MCN Originals Archive for March, 2011

The Weekend Report — March 13

The fears that a depressed marketplace would take its toll on Battle: Los Angeles proved unfounded as the sci-fi extravaganza easily took weekend honors with an estimated $36.2 million. However, the frame’s other two national releases seriously underperformed. The visual flamboyant fairy tale Red Riding Hood trudged through the woods with $14 million in its basket to rank third and the family targeted Mars Needs Moms received a resounding audience “no” with $6.8 million.

Read the full article »

Friday Estimates by Battle: kLAdy

While Japan is rocked, the Movie City finds a way (unintentional, but karmic) to make it all about us. Battle: LA will win the weekend handily. Red Riding Hood neither kills the wolf nor gets eaten by him. And Mars Needs Moms need ticketbuyers.

Read the full article » 28 Comments »

Digital Nation: In ‘Redland,’ director finds inspiration close to home

Occasionally, reporters covering the entertainment dodge discover to their surprise and delight that the story behind a movie’s story is as interesting as the film itself. It’s then that ears perk up and the likelihood of churning out yet another how-I-made-it-to-Sundance article recedes. It’s especially gratifying when the story is told by an up-and-coming filmmaker,…

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

Battle: Los Angeles – The Healing Powers Of The Apocalypse

“In order to get the full apocalyptic spa treatment that we yearn for, we need some looming, wistful sense that everyone in this limitless dystopic landscape is about to get snuffed out like a light, not saved at the last minute by a handful of dimple-chinned men.”

Read the full article » 4 Comments »

Green – SXSW Trailer Premiere

Sophia Takal wrote, directed, and stars in this SXSW Emerging Visions Premiere film. MCN is proud to premiere the film’s trailer.

Read the full article »

DP/30 @ Sundance: Little Birds, writer/director Elgin James

It’s been a tough week for Elgin James. But the acclaimed Sundance-premiering director changed his life long before he was sentenced to a year in jail this week for his gang behavior of the past. Meet the guy now…

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

And … the AOL Axe Comes Down (Again), While Arianna Scoffs at Her Unpaid Writers

… to the tune of 900 employees laid off in the wake of the HuffPo buyout. I hate to play Nikki Finke and be all “Toldja!” but really, did anyone not see this coming? I love how AOL CEO Tim Armstrong tries to play this down. He “lamented” the cuts and says AOL is “much…

Read the full article » 4 Comments »

The DVD Wrap: Love & Other Drugs, Jackass 3D, Rivers and Tides, Rage, Zombie Farm …

Love & Other Drugs: Blu-ray Anyone who spends more than a couple hours each year killing time in the waiting room of a GP, internist or psychiatrist should be able to attest to the accuracy of the portrayal of pharmaceutical sales reps in “Love & Other Drugs.” The only resemblance most bear to Willie Loman,…

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

50 Weeks To Oscar: Fixing The Oscar Show

“Not everyone in show biz knows everyone else. But tonight, we are a family. Welcome to our annual reunion… not a critics’ reunion… not a foreign press reunion… The Academy represents the veteran life of our movie industry… the symbolic “Hollywood”… this is OUR reunion. Come share in the joy of a year of memories.”

Read the full article » 13 Comments »

The Weekend Report — March 6

Paramount’s Rango delivered the biggest opening of the year. The Adjustment Bureau settled in between Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman. And Beastly was no great Beauty while Take Me Home Tonight was beastly indeed.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

WILMINGTON ON MOVIES: Rango, The Adjustment Bureau, Take Me Home Tonight

“Up until Rango, I can’t think of many great cartoon Westerns, other than the Czech puppet animator Jiri Trnka‘s little masterpiece Song of the Prairie (1949)”

“While this script is a perfectly nice, competent, good-hearted job, and I would probably be happy to vote for Nolfi for the U.S. Congress, this movie just doesn’t say Dick to me.”

“One problem about nostalgia for the ’80s. The ’80s sucked. The ‘80s blew. The ‘80s were horrible.”

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

Friday Estimates – March 4, 2011

It didn’t take long for Rango to go from a question mark to the movie that every studio other than Paramount was overhyping to being a Friday afternoon “disappointment.” Meanwhile, a decent opening for The Adjustment Bureau, a terrible opening for Beastly, and a disastrous launch of Take Me Home Tonight are all being paid little attention.

Read the full article »

Digital Nation: ‘I Saw the Devil” … the horror, the horror

Somewhere near the top of any list of proverbs trampled into the dirt by screenwriters and their protagonists is the one that posits, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” It sounds ballsy, no matter who says it, while also alerting viewers to the ferocity of the carnage to come. After witnessing the effects of…

Read the full article »

Rango (Spoiler-Free Review)

I wanted to headline this review “Pirates of the Amphibians,” until I realized that there were only one or two amphibious creatures in the film.

But the moniker fits in spirit, if not in specific. And giving it one more thought, that might make it the perfect way to describe this film. No box fits. Thank the movie gods!

Read the full article » 38 Comments »

The DVD Wrap: 127 Hours, Road Movie, Faster, Bambi, Germany in Autumn, The Last Train Home …

127 Hours The title of this alternately horrific and exhilarating movie references the length of time spent by outdoors enthusiast Aron Ralston trapped in a narrow chasm, as far from the people he loved as any astronaut who walked on the moon. Farther, maybe, because Ralston’s hubris allowed him no way to contact his parents…

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

Hungry, hungry egos

Remember when it was sort of fun and exciting to watch actors win awards on television? Those days are long gone. Why? Because actors, the great pretenders of the universe, have never been worse at pretending to be humble. They just aren’t very good at acting like regular mortals. They stink at it, in fact.

Read the full article » 22 Comments »

MCN Originals

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