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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Friday, 9/25/09

The floor is yours…
Don’t leave a mess that need mopping, please.

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46 Responses to “BYOB – Friday, 9/25/09”

  1. MDOC says:

    I have a question. I am looking at these September releases and wondering if they were always designed and built to be released in September or did they end up here?
    Specifically, Surrogates and Gamer. Surrogates has an A list star and a real director. Is it a dump? At what point in production did they stamp “SEPTEMBER” on this thing?
    What is a step below a September release? Straight to video?
    I’m guessing Gamer had a more modest budget but they must of had higher aspirations for the project. Coming off 300, Butler could have been the next big action star. Gamer was a step backwards and I’m not feeling Law Abiding Citizen yet but at least he has a costar.

  2. EthanG says:

    “Pandorum…” overall a disappointment, kind of a move sideways in Ben Foster’s development as one of the best young actors out there. Basically 100 or so minutes of mediocrity bordering on tedium, punctuated by some really great sequences, a couple decent twists, and a crackerjack last 10 minutes or so.
    Quaid is a step up from his “GI Joe” Honeybaked Ham perf, but is still in full-genre-mode. The movie really is Foster’s, but he isn’t as electric as in “Alpha Dog,” “30 Days of Night,” or “3:10 to Yuma.”
    I think they came up with the idea for this film by throwing “The Descent,” “Sunshine,” “Event Horizon,” and “Alien” in a giant blender. Still it ranks up with “Crank” as the greatest films of all-time not screened for critics.
    How they got a $40 million budget for this is mind-boggling though. Luckily it was made by German financiers Uwe Boll style, and Overture is just handling domestic distribution (Summit overseas). Lucky for them…

  3. EthanG says:

    “Specifically, Surrogates and Gamer. Surrogates has an A list star and a real director. Is it a dump? At what point in production did they stamp “SEPTEMBER” on this thing?”
    Probably after “Eagle Eye” opened to nearly $30 million in the same slot last year. That movie looked like a dump to but had a director with a good name and was produced by Spielberg, but my guess is once the test screenings came in they took a chance with a late Sept, as Disney found traction in the same weekend the year before THAT with “Game Plan.”
    As for “Gamer,” it’s by the guys who did Crank…

  4. SJRubinstein says:

    I will definitely be seeing “Pandorum,” but that insanely positive “Surrogates” review in Variety last night makes me want to check out both. Really wish I had time today to do the double-feature.

  5. bmcintire says:

    PANDORUM (for better or worse) is definitely Foster’s movie. I kept expecting them to cut back to Quaid at some point and have him throw his arms up in the air saying “Wait! Am I still in this movie or not?” And Ethan, your Sci-Fi blender description hits the nail on the head.
    I think that the studios are slowly learning the lesson that no month (January’s PAUL BLART or September’s EAGLE EYE) has to be a dumping ground. There is pleanty of room for horrible stink-bombs in every month of the year.

  6. christian says:

    Isn’t there only one person here who regularly stains the floor?

  7. LYT says:

    See Paranormal Activity this weekend if it’s opening near you. If you like good horror, that is.

  8. LexG says:

    Re: Hambone Foster. I didn’t realize “electric” meant “one-note.”
    Like, ooh, we get it, you’re all live-wire and crazy-eyed as THIS tweaker bad-guy. And usually I like rampaging big-screen maniacs like that, but he always just seems like some 1993 Nickelodeon kid overdoing it all WAY too much. Plus he’s always wearing a wig it seems.
    And Gigandet’s been in NOTHING but awesome shit, but he’s heading down the same path, for the same reasons (lightweight TV kid amping up the faux-lunacy every time out.)

  9. Surrogates is pretty good, occasionally great. It’s a lean, thoughtful B-movie and is another solid triple for Jonathon Mostow. I dunno why Disney has treated it like a near-dump, but it’s absolutely worth seeing.

  10. Rob says:

    As of Tues. or so, Paranormal Activity was set to open here in Boston – a very student-heavy market – at an excellent arthouse venue. But it appears to have been dropped at the last minute. I wonder if I’ll get to see it at all.

  11. EthanG says:

    “Like, ooh, we get it, you’re all live-wire and crazy-eyed as THIS tweaker bad-guy. And usually I like rampaging big-screen maniacs like that, but he always just seems like some 1993 Nickelodeon kid overdoing it all WAY too much. Plus he’s always wearing a wig it seems.”
    Not true. He’s very understated in “X3” and Dennis Quaid is the crazy one in “Pandorum.” And I don’t remember any gay cowboys on Nickelodeon.
    “And Gigandet’s been in NOTHING but awesome shit”
    I didn’t know you were a closet “Young and the Restless” and “Jack and Bobby” fan!! And is “Who’s Your Caddy” better than the other Outkast flick?

  12. LYT says:

    Saw Pandorum this morning, and I could have sworn that Gigandet was in fact Hayden Christensen. Anyone else get that?

  13. LexG says:

    Sounds like some of you need to see “Never Back Down.” Armond White is 100% correct on it. It’s a near-perfect movie for what it is. Pure ownage.
    Gigandet was on The O.C. BOW TO MISCHA.

  14. LYT says:

    Did anyone else have any idea that MARY AND MAX and EVANGELION 1.0 opened today in L.A.? I didn’t till I picked up the paper. Oscar-qualifying stealth run, or what? I remember The Sky Crawlers sneaking into theaters last year for a week – totally fruitless attempt at the animated feature Oscar.

  15. movieman says:

    ….saw two of my favorite Toronto movies today, even though I didn’t actually see either one IN Toronto (if that makes sense).
    Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It” is even better than Dave said it was.
    I was reminded of pre-“Lambs” Demme (“Citizen’s Band,” “Melvin & Howard,” “Swing Shift”) which is high praise indeed. It’s a sweet-natured blue collar fairy tale that never condescends to its characters–or panders to the audience.
    Major props to Drew for getting a performance out of Ellen Page that has nothing whatsoever to do with “Juno.” (The only “Juno” reference–which was probably unintentional–is the casting of Michael Cera’s “Arrested Development” crush, Alia Shawkat, as Page’s BFF.)
    I flat-out loved this movie and hope that it becomes the sleeper of the fall season. As far as I’m concerned, Barrymore is already a more gifted director than Streisand was after three (lousy and wildly overpraised) films. (OK, OK: “The Mirror Has Two Faces” wasn’t wildly overpraised, but “Yentl” and “Prince of Tides” definitely were. And “Mirror” at least had a terrific Jeff Bridges performance to help mollify some of the Streisand stench.)
    I also flipped out over Jane Campion’s “Bright Star” which is easily her best since “The Piano” (and I actually like “In the Cut” and “Holy Smoke”). I haven’t really liked Abbie Cornish since “Somersault,” but she’s stunningly good here. It’s a performance that truly merits A.O. Scott’s Kate Winslet comparison.
    And I’d love to know the story behind the so-weird-it-works casting of Paul Schneider as an early 19th century Romantic poet. Yet considering how many Brits and Aussies routinely get cast as Americans in Hollywood movies, it felt a bit like poetic justice.
    See these movies, gang!

  16. Joe Straat says:

    Evangelion 1.0 has been doing what most high-profile anime titles based on series do: Showing at conventions and a handful of screenings in major cities before its DVD release. It has no chance at anything and it never did. It’s a cinematic retelling of the series Neon Genesis Evangelion that stops in the middle of the story, and doesn’t do that much for anyone except gloss up a series that’s been one giant cash grab since its release (Except for End of Evangelion, which is the director essentially telling everyone who has the presumption of thinking what he should’ve done for the series ending, “Fuck off!”)
    The Sky Crawlers was probably going more along those nomination lines since it’s a stand alone movie, but I’m guessing 10 people saw it and 4 people liked it. It’s my favorite Oshii film and I’ve watched it 5 times, but it’s like Michelangelo Antonioni directing Top Gun. It’s not an entertainment meant to please any target audience, and it’s about the toughest sell imaginable. They went with selling the action bits, which I think just pissed people off when they sat through all the deliberately paced talking with people who have repressed emotions (Which is roughly 3/4ths of the movie).

  17. Just got home and wanted to say how truly bummed (times, 6) I am that CineVegas has decided to take 2010 off. I hope they come back in 2011 but man, this is a festival that did absolutely everything perfectly and I just don’t know what will happen next for them.
    But when you get a great mix of premieres and under the radar stuff, truly TERRIFIC programming and festival staff that treated guests (even Jeff Wells), filmmakers and the general public wonderfully and even THAT falls victim to the financial situation and (worse) the dire straights of indie film money making…ugh. Sad times.

  18. Whoa. Just saw on the twitter wire that “Men Who Stare at Goats” is a “secret screening”at Fantastic Fest in Austin. Funny thing is, it’s also the centerpiece premiere at the Austin Film Festival in 3-4 weeks. I’m prettttty sure the Austin Film Fest people didn’t know this was happening and that’s….well, fucked up.
    In fact, what a freeking DICK MOVE by the “Goats” people (Overture films?? Yeah, you) to sneak a film in at the cool kids table while AFF is counting on them to bring the people in. That’s just f-ing rude and lame. I hope the Fantastic Fest people hate it and rip you a new one.
    I’m sure it will all slip by under the heyyy…it’s cooool radar of the Alamo Drafthouse and all that, but that’s seriously messed up. Austin Film Fest is a truly great festival who constantly struggles in the shadow of FF and SXSW and this is just dirty pool.

  19. LexG says:

    Minor rants, no mopping necessary:
    1) Is the plot of this new Clive Owen movie that he’s like an estranged dad whose small kids don’t like him… until he starts letting them crash cars and take 70 foot dives into a bathtubs and shit? I’m only going by the trailer I saw in front of that Michael Douglas movie last week, but I swear going by that, the plot is that he’s like a doofus widower who gets his kids to like him by letting them set off explosives and shoot off guns and other irresponsible shit.
    3) Amber Heard, aka GOD, is in ZOMBIELAND? FUCK. I was all set to avoid that, thought I’d caught a break with a “big movie” I didn’t really care about. Don’t get me wrong, I like Eisenberg and love Harrelson, I just thought about SHAUN and FIDO and BLACK SHEEP, it looked like the most unoriginal approach to already-played zombies possible. But.. you know… AMBER HEARD GIVES ME A BONER.

  20. LexG says:

    4) DAMN IT, they’re having sneaks of WHIP IT tomorrow night?
    I think I’m going to cancel this acting gig I’ve got lined up tomorrow, only my second acting gig in the last 11 years, because GOING TO MOVIES is more important than making them.

  21. leahnz says:

    cool, movieman, i’m totally keen for ‘whip it’! (‘bright star’ is absolutely lovely…but if i read one more thing referring to campion as ‘australian’ i may throw a good ol’ fashioned tanty complete with chucking my toys across the room. not that it’ll do any good but venting can sometimes make one feel better)

  22. Nick Rogers says:

    Lex: Yes, Amber Heard is in “Zombieland.” No, she’s not in any of the previews. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just leave it there.

  23. bluelouboyle says:

    For those of you looking for something different, then watch SOUTH. Original, restored footage of Earnest Shackleton’s failed trip to Antartica in 1914-1916 – the trip where they got stuck in the ice for 18 months. It was originaly shown in cinemas in 1920 and it’s AMAZING.
    It was shot with some kind of hand-cranked camera, all on location during the trip. The guy fiming it does crazy stuff like perch on the bow over the edge above minus 50 degree water just to get a fantastic POV shot of the bow going through the ice. He also filmed their escape to an island 800 miles (!) away and subsequent rescue.
    They couldn’t record sound, so every few minutes old-fashioned text comes up on the screen. A modern narrator gives more detail. A very bleak, haunting, but also uplifting, documentary.

  24. scooterzz says:

    lex — ‘whip it’ event monday night at the doll factory…entire cast on hand for q&a and roller derby match between (derby dolls) tough cookies and varsity brawlers…barrymore, page, lewis, eve…all confirmed….you should go….

  25. chris says:

    “Whip It” is fun, but comparing it to pre-“Silence” Demmes? Those movies are perfect, so them’s fighting words.

  26. EOTW says:

    Gimme pre-LAMBS Demme any day of the week. Cirst, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED was a POS.
    In other news, treated myself to a home viewing of both HURT LOCKER and STAR TREK yesterday. Both on my 10 best list.
    Does HUNGER count as an 2009 pic? Still the best film I’ve seen this year.

  27. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    BYOB – My team won the Aussie equivalent of the Superbowl today so I’m a very happy chappy. Tired though and my voice is shot, but I don’t care. Eric Bana was at the match and he was, apparently, so devastated that he couldn’t even talk afterwards. If anyone has seen “Funny People” they’ll remember his scene about the St Kilda Saints and so on.
    EOTW, its not a 2009 release in terms of Oscar since it received an LA release last year.
    LYT, that’s a shame about “Mary and Max” since it is a very good claymation film. I imagine its going out for an Oscar run since it is directed by a previous short animation winner (Adam Elliot, “Harvey Krumpet”). Features the voices of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Eric Bana, Barry Humphries… could do worse than checking it out. I read that Elliot is going around and talking to all the Academy branch members in a hope to get nominated.
    Has anybody heard of the scenes at the NY screening of “Paranormal Activity”? Sorta disgraceful.

  28. yancyskancy says:

    Lex: I was flipping through the channels last night with the sound off and stumbled across a Criminal Minds rerun on A&E or something — just in time for a fairly lengthy pool scene featuring Amber Heard in a two-piece bathing suit. I’ve never seen the show otherwise, but you might want to Netflix it. I think it’s Season 1.

  29. LexG says:

    That is an AWESOME tip, thank you. I will seek it out, as this is the best pre-stardom TV guest spot news since I found that clip of Megan Fox in a bathing suit (YES) and painting her toenails (YES) on Two and a Half Men.
    I hope K-Stew, Megan and Jessica like their new roommate Amber in Lex’s House of Things That Are Never Going to Happen.

  30. LYT says:

    Oscar-wise, Hunger counts as a 2008 film. Other awards groups may vary.
    Kam, got any links for that NY Paranormal story? I didn’t hear about it, but I can guess.

  31. I THINK KamikazeCamelV2.0 was referring to this…?
    It’s still news even if I’m wrong.

  32. LexG says:

    BOO-YEAH; Spent the day surrounded by actors and actresses and I was knocking ’em dead. I am sure the offers to be in TWILIGHT 3 will be flooding in before midnight, so everyone here get your bids in while you can.
    I feel like doing EVEN MORE ACTING today. Any requests from the peanut gallery? I will film a scene or a rant about anything or anyone. Fuck it, I’ll do IMPROV on any subject you want — movies, actors, a particular dramatic scene, a comedic scene, some accent work — and post it to YouTube so you can BASK in my STAGGERING GENIUS.
    Help me get a REEL together. (Cue crickets, zero requests, McDouche insulting me, Scott “Elias Koteas” Mendelson explaining how he was only 16 when Jerry Maguire came out but now seems to be a harried, 50-something married dad in a suit in 2009.)

  33. martin says:

    My request for your reel: I’d like to see any scene from Fletch or Virtuosity.

  34. LexG says:

    Does this proposition entail my dressing up as Little Bo Peep?

  35. martin says:

    It’s nothing of a sexual nature, I assure you.

  36. LexG says:


  37. Joe Leydon says:

    Lex: How about doing a Howard Beale rant from Network?

  38. Scott, yes that’s it. Here’s another first hand report and from someone who actually got into the cinema.

  39. LexG says:

    HOTTEST WOMAN EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVER HOLY SHIT THIS IS BETTER THAN PORN (except porn would actually be funny, but who cares.)
    FOX POWER. So far a solid 11.9 on the BONE-O-METER (which only goes up to 10).
    I am getting a MEGAN FOX TATTOO tomorrow.

  40. scooterzz says:

    several people i know were hired to dress as zombies and work the red carpet at the ‘zombieland’ premiere @ grauman’s a couple of nights ago….was that your ‘acting’ gig lex?

  41. LexG says:

    I’m getting the sense nobody watched/cared about THE WORLD’S SEXIEST WOMAN having just been SMOKING HOT for 90 minutes (in every sketch but the pre-monologue opener*) and being CHARMING and DELIGHTFUL as humanly possible.
    Like, who do you guys dream of banging when you get rich?
    It’s like, I try to get some fun enthusiasm going around here for AWESOME SHIT, but it’s like Bluto from Animal House trying to pump up a Mormon Science Club.
    I mean, a guy like McDouche or someone, you don’t dream every second of being some booze-soaked Peckinpah-type/Hunter Thompson-esque motherfucker firing off guns and snorting yey off some hot model’s tramp stamp while wearing Aviator sunglasses and blasting some Finnish death metal while recreating the music video for MY GIRLFRIEND’S GIRLFRIEND by Type O Negative while a whole mansion full of EYES WIDE SHUT chicks are bowing to you in their Venetian Gonzo Masks and thongs, and a hazy print of SCARFACE plays against the wall like the opening scene of THE HUNGER?
    (Says the balding white dork watching “Valentine” on Cinemax by himself at 1:30am on a Saturday night and drinking Cherry Pepsi.)

  42. LexG says:

    It would rule to bang a hot chick while wearing a Michael Myers mask.
    Might be even hotter if she wears the mask.

  43. christian says:

    Clean up on aisle LXG!

  44. LYT says:

    Lex, here’s the thing about reels, and why it’s taken me so long to get one together:
    Casting directors want to see you interacting with someone else.
    This has been an issue for me, as I usually play characters who either don’t say much or talk a lot on their own.
    I should finally have enough material for one soon. But try to rope someone else in if you’re serious. Ply ’em with free booze. Hell, I work for food most of the time.

  45. Hallick says:

    So who’s going to be the first talking head to run with the headline, “Hollywood’s elite rallies around child raping pedophile – AGAIN”?
    I wonder how likely it is that Polanski chose this moment to allow himself to be arrested since the Swiss/US extradition treaty isn’t exactly an arcane piece of international legislation.

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