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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB 100614


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38 Responses to “BYOB 100614”

  1. berg says:

    Gone Girl spoiler thread … something I noticed this weekend watching Gone Girl for the second time .. the murder scene lasts what? ten seconds or less, yet the pace is drawn out by a series of subliminal black out cuts that must be around 4 to 6 frames each … plus, they keep flashing the phone number that has been set up for tips to Amy’s disappearance … 1 855 4 AMY TIPS (855 426 9847) … when you call this # you get a recording of the first chapter of the book (takes about seven plus minutes)

  2. Tuck Pendleton says:

    I’m not sure where I place Gone Girl.

    Rosamund Pike is absolutely the best element, and I fully believed her character every single second. The first half of the film seemed like a normal procedural, but as soon as her character gets more screen time in the second half thats when it really kicks in.

  3. arisp says:

    DP – What happened with the Pacino interview? Was it ever posted?

  4. lazarus says:

    I think the discussion Gone Girl has created is more interesting than the film itself. I thought Dragon Tattoo was an unnecessary (albeit superior) remake, but at least the aesthetics were worth revisiting. I have zero interest in sitting through Gone Girl again, despite being entertained and enjoying all the performances.

    As far as where I’d place it in Fincher’s filmography (and I consider myself a big fan), it would be pretty close to the bottom, just above Panic Room and Alien3. But what do I know, my two favorites of his are Fight Club and Benjamin Button.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Right now Gone Girl is my least favorite Fincher movie. I prefer Panic Room and Alien 3. I have no interest in ever sitting through GG again. I actually prefer the first half. I got really bored after the big reveal. I’ve never been so bored watching a Fincher movie before.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    The recent Pacino interview in The New Yorker is fantastic.

  7. Jermsguy says:

    I read the book Gone Girl; haven’t seen the movie yet. Is there much difference?

  8. Ray Pride says:

    Closely aligned.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    Any strong opinions on documentaries this year? Two stand out to me: “Particle Fever,” an attempt to explain the Hadron Collider and the religious philosophy of physicists to the masses…and Ebert’s “Life Itself,” which David wrote about beautifully.

    Weaker but still of interest to me were “The Internet’s Own Boy,” about the life and suicide of activist Aaron Swartz, and “The 12 O Clock Boys,” chronicling the going abouts of a young, impoverished dirt bike enthusiast in Baltimore.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    I have not seen many documentaries this year unfortunately. I’ve seen Psychopath, which is fantastic. I’d really like to see The Overnighters and Merchants of Doubt.

  11. Breedlove says:

    To me reading Gone Girl probably takes away from the pleasure of watching the movie quite a bit. They didn’t change anything, so you know every little twist and turn that’s coming…it’s funny, had I known Fincher would direct Gone Girl I probably wouldn’t have read it. Didn’t read Dragon Tattoo for that very reason. Whereas with Game of Thrones I’d very much prefer to read the ending in the books rather than see it on the tv show.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    When my wife read Gone Girl I told her to spoil it for me because I knew I’d never read it. I also never imagined David Fincher would direct it. Oops.

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    Just got back from the “Dracula” movie. I can’t figure out what they were going for…but whatever it was, it didn’t work for me.

    On the other hand, WHAT A RELIEF that this wasn’t in 3D. In fact, thank you god for all the crappy looking potential blockbusters not in 3D at the end of the year…NIGHT OF THE MUSEAM 3, PADDINGTON, EXODUS. Re: PADDINGTON, it’s the most repulsive, terrifying trailer of 2014 so at least the bear won’t be poking our eyes out.

  14. palmtree says:

    I loved Particle Fever. Never thought I’d be so moved by a bunch of scientists studying particles.

    Another one that’s streaming on Netflix is Linsanity, which really captures the lightning in a bottle of a guy at his lowest point just going out on the world stage and wowing everyone. The filmmakers started shooting before they even knew he would ever catch fire…so you really see Jeremy Lin live through that experience.

  15. The Pope says:


    The biggest twist in GG is the final shot. It’s a replica of the opening shot. Both scenes take place while he and Amy are in bed and, as he strokes her hair, we hear him express his wish to discover what Amy is thinking. We never find out because the movie only tells us what Nick is thinking. The whole story takes place in his head. The events are a projection of his love, loathing, sense of loss and fear for the future. In that one simple move, Fincher and Flynn neutralize all accusations of misogyny. Instead, it is a critique of misogyny. It is Nick’s fevered and paranoid imaginings.

  16. MAGGA says:

    I didn’t think about that, but really, misogyny? Can’t women be psychos in movies? I really hate it when actresses say they are looking for “strong female characters” when they should simply be looking for interesting characters, like male actors do. It reminds me of how black characters had to be saints in movies because otherwise the audience would judge all black people. You should always be able to put the worst person ever in a movie, played by a woman or actors of any race, without excuse, simply for the sake of great drama or even cheap entertainment. Otherwise I’m not very interested in watching movies with female leads in them (I am, but just making a point). But yeah, your twist makes sense, what with all the talk about how he had to “think about their marriage” and all. Anyway, Gone Girl continues the tradition of every other Fincher movie being a masterpiece or close to it, while every other movie having problems. Dragon Tattoo was much better than our Scandinavian version, but the source material was still beneath Fincher. This sees him back in form

  17. Chris says:

    “I thought Dragon Tattoo was an unnecessary (albeit superior) remake, but at least the aesthetics were worth revisiting. I have zero interest in sitting through Gone Girl again, despite being entertained and enjoying all the performances.”

    Complete opposite with me. I tried watching Dragon Tattoo again and couldn’t sit through it, soooo boring. On the other hand, I am jonesing to see Gone Girl again.

  18. leahnz says:

    i haven’t read a lot of ‘gone girl’ reaction (and Pope’s podcast won’t play for me for some reason, so not sure if that’s contained therein), where is all the ‘having a lunatic woman character is misogynist’ contention coming from? i haven’t seen this anywhere and people keep saying this, is there some big article i’ve completely missed or something? i’ve seen a bit about misogyny but not because ‘amy is a psycho’, is it a case of people taking criticism of the film as misogynist and then simplifying it down to fit into a more easily waved-off box of ‘psycho woman character is misogynist’?

    The Pope, in the text in your link you say, “Whether this is correct or not” re nick dunne being the actual sole unreliable narrator – i don’t believe this is correct, but i wanted to ask you something re: your theory because it sounds intriguing and i can kind of piece it out thinking about the movie, but i consider what follows to be the film’s massive failing plot-wise and would also seem to make your theory all but impossible, but maybe not: SPOILERS
    in the scene when nick returns home alone to find the house in disarray and amy missing, we the viewer are with nick at the actual time as the events unfold for him – it’s not a memory being recounted for the police, etc, but rather nick, alone, experiencing coming home to find amy gone, his actual POV. choosing to film it this way is inexplicable to me, as fincher has completely telegraphed to the viewer that nick couldn’t possibly be the killer because we’re shown his actual real-time actions and reactions in the moment when he is alone and not having to play-act for anyone, the actions of someone who’s actually come home to find the person he lives with gone. the killer (if it was nick) would not do this real-time act while they were completely on their own and had already abducted/killed amy (unless nick was, for example, a multiple personality with no memory of another personality killing amy, which is never even remotely hinted at in the narrative); so fincher 1) inexplicably takes away the very possibility of nick being the killer pretty much from the get-go, making the movie as a whodunnit rather pointless in regards to the husband as a prime suspect, and 2) re your theory, if nick was the sole unreliable narrator and the entire story is his paranoid fear fantasy/fabrication, then how does this extremely literal scene (in the way it’s filmed and the implications thereof) fit into that construct? the scene is not conveyed as possibly unreliable narration, the exact opposite, so wouldn’t that negate the possibility that the entire story is nick’s unreliable narration? i’m trying to wrap my head around this, it doesn’t help that i can’t listen to your thing but just thinking about your unconventional interpretation i’m trying to piece it out.

  19. movieman says:

    Et- I think “Dracula” was going for a “revisionist origin story” like “Maleficent.”
    But nothing really worked for me either.
    The tone was ponderous, the pacing glacial and the stentorian performances would have been right at home in a 1950’s Biblical epic.
    Since the sequel (please no!) hinted at in the coda would appear to be set in present day, it would automatically strip it of whatever uniqueness the original had (even though it’s not successfully realized).
    You’re right about the (refreshing) lack of 3-D, though. What a relief.
    Side note: Why does everyone in pre-20th century period movies (no matter the setting/locale) always speak w/ the poshest of British accents?

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    Hopefully there won’t be a sequel…it’s only doing so so overseas so far.

    So….Box Office Mojo is dead? Wow. CS Strowbridge is going to have his hands full over at the-numbers in the next few weeks.

    Can you imagine if music or sports reporters lost Billboard or pro-football/baseball/ all of a sudden? Shame on IMDB.

  21. Jermsguy says:

    I am super-pissed BoxOfficeMojo is dead. I went to that site almost every day, and now it looks like it’s all been stuffed into IMDBPro somewhere. Booooo!

  22. Movieman says:

    The apparent demise of B.O. Mojo rankles me to no end, too.
    It was my go to destination for weekend and daily box office figures, as well as the most reliable source for dates of upcoming releases.
    Not sure what could satisfactorily replace it since nobody else is as reliable/dependable as they were.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    If, as appears likely, Box Office Mojo and all its archival info has been rolled into IMDB Pro… well, I can’t say I’m surprised. As I have said for years: Sooner or later, lots of things we’ve been getting for free on the Internet won’t be free anymore. I think it was Rupert Murdoch of all people who said there’s a difference between opinion and information — and while opinion will always be free, information will cost you.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    The surprise, to me, is the ham-fisted way in which this is being done. No announcement, and the link to the IMDB strange strangely links back to BO Mojo’s now silent Twitter Feed.

    It would appear the Mojo staff had no advance warning either. Ray Subers went about his hourly tweeting per normal on October 9, and has maintained radio silence since.

    A comparison to this is when Fandango seized control of, and basically terminated all unique aspects of the site without warning. There was such an uproar they relented and re-hired the site’s reviewer and many of the columnists. Sadly, I don’t think that will be the case here because it’s a matter of financially exploiting data, not committing to pay a handful of writers.

  25. The Pope says:

    @leahnz, Sorry to hear that my podcast won’t play. If it helps any, you can listen to it on my iTunes channel.

    In the meantime, it is my contention that the film’s closing shot is a replica of the opening shot and since we hear Nick’s voice narrating I think we can at least discuss whether the entire thing takes place in his mind: the paranoid and fevered imaginings that some people may be prone to on anniversary time. I think the disappearance is a McGuffin. Instead, the plot is a metaphor for the marital question… where has the person I married disappeared to?

  26. YancySkancy says:

    movieman: I’ve always assumed that using posh British as a catch-all period accent is due to two things:

    1) Shakespeare
    2) In America, at least, posh British sounds “other” enough to take us out of the modern and into the past world of the movie, without making us strain to understand an unfamiliar accent.

    It’s such a familiar trope that most people probably don’t even think about it. In fact, filmmakers violate it at their peril. We laughed when Keanu Reeves couldn’t quite get the surfer dude out of his voice in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, and Harvey Keitel got a Razzie nomination for his apparently Brooklyn-bred Judas Iscariot.

  27. leahnz says:

    Pope: thanks for the new link that plays – i hadn’t even considered the idea of a circular narrative and the whole thing as nick’s nightmare basically, interesting concept, i’d have to see it again to apply your assessment but i love alternate interpretations of film. even if it isn’t what was ‘intended’, one of the fascinating things about art is how viewer interpretation and appreciation is a new life unto itself, an effect of the creation beyond intent in the minds of the audience and how we see and interpret the art according to our own prism, which can be a powerful thing.

  28. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s going to be a thin Christmas lineup this year. “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” and “Paddington” just moved into 2015.

  29. movieman says:

    I predicted that Paramount would move “Hot Tub 2” the minute I saw that Sony
    had pushed “Interview” back to Xmas Day.
    No surprise.
    And Weinstein must think “Paddington” would benefit from the “Hoodwinked” slot (less competition for “family dollars” on MLK Weekend) than if they opened it December 25th. A sensible decision.
    The only potential wild card is if WB decides to go wide w/ “American Sniper” on Xmas Day rather than give it the same platform rollout as “Inherent Vice.”

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    RIP Elizabeth Pena. Huge fan of her work in La Bamba, Jacob’s Ladder, and especially Lone Star. Very sad news.

  31. leahnz says:

    sad news indeed, still so young, rest in peace elizabeth. weirdly the boy and i just watched both sayle’s brilliant ‘lone star’ and ‘jacob’s ladder’ recently; peña’s turn as pilar in LS is sterling, she and cooper are a little slice of magic together (this might be a dumb question but is ‘lone star’ considered a bit of an american classic? it’s a seriously fucking good movie, incredibly well written and it manages that delicate, difficult fusion of languid artistry, deep character study and mystery/tension/suspense that few can pull off, i hadn’t watched it in many years and had forgotten just how sublime it is. i’m so glad i fortuitously happened to watch it before peña’s passing, any thespian would be proud to be such an integral part of a truly outstanding film).

  32. EtGuild2 says:

    Any thoughts on “Fury?” Starts off so promisingly, but just trips into cliche. Logan Lerman is a revelation though.

  33. Smith says:

    Et, you really think a Christmas lineup with wide release openings of The Hobbit, Annie, A Night at the Museum 3, Into the Woods, The Interview, and Unbroken – with Exodus already out, and American Sniper and Big Eyes opening in some level of limited release – is thin?!

  34. movieman says:

    Pretty much agree w/ you on “Fury,” Et.
    I get what Ayer was after (the blunt, hardboiled poetry of Fuller’s WW II movies topped off w/ that whole “Honest Man’s Last Stand” trope from “The Wild Bunch” and countless Ford westerns).
    And while I admired his ambition and the level of craftsmanship, the film as a whole sort of left me cold.
    I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I had a better time at Ayer’s “disreputable genre film” (“Sabotage”) earlier this year.
    As far as Lerman goes, I thought his performance in “Perks” was on the revelatory side. But I think he was a bit shortchanged by the script this time.
    For example****SPOILER ALERT***why couldn’t we have gone into the bedroom w/ Lerman and the young French girl?
    I think it would’ve given her death more of a sting if we’d gotten to see the emotional connection they’d (apparently) made in their brief time together.

  35. Bulldog68 says:

    Ayer really shined in the 4 on 1 tank battle scene. Yes it did start of promising but felt like the script just wasn’t there to elevate it beyond being just okay.

    ********SPOILER ALERT*****************
    Also felt the actions of the German Soldier who left one of them alive was just too convenient. Maybe give him a quick backstory to show maybe that he was a new recruit too so it would end up being kind of ironic, or something like that.

  36. Bulldog68 says:

    Also I hope Shia LaBeouf gets his shit together. He’s a good actor that suffers from coming out of that tweeny bopper thing, but especially in the first Transformers, and Lawless, Disturbia, and playing second banana in I Robot and Constantine, the kid can act.

  37. YancySkancy says:

    LaBeouf could act from the beginning. I was doing a lot of work for Disney Channel when Even Stevens was being developed, and he was a real find even then. I know his Project Greenlight film, The Battle of Shaker Heights, doesn’t get much love, but he’s really good in it, and I wasn’t surprised when he started getting major roles. But hoo boy, what a mess he’s been. I too hope he gets his shit together.

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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