MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

I'll Show You The Life Of The Penquin!!!

I don

45 Responses to “I'll Show You The Life Of The Penquin!!!”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    Screw Happy Feet! Is there anything better than the Surf’s Up trailer out there right now?

  2. Drew says:

    Way to respect the embargo, Dave.
    And I have the e-mail from Warner Bros that clearly says “day of release only” in my inbox if you’d like to see it.
    But of course, I’m sure you’ll TAP DANCE and say this isn’t “really” a review. It’s just a critical opinion offered before the allowed date.
    Excellent work. Huzzah!

  3. David Poland says:

    Wow, Drew… thanks for adding your anger. I have to say, it’s a joyous moment to be lectured by AICN on embargo dates… especially when I haven’t broken one in years. (If you want to discuss those who have, feel free to take it private. I don’t need to drag anyone else into a public discussion.)
    I Just looked at the invitation e-mail and I have no such note on mine. I spent 10 minutes with the publicists when I arrived and no one said a word. In addition, I don’t think you really think this is a review, do you?
    I like the movie. It is audacious. It has an odd, undiscussed construction. It is flawed. The music is very Moulin Rouge. And kids got through it. That’s pretty much it. Is that a review? Are there any details of significance in the whole entry?
    My standard for something like this – as though you deserve an explanation – is whether what I wrote would trigger a single review from anyone who might be under any embargo. And the answer is, I think, “no.” Do you disagree?

  4. Wrecktum says:

    George Miller used Poland’s bathtub to shoot a few critical scenes so he has a personal connection to the project. Surely you can understand.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    I dislike Drew McWeeny as much as the next guy…but if the David Denby Flags piece was a review, this was a review.

  6. wholovesya says:

    Um, it’s Happy Feet people. Who cares?

  7. Drew says:

    It’s not anger, Dave.
    Just a bemused observation that the rules work the way they work for you because you say so. And then you love to tell everyone else what they can and can’t do.
    If you think this is me angry, you must have missed the huge smile HAPPY FEET put on my face.
    If length is the only thing that defines a review, then no, this isn’t. But if offering a critical opinion makes something a review, then this certainly is.

  8. T.H. Unfassung says:

    I thought Happy Feet was a reference to Birkenstocks. If you want a plot outline, it’s up in Cincinnati: http://www.fox19.com/Global/story.asp?S=5608607&nav=menu63_7_3

  9. EDouglas says:

    I’m just amused that y’all found a way to fight over a movie called “Happy Feet” :)
    (I have noticed recently that there seems to be a problem with some publicists including the day-of-release note on their invites and others not, not specifically at WB, just in general. Kind of makes it hard to debate the matter when everyone is being handed a different set of rules.)

  10. David Poland says:

    Oh My GOD, DREW!!!! You reviewed the movie!!!
    What have I done?!?!?! I’ve tainted your pure soul. I will never forgive myself.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    You showed him.

  12. I know this is completely off topic, but I’m glad that you liked Happy Feet (considering the replies, the actual topic on hand does seem very off topic).
    Miller is a legend, so I’m glad he’s back with a (potential) hit. I always knew he would do it and that the Animated Feature was just his for the taking. So… yay.

  13. palmtree says:

    Wow…WB went from having a shit year to having two films that are not only (potentially) big big hits but also relative Oscar locks. Well, it was still a shit year, but all that ends well…

  14. EDouglas says:

    palm: The same thing happened with Disney last year…bombs all year then Narnia, and this year has been great for them. It’ll be ironic if Happy Feet ends up making more than Superman, their other Australian production.

  15. Josh Massey says:

    I was actually looking forward to “Happy Feet” — until I heard Robin Williams’s voice. I can’t imagine a way I’d ever see it now.

  16. Well if the presence of one voice can derail your entire viewing of the film then you probably didn’t care that much in the first place.

  17. Blackcloud says:

    It could be worse, it could be all of Robin Williams, not just his voice.

  18. crazycris says:

    Thx for this Dave! I was really looking forward to Happy Feet, and now even more so hearing how enjoyable it is! :o )

  19. Brett B says:

    If I really hate penguins then is there still a chance for me to like this movie? Because I can’t get past the whole penguin thing.

  20. The Carpetmuncher says:

    HAPPY FEET looks and sounds really great…can’t wait…for DVD…

  21. PetalumaFilms says:

    Nice going Dave, you just jinxed HAPPY FEET ala PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
    Drew…shouldn’t you be concerning yourself with a big screen adaptation of MISSLE COMMAND or something? I thought you were a screenwriter now, not a pundit.

  22. Stella's Boy says:

    I, for one, can’t wait for Drew’s review of Deja Vu. I’m sure that after spending time with Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott in the editing room while also getting to see about 45 minutes of the movie will result in an impartial and insightful critical analysis of the film.

  23. Wrecktum says:

    “Drew…shouldn’t you be concerning yourself with a big screen adaptation of MISSLE COMMAND or something?”
    LOL! Drew just turned in his first draft of Galaga.

  24. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Can someone out Drew so we all know who he is? All this insider talk is really confusing the outsiders among you…

  25. Wrecktum says:

    Drew is Drew McWeeney, aka “Moriarty” from It Ain’t Cool News.

  26. CleanSteve says:

    “Drew just turned in his first draft of Galaga.”
    That explains why Drew needs a writing partner. It takes 2 brains–one not his– to craft a GALAGA adaptation.
    Ha! Rock on, Poland. Do what you do, babe.

  27. Dr Wally says:

    I hope Happy Feet is as good as you say, but i’m really rooting for the fabulous Monster House to win for best Animated Feature. All the wit and imagination of vintage Pixar, why on Earth this didn’t do better is beyond me – “You pee in bottles?!”. Still, i expect it to have the kind of afterlife that Nightmare Before Christmas enjoys now. Incidentally DP, did you know that your favourite punching bag Superman Returns limped wheezing and battered over the $200 million mark last week? Just how DO you spell ‘Pyrrhic’?!

  28. Ju-osh says:

    Don’t listen to Dave, Drew. This is TOTALLY a review. How do I know? Cuz when it was first posted, it had a page and a half description of what he ate for breakfast, what toys are surrounding his computer, and a transcription of the wake-up call Robin Williams PERSONALLY made to him earlier that day.
    …Oh…and…lots…of…incorrectly…placed…ellipses.

  29. seymourgrant says:

    Hahaha! That totally made my day Ju-osh.

  30. David Poland says:

    I personally feel like Monster House is a better film, Doc. But the big box office and late year success of Penguins – all the grandkids will be talking about it endlessly – will be near impossible to beat.

  31. Tofu says:

    No one does widescreen like George Miller, and this one had $200 million grosser slapped all over.
    The crowds ate up the trailers since Goblet of Fire, and in turn the new Harry Potter trailer is attached to Happy Feet. The question I keep asking myself is just where does James Bond and his little Spider-Man 3 trailer land that weekend?

  32. Aladdin Sane says:

    Tofu, I’d wager that the SM3 trailer is with Happy Feet. A lot of people consider Spider-Man to be a family film in my estimation…I could be wrong though, and all the people I know are just weird.
    I’m not sure if I was ever looking forward to Happy Feet, but this edges me into the matinee screening one day after Christmas…

  33. Wrecktum says:

    Warners is attaching their HP teaser to Happy Feet.
    Sony is attaching their new SM teaser to Casino Royale.
    It’s not any more complicated than that.

  34. Lota says:

    That above is not a review…that above is about the economic chances of the movie and the type of movie it is.
    it doesn;t tell a thing on WHAT the movie plot is about etc. and nothing is spoiled.
    MIller rocks…his movies are full of modern grotesques, the best “carny” folk (and animals) are in his flicks.
    I wish he’d take a shot at reinterpreting Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.

  35. jeffmcm says:

    If there’s an opinion or an evaluation, it’s a review. Spoilers not required (and plot description _definitely_ not required).

  36. Lota says:

    then it’s a review that says nothing Jeff. But I suppose people make something out of Nothing all the time.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    It says he liked it.
    Plus, nobody said a review had to be incisive or interesting. If that was the criteria, there would be very few reviewers working today.

  38. Wrecktum says:

    So if Poland says: “Happy Feet — thumb’s up” that constitutes a review and falls under embargo rules?
    I don’t buy it.

  39. David Poland says:

    To put my foot in it further…
    Had I been told about an embargo, I would have offered absolutely no opinon last night.
    In many situations, a studio very clearly does not want any word coming out about the film when I see it. That often includes the fact that I have seen the film at all. At most timesof the year, there are movies I have seen that no one aside from the studio or a filmmaker knows I have seen.
    And there are movies, like Stranger Than Fiction, that I have seen, people know I have seen, and I have not written or spoken much about.
    As I wrote before, my standard starts with the wishes of the person inviting me. If I don’t like the rules, I have the right to negotiate or to pass on seeing the film. What I never have the right to do is to tell the studio one thing and then do something else, either directly or indirectly.
    In the case of Happy Feet, unless there was a strong discussion about not doing it, even if I had been embargoed, by Thursday I would have felt free to offer an Oscar opinion, but I would not have mentioned story structure.
    This was nothing close to being a review. And J-Mc knows, I think, that I don’t write reviews without offering info or clarity about my opinions. So I can only conclude that he is enjoying some rhetorical rubbing on this one.
    And Drew had the right to bring up the issue. If he was embargoed and I was not, I can understand the chaffing. I would feel the same way if the roles were reversed.
    Of course, he always assumes stuff about me because he wants to prove me a hypocrite. If he had asked, even angrily, instead of smugly assuming, it would be a conversation, not a pissing match. Anyone on this blog for more than a day or two knows full well that I have an absolute willingness to explain (or overexplain) myself.
    And this proves it. (smiley emoticon)

  40. Blackcloud says:

    “I personally feel like Monster House is a better film, Doc.”
    Oh, that just dampened my interest, since Monster House did not impress me.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    “And J-Mc knows, I think, that I don’t write reviews without offering info or clarity about my opinions. So I can only conclude that he is enjoying some rhetorical rubbing on this one.”
    I know no such thing. And I respect all of your own rules regarding screenings and embargoes.
    However, when you allow yourself to get drawn into pissing matches with idiots like Drew, and when you play rhetorical games rather than concede a minor, minor, quibbling point, you look silly.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    BTW: you mean ‘drubbing’ right?

  43. Lota says:

    “…nobody said a review had to be incisive or interesting. If that was the criteria, there would be very few reviewers working today.”
    That’s exactly why most Critics have no competence in writing IMUHO, excluding Dave of course, since he can write proper reviews.
    Dave may be a bit long-winded to your responses when you & others are behaving like blog bedbugs, but he knows how to write a review.
    THAT above is not a review. It says nothing of consequence. If anything, the makers should be pleased that such a carrot is being waved about, without revealing details, on a public board.

  44. Does it really matter? I doubt the studio is gonna care if Dave heaped praise on an upcoming movie.

  45. Lynn says:

    HAPPY FEET! Yay! Can’t wait!

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé