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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB: 235 Years Of Relative independence

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117 Responses to “BYOB: 235 Years Of Relative independence”

  1. Dan Revill says:

    (not mine – but had to share)

  2. sam says:

    Watched “No Strings Attached” the other day. Found the stars charming enough to overlook inherent stupidity running throughout the movie. More important, Portman maintains her title as the most beautiful Jewess in the world.

  3. LexG says:

    “More important, Portman maintains her title as the most beautiful Jewess in the world.”

    I’d say Kunis and Johansson are pretty close, at least.

  4. JKill says:

    So Simon West’s THE MECHANIC was a very fun, almost shockingly R-rated dramatic action thriller. Statham and Foster both give very strong performances and the whole thing works much better than it should, eschewing the more existential, almost minimal elements of the great Bronson original, but still retaining the basic premise and doing different, new things with it. The action sequences actually had me wincing and turning away from the screen, which doesn’t happen much. Curious if West can successfully continue this hard-R action vibe with THE EXPENDALBES 2.

    Also watched I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, which was, in my opinion, one of the most underrated of last year’s films, something that should have gotten awards love and didn’t. Carrey is brilliant, nailing both the pathos and the humor of his character. It’s some of the funniest stuff he’s done in a good while (I laughed out loud frequently), and the whole movie is kind of a successful blend of his crazy mainstream work and his more serious dramatic-indie work. McGregor is perfect too. I don’t want to divulge too much because it’s a movie of surprises but I hope it finds an audience on DVD/streaming because it deserves it. And, man, what a screenplay!

  5. sanj says:

    saw Wakewood – horror film that didn’t explain much with
    average ending . hated the music .. but the kid was good.
    this needs a US remake that fixes a few things it could be
    a huge hit

    wakewood trailer

  6. sanj says:

    one for DP

    Amitabh Bachchan talks box office and critics – kinda hard
    to read.

    Box Office: Buddah Amitabh beating up on Delhi Belly

  7. samguy says:

    @LexG: Don’t get the ScarJo thing, cute but still looks like a kid. (Also loses points for Sean Penn.) Kunis is a hottie but is haunted by Meg Griffin.

  8. yancyskancy says:

    samguy: Have you ever seen a pic of ScarJo from the neck down? 🙂

  9. actionman says:

    HUGE fan of Philip Morris. Great film.

  10. jesse says:

    JKill, totally agree on Phillip Morris: funny, affecting, dark, sort of brilliant, and Carrey does indeed fuse his indie sensibilities with his physical comedy sensibilities. It’s one of his very best performances, and probably his best comedic performance ever.

    If you’ll permit me a touch more linkwhoring (whorish but on the bright side: has nothing to do with Paris Hilton), when the DVD of Phillip Morris came out, I wrote an essay about Carrey with that and the recent Cable Guy Blu-Ray as touchstones:

  11. LexG says:

    I like how dorks on the internet act like they aren’t jealous of someone getting to make out with Paris Hilton. Anyone taking pictures of or writing news stories about YOUR sexual travails lately?

    If you’re not famous, you’re a fucking asshole.

  12. JS Partisan says:

    Darn it. I am a fucking asshole. Son of a bitch.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    JSP: There seems to be quite a lot of us hanging out here.

  14. LexG says:

    I’m JUST SAYING, does it not MURDER YOU that like The Kardashians are famous, and you go through life driving crappy cars not being photographed and not GETTING PAID?

    Not like I haven’t done this shtick before, but what’s the point of doing “the right things” in life– college, marriage, etc– if you’re gonna end up a Dodge Aries driving sadsack with high blood pressure and flood pants, then you pull up at a stoplight and some barely-literate thug in a flat-brim who’s 17 years old is driving a Lexus with two supermodel pieces of vagtail in his car?

    All that matters is FAME and MONEY. Life fucking sucks and I think I’m going to commit suicide.

  15. David Poland says:

    See what I meant about relative independence?

    Lex… if you really wanted one of these hos – and they are loose in every way – you could do that. It’s not brain surgery. Maybe you’d never have the bank to be taking Paris’ internal temperature – I’d be afraid that I’d find Amelia Earhart in there – but you could easily be a Turtle… and probably even a Johnny.

    Your problem is that you are too smart for the square life or for the ho life. You need to find a way to be doing something you’re actually passionate about, that will lead to women being attracted to you, and you’d be much happier.

    There are a lot of very attractive girls in this town who are not Paris Hilton, but who are productive members of society, have a brain in their head, and would love to find someone who is normal looking who would actually look them in the eye and exchange ideas… and then do happy naked things.

    To be the “17 year old driving a Lexus with two supermodel pieces of vagtail in his car,” you kinda have to be a fucking asshole.

    You can be a different kind of fucking asshole at times, Lex, but mostly, you just want to feel good about the world. And I think you know, in the end, it’s not about faux supermodel vag girls who are even more desperate and pathetic than you think you are.

    Pay the fare, man. Pay the fare.

  16. LexG says:

    I can’t get aroused for women who aren’t famous.

    Even when I’ve been with someone, after the first time or two, I’d have to focus on like a Charlize Theron poster to maintain arousal. I’ve never wanted a ‘regular’ woman. They’re boring. I only think famous chicks are hot. Probably because I don’t KNOW THEM.

    The thing I find about relationships with regular women is you have to know their FAMILIES and their HABITS and their PERSONALITIES, and it’s the old “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.” Sex is the most evil and dirty thing ever, thanks to my Catholic upbringing, so once I’m in a relationship, *I* default the woman to MOTHER FIGURE and I’m not aroused anymore. Anyone who LIKES ME I can’t fathom the idea of the level of fetish-based objectifying sex that would make me happy.

    I’m fine with only being with prostitutes for all eternity… I just wish I had the money and fame to attract them.

    I also wish I wasn’t so ugly, fat, BALD, and that I didn’t have larger breasts than Jessica Simpson.

    I just lost 25 pounds and I still look, as leahnz says, a “doughball.”

  17. LexG says:

    Hey, Casey Anthony just got a NG verdict.

    Hot, hates kids, likes to party. YEP YEP!

  18. Don R. Lewis says:

    I was going to mention this in the weekend grosses thread before it got epically derailed but…

    Do studios open the books on corporate sponsorship fees paid to their movies? I saw Trannies 3 this weekend and good God, there was about 35 different products placed in there. I don’t have too much of a sense as to what these corps paid to be in the movie but I know from seeing his doc, Morgam Spurlock got a cool $1 million from POM to sponsor his film. And Spurlock is pretty small potatoes financially, especially compared to T3.

    In follow up- when looking at a films grosses (which I really don’t give a shit about really) shouldn’t how much was paid forward by product placement go into the stew as well? Not just in the actual movie but like….a fast food tie-in or a big store like Target and State Farm Insurance (I think it’s them?) for CARS 2. I just wonder how “hurting” many of these films and studios really are.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, I’m glad I didn’t bet money on the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial. I would have lost.

  20. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, there’s never been any proof Anthony did anything else but lie. That’s it. Reason enough why I’ve never thought she were guilty.

    Don, it would seem they do not include such things and that’s another reason why going on about how much these movies cost is literally ridiculous.

    Lex, that you don’t find the opposite sex interesting outside of making them a defacto mom. Should maybe make you think.

  21. LexG says:

    The idiot Kardashian sisters being all “OMG How could she be found NOT GUILTY? What an INJUSTICE!” on Twitter, sans irony, is the funniest thing ever.

  22. sanj says:

    dude with a story .. 15 seconds to read it.

  23. LexG says:

    sanj says:

    Hey DP, how about a DP/30 with Casey Anthony?

  24. Hallick says:

    “I’m JUST SAYING, does it not MURDER YOU that like The Kardashians are famous, and you go through life driving crappy cars not being photographed and not GETTING PAID?”

    Nope. Unless I could be Rob Kardashian who just makes money by being filmed playing video games with Lamar Odom and sponging off of his sister’s mansion. Move over Kato, there’s a new “America’s Houseguest” in town.

  25. sanj says:

    what amazes me about those Kardashians is that there are 2 spinoff shows

    hey DP – how many hours of e! channel can you watch straight without going crazy ?
    except for Ryan Seacreast nobody is ever going to get a DP/30 from there
    so i guess thats a good thing

  26. JKill says:

    I think the Kardashian sisters should have their own legal hour on COURT TV, or at least be regular pundits on Nancy Grace.

    Keeping Up with the Kriminals

  27. storymark says:

    What murders me about the Kardashians is that I even know who the fuck they are.

    (Though the Trek nerd in me giggles when I hear the name. Can’t help but hear it as Sean Connery saying “Cardasian”)

  28. jesse says:

    Lex, I’m far more jealous of Phillips never having to work another day in his life if he doesn’t want to (and, you know, saves some of his money) than I am of him locking lips, or whatever else, with a creepy-looking bird-girl who’s only semi-famous for being semi-famous for being more famous in 2005. Because 80% of working sucks. I have an awesome wife but I don’t have the freedom to sleep in four or five days a week.

  29. film fanatic says:

    This might be the first time I’ve ever heard of someone being jealous that they’re not contracting herpes.

  30. David Poland says:

    Don… the studios started making big adjustments because of DVD a couple of years ago… so they aren’t hurting right now. This summer, almost every single wide release will be well into profit. Every Green Lantern could squirm back into black with a decent overseas showing as it expands.

    Transformers is probably one of the biggest placement movies ever, starting with the autobots.

    Placement money does go into the statements. Agents aren’t stupid.

    The whole thing about movies never making money is oooooold news. And I would guess that most “net” deals are now based on a target, not studio P/L statements from the movies. Or they are “gross” deals based on targets. Semantics at some point.

    If you have a good lawyer and a good agent, being a victim of this system now is not likely. Old deals are another issue. But agents these days are counting the money almost as aggressively as the studio accountants… maybe more. And not always in any specific client’s best interest.

  31. JKill says:

    Good essay, Jesse. I particularly liked the parallels with ILYPM and his other broader comedic work.

    Also you mention in your essay that many of the best parts of ILYPM were Carrey improvs. While it’s not as a successful movie (not by a long shot), the Apatow/Stoller/Petrie commentary track for FUN WITH DICK AND JANE is shocking in how many of the funniest moments and lines and even story beats were attributed by the filmmakers to Carrey. He’s got amazing instincts, another aspect of how crazy talented he is.

  32. The Big Perm says:

    You need money and fame to attract prostitutes?

  33. film fanatic says:

    DP: Aren’t product placements more about marketing tie-ins that amortize some of the money on media buys, instead of actual money fronted to the production budget?

    RE: JIM CARREY — I would argue that he is far from over. He just needs to be a little more discerning and prolific (seemingly a paradox, I know). POPPERS seems an ill-advised move into Eddie Murphy kiddie territory, but his last two “proper” comedies (YES MAN and FUN WITH DICK AND JANE) both did $100M Domestic/$200M+ worldwide, which is not really that far off of the typical “Adam Sandler” number.

  34. David Poland says:

    FF – Marketing deals have much bigger price tags. But they are still marketing for the product. So, Heineken is still selling Heineken. But they might spend $5 million on the ad with a movie star that promotes the movie and also commit to $20m or $30m in ads buys. Win all around, even if no cash changes hands.

    On the other hand, some watch company might commit to a $2m print campaign co-branding the film… but also throw $1m to the production budget.

    In a case like Transformers, it is likely some solid money to the production on top of a marketing commitment from GM (it is still GM, right?).

    Sponsorship cash, in general, has dropped off a lot in the last few years. There is a lot more “in-kind”. But there are a lot of ways to skin this cat. If you are the size company that spends hundreds of millions in TV advertising a year, that cash can be flexed in a lot of directions.

  35. David Poland says:

    Carrey isn’t over. He just needs to make cheaper films so the studios don’t feel like they are in real danger of losing money every time out. He got to the place where every film he was attached to was $100m+.

  36. Krillian says:

    Just saw I Am Number Four. It’s an iPhone commercial disguised as a young-adult alien movie.

  37. Madam Pince says:

    @Krillian – That’s the movie with the “teenager” who looks like a weather beaten, tobacco chewing 40 year old trucker, right? That movie had strange ads. “He’s in high-school???”

  38. jesse says:

    Thanks, JKill. That’s interesting to hear about Fun with Dick and Jane. It’s weird, because even Carrey’s earlier, less Big Studio efforts (the weird Ace Ventura movies and the slightly scrappier New Line comedies like Dumb & Dumber and The Mask) tend not to really live up to his potential (well, Dumb & Dumber is pretty damn good). It’s kind of a shame: like Sandler, Carrey doesn’t quite have a flat-out broad-comedy classic, and instead his best movies have been the darker, less overtly comedic stuff. And I say that as someone who quite likes Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, and more recently You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. But Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller, even Seth Rogen and Steve Carell, have gotten a lot closer to that Bill Murray/Steve Martin/John Belushi thing of at least one recognized classic earlier in their careers, even though Carrey and Sandler had been leading comedians for longer. Although, I don’t know, Caddyshack and Stripes are semi-mangy movies when you actually watch them, so maybe they aren’t THAT much better than Happy Gilmore.

  39. hcat says:

    The problem they had with Dick and Jane though is that all that improvisation takes many takes and drives production over budget and off schedule. The budget on that film ended up being around $100 million so even though it did well it was a break even proposition instead of the cash cow it could have been.

  40. sanj says:

    getting back to The Kardashians – people who have real talent don’t go on these dozen or so reality shows .

    there a lot of actors who could do these types of shows
    just to get a bit more popular .

    remember Jessica Simpson reality show ? remember way back when she used to sing .. nobody cares about her anymore…. they don’t rerun her reality show anymore.
    she doesn’t make music videos anymore ..her own website
    hasn’t been updated for 6 months.

    i’d like to see real actors make some reality tv thats real. Carey Mulligan and Juno Temple would be good – they are under 30 …most of USA has no idea who they are..
    they could do something interesting cause they are good
    at talking about real things and none of the crap the
    Kardashians put out.

    nobody in reality tv land is willing try new things . so
    that’s why we get suvivor 25 and big brother 18 and whatever lame thing Donald Trump has got going on.

    Angelina Jolie is always going around the world trying to save kids from crazy wars ….so give her 13 episodes .
    yeah big celebrities can’t fix anything….but Jolie might be able too if done right. so what’s the problem ? mtv
    won’t allow real poverty on tv.

    also LexG needs a tv show on e! called Look At Her!!! with LexG and friends . 30 minutes of LexG ranting about
    his favorite actresses ..

  41. SamLowry says:

    In 30 years, these reality-TV “stars” will be wishing they were as famous as Zsa Zsa Gabor.

    Here’s a question for you: Would you rather be rich and famous now, or still remembered a century from now? Those two hardly ever go together. For a hoot, check out the bestselling authors from a hundred years ago:

    Recognize anyone? Yeah, Winston Churchill, but he wasn’t exactly remembered for those novels, was he? Tarkington, Wells and Conrad appear with books that no one remembers, but then there’s Zane Grey, chucking out the occasional potboiler that maybe a few people still read every now and then.

    In other words, the popular money-making works were crap, tossed into the dustbin of history. The “classics” we still remember–The Magnificent Ambersons took the frickin’ Pulitzer Prize but still didn’t crack the top ten–were never as lucrative or popular.

  42. sanj says:

    how about a DP/30 with Jessica Simpson – you have too spend 1 day watching all 41 episodes of Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica ..then you have to spend a day watching all her movies.

    it’s worth it if DP can make her famous again and she ends up with an oscar. hey it could happen
    it happened with Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls.
    now she’s doing commercials for weight loss.

  43. LexG says:

    “LexG needs a tv show on e! called Look At Her!!! with LexG and friends. 30 minutes of LexG ranting about his favorite actresses.


  44. SamLowry says:

    57 channels and nothin’ on…

  45. leahnz says:

    ” “In the meanwhile, let’s play, “Spot The Arrogant Ass!!!”

    Please tell us, which statement is arrogant crap and which is the precious petals of fair insight?! It should be easy, as they are the “exact opposite” of one another.

    “i’m not a fan of ‘love, actually’ but i can see how others could argue it’s a very good movie for what it is”

    “Love Actually is not a very good movie, even if it makes a lot of people feel good.””

    here ya go, DP, delayed reaction from the other thread, spaced on a reply at the time — well actually i thought it was a bit too inane and asshole-y to reply to and then i forgot about it, but i’ve rallied after catching up and how can one resist a challenge to play ‘spot the difference’ (aka the arrogant ass) with such a first-rate raconteur.

    so spot the diff:

    A. “Love Actually is not a very good movie, even if it makes a lot of people feel good.””

    comment A says two things:
    the commenter believes ‘love actually’ is a poor movie (based on the commenter’s subjective taste, naturally, so it couldn’t possibly be ‘good’), but crappy movies can still make people feel good and be enjoyable.

    compared to (and this is my exact quote rather than the conveniently cherry-picked portion you quoted above):

    B: “i’m not a fan of ‘love, actually’ but i can see how others could argue it’s a very good movie for what it is, i certainly wouldn’t say because it’s not my cup of tea that it’s not a good movie.”

    comment B says two things: the commenter does not particularly care for ‘love actually’, but is willing to accept that because one doesn’t personally care for a movie that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie – one can dislike a good movie – and that one can accept personal taste does not dictate ‘quality’.

    how this is confusing, i’m not sure, but the two sentiments are indeed opposites.

    sentiment 1: when i don’t like a movie that means it’s not a good movie, but that’s not to say people can’t enjoy a shit movie.” (ego-driven nonsense whereby one’s taste is deemed ‘quality’).

    sentiment 2: when i don’t like a movie, that doesn’t mean by necessity it’s not a ‘good movie’, or that others who think it’s a good movie are mistaken and just enjoying crap (acceptance that one’s personal taste does not dictate ‘quality’).

    night and day.

    so which sentiment flows from an arrogant ass, #1 or #2?
    (hint: it’s not #2)

    there all done, happy to play, tho belatedly

  46. LexG says:

    I’ve auditioned for Big Brother multiple times, as well as other reality and game shows here and there, though less so in the last year or two.

    I would do just about anything to be famous, be it Penn style artist-actor fame, or Russell From Survivor.

    I just want to be FAMOUS, to be photographed, written about, and have all my sexual adventures reported in the press. I don’t give a shit about “integrity” or any of that. Shit, if I could get just a little more NET FAMOUS as a freakshow/spazz/wack pack type loser, I’d TOTALLY do porn, like how Stern’s Wack Pack ends up getting to bang porn stars and stuff.


  47. leahnz says:

    what a pity your mother didn’t ‘make you gay’

  48. LexG says:

    She did her best.

  49. scooterzz says:

    verdict’s still out on that one, leah….

  50. LexG says:

    You two dimwits never get tired of this shit?

  51. sanj says:

    entourage is back – end of the month. too long .
    i want to watch all of it now .
    just double the video ads and have hbo put them all up.

    DP – you have access to everything …. how’s the first few episodes ..

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    SamLowry: Actually, I don’t think you have to go back quite that far. Seriously: When was the last time you heard anyone talking about Valley of the Dolls, Jonathan Livingston Seagull or even The Carpetbaggers? I would not be surprised to hear that Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage sold more copies last year than all those other books put together. Love Story may have enjoyed a slight sales spike in 2010 when Erich Segal died. But even then…

  53. The Big Perm says:

    Lex, you’d probably get famous if you did like the GROSSEST porn possible. Make it part of your act, you could do shtick and have a bunch of people pee on you. Look at Ron Jeremy, he got famous just for being ugly. He can’t act and has no real charisma, but he’s in a ton of movies and tv.

  54. SamLowry says:

    I thought it was telling when Doctor Who ran into Charles Dickens (uh, yeah) the author asked “Are people still reading my books?”

    I suspect Danielle Steel wouldn’t give a rip–like Lex, she just wants the money now.

    P.S. Rowling has to sell 50 million more books before she can take the #10 spot from Gilbert Patten. Gilbert who, you ask? Maybe you remember him better as Burt L. Standish? No?

    Thank you, Gilbert, for proving my point.

  55. JKill says:

    I know it’s sacrelige but if Spike Lee directs the OLDBOY remake, as rumored today, I’ll watch the S*** out of it.

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

    Speaking of Old Boy and sacrilege, I think it’s overrated.

  57. sanj says:

    Star Trek : TNG actors . they are getting older.

  58. LexG says:

    Seriously, where IS the DP/30 for Monte Carlo?

    MONTE CARLO POWER LOOOOOOOK AT THEM, they show their feet the ENTIRE MOVIE. There’s a whole plot point about Katie Cassidy only packing 4-inch heels, so she has to walk around barefoot everywhere. And Selena gets tied to a chair.


  59. JS Partisan says:

    Skievy, skievy, and skievy.

  60. LexG says:

    Cute (Cassidy), cuter (Gomez) and cutest (Meester!)

    CUTE!!!!!!!!!! WANT THEM.

  61. sanj says:

    forbes rich actress list .

    if your rich – you don’t have to do a dp/30.

    since DP is the numbers guy – i’m sure DP will
    prove these numbers are wrong .

    Angelina Jolie, $30 million
    Sarah Jessica Parker, $30 million
    Jennifer Aniston, $28 million
    Reese Witherspoon, $28 million
    Julia Roberts, $20 million
    Kristen Stewart, $20 million
    Katherine Heigl, $19 million
    Cameron Diaz, $18 million
    Sandra Bullock, $15 million
    Meryl Streep, $10 million

  62. Don R. Lewis says:

    I’m with Paul….I *like* OLDBOY but really slathering fanboi’s, calm down already.

  63. LexG says:

    “Kristen Stewart, $20 million”


    The funny thing is, K-Stew’s dad is some John Carpenter-looking sadsack who works as an USHER at the George Lopez Show. Really, Kristen can’t throw her old man a few bucks to retire?

  64. JKill says:

    To elaborate my statement earlier, the reason I’m so excited for a possible Spike OLDBOY is I love when artist, auteur filmmakers “slum” and make genre material. INSIDE MAN rocks, and it’s really the only time Lee has ever done that type of thing. Other examples would include CAPE FEAR and SHUTTER ISLAND, or even DePalma’s THE UNTOUCHABLES or MISSION: IMPOSIBLE, where personal filmmakers extend their talents to, seemingly, more commercial material. I love the way they pevert and twist and manipulate enterainments to fit within their wheelhouse. Since they have such tremendous technical cinematic prowess, as well, there is such potential for amazing set peices and sequences that “hack” directors could never even dream of, the stuff that, well, “gets me off” filmically. But, as far as I know, this whole thing is still a rumor. It’s just that unlike Spielberg (who I worship) or Lin (who is underrated), Lee is a director who I could see really fit but also push the material. And while this may seem obvious, Denzel would CRUSH as the lead.

  65. sanj says:

    Kristen Stewart’s Dad Gets In Paparazzo’s Face

    i give it 5 years before Kristen Stewart life turns back
    to normal after all the twilight movies are out .
    3 years for Robert Pattison and 30 days for Taylor Lautner to go back to normal.

  66. David Poland says:

    Well… the Forbes list is kinda stupid.

    It calls it “highest paid actresses,” but counts Sarah Jessica Parker’s money from everywhere else.

    How many movies are they counting for Jennifer Aniston?

    How few movies are they counting for Kristin Stewart, who shot two Twilight movies this last year… are they counting both paydays?

    Cameron Diaz went a couple of years without getting close to her asking price. This last year, she was paid her price for one film and not for two others, though she will get a healthy back end (no pun intended) on Bad Teacher.

    It’s not that these are necessarily WRONG… but the perimeters are too vague to be of any value… aside from getting hype for Forbes.

  67. Joe Leydon says:

    JKill: Have to agree with you. In fact, I’ll go one step further: Coppola’s The Rainmaker and Altman’s The Gingerbread Man are almost criminally under-rated genre films by pantheon directors.

  68. sanj says:

    exactly DP – they gave no details on movies and product deals actresses have ..this list goes worldwide super fast
    and nobody really questions it cause its Forbes..
    only the nytimes has the resources to figure the numbers out and put out the right ones ..or maybe one of the trade papers like variety or hollywood reporters

    i’d really like to see any reporter ask these actresses directly if they are worth that much.

  69. sanj says:

    do actors freak out at all when fans go get tattoos of them ?

    a simple twilight tattoo seems fine but when you have
    the cast on your back … wow.

  70. LexG says:

    Can you imagine being 21 years old and being worth 20 MILLION DOLLARS? Like when I read that K-Stew’s Sister in Hotness, Taylor Swift, bought herself a house.

    A HOUSE. Who the fuck has a HOUSE? Who thinks they’re EVER going to have a HOUSE? Maybe in flyover, but in L.A. you have to have 10, 15 mil in the bank before you can comfortably get a house, and you’re still mortgaging that shit for a hundred years. Swifty just wheels out a bag of cash like DMX buying his car in EXIT WOUNDS.

    How does that not make you want to kill yourself?

    How can I make money? And I don’t mean the 20/hr I’m making for subtitling the DVD of Friends With Benefits tomorrow.

  71. hcat says:

    Hear Hear on the Rainmaker, best Grisham adaption by far, a parade of Hollywood’s most underutilized actors, and it rolls quite nicely well past the two hour mark.

    And while Denzel would be great in the role, I keep imagining Biz Markie. Seeing him glaring down on me with a hammer would immedialty evacuate my bowels.

  72. Hallick says:

    “Lee is a director who I could see really fit but also push the material. And while this may seem obvious, Denzel would CRUSH as the lead.”

    Choi Min-Shik was a young middle-ager, 42, maybe 43 when he did the original “Oldboy”, and Denzel would be almost 57. I think he’s a little too old and settled down at this point to really pull it off. The timing for the revenge plotline would seem rather late in the day for going after somebody closing in on retirement age.

  73. Anghus says:

    Oh my god. You have to subtitle friends with benefits…..

    You poor bastard. I can barely stomach the commercials for that one

  74. SamLowry says:

    “Really, Kristen can’t throw her old man a few bucks to retire?”

    That sound you just heard was the ghost of Gary Coleman laughing his ass off.

  75. Martin S says:

    Is it fair to think Spike would automatically cast a black lead? Oldboy would seem to fit more in-line with 25th Hour and Clockers.

    It’s a tough role because the play on age works on two levels with the audience. It’s one thing for the character to age on screen, it’s another for the audience to realize “wow, this guy has gotten fuckin old for real”. Smith, Foxx, Diesel, The Rock…none of these cats want to look close to late-40’s on screen because it’s not that far from the truth. So an older guy like Denzel works because he’s playing younger in a way. Or it’s going to be someone real young who’s aged.

  76. Triple Option says:

    Does Oldboy need to be re-made? I’m in the camp that it does not. Although Spike Lee makes a helluva lot more sense than Speilberg. Did I really hear that rumor right?? I don’t know if the Hughes Bros wouldn’t tear it up themselves but a director roll call is another matter.

    I never got around to seeing Let Me In. I’m in no rush to see US Dragon Tatoo and it’s not knock against Fincher, I just don’t see the artistic point. And it’s not that I was so enamored w/the original and find the thought of a re-make sacrilege. I hate to sound like a snob and I’m not going to suggest foreign cinema is superior but so much of American films are like drawn out of the 8-Box of Crayons. It’s not that you can’t get vibrant colors or memorable sequences, or in theory all the choices of the Craola 64 pack with the 8 but you just don’t see it.

    I remember my first thought walking out of seeing Run Lola Run from a tiny Los Felix theater, “No way that film gets made here.” In cases of the finer foreign films, they’re just concentrated in emotions not flexed here. I finally caught up with Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, (Lady V is next up). Holy sht#t, the pain! You wouldn’t see that here. Actually not sure they’d let you. Some of it could be classified as in questionable taste but man, he took you there. I saw an unedited version of the Italian film by the dude who did Cinema Paradiso called The Unknown Woman. Totally blown away and first thing I thought, “You never see that kind of relationship between the woman and the little girl.” Actually, limits on what would constitute abuse aside, you never see a kid performance like that here.

    Thought pretty much the same thing after seeing White and especially Red from the Krzysztof Kieslowski Tree Colors trilogy. You NEVER see those emotions here. Never! Even in a film like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, they had some mouth open and gawk, drop dead gorgeous women in that film but they weren’t glammed up or slutted out like they would be paraded around to ram home the point here. Even when I see a so-so foreign film, which would likely be the case, and think, had that been made in the US, the slow parts would’ve been the first thing jettison w/out ill effects, I still don’t desire seeing the film remade here.

    I realize one film’s remake has zero ability to change the quality or experience of the original, but when I think of The Departed compared to Infernal Affairs, it was like Joe Pa’s D getting burned on a naked bootleg on 3rd & 1. I just can’t believe how Scorsese totally missed what was going on in the film. Not that I don’t think Denzel and Spike couldn’t put out a quality film but honestly for that film Denzel wouldn’t be my first choice. Again, too familiar, if not too old. I’d want to see some unknown or lesser recognized actor at least. I think it’d be easier or more likely to get to some uncomfortable spaces. We do tough and revenge well here but from what I recall, there was still an ugliness, if you will, that was a little bit off the Charles Bronson/Clint Eastwood avenger we know so well. Maybe they get to C differently cuz they don’t start out going A to B like we generally do. I’d be just as happy to see them snag one of these foreign writers to pen something new, with all of its foreign trappings then let the American knowhow come through over the course of shooting. It could be original on many fronts.

  77. JKill says:

    I’m always shocked when I hear people prefer INFERNAL AFFAIRS to THE DEPARTED. INFERNAL AFFAIRS is great, exciting, contains one pretty awesome lead performance, and has good vibrancy and momentum to it but it doesn’t have the rich characters, humor, crackling dialogue, rock and roll verve, and the fusion of a pitch-black heart with an optimism and romanticism that is palpable and moving, not to mention Leo’s performance which, especially on repeat viewings, is stunning. IF is very plotty, whereas TD seems to be going after (and getting to) something more.

    Martin, the age thing is one of the reasons why I think Denzel would be perfect. His ability to portray righteous anger but also deep-seated emotional pain and weariness would be aces. (Just watched a little of Tony Scott’s MAN ON FIRE the other day…)

    TO, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGENCE is the kind of movie I see no real point in remaking because, as you say, it’s so dark, original and strange that no one could really touch what makes that movie so fascinating. It also, on the surface, has a fairly low-key concept, one that is all in the execution. Whereas OLDBOY has a pretty simple great premise where a filmmaker could really play and flex their muscles within the broad outline.

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

    I prefer Infernal Affairs. Has the better ending. Shorter and tighter. Haven’t seen it in a long time though. Denzel is a great actor and would probably be very good in Old Boy 2.0, but righteous anger and weariness are things he can portray in his sleep. Maybe they can wait a few more years and cast the awesome Anthony Mackie.

  79. The Big Perm says:

    WHile Oldboy doesn’t really need to be remade, I think the idea of remaking it works. Why not, it’s sort of comic booky.

    But Triple Option, I somewhat agree with your stance on foreign films but also really disagree. I mean, what foreign movies do you watch, the stuff that gets imported to the US? Or everything? Because as good as the best stuff may be, and may do dfferent things than the US would…the worst is MUCH MUCH worse than the shittiest by-committee Hollywood production starring Kevin James. How many horrible fucking Chinese or Japanese movies have I watched to see the good ones?

    We don’t tend toget the stupid stuff from other countries, we get the best. If it were reversed, how would other countries think of our cinema when they only get The Social Network, True Grit, and Black Swan? They’d think we just sit around watching intelligent well made movies all day.

  80. anghus says:

    i’ve read the entire Oldboy manga series. I love the movie.

    When people who’ve seen the movie act like the remake would be blasphemy i get a little confused.

    The movie is very different than the manga. Once you get past the first volume which sets the story up, they are two completely different stories.

    Motivations, the ending, a rich supporting cast of secondary characters. They’re so vastly different. You could make a movie, or a mini series on the Manga and it would be completely different from the movie.

    What would suck is if they remade the movie and didn’t go back to the source material to adapt something that could be different and worth the creative investment.

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

    That’s a good point Big Perm. I watch as much foreign horror as I can, and usually it’s better than U.S. horror. But I’m sure I’m only seeing the best each country has to offer. Most shitty foreign horror is probably not getting distributed here.

  82. The Big Perm says:

    Yeah, people have these rose-colored glasses on about foreign stuff…but we get what, 5% of what the make at best? So it’s not like we’re getting the shit.

    I’ve seen a lot of foreign horror that hasn’t been distributed in the US. If you want to see some total GARBAGE, look no further. Or hell, look at some stuff you CAN find in the US…have you seen the live action versions of La Blue Girl? What the FUCK are those???

    It’s like when people bemoan the sorry state of horror in the US and unoriginality and maybe talk about the amazing Japanese horror movies…okay, sure. But for The Ring and Ju-On, there are about 200 other movies that have a ghost in a white nightgown and long black hair.

  83. sanj says:

    isn’t most US horror ..mostly kids stuck somewhere in a building or woods trying to get out but get killed.
    also a lot of ghosts trying to scare people .

    the good news – every year somebody tries osmething a bit different and it ends up making big money.

    the bad news – ain’t going to get nominated for oscar.

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

    Yeah J-horror rips itself off over and over again. I’ve seen my fair share of bad foreign horror. Plenty of stuff that’s as generic and mediocre as anything made here. When foreign horror was extremely trendy and hit its peak, lots of junk that otherwise would probably have never received U.S. distribution was being released here as more and more companies tried to cash in.

  85. The Big Perm says:

    Yeah, about five years ago there was that huge glut of crap. Which was handy for me, made getting them easier.

  86. The Big Perm says:

    I wonder, has Hong Kong ever made a decent horror movie? HK does a lot of things well, horror ain’t one of them.

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

    I hear Dream Home is good but haven’t seen it. I remember liking Dumplings/Three Extremes. The Eye is pretty good. Haven’t seen The Eye 2.

  88. The Big Perm says:

    Is The Eye HK? Why was I thinking that was Thai? Yeah, The Eye was really good. Dumplings was okay.

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

    My guess for The Eye would have been Thai, but I guess it’s considered HK. Filming locations were HK and Thailand according to IMDB. When I searched HK Horror it came up.

  90. sanj says:

    the eye with Jessica Alba . where’s the DP/30 ?

  91. storymark says:

    Count me ion with those who liked Oldboy – but really, really don’t think it’s that big a deal.

    I also don’t understand getting all twisted out of shape over a remake of a foreign film. Yeah, it’d be nice if more American’s were cool with subtitles. But still, why get upset because someone is sharing a story with a new audience – 90% of whom would NEVER have watched the original anyway. Seems like such a waste of energy.

    And, for what it’s worth, I preferred Let Me In and The Departed.

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

    I haven’t seen Let the Right One In but I was let down by Let Me In. It’s very well-acted, the atmosphere/mood is potent, but overall I didn’t find it all that scary or interesting. By the end I was a little bored.

  93. The Big Perm says:

    To me that’s the problem with most arthouse styled horror. Too much art and not enough horror. So they end up coming off sort of dull. Mood and atmosphere are wonderful but only get you so far for so long. Even Kubrick knew you should throw a ghost in there every 15 minutes or so.

  94. yancyskancy says:

    Paul: The directors of THE EYE, the Pang brothers, are Thai.

    As for remakes, while our kneejerk reaction to Hollywood remaking foreign films will probably always be “God, why?”, we often forget that many respected films are remakes. SOME LIKE IT HOT was a reworking of a German film, as was VICTOR/VICTORIA. The classic example, of course, is Huston’s THE MALTESE FALCON, which was the third version of Hammett’s novel to be filmed (only five years after the second). Obviously, it all comes down to execution, which is why we assume the studios will screw it up. But it’s hard to believe that Fincher, for instance, will do less than his best on DRAGON TATTOO, and I won’t be shocked if his version is ultimately judged to be the superior one.

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

    OK I think I recall reading that The Pang Brothers are Thai, so maybe that’s why I used to think The Eye was a Thai film.

  96. christian says:

    Tsui Hark and others have made nifty scary HK films.

  97. The Big Perm says:

    I have to disagree. I think that stuff is generally pretty cheeseball and not in a way I like. They may sort of work as goofy action with horror elements, but I don’t see those as real horror movies.

  98. palmtree says:

    The Departed plays for me like a Scorsese movie dropped onto the story structure of Infernal Affairs. He wasn’t really true to the original, but he used its sturdiness of form as a vehicle for his filmmaking quirks. By that standard, Infernal Affairs has to be the better film, because it actually moves in the plot-driven, tight manner the story demands and makes a stronger point. The Departed works well too despite all the tangents and indulgences of Scorsese because IF had such a strong premise to begin with. That being said, The Departed is still a great movie, but clearly not in league with Scorsese’s best.

  99. sanj says:

    the departed movie was too complex for me i can’t rven remember any of it except for the big stars.

    but you know whats not complex ? the scooby doo movies .

  100. Krillian says:

    Let Me In was very well made, but it was so similar to the original that I couldn’t ever fully immerse. For that one, I say if you’ve seen one, you don’t need to see the other.

    I really liked Oldboy, and I would like to see Spike Lee’s version. Maybe partially becuz I saw it eight years ago. If Oldboy had just come out two years ago, wouldn’t be as interested.

  101. SamLowry says:

    “Even Kubrick knew you should throw a ghost in there every 15 minutes or so.”

    Like clockwork.

    Didn’t some big name in the grindhouse biz take every script sent his way, flip to each page evenly divisible by 15 and write “Boobies”? Didn’t matter if the scene was a wedding, funeral, shootout–boobs had to appear somewhere on that page.

  102. LexG says:

    MORETZ POWER = better than some dorky Swedish kids who you don’t know who the actors are.


  103. JKill says:

    Palmtree, I don’t know if being “plot-driven” makes something a better movie. Personally, one of the reasons I love THE DEPARTED whereas I just quite like INFERNAL AFFAIRS is the former has more quirk, soul and spirit. IF is more efficent and tight, but what you call tangents and indulgences, I call personality.

    Joe, good call on THE GINGERBEAD MAN. I’d only seen the first few minutes years ago, and so, inspired by your reference, I watched it last night. It’s a great movie, fascinating because of the way Altman’s visual style (the zooming in and out of scenes, covering things from strange distant perspectives, and picking up random pieces of conversation) actually makes the movie so much more suspenful and creepy. I love him, but this movie is succesful in a way I don’t think any of others are, in that it’s a great, involving potboiler that toally retains his personality. The performances are across the board a treat, and I loved the way he used Savannah as a gothic storm of morality, family, sex, money, power and violence. Great, great stuff.

  104. palmtree says:

    JKill, I think we actually agree…in a flip side sort of way.

    My only thing is that the story demands to be told in a tight way…I mean, could you imagine a season of “24” directed by Scorsese? It wouldn’t have that tense drive the show needs to get us from point A to point Z.

    Scorsese could have made a better movie if he had made one that had all the personality and eschewed the demanding plotline. It’s only called an indulgence if the structure doesn’t support it.

  105. sanj says:

    i watched blue crush 2 . teen surf movie.

    bad dialog. bad editing. bad directing. bad actors. bad
    music. lots of plot holes.

    yeah you movie critics need to watch this and try to get through this 2 hour movie.

  106. JKill says:

    I get what you’re saying, Palmtree. I think that maybe we just value different things in film. I found THE DEPARTED to be much more tense and involving than INFERNAL AFFAIRS because I cared about the characters more (even the “bad guys”), which was a product of the quirks and personality. IF is cleaner and tidier but it doesn’t have the grit and bravado that I love about THE DEPARTED. I found the whole thing to have “tense drive”; it’s an incredibly quick 2.5 hour long movie.

  107. Triple Option says:

    @Big Perm: No, if you go back you can see I made the distinction of the upper crust foreign films. Maybe I could’ve been clearer but most of the foreign films I see are rather pedestrian. Also the main point I was trying to say was that one was not superior to another only different.

    @Yancy, I had started this post earlier in the day and now have a chance to drop it in but I do cringe when I hear of most re-makes. My immediate thoughts are the film will be dumbed down, over simplified and the soul of what made the original film unique will be ripped out. It’s like buying a ’59 Berlinetta and dropping 22” dubs on it or replacing the engine of a Murciélago with a five litre automatic. It’d be one thing, I suppose, if there were a buncha directors and producers Charlie Browning through libraries and continuously finding the potential in films that otherwise would’ve gone overlooked but that hasn’t been my experience. Even American films like Manchurian Candidate. Surely you’d think with an upgrade in acting talent that they had, advanced filmmaking technology, greater resources they’d be able improve on the original. No, pooched it wide right.

    Sure this is all anecdotal but right now off the top of my head I can’t pull of 3 American re-makes of films that eclipsed the original.

  108. christian says:

    Did sanj just tell a joke?

  109. cadavra says:

    Triple: Do you mean American remakes of foreign films or American remakes of American films? Because if the latter, I give you at the very least HIS GIRL FRIDAY, THE MALTESE FALCON and IMITATION OF LIFE.

  110. palmtree says:

    On a side note, I had a friend who loved The Departed and borrowed the Infernal Affairs DVD from me to see what the original was like…and this person could not stand IF, mainly due to not being able to stand the Cantonese language. Sad, but true.

    JKill, I do like Departed and Scorsese films too…my opinion of the importance of plot in IF only applies to that movie and not my view of all cinema.

  111. JKill says:

    That’s cool, palmtree. I get what you’re getting at.

    I’ve wondered if attitudes towards subtitles have shifted somewhat because of the success of CROUCHING TIGER, HERO, THE PASSION, PAN’S, SLUMDOG and even INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. As a movie fan, I’m always at a loss for why general audiences find them SO off-putting.

  112. The Big Perm says:

    Generally I guess audiences want to see a movie like it’s supposed to be seen…watched, not read. And sometimes you do get so caught up reading the subtitles that you’re missing the images or the actor’s nuance.

    Also, I think this is why even the dumbest fucking foreign movie is considered smarter or better than an American movie which may be its equal…because you’re using a different part of your brain than you normally would while seeing the movie. So it seems more intelligent because you’re reading, even if the movie is some Miike picture where a hooker is getting her throat cut and jizzed on, etc.

  113. Triple Option says:

    I was thinking foreign. Although, just for fun, I don’t know if I could get to a NET 3 for better re-made American films. The re-makes of Double Indemnity, Bad News Bears and Sabrina would knock any remotely palatable do-overs right off the list.

  114. leahnz says:

    my picks for fave better american-on-american remakes:

    carpenter’s ‘the thing’
    cronenberg’s ‘the fly’
    kaufman’s ‘invasion of the body snatchers’
    oz’s ‘little shop of horrors’
    scorsese’s’ ‘cape fear’ (a bit of a close call)

    i think that would be it, tho i might be forgetting something.

    (and i may the only person to prefer verbinski’s ‘the ring’ to nakata’s, but the original bores me to tears, i don’t find it scary or freaky, except for the eyeball, that is creepy)

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