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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Scoop's droop: Wolcott, late, better

Better late than never, plus, “Ouch!” Over at his blog, James Wolcott catches Scoop on PPV, which he writes, “sags and drags with the same flaccid verbosity and vague purpose that plagued Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Hollywood Ending, and, lodged at the bottom of the well, Anything Else450dcd02d7be5.jpgThe literate wisecracks that once peppered Woody Allen’s dialogue and put him in the company of quick studies such as Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce—for instance, the famous joke in Annie Hall about Commentary and Dissent merging to form “Dissentary” (dysentary)—have been replaced by Metamucil gag lines that might have been dug out from the depths of Bob Hope’s vault or Neil Simon’s notebook, and delivered with less spin.” Wolcott also notes “the bizarre repartee between Allen and Scarlett Johansson. She plays a cub reporter and he pretends to be her father… and informs a polite couple… that his daughter has come so far in life, considering she grew up with a learning disability. Later, when the murderer’s identity has been supposedly unmasked… Allen jokes, Well, actually, you were adopted—you’re mother and I were looking to adopt a handicapped child… Learning disability, handicapped–his fibs about her aren’t funny, and they aren’t pertinent to anything in the story. I don’t know what the fuck they are. Perhaps they’re veiled swipes at Mia Farrow, who has adopted handicapped children, because they make no sense in the context of Scoop except as misplayed shots of displaced hostility. Or maybe it’s displaced hostility borne of erotic frustration. In a Washington Post interview… Allen lamented, “One of the great pastimes of my life was eyeing girls in short skirts, and that’s gone. They’re unavailable to you, and in the few cases where you could work your magic, it’s to no practical avail because you can’t plan a future if you’re 70 and she’s 22. So your flirtation life goes, which is a big part of everybody’s enjoyment in life.” By the time you’re 70—and married—you might have matured enough to get over it and reconcile with reality…” Once more, with feeling: “Ouch!”

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield