The Hot Blog Archive for December, 2005

Trying To Get The Point Of The LAT Munich Story

With due respect to Rachel Abramowitz, who muscularly reported the Munich piece, it’s like the biggest piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen without nearly enough frosting or milk to keep you from choking on it all.
What do people want to read about Munich right now? They want to read Spielberg (not Tony Kusher and surely not Kathleen Kennedy) addressing the questions, however parsed, “Is this good for Israel? Is this good for the Jews?”
I believe Spielberg’s answers are “yes” and “yes.” And there is no doubt, there are other Jews (and non-Jews) who will disagree. These conversations are complex and divisive by their nature.
For the sake of that conversation, I have pulled some of what Spielberg had to say out of the near-4000 word piece.
“I couldn’t live with myself being silent for the sake of maintaining my popularity. And I’m at an age right now where if I don’t take risks, I lose respect for myself. And this was an important risk for me to take.”
“I worked very hard so this film was not in any way, shape or form going to be an attack on Israel.”
“[The film’s] a discussion


And Here's How It Will Go…

DreamWorks and Paramount (who will be whose parent again?) are doing an internal rotisserie league draft of talent. A few people will retained by DreamWorks ongoing operations, but most of the DW infrastructure team will either join Paramount or join the job hunt. Of course, those who join Paramount will mostly be displacing current Paramount employees.
At least two departments have already been picked… one DreamWorks, one Paramount… both to be employed at Paramount. Neither involves marketing, though the decision there has probably been made.
Expect 100-200 talented folks to be out trying to take your job real soon.
Even beter, word on Wall Street is that the market for the DreamWorks library is a little chillier than expected, perhaps increasing the hard cost of the “acquisition” by Paramount by a few hundred million dollars.
Hey, with King Kong opening to $150 million… uh… oh… well…
Merry Christmas. Ho Ho Ho.


Brokeback Bandana

“The code is great to look at, especially as it becomes more arcane. For instance, a light blue hankie with yellow dots in the right pocket means you like to blow Asians. Houndstooth in the left pocket means you like to nibble.”
From Not Only But Also


Kong Estimates A $9.8 Million Wed

Good, bad, or ugly?


Behold… The Birth Of A New Logo!!!



20 Weeks To Nothing?

So here we are


Dretzka On Big Papers Going Oscar Wild

“Maybe it


The Campaign Against Munich

What to do, what to do?


I Must Admit…

… it doesn’t make me sad when Andrew Sarris sees Brokeback Mountain through a prism much like my own.
Also, This from David Letterman…
Top Ten Signs You’re A Gay Cowboy
10. “Your saddle is Versace”
9. “Instead of ‘Home On The Range’, you sing ‘It’s Raining Men'”
8. “You enjoy ridin’, ropin’, and redecoratin'”
7. “Sold your livestock to buy tickets to ‘Mamma Mia'”
6. “After watching reruns of ‘Gunsmoke’, you have to take a cold shower”
5. “Native Americans refer to you as ‘Dances With Men'”
4. “You’ve been lassoed more times than most steers”
3. “You’re wearing chaps, yet your ‘ranch’ is in Chelsea”
2. “Instead of a saloon you prefer a salon”
1. “You love riding, but you don’t have a horse”


Premium Pricing For "Exclusive" Movie Showings

The NY Post reports that The Ziegfield will be pumping up their $10.75 ticket price to $12.50 for their one-week exclusive run of The Producers in Manhattan.
I guess the industry has really learned its lesson about the movie ticket price passing $10.
Universal will make about $1 of the increased price. Should they be taking it? Should they give it back to the customer?
I have the sickening feeling that this is an attempt to stick it to consumers at the box office as an experiment in multi-tiered pricing for the future. But pushing the price point envelope for an extra $10,000 (or as little as an extra $5000) seems insane to me. You?


The Golden Globes Acts…

… like The Golden Globes.
An utter mess.
Even Brokeback Mountain, which led with 7 nominations – pretty much 2 short of the most possible – came up short of Jake Gyllenhaal, who couldn’t make it past Paul Giamatti (one of two nods, the other Russell Crowe) or Will Ferrell (one of four Producers nods, with Best Pic/Musical, Nathan Lane, and Song)
Munich got one of 5 Best Screenplay nods and one of 6 Best Director nods… but no Best Picture slot and no other slots. The other three films that got director and screenplay (BBM, Good Night, And Good Luck, and Match Point) all got Best Picture nods. Meanwhile, Crash got a Screenplay nod, but only one other nod (Matt Dillon) while King Kong scored only one nod… for Peter Jackson’s directing.
There was plenty of old fashioned Globes butt sniffing… Russell Crowe, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp (for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory… don’t expect him to show up for this when his Libertine turn was snubbed), Will Ferrell, Zhang Ziyi (the celebrity of Geisha, which had only a Score nod in addition).
There were also some happy surprises. The embrace of The Squid & The Whale, Terrence Howard, Pierce Brosnan, Cillian Murphy, Maria Bello.
But for a small group that doesn’t vote in branches, there is no real comprehnsible logic here. They loved Brokeback. I see that. And they really liked Match Point. After that… smells like consultant spirit.
Of course, this is also a reflection of the awards year we are knee deep in… there are no answers, just endless questions. Brokeback Mountain is clearly the will-be-nominated leader. But last year, we were reminded of two things: 1. The Oscar winner didn’t need to dominate the precursors and 2. Every critical award in the town didn’t make Sideways the Oscar winner.
Readng through the list of nominations… still, after reading them a few times… a little like being on a bad drunk.


How Would You Market Kong?

The kids at Worth1000 take a stab at remarketing King Kong. The rest of the entries are here


Smells Like Japanese Pre-Sell Spirit

mi3.jpgI guess Transformers is being made after all.


Monday, Monday…

NY Film Critics Circle… a humbled NBR… and of course, The Gurus of Gold
And DreamWorks “sale” to Paramount exposes itself as little more than a firesale and a 3-year housekeeping deal for Spielberg.
Is that enough to choke on for a morning?


BFCA Nods…

Brokeback Mountain
Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Good Night, and Good Luck.
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk the Line


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