The Hot Blog Archive for September, 2013

BYOB 91713



A PRISONERS Spoiler Thread



Klady Box Office (delayed)

In the last 3 years, 4 supernatural horror films have opened between $41m and $53m… assuming that Insidious 2 stays there in the “actuals.” Three are sequels. One is The Conjuring.

In other words, nice, but not a shocker. Good on ya, FilmDistrict. The drop next weekend will be interesting.

Luc Besson hasn’t had a wide opening as a director in 14 years. So hard to make a judgment. Not great. Not terrible. Pretty good by Relativity standards.

Both The Butler, Un filme du Lee Daniels and This Is The End crossed the $100m domestic landmark this weekend. Congrats.

12:15p addition


Ah… finally back from Toronto and ready to return to The World’s Quietest Blog and Len hurt his eye and is running behind. Sorry


Review: The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby – Him & Her

I am really happy that this movie is Ned Benson’s first feature… because it means that he can learn to use his talents for good and not evil.

Ned Benson reminds me so of Scott Rosenberg. Remember him? Yeah… I know… hottest writer in Hollywood for six or seven years, then, BAM!, TV guy fading into obscurity. I still remember reading the screenplay (which I hate doing… but back then SR was “the next Tarantino” and I couldn’t resist) of Things To Do In Denver While You’re Dead, on a beach, and squealing with pain, making the occasional gagging sounds.

I enjoyed the indie delights of Beautiful Girls, though I thought it was wildly overrated. But such a great cast! On Con Air, Simon West distracted from the look-at-me writing for that great cast to have a party for us: I’m the audience. And I still find it hard to believe that the beauty that is High Fidelity had more than a few lines from Mr Clever.

I don’t really know what wall Rosenberg hit, but he was always an all-trees, no forest writer in my eyes (and ears).

I should have known from the oh-so-clever title that The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby was trouble. If that wasn’t enough, it was broken into two connected, but allegedly stand-alone-able films, Him & Her. But I was encouraged by others to try it… so I did.

Without giving up any spoilers, the movie(s) is/are about a couple going through the break up of a relationship after the death of their child. How old was the child? Well, we find out in the 3rd act of the Him film, which meant, in the order I which I saw them, nearly 3 hours of not knowing. That’s how important the death of the child is in this film.

But many people seem to like the film. And it’s loaded with some of my favorite actors. What’s that all about?

Well, it’s a lovely series of actors’ monologues and duologues. Catnip. In spite of the lack of any real narrative or dramatic cohesion in the scenes, the dialogue is crazy clever. “I only have one heart in this body, so take it easy on me.” Oh, fuck you!

Let me say again, LOVE these actors. Chastain. Bill Hurt. Huppert. McAvoy. Hinds. Viola Davis. Even comic receivers Bill Hader and Jess Weixler get some great lines.

But in terms of the overall film, this reminded me of the second season of “Up All Night,” when the kid thing wasn’t really working, so they started doing couple stories, throwing in the child now and then as a proof of concept. Only this is much worse, as the child is dead and, in theory, the catalyst for all events. But watching the film, you’d think they just grew apart or some such traditional banality. I’d be okay with that. But using a dead child as a McGuffin is grotesque.

There are people who will love this film based on the dialogue and actors alone. I get that. But that’s a little like committing to marry someone based on what they look like naked and nothing else. It may be temporarily exciting, but there has to be more or boredom will soon set in.

And what about the Him/Her idea? Interesting on its face. But in practice here, lame. I counted about 4 significant variations from one segment’s story to the other… and none of them make much sense. They are of the “how we remember things” variety… but what is remembered differently doesn’t really make much sense.

All this said, Ned Benson is clearly a very talented guy. The movie is nicely shot. He doesn’t have first-timer’s disease. And he clearly knows how to let actors do their work.

But cut the clever in half, man. The movie is so ripe with self-indulgence it would make Aaron Sorkin gag.

1 Comment »

BYOB 130908 Toronto Goes To Town On Oscar



DP/30: Sneaking Blue Is The Warmest Color


Weekend Estimates by Oprah Beats The Boys Klady

Weekend Estimates (3-Day)t 2013-09-01 at 9.40.57 AM


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