The Hot Blog Archive for March, 2006

Choppy Water On Bermudian Sea & On Fairmont Pool


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More Bermudian Images

The Town Crier & The Town Squier



It has been suggested to be that spoilers be a specific topic about one particular hack out there… but I don’t want to single anyone out and I do think it is a bigger question.
What do you do when a critic you like endlessly spoils movies?
Do you avoid some outlets because you expect spoilers?
Are spoiler warnings effective anymore… and how best can we in the media do them?
Who are the worst offenders?
And do the studios spoil more with ads than critics do with reviews?


Klady's Friday Estimates – 3/18/05

The V for Vendetta launch is a bit smaller than expected. Many will use the


Broken Dreamz

And I thought that Poseidon was going to be the first disaster movie of the year!
The Bermuda International Film Festival opened with Paul Weitz


Late Arriving Photos From SXSW

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The Best Burger In Austin?
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The Hardest Working Man In indieWIRE Business
sxsw 3.jpgCeleb On The Web
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The Alamo Drafthouse
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Scott Wilson Enjoys The Introduction
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Leslie Vernon Wants You To Have A Heart
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Team Behind Behind The Mask… Dad, Heavenly, Bro, Director
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But Who Will Buy The Film???



A Badly Merged View From The Porch…

D For Duh

Answering his own question, Mirror critic David Edwards, linked on the front of Drudge in a classic bit of unintended adverising, seems capable of understanding what is happening in V For Vendetta… but still doesn’t seem to want to get it.
“But what are badly needed are tension and much more of an insight into what a horrific place England has become to ramp up the threatening atmosphere. Instead, the totalitarian state doesn


Good Morning From Bermuda

Hello all –
See what happens when I leave town for a minute? Hirings at Universal, DreamWorks’ dramatically overpriced library announces that it has moved closer to a sale, George Clooney gives up his Oscar goodie bag… dear GOD!!!!
The battle of V has begun. The most fascinating thing continues to be how angry the film seems to make some critics. It’s not “I don’t get the mask.” It’s “THIS IS SHIT!!!” I count that as a win for the film, by the way. And I think about how much so many hated The Matrix when it first arrived… and for that matter, almost every Kubrick film. Thing is, V is not built to have the kind of resonance of either Matrix or Kubrick. There is the limitation of that mask. But I still think that kids who don’t go to movies to think will end up thinking about some big issues when they walk out of the film… and ironically, considering that blowing shit up is at the heart of the film, the biggest issue is that violence has a place, but that it must be considered and be purposeful.
V is not a comic book hero. He is all of us. And I love that this makes so many people so uncomfortable. Like sticking your fingers in Palmolive, if you feel it when you stick your fingers in it, it’s working!
Meanwhile, on a lighter note, I keep wonder what the hell they are talking about when they keep saying that distributing the DreamWorks library is a money win for Paramount. You mean the $3 million they might get in rentals to revival houses? I mean, really… I don’t get it. There isn’t a title in the library that isn’t played out. I guess I just don’t understand t he genius of the deal (except that they are getting a lot for the library… though that deal will demand scrutiny to see whether the $900 million is real money or “Weinstein money.”)
And as for George’s goodie bag… good for him… so why do we know about it and why should we care? Maybe I can get him to write a blog entry for The Hot Blog, written just for us and not just a misattributed amalgamation of quotes pieced together and sold as proprietary by a the world’s finesrt media slut since Paris Hilton jumped the shark (or is that “fucked the shark” in her case?).
More on Universal later today…


Yes, Virginia… The FCC Intends To Censor Even The Suggestive

Janet Jackson’s breast aside, the news that the FCC is fining CBS $3.6 million for an episode of the 10pm show Without A Trace for a scene in which they feel a child could get the idea that sex was taking place outside of the eye of the camera is more than a little shocking.
You can read the complete FCC Document for yourself, but here is an excerpt.
10. The Programming. The Commission received numerous complaints alleging that certain affiliates of CBS and CBS owned-and-operated stations (listed in Attachment A) broadcast indecent material during the Our Sons and Daughters episode of the CBS program


Want Movies?

I’m not feeling so great about the mockery (here’s Mark Caro’s) of Dan Glickman’s suggestion yesterday that the movie exhibitors and studios get together to promote the joys of the theatrical experience. It is one of the great forms of denial that somehow movies are not sold like pork chops. This is the same naivety that argues that


Travolta – Third Act or Car Crash?

News that John Travolta will follow his drag act in Hairspray with what is sure to be a satirical take on JR Ewing in Dallas: The Motion Picture (where rumors of Kevin Costner being up for the role make no sense since he is a natural


SXSW Finds A Non-Doc Hit

Midnight at SXSW is about half new stuff and half films with distributors and/or veteran filmmaking names attached. One of the two World Premieres at Midnight here premiered Sunday night and I am writing about it at 4:24am Austin time because I want to start the conversation before it sells… distributors are circling.
First time director Scott Glosserman was here with his entire family for the premiere of Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon. Title sucks. Poster looks like a conventionally crappy cheapo horror film. The only two acting names you


Confusing Opinion For Fact Again?

I’m not sure exactly when Jeff Giles took over David Ansen’s role as critic at Newsweek, but he proclaims this week about V For Vendetta,
“In point of fact, though, “Vendetta” is not good.”
I guess it’s going to be an interesting ride, this one. V For Vendetta joins Munich and Paradise Now in the land of examinations of moral ambiguity being confused for radicalism. It would be interesting to see how the media reacted to a film that leaned right and was ambiguous, but I know of none lately.
We live in a country that is gathered in the middle. And we have a media that obsessively demands that people take sides. Now, that is a fact. A really ugly and dangerous fact.
We will have a Democratic president when we have a nominee who is as inflexible as Bush is. But I wish it wasn’t so. I wish we could elect leadership that understands that choices are complex, that there are winners and losers in all choices, and that we must be gracious whether we are winning or losing. Now, that is an opinion.
In my opinon, V for Vendetta no more confuses terrorism for revolution than it accurately reflects either the Blair or Bush governments. The explosions are not the message. The call to waking up, previously offered quite literally on film by Spike Lee, also by The Wachowskis, David Fincher/Chuck P, Alan Ball/Sam Mendes, etc, etc.
V blows things up because the government in the film has such complete control of the country that there is no other way to break through. Most of the terrorism involving Palestine and Israel right now is being generated by people who want to stop the peace process. There is no target defined. Likewise, al Quaida. Not only don’t they have a single country, but their target is cultural, embodied first by the U.S., but it is not a traditional military targetting, except, at times, in execution.
Taking V for Vendetta as literal is as stupid as reading Hamlet as a history lesson.
But that’s just my opinion.
(P.S. Note who is pushing the anti-V agenda… Matt Drudge. Right?)


Sunday Estimates by Klady

A huge congratulations is due Gerry Rich and the team at Paramount Pictures for turning a movie that was having some serious problems with interest among its core audience into a strong opener with a new campaign run over just a couple of weeks.
The big questions about the success of Failure To Launch are going to be about the value of Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, who is in her second theatrical hit in three months. Fox focused on Parker first and foremost throughout the campaign for The Family Stone. Here, Paramount ended up going away from Parker to focus on the parents in order to explain the horrible title. But one could argue that they laid the groundwork for her (and McConaghey


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