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David Poland

By David Poland

Poll du Jour: Super Transformers 48

I’ve been reading some angry, angry reviews of Transformers: Dark Side of The Moon… even one twitter snark by someone who just last week was angry that I dared to wonder why critics were piling on so much on Bad Teacher, this week claiming that everyone who gave Tr3 a “kind” review was just happy that it hadn’t killed us. And I started to wonder if this film was the flip side of Super 8. Is the Abrams/Spielberg a great memory of the bright, fresh lawns of our past and the Bay/Spielberg an opportunity to be angry about those big dumb robots messing up the same lawn. Or as the poll question asks…

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3 Responses to “Poll du Jour: Super Transformers 48”

  1. JS Partisan says:

    If I appreciate both, where does that leave me man? WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME?

  2. LYT says:

    Aren’t both tapping into the same general thing – nostalgia for ’80s entertainment?

    Yes, Super 8 is set in the ’70s but it clearly riffs on ’80s Spielberg. Transformers became a phenomenon that same decade.

  3. LexG says:

    A couple days late, but the first hour of Bad Teacher is COMIC FUCKING GENIUS. It fades in the stretch, and gets increasingly haphazard, but the first 2/3rds is near-brilliant and Diaz is a GENIUS and one of the best leading ladies ever, one of the ONLY women ever who is funny but still sexy. And it has a Shawn Mullins joke.

    Now where do you cast your vote for “Transformers is more awesome but Elle Fanning is CUTE! CUTE!”?

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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