The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2006

Remember, Remember The Sixth Of August

It is easy to give short shrift to the short doc category at the Oscars, but after seeing all but one of the short docs that are nominated, I have a pretty distinct favorite.
Steven Okazaki


Because This Kind Of Thing Never Happens…

Charles Taylor, formerly of Salon, explaining one of the realities of Traditional Media to blogger Jeremiah Kipp.
“I was told at various times that there were people I criticized in pieces who should not be criticized because they were ‘friends of Salon’, in one case because one person I criticized was the friend of a specific editor. That is part of the context of what happened. It wasn’t like I was told, ‘You can


The Media Raises Blogs To The Sky… And Now The Brickbats Start…

I have always felt…
1. Not everything on the web is a blog.
2. A web of blogs would never replace mainstream reportage… but it would force a cut in the fat and the arrogance of the once mighty. (As in, it is no longer reasonable to simply accept everything in the New York Times as the most accurate, though the NYT has the best platform from which to pursue the most accurate coverage.)
3. Media’s obsession with gossip-driven Gawker Media made it the next generation of the AICN phenomenon… very juicy and very vulnerable to close examination… inevitably to be discounted by those same hypesters.
The “democracy of blogs” has always been a quick flash moment, because in the end, it is always about distribution. The same was true of the digital revolution in cinema. Just as Sundance has become the gatekeeper for the thousands of unwatchable movies made for $8000 on a digital camera (while surely missing one or two gems every year), the traditional media has been, for the most part, the gatekeeper for internet sites.
It is ironic, because Old Media guides people to New Media, so in the spirit of self-preservation, OM always seems to embrace the most frivolous things on the web, while growling about the frivolous irresponsibility of it all. And then there are middle outlets, like Slate, Salon, and I think, oddly, MCN, that are stuck with the worst of both worlds


About Leslie Felperin

Just a note to say I got a couple of very compelling notes from other critics in support of Leslie Felperin and I want to note again that I neither know her or her work well enough to be calling her out personally. My concern in the entry about her review of V For Vendetta is about Variety.
Still… it might have been too much fire power for too small an issue.
I use the blog to stir things up now and again… and so in this case, I offer an added grain of salt.


Lions Gate To The (Mira)Max

One other note from the ACE awards for the best editing of the year…
In the midst of a fairly long live show, all of a sudden the Oscar nominee for Best Song from Crash appeared and sang her song.
The first thoght was that the move could turn off people. But show people are like no people I know and there was honest enthusiastic applause at the end of the performance and a room full of possible late Academy voters. every vote counts. And with virtually every major name in London at BAFTA, this was the only show of Oscar connectivity at the show. So you have to say… another smart, Miramax-aggressive-like move by Lions Gate.
I should emphasize, since people get hysterical, that this may all lead to little visable effect on March 5. But assuming this has not become a tight race is its own unique kind of self-delusion.



Let’s try to put aside – for a monent – my issues, perceived or real, with Brokeback Mountain.
How fucked up were the BAFTA awards?
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit was better than The Constant Gardener, Pride & Prejudice, and Tristam Shandy?
Speaking of Pride & Prejudice, how is it possible that it beat both Tsotsi and Shooting Dogs for the Alexander Korda Award? (“Box office” seems to be thw likely answer.)
Jake Gyllenhaal winning was not too much of a surprise, given that George Clooney and Crash both were set up by circumstance to split. I do, however, consider the Thandie Newton win a shock, at the expense of Michelle Williams and Catherine Keener.
I am perfectly comfy with Brokeback Mountain winning Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay


Weekend Box Office

This was a surprisingly strong box office weekend. Date Movie was a PG-13, it was targeted at older teens, so it probably didn


Eva Green Was The Best Choice Left…

Eva Green is the perfect Bond girl… gorgeous, a bit stiff and aloof, European, and now, unlikely to ever be taken seriously again. I look forward to the “Whatever Happened To” 20 years from now, in which a mature and even more gorgeous Green finally agrees to an interview about her wealthy husband, 6 kids, and the island they have lived on for all those post-Bond years.
However, the goal of hiring an actress who would be a near-equal to Bond has to be marked down as an unmitigated failure.
The biggest loser here, in my view, is Scarlett Johnasson, who missed the perfect opportunity to be the opening action grrrrl who dies in M:I3 when the movie went off the early tracks, then suffered a minor setback on The Island, and who now really needs to find her movie star personna for the future. She is not the prescient adolescent-weighted girl who had such heat in movies like Lost in Translation just a couple of years ago. She actually has more to say, as she showed in A Love Song For Bobby Long and then did not in (except for one speech) in Match Point.
Now, I’m not saying it was an easy hire. If you look at all the young women who have some acting cred, looks, and that breakout potential, they are all pretty overtly American. Young actresses who wouldn’t (like Scarlett, Reese, Uma, Naomi Watts, Rachel McAdams), those not asked (Michelle Monaghan, Amy Adams, Kate Hudson), and those who don’t quite have the right chops (Eva Mendes, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba) all seem overtly American, even if ethnic American. There are a few exotics (Penelope Cruz, Zhang Ziyi, Salma Hayek), but been there, done that.
Aside from Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Mendes, McAdams, and the very pregnant Rachel Weisz, Eva Green is the only woman with a major part in a top 20 worldwide hit last year. So, given the importance of the non-domestic market, that factor points to Ms. Green as well.
But still


Whose Politics Are Being Fronted Here?

I will stand up and say it…
There are mysterious moments at Variety when critics who are almost never used to write studio reviews suddenly turn up to write reviews that seem to have more agenda than reality behind them. This is no direct reflection on these writers. Amy Dawes is a good and very smart person. But her out-of-nowhere positive reviews of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and Gigli were truly shocking. The immediate question was,


Stopping In Grand Turk Before Heading Home…

The View From Lunch
The New York Times (as embodied by Ross Johnson) interviews Scott Wilson
The interview gets out of control and Mr. Johnson shows us NYT hardball interview technique
And still The 13th Hardest Working Man In Show Business…


The Brutality Of Grand Turk…

Haven’t uploaded photos yet… but it doesn’t suck.
How are you all?


Tuesday In St Martaan

The View From Lunch (as written about in The Hot Button)
Spider-Man hits the nude beach


Still Cruising…

I am glad that no one has killed or been killed on the blog while I’ve been away… either that or you’ve all been incredibly generous about not letting me know.
And now, a little more evidence suggesting that suffering for my work is exactly what’s going on here…
When Snorkling Calls
No… It’s Not A Disney Cruise
Perhaps the single greatest blackjack dealer ever to work a cruise ship


Klady's Friday Estimates – 2/11/06

As always seems to be the case, overloaded weekends


And This Just In…

My Sundance Photo Album


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