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

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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 »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas