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

4 Comments »

Saturday's Poll



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

Read the full article »

19 Comments »

Friday Estimates by Klady, 22809

friest022809.jpg
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.

28 Comments »

Trying A Tweet Poll – Watchmen




18 Comments »

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

110 Comments »

Eddie's Oscar?

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

26 Comments »

BYOB Thursday

59 Comments »

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

42 Comments »

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

53 Comments »

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

67 Comments »

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

12 Comments »

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

41 Comments »

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.

23 Comments »

The Weekend That Was

Things have changed a lot over the years

4 Comments »

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.

21 Comments »

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