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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates: Oh Pooh! The Audience That Dumped Them

Weekend Estimates 2018-08-05 at 10.55.23 AM

For those who wrote (snicker, snicker) about how the “Wonder Woman weekend” was a lost opportunity earlier this summer, we present The First Weekend Of August. home of 2016’s $134 million opening of Suicide Squad. This first weekend in August, the Top 17 movies grossed $134 million.

Reality is not complex on this issue. There are a few weekends (14 or so) that offer, most often, more opportunity. And there are a few weekends (3 or so) that offer, most often, less opportunity. And then there are about 35 weekends or so in every year that are absolutely neutral.

But even weekends of opportunity offer nothing remotely close to a guarantee. And the same is true of the “dead” weekends.

If it were somehow ready and Captain Marvel was not a piece of the puzzle and Marvel decided to fill the Star Wars hole in December, they could put Avengers 4 on the first weekend of December, forever considered a dead zone, and open the film to $200 million or more.

Avengers: Infinity Wars abandoned “the first weekend of the summer” this year and won… and you can expect them to do it again, though they will wait until January or so to shake out anyone thinking of trying to steal April 26. And like the traditional “best weekend” that was Memorial Day every summer and evolved into “the weekend before Memorial Day” (before being supplanted to the less crowded first weekend of May), “the start of the summer” will become the last week of April for all films moving forward.

This is all loaded down by superstition too. WB will release a horror film on “It Day” this year and sit on the date for It: Chapter 2 in September 2019, leaving completed film in the can for more than 6 months because somehow, they think that the film needs to return to that slot. 100% fear based. The sequel can’t open or total out much better than the original ($124m/$328m), no matter where it is released. But if they move it to the summer, where there is more opportunity, and the film underperforms the original, the studio will be accused of making the mistake of moving it. And if WB leaves it in exactly the same place, at a cost of a few extra million, that complaint is voided. This is not a WB issue. It’s every sequel.

When they move Solo to summer and fail (by SW standards), everyone screams about breaking the release rhythm. But the reality is, they just didn’t do a good job selling the movie and then the movie itself was not what people had been hoping for when they hired Lord & Miller and it flopped. LucasFilm Queen Kathy Kennedy grabbed hold of the double-edged sword. She wasn’t happy with the work by Lord & Miller, right or wrong. But the safe bet would have been to let the movie go on and let everyone blame them if it was bad. So on some level you have to give her credit for making the very hard choice. But the flipside – and not all that unusual – is that she could have let the movie she didn’t love move forward and it could have hit in a way she could not see… and then she could get all the money and take credit. (None of this reflects on Ron Howard, by the way, who came in an did the profession work he was asked to do.)

This is the insanity of the film business. Commitment to deep, true feelings and passions are absolutely in play. But cynical “let’s not stick out neck out too much” is also in play. The “brave” thing can be the wrong thing. And the by-the-book choice can be the right thing. And very few people outside the immediate circle of the film are going to know… including some people who are close enough to know the true stories and still don’t understand what happened.

Using the Solo example, Kennedy took the riskiest path, which she saw as the safest path. 50 people (or fewer) can offer any real opinion about whether her view of the Lord/Miller work was accurate or premature or just wrong. And the “risky” path of just letting it play out as it was going was less risky for her and Star Wars, but also may have led to a triumph that she could not predict st the stage the film was at when she pulled the plug. Taking the path she took has shaken faith in the entire franchise (which is silly) because she went traditional, reshot most of the movie, and still couldn’t get close to the bullseye. Combine that with other Hamlet moments in the production of the re-booted franchise’s first 5 films and there is perceived trouble in River City.

And then there is the biggest safety error when the project was being reconsidered mid-production… a couple scenes with Jabba The Hut and Boba Fett could have been worth 100s of million at the box office. They were expending a ton more money anyway, so why not give up on multiple “Solo” spin-off movies and just give the audience what you know they want? So much safer. But again… Kathy Kennedy took a giant risk and didn’t pander. And audiences kicked her ass as, in some part, a result.

There are a million – almost literally… maybe literally – choices along the road to putting a big movie on the big screen. You can fail at virtually any stop on the chain. And you can overcome failure in virtually any part of the chain with a triumph in another part of the chain. The rules are clear… and utterly irrelevant… and everything. No one knows anything, as The Great Goldman wrote.

Will The Meg explode into theaters next weekend? You can look at tracking and guess. Or you can tell me how it feels.

Whatever they are saying publicly, people at WB are sweating today, wondering if they have done everything they could do to open that film. People love the materials… but will that get them into theaters? If it opens soft, no one will question the date. If it opens better than expected, people will question the date. And that is the eternal conundrum. Both failure and success bring questions that are hard to answer. The only thing that doesn’t is when, as happens a few times a year, something does SO WELL that everyone just bows. Get Out, Wonder Woman, It, Black Panther, being the latest ones. Me? I would argue that those super-sized successes each had a very different path to their super-sizing. There is no group lesson.

But in Hollywood, almost everyone is trying to sell their cow for magic beans.

And really, who can blame them?

This weekend, no magic in the beans. One disaster out of three… but from a company that was just sold and is deeply demoralized.

Nice holds helped along by the soft newcomers.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post topped per-screen numbers… and this next week, the talent will be out selling the weekends to come for FilmRise. An unusual choice. Bold. And how things work in much of the indie promo these days. #NOKA

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146 Responses to “Weekend Estimates: Oh Pooh! The Audience That Dumped Them”

  1. movieman says:

    I’m kind of surprised the Van Sant has done so poorly.
    I know that I would have run out to see it if it had played anywhere remotely near me.
    Has Amazon had a hit since “Manchester by the Sea”?

  2. Sideshow Bill says:

    I know a lot of people like CHRISTOPHER ROBIN but to me it looked like a film about a guy having a severe psychotic episode. And frankly that hits a little too close to home for a schizophrenic.

    I’m impressed at what solid earners those HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA movies are. People seem sick of Sandler but he’s got these going for him. I’ve only seen the first one and I’ll keep it that way but it’s kinda sorta impressive that he found a second life.

    DARKEST MINDS looked DOA months ago. Yawn.

    Bring on THE MEG, please.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    Has anyone here seen Night Comes On yet? It hasn’t opened in Houston so far, but I’m intrigued by the reviews.

  4. Bulldog68 says:

    Well if finally happened, $700m for the wonders from Wakanda.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Bring on The Meg is right. Those Hotel Transylvania movies are solid earners. I know my kids love them and rewatch them from time to time. Certainly don’t share the love but they are fairly painless. Solid voice cast. We’ve seen the Christopher Robin trailer a few times and neither kid showed any interest.

  6. JS Partisan says:

    Movie, that’s why the new head of Amazon wants to make bigger films. I have no idea how they do it, but there’s a ton of ip out there. They have the world’s richest man bankrolling their shit. They will sort it out.

    Bill, don’t go dark. It’s a man, who lost his way. It’s basically the exact same plot from Hook. I have no idea why we needed, “Hook 2: POOH’S REVENGE,” but that’s what Disney wanted.

  7. Geoff says:

    I’ve seen quite a few reviews compare Christopher Robin to Hook and the bizarre thing is that most of them seem to hold Hook in some high regard as some kind of classic in the realm of other classics from Spielberg….NEWSFLASH: it wasn’t.

    Pretty much every one involved with that film embarrassed themselves…short of Hoffman and maybe Bob Hoskins. It didn’t get good reviews, had middling word of mouth, and was considered a box office disappointment.

    And the same goes for Jumanji for that matter….back in ’95. I get that folks hold Robin Williams in such high esteem and deservedly so….but he did a LOT of shit back in the ’90’s, even at the peak of his popularity: Bicentennial Man, Flubber, Jack, Patch Adams, Toys…..and yeah Hook and Jumanji were pretty much part of that groups.

    I keep hearing about how when the Jumanji sequel comes out next year, it will be referred to as “Jumanji 3″….why??? 🙂 It’s honestly not shitting on Williams’ legacy to distance a burgeoning franchise from one of his weaker films that came out more than 20 years ago.

    And I don’t know what to expect from The Meg next week….on paper, that film should have been marketed as an EVENT, a la Jurassic Shark….and for some reason, Warners has been selling it as a goofy, jokey lark which I’m hearing it really isn’t. Warners has just had an off year selling their films despite all of them being profitable: opening Tomb Raid, Ready Player One, and Rampage in rapid succession definitely left money on the table; Oceans Eight had an ABSURDLY quiet marketing campaign especially considering the cast it had, and yeah Aquaman looks balls-out fun but they need to suck it up, bite the bullet and move the film’s opening from the Christmas clusterfuck that’s going to leave EVERY studio feeling disappointed at the end….let Mary Poppins Returns and Battle Angel Alita underperform on their own, you’re still losing audiences (and screens) to them regardless.

  8. movieman says:

    I don’t really get the “Hook” comparisons either, Geoff.
    Marc Forster’s earlier kid-lit flick “Finding Neverland” is more on the nose.
    It’s a sweet, gentle film with astonishingly life-like (plushie) CGI.
    Should appeal to the same auds who made #Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” a doc smash.
    I’m actually surprised that it opened as well it did: I thought the $30-million-plus estimates were wildly off.
    A quiet-ish win for Disney?
    Don’t get the pent-up enthusiasm for “The Meg.” Maybe it’s Statham whose very presence signals “glorified B/direct-to-video.” Or maybe it’s the “Sharknado”-with-a-slightly-bigger-budget trailer. Either way, I’m not convinced.
    “Sharks on a Plane” maybe?

    I hope you’re right about Amazon getting their act together, JS. They’ve put out some really good movies post-“Manchester” (e.g., Linklater’s terrific “Last Flag Flying”), but nothing has clicked.

  9. JS Partisan says:

    1) Jumanji is fucking awesome, and will forever be AWESOME. There’s no debate. Not even having that discussion, because it’s awesome. Shame, Geoff. Shame. :D!

    2) Hook, has “classic” status now. If it’s deserved or not, is another thing. There’s a whole generation of kids, who had ABC Family, and watched it every single time it aired there. I love that film, and always have.

    3) Unlike “Finding Neverland,” that movie always weirded me out. “Hook,” isn’t really a creepy movie. It’s literally the same plot as Christopher Robin as well.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Giant shark movie is all it takes for me to get excited. I can’t get enough shark movies and I’ve rewatched Jaws a thousand times. Nice to get new ones occasionally. I always thought Jumanji was highly regarded. Haven’t seen it since the 90s. It opened OK but had good legs.

  11. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yea, HOOK has classic status in the same way that piece of junk HOCUS POCUS does. It’s on all the time and kids grew up with it. I saw HOOK when it was released and was shocked at how half-assed it was. Those overlit sets will never fail to puzzle me, especially from The Beard.

    Every year I try to watch HOCUS POCUS because I’m a Halloween junkie and obsessive. I never make it through. Sarah Jessica Parker…ugh.

    I never thought the original JUMANJI was all that great either but it’s better than HOOK or HOCUS POCUS. My kids sure loved it.

  12. Sideshow Bill says:

    Oh, and I wasn’t “going dark” with my CHRISTOPHER ROBIN comment. That was my 100% reaction. It is what it is.

  13. Joe Straatmann says:

    Even as a kid, Hook puzzled me. I enjoyed it as a whole, but there were a ton of just WEIRD choices and fixations that I even picked up on as a kid who’d sat through Return to Oz (I don’t know if that’s a GOOD movie, but it sure was an effective one if the effect is scaring the shit out of everyone). Exploring Tinkerbell’s crush on Peter Pan, lots of stuff with the Lost Boys, etc. just felt WEIRD. As an adult, I realize it’s a movie nobody had a clear vision on except John Williams, so it went all over the place.

    I think I watched Jumanji once and didn’t think much of it except it was kind of mean and depressing, but uh, so are traditional board games…. Haven’t watched it in 20 years and don’t feel like being the late 90’s Entertainment Weekly video release section where, “You know what? The Rock movie sucks! Tron sucks! Hook sucks! Wait for next week’s issue where you’ll find out what popular thing/cult movie you like is actually the worst thing ever!” So I’ll take your word that it’s better than I remember.

  14. JS Partisan says:

    Just making sure it’s all cool, Bill. That’s all :}.

    I love fucking Hocus Pocus, but the kid being trapped as a cat for 200 years is just… it’s poor writing. Either kill the kid off, but don’t make him something that will literally BUM YOU THE FUCK OUT. If you really think about it. I just thought about it. Bummed me out. Honest to goodness.

    Two things: Solo suffered from the same thing a lot of movies are suffering from in 2018: NOTEXPLAININGTHEPLOTITUS! I understand, that everyone wants to fucking keep everything under wraps. Guess what? Not everyone has a desire to GUESS! The studios, keep hiring the same trailer cutters, and these people are making everything freaking amalgous.

    What’s Solo’s plot? What is it at it’s core? It’s plot? Helping the rebels, and shit happens along the way. Did they sell that shit? No. They sold images, a name, and a ship. Unless your fucking 40 or older. You don’t know fucking Solo as anything other than the guy who dies like a chump in TFA. If you are that old. You also, may have difficulties with someone playing Solo. I still hold though. If they sold what the movie actually was, then people would have seen it. Same with Ant-Man and the Wasp. Those trailers hurt my head, and I’ve seen the damn movie!

    Two: Kathleen Kennedy was in trouble the moment she let Rian Johnson toss JJ’s VIII script. That’s the moment it all went south, and now Star Wars is a shit heap. It will constantly amaze me, that the woman running LFL doesn’t love Star Wars films, and has decided to make Star Wars films she would like and not films fans of the saga would like.

    Addendum: Jumanji isn’t mean. Allen has a fraught relationship with his father, so the game turns that into something he must face. He doesn’t do it for 20 years, but when he does? It’s good stuff, and there’s a reason why Welcome to the Jungle is a worthy sequel. It gets that the game is about figuring your shit out, and that’s how you beat it.

  15. movieman says:

    Yeah, I get the surface plot similarities of “Chris Robin” to “Hook:” guy in a mid-life crisis reconnects with childhood talismans.
    But I was commenting more on the actual films.
    “Hook” was loud and noisy; “CR” is dreamy and gentle.
    On that point, it’s def closer to “Finding Neverland.”

  16. JS Partisan says:

    I need to glance at Finding Neverland again, because it just grated on me.

  17. Sideshow Bill says:

    We cool, JSP. I have learned to love you and you in turn aren’t as combative as you used to be. You’re a good dude.

    And yes, THE MEG could very well be a mess. I don’t trust Turtletaub or whatever his name is. Statham…sometimes he’s fun. Sometimes he’s a bore. But it’s a giant shark movie . Sometimes it’s the simple things. Plus I remember when that douche Nick Nunziata was trying to get it made, and he fell on his face. Sorry. I know it’s mean but I hate that guy.

  18. palmtree says:

    HOOK is a classic. I did not behold its wonders on TV broadcasts, but in theaters, and I can tell you it was magical. Yes, the John Williams score was great, but also it gave us the indelible character of Rufio, and it gave us the phrase Bangarang. And so what if some elements of the filmmaking were less than stellar? The movie was embraced by a generation and deserves classic status.

  19. Hcat says:

    Can’t be farther from Palmtree on Hook, thought it was rubbish when I saw it in theaters and any repeat viewings confirm it. It is labored and wheezing and collapses under its own weight. But then again I have always hated Goonies as well so I might just be finicky.

    For the Van Sant, its not uncommon for his projects to simply die on the vine right? Sea of Trees did absolutely nothing, Promised land only got to 7 despite a remarkable cast and prestige studio division behind it.
    As for Amazon, Big Sick last year was their last big hit, not forever ago but they are probably feeling a bit antsy. I do wonder if the fact they are releasing the films themselves instead of going through Lionsgate is influencing the grosses a bit. We’ll see if they can find their footing as a distributor as well as a producer.

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    When movieman first mentioned a Van Sant movie I had no idea what he was talking about. I thought about all the recent art house movies that have been released and nothing. I had to look it up. And as soon as I saw the title, I knew the movie in question, but I obviously had completely forgotten all about it. Beautiful Boy and Suspiria have been getting a lot of press lately and are very much on my radar, but will that be the case in a few months?

    Yeah I don’t have a ton of faith in Jon Turtletaub, and it could definitely suck, but I’m optimistic that The Meg will be dumb summer fun in all the right ways. I could use that right about now.

  21. palmtree says:

    Hated GOONIES too? Wow, Hcat…I’ve been living in a bubble all these years, and now you’ve burst it.

  22. Hcat says:

    Yes, actually rather despised Goonies (love the song though and still tap it on Spotify often, but that just leads to Who’s Johnny and then down the rabbit hole). Even as a kid I still wanted to punch all those annoying hyper kids in the face. Though I am not completely heartless, I am still a fan of Beastmaster, but I recognize that’s just nostalgia and wouldn’t call it a classic. Same with Battle Beyond the Stars which I stayed up too late last night watching after stumbling across it on Amazon Prime.

  23. Sideshow Bill says:

    Thanks for putting Who’s Johnny in my head, hcat. Bastard lol.

    I loved THE GOONIES as a kid and can still enjoy it here and there but it’s just too noisy and busy and the kids talking over each other get on my nerves. I sound like SUCH an miserable old coot but I can’t help it.

    If THE MEG is dumb fun I’ll be happy. And SUSPIRIA….wow do I have major hopes for that. The original is eternal. A pedigreed filmmaker doing the remake is exciting. Same reason I have such insanely high hopes for HALLOWEEN. Then again I’m a freak for The Shape. Getting a tattoo on the 15th

  24. Dr Wally Rises says:

    A Hook story that’s done the rounds over the years: that at the film’s Dallas preview, seeing it through the eyes of the audience for the first time, Spielberg realised where he’d gone wrong and went back to his limo and cried by himself solidly for an hour. He then turned around and made the Park and the List in the space of a year, possibly the single greatest one-two punch in movie history. You could argue that doesn’t happen if Hook works out as intended. Hook now looks like a weird blind alley, but it’s high points (the kidnap from the Darling nursery, the flashback sequence, Peter seeing his younger self reflected back at him, one of the best scores John Williams ever wrote) are stone-cold genius.

  25. Hcat says:

    I swear the Goonies script looked like this

    Chunck: Oh My…

    Mikey: Grab….

    Mouth: Well, this…

    Chunk: God!

    Mouth: is…

    Mikey: the…

    Mouth: just…

    Mikey: Rope!!!!


    Mouth: Great.

    (all delivered in a second and a half)

    Or the casting sessions were all “can you yell louder?”

  26. Hcat says:

    I am anticipating Suspiria as well, love the original but it can certainly stand an update. I don’t know if it was because of my age but when I look at something from the 60s like Point Blank, the age of the buildings and style of dress add to the film, while the 70s only distract and seem dated. The original Suspiria is fantastically composed but still looks Hammerish.

    When do the Venice reviews start filtering in? They have an embarrassment of riches this year.

  27. movieman says:

    I’d completely forgotten about “Big Sick,” Hcat. Thanks for the reminder.
    So I guess Amazon did strike b.o. gold at least once post-“Manchester.”
    Lots of promising titles on the horizon: hope something sticks.
    You would think that with all of Amazon’s billions they could afford a better ad-pub team to sell/market their movies.
    And yeah: Venice definitely has their strongest line-up in years.

    Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore broke my heart in “Finding Neverland,” JS. And it was a nice reminder that Depp could underplay (“FN” was released a year after the first “Pirates”) and not lose one iota of his charisma. Sadly, that’s a Depp we haven’t seen a lot of in the intervening decade-plus.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    I’ve seen The Goonies more times than I can count and that’s never been an issue for me. But I can understand hating it, too. That Suspiria trailer is quite promising. Hopefully it justifies that running time. The recent Depp interview that’s now infamous is the most depressing celebrity profile I’ve ever read.

  29. movieman says:

    I have faith in Guadagnino, and “Suspiria” is one of my all-time favorite horror films. (It’s arguably Argento’s only bona fide masterpiece.)
    But does anyone remember the David Gordon Green “Suspiria” reboot (starring Isabelle Huppert!) that never happened?
    Ironic that DGG moved on…to a “Halloween” reboot.

    I liked “Goonies” OK in 1985, but that summer belonged to “Back to the Future” for me. And I’m probably the only person on the planet who preferred Joe Dante’s “Explorers” (River Phoenix’s screen debut!) to “Goonies.”
    Such an underrated movie!

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I remember that. Wasn’t DGG attached to it for a few years? Explorers is delightful. Haven’t seen it in a long time. Need to watch it with the kids.

  31. JS Partisan says:

    My problem with the Goonies, is that it didn’t have a sequel. They really set up, that these kids were going to keep on doing stuff. What we got was one movie, a great movie, but a movie that needed another two or three chapters. I do understand why hcat and I will never get along, BECAUSE GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE, MOTHERFUCKER :D!

    And movieman, I love Goonies, but Explorers has always been my jam. I love the hell out of that movie. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been a fan of Ethan Hawke forever and a day.

  32. GdB says:


    You said in another thread that Feige wasn’t consulted on the Gunn firing, did you come across that info somewhere as rumor or otherwise? Or is it conjecture on your part? I think it’s smart conjecture if so. And find that idea/theory fascinating, so that’s why I was wondering if you picked that up somewhere, or are just Spocking the fuck out of the situation with logic?

  33. Hcat says:

    Goonies never say die but if they did they would all say it repeatedly at the same time at maximum volume. But it wasn’t just the kids, you totally see the Home Alone blueprints in the pratfalling adults and the lazy comedy of the fat kid being fat and the Asian kid being Asian.

    I am on board with explorers as well, though it seemed to take its time to get where it was going. Still, who knew Dante had so much heart?

    Ahhh, the eighties, when r rated movies ruled the summer and kids movies where seen by kids.

  34. movieman says:

    “…you totally see the Home Alone blueprints in the pratfalling adults and the lazy comedy…”
    Chris Columbus wrote “Goonies” and directed “Home Alone” (1 and 2), so….

    Glad to see some “Explorers” love! I’d thought it was completely forgotten by everybody but me. Dante is another venerated ’80s auteur like John Landis and Lawrence Kasdan who apparently vanished into a gaping black hole.

    Yep, SB. DGG was linked to a “Suspiria” reboot for seemingly ever. I was as surprised as anyone when a “Suspiria 2.0” resurfaced from the dude who brought us “Call Me by Your Name” and “I Am Love.” Hoping it’s great, and also have high hopes for DGG’s new “Halloween.”

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    It’s so exciting to have a DGG Halloween and a Guadagnino Suspiria this fall. It seems like for years it was a Saw sequel and some teen horror and that was all you’d get in the fall.

  36. JS Partisan says:

    GB, that take is from the Variety {?) article last week. Where it was stated, that the decision came from Horn and Iger, and they didn’t mention informing Feige at all. Seeing as those articles are usually “helped” by the studios. I think that it’s safe, in this one case, to assume they didn’t inform Feige, and that’s insane. He helps to deliver them 3.4bn in box office, and this is the thanks he gets?

    Disney are just lucky, that Feige doesn’t have to talk publicly til February or March. They can hope this dies away, but it’s just going to fester. They made a mistake, and Disney never admits they make mistakes.

    And movieman, I have never ever forgotten about Explorers. It’s one of my important 80 movies, that I really need to own on some media format already.

  37. Hcat says:

    Movieman, I think Columbus also cut his teeth on Gremlins and Lost Boys, it’s a shame that those were not the ones he emulated when he got his shot in the chair. Jeez, Lost Boys was a collaboration between Columbus and Schumacher starring the two Coreys, how the hell did that turn out anywhere near alright?

    As for Gunn, Disney is in a tough spot since they dismissed Golden Goose Lasseter they must have thought they neede a real zero tolerance policy. I agree they put the baby out with the bath water, but that’s a lot of crow to eat to bring him back. I can’t imagine many people are vying for that directing gig.

  38. Sonny Hooper says:

    I believe Jeffrey Boam wrote Lost Boys. Did Columbus do some uncredited script doctoring?

  39. leahnz says:

    jan fischer wrote ‘the lost boys’

  40. Sideshow Bill says:

    EXPLORERS is an all-time favorite, as is Dante. He’s a god to me. EXPLORERS is great for so many reasons. Ethan Hawke emerging fully formed (still in awe of what he did in FIRST REFORMED. He brings complete dedication to everything he does). Dick Miller in a substantial and moving role. River. Oh, River…It goes nuts at the end but it works because it’s funny, weird, Bottin’s make-up is astonishing and Bob Picardo kills it. Picardo is even better in INNERSPACE. “I make love with my boots on.” Oh man, don’t get me started on that movie.

    A friend and I were talking LOST BOYS the other day on its 31st anniversary. He rejects it because of Schumacher but I argued it’s hands down the best thing he’s ever done. It holds up for me. I love it. Considering all the crap Joel has made since maybe it was just an accident. Or maybe Richard Donner guided it. I don’t know but I love it and it has some iconic images.

  41. Sideshow Bill says:

    Boam came on and rewrote LOST BOYS, making it more horrific and “appealing to teenagers,” according to Wikipedia. He died so young. Man did some fun stuff.

  42. leahnz says:

    but re-writing is re-writing, not creating something original; jan fischer – california girl and fixture in the nouveaux LA comedy scene back in the day – wrote the screenplay with her original characters, setting and storyline (some other guy i always forget his name gets a credit with her, not sure what the story is with that)

  43. Hcat says:

    Mea Culpa
    Absolutely my bad everyone is right but me, didn’t check my background before posting. Jan Fischer wrote Lost Boys as actual boys so it would have been an even darker Stand By Me meets Near Dark situation and Boam, who I had confused for Columbus, made it more MTV and that attracted Schumacher.

    Loved the teenage approach, interesting that Fischer had a let the right one in approach decades before, of all the “Monsters’ vampires seem to be the most metaphicaly versatile.

  44. leahnz says:

    i’m hugely fond of the Schu’s ‘lost boys’ (thou shall not fall…cry little sister) but would quite like to see the original version. now there’s a redo maybe i could get psyched for

  45. GdB says:

    JS – Read you.

    I agree Lost Boys is Schumacher’s best work and holds up. That movie is the movie that has always made me want a Siberian Huskey. Fortunately I’m super animal conscious and learned the work and dedication they take and space they deserve and have always held off. Unlike all the A-hole GoT fans who went and got them and then returned so many to shelters because they had no idea what kind of animal they’re dealing with. It depresses me how many people don’t get how cruel it is to abandon animals. But Lost Boys holds up for sure. Another movie everyone thought for sure a sequel was coming and never did.

    Major props to Dave Bautista for taking the stand he is. Everyone is saying it’s career suicide. Idk if I’d say that. DB has a lot of cultural captial and is demonstrating himself to be a helluva an actor with a pretty good range. I think he survives it. I wish the rest of the cast would step up with him.

  46. movieman says:

    All-time classic “Gremlins” and “Young Sherlock Holmes” (a very good Barry Levinson movie that’s been virtually, and undeservedly, forgotten–and which probably served as an influence on CC’s “Potter” flicks) bookended “Goonies” in CC’s GoGo ’80s screenwriting career. (The justly obscure “Reckless” w/ Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah–James Foley’s directing debut–was actually CC’s first scripting credit.)

    I liked “Lost Boys” in the day, although Bigelow’s “Near Dark” blew it out of the water for me when it opened a few months later.
    But I don’t have as negative an opinion of Schumacher as most.
    I loved his two Colin Farrell movies (“Tigerland” and “Phone Booth”), and there are some guilty pleasures in the mix, too (“St. Elmo’s Fire;” the original, superior “Flatliners;” even Lily Tomlin’s “Incredible Shrinking Woman”).

    P.S.= You can add Levinson to the group of ’80s auteurs I mentioned earlier who form a sort of unofficial “Lost Boys” club.

  47. palmtree says:

    EXPLORERS! I was actually rewatching the movie for the first time in decades this past weekend, and to hear the love for it here, my faith in filmdom is restored. Thank you all!

  48. Geoff says:

    Wow a lot of ’80’s kid movies callbacks here – yeah I LOVED The Goonies as a kid and I still like it, I can see how it grates on folks but it will always be a blast to me. I actually saw Explorers on opening day – not sure why I remember that either – and I remember digging it quite a bit until they actually get to the spaceship. Just watched a video looking back on it an apparently, Dante just wasn’t allowed to finish production and it shows too…..still memorable for Ethan Hawke’s first on-screen performance and one of River Phoenix’s.

    If we’re looking back on the Class of ’85, it begins and ends with Real Genius which is my absolute favorite from that year….even among the trio of closely released science comedies which all came out that summer within a week of each other (Weird Science, My Science Project being the others), it’s by far my personal favorite. Not only did you have Kilmer just killing it in a snarky performance that I think is almost as good as his Doc Holliday work but you had William Atherton in full-on ’80’s dickhead mode – smart, funny movie that genuinely holds up.

    And yeah this isn’t just typical Marvel-bashing from me, but Feige’s silence throughout this whole Gunn thing has been DEAFENING – I have little doubt that he had nothing to do with this decision. I don’t think Disney handled things properly just in the manner in how impulsive this decision came off and they kind of dug the hole with themselves with how quickly they fired Roseanne recently which I didn’t completely agree with either. From a pure business standpoint, I’m not seeing how it’s a huge loss – after ‘Infinity War, they can easily do a soft reboot of GOTG with mostly new characters and actor and the last ‘Guardians wasn’t particularly beloved. But outside of not really digging his movies, I really dug Gunn as a person and I can see him getting new gigs with another franchise soon enough if he plays his cards right – big props to Bautista for putting himself out there.

    Oh and if we’re talking Schumacher’s filmography, I still think Falling Down is by far his best movie.

  49. movieman says:

    Geoff: Yes, definitely re: “Falling Down.”
    And I share your “Real Genius” love, too. (Can’t forget Martha Coolidge’s “Valley Girl” from ’83 either.)

  50. Pete B says:

    “Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?”

    “A girl’s gotta have her standards.”

    Still remember that line from Real Genius all these years later.

    And yes, Young Sherlock Holmes is overlooked.

  51. leahnz says:

    the only bit of ‘real genius’ i recall clearly now is the end when the house fills with popcorn and bursts its seams, that freaks me out for some reason.

    (the Schu’s career is a study in ups and downs, he’s made some good flicks and some real stinkers but at least he’s got style. i might be the only fan of 8mm)

    “I liked “Lost Boys” in the day, although Bigelow’s “Near Dark” blew it out of the water for me when it opened a few months later.”

    well the stone classic ‘near dark’ blows most horror flicks out of the water so there’s that

    the church sequence in ‘Young SHerlock Holmes’ with the knight that comes alive out of the stain-glass is the first CGI compositing in film

  52. Stella's Boy says:

    Geoff this summer we started watching Real Genius as a family. We’ve watched it a handful of times now. It is wonderful. I’m a Schumacher apologist. The Lost Boys is great plus I agree with what movieman said about him. The Grisham adaptations aren’t bad. Falling Down. And you are not the only fan leah! I also really like, well like isn’t the right word, but I’m extremely fond of 8mm. Cage and Phoenix are outstanding, not to mention Gandolfini and Peter Stormare and Chris Bauer are excellent creeps, and I find it morbidly fascinating. It’s so dour and unpleasant, but also weird and gripping. I used to watch it a lot.

  53. leahnz says:

    8mm’s two fans. yeah it’s not exactly a ‘likeable’ movie, kinda sick in the head

  54. JS Partisan says:

    1) If we have to pick a favorite Schumacher film. I am going with Flatliners. It’s just a really well made thriller, that has amazing levels of atmosphere. It also has a great cast, and Oliver Pratt doing his yeoman work as usual.

    2) Geoff, ask me how many times I’ve watched Real Genius? Go ahead. Oh. Sorry. We don’t have that tech… A THOUSAND TIMES! I love that movie, and watched it endlessly on Cinemax and Hbo from 1986 up until now.

    I am right there with you. It’s damn near close to being a perfect movie, and it’s written by the guy who discovered his daughter, is actually Harold Ramis’ daughter. Poor Mr. Israel. Still, it’s a great movie, that has never gotten old for me… ever.

    3) You might not “get” the Guardians movies, Geoff. The thing of it is, to a lot of people like me. They are the most personal and character driven movies, of the entire MSCU. That’s why losing Gunn. Who is so responsible for these characters, that he was given the job of writing for them in Infinity War is just such bullshit.

    Losing him is bad, but losing his script is just terrible. Again, we have no idea what’s going to happen, but this film is supposed to start shooting in January.

    4) Fucking Roseanne had it fucking come. She’s a conspiracy nut, she’s a racist, and she’s also a giant piece of racist shit. Any cast member, from any TV show, would lose their fucking job. If they posted that level of stupid, racist shit on twitter.

    5) If we are bringing up Barry Levinson. Let us bring up Diner. A little gem of a movie, that’s hard to watch now. Thanks to the gross dick in the popcorn scene, in the middle of the movie. The characters are still great, but jesus christ 80s movies loved that casual harassment.

    6) 8mm is only worth it, because Cage and Stormare are in a scene together.

  55. Stella's Boy says:

    I know people who dislike the MSCU save for the Guardians movies. Hard to imagine getting rid of Gunn’s script and having someone else write part three from scratch. Plus, and I think this has already been mentioned, who will even want to write it or direct it given how the cast (and presumably crew) feels about Gunn and the way so many in the industry support him?

  56. JS Partisan says:

    SB, there’s only one person, that should direct Guardians 3. Only one, and his name is Kevin Feige. It’s the only fucking decision that Disney could make, that people would support.

    Is it insane? Sure, but firing someone for something he apologized and mea culped about six years ago, is even more insane. We dealt with this already, and Feige has to wonder why no one asked him about this shit.

  57. Sideshow Bill says:

    1) Fair enough leahnz, re: LOST BOYS

    2) OK. I like 8MM, too. The cast is great and it’s frightening. I forgot about that movie. But I hate FLATLINERS. Hate it. Had to watch it in a film study class in college (because of the cinematography which IS fine). I don’t like the idea behind what they experience. And this might be s spoiler so….


    nobody dies I.e. nobody is punished for their immoral choice to do what they did. Flatlining is immoral an irresponsible to me


    Yea, I admit it’s a very particular, personal problem with the film but it just doesn’t work for me.

    3) NEAR DARK is the movie my friend brought up when we were arguing LOST BOYS. And I agree NEAR DARK is a better film. Stone cold classic

    4) REAL GENIUS! Michelle Meyrink 4EVA !!!

  58. Hcat says:

    If we are going to talk about directors that have fallen out of the conversation I would like to go back a little farther and bring up Arthur Hiller. He had a couple blockbusters (Love Story, Silver Streak) and made an absolute perfect film with Americanization of Emily. He hit the eighties and his films became inferior shadows of his earlier work, Teachers was no Hospital, Outrageous Fortune was no In-Laws, but in his prime he was churning out interesting movies in a variety of genres and I would think he had to be considered a heavy hitter back in his day.

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    Talking about directors that have fallen out of the conversation is great fun. I miss Renny Harlin. He appears to be happy to be working in China and his last few features are stinkers, but he made some incredibly fun flicks and many of them were released in summer. Deep Blue Sea forever. I hope The Meg is half as entertaining.

  60. Sideshow Bill says:

    DEEP BLUE SEA is pure pleasure. One way I judge a movie is whether or not it shows me something I’ve never seen before. DBS had Thomas Jane riding a shark and a charmingly moronic LL Cool J hip hop song. Also, as bad as the CGI is those practical models are stunning even almost 20 years later.

    Hardin made his mark. His ELM STREET is maybe my favorite of the sequels. DIE HARD 2 is better than it has any right to be. And THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT is a lot of fun too. I even kinda liked MINDHUNTERS even though it was silly.

  61. Stella's Boy says:

    Elm Street 4 and Die Hard 2 kick ass, The Long Kiss Goodnight is tons of fun, and Mindhunters is dumb but very entertaining. All those plus Cliffhanger, which is awesome. Even Exorcist: The Beginning has its moments. I also remember not hating Cutthroat Island, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen it I can’t vouch for that. Harlin had a good run.

    Oh also Andrew Davis. Yesterday I saw a bunch of stuff celebrating The Fugitive, and rightfully so. Davis made some great flicks. Sure some bad ones too, but come on The Fugitive, that makes up for like 15 bad movies.

  62. amblinman says:

    I miss guys like Harold Becker and Taylor Hackford. 80’s/90’s cop thrillers were the best.

  63. Hcat says:

    Loved White Nights by Hackford.

    And a big Hell Yes for Davis. The guy was able to make actual movies out of Norris and Seagal starring vehicles, that ain’t nothing. Package while not as good as Fugitive was still a tight little thriller. And though it was a massive flop and a bit of a mess Steal Big Steal Little had a massive amount of heart due to one of Andy Garcia’s best performances. God knows if it ever made to DVD but I remember it fondly and would watch it again if I could.

    And I too miss the Sea of Love type programmers. Did cop movies just get too expensive to make in the Ovitz era? If you have to pay Dennis Quaid 5 million as opposed to 750,000 DOA might not be a legitimate risk to take. Or what was the use of making a 10 million dollar cop movie if you still have to spend 20-30 on P and A?

  64. palmtree says:

    Harlin -yes, Cutthroat Island is a good guilty pleasure type movie.

    One director I miss is John McTiernan. I mean, he’s still kinda around, but I feel like Last Action Hero broke him. It was supposed to take on Jurassic Park and didn’t have a chance. And he didn’t return to his former greatness.

    Yet who else had a run as good as Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt for Red October! Each one of those movies is a classic and launched franchises, two of which are still getting new iterations this year….and three if you count Skyscaper :).

  65. Mostly Lurking says:

    I was always surprised that Terminator 3 seemed to kill off Jonathan Mostow’s career. First, while not anywhere close to Terminator 2, I remember enjoying it for what it was. That aside, I loved Breakdown and U-571. Maybe I just missed his other movies but I figured he’d be around longer.

    I was also a big fan of some Greg Hoblit flicks; namely Primal Fear and Fallen. I remember he had a third movie that I thought was decent (can’t remember what it was off the top of my head) but he also seemed to disappear.

    Finally, in the lighthearted vein, I’ll throw out Ron Underwood for City Slickers and the forgotten Robert Downey Jr. gem Heart and Souls (love that movie).

  66. Stella's Boy says:

    Those are all great picks. That McTiernan trilogy is amazing, plus I also love The Thomas Crown Affair. I also remember really liking Last Action Hero but I haven’t seen it in ages. A friend just rewatched and loved it. I need to revisit it.

    Breakdown and U-571 are really good flicks. I haven’t seen anything he’s directed since T3.

    Big fan of Hoblit. Fallen and especially Primal Fear are very good. I know a lot of people like Frequency. I found it a little too schmaltzy, but it’s not bad. I also like Fracture. Gosling and Hopkins are great and it’s entertaining.

    City Slickers and Heart and Souls are great. Plus, Tremors is a classic. I remember enjoying Speechless. Underwood has done an enormous amount of TV over the years. Didn’t realize that.

  67. Joe Straatmann says:

    I saw The Lost Boys outside of its 80’s bubble and didn’t really get as much out of it as others. Ridiculously buff sax guy for the win, though! My favorite Schumacher is Phone Booth, a movie many people just HATED for whatever reason, but it’s a really tight, well-done flick, and Kiefer Sutherland gives a damn good performance only being able to use his voice for 99% of the movie.

    I consider Die Hard 2 more of a Christmas movie than Die Hard because it snows constantly. Die Hard is certainly a better movie (Though 2 is good), but it’s a weird thing I have where my mind does not accept a smoggy skyline in 80-degree weather as Christmas.

    I don’t think Barry Levinson ever quite recovered from Sphere. I remember that being one of the biggest disappointments of my adolescence because it was one of my favorite books at the time (My taste got better). It must’ve been how the people who loved The DaVinci Code felt when they had this extremely cinematic book and the actual movie comes out and it’s an absolute slog that wastes everyone involved (except Ian McKellen). Levinson did a found footage horror movie called The Bay that was surprisingly good. Considering I hate the found footage horror sub-genre with every fiber of my being, that I have good things to say about The Bay makes it a miracle.

    I have a soft spot for Iain Softley if we’re going directors who did a few good things and then got lost in the shuffle. Hackers is stupid, but I love it to bits. Backbeat and Wings of the Dove are also solid, too.

  68. Hcat says:

    Phil Alden Robinson showed a lot of promise and then pffft. I think he knocked around looking for another project after Sneakers, finally getting another shot 10 years later with Sum of All Fears and was just not the right fit for that project.

    And I miss the hell out of Frank Oz. Get two stars together and let them spin around each other. How is that so hard to recreate nowadays?

    Joe, I’ll take your Sphere and raise you a Congo! That was the Crichton I cut my teeth on and my favorite of his and the movie was just ….ugh. And as far as Levinson’s giant killer I think it was earlier with the one two punch of Toys and Jimmy Hollywood. He clawed his way back up the commercial ladder a bit but never really got his mojo back. Man of the Year has to be one of the worst films I have ever seen.

  69. Sideshow Bill says:

    I love BREAKDOWN. Love love love it. The villains are SO strong. I remember just cheering when JT Walsh’s character bit it. Plus, The Kurt Russell.

    This has been fun. Reminding me of a lot of great movies I’ve forgotten about. CITY SLICKERS. BOWFINGER. God, BOWFINGER is so funny. So perfect. Mind-Head.

    McTiernan was flailing anyway but going to prison didn’t do much to help his career, either. Just saying.

    Somebody mentioned Robert Downey Jr. I just read that Johnny Depp article in Rolling Stone, and it’s very very sad. But Downey hit rock bottom, too. He was a joke and everyone was waiting for him to tragically die, it seemed. Not WANTING him to but expecting it.

    But he has had one one of the greatest career and life revivals ever. I hope the same for Depp. I still insist his work in SLEEPY HOLLOW, my favorite Burton film, is vastly overlooked. And the joy he brought to ED WOOD.

    I hope he gets straightened out. We like to pick on Tom Cruise but as weird as things get with him he has never been this low.

  70. Mostly Lurking says:

    SB, I had forgotten that Hoblit did Frequency. I really like that one too.

    And I’ll second the shout out to Sneakers. Just an all around fun time at the movies. Didn’t Phil Alden Robinson also do Field of Dreams? I hadn’t really thought about him but he’s another one who just sort of disappeared.

  71. Hcat says:

    Depp has always been a bit off, seems like he would rather be a rock star than movie star. I almost think he would have preferred to stay under the radar making stuff like Brasco and Ed Wood than taking the Bruckheimer route.

    Can you imagine in 1998 if someone suggested to you that two of the biggest stars in the next twenty years would be Depp and Downey?

  72. Stella's Boy says:

    Someone else mentioned it but The Bay is quite good. Also, Levinson’s HBO movies are really good. You Don’t Know Jack and The Wizard of Lies are quality flicks. I hear Paterno is solid and hope to check it out.

    I hope Depp gets it together. Just rewatched The Ninth Gate last night. It’s good. Would love for him to make more stuff like that and Brasco and Gilbert Grape and get away from the franchises.

  73. movieman says:

    Anyone who’s ever liked a Schumacher movie but hasn’t seen 2000’s “Tigerland” is strongly advised to check it out.
    I think it’s arguably his best to date, and ironically (or not) probably had the smallest budget of any of his movies, too.
    (Colin) Farrell’s star-is-born performance wasn’t seen by a lot of people at the time (Fox barely released the film), but industry types definitely took notice. Farrell kept popping up everywhere in the early ’00s (“Minority Report,” “Daredevil,” “Hart’s War,” “American Outlaws,” “SWAT,” etc., etc.)
    Glad he’s found his bearings and keeps turning out interesting work in generally interesting movies (e.g., his Lanthimos films).
    P.S.= While we’re on the subject of ’80s directors who disappeared after one or two early successes, how about Paul Brickman? “Risky Business:” zeitgeist classic. Then a seven-year gap before the maybe-even-better “Men Don’t Leave” and…fade to black.
    P.P.S.= Yep, Levinson has done some nice cable work in recent years. But, damn: “Diner;” “The Natural;” “Young Sherlock Holmes;” “Tin Men;” “Good Morning Vietnam;” “Rainman;” “Avalon;” “Bugsy”…that was one helluva streak.

  74. JS Partisan says:

    Depp, unlike RDJ, is an asshole. He’s always been an asshole, and it’s just gotten worse with age. He’s suffering from Mel Gibson-itus. RDJ, at least seemingly always wanted to be a better man. Depp? Eh.

    Phil Aiden Robinson made two classic films, and it’s hard to top Field of Dreams and Sneakers. Both of those films, he and his co-writers had gestating for years before they were made them.

    Also, McTiernan directed the best Die Hard film, before dropping off the map. That’s Die Hard with a Vengeance. There’s no debating it, there’s no discussing it, because Vengeance just does what Die Hard did but better.

    And yeah, I loved the Sphere book. My god, was that movie terrible.

    Finally, one of my fave films from the 80s, is Running Scared. Peter Hyams, just made films I still like a lot. 2010, Outland, Running Scared, Presidio, Timecop, Stay Tuned, and the Star Chamber. Those are all just good solid films.

  75. Stella's Boy says:

    I also like Hyams. I’d add The Relic and Narrow Margin to that list. Sudden Death is dumb fun, too.

  76. Hcat says:

    I have PTSD from Sudden Death. I was a projectionist at a theater when that was released and the film got tangled and broke. It happened to something every month or so and was usually not a big deal since I would just have to make a new splice. But the break happened during a scene with a lot of ice (I think Van Damme was in goal at the time), and I could not get the splice right and it would jump out of frame during that scene and I had to cut it again for like the next ten screenings until it finally stayed in frame.

  77. leahnz says:

    this thread is so depressing cuz it’s like, back when mainstream movies were good

    (‘silver streak’ is my jam, action!/romance!/comedy!/thrills!/impending disaster!/ moviestars being choice! what’s not to love)

    i think ‘surrogates’ did in mostow. how does one go from making a really, really good movie like ‘breakdown’ to that.
    i guess one obvious answer is the writing, with the solidly-written ‘breakdown’ (and U571) penned by mostow plus this montgomery fellow

  78. Bulldog68 says:

    The first Hellraiser, “Jesus wept”
    The Hidden. Kyle MacLachlan was awesom.
    They Live. Best fight scene with Roddy Piper and Keith David.
    Alien Nation. Caan and Patinkin should get another project together and while we’re at…
    Princess Pride. Mandy was on a roll this decade.
    And the two movies that defined my generation that were like flip sides of a record, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

    I fucking miss the 80s.

  79. Hcat says:

    JS, I would allow the suggestion that Die Hard is not the greatest action movie of all time, reluctantly and in the interest of understanding the subjective nature of opinion, but to suggest that Die Hard is not the greatest Die Hard movie of all time….well that’s a much bigger grenade than my not liking Goonies.

    Leah, the train wreck finale of Silver Streak seemed so gigantic when I was a kid, now it seems we have to send a train through the wall every twenty seconds of people get bored (I feel old just typing that). The single largest laugh of my childhood was during the standoff at the train station when in a hail of bullets Pryor indignantly stands up and yells “Who’s in Charge Here?”

  80. Mostly Lurking says:

    Martin Brest is another one. Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, and Scent of a Woman. Also the original Going in Style (which I have no idea what I’d think of now but loved it as a kid). Unlike some of the other directors mentioned, we can point to Gigli, one of the great flops of all time, as the downfall, but still surprised he completely disappeared in light of his earlier track record.

  81. JS Partisan says:

    HC, there isn’t a debate here. Again, Die Hard with a Vengeance is the supreme Die Hard. You can doubt it, you can flip me off about it, but in your heart? In your heart… you know it to be true :D!

    Leah, but the thing of it is, and I keep going back to this: Movies used to fill a space, that TV would never touch. Now? TV is all about that space, and telling those stories. You don’t need Along Came the Spider anymore, because you get a better TV show about similar stuff, from all over the globe.

    Are films like Beverly Hills Cop or anything Martin Brest done being replicated? Not yet, but if people were smart? They’d replicate that formula in a minute, because it works. We just do not live in a world, where movies have to tell small and intimate stories anymore, because TV decided to actually fill that space.

    Oh yeah… unloading in three, two, one..

  82. MarkVH says:

    Wooooooow, this whole “Best Achievement in Popular Film” Oscar thing is some kinda bullshit. Oscar caves to the infantilization of popular entertainment and the whining of the fanboy mob. I see this working out well.

  83. JS Partisan says:

    A BEST POPULAR MOVIE OSCAR? A BEST POPULAR MOVIE OSCAR? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? The Academy, had to have done a straw poll or something, and realized Black Panther wasn’t going to get a fucking BP nom. Which is god damn ridiculous. What do they do to make sure, that even more kids and more diverse people don’t turn on them? GUARANTEE BP GETS AN OSCAR, for being the BEST POPULAR PICTURE! That’s fucking insane.

    It is insane, that this fucking Academy still wants to sell over a BILLION VIEWERS, that films hardly scene by a mass audience, are the only films that are good. The only films that are worthy of love.

    I have no idea, if I have ever hinted at a POPULAR OSCAR on here, but if I have? Dumb. Just dumb. It’s like the animation award. It’s just a away to make sure something gets an award, so they can keep their Best Picture category nice and free of anthropomorphized animated films.

    It is RIDICULOUS, that the Academy are doing this, and even more RIDICULOUS that they are doing it to guarantee they get no HEAT, for not rewarding Black Panther with a nomination it richly deserves.

    You cannot keep shoveling shit at people, that they aren’t investing in, and telling them, “THESE ARE THE BEST!” You have to realize, that your medium has changed, and that the mass audience, on occasion, have taste. Giving us a BEST POPULAR MOVIE OSCAR, which is a THING NOW, is basically telling every movie fan everywhere, that their taste belongs walled off from the rest of the Best Picture Nominees. That’s ridiculous, but guess what?

    THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, WHEN YOU DON’T NOMINATE WONDER WOMAN et al. Oh look! Everyone who gave me shit in March, were just told by the Academy, “Yeah. He was right. You were all wrong.”

  84. amblinman says:

    Dude. The Oscars have *always* been shit.


    Also…how can that *not* be based on box office? If you use any other criteria, then those films should be in consideration for the “regular” best picture oscar, no?

    Jesus, the Academy really does suck.

  85. JS Partisan says:

    Oh yeah. I should have used some more sarcasm in my last sentence. It’s obviously meant to be sarcastic, and doesn’t come across that way at all. Like, “of course he is right. Here’s your ‘SPECIAL’ Oscar.'”

    Man, they may have always sucked, but the impression that they now suck is very recent. This 14 year stretch of ignoring popular films has just been incredibly damaging to the Academy’s image among other things like: the all white categories, rewarding a silent film in the 21st century, and placating a man who raped several women with multiple Oscars and nominations.

    Also, it doesn’t have to be about box office. There are plenty of movies this century, that grossed like 50 to 100m, that a lot of people loved, and were bummed didn’t get nominated. Watch this award still reward the SMALLER MOVIE IN THE CATEGORY.

    And Mark, that’s just a terrible take. Movies are not infantilized, and they aren’t appeasing anyone. People who wanted Wonder Women nominated weren’t just fanboys. I can go on about every other film wanted nominated, that the Academy just ignored. This is about appeasement, and appeasement never goes down well at all. Again, I am not happy about it, because it means Black Panther isn’t going to be respected this year. It’s going to be put in a corner, and that’s some racist bullshit.

  86. Bulldog says:

    Completely agree on this Best Popular Movie bullshit. I’ll always go back to The Dark Knight as the start of all of this. The year after it wasn’t nominated they went to up to ten BP nominees. I’d take Dark Knight over The Reader any day.

    And because of this bullshit philosophy we have animated movies like Shark Tale, Despicable Me 2, Puss in Boots (which wasn’t that bad, but Best Picture good? C’mon.) The Pirates Band of Misfits, and The Boss Baby (fer fuck sake)all with an Oscar nominee moniker attached to them. (Release the Chucky) Can anyone truthfully state that there have been five great animated movies this year. Even Incredibles 2 was good but not great IMO.

    And what would be the benchmark for “popular”? $50m, $100m. And if a popular movie can’t be in the traditional BP column, can a traditional BP be in the popular column? Would movies essentially be penalized for succeeding, like Get Out?

  87. Dr Wally Rises says:

    “HC, there isn’t a debate here. Again, Die Hard with a Vengeance is the supreme Die Hard. You can doubt it, you can flip me off about it, but in your heart? In your heart… you know it to be true :D”

    Come on man, you’re reaching there and you know it. I’ll say this though – the first half and a bit of With A Vengeance is terrific, but it goes off a cliff as soon as it leaves Manhattan and gets to the aqueduct, and goes downhill from there. To compound that, Vajna and Mctiernan should have had the stones to stand their ground on the original ending that test audiences rejected. To have Mclane turn into a vigilante who actively hunts the bad guys down rather than just being in the wrong place at the wrong time… that would be an intriguing development for the franchise that could have sustained it for several more movies. Too bad.

    Oh, and the Barry Levinson discussion is interesting. A brilliant director who shat the bed every time that he had serious money to spend. Rob Reiner had a similar wonderful run at more or less the same time and also faded away, but he never let his reach exceed his grasp in the way that Levinson did.

  88. JS Partisan says:

    Wally, it is a bit uneven, but it has the same pacing problems Die Hard has. There’s just parts in the middle that can be cut, and no one would really miss them. Again, I love all Die Hard, but Vengeance will forever be my fave film in that series.

    BD, and why did The Reader get that nom? Placating the sexual abuser and harasser… AGAIN. This is just a terrible fucking idea, that’s going to be a pain in the ass to execute without pissing anyone off. While the very existence of this award, IS TO GUARANTEE FUCKING BLACK PANTHER HAS A SHOT AT AN OSCAR! What world do we live in, where fucking Black Panther can’t even get a thrown bone nom? Is it really that bad, in that old ass Academy? That’s just sad.

  89. palmtree says:

    Oscar for Popular Film!?!?!?!? Wow, Disney secured an Oscar for Black Panther. Man, I had to check today’s date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. This is a huge win for them.

    (EDIT) I mean, it’s not a win in the sense of needing another category just to avoid getting snubbed. But it’s a win in the sense that they can swing the Academy in their favor to upend decades of tradition.

    Also, this harkens back to the Academy’s first year where they had Outstanding Picture AND Best Unique and Artistic Picture. Somehow Wings gets to forever be Best Picture while Sunrise is the masterpiece that still rightfully gets seen.

  90. palmtree says:

    JS, that Wonder Woman theory is pretty spot on. BP getting snubbed would have led to huge boycotts.

    But your take on Die Hard is all kinds of wrong. There is no part of Die Hard you can cut.

  91. Hcat says:

    I love With A Vengance as well (that sounds like a Meatloaf song) but The is only one Hans Gruber and he puts it over the top. Plus better jokes in the original, less macho posturing, and Holly.

    Agree that the Óscar thing has Disney written all over it, if we are going to broadcast it we want some awards. Not enough to make billions of dollars, we need awards and a cookie and a hand job too.

    So my question on this would be would LaLa Land or Hidden Figures count? Would the Martian or Revenant? All four made enough to be considered popular. Or is this a best franchise entry Óscar?

    The one hope I had that Disney would not screw up Fox is that they needed them for Óscar purposes, but now that they can write their own rules……

  92. Sideshow Bill says:

    I thought the Oscar For Popular Film thing was a joke. I had to read 2-3 articles and then come here to even start believing it. It’s such a back-handed, insultingly stupid way to try and appease mainstream moviegoers. A good movie is a good movie whether it’s about superheroes, a giant killer shark, a gay coming of age story, a war movie, a biography….ugh. I enjoy the Oscars but it’s only out of habit. I grew up watching them. This is just dumb.

    And I keep forgetting to say that I freaking love YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES. Deeply. It’s a holiday favorite. I love the score. I’m humming it right now. I thought those kids were gonna be stars. I just looked up Nicholas Rowe’s filmography. He’s worked fairly steadily.

  93. Hcat says:

    Palm, one part of Die Hard can be cut. Godunov emerging with the gun at the end. So instead of keeping the biggest crime scene imaginable untouched they throw a bad guy in a body bag without checking his pulse and decide TO JUST THROW HIS GUN IN THE BAG ALONGSIDE HIM. All just so Al can learn to kill again (War, it Fantastic!!!!!).

    And I will only be fine with the new category if they name it correctly. If we acknowledge best director, screenwriter, composer, perhaps we should recognize best committee since that is how films seem to heading. Will the entire writing room for the franchise be brought onstage? Will they remember to thank the fast food franchise that tirelessly promoted the film with its commemorative cups?

  94. Bulldog says:

    Imagine if you will, a crime drama about the mob, the cars, the suits, the city wide corruption, and a cast of thousands, by an acclaimed Director, that starred Christian Bale, an Academy Award winning Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Instant academy acclaim. Add a cape, and your movie doesn’t deserve BP. Utter bullshit.

  95. JS Partisan says:

    See, I don’t think this is “just Disney.” Warners isn’t winning shit either, and the same goes for Universal. This is the Academy, looking at the tea leaves, and realizing Black Panther not getting a Best Picture Nom is it for them. I will write that again. If Black Panther didn’t get a fucking Best Picture nom. They were finished ever getting young people involved, or anyone who is more diverse than their voting base.

    Again, it’s just weird and pointless, because it does not excuse them for what they’ve been doing for 14 years. It only makes them more arrogant, and more puerile. You can’t ignore zeitgeist movies, then decide to give them the award equivalent of the “BIG CHECK” Oscar, Lucas received for Empire Strikes Back. It’s just amateur night in dixie.

  96. Hcat says:

    Warner’s might have the most BP wins so far this century. Dunkirk was certainly in the running this year.

    You want to drop in a best horror and best comedy category I can abide that. But best picture my brother in law saw….no thank you.

  97. Bulldog says:

    Hcat, it’s not the Globes. Was Get Out a horror, or comedy? What made 3 Billboards any more a drama than Lady Bird. They both made you laugh and cry. Not a fan of that idea.

    I say throw out all the montages except the In Memorium, make the awards about the nominees so we actually see clips of their performances throughout the show, and broaden your fucking minds to the fact that if they were in any other genre, Dark Knight, Logan, WW, BP, would all be major contenders.

  98. palmtree says:

    Hcat, nope. Godunov is needed to complete Al’s character arc. And I don’t remember them putting him in a body bag…

    When you’re calling something popular film, that implies something having to do with audiences. I wonder if this will end up being a version of an audience choice award. Otherwise, the word “popular” will just create endless debate.

  99. amblinman says:

    “it doesn’t have to be about box office. There are plenty of movies this century, that grossed like 50 to 100m, that a lot of people loved, and were bummed didn’t get nominated. Watch this award still reward the SMALLER MOVIE IN THE CATEGORY.”

    But how would the academy gauge this? What is the criteria for “Best Popular Movie”? Fuck does that even mean? So if it’s not BO, then…what? All the criteria you’d use for Best Picture, just with, like, action movies? Comedies?

    So fucking stupid.

    Also, fuck you on Vengeance. I think I was the most excited motherfucker on the planet when I heard John McTiernan would return to direct a Die Hard sequel. And then they cast Jeremy Irons as Hans Gruber’s brother and I lost my shit some more. And then I saw the movie…and was depressed by the fact that it seemed McTiernan lost all ability to coherently film and cut a fucking action sequence. Think about the elevator scene. It should have been awesome and yet you can’t make out a single fucking thing happening in it. Compare it to the one in Winter Soldier. I’ve even told friends after seeing Cap 2 “THAT is what the fucking elevator scene in Die Hard 3 should have looked like.” McClane being shot out of the water pipe right in front of Jackson? C’mon. That isn’t Die Hard. That’s a movie parodying Die Hard.

  100. Sideshow Bill says:

    The closer we get to the weekend the more excited I’m getting for
    BLACKKKLANSMAN. I like Spike Lee but I’ve only liked abou half of his films. But DO THE RIGHT THING is one of the most rewatchable and flat out entertaining movies I’ve ever seen. Yes, I said entertaining. It’s also horrifying and moving and infuriating but it’s also an superbly entertaining film. Every time I watch it I beg Mookie not to throw that trash can. Just like I always want Quint to ease up the engine.

    I hope it’s as good as it seems and Spike gets a victory lap. He’s never less than interesting. SUMMER OF SAM is a mess but it’s effective. And the dude had the balls to remake OLDBOY and make it completely freaking idiotic. It’s a bad movie I’m glad exists.

    The A.V. Club gave THE MEG a C-. Sounds about right. I’ll still see it but I might see KLANSMAN first.

  101. Stella's Boy says:

    Wasn’t Die Hard 3 based on a script called Simon Says that initially had nothing to do with Die Hard?

  102. Hcat says:

    I think die hard 2 was also a refitted screenplay

    Palm, I will have to watch it tonight but I swear he shook off a body bag, but even if they were just walking him out, maybe not let him carry his gun?

  103. leahnz says:

    weirdly, the scene in question at the end of DH – where karl, the last surviving villain, attempts to exact his veangence on JM with his ak47 and is thusly dispatched by Al – is one of the scenes faithfully rendered from ‘nothing lasts forever’

    “Leah, the train wreck finale of Silver Streak seemed so gigantic when I was a kid, now it seems we have to send a train through the wall every twenty seconds of people get bored (I feel old just typing that). The single largest laugh of my childhood was during the standoff at the train station when in a hail of bullets Pryor indignantly stands up and yells “Who’s in Charge Here?” ”

    i can relate to both these things haha. ‘silver streak’ is one of those movies i watch when i feel down, i just saw it last week for the kazzilianth time, it’s just an utter delight. and can i add, my dream car is that red jag, yowza, when grover drives off in that yellow piece of shit at the end i’m like noooo, you better go back for the jag my man

    (nice to see martin breast mentioned)

  104. JS Partisan says:

    Well, fuck you right back :D! Do you understand the amount of computer power required, to make that WATER SCENE A VIABLE SCENE? IMMENSE! COMPUTER! POWER! Again, I love Die Hard, and saw it for the first time on a SUNDAY. Why a SUNDAY? They did some weird special screening on a Sunday, and I demanded to go fucking see it. I am down with Die Hard, but Vengeance is just my jam.

    I also love that fucking elevator scene. McClane is not a super soldier. He’s a dude taking on five European mercenaries. There’s a reason why that is the way that it is, and it’s awesome.

    AND YES… THERE’S NO WAY TO FUCKING GAUGE THE CATEGORY! They literally put it out there, and didn’t explain it. Also, they fucking are going to HAVE WINNER MONTAGES, WHEN THEY COME BACK FROM COMMERCIAL! This means, they are going to reward people, and we don’t get to see it except in montage. It’s ridiculous.

    If the Academy wants to fucking matter, then guess what? It’s too fucking late.

  105. movieman says:

    No love for Brickman?
    “Risky Business” made Tom Cruise a star, yeah, but it also captured the zeitgeist possibly better than any movie of its kind since “The Graduate.”

    And “Men Don’t Leave” is its polar opposite: a “women’s picture” told with sensitivity and intelligence and which earns its tears honorably. Plus, it’s got one of Jessica Lange’s greatest screen performances.
    Then Brickman essentially disappeared into the ether.
    His vanishing act is one of the great Hollywood tragedies of the past 30 years.
    (That and AMPAS adding the mind-bogglingly stupid “Best Popular Movie” category today.)

  106. JS Partisan says:

    I freaking love Risky Business. It’s such a ludicrous movie, but you know… it was the 80s.

  107. Triple Option says:

    Quick question: For those people who really liked Die Hard with a Vengeance, were you old enough to vote when you first saw it?

  108. Triple Option says:

    Sliver Streak was great. Sorta like Wizard of Oz, tho. The set up with Gene Wilder and his love interest was the blank, b&w, stuck in Kansas boring part and then brighten up once Richard Pryor comes to take them to Oz.

  109. palmtree says:

    leah, didn’t know that about the book, so thank you!

    Hcat, I just rewatched that scene and it looks like he’s masquerading as a released hostage because he throws off a blankety black cloak before waving around his gun. So I could see how a black cloak might seem bodybag-like, but I don’t think anyone was escorting him anywhere. He was blending into the crowd right up to his attack.

    And for those into easter eggs, that moment was scored not by Michael Kamen, but by James Horner, whose unused Aliens track was the temp track that McTiernan decided to keep for the scene. So even on a trivia level, it’s awesome.

  110. Hcat says:

    Holy Shit Palm, have I been misreading the end of Die Hard for the past 30 years. It was still perfection but that would take out the main logistical problem I had. Thanks!

    Back to flamed out directors, I was thinking about DePalma last night in regards to how he would fit in with the people mentioned above, and while Untouchables was amazing it led him directly into the Bonfire. He seemed to loose his way because he really had no business being a reputable filmmaker. That seemed to hold true to others mentioned above, Levinson, Kasdan, Reiner, and I would throw Howard on that list as well. It might be their successes that hindered them more than their failures because they were a lot more fun before they became IMPORTANT! filmmakers.

  111. Hcat says:

    Sinclair/Tribune Deal is off. Finally some decent news.

  112. amblinman says:

    “I also love that fucking elevator scene. McClane is not a super soldier. He’s a dude taking on five European mercenaries. There’s a reason why that is the way that it is, and it’s awesome.”

    No no – it’s not about McClane being able to physically dominate there like Cap did. I just want to SEE WHAT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING. I understand McTiernan made a choice, but it was a shitty one.

    Anecdotal trivia side note: Boy oh boy was I ever shocked to see Matias Targo himself as thenardier when I took my then gf to see Les Miserables on Broadway years and years ago. MASTER OF THE HOUSE, MR POLICEMAN

  113. Glamourboy says:

    I echo the Brickman love. Risky Business is a great film though I haven’t attempted it lately…it struck a memorable chord when I saw it. Does anyone know if Brickman retired or just couldn’t get another film set up. I’m interested in knowing why all these careers ended. Schumacher had an unusually long run (and I still believe he must have had an affair or incriminating information on some high up Warners Exec but he was mostly terrible).

    And Silver Streak? Even when I was a kid I knew it was a terrible movie. Could you even show it today because of the Gene Wilder blackface? It is the Switching Channels to His Girl Friday–a dumbed down version of the classic On the 20th Century.

  114. Stella's Boy says:

    On Brickman:

    He claims to have turned down directing Rain Man and Forrest Gump. Did not know that.

  115. JS Partisan says:

    Man, have you watched Vengeance lately? It’s a pretty well choreographed scene, that’s more about killing motherfuckers than choreography.

    Oh yeah. Seeing as I’ve probably watched the Die Hard trilogy (what other movies?) hundreds of times. Here’s what you can cut: the time in all three movies, where they are just dicking around before the climax. Die Hard has the whole Hans decoy scene. Die Hard 2 has the aftermath of the snowmobile chase. While Die Hard with a Vengeance has the sheer lunacy of the Yankee Stadium stuff. All of that stuff can be trimmed, but the Hans and John stuff from Die Hard would hurt the most, but it really just kills the momentum of the film.

    TO, yes, I could vote, and I enjoyed the damn movie.

  116. movieman says:

    SB- Interesting read. Thanks for sharing that.

  117. leahnz says:

    de nada palmtree (i meant to mention there that karl throws off his blankey and not a body bag but spaced it in a rush)

    Triple op: one of the things i really dig about silver streak is how languid it begins, old-school, it takes its time developing the lovely little shipboard romance before it all gathers steam (like the train!) and unravels in a bit of a hitchcockian/planes trains and automobiles/buddy comedy/disaster melange (lord knows i love me some grover and if the movie were made today he probably would show up in the beginning – as it is pryor comes in about half way through (aprox), which is a nice touch i think – and his ‘entrance’ is pretty great)

    also, if you can’t tell the difference between ACTUAL BLACK-FACE and a parody of black-face used for comedic effect to make fun of white people – grover even sarcastically references al jolson to george and says, “what, are you afraid it won’t come off?” before george makes an absolute fool of himself — then you might be a dingaling

    ETA for copious typos on my miniscule tablet

  118. JS Partisan says:

    1) Marvel Studios, are apparently back from vacation, and telling Disney to, “Stuff it.” There was no way, that Feige would let this go. He’s stated how important Gunn is to Phase (Fantastic) Four, so I am glad they are working on getting this resolved. It’s still strange, that Disney did their biggest earning and solid producer this way. Especially given, that the dude hasn’t signed a new contract. It’s all just weird.

    2) If I recall correctly. Richard Pryor put that makeup on Gene Wilder. He literally did it, to look as ridiculous as possible.

  119. Glamourboy says:

    Yes Leahnz, please come and explain to the African-American community the difference between real blackface and parody blackface and let’s see who comes off as the real dingaling. You might want to read a Smithsonian article called The Long, Unfortunate History or Racial Parody in America.

    Here’s a take on the film by the LA Times, “Most obviously, there are the sensitivity issues. Yes, the idea of pairing a black and white star was relatively novel in the mid-’70s. So give it some points for that. But on race and other social matters, the film can be awkward, even cringe-y. Most notoriously, there’s a blackface scene in which Wilder dons dark shoe polish and a jive-turkey walk to bypass cops at a Midwestern rail station. (That the filmmakers seem to think that Grover suggesting the idea to a reluctant George — invoking Al Jolson in doing so — makes it better in a way only makes it worse.)

    The N-word is also uttered several times in the film. A woman is unceremoniously slapped. Said woman (the late Jill Clayburgh) is given so little to do that if one were to apply the Bechdel test it might actually get a negative score. Rosalind Russell material this ain’t.”

  120. leahnz says:

    lol, yeah i’ll get right on your recommended reading list, mr “rep for the african american community”, do tell

    holy shit, this review you’ve posted, couldn’t you find one that’s even more pearl-clutchy? shall i post some other critiques to rebut it? (this is a rhetorical question because i couldn’t give a shit what ‘critics’ say, though there are multitudes of non-pearl-clutchy positive reviews for ‘silver streak’ out there to contradict your narrative)

    yes, the n-word is used in this 70’s film, reflective of the racist attitudes of the villainous characters who say it (and grover tells one of them to go fuck himself); yes a woman is slapped, by a vile, murderous asshole, reflective of him being a vile murderous asshole.

    the shoe-polish scene, while certainly ham-fisted, is designed to MAKE FUN OF WHITE PEOPLE, dingleberry. this is like trying to explain to a nitwit the context of the humour in ‘blazing saddles’.

    the only thing that review gets right is clayburgh being way underused.

    have you actually watched this movie since you were a kid (or at all for that matter, given you need a ‘critic’ to make points, which are shallow and insipid). please do also post your bona fides as the spokesperson for the ‘african-american community’

  121. Pete B. says:

    All this praise for Silver Streak, and nobody gives a tip of the hat to Patrick McGoohan as the villain? That man was always reliable.

  122. leahnz says:

    well now irony, the review you chose to post is by… steven zeitchik, man of colour known for his insight on racial issues in film and… oh no wait hahaha you pearl-clutching caucasian boys are hilarious

  123. Glamourboy says:

    Ok, let’s go into the name-calling zone. Although I love all the quaint NZ terms such as dingaling and dingleberry, let’s get straight to the point you racist cunt. Yes, I’ve seen Silver Streak several times and it is a terrible film. That is the general opinion. I am old enough to have seen it for the first time when it opened and I thought it was a piece of shit then. Silver Streak was written and directed by white people. White people making fun of racism is still racism. Gene Wilder in an interview even admitted that he regretted that sequence, but then again, you know better than anyone else so let’s take your white point of view that it isn’t racist. White people making excuses for black face is pretty offensive. A white person wrote a black character making a white character do black face. It is an offense stereotype, period. Your defense of it shows what a fucking idiot you are.

  124. leahnz says:

    “White people making fun of racism is still racism.”


  125. leahnz says:

    i can’t believe i actually went to find this interview i remembered, from ’76 with ebert (and that it’s actually there):

    paragraphs 10 and 11

    pryor re-wrote the scene

  126. leahnz says:

    ah glamourboy, you gone so quiet, you mad bro? bloody hell

    (sorry for the multiple posts, for some reason the edit window wouldn’t open for me, it’s working now, classic)

  127. Hcat says:

    Read a short article today on Disney’s streaming service. Cap Marvel will be the first theatrical to move to the service. But it mentioned there would not be any R rated films broadcast on it. As I thought that the Fox Deal was an effort to boost the volume of content for the streaming service, what the hell does this mean for what they develop under that banner? And what does this mean for television stuff like Archer that certainly doesn’t fit family friendly standards?

    All indicators keep pointing to travesty.

  128. Stella's Boy says:

    There will be a separate service with a separate fee for R rated movies and other adult-oriented fare like Archer. I wouldn’t doubt it.

  129. Glamourboy says:

    You can’t believe you actually went to find the interview? I can believe it…you needed to stay up all night to find some proof that your’e not a racist. Doesn’t matter if Pryor rewrote the scene, it presented blackface to a whole new audience who I sincerely doubt dissected that it was not racist but a PARODY of racism…(gotcha). I found it offense even back then and obviously, although you don’t want to bother to look anything else up, it is considered racist and marks the film in a negative way.

    But nevermind…as long as YOU think that blackface is hysterical..go ahead and continue to enjoy it.

  130. movieman says:

    The new Spike Lee is fantastic! My favorite Spike “joint” since “Clockers.”
    If it had opened at year’s end, I would be predicting a Best Picture and Director win. Still a very real possibility.
    The moment I knew the film was flirting w/ greatness? The night club scene where Spike let Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose’s “It’s Too Late to Turn Back Now” play to its conclusion.

    P.S.=That’s “Best Picture,” not “Best Popular Picture” (although I think it will be extremely popular w/ discerning moviegoers.)

  131. palmtree says:

    I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule. White people are not barred from talking about racism and representation, but it has to begin with the premise that theirs is not the only perspective or the most important one.

    Having Pryor rewrite the scene and having the other black character not be fooled by blackface is definitely better than their original idea. Doesn’t make it particularly progressive, but it’s far more thoughtful than a lot of choices still being made in filmmaking today so…

    But yeah, most of the time referencing hurtful images and slurs amounts to hipster racism, which is basically repeating a hurtful image and slur under the guise of critiquing it while still not including the actual perspectives of the people it is hurtful to.

  132. JS Partisan says:

    SINCE CLOCKERS? CLOCKERS? So no HE GOT GAME of INSIDE MAN? Or Miracle at St.Anna? I mean, that’s distressing, and ARE YOU OKAY, MAN? ARE YOU OKAY? SHARE THE PROGNOSIS!

    Oh yeah. Fuck black face, and that scene in Silver Streak is messed up. It’s only less messed up, because a comic genius over saw it. If you want a fucked up blackface scene, then watch Yankee Doodle Dandy. Hell. Watch Bamboozled. I can go on and on, but that scene is what it is from the time that it’s from…

    Guess what though? Animal House has fucking sexual harassment through out it. Revenge of the Nerds features a straight up rape, that people excused for decades. There’s a lot of shit in old movies, that wouldn’t fly today. It’s good that we have evolved, but we have a ways to go. We need people to see Crazy Rich Asians! REPRESENTATION, DAMN IT!

  133. leahnz says:

    er, fwiw i was tucked up in bed by midnight (i need my beauty sleep), there’s this thing called the curvature and rotation of the earth and ‘times zones’, fascinating stuff, you can learn about it online now if you need a refresher

    (bulldog’s post pretty much sums up my point)

    ftr i have never once stated my personal reaction to the scene in question:
    doing a black-face bit in a movie in the 70’s was a seriously risky move, and since it wasn’t my call – i would have gone with ‘no’ – i can only judge what’s up on the screen.
    i think many/most people can sense if a joke or gag punches ‘up’ or ‘down’; even as a first gen-x kid, who grew up in the haight ashbury hippy movement, it was pryor’s and the shoe-shine man’s priceless facial/verbal reactions to george trying so unbelievably cringingly to ‘act black’ that made me laugh; george and his incredible lack of rhythm and sheer dorkiness was the butt of the joke, not the black people, that was my sense then and continues to be so to this day, a ridiculously silly gag

  134. Hcat says:

    I thought the part of the atrticle where Ebert said they disguise Wilder “as a black” was worse than the scene it was describing.

    And I love Clockers as well, more than inside man. Honestly after the Die Hard convo…..?

  135. Sideshow Bill says:

    I have tickets for BLACKKKLANSMAN for Tuesday afternoon. Then tickets for THE MEG. I programmed this bizarre double feature myself. It’ll be interesting.

    And they can take my ARCHER when they pry Pam Poovey from my cold dead hands. It’s supposed to be wrapping up soon anyway but who knows. It’s not what it once was but if still follow those characters anywhere Adam Reed takes them.

  136. JS Partisan says:

    HC, if you want to go on and on about Die Hard, then shit on Inside Man. I am going to be very cross, because Inside Man is one of the better heist movies ever made, and it features Denzel Washington. Who is a god damn AMERICAN TREASURE! Yes. Inside Man is better than Clockers.

    Oh yeah. If Disney isn’t going to have any mature content on their fucking streaming service, then they are really shitting bed. You can have different level of accounts, but making it “KID FRIENDLY ONLY,” is backward ass Youtube logic. If I want to use Disney Now, then I will use Disney Now. If you ignore fucking adults for this service, then it’s DOA. Netflix, can somehow give me a TROLLS ANIMATED SERIES and a movie about two fast-tracking lesbians. It’s possible to please more than one audience.

  137. Hcat says:

    To clarify, to prefer Clockers is not to shit on Inside Man, anymore than preferring Parks and Rec is shitting on Brooklyn 99. Denzel is magnetic as almost always in Inside, the heist is pretty good, and I absolutely love the part where they are confident that to translate any language all you have to do is yell out of the back of a van in New York and someone will know it, I own a copy of clockers and inside but rewatch clockers more often. Partly because I like Price’s novel and it feels more SPIKE LEE than Inside Man does.

    But for all the butting heads we do I am glad we agree on the streaming stuff. It is the adults who are choosing what bundles come into the homes. And if Disney is going to charge twice, one for kids and one for Sports and movies with the F word, well I can live without them.

  138. movieman says:

    Yep, “Klansman” is my favorite Spike Lee film since “Clockers.” Like pretty much everyone, I’ve run hot (“25th Hour,” “He Got Game,” “Inside Man,” “Red Hook Summer”), cold (“Girl 6,” “Get on the Bus,” “She Hate Me,” “Bamboozled,” “Chi-Raq”) and somewhere in-between (“Summer of Sam,” “Sweet Blood,” “St. Anna,” “Oldboy”) on Spike for the past 20+ years.
    I remember saying at the time of “Inside” that it proved Lee could make as solidly-crafted an “entertainment machine” as Spielberg. But also admired him for not taking that route.
    Found out earlier this week that, yes, I did fracture my left collarbone. Will probably be incapacitated–to one degree or another–until Thanksgiving. Lots of doctor’s visits between now and then to keep track of the condition: really, really hoping I won’t need surgery. The left side of my body is essentially worthless at present: typing with only one hand is insane, and like most things (driving, showering, shaving, dressing/undressing, getting into/out of bed, etc.) TAKES WAY TOO MUCH TIME/EFFORT.
    Thanks for asking, JS. Much appreciated!
    P.S.= And while I prefer “Parks & Rec,” I like “Brooklyn 99,” too.

  139. palmtree says:

    Get well, man!

    Inside Man is a terrific movie. It’s as good as any heist film, but unlike most heist movies, it legitimately has larger social concerns on its mind, as you would expect from Lee.

    And I’ll second Crazy Rich Asians. Representation matters, and opening weekend is basically a voting booth. If we want to see Hollywood open up to a wider range of humanity, next weekend is the time to show up for a CRA screening.

  140. movieman says:

    Thanks, Palm.

    Unlike many Spike films which have a distinctly Scorsese-ian bent, “Inside” has always felt very (Sidney) Lumet-ian to me. Almost like a missing Lumet film from the “Dog Day Afternoon”/”Serpico” era. It’s one of the reasons I love it. (And Jodie was a delicious villainess.)

    Looking forward to “CRA,” but I kind of wish the producers had taken Wayne Wang out of retirement to direct instead of Jon M. Chu whose most noteworthy credits are two “Step Up” movies. But if all WB wanted was a glossy, synthetic, uber-Hollywood-style “Asian movie,” I guess they got what they paid for. Which–as someone who hasn’t read the book it’s based on–could be the point.

    On a completely unrelated front, I greatly enjoyed the Mike Newell film (“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”) w/ Lily James and Glen Powell that debuted on Netflix yesterday. It’s the type of “comfort-food-with-a-posh-accent” period rom-com I could have imagined playing for months (and months) in domestic arthouses 25-odd years ago. Truly a new world we’re living in.

    P.S.= The only thing I remember w/ affection about “Silver Streak” is Jill Clayburgh. Truly one of the most iconic female stars of her era. Big Pryor fan (of course), but his pairings with Wilder never rocked my world.

  141. palmtree says:

    I love Wayne Wang, but this moment is all about Jon M. Chu.

    This kid (he’s not even 40) has not only done the Step Up movies, which are amazing feats of technical skill (story isn’t great but so what), but also a GI Joe movie that was way way better than it had a right to be as well as a Justin Bieber documentary which, though I haven’t seen it, is the #3 highest grossing documentary.

    AND Chu has his pulse on what’s coming down the road, and his specialty happens to be dancers, musicals, and the latest pop stars. So obviously he was the choice to direct IN THE HEIGHTS! I mean, like his films or not, he’s not some run of the mill journeyman.

  142. movieman says:

    Not convinced by Chu just yet, Palm. Hopefully “CRA” will turn me into a believer.
    (The Bieber doc was pretty decent as I–faintly–recall: certainly better than the Miley Cyrus and Jonas Bros. music-docs that opened around the same time.)

    P.S.= Has anyone seen “A Prayer Before Dawn”? Sounds pretty grim, but the reviews have been solid. Wondering if it’s worth the price of a VOD.

  143. palmtree says:

    His resume is admittedly light but so were a lot of people’s like Fincher who did tons of music videos before becoming one of the best directors around. I’m not saying Chu is Fincher, but just career-wise, Chu is poised for something. We just haven’t seen it yet. Is it this or In the Heights or something beyond that…who knows? But I’m excited.

  144. Amblinman says:

    Yep, “Klansman” is my favorite Spike Lee film since “Clockers.”

    Ugh. Clockers. One of my favorite novels destroyed in a screen adaptation. Harvey Keital ruins *everything*.

  145. movieman says:

    Seriously, Amblin?
    I’ve always considered it to be among Lee’s best films.
    (And I’ve been a Richard Price fan since “The Wanderers.”)

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
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Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
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The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
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Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
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The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4