The Hot Blog Archive for May, 2006

Monty Python & The Da Vinci Code

From Worth1000

What I Was Talking About…

I wrote a Hot Button today called The Summer Of Rage and nothing that’s happened in the last dozen hours since I wrote it has done anything to quell my aggravation.
I hate to even bring this bitch up, but Roger Friedman so embodies the lowest form of the media trends that it is hard to avoid him (especially since The Drudge Report has become a haven for him, Nikki Finke, and Box Office Mojo) and today, he pulled one of his extreme burns.
Why does this schmuck, surrounded as he is by Cannes activities, feel the need to chase down and kick Superman Returns yet again? Cannes has whored out, but not nearly enough for our Roger, who is crushed that, just days after everyone on the Criosette was kneeing Da Vinci in the balls,.Superman hasn’t flown in to put itself in front of the firing squad?
Forget the fact that he is just plain stupid and that as far as my recollection goes, none of the July 4 weekend movies have ever played in Cannes… since it is six weeks out. There is this eye-rolling it’s-so-obvious attitude about studios throwing their movies into the critical rink whenever that movie journos have adopted lately that is about as stupid as stupid can be. It assumes two things. 1) We are right. 2) The studios know what they have.
There is plenty of Kool-Aid quaffing in the world, but there are also a lot of movies that linger on the quality edge and studios get surprised by critical reaction a shocking percentage of the time.
And why does WB need Cannes if they are going to spend more than $100 million in worldwide advertising? So they can compete with Da Vinci for attention while Da Vinci opens and get shit on by critics who prefer smarter film? What’s the upside?
Moreover, the freakin’ movie isn’t locked yet! Every year we in the press bitch about how so many movies needed more work. Well, Superman Returns has gone from 2hours 50 minutes to 2:40 to 2:30 and change in the last few weeks. And it might get tighter. Why does this guy want it NOW?
The nice thing about Roger is that we all shoudl know by now that whatever he writes is payback or payoff for something or someone. What is sick making is that Drudge supports it and as a result, others will follow him off the cliff.
Stop the madness.


Dreamgirls On The Croisette

There was some joy in CannesVille tonight (they


WTC: The Trailer

Someone sent a note about it, so I figured you all might want to be part of the discussion…
On today’s box office chart on MCN, the big positive mover was World Trade Center, from $75 million to $140 million. Why?
Because seeing that trailer, I think that Paramount has found he answer to marketing a 9/11 drama/thriller and even, it seems, figured out an answer about how to make it.
Once you get past, “Do I really weant to see that?,” you are dealing with a regular, well-made, drama/thriller… Apollo 13 underground. With Nic Cage there and a decent film, this could well be the first film to get positive box office movement off of the events of 9/11.
Or not. You tell me.


Da Vinci

Well, I was looking to swim upsteam, but instead, went down the drain with the film…
My Da Vinci Code review


Junked Entries

i got a note from a blog participant asking if he had been banned because his messages had not come up after he posted.
As it turns out, dozens of messages were in the “junk” folder, automatically put there by Movable Type.
I haven’t changed anything in the last few days, but it seems to have made decisions itself. Sorry. I have de-junked all of the entries that were not sales links and porn (aka, real junk).
No one has ever been banned and not entries have ever been erased from this blog.
So if you see that your entries are not coming up, please let me know so I can check into it.
UPDATE, 11:50a – I just downgraded the junk filter a bit, as there were still good messages being caught badly. Hopefully, that will help. Sorry for the issues.
And forgot to point out last inght… I never moderate either. Only for junk mail.
4:01p – Still happening on some entries… not happy… sorry… trying to work through it…
THURSDAY ADD – This all appears to relate to some kind of Spam fighting add ons to the site. I have adjusted the levels, but the same two blocks seem to be hitting sporadic entries andI haven’t figured out how to make it stop completely. As you might expect, this is very irrtiating to me, as I have to babysit.. we’ll keep working on it.


Must Be A Full Moon

First The Da Vinci Code gets treated like a woman in the first act of A Clockwork Orange and now, this…
Did they really find the only image that could actually drive teenage boys away from Superman Returns?
Let’s not split hairs. This may be the mainstream movie one-sheet with the gayest sensibility ever. It has a certain beauty, but the cape reads Phantom Of The Opera (Lloyd Webber version), not superhero. And I can’t wait to see what Defamer does with the peninsula floating just in front of Supes’ crotch, consumating with the A in Superman.
Maybe girls will like it.
(ADDED 2am Tues – A reader redo of the poster after the jump…)
(EDITED – Noon Wed – I have removed the faked poster by the now great and mighty Synthetic Neutron at the request of WB. To be honest, I think the poster is so mean, but so funny, that I was compelled to post it, but didn’t feel terribly bad about taking it down. Besides, isn’t the real thing enough?)


The Moron-A-Thon Heats Up

I will see The Da Vinci Code tomorrow


The Premature Oscar Column

What films are in the running for Best Picture?
“Besides Francis Ford Coppola and Milos forman and Sofia Coppola and Marc Forster, there are ten more Oscar-space directors with eleven more films in play this fall. In alphabetical order, AlmodovarCondonEastwoodFieldGibsonHytnerMinghellaScorseseScottSoderbergh.
That’s fifteen films from Academy Award tested filmmakers. Fifteen!”
And my first Oscar Best Picture list…


Darth Paul

Or is it Chancellor OpusDeiAtine?
Or The Operor?
Or Opus McDeirmad?


Der Vurld Traden Centre

The World Trade Center trailer came out, as is so often the case these days, in another country before it hits here. At least this is a quality QT play.
(UPDATE: The UIP site pulled teh German trailer this morning… here are some images… this conversation probably should be shelved until the American version permieres on Wednesday.)
So what do you think? Too exploitive? Emotionally charged? Perfection?
I think this will be very effective. It gets the idea that people want to be respectful, but also want a movie that is a real movie. And of course, it gives away the relatively happy ending.


Amy Adams, Dog Lover

So Amy Adams is going to be in Underdog.
Will she be wearing a snout as Polly Purebred?
And is this “selling out” or “doing what a girl has to do for a $500,000 bucks?”



Remember when cars were sold on ego and machismo?
I just saw a Volkswagon Passat ad on the Yankees game (they lost) that featured people in hot cars with bullhorns, shouting out the bad ego reasons for buying their cars. “My mother didn’t love me.” “I’m overcoming my shortcomings” “I make more money than you.”
And there is the nice young couple driving along in their Passat. The ad is tagged, “Lowest Ego Emission Of Any German Engineered Sedan.”
And as much as I don’t approve of all those reasons for buying showy cars, I was a little shocked that the subtext here was “be part of the crowd.” Especially marketing to a Yankees audience


Sunday Estimates by Klady



How Time Flies…

Just over a year ago, Mark Gill said to Anne Thompson, “You almost look at this year’s Competition films and don’t have to worry about buying anything. They may be good, but none of them are remotely accessible to an American audience.”
My response was, “The quoted Dependent head is Warner Indie chief Mark Gill. And I can only pray that Gill’s quote was somehow pulled out of context, because if it wasn’t, it may be time for him to find a new career.”
Ironically, I couldn’t and can’t disagree with his assessment. But for the head of an art dvision… bad hoodoo…

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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