MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

From The Readers

After a week in Vegas, my Hot Button has been pushed so many times that it’s worn out. (Worse, there’s almost no really interesting news out there to comment on.) So, while I regenerate my passions for tomorrow’s rant, I’m turning the column over to you once again.
From Mary H: “I have a theory about the Titanic box office numbers. Without having seen Iron Mask, I would still hazard a guess that those going for the next ‘Jack Dawson experience’ are going to be left wanting, and, of course, the only cure for the Louis/Phillipe image is another dose of Jack. So, it’s back to Titanic for one more viewing (‘There, THAT’S better!’), and the numbers are once again bizarre and ‘unbelievable.’ Unless a bigger movie is coming next week, I predict that Mask will drop to No. 2, and Titanic will be back in the top spot next weekend.”
From G Martin: “I look for John Travolta to have a strong spring. He has Primary Colors and the always cool re-release of Grease, so Hollywood, watch out! He’s about to explode and knock Titanic out of the water.”
From JOEY: Take One: “Quite a few of the diehard DiCaprio fans decided to do a ‘DiCaprio Double Feature’ kinda thing. At least two people I know did it, and it doesn’t seem like an outlandish possibility to me.”
Take Two: “I think that one of the big reasons that you didn’t get a lotta e-mail last week was because humans are selfish and if they think that a response is unlikely, they (we) won’t e-mail.”
And Take Three: “Godzilla will be big (another “all style/no substance” flick from the overrated Devlin/Emmerich team), but no Titanic. The only movie that may come close to beating out Titanic will be Star Wars: Episode One.”
From Steve Chien-Wei Weng: “Subject: Nightmares on Oscar Night: 1.Jack Lemmon wins another Oscar, because the winner insists so.
2.Robert DeNiro is arrested by police again because the attorney needs him as a witness in the White House scandal.
3. Christian Slater arrives just after being released from jail, so he doesn’t get the Leonardo punchlines.
4.Leonardo shows up, has nothing to do but sit there and cause fans to yell his name.
5. Sharon Stone shows up with her new husband to find out that half of the other men there used to be her boyfriends. The other half of the men are lined up to chat with Madonna. And Madonna‘s desperately seeking Leonardo and Leo is sitting in Demi Moore‘s lap.
6. Barbra goes to the powder room again when Celine sings.
From Akiko: “I have worked with DiCaprio on a film before, and guess what? He is much more than a teen idol; he really has talent. Whether these films recognize it, or even show it, is another question. He is not just a pretty face. He knows what he is doing.”
From Martin C: The Man In The Iron Mask was terrible. John Malkovich did his usual performance, which means that he screamed and gritted his teeth. That’s what he calls acting. Leonardo Dicaprio was struggling to act. There is a scene where Leo’s playing Philippe, looking out the window at the moon, and it looks like he’s trying to cry. I can see him thinking about something sad to make himself cry, and he doesn’t even succeed. But the acting wasn’t the biggest problem with this film, the script was. The big secrets of the plot are not secret, and anyone with half a brain cell can, and will, figure them out in the first 10 minutes, except for the guy sitting right in front of me, who thought he was a genius when he figured it out.”
From Ryan J: “I’m a loyal fan and supporter of Leonardo DiCaprio. And I thought The Man in the Iron Mask was good. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t embarrassingly awful. What I thought was interesting was that Leo really isn’t the star attraction, it’s the musketeers. It’s thanks to Titanic that the media is pushing it as Leo’s film, and it’s not. He made it long before anyone could have seen how successful Titanic was going to be. Therefore, I don’t consider this his follow-up by any means. His true follow-up — and the one the media should have reserved all its rabid scrutiny for — is the one he chooses to make post-Titanic. The one he chooses from his endless stream of unsolicited scripts. The one he could command up to $20 million for. That’s the one where he really has to prove he’s worth it.”
READER OF THE DAY: I guess that’s me. Thanks for all the great mail on Monday. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of you who celebrate the holiday. And for those who don’t, watch out for green puddles.

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima