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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB 101415

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15 Responses to “BYOB 101415”

  1. movieman says:

    Kind of suspected it, but was still surprised to read that Regal, Cinemark, et al won’t be playing “Paranormal Activity” or “Scout’s Guide” this month due to the shortened window between theatrical and VOD.
    I wonder if they’re already regretting that decision, especially w/ “Paranormal” since the franchise has been such a cash cow for the studio.

  2. movieman says:

    OMG.
    There’s going to be yet ANOTHER “Fantastic 4″ movie in 2020?!
    If at first–or three times, but who’s counting anymore?–you fail, try, try again.
    On top of yesterday’s news about “Die Hard 6″ (really? why?) and a new Godzilla vs. King Kong movie, I think Hollywood has officially run out of fresh ideas.
    Or any ideas period.

  3. Doug R says:

    I heard that Fox was swapping FF rights for X men TV rights, so FF would be done by Marvel.

  4. movieman says:

    Yeah, Doug. Marvel is doing the fourth attempt at “F4.”
    Doesn’t make the prospect of yet another go-round w/ those characters any less punitive-sounding to me. Of course, I’m not one of those people who genuflect at the name of “Marvel,” lol.

  5. cadavra says:

    “I think Hollywood has officially run out of fresh ideas.”

    This idea itself was fresh in the ’90s.

  6. movieman says:

    You’re right, Cad. It just seems even more pronounced today than ever before.

  7. cadavra says:

    On another topic, there’s a rumor floating about–boosted by a notation on IMDb–that there will be 15/70 IMAX film prints of FORCE AWAKENS. Can anyone confirm or deny?

  8. Nick Rogers says:

    ^^ They’re getting one at the Indiana State Museum IMAX in Indianapolis.

  9. leahnz says:

    it’s true…all of it

  10. cadavra says:

    Good news, thanks. Alas, there’s only one IMAX left in L.A. that kept the film projectors–the one at Universal City–and parking last time I was there (three years ago) was $15. Oh, well, some things a man can’t ride around.

  11. Hcat says:

    So I have massive reservations about Disney and Abrams, but damnit this latest SW trailer got me on board. The music and sound effects just hit my sweet spot. Has any filmmaker used sound as effectively as Lucas did? I swear the only reason I revisited Crystal Skull was to hear the punches and the sound of the whip. I had decided to skip Return of the Sith until I heard a Wookie in the trailer. His and William’s aural trappings are so buried in my psyche I can’t help but be drawn whenever I hear them.

  12. Triple Option says:

    @cadavra, I thought the IMAX at Howard Hughes Pkwy fka The Bridge had a film projector. They said that’s why they didn’t show Gravity because there were film prints of it.

  13. Mike says:

    Hcat, I felt exactly the same way about the trailer. Nothing in it really interests me all that much, but the music… damn.

  14. Hcat says:

    I will admit I might be over cynical, but does anyone have an example of when Disney has ever delivered the goods in live action? Even if you count touchstone they only have one action treasure (open range), they can make a Nate and Hayes but they have never made a Raiders of the lost Ark, or even a Temple of Doom.

  15. cadavra says:

    Triple: That IMAX is long gone–they dismantled it after ELYSIUM. It’s now an XD, which is Cinemark’s PLF brand.

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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