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David Poland

By David Poland


One of the sad parts of paying attention to the coverage of the film world is that I hear the same crap over and over and over again. Some of it is just seasonal cliche’. Some is annual. Some of it is just The Dumb repeating what they hear, unable to chew ideas and type at the same time.
So today, when a friend sent Joe Queenan’s WSJ screed, idiotically entitled, “The Worst Movie Year Ever?” and sub-headed, “Coming soon to a theater near you: absolutely nothing you want to see. Why Hollywood keeps trying to sell us on pointless sequels, lame remakes and the stardom of Shia LaBeouf,” I just had to roll my eyes, dig in, and start laughing at Queenan’s old man, get-out-of-my-seat ranting.
Of course, the first moronic element of any “Worst Movie Ever” pig squeal is the notion by the author that his/her taste is the defining idea of what is best and worst. Then there is the truly stupid notion that Hollywood can even be adequately addressed as “Hollywood,” a usage that suggests the monolithic “they” that does everything as a group with one focused purpose designed to irritate the author. Tag onto that the posturing that minor irritations are major components of how “they” think.”
I’m not saying that Queenan is not right to complain that there isn’t much quality out there – and hasn’t been for most of the year – for a thinking adult to enjoy at the movies. I get that.
I also get that the movies get worse every year after most of us hit 30… when the willing suspension of proportionate movie passion tends to stop. This doesn’t mean that we stop loving movies. But that excitement of consuming it all and finding something to love in the worst as much as the best tends to fade when we learn the value of a dollar, get tired on nights we used to go out on, and take on life responsibilities that keep us aware that the real world is still going on outside the dark room full of strangers.
But like anyone who is trying to sell an overstatement, like “Best Comedy Of The Year,” timing is important. He refers to Oscar movies, for instance. Last year at this time, two of the ten nominees had been released. The Hurt Locker was not doing much business and Up was the animated hit. This year, Toy Story 3 is a likely nominee in a field of 10 and on top of that you have commercial hits for adults that will be in the race, if not in the ten – Inception and Shutter Island– plus indies that are doing as well or better than Locker last year, like The Kids Are All Right and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Oh, wait… foreign language doesn’t count for Queenan. How very old man of him.
Foreign language films are a vibrant and growing part of the indie film culture. In terms of “what’s playing,” it is completely reasonable to include those films in how one sees the film year.
But back to the Oscar movies… my point… they are waiting just around the corner. Get Low opens in NY this weekend. The biggest hit for adult women, I suspect, Eat, Pray, Love, opens in a couple of weeks.
Will films like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The Other Guys play as well with smart guys like Queenan as it does with boys? Probably not. Will that make them CRAP? No.
But will The American, The Town, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 3 of 4 September weekends be good enough to start turning Queenan? Probably.
And so, the answer to Queenan’s petulant question… NO. This is not the worst year for movies ever. It is not a sensational year so far. It doesn’t help that the March movies they used to run for adults have been replaced by mega-budget 3D crap. But c’est la vie.
Movies get worse every year… when you are always looking back.
But the really good movies are as good as ever and a wider range are available than ever before… if you choose to look forward.

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64 Responses to “WORST YEAR EVER!!!!! (Oy)”

  1. Hunter Tremayne says:

    INCEPTION not in the 10? I am not entirely sure whether I should laugh or sneer at that statement. Oh, wait, yes I am; I’ll sneer.

  2. movielocke says:

    ya know what was a terrible year? 1941, man that was the worst year ever, there were only ten, maybe twelve memorable films released in the whole year! okay you can maybe push it to 15 if you really stretch things to include foreign. But really, out of five hundred films, only 15 that are worth the time! and most of the crap I saw in the theatre that year was nothing but trash, serials for the kiddies (what the fuck is up with this Captain Marvel Shazam business, that shit is terrible!) westerns that are even dumber than the kiddy films, a bunch of worthless weepies for pussies and women with too much time on their hands and even then,
    And of the memorable films, they’re all crap too, not great films like we used to get every year. some propaganda bullshit gets a lot of praise, like that fucking leftwing pro-union screed How Green was my Valley or the godamn right wing, killin’ is American! movie Sergeant York. Or boring fake political biographies like that Citizen Hearst crap, god I slept through it, you’d think a theatrical and radio showman like Welles would know better to not make such a boring piece of crap. Then you’ve got Preston Sturges jerking off to his own cleverness–which isn’t funny, Preston–and this new bullshit fad color technology which HURTS MY EYES AND THE EYES OF EVERYONE I KNOW and all the color films are just big budgeted crap that sucks all the entertainment and artistic qualities out of a movie. There’s never been a color film made that anyone will ever want to see again, sure Gone with the Wind is popular, but that’s just because it relies so much on offensive stereotypes and completely lacks in an original story, any educated person could see what an unoriginal hack job the writing and story of that book and movie are.
    Mysteries are no good this year, Hitchcock’s terrible Suspicion and Huston’s overpraised Debut the Maltese Falcon are certainly so average as to be forgotten by everyone by this time next year. Disney showed his magic is all gone with the failure of Dumbo, a deeply stupid embarassment he’ll gladly bury in the future Even a normally decent star of Women’s pictures, like Bette Davis delivered a couple snoozefest films like The Letter and The Little Foxes.
    No, the only really great film from this year is the film starring the cinema’s most enduring and talented superstar, Fredrich March. One Foot in Heaven will certainly be considered the class of 1941 fifty years in the future, as this incredible story of one preacher family’s struggles in small town America will easily resonate through the decades with its universal themes and accessible script. (none of this slang business that permeates and dates Maltese Falcon and Sullivan’s Travels so badly!)
    Just you wait and see, and hopefully we’ll never have a year as terrible as 1941 again! so many bad movies!!!

  3. Anghus Houvouras says:

    I believe movielocke wins the award for ‘greatest reply ever’

  4. IOv2 says:

    Hunter, not only should you laugh but if Inception does not get serious respect at the Oscars. They are once again shooting themselves in the foot. It’s going to be, for most people, the best movie that a lot of people see this year. If the Academy dare to ignore Nolan again, well, yeah, they are not that clever. Not that clever at all.
    Movielocke does indeed win that award Anghus. Very awesome response.
    Finally, David, I love the last two sentences of this piece.

  5. There have been plenty of years where I felt ‘this is the worst year/summer ever’, especially as yes, I’ve gotten older. But looking back at years that I didn’t care for, there are still a few movies that are so good that they all-but redeem the year. We forget about the bad movies and only remember the good ones. When people discuss 1972, they discuss The Godfather, Deliverance, Sleuth, and Sounder. They do not mention Horror at Snape Island, The Revengers, or The Last of the Red Hot Lovers. I would never think for a moment to trade away the crap of Pearl Harbor or Planet of the Apes and also lose the sheer triumph of Lord of the Rings. 2010 has been one of the lesser years in my memory, but it has still given us Toy Story 3, the flawed-but-fascinating Inception, How to Train Your Dragon, Mother, the awesomely awful Mega Piranha, and Winter’s Bone. When looking back over a year in film, we don’t need every film to be good, we just need a few Pulp Fictions to remind us why we’re still in this game. If it means we have to sit through Iron Man 2 to appreciate Inception, it’s worth it.
    Also of note, many of the alleged classics that Joe Queenen brings up were NOT universally beloved in their time. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves got mixed reviews at best, with many complaining about its darkness, violence, and the weakness of its lead performance. The Matrix only became a ‘classic’ after the fact, as frankly do most films considered classics (would you believe that the New York Times panned Goldfinger back in 1964 because Bond didn’t get laid enough?). And as for ‘no Slumdog Millionaire on the horizon’, part of the appeal of Slumdog Millionaire is that it took audiences somewhat by surprise. We (in general) rarely see the classics as classics when they are first released. We overpraise American Beauty and trash Fight Club, not realizing which one will truly stand the test of time. We pan There’s Something About Mary only to then complain that Me, Myself, and Irene isn’t as great as There’s Something About Mary. Today’s Marilyn Manson is tomorrow’s Beatles.
    We complain that things are worse/different than they were in our youth, and then our kids will do the same when they are our age. There are just as many good movies made now as there were at any time. Granted, you may have to seek them out. You may have to go to an arthouse theater, you may have to order IFC On Demand, you might have to watch them on cable, or you may have to troll around Netflix for a minute. But the quality is out there and more accessible than ever before. Ten years from now, when we talk about 2010, will we remember the countless terrible movies we saw, or the dozen or so truly great pictures?

  6. palmtree says:

    For all of Queenan’s terrible running Inception metaphor, he never mentions whether he thinks the movie is part of the problem or the solution…

  7. David Poland says:

    Hunter… I don’t get the sneering.
    I am pretty sure it will be in our aggregated Top 10 at the end of the year. But as a movie for people over 50? Not a mortal lock.
    Likely, yeah. $250m domestic, prestige director, smart action movie. Yeah. But not a lock.
    And I don’t think it’s some sort of popularity imperative, IO. The movie will make about as much as The Blind Side did domestically… which got nominated and made fun of for it.
    All that said, I would expect 8 or 9 nominations for Inception (Picture, original screenplay, cinematography, editing, both sound categories, efx, and something else or another).
    And yet… not a lock. You never know. Summer works against it. The loudness works against it with older voters. And really, I think the fact that it’s been overpraised keeps it from being any kind of underdog, therefore, some little movie could leap in front of it by being a surprise to people.

  8. Anghus Houvouras says:

    The loudness works against it for older voters….
    Holy fucking hell. I havent laughed that hard in ages.
    “sure… its a good movie…. but did it have to be so LOUD?”
    Where is this magical place where people assess films like elderly women.

  9. Deathtongue_Groupie says:

    I think as the number of better movies dwindle each year, film fans begin to suffer the cinematic version of Stockholm Syndrome and begin to “grade on a curve.” But the reality is closer Queenan’s view than David’s rose tinted take.
    Look, you can’t bemoan the death of mid-budget studio films and then turn around to deny it didn’t impact the movies reaching the screen. And now we add the ongoing credit crunch into the mix which is going limit the dependents’ and independents’ ability to supply an alternative.
    C’mon, if you don’t think the last decade has seen a decline I remind you that Scorsese finally won his Oscar for THE DEPARTED.

  10. David Poland says:

    It’s called The Academy, Anghus.
    Just because you think it’s nuts doesn’t make it not real. I’ve already had the conversation with no less than a dozen Academy members… some of whom walked out in the first 30 minutes.
    And Deathtongue… again… Academy gets stuff wrong all the time. Newman couldn’t win until Color of Money, which I love, but isn’t his greatest moment. Some greats never won jack.
    There are still a ton of movies in the theaters. Indies are still out there in force. There is a spread to other formats, like Todd Haynes doing Mildred Pierce for HBO with Kate Winslet. Anda lot of great stuff doesn’t get distribution in the US. And some great stuff fails for lack of marketing. etc, etc, etc.
    But Cyrus will make over $7m domestic… Kids Are All Right at least $15m, it looks like… s dov om Bsbies did $7m+… about 20 films of indie spirit will each make over $500k at the us box office this summer…
    Hate Robin Hood? Okay. But it was a serious effort, not a pandering mess for teen boys.
    And the “middle movie” is coming back. They are what were, for a while, $80m – $120m dramas for studios who now know better than to spend as stupidly. But no more than one of those was ever going to open in any summer.
    Regardless… the point is not to prop up this year. It hasn’t been great. But where is the serious comparison?
    10 summers ago, you had Gladiator, The Perfect Storm, What Lies Beneath, Space Cowboys, and The Cell in the Top 20. How much worse are Inception, Knight & Day, and Robin Hood, with Eat Pray Love to come?
    Answers will vary… and that’s kinda my point.
    The “middle movies” started getting made by the Dependents, much as the dramas started being taken over by the tv nets. Things change.
    As a result, I have every $38 DVD from Criterion available to stream to me on NetFlix. I have more access to foreign product than ever. I have more reasons not to waste my time on pap when Hollywood is selling it.

  11. Anghus Houvouras says:

    Movies i enjoyed this year, from memory.
    Shutter Island, Repo Men, Inception, Predators, Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Kick Ass, How to Train your Dragon, Youth in Revolt, A team, Alice in Wonderland
    a couple of gems, lots of little diamonds in the rough.

  12. LexG says:

    At the risk of “pulling an IO,” I have to observe that Dave is clearly going to stick with the “downplay and marginalize Inception” card through to the bitter end.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Boy, Academy members suck hard. Nice way for them to live up to the honor/responsibility they’ve been granted, “Booms too loud, where are my pills???”

  14. Anghus Houvouras says:

    They sound like real winners dave. Have they considered euthanasia?
    do they complain about so many movies using four letter words? was the movie too loud for them to have a conversation about everything they didnt understand? did the surround sound vibrations make their hips ache? were they nervous with the number of shiftless teenagers in the theater?
    it may be real dave, but its real sad.

  15. IOv2 says:

    Inception is too loud for some people? Good lord that’s, that’s, just ridiculous? I use question mark there because I lack the ability figure out what the hell is going on with those people.

  16. The InSneider says:

    Believe me, I know when I’ve seen a Best Picture nominee… and INCEPTION was NO Best Picture nominee. Sorry. Ain’t happening. And if it does, it will ONLY be because there are 10 nominees, which my Oscar-radar is still adjusting to. No way it would get nominated in a field of 5. NO WAY.

  17. Anghus Houvouras says:

    The 2011 academy awards… hosted by Wayne Brady, with musical performances by the Conway Twitty and that nice young uboy from the america idol program…
    Put in on CBS at 430 Sunday Afternoon.
    Ratings gold mine

  18. IOv2 says:

    In, you know that I disagree and there’s no reason to go down that road, but a lot of people are blown away by this movie. There will be a lot of people who will claim this to be the best movie of the year for them. When you have something such as that, you have to nominate it at least. I am not stating it should win going away in freaking August but it deserves a shot, and the Academy not giving it a shot, would not be good at all.

  19. LexG says:

    Anyone who doesn’t love INCEPTION should be sent to fucking prison and water-boarded, or at least BANNED FROM EVER SEEING MOVIES AGAIN?
    FUCK, like all the bullshit that gets a free pass, and they make a movie that RULES UNEQUIVOCALLY ON PAR WITH STAR WARS or DIE HARD or anything, EVER, and everyone’s in some asshole pissing contest to be more unenthused.
    So fucking annoying.

  20. bibbyroo says:

    of course inception will get a nomination. all this talk of the movie being ‘too loud’ is absurd. remember that ‘district 9’ got a nom last year, and inception is much more traditional than that one, right (even if it is ‘loud’)?

  21. Geoff says:

    I used to love reading Joe Queenan in Movieline, but he has really doing this old-man shtick for 20 years.
    I don’t get how this is such a bad year – my top five for the year so far:
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Toy Story 3
    Shutter Island
    The Kids Are Alright
    Now sorry, that’s a good as first half of the year top five that I can remember.
    And sure Inception can make the Best Picture cut, but does any one think they would really nominate both that and Shutter Island? I think that would be really cool….

  22. Anghus Houvouras says:

    Its funny when lex tries to make a point that doesnt involve pounding 18 year old vag.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    Inception, Get Low, The Secret in Their Eyes, Solitary Man, Winter’s Bone, The Girl on the Train, The Greatest, The Good Heart, Harry Brown, Please Give, Restrepo… and, at film festivals, coming soon to theaters, Brotherhood, Tiny Furniture, Monsters… You know, I can’t say this has been a bad year so far for me.

  24. Triple Option says:

    Yeah, I’m gonna have to agree w/ Deathtongue_Groupie. Hyperbole can be bad but the article is written as such, not from a meta-statistical pov. I don

  25. Josh Massey says:

    There is literally a zero percent chance Inception doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    There was a time when so much time would not have passed without a comment on such a hot topic. Sorry, David, but I do not think you have the eyeballs here that you have in the past.

  27. IOv2 says:

    Joe, people are on vakay and I can only do so much in a day. If people want to get pissed. Here’s some fun material to get pissed about…,,20406056,00.html .

  28. Deathtongue_Groupie says:

    Sorry, Dave, but WAY too many otherwise serious cinephiles defend that Oscar to “Marty” as legitimate.
    @Joe – I think most of us have come to accept this as the status quo over the last couple of years so it’s no longer the, uh, “hot button” it once was.

  29. Deathtongue_Groupie says:

    I forwarded the article to a friend who sees 10 times more films in theaters than I do, here is his response:
    “OH MY GOD!!!! DID I WRITE THIS IN MY SLEEP?!? I agree with everything he said – EVERYTHING! He channeled me! I was just thinking about Shia LaBeouf yesterday asking why he’s getting so much Hollywood love! He’s almost my new A. McCarthy. Excellent article! One of the best I’ve ever read about the current state of the industry. The worst movie year ever? I agree!!!”

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    @Deathtongue: Sad, but true. (Of course, I find it just a little odd that these other comments just happen to be posted so soon after mine.)

  31. IOv2 says:

    DG, take your friend outside and fart on his head. That article makes me want to pick up RAMONA’S HAMMER and go to work. Locke pretty much summed it up perfectly. Send that to your friend, after you fart on his head of course, and see if he gets what Locke is going after with that response.
    My problem with OLD MAN SCREAMING AT CLOUDS is the fact that the OLD MAN NEVER GETS HE’S SCREAMING AT A CLOUD! So annoying.

  32. LexG says:

    Your friend is probably old as fuck.
    Also, why the Shia LaBeouf pinata in 2010, of all years? His one and only 2010 calendar-year release is WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, which is obviously a quality film from a strong director and exactly the kind of thing your buddy, and Joe Queenan, should be giddy with excitement for.

  33. LexG says:

    It really is sad, and really is why I go off into flights of fancy, when people who care enough about movies to frequent blogs and boards and may even work in the industry, are so disillusioned and cynical and above-it-all that they don’t even seem to LIKE MOVIES anymore.
    Maybe, DTG, you and your pal should just call it a day on movies, and just find a nice sports bar from which to Monday-morning quarterback football or baseball or something. Clearly, you and your pal have lost all passion for movies a LONG time ago.
    Anyone who LOVES MOVIES WITH EVERY FIBER OF THEIR BEING would never write something like this or agree with something like this. The problem is, the Internet has created a bitching post for all these 30-55 year old white guys who’ve tuned out to music, movies, trends, and feels left behind, and has to grouse that they don’t make ’em like they used to. 2010 is as good a cinematic year as just about any other average year in the history of movies, with the same amount of dreck and the same amount of quality.
    Yes, there are watershed years like 1999 or 2007, or whichever is YOUR personal fave, but all things are pretty equal. Shit, when I was in film school almost TWENTY YEARS AGO, the professors were, like the Hot Blog and HE regulars, all seen-it-all tweedy and cynical and always held everything to the standards of Classical Hollywood Cinema.
    Now we have people that age who filter everything through their formative era of ’70s angst or Lucas-Spielberg ’80s of their childhood, and they checked out somewhere around 1999 and are playing the “shit was better when I was coming up” card.

  34. SJRubinstein says:

    I’ve always had a weird opinion of Queenan. He wrote that article-that-became a book (“The Unkindest Cut: How a Hatchet-Man Critic Made His Own $7,000 Movie and Put It All on His Credit Card”) about his attempt to emulate Robert Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi” success by making an indie of his own (“12 Steps to Death”) during the early nineties American indie boom and it’s hard to read without coming away with a feeling of “don’t bother trying.” It seems to have been an incredibly embittering experience for the fellow and it’s been hard for me as a reader to separate what must have been a very personal and deeply-felt failure on his part from the guy who subsequently writes, “Hollywood sucks” stories.

  35. Hallick says:

    People do this checking out on culture thing from every generation, and not just with movies. When I was in high school, it was all about Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth & Slayer. That was the apex of music history in my circle of friends, and for some of them, they just stayed on that summit and wouldn’t go looking for the next peak down the line. And I kind of get that, because for all the music I’ve latched onto since 1990 or whatever, even if it was richer and stuck with me longer, nothing’s really topped the conversion experience I had when I bought “Ride The Lightning”. But if all I was listening to now was the stuff I listened to then, I can’t imagine that I’d feel alive inside. And yet, I’ll see an old friend driving through town with the same haircut, same T-shirt, cranking the same songs as if time stopped for them 20 years ago.
    So even if you think such and such years will never EVER be bested, you still gotta check out everything you can in 2010, or you’re going to lose your way and be looking for that .001% buzz from the umpteenth viewing of “Reservoir Dogs” or “Sex Lies & Videotape” or “Being John Malkovich” or whatever it is you’ve seen too much of because you can’t be bothered to try the next new thing. I love “Pulp Fiction” like nobody ever has, but if I keep going to that DVD instead of trying an “Kick Ass” or “Inception”, freaking open my veins and give the indian burn from hell.

  36. yancyskancy says:

    Yeah, Queenan can be funny, but that article is the kinda thing he could brush off every year, plug in some current titles and get a lot of kneejerk agreement on. It even works in reverse, as movielocke’s funny 1941 version proves. And I say this as someone who hasn’t been overly enamored with the 2010 stuff I’ve seen thus far (though I see far fewer first-run films than I used to).
    Anghus: Conway Twitty’s chances of appearing on an Oscar cast are likely hampered by his death. I happen to know he’s gone, because a couple of years ago I actually auditioned out for the touring company of The Conway Twitty Story. No, I don’t look like him, but some friends who were trying out heard me sing and talked me into giving it a shot. I didn’t get the part, but it was kind of a fun thing to do as a lark (I could afford to look at it that way, not being a professional actor).

  37. Hallick says:

    To Queenan’s actual article, it’s all over the place. You can’t use “Slumdog Millionaire” against a year that’s only just now reaching August for fuck’s sake. Millionaire came out at the end of the year, not the middle of summer. And you can’t diss Shia LeBoeuf when you’re also praising a Keanu Reeves movie, “Matrix” or not. He also keeps bringing up crappy movies like “Grown Ups” which have analogous entries in every given year since the invention of talkies. Something like that Sandler movie was just as bad or worse in the best movie year you can name, Queenan.
    I don’t get out to the movies so much nowadays, but any month where you get a trio like “Salt”, “Inception” and “The Kids Are Alright” is good enough if not pretty damn good period. And if it wasn’t good enough, you still had June’s roster of “Splice”, “Winter’s Bone”, “Toy Story 3”, “Cyrus”, “The Killer Inside Me”, “Dogtooth” and “Restrepo”. The same month he got his hated “Sex and the City 2”, there was “Mother and Child”, “Daddy Long Legs”, “Solitary Man”, “Trash Humpers” and “Agora”. Not everybody’s cup of tea but where does he stand on all of that? Did he go see them or just rev up a bitch snit over the movies whose commercials he’d see during any given CBS comedy monday?

  38. leahnz says:

    yes, shouldn’t you at least wait until the year is over to bitch about what a bad year it was?
    storm in a teacup
    hallick i see what you’re getting at but as good a list as that is, were all those movies you mentioned widely released, or were many limited releases like here? some movies are harder to see than others, that’s always a problem. or maybe it’s different there, i don’t know.
    “Anghus: Conway Twitty’s chances of appearing on an Oscar cast are likely hampered by his death”
    i’m hugely ashamed to admit that made me laugh, in british dry humour kind of way. thanks for that. and not to diminish twitty’s death in any way whatsoever of course, that little story was sweet and wistful if anything

  39. IOv2 says:

    1) Conway may be gone but his awesome sense of style lives on.
    2) According to Wikipedia, Queenan lives in Tarrytown, NY and apparently it’s 43 minutes away from the city. If he indeed is still a critic or a movie reviewer or whatever, being that close to New York means having access to most, if not all of those films.
    3) This leads to another level of discussion because the guy lives close to New York, he probably works in New York, and that City apparently has so many cinematic options. You can see HUNDREDS OF MOVIE in a MONTH, then what in the blue blazes is he complaining about? Every movie Hal listed he had a chance to see, if he took the time, and if he’s complaining when he just did not want to take time. Well, it’s sort of obvious, that this is even more of a jackass column.
    4) Finally, I think Hal sums it up. Queenan just stopped being down and this has turned him into a bitter old man who just does not get it anymore. It reminds me of my favourite Onion story; “34 year old gives up on discovering new music.” Oddly enough, I found this as well;,1451/

  40. Anghus Houvouras says:

    “Conway Twitty’s chances of appearing on an Oscar cast are likely hampered by his death.”

  41. A. E. Ase says:

    “Said the blind man to his deaf son as he’s peeing into the wind: ‘It’s all coming back to me!'”

  42. brack says:

    I can usually take loud movies, but Inception on the faux-IMAX was incredibly too loud at times. You can clearly hear the sound distortion, especially when the Hans Zimmer score would start up again. Other than that it’s a great movie. Maybe it’s just some theaters not properly showing the film. *shrugs*

  43. I’ve been to a number of press screenings where the volume was turned up to an insane level (Live Free or Die Hard and Kick Ass come to mind). I know a film is too loud when I put in my hearing aids but keep them ‘off’, thus using them as earplugs. Point being, anyone who reviews movies for a living (or otherwise) should know enough about sound systems to not knock a movie because the people running the screening turned the volume up to ear-bleed levels.

  44. christian says:

    Queenan is a shtick jock whose seen a lot of movies. So what.

  45. brack says:


  46. bibbyroo says:

    David, a quick question to help this make some sense: when you say that inception is a ‘loud’ movie, do you mean ‘loud’ as in the volume is too high, or do you mean ‘loud’ in that there is so much going on? i think this would clarify it a bit…

  47. christian says:

    And of course, what was missing from Queenan’s amusing attempt at a low-budget movie? Talent.

  48. torpid bunny says:

    I feel like what has happened is that movies have become extremely apolitical in the last few decades. The overall quality may just be fluctuating randomly of course.

  49. Deathtongue_Groupie says:

    “…anyone who LOVES MOVIES WITH EVERY FIBER OF THEIR BEING would never write something like this…”
    Exhibit #47 that LexG is FULL of hypocritical SHIT.
    Because the man who wrote that would never proudly admit he has never and will never see a Pixar movie.
    Because the man who wrote that would be ashamed to write that he as seen almost none of Akria Kurosawa’s movies. And I’m not talking about the slower moving titles like THE BAD SLEEP WELL or RED BEARD: “film lover” Lexie also counts among his Never Seen It list such easily digestible films as YOJIMBO, HIDDEN FORTRESS and SEVEN SAMURIA.
    And I’m sure other regulars of both Hot Blog and HE can name even more titles that this titan of Tinseltown has been remiss in absorbing.
    So, please, STFU about what attitudes “real” cinema lovers must possess. Isn’t there some barely legal actress showing her feet on cable right now you can obsess over?

  50. christian says:

    DTG FTW.

  51. IOv2 says:

    DG, ask yourself: Who post that stuff? Lex the man or Lex the character?

  52. David Poland says:

    do they complain about so many movies using four letter words? was the movie too loud for them to have a conversation about everything they didnt understand? did the surround sound vibrations make their hips ache? were they nervous with the number of shiftless teenagers in the theater?
    Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
    “Loud,” in this case, is both literal and conceptual.
    And PS to Joe… I suspect the truth about commenting in here is that commenting has become culty and new people don’t want to surf the shite storms. But thanks for continuing to dream of my career demise. Your persistence over the last decade has been as remarkable as it is wrong.

  53. David Poland says:

    And TripOp… you realize the AFI list thing is wildly corrupt, yes?

  54. Joe Leydon says:

    Over the past decade? Uh, David, I think you have me confused with someone else. I have not been aware of your existence for nearly that long. On the other hand, I suspect you are at least partially correct: Same names with great frequency. And, yes, I can easily see how newcomers might take a look at some of the more angry takedowns and decide this place is best enjoyed as a spectator sport.

  55. IOv2 says:

    If you stir the drink that essentially puts a certain hat on my head and that means, I am going to go out of my way to stop any hurricanes from showing up on this blog at least if they involve me. This means people reading this who do not post… go ahead and post… no smoke monster is going to get you, at least not this one :-D!

  56. jeffmcm says:

    The tone and mood of any blog comes from the top down.

  57. A. E. Ase says:

    In fairness- as a relatively new commentator- it is daunting entering the fray. Initially there’s a sense of being the new kid in class, where everyone knows each other and the territories are marked with war paint.
    But then in theory you get over it.

  58. Anghus Houvouras says:

    people think this board is difficult to jump into?
    this is the most civilized board i visit.

  59. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Must drink moar alcomahol…

  60. Joe Leydon says:

    Anghus: Compared to a few other I can think of, you are absolutely correct. But, then again, “civilized” is a relative term. Think of someone joining us for the first time. Now, it may be a bit funny to hear David and I snipping at each other like a couple of aging chihuahuas. And LexG’s periodic pleadings for pudendum have a certain seriocomic poignancy. But the wildly disproportionate anger that flares up here from time to time is — well, as you say, not as bad as that unleashed on blogs that seem to exist only as toxic waste dumps. But, yeah, I can see a newbie read the blog for a while, and even enjoy some of the commentary — but still want to remain on the other side of the bulletproof glass. Especially — and I know this is going to sound sexist — women.

  61. Foamy Squirrel says:

    That’s because women are smarter than guys.
    If I had any sense I would have stayed a lurker too. 😉

  62. Triple Option says:

    David Poland wrote: And TripOp… you realize the AFI list thing is wildly corrupt, yes?”
    Yes, that’s kinda my point. It’s all bs but not so much worse than anything else that’s out there. I guess the fact that I can see why someone would call it the worst year validates or at least makes the notion get a pass. I don’t know the author’s work. I didn’t get the sense he’s somebody who would’ve written this piece any random time over the past 15-20 years.
    Side note. Does the Secret in their Eyes count for this year? I know it didn’t get released here in the US, (at least to my knowledge), until this year but considering it won the Oscar this year, for last year’s submission, wouldn’t it fall in the 2009 batch? I only saw it this spring but mentally it’s filed away as one of last years films, for me.
    I still think a lot of labeling of this movie year has to do w/anticipation. There were really only films I had any real eager desire to see prior to their release, Inception and Salt. Toy3 I knew I would see, and prbly liked it more than any film, but it wasn’t like I was dying to see it before hand.
    Most years I at least have some film in the back of my mind that I’m asking about for the fall, “Hey, do you know if “_______” is gonna be out in the fall or is it a Christmas time release?” That sort of thing but even that’s nothing.
    I had small desires to see Predators, which I enjoyed, and the new Wall St movie but the sort of lack of support seemed to let my pilot light burn out for them. Still, I gotta agree w/the author there’s too much wrapped up in sequels and “based upon” titles. I’m still waiting to be pleasantly surprised by a new trailer. At best, they’ve been “meh” or “yeah, maybe” but all too often I just sit there thinking “are you kiddin’ me?!”
    Oh, correction, Kick-Ass I was looking forward to. It wasn’t as disappointing to me as Salt and Inception but still let a little wind out. When your highly anticipated films don’t live up or come close what help is there for the mortal films? And no it’s not about over hyping a movie in my mind or that I didn’t see anything I liked cuz I’m just getting old. In many cases I’d go to the theater with the hope of seeing one movie and if that were sold out I’d have a backup plan of one I wouldn’t mind sitting through. This year has been only lighty scattered w/Plan B’s and that’s not enough to really get me to really want to try.

  63. LexG says:

    Leydon ain’t lyin’.
    This blog is one uneventful motherfucker of late.

  64. IOv2 says:

    It’s August. Once September rolls around, there will be plenty to argue you about!

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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