The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2009

Remember The WGAlamo

You know… I hate the idea of rubbing a soft success in the WGA’s face,
I think that the Strike Committee did what they sincerely felt they HAD to do. I think that most of them continue to believe that the deal they got wouldn’t have happened without a strike.
I disagree.
The minor improvements on the DGA contract and the additional WGA-centric elements that WGA got were, I believe, available to the union through negotiating without a strike.
I don’t agree with anyone who says that strike was “self-destructive.” It certainly wasn’t taken on lightly or without serious intent. However, I would agree that the strike cost a lot of WGA members real money and didn’t come close to making up the difference with improvements to the ultimate deal. The timing was completely wrong-headed, in my opinion.
But the greatest cost of the WGA Strike is being paid by SAG, which has no chance to convert its issues – more serious than any other union – into a contract that isn’t, unlike the WGA contract, significantly destructive to the union’s future.
Was it WGA’s responsibility to look out for SAG? No. Did going out on strike when WGA did and, ultimately, settling when they did, doom SAG in its pursuit of a deal that more seriously addressed the death of re-runs? Yes.
The great unanswerable question of The WGA Strike of

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Saturday's Poll



(The story where these quotes and many other idiocies can be read.)
Results after the jump…

Read the full article »

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Friday Estimates by Klady, 22809

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Is there really anything to say?
The Jonas Bros. generated a strong number, which was overhyped going into the weekend.
The last Madea was off 57% in Weekend Two, 67% Friday-to-Friday..
Slumdog is getting a boost – not as all Oscar winners do, but as films that win and directly benefit from the new sense of public familiarity do – and has an outside shot of chasing down Juno ($143.5m domestic) to become Searchlight’s biggest grosser. Slummy is a near-lock to be bigger than pPreggo worldwide,with about $50 million to go and lots of big territories still yet to open.
The skinny former cop (Taken) cracks $100 million and the fat not-a-cop (Paul Blart) will crack $125m this weekend.
Coraline took a Jonas Bros. and 300 screen loss hit this weekend, but I actually expect it to recover and move up a slot or two this weekend as well as to remain in the Top Ten next weekend and perhaps longer.
And finally, a shout out to the Italian neo-realist thriller Gomorrah, which has done great at the IFC Center in NY for a few weekends now. For whatever reasons, it has not been coming up here on Saturdays as a big winner, but it really has been very strong.

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Trying A Tweet Poll – Watchmen




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BYOB Friday

The Jonas Brothers.
Uh…
Did my parents feel this way about The Monkees when my older sisters were into them?
The poor Beatles never had Live At Shea Stadium: The Motion Picture.
Nothing much to say, really..
Less, really.
Peter Scarlet, who never did much with Tribeca except spend money, is out. No great surprise… or loss… there.
Defamer.Gawker.com ran a note from the former editorial cabal that someone found a few bucks to buy the old Movieline name, logo, and URL and that there will now be a Defamer-type site there. I wish them luck – I really do – and I wonder why they think they will be ok launching a site like that in the middle of a recession. They do have the advantage of less infrastructure – half the revenues minus payments on Nick Denton’s multi-million dollar condo = enough for these guys to live on – but getting half the revenues will not be so easy. Micropublishing is not dead… but the niche better be nichier than “Snark About Showbiz.”
Speaking of snark, I quite enjoyed the Nikki Finke interview in I Want Media. When someone so passionately owns their own little patch of reality like that, you just have to sit back, relax, and appreciate the power of modern pharmaceuticals.
We did find this rare image from an interview Nikki did with Letterman during the WGA strike which never aired

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Eddie's Oscar?

EW broke the lingering news today that it looks like Bill Condon

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BYOB Thursday

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Review – Watchmen

Will have to wait until I see it next week.
Yes, Virginia, I have been relegated by the very confident WB to seeing their mega-smash in what will surely be an overbooked all-media next week. When I spoke to the responsible on the film, not asking for a screening time, but actually trying to confirm a negative story floating around about the film (I still haven

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The French Connection in Blu

Wow.
The French Connection on Blu-ray is one of the great additions to the highest shelf of my Blu-ray library, up there with The Godfather, the Kubrick films, and Pixar

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Return To The Dark Knight

One of the blog commenters can’t seem to separate why Slumdog won from why The Dark Knight was not nominated. In response, I found myself explaining my TDK issues

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BYOB – Catching Up…

The days after the Oscar season end feel a bit like the first days getting back to school after months of summer vacation… waking up on a different schedule… new people, many familiar, but different… work to do but somehow, not as quick to get out the pen… even the feeding schedule (and the food itself) is different.
It’s a hangover, but not unpleasant that same way. Just an “Oh yeah… there is something else other than the Oscars and Watchmen going on….”
Then there is the real downside

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Remember When…

August 28, 2008
searchwb.jpg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES AND WARNER BROS. PICTURES
TO JOIN FORCES ON THE NORTH AMERICAN RELEASE OF
DANNY BOYLE

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A Shout Out…

To TJ Simers… who has long been one of the few reasons to pick up the LA Times… for naming names and speaking his truth.
And Ken Turan… for speaking his truth, even if he smeared the internet and not the real source of ugliness in his own yard.
And to the LA Times readers… a committed group… who spoke their own truth this morning.
Beyond my own smugness, the interesting lesson here should be that people looking to find problems have become really good at finding problems. But thinking beyond the immediate moment to the bigger picture… to the longer term picture… and not just trying to ride the internet snark train… is harder and requires some getting used to. Saying whatever you think when you think it is okay for civilians. But it is not okay for professional writers who have readers. We have a responsibility. Every one of us, online or off. And perspective is part of that responsibility.
Unfortunately, the result of this push back against a guy like Patrick is likely to be him trying to rationalize why he was right and others were wrong for years to come, with films and actors and whomever he associates with the smack back to pay the price of his futuresnark.

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The Weekend That Was

Things have changed a lot over the years

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The Oscar Ratings…

Up in overnights… we’ll see what the finals are.
Still… irrelevant to the issue of whether the show worked.
Very relevant as to whether the producers this year created, with The Academy, a sense of anticipation that has been missing in recent years.
I wish the ratings obsession and the shallow reporting on it would disappear.

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The Hot Blog

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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“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