The Hot Blog Archive for August, 2006

Now All They Need…

… is Lindsay Lohan getting loaded at The Ivy and going down on some guy in the back of the van while the paparazzi snap away.*
(*Notes for Not-LAers – The Ivy is where Lohan is often shot leaving and is a block away from Kitson, which is a phenomenon that has a lot to do with her and other celebrities shoppping there. “Going down” is… well… you can figure that out…)


Cruise-ifixion Clarification

Since Mr. Redstone has the world chasing its own tail and taking this all very personally, I thought I would add this bit of clarity…
Though some would like to throw Steven Spielberg & DreamWorks into this fracas, word has it that not only wasn’t Mr. S. part of this decision making process, he was traveling when it all went down and found out about it when most people did… from TV coverage of Sumner’s quote in the Wall Street Journal.
I don’t foresee Cruise


Happy Anniversary To Me…

I’ve written just under 3000 columns, representing about 3.5 million words. Those columns have been read no fewer than 50 million times. (And if I had a dollar for every



One more thought on Cruise/Wagner…
Mission:Impossible 3 cost a lot (at least $50 million) less than Superman Returns and made more at the box office and should do similar numbers in Home Entertainment.
Paramount won’t re-up thier deal with Cruise/Wagner.
Warner Bros. is claiming that they will make $50 million in Superman Returns
The difference in gross point dollars being paid out is about $40 million.
Who do YOU thnk is lying?
Oh, but wait… it’s about jumping on couches and arguing with Matt Lauer. My bad.
Or to put it in Anne Thompson terms… who would you rather have fronting your next $250 million (including P&A) investment, Tom Cruise or Bryan Singer?


The Biggest Loser In Paramount/Cruise? Journalists

As the continuing spewing on Tom Cruise & Paramount continues, I have mostly been amazed by how the central issue has been endlessly misreported.
Cruise/Wagner was not fired. Their relationship with Paramount was not terminated. There was a negotiation for a new deal and the deal didn


Not Terribly Interesting To Me, But From The Glass House On Melrose…

Merissa Marr scooped the final decision not to renew the Cruise/Wagner deal at Paramount. The only interesting part of it – for a company that just overspent on DreamWorks and doesn’t need any more rich foods in their diet – is that Sumner Redstone talked to the press directly….
Paramount Ends Relationship With Tom Cruise’s Company
August 22, 2006 7:48 p.m.
Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone said his company’s Paramount Pictures is terminating its 14-year relationship with actor Tom Cruise’s production company, citing the actor’s controversial and sometimes erratic behavior of the past year.
Mr. Cruise, the star of Paramount hits like “Mission: Impossible,” “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder,” has based his moviemaking company, Cruise/Wagner Productions, on the Paramount lot since 1992. But in the past year, Mr. Cruise’s star has fallen in the wake of a series of public incidents in which he stumped for his faith in the Church of Scientology; severely criticized the use of antidepressant drugs; and engaged in sometimes offbeat behavior, such as jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch to proclaim his love for actress Katie Holmes.
Paramount now believes that Mr. Cruise’s behavior hurt the box office of his most recent film, “Mission: Impossible III.” Now, Mr. Redstone said he wants to sever the studio’s connection to its biggest star.
“As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal,” Mr. Redstone said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.”
A spokeswoman for Cruise/Wagner Productions declined to comment.
After being contacted by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Cruise’s representatives presented a different version of events. They said that Mr. Cruise’s production company had decided to set up an independent operation financed by two top hedge funds, which they declined to name. Paula Wagner, Mr. Cruise’s partner in the company, said such an arrangement represented a new business model for top actors prominent enough to take advantage of the flood of money coming into Hollywood from Wall Street.
“This is a dream of Tom and mine,” Ms. Wagner said. She challenged Mr. Redstone’s assertion that Mr. Cruise’s behavior had cost the studio ticket sales, pointing out that the star’s movies have made the studio a huge amount of money.


The Toronto List…

The Release
The List
Opening night will rock… but not at the Opening NIght Film. On the serious side, the first screening of Deliver Us from Evil should rock the town. And then, at Midnight, true madness… the Toronto premiere of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhs at Midnight… which I intend to be at, ready for anything.
The Working List… still evolving…
The Masterpieces Going In
Borat – Larry Charles
Day Night Day Night – Julia Loktev
Little Children – Todd Field
Great Expectations or Seen & Solid
The Fall Tarsem Singh
We’ve been waiting for what’s next from this director for a while… fingers crossed
Fay Grim Hal Hartley
A return to form?
The Fountain Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky’s first epic, with the first Hugh Jackman lead and the magnificent Weisz
Jindabyne Ray Lawrence
The director of the much underappreciated Lantana, just picked up by Sony Classics
Pan’s Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro
GdT is GoD. (Well, he’s cool and fun and smart… but that’s nto as quotable)
Paris, Je T’aime Bruno Podalyd


When One-Sheets Mate



The Snakes Rating

The one element I didn


The Darjeeling Regression

I almost never do this, but I danced through the screenplay for The Darjeeling Limited this weekend, comfortable that whatever is on the page of a Wes Anderson movie will be something altogether when I see it on a screen. Story movies, he does not make.
What first caught my eye were his co-writers – Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman


Snake Bit?

ISSUE: The Title
CHOICE: Do you stick with “Snakes on a Plane,” as Samuel L. Jackson and the internet band felt was a “must do” or do you find a title that will piss off the heeks, but might be more marketable?
TRUTH: Snakes on a Plane is an attention grabber, every bit as much as Air Pacific 242 (or whatever it was) is not. But Snakes on a Plane also separates your interested from your uninterested like a knife through butter.
CONSEQUENCE: According to tracking, about one quarter of the potential audience this weekend had no interest in seeing this movie. Figure another 50 percent really needed their brains twisted in order to get them serious about buying a ticket. So you’re down to 25 percent of the audience that you are selling the movie to comfortably, based on the name alone. SoaP got about 15% of the weekend audience. Not bad, considering.

The Whole Column


Jeffrey Wells Update

As most of you know, Jeffrey Wells is not my favorite journalist and is often not my favorite person… but he is a human being. And I know some of you read him.
I’m sure he will explain the whole story tomorrow on his blog, but he is ok. The hospital he is at has no internet access, which is why he hasn


Video Of The Day – 8/20 – Next Door

Here is the film’s official home


Sunday Estimates by Klady – August 20

The battle over the weekend


Apocalypse Pooh

No… not included in the new DVD package…


The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon