The Hot Blog Archive for June, 2008

Marvel At A New Generation Of Junk

As I sat through the amazingly indulged mediocrity that it The Incredible Hulk – and no, it’s not like Iron Man where I was looking at the same ingredients and expressing different taste… this film is not even close to the quality of that other overrated summer Marvel – what suddenly struck me was…
Irwin Allen.
Producer of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost In Space, Land of The Giants, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Towering Inferno and inspiration for spectacular crap from Earthquake to Rollercoaster.
What struck me is that I need to buy some Marvel stock, because they are, indeed, about to go on a 2 or 3 year run of producing mediocre crap that appeals to a certain audience in much the same way Irwin Allen’s stuff appealed to me. It was junk… but it was my junk. And really, there is nothing wrong with that, so long as you don’t try to tell me that it’s actually skilled work or remotely interesting in any way deeper than the first millionth of an inch of Giant Dill Pickle Man’s skin.
The Incredible Hulk suddenly lit me up with the long line of how we got here


All The Kings Horses And All The Kings Men…

I don’t really care what the excuse or the explanation is… Katherine Heigl just took a sharp turn onto Career Self-Destruction Blvd with this “I won’t accept an Emmy nod” stunt.
Sorry… but you aren’t even Kate Hudson yet, much less a diva of the proportion that can throw Chim-Chim Cookies around like this and not seem like an arrogant mutt.
This is not so much a career prescriptive on my part… not relevant or requested… but it is simply an observation from the deck as the water rises. It is a 100-to-1 shot that it won’t get worse. It almost always does. And then, in a few years, the almost-40 topless work, hoping to remind Hollywood that they really wanted to bang this blonde just a few years before. And who knows, maybe she will become a real actress as she hits movie-parental age and can play the lonely wife opposite a 60something Jim Carrey.
I hate to be mean, but it really is like watching someone with money tip 8% or to see a guy go off with some drunken girl when his wonderful girlfriend is waiting for him to come home… these are not one-off behaviors. And the chickens almost always come home to roost… in this town, in a hurry.
Wake up, Ms Heigl. You are beautiful, young, talented, and famous. But not too many can survive forgetting that they are also fragile and fortunate.


Matson Strikes

The Whole Cartoon


Night Falls In Manhattan (and phily and rural pa, etc.)

There is really no way of understating how much of a failure M Night Shyamalan


ThinkFilm Reloaded

So… after all the sturm und drang, money changes everything… again.
Just as it seemed that ThinkFilm was about to be no more and many were accounting for the bills that would never get paid, here comes $150 million from overseas. Expect the company to low-key it, trying to avoid a rush on their bank-not-ruptcy. But word of anticipated movies that are moving back onto the production schedule, finished movies no longer being sold off, and everything actually being distributed should break shortly.
I have no idea how the various projects that were having trouble in production will be affected. But $150 million is plenty to keep the company in business for at least the next year.
Welcome back. Happy for ya.


BYOB Tuesday…


I'm Not Saying Anything…

All I’m saying is that it’s a odd feeling watching a career end before your very eyes.
There’s always television.


Hot Button – Critics Fight Tonight!


1 Comment »

Hot Button – Run Run Run A Runaway…

I am always frustrated by feeling an issue is crystal clear


How Journalism Doesn't Work

Let’s forget the politics here for a second.
I am not all that worried about Fox News – they are so overt that Mara Liason taking a check to appear on their air makes one question even the liberal leanings of NPR – but I am worried about the ongoing drop of journalistic standards.
One of the most self-explanatory examples ever.
First, watch the segment that ran on Fox News…

And now, watch an uncut version of the same encounter…

Those of us, online or in traditional media, who are given trust, and even those of us who are suspect but who people like to read, claiming its entertaining, but then quote the ideas as news over cocktails or dinner, can lie to you without too much effort. We can even hire a body language consultant to give an honest analysis of what the physical movement in a snippet of a longer video means.
Thing is, Bill Moyers IS being patronizing and a little abusive to the producer that O’Reilly sent to this conference. Conversely, O’Reilly edits the tape so that the entire encounter is out of context, not allowing the viewer to decide just why Moyers is being condescending and also so that he (O’Reilly) never has to speak to the offer Moyers puts on the table. If that offer is egregious, in O’Reilly’s mind, wouldn’t the honest (abusive) argument be to argue that Moyers’ offer is disingenuous or whatever… as opposed to slicing off a few seconds and spinning into an attack? Are O’Reilly viewers so unable to think for themselves?
Ironically, I can bet you that some extremists on the left will fret that this extended video makes Moyers look like a high-handed jerk… just as some extremists on the left want to control speech and human interaction just as severely as the extremists on the right.
The irony of the increased availability and openess of the media these days is that the viewer/reader needs to be more careful than ever. The failure of the modern media is a lack of perspective. I have no objection to people making up their own minds. But day after day after day, even in the low stakes game of entertainment journalism, readers/viewers are being sold ideas instead of being engaged with information they can parse for themselves.
And that is, for all its faults, why the blogosphere has become so powerful. There are places that do offer a wider perspective. And even those side that narrow ideas are much more likely to be partisan is an easily discernable way.
A great paper like the New York Times can be amongst the very best the internet has to offer in the future because of the power of their reporting muscle. And they can continue to make money in a narrowed print world. But they have to watch their standards and stand above, not next to the rest… or they too can become part of the blur.
More and more, I feel like I am fighting metaphoric scabs on this industry… things that may not be attractive, but actually will fall off in time… and which are a part of a slow, sometimes painful healing process. Or at least, I have to hope so. And maybe I need to fight less hard, considering that perspective.


Question Of The Day

It suddenly occured to me as I noticed Shia LeB staring back at me from the side of a box of cereal…
Can a movie go home again?
Has any return to a beloved film EVER been satisfactory?
Clearly, Paramount is hoping that JJ Abrams and those who seem to feel he can do no wrong will be able to reconsider Star Trek as a fresh franchise for next year, which brings us back to Batman, which following the Alien conceit as well as comics themselves, has used a true reconsideration of the material as the basis for successful relaunches. (Schumacher’s less successful Batman films are actually not given enough credit for rethinkng the material from the Burton films… probably because they were too close visually… which is not to say that I approve of either film. But one wonders whether if Schumacher was allowed even more rope to make BatKink, if those films would have been better.)
Specifically, on Indy, I think Spielberg was set on the wrong path when he was pushed to be apologetic for the edge of Temple of Doom. Grown-ups need to allow themselves to grow-up. A return to Indiana Jones really needed someone like Gore Verbinski when DreamWorks first found him… still fresh… still excited by pulp in a real and personal way.
But I digress…
How likely are any of these returns, short of a real reconsideration and not really a sequel, to satisfy the old base?


BYOB Monday

Happy Monday… do you feel the quiet? Everyone is tired of talking about who’s losing their job next, who will get along with who in hopeless intermarriages, and the box office for movies no one much cares about. Heck, even the politics are getting quiet, as we are back to a fight between a Republican and a Democrat… sigh…
Here’s a look at New MGM, Same As The Old MGM.
But after that, it’s on you…


Oscar Kick Off – Universal Sets Clint Date

The horror… the horror…
In an Oscar season that has so far been marked by everyone keeping their powder very, very dry, this tiny little release from Universal is – like it or not – the first salvo of the season.
Discussion out of Cannes has this film anywhere from being a winner to being a non-starter. But discussion out of Cannes and a 9 quarters will get you a cuppa Starbucks…
I am still not ready to dive into the fray. I am concious of about a half-dozen contenders that are trying to stay far away from the front-runner slot. I am also aware that Fox has what they hope will be an Oscar movie for the first time in a while and that for the first time in a longer while, Searchlight seems to be taking the year off. Also seemingly out of the game for the year are Sony, big Disney, and most surely MGM and UA with it. What’s left of Par Vantage has one movie, Focus has a couple, WB has one (in the American Gangster mode), Miramax has a couple, Lionsgate has at least two potential players, Sony Classics is serious about playing this year, and The Weinsteins have their very own Cormac McCarthy.
Universal Pictures will release CHANGELING on Friday, October 24, 2008 in limited engagements, and the film will go wide on Friday, October 31, 2008.
About the film
Clint Eastwood directs Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich in a provocative thriller based on actual events: CHANGELING. In the film, Christine Collins


Klady's Weekend Estimates – 6/8/8

Adam Sandler’s newest, which got surprisingly pleasant reviews from AO Scott and Ella Taylor, amongst others, has turned out to be right around the middle of the Sander/Sony list of releases. (The final numbers could well be up from the Sunday projection.)
My personal observation here in Los Angeles was surprise at the number of unexpected Sandler attendees at a sold-out Friday 1:30p performance and one close to sold-out shortly thereafter at 2:40p who were Hassidic and/or female. I don’t really trust observational analyses, especially at Los Angeles theaters. But the idea that this film is reaching this unexpected audience is interesting.
Also, the movie itself has a completely unexpected embrace of what can best be described as The Angry Hillary Voters


Thank You, Senator Clinton

Gracious… strong… clean.
The actions to follow will be more important, but this first step was very important…. mostly to the punditocracy, which can now stop waiting for her to throw more knives into the party’s heart. Personal goals and politcal goals met here, but that is fine. The highest, hardest glass ceiling still belongs to black people in this country… but that’s ok (as far as rhetoric goes) as well.
The link goes here.


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“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho

“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh