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David Poland

By David Poland

4-Day Estimates


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30 Responses to “4-Day Estimates”

  1. movieman says:

    Finally got around to watching “Revenge” as a VOD.
    Definitely not for the timid, but a wild, wild ride that marks Coralie Fargeat as a director to watch.
    Felt a bit like Gaspar Noe making an homage to ’70s grindhouse cinema.
    One diff: Noe would have probably shown the rape in graphic, “Irreversible”-style detail.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Can’t wait to see Revenge. Sounds pretty intense and brutal.

  3. Popcorn Slayer says:

    REVENGE was garbage – it wasn’t realistic as a rape and revenge story nor was it way out enough to qualify as phantasmagoria a la NATURAL BORN KILLERS.

    When I see critics praising the director for putting the rape offscreen I remember it is no less exploitive than Noe’s treatment of the same material would have been, because – I have a good buddy that heard his mother being raped in the next room when he was a child. It damaged both of them severely. You don’t need the visual.

    REVENGE is an empty exercise in conspicuous “woke-ness.”

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    Realism or Natural Born Killers are the options?

  5. Popcorn Slayer says:

    ” Realism or Natural Born Killers are the options?”

    A good question and I need to think about it, but I feel that REVENGE did not succeed on its own terms. But I will say it’s a film that at least failed in an interesting way if it provokes discussion, and as such is worth seeing.

    Having said that, it is about as intense and brutal as a cheese sandwich, if that’s what you’re looking for. The violence has zero weight, again because it doesn’t function as realism or metaphor.

  6. BO Sock Puppet says:

    Solo finishes <$200-225m for the entire run. One of the biggest disasters in Hollywood history. Books will be written about what went wrong at Disney with Star Wars.

  7. movieman says:

    Gawd, I really feel for your friend and his mother, PS. That’s something no one should ever have to endure.
    I guess I was able to divorce content from (its high style) execution and appreciated (notice I didn’t say “enjoyed”) it on those superficial terms.
    Yes, the film is utterly ludicrous and as “realistic” as a Grimm fairy tale. (No way could ANYONE survive the avenging heroine’s “accident” and live to tell, let alone enact such a highly calibrated revenge.) But as a Gallic grindhouse homage–in the key of a feminist Gaspar Noe (such an irresistible concept!), no less–it worked for me.

  8. movieman says:

    On another entirely unrelated (well, maybe not) note, I just learned that Abdellatif (“Blue is the Warmest Color”) Kechiche’s “Black Venus” has finally gotten an American video release…nearly a decade after scandalizing audiences at the Cannes and New York Film Festivals.
    Good thing I still had $ left on an Xmas Amazon gift card since Netflix refuses to even acknowledge its existence (the film was actually released on Blu-Ray last Tuesday).
    Has anyone seen it?

  9. Popcorn Slayer says:

    Fair enough (re: REVENGE). The last thing I want to do is make anybody guilty for appreciating a movie – I revere IRREVERSIBLE myself although I may never watch it again. REVENGE seems to have worked for you as grindhouse homage, and it fell between two stools for me – the heroine’s “accident” signaled that the story wasn’t taking place in the “real” world, but then later it seemed to me like it was. So if anything, it didn’t go far enough.

    Again I think my objection is not so much with the film as with the rhetoric by the critics surrounding it, which boils down to if a woman includes a rape in a film and it’s offscreen it’s somehow more viable or tasteful or “correct” – maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, in the end it may depend on the subjective experience of the viewer.

    Anyway, still have to catch up with BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR – which is either a sensitive portrait of young love or lesbian softcore porn. ; )

    PS: returning to SB’s question, one movie that I kept thinking about during REVENGE was HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER – that was one movie that seemed to successfully blend realism and phantasmagoria, but that’s yet another discussion.

  10. leahnz says:

    “Again I think my objection is not so much with the film as with the rhetoric by the critics surrounding it, which boils down to if a woman includes a rape in a film and it’s offscreen it’s somehow more viable or tasteful or “correct” – maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, in the end it may depend on the subjective experience of the viewer.”

    weird, maybe you should have said this from the beginning
    (considering the fact that soooo many rape scenes in film are depicted by overwhelmingly male directors through their boner lens with a gratuitous combo of titillating graphic violence and nudity the likes of which permeates the culture, those critics may just have a serious point)

    ETA also, your argument seems to be that your friend merely overhearing a rape is potentially just as awful and damaging as actually seeing the actual experience of rape, and thus taking this route on film is not necessarily less traumatic for the viewer, which is utterly ridiculous. maybe ask someone who’s been raped, and not just overheard it, which is worse.

    and what i originally intended to post: go RBG

  11. Popcorn Slayer says:

    I did say it from the beginning – the paragraph you cite was an elaboration of one of my original points – “When I see critics praising the (woman) director for putting the rape offscreen I remember it is no less exploitive” – my position is that rape is rape whether it’s onscreen or off, or whether it’s depicted by a woman or a man.

    “(considering the fact that soooo many rape scenes in film are depicted by overwhelmingly male directors through their boner lens with a gratuitous combo of titillating graphic violence and nudity the likes of which permeates the culture, those critics may just have a serious point)”

    First of all, I can’t help pointing out that your use of “titillating” in this context is unfortunate.

    Secondly, sure – male directors are certainly more guilty of this, but in the end simply depicting the rape offscreen is IMO at best only marginally less exploitive than depicting it visually for the reasons I cited before, and it is still employing a violent sex crime as a plot point.

    ETA: Yes, my friend was probably better off “merely” hearing his mother getting raped – if you want to set him straight by telling him he’s whining about his experience I can put you in touch with him. (/massive sarcasm)

  12. leahnz says:

    “my position is that rape is rape whether it’s onscreen or off, or whether it’s depicted by a woman or a man.”

    and my position is this is patently stupid, that HOW rape is depicted DOES matter, it’s not all the same — and further, this is a typical position of someone who has no idea what they are actually talking about because rape to you is a theoretical concept rather than a very real experience for a huge swath of the human population, for whom seeing it depicted can be deeply disturbing.

    also, it’s tiresome arguing with spoons, but this:
    “Yes, my friend was probably better off just hearing his mother getting raped…”

    better off? better off than what exactly, actually BEING raped? why yes, dude, overhearing someone being raped is extremely preferable to experiencing it first hand. good grief, the cognitive dissonance

  13. Popcorn Slayer says:

    Good grief indeed – since I explicitly indicated that my comment was massively sarcastic, and referring to my friend just hearing his mother’s rape as opposed to seeing and hearing it, you’ve got a problem and it’s not just “cognitive dissonance.” Have a nice day.

  14. leahnz says:

    yes i do have a problem, with ignorant dullards

  15. JS Partisan says:

    Everytime you bring up Revenge. I think of that nutty Kevin Costner movie from 29 years a go. A movie so produdly fucking weird, that it still confuses me when I think about it. What the fuck was Coarner thinking?

    And dullard? Oofah. More like maroon!

  16. leahnz says:

    i always think of the story of J leguizamo blowing chunks all over tony scott on the set of ‘revenge’ after a night of boozing, what a claim to fame, i hope it’s true (the madeleine stowe era, i miss it)

    is dullard not a thing there

  17. Pete B. says:

    For the trivia buffs: around 20 years after starring in a movie called Revenge, Mz. Stowe starred in the TV show called Revenge. (With the MCU’s Emily VanCamp.)

    And no… dullards isn’t that common.

  18. leahnz says:

    aw double Revenge for Mads, why does that make me a bit sad (i think ‘blink’ with aidan quinn is my fave Stowe flick)

    tbh i nearly wrote ‘drongo’ and thought on the spur of the moment ‘nobody will know what that means’ so i guess my second impulse wasn’t much better.

  19. Pete B. says:

    Actually Madeleine looked pretty damn amazing 20 years later, whether via nature or surgery. One of those ageless wonders, like someone mentioned in another thread that Gabrielle Union is 47. No freakin’ way!

    So what’s a “drongo”?

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    Another huge Madeleine Stowe fan here. My wife and I just watched the outstanding China Moon. Blink is also great, and of course Last of the Mohicans. She had quite a run. Then she had the audacity to turn 35 and the movies had no use for her.

  21. Mike says:

    Let’s not forget 12 Monkeys.

  22. Doug R says:

    ‘drongo’ is one of those words you pick up in context, like the slang the brides use in Fury Road.

  23. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Leah, have you read John Leguizamo’s memoir? Boy does that guy have some anecdotes. His tales from the set of Executive Decision in particular are both stupefying and hilarious.

  24. leahnz says:

    way late responding but in case anyone sees:

    i have not read lequizamo’s memoir but i can only imagine, what a character, i’ll put it on my reading list in case i ever get that lazy beach holiday where all i do is catch up on reading and drink tequila sunrises (is the ‘tony scott incident’ as i’ve come to think of it in there? that would be cool)

    ‘drongo’ in its most general sense is like an unenlightened, try-hard dumbass; it’s ozzy slang so i’ve just now texted my austraaaain friend who lives here now (she is very fond of the term, it’s where i get it from) to ask what the deal is with drongo and apparently the pejorative as it’s commonly used began with a racehorse (named after a bird) who ran heaps of races and never won any, so there you go, i had no idea.

    (stowe is so great isn’t she, with a timeless, classic elegance and yet also a kind of bemused modernity with her throaty voice and a casual quality about her. she has been in quite a few good movies but hardly any where she’s the protagonist so i guess that’s why i’m such a fan of ‘blink’, she’s so good in it)

  25. hcat says:

    Stowe elevated any material she was in, and honestly some of it really needed elevating, but she was always interesting to watch. You just knew Bad Girls was not going to be any good but watched it anyway because well Stowe.

    Surprised to find she is married to Brian Benben, that’s almost Brooks/Bancroft level pairing.

  26. Sideshow Bill says:


    Late to the party but saw it last night. It was perfectly enjoyable while being very slight.

    I don’t get the first hour complaints. I was engaged all the way through, and saw it at a 10:15 showing, when I’m usually in bed. The train sequence was fun. I enjoyed seeing how he met Chewie, the dice, Lando, all of it. It just carried no real weight. The 9SPOILER OMITTED) thing is lame. No need for that at all.

    Paul Betany was strong, better than the movie deserved. I wanted more of him. Alden what-his-face was fine but I agree the role could have been better cast. He did what he could but he seems too harmless. Even after (SPOILER OMITTED) at the end he doesn’t seem any darker or rougeish, or we’re not given enough time to see it. He seems to shake off the betrayals right away before heading off to meet (SPOILER OMITTED), I assume. They were possibly setting up his character to go darker in sequels that will now never happen.

    All that being said, I enjoyed it but it was unnecessary and I don’t know how often I’ll return to it. Maybe time will be kind to it’s simplicity.

    The droid was great, though. And the Teras Kasi line had me burst out laughing. What an awful game, but I sure played the hell out of it.

  27. Bulldog says:

    Complete different topic but seeing that it’s industry meet politics, any thoughts on the Roseanne debacle?

    (Insert Hal 9000 voice)I’d like to hear your take Dave.

  28. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’m pondering whether Rosanne just changed for the worst or if she was always a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A case could be made either way.

  29. Triple Option says:

    What Roseanne did was far more serious and heinous but based on her post-cancellation reactions and reports of her phone call with Iger & Dungey, I couldn’t help think of Michael (Carell) from The Office screwing himself when the corporate lawyers were there to protect him in the episode on sexual harassment.

  30. YancySkancy says:

    Love Madeline Stowe and Blink. I thought she and Aidan Quinn would be huge movie stars off of that, but it didn’t do particularly well at the box office, I guess. Both are also in Stakeout, which I also loved.

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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?”

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“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