“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
The Hot Blog Archive for October, 2006
How does showbiz’s West Side roll with All Hallows Eve?
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.
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.
The Rest Of The Charts
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%)
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
Not much more to say about Saw III
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
Here is some box office…
And 20 Weeks, 18 Weeks To Go
Can you smell it? Come on, take a good, deep whiff
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
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
Interesting that Time.com (who knows if it will be in print?) decided to run a Jeff Ressner piece mocking Paramount
According to a (stupid) study, sequels with numbers don’t perform as well as sequels with names, so…
After running my Flags of our Father review, I got a lot of letters with a similar issue to the following