The Hot Blog Archive for October, 2006

Halloween In SaMo

How does showbiz’s West Side roll with All Hallows Eve?
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Interesting Screener Thing

I just threw Little Miss Sunshine into the DVD player for the first time, mostly to make sure the disc was working, and I have had a bit of a baby revelation .
This movie plays a lot better on DVD than on a big screen.
People talk about the number of DVDs and the delivery dates a lot. But a small scale movie with strong performances, a lot of close-ups, and of course, status as a comedy, does seem to have a real advantage on DVD. And in this case, it is a movie with a lot of pastels, which really jump in a different way on the TV screen. The color is dense in a way you rarely see on TV.
I was already feeling like LMS had moved into a likely BP slot. But watching it on TV, even more so. I think that a lot of people who were so-so-on it will see it over the holidays with their families who want to watch it and find themselves surprised by being more engaged.

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Gurus o Gold – 12 Wks From Noms

Susan Wloszczyna’s entry got caught in the e-mail and Scott Bowles turns out to be on vacation. So, this week’s GoG is now complete. The effect of The Woz’s entries were mostly felt in moving Ms Farminga up. And between Susan and a missed #5 entry from Glenn Whipp, Brad Pitt leaps over Jack Nicholson and into 2nd place this week.
Here are the final pulls. The set that was up earlier can be found after the jump.
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The Rest Of The Charts

Read the full article »

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I'll Show You The Life Of The Penquin!!!

I don

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Print Hits, April – Sept 2006

Just thought this was a little interesting.
The three national newspapers are the only 1 million circ papers left.
The Houston Chronicle is the only smaller market paper in the Top 10. (See Joe Leydon smile.)
For all the talk about Page Six’s “scandal” dragging down the paper, The NY Post had the biggest growth amongst the Top 25 papers.
Separately, the Newspaper Association of America also reported that, according to its analysis of online traffic data from Nielsen/NetRatings, nearly 57 million people visited newspaper Web sites in the third quarter, up 24 percent from the same period a year ago. That figure made up 37 percent of all Internet users.”
And our Hometown Fishwrap had the biggest drop in circulation, falling 8%, which represents more than 50,000 fewer papers sold each day.
USA Today: 2,269,509, (-1.3%)
The Wall Street Journal: 2,043, 235, (-1.9%)
The New York Times: 1,086,798, (-3.5%)
Los Angeles Times: 775,766, (-8.0%)
The New York Post: 704,011, +5.3%
Daily News, New York: 693,382, +1.0%
The Washington Post: 656,297, (-3.3%)
Chicago Tribune: 576,132, (-1.7%)
Houston Chronicle: 508,097, (-3.6%)
Newsday: 413,579, (-4.9%)

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Let's Play… FIND THE REVIEW!!!

David Denby is the calmer, better movie educated, veteran half of the New Yorker critics team. Unlike Anthony Lane, he is not so much in love with the sound of his own typing as he is with movies. So I expect well considered, clean stuff from him when I read his work, whether I agree with it or not.
But this week has had some really surprising moments in criticism and I consider them instructive about criticism, more than about the movies involved. I will apologize if any of you feel it is piling on in any way.
Babel has brought out absolute abusiveness in some of the most classical critics, including the previously blogged Andy Klein…
(EDIT, 3:10p Sunday – STOP THE INTERNET PRESSES!!!! I screwed up royally. After years of assuming Joe Morgenstern is the review I am reading when I open the Wall Street Journal to a big movie review, I didn’t look at the review byline when reading the paper on Friday. The WSJ’s Babel review is from JOANNE KAUFMAN, not Joe Morgenstern… my apologies to all involved. As I wrote, “Coming from a gentleman and a gentle man as Joe M, that review is a closed fist to the jaw than a slap across the face. I still hardly believe I read it.” It was neither.)
Denby is more moderate on Babel and expresses similar concerns to my own

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Sunday Estimates by Klady

Not much more to say about Saw III

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Friday Estimates

Saw III is off to a faster start that either of the first two films, sight unseen. Basically, on this series, Lionsgate does what is otherwise the skill set of Screen Gems or Dimension. Solid, simple, sell to one audience and one audience only.
The Prestige has a shot at $45 million or $50 million, which is no disaster, but no thrill either. Look for foreign to be stronger. And Flags of Our Fathers may not get to $30 million, which is an indicator of audience word-of-mouth, regardless of whether some major critics have embraced the film.
As we work through the awards season, critics are far overvalued as are groups like HFPA. The former only makes major waves when throwing a light as a group on a specific film or performance. The latter is in the game of guessing what the Academy voters will think. Neither answers the specific question… what will 6000 middle-aged and elderly Academy voters love?
That is why Babel is not nearly as muscular a player as some would have you believe and Flags is in trouble. It is also why Munich got nominated last year, in spite of scathing attacks from some angry critics. (That one should also remind us that if our sense of the whys changes depending on how we personally feel about a film, we will endup being wrong more often than not.) Reverse Analysis is significant, in that an understanding of history does matter. But as a predictor, it is pretty iffy.
And the danger of being perceived as underperforming at the box office is the good reason why smaller quality films wait for December. If a film like The Hours goes out in December in limited release and doesn’t soar, it is seen as needing space. If a Ron Howard film opens in summer and doesn’t hit $100 million, it is seen as a failure. And The Academy does not, with a few exceptions, vote to nominate failures.
Open Season will quietly become Sony Animation

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Another Travel Day…

Here is some box office…
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And 20 Weeks, 18 Weeks To Go
Can you smell it? Come on, take a good, deep whiff

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Brutalizing Babel

Andy Klein of LA City Beat kinda knocks the crap out of “Alejandro Guilermo.” as he calls the director/writer duo responsible for Babel.
The attack is a rather harsh for my tastes. I think there is genius there, but it is precocious and a bit of restraint would go a long way. But still…
Andy’s way of going at them was too funny and razorsharp not to note. Here is Andy’s opener.
Welcome to the Make Your Own Alejandro Gonz

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Slate Goes Luddite

I got the impression from his work that Michel Agger was a young man, if not in body than in mind. But a quick read of his response to Steven Levy

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Taking Sides?

Interesting that Time.com (who knows if it will be in print?) decided to run a Jeff Ressner piece mocking Paramount

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Lunch With David: Return To Ammo

According to a (stupid) study, sequels with numbers don’t perform as well as sequels with names, so…
The Lunch

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Semantics? Apparently More

After running my Flags of our Father review, I got a lot of letters with a similar issue to the following

15 Comments »

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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