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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB: Watching Game Change

No doubt, I should be writing. But the disc of Game Change just landed on my doorstep and I don’t think I’ve been as anxious to see a movie in a while… so I am going to watch it right now.

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36 Responses to “BYOB: Watching Game Change”

  1. Paul D/Stella says:

    The book is really shitty. Regurgitates stories already widely and comprehensively reported. Relies on mostly anonymous sources. It’s a quick but very unsatisfying read. A vastly superior book about the 2008 presidential election: The Battle For America by Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz. They actually interview the candidates on the record.

    I apologize for being 2-3 months late to the discussion, but I finally saw Shame last weekend. Local release was pushed back a few times. Anyway, really disappointed. Brandon isn’t a compelling character. A good looking New Yorker with a great job and a nice apartment doesn’t believe in marriage and has lots of sex? So what? It feels really stale and isn’t remotely insightful. I wasn’t engaged by his story and didn’t really care about his fate. Weak writing/characterization. Not surprised it hasn’t found much of an audience. It’s not the rating, it’s because it’s not any good.

  2. Mike says:

    Speaking of getting caught up – I finally saw Margin Call (excellent), Take Shelter (also great) and Drive (wow, what a let down after all the hype). What I liked best of all three was the Michael Shannon performance in Take Shelter. It was so refreshing to see him play a normal guy before he goes off the rails, instead of the relentless psycho stuff he does with most of his roles.

    Midnight in Paris is up next.

  3. sanj says:

    watched the lie – small movie about a guy who lies ..

    they were trying to make the lie the guy told realistic
    but this movie just dragged on the end i just didn’t care. i want Jess Weixler to be more famous

    the dp/30 of this movie is a lot more fun

    The Lie, writer/director/actor Joshua Leonard, actor Jess Weixler

  4. Krazy Eyes says:

    This new Wes Anderson commercial for Hyundai is pretty fantastic:

  5. Krillian says:

    I really liked Game Change: The Book. I have no faith in the movie. But I’ll have to read The Battle for America.

    I just saw Drive the other day and really liked it. Same with Margin Call. Take Shelter I hope to catch in the next week or so.

  6. Don R. Lewis says:

    Take Shelter was my favorite film of 2011. Thanks for reminding me to go buy the blu ray!

  7. Breedlove says:

    Pressing question: did LexG get his nickname from League of Extraordinary Gentleman? If so, for the love of God, why?

  8. sanj says:

    Willem Dafoe audio interview – 1 hour .

    he don’t like the internet too much – he talks about John Carter – acting and being the evil guy in every movie

  9. sanj says:

    funny stuff – she needs a dp/30

    girl doesnt know why we have leap years

    1 minute video

  10. bulldog68 says:

    If there is no embargo, any chance of a review Dave?

  11. David Poland says:

    Yes, Bulldog. It’s great. More to come.

  12. spassky says:

    ‘Game Change,’ eh? looks (at the very least) ‘The Iron Lady’ with Hockey moms or whatever– so at least ENTERTAINING. I totally forgot about this. Will be entertained.

    Got ‘Drive’ on Blu-ray the day it came out and was a little let down after being somewhat enthralled by two theatrical viewings. Take Shelter was brilliant– I really thought Michael Shannon was a lock (sheesh look at me thinking we’d get down to business this year with the Oscars)… will need to check it out on disc.

    Oh yeah, ‘Margin Call’? No interest in seeing it again after one VOD viewing; unless, of course, it’s on TNT (“We Know Drama”) at about 8 PM on a Saturday in 2 years, and follows an encore screening of “Shooter.” You know what? Scratch that. I want to watch that at 4 PM on TNT (we knwo..) on a Sunday with an encore screening of “The Guardian” directly after. Yep. .

  13. sanj says:

    The Girl from the Naked eye trailer

    lots of punching of bad guys – low budget – no big
    name actors

    hey DP – is it really hard to get actors / directors to do
    3 dp/30’s a year ? if they only do 1 dp/30 a year – then
    it seems the movie studio force the actors to do these things – wondering how many people would do one of these without having some major movie to promote .
    like 25% of the people aren’t that famous to do late night talk shows – other movie critics are too busy
    with the blockbusters – so you have the advantage
    of getting some exclusive interviews .. but then
    you need to hype them if they are actually good .

  14. Don R. Lewis says:

    I swear I’ve been trying to let go of my previous obsession on the constant conflicts of interests on movie blogs, but the other day on Twitter some people started in on it again and I guess my receptors were up.

    I was wondering when THE RAID was coming out because I can’t go to SXSW now and I’d like to see it at some point. So, I google it, etc. I find the movie poster and right there in big ole letters is a quote from Twitch Film saying THE RAID is “the best action film in decades.” Hyperbolic, kinda quote whorey, whatever. I’m over that stuff. But then I remembered the executive producer of THE RAID is also the owner/publisher of Twitch Film!

    How the hell is this o.k.? How is this not a conflict of interest? Does anyone care or is it just me and some professional journalists who get a hair up their ass about stuff like this (and paid set visits, and paid junkets) once or twice a year?

    I just feel it waters down film writing and is extremely unprofessional. I’m certainly not like, irate and going to have trouble sleeping but WTF? Why bother to write about movies if the biggest sites are completely in bed with the filmmakers out there? Blurgh.

  15. berg says:

    having seen THE RAID, I can assure you it is non stop balls to the wall action from start to finish …. we begin with guns, switch to machetes and finish with martial arts

  16. Tuck Pendelton says:

    just saw Take Shelter. Good. Very good, for what it is. I wasn’t blown away, but a solid, solid movie with performances that are up for the challenge. Not sure what I make of the ending yet.

    Game Change the book is basically Poli-porn. And the “sources” are clearly patty-solis doyle for hillary’s stuff and steve schmidt for McCain’s stuff.

  17. scooterzz says:

    ‘game change’ is a pretty poor follow-up to the made-for movies they’ve done in the past…compared to ‘mildred pierce’ or ‘recount’, this is pretty second rate…

  18. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Don, Twitch has many writers. One of them wrote a review for THE RAID, not the ‘owner’. The distributor used then used it. The distributor is not Twitch. It’s like you saying anyone working for a network show can’t give a quote on anything produced by that network or its subsidiaries.

    I don’t think you’ll get much mileage on this crusade. If it was Mr Brown’s own quote then perhaps you might get someone to join in, but even then.. who the really cares. There are 500 positive reviews of that film, they could choose anything.

  19. sanj says:

    Robert Downey Jr goes to Blockbuster

  20. KrazyEyes says:

    JBD doing the major DC.

    The Raid posters having a big Twitch review is decidedly NOT okay. Anyone who can’t see that has got their head pretty firmly lodged in the sand. This is no different from a movie running an AICN quote for a movie Harry produced and that the site had hyped to hell and back.

    That said, Twitch has always been quote whorey … Except they fawn all over obscure stuff that only fanboys and asianphiles care about.

  21. Paul D/Stella says:

    Even if it is clear who the sources in Game Change are, it’s a little richer reader experience reading something with on the record comments from not only aides but the candidates themselves. And even though I’m a massive political junkie, I find it hard to muster much enthusiasm for the movie, even if it’s well-acted, well-made, etc. I feel like living through that once is more than enough. I’ve got Palin fatigue.

    And Andrew Breitbart is dead? Crazy.

  22. Sport67 says:

    Take Shelter: I enjoyed it the first time I saw it when it was celled The Rapture and starred Mimi Rogers.

  23. Mike says:

    The Rapture was definitely the better movie, but I still liked how Take Shelter handled its situation. I kept waiting for it to turn into a full-on horror movie and was impressed by the way it handled its story. I thought it was almost a better version of the plot of

    SPOILERS for both movies

    A Beautiful Mind. This guy realizes he’s going crazy and has to try to reason his way through it, mainly by trusting his wife and daughter.

    And the ending is a lot more open for interpretation than The Rapture, where you have to accept that the rapture has arrived. In Take Shelter, the storm at the end could be real and he was a prophet, or it’s the dreams returning and he’ll never escape his mental illness. The ending has haunted me, as did The Rapture’s, but for very different reasons.

  24. anghus says:

    I took my wife to see a dangerous method last night. Five minutes in she says “how was keira knightly not nominated for an oscar?”

    Five minutes before it ends she says “I hate this movie so much”

    It was fun watching her go from enthralled to engaged in the course of two hours

  25. Don R. Lewis says:

    That’s simply ridiculous. The website owned and operated by the EXECUTIVE producer of a film has absolutely no business reviewing that film at all. If they decide to then they are absolutely obligated to provide a disclaimer saying essentially, “hey, my boss made this film.”

    Although it’s not on the same level importance wise, it’s like judging FOX news as a fair, balanced and accurate news agency that treats both sides fairly when it’s been shown they get their information and angles from the party they support.

    As KrazyEyes said, I honestly can’t believe anyone would defend this and not find it at least a little bit stinky but I agree that basically, everyone knows film writers are all suck up hangers on who just want to get their name on promo material and hang around with movie stars.

    All that being said, I have nothing against Twitch (or, didn’t previously) and read it from time to time. I just think this is a really big conflict of interest and extremely self-serving. I didn’t know film criticism and journalism was meant to serve the writer or owner of a website rather than it’s readers.

  26. David Poland says:

    Actually, Scoot, I think this film is better than Recount. Not as complex, by its nature, as Mildred Pierce.

  27. Smith says:

    Funniest part of Game Change the book is the not so subtle, “2008 was supposed to be Hillary vs. McCain and then mean ol’ Barack Obama had to go and spoil EVERYTHING!” subtext.

    On a completely unrelated note, and obviously way late to the party (I avoided all conversation about it for fear of spoilers when it came out), but I saw Chronicle last night and was pretty blown away. Does more with the found footage conceit than I would’ve thought, and the young actors *really* sell the material. Seemed a little rushed toward the end, but I really like that they went for a lean, mean morality tale rather than the usual bloated nonsense, and more or less nailed it.

  28. Don R. Lewis says:

    Speaking of conspiracy (as I was, not like, you guys) those theories about Breitbart being murdered by Obama are nucking futs. Kind of sums up the problem with modern day politics and the divide this country finds itself in. Stupid crazy people have a voice too! They can say what they want with no real repercussions! Yaaay!

  29. hcat says:

    I don’t know how much he could have made running those websites, but I really really hope Breitbart was wealthy enough to qualify for the estate tax.

  30. sanj says:

    Justin Bieber Should Launch Into Space, Scientist Says

    “Lofting a celebrity of Bieber’s stature would generate a lot of interest among the American public, which could help commercial spaceflight pick up some much-needed momentum:

  31. leahnz says:

    oh i didn’t realise ‘boy’ opens there this week, everyone should go see it

    (i also didn’t realise there was talk of dubbing it for the US market, but i gather they didn’t, thank christ)

  32. sanj says:

    life in a day sequel ..

    Japan in a day trailer – videos from youtube after the quake – Tony and Ridley Scott are part of this …

    with the huge audience youtube has – this could be
    big ..

  33. sanj says:

    where is the dp/30 for project x – Todd Phillips had a great time with DP last time…

    where is the dp/30 for john carter ? probably the biggest
    movie of march next to hunger games – just on money alone .

    looks like g4 tv to the rescue again.

    Alexis Knapp Talks Project X, Snakes & Gaming!

    6 minute video . also look new actress…

  34. SamLowry says:

    If you want to see a conspiracy in action, just see how many people would sneak onto the launch pad and tamper with Bieber’s craft to ensure it couldn’t return.

  35. sanj says:

    the office had an episode where they try to impress bloggers
    for a store opening ..

    4 minute video ..

  36. sanj says:

    cat watches star wars – 2 minutes ..

    looks like the lasers / sound really interests the

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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