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BYOB: Who’s Going To See The Man About The Mule?


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102 Responses to “BYOB: Who’s Going To See The Man About The Mule?”

  1. lazarus says:

    Someone needs to put this old horse down, and critics and fans who should know better need to stop making excuses for him and his films. He should have been finished after that empty chair idiocy.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Not making excuses for Clint but I’m going to see The Mule.

  3. JoshRF says:

    I’m looking forward to The Mule, but don’t go by me. I like almost all of Clint’s movies to one degree or another, even The 15:17 to Paris.

  4. YancySkancy says:

    He makes (generally) good movies. The “chair idiocy” doesn’t change that, and it’s not exactly representative of his politics over the years, which are hardly Republican hardline in nature.

  5. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Sometimes Grandpa says some dopey shit, don’t worry about it.

    An authentic legend of the medium and the culture who still wants it at at this stage of his life and career when he is long past the stage where he has to prove anything to anyone other than himself. Cherish him, and go and support The Mule.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    The Hollywood Reporter was gross (as were other outlets then and now), I’m no fan of Eastwood’s politics, and I’m guessing he has never been a very good human being. Still want to see The Mule.

  7. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’m going to see Spider-Man. I’ll catch The Mule eventually. I really don’t know much about Eastwood as a person, a man, though that Sondra Locke story is sad. I’ll reserve further comment.

    If I remember right Roger Ebert loved Ratboy.

    I’m actually far more excited to watch the new Von Trier tonight after work. That’ll get me enough sideways glances and criticism. Don’t care. I’ll judge it for myself according to my standards for the film. As for Lats himself, yea, he’s a mess and he’s a troll but he lays it all out there. He works out his self-hate and demons in the films be they good or bad. I find that to be compelling.

    We’ll see.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    I want to see The House That Jack Built, but I prefer to see the unrated version. Wish I could have seen it on the big screen. Spider-Man seems like a good one to take the kids to.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’d prefer the unrated version too, and in a cinema, but this is what I’m limited to right now so I’ll take it. Hopefully the unrated will be on the Blu and if I like the film I’ll buy it.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I’m sure I’ll end up watching it soon because I’m impatient and don’t want to wait three months or whatever it is until the unrated version is released. I also plan to watch Xmas horror movies this weekend. Revisit some classics and watch a new one or two. Always fun this time of year.

  11. leahnz says:

    roy batty questions: why does this particular movie get its own BYOB, of all movies

    (also, as always i hope LVT cultivates a particularly disfiguring strain of syphilis)

  12. Pete B. says:

    Just curious why Once Upon a A Deadpool has a better Stan Lee tribute than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse? I mean Spider-Man was Stan’s baby. Makes no sense.

  13. Dr Wally Rises says:

    lazarus, you make a fair point. I guess it’s hard to find a movie legend who has lived their entire life beyond all moral reproach if you delve too deeply.

  14. movieman says:

    Watched “The House That Jack Built” on Amazon this afternoon.
    It’s a tough, even grueling sit at 151 minutes, and pretty much the entire thing is actively unpleasant, even nauseating at times.
    But I’m glad I saw it.
    Von Trier’s skill remains formidable, and Matt Dillon delivers a career-best performance.
    Would I ever want to see it again?
    Probably not.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    Watching Bears/Packers game and have seen like four TV spots for Welcome to Marwen and holy shit it looks like the worst movie ever made. Just indescribably bad.

  16. Glamourboy says:

    Trying to watch the screener of The Mule…but it is so draggy…def not top notch Eastwood.

  17. movieman says:

    Stick with it, Glam
    Here are some excerpts from another thread:

    Is it a “Great Eastwood Movie”? No, but I think it ranks w/ “American Sniper” as maybe Clint’s best directing credit this decade.
    Adjust your expectations going in: this is no breathlessly paced action flick about a drug runner being pursued by the feds.
    Instead it moves at the deliberate gait of Eastwood’s octogenarian character w/ numerous privileged moments along the way. (My favorite scene is a touching conversation between Eastwood and Bradley Cooper in a Waffle House.)
    Is the Mexican drug cartel broadly drawn? Well, sure, but several of them are actually given real characters to play. I was particularly taken w/ Ignacio Serricchio’s Julio (who serves as the mule’s de facto babysitter), and Andy Garcia is a delight as the improbably twinkle-eyed cartel boss.
    Since it was based on a true story, I’m surprised the film didn’t play that up (no “based on a true story” scroll as the movie opens or any post-script before the end credits).
    Both Clint (as good here as Redford was in “The Old Man and the Gun”) and Dianne Wiest (deeply affecting as Clint’s long-suffering ex-wife) deserve to be in the Oscar conversation.
    Betting this has legs and turns out to be one of the genuine sleepers of the holiday season..and into 2019 as well.

  18. GdB says:

    No offense, but Jezebel is not a good source for objective reporting. Just read all of their unwarranted hating on Pete Davidson articles. The guy did nothing to earn their snark besides being a Geek about dating AG.

    ETA: Watching LVT films feels like enabling an abuser. No thanks.

  19. Sideshow Bill says:

    I fell asleep about 35 minutes into The House That Jack Built. I was genuinely tired and it was late, but it also didn’t really grab me to that point. I’ll start it over this week when I’m feeling more rested. I’m also on codeine and muscle relaxers for a back injury so I’m loopy and sleepy constantly

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    Anyone else not totally and unabashedly love Roma? Maybe my expectations were too high and unrealistic. I don’t know. It just didn’t grab me. It looks lovely and there are several powerful moments. I laughed a few times. The actress who plays Cleo is good. But I didn’t feel sucked into its world. I wasn’t all that invested in it. I admired it more than anything else. It’s fine. Glad I saw it. But not one of my favorites of the year. Granted, I watched at home even though I would have preferred to see it in a theater. Maybe that plays a role in my response. Though while I was watching I did think that the incessant demands that YOU MUST SEE IT IN A THEATER are a bit much.

  21. movieman says:

    I have “Roma” as a #1 tie (w/ “The Other Side of the Wind”) on my 2018 best list.
    I generally loathe best list ties, but this year it felt sort of unavoidable if not downright inevitable.
    So many movies seem linked–thematically or otherwise–and I just can’t choose between them: for example, “The Rider” and “Lean on Pete.”
    Or “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “Private Life.”
    Hell, I even found links between “First Man” and “Wildlife.” (“1960’s America: lives of quiet desperation, and as lonely as the moon.”)

  22. Stella's Boy says:

    I just don’t get it. I have seen so many movies this year that I like much, much more than Roma, including The Rider, Private Life, and Can You Ever Forgive Me. Definitely on my overrated list. I just saw a best-of list, I think it’s Justin Chang’s, that is a top 20 and lists the picks in pairs in a manner similar to what you’re thinking.

  23. movieman says:

    That’s cool.
    I’ll try and give it a look–although the L.A. Times website usually doesn’t let you read more than a paragraph or two without a paid online subscription.

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    It is an interesting way to do a best-of list. I highly encourage you to do something like that and share it here.

    It is Chang. List can also be found here:

  25. movieman says:

    Maybe the LA Times has changed their policy (?!), or maybe you get a certain # of free views per month, but I was able to check it out.
    Can’t say that we share many of the same picks, lol.

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    Fair enough, but it’s a cool format and seems sort of like what you suggested above. I find there’s much to gain from a list that greatly differs from mine. Usually I’m inspired to watch something I haven’t seen or reconsider something I didn’t like.

  27. movieman says:

    I agree.
    Even critics I loathe (but grudgingly respect out of sheer perversity) inspire me to seek out their fave raves. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Armond.)
    Not saying I dislike any of Chang’s top picks, just that I don’t share his passion index on some (many?) of them.
    For example, I like “Black Panther”–really I do!–but I would never consider it for a Ten Best list slot (and certainly not tied for a #2 ranking).
    P.S.= As much as I dug what Chang was up to w/ his twin pairings, I found the connection between many of the ties mildly (or wildly) confounding. But I’m sure most readers won’t understand what I’m getting at by pairing “Roma” and “The Other Side of the Wind” either. (And certainly not in the #1 space.)

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Waiting for Armond to weigh in on The Mule. Went through his RT page today out of curiosity and was reminded of how he hates just about everything. He needs a new profession. He’s an odd dude.

    I don’t get all of his pairings either, but I also haven’t seen all of them.

  29. Glamourboy says:

    Stella’s Boy…sorry, but as I posted a month ago when I saw Roma at a screening..I absolutely love the film. It is epic in a way that you don’t see so often…it reminded me of Gone With The Wind or even The Good Earth…a story with one small character trying to navigate their way through a difficult time…being way over their head…the main character faces challenges she is in no way able to face–and in the end, I was in a mess of tears. Perhaps it is a film that you have to see on the big screen (did you watch it on Netflix?)…I’m hoping that this very human story wins all the awards this year.

  30. Hcat says:

    Just wondering for those of you who have seen Vice, reviews have been less than kind, how would you say it compares to Charlie Wilson’s War. I thought that was rough around the edges, a little too short, but ultimately a strong 3.5/4 film that pulled the curtain back a little bit. Vice seems to aim at something similar but as a rebuke instead of a testimonial.

    Was watching Hostiles last night and while Bale is not a favorite of mine I do like what he is attempting. He is sort of going the Viggo route where you crash around in supporting roles for a decade, get your worldbeating trilogy and then decide to just do projects that feed your soul. Even though I am not his biggest fan I always look forward to his next movie since I know he put in more thought into its selection than just ‘will it make half a billion worldwide.’

  31. Stella's Boy says:

    I did watch Roma on Netflix, but I don’t think that’s why it failed to connect for me. It’s one of those instances where you feel like you saw a different movie than everyone else. Happens every year at least once.

    I am surprised by how hostile (pun intended) some of the Vice reviews are. Worst of the year says Daily Beast. I mean come on. This year had a new God’s Not Dead and Dinesh D’Souza. That seems a bit much.

  32. movieman says:

    The negative “Vice” reviews confound me, possibly because I love it.
    Or maybe because the critics who don’t like it ARE WRONG! (Semi-“LOL.”)
    It is still more pro than con on RT, so there’s that.
    Hope things balance out after all the reviews filter in between now and the Xmas Day release.
    Not the biggest Bale fan either, Hcat. But I thought he gave a career performance in “Hostiles” (which deserved a better shake than it got last year), and he’s even better in “Vice.”
    It’s truly one of the most remarkable transformations (physically, vocally, etc.) I’ve ever seen in a movie.

  33. Sideshow Bill says:

    I really don’t know how I feel about THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT but the last 20 minutes is some insanely audacious Lars Von Trier filmmaking. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it as a whole. It may be one of the most amusingly narcissistic movies ever. The fucker references his own movies!!! Damn. You do you, Lars. Don’t ever stop.

    Oh, and Spider-Verse is pure joy and one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen. It eats The Incredibles 2’s lunch.

  34. movieman says:

    Yes (von Trier) and yes (“Spider-Verse”), Bill.
    “Insanely audacious” and “pure joy” are good ways of describing them.
    Lars using clips from his own films to suggest–I’m guessing–the ninth circle of hell was meta-cunning
    I still can’t shake the queasy feeling I had while watching “Jack” (which, pace “Salo,” may have been the point), but am sure glad I had the opportunity to see it.
    And once again: Dillon is fantastic.

    My favorite animated features this year (“Isle of Dogs” and “Into the Spider-Verse”) put Disney and Pixar’s 2018 ‘toons (both sequels, yawn) to shame.

    Speaking of Disney, I bet nobody expected “Bumblebee” would be getting better reviews than “Mary Poppins Returns,” lol.

  35. Hcat says:

    Movieman, I have seen some really enthusiastic to ho hum reviews for Poppins, but haven’t come across anything overly emphatic for Bumblebee yet. Are critics liking it being scaled down? Is the plot comprehensible? Always happy for a good movie and Stanfield is a talent, but have trouble rooting for anything that keeps this franchise alive.

    Speaking of Franchises I am sure after that Mortal Engines opening the producers of the Mummy would like to remind Universal they did over 400 WW and turned a profit.

  36. Sideshow Bill says:

    Dillon is SO good in Jack. I hated and feared him and felt myself wanting someone to catch him. A fantastic anti-hero and certainly Von Trier’s avatar.

    It doesn’t make my top 10 but it’s an interesting, upsetting, arrogant piece of self-aggrandization.

  37. Bulldog68 says:

    “Speaking of Disney, I bet nobody expected “Bumblebee” would be getting better reviews than “Mary Poppins Returns,” lol.

    I concur. Not to mention that when you throw in Aquaman which currently sits at 67%RT, potential Oscar bait like Vice is at 64, The Mule is at 60, and Welcome to Marwan is at 24, lower than poorly reviewed flicks like Mortal Engines, Venom, F.Beasts.

  38. movieman says:

    Most of the “Bumblebee” reviews I’ve gleaned (incl. Variety and the NYT) have been pretty darn effusive.
    Or maybe it’s simply a case of lowered expectations.
    I know that I’ve been guilty of overrating certain movies that I had zero expectations for going in.
    Either way, I’m far more interested in seeing it than I originally was (you might even say that I was dreading it). Of course, I could be setting myself up for a disappointment since my expectations are now sky-high.

  39. leahnz says:

    if this has to be a thing, could people please please please stop using the useless and misleading blunt instrument of ‘rotten tomatoes’ to gauge film criticism/reaction and instead invoke the way more nuanced and accurate ‘metacritic’? this may sound drastic but i suspect this obsession with the highly subjective and rather silly pass/fail RT ratings is actually harmful to the culture.

    (also, LVT is a abusive, harassing misogynist creep — just to add a bit of realism/balance to the always slightly disturbing sausage worship of a pathetic bully)

  40. Bulldog68 says:

    I agree Leahnz that the RT system is a fatally flawed methodology, but you can usually gauge in a most general sense, the love or despite for a film by the critic community. On Metacritic Bumblebee also outranks Poppins, Vice, Mule. And Marwen is still in the basement. And on both sites, Spidey still swings the highest.

  41. leahnz says:

    yeah i get that at times the metrics can be similar on the two amalgamation sites, but the RT blunt instrument tends to precipitate extremism in the ratings, which in the critique of artistic/technical achievement provides a disservice to thoughtful criticism instructive to movie-watchers (and also serves to highlight that when a flick scores very high or very low in the critical amalgam on ‘metacritic’, this is more likely accurately indicative of some genuine artistic flair or dire mediocrity in the film-making).

  42. palmtree says:

    I second or third Metacritic. All criticism is a spectrum, and I love seeing where my favorite critics fall within the spectrum, not just rotten or fresh. And anything that de-polarizes thought is a good thing these days.

  43. Sideshow Bill says:

    You may be right about LVT, leah, but I’ll die on this hill. He is a human train wreck that makes train wreck art. Train wrecks can be interesting to look at. And sometimes you can see some real human feeling among the wreckage.

    That’s a terrible mixed metaphor but whatever.

    Happy holidays, leah. You are always a brave and interesting voice on this blog.

  44. movieman says:

    My favorite von Triers are “Breaking the Waves” and “Melancholia,” two of the best movies made anywhere in the last 25 years.

  45. leahnz says:

    happy hols to you and yours too sideshow B, and fellow hotbloggers, take care out there
    (debating horrible people who make movies feels too depressing at this time of year, esp now, in the sunken place)

  46. Pete B. says:

    Not sure where to post this since we have multiple threads going, but…
    Welcome to Marwen didn’t even clear $1 million on Friday? OUCH!

  47. Js Partisan says:

    I told you all, that Mary Poppins was in trouble. What did you do? Ignored it, for reasons that come down to, “How dare you make a point!”.

    Seriously. Poppins was selling nostalgia to people, that don’t have nostalgia for Mary Poppins. Bumblebee is selling G1 transformers, and that’s what a lot of people have wanted from the series. Poppins? Saving the Banks children again. This leads to the audience going, “Why?”

    Disney need to fire their trailer cutters, because they are too fucking obtuse for 2018/19.

  48. Glamourboy says:

    JS, Mary Poppins returns is HARDLY in trouble. Sorry but you were 100% wrong about this one. There is a huge difference between a film making a little less opening weekend than expected, and being ‘in trouble’. MPR is going to be a cash cow for Disney and they are already talking a sequel. Blunt has been all over the talk shows and hitting it out of the park. From Deadline….”Even though Mary Poppins Returns is filing below what we thought was originally a $35M 3-day, remember, she’s a musical and she’ll be singing for weeks to come. Poppins’ Wednesday through Sunday haul of $30.4M is poised to be running as much as 127% ahead of Greatest Showman‘s $13.4M five-day launch a year ago. She has an A- CinemaScore and 4 stars on PostTrak, with females 25+ leading the way at 45% (they love the movie the most at 89% positive), followed by men 25+ at 28% (85% positive). General audiences are making up 67% of the crowd, families 33%. Diversity demos are 67% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 7% Asian and 6% African-Americans.”

  49. movieman says:

    “Marwen” isn’t great (it’s not even very good).
    There’s far too many motion-capture animated dolls, of course, and Steve Carell’s “smoking” is the most laughably unconvincing I’ve ever seen in a movie.
    But it’s the first time since “Cast Away”–except maybe the Kelly Reilly and James Badge Dale parts of “Flight”–that Robert Zemeckis has brought genuine human emotion into one of his movies.
    Plus, Leslie Mann and Merritt Wever are both wonderful.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it ultimately picks up a small cult following on home video.

    Found “Bird Box” almost unbearably stressful, but it’s definitely worth checking out. I may have even liked it more than “A Quiet Place” which I thought grew a tad monotonous at the hour mark.

    I enjoyed “Aquaman.” It’s too long, but looks great, was relatively easy to follow for a comic book origin story I wasn’t terribly familiar with, and the cast is terrific.
    Even Amber Heard was good. Definitely in the upper tier of D.C. movies for me.
    Will Jason Momoa become the next Dwayne Johnson? He’s a very funny dude and wildly charismatic.
    P.S.= My screening partner loathed it. Of course, he goes into these things preparing to hate them. Believe it or not, he didn’t even like “Black Panther” or “Wonder Woman.”

  50. movieman says:

    December 21-23, 2018

    1 N Aquaman WB $67,400,000 – 4,125 – $16,339 $72,100,000 – 1

    2 N Mary Poppins Returns BV $22,235,000 – 4,090 – $5,436 $31,049,671 – 1

    3 N Bumblebee Par. $21,000,000 – 3,550 – $5,915 $21,000,000 $135 1

    4 1 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Sony $16,700,000 -52.8% 3,813 – $4,380 $64,800,063 $90 2

    5 2 The Mule WB $9,950,000 -43.2% 2,656 +68 $3,746 $35,653,465 $50 2

    6 3 Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018) Uni. $8,180,000 -30.4% 2,780 -900 $2,942 $253,218,975 $75 7

    7 N Second Act STX $6,501,000 – 2,607 – $2,494 $6,501,000 $16 1

    8 4 Ralph Breaks the Internet BV $4,599,000 -50.4% 2,495 -1,080 $1,843 $162,093,930 $175 5

    9 N Welcome to Marwen Uni. $2,358,000 – 1,911 – $1,234 $2,358,000 $39 1

    10 17 Mary Queen of Scots Focus $2,240,000 +220.1% 795 +729 $2,818 $3,544,755 – 3

    11 12 The Favourite FoxS $2,060,000 -20.9% 790 +349 $2,608 $10,087,140 – 5

    12 7 Bohemian Rhapsody Fox $1,855,000 -57.0% 1,168 -1,045 $1,588 $184,686,798 $52 8

    13 5 Mortal Engines Uni. $1,727,000 -77.2% 3,103 – $557 $11,990,960 $100 2

    14 6 Creed II MGM $1,517,995 -71.8% 1,127 -1,980 $1,347 $108,704,612 $50 5

    15 10 Green Book Uni. $1,406,000 -49.3% 732 -483 $1,921 $27,530,971 $23 6

    16 9 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald WB $860,000 -77.3% 682 -1,924 $1,261 $154,452,713 $200 6

    17 11 Once Upon a Deadpool Fox $775,000 -71.1% 1,428 -138 $543 $5,739,257 – 2

    18 8 Instant Family Par. $635,000 -83.2% 744 -2,116 $853 $62,477,066 $48 6

    19 24 Ben is Back RAtt. $392,075 +176.7% 162 +133 $2,420 $711,879 – 3

    20 16 A Star is Born (2018) WB $330,000 -68.3% 262 -580 $1,260 $200,051,727 $36 12

    21 18 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms BV $205,000 -63.8% 241 -403 $851 $54,163,430 $120 8

    22 20 If Beale Street Could Talk Annapurna $114,902 -48.8% 5 +1 $22,980 $428,050 – 2

    23 14 Robin Hood (2018) LG/S $92,000 -92.4% 230 -1,490 $400 $30,411,419 $100 5

    24 21 At Eternity’s Gate CBS $88,000 -54.1% 83 -95 $1,060 $1,670,565 – 6

    25 25 Free Solo NGE $85,093 -39.7% 73 -27 $1,166 $10,977,667 – 13

    26 N Cold War (2018) Amazon $55,727 – 3 – $18,576 $55,727 – 1

    27 19 Vox Lux Neon $48,484 -80.1% 75 -250 $646 $655,602 – 3

    28 42 Capernaum SPC $23,513 -5.9% 7 +4 $3,359 $62,070 – 2

    29 38 The House That Jack Built IFC $10,124 -70.5% 13 -19 $779 $62,448 – 2

    30 41 Maria by Callas SPC $6,835 -77.3% 16 -46 $427 $1,198,401 – 8

    31 48 Border Neon $6,197 -64.9% 12 -19 $516 $747,043 – 9

    32 61 The World Before Your Feet Greenwich $5,300 +7.9% 5 +3 $1,060 $89,284 – 5

    33 57 Wildlife IFC $4,737 -33.7% 8 -15 $592 $1,002,392 – 10

    34 79 The Great Buster: A Celebration Cohen $3,618 +190.8% 3 -1 $1,206 $118,654 – 12

  51. JS Partisan says:

    GB, and I am sure Bob Iger thought bringing back Mary Poppins, would lead to OUTPACING THE GREATEST SHOWMAN OPENING WEEKEND! Sure.

    I am sure, that’s the corporate strategy, that they will have in the next conference call. Again, go back to the projections for this weekend for Poppins and Aquaman, and while they are just projections. People, definitely, didn’t see Mary Poppins fighting it out against… BUMBLEBEE. Let’s not even act like this was a thought, that anyone had… except me.

    Not a disappointment, but not great either.

  52. Glamourboy says:

    JS…the numbers are terrific for MPR….judging whether a movie comes in first, second or third during one of the most competitive weeks of the year is hardly the way to decide whether a film is successful or not. I believe you stated that the film was not going to do well because Disney had not explained what it is….I gotta tell you, I’m vacationing in Paris right now and this movie is EVERYWHERE. It is the Holiday store window at BHV (the biggest department store in Paris), posters are on every subway stop….I am at a cafe near a big movie theater and ALL the shows are sold out today. The Disney store is selling the crap out of it.

    I wish, in your life, you will be responsible for something as disappointing as MPR. Sorry, you are dead wrong about this. The movie is tracking through the roof. How Bumblebee is doing has no bearing on this movie. And if you include foreign, these movies are dead even.

    Perhaps the Mary Poppins Returns ads were too complicated for you to understand. British Nanny flies in from an umbrella in the sky, helps kids in need. Title says she returns, guess she was here once before. Perhaps you should get a kid to explain the ads to you.

  53. JS Partisan says:

    1) YOU ARE IN PARIS? You mention it ALL THE TIME! Good for you. Wear a yellow vest, and stand for something.

    2) Mary Poppins is also being advertised on my Roku.

    3) Here’s your clever put down: judging a movie on BOX OFFICE is wrong, because I should judge it on it’s PARISIAN MARKETING! Wow. You know what? That’s a stretch there, pal. Again, go back and look at the freaking projections. If you really believe that Bob Iger would talk to shareholders, and go on about being on GREATEST SHOWMAN levels, then you and me disagree about what Disney wants. Disney, always wants more, and maybe Poppins will have an extraordinary two weeks. Maybe not. Right now? I’d put money down, that they thought they’d play stronger than they are right now.

    4) I am sure Mary Poppins is wonderful, and all involved should be very proud. I like Rob Marshall a lot. Still, your point about this film has always been, “IT’S SPECIAL!” You are oozing, oozing, that it’s special and again and again and again, WE LOVE MARY POPPINS! Right now? Mary Poppins is doing as well as a Volkswagen that originated as penny pull back car toy. Seriously, these arguments are always so insulting, because you think SOMEONE NOT VACATIONING IN PARIS does not appreciate the craft and art of filmmaking. Umm. Nope, but Merry Xmas and a good try.

    5) Again, you do your little, “I am vacationing in Paris, I will try to be clever and insult him,” digs. Awe. You see. I UNDERSTOOD THE FUCKING ADS! You understood the fucking ads, BUT DID YOU MENTION YOU WERE IN PARIS? Seriously. They are obtuse, for this generation. While you were too busy all year… GETTING READY TO SPEND THE MONTH OF DECEMBER IN PARIS! Some of us, took like a minute of our time, and noticed the films with obtuse fucking trailers suffered. Poppins is not where they thought it would be, and it’s suffering.

    Now. Enjoy Paris, have a Merry Xmas again, a happy New Year, and try not to be the embarrassing American… WHILE YOU ARE SPENDING THE ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER IN PARIS! You started going on about this in NOVEMBER! You went on about it LAST YEAR! Like we care? Glad you get to have fun, but I could be in space and never go on and on about, “HEY GUYS! I AM IN SPACE RIGHT NOW! OMG!” Come on.

    Paul is just nodding his head.

  54. JS Partisan says:

    Oh yeah. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to the rest of you. I hope you have time with your people, or yourselves, and there is merriment and good cheer. Also, may your next year be merry and bright.

  55. Christian says:

    That INSTANT FAMILY drop is brutal. I guess the movie got crowded out of the multiplexes. And poor BORDER, which is one of the year’s great surprises, might just be a little *too* surprising, even for arthouse audiences. Sigh. I was hoping a Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination would bring BORDER an influx of interest, but ’twas not to be.

  56. palmtree says:

    Yes, MPR is running ahead of Greatest Showman, but it’s also running behind Into the Woods, which is more comparable in some ways because it was also a musical starring Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep and it was also a Disney release.

    Saying that marketing is at a fever pitch is the equivalent of saying that the studio is putting a lot of money into this movie. So they expect it to increase their returns.

    Having said that, MPR will have long, long legs and probably will end up reaching Greatest Showman heights. But even then $200 million seems relatively modest for a Disney film of this caliber. Greatest Showman was a triumph because last year almost everyone thought it would be a flop and/or wouldn’t have legs.

    But I’m rooting for MPR and hope maybe things turn around once Christmas hits.

  57. G Spot 3000 says:

    I’m not a fan of the movie, but it’s waaay too early to say anything decisive about Poppins’ performance. It’s run doesn’t really start in earnest until X-Mas day.

  58. movieman says:

    I’m hardly the biggest “MPR” fan either (my serious issues w/ the film were posted weeks ago on another blog), but I’m sure that it will perform precisely as Disney intended/anticipated.
    “Into the Woods” opened on Xmas Day which has traditionally been a boffo date for “all ages friendly” musicals. Maybe “MPR” should have waited 6 days to open, too. (And wasn’t it originally dated for 12/25? Pretty sure that it was.)
    Everyone (at Disney) should have known that the core demo–moms of all ages and any/every kid they can get their hands on–would be “otherwise engaged” until December 25th.
    Expect it to match–if not surpass–“The Greatest Showman”‘s domestic cume.
    I have no doubt it’ll be playing in first run release until at least Valentine’s Day.
    Which is more than I can say for pretty much everything else that’s opened in wide release during the past month.

  59. palmtree says:

    But Into the Woods didn’t ultimately make a super big amount of money either, $128m domestic, which even Greatest Showman surpassed. So the performances of Christmas releases are pretty wildly different.

    However, I would be fool to bet against Disney, so I’m guessing they’ll do everything they can to make it a bonafide hit, including getting it a few nominations.

  60. Hcat says:

    Agree with Christian on Instant Family, it’s a shame it hung in for so long only to lose a ton of screens right in the meaty part of the season.

    And sure Poppins might pull this out, but I agree with JS that this is not where Disney was hoping they would be. Does anyone know how much Poppins cost to make?

  61. Bulldog68 says:

    So which is the biggest flop, Marwen or Mortal Engines? ME fell 77%. Gotta say, this is an even bigger flop than I expected. I thought it may have gotten to $50m at least from just curiously and available bodies at the Cineplexes. What an astounding rejection.

  62. Elliott says:

    You are so cool! I do not believe I’ve truly read through something
    like this before. So nice to find someone with a few original thoughts
    on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website
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  63. movieman says:

    Does anyone know what the “Untitled STX Action/Thriller” (allegedly) opening January 25th is?
    You would’ve thought they’d have come up with a title by now if it’s really opening next month, lol.

  64. Glamourboy says:

    JS, yes, I am in Paris and you are….in a place of ignorance, which seems to be your address. I’ll be in Berlin in a week so you can make that the point of the story now.

    You said that Disney didn’t sell the film well through their ads. And you were wrong. Since you were wrong you do what JS usually does on here…start proclaiming that you were right and changing the story.

    The movie is doing just fine. (you clearly didn’t even mention the point I talked about concerning how it is doing with foreign)…plus, not everything is just box office for Disney…there is also merch, which they do better than anyone else.

    A nanny flies out from the sky to help kids in trouble. Doesn’t take a very sophisticated kid to get that….and yet, you need help with the concept. I think the problem is obvious.

    And please keep telling us about that Bob Iger phone call that you are hearing in your head…as you are privy to that.

  65. palmtree says:

    Maybe STX is going meta? Like the way Deadmau5 has an album titled “Random Album Title.”

  66. movieman says:

    I’m guessing that whatever it is, it won’t be opening on January 25th, Palm.

  67. movieman says:

    The “cold” Xmas Day opening of “Holmes + Watson” concludes a year of puzzling, if not downright bone-headed decisions by Sony Pictures.
    While I would’ve preferred a wilder and crazier “H+W”–overall it’s a bit too mild for my tastes–I smiled throughout and appreciated the circumspect, downright breezy 91 minute run time. (Also appreciated was inserting the usual “middle-of-end-credits-postscript” BEFORE the credits.)
    Ferrell and O’Reilly (who’s fast approaching “national treasure” status) are predictably good company, and the classy supporting cast (including Rebecca Hall, Kelly MacDonald, Steve Coogan and Ralph Fiennes) was worth every cent spent on them.
    Also thought that the musical production number, co-written by Alan Menken, was better (and certainly more hummable) than any of Marc Shaiman’s “MPR” tunes.

  68. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’m surprised you liked H & W, movieman. I was down for it until the reviews spread like the plague. I’ll see on video but, with all due respect, I’m not risking it right now.

    And O’Reilly has been a treasure to me since Boogie Nights. “People tell me I look like Han Solo.” Instant love.

    I watched 2 movies last night. Daddy’s Home 2. I don’t remember anything about it so don’t ask, aside from Mel Gibson giving the proceedings a skeevy feeling.

    The Clovehitch Killer was much better. Frustrating, but in a way that it’s meant to be. It stayed true to it’s characters and their lives and doesn’t give you what want. It gives you what THEY want. It’s really an overlooked little gem.

  69. movieman says:

    No offense taken, Bill, lol.
    I’ve got a hunch the 0% RT rating for “H&M” is because the critics tasked with reviewing it were pissed they had to work on Xmas.
    Certainly the vituperative nature of the reviews I’ve gleaned seem totally out of proportion to the film’s offenses.
    No, it’s not “great,” but certainly harmless enough and w/ some isolated bright spots and fun performances. (The Menken song is definitely a highlight.)
    I gave it a so-so 2 1/2 star rating.

    “Clovehitch” sounds intriguing. Looking forward to seeing it on DVD.

  70. Sideshow Bill says:

    The RT score had less impact on me than the reviews I read. I’m still liable to catch a matinee. If not I’ll see in on video. I’m too fond of the Ferrell and Reilly.

    Aquaman was a lot of fun. Absolutely nothing new narratively but I have new respect for James Wan. He took ridiculous, difficult material and leaned into. It’s bonkers and fun. And the performances were quite good for a superhero movie. Patrick Wilson has chops I never suspected.

  71. movieman says:

    Funny you should mention Wilson, Bill.
    While watching “Aquaman”–which I also enjoyed–I flashed back to Wilson’s impressive early work in “Little Children” and Mike Nichols’ “Angels in America.”
    Never thought he would eventually segue into becoming a horror franchise (both “Insidious” and “The Confusing”) and/or comic book franchise actor.

    If I’m not mistaken, he also has B’way musical roots. I wonder how long before Wilson is cast in a (movie) musical. After all, they’re currently more popular than anytime since the late ’60s thanks to “The Greatest Showman,” etc.

  72. Hcat says:

    Wilson can easily morph into a go-to bad guy for films. He can take all the corporate good looking bad guys with a smile types that Christopher Plummer, Donald Sutherland and William Hurt used to play.

    So for those of you who have seen Aquaman, is this the way forward for DC? Combining them into the league seemed not to work but carving out distinct worlds for them that are slightly connected pays off? It sounds like they actually had the right idea with Green Lantern and just ham-fistedly executed it.

  73. movieman says:

    Speaking of “Green Lantern,” have they announced a reboot yet?
    It’s been–what?–seven years since the Ryan Reynolds debacle.

  74. Geoff says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to every one!

    There’s no way to spin the Mary Poppins numbers as positive… has been assumed for months from every BO prognosticator out there that this was going to dominate Christmas box office. And we’re talking about a long-awaited sequel to one of the highest grossing films of all time – adjusted for inflation, the original Mary Poppins made over $710 million…..more than any other superhero film ever released.

    Given the price ($130 million), will Disney see a profit on it? Of course…and the film seems to be picking up a BIT post-Christmas but I wouldn’t just assume that this is going to leg it out a la ‘Greatest Showman or La La Land and get to over $400 million worldwide. And one reason for that strangely is….the music. None of those new songs are getting any traction it seems and that’s CRITICAL for a musical like this to have legs – not helping matters is that music from Bohemian Rhapsody and (to a lesser extend) A Star is Born is still getting mad airplay.

    But Disney did it to themselves this time with their strategery about always having to take out the competition – they should have kept it opening on 12/25 but NOOOO…..they moved it up the week before because they had to try to put the nail in the coffin of their main Marvel competition by blunting the opening weekend of Aquaman. And they did to some extent….but they could have been OWNING the box office this week instead of playing catch-up themselves and relying on comparisons to the uber-unusual legs that ‘Greatest Showman had last year. And sorry but Greatest Showman did NOT have the automatic brand recognition that Mary Poppins has so that was never really a fair comparison.

    As for Aquaman……well I’ve seen it twice, took my daughters and parents to see it on Christmas day in a packed IMAX screening – is it a masterpiece? Not by any stretch….it’s sort of the film that Thor Ragnarok was aiming to be in that even with all of the eye-popping visuals, it’s actually very consistent in its tone. But it also suffers from the same issues that have even hurt THE best CBM’s from this year – Black Panther and Spiderverse – in that it’s just TOO much movie. There was enough story in BP and Spiderverse for two movies and there’s probably enough content in Aquaman for three minimum! It’s borderline exhausting at times but still an overall blast.

    If I were ranking the comic book movies I saw this year, it would be as follows:

    1. Black Panther
    2. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
    3. Aquaman
    4. Ant-Man and the Wasp
    5. Avengers: Infinity War

    And keep in mind that I don’t think ANY of these films are bad: 1 & 2 are almost masterpieces, 3 is pretty strong, and 4 & 5 are solid entertainments.

    All that said with regards to box office, Warner Bros dodged a bullet with this one….they marketed the shit out of it, got that plum release date in China (!), and it seems like Mamoa has been out there promoting this movie for like….four years?? 🙂 I’m guessing around $250 million domestic, $850 million worldwide at this point.

  75. movieman says:

    If “MPR” does wind up “underperforming”–and I still think it’ll be OK–a case could be made that “Poppins” is a property that Disney values more than the average moviegoer.
    After all, “Saving Mr. Banks” (albeit a completely different sort of Mary Poppins story) was a sizable disappointment for them a few years back.

  76. Pete B. says:

    Wasn’t Patrick Wilson in Dave’s favorite musical, the Gerard Butler version of Phantom of the Opera?

  77. movieman says:

    Yes, Pete! I didn’t even remember Wilson being in that trainwreck: had to look it up on IMDB, lol.

  78. movieman says:

    Finally caught up w/ “Robin Hood” at the discount theater (they raised the price from $3 to $3.50: merry fucking christmas!), and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared.

    (A) It actually provides a legitimate excuse to reboot that oft-told tale by offering a genuinely fresh interpretation of the Hood legend. (In that regard, it seems worthier than the Ridley Scott R.H. movie which seemed to exist solely so that Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett could play Robin and Marian; and because Scott needed to make a movie that year because, well, he needs to make a movie every year.)
    (B) It’s easy to follow.
    (C) Despite lots of scenes set in darkness, the images remain crisp throughout (no digital murk: hurray!).
    (D) Ben Mendelsohn and Jamie Dornan are both really good. (Why have I liked Dornan in everything except his “50 Shades” movies?)
    (E) The guy who plays Friar Tuck is a lot of fun and brings a new spin to the character.
    (F) The credits are really long so the whole thing wraps up at under 105 minutes.

    (A) Taron Egerton makes an appealingly boyish Robin, but seems like too much of a lad (in British parlance) to start a rebellion. I didn’t really believe him.
    (B) Bono’s daughter (forgot her name: I’ve liked her in other things–e.g., “Enough Said”) is gorgeous, but of all the actors she seems too contemporary for comfort.
    Looks like she’s getting ready to walk the runway instead of fighting for…well, whatever Robin & Co. are fighting for.
    (C) I liked Jamie Foxx OK, but couldn’t figure out why he was even in the movie. His character is MIA for a good chunk of the running time.

    So, better than expected. Like “Holmes + Watson,” the generally vicious reviews seem rather excessive.

  79. Sideshow Bill says:

    I know it’s divisive but I liked Wilson as Night Owl In WATCHMEN. And yea, LITTLE CHILDREN was great too. Rough material for me (the Wilson/Winslet saga) personally. But the movie stuck.

    I never would have guessed Momoa had such a bright future after GOT. He was great but the character was one note. He has a big chance here. And I like that he out and out defends Zack Snyder. Yea, ZS has made some crap, may well again and has messed up the DCEU. But by all accounts he’s a decent man who went through the hell of a child’s suicide, had 8 kids (4 adopted). Maybe he has backyard skulls but I find the personal attacks on him distasteful and Momoa doesn’t stand for it.

  80. Hcat says:

    Liked Wilson in Little Children, I find the post pool sex scene to be remarkably hot, and he never seems to mind playing the fool or the slimeball.

    Movieman, I think they have Green Lantern slated for either ‘Untitled DC movie’ March 14th, 2020 or ‘Untitled DC movie’ Later Afternoon March 14th, 2020. One of the two.

    At a 130 budget Poppins will turn a tuppence. But there is no way that is what they were hoping for. Disney has had a rough holiday corridor, Poppins is slow out of the gate, Nutcracker tanked, and unless Ralph has markets it hasn’t opened in it is still firmly in the red.

  81. movieman says:

    You’re probably right about that “Untitled D.C.” movie.
    If they could make a good movie out of Aqua-Man, a respectable Green Lantern movie shouldn’t be that hard to pull off.

  82. Hcat says:

    Seems pretty slow, what are we looking forward to next year. I was looking over the release schedule and US, Ad Astra, and the Danny Boyle are the only things that quickened the pulse.

  83. movieman says:

    There’s a lot on this Deadline list of 2019 releases that I’m anxious (really anxious in some cases) to see:

  84. Hcat says:

    Thanks for that MM. Didn’t know that Anderson had one on deck for next year, that certainly moves to the top of the heap. Didn’t know the plot of the Mangold one until know either. Like Boxing, Formula one holds no interest for me in real life but put it on film and I am there. And a new Zhang Yimou is still reason to hope. There is something called the Kitchen with McCarthy and Haddish that makes me want to know more.

    I am depressed the amount of times the word Netflix appears in your list. Though let them have The Irishman, even with its pedigree I get the feeling its going to be a debacle.

  85. movieman says:

    Scorsese and “debacle” don’t really go together for me, Hcat, although I’ve certainly been lukewarm on some previous Scorsese films (“Cape Fear,” “Kundun,” “Bringing Out the Dead,” “Casino,” even–heaven forgive me–“The Departed”).
    My only real hesitation about “The Irishman” is…the cast.
    Too much of the casting seems much too on the nose. (Check out IMDB.) It’s as though the casting director was asleep at the wheel, and just went with the most obvious choices to play Italian-American (or Irish-American) gangsters.

  86. Sideshow Bill says:

    My big one next year is to see if Robert Eggers is the real deal. And Ari Aster. But mostly Eggers

  87. movieman says:

    Rank* Title Friday
    Warner Bros.

    4,125 $17,100,000

    +17% / $4,145
    $154,335,000 / 8

    Buena Vista

    4,090 $10,621,000

    +5.5% / $2,597
    $81,531,758 / 10


    3,550 $6,820,000

    +18.5% / $1,921
    $53,098,020 / 8

    Sony / Columbia

    3,813 $6,435,000

    +9.4% / $1,688
    $91,763,730 / 15

    5 THE MULE
    Warner Bros.

    2,787 $3,970,000

    +27.2% / $1,424
    $52,928,465 / 15

    6 VICE
    Annapurna Pictures

    2,442 $2,730,000

    +21.2% / $1,118
    $12,636,116 / 4

    Sony / Columbia

    2,776 $2,670,000

    +7.4% / $962
    $15,076,408 / 4

    Buena Vista

    2,343 $2,458,000

    +13.7% / $1,049
    $171,639,583 / 38

    STX Entertainment

    2,607 $2,420,000

    +24.1% / $928
    $16,970,000 / 8

    10 DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH (2018)

    2,555 $1,640,000

    -3.6% / $642
    $262,975,485 / 50

    Focus Features

    841 $886,000

    +22.9% / $1,054
    $7,237,320 / 22

    Fox Searchlight

    809 $775,000

    +16.4% / $958
    $13,596,022 / 36


    868 $765,000

    +48.3% / $881
    $187,621,515 / 57


    1,911 $763,000

    +16.7% / $399
    $6,300,090 / 8


    621 $599,000

    +22% / $965
    $30,191,816 / 43

    – CREED II

    1,068 $540,141

    +25.4% / $506
    $111,103,787 / 38

    Warner Bros.

    515 $340,000

    +13.3% / $660
    $155,959,713 / 43


    2,995 $331,000

    -6.5% / $111
    $13,983,905 / 15


    744 $318,000

    +16.8% / $427
    $63,933,775 / 43

    Annapurna Pictures

    65 $228,234

    +29.5% / $3,511
    $1,427,044 / 15

    – A STAR IS BORN (2018)
    Warner Bros.

    236 $160,000

    +20.3% / $678
    $200,699,727 / 85

    Buena Vista

    218 $65,000

    +9.3% / $298
    $54,437,150 / 57

    Annapurna Pictures

    3 $12,596

    +2.3% / $4,199
    $69,785 / 4

  88. Geoff says:

    I can understand the apprehension about The Irishman but still…..have DeNiro and Scorsese ever done a bad film together?? And yeah the cast seems unusually stacked but did that hurt The Departed? In that movie, he drew a career-best performance from Mark Wahlberg of all people….he can do the same with Ray Romano. I’m inclined to give this film the benefit of the doubt, still kind of burned that it’s a Netflix movie.

  89. movieman says:

    “The Mule” is turning into one of those stealth hits: a movie that’s demonstrating impressive legs and banking very nice bucks, but which nobody is talking about in the “AQUAMAN is sorta huge! POPPINS is kinda under-performing!” chatter.

    Guess “Grinch” was totally holiday-driven.
    Not surprising that “Ralph” is picking up a second wind post-December 25th while the green meanie finally fades.

  90. Geoff says:

    Grinch could still very well take the seasonal domestic crown regardless…..though Aquaman is looking potentially strong enough to catch it should its legs hold up in January.

    Paramount really looks like they bungled the release of Bumblebee – The Last Knight was just last year, still pretty fresh in folks memories. They should have waited a little longer to put it out and given it some genuine TLC marketing-wise.

  91. movieman says:

    Unless “Aquaman” completely drops dead post-New Year’s (highly unlikely), I think it’s a lock to take the holiday movie crown (w/ “Grinch” a close #2).

    I think it’s pretty safe to assume that both “Spider-Man” and “Bumblebee” would have done better–although both are performing at much higher levels than I expected going into the season–without such a Darwinian environment for fanboy-skewing films.
    But that’s something anyone (except maybe execs at Paramount and Sony) could/should have anticipated months ago.
    Imagine if “Battle Angel” had stuck to its 12/21 date!

  92. Geoff says:

    I think Sony got greedy and Paramount just got impatient – we’ve had five live action films featuring Spider-Man coming out the past eight years plus you just had the explosion of the Playstation game this year…..this is definitely a situation like Lego Batman where you can only stretch an IP SO thin – it’s a strong enough IP where you’ll get some numbers but also diminishing returns.

    February, March, April….are all insanely crowded but I don’t see why one of these films couldn’t have been moved to January.

  93. Hcat says:

    Paramount wasn’t impatient, they just had nothing else. They would be anchored in the sixth of six place no matter if they had moved it or not but sitting out of the box office for three months and then returning with a holiday slate of Nobody’s Fool, Overlord, and Instant Family would just reinforce the notion that they are in complete disarray. Aquaman did not look this strong a few months ago, it was worth the shot to keep Bumblebee in the crowd and hoped it broke out. They had a weak enough year, ending it with a season with no hundred million dollar film would just put an exclamation point on it.

  94. movieman says:

    While it still wouldn’t have fixed their “Bumblebee” conundrum (2018 or 2019? Xmas or…elsewhere?), I think Paramount should have probably held “Instant Family” for December 21st or even Xmas Day.
    I bet it could’ve hit $100-million easy in a more festive holiday slot than November 16th.
    As it is, “IF” wound up underperforming since there was no way they could hold enough first-run screens to take advantage of whatever goodwill it may have engendered w/ audiences at Thanksgiving.
    Or maybe opened it instead of “Overlord” on November 9th where it might have built significant WOM before “Fantastic Beasts,” “Creed 2” and “Ralph” hit.
    There’s no logical reason why “Overlord” had to open in November. January or even late April would have sufficed.

  95. Hcat says:

    I am with you on Instant Family, if chasing the Daddy’s Home crowd why not mirror its release? It performed well made its studio comedy 60 million, if it didn’t have that high price tag that would have been a solid win.

  96. Hcat says:

    ““IF” wound up underperforming since there was no way they could hold enough first-run screens”

    I can’t help but think that all the other distributers and theater owners are looking at Mortal Engines in complete disgust given the amount of real estate its currently occupying. Its probably down to one showing a day but looking at the averages of Star is Born and Instant Family, I am sure they would still like to have access to that population.

  97. movieman says:

    Yeppers, Hcat.
    …or another Universal movie (“Green Book”) whose first-run was truncated in many ‘plexes because of the onslaught of “BIG” holiday releases, many of which weren’t very big at all (esp Universal’s deadly duo of “Engines” and “Marwen”).

  98. GdB says:

    Glamourboy, its hard to take your posts seriously when there is an astounding insouciance of snobbery in your writing. It’s from the same place of condescension as Pete B towards Geeks that forced me to look like an asshole and whip out my degree. JS really gets to you, huh? Grow your EQ and get off your high horse, you discredit any valid points you make. Just sayin’…

  99. Pete B. says:

    ^ Huh? Not sure how I’m condescending to geeks when I had Venom my #1 movie for 2018.

  100. Hcat says:

    Really, if your not going to take potshots at his abhorrent politics, there’s no strong film related reason to swipe at Petey. 🙂

  101. movieman says:

    Is “Escape Room” going to be one of those el-cheapo January horror surprises, or sink without a trace?
    It looks like a PG-13 YA “Saw.”
    Doesn’t look very promising, although I like Tyler Labine and Logan Miller.

The Hot Blog

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon