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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Sometimes A Banana Is Just A Banana

Yes, there is something that smells odd about Scott Stuber & Mary Parent announcing their exit from Co-Chair slots at Universal only seventeen months after taking the job. Even after all the pretty-much-what-the-release-said stories ran yesterday, people are still rumbling, looking for a

17 Responses to “Sometimes A Banana Is Just A Banana”

  1. bicycle bob says:

    imagine should be able to write their own ticket

  2. Spam Dooley says:

    Spam Master here
    Sorry David, you just need to ask me for the 411 and I will provide to you always free of charge.
    Mary and Scott wanted Stacy Snider’s job.
    Stacy is not going everywhere.
    Here they get to work less, sit down and still maybe be there when she is finished.
    It really IS that simple.
    Exclusivity is not as rare as you suggest.
    95% of us her at Fox are exclusive.
    You get a little more.. and they GIVE you movies if you are lucky…but it is not rare.
    I am Spam Dooely and I FEED my people.

  3. Mark says:

    Who would have thought that the Know it All would pipe up here??? I am truly in shock.

  4. Spam Dooley says:

    Mark
    KnowNothings are often shocked when confronted by knowledge from their betters.
    I am Spam Dooley and I feed my people.

  5. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    Dave – just saw your b/o predictions. Are you serious?
    Domino $107m [70]
    The Wedding Crashers $105m [130]
    Kicking & Screaming $101m [70]
    The Bad News Bears $100m [85]
    The Island $90m [115]
    Mr. and Mrs. Smith $89m [125]
    Kingdom Of Heaven $87m [105]
    Dark Water $83m [45]
    Fantastic Four $80m [90]
    The Adventures of Shark Boy $78m [100]
    Monster In Law $65m [80]
    Red Eye $63m [30]
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Universe $48m [70]

  6. FromTheTeethOfAngels says:

    Not sure about that one, Dave. I think there was too many cooks in the kitchen at Uni. Stacy and Ron just wanted to consolidate.

  7. The Interpreter says:

    I don’t buy the spin, not for one minute. Give me a break! This is what I call the 7 Year Switch. Let’s announce a promotion and then after 18 months, pull the plug and convert them to 5-year term lot producers. Please. They wanted out or they were fired, either way, it’s Six Sigma Stigma. Fact is aside from Fockers and Bourne, their slate last year was troubled and thin, and Van Helsing and Chronicles of Riddick left a lot of people in the Black Tower scratching their heads and watching their back. This year, they’ve got the $220M + Kong and Kicking and Screaming. After that, it’s hopes are spread around older skewing films like Interpreter (yawn) and Cinderella Man, a few teen flicks and really not that much else to boast about. As for the “exclusive” deal, I’d stay too if I had a super rich production pact with guaranteed funding and a commitment with put pictures. Apparently that’s what it takes — especially after your bosses have embarassed you by shutting down your big, high profile film about to go into production. Maybe there was a flirtation with Paramount. But Wright, wRONg and Stacey would never let them out of their contract.. Instead, they are keeping their “talent” in the company fold and forcing them to stick to their deal. Beats letting them go and potentially causing an embarassment should they produce a hit elsewhere.

  8. Arash Khan says:

    Scott Stuber enjoyed the casting couch too much. Michael De luca told him to slow down or he will be embarassed like De Luca was at the infamous Oscar party years ago. So instead of major scandal breaking out regarding the casting couch, Stuber and the 3 Blonde twins so “tried” to get roles in American Pie 4, Stuber became a producer where having auditions on the leather sofa is just as normal as lunch at Le Dome.

  9. David Poland says:

    Well Spam, why ask if I already had it right?

  10. Spam Dooley says:

    Davey- Huh? Where do you say they wanted Snider’s job? Oh , right! You don’t.
    Arash- how true! Why don’t you reveal that word is that the closeted Travolta’s second child with Kelly Preston is actually Scott’s? FOR LOVE OF THE GAME indeed!
    I am Spam Dooley and I feed my people!

  11. bicycle bob says:

    spammer was that an apology to david??? ur learning, little guy.

  12. Spam Dooley says:

    How was that an apology?
    He was wrong!
    I am… oh bite me.

  13. SoylentGreen says:

    Bite you? Geez, is THAT how you feed your people?

  14. Angelus says:

    Way to be a man Spam and apologize. Good boy.

  15. Spam Dooley says:

    Angelus
    Calling a black man a “boy” is beneath everyone except bicycle boob.
    Shame on you and your racist ways.
    I am Spam Dooley and I FEEEEED my people!

  16. L&DB says:

    Yes Spam, but that’s the ANGELUS from AOL! He’s
    like has ANGELUS, at AOL! That just mind boggles
    me as a Buffy/Angel fan. However, dont be calling
    people boy! How about fella? Maybe dude?
    I am Life and Death Brigade, and I dance for my
    people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. bicycle bob says:

    spammer ur definately a boy. a 12 yr old boy. now i know i’m turning on L and D B by saying that but the truth is the truth.

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