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BYOB: Summertime And The Living Is… Well… Living


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123 Responses to “BYOB: Summertime And The Living Is… Well… Living”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    I can’t believe Summer is almost over.

    I can’t believe the USA is simply not a safe place to live. I want out.

  2. sam says:

    Ok, not related to anything in particular but when I worked at studios, newspaper advertising was a huge expense. Now that is pretty much gone (and shrunk the LAT’s Calendar section) has that resulted in lower costs for the studios or has that movie shifted to online advertising including social media?

  3. palmtree says:

    Sunday was one of the saddest days in recent memory. July was the hottest month ever recorded. This summer will be remembered but not necessarily for the movies.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    I echo the sentiments expressed by Bill and palmtree. I’m eager for some good escapism. Hoping to take my kid to Hobbs & Shaw soon since he wants to see it. And we got three wide release horror movies over twelve days, and I’m excited to see all three. Plus The Kitchen looks fun and has a great cast. Good Boys might be good for some laughs. Angel Has Fallen could be ridiculous and so bad it’s good. Don’t Let Go looks intriguing. And those are just the wide theatrical releases. August is good.

    Binge watched The Boys over three nights. No familiarity with the source material. Had an absolute blast. Frequently hilarious. Excellent cast. Fun ribbing of superheroes. Some crazy gore. A few shocking moments. I really liked it.

  5. palmtree says:

    I’m looking forward to The Boys from another friend recommending it and now SB.

    I will say that billionaires becoming Iron Man and Batman is one big comic book lie that I think has made the world worse. More often than not they continue to screw over society and use Iron Man and Batman almost like good PR. The Boys seems like the corrective to that idea, at least in theory.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I found the depiction of superheroes as basically monsters drunk on their own power and fame while serving as highly compensated employees of a mega-corporation to be quite refreshing.

  7. movieman says:

    Mildly looking forward to “Don’t Let Go” (the Searchlight horror flick with the generic title but cool trailer that looks like a Lionsgate movie).
    Also “The Kitchen” (almost entirely because of the ladies; had no idea it was based on a DC comic), “Good Boys” (despite meh spring fest reviews), Linklater (of course), maybe “Scary Stories.”
    The Costner-voicing-a-doggy thing might be a high-end Nicholas Sparks-y guilty pleasure (like “Dear John” which also costarred Amanda Seyfried who’s always a welcome presence). Or merely sentimental slop.
    Curious about Sundance indie “Them That Follow” w/ Olivia Colman which was actually lensed (partially) in my hometown last year. Not that I had any idea at the time.
    It’s actually opening here on Friday.

    Both previous Gerard Butler “Fallen” movies made my 10-worst list, so the second-run discount house awaits.

    “Angry Birds 2,” “Dora,” “47 Meters” and the remaining summer dumps can wait for Netflix (or the library). Whoever provides me with a DVD copy first.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    Them That Follow looks good. Colman is always great plus I am a huge Walton Goggins fan. Fallen won’t be good but I’m hoping for entertainingly awful. Shark movie at the theater is a must for me.

  9. Amblinman says:

    The Boys is ridiculously entertaining. The plane sequence is every inch of what Watchman tried for and failed executing.

    I’m looking forward to Scary Stories because I loathe summer and Halloween is so much better.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Halloween > everything.

  11. leahnz says:

    “we die. that may be the meaning of life. but we do language. that may be the measure of our lives.” T MORRISON
    RIP legend & pioneer, energy just changes form

  12. movieman says:

    And “Blinded by the Light.”
    Not sure how I forgot that one; maybe because of the sheer # of wide-release titles slated for the end of summer.
    Was a huge Springsteen fan back in the day: the trailer reminded me why I loved him.
    And I’m still hoping that Chadha may someday make another movie as good as “Bend it Like Beckham.”

  13. Stella's Boy says:

    Had a double feature of Domino and The Curse of La Llorona. Domino is interesting. Runs barely more than 80 minutes without credits. It’s been cut to pieces. Narrative is a mess. There are many weirdly shot and cut scenes. Also not sure why it’s set in 2020, and the story feels straight out of 2005. But there are three standout sequences that are incredibly effective and vintage De Palma. Wish it was better and his original vision, but glad I watched it.

    Curse of La Llorona is meh. Better than Annabelle Comes Home, but that’s not saying much. I’ve already forgotten most of it. Competently made, a few decent jump scares, only 90 minutes long, but so familiar and nothing special.

    Also watched School Spirit, this month’s Into the Dark on Hulu. One of the better entries in that series. A fun slasher. Ridiculously predictable and the ending is weak, but overall it’s an entertaining mix of Breakfast Club and horror. Barely 80 minutes which also helps.

  14. movieman says:

    SB: Agree that “Domino” was a mixed bag overall (a bigger budget and a better cast/screenplay would have definitely helped its cause), but contained some vintage DePalma setpieces.

    I wonder if the lack of Thursday night previews for “The Kitchen” are a not-too-subtle tip-off that it’s a stinker.
    Can’t remember the last major studio movie specifically targeted to an adult audience that didn’t have Thursday night screenings.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    Honestly until a week or two ago I thought The Kitchen was a fall movie. Just seemed like an adult-oriented October or November release to me. I feel like it should have a higher profile considering it’s got McCarthy/Haddish/Moss. I don’t sense much buzz. Seems really under the radar (no clue what tracking is). And unfortunately the lack of screenings probably doesn’t bode well. Will be a shame if it’s a stinker as the cast is good and the trailer solid.

  16. Hcat says:

    Sort of love the fact that even though some of you loathed the previous fallen movies you will still be going to see the third in the theater. That is some committed moviegoing!

  17. movieman says:

    Plus, “The Kitchen” is that rarest of unicorns: a major studio release directed by a woman.
    If the movie flops, Berloff’s chance of getting another studio directing gig will be slim to none.
    Unlike, say, most male directors who are allowed to fail multiple times before getting relegated to the no-fly list.

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    Good point movieman. Just saw this discussion pop again the other day re: Andy Serkis and Venom 2. His first movie is a poorly received flop, his second gets sold by the studio to Netflix and also isn’t well-received so it’s a pricey failure, and he somehow fails up and gets Venom 2. Never happen to a female director.

    Hey it’s late August and it’s hot and your local theater has $5 Tuesdays. Tailor made for junk like Angel Has Fallen. I can’t believe Olympus Has Fallen led to a trilogy.

  19. movieman says:

    SB: Yep, Serkis’ “Venom 2” nod seems pretty inexplicable in light of his previous duds.
    “Failing up”? Never truer than in the era of Don the Con Trump.

    I sincerely hope that if Chloe Zhao’s Marvel movie tanks she’ll at least be allowed to continue making no-budget indie masterpieces like “The Rider.”

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    Ah The Rider. Masterpiece indeed. The Kitchen reviews trickling in. 26 reviews and only 15% positive. Bummer.

  21. Hcat says:

    But Margo Martindale has a role, so there will at least be some magic in it.

    The Hollywood Reporter gave it a hesitantly positive review, just fine. Certainly sounds like a second week of August release.

  22. Stella's Boy says:

    Hmm Rotten Tomatoes lists The Hollywood Reporter review as negative. Shows how reliable they are. With that cast I can’t imagine it’s not at least watchable. Make a good double-feature with Widows.

  23. movieman says:

    Gleiberman compared it unfavorably to “Widows” in his meh Variety review.
    But if “The Kitchen” is even half as good as “Widows” (my favorite Steve McQueen film to date), that’s a win.

    Martindale, Bill Camp, James Badge Dale, Domhnall Gleeson, Common…and the return of Annabelle Sciorra!
    The cast is so good, and the running time–at 102 minutes–so tight, I’ll definitely be there opening day.

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    Why is this weekend so damn crowded? Apparently Dora and Scary Stories will have the best opening weekend among the new releases. Tracking suggests mid-to-high teens for both. The Kitchen is headed for low double-digits while the dog movie might hit $10 million. Brian Banks is not expected to make much; low single-digits. Hobbs & Shaw expected to repeat as number one with around $25 million. That’s a lot of movies. Might some of these titles do worse than expected? Anecdotal but I know a lot of families on vacation this weekend and the weather statewide is supposed to be beautiful. Still a lot of summer stuff going on. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s reflected at the box office this weekend.

  25. movieman says:

    Things don’t improve any next weekend, SB.

    There’s “Bernadette?,” “Angry Birds 2,” “Blinded by the Light,” “Good Boys” and “47 Meters.”

    I saw this logjam coming months ago and freaked–especially since this deluge of product was to be preceded by three weekends with only one wide release apiece.
    And I still believe that any # of them could have been used as smart counter-programming opposite “Lion King,” Tarantino and/or “H&S.”

  26. Hcat says:

    Damnit, how is Farewell going to properly expand with all this real estate being taken over? I would think with having hold overs with at least King, Hobbs and Hollywood, five new this week and five new next week, a number of these movies are going to be one and done (or at least going into the second weekend with one show a day). Brian Banks we hardly knew ye.

  27. movieman says:

    I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that the Linklater breaks through the noise.
    The heavy TV ad buys in the past month have (almost) convinced me that the distributer is really behind it.
    Or maybe Annapurna is just so desperate for a hit that they’re pulling out all the stops.
    It sure would be nice if Linklater had a bonafide hit again.

    Hcat: At this point, I seriously doubt whether “The Farewell” is ever going to expand beyond its present screen count.
    Although it would be nice if A24 used the lack of competition Labor Day weekend to finally hit 1,000+ screens.
    Stranger things have happened, right?

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Funny cause I haven’t seen a single TV spot for Bernadette. Or a trailer. Nothing. As with The Kitchen had kind of forgotten it was opening soon. Seems pretty under the radar at the moment. But if you’ve seen a lot of ads lately maybe I’m wrong.

    I look forward to seeing The Farewell and hope it continues to do well. I’ve listened to a few interviews with Lulu Wang and she seems like an incredibly exciting young filmmaker. A story in yesterday’s Orlando Sentinel says it is expanding in Florida so it might be going wider this weekend.

  29. movieman says:

    MSNBC and the Food Network have been selling the crap out of “Bernadette” the past month, SB.
    But that’s a fairly limited sampling.
    (They’re probably the two channels on my TV the most # of hours in a given day.)
    Not sure just how deep the saturation is beyond that.

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah makes sense that it depends on what you watch. In the past month or so I’ve watched Paramount Network, AMC, and FX, plus some Hulu.

  31. Ray Pride says:

    THE FAREWELL is expanding.

  32. Hcat says:

    Regarding Bernadette, MSNBC and Food skews upscale and female, while Stella’s list are very male. If you are targeting your marketing they are hitting the right targets. I bet HGTV will be riddled with ads in the next week.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    MSNBC’s audience tilts female? Didn’t know that. Food Network sure. Either way I’m always surprised when a week from its opening I’ve seen nothing whatsoever for a new wide release movie as I’m an avid moviegoer and TV watcher. Not a single ad or trailer or anything. I’m not saying this is evidence that Bernadette will be a box office failure. Just a general observation.

  34. movieman says:

    Yeah, I just read on Mojo that “The Farewell” is adding several hundred screens this weekend.
    I wonder if it’ll ever go wide enough to play near me.
    Hope so.
    Of course, “Brian Banks” isn’t even opening locally, and that’s on 1,200+ screens.

    Went to a 6:00 showing of “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”
    It’s OK: like an upscale Nicholas Sparks movie (e.g., “Dear John” which costarred “Rain” femme lead Amanda Seyfried) with a golden retriever.
    The epilogue makes the movie.
    The target demo seems like middle-aged/elderly women
    (I was one of only two men in the auditorium).
    Not sure if that’s enough to make it a sizable hit.
    WOM should be fairly positive, though.
    And yes, there was a “Bernadette” trailer preceding the movie. Of course, I’ve been seeing that fairly regularly the past couple of months (at everything from “Yesterday” to, weirdly, Tarantino, “Midsommar” and “The Lion King”).
    Speaking of “Midsummar,” one of my former students texted me the other day to rhapsodize over the film. Said that he’s already seen it four times. (I didn’t think anyone saw movies more than once in theaters anymore: except maybe “A”-list Marvel titles like “Endgame.”)
    He definitely piqued my interest in giving “Mid” a second look once it hits DVD.

  35. Pete B says:

    Hey Stella, if you’re watching Paramount Network, is it for Yellowstone? Not sure who it was in another thread that was expressing John Dahl love, but he’s directed a couple episodes this season.

    Last night’s episode… whoa.

  36. leahnz says:

    so charming seeing around twitter in my ushe travels – even in the MCN feed – this thing of white dudes (and every single one i’ve seen so far is) posting this casual pithy venom directed at “hippies” in reaction to q-tip’s ‘once upon a time’ dumbassery.
    dear ignorant dingdongs and morons:
    manson and his ‘family’ of deranged followers were not hippies, not in ideology nor in practice, they were sick fuck white supremacists hell bent on starting a race war – they were, in fact, the antithesis of the hippie/counter-culture peace/civil rights movement at the time.
    that this jackassery is out there in the world now as the result of q-tip purposely conflating manson’s followers and hippies/counter-culture in general, in this current culture of dangerous reactionary idiocy and casual misinformation is…actually perfect (and exceedingly pathetic). well done q-tip, target audience well and truly hit.

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Indeed I am watching Yellowstone. Huge fan of John Dahl, and I have found this season to be better than the first. Really loving it. Wednesday night’s was pretty damn intense. Had to look away a time or two. Good show.

  38. movieman says:

    Count me in as another huge “Yellowstone” fan.
    I began watching last season because of Taylor Sheridan (and Costner), but stuck with it because, well, it’s so damn good.
    I was worried quality control might slip in Season 2 because Sheridan was no longer directing every episode. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
    It feels like the sort of series AMC might have done a few years back in their “Mad Men”/”Breaking Bad” heyday (i.e., before they essentially became an All Zombie All The Time network).
    And am I alone in thinking that Costner is pretty much giving a career performance?

  39. Stella's Boy says:

    You are not alone. It’s hard to imagine a better match of actor and role. I thought it was interesting that Costner recently said he’d be very leery of doing TV again because this ranks among his best work ever. Such a great showcase for what he can do. But I guess TV is a big commitment. I know the show has good ratings but still feels like it should be getting more attention.

  40. Pete B says:

    I’d say it’s a career performance for Cole Hauser as well. He was usually a generic bad guy, and Rip has some depth.

  41. movieman says:

    I’m not even sure whether I’d seen Hauser before “Yellowstone.”
    (Was he pretty much a TV guy, or a straight-to-DVD action movie sort of guy?)
    He’s fantastic here, though.
    Just the sort of homegrown macho man Hollywood action movies need more of.

    Totally agree that the series deserves more attention–e.g., Emmy/Globes love.
    It’s kind of mind-blowing that Costner, sundry supporting players (like Kelly Reilly and Hauser) and the show itself didn’t merit nominations for Season 1.
    Sadly, I doubt whether Season 2 will rectify that injustice.
    The series still seems to be flying under industry tastemakers’ radar.

  42. Stella's Boy says:

    Hauser is probably best known for Good Will Hunting. Lots of other supporting work and leads in stuff like The Cave. Oh and he’s in Pitch Black. He is fantastic on Yellowstone. Rip is a juicy character and he owns it.

  43. movieman says:

    “Good Will Hunting”? Really?
    I had no idea he was in that.
    Of course, he probably looked a lot different 22 years ago (we all did, lol).
    Is the beard a “Yellowstone” thing?

  44. leahnz says:

    hauser’s a ginger with a short beard and stache in GWH (will’s group)

  45. Pete B. says:

    Hauser was also the main baddie in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

    In 2013 he had the misfortune of being in both Olympus Has Fallen & A Good Day to Die Hard.

  46. movieman says:

    I’m surprised Hauser didn’t pop out for me a lot earlier.
    The Cole Hauser on “Yellowstone” is hotter than hell.

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah he’s aged pretty well. Good looking guy. And it’s nice to see an actor like him get a role like Rip. He certainly is making the most of the opportunity.

    Just saw Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. A decent enough matinee. I like the set up and the setting. The Jangly Man is pretty nifty. There are a few effectively creepy moments. But the pacing could be tightened and it drags at times. Some of the stories don’t make much of an impact. Also either I’m getting old or the lighting in some scenes is for shit. Couldn’t see a thing and my vision has always been good. A mixed bag overall. Good gateway horror. Look forward to watching it with my kids down the road.

  48. Hcat says:

    Hauser has had a ‘hey that guy career’ for quite some time. My point of reference for him is always Dazed and Confused “and your wasting another beer.”

  49. movieman says:

    Thought “The Kitchen” was watchable enough for a not-good-at-all movie.
    Liked all of the performances (except a badly miscast Domhnall Gleeson), but it never really gels or develops much of a pulse.
    The lack of humor is pretty fatal, too: the tone throughout remains oppressively dour/grim. A little Scorsesian/”GoodFellas” dark comedy would have helped its cause immeasurably.
    As someone who actually lived in NYC during the years (’78-’79) the film is set, I found its portrayal of the city as something akin to post-WW II Berlin ridiculously over the top. It wasn’t “that” bad, folks; seriously.
    And it’s another period movie that completely fumbles the whole smoking thing. Whereas some films/TV series blow their credibility by making everyone smoke like a chimney, “Kitchen” destroys its believability factor by not having anyone (not even background players) smoke. It’s all pretty ridiculous.
    Camp and Martindale were my favorites, although neither is given enough screen time.
    The whole thing felt like a 2012 pilot for an AMC series that didn’t get picked up by the network.

  50. Stella's Boy says:

    And it’s opening with a paltry $5 million. Damn. That is not good. As you said, this weekend is way too crowded.

  51. movieman says:

    SB- “Dora” and “Scary Stories” are apparently competing for a similar demographic, too.
    The fact that they’re both doing relatively OK counts as a small victory.
    I’m thinking they could’ve done better not opening on the same weekend.
    But “The Kitchen” opening is a flat-out disaster no matter how you cut it. And it’s not going to be rescued by WOM either.

    Your comment about not being able to see what was happening at times in “Scary” made me laugh. It reminded me of the “digital murk” factor plaguing so many contemporary movies.
    I think the worst offender may have been last August’s “Slender Man:” the screen was literally black 75% of the time.

  52. Stella's Boy says:

    It is quite bad in Slender Man. That’s about all I remember about that stinker. Re: Scary Stories I wonder if it’s just me or not. Especially in the many scenes in the old house. I couldn’t see anything.

    They’re both doing OK, especially Scary Stories given its budget, but sure seems like money was left on the table with so many releases this weekend. Hey I finally saw a spot for Bernadette. In front of Hobbs & Shaw of all movies. But weirdly it was a TV spot and not a full trailer. Lasted 30 seconds tops. Cast is great but looks like an arthouse Eat/Pray/Love. Wait for cable unless you tell me it’s fantastic.

  53. YancySkancy says:

    Saw the Bernadette? trailer many times over the last few months in theaters, though not recently. It’s been in the can over a year, yes? And the release date bumped at least twice. Frankly, it looked nonsensical to me. Perhaps those who’ve read the book didn’t have that problem, but I literally couldn’t tell what the story was supposed to be after seeing the trailer multiple times. Can’t imagine many people taking a chance on it based solely on the promotion.

  54. movieman says:

    Yeah, I get where you’re coming from, Yancy.
    As ubiquitous as the trailers have been, I don’t think they’ve done a particularly good job of actually, y’know, selling the movie.
    Having read (and loved) the book, it’s less bothersome to me. But for anyone else, I can see being turned off by all the, uh, eccentricities.
    And, yes: it’s been kicking around awhile. I think the original release date was last October. And then it was supposed to open in late February (?!).

    Wow. Really loved “Charlie Says.” I found it nearly as moving–for different reasons–as “Once Upon a Time.”
    Mary Harron restored the dignity of the Manson Girls: a remarkable achievement all by itself.
    It’s really well done, and so beautifully acted. Even Matt Smith as Manson works (which I never thought remotely possible).
    I think it could be Harron’s best film, and I’ve liked everything she’s done.

    Funny side note: I watched a library copy.
    Netflix still insists that “Charlie” is being released on August 13th.
    Pathetic f***ing Netflix.

  55. YancySkancy says:

    leah: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is set in 1969, before the world knew what Manson was up to. Anyone coming across him or his followers would think they were just a bunch of hippies (as does Rick Dalton, who’s terrified of the cultural and, by extension, professional change they represent to him). Tarantino and much of his target audience get this and see the irony. I wouldn’t blame Tarantino because a bunch of uninformed young assholes don’t understand the context, just like we don’t blame the Beatles for inadvertently inspiring Manson by recording “Helter Skelter.”

  56. leahnz says:

    holy shit yancy, i wasn’t going to bother with this nonsense but, are you like a circus contortionist in real life? cuz this is some seriously bending-over-backwards caping (and two points for the characteristic passive/aggressive ‘tarantino and much of his target audience get this and see the irony’ condescension, cherry on the cake)
    see, ‘OUaT’ is a movie that was written and directed by a person who very purposefully erases the white supremacism of ‘the family’ from the narrative. once again, i suggest you educate yourself (helter skelter’s a good place to start) because it is completely false that manson and ‘the family’ – even low on the radar at that point – were not known as white supremacists bent on a race war; this is, in fact, how they recruited followers who were susceptible to the same racist and violent ideology.
    for example, q-tip purposely erases manson’s intent in his depiction of the headquarters at the ranch, at which nazi memorabilia and other white power material was on display – and cliff actually ENTERS interiors there, where the truth could be cinematically revealed about manson, but no, because the CHOICE is made to erase manson’s ideology and motive to indulge in reactionary indulgence of pathetic aging white-man hippie-hate; also, amongst several other examples i can think of, the interactions of the 4 family members when they arrive to commit the murders is another time when the motive for the would-be murders is intentionally replaced with the whole ‘let’s kill the tv people who taught us to kill’ idiocy.
    spare me this drivel

  57. leahnz says:

    bugliosi’s ‘helter skelter’ (as above, in case it’s not clear)

  58. palmtree says:

    “I wouldn’t blame Tarantino because a bunch of uninformed young assholes don’t understand the context,”

    Yancy, not cool. Why can’t we blame Tarantino for a lack of context in telling a story? Why can’t he be held to the same standard that all filmmakers are held to?

    Actually, I think making period pieces is one of the best ways to inform young people about history. And if that period piece is just riddled with outright lies, then we can and should critique it for misinforming people.

  59. YancySkancy says:

    Well, I admit I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) about Nazi memorabilia at Spahn Ranch. I was only going on what I presumed to be the context of the film, which is that this story took place before the outside world knew anything about Manson, his followers and their motives. If QT deliberately left out that bit of production design, then yeah, missed opportunity for sure. It seems less likely to me that it was a choice designed to tar all “hippies” with the same brush, but I suppose you never know. Although there are moments of benign hippiedom in the film, such as the hitchhiker Sharon picks up, and some of the happy partiers at the Playboy mansion.

    As for Tex and the gang’s “let’s kill the TV people idiocy,” that’s part of Tarantino’s revisionist plot. Whether one likes that choice or not, their dialogue sets up that motivation.

    palmtree: “Yancy, not cool.” Sorry, I guess I missed the memo where only leah is allowed to berate reactionary white dudes directing venom at hippies, which is what my remark was referring to.

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    leah and palmtree sadly it’s not surprising that QT would leave that out. It reminds me of something I read after the movie came out about how inherently conservative it is. Rick and Cliff see the ’50s as the glory years and America at its best and long for them. Rick’s (and by extension Cliff’s) career was better. Post-WWII glow was still in effect. America and its military stood for what’s right in a black-and-white world. The men are not fond of the late ’60s. They hate hippies (only thing they are good for is Cliff’s lust of an underage beauty) and a world that has changed so much in a decade. The hippies can be the object of scorn from the aging white heroes without any mention of white supremacy/race war.

  61. YancySkancy says:

    I know Googling for half an hour isn’t great research, but I just looked at bunch of photos of the Spahn Ranch raid and read the raid report, plus some oral history of the case. There’s no Nazi or white power memorabilia in the photos, including George Spahn’s house, which is the only interior Cliff Booth sees, I believe. The raid report, which describes some of the interiors a bit and mentions all the weapons confiscated, doesn’t mention any displayed memorabilia. In the oral history, Vincent Bugliosi does mention finding magazines about Hitler at Barker Ranch.

    Anyway, like I said, if visibly displayed memorabilia is a known part of the case and QT left it out when designing those locations, then it’s misleading. Maybe someone has a link to further info.

  62. movieman says:

    The recent non-fiction book “Chaos”–as well as the late, great NBC series “Aquarius” which scooped many of the revisionist theories promulgated by “Chaos”–opens a new window into the history of Charles Manson and his “Family.”
    I recommend both.
    And trust me, you’ll never think of Bugliosi (and “Helter Skelter”) in the same light again.

  63. YancySkancy says:

    I saw Aquarius and enjoyed it. Being a two-season series, it had much more time to delve deeper than Tarantino did in terms of blending the reality of the Manson family with fictional characters and plotlines. I didn’t think it was great, but it was an interesting attempt at something different for network television.

  64. Stella's Boy says:

    I was intrigued by Aquarius but haven’t watched it. Heard some good things. Seemed like a case of a broadcast network trying to do something typically reserved for cable or streaming and not really knowing what to do with it/how to sell it.

    I’ve read reviews of that book that say it’s interesting and a good read but that it goes to some outlandish and hard to believe places.

  65. YancySkancy says:

    “(and two points for the characteristic passive/aggressive ‘tarantino and much of his target audience get this and see the irony’ condescension, cherry on the cake)”

    leah, It just occurred to me that you took that as a dig against you, but it wasn’t. It was a dig at the same “ignorant dingdongs and morons” you were railing against. The phrase “Much of his target audience” wasn’t meant to exclude everyone who doesn’t fit that description — only the ones who didn’t understand that Dalton seeing the Manson gang as “hippies” wasn’t Tarantino telling us to equate all hippies with Manson. It’s just that Dalton sees all hippies through his reactionary prism. It goes to character. So maybe instead of “much of his target audience” I should’ve broadened it to “anyone who knows much about the Manson case (or about hippies, for that matter).”

  66. movieman says:

    A lot of the wild conspiracy theorizing I thought was fabricated for “Aquarius” actually has basis in facts.
    At least according to “Chaos” which Tom O’Neill toiled on for close to two decades. Interestingly, the book began as an article–that was never written–for Premiere Magazine to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Manson murders.
    Give “Aquarius” a try, SB.
    It’s on Netflix.
    David Duchovny and Grey Damon (who deserves to become a star) are both terrific.

  67. Stella's Boy says:

    I should give it a try. I would not put too much stock in Chaos. One reviewer who years ago wrote about Tate says it gets pretty far fetched and that aligns with other reviews I’ve read. CIA, JFK, etc. They all say it’s a good read though.

  68. movieman says:

    I didn’t buy all of “Chaos,” that’s for sure.
    There’s a lot of dot-connecting minus the punctuation marks (if you know what I mean).
    But it definitely provides a lot of food for thought.
    And the most damning new information it provides is how corrupt/venal Bugliosi was. (According to “Chaos,” he essentially created the “Helter Skelter” mythology piecemeal.)
    If Vince was still alive, he’d probably be competing for Trump’s #1 Mouthpiece status w/ Rudy Guiliani.

    Anxious to hear your thoughts on “Aquarius” if you give it a try, SB.
    I still remember the summer where it shared primetime placement on NBC Saturday (yes, sigh, Saturday) nights with “Hannibal.”
    That was as good as network television Saturday nights have been since MTM’s line-up in the ’70s.

  69. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah the stuff about Bugliosi sounds crazy. Starts off friendly and goes way south after Vince doesn’t like some of the author’s questions. And I still can’t believe Hannibal got three seasons on NBC. One of my favorite shows ever. I’ll try to make time for Aquarius. Just started Succession season one. Very much enjoying it.

  70. movieman says:

    “Succession” is fantastic! That Culkin kid (Rory? Keiran?) steals every scene he’s in. But the entire cast is amazing.
    I wish HBO had more series like that and less fanboy ass-kissing shows like the completely incoherent/crazy-pretentious “Westworld” or their myriad planned “GOT” spin-offs.

    Yes, three seasons of “Hannibal” on a major network qualified as some kind of secular miracle.
    William Goldman’s “nobody knows anything” (apropos Hollywood in the ’60s/’70s) is apparently just as true for the TV network dinosaurs of today.

  71. movieman says:

    My free Prime month is ending, and I’m trying to watch as much as I can squeeze in.

    Finally got through Peter Greenaway’s “The Baby of Macon” (has anyone else seen it?) which, bizarrely, never had a U.S. release in the mid-’90s despite starring Julia Ormond and Ralph Fiennes who were hotter than firecrackers back then.

    It’s insane, of course: another Greenaway shotgun marriage of Ken Russell’s can-you-top-this? burlesque vulgarity with Straub-Huillet’s formal rigor…and as visually sumptuous as Bertolucci’s Storaro collaborations back in the day.
    I loved it.

    No one would ever accuse “Macon” of being conventional arthouse fare or (heaven forbid) “commercial,” but it’s no more esoteric (less actually) than Greenaway’s “Pillow Book” or “Prospero’s Books,” both of which got major Miramax (I think) releases that decade.

  72. leahnz says:

    wow, the revisionist BS in here is freaking me out and can’t go unaddressed, really, though i’m short on time so just for now:

    * ‘helter skelter’ as manson’s and his footsoldier killer’s mission and motive for the murders – trying to ‘frame’ black people for the killing of whites to move that race rioting along – was absolutely not some construct pasted together by bugliosi.
    first-hand accounts/testimony by numerous members of ‘the family’ who were not involved in the murders have spoken to the fact that manson talked about ‘helter skelter’ and the coming race war – of ‘blackie’ as sub-human’ and how they, the last whites, would survive to rule what’s left after the race war – every night at the ranch. the concept of ‘helter skelter’ is backed up by a plethora of other testimony, such as by police at the time of the arrests, fellow inmates, etc.
    it would appear people in general need to educate themselves, bugliosi’s book is merely one source of info, and attempting to diminish the significance of the well-established motive of the murders now with revisionist bullshit is…shameful.

    * several members of the family – as well as police and members of the court like bugliosi – have spoken on record about how manson routinely spoke of/praised hitler, how “hitler’s teachings” (can’t remember if it was MK or other such as the speeches – or if it was even specified) were around the ranch, and swastikas as iconography and personal adornment were routinely seen.

    this revisionist history seeking to seemingly downplay/diminish/erase this crucial aspect of this particular horror in history is troubling, but somehow apt.

    Q-tip not only erases the motive for manson and the murders, HE REPLACES IT WITH A SILLY BULLSHIT motive to suit his silly bullshit whitewashed movie. weird how nobody’s talking about that.

    “It reminds me of something I read after the movie came out about how inherently conservative it is.”

    oh exactomundo. that this isn’t a major aspect of the ‘conversation’ about it says a grea deal, esp WHO this movie appeals to and how disproportionately their opinions are represented as the dominant ‘voices of culture’, made invisible by being seen as ‘the norm’ and ‘neutral’ by its ubiquity.

    ETA to quickly fix some typos/grammos

  73. YancySkancy says:

    I didn’t realize all this revisionism was out there. Did Bugliosi also give Manson the swastika forehead tattoo?

  74. palmtree says:

    People are saying online that they greatly enjoyed hippies getting yelled at and beaten. It’s basically a cinematic dog whistle.

    Yancy, maybe your comment to you was just about reactionary dudes. But I do blame Tarantino for throwing these guys some red meat. Maybe he meant it ironically, but if the audience can’t tell, then he’s either done a bad job or he intended it to be read that way.

  75. YancySkancy says:

    Well, as many have pointed out, the Manson gang weren’t really hippies, and they’re the only ones in the movie getting yelled at and beaten. I think Tarantino does assume, rightly or wrongly, that the audience either has a certain historical perspective or will look into it afterward. The movie is literally jam-packed with cultural references that no one much younger than me would be expected to get in this day and age. He may have erroneously counted on viewers knowing that Rick’s view of hippies is that of Rick and many others of that generation at the time, not Tarantino’s own view.

    I haven’t really seen it mentioned, but isn’t Sharon Tate seen in this film as a bit of a hippie? Or at least a hippie type, despite her success and wealth. She hobknobs with Mamas Cass and Michelle, dances freely at the drop of a hat, picks up a hippie hitchhiker, and has a general loving vibe about her, all of which seems to fit the most benign view of hippiedom. Certainly a huge contrast to the Manson gang.

  76. leahnz says:

    holy shit holy shit holy shit!
    all q-tip had to do to differentiate manson’s killers from actual hippies of the time was, in the final scene when the killers roll up, is NOT CHANGE THE MOTIVE FOR THE KILLINGS.
    have the 4 discuss ‘helter skelter’ – cliff and rick are in fact white so the context and intent of the would-be murders: trying to frame blacks for killing whites – would still be the same.
    Q-tip INTENTIONALLY erases the true motive of the crime and then replaces it with the dumb ‘kill the tv people who kill’ shit. rando killer hippies. there is no reason to do this – and it’s really quite disturbing given our current reality, erasing the racist narrative. he CHOOSES to conflate manson’s killers with hippies in general, it’s glaringly obvious. it’s not irony – point out any element of ‘irony’. and stop making inane excuses for the love of god, it’s fucking insane and sounds delusional, like you can’t accept reality because QT did it. just deal with it for the love of kittens

  77. Stella's Boy says:

    I find it amusing that QT talked about the Lee scene and defended it; meanwhile, someone fact checked it and basically every single thing Tarantino said is a lie.

  78. palmtree says:

    What is your source on the fact check? I’d love to see a link.

  79. Stella's Boy says:

    Matthew Polly is the author of Bruce Lee: A Life.

  80. palmtree says:


  81. palmtree says:

    I guess my question now is why would QT go to these lengths to distort history and logic. Does it make the movie better in any possible way? Why this need to lie about Bruce in the film and then pretend like it’s historically accurate? Is there anything the scene accomplishes by making him seem foolish that it couldn’t have accomplished by making him humble and badass?

  82. Stella's Boy says:

    Good questions. Seems like it’s solely to make the white male hero cool.

  83. Christian says:

    So, “Yesterday” is coming to my second-run theater this Friday.


    Honestly, no offense to fans of the movie, the Beatles or of Danny Boyle (and I’m a fan of the latter two!; won’t know if I’m a fan of the first until I see it), but I think I’d rather watch “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” a second time in first run than see “Yesterday” at the discount house. Maybe I’ll like “Yesterday,” but the trailer kind of gave me a run-for-your-life reaction.

    On that note, I should say that “Yesterday” is a rather inspired choice for my second-run theater, which books mostly big commercial hits – especially during the summer, when such movies dominate. I’m tempted to see the film just to support the theater’s bookin of a “midrange” film aimed at an age group older than teens. (And yes, I know “Yesterday” is a “hit” by midrange standards. I guess I meant that the discount theater books mainly *blockbusters.*) Because if I don’t see “Yesterday,” what alternative bookings am I waiting for? There just ain’t anything in the pipeline I’m all that interested in seeing. It’s been that way most of the summer. “Hollywood” has been the one (gratifying) exception.

  84. Christian says:

    In better ART-movie news, how ’bout that new Malick trailer?


    Go ahead and make fun of Malick. Everyone else does. You’re all wrong to do so, but go ahead. 🙂

  85. palmtree says:

    Christian, Yesterday is great, even more so if you are a Beatles fan. As I recall, other people on this blog who also hated the trailer came out liking the movie too. But honest question…why was the trailer so off-putting?

  86. movieman says:

    Christian- Count me as a loyal Malick fan, too.
    Hell, I even liked his post-“Tree of Life” movies well enough to have put all three of them on my 10-best list.
    Is it my imagination, or was there more dialogue (not VO, but dialogue) in the trailer than in any of his recent films?

    Yes, by all means see “Yesterday.” I had some issues with the third act, but still enjoyed it immensely.
    I know what you mean about discount theaters not wanting to play anything other than mainstream blockbusters. The one second-run house in my town only seems to play movies that grossed at least $35-million in first-run release.

  87. YancySkancy says:

    leah: I’ve generally been preferring to discuss what the movie does rather than what I or you or anyone else wants it to do. My guesses about QT’s motives are presented as just that – guesses. Rightly or wrongly — repeat, rightly or wrongly — it seems clear to me that Tarantino expects the viewer to have some grounding in the murders before seeing the film. Heck, it’s really the only way to fully get all the references and understand how revisionist his ending is. Whether his choices to get there work or not is for each individual viewer to decide.

    But I tell ya, it gets tiresome when no matter how dispassionately I try to discuss this, no matter how carefully I frame my points as speculation or alternative possibilities, no matter how assiduously I refrain from even offering set-in-stone opinions, my comments are treated by you as if I’m some mentally challenged, alt-right, misogynist incel genuflecting to the great God Tarantino. Art that doesn’t spell out its motives in clear detail is open to interpretation, and it can be really interesting to discuss, even if sometimes frustrating. Clearly, you find me more frustrating than interesting.

    I liked the movie overall and I look forward to seeing it again. The things that didn’t work for me or that I had issues with didn’t negate the things I liked, so it’s those questionable aspects that I’m interested in chewing over. I don’t disrespect Bruce Lee, or approve if Cliff got away with murder, or condone ignoring the real motives of the murderers. It’s just interesting to me to look at it from different angles and speculate about the filmmaker’s intent, without judgment. Judgment may come later. Perhaps I simply lack the same kind of confidence in my opinions that you enjoy. Take me with a grain of salt. Better yet, perhaps I should just stay away from divisive topics here. I’m sure by this point everyone just rolls their eyes when they see my name atop a lengthy post.

  88. Christian says:

    Palmtree: Honestly, I can’t remember what was so off-putting about the “Yesterday” trailer. Maybe just that the film seemed like a one-joke premise (or one-note premise, as the film is not strictly a comedy). Or maybe it was Richard Lester’s name that bugged me. I have an allergic reaction to “Love, Actually.” (Which my wife, of course, loves.)

    Movieman: I’ll go to bat for recent Malick, but truth is, I’m a big fan of only one of those films, “Knight of Cups.” I have issues with the others, which I feel, to varying degrees, disconnected from, even as I appreciate the style/approach of the director to his material. It can prove frustrating. I don’t know why “Cups” worked so well where the others fell short to varying degrees for me. But I don’t hear from others who have split verdicts on latter-day Malick. It’s always “I love ’em all!” or “I can’t stand any of ’em!” I continue to tread the middle of the road, but I deeply appreciate that only Malick makes movies like those movies. Indeed, I’m surprised by the “Hidden Life” trailer in that it looks and feels very much like another Lubezki collaboration, even though it has a different cinematographer. I guess the director really DOES call the shots (so to speak) in how a film looks! (I’ve always wondered about the director/cinematographer relationship across a filmmaker’s body of work, and have probably tended to give DPs more credit than their due.)

  89. movieman says:

    I’ve been one of Malick’s biggest boosters from the start, Christian.
    I still remember the sense of tingly anticipation I had before “Days of Heaven” opened back when I was in college.
    Interestingly, I had the chance to read the screenplay beforehand, and was gobsmacked that the film bore almost no relation to the script.
    (Believe it or not, it read as almost conventional: no VO; plenty of dialogue to further the plot, etc.)

    You’re right: nobody anywhere makes films like Terrence Malick, although I’m sure there are more than a few who’d prefer that he hadn’t made another movie after “The Thin Red Line” (or, to be generous to the naysayers, “The Tree of Life”).
    Of his post-“Tree” films, the one I’m most partial to is “Song to Song.”

    On an unrelated note, I’m a little concerned about the dearth of online reviews for the new Linklater.
    Getting spooky “Kitchen” vibes all over again.
    On the other hand, Variety’s rave of “Ready or Not” was pretty exciting. It sounds terrific.

  90. Stella's Boy says:

    Bernadette will be lucky to make as much money as The Kitchen this weekend. Surprised it’s opening in more than 2,300 theaters. Ready or Not is going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully it’s as good as You’re Next. Can’t wait.

  91. amblinman says:

    I need to revisit You’re Next. I remember thinking it was way overhyped but can’t recall a single damn frame.

    Thank you for attending my Ted Talk.

  92. Stella's Boy says:

    Good talk. I rewatch You’re Next regularly and think it’s absolutely fantastic. Love every minute of it. If you revisit hope your assessment improves.

  93. YancySkancy says:

    Bernadette’s been in the can since last May or something, and the opening was pushed back at least twice. The trailer is nonsensical, at least to someone like me, who hasn’t read the book. I’ll be interested to see reviews.

  94. Ray Pride says:

    Reported reshoots, too.

  95. BO Sock Puppet says:

    Linklater has peaked. It happens.

  96. movieman says:

    Reviews overall are–to be kind–mixed.
    It’s still my #1 pick of this weekend’s wide releases.
    Also looking forward to “Blinded by the Light”–which, predictably, isn’t opening near me–and “Good Boys.”
    “Ready or Not” is the last “Summer” movie I actually want to see.

  97. Stella's Boy says:

    I don’t understand how anyone can’t be looking forward to a new shark movie. Truly mind-boggling and a mystery for the ages. I like the Bernadette review on the main page that mentions the dearth of female midlife crisis movies. I agree and it immediately calls to mind Living Out Loud. Haven’t seen it in ages and don’t know how it holds up but I absolutely loved that movie upon its initial release. Remember thinking back then how rare it was. Not sure a lot has changed in 20 years.

  98. palmtree says:

    Christian, I appreciate that. Love, Actually is a hideous movie. But I think you mean Richard Curtis, not Richard Lester!!

  99. Hcat says:

    “I don’t understand how anyone can’t be looking forward to a new shark movie”

    As someone who had Dog movies as a warm hug guilty pleasure knowing full well I will be submitted to the same checked boxes of clichés, I can completely understand someone getting the same thrills from the occasional shark movie. Though I admit I can actually sit through Jaws 3. Its not anything approaching a good movie but I still find it strangely watchable.

    And hating on Love Actually? Its the film equivalent of Peter Cetera, do you not have room in your heart for desperate love me sincerity? 🙂

  100. Stella's Boy says:

    Amen to that Hcat. And I just watched Jaws 3 with the kids not too long ago. It’s certainly not good but it’s highly entertaining.

  101. palmtree says:

    Hcat, I don’t mind sincerity. I mind the smugness at its own sincerity.

  102. Hcat says:

    Palm, probably not a Greatest Showman fan either than.

    And Stella, I find something comforting in the old diminishing returns of franchises. Things like Jaws and Superman that went from four to three to two to one star movies with each installment. The thirds were always a mess, but the good will from the earlier ones got you through.

    As for the second installments, Jaws 2, which suffers from all the bigger is better while hitting the same beats sins of the sequels of the time, is still a solid, entertaining and complete movie whose main flaw is that it is not the transcendent piece of genius that its immediate predecessor was (this can be referred to as the Two Jakes conundrum, even though obviously Jaws came first). Jaws 2 is also perhaps the greatest dad movies ever made, Atticus Finch might be stoic but he’s got nothin’ on ‘climb in the water with a paddle to fight a shark that just ate a helicopter’ Brody.

  103. Stella's Boy says:

    I feel the same way and love the description of those franchises (though I have much more familiarity with Jaws as all four have been viewed in my house as recently as this summer). And 2 is very good. The helicopter scene is a standout and my kids are always asking to watch 2, even before the first (they’re young). Pretty damn good sequel.

  104. Christian says:

    Palmtree: Right you are! Sorry for the name botch.

    HCat: I’ve never been the same since I read Chris Orr’s takedown of “Love Actually.” Nailed it:

  105. Christian says:

    And, ummm, Orr’s response to Green’s response, in which he links to responses from Alyssa Rosenberg and Ben Dreyfuss that I haven’t read – because even *I* have my limits with the “Love, Actually” debate!

  106. Hcat says:

    Thanks for all the links, but honestly any debate over Love Actually is useless. It is a yay or nay and both sides are correct. It is not something you know in your mind but feel in your heart and therefore cannot be litigated. I can see how it could be found saccharine, and certainly less than the sum of its parts (so many parts), but for me it works. Which is all I need. Deconstructing it or analyzing it through a literary trope is useless, like debating flavors of Ice Cream.

  107. palmtree says:

    Greatest Showman was terrible, and I wanted to like it. I was even defending its BO prospects on this blog. Then I saw it…just nothing in it made any sense nor was any of it good.

    Hcat, I agree there’s no accounting for taste. But debates about taste are still good to have though. You can like crap, but it’s better to know that you like crap than to not think it’s crap.

  108. Bulldog68 says:

    Well if we want to open up a confessional for liking crap, this summer, I liked Lion King.

  109. Hcat says:

    Palm, I agree with all you said, and debates on taste are legit, I just think there are certain films that fall outside the good/bad dichotomy, but that as well is open for debate.

    And after seeing the trailer, I would suggest you avoid Last Christmas like the plague, it makes Love Actually look like The Apartment.

    What world are we living in where Columbia has the best looking Christmas season slate?

  110. palmtree says:

    Hcat, I think those films you’re talking about falling outside the good/bad dichotomy are basically the ones you grew up with or that define a certain moment in time that can’t quite be recaptured. I still feel like I want to know if they’re good or bad before spending years rewatching them. Forrest Gump fell victim to this. Loved it when it came out, but the more and more I watched it the more it fell apart. I can only watch it now with guilty pleasure.

    Some films that I immediately thought were guilty pleasures, upon closer inspection, turned out to be good movies in disguise. I think that happened when Die Hard went from a catchy high-stakes premise to now one of the greatest action films of all time.

    So yeah, 15-20 years out, we should definitely ask if it holds up.

  111. Hcat says:

    I was shocked when Die Hard was a hit, terribly generic title, television comedy star above the title. I thought it was going to tank.

    Gump is tricky, its flaws were not quite apparent upon its release and coronation. I’m sure I am wrong and there were probably a hundred articles complaining about it but at the time I think I was just mesmerized by the incredible effects and Hanks performance. There are a thousand words that can be tossed about in critique and defense. For all its thematic flaws and omissions though, it is superbly crafted, masterly edited (its two plus hours glide by like a bird over a pond), and no matter what the point where Jenny walks into the reflecting pool and the look on Hanks face when he calls her name is an all time moment for me. And of course given how huge it was the film deserves to be dissected, both of its plots (horrible treatment of Jenny, Civil Rights movement almost totally overlooked) and its craft.

    Now Love Actually, I don’t see how it would warrant any revisitation. You would love it or hate it upon first viewing and it is not substantial or important enough to where the passage of time or own personal growth would change your view.

    I get the rose colored glasses you speak of where people cannot discern between quality and nostalgia, I still shudder when people refer to The Goonies as a ‘classic’. So I am not saying Love Actually is beyond critique, but simply that it is beneath it.

  112. Stella's Boy says:

    47 Meters Down: Uncaged. I have a super high tolerance for shark movies but I was disappointed. Setup is perfunctory, which is fine. But the shark attack fun in the caves is really repetitive and the same jump scare is used like eight times. Plus having someone die not from a shark attack is weak. There are a few suspenseful scenes and some cool shark moments, and the ending is awesome. But overall it’s only so-so. Decent matinee.

  113. palmtree says:

    But Goonies IS a classic. How dare you!

  114. Hcat says:

    Ha, I have always HATED Goonies. My equivalent is probably Lost Boys. Loved from my teens, holds up the same, but would never call it a classic

  115. movieman says:

    A mid-’80s YA genre/fantasy film that definitely merits classic status is “Gremlins.”
    It seems to have been largely forgotten (or at least overlooked) today while everyone still references “Goonies” and (of course) “Ghostbusters.”
    One of my all-time favorite moviegoing experiences was a sneak preview of “Gremlins” on May 19, 1984 at a great old single screen theater.

  116. palmtree says:

    Goonies never say die! Yeah, I know it’s really cheesy, but the heart wants what it wants…and what it wants is nostalgia apparently. Even though it’s not a classic classic, I’d say certain moments in it are classic moments.

    One film that I recently revisited and found to have aged really well is The Neverending Story. Seriously, that one is a classic.

  117. Hcat says:

    Palm, you mentioned Gump a few days ago, which made me think of another Hanks film I never really had a handle on, Joe Vs. The Volcano. I have people who swear by it, but only those who saw it when it first came out, I have never found any late adaptors to it. It seems to be a love it or hate it film, and am wondering if its one that has grown on people. It had a pretty strong pedigree and surprised people by face planting upon release. As Hanks and Ryan went through the rest of the decade as King and Queen of America I wonder how many people stumbled upon their first collaboration and found something remarkably different than what they were used to.

  118. movieman says:

    Remember loving “Joe Vs. the Volcano” in 1990.

    The three movies that made me laugh the loudest back in the day (which was probably mortifying to my screening companions, lol) were Albert Brooks’ “Lost in America,” “Volcano” and (don’t judge: Andie McDowell’s dolphin imitation slayed me) “Hudson Hawk.”

  119. Hcat says:

    Love the first four Brooks films. Like the Coens I find it impossible to pick a favorite, it always seems to be the most recent one I’ve seen.

    As for Hawk, I don’t know what to say other than most bad films are generically bad, but Hudson Hawk is uniquely bad in a way that I am not sure if I have seen before or since, and that makes it a lot better than most bad movies. I haven’t seen it since its initial video release so it may not be as bad as I recall, and seeing it out of the context of when it was released might have improved it.

  120. movieman says:

    I haven’t seen “Hawk” (or “Volcano” for that matter) since their original theatrical release(s).
    Who knows whether they’d even hold up for me?
    But I can still remember laughing so hard that tears flowed.

    I’ve seen the Brooks masterpiece dozens of times: it never grows old. (If “LIA” had been released this millennium, Skippy would have gotten his very own Netflix spin-off series.)
    Was pleasantly surprised at how well “LIA” played when I showed it in class last semester. Had real concerns that Brooks’ humor would go over like a lead balloon (with 2019 college kids).
    I remember saying at the time of its release that “LIA” was “the best American comedy since ‘The Graduate.'” I still believe that.

  121. Pete B. says:

    The wife and I had a private showing of Hudson Hawk, and laughed our butts off. Then I got it on VHS and it seemed kinda flat.

    I loaned my copy to my boss who was infatuated with David Caruso due to NYPD Blue. I’m not sure she ever returned it.

    Hard to believe it was rated R.

  122. Hcat says:

    I sort of remember surprising bits of extreme violence spread throughout Hawk, plus language probably put it over the top. If a Martin rant could put PTA firmly into adult territory a few years prior I am sure Berhnard alone shunted Hawk into an R.

    Such a different time, would you have even trusted a PG 13 action movie back then? Other than an Indiana Jones?

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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