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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Drive Klady in 3D

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39 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Drive Klady in 3D”

  1. JKill says:

    DRIVE ANGRY 3-D is so much fun. I hope more people check it out. Cage seems to be enjoying himself so much playing a terse, Eastwood-esq action lead. Fitchner is hilarious and awesome. Heard kicks all kinds of ass. I read she might be RED SONJA, and after seeing this, she would be perfect that or any other action role. Lussier and Farmer actually know what to do with 3-d, and use it very effectively. It does a good job of being a throwback without falling into homage or parody. It’s very much a modern day exploitation movie that is funny but it also takes itself just enough seriously to be involving and even sort of moving. Just a fun, cool blast of a flick.

  2. movieman says:

    Agree (mostly) with JKill.
    “Drive Angry” is as much of a throwback to ’70s grindhouse cinema as anything Tarantino (or Rodriguez) ever helmed. And its unapologetically “R”-rated “bad behavior” was actually kind of bracing in these “‘PG-13’ or die” times. As JKill noted, Fichtner kicks major ass. He steals every damn scene that he’s in.
    The major problem with the movie–and it won’t be for some people, obviously–is that it’s all climax/cliffhanger. As a result, it never really builds any momentum.
    The 3-D effects seemed more noticeable to my depth-perception impaired eyes in the trailer than the actual movie, but it’s still skillfully executed trash. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
    I’m actually kind of shocked that it opened so poorly

  3. IOv3 says:

    Here’s hoping the Grace Card makes some sheckles. You’ve got to support your local peeps.

    I also like that Drive Angry is on less screens than THE KING’S SPEECH! Come on, Summit! You didn’t even give the movie a fair shot at the weekend, not that it would have helped, but that screen count is weak sauce. Absolutely weak sauce but here’s to my part of the country going to see ANOTHER SHITTY FUCKING COMEDY!

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: Were you an extra in Grace Card, by any chance? For some reason, I like to think of you as a member of the cop/pastor’s flock.

  5. NickF says:

    Low theater count and even a worse gross. Has Drive Angry been sitting on a shelf? It seems like footage and other images of it were releases a year ago.

  6. indiemarketer says:

    When does Summit get blown up or do they coast until Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One for Thanksgiving dinner?

  7. jesse says:

    Man, if there’s one thing paying audiences at large seem to hate, it’s knowingly over-the-top thriller and horror pictures. It’s geek catnip, but audiences would rather watch a boilerplate Screen Gems PG-13 snoozer like The Roommate any day of the week (and I say that as someone who went to see The Roommate hoping it would be fun and not just a remake of Single White Female minus any sex or freakiness). Shoot ‘Em Up, Drive Angry, Grindhouse… even if something in that vein happens to make mild cash, like Crank, something like Crank 2 will NOT fly. I feel like a lot of younger audiences would rather see a shitty horror movie and feel superior to how stupid is (I feel like about 80% of the horror movies I’ve ever seen in the theater in Manhattan, good or bad, have elicited audience booing at the end), and older audiences would rather see a totally sincere clunker like Taken (that’s not really much less ludicrous than any number of self-consciously over-the-top movies). I mean, I do sometimes get a little tired of that geeky tendency of movies trying to out-grindhouse each other… but Drive Angry was so much more FUN than so many thrillers. You’ve got Cage playing it super straight, some cool action sequences, Amber Heard in cutoffs punching people… and it’s gonna be Cage’s biggest flop of the past decade or so (especially if you figure that almost all of the tickets sold were 3-D, as apparently it had something like 97% 3-D coverage) (the 2-D sites: drive-ins, which makes sense… great drive-in movie). More people wanted to see fucking Bangkok Dangerous than Drive Angry!

  8. movieman says:

    …and that made you “Angry.” Right, Jesse?
    Yeah. Me, too.
    And the fact that (apparently) more people wanted to see “Season of the Witch,” “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Ghost Rider,” “The Wicker Man,” the “Nat’l Treasure”s, et al, from Cage’s junk ouevre.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    No one wanted to see The Wicker Man. Seriously. Even if they actually saw it, they found out that they didn’t want to see it.

  10. movieman says:

    It still had a much better opening weekend than “Drive Angry,” Joe.
    Wasn’t it the #1 movie of Labor Day Weekend 2006?
    Speaking of Neil LaBute, I’m directing one of his plays (the superb “reasons to be pretty”) this summer. Keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t suffer a case of the sophomore jinx.
    Funny/ironic thing about LaBute: the worse his movies have become in the past decade (“Wicker Man,” the gratuitous “Death at a Funeral” remake, et al), the better his plays have gotten (e.g., “reasons” and “Fat Pig”).

  11. Krillian says:

    The Wicker Man was gloriously, entertainingly terrible. There’s a YouTube of the highlights of the Wicker Man that capture it well. It also might factor in why I rarely see Cage movies in theaters. (Did see Kick-Ass on the big screen….)

    I am stunned Drive Angry flopped this badly though. It would have been my choice if I was seeing something tonight.

  12. Foamy Squirrel says:

    The “Wicker Man as a Comedy” youtube vid is the best.

  13. Don R. Lewis says:

    jesse is spot-on, people just do NOT get these genre pics and I don’t know where the disconnect lies. They’d rather see a paint by the numbers piece of shit with some D-level teen pseudo stars than an honest to God, lowbrow genre film.

    Maybe the filmmakers making these kind of throw back types of films are hearkening back, WAY BACK, over the heads of the teenage ticket buyers. Couple that with the complete loss of the shitty local video store (not a bash, I miss them badly) where most kids would rent gory or action studded trash and suddenly the internet generation has an entire genre or type of film slip through their crack.

  14. Joe Straatmann says:

    I remember seeing The Wicker Man because I was starting a movie review podcast with a friend (It never really went anywhere. We didn’t have much chemistry, and he kind of disappeared. I still get texts from him, but he was getting into government forensics work, so he probably can’t talk about it).

    From what I understand from only seeing it in theaters, the theatrical cut was only about half as funny and double as completely lost. There’s no brutalizing of Cage at the end except to capture him and I don’t remember the “NOT THE BEES!!!!” moment. I’m sure I would’ve remembered. There’s not as much over-the-top brutality of women, and it just….. wandered. Occasionally, Cage would have a bi-polar moment and start shouting at everyone, but then next scene he would be back to being completely reasonable. Sometimes he’d summon a bike out of his ass, sometimes the bike would not be there. Angelo Badalamenti’s score just hummed along to what seemed to be an entirely different scene. It was an odd, sad experience, and even the site of Cage in a bear outfit didn’t register much. Good to see the unrated cut has found some sort of purpose, even if it’s a completely unintended one.

    And it sounds like I need to take a trip to see Drive Angry.

    EDIT: Oh, one vital thing I remember: The ending of the theatrical cut actually TEASED FOR A SEQUEL, with two women from the cult hanging out at the bars waiting to pick up two more unwitting men. I’m dead serious. It was one of the most stupidly wedged in and unecessary codas I have ever seen.

  15. Joe Leydon says:

    Trust me, JS: There were bees mentioned at the end of Wicker Man. And that wasn’t the worst of it.

  16. jesse says:

    The Wicker Man remake definitely doesn’t work but I always thought the LOLing at the YouTube clips of it was kind of cheap. It’s definitely pretty ridiculous, but some of that stuff is actually sort of weirdly darkly funny in context in a way that has to be at least a little bit on purpose. I’m not saying LaBute really nailed it or the movie doesn’t fall apart, but Cage’s outbursts *do* play as irrational outbursts during the movie; it’s not some 100% solemn movie that didn’t realize it was going nuts, at least I don’t think so.

    Still not good, but sort of speaks to that audience-superiority complex people have with horror movies.

  17. jerryishere says:

    Anyone notice that Tron Legacy passed $170mil domestic and is around $400 mil worldwide?
    Was that not the quietest blockbuster EVER?

  18. IOv3 says:


  19. LexG says:



    Also not just AMBER HEARD but the hottest THE HEARD has EEEEEEVER looked, I was practically out of my seat screaming OH MY GOD ARE YOU PEOPLE SEEING HER? LOOOOOOOOK AT HER, then she not only showed her feet but had a TOENAIL PAINTING SCENE, aka THE hottest thing ever, except there was some DOUCHE involved, it should have been Cage or another girl painting them but still AWESOME.

    Billy Burke is slowly becoming one of filmdom’s great low-rent smarmy assholes, and Fichtner should be NOMINATED for that work in 10 months. Also MIXON POWER.

    CAGE remains the poet laureate of American cinematic awesomeness. Of course it tanked, and yes, this stuff ALWAYS ALWAYS tanks, but who cares. Couldn’t have had a better time.

    And liked HALL PASS too.

    P.S.: The cut the AWESOME final tag from WICKER MAN for the DVD? I saw it in theaters, loved it, and DESPISE that it’s become some ironic beardo hipster-asshole Onion style punching bag, because it’s an interesting insane movie that’s very much of a piece with LaBute’s work, so it blows to see it derided as somehow incompetent or tacky when seen in context it’s so much funnier and weirder than some jerkoff YouTube clip.

    But the final scene with James Franco and… who was the other guy? Jason Ritter? Jason Segal? Was a hilarious capper and ABSOLUTELY the LaBute provocative touch. Why the hell would they cut that for DVD? Bet they’re regretting that now, since Franco’s such a big deal.

    God, DVD special edits are the worst. THEATRICAL ONLY. EVER.

  20. JKill says:

    I feel exactly the same way about THE WICKER MAN. It’s by no means great but it’s so strange and off, and as Lex said very much thematically linked to the rest of Labute’s work, that a lot of what people laugh at seems intentional. There’s an interview with Cage where someone asks him about the “cult” reputation of that movie, and he says something along the lines of he knew if he was running around in a bear suit and yelling it would be funny. That movie also has interesting atmosphere and is pretty tense and off putting in a good way. It doesn’t hold a candle to the original but it should be respected for trying its own thing and actually being original and about something.

    Oddly, I’ve liked Labute’s recent attempts at more mainstream material (WICKER MAN, LAKEVIEW TERRACE, DEATH AT A FUNERAL) quite a bit, and I think it’s partly due to how his sensiblity clashes and subverts expectations.

    Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to include Tom Atkins in my DRIVE ANGRY 3D run-down.

    “Thrill me.”

  21. Tim DeGroot says:

    The WICKER MAN DVD contains both cuts of the movie.
    Also had a good time at DRIVE ANGRY. Tom motherfucking Atkins, indeed.
    “Give the boys a clear view of the TAAAHHHRRRS.”

  22. jerryishere says:

    IO — I didn’t hate T:L…
    Had a fine time with it. As did the packed theater I saw it with Xmas week.
    I think the weird thing with that movie was it skewed younger than it was marketed. Kids I saw it with lapped it up. I mean it was PG — how many PG movies actually come out anymore?
    Instead they made it look like Blade Runner 2. Which it wasn’t nor was it aspiring to be (I would guess…).
    I think Disney marketing left a good 50-100mil on the table by not making it seem more family friendly.

  23. christian says:

    Tom Atkins? I’m 3D times there now!

    But what scared away folks was that underwhelming title.

  24. IOv3 says:

    Jerry, that post intention was goofing on people like Devin Farci who were going on about Tron Legacy being a failure and what not. I do agree that the film definitely would have made more if they directly marketed it towards kids, but it’s a PG film. A PG film that came out at the same time as Yogi Bear, and parents decided to take their kids to Yogi Bears. That’s parents for you… scared of TRON LEGACY of all movies.

  25. JKill says:

    Actually I would argue TRUE GRIT probably cut into TRON’s box office much more than YOGI BEAR. While violent, TRUE GRIT had kind of an adventure-thing going on that would appeal to families, of which there were many when I saw it. YOGI got to just under 100 million, which probably wasn’t what the studio was hoping for, and is something that really no one over 10 would be interested in. I ended up missing TRON in theaters because for me, personally, there were just other things out that looked more appealing. I look forward to catching up with it, though.

    Also, Tom Atkins has one of the most amazing hook-up moments in the history of cinema in the criminally underrated HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH. It’s jaw-dropping and amazing.

  26. christian says:

    Yes, Atkins and Nelkin. Hawt stuff.

  27. David Poland says:

    Nothing cut into Tron Legacy. There was plenty of money left on the table this holiday season. If Tron didn’t get it, that was Tron’s issue, whether the movie or the marketing.

    Overall, I think they did well. But not great. International saved the movie’s ass and Disney will see a small profit.

  28. IOv3 says:

    David, don’t lead us somewhere and not explain why. Why did the studios leave a lot of money on the table this past holiday season? EXPAND ON THAT THOUGHT, SIR! EXPAND ON IT!

    I am also disturbed by anyone who would take their kids to see True Grit. That’s just plain weird.

  29. JKill says:

    This is purely just my own personal experience but a lot of PG-13 action-ish movies are attended almost like family movies. For IRON MAN 2 you would’ve literally thought it was the new Shrek movie or something by the composition of the audience.

    I also had a lot of kids at my PARANORMAN ACTIVITY 2 viewing, and a little guy with his mom at LET ME IN, which actually worried me, but that’s a different subject…

  30. LexG says:

    Hopefully we’re a mere 365 days away from watching William Fichtner collect his Best Supporting Actor trophy for “Drive Angry.”


  31. leahnz says:

    i took my boy to see ‘true grit’. we giggled ourselves silly (and also, gasped several times — that sudden fingers/head shot, BAM! shock horror, it was great), perhaps our best cinema-going experience to date. adored ‘the grit’.

    re: this notion that labute’s fucking dire ‘wicker man’ deserves respect: my ass

    (but good luck with ‘reasons to be pretty’, movieman; in general i rather loathe labute, but i have faith in you)

  32. IOv3 says:

    Labute is a woman-hating jack ass and his Wicker Man is pure and utter shit. Seriously, Christopher Lee should head over to his house and hit Labute over the head with his cane.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Leahnz: You want us to respect your ass? Sorta like Tom Cruise in Magnolia wanted us to respect… Oh, wait, never mind.

    LexG: Have you considered trolling Facebook to relieve your, er, pent-up urges?

  34. JKill says:

    I’ve never understood the woman hating charge against Labute because I think his male characters are so purposefully impotent and dull and lost and angry. In contrast, even in WICKER MAN, the woman seem to be more in control and confident. I think you can read WICKER MAN as almost a parody of an insecure white, straight male’s worst nightmare would be. Obviously, I get that he treads on delicate ground but I think his intent is pretty clear without making any claims on him succeeding at this or not.

    The image of Christopher Lee hitting him with a cane, however, did make me smile. 🙂

    Did anyone see HALL PASS? It’s odd that DRIVE ANGRY was so poorly attended but many on these boards seemed to go it, whereas no one has said much of anything about THE NUMBER ONE FILM IN AMERICA. Although this may speak to the niche thing that our esteemed host often writes of.

  35. Krillian says:

    I love In the Company of Men, just one of the meanest movies ever made and still one of Eckhart’s best performances. LaBute hasn’t really done anything since to live up to it. Wicker Man’s over-the-top silliness means it’s a ridiculous movie that deserves to be remembered, not forgotten. I’d rather watch Wicker Man again than, say, anything headlined by Cedric the Entertainer. Maybe Seconds to Pleasure with Colin Firth and Ed Harris will be good.

    I caught Lemire & Vishnevetsky this weekend, which includes DP’s piece on Banksy (choppily edited piece, that) and Iggy actually thumbed up Hall Pass. I can’t say his argument swayed me that his take on the film was more valid than Christy’s, and she hated it.

  36. Joe Straatmann says:

    TRON Legacy was a $200 million+ sequel to an almost 30 year old movie that completely failed on its initial release and only has a cult following today. That’s why it wasn’t a complete smash, really. It’s a credit to Disney for getting behind the thing and pushing it to the success they got (It’s not a flop by any means).

    Lex, according to this, The Wicker Man unrated fades to black after Cage finds out what the wicker man’s for with an awkward “For Johnny Ramone” to start the end credits:

    And I was always under the impression a lot of Labute was revealing the “true” nature of men with power and the misogyny was a part of that, regardless of whether it’s pleasant or not. Then again, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen In the Company of Men and some of his other stuff, and I’ve seen none of his plays. I get that a lot of The Wicker Man was using a reversal of gender roles to create an unusual and uneasy atmosphere for the main character and his “authority” (Which seems forced into the character), but it doesn’t work. At all. When it starts kicking Leelee Sobieski 4 feet across the room, whatever it’s trying to do isn’t working.

  37. LexG says:

    1) LaBute is a GENIUS and a personal idol. He is GOD. And SHAPE OF THINGS is the most brilliant thing he’s done.

    2) That Franco-less ending of Wicker Man sounds/looks terrible.

    3) I give HALL PASS a thumbs-up. Especially to Richard Jenkins’ role as an aging p-hound, and whoever that Bud Bundy-looking barista/DJ kid was. Plus that Australian chick’s tits.

    4) For a chick who isn’t really “hot,” Leelee Sobieski kind of gives me a boner.

  38. yancyskancy says:

    Wow, I just surfed upon a minute of Tom Atkins in CREEPSHOW last night and thought, “He’s no longer with us, right?” Had no idea he was in DRIVE ANGRY. Must say, all these positive mentions will probably get me to see it, assuming it’s not pulled in record time.

  39. christian says:

    And check out early Atkins in THE NINTH CONFIGURATION…

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