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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Thursday…


84 Responses to “BYOB – Thursday…”

  1. hcat says:

    Just want to say I am only half way through it but I am loving In Bruges.
    “they’re filming midgets!!!”

  2. Bartholomew Richards says:

    I noticed that one of DP’s posts about Peter Berg was in response to my comment the other day. By the time I saw it and responded, everyone had moved on, but I feel like DP should see it, so here it is again:
    “Wow, this was a response to my comment. I wasn’t expecting that.
    Anyways, DP, I didn’t mean to say that the shaky-cam(ish) issue was the only reason you liked Berg, but I’m aware it came across that way. My bad.
    I brought that up because I found the whole shitload of scenes in The Kingdom in which the characters have really stupid conversations about things like the clothes they wear on the weekends (I’m thinking about the convo between Foxx and Cooper when they were on they’re way to Saudi) to be unnecessary and gimmicky, both on the level of camera work and script. The Kingdom and Friday Night Lights were very different movies, it probably wasn’t a good idea to use the same techniques on both.
    These scenes are there to develop the characters, but a good script would be able to develop the characters with better dialogue and move the story forward. The technique Berg uses is slightly unconventional, and I thought it worked (a long time ago) in Friday Night Lights where the characters and events really were mundane, but in The Kingdom, where the characters and events are anything but mundane, it seemed really pretentious.
    For what it’s worth, I loved The Rundown and FNL when they came out. I doubt I would appreciate FNL as much if I saw it now, partially because I have refined my tastes and partially because I would probably realize how gimmicky the whole technique of letting the “shakey-cam” linger on the characters to “develop” them is.
    As for Hancock, I’ll see it, but I’m not looking forward to it. Not so much because of Berg, but because I hate compromised visions and movies made by committee. And whoever thinks the full R-Rated cut will be on DVD is probably wrong. It looks like they were compromising on this from the beginning.
    As for Berg, I think he has potential, but he has to stop with the gimmicky scripts and camera work.”
    For the record, I don’t mind “shakey cam” (whatever the fuck that means) as long as it’s used for a purpose (a la Bourne) rather than a method to hide shitty action direction (a la Bay). One should note that I’m not accusing Berg of this, my reasons for disliking The Kingdom have nothing to do with the way he directs action.

  3. T. Holly says:

    The word’s “kinetic,” and I take it back Dave doesn’t have a good eye from the likes of that photo, looks like he’s in Ocupado Monica.

  4. Direwolf says:

    I liked In Bruges but I thought the final act trailed off a bit. Curious to hear what you think when you finish it.
    BTW, I just visited Bruges in late may for the first time. Quite a beautiful spot. My only complaint is that it is massively overrun with tourists (me included!). SO not quite as quaint as it appears inthe movie but still definitely worth a visit.

  5. JackMorrissey says:


  6. IN BRUGES was a hoot. I was totally not expecting it to be as good, hell, GREAT, as it was.

  7. leahnz says:

    i want to see ‘in burges’.
    i’m freezing my ass off so every time i see that photo of catalina, instead of making me feel better it just hacks me off

  8. Leah, are you in the north or south? I’m about as south as you can go on the mainland and it was actually quite lovely weather today, but now night has fallen and I think I’m half frozen. And like you, seeing that picture does nothing to warm me up.

  9. bluelouboyle says:

    Bartholomew – in the commentary for ‘The Kingdom’ Berg acknowledges his critics and actually apologises for the ‘shaky-cam’, saying that the reason it’s shaky is because the cameras are so heavy, and a lot of his direction is hand-held because he wants the realsitic, intimate documentary feel. Hence the shaky-ness.
    Personally, I think the whole shaky thing is blown out of proportion. It’s NOT that shaky.

  10. York "Budd" Durden says:

    Hitchcock is spinning in his grave so fast at all this handheld junk that we ought to be able to get off fossil fuels…lock the camera down occasionally, filmmakers. Compose an image. This is cinema, not TV.
    The worst example I can think of is a moment from James Wan’s Death Sentence–Kevin Bacon is walking from point A to B, and it is shot as though from a POV of someone stalking him–camera bouncing up and down. And yet there is no one following him. What is the point of this shot? None, sayeth I–it is the work of an amatuer who doesn’t understand the basics of cinema. And maybe Peter Berg is that too–I don’t know, I haven’t seen his films. (read the last sentence in the Herzog accent)

  11. hcat says:

    Finished In Bruges, and it did trail off in the final act (it just went by too fast after the hotel, and I did not enjoy the cavalier way the filmmaker offed people) but was still a great ride. I have only ever liked Colin before in Tigerland, this has gotten me over my dislike enough to finally rent The New World.

  12. doug r says:

    The good handheld work can be a great tool to bring you into the story a la Homicide or Da Vinci’s Inquest. When it’s an affectation like Cloverfield, or the latest Romero picture, it’s truly annoying.
    I like filmmakers pushing the limits of the technology.

  13. I’d take the handheld work of Cloverfield – which serves a purpose to the story – over most other handheld stuff, which is merely there to make it seem “gritty” and “real”, when in fact it just destracts and calls to attention the sloppy filmmaking. Granted, not always the case, but with a lot of smaller films I feel the handheld is just being used as a way to add something that wasn’t there to begin with (and almost never works). Which, as I mentioned in the other entry, is why I appreciated Soderbergh’s decision to not film Bubble in handheld. It wouldn’t have added anything, yet the story was strong enough to begin with that it didn’t need anything shiny to distract.

  14. Bartholomew Richards says:

    I think the anti-handheld arguments are a little ridiculous too, I just don’t think it was necessary for conversation scenes in an action movie like The Kingdom.
    If Berg himself apologized himself, then he probably realized it was pointless too. I hope he goes smaller on his next film, I don’t think he’s a guy to do blockbusters.

  15. crazycris says:

    It’s hard over here to think about movies much… when after a very wet spring summer has finally landed with 30C most days, blues skies and a fabulously blue Mediterranean! It’s sea and sun, not locking ourselves in dark, over-airconditionned rooms.
    I hope some of the more interesting summer films come our way soon… at the moment there’s nothing onscreen to tempt me away from Sunday’s historic match. The whole country only has one question in mind: will Spain finally live up to its potential?
    On the other hand: I have a chance to see Rendition next week in English (instead of the usual dubbing to Spanish), any thoughts on it? I seem to remember reading mostly negative opinions when it came out your way, but I’m tired of seeing dubbed films so if this is even mildly interesting and well acted I might try and go see it…

  16. JBM... says:

    Rendition is an epic failure about an interesting subject. As far as acting the one thing I remember was that Alan Arkin was gnawing at the scenery like it’s his last meal. I have a feeling the script was purchased for one scene only. If you watch the movie you’ll know which one I’m talking about.

  17. T. Holly says:

    Hmmm Catalina. Not much to do there except be libre and pick up trash on the beach.

  18. TheVicuna says:

    (from DHD): “…my box office gurus think Sony’s Hancock will be massive. They’re predicting a floor of $100M all the way up to $115M over the 5-day holiday since Will Smith OWNS that holiday weekend.” {caps added by me for emphasis}

  19. counthaku says:

    JBM- agreed that Rendition is an epic failure. I don’t recall any scenery chewing, but most of the actors seemed to be desperately seeking to convey real emotion that they could never effectively convey to the audience. What’s the scene you’re referring to?

  20. scooterzz says:

    apropos of nothing being discussed:
    i saw ‘the dark knight’ in imax last evening and am still reeling…. very dark , very long and very exciting…. and, while i know the chances are slim, ledger really, really, really should get an oscar nomination for his very disturbing and funny portrayal….

  21. frankbooth says:

    I’m sure Dune will be a modest, intimate film, Bartholomew.

  22. yancyskancy says:

    Haven’t seen Death Sentence, but I’m always amused when “shakey-cam” is used for a POV shot. I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I bounce when I walk, my vision stays pretty stable.
    When it’s a camera POV, as in Cloverfield, no problem. I agree with Kam that handheld is not an affectation in Cloverfield – it’s pretty much required by the premise.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, but that premise (and a lot of the subsequent execution) was retarded.
    Diary of the Dead is a better movie than Cloverfield, in my opinion.

  24. JBM... says:

    counthaku: I’m referring to the “time loop” scene near the end of the movie with the interrogator’s daughter. It wasn’t clever to me in the slightest. Came off as kind of gimmicky.

  25. Bartholomew Richards says:

    Lol, I forgot he was doing Dune, but…
    I think that a Sci Fi film of the scope might stop him from being too experimental/pretentious. It’ll still be a movie made by committee, though.

  26. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Rendition” is worth your money in English, Spanish or any language.
    That the film tanked in the U.S. is the work of the Liberal Media and the right wing. They didn’t like seeing the Bush government exposed as a gang of thugs, neocons and cryptofascists.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    You don’t do yourself much benefit by linking to the World Socialist Web Site; plus there’s also the fact that Rendition got a 48% at Rottentomatoes and a 55% at Metacritic, pretty weak numbers for a hard-hitting drama.
    I dislike conspiracy-minded zealots even more than I dislike whiny posers, so Lex has that in his favor.

  28. leahnz says:

    kam (better late than never i guess), i’m in wellington, which is on the southernmost tip of the north island, which is actually slightly south of the northernmost tip of the south island geographically speaking… 😉
    you’re in melbourne, no? my fave aus city. we’ve been having our usual wild winter, which vacillates between lovely mild sunny days and screeching southerly howlers to chill you to the bone. you get those occasionally in ‘bourne too, eh

  29. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Speaking of shaky-cam, Sleuth is running the entire run of Michael Mann’s 2002 series Robbery Homicide Division. Anyone else watching it?
    WOW! I had only seen a couple of the episodes when it originally aired. This show was most definitely ahead of its time. It would most definitely be a ratings success if was on F/X or TNT or HBO. It is interesting to not it premiered the same year as The wire. Clearly there was a hunger for a police show that dramatized the daily grind of police work. Seeing it now, it is heartbreaking to see that Tom Sizemore was giving a career performance and nobody was noticing.
    All we need is the DVD package.
    Also, why isn’t L.A. Law on DVD?

  30. leahnz says:

    scoot, i forgot to say thanks in my previous post for your take on ‘the dark knight’, i’m more interested in your thoughts than travers any day of the week

  31. Martin S says:

    Jimmy – You’re the Man of The Week to bring up RHD. I loved that show. It’s amazing to watch as it bridges Mann’s noir-form from Heat to Collateral to Miami Vice. Also, if you want to watch Sizemore do his impression of Pacino as Hanna in Heat, then this the show for you. I remember watching the pilot and thinking “Ohmygod. It’s Heat: The Series”.
    .02 on Shaky-Cam in regards to conversations – Berg lifted it from TV. I believe the Homicide mentioned by Doug is the show, and what was done there by guys like McNaughton was carried over to The Shield from Clark Johnson for the pilot. It’s great for episodic but very distracting for a movie if not integral. What Mann sees in Berg is beyond me at this point.
    Scooterz – TDK. Most people are going to be blindsided, aren’t they? The juxtaposition between Begins/TDK and Iron Man will make a great criticism, if someone is willing to spend the time and think it through beyond the superficial. I still think Brody or Phoenix would have been better than Ledger, but for what Nolan wanted the character to be, it works.

  32. scooterzz says:

    martin — brody or phoenix would have been ‘different from’ / ‘as good as’ ledger but i can’t honestly imagine how either could be better…..ledger is just that good….
    i’m hoping on-line hype (i know, i’m guilty) doesn’t over-inflate expectations to the point of causing a backlash……
    leah– nice of you to say (i’m afraid ‘the boy’ might have to sit this one out, though)….

  33. LexG says:


  34. leahnz says:

    yeah, scoot, the boy wasn’t allowed to see ‘begins’ (though he wanted to, put my foot down on that one), and this one sounds even more potentially disturbing to the young psyche, so i take your point there. no dark knight for the wee lads lest they have melting clown face paint joker nightmares…

  35. mutinyco says:

    Homicide: Life On the Street used to do handheld well. They really played off the Godardian jump-cutting — but in a manner that was so over the top it played as parody. I never thought of the technique as being used to heighten emotion/tension the way it’s used now — it just took the piss out of things and ridiculed the characters a bit.

  36. Direwolf says:

    Just saw WallE with my 20 year old son adn 18 year old daughter. It is really wonderful. The robot to robot scenes are just superb, especially the first 40 minutes. Not much value added here but just a very enjoyable film that I think will do huge biz regardless of the opening weekend. This one will have legs or should I say treads. That little guy is really cute.

  37. NickF says:

    If you’re in early 30’s, have a daughter who’s age is anywhere from 7 to 10 years old, is Wanted the only movie you can find to take them to at 2:20PM on June 27, 2008?
    It was comical how every headshot, bullet entrance and exit, knife slice, and utterance of the word, “fuck,” “shit,” and “pussy” made the girl put her head in her hands. Oddly the two scenes of sexual intercourse had no effect on her. Maybe that explains why we have kids making pregnancy pacts when their in high school.
    Since I really expected to like Wanted, it’s a shame that expose on poor parenting was as captivating as the too short glance of Angelina Jolie’s bare, wet ass. Mr. Pitt, you lucky bastard.
    And one last thing about the word “pussy”. The sound designer must have had a hell of a lot of fun using his mixing tools to have that word come out of every speaker imaginable. The subwoofer would have said it if capable.

  38. scooterzz says:

    nick — please say you made that up….

  39. NickF says:

    It’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The only thing, that I left out was that the mother flinched and shielded her own eyes during the butcher scenes with the knives.

  40. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: Diary of the Dead is on par with freakin Cloverfield in terms of utter freakin ridiculousness. The fact that Romero made such a dumb movie. Really bothers me on some level, but it’s a level I try to ignore with my love of the other four movies. Nevertheless, are you a Zombie movie fan Jeff?

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, very much so.

  42. LexG says:

    I liked both.
    Diary had more than its share of flaws, and the stinger note it ends on was adequately covered exactly 40 years ago in the first movie… but as an extension of the series it worked fairly well. Nothing about it seemed particularly novel and for once the satirical points were ho-hum and text instead of subtext… but it did pretty well with its modest budget and style.
    I sort of liken Romero these days to Stallone in the way they’re both kind of beating a dead horse, but they do it so unassumingly and have generated such goodwill, I’ll gladly go along with it.

  43. LexG says:

    Scooterzz, FYI…
    There were tons of kids in my screening too, most with their non-flinching parents.
    Par for the course in LA; Last year some dude brought his under-10 kids to see fucking BUG of all things. I’m sure he thought it was some good-time monster movie, but once it was clear that it was an intense, profane, explicit, nudity-filled romp, the guy still stayed firmly planted and didn’t so much as flinch, nor did his kids, as all manner of adult stuff unfolded.
    Same thing at HILLS HAVE EYES 2, which OPENS with a naked women giving birth to a mutant baby and immediately rewarded with murder by blunt instrument for her troubles. It was kids ahoy in that place and no one left or shielded their kids.
    The family values brigade can run their mouth all they want, but most parents totally don’t give a shit.
    Then again, I saw HALLOWEEN and ALIEN when I was 7 or 8, and I turned out awesome, so who knows.

  44. scooterzz says:

    lex — at the age of eight i was taking the bus from studio city to hollywood blvd. and going to movies from ten a.m. ’till the last bus back at midnight….’famous monsters’ was my bible and i toured forry ackerman’s house before i was fifteen…
    not to dismiss ‘halloween’ and ‘aliens’ (two of my all-time faves)….but my pre-pubescent influences were ‘the haunting’ and ‘black sunday’ (the mario bava version)……so, like you, i’ve done that and turned out ‘awesome’ also…..
    that said, i don’t think todays seven and eight year-olds are as savvy as we were and i just wanna smack parents who do that to their kids…..

  45. jeffmcm says:

    In the interest of keeping this blog to movies, I’ll say that I went and saw Kung Fu Panda tonight and really liked it. Every trailer they had in front of it seemed lame, but whatevs.

  46. LexG says:

    That’s cool and all but you should’ve gone to see WANTED and gotten your ass owned.

  47. LexG says:

    Thanks HOT BLOGGERS for fucking up my sobriety!
    It’s on YOU, son.
    Not that I give a shit. I can quit again… tomorrow.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks but that’s not what would have happened.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    That was in response to the 1:30 post.
    And it’s really unfair of you to blame us for your problems (but not a surprise).

  50. LexG says:

    Drinking isn’t a problem, so I wasn’t blaming, I was thanking.
    It’s “unfair” of a BITCH-ASS like THX to talk his shit and condescend like a prick all fucking day, too, but what the fuck eva, bitch.

  51. LexG says:


  52. LexG says:

    Serious question since you guys all seem unnaturally fascinated by her:
    I BET SHE WOULD. I assume she reads this blog on the daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaily. KNOW.
    Bet she’s a LEXFAN.

  53. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Christ you’re a naffwit.
    I imagine the grammar green line on lex’s entries must be on overdrive.
    Jeff/IO, I can understand notliking Cloverfield, but you can’t deny that the handheld camera aesthetic in that film was more relevent to the film than most others.

  54. movieman says:

    Early projections have “Wall-E” at $23 and “Wanted” at $18.5 for Friday.
    It’s always nice when good things happen to good movies.
    Of course, I’ll be whistling another, less happy tune when the dyspeptic “Hancock” opens next week(end).

  55. Geoff says:

    Moviman, you beat me to it – wow, those are surprising numbers for Wanted. It actually made on Friday just under what I thought it would do for the whole weekend.
    Is it me or does Marvel have a legit reason to be angry at Universal? Hulk dropped big, again, not sure if word of mouth is any good, but…..
    Opening Wanted just two weeks later and then Hellboy 2 two weeks after that has effectively killed it…..was there some motivation for Universal to do this?
    Interesting side story to this summer and it looks like Paramount has done the same thing, opening Kung Fu Panda just two weeks after Indy. Now, Lucas and Spielberg is not crying, the movie did it’s $300 million, but I have no doubt that Iron Man and ‘Panda sucked away some grosses.
    Dave, just curious as to your thoughts to this happening with studio’s scheduling their big movies so close together and effectively minimizing the box office for films that they don’t have huge ownership in – is this being done deliberately?
    Possible reasons?
    – Special deals with the theater chains to maximize screens on opening weekend by spacing them just two weeks apart?
    – Keeping the box office slightly lower, because they have more percentage of ancillaries for these properties?
    I do not pretend to be nearly as “inside” as most of the other people on this blog and am just curious.

  56. Dr Wally says:

    “Interesting side story to this summer and it looks like Paramount has done the same thing, opening Kung Fu Panda just two weeks after Indy. Now, Lucas and Spielberg is not crying, the movie did it’s $300 million, but I have no doubt that Iron Man and ‘Panda sucked away some grosses.”
    I don’t think there’s any major conspiracy here, it’s just that the Summer has become so insanely overloaded. If KFP had opened any later, for example, then it would have lost a lot of grosses to Wall-E. We saw this illustrated brilliantly last May, when third helpings of Spidey, Shrek and Pirates opened within three weeks of each other. The second instalments of those franchises grossed in the ballpark of $400 million domestically. Last year’s batch were all in the $300 million ballpark, and there’s little doubt that they cancelled each other out to some degree. Remember that line in Pixar’s The Incredibles? ‘When everybody’s super…. NO ONE will be’.

  57. Wrecktum says:

    WALL-E looks like mid-60s.
    Wanted is mid-40s.

  58. christian says:

    Any parent that would take a 7-10 year old to WANTED is guilty of cultural child abuse. I’m just sayin’.

  59. Bartholomew Richards says:

    “Any parent that would take a 7-10 year old to WANTED is guilty of cultural child abuse. I’m just sayin’.”
    And that’s why if corporate America wasn’t fucking stupid, NC-17 would be a legitimate rating and not a curse.

  60. Josh Massey says:

    “And that’s why if corporate America wasn’t fucking stupid, NC-17 would be a legitimate rating and not a curse.”
    Amen. And that’s why I thought This Film Is Not Yet Rated was so off-the-mark. The MPAA isn’t the bad guy; it’s the stores like Blockbuster and WalMart who automatically equate NC-17 to porn.
    The NC-17 rating should be accepted and used much more frequently. It’s absurd that a movie like Superbad has the same rating as Saw IV.

  61. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Where the hell is the chart for Friday’s numbers on the MCN front page?
    What gives?
    Also, parents can take their children to any movie they want. All I ask is that your child watch the goddamn movie.
    I was 8 going on 9 when my dad took us to a 10:00 night show of Full Metal Jacket during the Summer of ’87. It is those kinds of rule-braking moviegoing experiences that form the mind of a movie critic.
    Unless your child is an idiot, Wanted is a perfectly fine movie for him/her to watch.

  62. mutinyco says:

    Why does everybody keep low-balling WALL*E’s weekend? It had a better first day than The Incredibles, Pixar’s current #1 first weekend, by nearly $3M.

  63. RudyV says:

    Uh, Jimmy, I think you just missed the discussion about NC-17. That means NO CHILDREN, even if mommy and daddy are right there holding their hands.

  64. christian says:

    “Unless your child is an idiot, Wanted is a perfectly fine movie for him/her to watch.”
    I would amend that to your child might be an idiot if him/her thinks WANTED is fine.

  65. Drew says:

    I would amend that further to say that ANYONE who thought WANTED was “fine” is probably an idiot, christian.

  66. I haven’t seen Wanted, but feel that that comment deserves a “touche”.

  67. chris says:

    Yes, very solid thinking: Anyone who disagrees with you is an “idiot.”

  68. Again, that deserves a “touche” with a “good sir” thrown on for good measure.

  69. pchu says:

    Love Wall-E. Hate Wanted.
    Wanted is a mix of Shoot It Up and Matrix (or wannabe), but what a disaster. I was looking at my watch after half an hour, wondering I have to endure another 90 minutes. It will do well in the box office, since alot of kids Love Wall-E. Hate Wanted.
    Wanted is a mix of Shoot It Up and Matrix (or wannabe), but what a disaster. I was looking at my watch after half an hour, wondering I have to endure another 90 minutes. It will do well in the box office, since alot of kids < 25 would love it, with all the shoot out and Angelina Jolie(she looked really old here, IMO)
    On the other hand, Wall-E is probably the best film I have seen this year. Definitely the best film in Pixar history (which is saying a lot), and the most original and daring film in quite some time. Not sure if the kids (7-15)would understand it, but the first 40 minutes was pure magic. A must see.

  70. IOIOIOI says:

    Kam: this pretty much sums up how I feel about Cloverfield… .
    Cloverfield could have been epic instead of another monster movie. If JJ had any balls. He would have made it a Voltron movie. Fortunately for Cloverfield fans; JJ has no balls because he lost them in a bet to Dalton 3 years ago.

  71. T. Holly says:

    Go for it Scott.
    How’d this one break? Can’t blame David, he’s ocupado. Do it in the style of Ray Pride, film essay style like, which you kind of do anyway. Nah, pitch it to roving bands of young squarely hetero men in search of an interesting bonding experience in boys night out, but make sure to include what Meryl thinks of the men in the story and find your rage for them before they do it for themselves, please.

  72. T. Holly says:

    IO, would you rather play beer pong or see SATC?

  73. NickF says:

    That’s guys review of Cloverfield is great. I’m going to check out more of his reviews. I didn’t know that he was the originator of those 5 second movie recaps though.

  74. christian says:

    Is there some evil Beer Pong Cult taking over this city? It’s everywhere. It’s happening…

  75. Dr Wally says:

    Viva Espana! Congratulations to everyone from Madrid, Barcelona, and , erm, Liverpool….

  76. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think the problem with Cloverfield was ‘not enough Voltron’, it was ‘not enough characters that I didn’t hate’. Chop out that excruciating first twenty minutes, or replace it with something more interesting than you can see on an episode of The Hills, and we might have had something.

  77. Kim Voynar says:

    “Any parent that would take a 7-10 year old to WANTED is guilty of cultural child abuse. I’m just sayin’.”
    I feel the same way about parents who buy their daughters those loathsome Bratz dolls; that goes double for those who shelled out bucks to take them to the Bratz movie.

  78. christian says:

    Ditto on that Bratz crap. I bet those same parents love to feign moral outrage over Britney etc.

  79. Aladdin Sane says:

    I wasn’t aware anyone went to see the Bratz movie.

  80. Wrecktum says:

    $10m domestic. More than Once!

  81. RudyV says:

    I left a blurb on the Bratz movie Wiki page saying “It’s just like ANIMAL HOUSE, but with a tween girl playing Dean Wormer!”
    It wasn’t up for long before some hater took it off.

  82. I had to watch the Bratz movie for work-related reasons. I’m not saying it’s good (it’s quite terrible, combining the flaws of High School Musical and High School Musical 2 and countless other insipid, bad ideas), but it’s not nearly as sexualized as the dolls. Everyone involved is fully-dressed and relatively chaste at all times and all of the leads at least make an effort to pretend to be role-models. Again, it is crap (very colorful crap, it would have looked nice in BluRay had Lionsgate gone that route), but it’s more shameful for its obsession with material things (like Sex and the City?) then for any alleged sexuality associated with the dolls.

  83. christian says:

    Well how else are these Bratz going to get their needed Bling Bling fix when they get older?

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