The Hot Blog Archive for April, 2005

How Much Is Foxx Worth?

Does this add up?


A Day Without Blogging Is Like A Day Without Blogging

My home is being tented for termites today… I’m not looking forward to it… but the glory of wi-fi will allow the party to keep going….
Have you read David Thomson on the gay subtext of some very macho movies?
“On Rebel Without a Cause, I can actually point to several key figures on that film who had had some gay experience…”


One Big Lesson

Since it’s come up in two different entries today, I thought I would address the biggest public misstep I’ve made in recent years… the Phantom of the Opera Oscar column.
Reading back, I can only laugh at the hyperbole, my arrogance at throwing my track record into it, and my own stupidity in being that definitive on anything I had no control over.
There were very specific qualifiers in the column. But one of the lessons is that no one reads the fine print.
The half dozen or so bad calls that some readers love to throw in my face endlessly as proof that I am failable, almost all of them were failures of enhthusiasm. The Terminal, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, The Rundown, Phantom… each made major marketing and/or distribution mistakes, in my opinion. But only The Rundown has had an upbeat afterlife… beyond the Phantom cult.
On the flip side, I still am amazed that Miramax was able to back into such a success with Hero after stumbling with the film for so long. The Day Ater Tomorrow still shocks me every time I think about its undeniable smash hit status… that piece of shit did $100 million after its huge opening weekend. I just don’t get it.
But the big lesson is… don’t promise a win when you don’t get to market the movie… or to handle the media… or to not reshoot two weeks out…
Okay… the real lesson is “don’t promise what you can’t deliver.”
Meanwhile, I’m sticking with Rachel McAdams, Ellen Pompeo, and Ginifer Goodwin to find their way to stardom. (That’s Joe Leydon’s cue to accuse me of drooling… thanks, Joe.)


Pretty Sensational Job By Searchlight…

… on the Nightwatch trailer
They even acknowledge that it’s in Russian… but it’s so cool looking, no one’s gonna notice…
28 Days Later numbers are clearly an option this July.


Early Box Office Analysis

Fox sold Drew Barrymore


Kingdom Of Heaven

No arab slagging here… it’s a movie about the futility of war…
The story starts with the Christians in control of Jerusalem and the arabs are ominously powerful.
Hot Button column
Does that mean anything?
Is it a problem that Jane Fonda is in it? (That’s a joke!)


Summer Guessin'…

20 Weeks Of Summer starts next week on MCN and I will save my obnoxious predictions until then. But what kind of money do you see flying around in the first six weeks of summer?
1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
2. XXX: State of the Union
3. Kingdom of Heaven
4. House of Wax
5. Kicking & Screaming
6. Star Wars III
7. Madagascar
8. The Longest Yard
9. Cinderella Man
10. Lords of Dogtown
11. The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants
Opening numbers? Domestic totals?



I have to say… there was a lot of negative stuff being thrown around L.A. about Jane Fonda and her comeback effort in the last 18 months. There were jobs she didn’t get, diva complaints, etc.
But man oh man, this woman is a 100% pro who can work a TV talkshow like Jordan worked a basketball. Watching her with Larry King and then David Letterman, she handled every question with charm and a directness that made you believe here and never made you feel that she was evading anything.
She understands what the Democratic Party has forgotten in recent years. She owns her successes and her embarrassments and just keeps coming. How long before someone tries to get her to run for Governor against Ahnuld?
I don’t know how Monster In Law is going to be as a film, but that thing that Fonda had in the best of my memories is alive again. And is a world of almost stars, I am very happy to see her back in the saddle.


"Fever Pitch Is The Hit Comedy Of The Season"

I just heard that tag on a spot on the Yankee/Red Sox game.
How can it be the hit anything if it hasn’t opened yet?
Another question… does anyone who isn’t a fan of the book know what The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is all about? Why won’t Disney tell us?
Last one… how did Sydney Pollack end up with “A Sydney Pollack Film” credit in a virtually invisible gray stuck inconspicuously between very dark and larger lettering for Kidman and Penn in the outdoor for The Interpreter? It’s almost like when a studio makes the name of the quote whore in a TV ad so small that no one can read it. But shouldn’t they be proud of Mr. Pollack, one of the top commercial, movie star diretors of this era?


How High The Comment Word Count?

I’m not sure we’ve ever had a 1400 word entry on the blog before… and I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to encourage it.
But “kit“s rant on Sin City was wild… almost too wild to hear past the froth in his mouth.
I’m pulling it off the Comments, where I found it, and you can read it, if you like, after the jump.

Read the full article »


Unexpected Insights Into Film Criticism

“Chelminski points out that (film) critics are even more inclined than other kinds to fatigue. Most (film) critics are sick of (watching) rich, expensive (films) and will do almost anything to have something new; a perfectly prepared (genre film) first gets a smile, and then a yawn.”
“At the same time, the book is wonderfully revealing about the double consciousness of the critic. Although pain-giving herself (and admiring of


There HAS To Be Something Else To Talk About, No?

Come on… let’s move past Sin City… we can do it…


The Movie Carpool Lane

As is so often the case, Anthony Lane writes his way into a meringue of criticism, too busy being air-udite to be emotionally connected to the heart of any film. But as is also often the case, there are a few gems in the jello.
In his review of Sin City and Lukas Moodyson


Feed Me, See More…

MCN, The Hot Blog & Movie City Indie are all up & running and available via feed now.
The primary MCN site feed is:
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1 Comment »


Folks… were slowly but surely on our way to asking commenters to register. This both helps us maintain some civility (not that I want to babysit) and to keep the comment space from being spammed.
The system we’ve chosen is TypeKey. It both allows you to register easily and quickly and to maintain – if you want to – your complete anonymity. Neither I nor other readers will not have access to your real identity or e-mail unless you so wish it. So, Spam Dooley, you will remain a mystery and never have to enter a fake e-mail address again.
To sign up or sign in, just click on “If you have a TypeKey identity, you can sign in to use it here” and it will take you where you need to go. We’ll probably change things over to allow only registered commenters in a week or two.
Happy to hear any feedback, positive or negative. And if you have any trouble with the software, let me know that too.


The Hot Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ David Simon