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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride


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101 Responses to “BYOFall”

  1. Triple Option says:

    Well, now that it’s officially fall, I’ll state that my two best films I saw over the summer were The Peanut Butter Falcon and Ready or Not.

    Pretty much everything else was a disappointment, to varying degrees. Actually, Toy Story IV wasn’t too bad but the world is no better from it having been made.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Saw Downtown Abbey last night. Wasn’t something I expected to see but life’s full of surprises. I only saw a handful of episodes in their entirety and bits & pieces of others. The movie is fine. I wasn’t bored. Cast is good. Production and costume design very handsome. But what’s striking to me, and it’s not surprising as he is an old wealthy white male and a Tory if I’m not mistaken, is how much Julian Fellowes reveres the Royals and the rich family.

    I saw something bizarre beforehand. A trailer for something Bruce Springsteen related. No offense to fans of The Boss (I’m pretty indifferent about him and his music), but it’s one of the most mindbogglingly weird and awful things I’ve ever seen in a movie theater. His voiceover is something a college sophomore philosophy major would find deep and profound. It’s shot to make him look like some rugged, introspective, soulful, cowboy poet. But it’s so over-the-top and strained it’s beyond comical. Just so astoundingly bad.

    Tomorrow is Shocktober. Best month of the year.

  3. Christian says:

    Anyone heading to the Virginia Film Festival in October? I’m thinking I’ll stay Thursday through Sunday with a friend, but I’m game for a meet-up with anyone here if you’re making plans.

    I’ll have to miss this year’s Middleburg Film Festival, the schedule for which should be announced tomorrow.

  4. movieman says:

    Are you referring to “Western Stars,” SB?
    WB picked that up and are planning a release for late October.
    It’s Springsteen’s directing debut.
    Supposed to be pretty good, but it doesn’t sound appreciably different than his B’way show that I still haven’t gotten around to watching on Netflix.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes that’s it. There are vanity projects and then there’s this. A whole other level. Never seen anything like it.

  6. Pete B. says:

    Sweet Jesus Stella, just saw the trailer and you weren’t kidding. Hopefully Johnny Cash’s ghost shows up to kick Bruce’s ass and take away the black cowboy hat.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    Ok good glad I wasn’t overreacting. I spent those two minutes just completely dumbfounded by what I was watching.

  8. MarkVH80 says:

    Western Stars got raves at TIFF, so maybe it’s just a bad trailer. Regardless, it’s one of Bruce’s best records in many years, so I’m looking forward to catching the film.

  9. palmtree says:

    I’ve been waiting for this for a while…a movie that’s actually way better than the trailer!

  10. Eric says:

    The Western Stars trailer:

    I love Springsteen but yeah the voiceover is just bafflingly stupid. The overall package is not helped by the cowboy motif which has never fit Springsteen well– it just feels like a pose.

    Sometimes your heroes just make some junk and all you can do is hope they do better next time.

  11. SideshowBill says:

    I’m with Stella. Shocktober! I need to compile a list of new stuff to check out along the usual stuff. Luz, Bliss, Byzantium, May The Devil Take You, so so so many I haven’t seen. Also a great month for reading.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s right Todd Phillips it is literally impossible to make an irreverent comedy now because of “woke culture.” Jesus he’s a fucking idiot.

  13. leahnz says:


    (you know what todd really means, stella’s)

  14. palmtree says:

    New Republic had a great article about how “cancel culture” is actually not threatening to anyone except people who are pushing mediocre jokes that audiences are rejecting because of their mediocrity. Supposedly liberal people need to stop agreeing with this stupid narrative that only further emboldens the right.

  15. Pete B. says:

    “you know what todd really means…”

    That ‘Woke Culture’ provides it’s own comedy?

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s a really good piece palmtree. I also like the Carlin interview from 1990 that’s making the rounds. Never saw that before. Yes I think we all know what crybaby dipshit Todd really means leah. Our culture just can’t handle his irreverent comedies! Woke culture is code for “People get upset now when I’m racist or homophobic or misogynist and it’s not fair.”

  17. SideshowBill says:

    Here’s what I know: I found Booksmart to be funnier than any Todd Phillips movie. Good Boys also had vulgar comedy without being offensive and it even had some real empathy. Hell, I thought the Child’s Play remake was a fun comedy.

    Seth Rogan and his guys aren’t always successful but every now and then he hits at least a triple with Sausage Party and The Night Before.

    Phillips misunderstands comedy. A lot. I’ve liked a few of his movies but most have been dead fish for me.

  18. amblinman says:

    There is no such thing as political correctness. Or more to the point society has *constantly* been shifting in terms of what it finds funny and/or acceptable. Like, were audiences “woke” when they stopped finding black face funny?

    In addition it’s so funny watching these hollowed out Bill HIcksbots whine that they’re no longer “allowed” to be rebels. There’s a reason the phrase is “It STRUCK me as funny”, guys. If no one finds you funny, then yes, the culture has moved on. Maybe you should too.

  19. Christian says:

    Not that my previous post got any response, but just in case someone here is interested, the Middleburg Film Festival has now posted its lineup. There’s a lot of overlap with the Virginia Film Festival. The prime difference that leapt out to me is Middleburg’s screening of “The Irishman”:

  20. Hcat says:

    “Supposedly liberal people need to stop agreeing with this stupid narrative that only further emboldens the right.”

    Fully agree, I have not seen a single instance of someone getting ‘canceled’ for telling a funny joke. It always amazes me when comedians complain about the very behavior they exhibit.

  21. leahnz says:

    in addition to everything else there’s just a mean-spiritedness to most of todd’s ‘comedy’, a casual callous heart of coal that’s insidiously repellent — and not “irreverent” like he seems to think, rather the cliche punch-down comedy a sadist enjoys, cruelomedy. dickomedy. ‘booksmart’ is irreverent. todd (even the name annoys me, like one of those trading places guys) is a cliche who’s made precisely one slick, fairly decent movie and it’s because he didn’t write it (that includes ‘joker’ – who knew such a try-hard ‘disturbing’ rip-off of others with actual vision could be such a nicely-photographed bore. sad trombone. w/out joaquin’s chops it’d be laughable (ba dum tsss)

    (somebody’s gotta live near this middleburg place to hit christian up for some flicks)

  22. Triple Option says:

    SideshowBill wrote:

    Here’s what I know: I found Booksmart to be funnier than any Todd Phillips movie.”

    Wow, we are on opposite ends on that! I also don’t like horror, which I know you love, so there’s that but it’s been maybe 5 years or more since I last saw Old School and can think of 5-6 parts, not even full scenes but parts of scenes where I laughed harder and longer than all of Booksmart combined. Heck, it’s only 3 months since I’ve seen Booksmart and I’m struggling to think of 5-6 points I laughed at all, not merely a chuckle.

  23. movieman says:

    Who else has seen this?

    I’m thinking this could be Guy Ritchie’s best since “RocknRolla.”
    Such a blast seeing Hugh Grant Ritchie-it-up.
    Wish it was opening tomorrow!

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    Booksmart is a much, much better movie than Old School. I found Old School amusing as a 20-year-old, but it doesn’t hold up well. It still has some laughs but isn’t nearly as funny as Booksmart. Phillips makes movies for young males. They are far from comedy classics. He seems like a small, bitter, angry man who hasn’t gotten over Hangover III being rejected.

    Not a huge Ritche fan, but holy shit The Gentlemen has one hell of a cast. For some reason that movie wasn’t on my radar at all. It looks like it could be a lot of fun. Hugh Grant looks fantastic. Barely even recognized Colin Farrell.

  25. Hcat says:

    “not even full scenes but parts of scenes where I laughed”

    I don’t remember Old School even having full scenes so it would make sense that you only remember snippets. OS was very good at hitting a funny image or idea (smoking on the rings, lone streaking, earmuffs, even just Hank washing his car in short shorts) but it certainly didn’t make a cohesive film. Phillips got better at crafting a movie (Due Date is probably my favorite) but even his more dramatic-based on true events War Dogs plays like it was filtered through his bro comedy sensibility.

    Its funny that we are also talking Ritchie since he would have been perfect for War Dogs. While their films are all very butch there does seem to be a distinct difference in sensibility in the films. Does Ritchie feel less affection for the guys crashing about? Or is it that Ritchie makes films about alpha males while Phillips makes films about betas?

    And I have an aversion to McConahghey, and Hunnan has yet to really wow me, though these are the right hands for them to be in. But the rest of the cast is mouthwatering, Eddie Marsen never fails to bring a smile to my face, even though his is only in the trailer for a fraction of a second.

  26. SideshowBill says:

    Triple Option, disagreement is fine. I embrace the glowing rainbow of opinions in this world, unless you’re a Nazi, a rapist or a Trump supporter. And jam bands. Fucking hate jam bands.

  27. Triple Option says:

    Was Toto a jam band?

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Richard Jewell trailer is interesting. Great cast. I have vague memories of all that but nothing more. Hope it’s better than The Mule.

  29. movieman says:

    SB- Not the biggest Ritchie fan either.
    “RocknRolla” is the only Ritchie I flat-out love, and some of his films (e.g., that “King Arthur” thing-y and “Revolver”) are truly abysmal.
    But this looks like a blast, and the cast is an embarrassment of riches.
    Love Hunnam, Hcat, and McConaughey is fine in the hands of the right director.

    Not the greatest Phillips booster either, truth be told.
    I mildly liked “Road Trip,” “Old School” and “Due Date” at the time, but hated the “Hangover” movies which are paeans to toxic masculinity.
    “War Dogs” was really underrated, though.
    Remember thinking it was terrific in a David O. Russell pastiche (esp. “American Hustle”) sort of way at the time, not that I’ve revisited it or anything.

    P.S.= Yeah, “Jewell” looks like Clint in his Oscar wheelhouse mode. Love the cast, too, SB.

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree it looks fun and I’d see basically anything with that class. Also a huge Marsan fan. Strong is great on Succession. Michelle Dockery is great. Grant and Farrell have been doing stellar work lately. Good times.

    It does look like Clint in his wheelhouse. Fingers crossed.

  31. Hcat says:

    MM, I haven’t seen Hunnam in much so without seeing Z, Anarchy or Pappilion I haven’t actively searched him out. I am looking extremely forward to the Kelly Gang movie.

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    I liked him on Undeclared. Or maybe it’s just that I really liked that show.

  33. Hcat says:

    The Jewell film has strong shades of Sully. Heroic act turns to investigation. Very strong cast and could easily see Bates and Rockwell’s roles giving them enough meat to chew on to be in the supporting Oscar discussion. Tensest trailer I have seen in awhile, can’t wait.

    Jewell is played the goofy friend from I, Toyna right?

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes that’s the guy. He’s also good in BlacKkKlansman.

  35. Hcat says:

    Right, he keeps popping up. I love when someone who has been so good on the periphery gets a shot to headline, and in a Clint movie no less. This must have been a dream come true.

  36. leahnz says:

    ‘war dogs’ is a shitty, uneven and poorly-paced (yet another) scorsese-wannabe waste because todd is a mediocre ‘competent’ writer/director with nothing to really say and no style of his own beyond a cadbury sample tray of the same repetitive gags, themes, cliches and cold hearted nastiness, so he copies actual artists but you can’t copy heart and soul so it’s empty and cold (hill is quite good but not nearly enough to save it)

  37. movieman says:

    I think it’s safe to say that Part 2 of Todd Phillips’ career has been as a clever pastiche artist:

    “War Dogs” skillfully–sorry, Leah–apes D.O. Russell in “American Hustle” mode (w/ a soupçon of Scorsese/”Good Fellas”).
    “Joker” is a damn near pointillist pastiche of early Scorsese (esp. “Taxi Driver” and “King of Comedy”) w/ a smattering of Chris Nolan’s operatic “Dark Knight” urban grandeur.
    Not sure whether there’s any there there beyond clever mimicry.
    His early films seem like more classically auteurist works because they feel closer to his innately comic sensibility.

    No disrespect to Rockwell and Bates, but I’m more excited about Hamm and Wilde in “Jewell.”

  38. Hcat says:

    Read the review of Gemini Man in the Guardian and they touch on a good point. They could have simply hired Jaden Smith and saved themselves the VFX budget and all the headaches of filming Patty Duke style. But it seems like since the de aging effects have been the reason d etre from the conception of the project I guess that would defeat the purpose. Of course if the intention was to tell a compelling story whether it was effects or another human shouldn’t matter.

  39. Christian says:

    My library-sale Blu-ray purchases of movies-I-never-really-loved-but-maybe-just-want-to-see-again continued today with $3 copies of “Killing Them Softly” and “We Own the Night.” These join “Deep Blue Sea” (Harlin), “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” and “The Post” (the latter of which is the only great film among these titles) as recent, still unwatched Blus bought at the seasonal library sale(s) near me.

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    Killing Them Softly, We Own the Night, and Deep Blue Sea are all outstanding. Worth every penny. I rewatch all three on a regular basis. That’s a cool sale. Wish my library did that.

  41. MarkVH80 says:

    Martin Scorsese’s comments about Marvel movies are silly and dumb and I don’t particularly care for Marvel movies.

  42. Stella's Boy says:

    And some folks are severely overreacting to his comments.

  43. hcat says:

    His response seemed to actually be pretty polite in my opinion. He basically said they weren’t for him, they were too much like amusement park rides. As he probably wasn’t singing the praises of films like Fantastic Voyage back in the day this seems pretty consistent.

    I would think any filmmaker not currently making (or campaigning for) a comic book movie feels the same way about them.

  44. Amblinman says:

    Scorsese is mostly right. Marvel movies aren’t really movies. There are exceptions but most are shot and play like “special event” TV episodes.

    Joker sucked. It’s ugly. And as I’m watching it, I recalled this Arrested Development bit that best summed it up for me:

    Phoenix is good, I guess, but in service to nothing.

    I’d go onto more detail but the movie isn’t worth it. Ugly art that I’ll be happy to not bother with again. (If any of this sounds even a little interesting let me reassure you it’s mostly boring.)

  45. Movieman says:

    I was mildly disappointed in “Judy.”
    Zellweger is fine, but I couldn’t help comparing it to the inimitable Judy Davis/Tammy Blanchard Garland miniseries from 2001 which bests it on every count.
    The flashbacks to MGM-era teen Judy add nothing and are actually pretty distracting since the actress who plays the young Garland looks absolutely nothing like her. (Same for the unfortunate lass whose task was to impersonate the 1968 Liza Minnelli.)
    Definitely got the sense that the whole thing was shot on the cheap in England
    (including the LA sequences which have absolutely zero LA ambiance).
    As stated previously, Zellweger is terrific and could very well score her second Oscar: a nomination is virtually guaranteed.
    But the movie came up short for me…and I’m pretty much its target audience, lol.

  46. leahnz says:

    “it’s mostly boring”


  47. Christian says:

    SB: Rewatched DEEP BLUE SEA this afternoon and was reminded of why it’s stuck with me all these years. Say what one will about Harlin as a director – I Metroed into D.C. in high school to see PRISON during my Fangoria days, but was genuinely put off for the first time by a Hollywood blockbuster with the carnage of DIE HARD 2 – but the guy can stage an action sequence, or several of them, can’t he? The movie’s a lot of fun, or at least never boring.

  48. leahnz says:

    never use milk to make an omelette — one tablespoon water per two eggs (thanks deep blue sea! the CG sharks are so abysmally un-lifelike it’s unforgivable but once you get over that – if you can – they’re in the ‘so bad it’s good’ pantheon)

    (this iteration of ‘revenge of the nerds’ we’re living through is super fucking annoying. RESET BUTTON)

  49. Christian says:

    Heh. I had forgotten about the omelet line, although I agree with it 100%. No water either! ☺ Just the eggs (and cheese, veggies, if preferred). But no liquid to “add body.” As L.L. said, “This is a mistake.”

  50. Stella's Boy says:

    I am a big Harlin fan Christian. He used to make really fun movies. Sure Deep Blue Sea is dumb, but it’s a total blast. Many ridiculous and fun moments. Great summer movie. Good times.

    Poor Todd Phillips. Hope he’s allowed to make another movie someday.

  51. amblinman says:

    Judy is so weird to me. It feels llike a movie that should have been made about 20-30 years ago. THe audience for this has to be soooo tiny due to the timeframe for her stardom.

  52. movieman says:

    And yet “Judy” is performing well at the box office, Amblin.
    It’s a pretty safe bet it’ll match if not surpass the sleeper success of Roadside’s “Peanut Butter Falcon.”
    I think it’s a collective nostalgia for Garland among audiences of a certain age (and demographic) more than the film itself which is OK but hardly great.
    My screening companion–who hasn’t seen the Davis/Blanchard Judy mini–was mildly disappointed (he apparently hadn’t read the reviews, and was expecting a cradle-to-the-grave biopic).
    Yet he confessed to shedding tears during Renee’s climactic rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”
    I think a lot of people will respond in similar fashion and help make it one of the leggier fall releases.

    P.S.= As soon as I got home, I put a library hold on a DVD of the 2001 mini to share with my partner. I’m confident he’ll love it as much as I do because it’s the full-scale biopic he mistakenly thought “Judy” was.

  53. Christian says:

    A library hold, MM? Ha! I thought I was the only one here who did that! (I lose track across various forums of who hasn’t gone Full Streaming. I sure haven’t, although our recently purchased Roku TV has us watching/streaming more than ever.)

  54. movieman says:

    Maybe if I invest in a contraption that will make streaming something I don’t have to watch exclusively on my laptop, I’ll be more gung ho about the turning tide, Christian.
    At present, the only thing I’m able to stream onto my television is Netflix.
    Which I barely watch.
    And On Demand stuff, of course.

    “Lucy in the Toilet” is more like it!
    Bet Searchlight doesn’t take it much farther on the basis of that horrid limited opening.


    1 JOKER (2019)
    Warner Bros.

    4,374 $39,900,000

    — / $9,122
    $39,900,000 / 1


    4,248 $2,780,000

    +269.1% / $654
    $28,613,115 / 8

    Focus Features

    3,548 $2,400,000

    +53% / $676
    $68,026,935 / 15

    STX Entertainment

    3,030 $1,940,000

    +132.3% / $640
    $86,961,880 / 22

    Warner Bros. (New Line)

    3,163 $1,430,000

    +175.3% / $452
    $198,280,157 / 29

    6 JUDY
    Roadside Attractions

    1,458 $1,345,000

    +306% / $922
    $5,803,443 / 8

    7 AD ASTRA

    2,910 $1,247,000

    +106.3% / $429
    $40,352,768 / 15


    2,900 $945,000

    +84% / $326
    $37,218,895 / 15

    9 WAR (2019)
    Yash Raj

    305 $420,000

    +113.2% / $1,377
    $927,290 / 3


    70 $270,000

    — / $3,857
    $270,000 / 1

    11 GOOD BOYS

    1,006 $240,000

    +158% / $239
    $81,382,620 / 50


    831 $155,000

    +87.7% / $187
    $67,900,715 / 43

    Roadside Attractions

    623 $140,000

    +91.9% / $225
    $18,637,929 / 57


    682 $140,000

    +198.9% / $205
    $172,699,340 / 64

    – THE LION KING (2019)
    Buena Vista

    1,034 $138,000

    +70.2% / $133
    $540,734,057 / 78

    Sony / AFFIRM Films

    672 $110,000

    +52.1% / $164
    $33,610,991 / 43

    Fox Searchlight

    37 $19,000

    — / $514
    $19,000 / 1

  55. Christian says:

    Just to be clear, MM, I’m almost entirely in sympathy with your streaming skepticism; the change, if it’s to take place, is only just starting in my world, with a new TV that streams much more pleasingly than any of our laptops do. I’m a hard-media guy in general – love my Blu-rays and even the occasional laserdisc.

    Wow, that “Lucy in the Sky” opening really is a wipeout. I hadn’t noticed that until you pointed it out. Yikes!

  56. Stella's Boy says:

    Since it’s poor TIFF reception I haven’t seen or read anything about Lucy save for a Noah Hawley interview where he talks about the bad reviews. It was basically dumped right?

  57. palmtree says:

    Amblin, your take on Joker was superb. But I disagreed with this:

    “Scorsese is mostly right. Marvel movies aren’t really movies. There are exceptions but most are shot and play like “special event” TV episodes.”

    Scorsese didn’t say Marvel was making TV episodes, which if he did would have been a passable commentary on narrative form. But instead he said Marvel movies were theme parks and said Marvel movies don’t convey human emotional or psychological content. Come on, that’s downright offensive and ignorant, even if you don’t care for Marvel movies.

  58. Amblinman says:

    @Palm: I agree that Scorsese is being a snob but I tend to agree with him. I’ve seen every Marvel movie. Most are total flotsom. Most aren’t that exciting from a filmmaking standpoint. I bet if he was asked about, say, Lethal Weapon movies, he’d have a similar take.

    I’ve made this argument before: the problem inherent with Marvel’s films is that since there is so much money at stake, they cannot take risk. Thus the movies are usually just okay. Exciting filmmaking needs risk. This is also why movies bomb – poor choices. Marvel has found a formula that allows minimal creative risks. Financially, god bless. From the viewpoint of a human who likes watching big budget genre stuff…I’d like a little more volatility.

  59. movieman says:

    I remember suggesting a while back that Searchlight should have held “Lucy” until 2020–a late February slot like Portman’s “Annihilation” in 2018 perhaps?
    The unexpectedly tepid Toronto reviews might have been forgotten by then, and it would had a bit more distance between itself and (fellow Fox astronaut movie) “Ad Astra.”

    Have a hard time believing any movie w/ Portman, Hamm and Zazie Beetz could be as bad as some have opined.
    Just sayin’.
    I’d see it today if it was playing anywhere near me–which of course it isn’t (and likely never will).
    And yeah, sure looks like a dump to me, SB.

    Count me in as a fellow hard-media dinosaur, Christian.
    Maybe I’d feel differently if I could afford the high-ticket, high-tech gizmos that make all-streaming households not only possible, but (apparently) desirable.

  60. Christian says:

    MM: Not to belabor this, but as a fellow “cheapskate,” I was shocked to discover the Roku 49-inch TV for just $199 (!!) on Prime Day. And even more shocked to realize that was a discount off the regular price of – are you ready for this? – $249!

    At the time, I’d just written a short item for a magazine I edited that recapped an article about the shockingly low price of smart TVs. Why? Because the manufacturer wants your data, which is worth a lot more than the set itself. So the set is a loss leader of sorts.

    That’s creepy, of course. I don’t like the idea of having my every viewing choice transmitted to the highest bidder, or whomever. But my wife and I rationalized the decision by mutually agreeing that we watch very little TV programming, and that our movies are mostly Blu-rays … so I don’t think there’s not THAT much info Roku is getting from us, beyond our Amazon Prime streaming, which has admittedly ticked up since the TV purchase.

    But if we’re patsies for Big Tech, we’re patsies. So be it. We hadn’t bought a TV set in 19 years of marriage, having used the set I brought into our home after we wed, then an HDTV we inherited from my brother and his wife when they upgraded. It was time for us to buy something. Something very cheap. We’ve been quite happy with the purchase.

  61. movieman says:

    You convinced me, Christian.
    I plan to hit Best Buy the day after Thanksgiving to buy the cheapest smart TV I can get my hands on, lol.
    It’ll probably cost me more to have the cable company hook it up than it will for the actual set, lol.

    Just watched “Donnybrook.”
    The reviews weren’t great, but the cast (Margaret Qualley, James Badge Dale, Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo) was so good I decided to give it a try.
    Loathed it for the first half, but eventually it got under my skin.
    It’s kind of a redneck “Fight Club” (minus the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that prevents me from loving it the way I do so many David Fincher movies) with a point to make (albeit a fairly hackneyed one) about Trump’s America.
    You can do worse.

  62. Stella's Boy says:

    Wow that’s a great cast. I never even heard of that movie. Sounds interesting. Speaking of something about Trump’s America, anyone see or hear anything about Cuck? Also sounds intriguing. Both appeal to me more than Joker.

  63. movieman says:

    It’s an IFC release from earlier this year, SB.
    Pretty sure it was VOD D&D with “limited theatrical.”
    I know that it opened at NYC’s IFC Center, but can’t tell you how many other screens it actually played on.
    No unsung masterpiece by any stretch, but definitely an interesting watch.
    And I appreciated that Grillo’s Big Bad character is allowed to adhere to his utter nihilism until the bitter end.
    (“Bitter” being the operative word.)

    The “c” word movie you referenced does sound interesting. (Spellcheck insists that I really want to type “Duck,” so I gave up, lol.)
    Seems to be splitting critics into “love it” or “hate it” camps, and that always gets my attention.

    Re: “Joker.”
    I loved the period flavor, but could someone explain to me how Arthur could have had a VHS recorder/videocassetes in his hovel of an apartment in–I’m guessing by the double feature of “Blow Out” and “Zorro the Gay
    Having lived through that era, I can still recall what a major expenditure it was for my middle-class household when I bought my first video recorder in late ’83.
    Also, I sincerely doubt whether the Wall Street frat boys would have (a) ever ridden a subway; and (b) been familiar enough with the Stephen Sondheim songbook to do an impromptu a cappella rendition of “Send in the Clowns” while fending off a lunatic on a subway car.
    Of course, I’m always a stickler for s**t like that.

  64. Stella's Boy says:

    Totally missed that one for some reason but I am down for that cast and it sounds worth a watch.

  65. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Scorsese’s comments on Marvel are balanced and fair (and I like the MCU pics for the most part), and the overreaction needs to be tempered a little bit. It’s worth noting that Scorsese has praised popular cinema fulsomely in the past (he once said that the cutting technique of ‘Jurassic Park’ should be taught in school, and speaks highly of George Lucas, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan). He’s a lover of movies of all kinds, but just doesn’t respond to the Marvel Empire. Fair enough.

  66. Barry says:

    “Also, I sincerely doubt whether the Wall Street frat boys would have (a) ever ridden a subway”

    Yup, they absolutely would have. Everyone takes (or at least used to) the subway in NYC. Rich, poor, middle, etc. Especially back then. It was the best, quickest way everywhere. You saw all walks of life.


    Ex-Brooklyn boy who had to commute into the city for years.

  67. leahnz says:

    not sure snobbery is the case re the scorsese hullabaloo (for which the timing couldn’t be more hilarious), he’s shown he’s not averse to genre pop cinema over the years done well so i wonder if it’s something more basic related to suspension of disbelief. an overwhelming percentage of what’s on screen in an OTT marvel GCI shitshow looks fake (because it is), suspension of disbelief as a cornerstone of cinema having been abandoned in the case of OTT superhero vis effects to a large extent.
    suspension of disbelief is a complex psychological effect, one of the great and essential tricks of storytelling; if the imagery in a film doesn’t compel you to think/feel that there are real stakes, peril and consequences for the characters, the stakes are low and thus investment in the characters experiences, interior lives and interactions is low, it feels inconsequential and hollow (boy do i relate to this). i think particularly younger generations have become inured to this GCI overload effect, it’s ‘entertainment’ — but to an old school old timer like scorsese this translates to the theme park analogy, a dumb, fun ride.
    (i’d be interested in a more detailed explanation from him as an artist in this regard, what specifically was his experience that made him give up on the genre as worthwhile cinema, but nobody ever seems to ask the stuff i’d get into)

  68. movieman says:

    OK, Barry.
    I was conflating them w/ WS high-rollers like Gordon Gekko.
    If they were young and hungry and not yet established as power players, maybe they would have taken the subway to save a few bucks.

    But knowing the lyrics to “Send in the Clowns”?
    That’s a bridge too far, lol.

  69. movieman says:

    Weekend Box Office October 4-6, 2019

    1 N Joker (2019) WB $93,500,000 – 4,374 – $21,376 $93,500,000 – 1

    2 1 Abominable Uni. $12,000,000 -41.8% 4,248 +6 $2,825 $37,833,115 $75 2

    3 2 Downton Abbey Focus $8,000,000 -44.2% 3,548 +158 $2,255 $73,626,935 – 3

    4 3 Hustlers STX $6,300,000 -44.7% 3,030 -478 $2,079 $91,321,880 $20 4

    5 4 It: Chapter Two WB (NL) $5,355,000 -47.7% 3,163 -448 $1,693 $202,205,157 – 5

    6 5 Ad Astra Fox $4,557,000 -54.5% 2,910 -550 $1,566 $43,662,768 – 3

    7 7 Judy RAtt. $4,445,635 +52.4% 1,458 +997 $3,049 $8,904,078 – 2

    8 6 Rambo: Last Blood LGF $3,550,000 -58.7% 2,900 -718 $1,224 $39,823,895 $50 3

    9 N War (2019) Yash $1,581,000 – 305 – $5,184 $2,088,290 – 1

    10 8 Good Boys Uni. $900,000 -56.5% 1,006 -497 $895 $82,042,620 $20 8

  70. palmtree says:

    Wally and Leah, I’ve got no problem with people criticizing Marvel over the shallowness of the storytelling or suspension of disbelief. Hell, you could even say you hate these movies. Fine, no prob.

    But Scorsese actually claims Marvel “isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” That’s not even factually correct given that the first half of Endgame was devoted to the emotional fall-out of an event and featured almost no theme park thrills. And Endgame isn’t even the most emotional Marvel movie for me. They all have a degree of emotional truth, and you could say it’s based on a formula, but still, it’s there.

    The very reason the public loves Marvel movies is because they connect to the characters emotionally and psychologically. Whether the movies are good is another discussion and a valid one, but I think Scorsese is just yelling at kids on his lawn. Praising Jurassic Park, directed by one of his best friends Steven Spielberg, doesn’t really convince me otherwise.

  71. palmtree says:

    Eh…for all I know, Netflix told Scorsese to say something vaguely controversial and/or anti-Disney to drum up press for The Irishman. So I guess it worked. But still, I expect more from Scorsese.

  72. Stella's Boy says:

    It’s just one person’s opinion. Why does it matter that much? Why expect more from him? Granted I more or less agree with him, but if he had said “I hate horror movies they’re worthless trash,” I would just laugh and move on. People get too bent out of shape about this stuff.

  73. leahnz says:

    fwiw palmtree you missed my point, which is probably because i didn’t explain it well enough (i’ll try)
    simply put, suspension of disbelief comes BEFORE emotional investment for the viewer.
    you say scorsese is factually incorrect about marvel because the first half of endgame is all emotional fallout, not evn the most emotional movie and they all have a degree of emotional truth – but this isn’t technically true because ultimately emotion is something the viewer must FEEL, it can’t be forced, film-makers can’t make people feel emotion and humanity in their movies.
    all you can do is construct a story in a way that finesses and coaxes the viewer to connect with the characters and care what happens to them – to FEEL for them/what they go through, feel the consequences, whatever that may be.
    so if your movie looks fake to people with CGI effects overload and events occur that are preposterous and don’t look real, that can result in a feeling of no real-world stakes or consequences for the characters because the viewer’s mind does not process suspension of disbelief and thus the stakes are low, emotional investment necessary to make a movie worthwhile doesn’t occur, and it feels like empty spectacle (theme park ride).
    i’m not saying this is definitely what MS was trying to convey, just my suspicion as a gen x who is somewhere in between the scorsese era of in-camera effects and real-world action and the CGI/gamer effects era that’s caused desensitisation to suspension of disbelief.
    effects in service of the characters/story, not story to display cool vis effects (backasswards).
    jurassic park, for example, uses composited effects judiciously with a good deal of winston’s in-camera animatronics and action along with post-prod CGI/compositing. even blatant vis effects shots such as the initial brontosaurus sighting is used to further character by astonishing dr grant and ellie and ian. it’s their very human character reactions that makes the effect and the scene worthwhile, not the other way around – the effect for the sake of it. this is where we are.

  74. palmtree says:

    SB, yeah, I guess it doesn’t matter, except perhaps for my misplaced desire to have respect for Scorsese.

    leah, ok, I think I see what you mean. You’re talking about the viewer being moved or affected by what’s on screen. And if what we’re saying is that on the whole Marvel hasn’t been good at conveying emotion, then I can see an argument being made. But my interpretation was that he was saying they weren’t even trying to convey emotion, that it wasn’t a matter of failure but an utter lack of intent.

    And maybe even then you’d agree with him. But I think there are clear examples of MCU films that transcend his oversimplification, Black Panther being maybe the most obvious one.

  75. hcat says:

    Palmtree, I would whole heartedly agree that Black Panther soars on a different plain than most Marvel movies, and ranks among the top ten action films of this century so far. But I don’t see how MS not investing his time in these films would make you lose respect for him. The guy is probably watching films from the dawn of filmmaking to present from around the entire globe. When given the chance to watch Thor: Dark World or revisit Tokyo Story he probably makes the right choice.

    I would like to point out that this was a beyond lazy question to ask him, and was probably the least interesting point in the interview but made the most clickbaity headline. Given his rate of speech a half hour interview would contain about 17 million words, it seems ridiculous to me that the webosphere has latched on to these 30.

  76. palmtree says:

    hcat, true. I shouldn’t be too mad. It’s all clickbait in service of The Machine. I don’t really care if Scorsese never watches an MCU film, as I’m sure he’s busy and has good taste, etc. And if Robert Downey ain’t mad, why should I be?

    I just wish he could apply his wide-ranging tastes to the MCU rather than dismissing it out of hand. There’s so much in film history to contextualize it thoughtfully. If I wanted to hear knee-jerk reactions, I’d go to social media, not one of the most respected directors of all time.

    Also, for movieman from the other thread, I agree Abominable sucked.

  77. Hcat says:

    Hey if you ever need knee jerk reaction to how Marvrl or Disney sucks I am at your disposal. Honestly, how is Ad Astra only ten percent ahead of frickin’ Rambo?

    As for abominable, was it cheap looking? Dream works is usually one of the higher budgeted animators, if this cost the normal 150 to 200 million that is a pretty fierce disaster.

  78. Stella's Boy says:

    Mojo says Abominable cost $75 million. So maybe Dreamworks tightened their belts.

    Ad Astra isn’t very good and men like to watch tough guys slaughter bad guys.

  79. palmtree says:

    Hcat, see, you should be one who’s upset that Scorsese is trying to angle in on your territory!

    Abominable didn’t look cheap necessarily. Some of the elements of the art were weird or unconvincing, but it wasn’t bad per se. Not Pixar level, but still not bad. I just thought the storytelling was threadbare and full of deus ex machina type elements. However, contrary to movieman, I did think some Chinese culture did manage to shine through. Maybe not a ton, but it was definitely there.

  80. Hcat says:

    As Stella stated, it was more on the bargain side for DreamWorks, and I upon looking things up I did inflate the budgets on their larger films, they seem to top out at 145 not start there. I don’t know how much Uni paid for DreamWorks but its not looking like that great an investment at the moment. Sooner or later they might end up just sticking with their television spinoffs.

  81. leahnz says:

    times like these this stanza of my 2016 post-election iliad feels dreadfully apt:


    the sane world weeps :'(

  82. palmtree says:

    Funny rhyme. I hope the day will come when all this is over and I’m able to finally laugh at it.

  83. leahnz says:

    well it’s part an epic 4-5 stanza odyssey i posted here after the 2016 ratfucking but i’ve forgotten most of it now (pretty sure it started with the ever-green ‘liar liar pants on fire’)
    if we get out of this alive i suspect it could take generations to find any humour in this sadistic shitshow. fingers crossed.

  84. Glamourboy says:

    Still early in the awards season but I doubt I will see a movie that I love more than I loved JoJo Rabbit. It is an incredible piece of film making…with roots not only in The Producers and (Lubitch’s) To Be Or Not To Be…but also Hope and Glory and even as far back as The Bed Sitting Room. The film earned a standing O at the Writers Guild screening last night (and this isn’t a group that gets up for much)….the only oddness of the night was the Q&A with director Waititi who was pretty balls out drunk. I went back to look at some other Q&As he’s done and it seems that arriving drunk is his thing…unless it is some kind of odd act. The evening at the WGA was also to showcase New Zealand Maori filmmakers–and he got a gasp from the audience when he stated that the trade mark of New Zealand filmmaking is that it is very polite. Great film. Amazing talent–odd guy. But he’ll probably also score an Oscar nod, not only for his writing and directing, but his hilarious and weirdly touching performance of the guy protagonist’s vision of Hitler.

  85. palmtree says:

    I wonder how much of him appearing drunk is an act and how much is real. I think for the Oscars he pretended to be asleep when his category came up. He’s always being silly during these moments. And I kinda like that irreverence, although I hope it’s not purely just because he’s drunk.

  86. movieman says:

    October 11-13, 2019

    1 1 Joker (2019) WB $55,000,000 -42.8% 4,374 – $12,574 $192,728,787 $55 2

    2 N The Addams Family (2019) UAR $30,298,000 – 4,007 – $7,561 $30,298,000 – 1

    3 N Gemini Man Par. $20,500,000 – 3,642 – $5,629 $20,500,000 $138 1

    4 2 Abominable Uni. $6,170,000 -48.2% 3,496 -752 $1,765 $47,971,350 $75 3

    5 3 Downton Abbey Focus $4,900,000 -38.7% 3,019 -529 $1,623 $82,687,590 – 4

    6 4 Hustlers STX $3,850,000 -39.8% 2,357 -673 $1,633 $98,015,339 $20 5

    7 6 Judy RAtt. $3,255,353 -29.2% 1,627 +169 $2,001 $14,974,204 – 3

    8 5 It: Chapter Two WB (NL) $3,225,000 -39.4% 2,303 -860 $1,400 $207,135,424 – 6

    9 N Jexi LGF $3,100,000 – 2,332 – $1,329 $3,100,000 – 1

    10 7 Ad Astra Fox $1,947,000 -53.5% 1,678 -1,232 $1,160 $47,035,432 – 4

    13 N Parasite (2019) Neon $376,264 – 3 – $125,421 $376,264 – 1

  87. palmtree says:

    Parasite is looking strong! Can’t wait to see it.

  88. movieman says:

    “Jexi” is mildly appealing (female lead Alexandra Shipp is immensely appealing!), but I had less trouble buying the central premise of a smartphone AI sabotaging its owners life than believing that uber-lame 1990 Tom Cruise racing flick “Days Of Thunder” has a rabid cult following.
    Can this really be “A Thing”?

  89. Glamourboy says:

    Believe it, Movieman. Many unexpected movies have a cult following. I have a friend who throws a party over the movie Cocktail every year.

  90. movieman says:

    I had no idea “Thunder” had a following…of any kind, Glamour.
    While I can (sort of) appreciate a “Showgirls”-type cult re: “Cocktail,” it’s hard to believe anyone could revere the “Tony-Scott-phones-it-in” mediocrity that is “DOT.”
    Of course, I just rewatched “Big Wednesday” over the weekend, another movie that was dismissed as a stinker at the time, but has now evolved into a beloved cult classic.
    I vaguely recall liking “Wednesday” at the time, but it looks better to me now. Was surprised at how little I remembered from the movie.
    WB clearly had no idea what to do w/ “BW” in 1978 (just as they wouldn’t have a clue a year later with “The Wanderers”).
    Kind of ironic-satisfying that both are now considered (late) New Hollywood cornerstones of auteurist filmmaking. Which, of course, they truly are.

  91. Hcat says:

    Cruise has that effect on people, I am surprised at the number of times I’ve had to stifle a laugh when someone would start singing the praises of Far and Away or Last Samurai. I am sure there are plenty of people that really dig Vanilla Sky.

    RIP Richard Forester, just saw Medium Cool about a week ago and it was a kick seeing him so young.

  92. movieman says:

    Yes, indeed, Hcat.
    I’d like to put a plug in for 2001’s “Diamond Men,” a little-seen Robert Forster (no pun intended) gem. Like “Jackie Brown,” it distills the essence of Forster’s appeal in one movie/one role.
    He had the sort of no-b.s., comfortable-in-your-own-skin masculinity that’s become an increasingly endangered species in Hollywood movies.

    Pitt in “Once Upon a Time” probably comes closest to capturing that quality.

    P.S.= I rather like “The Last Samurai.” But more for Ken Watanabe than a miscast Cruise.

  93. Hcat says:

    “I rather like “The Last Samurai”

    See the cult got you as well.

  94. Stella's Boy says:

    Ugh Last Samurai is so bad. Watanabe is very good but the movie is not.

    I was really disappointed by El Camino (SPOILERS follow). It seems like most critics and viewers are fans, but I was bored silly. Such pandering fan service. Strained efforts to play the favorites and get characters back in. So much time spent on the long-dead Todd. Just didn’t care. And Jesse becomes an action hero in a totally ridiculous shootout where somehow only he has good aim. Didn’t work at all for me. I was perfectly fine where the show ended re: Jesse. This adds nothing.

  95. movieman says:

    Was the relative timidity re: violence, langage, etc. in “El Camino” because it was a co-production w/ AMC where it will eventually drop?
    Seemed odd, particularly in this day and age when basic cable networks like FX drop more “f” bombs in one commercial block than Jack Nicholson did playing a sailor in 105 minutes of “The Last Detail.”
    Not to mention the graphic carnage on AMC’s own “Walking Dead” franchise that makes George Romero’s halcyon zombie movies look like “The Last Starfighter” in comparison.
    I didn’t mind “El Camino” while agreeing that it added nothing to the “Breaking Bad” legacy except a nice payday for Aaron Paul.
    Loved seeing Robert Forster, of course, and it did provide a nice showcase for one of my current fave raves, Scott MacArthur, who also killed it on HBO’s “The Righteous Gemstones.” MacArthur reminds me of a young(er) William Forsythe. Bow.

    Re: “Last Samurai.” I’m also a longtime Ed Zwick fan, so there’s that as well.

  96. Stella's Boy says:

    Jeremy Renner still getting a Disney+ show?

  97. Hcat says:

    They apparently put out a list of their hundreds of movies that will available on day one. Didn’t bother to read the whole thing so I don’t know if Gus the Field Goal Kicking Mule or Unidentified Flying Oddball is on there, but that seems to be the basic grouping of quality. Lots of direct to video sequels and TV movies. As this service comes into focus the appeal becomes fuzzier.

  98. movieman says:

    I hope Disney didn’t forget to add “Condorman” w/ Michael Crawford.
    Or 1962’s “Moon Pilot” starring the pre-“Cardinal” Tom Tryon.

    I’m joking: they both suck.
    But like Netflix, I’m sure quantity matters more than quality.

  99. Stella's Boy says:

    I did see something about Gus. Don Knotts right? Lots of titles I have never heard of.

  100. Hcat says:

    Yup, smack dab in the middle of Knotts Disney tenure, after his Universal run and before the New World pairings with Conway which I watched every chance I could on Cable as a small boy. Beware the Wookalar!!!!

    The silver lining I could possibly see in all this is older Fox movies making their way in but the only title I have seen that fits that would be 1947 version of Miracle on 47th. Where are the Temple films? Where are the two dozen films Roddy McDowell made before he reached 16?

  101. leahnz says:
    oops caught with their dominionism hanging out, again and again. be very afraid. the only wall you need is constitutional, between church and state.

    this time of year rolls around once again:
    on usurped land, who’s ‘illegal’

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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