The Hot Blog Archive for January, 2006

And by the way

Today is the day that people who don


Oddball Anti-BBM Winning Stat Of The Day

This is the kind of stat that I don’t really believe in, but…
When was the last time a film won Best Picture without being nominated for Best Editing?
25 years ago, Ordinary People did it.
Yes, every film that won Best Picture, even Driving Miss Daisy, got an editing nomination since then


Which Award Show Is The Best Predictor Of Them All?

BAFTA missed Munich


Oscar Nominations

Brokeback Mountain 8 nominations
Crash 6 nominations
Good Night, And Good Luck 6 nominations
Memoirs of a Geisha 6 nominations
Capote 5 nominations
Munich 5 nominations
Walk the Line 5 nominations
The Constant Gardener 4 nominations
King Kong 4 nominations
Pride & Prejudice 4 nominations
Brokeback Mountain – Focus Features
Capote – Sony Pictures Classics
Crash – Lions Gate
Good Night, & Good Luck – WIP
Munich – Universal
The List
Munich gets 5 noms, in spite of no acting gets.
Star Wars: Episode III shockingly shut out except for Make-Up
Terrence Howard gets the big Hustle & Flow nomination
Documentary category limited to big release titles


Wrapping Sundance

Part One
I’m not saying that there weren’t plenty of whores on every corner of Main Street for those who wished to indulge in irrelevancy. But to this set of eyes, it seemed that the ferocity was cut pretty much in half from last year. Really… half.
The response, of course, is now that there wasn’t enough sparkle… that the swag wasn’t very good this year… that the parties were a bit flat. To misquote Hee Haw, “If it weren’t for bad news, we’d make up no news at all… woe, despair and agony on me.”
Part Two
Really, the two most interesting women’s performances I saw at Sundance this year were JR Valentin as Maximo Oliveros in The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros and Chiwetel Ojiofor as Lola in Kinky Boots. Ironically, the two women who show up on screen with penises are the only two who are given subtle, complex, unexpected notes to play, though Ojiofor’s drag queen is a bit more in the Hollywood-By-Way-Of-The-Full-Monty than the remarkable intimacy of Maximo Oliveros.


That Didn't Take Long…

The AFP wire headline on th SAG Awards manages to both give short shrift to Crash, Capote, Walk The Line and other winners while continuing to obsess, however less than complimentarily, on Brokeback Mountain.
Hollywood actors snub Oscars favourite ‘Brokeback Mountain’


And About That Revolutionary Day & Date Release…

Let’s see how they spin this…
And I don’t just mean at 2929 or Magnolia. The media outlets that have invested enormous space and support for Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.
Klady estimates $72,300 on 32 screens or a $2260 per screen average. That is the worst per-screen of any of the ten new releases this weekend… by more than 50% in the closest case.
And I didn’t see 1/20th the media attention to Roving Mars or even Tristam Shandy.
The question that now has to be asked – ironic as hell – is why the investors wasted money releasing the film in theaters at all. The $40,000 in rentals could not have covered the print ads, much less anything else.
There is nothing wrong with a small movie or the notion of a direct-to-DVD qualiy, big name film. The only good reasons for Bubble to be in theaters this weekend were hype and ego.
But I am expecting a more clever response than that. Bring on that Pirates of The Caribbean 2 day and date release!!!!


The Most Interesting Thing About The SAG Awards So Far…

… is that TNT gets away with keeping its bug in the corner of the screen throughout and has not acknowledged the networks involved with each of the nominee’s shows. If I were ABC or Fox or whomever, I would be seriously pissed.
Of course, how many people watching this show on TNT are not already obsessed enough to know where every show plays? But still, there is something oddly inequitable about it all… at least to me.
Added 6:08p – The next most interesting thing is that it is over an hour in and they have only given out one movie acting award. This bias is not unexpected, but amongst actors, shouldn’t it be downplayed?
My first thought is that movie actors should give teh TV awards and TV actors should give the movie awards. It seems to me that it would send the right message for actors and no one is going to turn off their TV based on who presents what.


Momma's Got A Gun

Update – Sunday Estimate by klady
3-Day Estimates / Weekend / % Change / Cume
Big Momma’s House / 27.4 / – / 37.4
Nanny McPhee / 14 / – / 14
Underworld: Evolution / 10.8 / -60% / 44
Annapolis / 7.5 / – / 7.5
Hoodwinked / 7.3 / -30% / 37.6
Brokeback Mountain / 6.3 / -16% / 50.7
Glory Road / 5.1 / -42% / 34.7
Last Holiday / 4.9 / -44% / 32.7
Chronicles of Narnia / 4.3 / -31% / 277.7
Fun with Dick & Jane / 3.6 / -37% / 106.3
Why is it that MAtrin Lawrence with breasts is so eternally funny? Well, Fox did the right thing here. The bathing suit campaign took an old idea that people liked and made it look fun again.
Nanny McPhee smelled bigger to me, though the limited advertsising probbaly assured otherwise. It we be interesting to see what kind of legs the old girl has.
You do the rest… my computer battery is running out.
Big Momma’s House 2 / 7.7 / – / 3261 / 7.7
Nanny McPhee / 3.6 / – / 1995 / 3.6
Underworld: Evolution / 3.4 / -66% / 3207 / 36.6
Annapolis / 2.6 / – / 1605 / 2.6
Brokeback Mountain / 1.8 / -16% / 1654 / 46.3
Hoodwinked / 1.6 / -24% / 3020 / 31.9
Glory Road / 1.5 / -41% / 2397 / 31.1
Last Holiday / 1.4 / -42% / 2442 / 29.2
Fun with Dick & Jane / 1.1 / -37% / 2132 / 103.8
Chronicles of Narnia / 1 / -27% / 2170 / 274.4
The Matador / 1 / 789% / 885 / 2.6


Happy Friday Night

Hello all –
I’ll try to get the numbers up here at a reasonable hour on Saturday, but if not, chat here.
Today’s Sundance screenings included the very pleasant and soon to be very marketed Wordplay, the mediocre but Chiwetel Olijofor driven Kinky Boots, and the overrated mediocrity that is A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints.
The end of Revolution Studios is old, old news, so it’s hard for me to pretend that I didn’t announce it a year ago and notice that it was a lock the day that Patrick Goldstein wrote a love letter to Joe Roth’s artistic intentions. Is anyone actually surprised?
James Frey should never have lied about his process to Oprah… but the book is so great, do I really need to give a damn? It’s not like someone lied in the pages of the New York Times or something? (To give credit where credit is due, the NYT front page story today included a TV Review that was pretty reasonable.)
Ok… time for bed…


Sundance Is Melting

I always kinda like these last few days when the town empties out a bit and you can eat, go to movies, and think like a human being for a while.
The streets of Park City are literally melting today, after a night of snow and a morning of sun. It really is beautiful. And the locals don’t have that “Don’t fuck with me, muthafucker” look in their eyes.
This is also the part of the festival when good movies that are premiering late simply get forgotten by the buyers. Keep those eyes open, folks. There is gold in them thar’ hills… and it is not as overpriced as most of the other product that’s sold so far. (Beware stories that leave out the limited number of territories that WIP got for $6 million on The Science of Sleep or sure bet predictions on the ability to make a profit on a $10 million and 10% of gross deal on Little Miss Sunshine, which is going to have to be worked carefully to not become the next Happy, Tx. Nancy Utley can make it work, but it is not a downhill slide.)
For a few hours last night, I was actually quite happy here. There have been other fun moments. Jonathan Demme is a great guy and Neil Young is a hoot. But nine days in, it feels a little like actually being somewhere. Nice.


Whose Ratings Are They Anyway

I know that most of you haven’t seen Kirby Dick Doc, This Movie Has Not Yet Been Rated, but where do you think the ratings system is today?
Does the NC-17 bother you?
Can you distinguish an R from a PG-13?
Do you care?


– 1:49A Little More Shit For Dick

As I wrote in today MCN Sundance column, I have a few issues with Kirby Dick’s new documentary on the MPAA rating system, This Film Is Not Yet Rated.
A couple more things occured to me.
A film that was balanced would not simply have made fun about how many times the word “shit” can now be used in a PG-13 movie, but it would actually consider whether that should be of concern to parents. As in other issues in the doc, the assumption is that no one needs to be protected from the word “shit,” so it can be reduced to a punchline. I am no great moralist, but it is a curiosity to me. It is also a great curiosity how the “Shit Episode” of South Park has run over and over with no FCC attention and in fact, the hard R South Park: Longer, Bigger & Uncut has run after 10 on Comedy Central uncensored many times… and again, no major protest. There is another side – similarly inexplicable at times – to this story.
Also, I am not entirely sure – this could be a lapse in my memory – but I don’t recall the film pointing out that Gunner Palace won its appeal for a PG-13. Even if it was mentioned, the emphasis on that part of the film was that the MPAA was hiding reality from kids while pushing unreality. Personally, I am still shocked that Gunner Palace got the PG-13 in appeal because even though I support every teen seeing this movie, it does fit the R standard to a tee. Still, for Palm Pictures and first time filmmakers Tucker & Epperson to win an appeal kind of flies in the face of the Super Size Me tone of Dick’s flick.
I will still be the first person to want to see what Kirby and his producer Eddie Schmidt do next. They are, to me, very important voices in a documentary community that is a little to anxious to become more commercial. But…
(Edit 1:49p – Forgot another point… Where is Kirby’s Bob Flanagan: Supermasochist in this film? Isn’t that a film that should have an NC-17? Wouldn’t that be an interesting perspective?)


Slamdance On Ice… Almost

Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish is in a wheelchair these days after an accident back in L.A. So Tuesday night, after an event in near-to-Park-City Kimball Junction, Dan was a little hungry and when finding the local Wendy’s closed, he wheeled his chair into the drive-thru lane.
But they wouldn’t serve him since he was not in a car. But he was, he pointed out, in a wheeled vehicle.. Feeling the challenge to both his hunger and to the handicapped (although Wendy’s and monst fast food restaurants have strict rules about serving only car-driving patrons in the drive-thru), Dan went back to the party and brought a video crew, a wire Image photgrapher, and an extravagantly dressed lesbian band back to the drive-thru. Still, no luck.
(Edit 1:53p – Forgot part of the story) Then the police showed up and bullhorned, “You in the wheelchair… pull over!” They kept Dan and his rollicking crew out in the cold for 30 minutes before finally allowing them to wheel away
But Dan, not one to quit anything (he fought the Academy last year to try to get a Musical category reinstated with hopes of a nomination for his film Open House), actually spoke to Wnedy’s corporate this morning. The drive-thru rule is no walk-ups and no one on bicycles. There is not notation about wheelchairs.
Expect to hear more about this from Dan and the media in the days to come.


The Hot Blog

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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