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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB – November 18

It’s a travel day… and though I have figured out how to post via iPhone, I will be flying when box office numbers land. So here’s some space for you.

43 Responses to “BYOB – November 18”

  1. crazycris says:

    Can’t believe I’m the first one in here… sweet! ;o)
    I saw Persepolis this week… would love it if it could take both foreign language AND animated oscars! What an excellent film! Am curious as to its US release… as it’s an animated film, are they dubbing it? Or do you get it sub-titled? ‘Cause the musical sequence with Marji getting her act together while singing “Eye of the Tiger” with a very thick French accent is priceless!!! Would be totally lost in translation.

  2. Not sure about the US but whenever a Miyazaki films gets released here some cinemas get a dubbed version while others get the subtitled one. Because subtitled films are a) less popular and b) cost more for prints we generally get more of the dubbed kind. Unfortunately.

  3. movieman says:

    Since “Persepolis” is being distributed by Sony Classics, I’m sure that it will be released here in the original language version with subtitles.
    Great movie: it’s my favorite animated film of the year, and one of my favorite movies period.

  4. adorian says:

    CNN Headline News keeps rerunning a story about an old man with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home who has fallen in love with another patient…and his wife keeps visiting him and accepting it. It’s the basic premise of “Away from Her” with the genders switched.
    It’s very depressing, but it reminds me how wonderful Julie Christie’s performance is. Is it safe to say that Best Actress is a two-way race between Marion Cotillard and Julie Christie?

  5. scooterzz says:

    i just got a subtitled screener of ‘persepolis’ so i’m pretty sure that’s how it’ll be released….

  6. Rob says:

    Am I the only one who paid to see Southland Tales this weekend? It’s, er, something.
    **MINOR SPOILER ALERT** (if anyone cares at this point)
    Someone needs to tell Richard Kelly that all that space-time continuum nonsense only makes his movies less interesting.
    Also, why is it so cruddy-looking? How did he forget what to do with a camera between Darko and this?

  7. movieman says:

    Wow. Those are some shitty expansion numbers for “Control” and “Before the Devil Know You’re Dead,” aren’t they? That’s too bad since they’re among the year’s best films.
    Anyone notice how “Romance and Cigarettes”–although barely tested so far–has posted some of the heftiest legs all fall? It would appear that Sony Classics made one of their rare missteps by choosing not to release it.
    I’m a little stunned by the dreadful opening for “Southland Tales.”
    You would have thought that Kelly’s “Donnie Darko” fans would have at least turned out in the first weekend, especially in the major urban centers that opened the film. And as “uneven” as the reviews might appear, it did receive some pretty hefty endorsements from Dargis and Hoberman. That $1,857 per-screen average is actually kind of shocking. I know that I would have gladly paid to see it if it had actually opened here in northeastern Ohio. “ST”–along with “There Will Be Blood” and “Sweeney Todd”–were the last auteur-centric year-end releases I needed to see before seriously cobbling together my 10-best list. While I have no doubt that Paramount will screen “Blood” and “Todd” in time, it would appear that Kelly’s film won’t be “screenable” until the DVD release since I’m guessing Goldwyn won’t be shipping out any screeners anytime soon. Damn!
    Good expansion for “No Country,” but the real test will come next weekend when it hits the heartland.
    Nice opening for “Margot,” but I don’t really see it going anywhere. It’s a terrific film, but even less “audience-friendly” than “Squid and the Whale.” Paramount Vantage will be lucky to hit $5-million when all is said and done. And I’m not really expecting any “money” Oscar nominations, are you?

  8. movieman says:

    …and “Dan in Real Life”‘s continued strength proves that Disney blew it by not getting the thing out there sooner.
    I’m not expecting it to hold a lot of screens come Wednesday with the onslaught of Turkey Day releases.
    Stupid.
    A late August “Little Miss Sunshine” berth might have translated to a $75-million domestic cume, or better. Audiences really like it.

  9. Me says:

    Am I the only one who is really excited about this slate of fall movies? After several years of dissappointing Oscar-season films, I really feel like there are a lot of films this year that really deserve to be mentioned as Oscar-caliber films. I just saw No Country, which was amazing (if frustrating in the end) and Gone Baby Gone, which was heartbreaking in so many excellent ways. And everything I keep seeing trailers for and hearing about sound great: Atonement, Juno, There Will Be Blood… Hell if Charlie Wilson’s War has some good old-school Sorkin dialong, it’ll be like I died and went to movie heaven.

  10. Me says:

    Has anyone seen the trailer for (apparently the remake of) Funny Games? Boy does that look like an awful wannabe A Clockwork Orange piece of shit. And then I found out it’s by the guy who made Cache, which confirmed that I am in no way going to see it, despite my love for Tim Roth. There’s nothing as awful as going to see a movie where the director holds his audience in contempt and makes them pay for it with his film.

  11. scooterzz says:

    movie–i’m pretty sure the vips are screening ‘sweeney todd’ this week but the earliest i could get one is a week from tomorrow….

  12. The Pope says:

    Seems that everyone is talking about films that will not make it to this side of the Atlantic for at least a few weeks … so at the risk of sounding old hat to those who saw it before it opened, I went to Beowulf this morning. Pleasantly entertained by the whole thing when I really did not expect to be. I had feared quite a bit from the trailers.

  13. djk813 says:

    I love the original Funny Games (also directed by Haneke). It has one of the ultimate F*** You to the audience moments. With the recent debates about torture porn, I like that Haneke attempts to address what the audience’s roll is in all of this.

  14. movieman says:

    Scooter- “Sweeney” is December 5th in Cleveland; just barely making it in time for the BFCA first-ballot deadline on the 7th.
    The Cleveland market gets no respect at all from the studios.
    And there’s been nothing announced (as of yet anyway) for “Blood.”
    It’s a good thing I saw “Juno,” “Atonement,” etc. in Toronto or I’d really be up shit’s creek, particularly since the screeners are arriving at a notoriously slow rate this year (at least for me).
    Yes, Me, this has been an exceptional fall in terms of quality (“Into the Wild,” “Jesse James,” “No Country,” “I’m Not There,” “Before the Devil,” “Across the Universe,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” etc.). Unfortunately, few of those movies have failed to click with audiences in a sizable way.

  15. movieman says:

    Me- “Funny Games” is Haneke’s remake of his own foreign-language film of the same name from 1997.
    If you’re not a fan, you should probably skip it. As a Haneke admirer who happened to love the original “FG,” I thought the trailer was very cool–and the cast is terrific.
    There was a great NYT piece on the making of the film a few months back that really stokd my enthusiasm.

  16. Krazy Eyes says:

    I don’t think Haneke holds his audiences in contempt at all. I do think he likes to challenge them though and maybe even rile them up a bit by confounding expectations. That said, I can imagine that someone not up to the challenge might see this as contempt.
    Love him or hate him (and I do dislike a number of his films) I think he’s one of the most interesting filmmakers working.

  17. scooterzz says:

    tim roth (at the ‘youth without youth’ press day) said that he had the shit kicked out of him more during ‘funny games’ than anything else he’s done…
    re:screeners…i seem to remember the pace picks up right after thanksgiving…btw–‘starting out in the evening’ arrived yesterday….

  18. movieman says:

    that was supposed to read, “stoked” before.
    damn “e” key sticks on this thing.
    I agree, Krazy Eyes.
    I’ve run hot (“The Piano Teacher,” “Funny Games,” “Cache”) and cold (“Time of the Wolf,” “Code Unknown”) on Haneke, but his films are never less than provocative and always “interesting.”
    I personally can’t wait for “FG 2.”

  19. movieman says:

    Scooter- Are you the BFCA-er who already got the P/Vantage combo of “Into the Wild” and “Margot”?
    What about the Magnolia box set?
    I haven’t received either of those (or “Starting Out”) yet.
    The only things that showed up last week were “Elizabeth 2,” a couple of cds and those two Iraq docs.

  20. scooterzz says:

    i got the two p/vantage titles and spoke to magnolia re:the box….they said they hadn’t yet sent to bfca and but would get one to me by monday (tomorrow)….i think the bfca member who posted that they’d recieved it must have gotten it through another connection and didn’t realize it…
    re:’starting out…’ it’s roadshow, call ’em….

  21. IOIOIOI says:

    Only on this blog could FUNNY GAMES dominate TWO BYOB threads. It’s mind-boggling to me. Absolutely mind-boggling like Darjeeling hatred, but I roll my own way.

  22. movieman says:

    Thnx, Scotter.
    If I don’t get “Starting Out…” and the Magnolia box by Tuesday, I’ll give them both a call.
    My P/Vantage rep in Cleveland is hopeless, so I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed that those two screeners eventually show up.
    Are you LA or NY based?

  23. lazarus says:

    Even though I had heard how “difficult” the conclusion of No Country… was in advance, I still had trouble digesting the abruptness of it when seeing it yesterday, despite liking the film a lot regardless. However, 24 hours later, after reflecting on what I had seen, after reading various interpretations and discussing it with others, I’m admiring it more and more.
    Is anyone going through a similar conversion, or is it just a love it or hate it thing for most people?
    I really want to read the book now, though as McCarthy virgin I’ve been told not to start with this one.

  24. IOIOIOI says:

    Start wherever you want. Who cares if it’s difficult. It might be more fun that way.

  25. Rothchild says:

    I thought Southland Tales was a brilliant movie with problems. They were fucked for the weekend because almost every big newspaper and website gave it a massive thumbs down. Small release films like this live or die by their reviews and the “I heard it was _____” factor. I can’t believe how many times in the last week (before it even came out) I’d bring up the film and people would say, “I heard it was awful.” They didn’t “hear” anything. They just read buzz on the internet. It’s clearly not a film for everyone. I’d even say a small portion of the Donnie Darko fanbase will hate it, but it’s a hell of a film for people looking for something fresh, new, and thought provoking.

  26. scooterzz says:

    laz — ‘no country…’ is actually a pretty easy read (and short)…. and reading the novel might make you feel a bit better about the movie’s ending…. i also can’t say enough about ‘the road’…another great read…..

  27. Me says:

    movieman, as a fan, I care more about quality than whether they connect and make a lot of money. With DVD now, if a movie is good, it’ll eventually find an audience. I’m glad you reminded me of some of those titles, as I had forgotten I want to see some of them.

  28. Me says:

    When I saw the end of No Country, I was totally pissed off in a very emotional way. That ending defied convention, but thinking about it later, it grew on me and I understood why it ended that way, and why that was a brave ending. After watching Cache, I was totally pissed off, and after thinking about it for a long time and reading what the director had to say about it, I realized that he just wanted to dick with me as an audience member because I came with certain expectations (which the distributor and reviewers had used to sell the movie to me). I don’t respect him as an artist, I think he makes difficult films because he wants to be perceived as an Artist, and not because he cares that much about the art that he’s making. That’s why I respect the Coens and will see more of their films and will avoid Haneke’s films.

  29. scooterzz says:

    me — please….please, believe me when i say you will never be more pissed off at an ending than i was at ‘the mist’….. absofuckinglutely deplorable……’no country…’ gave me pause, ‘the mist’ made me want to hurt someone….

  30. bipedalist says:

    I can see why people felt that way about the abrupt ending of No Country but I think it means something that it was intention and faithful to the author rather than just sloppy filmmaking – in other words, it was a deliberate choice. I think that is what saves it. But yeah, some will definitely hate the ending — but can you imagine if they had chose to end it differently, in other words, sold out McCarthy? It would have been artistic suicide and like a scene straight out of Altman’s The Player.

  31. I saw “No Country” here in the SF Bay area with a group of snooty old people about a month ago. And they were simply PISSED at the whole thing. And while I do admit I love when “the masses” get mad, I couldn’t believe such a group of “higher thinking” people could want their meat cut up for them and couldn’t just…enjoy the taste.
    Since then, I’ve seen the film again and have proclaimed to everyone that “it’s my TITANIC! I’m seeing it 5 more times!!” and I mean that. It’s just something to behold. And, there’s no easy answer to “what it all means.” The Coens sure as shit don’t know. And, as much as I respect the review, this doesn’t really help align my feelings:
    mattzollerseitz.blogspot.com/2007/11/point-blank-no-country-for-old-men.html
    …but it’s a really terrific step in the right direction…

  32. I, for one, hated Funny Games. I “got” the general gist what Haneke was doing and I just plain ol’ didn’t like it. I had a very unpleasant time watching that movie as in “there is absolutely zero reason that I should be watching this” and I don’t like being taken for a ride.

  33. Also, why would a studio give a movie like Lars and the Real Girl a budget of $12mil? No wonder MGM are a joke.

  34. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Persepolis” is doomed. Sony Pictures Classics is the worst at handling any pictures, arthouse or mainstream. SPC didn’t even get “Romance and Cigarettes” into the Clairidge in Montclair — the largest arthouse in Northern New Jersey — until 2 weeks ago.
    “Southland Tales” was D.O.A. because the banner ads (1) resort to name-checking and (2) do not refer to The Rock by that name. Even with that the pic expands to New Jersey on Wednesday.
    “Margot at the Wedding” also expands to NYC suburbs Wednesday ’cause there’s a lack of playable arty product. It too will go down thanks to name-checking.
    Also going down are “Mr. Magorium” and “August Rush”. Any movie that gets a Seal of Approval from a pro-censorship group is D.O.A.

  35. Noah says:

    Name checking? Chuck, do you believe that only the Dogme95 movies are pure?

  36. movieman says:

    Chucky- Sony Classics gave “R&C” back to John Turturro who’s distributing the film himself on a print-by-print, city-by-city basis.
    Considering how well it’s done this fall in an (admittedly) limited basis, SC ought to be kicking themselves for not holding onto the movie. They’re usually a lot shrewder than that. And remember: SC is a company that’s more interested in singles and doubles than hitting home runs.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they made an arthouse hit out of “Persepolis” the way they did with “Triplets of Belleville” four years ago. It has a similar appeal, and should play just as strongly to arthouse denizens.
    I’m not sure what the hell happened with “ST.” Considering how many “Donnie Darkoi” fans there are out there, I would have thought that some of them might have actually turned out opening weekend. I don’t think “name-checking” has anything to do with it, though.
    You are right about “August Rush” (which actually isn’t bad) and “Magorium” stiffing. But again, I’m not sure whether the “seal of approval” not-so-prominently displayed in the ad(s) has anything to do with it.
    “Magorium” just looked crappy (which it is) to prospective audiences who had too many other “kid movie” choices to pick from, and “AR” will get trampled by “Enchanted” and the continued strength of “Bee Movie” and “Fred Claus” during the upcoming “family-friendly” holiday movie weekend.
    “Margot” will continue to play nicely to its urban base, but doesn’t have a shot in hell of crossing over to the ‘plexes. As much as I admire the film, it’s even less “(mainstream) audience-friendly” than “Squid and the Whale.”

  37. L.B. says:

    So, never name-check, but if you do use the onhe from the wrestling days. Is that it? Make sense?
    Worst thing to happen to Jersey since Piscopo.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, you’re a broken record that wasn’t that catchy in the first place. I know somewhere you heard that ‘name-checking’ was a total evil and have been running with it ever since, but in the real world it’s just not that simple. Personally, seeing ‘from the director of The Squid and the Whale’ makes me more interested in seeing a movie because I liked that one and can anticipate good writing and performances. Likewise, the only chance Southland Tales ever had was to reference the cult classic previously made by its director. Take that out of the equation and they wouldn’t have bothered to release it theatrically at all.

  39. 555 says:

    Yeah, potential audience members stayed away from Southland Tales cause the banner ads had names on them. People hate knowing who is gonna be in the movie that they’re gonna see.
    And it has nothing to do with the fact that the movie is only playing on 63 screens across the country.

  40. bmcintire says:

    Kamikaze – LARS AND THE REAL GIRL was not produced by MGM. They are distributing it for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. And where are you getting this $12M figure? I’d consider that number highly suspect.

  41. David Poland says:

    I am concerned about spoilers for No Country in this thread… but I really don’t get why the ending of the film upsets anyone for any reason other than it makes them uncomfortable. Structurally, it makes absolute sense.

  42. IOIOIOI says:

    I would love some spoilers on the MIST ending. A ending that really does scream “Look at these assholes” without having seen the damn movie.

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