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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Okay, Creative Ones…

Looking for the best 25 word take on Paul Haggis’ version of James Bond?

64 Responses to “Okay, Creative Ones…”

  1. Harley says:

    Hmm. A sensitive and incisive treatment of the Bond ethos in which the introduction of SMERSH is paired with the characteristically sensitive and incisive treatment of the racial divide that divides us all twenty-four hours a day because it apparently defines us. Twenty four hours a day. Seriously. Each and every hour. All twenty-four. For god’s sake, Bond, stay out of your fancy cars!!

  2. joefitz84 says:

    Let’s hope he doesn’t ruin the ending to a great story but making Bond Pussy Galore an invalid and having Bond cry over it.

  3. Joe Straat says:

    Bond’s own conscious and a Q-Branch issued stool turn against him as he tries to stop a Russian spy who’s well below the poverty line.

  4. cullen says:

    haggis needs to strip it down…take it back to basics…make bond the cold-blooded killer he should be…great rid of the chessy-ass fucking effects and the bombastic shit…take a page from the Bourne Identity movies but make it even better than those…give Bond his edge back…make it dangerous again…give him some really hot chicks to play with and for chrissakes, let’s get some good Bond-sex in there again. There have been moments in the Brosnan movies that have been beautiful, it’s just a shame that there covered in so much putrid shit (I do like Goldeneye however). oh yeah…If clive owen doesn’t want to do Bond, then take it to Daniel Craig…he’d rock. just saw Enduring Love again and his terrific in it. sorry, i think that’s more than 25 words/

  5. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Keep it on one (maximum 2) continents and give Judi Dench and uzi.

  6. The Premadator says:

    Apparently the Bond family slogan “orbis non sufficit” in Latin means “the world is not enough” but in Irish translates to “my darling, my blood.”
    (was that one too esoteric?)

  7. The Premadator says:

    What about Bond traveling back to New Orleans and Harlem 30 years later to apologize for all the black people he killed. Matt Dillon can play the sheriff.
    Title: “Live and Let Love”

  8. Pale Viewer says:

    Opening Scene 25: Clive Owen (as Bond), boxing ring, bloody fight, baddie runs outside, we’re in Vegas, hops on motorcycle, Bond too, chase, into casino, crash (!), Bond: “No dice, asshole.”
    Main Story 25: Bond teams up with Walker, Texas Ranger and constable Benton Fraser because SMERSH kills “M”, goes after rangers and mountain police. Jennifer Esposito is Bondgirl!
    Epilogue 25: Bond and girl, top of a huge balloon after end battle. Make love mile high. Camera circles, gets near. Bond: “Now that’s all time high…”
    THE END

  9. bicycle bob says:

    don’t make it a comedy.

  10. Geoff says:

    SPOILER ALERT
    It’s funny, I just watched Million Dollar Baby for the first time, two weeks ago. Good movie, but I don’t know if this is a Haggis or Eastwood problem, but where the hell did those wacky relatives and goofy ending come from?
    Eastwood obviously has it in him to tell a good, deliberate, gritty story, but it seems like when he needs to (William Munny killing every one and living through that salon shootout in the climax of Unforgiven, Laura Linney’s suprise villian in the end of Mystic River, Frankie easily cutting off the breathing tube with no alarms going off, etc.), he just abandons logic to drive home the emotional points of his stories. Didn’t see Crash, yet, so I don’t know if this is a Haggis thing, too.

  11. Bruce says:

    The ending made it award worthy. It also ruined the best boxing movie since Rocky. What will be better remembered 20 yrs from now? Rocky.

  12. LesterFreed says:

    Bond may make a ton of dough but it is a dead franchise. What they need is a super director to take this on and make it hot again. A Tarantino, Spielberg, Raimi, Fincher.

  13. Wrecktum says:

    Q sees Bond standing near a Radon-propelled laser-sighted propellor hat. He ambles over.
    Q (growling): What’re you doin’ here?
    Bond: Hey ya, boss. Can I try on the hat?
    Q: No, go away. We’re busy.
    Bond (pleading): C’mon, boss. Why not?
    …nope, can’t see it working.

  14. Josh says:

    Why are they even messing with Bond? It has been a huge cash cow no matter how lame it has gotten.

  15. Lota says:

    Twenty-five words? Do we get a prize for being so terse? Ampersands don’t count towards word limit.
    Paul Haggis Bond Take…Marker:
    “Worldwide Clash: Lowbreds & Nobility. Jamie Bond traverses Class lines: Buying, selling, pimping, killing…With Remorse. If his heart is a war–its soldiers are dead.”

  16. RoyBatty says:

    Considering how much Haggis is taken with the idea of his main characters being forced to kill one another either by compassion or gut-wrenching mistake how about…
    “Q is rushed to hospital and Bond discovers the SPECTOR-supplied poison without antidote causes painful death. He kills many before pillow retiring her, only it was all a hoax.”
    As long as the two idiots who really control the franchise continue to give us one over the top crappy excuse for a Bond film after another and pursue 2nd and 3rd rate choices for the role, who gives a flying fuck anymore? With the unfortunate for us box office for the last four pics, I don’t see anyone at Sony having the balls MGM/UA never found to tell Broccoli & Wilson “Go hire Clive Owen, pay Tarantino to write the script he wants to do and see if Spielberg is actually serious about still wanting to do a Bond film.”
    Otherwise, for my 25 words how about “Fucking why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother, why bother?”

  17. Terence D says:

    I agree. These producers just want to make loud, boring money making action movies. Not real Bond movies. Martin Campbell? Did they see Beyond Borders? You can hire the best director working today, Tarantino, and you pass when he is begging to do your movie? A sin.

  18. BluStealer says:

    Why bother? Easy. Money.

  19. Mark Ziegler says:

    They’re getting a huge amount of buzz and anticipation over a movie that hasn’t started filming, doesn’t even have a script, is being ditrected by Martin “Vertical Limit” Campbell, and a character that was cool in 1965. They’re doing there jobs as producers.

  20. Angelus21 says:

    I would kill, no make them just maim, to see QT direct one of the Bond movies. It would be a real event.

  21. RoyBatty says:

    “They’re doing there [sic] jobs as producers.”
    No, they are doing less than half the job and that’s being charitable. They are the ones controlling all the creative aspects of this series and their making bad choices. Back in the 80’s when the bloated budgets almost sank the franchise, Cubby B. was forced to reconsider where things had gotten and retooled it for FOR YOUR EYES ONLY which IMHO is best one with Roger Moore.
    What we can only hope at this point is that next one bombs with a horrible choice in actor and Sony then has the leverage to let someone take the series back to it’s roots. Until then, we must suffer more ice hotels and Denise Richards.

  22. Mark Ziegler says:

    Roy,
    It’s not the producers jobs to give the fans or the audience the film the hardcore fans want. The jobs is to create buzz over a project and make as much money as they can. Their creative choices are all about making as much money as they can. Keep costs down, get the film shot on time and into theatres. It would be nice if they went out of their way to make bold creative choices but they really don’t have to. If I recall correctly the last Bond film made 430 million dollars worldwide. The most successful one of the franchise. They seem to know what they’re doing.

  23. THX5334 says:

    cullen = Jeff Wells

  24. joefitz84 says:

    He just needs to add a Left wing thought or two or three, glamour shots of his son, bash George Lucas/Peter Jackson and beg for donations. Then he can be Jeff Wells.

  25. cullen says:

    cullen most certainly doesn’t = jeff wells…cullen is a guy named nick who lives in LA
    i read wells though…he’s become an angry, really quirky guy.
    why do u think that I am wells-ian?

  26. bicycle bob says:

    i don’t catch a wells vibe on cullen.

  27. Terence D says:

    I don’t care what the producers do to try and make money. I just want to see a great Bond film in the spirit of Sean Connery. It is about time.

  28. RoyBatty says:

    “create buzz over a project and make as much money as they can. ”
    You’re probably too young to remember this, but Bond films used to be “event” pictures.
    And you need to do your homework better if you think the last film was the “most successful” one of the series. You would have been on firmer ground had you claimed something like made the most unadjusted money.
    With all the ancillary money, only a short-sighted producer only looks at what the theatrical is going to bring in. Rented Jurassic Park III lately? There are all kinds of producers, but Cubby Broccoli was apparently cut from a different cloth than his daughter and son-in-law. He protected Fleming’s vision of who Bond was, right down to the car he drives, the watch he wears and the vintage of the wine.
    Everything you change will have a ripple effect. Too many producers have repeated this line to credit just one, but the more you chase the box office instead of the best possible film within your power to make the more both suffer.
    I think you have exhibition confused with what a producer does.

  29. Mark Ziegler says:

    I have already, twice now, explained what a producers job is. If you want to live in your ivory tower and see things like that, then thats fine. Be my guest. But if you don’t think every producer is out to make as much money as they can on every project then you are not seeing the industry. It’s just a bonus if the product turns out to be good.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    If that’s what you think a producer is, you have a very small-minded view of both the business and the art. You’re a horrible person.

  31. Chester says:

    Well said, Jeff. I, too, am tired of the mind-snatched acceptance of the notion that, as long as it makes money, it’s OK if the consumer product is a total piece of shit.

  32. Chester says:

    Getting back to the Bond ruckus, does anyone know if Jason Statham has been considered for the part? I think he’s a pretty good fit, doesn’t seem to mind getting typecast into a franchise (i.e., “The Transporter” series), and will likely wind up headlining what might be the #1 movie over this weak weekend.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    I have never heard his name mentioned in all the Bond ruckus. I’m not a huge fan of his. I hated Transporter. I didn’t think it was dumb fun. Just dumb. There are numerous people I would rather see play Bond. I can’t see him in the role.

  34. Chester says:

    Just to clarify, I didn’t bring Statham up because I think he’s all that great. I brought him up because I think he’s exactly the kind of performer the producers are looking for. And, like ’em or hate ’em, the “Transporter” films resemble a lot of what the formulaic Bond series has devolved into.

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    True that. I am amazed at how many people love Transporter.

  36. Mark Ziegler says:

    Nah, Jeff, you just don’t accept reality and the way the business works. But what can you expect from a true Blue Liberal?

  37. Angelus21 says:

    Jason Statham as Bond? He’s bald. So he has an English accent. Big deal.
    I think this is a case of his reps trying to create a buzz around him.

  38. PandaBear says:

    I do really think they’ll go with an unknown as the new Bond. Just a feeling I have. Someone in his late 20’s to mid 30’s. Maybe he has done some small work but nothing too big on the big screen. Some supporting work. Since it is the first Fleming book they can take some chances in their “origin” story.

  39. Angelus21 says:

    Statham would make a good secondary character or even a bad guy but James Bond? 007? I don’t buy it.

  40. joefitz84 says:

    Bond is one of those roles that is just transcendent. Only other one I can think of thats like that is Bruce Wayne/Batman. But Bond is himself. There is no mask. It really is a great opportunity for a young or unknown to vault into prominence. I hope they make the right call like Batman did with Christian Bale.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Mr. Ziegler, with all due respect, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I work in Hollywood. Producers do many more things than just maximize profit, from simple things like making budgets and schedules to realizing the director’s vision. If you think all a producer does is squeeze money out of the public, you’re welcome to your ignorance.

  42. Mark Ziegler says:

    Cleaning up offices as a janitor or fetching coffee doesn’t really qualify as working in Hollywood now does it Jefster?
    I guess you can make the argument that it is. I congratulate you on that.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Well spoken, in fact I am a prostitute on Sunset Boulevard.
    Do you look for whichever movie is #1 at the box office every week to decide what to see?

  44. joefitz84 says:

    Jeff is one of these guys who sits back and hopes for the best. The kind of guy who expects everything to be about the art. It isn’t a wrong way to look at things especially in Hollywood. He thinks that movies shouldn’t have to worry about things like profit or bottom line or accounting. Everything should be about the art and the end product. He just doesn’t see or doesn’t want to see the business side of the industry. He scratches his head when Mr and Mrs Smith makes 200$ million and wonders why Breakfast on Pluto doesn’t make 100$ million.

  45. Sanchez says:

    What kind of hooker has internet access?
    When was the last good Bond movie? It has become so damn unbelievable lately I don’t buy it. It needs the Connery Bond back. They can wish.

  46. Angelus21 says:

    Haggis is proving he will do work for cashola. If he maintains a good balance between big studio cash jobs and pet project directing jobs he will have a nice long career. I want to see what kind of script he turns out for Casino Royale. I think it is the best Fleming novel.

  47. The Premadator says:

    The Brosnan Bonds were enormously successful. Don’t look for a reinvention of the franchise coming up. They tried it with Dalton (with I think admirable results) but that dog just didn’t hunt. I do think that the last one steered a little close to sci-fi so maybe they should pull it back to “analog action” a tad.
    But my choice for Bond? The freshest most accessable take might come from Hugh Grant! (holding for laughs) Rent “Extreme Measures” and see a very tense, very impressive performance.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    What is Breakfast on Pluto?

  49. jeffmcm says:

    I apologize, I thought Breakfast on Pluto was your made-up title for the next gay cowboys eating pudding movie.
    Nonetheless, Neil Jordan is a good director, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

  50. PandaBear says:

    I could have seen them going the Hugh Grant route a few years ago. But now? Stranger things have happend. He was great in About a Boy so you just know he can ace the romantic, love em and leave em stuff.

  51. joefitz84 says:

    Rent Extreme Measures to see Gene Hackman acting Hugh Grant off the screen. But Hackman does that to the best of actors.

  52. Angelus21 says:

    Hugh can certainly charm the pants off hookers on Sunset. He has that going for him. I don’t think he can pull off the action scenes but its the movies. They can make anything look good.

  53. The Premadator says:

    Connery’s take on Bond has always been comedic, whether you see it or not… a kind of detached amusement at the insane world around him. Moore ended his tenor as a flat out clown. Dalton took it WAY too seriously and Brosnan seemed to do the same, except when the producers told him where to insert a joke. Grant could be a throwback to Connery who I would argue, even more than Ian Fleming, really defined the character. Grant is the right age and has spent the past decade fostering a reluctant “bad boy who can’t help but be bad” persona that the new Bond needs.
    And did I mention that HUGH GRANT IS REALLY COOL!

  54. joefitz84 says:

    The Connery mold is the way they should go. Buts thats easier said than done. He is one of the top actors ever.

  55. Mark Ziegler says:

    Dalton didn’t have the comic chops/charisma to carry off the role. Moore was too funny. Connery had the right mix but heck its Sean Connery. We don’t have a Sean Connery right now. Maybe Russell Crowe and he’s already turned this down a few times.

  56. Sanchez says:

    The problem isn’t with casting. It’s with direction.

  57. Mark Ziegler says:

    Martin Campbell isn’t one to revitalize a franchise in desperate need of a shot in the arm. But who am I kidding since the last Bond made about 400$ mill worldwide. Maybe he knows what people want with Bond.

  58. Chester says:

    Hey, Mark, here’s yet another comment from me about movies:
    You said in your typically ignorant fashion: “Martin Campbell isn’t one to revitalize a franchise in desperate need of a shot in the arm.”
    Martin Campbell directed “Goldeneye,” which is widely considered to have revitalized the Bond series after the relative disappointments of the Timothy Dalton films.

  59. jeffmcm says:

    The problem isn’t directing. It’s producing. The producers are very cautious and conservative and haven’t wanted to take risks or hire strong directors or innovative writers.

  60. Chester says:

    You’re absolutely right, Jeff. The Bond films have gotten completely stale because of the Broccoli-Wilson stranglehold over the franchise. In contrast, just look at what fresh creative approaches did for “Batman Begins” – approaches that money whores like Mark Ziegler never would have green-lit.

  61. PandaBear says:

    Chester-Jeff. Always a team it seems. One can’t throw up his two cents without the other. So, is that your contribution to the movie discussions?

  62. LesterFreed says:

    On what movie does that producer actually make directing decisions? Producers get the money and make sure a films shot on budget. Directors are there to direct and make a film within a budget and have said film done for release.
    I’d be a lot more worried about the director on Bond turning in a good film than the Broccoli’s selling the film.

  63. Mark Ziegler says:

    Producers job: To make the film that maximizes every chance for profit.
    Batman Begins just crossed 200$ mill in the US. Yeah, I think they accomplished what they set out to do and the hiring of Nolan-Goyer turned out well.
    I know some of you sit back and say thats not a producers job. Their job is to make the best film regardless of cost,price, or future earnings. That’s all well and good and very nice. But that isn’t reality. How’s fantasy land treating you these days, Jeff?

  64. Sanchez says:

    Didn’t we go over producers roles like last week? If you people would stop, listen and read instead of ranting you would see we’re onto bigger things. Like if Hugh Grant is good enough to play the role.
    Your welcome to join up the convo. Don’t be scared. I don’t bite. Hard.

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