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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates

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19 Responses to “Friday Estimates”

  1. Glamourboy says:

    Wow, Warners is really burying 5:15….you’d think because of their relationship with Eastwood they would give the release a bigger push. I didn’t even know about it until I saw a trailer for it on Wednesday….can it be that bad?

  2. movieman says:

    “Darkest Hour” will pass “Atonement” as Joe Wright’s top-grossing domestic release today.
    Thought it was worth mentioning.

  3. movieman says:

    It ain’t pretty, Glamour.
    I thought it was overall Clint Eastwood’s weakest film (as director) since 1982’s “Firefox.”
    The problem isn’t entirely the deer-caught-in-the-headlights amateurishness of the actual dudes playing themselves. (Imagine if the real Sully had played himself rather than Tom Hanks, and you’re halfway home.) It’s that there’s simply no there there. Even at 94 minutes it felt wildly padded.
    A better approach might have been to tell the story as a dual narrative: cross-cutting between the terrorist’s preparations and the three young American tourists prior to boarding the train.
    The first half of the movie I thought I was watching something from Pure Flix rather than Eastwood/Warner Brothers.
    (P.S.= Casting Tony Hale as a junior high gym teacher is the most inadvertently funny thing in the movie.)

  4. Poet says:

    Firefox is vastly superior to “True Crime”.

  5. movieman says:

    You think so, Poet?
    I sat through “Firefox” a second time (it preceded a sneak of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” in June ’82) hoping it wasn’t as bad as it seemed just a few weeks earlier.
    It was.
    Thought “True Crime” was a decent throwaway.
    Like the superior “Space Cowboys”), it did seem awfully lightweight in Eastwood’s post-“Unforgiven” oeuvre, though.

  6. Big G says:

    Movieman, FIREFOX opened June 18, 1982 and THE THING opened a week later on June 25. Maybe it was a double feature but I doubt it was a THING sneak preview.

  7. movieman says:

    You’re right, G. It was the same day. I’d somehow blanked on the particulars.
    I’d done a matinee of “Firefox” at a different theater (Essex Green NJ), and–fearing I wouldn’t get a seat for the “Thing” sneak (at Cinema 46 Totowa NJ), showed up early and felt duty bound to sit through “Firefox” a second time waiting for the Carpenter (which was sneaked w/ Clint).
    Yeah, weird sneaking a movie w/ another movie on its opening day, but that sort of thing happened frequently back then. I remember seeing “Halloween” a second time opening day 1978 w/ a sneak of “Paradise Alley.” (I’d seen “Halloween” at the New Amsterdam on 42nd Street that morning; the “Alley” sneak was at the old single-screen Rivoli on Broadway). And a “Raiders” sneak w/ “Wild Geese” opening day at NYC’s Loews State in 1981. (Nope, didn’t see “Geese” earlier that day. I knew that once would be more than enough.)

  8. JSPartisan says:

    I freaking adore Firefox. I’ll be honest: I’ve been down with Clint, since I saw him in Rawhide as a little kid. Channel 5 had the solid line up on Sundays back in the day: Rawhide, Lone Ranger, then BRANDED! Great way to wake up back in the 80s. Aside from that? Love the heck out of Firefox. It’s two movies, stitched together, that make no sense what so ever apart.

  9. movieman says:

    As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry because the “Thing” sneak didn’t come close to selling out. Of course, an “E.T.” sneak three weekends earlier at the same theater didn’t sell out either. But you did have to worry about that sort of thing back then.
    Never had any desire to three-peat “Firefox.” And Clint went on to become one of my favorite American directors.
    My worst/best experience at a sneak was having to endure the loathsome “Norman Is That You?” a second time for the privilege of securing a seat for a sneak of DePalma’s “Carrie” in October ’76.

  10. JSPartisan says:

    The best sneak peak ever… was the one for Monster Squad.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    I think True Crime is a very under-rated film.

  12. Jerryishere says:

    Is Peter Rabbit really on 5711 screens?
    That seems… excessive.

  13. Pete B. says:

    Box Office Mojo has Peter Rabbit at 3725 theatres.

    How come no ads showcasing that Margot Robbie & Daisy Ridley are providing voices too?

  14. Glamourboy says:

    Movieman, I actually think Norman Is That You is somewhat underrated…it is one of the only feature films that we have for Redd Foxx…and you have Pearl Bailey..and, if I’m not mistaken, Dennis Dugan (the future director of many terrible Adam Sandler movies?)…yeah, it’s not high art but the movie still makes me laugh.

  15. movieman says:

    Gawd, really Glamour?!
    I remember thinking “Norman” was outrageously homophobic and filled with the ugliest sexual/racial stereotyping.
    Dugan’s mincing performance as Norman’s lover gave me nightmares at the time.
    Plus, it was shot on videotape rather than celluloid, and looked just like a terrible ’70s network sitcom.
    Director was George (“Laugh In”) Schlatter) as I recall.

  16. Doug R says:

    I miss those free sneaks-well no extra charge.
    Saw a double feature of “Gandhi” and “Blue Thunder” that way.

  17. JSPartisan says:

    Gandhi and Blue Thunder: “Come for the story of India’s most moving political figure. Stay for the scene where Roy Schneider and Daniel Stern use hundred of millions of dollars of Army technology, to spy on a nude woman, and listen to one of their colleagues having sex with someone. Also, INTERCITY INTRIGUE! The 80s, where nothing makes sense!”

  18. Glamourboy says:

    Moveman….I actually didn’t mind how shoddy the movie looked..and yeah, there were plenty of jokes at the gay community’s expense…but I liked that it was an indie film with two black comic leads that didn’t get a lot of film work….and in the end, the father comes around and accept’s his son’s relationship….and even the final moment (CAN THERE REALLY BE A SPOILER ALERT FOR ‘NORMAN, IS THAT YOU?”, he points to the audience and counts out out six people in the audience…bringing home the point that one out of six people are gay (not sure how scientific that one is)…but still…I guess you’d call it a guilty pleasure…

  19. movieman says:

    Those were the days, Doug.
    I remember seeing two-fers of “Silence of the Lambs” w/ “Dances w/ Wolves,” and “Annie Hall” w/ “Rocky.” All four would go on to win Best Picture.
    One of the weirdest couplings was “Scent of a Woman” w/ Walter Hill’s “Trespass.”

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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