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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB Aloha, San Andreas!


12 Responses to “BYOB Aloha, San Andreas!”

  1. Ray Pride says:

    Think of it: Stone and Rock, both lighter than air!

  2. PcChongor says:

    Any film based on the premise of someone actively trying to get away from Emma Stone seems to be flawed from its very conception

  3. brack says:

    Except there was that hit movie where someone actively tries to get away from Jennifer Lawrence; same lead actor. Doubt a hit is happening this go-around.

  4. Kevin says:

    I loved ALOHA. It’s a bit of mess, plot-wise, but it’s also funny, sweet, quirky, bright and colorful… Pure Cameron Crowe.

  5. movieman says:

    I agree w/ Kevin.
    Loved it!
    The messiness stems from the (apparently) Sony-mandated re-edit to try and whip it into conventional rom-com form. Cut to the bone at 104 minutes, it felt like there was a bigger, longer, more leisurely and (even more) digressive movie struggling to break out.
    But what remains is actually kind of marvelous.
    It’s wonderfully idiosyncratic in a ’70s (movie) kind of way, and effortlessly , irrepressibly charming from start to finish.
    I had a terrific time just basking in the glow of that radiant cast, all of whom are first-rate even when their roles appear to have been cobbled a bit (or more) in the editing.
    I’m gobsmacked that so many “critics” have complained they couldn’t follow the plot.
    Also stunned that somebody claimed they weren’t sure whether Krasinski’s character was a deaf mute or not.
    What movie were they watching?

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Wow Crowe fanatics sure are loyal. To be fair I haven’t seen Aloha. Maybe it really isn’t an atrocious trainwreck. That’s hard to believe though.

  7. Pete B says:

    Since there’s now an actual review space for Aloha, and this is a BYOB heading, just wanted to share…

    Turner Classic Movies is showing Film Noir movies on Fridays in June & July, and is having a free online class on the subject in conjunction with Ball State University. If anyone is interested:

    Even if you don’t get TCM, they will be also providing links to Film Noir in the public domain.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    I was all psyched to see San Andreas, but then I read that a seismologist says it’s not realistic. I will not spend my hard-earned money to see an unrealistic disaster movie. For shame Hollywood.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    I’m not sure if it was the editing or what, but it wasn’t for me. What does Bradley Cooper actually DO? I understand contracting and lobbying work, and jobs like this simply don’t exist. The characters mostly are put in some existential place like “Friends,” or “It’s Complicated,” where you’re constantly made to question their being. “We have a Central Park West overlook…because we’re baristas!” It just screams lazy/insincere plotting.

    And movieman, you’re really blaming the critics when this was the tightest embargo I’ve ever seen laid down by a studio short of torture porn/Tyler Perry? Sony, despite its protestations about Pascal’s emails, obviously felt the same way she did and hated the movie way more than I. Seriously…I can’t remember a tighter embargo for a non-horror/urban/unpretensiously garbage movie than ALOHA. To be fair, maybe the fact I was worried about going to prison for expressing my views on this movie killed any good-will I had towards it.

  10. movieman says:

    There weren’t any pre-release screenings for the Cleveland market, Et.
    I saw “Aloha” last night at its first public performance.
    Went in expecting a trainwreck (the few reviews that filtered in yesterday afternoon were nearly unanimous in their sheer and utter contempt for the film), but left applauding a fatally flawed but enormously appealing movie that seemed to have the makings of a humanist masterpiece before Sony’s heavy hands intervened.
    I can’t believe that many of the same critics trashing “Aloha” gave “San Andreas” a pat-on-the-back pass.
    One (favorably) recalls the halcyon days of the New Hollywood era while the other symbolizes everything that’s wrong with 21st century Hollywood.

  11. Hallick says:

    “I loved ALOHA. It’s a bit of mess, plot-wise, but it’s also funny, sweet, quirky, bright and colorful… Pure Cameron Crowe.”

    This is a reality that gets missed in the reviews for “Aloha” and “San Andreas”. A movie can be a hot mess conceptually but still make you glad you went to see it.

  12. Hallick says:

    “Also stunned that somebody claimed they weren’t sure whether Krasinski’s character was a deaf mute or not.

    I thought he was mute in the movie because the Coke machine was out of order and Pam enforced the jinx rule on him again.

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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