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By David Poland

BYOB 082213


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48 Responses to “BYOB 082213”

  1. Etguild2 says:

    Some interesting MPAA decisions this week.

    For anyone who saw it at Cannes, is “Blue is the Warmest Color” really deserving of an NC-17 rating? Or is this another instance of MPAA gay panic?

    “The Fifth Estate” is Disney’s first R-rated release in over 2 years. Nice to see they are allowing Dreamworks to do its thing. And anyone who thought “Prisoners” was a possible awards dark horse must be let down by the MPAA’s declaration of “disturbing violent content including torture…throughout.”

  2. Jermsguy says:

    Re Prisoners: Couldn’t you say the same thing about The Departed? Although “mob” torture and violence is different than “ordinary man pushed to his limits” torture and violence.

    Here’s a trivia question: Has a movie that opened wide in September ever won Best Picture?

  3. Don R. Lewis says:

    Et: Sex always draws a harsher rating than violence here….ridiculous, but true. I always remember seeing AMERICAN PSYCHO at Sundance and then hearing how stuff would have to be cut out to avoid an NC-17. When I saw it again, they cut out sex but left all the violence in.

    3-ways, bad. Dropping a running chainsaw on a screaming woman, o.k.

  4. LexG says:

    This argument comes up constantly, and what would make you more uncomfortable: Watching a movie with your kid where naked people are moaning simulating sex… or some fake-ass gunshots?

    Every kid on earth watches “lite” violence in stuff like cartoons and Star Wars and Harry Potter. It’s no big deal. They’re not watching “lite” sex…. I think it was Alec Baldwin who once said, yeah, it’s all fake, but in sex scenes it’s actual nudity providing actual arousal regardless…. Violence is just all fake.

    You guys always act like this is some exclusively American Puritanical bent when it comes to pop culture, like they don’t have football hooligans all over Europe, or Brits don’t have a major stick up their ass about all kinds of film content.

  5. Etguild2 says:

    I’m not familiar with the European ratings system, but I know that TV is way way way more liberal with sex than American TV. Hell, I’ve seen naked women frolicking around on local weather forecasts in Barcelona. You see nude teens, of both sexes, along with nude adults on beaches. “Skins” in the UK is basically Soft-Core porn, catered to teen audiences. It makes “Undressed” look chaste.

    On the other hand, the French are equally blase’ when it comes to violence. “High Tension,” “Inside,” and “Martyrs” are three films that would never, ever see the light of day in American theaters uncut, but were released without, to my knowledge, much controversy in their native country (though Martyrs was too much for larger studios to undertake).

    Re: Release dates of Best Picture Winners, this stopped mattering after “Crash,” and “The Hurt Locker,” the latter of which never went wide and peaked in expansion 4 years ago this weekend. And if “Prisoners” was directed by a legend and starred four A-list actors I think it’d be different…

  6. LexG says:

    Contraband is legendary.

  7. YancySkancy says:

    Lex: Contraband and Prisoners were written by the same guy, but had different directors.

  8. Etguild2 says:

    I really really love INCENDIES, and think Villeneuve is a rising star…but c’mon.

  9. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “For anyone who saw it at Cannes, is “Blue is the Warmest Color” really deserving of an NC-17 rating? Or is this another instance of MPAA gay panic?

    Very much. It contains a good dose of hardcore sex.

  10. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    For those interested, Ron Howard’s RUSH is excellent. A major surprise with emotional heft and two knockout performances.

  11. Etguild2 says:

    Im interested. Are Hemsworth/Wilde the “knockout” performances? I’ve always thought Wilde was WILDEly underrated, but Hemsworth…?

  12. christian says:

    Ron Howard? Television Starfucker.

  13. anghus says:

    Ben Affleck is Batman?

    I’m not sure how i feel about this.

  14. jbritt says:

    Will this year be the year of record number of black acting nominations? Whitaker? Winfrey? Elba? Hudson? Howard? who else is a contender?

  15. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    ET – Bruhl and Hemsworth. Wilde is good but I thought she was better in Drinking Buddies.

  16. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Christian his best film since Grand Theft Auto.

    Rush has got me very excited by the prospect of Hemsworth and Howard re-teaming for In The Heart of The Sea which, as anyone who has read will tell you, is one survival/ adventure story for the ages. The real tale of Moby Dick is a stunner.

  17. tbunny says:

    Old Batman YEEAAAHHH. But not old enough.

  18. Martin S says:

    A part of me is hoping this is a lateral movie where Snyder bows out gracefully and Affleck ends up as director/star.

    Otherwise, it’s as if no one at at WB has seen Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Reindeer Games or Paycheck.

    The dude cannot do large action. He cannot sell it.

    His voice is soooo wrong for this.

  19. bulldog68 says:

    Michael Keaton was never envisioned as Batman either. That being said, I would have thought that the poorly recived Daredevil would have kept himout of the running.

  20. nick says:

    even though ben as batman probably will suck, what everyone seems to be forgetting is that snyder directing will suck even more. i mean….man of steel was like airplane food.

  21. Chris says:

    jbritt — You are missing Michael B. Jordan. Outside Whitaker, I’d say he’s the strongest bet for a nomination. Chiwetel Ejiofor looks like he’ll be in the mix, too.

  22. PcChongor says:

    Going back to “Blue is the Warmest Color” for a sec. How is using a prosthetic for sex considered to be hardcore when using them for violence isn’t considered to be snuff?

  23. SamLowry says:

    Thank you, Martha Plimpton, for saying “Fuck it. Just let Idris Elba play Wonder Woman.” This is what I’ve been saying ever since the wingnuts started mooing that the best actor to show up for the audition should get the role, no matter if they’re completely wrong for the part…though my example was Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Rosa Parks.

    And maybe Garret Dillahunt could play Catwoman.

  24. LexG says:


    Awesome to hear about RUSH, which I’ve been STOKED for from the jump: LOVE racing movies anyway, but those trailers definitely looked like Howard was born again hard, AWESOME sheen and Dodd Mantle cinematography and SPOT-ON period detail, with this melancholy vibe and Hemsworth looking badass. Can’t wait.

  25. movieman says:

    Whatever is Ben thinking? Doesn’t he realize what a hopeless job playing Batman is?
    And after all the cred he earned from directing “Argo,” etc., too.
    He’s already played a super hero (“Daredevil”), and it was pretty much
    the beginning of the end of the first act of his career.
    And don’t forget his George Reeves in “Hollywood.”
    I hope Affleck opting for a big (acting gig) payday over helming another, say, “Gone Baby Gone” doesn’t come back to bite him in the ass.
    With Zack Snyder directing, chances are it won’t even be a good movie, just a “hit.”
    Of course, if Affleck ends up taking the directing reins himself, I might change my tune. But who in their right mind would consider a behemoth comic book movie a step up from an Oscar-winning Best Picture?

  26. LexG says:

    Affleck is GOD.

    Always ALWAYS boggles my mind how he ISN’T an IDOL AND GOD to people, especially guys who are about my age. When I moved to LA, it was 1995 and he was part of that crew that was all blowing up (McConaughey, Vaughn, Damon, Norton, Favreau, Wahlberg, Leo…. er, Ulrich). Seriously and literally and legitimately, in my head, thought within a year or two I’d be CO-STARRING with those guys ( I weighed 189 not 250 when I hit L.A.) and my acting coach and guru was Crispin Glover’s dad, Bruce.

    But I never got an agent and I became a 40k/year CLOSED CAPTIONER, which I still am to this day. But I still fantasize about being Ben Affleck or Mark Wahlberg every second of my life. And at least I ADMIT IT. Most people who failed as spectacularly as me have this SMUGNESS OF CERTITUDE where they still maintain an ego. I know I failed in every way humanly possible, and like Howard Stern, I ADMIT IT. I admit all my jealousies and failures. The maintenance of EGO in the face of ABSOLUTELY OBVIOUS FAILURE is the weirdest trait of all human beings.

  27. Mike says:

    I haven’t made up my mind about this casting yet. First off, I like Affleck, both as a director and an actor. He’s kind of a light-weight actor, but as long as he punches his weight, he can be really good. Go back and watch Changing Lanes – the man can act.

    That said, coming off of Bale’s Dark Knight series, Affleck is going to come across too soft (who wouldn’t), for an audience that typically likes their superheroes to be more hardcore. That could end up really hurting his career.

    But, if you think about how DC is trying to take these characters toward a Justice League, you can’t have a Christian Bale Batman being a blackhole in the middle of your movie, sucking all the light out of it. You need a team-playing friendlier Batman. I don’t see why Affleck couldn’t do that.

  28. Amblinman says:

    I really don’t understand this move from Affleck’s perspective. Yeah, I’m sure the paycheck is nice but he seemed like he was on such a different track with his career. I can’t help but think if this leads to a new franchise this doesn’t kill his directing career. My reasoning is that he’ll be tied up playing Batman for the next 5-7 years. You know whomever WB hires to take over a Batman series wont’ have Nolan’s clout, thus they’ll be on WB’s schedule for releasing films (Nolan was able to tell them to fuck off and make movies in between Knight sequels), which will probably be as retardedly aggressive as it usually is for these franchises.

    Just don’t get it. I recall Affleck saying a few years ago, before his resurgence, that he had made a mistake playing the blockbuster game.

    For the character, I think it’s just the wrong guy. Speaking of that blockbuster game, Affleck has so much shitty-big-movie-baggage. And they shoudl have gotten hip to what was obvious in all of those shitty-big-movies: despite physically looking like he should be at home as an action star, Affleck kinda sucks at it.

  29. movieman says:

    I love Bruce Glover in “Chinatown.”

  30. hcat says:

    Glad Rush is fantastic, I actually like Howard quite a bit when he in on his game, his problem is that he forgets what his game is. He spends half his time trying to be a Spielberg (Willow) Ford (Far and Away) Burton (Grinch) Pakula (Frost) that he forgets that he’s at his best taking us behind the emotional curtain of tight knit groups like astronauts, firefighters, newspaper writers, senior citizens (or do people actually watch Cocoon for the science fiction?). Rush looks to be firmly in his wheelhouse, hope he doesn’t stray too far after this is a hit.

    If this means that Affleck will direct a Batman movie, I think this is a pretty good announcement. He is not a fantastic director, The Town and Argo are simply solid movies that WB should be pumping out four to five times a year, but that would be an interesting take on Batman for awhile, simple Bondian entries without all the operatic overtures. But the obvious question now is how long until Damon appears on Jimmny Kimmel in the Robin outfit.

  31. hcat says:

    And I have been out of pocket for a few days but would like to mention the passing of Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers (the filet of the genre), and someone whose books Hollywood often had trouble adapting, but when they got it right they were fucking beautiful.

    I don’t know if Leonard was the first to present criminals in an everyday schnook light (the hours suck, your boss is an idiot but his dad owns the company so whattaya gonna do?), but its such a wonderful contrast to Puzo’s robber baron captains of industry archtype. His western’s were lean and efficient, his miami and detroit novels equally violent and funny. He worked for over half a centuary and still left me wanting more.

    In the last few years I’ve lost Zevon, Newman, and Leonard, this mortal coil stuff is starting to really wear me down.

  32. Martin S says:

    When Keaton was cast, everyone thought he was the Joker.

    Then reality kicked in and the problem was no one could see him doing an action film. And that was proven correct.

    What no one accounted for was what kind of movie Burton was going to make. While Batman89 has action, it did not follow the 80’s action template. Every fan mag reported on Batman in the same context as Bond, Die Hard, Raiders, etc…and it has nothing in common with them.

    That’s the same approach Raimi took with Spidey, then Nolan did with Begins/TDK. They looked at the trends and zeitgeist and went another direction.

    Which brings us to Snyder and Affleck. MOS and Watchmen already tells us Snyder’s vision, and Affleck always plays Affleck in big movies.

    I agree with Mike, he was great in Changing Lanes. He legitimized Boiler Room because he was credible. I liked him as Reeves, Sum of All Fears, Argo, etc…

    But WB did not sign him to a big-ass deal out of hopes he’ll turn this into a character piece.

    What this says is WB is scared shitless about 2015. That the summer is so packed, BS is going to drown and Avengers 2 will obliterate them. Affleck is a admission they’re pandering to the cheap seats, just like Clooney was in ’98.

    So unless they do something drastic, people will only hear Affleck and not the character. That was the trick Keaton and Bale were able to pull for different reasons. The general public didn’t know Bale and Keaton was out of his element.

    Affleck does not have those advantages. We’ve seen him work with Bay. We’ve seen him play a superhero. We’ve seen him play a high-finance guy.

    All the “I’ll wait and see before I judge” is bullshit. The only way Affleck can bring something new, is to make a drastic change to the character, which defeats the entire purpose of the production.

    What’s the shortest span for a WB president?

  33. celluloidkid says:

    What people seem to forget is that Affleck himself said the only reason he went into directing was in an attempt to get his acting career back on track. I don’t think it’s a big secret that he’s always wanted to be a major, mass appeal, international movie star, so this Batman thing makes sense from that perspective. However, I doubt that he or WB were prepared for this backlash. That #betterbatmanthanbenaffleck top trend on twitter is pretty cruel.

  34. christian says:

    The outrage over Keaton dissipated opening day. Outta there. After life kids.

  35. Geoff says:

    Come on, we have all been here before….fans were flipping out when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker and Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond….and I still have to give props to Marvel for giving Captain America to Chris Evans, he brought more weight to that role than I could have expected.

    In recent years, the spectacle has gotten out of hand with a lot of these tentpoles and/or comic book epics, but you have to admit that the casting on these big films is usually spot-on. Say what you want about the quality of Man of Steel, but you could not have gotten a better collection of well-suited actors (Costner, Adams, Fishburne, Crowe) for that movie. And the same with The Avengers….I mean, jeez, they found a cameo for Harry Dean Stanton for christ sakes!

    I’m at the point where I just don’t see the hullabaloo about these casting freak-outs….and with Batman, it’s just become absurd because it happens just about every movie now. Folks were not pleased that Hathaway was cast as Catwoman, Keaton as the first Batman, the list just goes on and on….

    Ben Affleck was horribly miscast when he did Daredevil, but….people seem to forget that Christian Bale did a lot of shit in the years before Batman Begins….tons of weird niche properties that only a few select folks on AICN enjoyed, like Equilibrium, Reign of Fire, and Harsh Times.

  36. hcat says:

    Sure Iron Man shot Downey’s career to new heights and Hemsworth seems to be getting his shot at outside work, but traditionally playing superheros is not really a ticket to stardom, once you hang up the tights the offers seem to dry up for these guys.

  37. Amblinman says:

    @Martin: how did Affleck legitimize Boiler Room? It was a shitty impression of Baldwin in Glengarry. The movie as a whole is fine but the Affleck scenes were cringe-worthy.

  38. Hallick says:

    I guess that in the maelstrom of over-reactions to Affleck’s casting announcement everyone’s just going to whistle past the fact that making another Batman movie (or half-Batman movie) right on the heels of the three Nolan made is the actual revolting idea here.

  39. movieman says:

    I nearly vomited reading this Variety headline:
    “Fans Petition Warner Brothers to Remove Affleck from ‘Batman Vs. Superman.'”

    Are you serious, people?!?
    Get a freaking life, fanboys and girls.
    It’s just a comic book movie.
    It’s just another comic book movie, for crissakes.

  40. leahnz says:

    is that true? good grief who gives a shit. what would have been truly hilarious is if they’d cast bro Casey

  41. Martin S says:

    Amblin – I should have phrased it better. It does read as if I implied his performance legitimized the movie. I meant moreso his resume.

    In hindsight, Boiler Room is an amazing cast, but at the time, they were nobodies. Affleck’s involvement gave the film a recognition it never would have achieved without him. He was the only one coming off major roles, while Vin and Ribisi were still unknowns.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Fearless prediction: Ben Affleck will be acclaimed as a great Batman when the movie is released two years from now, and the few of you who are willing to acknowledge that you ever posted negative comments will eat your words.

  43. Amblinman says:

    @Martin, gotcha. Makes sense, and I agree.

    @Joe, perhaps. My guess is this movie is going to be very busy, and Affleck is going to have to take over a role just a few years after Nolan’s trilogy ended. Gonna be a tough perception hill to climb.

  44. leahnz says:

    i feel sorry for Ben, i mean i’m sure he must have known that taking on the role of the bat (and so soon after nolan’s incarnations) would be controversial and send the arm-chair pundits into a flurry, but petitions to have him removed and such? yikes i wonder if he had any idea it would get sorta nasty, or maybe it’s just a storm in a teacup to him, i hope so. i still find the idea of some ‘serious’ movie with superman meets batman just bizarre, maybe if it took place in the ‘realistic’ arkham asylum.

  45. christian says:

    As long as they don’t do an origin story.

  46. YancySkancy says:

    I don’t think it’s good casting, but I can’t see losing sleep over it (or signing a petition, for God’s sake). And it’s not like he can’t act; he’s just made some dumb choices over the years. I personally never thought Bale was anything special in the role (and are there people who LIKE the vocal choice he made for Batman?), but to some extent such movies stand or fall on the quality of the action. A stuntman will probably do half of the role, and if Affleck can manage to look like less of a chump in the suit than Clooney did, he might do all right.

  47. Hallick says:

    Christian Bale was just fine as Batman. JUST “just fine”. I don’t think he even ranks in the top ten performances of the trilogy. Ben Affleck doesn’t have to fill THAT big a pair of boots here, people.

  48. SamLowry says:

    Yancy, folks got so used to Kevin Conroy’s deep voice that I guess Bale felt a need to go deep when he really couldn’t pull it off. Even Conroy said “He just got steered wrong…Obviously someone should’ve stopped him.”

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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