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The Hot Blog Archive for April, 2006

Friday Numbers by Klady – April 29

Not a memorable weekend at the box office… except…
RV making a $13 – $15 million dent at the box office is hardly overwhelming. It may be enough for #1, but with Sony knocking $20 million openings out of the park with cheap goods lately, Robin Williams in a Barry Sonnenfeld comedy with a significant budget doing less than The Benchwarmers is not a win. It

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Missing In Urbana

Hello all –
I’ve been missing for a couple of days now. Urbana-Champaign has been lovely, not cold and rainy as expected.
The movies have been good and I have only missed a few of them so far. In one case, I had seen the film and realized after a few minutes that the experience was so unpleasant that I had blanked the screening out of my head. Oy. I escaped before I lost conciousness.
Roger Ebert has been at his charming best, interviewing all and telling dirty jokes when there is time to kill.
But I have been exhausted and aside from writitng one column while here, uninspired in terms of big issues. Feel free to use this space for your own topics. I’ll sign in tomorrow to look at the box office. And I will try to be of use to you all before the weekend ends.

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TomKat 2010

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What Is Michael Douglas Looking At?

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Poseid-O-Vision, Live At The Grove

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A Little Overenthusiastic About The Wild Posting?

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Opus Duh

Variety is supposed to understand the film business, right? The

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Larry King Takes Over The Blog

If you want to spend $4.95 on something great, buy The New Yorker’s April 24 edition and read about Werner Herzog’s effort to make the feature version of Little Dieter Needs to Fly starring Christian Bale. It’s a hoot!… Leather shoes – love em!… Man Oh Man, wine and cheese and more wine and more food gets no better than at Lou’s on Vine just above Melrose, next to the laundromat. There’s no hotter place in town right now for the over-25 indie hipster and it doesn’t hurt that Mrs. Lou is Manohla Dargis. Dee-lish! Just remember to designate a driver to get you home when the wine is done… Wait a sec… phone call… it’s Jared Stern asking if I’ll write something nice for him for $1100. What kind of cheap whore does he think I am?… I like but don’t love Hans Zimmer scores as a rule, but the new one for The Da Vinci Code rules! You might think it was John Williams with a sped up pacemaker, but its Hans-y alright!… Time for another heart procedure… ciao you crazy kids!!!

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A Compelling Question

From a John Cassidy piece in The New Yorker entitled, “RELATIVELY DEPRIVED – How poor is poor?,” this notion:
In 2001, ninety-one per cent of poor families owned color televisions; seventy-four per cent owned microwave ovens; fifty-five per cent owned VCRs; and forty-seven per cent owned dishwashers. Are these families poverty-stricken?
and
Consider a hypothetical single mother with two teen-age sons living in New Orleans

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Friday Estimates by Klady

The Benchwarmers, in the official

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Hand In The Internet Culture Cookie Jar

By way of LA Observed, I ran into this story about Traditional Media defender turned LA Times blogger Matthew Hiltzik getting caught positng anonymous comments to other blogs, breaking LA Times ethics rules. The paper has shut down his Hiltzik’s blog – where the issue was debated here – for now.
Of course, anonymity and hidden motives have been an issue here at The Hot Blog, though it seems to have subsided after one participant was outed as many participants thanks to the dogged efforts of some other participants.
Hiltzik is, generally, no better and no worse than most people who wander around the web under fake monikers. But as a journalist – and certainly as a journalist who endlessly claimed the moral hghgound versus the low ground that the internet and blogs allegedly held – his standards should have been higher. Ironically, I would imagine that the arrrogance of Traditional Media and the pressure of believing that his opinion meant more than that of others, as well as the cowardice of wanting to mouth off publicly in ways he could only do over cocktails in the real work, was his downfall.
This is not like Jayson Blair. But it is a landmark in the evolution of the media species.

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Moral Issue Or Nothing?

A lot of writers have made high drama out of a card at the end of United 93 that said something to the effect of, “And The War On Terror Had Begun.” The card has been removed in the hulabaloo, but even when I saw it, my take was that it was ironic that a comment so iconic was being juxtaposed against a movie that brought it all down to the personal.
Yesterday, I had a chat with a couple of the people who were upset about the card and they were actually in agreement with how I felt about it, but at least one of them expressed the idea that the great unwashed can

19 Comments »

Beating Myself Up For Your Amusement

This week’s 20 Weeks of Summer is about what I got wrong from my April predictions last year… hmm…
“Last year’s first chart, published on April 21, had eight films on it that ended up not being released during the May-August summer season. (This allows me to avoid the disastrously wrong call on xXx2.)
Of the remaining 42 movies, I was within $10 million of the final actual gross on the films. That leaves 30 movies on which I ended up being less accurate.
My biggest misses, by percentage, were the films that performed significantly better than I expected. Two of the films were late season films that offered no clear signals of being nearly as successful as they were

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Paramount Update DuWeak

Here is Ron Grover’s full report on Paramount, entitled Mission: Precarious. I have some issues with it that are also my issues with much of the reporting around this subject these days. Sorry that Mr. Grover gets to be the butt of it.
Grover

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Ads Gone Wrong

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First, the Super Irony Missing ad for Superman Returns. No… this is not a photo from the casting process. but it a REAL ad.
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This is NOT a real ad. FAKE ad. And Breyers is not happy about this fake “found kiddie porn,” having sent its creator this cease & desist on 1 | 2 | 3 pages.
What I have blocked out is not anything illicit in and of itself. But the spirirt of the ad is gross and bordering on kiddie porn, so for the sake of decency, I covered it up. But you get the point.
The question is, is this satire or is it simply a purient joke trading on the long-earned values of an ice cream company. Has the line in the sand been washed away or do people and companies just have to deal with it?
(This message brought to you by the TomKitten.)

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The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

INTERVIEWER
Do you outline plays before you start to write them?

PINTER
Not at all. I don’t know what kind of characters my plays will have until they…well, until they are. Until they indicate to me what they are. I don’t conceptualize in any way. Once I’ve got the clues I follow them—that’s my job, really, to follow the clues.

INTERVIEWER
What do you mean by clues? Can you remember how one of your plays developed in your mind—or was it a line-by-line progression?

PINTER
Of course I can’t remember exactly how a given play developed in my mind. I think what happens is that I write in a very high state of excitement and frustration. I follow what I see on the paper in front of me—one sentence after another. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a dim, possible overall idea—the image that starts off doesn’t just engender what happens immediately, it engenders the possibility of an overall happening, which carries me through. I’ve got an idea of what might happen—sometimes I’m absolutely right, but on many occasions I’ve been proved wrong by what does actually happen. Sometimes I’m going along and I find myself writing “C. comes in” when I didn’t know that he was going to come in; he had to come in at that point, that’s all.
~ Harold Pinter

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