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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB: Where To Go With The Hot Blog

byobhumpday651
If you had the power to decide what direction this blog was going – aside from “write more” – what would you like to see?

14 Responses to “BYOB: Where To Go With The Hot Blog”

  1. CG says:

    I would love to see more reviews of movies that aren’t in wide release yet. I was reading The Hot Button years and years ago — I was ROTD at least twice — and it steered me to great movies for years that I might not have watched otherwise: The Matrix, Fight Club, Lost in Translation, even, I think Shoot ‘Em Up. I don’t have the time to see as many movies as I used to but I’d love to have you become a source of good and surprising movie criticism and recommendations again.

  2. GSpot 3000 says:

    Been meaning to write this here for years, now seems a good a time as any…

    I’ll always recall the day back in ’77 when my dad brought home a Variety Cannes issue and I first saw a list of the top grossing films in the back pages (a crazy long page-after-page list headed up by Star Wars, Jaws, Sound Of Music, etc). From that day on as a wee lad I became a box-office junkie. That continued on through the 80’s where the best you could find was the top five weekend grosses listed every other Tuesday in the USA TODAY Life section…and onward into the 90’s when I moved to L.A. to work in the industry, and low and behold, Variety and the Reporter were delivered daily to the office doors of my employ (imagine my joy upon receiving tracking!). Nowadays, grosses are everywhere, of course and what I can clearly say is that David has long been the best box office analyst in the game. I might not always agree with his point-of-view (though more often than not I certainly do), but at least he offers one. And almost uniformly it’s informed, thoughtful and mature (as opposed to all those ‘fanboy’ styled reporters out there). Always and forever excited, David, when you take the time to analyze the weekend numbers whether it be on Saturday or Sunday. Thanks for all you do.

  3. Sideshow Bill says:

    I enjoy the box office analysis a lot, and look forward to it. I know some weekends don’t warrant much discussion but when there’s a big film opening I always look forward to David’s reaction.

    I also agree that I’d like to see more reviews. I know the DP30s are the main focus, and those are great, a review on a regular basis would be great. Doesn’t matter what film it is. I enjoy you taking apart the latest Zach Snyder film (even though I like him…sorry) but I also miss passionate reviews for films you love. Don’t need one everyday. I know you use Twitter to get your opinions out there and again it’s great but I miss the film writing. the Netflix/Streaming/Inside Baseball business stuff doesn’t totally do it for me but I always read them because at least it’s content

  4. commengtinanonymously says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think your perspective is crucial anymore (outside of the box office analysis). Get someone else to continue writing for the hot blog who cares about spurring on conversation. Or, just make it explicitly about box office, because that’s really the only worthwhile discussion going on these days.

    I should say, David, that I am a big fan of yours and the DP30s are great, I just really see no worth in your writing anymore.

  5. Eric says:

    Agreed with the others on DP’s movie reviews. They’re better because he’s not in the day-to-day grind of reviewing everything. He only reviews something if he has something to say about it. And they’re usually pitched to an audience already aware of the basics of a movie, so there’s no need to spill ink on plot summary, etc. A few reviews a month here would go a long way.

    And insightful reviews tend to prompt good conversation in the comments, which is half the value of this blog to me. I don’t comment often but I read almost everything, because the signal to ratio is so much higher than average with the commenters here.

  6. Aaron Aradillas says:

    I would like more video reviews and rants. A video of you discussing the pending writers’ strike might be more informative than tweets and blog posts.

  7. I live in Venezuela and I started reading The Hot Button almost 17 years (is that possible?) ago. What kept me coming back everyday was the fresh view, the unconventional opinion, the article that offered a new take on a well know subject. The inside view of the industry. The thing I like the most when Movie City News was launched was the always interesting news and articles you highlighted. So, for me, I only expect of you, David, to never get tired of writing about movies and the industry. I visit your site everyday, like I used to do with my local newspaper. That’s something I value and appreciate.

  8. Bulldog68 says:

    Reviews, reviews, reviews. Monthly box office review.

  9. leahnz says:

    DP did those video reviews for a bit, those were kind of hilarious

    for some reason i remember one that prompted a thread discussing his stuff in the background in his house. and the one with a giant-looking glass of water – ‘inglorious basterds’ maybe? maybe not. around that time tho (was it ‘lovely bones’? no, i think that one was in a lawn chair outdoors)

    the best DP reviews are the scathing ones

    i sometimes wonder if doing the in-depth Dp30 video interviews pose something of a conflict of interest, making it harder to do savage criticism of the same people you’re inevitably talking to, and trying to get to open up to you – and in a circular way, does having spent some time with these people talking about their film-making and personal perspectives and experiences then make it feel like you lose a bit of that detached audience perspective edge critics covet, not ‘objectivity’ (that’s impossible) but the feeling of too much inside baseball to have a seriously fresh take

  10. panopticonnyc says:

    Very long time reader, very infrequent commentator. I really miss your deep dive movie reviews. Your reviews for Moulin Rouge, Fight Club, Eyes Wide Shut and other movies of that era were hugely insightful and played a role in getting me interested in film school. I now work in the industry, and I appreciate your insight into the business, but I do miss the reviews.

  11. April says:

    Ditto panopticonnyc.

  12. Breedlove says:

    Yup on the reviews. I agree with what others said above. You’ve always been one of my favorite reviewers. You have a specific style that I really enjoy. Bummed you don’t do many reviews any more, would love for you to get back to that regularly. The way you used to break down a movie was really interesting. Would love to see you review Alien, Dunkirk, Detroit, Soderbergh, PTA, etc. this year…or even something like The Mummy, say, could be a really fun read, train wreck or no. More reviews!

  13. Bob Burns says:

    Always enjoy reading long form David Poland. Don’t always agree, but he and his pieces have a well developed, personal point of view and values. I could do without the cheeseburger.

  14. Triple Option says:

    I won’t read the reviews until after I see the film because I like to go in as blind as possible. This may seem contradictory but I would like more insight about what’s coming out. Just like titles, who’s in it, release date, maybe one or two things significant about the film, like maybe something about the company releasing it or it’s a departure from a director who’s used to another genre, things of that nature. I don’t want to know too much of the story.

    I like the analysis and trends. Anything inside baseball would be great. It might be cool for you to bring in some suits or write up interviews you have with them. The DP/30s with talent and filmmakers are great, though I don’t often have time to watch them and have to break them up. But, if you could interview some studio marketing person or someone who finances films or an ent atty who’s handled a notable case, those would be great!

    Years ago, I thought this place could have really used a good forum section. It would’ve taken some additional manpower to maintain but more individual threads, let people bring up more topics, have more back & forth to really draw things out. Sure, you have the byob but somethings things come up after the first few days a post is up and it’s hard to either go back and find or people just move on. It would’ve been great to go and see a collection of input and answers on a particular subject in one place and then you have the ability to go back or see what new has been brought up.

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The Hot Blog

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Who are the critics speaking to?
Nobody seems able to answer the question of how you can make theatre criticism more appealing, more clickworthy. One answer is to be a goddamn flamethrower every week, be a bombthrower, to write scorched-earth reviews. Just be completely hedonistic and ego-driven in your criticism, become a master stylist, and treat everything in front of you onstage as fodder for your most delicious and vicious language. That’s one road. And people may enjoy your writing. The thing that’s sacrificed is any sense of a larger responsibility, and any aesthetic consistency. I don’t think anyone is following that model right now—just being a complete jerk.

Well, Rex Reed is still writing.
Ah. Well, you can also be a standard bearer, and insist that work doesn’t measure up to your high standards. But I think the art makes the standards. I’m not going to sit there and say, “This is the way you do Shakespeare.” I believe that every play establishes its own standards, and our job is to just evaluate it. But everybody’s looking for the formula for how to talk about culture so that people who don’t have any time to read want to read about it. Is there something beyond thumbs-up, thumbs-down criticism? I would hope there’s a way to talk about a theatre event in real time—meaning while it’s still going on—in a way that’s engaging, funny, witty, and evaluates the elements of the thing. But it’s like if you had a friend who was like, “Gee, are you working out? You look great. But that’s a terrible haircut.” Nobody wants that person around.
~ Time Out’s 17-Year Theatre Critic, David Cote, Upon His Exit

“Now I am awake to the world. I was asleep before. When they slaughtered Congress, we didn’t wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn’t wake up either. They said it would be temporary. Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Bruce Miller