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By David Poland

BYOB 050714


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83 Responses to “BYOB 050714”

  1. leahnz says:

    note to dim bulbs: it’s nonsensical to call your ill-advised do-over of ‘point break’ set in the world of extreme sports POINT BREAK, since ‘point break’ is very specific surfing terminology to describe the waves at a certain geographical locale, hence the title for bigelow’s now-cult crims-with-boards flick… (but then again these are people who actually think doing the remake is a good idea so perhaps nonsensical is to be expected, ‘breaking point’ might be a bit more logical for a title anyway)

  2. SamLowry says:

    I believe I remember hearing about a KARATE KID movie a couple years back that didn’t feature any karate.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of Hollywood studios.

    (And speaking of stupidity, “BREAKING POINT” might actually bring in some folks who’ll think it’s the “Breaking Bad” movie. Win-win!)

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Just saw a double header, pretty much, of LEGENDS OF OZ and MOM’S NIGHT OUT. My faith in humanity has been shaken to the core.

    MOM’S NIGHT OUT: The perfect Mother’s Day reminder that a woman’s place is in the home, that your do-do brain parent can’t handle the real world, and that you want her to remain your slave.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    Also, I expect to hear an announcement that Ethan Hawke has changed his name to Richard Linklater and has moved in with Bernie for Linklater’s follow-up to “Boyhood.”

  5. leahnz says:

    yeah the title ‘the karate kid’ is similarly stupid, why they didn’t just call it ‘the kung-fu kid’ for a new generation – most of whom likely never even heard of, let alone saw, avildsen’s ’84 movie – is bizarro

  6. cadavra says:

    On the other hand, we had zero complaints that there was no actual skeleton in THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN. So there’s that… 😀

  7. pat says:

    If they asked you to choose between “karate kid” and “kung fu kid”, and offered you 10% of the opening weekend gross in return, which title would you go with?

  8. Dr Wally Rises says:

    What really took the cake for the stupidest retitling job was Lucasfilm’s rebranding of the first Indiana Jones film as ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’. Apart from anything, it overlooks the fact that Indiana Jones clearly IS the raider of the lost ark.

  9. spassky says:

    They’re all raiders. I love that title.

  10. leahnz says:

    i never thought about that ‘indiana jones’ one re: ‘raiders of the lost ark’… just the rebranding of an already beloved title — kind of like re-naming star wars ‘star wars: a new hope’ to fall in line with the insipid “the original title here: some dumb new description here to distinguish it from your sequels/prequels” trend (‘a new hope’ my ass – A new hope? how about 2 new hopes, and some placental rebirth and a fragile seedling) — irks me

    (i’d choose ‘the kung-fu kid’ because ‘the karate kid’ is ludicrously stupid for a movie set in CHINA with Jackie chan and wee smith about KUNG-FU, and movies make money because of word of mouth, not the title, but that is rather narrow bean-counter-esque thinking pat)

  11. dinovelvet says:

    ‘Point Break’ was itself originally a last minute title change, wasn’t it? The project was titled Riders on the storm for a while (I’m guessing they didn’t want confusion with The Doors movie, out the same year).

  12. leahnz says:

    yeah if i remember correctly re the title stuff, it was either bigelow or cameron who mentioned in a dvd commentary (probably not good that i can’t remember on which dvd or who it was of the two, fuckadoo) that the final shooting script was re-written by bigelow and cam but because of some dispute with the WGA they didn’t get any screen/or story credit, some such nonsense, and the shooting script was titled ‘johnny utah’ — but it was then renamed ‘riders of the storm’ because ‘J U’ didn’t reference surfing and it was a surfing movie (and J U was deemed too Keanu-centric when Swayze was considered the one with ‘star power’ to boot) and then eventually ‘point break’ because of its strong surfing association (maybe they also had a rights issue using the doors’ ‘riders of the storm’ title?)

  13. leahnz says:

    sorry ‘riders ON the storm’ – brainfart + typing on a tablet, which is an ongoing horror

  14. SamLowry says:

    The reviews are starting to roll in for GODZILLA and some critics are acting like they were hoodwinked by a bait-and-switch: all the promos made sure to include Bryan Cranston, yet it turns out he plays an incredibly minor character.

    Worse still, he’s there mainly to introduce his son, the real star of the movie, and he’s played by…Kick-Ass, the most boring character in both KICK-ASS movies (really, it’s like the dude is a walking perception filter–I can remember watching both movies yet I can’t remember Kick-Ass actually being in them). And several reviewers agree that yes, he’s still boring.

    Oddly enough, one critic thought Kick-Ass and his babymama looked too young to have a 5 year-old, even though they’re presented as being in their early 20s; guys, I’ve worked in schools where 13 year-olds are having kids, so finding a couple that waited until they were 18 is kinda refreshing.

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    The reviews are roughly on par with PACIFIC RIM though. Edwards’ restraint is what made MONSTERS so great.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the new poster for TRANSFORMERS 4 has to be the most deliriously over the top one sheet for a summer blockbuster in history…Optimus Prime, wielding a sword, while riding a Dinobot.

    We’ve reached Peak Bay.

  16. martin says:

    RIP HR Giger. The best of the best.

  17. Stella's Boy says:

    None of the reviews I’ve read diminish my desire to see Godzilla. And while I am not a fan of Kick-Ass, I like Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Savages.

  18. movieman says:

    If it was beauty that killed the beast in “King Kong,” it’s exposition that kills the giant green lizard in “Godzilla 2014.”
    The first hour of the movie is so laboriously (and quite frankly ridiculously) exposition-heavy I nearly fell into a coma.
    Maybe if I hadn’t liked “Monsters” so much, or if they hadn’t gone out of their way to cast so many terrific actors (none of whom have anything remotely special or even interesting to do), my expectations wouldn’t have been so high and my disappointment so palpable.
    Shock and awe are replaced with stupor and apathy.
    “Pacific Rim” is 100 times better.

  19. hcat says:

    I’m curious what your expectations were for Pacific Rim. Because I found that to contain all the flaws that you found in Godzilla (which I haven’t seen yet). Except the cast for Godzilla is more upscale (only one cable television star instead of three).

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m a big fan of Pacific Rim, but Godzilla would have to be terrible for PR to be 100 times better. Really, really terrible.

  21. movieman says:

    I was probably looking forward to “Pacific Rim” a tad more than “Godzilla” (despite the frankly terrible-sounding “‘Godzilla’ Meets ‘Transformers'” plot description) mostly because of del Toro’s track record.
    The thing that annoyed me most about “Godzilla ’14” was its total waste of a really, really terrific cast. Only Strathairn makes any real impression, and it’s mostly because of his great, sonorous voice. It isn’t as though he had an actual character to play (not that anyone here does).
    “Rim”‘s B-list corps of actors were more than adequate for what thesping was required. It was a director’s movie, not an actor’s movie. And on that count, I thought it was a rousing success: one of the best times I’ve had at a tentpole movie in many a moon.
    “‘zilla” simply failed on nearly every conceivable level for me.
    So, “Stupor” and “apathy” pretty much sums it up.

  22. Martin says:

    To criticize Godzilla over acting, but to shower praise on Winter Soldier, is bullshit. Evans and Mackie were the only people who didn’t phone it in, yet WS was a great movie?

    You may not like the characters in Godzilla, but they bought in to make it work. Scarlet, Jackson, Redford…they put as much effort into Winter as they do for commercials. But they get a pass. I wonder why.

  23. leahnz says:

    aw, i hope i don’t feel you on this one movieman, due to my long-suffering massive-monsters-obsession since childhood i’m psyched for ‘gojira’ (i’m sicking with the nihongo version since it’s how i think of the monster – pronounced ‘go-ji-la’ incidentally, i inadvertently stumbled across some guy in a video on the internet pronounce it ‘go-ji-Ra, yikes). weirdly i have very little in the way of expectation, i’ve only watched one early trailer so i’m going in fairly blind.

  24. movieman says:

    Maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did (which wouldn’t be hard to do, lol), Leah.
    Nothing really worked for me.
    As has been widely reported, ‘villa himself doesn’t make an appearance until the half-way mark, and then pretty much plays hide-and-seek w/ the audience for the second hour. (Maybe because he’s just not that impressive.)
    More screen time is given to the movie’s second-tier monsters, one of whom (I kid you not) looks like a digital version of Larry Cohen’s “Q” beastie.
    The filmmakers don’t even bother trying to do anything w/ the 3-D technology. The whole thing just looks and feels…flat.
    Why hire Cranston, Binoche (who disappears after 7 minutes), Hawkins, Watanabe, etc. if you don’t even give them anything interesting to do.
    I never even got the relationship between the Watanabe/Hawkins duo (who mysteriously don’t age in 15 years).
    Were they simply work colleagues?
    Are they a couple both professionally and personally?
    Beats me.

    There was a lot of aisle-hopping at my promotional screening Tuesday night.
    I definitely got a sense the audience was as bored to distraction as I was.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    I have no problem with Godzilla not making an appearance until the halfway point. A little buildup is not a bad thing. And come on does anyone ever do career-best work in a movie like Godzilla?

  26. EtGuild2 says:

    Speaking of snoozefests….”Million Dollar Arm” feels like a weird amalgam of the most maudlin and tired cliches from half a dozen other movies. This rote effort is the best major studio lead work Hamm could find?

    Also notable, it’s the last non-reboot/sequel from Disney (not counting Marvel or Dreamworks) till October. How strange that they’re counting on two obscure Marvel properties (Guardians, Big Hero 6) to prevent them from missing $1 billion domestic for the first time since 2005.

  27. hcat says:

    ‘ one of whom (I kid you not) looks like a digital version of Larry Cohen’s “Q” beastie.’

    Personally I hardly see that as detremental, I loved Q as a kid, one of the cheapies I could watch over and over again, like Beastmaster and Battle Beyond the Stars.

  28. Ray Pride says:

    “We call him… Gojira…” is a line intoned lovingly by Ken Watanabe, Leah.

  29. leahnz says:

    wait Ray, are you saying watanabe intones a hard ‘rrrr’ in ‘gojira’, like in the English word ‘read’, go-gee-RRRa? if so, that’s something of a bizarre flaw, because Japanese people (who do not speak english) don’t pronounce a hard R — in spoken Japanese an ‘r’ is pronounced as rather ‘L’ sounding (actually it’s kind of a combo sound which interprets as an ‘L’ sound, also has a bit of a ‘d’ sound to it, which is why native Japanese people say, for instance, ‘Lugby’ instead of ‘Rugby’ with the hard R sound, because Japanese speakers don’t pronounce a hard R). it’s also why, when the word ‘gojira’ was anglicised to ‘godzilla’, part of the reason is it was phonetically translated from the spoken Japanese, because the original spoken japanese ‘gojira’ sounds more like ‘gojila’, though it’s not a HARD L sound (perhaps i should have clarified that in my comment above but i didn’t have the energy for a long explanation). now, Japanese people who also speak English well (which watanabe does) can pronounce and differentiate the hard R sound from speaking english specifically, so if watanabe says ‘gojiRRRa’ in the new movie then that is indeed a strange inauthenticity, as watanabe is pronouncing it as an English-speaking Japanese person rather than the native Japanese pronunciation. also, i’m sure there are probably 3 people including me who even give a shit about such a thing haha

  30. Ray Pride says:

    I remember it as rolled, Leah, but only saw the film once. At least his other lines were legible in non-Nolan style.

  31. Movieman says:

    Hcat- I’m a Cohen fan, but I first saw “Q” as an adult, and don’t harbor any nostalgia for its supreme tackiness, lol.Ditto (egads!) “The Beastmaster” or even the Sayles-scripted “Stars.”

  32. SamLowry says:

    From The Guardian:

    “My favorite quote from the trades last week was, ‘Warner Bros has avoided making Godzilla out to be a monster movie.’ What else are they going to make it out to be? …A Merchant Ivory flick?”

    I would pay double to watch that.

  33. Martin says:

    The relationship between Serizawa and his assistant is made clear. They both work for Monarch and she calls him sensei, meaning her “teacher”. She’s not integral outside of that. Why didn’t you have that same complaint about Smulders in Winter Soldier?

  34. movieman says:

    Et- I think you were a little too rough on “Million Dollar Arm.”
    Sure, it’s another of Disney’s patented “based on a true story, feel-good underdog sports movies,” but I thought it was a pretty good one.
    McCarthy’s script is solid and the performances are generally appealing (Hamm proves irrefutably than he can indeed headline a major studio film).
    After the CGI bombast of “Amazing 2” and “Godzilla 2014,” not to mention the off-putting mean-spiritedness of “Neighbors,” its Old School humanism was a breath of fresh air.
    My only real complaint was Lake Bell who–sorry–always reminds me of the exhibitionistic tranny from the B’lyn season of MTV’s “Real World.”
    I would’ve loved to seen, say, Jennifer Garner in Bell’s role.

  35. christian says:

    Q is awesome for Michael Moriarty’s insane jazz performance. BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS is the best STAR WARS rip off of the era, mainly because it’s ripping off MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and you have a terrific script by Sayles and a dynamite career-making score by James Horner…

  36. movieman says:

    Maybe I had to be a kid to fully appreciate “Q” and “Stars” when I first saw them, Christian.

  37. christian says:

    I dunno, Ebert loved Q just for Moriarty’s legendary perf….

  38. EtGuild2 says:

    Perhaps you’re right movieman–I found it so forgettable and disposable that I probably won’t remember ever having seen it a week from now, and may be inclined to like it on cable in a few years.

    There is so much better counter-programming out right now. “Palo Alto,” “The Immigrant,” “Chef,” “The Double,” “Belle,” “Ida.” The combined gross of these movies probably won’t match “Million Dollar Arm.”

  39. movieman says:

    Et- Unfortunately, none of those other movies are playing anywhere near
    me–unless you count VOD “The Double” (which I still haven’t gotten to, maybe this weekend).
    Hope to see all of them within the next couple of weeks (months?), lol.

  40. EtGuild2 says:

    I feel ya. Hopefully there’s some kind of movement that makes the VOD transition easier on a regional basis.

  41. cadavra says:

    Hey, you guys can always rent GODZILLA 2000. Now THAT’S the Real McCoy! 🙂

  42. SamLowry says:

    Nice to see that after so many tastemakers dismissed the manifesto of the Santa Barbara shooter as beneath discussion, someone finally noticed that the guy had a point.

    Oddly enough, her attempt to drag Rogen and Apatow into the discussion came days after I read a piece by a Canadian critic who accused guys like Apatow of killing the romantic comedy. By turning “chick flicks” into “dick flicks” (a term she claimed to have created), where career-minded women are instructed to lower their standards and learn to love chubby potheads who have no motivation to improve themselves, she said the guys who make these movies (she called KNOCKED UP an “atrocity”) are uncloseted misogynists who want to put women back in their place.

    And then the shootings, with the clear Hollywood connection (“He shot it at magic hour”).

    I’d say the shooter’s problem is that he lived in California. If he’d flashed his daddy’s money in just about any other state he would’ve had a much easier time getting the kinds of women who are attracted to that sort of thing (as a guy who went from dateless to an in-demand formerly 32-year-old-virgin merely by putting on a manager’s vest, I can assure you that the OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Effect is real). But no, he kept ramming his head into the wall by fixating on the hottest women in the nation who were already surrounded by the hottest dudebros in the nation, and his shrimpy, scrawny ass simply could not compete.

    To take a page from Apatow’s playbook, he should’ve lowered his standards and gone after women who weren’t quite so challenging.

  43. Hallick says:

    “I’d say the shooter’s problem is that he lived in California.”

    Blaming California is as myopically bullshit as the shooter blaming all of womankind. It’s too vast a state to stick with such a hackneyed label that’s actually only aimed at the Los Angeles/Hollywood area anyway.

  44. YancySkancy says:

    From the article Sam linked to: “How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, ‘It’s not fair’?”

    Oh, please. Most Hollywood movies posit escapist scenarios, many of which feature triumphant underdogs. The trope goes back to the silent era. Apatow’s films may have a strain of wish fulfillment, but they shouldn’t be blamed even an iota for this incident. Did kids who grew up on Mister Rogers become killers when they learned that not every “neighborhood” is crime-free and full of only the gentlest role models? Would Elliot Rodger have been better served by a culture that served up a steady diet of stories that show the inherent unfairness of life for the weak, weird and unattractive and urge them to settle for “less”? And would guys like Rodger really seek out films that pass the freakin’ Bechdel test?

  45. SamLowry says:

    No one should have to seek out films that pass the Bechdel test–they should be the norm. The fact that they aren’t (therefore women in movies don’t exist as individuals with their own thoughts and feelings but are merely accessories for men) proves the inherent sexism of Hollywood, and here’s Andrew O’Hehir who makes precisely that point.

    As for California, my tongue was only slightly in cheek, because the beautiful young people who dominate the party scene that excluded the shooter dominate every college campus in the nation; California just happens to attract like a cheap magnet beautiful young people who all hope to win the lottery in the image-obsessed entertainment industry. The shooter, whose final video proved how eyeball-deep he was with that industry, was just as strongly attracted to these women who are far out of his league, though Rogen & Apatow’s movies all suggest that beautiful women should indeed be attracted to a schlubby guy like him.

    Your odd quote about Mister Rodgers actually seems to be addressed by O’Hehir: “If we buy Freud’s famous maxim that insanity is just an exaggerated version of normalcy, perhaps Elliot Rodger was acting out, on the real streets of a real town, the kinds of murderous fantasies many “normal” people are content to consume in private.”

  46. SamLowry says:

    Sorry about misspelling Fred’s name; I guess I was thinking about my novel–the one I keep mentioning–which begins with a nerdy teen by the name of Rodgers who can’t get no satisfaction. His friend even quips “Say ‘Hello’ to Mr. Rodgers for me” at the bottom of page 3 when he imagines his buddy’s stepmom getting too handsy with the boy.

    My only female friend in high school warned me years ago that she was afraid she’d see my face on the nightly news; I guess the difference between me and the shooter is that he turned his frustration into a boring manifesto (which I never got very far into because I remember writing the same exact words on bulletin boards over 20 years ago) while I redirected mine into the creation of a world where the nerdy guy can win the girl…and then “accidentally” get his head blown off when she catches him boning the babysitter.

    But then that’s a story for another novel.

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    “If he’d flashed his daddy’s money in just about any other state he would’ve had a much easier time getting the kinds of women who are attracted to that sort of thing”

    Except wasn’t daddy broke? He spent all his money making a documentary that flopped. Doesn’t the killer mention that in his manifesto, that he’s pissed at his dad for spending all his $ on that movie?

  48. Stella's Boy says:

    Beautiful women are often attracted to schlubby guys. I have a friend who is 50 pounds overweight and not conventionally attractive, but he is outgoing and funny and smart and fun to be around, and he is always dating a beautiful woman (despite being broke in addition to being overweight). This is hardly something that exists only in Hollywood.

    The portrayal of women in Apatow/Rogen movies might be imperfect, but you hardly learn to hate women from them (and the marriage in Neighbors sure seems pretty healthy and happy), so much so that you go out and murder some.

  49. YancySkancy says:

    The sad truth is that some people will become killers regardless of what type of culture they consume. I guess in a perfect world, there’d be nothing to upset them, disappoint them, hurt them. What I was trying to get at by bringing Mister Rogers into it was simply to show that even the most benign, gentle fiction can set one up for disappointment in the real world. What is an artist supposed to take from these murders? We can stop making comedies in which schlubby Seth Rogen lands Katharine Heigl. We can stop making films in which handsome James Marsden lands Katharine Heigl. What type of film would have made Elliot Rodger satisfied with his life? Is it Hollywood’s responsibility to find out?

    Of course Hollywood films are sexist, but more movies that pass the Bechdel test aren’t likely to prevent even one murder. Disturbed men have been channeling their frustrations about the unfairness of life and love into murder since long before the cinema existed. Despair about one’s lot in life is a human trait; how we deal with it is determined by many factors. The “lies” and “wish fulfillment” of media may be one of them, but disappointment comes with the territory of being human — for the life of me, I don’t know how it can be eliminated to an extent that would allow us all to walk the streets feeling safe.

  50. Bulldog68 says:

    And maybe this kid went around expecting every woman he saw to fall into his lap because he was telling everyone he was a Director’s son. Kid killed innocent people because he couldn’t get laid. He’s a fucking douche.

  51. Bulldog68 says:

    “Doesn’t the killer mention that in his manifesto, that he’s pissed at his dad for spending all his $ on that movie?”

    And that’s the other problem. That sense of entitlement. That’s daddy’s money. Not yours. He can blow it on as much documentaries as he wishes.

  52. Stella's Boy says:

    Good piece on this:

    “Hornaday is right that there is a big, important conversation to be had about misogyny, and how it’s reflected in our popular culture. The white, male-dominated Hollywood system also deserves a closer look. But there’s just no evidence to prove that pop culture is what causes the misogyny. Trying to transpose those points onto Rodger’s horrific acts is misguided, and it won’t make those conversations any easier.”

  53. LexG says:

    High school and organized sports have probably created more bullied outcasts than 10 trillion movies ever could, but you never see like Sports Illustrated writers selling out football the first chance they get to fill column space.

    That said, I don’t think this NEIGHBORS (!) debate is anything anyone in the real world is having. It’s the kind of thing that’s of interest to the 11 film journos on Twitter who can kick it around for blog ideas till the next thing to be faux-outraged about comes along. If you went up to Citywalk to see Neighbors today, you’d probably see 100 people yukking it up, not sitting there with the vapors all troubled about male entitlement or whatever the fuck.

  54. Stella's Boy says:

    No doubt Lex. See Jonathan Martin for a recent example, and SI and ESPN covered it after the fact sure, but I wouldn’t doubt if it was the first time either mentioned bullying in professional sports.

  55. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Hey Lex after reading this

    Do you think your twitter “asians everywhere!! – I want to fuck white women only!!! I need sex now. Give me anal” rants are going to endear you to alerted law enforcement?

  56. leahnz says:

    i’ll leave this here for anyone who might be interested, since the hotblog is super blokey and it seems germane to the topic at hand — this guy katz strikes me as a pretty cool, switched-on cat, i’ve been listening to him for a little while now and he has some interesting and ultimately quite pragmatic things to say about patriarchy and the culture of violence and abuse it perpetuates as a men’s issue, and comes at it from what seems is a fairly relatable male perspective.

    (having said that this particular vid doesn’t really address some of the critical issues brought to the fore after the most recent US mass murder, such as the normalisation of misogyny to the point where it’s being pooh-poohed and dismissed as critical to this particular psychopath’s pathology; if as its central point this “kid’s” manifesto had detailed his utter seething hatred/advocated the round of, for instance, Jews or people of colour into concentration camps for extermination, leaving just a few alive to serve as slaves under the complete control of men because of their innate disgusting nature and lesser intelligence and worth so as not to be human before embarking on a mass murder targeted at said group, i have no doubt this would be spoken of as the hate crime it clearly was; but it was directed at women so eh, whaddya gonna do, it appears to get a pass in many quarters with such weak arguments as ‘but men were killed too!’ – yes, because the killer made it clear that it was their relationship WITH WOMEN that he hated them for – absolutely part of his misogyny, misogyny hurts men, too, i’ll never get how this isn’t obvious – and perhaps more importantly that b) he specifically stated he needed to get his male roommates out of they way in order to engage in his woman-torturing/killing/enslaving plan for their apartment. sadly the ensuing misogyny denial says almost as much as the misogyny manifesto itself about the persistent, insidious diminishment and denial of the impact and import of misogyny in society. that this isn’t unexpected or surprising is ever more depressing.)

  57. SamLowry says:

    To those who see Hollywood’s misogyny as “normal” or “not a biggie”, I wonder how they’d react if there was a reverse Bechdel test:

    Every action movie this summer features primarily female casts, and the few males who do appear exist merely to support the female leads. On those rare occasions when one man meets another, they talk about the female leads and nothing else.

    The first movie that fits this criteria might be treated as a sly joke, but when the second rolls around you can be sure that more than a few male ticket-buyers will be sitting there going “WTF?” Women will end up watching these movies in groups or solo, because the brave souls who tried to bring their dates or male S.O.s had to deal with petulant whining and threats to walk out. The new normal sends many fleeing to the safety of their Xboxes, until they discover all the new games feature an awful lot of female characters while the few males who appear all look like pasty underwear models.

    A wave of suicides ensues, leaving the world a better place.

    (Oh, and the character in my novel who spreads nanomachines among the populace to make everyone equally young, fit and superhuman admits in an inner monologue that he really hoped to destroy professional sports. Heh.)

  58. Stella's Boy says:

    Apparently his manifesto does detail seething hatred of others, including African-Americans, but even that is rooted in his misogyny. He can’t believe black guys are able to have relationships with women while he is unable to, etc.

  59. YancySkancy says:

    I guess it’s a miracle that every kid who learns there’s no Santa Claus isn’t out there shooting up shopping malls.

    Is there really “misogyny denial” about this case (in general, I mean; undoubtedly there are idiots who are dismissing the notion)? Seems clear to me Rodger was a misogynist. My only problem is laying blame for it at Hollywood’s feet. Even without the cinema, most men learn that a handsome jock has a real-life advantage in the love/sex sweepstakes. I get that movies may exacerbate the pain of that reality, but that reality will exist regardless of how many Bechdel-approved films get made. For the record, saying this doesn’t mean I think misogyny is “no biggie” or that we don’t need more films that pass the Bechdel test.

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    Generally speaking, is the media reporting that the killer’s misogyny led him to commit the murders, or his mental health issues? Or both? I’m really not sure. Also, it’s not the first time in recent years that a man has targeted and killed women because of perceived rejections. A guy in Pittsburgh shot and killed a bunch of women at a gym not too long ago, and I know that isn’t the only case. It doesn’t seem like the media talks much about misogyny and shootings. I’d say there is definitely at least some misogyny denial.

  61. YancySkancy says:

    I dunno, hard to deny it in this case, when it’s the cornerstone of his “manifesto.”

  62. Stella's Boy says:

    One would think, but when I go to Google news and search Elliot Rodger, what comes back are stories about his sexual frustration, his parents grief, the videos he made, Hollywood’s role, his therapists, social media, and his family’s money problems. Misogyny hardly appears in any headlines, but I didn’t read all the stories, so it’s possible they discuss it. Slate and Salon are definitely talking about it, but the media collectively, I don’t know.

  63. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    This is the only sane article I’ve read on this whole topic. It does something that no other commenter or journalist has been able to do. Bring some common sense to the discussion.

  64. YancySkancy says:

    JBD – I read that earlier today and agree.

  65. Hallick says:

    The words “Bechdel Test” now make my eye sockets ache.

  66. Hallick says:

    They aren’t savage beasts, Ray. her soothing is useless against them.

  67. Hallick says:

    I’ll just have to push through the misery and come out the other side. Now where’s that link to Jeffrey Wells at the Leviathan press conference at Cannes…

  68. Triple Option says:

    Blaming Hollywood seems like an easy cop-out but I wonder what did people do pre-no regard for standards in media days? There had to be tons of guy who couldn’t find partners but they didn’t ride their steed into town and randomly shoot up the general store.

    I remember frustration and depression in college over not having a gf. I didn’t think I was entitled or was angry at women, I think that made it all the more depressing. This was well before seeing my first Apatow movie.

    How bad would things be if 1/4 of the country wasn’t hopped up on antidepressants? We are trillions of dollars in debt. Not the govt but private citizens. We’re overweight from eating high sodium, high processed sugar foods. We steal billions of dollars worth of entertainment, nearly collapsing the record industry. Everyone has a big SUV or high end luxury sedan. Most people can’t stay married for 3 years. Thank heavens we can prepay for an atty since walking down the street can now get you sued.

    What the F- do we want?? Apparently, whatever we think it is it’s not enough.

  69. leahnz says:

    geez louis, i can appreciate hard luck tales because life’s a bitch and then you die for a shitload of people, but let me just throw this out there:

    for every awkward guy that’s bummed not to have had a gf or sex in college, there’s a girl that’s bummed not to have had a cute boy and that mythical fun experimental college sex girls are so stereotyped as having — boohoo, get a fucking grip, do boys really think they somehow corner the market on teenage/young person awkwardness, sexual inexperience, anxiety, angst and regret, feeling lonely and unattractive? that shit’s universal so please, stop your whining, nobody owes you a thing. go forth and be a decent human being, to yourself and others, regardless of gender; bad shit can happen in life but if you’re righteous and strive for the light, the world will unfold to you in a way that you can at least live with yourself in honesty and dignity, and hopefully that includes love and intimacy, most often you reap what you sow. (and funny how somehow, mysteriously, girls manage not to shoot up the fucking joint and kill again and again and again. go figure. seems like maybe there’s a reason…)

    fwiw, mark manson’s puerile commentary (yikes, this: “Eric was a psychopath, but he was also smart” — uh, doi, psychopaths are by definition and their very nature intelligent, one reason they can be hard to detect and diagnose, because they are smart enough to play a role, hide in plain sight and function in spite of their antisocial pathology, until they don’t and they decide to kill. maybe manson meant to say he was ‘psychotic’ but also smart, either way his level of comprehension and discourse on the subjects at hand are hardly definitive common sense) and his reference to feminists rather brilliantly proves my point from earlier, when he refers to the ‘pet cause’ of violence against women: “Feminists used it as an opportunity to promote awareness for violence against women, despite the fact that Rodger killed indiscriminately and the majority of the victims turned out to be men.”

    well never mind that that’s simply WRONG (and makes me wonder if he even bothered to read the ‘manifesto’) – the killer’s intent was clear, by his own admission, that he wanted to torture and kill women specifically – EXTERMINATE them, his words – and he just didn’t give a shit about killing or having to kill men in the process, they were collateral damage in his hatred of women, his hatred of men and other races -because they were able to have women – all of his bullshit led back to his hatred of women. this was ABSOLUTELY a case of violence against women, that so many people seem unable or unwilling to comprehend this is bizarre.

    (i’m leaning toward unwilling at this point, because there seems a strange phenomenon wherein it seems particularly men – maybe because they simply don’t experience the casual and insidious sexism, aggression, condescension and entitlement – and much, much worse – that girls and women deal with all the time and all through life just for existing as the non-male half of humanity – just don’t seem to want to believe it, or ‘admit’ it, as if it’s some slight to them personally as a ‘good’ man, or maybe the status quo is just so convenient — but when women say it, we’re routinely not believed and dismissed, shouted down, and yet women continue to be held up as the gatekeeper of men’s sexuality and behaviour, even as our reproductive rights are often controlled by men. i don’t know, i think a storm’s coming)

    but MOSTLY THIS: how is it that this killing – plus the killings Stella’s referenced upthread and the mass murder in montreal and the amish girls who were killed because of their gender, etc – how exactly is mass murder and violence against women a ‘feminist’ issue? funny, call me human but i’d think the mass murders of women and girls in the name of misogyny is an issue for all of humanity, not women or feminism. that this extreme violence and hatred is called a ‘feminist’ issue somehow sums it all up perfectly, just how fucked up people are.

  70. Stella's Boy says:

    Your last paragraph, amen leah.

    “Feminists used it as an opportunity to promote awareness for violence against women, despite the fact that Rodger killed indiscriminately and the majority of the victims turned out to be men.”

    Indeed this is an insanely stupid comment, and immediately discredits its author. Of course misogyny is to blame for Rodger’s actions. And men are also victims of misogyny. It happens all the time, an ex killing a woman’s new boyfriend or husband or whatever.

    Good points made here:

    “He killed twice as many men as women you fool,” one man wrote to me in an email, echoing a sentiment I’ve heard in many forms over the past few days. “That sound like misogyny to you?”

    It does. Women’s issues are often dismissed as a niche concern, but we constitute half of the human population. Once that’s recognized, it’s not hard to see how hating us can inflict significant collateral damage among all people—including the men who are our partners, our relatives, and our colleagues. Misogyny kills men, too.

  71. Hallick says:

    The emailer who used the “he killed twice as many men as women you fool” logic is the kind of low-wattage thinker that would look at a drive-by shooting that in addition to killing members of a rival gang also mows down even more innocent partygoers and say “That sound like gang warfare to you?”. Way to put collateral damage in the foreground.

  72. christian says:

    “He can’t believe black guys are able to have relationships with women while he is unable to, etc.”

    Gee, who else on these blogs thinks the same entitled way? And how much cheering does he get for this? Most of Rodger’s “schtick” sounds like about 75% of male internet postings. The bullied become the bullies.

  73. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “i don’t know, i think a storm’s coming” – Leahnda Hamilton

  74. leahnz says:

    after having slept for 13 hours and spaced having written my comment above, i remember now haha

    fwiw i think the fact that misogyny is also harmful to men (i think i mentioned this upthread somewhere) and boys is an important point, it would be great to see more open discussion about this. last night i took a bunch of teens-to-young-adults to xmen – a mixed gender crowd including my son and ‘god-daughter’ who’s 19 – and we had a really interesting discussion about this topic brought on by a discussion of the UCSB shooting, how the boys feel manifestations of misogyny in their lives when they are criticised and put down by (mostly) other boys for not being ‘manly’ enough or perceived as weak and compared to ‘a girl’, called a faggot, etc, all manifestations of misogyny that they may not have categorised as such but now i think they have a better understanding after our talk (also that women, just like men, are socialised and internalise the same gender biases and can be strongly misogynist). i think the truth is, a great deal of the bullying and rigid gender expectations and norms that both boys and men experience is rooted in misogyny, the pressure to be the mythical ‘real man’ in a culture where characteristics traditionally classified as ‘female’ mean you’re considered lesser-than and weak; i think a lot of men experience misogyny but may not think of it as such. i dearly hope these great kids can grow up into a world where men and woman are just people with a range of characteristics, natural strengths and affinities, sexual orientations, which is what i believe is really the case for humanity – a soup of wide-ranging characteristics and types of women and men, which is constricted by patriarchy to be a certain way, think a certain way, and fit a certain mould, which is really just a bunch of self-imposed nonsense.

    (‘ “i don’t know, i think a storm’s coming” – Leahnda Hamilton ‘ that made me laugh actually, sorta sounds like catwoman in TDKR too, which wasn’t my intention but reading it now totally sounds like that)

  75. leahnz says:

    yikes the double-post of shame. anyway i just had a chance to read the link to the Slate article in the Stella’s Boy comment above — was that authored by you, SB? just wondering, if so, great job; an insightful, informative piece, including a look at the normalisation of man-on-man violence, which should be of profound concern to all thinking, caring people going forward in a productive world.

  76. SamLowry says:

    While “Blame the Gun Laws, Not Judd Apatow” makes a lot of sense, I suspect Cassidy is non-American enough to still miss the point entirely.

    Yes, the gun death rate in the U.S. is ridiculous, but even if ALL guns were banned here–not merely the semi-automatic weapons banned in the U.K. and Australia–the murder rate would still be outrageous because we apparently like to kill each other. Folks would crank up their 3D printers (fools), learn smithing to make replacements for the confiscated guns, or start carrying tantos under their jackets because the idealized bar fights described by Cassidy simply would not occur here–one local bar fight that didn’t involve any weapons turned into a murder case when the loser finally died from a closed head injury. Take away all the guns from around here (quite a task that would be) and the routine shootings would merely turn into stabbings.

    One seemingly comic scene from MONUMENTS MEN illustrates my point precisely, when Bob Balaban says, essentially (I can’t find the script online) “Do we get to kill anyone? Because I really want to kill someone.”

    Would a British soldier say that? An Australian? Anyone but an American? There are so many American boys looking for a legal way to shoot a man in Kandahar just to watch him die that the military had to come up with tests to filter these maniacs out. And it didn’t help that I got to see DEAR AMERICA today so I could hear some of our brave lads admitting they had no problem killing “gooks” because if Charlie’s shooting at you, you shoot back–where’s the problem? And then you get to put an ace of spades in his hand.

    USA! USA!

  77. Stella's Boy says:

    I wish I wrote that piece. The Slate XX writers are very talented.

  78. SamLowry says:

    Talented, yes, yet all of Cassidy’s solutions were failures in this instance–banning guns of any type would’ve prevented only half of the killings, and his “lager lout” bar brawls to let off some steam require a Pee-Wee League to accommodate dudes as diminutive as our shooter.

    The one thing Cassidy didn’t mention–the one thing which might have made the biggest difference to a guy who can’t get any action–is legalized prostitution, yet most guys would still avoid it like the plague because of, umm, cooties, let’s just say.

    Perhaps Real Dolls with Genuine People Personalities that can be sanitized after each use might be the way to go…if you don’t mind risking the end of civilization.

  79. SamLowry says:

    …and the beat goes on…

    “Sexism may be getting in the way of hurricane safety.”

    “Participants who read about Hurricane Danny were more likely to say they would evacuate their homes than those who had read about Hurricane Kate, even though the information was exactly the same. The researchers also found that women were just as likely as men to think hurricanes with male names were more daunting than those with female names.”

  80. SamLowry says:

    …and for some odd reason, “5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women” is trending at Cracked though it’s over two years old:

    Reason 5. We Were Told That Society Owed Us a Hot Girl.

    “Does it seem like men feel kind of entitled to sex? Does it seem like we react to rejection with the maturity of a child being denied a toy?

    “Well, you have to keep in mind that what we learn as kids is really hard to deprogram as an adult. And what we learned as kids is that we males are each owed, and will eventually be awarded, a beautiful woman.”

    BTW, Hollywood is to blame:

    “When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu “Speed” Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE … and so on.

    “Hell, at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the dry cleaner.”

  81. YancySkancy says:

    Yes, clearly we need more movies in which the hero does not get the girl. Films should never try to appeal to the almost universal desire for love and acceptance that both men and women feel.

    Hollywood has two types of romantic endings — the guy and girl end up together, or one of them dies tragically. Of course the market can bear exceptions, but most people like it when the couple gets together at the end. Comedies have ended this way since at least Shakespeare. I guess we can argue about how “healthy” or not this is, but what can actually be done about it? Stop making movies? Ban stories with romantic happily-ever-after endings? Insist that screenwriters include the harsh reality of finding love and sex for the Elliot Rodgers of the world? And how exactly would the latter assuage the misogyny and entitlement of such men? Seems like a conundrum to me.

    We have all looked at the lives of others, whether on screen or off, and thought “Why them and not me?” Someone’s always got it better than you. Precious few of us take arms against it. We have to find a way of dealing with those few that doesn’t involve demonizing innocuous entertainment that normal people enjoy without consequence.

The Hot Blog

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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