The Hot Blog Archive for December, 2005

Lion Beats Giant Monkey

Well… this is more unsettling…
Wednesday estimates from Mojo…
1. The Chronicles of Narnia – $4,940,386
2. King Kong – $4,870,320
The drama continues…


Working On It, But…

The Hollywood Reporter ran a review of V for Vendetta, which was shown at Harry Knowles’ Butt-Numb-A-Thon a couple fo weeks ago.
My first reaction is that this a landmark embargo crusher. But I am working through the players, trying to get their positions in all of this. I’m curious about your first reactions.


How Might Brokeback Fall Back?

Brokeback Mountain has gotten past two of the early hurdles. It has won a majority of the top critics awards so far and it is a sure bet to be seen by a very high percentage of Academy voters. But precursors can be curses too. The last time winning the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion turned out to be a precursor of an Oscar Best Picture nomination was 1980, when Atlantic City took the Golden Lion. No Venice winner has ever won Best Picture. But records are made to be broken. Only a few years ago, 61 home runs was an impossible goal.
Munich is also sure to be seen by a vast majority of the Academy members. But every other one of the contending pictures will continue to have to fight to be seen by most voters.
King Kong skews a little young, so the negative box office reportage will have an effect on how many of the generally-over-50 Academy members see the film.
Good Night, And Good Luck is likely to be seen mostly on DVD, though in that case, it is not much of a hindrance. The movie should play better on a small screen, though if it plays too well, people might write it off as too small.
Munich, on the other hand, will not be well served by first-time TV viewing. It is a movie that at-home distractions could well hurt. A second viewing at home is probably in its favor, however. An unusual challenge for Universal strategists.
One of the downsides for The Constant Gardener is its early release date. Many Academy members may have seen the film when it was first released in late August. And they will use the DVD as a reminder. But members seeing the visually complex film for the first and only time on DVD may not feel its full power.
Which brings us back to Brokeback Mountain, which starts as an upstream swimmer. No matter how much some people adore the film, it has the popularity boundaries of most Ang Lee movies. It is deliberate. It is languorous at times. The characters are not terribly verbal. It is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but the last visual feast to win Best Picture was The English Patient, a decade ago.
And like it or not, there is a significant percentage of Academy voters who really aren’t interested in a gay love story. But forget about “gay” for a moment. Once you get past Shakespeare in Love, which was driven more by being a show biz piece than a romance, and you have to go all the way back to Casablanca to find a Best Picture winner that centered on a great romance.


THAT's A Loota Pay Per View

I just saw an ad for a Wrestlemania 22 Pay Per View for $88.95.
Seems like a very thought out price point. Fascinating.


Monkey Win!

Live Telecast of the Critics’ Choice Awards on January 9, 2006 on The WB
BURBANK, CA (December 20, 2005) – Kong will receive a special award at the 11th annual Critics’ Choice Awards gala on January 9, 2006 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, it was announced today by the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Board of Directors.
The Distinguished Achievement in Performing Arts Award will be presented to Kong, star of the movie “King Kong,” on the telecast, which will be broadcast live on The WB. In recognition of the singular achievement in creating this character, representing a revolutionary leap forward in synthesizing visual effects with an actor’s performance, the special award will be accepted by actor Andy Serkis, animation director Christian Rivers, animation supervisor Joe Letteri, and, of course, Kong himself.
“Many BFCA members wanted to vote for Kong for Best Actor because they were so impressed by the astonishing way in which he expresses love, lust, humor and rage in the tradition of the finest human actors,” states BFCA president Joey Berlin. “The BFCA Board of Directors feels this recognition is necessary to live up to our goal of honoring the finest in cinematic achievement at the Critics’ Choice Awards show.”


And the silence grows deafening…

You hear that? It’s the sound of offices emptying and the employees left behind shopping on line…


I Thought It Was A Hoax…

But Cinema Blend is right
Mel Gibson did cut a frame of himself on the set of Apocalypto into the teaser trailer for the film. It happens at 1:46 in the trailer. And the image is…
Unlike Cinema Blend, I really, really like this trailer. It makes me excited about what he is doing here. But still, pretty nutty stunt…


Check Out Our New Blog…

The Reeler


Right Back Where We Started From

So, The Family Stone ad campaign has made this Maxine Nightengale classic into Sarah Jessica Parker’s theme song of the moment.
So is ABC using the hearing-it-all-the-time-on-TV-lately song in the promo for Emily’s Reasons Why Not to associate their TV show with Sex & The City in a rather bizzare chain of promotion?


Anyone Find Any News In Here?

The LA Times went out on a limb and did a Tm Cruise/Scientology story on Sunday… but is there anything in there?
I’m not being snarky or disrespectful to the reporting. I just don’t see anything in there and really would like to know if you do.


Irony Of The Week

Andy Klein spent so much time obsessing on the length of the new King Kong (which ultimately ends up with no real answer about what he thinks should have been left out) that in the print version, the review is too long to fit on the page he was assigned.


What A Shame

With everything going on in the world, Time Magazine decides to give their greatest honor to a monopolistic billionare, his wife, and an aggressive activist quarter-billionaire?
Did Karl Rove take over editorship of the magazine?
I am surprised that I am this angry about this, but this is a year where real people suffered and suffered deeply and some of them fought back with the kind of effort that is truly honorable. I respect the charitable efforts of the rich, but I don’t know that it requires this kind of applause. How about someone whom it really hurts to give?


Sunday Estimates – 12/18/05



Friday Estimates

Today is Dividing Day on King Kong.
Do you want to attack it and call it the 75th best Friday in history


A Little Kong Perspective Please

King Kong had the ninth best Wednesday of all time in the month of December, sixteenth best outside of summer.
Five of the eight better Wednesday were Rings movies.
Meet The Fockers, released Christmas week last year, had a better Wed three days before X-mas and 4 days after.
Catch Me If You Can did slightly better than Kong did Wednesday on its Christmas Day release.
The non-December, non-summer betters? Harry Potters, Matrix III, The Passion,
I’m not saying that $10 million on Wed is thrilling. But get some perspective. THe Wednesday was better than any Wednesday by Spider-Man or Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith. They ended up doing ok.


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