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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB – Oct 14

Another travelling day…

21 Responses to “BYOB – Oct 14”

  1. IOIOIOI says:

    Did you know that this weekend is SAW WEEKEND? Seriously… the radio ads for this flick never cease to crack me up. If only this flick could be guaranteed to not make close to 40 million this weekend, that would be something.

  2. doug r says:

    I am getting royally SICK of all the “evil genius” pictures where the bad guy is so much smarter. Except Dexter, who seems to have some redeemable qualities.
    Loved the opening of 28 Weeks Later-movie kind of lost momentum after that, though.

  3. cobhome says:

    SWeeney Todd screening last night – reports sound very good – seems the can he sing question is answered – yes and it is being described by those who saw it as a “musical-horror-comedy” film –

  4. waterbucket says:

    Speaking of musical-horror-comedy, check out the trailer to “Repo! The Genetic Opera” starring Razzie winner Paris Hilton. Warning though, the trailer may make you homicidal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfJxCYTKOi8

  5. L.B. says:

    When will we see the Congressional bill that designates Twisted Pictures as an officially recognized terrorist organization.

  6. Spacesheik says:

    I bought my first Blu-ray flick (FF2) and used the PS3 (hooked up to a Samsung 1080p monitor) – man it looked amazing, I mean we’re talking 3-D beautiful. You can definintely see the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD – if you have a 1080p monitor.
    So far I have refused to buy any Blu-Ray flicks simply because I didn’t think the difference in quality merited the upgrade, plus I don’t like using a PS3 for movies, but that copy made me seriously rethink what format I’m going to buy flicks in the future.
    If only they could produce decent quality Blurays at reasonable prices, this format would seriously take off.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    So I don’t expect there to be many fans here, but – are the kids really into the super-theatrical goth heavy metal rock operas these days? And if so, why isn’t KISS more at the forefront?
    Seriously though, that trailer makes me want to find a way to make my head explode. However, Paris was supposed to be very nice to work with.

  8. IOIOIOI says:

    Unfortunately; Twisted Pictures were not found to be terrorist although their films do terrorize people. Arlan Spector — wearing a SAWIV hat — stated that; “Who cares if their film terrorize people? I am a big JIGSAW fan. Some of my collegues are JIGSAW fans. We are also a fan of the movie Phone Booth that SAW completely ripped off in terms, but that’s besides the point. SAWIV rules. Suck it bitches.” With that… Spector left the microphone, threw up a gang sign, and stumbled away trying to walk and grab his balls at the same time.

  9. sloanish says:

    How is Rendition so bad? Production values are good, it has a great ensemble, and yet it’s a trainwreck. Either everyone mis-read the weak script or Gavin Hood has no clothes.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    I havent’ seen Rendition yet but I could definitely see your last theory being correct based on Tsotsi.

  11. IOIOIOI says:

    Rendition simply looks hokey. Most of these WAR movies look or are HOKEY. Hopefully someone will get one right one of these days. If not… here’s to more crappy war movies to add to the collection of crappy movies about the Revolution, the war of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

  12. sloanish says:

    Funny, I assumed Tsotsi was good. Thanks for saving me the 2 hours.

  13. doug r says:

    So where does Rendition fail? From what I’ve heard of the Arar case, it could make an excellent picture in the right hands.

  14. Aris P says:

    Re: Rendition.
    a) I don’t think people really want to see movies based on our current issues about Iraq, terrorism, war policies, etc etc. Especially if it’s not an action picture.
    b) Maybe I’m cynical (“maybe”…) but seeing Witherspoon scream “WHERE’S MY HUSBAND?!!?”, or whatever the hell she says at the end of the trailer, made me want to hurl something at the screen. I don’t buy her, and no one else will in such an eye-rolling, overly-dramatic role.
    I think people underestimate SUBJECT MATTER. Sure Reese can draw decent numbers for some films (biopic about a legend, or rom-coms), but in this role… shudder…
    Speaking of shuddering, how will Lions For Lambs open? DOA is my bet.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Sloanish, don’t just go by my word – a lot of people seem to like Tsotsi. But I thought it was overly sentimental and sappy.
    “I don’t think people really want to see movies based on our current issues about Iraq, terrorism, war policies, etc etc. Especially if it’s not an action picture.”
    They don’t want to see them even if they are an action picture (The Kingdom).

  16. jeff….that one HORRIBLE goth art rock band is quite big….I’m sure I’ll remember the name when I try to fall asleep. They’re basically Queen in goth garb…except they suck.

  17. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Aris P, I’m with you on all that.
    Except Lions for Lambs. As little as I want to see it, I have trouble believing a movie with Cruise, Streep & Redford isn’t going to draw a certain older audience to the theater. It might not open to meet expectations, which have got to be huge, but I can still see it doing $14-15 mil and then having ok legs.
    I cannot see it bombing like Rendition. But as you point out, it doesn’t have Reese Witherspoon doing that awful “Give me back my son” routine – ugh.
    Before the Devil Knows Your Dead opens this weekend. That’s the ticket to buy. It ain’t likely to break any box office records, but the smart money pays to see that one.

  18. Aris P says:

    I saw Devil Knows Your Dead a few weeks ago, and it’s fantastic. It’s definitely one of this year’s top 5 for me. Do yourselves a favor.
    On another note, Deer Hunter is on right now, and I just watched the first hour, for the umpteenth time. What a BRILLIANT portrayal of love, friendship, community and impending loss. And it all takes place in basically four scenes. What director, let alone studio, can ever make a film like this again? I can’t recall when I’ve ever seen a group of actors act so lovingly and convincingly as friends, on screen.

  19. sloanish says:

    That Reese scream doomed Rendition’s BO, but the movie itself fails because because it’s so scattershot. KINDA SPOILERS BUT NOT REALLY TO FOLLOW: Most of the characters are one-note, and half — at least half — of the movie isn’t even about “rendition.” And the rendition case itself isn’t compelling. Everyone always asks if you would torture one person to save five-thousand and it’s probably the basis as to why the movie was made. It’s a situation that Meryl Streep’s evil southerner even mentions. But at no point do we ever get the sense that guy being tortured has important information that could save lives. Instead, it seems arbitrary, so there’s no moral question at the end. It is unbelievably bad.

  20. Well I haven’t seen Rendition so I’m asking something else. I know it’s been discussed before but I only just saw Bridge to Terabithia on DVD.
    What the hell was that marketing campaign?
    I really liked it the movie actually. It can rank alongside Freaky Friday and Holes as some of the very best younger-oriented fare of this decade. That AnnaSophia Robb’s gonna have a big future if she keeps smiling the way she does in that movie and stops being some sort of harbinger of death like it looked like she was in The Reaping.

  21. Oh, and that Repo trailer? Umm… jesus christ! What the fuck is that? You can certainly tell it originated as a stage show, huh?
    Is Paris Hilton the one is black?

Quote Unquotesee all »

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