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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Apologies…

I think I had some sort of historically bad run of electronics luck this weekend… the worst of which was what seems to be the third dead hard drive in less than a year with my beloved VAIO laptop. Agony, especially when travelling.

I expect to spend much of today catching up.

Also, I got a note about a couple of folks “torturing” one of the other feedback writers (while my Blackberry was workng… another minor nightmare)… please stop it, whoever you are. I don’t want to start getting into “banning” people, which is why I never had open responses on any of the sites before. Having to patrol for unkindness all the time seems like its against the point of an open forum. Of course, it may be inevtiable… which might be the end of this open forum.

I have really enjoyed having this place for people to congregate and discuss things. It can get pretty rough without crossing the line. Please don’t cross the line. You all know where it is.

15 Responses to “Apologies…”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Aw, tell the truth, Poland: You and Paris Hilton had a long weekend, and you didn’t care f-all about your faithful readers while you were whooping it up.

  2. Mark says:

    Poland and Hilton. What a combo.

  3. thedoom says:

    Dave: “…the surprise of the weekend was that the film was able to make 50 million domestically and 120 internationally, due possibly in part to increased TV advertising…”
    Paris: “OOOOHH YES DAVE, YOU MAKE ME SO HOTTTTT!!!!!”
    …just kidding Dave, I enjoy your box office rundowns

  4. David Poland says:

    Putting the “box” back in box office.
    Actually, Paris’ trailer for House of Wax (aka Texas Wax Saw Masscre) was attached to Constantine. She better not lose that Blackberry address book.

  5. mex says:

    Guess what! Million dollar baby has come to México! (I know you dont care)But just wanna say I loved this movie and will win Best Movie, Director, actress and supporting actor.

  6. L&DB says:

    Poland can blame technology, but we all know
    he spent the last few days hunting the Yeti. Much
    like Yukon Corneilus, David Poland has been searching
    in vain for this most elusive beast. Just this
    past week, Poland succeed in capturing the Yeti.
    What followed the capture comes down to the following.
    Poland: “So I have shown you all 5 Best Picture
    nominees. Who do you want to win?”
    John Franklin Richard the 15th aka “YETI”: “While
    M$B has the worst ending of any film I have seen
    since the late 30s. I am going with Sideways for
    Best Picture. Why not?”
    There you go folks. David Poland brings you
    the Yeti’s Oscar prediction. YOu just cant say
    the same for Tom Oneil now can you?

  7. KamikazeCamel says:

    …?

  8. L&DB says:

    What is so confusing? Poland not only kicks it
    as a critic, but he also has a thing for capturing
    and/or interviewing the rarest of creatures known
    or unknown on the planet Earth.
    Coming soon…David Poland talks to Nessy about
    “THE SON OF MASK!”

  9. bicycle bob says:

    i don’t think anyone wants to talk to any person about son of the mask

  10. Dan R% says:

    bicycle bob nailed it right on the head.

  11. Terence D says:

    Can we all cut off Jamie Kennedy now after that and Malibu’s Most Wanted? I think he wore out his shot.

  12. L&Db says:

    No, we cannot cut him off. He gets to do a dramatic
    lead or supporting role before that happens. If
    he fails at that. Then he will be sent to the salt
    mines, aka, TV! There he will work 5 days a week
    on a sitcom or an HOUR-LONG if lucky!
    Get to work Jamie! GET TO WORK!
    Coming soon: David Poland sits down with the
    Chipacabra to discuss the fallout from this years
    Oscars!

  13. L&DB says:

    And no, the Jamie Kennedy Experience does not count!

  14. bicycle bob says:

    all the goodwill he created off that show is now history.

  15. Mark says:

    Well it is apparent hes not a leading man. Solid supporting actor though. Some guys have it. Some don’t.

The Hot Blog

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin