The Hot Blog Archive for July, 2007

MCN-A-Go-Go

We’ve had a bunch of original content on MCN this week…
There are two pieces on This Is England, first by Gary Dretzka, the second by Noah Forrest.
Larry Gross’ appreciation of Ingmar Bergman will soon be followed by Ray Pride’s.

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A Clever Idea

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And by the way… the first of what are sure to be many Dreamgirls sing-a-longs took place a couple fo weeks ago, at an outdoor theater at Outfest.
And next, the grunt-a-long version of 300.

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What The HELL?!?!?!

Ingmar Bergman.
Tom Snyder.
Bill Walsh.
Michel Serrault.
Ulrich M

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De Duva

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Behind The Superbad Wall

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Once again, they are looking for name, birthdate, and zip code. Good luck, foreigners!
All three clips are from the first 20 minutes of the film or so, though they also contain some of the great dialogue runs that define the film.
The site…

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Shoot 'Em Up… Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Shoot ‘Em Up is the grindhouse movie that Harvey Weinstein seemed to think he was going to get when he gave free reign to Tarantino and Rodriguez. As B movie thrill rides go, the screenplay by Michael Davis kicks Grindhouse ass.
Now don’t get me wrong. As a director, Michael Davis is not in the class of Tarantino, Rodriguez, Bay, or even Wiseman at this point in his directing career (the very start). He had a bigger budget for this film than for any of his direct-to-DVD features that he previously knocked out … but still nothing in comparison to any of the other directors. Would the extra money have helped? Who knows how much or how little?
However, Davis as screenwriter – with a hand from producers Murphy, Montford, and Benattar and, of course, veteran make-it-work editor Peter Amundson – doesn’t let us look at his directing limitations for very long. Usually when people say a movie is wall-to-wall action, they are engaged in hyperbole. Not this time.

The rest…

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Watchmen Poster

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The ComicCon Movie Poster
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Original Covers

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Bergman Dies

Antonius Block: I want knowledge! Not faith, not assumptions, but knowledge. I want God to stretch out His hand, uncover His face and speak to me.
Death: But He remains silent.
Antonius Block: I call out to Him in the darkness. But it’s as if no one was there.
Death: Perhaps there isn’t anyone.
Antonius Block: Then life is a preposterous horror. No man can live faced with Death, knowing everything’s nothingness.
Death: Most people think neither of death nor nothingness.
Antonius Block: But one day you stand at the edge of life and face darkness.
Death: That day.
Antonius Block: I understand what you mean.

For me, I will start with the Billie August directed The Best Intentions, which was Bergman’s pre-birth and then post-birth look at his parents, where they and then he came from… the beginning of his tale. Then we can jump right into Smiles of a Summer Night, his breakthrough here, now 52 years old… and on…

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Stat O' The Day

For those of you wondering…
Ove the first 90 days of Summer, 2007 is once again the Best Summer Ever
2007 – $2.87b
2006

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Sunday Estimates by Klady – July 27

The Simpsons reminds us, yet again, at how silly it is for all of us/any of us to be throwing around OPT (Other People

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Friday Estimates by Klady… Simpsonize

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Box Office Hell – 7/27

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(Updated @ 2:19p to include late, post-east coast matinee, post-BO Hell posting entries by La Fnke.)

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Sweeney Todd Teaser Poster

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(a close-up after the jump)

Read the full article »

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DreamaParaConAmount

There was little new or news to chew on at the Paramount event at ComicCon.
But before they got started was the “hello” from the ComicCon staff. And with that came some new rules. As has been noted before, we are now in the error/era of the PG-13 ComicCon. But they have also decided to censor the question and answer process, pointing out that on top of vetting your questions and expecting you to stick to the script, they expect the audience to be completely respectful of the talent

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The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin