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The Hot Blog Archive for December, 2006

Top 20 Of Top 10s

Thought you might want to discuss how things are going so far… another 86 lists to be added
Rank

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Klady's Friday Estimates

This is one of those weird Fridays where analysis is somewhat defied. What we are really doing is analyzing the season, since the day-to-day is so different than any other time. It

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I Guess It Really Can't Be Avoided

Over at Hollywood-El-Swear, a grown up director- George Hickenlooper – went apeshit on our very own JWEgo aka Spam Dooley after Dooley posted in response to George’s buttboy’s 8.5 star rave:
“why picture George when you know he did not direct this movie? did he sell you some white stuff?”
Lame. But it pissed GH off and the highlights of his response were:
Hey asshole, I am in the process of tracking you down. When I find out who you are, and I will, I am going to file a nice fat defamation of character lawsuit against you. I have spoken to my attorneys and Bloom Hergott and your sinister, unrelenting proclamations of my alleged drug abuse and my having been removed from the picture, both blatantly false, malicious, and cruel, is grounds for a big fat, juicy lawsuit. You have seriously exposed yourself legally and you only better hope you don’t have any assets, prick-face, because when my attorneys get through with you, you’ll be pushing a mop at the La Brea Burger King.
Prick face. Nice.
” warn you JWEgo as I finish the final mix of Factory Girl… when I find out who you are, you will here from my lawyers. In fact as an incentive, I am offering anyone who provides me with the identity of JWEgo by this weekend, I will pay a reward of $1,500.00. Thank you. GH”
JWEgo then folded like a $3 deck chair:
“No need to find me Mr. Hickenlooper. I repeated a comment that I was told by someone who seemed to know. I apologize if I was wrong. I hereby state that I have no idea what I am talking about and IN NO WAY intended to upset you.”
Not enough for George…
“JWEgo: You still have not told me who you are. And tell me who told you this? I am not going to drop this matter. I have already had two separate people identify you for me. You do not have a lot of fans apparently. This is disappointing to me because if you are who these people say you are, I thought we were friends. I admire your work and we even discussed working together. So if it is you, why would you post these viscious, false and puerile diatribes. You better come forward with me on this, because I will pursue this unrelentingly, not so much because it has hurt me, but because it has hurt my five-year-old.”
Well… if Mr. Hickenlooper’s 5 year old is on the internet reading Wells and other internet pornography, I am afraid a visit form Child Protective Services is appropriate. But I am guessing that it was just hyperbole.
Spammy has, so far, backed off every time anyone – I was the other one, I guess – got close to finding out for sure who he is. It’s no secret that most people think he is Don Murphy… even if he dissed Transformers on this blog a few weeks back. (Give ’em the ol’ razzle dazzle…)
The only really interesting thing here is a grown up actually putting a bounty on an anonymous commenter’s head and losing his shit in a public forum.
Oh… and the movie pretty much sucks. Hickenlooper

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What

Sorry, but this is not going to be an argument against Dreamgirls. I will probably write that in February sometime, but not today
The reason I am writing this is that I am finding myself deeply amused by this week

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The Worst 10 Of 2006

Of course, as I point out in the column… and want to point out again… I managed to avoid the Bloodraynes, Beerfests, and The Marines. Still, the list goes on…
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
Y ou can live with bad and you can live with pretentious, but the combination is deadly. Steven Shainberg had the good taste to hire Robert Downey, Jr. to play The Man Upstairs in this film. But pretty much every other decision involved was a misstep. Doing a Diane Arbus film that isn’t really about Diane Arbus

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From Inside My Coma

I just don’t want to do much besides drink coffee and tell stories this week… it’s kinda brutal, really.
I don’t even want to go see James Brown’s body. (You have to give it to we Jews… close the frickin’ casket… please!)
Anyway… y’all know the drill… play nice… no eye-gouging, please. I’m sure I will find inspiration sometime today…

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Broadway, Where Is Thy Sting?

A long and very thoughtful comment by wongjongat on Weekend Box Office (near the bottom) got me thinking about why musicals have had it so rough lately. What started as a comment became the following:
Personally, I think the death of movie musicals can be most accurately be laid at the feet of Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and revivals.
There are many good shows from the last 20 years, but not a whole lot that scream for a screen version. And with multiple touring companies becoming a norm under Cameron Mackintosh’s Really Useless Co., the theater experience is far more available all over the country within a year of a show getting hot on Broadway.
Sondheim and Lloyd Webber have been dominant figures. Lloyd Webber makes operettas. Sondheim makes more esoteric shows that don

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Ho Ho Ho

clintclaus.jpg

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The Palette Of The Modern Movie Critic

When I watch Gordon Ramsey or Top Chef or some similar show on TV, it often occurs to me that as much as I enjoy cooking, my palette is just too simple for me to ever become a great chef. I can make really tasty things inside of my palette.
Filmmakers often struggle when they have expended the breadth and width of their palette and still want to work. A guy like Robert Zemeckis has a taste for endless variety and keeps using his long-honed skills in a variety of genres. Oliver Stone is still struggling to get out of the Vietnam era. He knows how to direct, but what does he have left to say?
Critics cannot reasonably afford themselves the luxury of a narrow palette. Yet, someone like Pauline Kael is remembered for the details of his palette and her inflexibility. Anthony Lane is revered for being acid-tongued and generally uninterested in films themselves aside from the platform they afford him for his witty craft. And Armond White has become nearly legendary for his gift for narrowing a film down to a strong political position that often has nothing to do with the film itself.
Like Political Correctness, Cinematic Correctness is both heroic and villainous. Hurting films, like hurting words, must somehow be both protected and destroyed by the keepers of the flame.

The rest…

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Going To The Movies?

It seems to me that a lot of you must be going to the movies this week. So what do you think? What is there to talk about other than Dreamgirls grosses and Good Shepherd thrombosis?

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Weekend Box Office

Klady will be here shortly, but here are a few sneak peeks at the small openers…
1. As previously reported, Dreamgirls was massive on 852 screens on Monday, with $8.7 million, about $100,000 of which came from added midnight shows around he country. It is the #3 Christmas Day opening ever, the #10 Christmas Day gross overall, and the single best day for any musical ever (Moulin Rouge had the previous best day ever with $5.68m on 2279 screens – Chicago

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What Is A Good Number For Dreamgirls?

Every once in a while, it seems like time to make an offering of what would be a number that is “good” or “great” or disappointing for a highly anticipated opening. Dreamgirls

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This Space For Rent

I just thought I’d make some space for y’all to talk about whatever if you happen to be wanting to chat during the holiday…

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Merry Christmas To All

And to all a sad loss.
The Godfather of Soul is dead… long live James Brown.
About 18 years ago, I took my then-girlfriend to a Jame Brown concert at The Beacon in New York. Her eyes widened as she realized we were in a tiny ethnic minority in the room. I don’t think she had experienced anything like that before. But The Godfather made her feel good, like I knew he would.
A few weeks later, I shot a segment for a show I was working on in NY for “The James Brown Auto Alarm.” Someone would touch the car and it would start…. “Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh” as only JB could scream. It was one of the coldest days in NY that year when we shot it and I ended up having to act in it because someone didn’t show up. The line was, “Thank you, James Brown,” but it was so cold I couldn’t get my mouth to annunciate. I tried to improve on

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The Box Office To Come

For any movies now open, studios can, within about 15%, figure out with about 95% certainty what the rest of 2006 is going to look like for them. Black Christmas and Dreamgirls are really the only box office stories left to present themselves.
As it went last year, the Friday before X-Mas pretty much lays out a number that a film will perform close to on every day except the two down days of X-Mas Eve and X-Mas, and the unusually up day of the day after X-Mas. 2004 was unusual because that Friday was X-Mas Eve, but the Day before that, the Thursday, pretty much offered the same rule.
The extra day is a big advantage for films this year over last, since the day after the New Year

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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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