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BYO Summertime Blues

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145 Responses to “BYO Summertime Blues”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    John Wick 3 and Godzilla are coming. I’m not blue.

    Oh yea, I forgot. Aladdin. I won’t go near it but it’s tracking well, I heard? Better than Dumbo.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    This is a good month. In addition to John Wick 3 and Godzilla, there’s also Booksmart, Brightburn, and Ma. And those are merely the wide releases.

  3. Hcat says:

    and Please Please Please Please let Rocketman be good. I don’t need transcendence but give me something I can watch over and over again. I am really excited for it but hesitant because I’m afraid I will be the buffoon absentmindedly singing along through half the movie.

    and I can understand moving Ad Astra but at least let us know where its going to land already. I don’t know how Gray gets up in the morning, I would feel like there was a giant conspiracy against me. Just let him have one release that goes smoothly.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah bummer for James Gray. Fall of this year is all that’s known about Ad Astra right? And don’t worry Dexter Fletcher won’t let you down. At least he got to start and finish Rocketman.

  5. Hcat says:

    I’m a fan of Fletcher, I like Eddie the Eagle more than it probably warrants and if Rocketman is able to capture that same rollicking sweetness I will be more than happy.

    Of the up and coming studio directors I think Fletcher is one to watch along with Peele and Coogler. Honestly the only reason I am willing to give Hobbs and Shaw a chance is because I will give Leitch the benefit of the doubt with anything now.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Yikes the Long Shot actual isn’t even $10 million. I was planning to see it Thursday night and there are only matinees. Cinemascore of B isn’t great either. Don’t think WOM is going to save it.

  7. Hcat says:

    Looks like Ad Astra is at 9/20. That’s a vote of confidence, from Memorial day to late September.

    They also pushed back Avatar another year, because why not?

    And the New Mutants got bounced as well. These actors are going to be in their late thirties by the time they get a chance to promote the movie.

  8. Dr Wally Rises says:

    “Looks like Ad Astra is at 9/20. That’s a vote of confidence, from Memorial day to late September.”

    That’s intriguing… as early Fall is the by now traditional slot for the big budget adult sci-fi epic (Gravity, Interstallar, Blade Runner 2049, First Man (not sci-fi I know, but go with me).

    “They also pushed back Avatar another year, because why not?”

    Cameron can do what he likes, and my guess is that Disney want to slot the first of B&W’s Star Wars trilogy there.

    “And the New Mutants got bounced as well. These actors are going to be in their late thirties by the time they get a chance to promote the movie.”

    A casualty of the Fox buyout and the X universe assimilating into the MCU, I’m afraid. Too bad, because at least conceptually it sounds cool. Wasn’t this supposed to be an R? My guess is that when New Mutants finally surfaces, it’ll be nerfed to unrecognisability.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yea the month is loaded. Something is going to go down in flames. Aladdin in my guess. Long Shot is a bit surprising but Rogen, who I love, has lost some draw I think.

    Brightburn could be really great. I hope it is but I’m tempering my expectations. Booksmart looks wonderful, and hits close to home when I think of my high school years.

    And Ma looks nuts. Where did it even come fry? Was never on my radar.

    I am looking forward to Dark Phoenix because….I a sucker. I love the C-Men. I know in my heart it’s probably gonna be garbage but at least it’ll be done and gone. I’m convinced that we may never see New Mutants. Or it’ll get dumped on Disney+.

  10. movieman says:

    Agree w/ Hcat: “Rocketman.”
    I love the classic Elton songbook (far more than–ugh–Queen’s), and the “flights of fancy” in the trailer make it look like a more benign Ken Russell.
    Not an “Eddie the Eagle” fan, though, and Fletcher is permanently stained with the stench of “Bohemian Rhapsody” as far as I’m concerned.
    Still, fingers crossed.

    September 20th looks as good a date as James Gray could realistically hope for.
    Just not sure whether Disney will put their “all” into the marketing.
    After all, there are zero toy tie-ins to merchandise at Walmart.

  11. Glamourboy says:

    Aladdin is going to make serious bank….seems they’ve been promoting this thing forever….the story is a well-known entity…but it is amusing how the ads for it during Fosse/Verdon continued to hide the fact that it is a musical. The Lion King trailer also does this as did the first trailers for Beauty and the Beast. Doesn’t seem very honest to pull people in without letting them know there is going to be much singing and dancing.

  12. Hcat says:

    They were advertising Aladdin during Fosse/Verdon? I don’t have any data, and am personally tight with a buck but does marketing oversaturation work? I mean I saw an advertisement for Avengers when my kid was watching Disney channel last night and I’m thinking “who doesn’t know that its out?” So are these buys supposed to keep demand high or just a way for them to pump revenue into another part of the corporation?

    So I was thinking last night that we got a revamped Kong, Star is Born and have Little Women coming soon, its probably time someone put together another Love Affair.

  13. Glamourboy says:

    Hcat..I believe that they are going for oversaturation in terms of getting an overwhelming amount of awareness for the film from many different groups…its just odd that the musical theater lovers who tune in to watch Fosse/Verdon would get an for a musical film without any of the music….seems like a missed opportunity

  14. Hcat says:

    And its a particularly strong soundtrack at that. I was in college when the film came out so I wasn’t of the generation that watched it on video constantly, but those songs were able to grab an immediate place in my memory.

    I have fuzzy memories of the marketing for Beauty and the Beast so I don’t remember if they pushed the music, and to be honest I forget if Cinderella was a musical at all. Perhaps they are not sure if the updated Aladdin songs are an improvement and are keeping them from view.

    And forgot to ask, how are you enjoying Fosse/Verdon?

  15. Sideshow Bill says:

    If Aladdin blows up I’ll admit I was wrong. Then move on to my next poor prediction.

    John Wick 3 will crack $100 million, the first for the series. Really going out on a limb there…….

  16. Hcat says:

    Oh, if we are sharing poor predictions……

    (all domestic)
    Wick will outgross MIB International.

    Dark Phoenix ends around 125.

    Toys and Pets will do less than their predecessors. As will Godzilla.

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will disappoint both quantitatively and qualitatively. Crawl will surprise in both.

    Biggest Little Farm will be the highest grossing Doc this summer, but only hit 7 million despite glowing articles. No idea what will be this summers Leave No Trace equivalent.

    Even without Fox’s grosses Disney will stay above a 30 percent market share the entire summer.

    More dogs will die in A Dog’s Journey than in John Wick 3.

  17. palmtree says:

    You didn’t ask me, but I love Fosse/Verdon. It’s almost hard for me to believe that something this good is happening, especially when it’s in a genre of biopic that usually ends up in schmaltz or hagiography. I’d be surprised if Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams didn’t end up with numerous statues.

  18. Sideshow Bill says:

    “More dogs will die in A Dog’s Journey than in John Wick 3.”

    Ha! Comedy gold.

  19. Hcat says:

    Haven’t seen Fosse/Verdon yet but I am always in favor of people showering accolades on Rockwell and Williams.

    Is that a Murphy show? Did they just drop the name Feud off it?

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    I thought Fosse/Verdon was a Murphy show but apparently it’s not. The Hamilton team is behind it. It does seem good and I regret not watching it from the beginning. So much on not sure I’ll get around to it (first-world problems).

  21. palmtree says:

    That was another thing…seeing that the Hamilton crew was producing (and I am a HUGE Hamilton fan), I was afraid it would come off as too stagey or not cinematic. Had Thomas Kail done any film/TV directing before? I don’t know. I have no idea how this did it, but it came off like they were meant to do prestige TV.

  22. movieman says:

    My familiarity with the subjects (and the period in which the story transpires) has prevented me from loving “Fosse” as much as I’m enjoying it. (Does that make sense?)
    The #MeToo campaign to transform Gwen Verdon into co-auteur of “Cabaret,” “Pippin,” et al is risible.
    NYC’s Ziegfield Theater opened in late 1969. So there couldn’t have been “lines around the block at the Ziegfield” for Fosse’s “Sweet Charity”…in spring ’69.
    (It actually opened at the Rivoli: the same Times Square theater where “The Sound of Music” enjoyed a 21-month run.)
    And the chronology in the “Awards Episode” was inexcusably slipshod.
    According to the FX limited series, “Pippin” (which opened in Fall 1972) was still in rehearsals when Fosse was nominated for “Cabaret” (in February ’73).
    And unless you’re awards show savvy, you might almost believe that Fosse won his Emmys, Tony and Oscar on the same night.
    Rockwell is killing it, though, and Williams (someone I’ve run hot and lukewarm on) has been a pleasant surprise.
    Margaret Qualley’s Ann Reinking is also very good.

  23. palmtree says:

    Sure, that makes sense. I certainly won’t contest any factual disparities.

    But I don’t really think they make Gwen a co-auteur. Or at least it’s not to take away from Fosse’s own achievements. As someone who personally has a creative significant other, I recognize the need to have that other person look over my work and give opinions and suggestions. It’s not to say they are now a co-author, but just that there is a need for a trusted artistic sounding board. Maybe the show was influenced by the MeToo movement, but it does nothing to diminish Fosse by acknowledging his cohorts.

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    Come on now movieman. It’s not exactly a stretch to believe that a woman never got the credit she deserved for her creative influence or direct contributions. Unless you have evidence the show is going overboard. And even so why be so bothered by it. You are always aghast by anything you perceive as too PC. I’m amazed by how often you sound like a Fox News contributor.

  25. leahnz says:

    so will moneybags marvel keep their productions in gilead? i mean georgia? should be interesting. this was always the goal, next stop scotus. shit’s gettin real

  26. Hcat says:

    Right Leah? What sort of Saudi Arabia type crap are they pulling there? I don’t care what sort of tax breaks they were getting to film there the studios should pack up and leave. And not on a Delta flight.

  27. leahnz says:

    better study up on dominionism cuz you’re in the tunnel at the end of the light now

    (movie-related: i’ve had the doomdoom-boom score from the OG ‘taking of pelham 123’ stuck in my head for like a week now)

  28. palmtree says:

    Leah, that Taking of Pelham theme is one of my favorites. It’s the only 12-tone melody you can actually groove to!

  29. Glamourboy says:

    I am also enjoying Fosse/Verdon…although the device they are borrowing from All That Jazz doesn’t work at all here. But Michelle Williams is one of the best reasons to watch…it is not a performance, it is a transformation….she is riveting….she is Gwen Verdon…she has the look and the mannerisms down to a T. Last night’s episode was just heartbreaking….when she sings Where Am I Going from Sweet Charity and they put it into context with her relationship with Fosse….amazing. I love the time period..and MovieMan…I think it is more accurate than you seem to think it is. It is based on Sam Wasson’s pretty definitive biography…and I saw Sam speak where he said he felt the movie was very accurate. For me, Sam Rockwell is the weakest link….he can’t dance….I think you could see his bald cap in last night’s episode…and he just doesn’t capture Fosse. But still..its amazing that someone cared enough to put this on the air.

  30. Hcat says:

    Ah the olden days where even Walter Mathaue could play a bad ass.

    But to the insanity at hand, when people on our side are painted as extremist and fringe for suggesting people should have health care and we should stop dutch ovening the planet, and then to have some beyond asinine law pass at even a state level and now we have to hold our breath to see if precedent matters and half of our population is still guaranteed agency over their own person. Shitty times indeed. Thank God our side believes in non violence because there are plenty of times I am ready to skin me some hillbillys

  31. Hcat says:

    I have been trying to watch some blind spots I have in the universal cannon. This show must be why Charity is a long wait on Netflix.

    I admit I am terribly dismissive of television actors moving to features, I didn’t think Clooney would gain traction because Mark Harmon had flamed out. But a Dawson’s Creek alumni I wasn’t willing to entertain the thought that there might be depth at there at all. But after Brokeback, Williams proved she totally had the chops and if she doesn’t have a full career or stunning roles it is Hollywood’s failure not hers.

  32. movieman says:

    SB- Not fair comparing me to FAUX News, lol.
    I read the (entertaining) doorstopper Fosse bio Glam referenced, and the show has definitely taken liberties by (deliberately) beefing up Verdon’s contributions to Fosse’s oeuvre.
    Not saying she wasn’t an important sounding board (at times), but the series’ agenda has clearly been to elevate Verdon to co-auteur status at Fosse’s expense.

    Personally, I thought Verdon came off less saintly than usual this week (which I liked): made her seem more human.
    The tireless championing of “Chicago” (which promised to be Verdon’s big comeback vehicle) while constantly bashing “Lenny” (because it threatened to stand in the way of said comeback) was an amusing takedown of show biz ego.
    And yes, the entire series is an “All That Jazz” homage (or rip-off). Which doesn’t make it any less addictive and/or enjoyable.

    P.S.=I’m old enough to have seen Fosse’s original B’way production of “Chicago” (w/ Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach) in 1975.
    I remember preferring “A Chorus Line” at the time (which I saw on the same NYC trip), but I WAS still in high school.
    Guess the hardboiled cynicism of “Chicago” played less well to my teenage self than the sentimentality of “C/Line.”

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    Granted I don’t know the history behind this tale but I have read several stories that state Verdon never got as much credit as she deserved. They claim the show is getting the reality right and correcting history. So it’s possible you are wrong movieman. And you might not like it but that’s exactly how you sound sometimes.

  34. Hcat says:

    I find it sort of endearing that in Fosse’s version of events (All That Jazz) he has significantly more hair.

    And I can totally see how you could prefer Chorus Line at the time. If anything it must have seemed newer or at least more of the underdog.

  35. movieman says:

    I just think they’re overcompensating, SB.
    It’s all part of the current cultural landscape of “correcting” pre-existing narratives to fit political fashion.
    Sorry if that sounds Faux News-y, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only dyed-in-the-wool lib who thinks political correctness–however well intentioned–can sometimes err by taking things too far.
    In this case, attempting to credit Verdon for Fosse’s greatest triumphs.
    At this point, I’m fully expecting the show to claim that the reason “Star 80” flopped was because Verdon didn’t co-direct it.
    But since IMDB doesn’t list anyone as “Margaux Hemingway” or “Eric Roberts,” I’m guessing “Star 80” didn’t make the cut.
    (I love “S/80” btw: it’s probably my favorite Fosse movie after “Cabaret.”)

    And I haven’t even mentioned how annoying Norbert Leo Butz and Nate Corddry are as Paddy Chayefsky and Neil Simon, lol.

  36. movieman says:

    One more thing that annoyed me on “Fosse/Verdon:”
    When discussing the casting of “Cabaret,” the scenarist actually has Gwen ask Bob whether Liza (Minnelli) can act.

    Liza had already received a (richly deserved) Best Actress nomination for “The Sterile Cuckoo,” and also proven her mettle in “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” and “Charlie Bubbles.”
    Hard to believe Gwen was so B’way-centric she hadn’t at least gleaned from the grapevine that Liza was the real deal.
    Even if she hadn’t seen any of her film work.
    Or a list of 1969 Oscar nominees.

    Stuff like that really pisses me off.

  37. Hcat says:

    Being B’way centric wouldn’t even be an excuse, Minnelli had already won a Tony by that time.

  38. palmtree says:

    The auteur theory might work in film where everything gets committed to film for posterity. But the nature of theatre is less auteur-istic and way more collaborative. So I welcome attempts to show how it’s not just a lone great director making decisions. And I think most people who work in the theatre recognize that dynamic as being truer than the usual hagiography we get.

    However, having said that I didn’t see the most recent episode yet, and so if that’s specifically what you’re talking about, then maybe I’m wrong. Funny thing with the Chicago vs. Chorus Line thing is that though A Chorus Line won the Tony, Chicago is still running on Broadway all these decades later.

  39. Hcat says:

    I might have the history wrong, but Chorus Line blew up to become one of the massive broadway hits of all time, like Phantom and Hamilton. And at the time Chicago didn’t become the phenomenon it is currently seen as. So Chorus Line probably became a little tiring (and a little dated), while Chicago was revived as a lost treasure.

    And not for nothing but the film version of Chicago thrived while Chorus Line’s tanked. So the theater kids and musical enthusiasts of this century are probably much more familiar with Chicago than Chorus Line.

  40. Glamourboy says:

    MM….I took the Verdon question about Liza and her acting as such…they are trying to show how Fosse passed over Verdon…as a husband, and as a director….she clearly felt something when she didn’t get to do the movie of Charity….and maybe Verdon wouldn’t have been right to play Sally in Cabaret….but perhaps her husband should have fought for her in casting…..It also sets up this method that Verdon (at least in the TV movie) had where she tried to undermine Fosse in this passive-agressive way of playing to his fears…as she does regarding Lenny in this week’s episode. So I didn’t take her comment about Liza literally….I took it as a passive aggressive whack at her husband’s confidence. After the flop of SC-the movie, he had a lot to lose…everything, in fact.

  41. Hcat says:

    I would think she would have been much too old to be considered for the part of Sally, but she was 50 when she originated Roxie so what do I know.

  42. Glamourboy says:

    Streisand has been trying to get a movie version of Gypsy…and she is in her 70s. People can be somewhat delusional.

    I also don’t think they are saying that she rationally thinks that she was right for Cabaret..I think they are saying, that on some level, she felt a professional betrayal that he was making movies without her and also not doing theater projects together.

  43. Hcat says:

    “Streisand has been trying to get a movie version of Gypsy…and she is in her 70s. People can be somewhat delusional. ”

    Good lord I hope she doesn’t want to play Louise.

  44. palmtree says:

    Chorus Line is dated only in the sense that it perfectly fit the times it came out in, late 70s NYC. The show is still great though, but perhaps a bit less immediate. Same might be said for Rent.

    Chicago though defies that dating with its period touches but still modern sexy feel. The current iteration on Broadway is really what did it for me when it opened in the late 90s, and then the movie was the cherry on top. Nothing still beats seeing it live though.

  45. movieman says:

    Did anyone else see the “Chorus Line” doc (“Every Little Step”) from 2009?
    Frigging awesome: it retriggered my then-dormant love for the show.
    I actually went out and re-bought the soundtrack album that I’d bought on vinyl in 1975 (my senior year of high school).

    As I recall, the original Fosse/Verdon/Rivera production of “Chicago” was only a modest hit in its time. Losing (big) at the Tonys to “A Chorus Line” didn’t add to its longevity on the Great White Way.
    It was the Bebe Neuwirth-fronted ’90s revival that made “Chicago” CHICAGO. And the 2002 movie version, of course.

  46. Glamourboy says:

    I have to laugh as I don’t think we could have kept a conversation going on about Fosse/Verdon on this site a month ago..we would have gotten beaten up in the school yard.

    So what is everyone seeing this weekend?

  47. Bulldog68 says:

    After opening $110m higher than TFA, Endgame begins to drop behind by day 15 or 16. Not really the close race many were expecting after such a gonzo opening. Having your movie not make $900m is a good problem to have however.

  48. leahnz says:

    not just georgia, hcat, ohio’s right there with alabama and several other states close on their heels, saying the quiet parts out loud now:

    (and couched within the regressive legislation is the other prong of attack: on birth control, which confirms what many have suspected, that it’s not just roe but griswald the religious extremists are coming for, patiently chipping away)

    and the thing is, before the ’16 election women were shouting from the rooftops that this was one main goal of the craven GOP and lots of supposed ‘liberal’ and left-leaning men did not listen, minimised it, claimed women’s reproductive rights and bodily autonomy were not on the menu, a distraction from the ‘real’ issues, that women were over-reacting. well how’d that turn out, women were correct. after reminding again and again that reproductive rights ARE an economic issue, not to mention of freedom and equality. sadly, so-called liberal/lean-left men can also be sexist, conditioned to implicit bias, and poor allies.
    so now would be a great time for allies of women in the on-going struggle to be seen as full autonomous human beings and not broodmares/uteruses to control to get loud and help fight for the rights of their fellow citizens, do the work and sacrifice. not really seeing it so far, we’ll see.

    (how about some legislation before the sup court for enforced vasectomy for all pubescent males – it’s reversible, and men’s teeming-with-living-moving-sperm ejaculate causes 100% of unplanned pregnancies after all – and then when it’s time for children, reverse it. let’s see how that flies, bodily autonomy for men-wise)

  49. leahnz says:

    sorry i’m not sure why this didn’t post in the above. punitive control’s the goal, and it’s working even with roe as the law

  50. movieman says:

    Ugh, “The Hustle.”
    Hathaway and Wilson give it the old college try, but the damn thing refuses to ignite.
    Not “horrible”–I smiled a few times–but such a wasted opportunity.
    The “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” template is so sure-fire, I’m not sure how they managed to f**k it up.

    I’m not having a particularly good time at studio wide releases so far this year.
    Hoping that “Her Smell” is available On Demand this weekend, and also planning to watch Amy Poehler’s “Wine Country” despite the meh reviews.
    It’s gotta be better than “The Hustle” and “Poms,” right?

  51. Glamourboy says:

    arg…I love Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (the movie and the musical) so its so disheartening to hear that they somehow botched up this remake…I’m curious, MM, what do you think goes wrong? I’m not a big Wilson fan….I think she goes for easy humor playing off her size but isn’t funny on any other level….

    Yes, the reviews for Wine Country are pretty disappointing as well. I think this weekend I’ll just catch up on ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘Under the Silver Lake’

  52. movieman says:

    “Quixote” and “Silver Lake” are smart choices, Glam. I liked both of them very much.

    I don’t think they trusted the “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” template enough: in an attempt to update and (I guess) “feminize” it, they forgot what made it so sure-fire funny in previous iterations.
    I’m not the biggest Wilson fan either: she seems to do the same schtick again and again w/ diminishing returns.
    Hathaway is a comedy dream, though (I thought she was terrific in last summer’s “Ocean’s” reboot). Sadly, the material soundly defeats her best efforts.
    Even at 94 minutes it felt sluggish.
    And it ends just when the ’88 “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” kicked into gear: the big reveal of Glenne Headly’s con woman identity.

    P.S.= No such luck re: “Her Smell.” It’s not listed on my cable’s On Demand menu. Maybe they’ll add it when it’s released on DVD at the end of the month. Sure hope so, esp since I can’t depend on Netflix for ANYTHING DVD-wise these days.

  53. Hcat says:

    Love Love Love Love Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It is the exact example I lament when I want more midlevel studio films. All the Frank Oz or Herbert Ross across the plate comedies are the template I would like to see more of, and while I am not all that excited about The Hustle, glad someone at least saw some potential.

    I love Hathaway, one of my eight favorite things about Oceans last year (that may sound dismissive but was not meant to be, what a cast), but didn’t think the Caine/Niven role would be the right fit. As one of the few defenders of Love and Other Drugs and someone who doesn’t feel that Bride Wars was the complete bottom of the barrel (not good by any means but not the end of cinema as we know it which some reported), I love her in comedic roles and think its terrible that studios can’t exploit her talent more. Look at what she was able to do with The Intern. 200 million off a 35 million budget and what is probably a very long shelf life.

    The days of the Sandler 100 million dollar budgeted comedy are over, you can make these things modestly priced with talent that is going to attract eyeballs. It seems strange to me that for the amount of emphasis that is being put on having content for your streaming service studios seem to be putting out fewer and fewer movies. You would think comedies would be the easiest way to beef up your portfolio.

  54. Hcat says:

    As for what is on the docket this weekend, the kids are giving Wonder Woman another try (the War stuff was too intense for them and my wife when they saw it in the theater but have been meaning to revisit it). And for me, I will be plugging a giant hole in my film education by finishing Sullivan’s Travels. Half way through so far and loving it. Hope to get through the other Sturges oversites this year.

    I snickered when I read that Poms Thursday night previews began at 3PM yesterday. Dinner and a movie for the target audience!

  55. Sideshow Bill says:

    No theater trip for me until next week (Keanu!) And I have limited time but I have a hella list of movies to watch:

    The Wind
    The Ranger
    Silver Lake
    Vox Lux
    First Man

    And more. I’ve gotta start knocking them out but I spend my Down time reading more than movies these days.

  56. movieman says:

    The early “John Wick” reviews practically have me drooling over my laptop.
    Sounds like nirvana: can’t wait!

  57. Hcat says:

    It looks lit!

  58. movieman says:

    Has anyone else seen “Bathtubs Over Broadway”?
    What sounded like a snark/smirk fest is actually an affectionate, even touching tribute to an alternative (and all but lost) form of Broadway musical theater.
    Really lovely.

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    I read a review that said Wick 3 loses emotional core of first two so as much ad I wanted to see it I’m going to have to pass now as I only see Wick movies for the emotions. Also I was wrong about Long Shot. Apparently it’s going to drop less than 20% this weekend. That’s damn good WOM.

    Good list Bill. I just watched The Head Hunter. It’s pretty good and only cost $30,000. The Ranger is fun and gory.

  60. leahnz says:

    ‘silver lake’ is a nicely-photographed, bloated, derivative mess. dear ego-tripper DRM: if you must inflict your prettily-packaged, puerile, laughably dumb, pretentious, incoherent, ‘stinky’, ridiculously badly written rip-off 12th grade boy ‘vision’ on the world can you please at least make it freakin’ shorter for the love of god (i always have a soft spot for garfield, who’s ok here, but i’m starting to worry that, career-wise, he’s ‘pulling a fassy’)

    left out ‘self-indulgent’ above, can’t let that slide

  61. Glamourboy says:

    HCAT, if you are looking for a mid-level studio film..have you seen A Simple Favor? I ended up really enjoying this film…not quite a comedy but a cat and mouse story that was really engaging.

  62. Hcat says:

    A simple favor is certainly on the list, I have been waiting for it to hit prime.

  63. movieman says:

    Warner Bros.

    4,202 $20,700,000

    — / $4,926
    $20,700,000 / 1

    Buena Vista

    4,662 $16,060,000

    +113.8% / $3,445
    $676,505,739 / 15

    United Artists Releasing

    3,007 $3,956,591

    — / $1,316
    $3,956,591 / 1

    4 THE INTRUDER (2019)
    Sony / Screen Gems

    2,222 $1,685,000

    +145.9% / $758
    $16,060,126 / 8


    3,230 $1,650,000

    +106.2% / $511
    $15,261,935 / 8

    6 POMS
    STX Entertainment

    2,750 $1,500,000

    — / $545
    $1,500,000 / 1

  64. Stella's Boy says:

    I liked A Simple Favor for about 30 minutes but after that it takes a major turn and isn’t nearly as good. Never recovers. Ok but not great.

    Took the kids to Pikachu. Fell asleep for a while. Pretty grating and painful experience. But hey they loved it. How we suffer for the children.

  65. Bulldog68 says:

    I think my most painful kid movie recently was The Emoji Movie. Even the kids were suffering through that one. Proof that they’re mine. My 13 yr old daughter could possibly recite Mad Max verbatim. She just loves that movie. Bless her little violent heart. Sigh.

  66. Stella's Boy says:

    That one looks dreadful. They do like and watch “real” movies (loved the new Godzilla trailer so we’ll be going to that) but the kiddie stuff still appeals to them, too. Transitional phase.

  67. brack says:

    Aladdin is very much being sold as a musical. The last two trailers have shown the main characters singing, so I’m not sure where the idea that Disney is “hiding” that it’s a musical is coming from.

  68. Sideshow Bill says:

    I watched The Ranger last night Stella. I enjoyed it despite the fact that all of those kids were extremely unlikeable. But it was good as a whole I really respect the matter of fact way the film included a gay male couple.

    Yea , I loved Head Hunter quite a bit.

    I wrote Revenge when I meant Revenger. I saw Revenge a while ago and was lukewarm. Rape/Revenge genre isn’t my thing.

    I’m laid up with back pain so I’m gonna finish Summer of 84 which I started last night. Then try and hit a few others. Have you seen The Prodigy? Curious about it

  69. Stella's Boy says:

    Didn’t care for Summer of ’84. You know exactly where it’s going five minutes in and there are no surprises or anything all that interestint along the way.

    The Prodigy is familiar and dull for 75 minutes and then the last ten are bonkers and almost make the first 75 worthwhile.

  70. leahnz says:

    “My 13 yr old daughter could possibly recite Mad Max verbatim. She just loves that movie. Bless her little violent heart.”

    this is the most heart-warming thing i’ve read in ages (and almost the exact same age i was when i saw ‘mad max’ in the cinema with my bestie and our weird little hearts broke for max. full circle)

    ETA bulldog is it ‘mad max’ or ‘fury road’ for your lass? i just assumed the latter but if the former, that’s extra retro

  71. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yea, Summer Of 84 was meh, but the ending was surprisingly dark and nasty. Not enough to make it worthwhile though.

  72. Bulldog68 says:

    It’s Fury Road.

  73. movieman says:

    Bill- No studio film in recent memory has more matter-of-factly mainstreamed gay (and mixed race) coupledom than “A Dog’s Journey.”
    The fact that it was a kid’s movie makes it all the more radical and transformative in my eyes.
    Color me impressed.

  74. palmtree says:

    Bulldog, you did good. I can only imagine what growing up with a movie like that would do for me.

  75. movieman says:

    May 10-12, 2019

    1 1 Avengers: Endgame BV $63,054,000 -57.2% 4,662 – $13,525 $723,499,739 $356 3

    2 N Pokemon Detective Pikachu WB $58,000,000 – 4,202 – $13,803 $58,000,000 $150 1

    3 N The Hustle UAR $13,536,298 – 3,007 – $4,502 $13,536,298 – 1

    4 2 The Intruder (2019) SGem $6,600,000 -39.2% 2,222 – $2,970 $20,975,126 $8 2

    5 3 Long Shot LG/S $6,125,000 -37.1% 3,230 – $1,896 $19,736,935 – 2

  76. movieman says:

    Mea culpa.
    I misidentified the puppy movie in an earlier post.

    It’s January’s “A Dog’s Way Home” that deserves props for progressiveness, not next weekend’s “A Dog’s Journey.”


  77. Stella's Boy says:

    In your defense it feels like 72 dog movies have been released in the last two years.

  78. movieman says:

    You’re right, SB.

    I remember being confused earlier this year about which of the two 2019 dog movies was the sequel to the one from a few years back w/ Dennis Quaid, the late Peggy Lipton (RIP) and Josh Gad’s voice.
    It’s “A Dog’s Journey” (opening Friday), not “A Dog’s Way Home” (the one I applauded earlier today for its progressive agenda).

  79. Glamourboy says:

    I completely enjoyed A Simple Favor and liked the twists and turns. I think the film will gather a small following as it hits streaming and people get to see it.

    I’ve seen two commercials on TV for Aladdin that had no musical numbers or even any hint of music…and I’ve seen discussions about this on other groups….so yes, in SOME ads they are hiding the fact that its a musical.

    Watched Wine Country..and I thought it was good–these actresses obviously feel very comfortable with each other and even though it was never surprising, it was an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes.

  80. movieman says:

    I enjoyed “Wine Country,” too, Glam, although it could (and probably should) have been better.
    Still, it was a pleasure to spend time in the company of Poehler, Rudolph, Fey, et al., especially w/ Napa (and vino!) as their luscious backdrop.

    P.S.= Check out “Bathtubs Over Broadway:” seriously.
    Along w/ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and “R.B.G.” it’s one of 2018’s best feel-great docs.

  81. brack says:

    Glamourboy – you’re talking about TV ads, which I couldn’t give two shits about. Watch a goddamn trailer for crying out loud. Disney ain’t hiding shit.

  82. palmtree says:

    Considering everyone who is the target audience for Aladdin probably grew up on the original and knows the songs, I don’t exactly see how they can hide that it’s a musical. On the contrary, I’d be shocked to see it without any songs.

  83. Glamourboy says:

    Brack…an ad is an ad…it doesn’t matter to me about where it appears. And my original post was about how this ad appeared on the TV series, Fosse/Verdon…so I’m not sure why you are confused or why this should be an argument. I saw 2 TV commercials without any hint of a musical number. It’s been talked about on other threads. Do the math

  84. Stella's Boy says:

    Another GoT episode that did nothing for me. So much spectacle and carnage in these super sized episodes but I just don’t really care about any of it. Final season has mostly been a chore to sit through. I won’t miss it.

  85. brack says:

    Glamourboy – a TV ad is just that. You’re painting a picture and trying to make a case that Disney “hides” their musicals. You brought up even The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. It’s pretty disingenuous, and frankly simplified, considering it’s a tv ad, which is very, very limited in what can be sold for a particular film, and with each film there are countless tv ads. It fits your narrative, what you think is true, but it certainly is not, and you know it, because you didn’t once yet acknowledge the trailers for the film, which everyone who has internet access or goes to the movies, knows the truth. They’re not hiding shit. It’s Aladdin. It’s a remake, hence it’s a musical. Only you and others being coy and making something out of nothing is all an argument you have. And your argument is “it’s been talked about in other threads”? That’s pretty lame, and also doesn’t mean anything true to the facts. But please, continue your nonsense arguments.

  86. YancySkancy says:

    I’m late to the Fosse/Verdon discussion, but count me as another admirer. Re Michelle Williams: her brilliance in this should be no surprise. For my money, she is just about the best working actress we have. Four Oscar nominations in 11 years; one Golden Globe and five other nominations. I’ll be stunned if she doesn’t win an Emmy for F/V. And she’s only 38. Respect-wise, she seems to be forging an almost Streep-like career; unfortunately, her box office clout isn’t comparable. Streep toplines the occasional hit; Williams’ only real moneymakers I believe are that Oz thing, Shutter Island and The Greatest Showman, in which she’s only supporting. Oh, and Venom, I guess. But she seems to be having the career she wants, and she’s knocking it out of the park.

    Also re F/V: Norbert Leo Butz is one of the most annoying actors on the planet. Couldn’t stand him in Bloodline especially; he’s a bit more tolerable as Chayefsky, but that’s not saying much. He must be far more appealing on stage, or at least the Tony Awards think so.

  87. Amblinman says:

    “Another GoT episode that did nothing for me. So much spectacle and carnage in these super sized episodes but I just don’t really care about any of it. Final season has mostly been a chore to sit through. I won’t miss it.“

    I cannot believe the choices they’ve made this season. What a betrayal of fans last night. I’m so sooo happy I’m not invested in this show emotionally.

    And tone deaf! They went pretty hard core alt right in their messaging last night. I’m sure they didn’t intend it that way but good lord:

    -The invading horde actually was an invading horde out to destroy the white people.
    – Woman and blacks in charge: too emotional! Savages!
    – White. Male. Savior.

    I’m supposed to feel sympathy for the mother fucking Lannisters at the end? I’m sure the writers must have thought this was the most clever, “poetic” angle to end that note on but fuck off. The biggest reason they should fuck of? Lena Headley has been so good as Cersei Lannister, creating one of the straight up best villains in forever. No shades of grey, Cersei is a badass, terrible, and great character.

    So what’s her contribution to her character’s story? Staring helplessly out of a window.

    It was also insanely anti-climactic. The #Clegainebowl or whatever was dull and pointless.

  88. movieman says:

    Am I the only one who’s surprised “Rocketman” is only tracking for a $25-million opening weekend?
    Maybe because I’ve always been a bigger fan of Sir Elton’s than Freddie Mercury’s, but I truly believed EJ was the bigger star (in his heyday anyway) and had a (vastly) more impressive songbook.
    Is it because Elton is still alive and, therefore, less easily romanticized?
    Is it the absurdly top-heavy weekend (“Godzilla” and “Ma” open the same date) that it’s being released?
    Is the “R” rating more of a hindrance than a help? (And does anyone really think “Rocketman” is going to be more gay-centric and/or explicit than “Bohemian Rhapsody”?)

  89. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes to all that amblinman. Lena Headey must have spent all of a day filming her scenes this season. A line or two of dialogue and a few minutes standing on a balcony. I can’t believe how unceremoniously they treated Cersei in the final season. Just about everything has been lackluster and unsatisfying in these last five episodes. I hope Sunday does something, anything redeeming.

    Re: Aladdin, I can’t get over how low-rent it looks. Syfy used to make lots of cheap fantasy/sci-fi movies with people like John Rhys-Davies and I can’t believe how much Aladdin resembles them.

    $25 million does seem low for an Elton John biopic. That would be half of Bohemian Rhapsody’s opening. Could be all of those things.

  90. RichardHox says:

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  91. Hcat says:

    MM, I am a huuuuge Elton fan, so I of course agree that his songbook is better however perhaps Queen’s is more cinematic? One of the reasons that Queen’s music works so well in trailers is its basic operatic delivery while Reg’s sweet sentimentality doesn’t scream ARC. Add on Mercury’s untimely death and you have a tragedy, while Elton’s story will likely play like your favorite wacky uncle’s wild years.

    You are correct that the competition likely plays a factor, as well as Bohemian was first out of the gate so Rocket might look like its riding coattails. And I would certainly suggest that the Fox marketing maybe is a bit more capable than Paramounts? Not surprised by it coming in lower, hopefully its incredible and has legs enough to clear 100 million.

    And I also agree with whoever mentioned how cheap Aladdin looks. My kids are big fans of those Descendants TV movies and Aladdin looks like they recycled those sets.

  92. movieman says:

    The wind was knocked out of my sails when I heard the news about Doris Day.
    Yes, she was 97, but Day always seemed immortal to me.
    I feel like another part of my childhood was ripped away.
    And it still pisses me off that Day was never given an honorary Oscar.

    Another thought on “Rocketman:”
    Maybe the Ken Russell vibes in the trailer are a turn-off to prospective moviegoers (most of whom, I suspect, have no idea who Ken Russell is).
    As someone who gets goose bumps every time I hear the opening chords of “Bennie and the Jets,” I remain psyched.

  93. Sideshow Bill says:

    I loved GOT last night. It’s been a bumpy season but for me character arcs did not go as expected but they are consistent for me.

    One more thing; Martin told them how it ended but apparently has nothing mapped out. If you don’t think it’s good Martin is as much to blame as anyone. They were given 6 episodes to figure it out while the author has no idea what he’s doing (or so it seems). I enjoyed the bleak spectacle and the message that there will be no winner here.

    But that’s me. Sorry you others are disappointed. We will all get throthis together!

  94. Stella's Boy says:

    But why only six episodes? That’s not on Martin. It feels so rushed even with the long running times. Nothing is making an impact, and characters like Cersei are getting shortchanged. Sure the spectacle was impressive but to what end. It’s mostly empty spectacle. The show has already proven it can do spectacle. I need more than that and for the most part this season hasn’t delivered. I liked episode two a lot. The rest have been OK or worse.

  95. Hcat says:


    I only discovered her recently, saw Pillow Talk a few weeks ago, her Garner films and Do Not Disturb last year. But Day was a remarkable talent and had real comedy chops. The word I keep coming back to is effervescent.

  96. amblinman says:

    @SB “I hope Sunday does something, anything redeeming.”

    How can it? They unstuck the landing. Shit the bed. Blew it. (Cue DeNiro in Copland “YOU BLEEEEEEEEEW IT!”). 6 seasons worth of character and world building all blown to shit literally and figuratively. I don’t even know what a satasifactory ending would look like at this point. The stuff they insisted the fans care about for years, they blew off in a matter of minutes both in the Long Night, and last night’s episode.

    I can only imagine how angry hard core fans of the show are this morning.

  97. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I’m not all that optimistic at this point. But it would be much appreciated if it could make me care again, even a little. I’ve read a lot of social media reactions (for what that’s worth) and it seems like everyone and their grandma is debating whether or not the show successfully sold Dany going full psycho. I don’t think it did, but apparently some do.

  98. movieman says:

    Thanks for that, Hcat.
    Another thing about Day, she had pipes: deserved to be spoken of in the same breath as Garland and Streisand.
    She was also a superb dramatic actress, although she didn’t get as many opportunities to shine in non-comic/musical fare as fans of “Love Me or Leave Me” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much” would have liked.
    Her last starring vehicles (“With Six You Get Eggroll,” “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?,” “The Ballad of Josie”) were mediocre at best. But Day made even throwaways seem worthwhile by virtue of her incandescence.

    P.S.= Agree w/ Bill. As a “GIT” fan (but not an obsessive), I thought last night’s episode was the best of this truncated final season.
    It was so full of iconic moments that it felt very much like a series wrap-up to me. Seems weird there’s actually one ep left.
    Re: SB. Maybe the reason you didn’t buy Dany going psycho is that Emilia Clarke simply isn’t a very good actress. (There, I said it.) As for me, I just went with the flow.

    Loved last night’s series-ending “Veep,” too, although I feel a little gyped by the paltry # of eps this “season.” Almost like they were racing (rather than sprinting) to the finish line.

  99. Stella's Boy says:

    Veep was indeed hilarious last night and will be greatly missed. I also feel like seven was not nearly enough episodes for the final season. Meyer/Ryan 2020! And wow Sarah Goldberg was just incredible on Barry last night. She wasn’t known to me before the show and has made quite an impression.

  100. palmtree says:

    No, I don’t think they sold the Dany’s psycho turn. I mean, they certainly placed the bullet points there, but it wasn’t connected by anything resembling drama or emotion. Sure, she had destroyed other people by dragon fire before. But this time she wasn’t just killing enemy combatants, she was destroying her own legacy and her life’s work. Made no sense whatsoever. There needed to be something more to make that change land. And I actually do think Dany’s madness was where the story had to go, but they didn’t nearly earn it.

    Meanwhile, they tried to make Cersei some kind of sympathetic figure. Totally ridiculous.

    I actually appreciated the spectacle for what it was though. And I thought Cleganebowl was somewhat satisfying. But yes, I didn’t think it would happen, but “unstuck the landing” is what they did.

  101. palmtree says:

    Also, here’s a thread with a very smart insightful reason why the show is deviating so much from previous seasons. And it goes deeper than GRRM not finishing the books. It has more to do with the craft of writing…fascinating:

    (Also, Hot Blog, one of the last places where that HTML coding I learned 20 years ago still pays off.)

  102. Hcat says:

    As this seems to be a routine critique of many shows I am curious, what shows do people feel have stuck the landing. And did they handle it better by resolving more before the end? I remember Deadwood being unsatisfying, but Mad Men and Justified tying things up nicely (and Mad Men could be just as sprawling as GOT at times).

  103. palmtree says:

    The Wire is pretty sprawling and not written from a specific source material (unless you count the writers’ work as journalists inspiring them), but I thought it had an appropriate ending, still complicated and open-ended yet having a sense of reaching the end of its narrative.

    Endings are hard though, and with one episode to go, I feel like there’s still room for the finale episode to deliver something that will at least help me make sense of this bad season. Not finality, but some kind of “ah well okay sure” moment.

  104. Stella's Boy says:

    Justified indeed has a great ending. So does The Americans. Six Feet Under is probably the best of all-time. Terriers is perfect even though I wanted more of that show. The Leftovers. Hannibal. Rectify. There are more I’ll think of later or others will mention.

  105. MarkVH says:

    The finale of Angel is still probably my favorite of all-time. Note-perfect and made under less than ideal circumstances following abrupt cancellation. Narratively it’s unsatisfying but thematically it’s absolutely right.

  106. leahnz says:

    st elsewhere (possibly the OG WTF series finale)

    thx bulldog

    i’ve never seen GoT so i’m like helen keller up in here but i absorb stuff in my travels like a sponge:

    – the last season could have been 10 eps but the dudes writing it now without the main george guy’s source material refused the cash for more eps to wrap it up faster

    – the george M source guy is decidedly unhappy with
    what’s been happening this season so blaming him seems weird

    – re palmtree’s post above, as usual it’s the (bad) writing: (my GoT lunatic friend says benioff has written the shittiest eps this season so far, and he’s also the braintrust behind the ‘what if: the confederacy had won the war?’ tv series in development, i mean what could possibly go wrong)

    – my uncle says the military strategy on GoT is dumb (with a lot of details about not just charging up the middle without a flanking strategy or some such, i’ve told him i don’t watch it but i think he forgets)

    – scotus’s catholic brotherhood is overruling long-set precedent at an alarming rate:

    snuck that last one in there, scary maclary from donaldson’s dairy

  107. Amblinman says:

    I initially thought the ending to The Americans sucked. And then i couldn’t stop thinking about it for a week straight. Haunting as shit. I feel bad for anyone diving into that show under the impression it’s structured like usual “Peak TV” fare.

    The Shield has one of the best series finales ever. In fact, the last 2-3 episodes of that series can give anyone IBS. (Watch it anyway.)

  108. Triple Option says:

    Welp, now that the acquisition is complete, Disney can announce it’s putting a bullet in the back of the head to it’s production schedule. ~5-6 a year but you know, don’t get your hopes up for that.

    Why was this approved?

    *Slow clap for US DoJ on a job well done!*

  109. Stella's Boy says:

    I need to watch The Shield. I love Boyd Crowder and I love FX and I still haven’t seen the series that put them on the map.

  110. leahnz says:


    (the mcn twitter feed has some gems sometimes, glad it’s still there)

  111. palmtree says:

    Wendig was a good read, but I don’t think it’s inherently true that character is superior to plot. It’s mostly true in storytelling mediums where character is king, such as in long TV story arcs.

  112. leahnz says:

    ok, but i don’t think that was his point

  113. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m surprised A24 picked up The Hole in the Ground. Too tame for them. It doesn’t really do anything new or interesting with an overly familiar creepy kid story. Mostly I was bored. Expected more from it.

    I’m having experiences with GoT superfans that are similar to ones I’ve had with MCU superfans (and in some cases they’re the same people). They will not accept any criticism of the final season. It’s toxic.

    Why did someone decide now is a good time for Backdraft 2?

    That sure is a good supporting cast stuck in what appears to be another dreadful Johnny Depp movie. The Professor was not on my radar, for good reason apparently.

  114. palmtree says:

    “When you prioritize “event” and re-prioritize “character,” you start to see why plot-driven is the weak foot, and character-driven is the stronger step.”

    “Characters are not architecture to be moved around. Characters are the architects.”

    This is his point. He writes these lines towards the end of the tweet thread to drive home the takeaway.

    Unless you have another interpretation?

  115. Hcat says:

    TO, that is terrible but inevitable news. Given what they pushed back to 2021 they already have their slate for next year locked in. I mean how incredibly ignorant is this move. You buy the studio to boost up your content (since Disney rarely bothers to release a dozen wide releases anymore) and then you cut the amount of content coming out? I hope this streaming service absolutely cripples Disney. They have been shitty for the industry in general but to Kerkorian Fox is unforgivable.

    At least Viacom slowly strangled Paramount through ineptitude over a long period instead of this quick axe. And even in their fugue state they managed to put out Annihilation, Fallout, Quiet Place and Instant Family which were four of the best studio efforts of last year and likely better than anything Mousefox is going to greenlight in the next few years.

  116. Sideshow Bill says:

    I agree that the shortened seasons for GOT have hurt. Was that mandated by HBO? If so they shit on the writers and Weiss, etc al shouldn’t be getting so much blame. Even better writers would struggle to give it what it needed.

    I also contend Martin is also is at fault. I truly don’t think he had any idea how he was going to end the story. Maybe a vague idea he gave HBO. I kinda wanna call him lazy for not finishing shit but that’s not fair. Writing is hell. But I don’t understand why it’s taking so long.

    Even so I’m enjoying it despite the imperfections. I just think the blame for the problems should be spread around. Piling on the writers is fucking unfair.

  117. palmtree says:

    The writers chose a shorter season when HBO offered a longer/standard one. Unfortunately, that aspect was their choice.

    Also it’s hilarious that, as featured on the MCN homepage, Star Wars Legacy just tweeted the announcement that the DB Weiss and David Benioff saga will be coming December 2022. I mean, can you think of a worse time to make that announcement?

  118. Sideshow Bill says:

    That’s astonishing. It does reflect very badly on D & D. I’ve still enjoyed it but there is a lot more that could have been explored. I’m befuddled.

    Soon it will be over and life can go on. Hopefully next week makes up for the mistakes.

    I finally plunked down $$ for 2 AMC A-List memberships, for me and my daughter. Looking at how stacked May and June and July are it makes sense. Beyond that we’ll see but my finances are stable again.

    Kicking it off tonight with….Detective Pikachu. Daughter wants to see it. I’m reasonably interested. But I’m booked for John Wick Thursday night.

  119. Hcat says:

    Doesn’t all the expanded episodes, extra length of time all equal out the shortened number of episodes? In the end is this season less minutes than others? Isn’t it a possibility that the DVD sets will be the same length of other seasons and its just a matter of where they placed the credits?

  120. Stella's Boy says:

    Not all of the episodes are expanded, but since some are 75 or 80 minutes, it might be true that minutes-wise it ends up being equal. I don’t like doing math. Maybe someone else can figure that out. But regardless this season feels very rushed and the narrative has been less than satisfying. And it doesn’t seem unfair to blame Benioff and Weiss. They have been the showrunners and head writers since day one. They’re synonymous with the show.

  121. palmtree says:

    10 episodes…an hour an episode = 10 hours total.

    6 episodes…2 one-hour episodes + 4 90-minute episodes = 8 hours total.

    So we’re missing about 2 hours of potential showtime. Granted this is over-simplified, but it’s also not an insignificant amount of time either. It’s a whole movie-length omission. A lot could’ve been achieved in that time.

  122. Hcat says:

    Two hours is a lot, especially with all the knots they need to tie up. It does seem from people’s reactions they could have stood to have an extra breather episode between big battles but they probably wanted rock em sock em the last few weeks.

    When reading about Endgame passing Titanic’s WW take last week my first thought was, Impressive, though Titanic probably cost half as much, and I sat and contemplated that something cost twice as much as Titanic to produce.

  123. movieman says:

    Contemporary b.o. records are akin to the steroid-aided stats of baseball players when compared w/ the old-timers.
    I’m more impressed by the grosses of a movie like, say, “The Graduate” or “American Graffiti” that played on single screen theaters for a year or more (and were never on more than 450 screens at any given time) than I am in a movie that opens in 5,000+ screens w/ around the clock multiplex showings and jacked-up admission prices thanks to XDT (or whatever they’re calling it) and 3-D.
    That said, I really enjoyed “Endgame.” (Truly!) It’s definitely the best of the “Avengers” movies, and in the top-tier of all Marvel movies to date.

  124. palmtree says:

    I find Titanic’s to be more impressive too. It wasn’t part of any franchise, and as I recall it was largely anticipated to be a huge flop. And then it ran for forever because it had legs that still haven’t been matched. Seriously look up the record for best 12th weekend gross. It’s still impressive even before inflation.

  125. leahnz says:

    palmtree i’ll try to keep it short but it seems a bit disingenuous to cherry-pick a couple quotes from a long-ish tweet thread (honestly i hate twitter as a format, but it’s such an easy way to read a wide and diverse array of people/voices and news from authoritative sources) that does rather misconstrue the context of the entire thread, which after all starts out with the sentiment that ‘”Plot-Driven” is something of a myth. It’s kinda mostly sorta not a thing.”‘

    what he’s saying in a nutshell is that effective writing is achieved when plot is revealed naturalistically through the actions, choices, interactions and conflict of character(s).
    i like the fallen tree example because it’s so simple:

    narrative plot point: a tree falls and blocks the road.

    so what’s more effective storytelling, simply showing that a tree has fallen and blocked the road, or showing that a tree has fallen and blocked the road through the reaction/ interaction and choices of the characters for whom the fallen tree is an obstacle.

    he’s not saying that character matters far more than plot, he’s saying that effective writing is when plot is revealed through the characters, and that in this current mostly mediocre and shitty incarnation of film-writing, way too often a plot (or events in the plot) is mapped out and then in the writing process the characters are shoe-horned into a scenario/situation without regard or feeling for the fact that viewers relate to events THROUGH CHARACTER and suspension of disbelief, which then results in contrived, forced, unsatisfying storytelling

    (see: ‘endgame’ and a whole shitload of other mediocre-to-badly written movies)

    for an example of the other end of the spectrum – and really quite a feat of writing – see ‘the terminator’, wherein probably a good percentage of the movie is kyle reese revealing plot and a good deal of exposition to boot to sarah, through whose actions and interactions – and a sprinkling of brief flashbacks – the characters are fleshed out and arcs created, which carries the viewer along in a clever, ingenious and above all emotionally engaged and propulsive manner. good story-telling and film-making, because it’s through character that we care about the plot (and not the other way around, because this doesn’t work, to put it bluntly).

  126. Arisp says:

    Leahnz — learn how to use proper grammar and paragraphs. This is unlegible.

  127. palmtree says:

    Leah, okay, yes, I see what you’re saying. Plot isn’t inferior, it’s just better constructed from the standpoint of character. And your Terminator example is tops.

    And having written things both character-driven and plot-driven, I find it to be true to a certain extent. (Outlines can be brutal when you follow one but then end up rewriting everything anyway.)

    But you still can successfully start with plot, so long as you go back and fill in all the character beats and make them live and breathe. It really depends on what the initial inspiration is…Do I have a story I want to tell? Or do I have a character I want to follow? That usually determines the initial approach. At least, in my experience.

  128. YancySkancy says:

    “As this seems to be a routine critique of many shows I am curious, what shows do people feel have stuck the landing. And did they handle it better by resolving more before the end?”

    Probably no one cares, but I thought last month’s series finale of Speechless definitely stuck the landing, even though the show was supposedly on the bubble and didn’t get officially canceled until last week. Being a half-hour sitcom with no arcs per se, they didn’t have to resolve much – just the question of where the oldest son would end up going to college – but like every other episode of this fine show, it was packed with laughs and serviced all the characters. It did traffic in a bit more sentiment than the usual episode, but for a show featuring a character with cerebral palsy, it was astonishingly free of tear-jerking and political correctness. A decade or two ago, a network show this good would’ve been an Emmy darling; it was superior to most other current sitcoms, but it never garnered even one nomination.

  129. leahnz says:

    “But you still can successfully start with plot, so long as you go back and fill in all the character beats and make them live and breathe.”

    yes – and it does depend on the type of narrative. for example, a recent well-written movie that is very plot-driven is ‘spotlight’. but even for the most plot-centric flicks i think it’s a bit more than just having decent character beats within the plot, because what really engages the viewer and hooks us in, always, is our investment in characters – even villains – and how we relate to the character’s experience of how the plot unfolds.
    at the end of the day nobody really gives a shit about plot, it’s the characters going through the plot that we connect with and give it impact, even non-human characters, that’s just how we’re built i suppose.
    whether it’s marlin’s quest with dory to find nemo, or leonard’s out-of-whack journey to solve the puzzle of his own life, or pai’s lonely struggle to break free from the cultural constraints of her village, it’s the characters that must propel us organically through the plot and make it count.

  130. Stella's Boy says:

    What a bummer. Disappointed by an A24 release on consecutive days. First The Hole in the Ground and now Climax. I really did not like Climax. The dance scenes are exhilarating and fun to watch, but the rest of the movie, from the initial interviews to the banal conversations about sex to the extended freak out, is a taxing chore to sit through. There are a few disturbing and horrific moments, but for the most part I felt like watching Climax was akin to being punished for something I didn’t do. Puzzled by the rapturous praise it’s received from some viewers. I need to watch something good to cleanse back-to-back letdowns.

  131. Sideshow Bill says:

    I think Cheers, Buffy and Sopranos mostly stuck the landing. Mostly. Breaking Bad kinda did too but it was all a bit on the nose.

    Oddly enough one of the most satisfying finales I’ve ever seen was for King of the Hill. It was a just another character driven episode that ended with a lovely sequence of all the main characters having a cookout and being themselves. Dale didn’t find out the truth about his son. Lanore and Bill didn’t reunite. Life just went on. It’s lovely.

  132. amblinman says:

    “I need to watch The Shield. I love Boyd Crowder and I love FX and I still haven’t seen the series that put them on the map.”

    Dude. Get on this. Virtually every character is well written, has agency, and an arc. The only warning I’ll give you is the cop-tough-guy dialogue is sometimes pretty cringy. The writing is excellent but it ain’t Richard Price cop dialogue.

    Speaking of which: why can’t HBO just give me a series based on Jon Turturro’s character in “The Night Of”? Minus the feet though. Please no more about his feet.

  133. Hcat says:

    I agree the Shield did a remarkable job, not only satisfyingly wrapping up years of escalating ‘how the hell are they going to untangle from this’ but ending on an incredible note. Plus it is left open to restart, in the current take no prisoners focus of law enforcement you can see them forgiving the past in exchange for ‘someone who can get the job done’.

    Loved the Parks and Rec finale, as well as their previous season finale when they were still on the bubble, it could have ended there and been perfectly fine.

  134. Stella's Boy says:

    I will get on it I swear. You and Hcat have sold me. And I’m glad you mentioned The Night Of. I often think of it and Show Me a Hero and how much I love both of them and how little attention they seem to get. I remember very much enjoying the Parks & Rec finale. Miss that show a lot.

  135. Stella's Boy says:

    Sorry for consecutive posts. It’s been a treat to see Ricky Jay on season three of Sneaky Pete but he (and I don’t mean to be crude) does not look good. Didn’t realize how poor his health was before he passed. Sad.

  136. Mike says:

    Is Sneaky Pete worth watching?

  137. Stella's Boy says:

    I think so. Cast is very good (Margo Martindale 4Life). Achieves a nice balance between comedy and drama. Entertaining and easy to watch. Bosch is also very good. Amazon has got some quality shows that don’t seem to get much attention.

  138. Hcat says:

    Only thing I think I have watched on Amazon are the first seasons of Maisel and Fleabag. Both pretty good, will check out the next season of Fleabag when it drops soon.

  139. Stella's Boy says:

    I like Maisel and just started Fleabag (listened to Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Fresh Air this week). First episode is hilarious.

  140. Amblinman says:

    Sneaky Pete should be in my wheelhouse yet the first season mostly bored me. Maybe I should revisit.

    SO FUCKING IN ON MIDSOMMER. Hereditary’s ending was so batshit and audacious i am hoping for maximum fucked up-ness here.

  141. leahnz says:

    re midsommar: same (aster appears to have a style and pugh is the real deal – plus poulter is always good, the only ‘coming soon’ movie i’m genuinely jonesing to see right now — probably helps that i knew hardly anything about hereditary when i saw it and THAT certain moment in the car is the first time in so very long that i’ve actually had a hand-to-the-mouth ‘gasp’ shock in the cinema, it’s forever earned a place in my heart)

    does anyone else read ‘sneaky pete’ and see ‘stinky pete’ at first and think the character from ‘toy story’ finally got his own spinoff show

  142. Sideshow Bill says:

    I also gasped out loud during Hereditary. More than once.

    Midsommar can’t arrive soon enough.

    John Wick 3 tonight though.

  143. Bulldog68 says:

    As far as finales go, Big Bang tugged at the heartstrings a bit. It’ll never make the list of one of the best sitcoms, but I liked the characters and they made me laugh. I was entertained.

  144. amblinman says:

    “THAT certain moment in the car is the first time in so very long that i’ve actually had a hand-to-the-mouth ‘gasp’ shock in the cinema, it’s forever earned a place in my heart”

    Yessss. I stood UP from my couch “WHAT THE FUCK?!” Loved it. But…the last 15-20. Oh my christ. None of it should work. If you decribed it to someone who hadn’t watched it, it would sound stupid af. But I can *still* see the final “ceremony” in my head. So fucked up.

    Also: Toni Collette is a Goddess. Her being in the film is what interested me in the first place. When an actor like her takes interest in a genre film, I take notice.

  145. leahnz says:

    T collette’s perf in ‘hereditary’ really is next level (a bit like joaquin’s in ‘you were never really here’ in that it transcends genre tropes into something just…i don’t know how to describe it, really, just visceral and raw). that it never got any big ‘awards’ – either perf actually – just shows what load of shite awards stuff is.

    for me ultimately it’s the smaller stuff in h-tary that i find truly horrifying (apart from THAT scene, of course), such as annie’s diorama of THAT scene – omg possibly the most fucked up little thing ever – and the dinner scene confrontation between mother and son with dad dithering in the middle (i know sideshowB and i have discussed this previously), so much repressed sadness, anger and pain, blame and recrimination, unbelievably chaffing and dysfunctional – and as a parent you can relate to the pain in both POVs, simply awful.
    i have high hopes for aster. so often my hopes are dashed but for an original concept through to writing and execution (and someone who cut teeth doing shorts), i’m rooting for him to keep it up.

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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