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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB 9/13/10

Yeah… neglected the blog… so goes TIFF…

The good part is that you get Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas, Alex Gibney, Shia LeBouff, Christine Vachon, Paul Giamatti, Thandie Newton, Hayden Christensen, Rosamund Pike, Vera Farmiga, Keanu Reeves, and Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff and James F-ing Caan… amongst others. The bad part is that I have been quiet.

Here is some room to play.

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39 Responses to “BYOB 9/13/10”

  1. cadavra says:

    I’ll start. Just got back from CAMERAMAN, the doc with and about legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff, which is playing two a day at the Sunset 5 till Thursday. One of the absolute best movies of its kind I’ve ever seen.

  2. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Just noticed on BoxOfficeMojo – Twilight: Eclipse added 791 locations over the weekend (bringing the total back up to 1,187). The weekend take jumped up 71.3% to add another $740k to the domestic gross.

    My guess – someone at Summit did a deal to bring it back onto screens specifically to hit the $300mil mark… an agonizingly close $366k away.

  3. SJRubinstein says:

    Of all the recent movie-to-musicals I’ve seen lately, “Leap of Faith” is actually pretty great. And Raul Esparza, particularly towards the end, is fucking amazing. They’re still working on it, but the crowd I saw it with was on their feet and completely hooked. As was I.

  4. ThriceDamned says:

    Inception has hit $700m worldwide.

    Time to start trumpeting David.

    I have to say that I lost a lot of respect for you due to your obvious bias against the film and your incredibly sloppy journalism when you dropped “I don’t think it’ll see $600m at this point” during a time when it had already pulled in something like $550m, was going strong in major markets and had still to open in places like China and Italy.

    You keep railing against other industry journalists for their sloppy number crunching….well….

  5. leahnz says:

    as a mild dyslexic, i keep reading about this movie playing toronto called ‘the constipator’…thinking maybe it was like the next installment of ‘the human centipede’. i was way off.

  6. joey says:

    Anyone catched Rabbit Hole? Was it good? Hope it was. Nicole Kidman is one of the most fascinating actresses of our time I think.

  7. Harris says:

    DP, did you see The Ward? Was checking through Twitter this morning and it seems that a few fans of the filmmaker are forgiving it with faint praise, but the paying hoi polloi thought it was garbage.

  8. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Could Devil revitalize Shyamalan’s credibility, even though he’s only a producer (and assuming it’s not terrible and doesn’t flop)? I know the horror crowd is extremely geeked out about it. I actually think it looks pretty cool, too. M. Night has become quite the punching bag and I wonder if Devil will change that if it turns out to be a decent horror flick.

  9. The re-release was advertised as ‘celebrating Bella Swan’s birthday’. But yes, I’m assuming the goal was to get the film over $300 million. Maybe next weekend.

  10. DP actually opened his Unbreakable review back in 2000 with the idea that M. Night should do/would eventually do an anthology TV series (I remember because it was a good idea even as it was a left-handed critical slap at the same time). As one of the few M. Night fans who hasn’t given up on the guy yet, I think this is exactly what he should be doing for a little while. Let other people take his stories and play with them while he tries to get his mojo back. If Devil is bad, it wasn’t his film per-se. If Devil is a hit, than Shyamalan just gave the Dowdle brothers a big break/more exposure. As it is, my wife and I will be seeing Devil on opening night. Mainly because my wife is terrified of elevators (and I still haven’t learned how to quit Shyamalan).

  11. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Nobody’s seen it yet (according to Rotten Tomatoes) and that has to be because either it’s terrible or they’re trying to keep something from being spoiled. I hope it’s the latter. I agree that this does seem to be a good career move for Shyamalan, who I have definitely given up on. Lady in the Water and The Happening are two of the worst movies of the last 10 years. That they come from the same filmmaker is pretty astonishing.

  12. a_loco says:

    I met DP briefly in the lounge of the Intercon. I must say, it was amusing to see him standing only a few feet away from Ben Lyons.

  13. Clay says:

    I was recently in a theater and the trailer for Devil came on. The crowd was appropriately creeped out/intrigued by the thing and then the words “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” popped up (or something like that) and no joke, half the place just groaned. They rise high and they fall hard.

  14. Hopscotch says:

    Clay – Literally had the same experience with the Devil trailer. The thrill is gone.

  15. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I think it’ll do well despite the laughter generated when M. Night’s name is mentioned in the trailer. That’s not going to stop teenagers from seeing it. If The Last Exorcism can open to $20 million, surely Devil can hit at least mid-teens.

  16. SJRubinstein says:

    I have a feeling that “Devil” is going to be massive. The commercials are great, the trailers play really well, I’ll bet it surpasses “Last Exorcism” actually. That said, all the outdoor ads here – on the backs of busses, etc. – don’t have a single mention of Shyamalan or Night Chronicles. All title and image.

  17. ManWithNoName says:

    Has anyone read Drew’s mini-review of the Social Network? In it, he hints at some major drama resulting in his departure from a previous website. Did he leave AICN on bad terms?

  18. M. Night’s track record is a strange thing. We all shake our heads, but his only genuine flop was Lady in the Water. Hell, take that fluke out of the picture, and Night hasn’t had an opening under $30 million since The Sixth Sense. Come what may, the guy opens a picture. As it is, whatever the consensus was on Lady in the Water, most people didn’t see it. And whatever the consensus is on Last Airbender, the target audience for Devil probably didn’t see a PG-rated adaptation of a Nickelodeon cartoon. So, for casual moviegoers who like horror/thriller films, M. Night is probably still that guy who made Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and kinda disappointed with The Village. He’s got The Happening against him for sure, but that’s one genuine whiff in eleven years if you only see his films that are sold as suspense pictures (I’d argue that his only pure thrillers were Sixth Sense, Signs, and The Happening, but that’s a discussion for another day).

    If it sounds like I’m bending over backwards to defend the guy, I’m not. The fact that his progressively lousier movies keep making money anyway is terrible for his artistic prospects. Just like Alice in Wonderland grossing $1 billion while Sweeney Todd being (wrongly) perceived as a flop is almost tragic for us Burton-freaks who miss the guy who made Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, and Batman Returns.

  19. cadavra says:

    M. Night should take a tip from Spike Lee. His name was nowhere to be found on the marketing for INSIDE MAN, and the picture was a substantial hit. Would it have done less if trumpeted as A Spike Lee Joint? We’ll never know, but I’m guessing yes.

  20. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    M. Night’s financial track record is quite different from the quality track record.

  21. SJRubinstein says:

    I guess I missed the memo that Tak Fujimoto shot “Devil,” which makes sense. Really think his work on “Breach” is some of the must underrated of his oft-underrated career.

  22. LexG says:

    Rehashing this complaint for the dozenth time, but…

    I think a few dozen more movies need to come out this weekend. Or next. Or October 1st. I guess it gets like this every fall, but the summer seemed SO sparse, whole weekends going by with just one “eh whatever” non-blockbuster like Prince of Persia or MacGruber or Greek.

    This week we get The Town, Never Let Me Go, Easy A, Catfish and Devil. It’s so nuts that those last two are BOTH SUSPENSE MOVIES from THE SAME STUDIO. Isn’t that basically like if Fox put out Predators and A-Team on the same Friday? Or Disney dropping Persia AND Sorcerer’s Apprentice on the same weekend?

    How’s anything going to break out of such a clusterfuck weekend? Next weekend three or four major things come out (Wall Street, that owl thing, You Again), and the 1st is a bloodbath between Social Network and Let Me In, both of which, again, would seem to target the exact same smart film geek audience.

    Is the entire rest of the year THIS congested? I was afraid to even look beyond mid-October.

  23. LexG says:

    For that matter:

    How is THE TOWN tracking? Someone upthread said DEVIL might be a huge break-out opener; I was always assuming TOWN would have some big 25-30 mil weekend, but maybe it’s viewed as a smaller movie than that?

    Easy A seems to have a lot of hype, but no one really knows who Stone is, and despite the pleasant buzz, I CAN’T see that opening at more than 15.

  24. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Lex, you forgot Alpha and Omega this weekend, the animated movie. The Town is definitely going after a different audience than Easy A and Devil, and it looks good, but how much of a draw is Affleck these days? I can see it opening behind Devil and Easy A and hitting low-to-mid teens. You’re right though these sure are some crowded weekends.

  25. Affleck has some huge openers, but they are all either Michael Bay epics (Pearl Harbor -$59m, Armageddon -$36m), pre-established franchises (Daredevil -$40m, Sum of All Fears -$31m), or ensemble pieces (He’s Just Not That Into You -$27m). Take away those (and you can certainly argue that he gets partial credit for at least a few of those openings), and his biggest opening weekend is $17 million for Changing Lanes (ironically one of his best films/performances). The typical Ben Affleck star-vehicle opens around the $13 million range (Forces of Nature, Bounce, Paycheck, etc). Adjusting for inflation and solid buzz, I could see The Town (which only cost around $40 million) pulling in $20 million, but anything more would be a genuine surprise.

  26. SJRubinstein says:

    See, THIS is why I can’t wait for “Jackass 3D”:

    At first glance, it just looks like a buffalo ramming Johnny Knoxville in the crotch. But then you see the rollerskates and realize he is challenging the statement made in Roger Miller’s famed novelty song (“You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd”). It’s that attention to detail that makes me, sadly, love these guys.

  27. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Apparently Bobby Kotick has aspirations to enter the VOD market:

    “If we were to take that hour, or hour and a half, take it out of the game, and we were to go to our audiences for whom we have their credit card information as well as a direct relationship and ask, ‘Would you like to have the StarCraft movie?’, my guess is that … you’d have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever.”

  28. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    The Devil reviews are trickling in. So far, not good.

  29. cadavra says:

    And this surprises you because…?

  30. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Ah, I didn’t say I was surprised. I mentioned before that no one had seen it because they were trying to hide twists or it wasn’t any good. Not surprised, but I did think it looked promising, so a little disappointed.

  31. torpid bunny says:

    I assume my input is not needed but moviecity is still the old website on my work pc (safari or explorer). Looks fine on my mac. You’re welcome.

  32. leahnz says:

    i just got an earful from a friend skiting about ‘easy A’ as a cut above the usual recent poorly-written, cliche teen girl drek, so fingers crossed it does well (and i only have to wait about 3 months to see for myself. blech)

    i said this in another thread off topic but SBC as freddie mercury sounds intriguing

  33. Sid says:

    Devil always struck me a twilight zone episode rather than an actual feature film. In fact the “Night Chronicles” should have been conceived for the small screen…

  34. leahnz says:

    am i missing something? seems like i went away on holiday just as the new-fangled blog was finding its feet and some weird extinction-level event happened in the interim i’m not privy to. so quiet. where’s all the gang? maybe i’m just paranoid and it’s my imagination. i hope so

  35. Al E Ase says:

    no it’s been real quiet this past week and a half.

  36. leahnz says:

    good to know, at least i’m not imagining things

  37. cadavra says:

    It just may be that some people are a bit put off by the new format. New Light Bulb Syndrome, if you will.

  38. Al E Ase says:

    I reckon it may have something to do with not being able to simply type in the hot blog to access the blog directly. Going into your bookmarks is less intuitive

  39. leahnz says:

    yes i wondered if it might have something to do with resistance to change, change can be depressing and annoying (i hadn’t thought about people not wanting to use a bookmark and type in ‘the hot blog’ instead, very existential). but things appear to have perked up anyway

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