MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Sorry…

It’s a travel prep day… been getting ready for a few weeks away in Telluride & Toronto…
Make yourself at home… pick some well spiritied fights… new entries soon…

56 Responses to “Sorry…”

  1. Q: Can Keira win the Oscar?
    That’s sure to rile up some feathers, right?

  2. Me says:

    I don’t know about that, but Atonement (followed closely by The Golden Age) is at the top of my autumn must-see list. The thing about the book was that it wasn’t about Keira’s character, but mainly about her sister. In a perfect world, Keira would be nominated for supporting, if she were any good.

  3. themutilator says:

    I was late for my second viewing of Harry Potter on Monday, so I went to see the only thing that hadn’t started yet…Ratatouille.It was suprisingly busy, about 50 people. I had been avoiding it all summer (I just had no interest) but I LOVED it. What a wonderful film and that animation..wow.
    I then snuck into The Simpsons and then Superbad. 3 for the price of 1. I love going to the movies Monday afternoon!!!

  4. themutilator says:

    PS
    I had already paid to see both those films so its not “stealing” as some people have told me…or that’s how I justify it.

  5. adorian says:

    Why am I not hearing or reading anything about “Love in the Time of Cholera”? Is it still a Fall release? Why is there no buzz.
    I just watched “The Thin Red Line” again. The first time I was dazzled. This time, not so. It’s just too pretty. The message obviously is that war is ugly, nature is gorgeous. One of the dead soldiers lying among lush green foliage looks like he was shot by Bruce Weber, not by the Japanese. And Sean Penn is a first sergeant with very long hair. I don’t think the chain of command would have allowed that. Nick Nolte shouts too much, and Woody Harrelson’s death scene has got to be the most overwritten overacted death scene in recent memory.
    Mutilator—“three for the price of one” does not sound like you paid for all three. “snuck” does not sound like you paid for the other two. Senator Larry Craig’s press conference comments sound more convincing than that.

  6. jesse says:

    themutilator, I’m a big fan of sneaking into movies myself, though I don’t often get the chance to go on a weekday, unfortunately. I don’t really consider it stealing; I know some people do, and there’s no real air-tight justification, but the ones I use are:
    1. I spend way more money at almost any given NYC movie theater than pretty much anyone I know, so I don’t feel that I’m taking much from my local theater by occasionally doing a two-for-one. I know the rebuke to this is “if you’re a regular at a grocery store, is it OK to shoplift?” but my feeling is that by sneaking into a movie that’s going to play either way, you’re not really taking anything that could be sold (unless the show is pretty packed, which I try like hell to avoid).
    2. I try to sneak in mainly to movies that if faced with the choice between seeing for free or waiting for Netflix, I would wait for Netflix. It doesn’t always work out this way (and of course, if something is unexpectedly good, all of that is out the window), but it’s what I strive for.
    3. At a lot of places, at least in NYC, if it’s not super-busy, if you get two tickets to two different movies more or less right in a row, no one will actually bother ripping or checking the second one (unless you exit the building in between, which is usually fairly time-consuming considering the multi-floor plexes) anyway, which makes me, at least, feel kinda silly about it (unless the movie, as mentioned, is sold out).

  7. hendhogan says:

    i don’t believe i’ve ever gone to the movies intending to sneak into another, but i have done it. probably will again. i have no justification except i want to do it. if it makes me a bad person, then so be it.

  8. jesse says:

    Rock on. My sneaks are often premeditated.

  9. movielocke says:

    having seen Atonement, the short answer is yes, she CAN win, so long as she doesn’t go supporting, but even then, a McAvoy win is more likely than a Knightly win. Saoirse Ronan has an excellent chance of winning in supporting for Atonement, so long as her vote isn’t split by the less impressive Romola Garai also being nominated (which is likely). And some are raving Vanessa Redgraves 5 minutes and two scens as well for a supporting nod. Focus would have to be insane to push all four in supporting, and Keira is the most leading of any of them.

  10. hendhogan says:

    then i guess you’ll get a stiffer sentence

  11. Me says:

    Movielocke, since you’ve seen it – did they have to change the story a lot to make Keira the leading actress? The story from the book was pretty much all about Briony (sp?), with Keira and McAvoy’s characters having the main action, but all told through Briony’s eyes.

  12. TuckPendleton says:

    Sneakers. A pox on you all. For any number of reasons, but here are some off the top of my head:
    1. It’s bad karma. Anyone reading or commenting on this blog is either (or a combination of): a film buff, in the industry, or aspiring to be in the industry. I guess on a certain level I find it very disrespectful of the medium and the artists involved, the cinematic equivalent of dog-earing a book.
    2. There is definitely a cost. While Jesse may not feel he’s taking money away from the local theatre, he’s certainly taking money away from the artists involved, no matter how incremental. As we all learned from Richard Pryor in Superman 3, those percentages of pennies really add up.
    In your own life, don’t you want to be paid and appreciated for the work you do?
    3. It’s childish, cheap behavior, and encourages childish, cheap behavior. Again, if you’re reading this blog, you either have a computer and a internet connection or a job where you use the internet. I.e., you have money. You’re an adult, try acting like one.
    If you can’t afford to see a movie, then see the matinee. If you can’t afford the matinee, wait for the rental. If you can’t afford the rental, wait for the library to get it. If you are so destitute that you can’t afford to see a movie, you have bigger problems to worry about first.
    My suspicion is that many people who sneak into movies are the same people who have a strict 10% tipping policy.
    And when you sneak into movies, it encourages the jackass teenagers who make moviegoing such a chore these days to do the same.
    4. Hey, asshole. You’re in the seat that I want. I paid for that seat. Why should you get to sit in it for free? Or block my view? Or make me listen to you eat your popcorn, or mumble to yourself, or be distracted by your texting? You have no right to be there.
    5. There are other financial recriminations that add up as well. If Jesse sneaks into the movie and doesn’t order it from Netflix (a company I think we all like) it hurts Netflix’s bottom line. It also hurts the theatre. While I’m not a fan of $12+ tickets either, stealing money from them is not going to get them to improve their screens, hire better ushers, police their theatres better, etc. You want them to start giving you a better movie going experience? How about treating them with a little more respect?
    I’m sure many of you are rolling your eyes, thinking I just need to relax. Maybe yes, maybe no. But I find it bothersome and troubling that sneaking into movies is such a non-issue for so many that post here.

  13. hendhogan says:

    again, not defending my actions. it is wrong (for some of the very reasons you suggest). and you are correct in villifying me.
    but to dissuade you in some of your assumptions, i normally overtip (20% being the norm) as i have worked in the food industry in the past.
    i do not aim for a “choice” seat. i pay attention to the movie. i do not text. i turn off the ringer. i’m not going to touch the popcorn reference as that is silly. i’ve never noticed a person mumble to themselves in a movie. and with stadium seating, it is really hard to block someone’s view.
    i am in the industry, so the damage i do, i do to myself.
    these are not excuses or justifications, just to be clear. sneaking is wrong. i still do it from time to time.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Ditto. While I recognize that it’s ‘wrong’ I’m happy to do it every so often. I don’t believe in karma, I almost always am sneaking into theaters that are less than half full, and if there’s a movie that I actually feels deserves my cash, I’ll make sure to pay full price for it.

  15. jesse says:

    Though I admire hendhogan’s more succint response, I can’t resist getting into this.
    “1. It’s bad karma.”
    When you say it’s like dog-earing a book, do you mean a library book? Because I dog-ear my own books all the time, and at the other end I’m not sure you could find too many people dog-earing books in bookstores (which I would think would be the closer analogy, since a library is free to its users). As I said, I support more movies than probably 95% of the population, so I don’t buy that my karma is bad here.
    “2. There is definitely a cost.”
    I actually love the Richard Pryor/Superman III example, because it (unintentionally, I assume) illustrates the kind of ridiculous paycheck jobs sneaking can “detract” from. Or are gaffers paid as percentages of first-dollar grosses?
    I work in textbooks. Does it bother me when someone somehow avoids paying $80 for a copy of one of our new books? Absolutely not, because I’ve been a student. Of course, if everyone did it, we could be in financial ruin, but I accept that it happens (and that it would happen less if the books were cheaper).
    “3. It’s childish, cheap behavior, and encourages childish, cheap behavior.”
    I’ll give you cheap. I don’t see how it’s childish or even teenagerish. I have to be fairly stealthy to sneak into movies, and I don’t think a lot of teenagers do it (apart from maybe the classic buying a PG-13 ticket and sneaking into an R movie), because most teenagers I see at the movies don’t have the attention span for one movie, let alone two.
    And, as I explained, if you want to see two movies in a row, unless they’re super busy, theaters don’t make much of a case for needing to give them eleven additional dollars. Though if a theater were to have some kind of unlimited-for-$100 (or however much) plan (as I believe some were batting around a few years ago), I’d sign up in a heartbeat. And they’d have to charge at least that much to get the same amount of money they’re getting from me now with all of my “stealing.”
    If you want to throw around “these people must also be lousy tippers,” go for it. I know how I tip and I rarely go below 15 even for mediocre service. If that seems like an easy-to-bullshit retort, think about how weak your argument is.
    “4. Hey, asshole.”
    This is actually dangerous thinking because it implies that people who paid to get in *do* have the right to annoy you with text-messaging or muttering or what-have-you. I can’t speak for everyone who sneaks into movies, but I love movies and I don’t chomp, talk to myself, kick seats, text-message, make phone calls, throw sheets over people and hit them with two-by-fours, or anything else you can dream up. I’ve mentioned that I try to avoid crowded movies; sneaking into a sold-out or near-sold-out show would be inconsiderate as well as impractical. So if the idea that someone, somewhere, sitting in the theater, maybe in front of you, might not have paid to get in, really boils your blood, then I don’t know what to tell you; get ready for your blood to be boiling a whole lot.
    5. Other financial concerns.
    Dude, I have a subscription to Netflix. If I rent *fewer* movies from them as a result of sneaking in (or anything else), I’m pretty sure that *helps* their bottom line. It would only hurt if I canceled my subscription for those reasons. But regardless, no one is obligated to support Netflix if they don’t use it.
    As I’ve mentioned, I spend a lot of money at movie theaters. I get people to go with me in big groups. I try to talk to someone if the sound/picture/whatever quality is bad (assuming I paid to get in, which is the case more often than not). I sometimes buy concessions if they’re not insanely overpriced. I try to take customer-service surveys when I can. If this is me hurting the industry, they must be just a couple of ex-sneakers away from a national moviegoing renaissance.
    I also love the “just keep showing up and it’ll get better” approach to businesses. In NYC, even crappy theaters can be pretty heavily trafficked; believe me, the extra cash doesn’t make them better. But I can’t wait to hear your stinging indicment of people who sneak in their own bags of M&M’s.

  16. jesse says:

    Yeah, I should add that I understand that strictly speaking, it’s never 100% justified. But at the same time, I think a lot of paying customers do a lot of way worse things.

  17. hendhogan says:

    actually, sneaking in the M&Ms hurts the theatre’s bottom line a lot more than just sneaking into the movie. concessions is where most (if not all) theatres make their money.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Exactly. When I sneak in to something, I usually end up getting an extra hot dog or popcorn or something, so I actually end up spending as much money as if I had paid for two tickets.

  19. jesse says:

    And yet, is such behavior unreasonable?

  20. TuckPendleton says:

    Let’s see…
    Hend: “i am in the industry, so the damage i do, i do to myself.” True. But you also do it to everyone else who worked on that film with you, around you, etc. It’s not a victimless crime.
    Jeff, and others: I am interested in why (and mean this honestly, not with any suffusion of snark) you would see a movie you wouldn’t pay for? Isn’t life short enough already? Aside from a “so bad it’s good” kind of experience, why even bother filling two hours of your life with middling fare?
    Jesse: I admit that I hold the movie-going (and book-reading) experience in very high regard, and don’t take lightly. Um, clearly. :) And I live in NYC too, where my closest theatre is the travesty on Court Street in Brooklyn, so perhaps that has irreperably damaged any optimism I have of others people’s behavior.
    Anyway, towards some of your points:
    Yes, I loathe dog-earing in books. Your own, or the libraries. To me, it smacks of laziness and contempt for the work of art you hold in your hand. (I know, I know.) Incidentally, for my Brooklyn library, people DESTROY the books they take out. Maybe I should come see the movies and use the libraries where you are. :)
    I’m sure you and I are in the same upper 5% of movie going. It doesn’t make it any better.
    A student who buys your book at a student rate is still buying the book, right? Not stealing it.
    I do think the behavior is childish, in the way that a young child thinks everything should be given to them for free. Or the way that people think everything on the internet should be free. And if they want it for free, but don’t want to pay a price for it, they figure out a way to (metaphorically) stamp their feet and whine until they get what they want. Guess what? Things have a price.
    I said that I suspect many people who sneak are lousy tippers, not all. It’s great that you and Hend aren’t. I still think that someone who doesn’t pay for a movie is also more likely to skimp in other areas of their lives. But you’re right, it’s not really relevant here.
    I don’t think buying a ticket gives you a right to do any of those things you mentioned; but it sucks to be doubly-screwed when the person ruining your movie is also doing it for free.
    My thinking on the Netflix was that if you keep seeing movies for free you would otherwise rent, that you would eventually cancel your membership, in theory. Yes, it’s a little ridiculous bit of micro-economics, but an attempt at showing their are all kinds of “butterfly effects” to our actions.
    Of course I appreciate all the great things you (and I, and I’m sure most of the people on this board) do when you go see a movie. However, we all know we’re in the minority.
    And as far as the crappy NYC movie experience…I mean, you’re right, there’s no easy answer, and probably no answer period. But those missing dollars all have to add up in some way, don’t you think?
    At least you liked the Superman 3 reference.
    Glad it’s a slow day at work.

  21. hendhogan says:

    tuck, just for clarification purposes, never said it was a victimless crime. just added that one of the victims is myself.
    as to the college book thing, buying second had books has the same damage as stealing, as the profits go to the store and does not reflect back in royalties to the author. this was the big problem with selling used cds, you may recall.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Tuck, to answer your question: I try to see a lot of movies, and have been rewarded enough times by movies that I might have skipped over that turned out to be surprisingly good. I don’t know if a movie is going to be worth seeing until I’ve seen it.
    To your other points: what do you care if I decide to dog-ear a book that I own? It’s none of your business. In fact, it’s probably a sign that the book is well-appreciated. This isn’t something I actually do.
    The point re: textbooks has to do with the rampant gouging in the textbook industry. It’s simple economic behavior: as long as students can get away with not purchasing a new book, vs. the high cost of purchasing new copies, they’ll do what they consider economically valid.

  23. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Wow, what a bunch of lames. It’s like we have a bunch of Bobby Brady’s in here who think being the Hall Monitor is their life’s mission.
    Keep sneaking into movies!
    Screw the theatre owners and their $8 popcorns and their $7 Cokes. You know any day now they are going to charge to use the bathroom.
    And keep dog-earing your books! I can’t believe I even read that bullshit. You’ve got to have no life to even have time to think up garbage like that. Or you are just a sad OCD case that needs to see a shrink. You should be happy people are reading books at all!
    All this lame talk about the macro-economics of sneaking into a movie is just missing the point. If someone sneaks into a film they weren’t going to pay to see anyway, nobody loses anything! Because there was never anything to lose to begin with!
    And anyway, those same films will be on TV in a year and you can watch them for free.
    In my world, the rule is, if you pay to see one movie, you get free refills and can see any other movies you want until you exit the theatre. Especially if you bought a ten dollar popcorn.
    And anybody who doesn’t like it can kiss my virtual ass.

  24. jesse says:

    I actually really like every direction this conversation is taking so I’m going to respond to a bunch of tangents.
    Just thinking about it now, I’m actually pretty selective about dog-earing books, despite my defense of it. If it’s a used book I bought for a couple or books, or a paperback that I don’t care much about, I’ll do it, but I do have some books that I like to keep looking nice (mostly graphic novels because they tend to “look” more like art, but if a book is especially well-designed, I won’t want to dog-ear it). But I don’t think it’s disrespectful (in your own books, anyway); I think it shows engagement. I’m actually also a library-science grad student, so I do know a lot of people are awfully disrespectful of books — and it sucks, but one of the big principles of library science is “books are for use,” so we deal with it (and I swear that’s the last “I actually work in ____, so ____” I’ll claim!).
    Hend is correct that in textbooks, the “problem” we face is used books, which editors/higher-ups definitely treat like stealing, though money is changing hands and it’s perfectly legal. (Maybe it’s a weak analogy, but I think of movie-sneaking as similar in that I *am* paying the movie theater — I’m just going to two movies rather than one. Similarly, students usually aren’t swiping books from the stores; they’re buying used copies from the stores or other students at a huge discount.)
    Sidenote — Jeff, I agree that textbooks are crazy overpriced, and you wouldn’t want to hear some of the justifications that go on in the business… that said, there are factors that make them cost more than regular books, namely development. Developing a textbook is far more expensive than the development/editing process for many trade books, since we have to be sure a good amount of instructors actually find the book useful. But being in grad school at the same time definitely gives me the consumer/student side of the issue.
    Anyway. I guess my cynical response to my own sneaking (and I went into this more in a column last year at Hollywood Elsewhere) is, as HBC says in Fight Club, “consider it asshole tax.” There are any number of theaters in NYC that I should swear off forever based on all kinds of lousy management/presentation issues. Instead, I occasionally sneak into a second movie.
    Of course, that may just make me weak-willed and unprincipled. 😉

  25. TuckPendleton says:

    Geez, lots of textbook experts in here. Didn’t know that about the used book sales. I humbly withdraw that part of my argument. (Though I guess I remain a little confused how my college bookstore could have sold me used books, when clearly the book suppliers would forbid it? Guess that’s neither here nor there. Or there, not here.)
    In the end, we all know it’s wrong, the rest is equivocation.
    Jeff, of course you do want you want with your books; for me, dog-earing a book is akin to defacing it. Clearly, our opinions differ.
    And I hear ya on your pleasant surprises on the middling fare. I guess I just drop those in my Netflix queue.
    Carpet…it seems our opinions also differs. C’est la vie. Don’t choke on that $10 popcorn.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Re: textbooks, all I know is, I had an astronomy professor where I went for undergrad who wrote his own textbook, and he made sure to write a new ‘updated’ version of it every year to try and make his earlier versions worthless for resale. I would call that somewhat reprehensible, at least as a student who didn’t have a trust fund, like many of my fellow students.

  27. hendhogan says:

    i’m also not one to turn down a page corner. or, god forbid, fold the cover of a paperback around the back of the book. and if i’m in a used bookstore, i won’t buy badly damaged books.
    but i do all of the above when i’m reading scripts.
    maybe it is a kinda ocd.

  28. TuckPendleton says:

    And my bet is that while Keira could win, I don’t think she will. I’ll take the field.

  29. hendhogan says:

    on this, we agree, tuck.

  30. bobbob911 says:

    On another tangent….
    Who’s going to TIFF? What films are must see?

  31. jesse says:

    Jeff, that is pretty lousy, but it sounds like your prof was self-publishing or something, because few textbook companies would want a new edition every year, even of best-selling books or to combat the used market, because of diminishing returns and bad PR. It is maybe a reason revisions now happen every 2-4 years rather than every 4-5, but my company at least is way too busy to make new editions of everything every year.
    Tuck, bookstores can sell used books because … why not? The same way that music stores can sell used CDs. It’s not against the law, the big companies can’t make rules about it that anyone will enforce. Usually stores do “buy-back” at the end of the semester to gain a stock of used books, which will amount to (ballparking here) one used copy for every 5-10 new copies in stock the next semester. Of course, the stores themselves usually rip students off (in my experience as a student) in buy-backs; the best way to buy used anything is from the seller directly.
    Finally, back to movies: I don’t dislike Keira Knightley but she strikes me as kind of a lightweight (though I haven’t seen Atonement). She’s very likable; she’s got star quality, but I’ve never been knocked out by her performances (and I’m someone who had no problem with her in The Jacket). Her performances usually have more charm than great acting, at least so far. I was surprised she got a nom for Pride & Prejudice, especially considering how many better young actresses are ignored for awards.

  32. TuckPendleton says:

    Thanks, Jeff & Jesse. Interesting. The used-music analogy makes perfect sense — didn’t occur to me before.
    So is the next question…if not Keira, who?
    Is it too early to put money on Jodie Foster?

  33. hendhogan says:

    hey! not to pull a nikki finke, but i started that analogy.

  34. jesse says:

    I haven’t seen The Brave One, either, but I would expect giving it to Foster again (especially for what sounds like a genre-leaning movie — though so was Silence of the Lambs, I suppose) would feel too tired, assuming there are other worthy performances that the Academy can stomach.
    Then again, glancing over my must-see list, I don’t see a lot of strong-looking female performances. Maybe I just missed ’em, but the fall movies I’m most excited to see – There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, Darjeeling Limited, Sweeney Todd, Juno — seem more like male (or male director) showcases.
    One exception is Margot at the Wedding but I’m guessing that’s a little too subtle.
    Kate Winslet doesn’t have anything out this year, does she? Seems like about her time, doesn’t it?

  35. TuckPendleton says:

    Ack! You’re right. Apologies and thanks to you, as well.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Keira may win an Oscar someday, but most likely in some part where she uglies herself up in standard Oscar fashion.

  37. TuckPendleton says:

    Jesse —
    I think you’re right about the lack of possible strong females this year…I also wonder if History of Violence noms last year, as well as those for Children of Men, have started, however slowly, to break down the genre wall, and give Foster a better chance, despite the genre.
    Though another question may be…if HOV paved the way for Eastern Promises? For both Cronenberg and Viggo.

  38. TuckPendleton says:

    I went back and looked at Noah’s 10 movies for fall article…
    It’s actually not quite the dearth of leading females as I first thought…a lot of former winners, too, in dramatic roles.
    Jodie Foster (Brave One)
    Naomi Watts (either Eastern Promises or Funny Games)
    Kidman or Leigh (Margot at… — I agree that a writing nom here is more likely, but the Academy is aware of Baumbach, nom’ed for Squid and Whale, so people will be paying attention)
    Julia Roberts (Charlie Wilson)
    Reese Witherspoon (haven’t heard a lick about Rendition, but she’s a former winner, so I think you have to put her in the mix)
    Charlize Theron (See above…enough people seem to like Haggis’s work)
    Halle Berry (Things We Lost in the Fire)

  39. hendhogan says:

    thank you, tuck

  40. The Carpetmuncher says:

    TIFF movies that I’m most excited about:
    I’d say ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is the one I’m most excited about, even though I don’t think Taymor has yet made a totally successful film. But you need to take chances to achieve greatness. UNIVERSE is a must see for me.
    Woody Allen’s new one – I agree with Poland that Woody is now actually underappreciated and still consider seeing his yearly film a must see.
    ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE – The first one was just amazing, and this one has Clive Owen, so it could be even better?
    RESERVATION ROAD might be Oscar bait on the acting side for Phoenix and Ruffalo…powerful book, strong director, and real human drama.
    EASTERN PROMISES – I was one of those really blown away by A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, particalarly by Viggo, who is now one of the actors I would watch in anything. Got to check out this reunion…
    LUST, CAUTION – Anythign Ang Lee is a must see.
    JUNO – Reitman’s sophomore effort with a ton of great young actors, including new star Michael Sera, the brilliant Ellen Paige, and newcomer Olivia Thirlby, who was fabulous in SNOW ANGELS…
    MARGOT AT THE WEDDING – Noah Baumbach – And I have to say that I absolutely loved his early film KICKING AND SCREAMING which might be the most astute post-college film we’ve seen and thought MR. JEALOUSY was quite strong as well. I certainly didn’t think SQUID AND THE WHALE came out of nowhere, but rather just got the most notice.
    But I have to say, the film I’m most excited to see is easily:
    Todd Haynes’ I’M NOT THERE. The trailer looks stunning. The concept is out there, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Haynes, who is as adventurous as ever. And as weird as it sounds, it might be the best way to actually capture some of Dylan’s magic. Can’t wait!

  41. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Does anyone think Angelina still has a chance at another Oscar? I know no one saw the film, but by December everyone will have screeners and I think her brilliant performance will be hard to ignore.
    Foster looks great in THE BRAVE ONE, but it’s seems been there/done that for her.
    I just think the strength of Angelina’s performance will get more acclaim as Oscar season rolls around…
    Cate Blanchett as Dylan? Crazy….

  42. Me says:

    I think Across the Universe is the fall film I’m least looking forward to seeing. Every time I see the trailer I think of the bad NBC miniseries the 60s and 70s, but with added artistic pretentiousness (and this coming from a guy who loves pretention) and Forrest Gump-level pandering to Boomer nostalgia.

  43. Me says:

    I will definitely second you on Elizabeth: The Golden Age, though. Maybe Blanchet gets the Oscar this time, for which she was robbed the first time she played Elizabeth.

  44. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Did Blanchet lose out on Elizabeth to Gwenyth Paltrow and the Miramax machine?
    Cate was so damn good, she should have gotten 2 Oscars for that.

  45. adorian says:

    strong actress performances that will probably put them in the running:
    Julie Christie
    Marion Cotillard
    Cate Blanchett
    Angelina Jolie
    Jodie Foster
    Laura Linney
    Nicole Kidman
    Halle Berry
    Charlize Theron
    Naomi Watts
    Keira Knightly
    Catherine Keener (still a 2007 release?)
    So I don’t think this is a weak year at all. As soon as the five nominees are announced, people will be yelling, “But why didn’t so-and-so get nominated?!”

  46. themutilator says:

    Defending my first post…
    I go to more movies than any other person I know. The usher at my fave theatre knows where I like to sit and I always enjoy a nice chat with him. The geek in my likes to save my tix and I have PAID for 62 films this year, so far. The theatres make enough money off of me so I dont feel so guilty about sneaking in to an extra show…and its usually a film Ive already paid to see, but I am happiest when its something I havent seen. What I do is look at the times for the movie I most want to see, figure out what time it will end and then see whats going in at the time Im coming out.
    For example:
    Ratatouille 1:10-3:05
    The Simpsons 3:00-4:35
    Superbad 4:45-6:45
    By that time you are starving ’cause you cant get to the concession stand without a ticket. For the first film, buy a large popcorn and pop and eat slowly.
    And the theatres are never busy on a Monday afternoon so you are not taking someone’s seat. Who wants to go to a movie in a packed theatre anyway.
    At the TIFF, Im seeing most of the Midnight Madness films…The Devil’s Chair, Stuck, Frontieres, Diary of the Dead, The Mother of Tears and L’interiures (the spelling of those French titles is probably wrong).

  47. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Midnight Madness has a Romero and an Argento film, should be a blast!

  48. themutilator says:

    Romero and Argento were in Toronto this weekend at our annual Festival of Fear. Romero I had met before and Im not a big fan of Argento. I did meet Angela Bettis, which was huge for me..I was shaking. She was so nice and talked with me for about 10 minutes. She said I was the first person to tell her that Toolbox Murders was their fave horror movie!!

  49. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Funny. The same writers who wrote Toolbox Murders actually wrote the new Argento film. Small world.

  50. themutilator says:

    But they also wrote Mortuary…UGH.

  51. movielocke says:

    Oh wow.
    The reviews for Atonement are in at Hollywood Reporter and Variety, and folks they clarify what is going to be the biggest fireworks display of oscar argument (and rage) this entire oscar season.
    In the green corner we have Saoirse Ronan (pronounced Seer-say) backed by Variety, she’s coming out swinging with a strong back hand diss to Garai.
    They can’t show you the best scenes because they’re too spoilerific, this is pretty good though:
    http://download.wire9.com/substance/atonement_clips/atonement_clip01_850k.wmv
    and in the Red corner we have Romola Garai, backed by the Hollywood Reporter (warning spell-out-the-plot spoilers in the review) with a strong if shrill defense of Garai.
    the smallest of Garai’s three big scenes
    http://download.wire9.com/substance/atonement_clips/atonement_clip10_850k.wmv
    http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117934523.html?categoryid=31&cs=1
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film/reviews/article_display.jsp?&rid=9693
    But it’s variety that nails the key point, this is Keira and McAvoy’s film. In my opinion, if for some bizarre incomprehensible unforseeable reason the film only receives one nomination it’ll be McAvoy who gets it.
    (found the clips at awards daily, not plugging the site, but I don’t know how official a release they are, they’re press materials for the european release)

  52. movielocke says:

    whoops, I did’t edit and the above post implies Ronan is dissing Garai, rather, it is Variety’s review that disses Garai.

  53. My predix for Best Actress are Blanchett, Christie, Cotillard, Knightley and either Kidman/Foster. I do think Blanchett could take out the award because of the goodwill from the original. But, still, if Atonement sweeps (I’m thinking Pic, Dir, AdScr, Cinematography, Score and maybe another?) then Knightley could easily get swept along.
    Plus, she also has Silk to give her some bonus points.

  54. IOIOIOI says:

    Damn; this is the trippiest freakin thread that I have come across. Jeff not believing in karma is not a shock. Nevertheless, to paraphrase Jim Mora; “OSCARS? OSCARS? OSCARS???”

  55. Me says:

    IO, I’m not sure why Oscars would seem such a crazy concept to be talking about now. Unlike in football, where you have to get through 16 games before getting to the playoffs, with movies, all you have to be seen is once to be talking Oscars. And with Venice becoming a showplace for Oscar movies, the season has arrived.

  56. The Carpetmuncher says:

    That Jim Mora press conference is one of the greatest I’ve ever seen. Someone once showed me a YouTube clip or something where someone had intercut Mora hollaring “PlayOFFS???” with Allen Iverson saying “We’re talking about PRACTICE!”
    In terms of YouTube diversions, this was one of my favorites.
    Maybe soon we’ll get to see Joel Silver doing his own version of this press conference about THE INVASION…

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima