The Hot Blog Archive for November, 2012

Friday Estimates by Team Klady

(NOTE: I am checking into the Anna Karenina number above. Pretty sure it’s a punctuation typo and was $90k for Friday.)


BYOB 111612


DP/30: Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner

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Trailer: Oz, The Great & Powerful


Netflix’s House Of Cards

So the big grab at the top is talking to camera while no one else is aware of the 4th wall being broken. Iffy. The wave would have been more effective off of a voice over… an unexpected beat instead of a payoff right in line with the first dialogue.

One journalist on the show… complete whore. Does anyone – even Nikki Finke – lie down that overtly?

Spacey can do this in his sleep… and it feels a little like he is doing just that. I am fascinate by the choice… all minor keys… but low key Spacey without the nuke going off? Great, great actor, but not his thing, really.

And the next-to closing line makes no sense. “Take a step back. Look at the bigger picture. That’s how you devour a whale, one bite at a time.” That’s not the big picture, really… that’s the small picture, no? The small bites that eventually change the big picture. I’m guessing that we are missing lines in between and that someone really liked that dialogue.

Is this a vampire series without the blood? Given the talent involved, my guess is that the show is going to be a lot better than this trailer. Nice to see a show, though, that will drive grandma crazing, screaming over and over, “Turn on a light! This is no good for your eyes!”

On the business side… there is a reason why this dropped AFTER the quarterlies. It probably won’t hurt anything, but it certainly doesn’t look like a game changer either.


DP/30: Not Fade Away, writer/director David Chase


Twilight BD: Part II Premiere Review-ish

I am not a Twilight fan.

I have seen one of the series prior to tonight. #2… which was #2.

But my wife really wanted to go to the CRAZY final premiere and as it turns out, Bill Condon remembered her wish and very kindly made sure we were able to attend.

And I found this film to be a real surprise.

It’s still, as it apparently always has been, a daytime soap opera for a young audience with less sex and more abs on display. I mean, the dialogue is just amazing and then the person who has spoken whatever line it is strikes a pose and the score soars. “I could use a sandwich”… pose… sting! Wall-to-wall music here. Glossy. Pandering. I don’t know whether this film is better because Kristen Stewart is finally allowed to smile, not apologize for being sexual, and kick a little ass… but those elements worked pretty well, certainly compared to reviews of the previous films.

This movie looked a lot better than the Twilight I had previously seen. The wolves, for instance, looked like they were superimposed with major problems with scale and weight. The daylight vampire glow was laughable… like a broken Star Trek transporter. And things just didn’t seem to be done at the highest professional level.

But more to the point, the third act of this last of the (current) Twilight series (this film seemed to be loaded with spin-off possibilities)m kicks ass. I mean… serious ass. I had no idea Bill Condon was capable of great action. And do keep it in context… this is still people flying at each other, wolves running, heads threatened with removal, etc. It’s not reality action. But Condon gives us 20 good minutes of epic, fun, popcorn action.

Yes, it helped that the hysteria in the upper decks at the LA Live theater screamed at pretty much every turn. It was like being on a roller coaster or a Springsteen concert.

But the action in this sequence was truly fun. Big time. And i don’t know any of the characters. (They screamed as each of the characters not from the main group turned up.) Condon did what great action directors know how to do. He got the audience slightly ahead of the punchline of each part of this series of 15 or so specific confrontations between characters. So we could anticipate and have the fun as each specific fight hit its climax. And again, I don’t know who is who and who has what grudge, etc. Didn’t matter.

A bit later, after the film wraps up its narrative, Condon & Co also do a tribute to the entire series, which I found entertaining and charming even without a relationship with this series, aside, perhaps, from a negative one.

It’s not the 3rd act of Titanic. But it’s the kind of thing where the third act actually makes having mocked your way through the first two acts worth the wait.

I have been to plenty of premieres where I was not happy to have been there by the time we’re walking out the doors. But when the credits rolled, I’d had a good time. Never mistake this for a Good Film. But like going to see a horror film or a low-end action movie… it was that kind of good time.


DP/30 Sneak Peek: Matthew McConaughey


DP/30: This is 40, writer/director Judd Apatow

I kinda loved the original YouTube still frame…

It seemed like unintentional art. But with the new you, you can see the man’s face.

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Weekend Estimates by SkyKlady

So the question now is, how big can Skyfall get?

Just a couple of days ago, on Twitter, I wondered whether $800 million is possible. Now, $800 million seems inevitable and one might wonder whether $900m is possible. The irony is that this is the least Bond-y Bond since the Sean Connery days. He is less a superhero and more a man. And Bourne, which never got over $450m worldwide, can only be seen as a pupil, not the teacher as some would like to be the story.

I truly hope, as I wrote in my review of Skyfall, that the next Bond is a lighter, more traditional Bond, keeping Craig’s edge, but being a bit more playful. I see that as accelerating out of a corner with a lead… faster, Broccoli, kill, kill. What’s really exciting is that Skyfall sets up the potential of Bond pushing into the future of espionage, a future in which we all have gadgets on our phones and really cool is a step cooler than we have yet considered.

Lincoln had a very nice, very limited start. And We can’t really project much of anything off of it. Huge profile… Spielberg… DDL… 11 screens. I hope it does great moving forward, but it’s still walking in the snow, unsure if anyone will be home when it arrives with the nickel.

Glad to see nice sized arthouse crowds out for Chasing Ice. The film is both important and gorgeous and really worth the time.


Friday Estimates by 00Klady23

$14.7m. $27m. $32.5m.

Opening day for Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and yesterday, Skyfall.

Bond tends to grow a little each time out. But you can see the big leap between Bond’s #2 all-time domestic opening day and the new Bond. I would guess that the excitement around Casino Royale, combined with stellar reviews/buzz around the new one, means that the problems of the middle child (ahem) have been overlooked… and a great Bond film is still a major worldwide event. (For the record, Pierce Brosnan’s 4th Bond, Die Another Day, featuring Halle Berry in persimmon, will be the #3 best opening in the series after this weekend, with $16.6m.)

The big event of this, to me, is that it puts Bond up amongst the big franchises for the first time in the current franchise era. $600 million, which is as well as Bond has done, is great. But there are 71 other films that have done better. $700 million moves you up 20 slots on the all-time chart. And $800 million puts you in the Top 35. The active franchises that gross in that Top 35 range are Spider-Man, Transformers, Ice Age, the revived Star Wars, Pirates, Avengers, and Avatar. Bond is still not going to the top of that list, but pushing back into the Top Ten of franchises (Twilight leaving… Hobbit on the way) is big. Remember all the Hunger Games hype at under $700m worldwide.

Wreck-It Ralph isn’t going to get to the $200m domestic that Tangled did, but it will get into the tier of over-$100m domestic movies from Disney Animation in the last decade… which is, I think, where they expect those movies to live.

Flight & Argo are next, though the lower grosser this weekend still has the stronger trajectory.

On the limited release chart, it’s Lincoln leading with what looks like a 70k – 80k per screen for the weekend on 11 screens. Good, but not a defining box office weekend. Next best is $4900 per on 2 for the beautiful and upsetting Chasing Ice, a gorgeous piece of filmmaking about an ugly situation with polar warming.


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