The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2005

One Reader's Oscar 2005 A-Z (not by DP)

Aviator will be regarded as the better movie in just a few years. Watch for it.
Beyonce Knowles is the new Rob Lowe: Only she was boring to the third power.
Chris Rock is so much funnier than The Oscars. Dave Letterman knows it.
Did anyone explain why there were so many empty seats at the Kodak?
Eastwood has directed 4 of the last 8 acting winners within a year. Not too shabby.
Freeman not having an Oscar before tonight doesn’t really make sense does it?
Giamatti is so much cooler than The Oscars. Steve McQueen knows it.
He needs to lighten up, that Sean Penn guy. Those non-conformists are all alike.
Isn’t a standing ovation at the Oscars just a big ole circle jerk anyway? “Sit your asses down!” is right.
Jeremy Irons gets the David Niven award for quickdraw quipdraw.
Kaufman looked kinda sorry to win, like he’s losing all that street cred.
Lynn Whitfield looks just like Sophie Okonedo.
Martin Scorcese keeps out-classing the Oscars year after year. Brava!
Nobody should have put Pierce Brosnon on that stage tonight.
Oscar hasn’t awarded a genuine best picture classic since “Schindler’s List.”
P. Piddy has the stage presence of a janitor… a very desperate one.
Quick, tell me, who won best actor again? Oh right. Him.
Robin Williams needs to stop teasing and just host next year.
Selma and Penelope presenting together was sort of like a bizarre racist SNL skit. “I’m just keeeding!”
That song from Shrek 2 is really freaking catchy.
Unbelievable how the best acceptance speech of the night was sung… and in another language.
Ventilators are for losers. Unless of course you’re Hilary Swank.
When did Peter Ustinov die?
X marks the spot where the presenters and winners stand. And it should never be in the audience.
Yentil’s probably under the impression that audiences want more of her now. God… help… us.
Zooey Daschanel was all over the red carpet. Now who is she again?


The 15 Headlines (of 50 From Last Week's 20 Weeks) That Still Work

Baby Is Lethal
Baby Love
Best Things In Life Are Freeman’s
Baby Scores Late Round Knockout
Five If By Air, Four If Baby
Aviator Wins Battle, Loses War
Yes Sir, That’s My Baby!
Eastwood Gets The Gold Pacifier For Baby
Two Swank!
Baby Needs A New Pair Of Oscars
Baby Fights Off Hughes To Take Crown
Down Goes Marty… Down Goes Marty!

One For Kaufman to Remember
Harvey Has Left The Auditorium


The Oscar Thread That Should Have Been Up Five Hours Ago

How was Rock?

Why can’t Best Actor/Actress winners shut up?

What worked about the telecast for you?

Was this the most “nothing” Oscars ever?


Mad Blackwoman… The Conversation

Have at it, boys & girls…


On The Indie Spirit Awards…

Very happy for Paul Giamatti.

Consider this as you will… every single category that had an Oscar nominee in it was won by the Oscar nominee. (5 for Sideways, Doc – Born Into Brothels, Foreign Language – The Sea Inside… even Motorcycle Diaries for cinematography)

Even with Giamatti’s win… no Oscar noninated competition, unless you include Jamie Foxx for the TV movie that snuck into an ISA nom. None of the five docs were Oscar nominated. The only two Oscar-on-Oscar competitions were the screenplay of Sideways vs Before Sunset and foreign language candidate Yesterday vs. The Sea Inside.

What does this say about these awards?

And what can IFP LA do about this? After all, the big names drive the fame of the show. But are they doing anything good for independent movies here?


Facts Worth Noting Regarding The LA Times On Oscar Spending

The L.A. Times Story

The Maria Full of Grace reception at the Four Seasons was in a slightly smaller room than last year’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King reception at the Four Seasons, with a slightly smaller turn out.

The Sideways party at Vibrato was primarily for music voters and not a celebrity-filled event. In fact, the biggest name there that was not part of the film was Harry Hamlin, in addition to a few A-list directors.

Warner Bros. in reality did pull back on Oscar-specific spending on Million Dollar Baby in December, riding their media exposure and waiting for it’s mid-January wide release. Sideways, which initially opened in October, did the same, strategically waiting for Oscar nominations to spend on a national ad campaign and to go wide.

Sideways could never have expected to pass $20 million without the awards season… so is the $40 million-plus in addition theatrical box office really a disproportionate focus?

The $200,000 to bring Mick Jagger in for the Golden Globes came after the Oscar nominations closed and never could have had any effect on the failure to secure a nomination.

On the issue of The Oscar Box Office Bump:

Lord of The Rings: Return of the King grossed just 3% of its domestic total after winning Oscar, with Mystic River’s domestic total adding 9% after the awards. .

Chicago earned 21% of its domestic gross after winning, though it had only been in wide release for seven weeks prior to Oscar, while The Pianist did 38% percent of its business post-Oscar while never expanding to a full “wide” release.

A Beautiful Mind grossed 9% of its domestic total after winning, while Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers added 5%.

No other titles have grossed as much as $5 million additionally after The Oscars in the last three years. But Home Entertainment is thought to be benefited by major nominations in a very significant way.

Sophie Okonedo flew to the U.S. for Hotel Rwanda interviews no less than six times before nominations… she was shooting Aeon Flux in Berlin and came to town every chance MGM could get her in order to get the momentum for the nomination going.

New Line did not take advantage of a personal loss in the life of Imelda Staunton, regardless of strategic advantage and a limited budget, to promote her candidacy. So when she finally was available, they had to go to unique ends to get the media access to her in a very short period of time. In other words, what is presented in the piece as strategy was virtually the opposite.

Adrien Brody spent three months virtually non—stop promoting The Pianist.

Like political campaigns, capping Oscar campaigns is impossible without a cash fund to create a level playing field. And will we really need Oscars when hell freezes over?


Johnny Depp In Michael Jackson: The Movie?



What Is Indie?

This came up in another post…

Disney’s new Miramax allegedly will have a $300 million budget. Focus, Searchlight and WIP are around and/or over the $150 million a year that Miramax was given – a lot of loose cash back then – when they went to Disney.

Eternal Sunshine, Huckabees and A Very long Engagement were all budgeted at over $20 million this year.

What is indie?


Why Racism Still Thrives…

Nikki Finke did a piece, full of “inside scoop” so mundane that a blind guy with a monkey could have seen it coming a mile away. (“L.A. Weekly has learned that Rock has earmarked a segment of his standup to joke about George W. Bush.” I mean, really…) And as usual, she twists a story about something that everyone else has written to death into something about George Bush for some mysterious reason.

But what really struck me was the headline of the piece…

“Will Chris Rock Be Oscar Dyn-O-Mite?”

And she wants to say that the conservatives are dangerous!

Chris Rock’s comedy is very stuck on being black in America. And it’s funny. And sometimes, it is too much. But when the nice white lady from Brentwood who is trying to support your right to freedom of speech can’t seem to help but to ghettoizre you by making a not-to-unclear comparison to the last great “ofay nigga” character on TV…

I don’t think Nikki is a racist. I think she is, while quirky, a serious, sincere and warm individual.

But when L.A. Weekly is running headlines like that (and they may well have written it instead of her) and it sits there… it makes me wonder just how far we have come and whether Chris Rock is race obsessed enough.

I mean, what other subtect can on atribute to that headline?

I guess some tortured logic could be that the vast right wing conspiracy wants to bend black intellect Chris Rock into Jimmy “JJ” Walker… I guess. But they did hire the guy. And Nikki herself reports that he is not being restricted in any way. So where did the headline come from? And how can the undertone of racist, in the name of being clever, come so easily for a hard left publication?

I’m a little amazed.



I think I had some sort of historically bad run of electronics luck this weekend… the worst of which was what seems to be the third dead hard drive in less than a year with my beloved VAIO laptop. Agony, especially when travelling.

I expect to spend much of today catching up.

Also, I got a note about a couple of folks “torturing” one of the other feedback writers (while my Blackberry was workng… another minor nightmare)… please stop it, whoever you are. I don’t want to start getting into “banning” people, which is why I never had open responses on any of the sites before. Having to patrol for unkindness all the time seems like its against the point of an open forum. Of course, it may be inevtiable… which might be the end of this open forum.

I have really enjoyed having this place for people to congregate and discuss things. It can get pretty rough without crossing the line. Please don’t cross the line. You all know where it is.


Left Out Of This Page Six Quote…

I’m quoted aging up the Academy membership, but the punch line, which I think is significant, is that I don’t think that Rock will ever host again after this.

I do think that most Academy members are hip to the room, but they can be prickly and a guy who doesn’t show real restraint is a danger, much as Whoopi Goldberg was.

He’s not going to get dumped… they’ll be thrilled if this “controversy” draws more eyeballs. But never again.


Oscars Gone Real


c/o The Lovely Ms. Librarian @


It's A Warner Bros Valentines Day


Movies are like a box of choc-o-lates…


Continuing The Chris Rock Interview Chat In Its Own Space

From the Drudge Report (no kidding):




Veteran members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have grown concerned over the choice of Chris Rock as host of this month’s awards show, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Concern deepened after Rock claimed only gays watch the Oscars!

“I never watched the Oscars. Come on, it’s a fashion show,” Rock recently declared.

“What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one!”

Rock added: “Awards for art are f—ing idiotic.”


Academy members have privately called for Chris Rock to be removed as host, sources claim, fearing Rock may “tarnish” the reputation of the Academy.

“Simply put, this is a disgrace,” one veteran Hollywood mogul, who asked not to be identified, said from Los Angeles.

“This guy is out there saying ‘awards for art are f—ing idiotic’ and he is hosting the show produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? I guess the joke is on us!”

One nominated actress questions whether producer Gil Cates was even aware that Rock has “never watched the Oscars.”

Other unpublicized comments made by Rock threaten to throw the scheduled Feb. 27 broadcast into complete chaos.

During a recent hate-filled rant, Rock imitated a White House press briefing:

“Mr. President, what about gay marriage? ‘F**k them faggots,'” Rock said of Bush.

What will Rock be wearing to the show?

“Nothing against people who aren’t straight, but what straight guy that you know cares? Who gives a f—?” Rock explained.

Posted by: Joe Leydon | February 13, 2005 08:00 PM

Anyone have any idea who he said this to and when? Just out of curiosity. Certainly can’t believe everything you read from Drudge.

Posted by: Stella’s Boy | February 13, 2005 08:46 PM

It’s from his EW interview…

Posted by: SamoanJoe | February 13, 2005 09:29 PM


The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

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