The Hot Blog Archive for January, 2007

Oscar Nominations Are In

Well, there you go…
Letters From Iwo Jima was still able to get in, despite a guild shut out… and Dreamgirls got shut out of the top 6 categories, in spite of support from all but the WGA.
Amazingly, Dreamgirls leads The Oscars In Nominations, With 8, In Spite Of Getting Shut Out In Picture, Direction, Screenplay… 3 Best Songs noms make the difference there.
Babel Gets 7 noms, Pan’s Labyrinth & The Queen Get 6 Each
ADD 7:10a – Well, that was a bit of a shock.
Someone who knows these things will have to tell us whether the most nominated film has ever not been nominated for Best Picture before. And so it goes…
The race is, still, for those not in it, rather boring.
Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress are probably still locked. Best Actor depends on Peter O


Sundance Day 4 – Finally!

We finally got something to really fall in love with on Monday… Son Of Rambow.
Because of a lack of any star names and the box office misfortunate of Danny Boyle’s simialrly themed MIllions, a strong sale is not clear. But the film, which also os reminiscent of Rushmore, is a major joy to behold… smart and subtle and infused with all the joy and horror of childhood in the story of two boys who love, as it works out, storytelling…
More later…


The Other Chicago 10

Who knows whether these early looks for Chicago 10 would have made for a better film… but man, they do look cool!


Sundance Day 3 – Sales Round-Up

Things picked up considerably as desperate distributors started packing to leave town en masse on Tuesday. Still, $4.1 million seems to be the high figure so far and no film is really expected to go higher this week.
Risky Blog broke that Joshua sold to Fox Searchlight. They did not report the price of $3.7 million for all worldwide rights.
My Kid Could Paint That goes to either IFC or Magnolia (outside shot, SPC) for about $1 million
The documentary In The Shadow Of The Moon went for $1 million.
The real price on the Weinstein Co buy of Grace Is Gone is just over $4 million, not under $3 million as previously reported.
The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate will co-buy Teeth. The first big hurdle the film will have to overcome is the MPAA rating, so it may end up being released domestically by Lionsgate to avoid MPAA rules against a member distributor (MGM) sending a movie out unrated.
Sony Classics buys Weapons, in spite of a lot of negative response to the film.
New Line/Picturehouse picked up doc King of Kong (apparently already reported in Variety).
Word has it that although The Night Buffalo has no domestic buyer on the line yet, they made the biggest sale in history for the Mexico territory this week.
A sale for Delirious is expected by Tuesday. And indieWIRE reports heat around the doc, The Devil Came On Horseback. There is still some interest around Rocket Science. And there may be a buyer for the female-skewing Broken English.
And finally, the hot acquisitions title for Monday is Son of Rambow, though the hype is floating around Hounddog.


Sundance Day 4 – A: Neigh

I’ll take Sundance Documentaries About Sex With Horses for $500, Alex?
And the question is, “Does Zoo successfully make a very controversial subject into a poetic doc?”
Robinson Devor is an interesting young filmmaker and frankly, I think he would have been better off with this film hitting the world without Sundance. If it was meant for a festival it would be Seattle or The New York Film Festival. Sundance has turned this film, which is not really a doc, into a bit of a failure when it is, in and of itself, not. Only as a Sundance competition doc is it a failure.
The film is poetic and it is quite beautiful in many ways, but we have been sold a bill of goods. I don


Sunday Estimates by Klady

Weekend (estimates) January 19 – 21, 2007
Title | Distributor | Gross (average) | % change | Theaters | Cume

1. Night at the Museum | Fox | 12.9 (3,700) | -25% | 3483 | 205.7
2. Stomp the Yard | Sony | 12.7 (6,210) | -42% | 2051 | 41
3. Dreamgirls | Par | 8.3 (3,760) | -1% | 2214 | 77.7
4. The Hitcher | Focus | 8.2 (2,890) | | 2831 | 8.2
5. The Pursuit of Happyness | Sony | 6.6 (2,150) | -26% | 3066 | 146.4
6. Freedom Writers | Par | 5.5 (2,390) | -26% | 2286 | 26.8
7. Pan’s Labyrinth | Picturehouse | 4.7 (7,700) | 116% | 609 | 10.1
8. Children of Men | Uni | 3.7 (2,430) | -41% | 1524 | 27.5
9 The Queen | Miramax | 3.4 (2,130) | 204% | 1586 | 35.5
10. Arthur and the Invisibles | MGM | 3.2 (1,410) | -26% | 2248 | 9.4
Other Oscar Hopefuls…
Babel | Par Vantage | 2.2 (2,500) | 483% | 889 | 23.8
The Last King of Scotland | Fox Searchlight | 1.7 (3,470) | | 495 | 5.4
Letter from Iwo Jima | WB | 1.5 (4,080) | 302% | 360 | 2.6
Notes on a Scandal | Fox Searchlight | 1.2 (6,100) | -25% | 200 | 6.1


20 Weeks To Oscar – Pre-Noms

Of course, the greatest power of the New Media has always been the power to inform Traditional Media. No one has to agree with me or anyone else writing about Oscar or anything else on the web. But if they enjoy MCN, they are feeding on content that has been processed editorially. I never think that there is a direct cause and effect. But whether you are a civilian, an Academy voter, or a journalist, you can only consume so much content. And as a gateway, MCN has the power to move a movie business story as effectively as all but a handful of Traditional Media outlets.
The problem with most discussions about the influence of web sites on awards season or anything else is that people take it personally. Los Angeles Magazine decided to create a story about the gossip around “Oscar bloggers” instead of seriously exploring the influence that we may or may not have. Typical in an era in which printing the news always seems to lose to printing the legend. (There are many other factual errors, which simply aren’t worth discussing.)

The rest…


Winning The PGA

I gather that all five producers of Little Miss Sunshine took the stage at the PGA Awards and that all five spoke. (Hopefully, Ron Yerxa got some stitches and is healing from his Sundance wound.)


Sundance Day 3 – Saturday Quickies

Vagina Dentata!
What a Teeth-rattling phrase
Vagina Dentata!
Ain’t no movie craze
It means no story
Just wait for shlongs to be frayed
It’s our acting-free film-osophy
Vagina Dentata!
Coming on Sunday, They Fuck Horses, Don


A Place For You To Fight

Actually, I hope you won’t fight… but I know Hot Bloggers like to engage in all kinds of stuff and I am one track this weekend, so…. be nice… and go at it….


Friday Estimates by Klady

Title | Distributor | Gross * | Theaters | % Change | Cume
Stomp the Yard | Sony | 3.7 | 2051 | -49% | 32
Night at the Museum | Fox | 3 | 3483 | -28% | 195.8
The Hitcher | Focus | 2.8 | 2831 | New | 2.8
Dreamgirls | Par | 2.2 | 2214 | 3% | 71.7
The Pursuit of Happyness | Sony | 1.9 | 3066 | -25% | 141.7
Freedom Writers | Par | 1.6 | 2286 | -26% | 22.9
Pan’s Labyrinth | Picturehouse | 1.4 | 609 | 126% | 6.2
Children of Men | Uni | 1.1 | 1524 | -41% | 23.5
Alpha Dog | Uni | 0.95 | 1292 | -59% | 8.4
The Queen | Miramax | 0.8 | 1586 | 189% | 32.6


S2 – Another Shortie

Perhaps the hottest title at Sundance right now, with four offers on the table and almost unanimous “gotta see” response is Crazy Love, the Dan Klores doc. I haven’t seen it yet, but the description of this abusive realationshipfollowed by the appearance of the couple at screenings is said to be breathtaking.
Not quite as special was the response to An American Crime. At the premiere at the Eccles on Friday night, the third act was interrupted with screams in the audience when a young (mid-to-late 20s) man apparently had a seizure and then passed out. The movie was stopped. he was carried out, and after being laid out on the lobby floor, the Emergency crew soon showed up, gave him oxygen, and comforted him.
The show went on. But still, not a huge amount of love.
Catherine Keener and Ellen Page are both very strong, but… well, it’s a horror movie that plays it too soft.
And now, sleep…


Sundance 2 – DiCillio Shocker!!!

Just a quickie, but much to my shock, Delirious is a major-league indie crowd pleaser and could end up being one of the biggest sales of the festival. It isn


Sundance 2 – Expired

Just saw what might well be this Sundance


Sundance 1 – Chicago 10

At 103 minutes, Chicago 10 plays a lot like a very long, very expensive 3-minute YouTube video. Nothing seems to be able to hold the film’s concentration for more than a few minutes. There is all kinds of great music. There are a lot of terrific clips from that moment in America’s history. But mostly, it takes one of the most interesting moments in American history and reduces it to cool guys mouthing off at the system, with no context, no perspective, and no clear message other than the ubiquitous, “The System Sucks, Dude!”
The rest…


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