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

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“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady

“You know how in postproduction you are supposed to color-correct the picture so everything is smooth and even? Jean-Luc wants the opposite. He wants the rupture. Color and then black and white, or different intensities of color. Or how in this film, sometimes you see the ratio of the frame change after the image begins. That happens when he records from his TV onto his old DVCAM analog machine, which is so old we can’t even find parts when it needs to be repaired. The TV takes time to recognize and adjust to the format on the DVD or the Blu-ray. Whether it’s 1:33 or 1:85. And one of the TVs he uses is slower than the other. He wants to keep all that. I could correct it, but he doesn’t want me to. See, here’s an image from War and Peace. He did the overlays of color—red, white, and blue—using an old analog video effects machine. That’s why you have the blur. When I tried to redo it in digital, I couldn’t. The edges were too sharp. And why the image jitters—I don’t know how he did that. Playing with the cable maybe. Handmade. He wants to see that. It’s a gift from his old machine.”
~ Fabrice Aragno