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


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.


TomKat 2010

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What Is Michael Douglas Looking At?



Poseid-O-Vision, Live At The Grove



A Little Overenthusiastic About The Wild Posting?



Opus Duh

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


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?
Consider a hypothetical single mother with two teen-age sons living in New Orleans


Friday Estimates by Klady

The Benchwarmers, in the official


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.


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


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


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.


Ads Gone Wrong

First, the Super Irony Missing ad for Superman Returns. No… this is not a photo from the casting process. but it a REAL ad.
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?
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Quote Unquotesee all »

“I run a movie for myself the first time, and if I can forget I had anything to do with the picture, and I’m halfway through the movie and I’m just the audience, then that is my litmus test for a film working. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for anybody outside of myself, but when I lose the aesthetic distance between the screen and where I’m sitting, the first time I run a picture that I’ve directed for myself, if I’m aware to the very end that I’m the director, and all I can do is find things to fault, then I know I have my work cut out for me. And I have to roll up my sleeves and fix everything. But when I can watch a movie and I can forget that I made the movie, that’s the first sign that I’m going to be pretty happy with it, that I’m going to be able to live with it.”
~ Steven Spielberg On When He Thinks A Movie Is Working

“I was brought up on newspapers. I love newspapers. I love old-fashioned newspapers, but today I read them on the Internet because of time. And in New York, I read the morning papers, then I read the London papers on my iPad. But entertainment is very important. With broadband coming, everything is changing. People now spend four or five hours on their iPhones, their smartphones, which is changing the world totally. I found it with my young children. They are on their iPhones while they are watching television, doing two things at once. The fact that now we have 2.5 billion people with smartphones, with access to knowledge all over the world, with access to each other, government is going to change, the world is going to change. And it’s going to change very fast. We’ve only had smartphones for eight years, and now we have 2.5 billion of them. In another eight years, we will have 5 billion. The whole world will be on them… If newspapers have opinions, if they are really well-written, if they’re very reliable, people will pay for them. Then they are viable. We found [that] with the Wall Street Journal. You have newspapers on the Internet which are so good people will pay for them. There are people who steal things, rewrite them and put them out, like Google, but they are not reliable at all.”
~ Rupert Murdoch