and absolutely sick way, his smacking her across the face at that one point is one of the purest expressions of love that I’ve ever seen in a movie.

  56. dietcock says:

    Martin: just for clarification, and so you know where I stand, I actually am lukewarm on “Titanic.” Nevertheless, I totally “got” why it clicked with people. And the reason, actually, has nothing to do with Cameron’s admittedly always amazing visuals and everything to do with story and characters. The common thread in Cameron’s movies, and the reason EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has wound up becoming a perennial, is the fact he’s ALL ABOUT making the audience give a shit about the characters and predicaments into which they’re placed. He is totally methodical about this (in the case of “Titanic,” for my taste at least, a little too much so). This is actually GOOD writing and GOOD storytelling because he focuses precisely on what makes an audience engage with a movie. I have no reason to doubt that “Avatar” will be any different.

  57. LYT says:

    I haven’t checked on Wikipedia or imdb, but I still do not know if that stuff about breathing liquid in The Abyss is true or not.
    Cameron made be believe it is, and if it’s not, I have no idea what Ed Harris did on set.

  58. leahnz says:

    yes, action and effects IN SERVICE OF THE STORY, that’s big jim’s M O to a T.
    and further, cameron is big sap at heart. all his flicks (apart from his docs obviously and one could argue ‘true lies’, which is the odd-one-out in the cameron universe in many respects) are essentially ‘love stories’. these key relationships/bonds serve as the emotional core of the story, enabling the viewer to engage and care about/root for the characters, which is so crucial to effectively building drama and tension in an action movie.
    love stories:
    terminator: sarah & kyle
    aliens: ripley & newt; ripley & hicks (those two fancied each other like mad and would’ve gone at it like bunnies and raised newt in some idyllic sunny spot with no creepy crawlies bigger than cockroaches if fincher hadn’t killed them off so mercilessly and needlessly; the scene where hicks shows ripley how to use the pulse rifle must be the best sex scene ever filmed in which no-one takes off their clothes)
    abyss: brigman & lindsey
    T2: john conner & the terminator
    titanic: jack & rose
    avatar: jake & neytiri
    i think this recurring ‘love’ theme sets cameron apart from many other action directors, and is one of the reasons his films seem to connect with a wider range of people (both men and women), rather than being simple set piece action spectacles like so many ‘shit blows up’ flicks made these days

  59. Martin S says:

    Diet and Leahnz – I agree with Diet’s statement, but you have to look at Cameron’s life pre and post-Titanic. From his VFX days to Piranha2 through Titanic, the guy’s personal life was a roller coaster. Harris in The Abyss is the idealized version of himself as husband while Arnold and Curtis in TL is his idealized version of a marriage. But post-Titanic, and his fifth marriage to Suzy Amis, he’s had no personal conflict to draw from save his fight with the 3D technology
    – and that is what I think is going to play out in Avatar since it’s a story about a man who cannot live a full life unless it’s through a new immersive tech that transports him to a alien reality. The love story, on screen, will be between two characters, but it’s actually a metaphor for Cameron and technology. So where TL is his idealized marriage, Avatar is his idealized existence. It’s Fellini 8 1/2 territory, so unless he can make the Romeo/Juliet angle work, females are not going to have Leo’s pixie-metro looks and charisma to swoon over, which was half of Titanic’s success. He’s going for a kind of meta-romance which is a huge hill to climb.
    T2 and Aliens, as characters, is always given more credit than deserves. Aliens was a sublime reworking of the original, but it’s the same film in beats, sequences and even shot placement. Weaver deserves the credit because she made the Ripley transition believable from space jockey to Rambo, which Cameron wrote at the same time by literally jumping from one desk to another. The core ideas – hero must return to place of trauma to save stranded innocents while battling an evil horde and traitorous overseer – are identical. As for T2, he simply went back to his original idea – Henricksen as the Terminator, Arnold as Reese but added Ripley and Newt. The story beats and sequences unfold just like the first, but dressed in different sets.
    Aris – Terminator is his baby. When you read what he went through to get Terminator made, T3 must have been like finding out your daughter went to work at a Hooters during college but is actually a “dancer”. You try and stop it, but all you can do is hope for the best and that they’ll return home. T:Sal would be like an emotionally abusive relationship where McG is the ex-junkie shacking up with your kid who promises he’s going legit and will do right by her. The odds are against, so you can only wait for her the opportunity to intervene.
    LYT – the liquid air was based on NASA and naval experiments, IIRC.

  60. Martin S says:

    Tangent –
    I hope Legendary burns and dies at this point. First, Chris Lee decides he wants to rape Godzilla’s corpse again like he did at Tri-Star, and now these property-whores want to let Singer “remake” Excalibur? Singer has no business even considering this gig. You would think the savants who paid for Superman Returns would get that, but my god, at this point…something funky is going on. It’s such a blatantly horrible, horrible move. This will match Burton’s Apes in the “what the fuck were they thinking” category. If this doesn’t kill Legendary as a company, then it will put a bullet in WB management.
    Legendary is beginning to show a level of incompetence that is astounding. This is nothing personal against Singer, but when you’re considering locking a guy who is as soft as a lint sheet onto Excalibur….did no one see First Knight but me? Was Fuqua’s King Arthur a figment of my imagination? I promise you..a Singer-developed Arthurian tale will make LXG look reasonable. His sensibilities are so utterly wrong for this material, it’s mind-blowing.

  61. christian says:

    I wonder how many Lex posts David had to scrub this past week since THE GOODS crashed and burn…

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