The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2009

The First Modern Era Oscars

The Boo Birds are out on the Oscar show last night.
And really


Quickly… Nikki Finke Is Gossip… And A Liar

I am making this a single entry as I start to write about the weekend, mostly because I don’t want the infection that is La Finke to turn anything else I might write sour.
But I still feel compelled to point this out…
Nikki’s coverage of the gossip around The Oscars was based around the two things that have made her what she is today… one source that had an agenda and didn’t care what effect his spreading of information had on the show and those in charge of it and secondly, the ability to leverage most of the information she did have – which went unpublished – into future favors.
Every year, she screams about not caring about it… and every year, she tries to make her reputation by running more gossip more quickly than anyone else. This year, the result was otherwise intelligent reporters at The New York Times embarrassing themselves by running gossip about changes in the production and even linking to a rundown of the show that most other papers decided to pass on promoting further. This is the influence of the gossip columnist and nasty piece of work known as Nikki Finke.
The notion that Roger Ebert or anyone else should be expected to parse her statements as she later claims she intended them when it is her regular method of operating to overwrite stories when she gets them wrong, trying to disappear her mistakes rather than admit them, is absurd on its face. This is what Roger got out of the UK Independent pick-up of her gossip. And this is what Nikki intended.
I guess that one should be kind to the simple-minded, but Nikki


Best. Oscar. Show. Ever?

More way later…


DP/30 – The Garden

A chat with documentatian Scott Hamilton Kennedy, who made one of this year’s doc nominees, The Garden.

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BYOB – Oscar Sunday

You are pretty much going to be on your own today… be nice to each other… have a good time… I’ll see you on the other side…


Weekend Estimates by Klady

Madea sells tickets and Tyler Perry is going to have to live with that. Now, he must love this character he created, but he does seem to chafe from it at times. But the trajectory on Madea is clearly his strongest play in a pretty strong Tyler Perry franchise, $22m for Diary of a Mad Black Woman to $30m for Madea’s Family Reunionn to $41 million this weekend.
Perry also dropped the news – maybe reported elsewhere before? – that the Sundance film, Push, is being renamed Precious, which is the title that made sense in the first place (for all too many reasons). Director Lee Daniels was running Mariah Carey around the Indie Spirits tent on Saturday… prepping for next year’s hopefulness.
The rest of the Top 5 is a show of strong holds, even 40% and 56% for two of the films… $8 million for weekend 4 of HJNIY is still quite a big number for a not well regarded film. And Taken‘s run is amazing… especially considering the film. That said, Peter Bart’s proclamation of Pierre Morel as The Hot Director of The Moment is okay with me. Maybe he will get better at story, but as an action director, he has mad skillz. I was still disappointed by Taken.
I am sick of all the box office Oscar whining at the moment… it’s not that there is not a story there… but the one that is being told is bullshit. We go through this every few years. Studios will still chase Oscar. But they will return to “commercial first” as a principle for a while… as they should. All this crap that “The Academy does this” and “The Academy does that” is for fools who think there is a monolith called “The Academy” “snubbing” The Dark Knight or whatever. For The New York Times and down the line… arguing that some idiot at a studio (and we know who you are, even if you are unnamed and unexplained as an unnamed source) is claiming that “If The Academy did this, then the ratings would be better” is irresponsible hackery.
Yes, the season should be shorted. Oscar should land, as I have been arguing for a while now, the Sunday before the Super Bowl… certainly no later than the Sunday before the Super Bowl. (And if that killed parties, that would, logically, increase ratings, because more boxes would be working.) But this notion that they need to make their choices more populist is embarrassing. The ratings, however low this year, will more than double The People’s Choice Awards.
There is some smarts in saying that the Oscars needs to be marketed like a movie opening… but a good movie marketer doesn


Hugh Know He Wants It To Work


BYOB – Friday The Pre-Oscarteenth


Miri & Zack… A Blu Movie

I have been persona non grata with Kevin Smith for a long while now. But I keep on hoping that he will become as good a filmmaker as he is a raconteur.
Someone sent me blu-ray of Zack & Miri Make A Porno, I had no idea what to expect. But in I jumped.
And you know what


Watchmen Is Covered



20 Weeks… 4 Days To Go…

I don


Choking On Oscar Predictions

God… and I thought it was a long season for the last couple of months… now, everyone and their sister, brother, octoplet or monkey is coming out of the frickin’ wordwork looking for someone to promote their predictions.
With due respect to those of you who I do respect – you probably don’t know who you are – OY!!!!
Moving on…
(Edited, 2:04p – Translated from the German.)


I Must… I Must…

I know this will raise the hackles of some of the peanut gallery, but after a chat with someone who saw the film recently, the following melody just stuck in my head… with apologies to Frank Churchill and Ann Ronell…
Who’s afraid of the big blue cock
Big blue cock, big blue cock?
Who’s afraid of the big blue cock?
Tra la la la la


R.I.P. Loki


I'm Sad To Say, But…

They did two numbers from Shrek: The Musical on The View this morning… and it looks HORRIBLE!
Of course, with all shows, big numbers done with enthusiasm are a little exciting on energy alone. But both songs here were just bad… easy, so what melodies… and really childish, Legally Blonde level lyrics.
Say what you will about The Little Mermaid: The Musical, but it is more ambitious than this in its weakest moments. (Well, not its weakest moments… those gay electrilc eels… oy!)


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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