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David Poland

By David Poland

Lunch With David VII – Cruise Control

“Have you picked a side yet?”
Here it is…

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23 Responses to “Lunch With David VII – Cruise Control”

  1. 1) Is there an archive of these somewhere on iklipz?
    2) There aren’t, like, families and kids around when you’re screaming “ass fuck” are there? I mean, I thought it was hilarious. But…just wondering.

  2. You’re right. Ass rape. Nice. I did hear someone laugh off screen at one point, wondered if you happen to be amusing the patrons of Ammo with your weekly rants. Maybe it’ll become a tourist destination.
    “When you go to LA, you’ve GOT to stop by Ammo and catch a ‘Lunch with David’ taping.”
    Get a studio audience in there!

  3. Danny Boy says:

    Is the disclaimer new? I don’t think I saw the “These views are not iKlipz’s. Only Crazy Dave’s” disclaimer before.

  4. Tofu says:

    Looking good, Mr. Poland.
    The disclaimer is on the other clips. Don’t remember if that is new or… Anyone know the origin of the intro/outro theme?
    If I HAD to take a side, it wouldn’t be for Sumner, but the Grazer tidbit is interesting.

  5. mutinyco says:

    It’s not working properly. Page dims. Sound plays. But there’s no viewer.

  6. Aladdin Sane says:

    Your computer is broken. Send it to me. I’ll fix it. Mwahahaha.
    Hollywood is great. I’ll still see Tom’s next film. It probably won’t be a Paramount release. That’s all. He should work with PTA again.

  7. palmtree says:

    Cruise had this coming. And Redstone’s brand of corporate shoot-from-the-hipisms are routinely squashed and overanalyzed by the media. I’m surprised Tommy hasn’t commented on any of this given his recent nature, but I have a feeling he’ll let it slide away and then come back even stronger with his next comedy project (no doubt with some self-parody thrown in to redeem himself).

  8. Cruise didn’t “have this coming.” The studio had their own poor result “coming.” Cruise did what any sane man would do as long as a studio would let him get away with it.

  9. EDouglas says:

    For something that’s “not terribly interesting” to you, you’re sure posting/talking about it a lot… I’m just sayin’ 🙂

  10. hcat says:

    Redstone only did that announcement to control the press and protect the stock price (which is why it was him speaking with the WSJ instead of Grey speaking with the LAT). It framed the story as Tom Cruise is crazy instead of Paramount is incompetent. They no longer have any stars (their next highest consistant grosser after Cruise for the past few years is Matthew McConaughey), the entire slate is connected with their cable channels, and they had to buy dreamworks so they would actually have enough product to realease this year and next. Putting the failure of the deal on Cruise ignores the fact that Paramount is being held together by bubblegum and paperclips. Why did it even take six years to get MI3 out. During the 80’s and 90’s Paramount cranked out more sequals than anybody now Jack Ryan, Star Trek, MI3 have all been mishandled and it is taking them four years to get something as mediocore as an Italian Job sequal together. Cruise can land on his feet with the help of a new publicist who can keep his mouth shut and people will come back. His overseas box office potential will not be ignored by other studios. In Christmas 07 he will probably have a 150 million dollar domestic grossing movie while Paramount is still trying to launch Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Gold Bond Powder.

  11. Spacesheik says:

    Hcat: Good post but you know when Jonathan Dolgen and Lansing were at Paramount, they were also cheapskates and when they left Redstone came and declared that Paramount wasn’t doing enough (i.e. spending enough on tentpoles/packages)
    Maybe we are over-analyzing this. Maybe Redstone is a cranky old man who just doesn’t like prima donnas. Just like any other elderly fella.
    But the thing I would love for David to elaborate on are the Brian Grazer/Geffen public shows of support for Redstone.

  12. Hallick says:

    Good vlog, but I think its missing one key ingredient: What’s the un-bullshit story everybody’s missing while they’re pretending to drag the corpse of Tom’s career through the streets of Mogadishu? That would’ve made a nice outro to the piece.

  13. David Poland says:

    There is no unbullshit story right now, Hallick. It’s the end of summer. Thoise who were beating the “slump” drum last summer don’t particularly relish reporting an “up” summer, though the truth is, the up is as insignificant as the down last year… DVD is the revenue danger zone right now.
    And none of us can really report DVD properly because we don’t have the facts readily accessible because studios were smart enogh not to expose that info the way they did theatrical box office.
    Of course, without this, there would be the regular parade of summer wrap-ups. Yawn. That’s why WB got out ahead of the Superman Returns wave by positioning the movie as a non-loser. Smart. Sony has a decent story to tell, but with all their success, they didn’t win the summer. Disney touting Cars & Pirates 2 is pretty obvious. And Fox can’t scream too much about Prada without being stuck acknowledging Super Ex.
    And so… there is no great story right now… unless you want to go back to stuff I was writing about a year ago… and some have…
    Got a note this morning… Cruise is the front page headline of the saily paper in Shanghai. Oy.
    And Ed… it’s hard to talk about what the media shouldn’t be doing without discussing the Topic du Jour. I know how weird it is… but as with Gibson, it’s hard to get around when one is commenting on the coverage.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    It’s not that hard, DP, you just ignore it.
    Here’s a question, I don’t think the full ‘box office slump’ story has ever been properly told. We got a lot of ‘there’s a slump’ and we got an equal amount of ‘no there isn’t’ but I have never truly understood what, it seems to me, is the ultimate, bottom line of that story:
    are more people watching movies today or less? In whatever venue. In your insistence on debunking last year’s story it seemed like you were still insistent on talking about revenue and not about theater admissions, which only have to do with theater markups and inflation, right?

  15. EDouglas says:

    I myself wondered if admissions were up that much between this year and last or if it’s just higher due to the increase in ticket prices. The best thing to happen this year IMO is that they FINALLY after years and years have set up a reduced ticket price for movies here in NYC…but it’s only for movies that start before noon. Still…6 bucks isn’t bad, especially for the online critics who need to pay see movies on Friday to review them.

  16. T.H.Ung says:

    Cruise is a human interest story and Scientology is his drug of choice. It would be great to have a BBC newscast just for no b.s. entertainment news. Too bad about DVD numbers, because everyone keeps saying the DVD biz is in the toilet — how do they know? Best part of your show: “The unions are still getting screwed, the studios are still screwing everyone, the agents are still screwing the studios.” And everyboby works for one of them.

  17. David Poland says:

    Theater admissions will go down every year, so long as the population’s average age is going up. All the reasons not to go to the movies are increasingly embraced as people age.
    In addition, the DVD sell-thru/home delivery/premium cable expansion universe will have an effect. This was true before last year. It will be true next year and every other.
    What is utterly misunderstood in the discussion is that overall revenues were higher than ever in 2004. No one who owns a studio cares one way or the other what combination of delivery systems maximize profit… so long as profit is maximized. Looking at any one indicator is a fool’s errand.
    What I see happening over and over in this business is that the money guys push in a direction, simply maximizing revenue, and then, when unexpected results occur, they blame the marketplace.
    For instance, the studios shortened the Home Entertainment release window, renegotiated thier deals with exhibitors, and increased pre-release ad dollars to insane levels, all having the effect of front-loading box office and starting the DVD/Video money within 2 quarters. Now that the front-loading is causing theatrical to slip a couple of percent a year, DVD is flattening, and outrageous marketing budgets are not a choice, but a requirement, they are all upset about costs. Well, they built the machine!
    Of course competition is competition, even if you own both sides of it. If you sell DVD ownership at a price comparable to a single movie ticket and a soda and a popcorn, there should be less demand for that relatively expensive in-theater experience. Frankly, what is remarkable is how healthy theatrical still is.
    The question is marketing. It works

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Okay, that’s useful.
    So here’s my follow-up:
    Don’t you think it’s a bad thing for theatrical exhibition to be on a perpetual decline, downturn, slide, slip, slouch? Or does this not bother you?
    If revenues are higher than ever for the multinationals that own the studios, that’s great for them, but how does it impact the actual quality of what’s on screens and what kind of work people are able to do?

  19. kerrigan says:

    if there’s no story, why did you make an iklip about it?

  20. David Poland says:

    Because a significant part of what I do is to take the tempurature of the town… and regardless of the validity of the story as a story, I think you would agree that it has pots boiling over.

  21. T.H.Ung says:

    People have a hard time understanding the concept of commenting on coverage. It’s Mobius Strip-like.

  22. hcat says:

    Jeff’s mention above about the ageing audience is significant but it might actually help certain films. I think Mark Cuban is right that people are always going to want a night out and the movies are probably America’s first choice as opposed to the more pricey Concerts,sporting events or Bars (Yes $7 is too much for a bag of popcorn but $9 is also too much for a Martini). Most people can find the time and even drag themselves away from their 150 channels of direct tv (just got it and the only two channels worth watching are IFC and the Fox movie channel)but its not worth it to be surrounded by teenagers in a multiplex. Landmark and other chains that show indies and dependents are showing growth in creating a decent environment to play a movie. Sunshine is making what? a thousand per location every weekday. Some of this crowd is the suburbites that came out to see sideways, chicago and even Amelie and make no distinction between studio or arthouse movies. If these exhibitors can show them a quality place to see a movie away from screaming children and idiots on cellphones they are likely to choose to see prairie home companion over the break-up based merely on the venue

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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