MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland


If an earthquake hits Hollywood in late July, does anyone actually feel it?

27 Responses to “BYOEarthquake”

  1. a1amoeba says:

    This is the third earthquake I’ve slept through. I’ve also slept through a few bombs too – like “Assassination of Jesse James”, “Lions for Lambs”…

  2. Kristopher Tapley says:

    I guess if you’re the sort of bloke that’s still asleep at 11:30, you were never meant for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”
    But hey! To each his own, eh…

  3. IOIOIOI says:

    SEE? FIGHTING! Do not hate this player for playing this game, and earthquakes are total and utter balls. Boo on them.

  4. doug r says:

    I got the shakes…now I need the fries….

  5. a1amoeba says:

    Hey KT – some of work best at night. You know, writers and prostitutes…

  6. I fancy myself both.

  7. sloanish says:

    I wish I had slept through Jesse James. Who cares what’s happening on the BYOB when that Mummy thread is still going? For the definition of smackdown, refer to the remains of petulamanamalamadingdong films…

  8. The Pope says:

    I enjoyed Jesse James quite a bit. Although I confess my eyes did slip closed but that could have been due to the rather heavy meal I had beforehand and the fact that the AC in the theatre was on the fritz.
    The thing that amazed me though was the as far as I read, not one single critic picked up on the fact that Dominick’s take on the legend was not a hundred miles away from what Sam Fuller did with it in 1951… right down to the sequence where Robert Ford is in a saloon and a musician starts singing a song about the assassination of Jesse James.

  9. Just watched In Bruges. What did people think? I can’t remember many people discussing it when it released in America. I liked it, thought Colin Farrell was great and the scenery was definitely top notch.
    Also saw Up the Yangtze. I don’t see too many documentaries (their releases are so haphazard in Australia, trust me) especially at the cinema, but this one was fantastic. Really devestating, but hauntingly gorgeous to look at and to listen to. Funny in spots, but always with a sad glow. Those final moments symbolising (I think, anyway) the Old Child closing and the New China beginning were just sublime and so moving.
    I really recommend it to you guys. Wholeheartedly.

  10. child = china. i’m going to bed now, so tired.

  11. Triple Option says:

    I did see In Bruges. I remember thinking the trailer made it look like it wasn’t going to be much but then months later I ended up seeing it. I had forgotten my initial impression of the trailer until the movie started but some comments/reviews I read for it made it seem like it was good just not for everybody. I’m thinking, ‘Cool! Laugh at some really inappropriate stuff!!’ But no, it just wasn’t that funny to me.

  12. IOIOIOI says:

    In Bruges is one of the better films ever about a European city, that actually turns out to be PURGATORY ever made.

  13. sloanish says:

    Saw American Teen. It’s good. Suffered a bit from reality-itis in that story won out over some truth. That said, it’s still worthy. Is there a reason why AT and the much superior Murderball didn’t make it? Besides the fact that mainstream America doesn’t like documentaries?

  14. IO, what are some other films about european cities that turn out to be pergatory. Surely the list isn’t that long?

  15. Hallick says:

    “Just watched In Bruges. What did people think? I can’t remember many people discussing it when it released in America. I liked it, thought Colin Farrell was great and the scenery was definitely top notch.”
    It was one of those films that changes from “this’ll be nice” to “this’ll be good” to “wow, maybe ‘good’ is selling it short” to “I think I’m in love with this movie”. I think it’s a genuine sleeper and the best work I’ve Colin Farrell do since Tigerland. Finally, a justification for the attention being paid to the guy.
    But of course, ironically, outside of people like us, nobody paid much attention to him here. Shitty world, great movie. And Brendan Gleeson is a GLOBAL treasure.

  16. Hallick says:

    “Saw American Teen. It’s good. Suffered a bit from reality-itis in that story won out over some truth. That said, it’s still worthy. Is there a reason why AT and the much superior Murderball didn’t make it? Besides the fact that mainstream America doesn’t like documentaries?”
    The title “American Teen” and the presumed aims of the filmmakers who would make THAT the title put me way way WAYYYYYYYY the hell off. Sorry, not commenting on the movie itself in any way, not having seen it, but that name itself just screams simple-minded piffle from the highest mountain tops. So much so, that I’d feel embarrassed to buy a ticket to it.

  17. IOIOIOI says:

    Camel: most European filmakers seem to make European cities appear to be like Purgatory. So the list may be higher than I originally thought. Nevertheless, I love In Bruges. It’s a little head trip of a movie, and it even did a guy falling from a building right. Gleeson also sold the hell out of that scene.

  18. LexG says:

    MY (LA-centric)AMERICAN TEEN anecdote:
    I was at the “world-famous” Arclight Cinemas, which ostensibly caters to the UPSCALE FILMGOER, perusing the posters opposite the concession stand downstairs. One of them is the one-sheet for AT, which is OBVIOUSLY an HOMAGE to Breakfast Club’s very recognizable artwork.
    Some gruff, profane, unpleasant woman, toting at least two SMALL CHILDREN, scans the American Teen poster, and LOUDLY proclaims, “That’s BULLSHIT! That’s the BREAKFAST CLUB POSTER! They RIPPED IT OFF!”
    No one in the vicinity acknowledges this, beyond kind of cringing and inching away. Again: “That’s BULLSHIT! That’s the BREAKFAST CLUB POSTER! THAT’S BULLLLLLLLLSHIT!” Like, she’s actually SHOUTING this in the lobby.
    All of the adults nearby kind of shuffle looking at their feet, so desperate for SOME validation, she starts badgering her KIDS, who couldn’t have been born within a DECADE of Breakfast Club: “THAT’S BULLSHIT! THEY RIPPED THAT SHIT OFF!”
    Then the headed off to see whatever they were seeing, sure to ANNOY THE LIVING MOTHERFUCK out of whoever they were ASSIGNED-SEATED NEXT TO, which is why RESERVED SEATING BLOWS, because the ‘Light can’t keep out the riff-raff anymore.

  19. sloanish says:

    Embarrassed to buy a ticket to a movie called American Teen? What about Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Fuck Whatever? Or American Movie? Was that one below your standards, too? Murderball? Honestly, if you haven’t seen American Teen you don’t know what the filmmakers were aspiring to. Lame.
    To Lex: I slagged you off on another thread but that post I likey. Now I have to go check and see if you went APESHIT on me.

  20. Cadavra says:

    It isn’t the first time. Anyone remember the original one-sheet for TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2?

  21. christian says:

    Just think, somebody actually shouted in ALL CAPS right in front of LexG! Reaping what you sow and all that…

  22. LexG says:

    This comment is dedicated to Joe and christian…
    HOLY SHIT. Some 1970 shit all being the hottest thing I saw all week. BRITT EKLAND COMMANDS YOUR ASS. I already knew this chick OWNED because in GOLDEN GUN she rocks that bikini, and because CHARLIZE THEROWN played her, but FUCK YES that shit OWNED and they totally paid homage to that in Layer Cake and my dumb ass didn’t get it at the time.
    THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER is how CAINE *points* at people he knows he’s going to own, and even though I could just barely follow the plot and had to rewind each scene ten times because it was so convoluted and I had had a few Pabsts, that shit OWNED. I can’t believe that shit was from 1970, a FULL YEAR before the first official year of cinematic OWNAGE, or so I thought (Clockwork Orange, Dirty Harry, French Connection.)
    An awesome sidenote that only a cinematography dork like myself would notice, there is a shot at a racetrack near the beginning where Caine meets up with that weasel villain prick, and the shots look exactly like the lensing in one scene with the RED COAT CHICK in DAMIEN OMEN 2, so I have to assume that was some of the shit Hodges shot before they switch directors of record.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    Michael Caine OWNS your sorry ass, LexG. And guess what? He told me that in Get Carter he was playing “the ghost of Michael Caine” — that is, the guy he could have easily grown up to be had he gone ten minutes in the wrong direction, because he grew up with guys like that. On this blog, you read a lot of guys posing as bad boys. But trust me: Caine in his prime (and, hell, for all I know, even now) could kick major ass and not work up a sweat.

  24. LexG says:

    That rules. How hardcore was it when he banged that awesome ’70s chick in her swingin’ flat then watches the porn reel and gets all pissed off and flips out when she’s in the tub? FUCK YEAH. Paging Aaron Eckhart in WACK DAHLIA, THAT’S how you play that scene, sir.
    Also awesome was that BLONDE WILLIAM FRIEDKIN LOOKING DOUCHE WITH THE ASCOT who Carter kept owning.
    I have to wonder what Caine was thinking when he was on the set of the remake; I’m a huge Stallone fan and even quite enjoyed that take on it, but it looks so generic and whitewashed compared to the real deal. Again, this movie is from 1970?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I mean, obviously it’s of its time and washed-out and depressing as hell, but it’s more hardcore and bad-ass than 99% of what comes out today.

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    And remember what he told that chick: HER NAME WAS CARTER! LIKE MY NAME! (Because he was asking her the name of the babe in the porno film — his niece, possibly his daughter.)
    You know, I joked with Caine once that, throughout his entire career but especially in the ’70s, he was VERY convincing at appearing extremely pissed off on screen. He agreed. Even into this decade: Look how pissed he is when he finds out in The Ugly American that Brendan Fraser is porking his woman.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, excuse me: I meant: The Quiet American.

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