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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB

Thanks for the patience. We’re one week out from the close of voting and I am processing video as fast as I can. Coming up later today – I hope – are Avatar‘s James Horner, Fantastic Mr Fox‘s Alexandre Desplat, The Hurt Locker‘s Barry Ackroyd, and the full interview with Jon Landau (which should be up before 1p).
Tomorrow, computer willing, will be an Indie Day with a new interview with the young, fast-rising group from Easier With Practice, which opens LA & NY on Friday. We have writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Brian Geraghty, Marguerite Moreau, and Katie Aselton talking about the film, but also getting down the nitty gritty about the opportunities and challenges of building a career in the industry these days. Great group. And a chat with Dawn Hudson, who has been with ifpWest/FIND for 19 years herself and is in production with the 25th Independent Spirit Awards, which is changing things up and switching to Friday night in downtown LA.
And we’ll be shooting 2 more Oscar nominees tomorrow, to go up over the weekend.
So full boat here. Which leaves it up to you all to chat amongst yourselves…

31 Responses to “BYOB”

  1. “Easier With Practice” is a really, reallllly good movie. Hope it gets some traction when it hits theaters. great cast, solid and heartfelt script and really great directing as well. All around very well done lil indie. A must-see for Lex G I ‘d dare say…

  2. EthanG says:

    Emanuel Levy smashed the “Alice in Wonderland” embargo today (who else) and gave the movie a B+…so maybe Wells and others who were saying exhibitors hated it really are full of crap….still don’t get how Levy doesn’t get in trouble for this:
    http://www.emanuellevy.com/reviews/details.cfm?id=15268

  3. movielocke says:

    I saw the trailer for Easier with Practice twice this weekend at Laemmle theatres with Ajami and the Messenger. Absolutely horrible trailer, looks like the worst film I’ve heard of for years–right down to the awful jerking off “joke” in the trailer. Why are pathetic Napoleon Dynamite geekboys the subjects of movies? Who gets off on laughing at them and feeling superior? Who actually wants to see such crap? Not me, after seeing the trailer a second time, I confirmed I will never waste my time with that film. ugh.

  4. Wrecktum says:

    The UK papers published their reviews today too. The Times review is a rave while the Guardian is a bit more muted, but still positive.
    Basically, Wells’ exhib contact is full of shit, has a bone to pick, and is a liar. I said this on Wells’ site and was naturally laughed down.

  5. LexG says:

    If John Krasinski is really at the top of the list for CAPTAIN AMERICA, I’ll be avoiding that shit like the plague.
    I generally have an iron-clad rule that there are NO actors I instinctively dislike; I hate when you get a catty sewing circle of women sitting around hating on some actor for arbitrary reasons, OR fanboys wheeling out some tiresome venom over ANY performer. I kinda figure that anyone working at that level is there for a reason, that somebody likes them, that anyone can be good in the right role.
    That said, John Krasinski is PURE DOUCHE in human form, with that disingenuous “puppy dog” generic-guy shtick that plays with doughy office temps who think “Jim” is their dream guy and never got over Ross and Rachel. John Krasinski fans are no doubt also big One Republic fans.
    I’d sooner pay 12 bucks to cheer on the big-screen buddy-comedy leading man duo of O.J. Simpson and Roman Polanski than ever see Krasinski on the big screen again. Paying money to watch John Krasinski is like going to a theater to see Matt LeBlanc in that chimp movie.

  6. Wrecktum says:

    I would love to see a buddy movie starring O.J. and Polanki. Seriously, that is epic casting. Perhaps Cop Out 2: Cop Outer.

  7. CaptainZahn says:

    Was the full Kristen Stewart/Dakota Fanning interview ever posted? Did I miss it?

  8. I haven’t seen the “Easier With Practice” trailer but the film itself is NOTHING like what you described, movielocke. I hope they aren’t trying to masquerade it as some jokey jerk off film. That’s some bad marketing if that’s what they’re doing.

  9. LexG says:

    “Was the full Kristen Stewart/Dakota Fanning interview ever posted? Did I miss it?”
    Poland is waiting for my birthday to post this.
    (Actually, if I recall– and I do, because I watched it thirty times– that was a quick interview from Sundance, not a fragment of a larger one, no? Hopefully a full 30 minute epic is on the way.)

  10. Wrecktum says:

    I’ve seen the longer interview. Poland has them recreate the scene in Bad Lieutenant where Keitel pulls over the girls in the car. It’s a very interesting discussion.

  11. LexG says:

    HAHAHAHAHA! Awesome, Wrecktum.

  12. That Levy embargo thing probably has all the hall monitor film bloggers in a tizzy but the thing is, embargoes are a joke. No studio will EVER gripe about someone breaking embargo if the review is positive, it’s merely a thing put in place to control negative spin. The only people who bitch are all the people adhering to the embargo out of respect for what they were asked to do.
    If EVERYONE posted their reviews-positive or negative-since Levy released his, what would happen? Would EVERYONE be banned from studio screenings? Would people EVERYONE lose early access? Nope. Nothing would happen except the people who created the embargo would then start doing what everyone else who didn’t break embargo is doing now; sitting around bitching and saying “heyyy…not cool.”
    Why people adhere to an arbitrary rule system that is never enforced by the people who created it and ONLY enforced by the “professionals” is beyond me. That’s like a law that goes into effect that the police aren’t going to pursue but it’s up to each of the citizens to take care of it. Nut up people.

  13. Joe Leydon! The DVD of Celine: Through the Eyes of the World will be an entire hour longer! That is incredibly news. That movie was amazing. Watch Celine sing whilst surrounded by flying pianos! Watch Celine do wicked hand choreography! Watch Celine visit a concentration camp! Watch Celine adopt South Korea! Amazing. And I am not being sarcastic or ironic at all. That women is hysterical!
    Not many of the “younger” critics down here seem to be liking Alice from what I can gauge on Twitter. Overblown and overstuffed seems to be a recurring theme.

  14. Joe Leydon! The DVD of Celine: Through the Eyes of the World will be an entire hour longer! That is incredibly news. That movie was amazing. Watch Celine sing whilst surrounded by flying pianos! Watch Celine do wicked hand choreography! Watch Celine visit a concentration camp! Watch Celine adopt South Korea! Amazing. And I am not being sarcastic or ironic at all. That women is hysterical!
    Not many of the “younger” critics down here seem to be liking Alice from what I can gauge on Twitter. Overblown and overstuffed seems to be a recurring theme.

  15. leahnz says:

    TEAM JAILBAIT 4 EVA

  16. LexG says:

    Please. Dakota is 16 going on 30 looks-wise since her growth spurt, and has the soul, maturity and life experience of a *70-year-old Chinese wizard.* She’s like the Dalai Lama of teenage actresses.
    And if 99% of the ADULT FEMALE POPULATION OF EARTH just spent three months telling me how “hot” UNDERAGE Taylor Lautner is without reprecussion, I think I should be allowed to acknowledge FANNING POWER. Seriously, other than OBVIOUS DOUBLE STANDARDS that pervade our culture, tell me why it’s okay for 40-year-old women to publicly swoon at Lautner and WOLF WHISTLE when he takes off his shirt, but an actress who was rolling in some Mexico City Tony Scott fever-dream nightmare when she was like *8* is a protected innocent?
    I’m sure she’s a sweetheart and just a total pro as an artist, but she’s probably lived more life and seen more at 16 than most of us 30- and 40-somethings.
    GOOD ARGUMENT. AIR-TIGHT. BOW.

  17. bulldog68 says:

    No better place to post this but Lexg recently had a rant about kids, its just sometimes kids say things that are wise beyond their years. This might seem like a totally dad thing to say so Lexg avert your eyes, but my 4 year old coined a profound word today, she accidentally combined the words idiot and audience and said ‘idience’. I just think its copyrightable.
    Hey Leahnz, I remember you mentioning you have either an 8 year old son or nephew, is there anything you can exploit them for to make buck?

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Kami: The horror! The horror!

  19. leahnz says:

    well, my 10yr old does work in the local sweatshop for his porridge, bulldog
    “And if 99% of the ADULT FEMALE POPULATION OF EARTH just spent three months telling me how “hot” UND
    ERAGE Taylor Lautner is without reprecussion”
    i think you must be mistaking 99% of the adult female population of earth for the voices in your head and/or those hoards of the hysterical teen girls, lex. teen girls tend to get hysterical when boys strip off to the waist. funny, i don’t seem to remember all the photos of dakota doing publicity with no shirt on rocking her abs. please point those out.
    also, where was it exactly you saw hoards of 40yr old women publicly swooning and wolf-whistling at lautner when he took his shirt off?
    (gee, imagine if i was on here 24/7 blathering on about LAUTNER BOW! or some other teen boy. yeah, that wouldn’t be creepy at all)
    and ftr, if you don’t know dakota fanning personally, all that ’16 going on thirty’ stuff is in your head. implying dakota is some ‘worldly woman’ because of how she might appear in interviews or because she’s grown up on film sets is really rather naive.
    see, the celebrity thing is all just smoke and mirrors; k-stew takes huge dumps and gets BO and in hellish moods and isn’t demure, the movies aren’t actually real, and the flick on the screen is separate from the make-believe play-acting actors do to make the movie, it’s all pretend! dakota wasn’t REALLY toughing it out on the streets and seedy back rooms of mexico city at 8 as unbelievable as that might sound, she was still trying to colour inside the lines
    (and i will say in all seriousness lex, there’s a certain irony in you whinging about DOUBLE-STANDARDS in regards to women. middle-age men loudly perving over teen girls in a public forum every chance they get is skeevy, any way you slice it. and a middle age woman perving over teen jailbait would be just as skeevy. when it comes to teen girls, there’s this thing called ‘keeping your inappropriate thoughts to yourself’)

  20. LexG says:

    LEAH, I saw NEW MOON six times in theaters, usually with COUGARS in the house, including at least one screening where I went with my POSSE of gal pals, who are mostly 35-40 and highly educated. Of course I wouldn’t bang them in a trillion years cuz they’re old as hell, but most of my friends are FEMALE and OLD.
    And not just them but THE COUGAR/MILF audiences in general were hooting and getting wetties over Lautner on cue.
    Are you really pretending that ADULT WOMEN aren’t HOOTING over Taylor Lautner??? REALLY? Have you tuned out to popcult discourse for the last four months? Dude hosted SNL and the whooping and shrieking from the presumably adult audience made the soundtrack whooping upon Kelly Bundy’s Married with Children entrances look SUBDUED.
    Honestly, you’re either lying, disengenuous, or just devil’s advocating if you REALLY THINK there’s no recorded example of adult women cooing over TAYLOR LAUTNER.
    Even our esteemed BLOGMEISTER referred to him as “beautiful.”
    Well, here you go: DAKOTA FANNING IS BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
    Sorry, women don’t go from OH MY GOD THE INNOCENCE THE SANCTITY for 18 years then at 12:00:00 on the stroke of midnight on their EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY they’re viable adults emotionally prepared for everything. GIVE ME A BREAK.
    And, really, any FANNING POWER is so entirely secondary to K-STEW, the MOST PERFECT WOMAN IN THE UNIVERSE, that it’s like comparing Apocalypse Now to Ready to Rumble. No dis against Dakota who RUUUUUUUUUULES, but 16, 18, 42, I don’t care… you could put Megan Fox in the room making out with Sasha Grey while Taylor Swift sings a song called “LEXIE I LOVE YOU,” and I wouldn’t avert my MALE GAZE from K-Stew for ONE SECOND. SHE IS PERFECTION, SHE IS BEAUTY, SHE IS LOVE. BOW TO HER. BOW. You simply MUST.
    K-STEW IS A DREAM. Every time I see her, I literally blush… she is PERFECTION.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    Based on the reviews (a stellar 14% at Rotten Tomatoes) it sounds like Cop Out cements the notion that Kevin Smith is an OK writer who can’t direct for shit (and I know he didn’t write Cop Out). His anti-media tirade (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/the_big_picture/2010/02/kevin-smith-on-the-medias-treatment-of-fatgate-theyre-really-pathetic.html) reminds me a lot of Sarah Palin. The media is a useful tool exploited at every opportunity for personal gain but at the same time it’s the devil in disguise. Smith may be right when he says that he has been open and cool to the media for a long time, but he wasn’t born yesterday. He’s never seen the media turn on someone before? He’s really shocked by the way the media covered the Southwest/Twitter fiasco? I wonder too how/if Smith’s fan base has changed. Is he still worshiped by the crowd that fell in love with Clerks all those years ago, or have they moved on?

  22. I just read a really eye opening piece on Kevin Smith’s penchant for starting a commotion right before his films are released. I gotta say that as a fan, I never really took notice. Or better, just kind of took it as “Kevin being Kevin.” I wish I could find it but it started with CHASING AMY -vs- something I can’t remember then DOGMA vs- the church, JAY AND SILENT BOB SB -vs- GLAAD on and on. It’s his thang I guess but it seems to be catching up to him.
    And if you think COP OUT will tank and be the end of Smith as a for hire guy you’re wrong wrong wrong. It may look like shit visually (I haven’t seen it, but saw some clips with bizarro whip-pans) but if it makes money, he’ll be back on the studio teat in no time. And more power to him, I’m a fan of the guy and he’s jumped the shark in terms of “his audience” making his movies big sellers. He’s gotta adopt that “one for me, one for them” approach.

  23. Nick Rogers says:

    I saw “Cop Out” today. In a just world, whatever money it makes will be today only, and WoM will kill it. Then again, it could make money by virtue of its apparent cheapness. Tracy Morgan’s fake “30 Rock” movies like “Phat Bitch” or “Who Dat Ninja?” couldn’t possibly be worse. However, I remain convinced that Kevin Smith could resurrect “Fletch,” but only if he writes it. His problem is that he’s grown too sensitive to people screwing with his screenplays that he didn’t have the common sense to screw with this one.

  24. Geoff says:

    I also saw Cop Out today, had a blast – about 12 big laughs throughout, enjoyed it more than I thought.
    What did any one expect, really? It’s a goofy buddy cop comedy….that’s it. Was the directing sterling? Not at all, but at least Smith didn’t get in the way of it, and the writing pretty much seemed like it came from his pen – probably a lot of improvisation.
    Loved the Harold Faultimeyer music – how long has it been since he scored a film? And some one mentioned Fletch – nice little musical shout-out in the end. Did it look cheap? Sure, every Smith film looks cheaper.
    A good time was had by all…..

  25. I opted for THE CRAZIES and it’s left me conflicted. Love an R rated horror film but man, talk about a soft R. If you’re gonna be “R”…GO R. There really wasn’t any major gross out or fucked-uppedness in the whole affair.
    Plus, there was no sense of allegory or caring about the people in the film, other than the leads, who were great. A marginal “go see it” at best. I also think it fell victim to some kind of weird re-editing because I could kind of see the plot strings throughout. Meh.

  26. LexG says:

    Don, so I take it this REMAKE of The Crazies (are they acknowledging that fact at all, anywhere?) leaves out the subplot about the middle-aged doctor trying to fuck his daughter, from Romero’s original?

  27. Nick Rogers says:

    My problem with “Cop Out” was that there was nothing – NOTHING – funny that wasn’t already in the R-rated trailer. Given that every Kevin Smith movie seems like a bid to finally be taken seriously by the larger community, this is a mighty large step back. You want a funnier deconstruction of the buddy-cop movie with far better action? “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.”

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    If I’m going to pay $10 to see a comedy in theaters, I would like to laugh more than 12 times in an hour and fifty minutes. That sounds like something to watch on cable in eight months.
    Yeah Lex that is not in the remake. No surprise there. And Don, funny that you mention the gore (or lack thereof). The Philly Inquirer critic said he was really enjoying The Crazies until it got way, way too gory, which totally ruined the movie for him. His review makes it seem like it’s bloodier than any movie he’s ever seen.

  29. While I have not seen Cop Out, from the looks of things, I’m guessing that (along with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 was a better, funnier buddy-cop deconstruction. God, when I was 13, that was one of my favorite comedies, up there with Airplane and Blazing Saddles. I’m terrified to rewatch it because I can only imagine that it’s aged about as well as Spaceballs (which I loved when I was 7).

  30. Nick Rogers says:

    Scott: Loaded Weapon 1 is certainly funnier, and although I haven’t seen it in years, I’d wager that the action scenes are at about the same level as those in Cop Out. Hell, they’re probably better. I like Kevin Smith – even Jersey Girl isn’t the abortion that pop culture has made it out to be – but Cop Out gets worse the more I think about that laugh-free sit in the theater.

  31. There was NO subtext or subplot in THE CRAZIES. At all.
    I guess it was kinda gory, Stella. Later that night I watched CABIN FEVER 2 and good Lawd….THAT is a gory movie. I really dug it too except for the weird, truncated subplot with the sheriff. That was really out of place.

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