MCN Commentary & Analysis

13 Days To *Oscar

April 12, 2021

Final voting starts on Thursday (the 15th)… end of Tuesday (the 20th). And still, outside of the nominees, their companies, their parents, their agents, and the possibility that Steven Soderbergh will do something really interesting… it’s such a “so what?” at this point. It’s been a pretty nice season. The Holy Complainers basically sat this […]

17 Days To Oscar: I Am So Sad & Angry.

April 8, 2021

Writer’s block happens. But it isn’t happening to me right now. What is happening is that for over a week, I have been writing columns about different subjects and never quite getting to the end because everything feels like a bottomless pit. It’s not COVID anymore. I am feeling pretty good about that, even as […]

Movie Content Scoreboard: The Experimental Window… Spoke Too Soon

March 25, 2021

I wrote last week that the theatrical experimental window was closing. But then Disney did its reset for the coming summer. And it makes perfect sense, really. There are two clear, opposing ideas in play. First, for the bigger movies to make the money they hope to make, theaters need to be open and at […]

*Oscar Nominations: The Morning After

March 16, 2021

If a tree falls in the woods, but everyone is watching their TVs, does it make a noise? It’s been more than 24 hours since The Jonases, beautiful, talented, and from media other than film, adorably announced the *Oscar nominations. And for that day+, I have been – and it seems others have been, too […]

Movie Content Scoreboard: The Experimental Window Closes

March 16, 2021

Like the movie business itself, the media wants answers about what will happen as the option of seeing movies in a movie theater becomes normal again. But as we saw this past weekend (March 5, 2021), landmarks like reopening New York theaters are not anything close to turning the key and getting back to March […]

The Gurus Polish the Gold On Nomination Morning

March 15, 2021

What Monday is it? Oh! Oh!

Book Review: Mike Nichols: A Life

March 14, 2021

When does a biography sing? When it makes you feel like you have a personal stake in the story. Autobiography and Industry Insight books written by William Goldman, Steven Soderbergh, Julia Phillips, Linda Obst and John Gregory Dunne have done that for me and stand with the most important books in my movie library. There […]

7 Weeks To *Oscar: Hoping For The Best

March 7, 2021

The best we can hope for from this event is… People will watch more of the nominees. Not Academy viewers, 80% of whom will be 80% of the way to completion (aside from docs, international, and shorts) when the nominations are announced, but real life people. That’s really it. If real people are paying attention […]

Gurus On A Tighter Race: Picture, Director, Acting, Writing

March 5, 2021

Picking top two predictions in acting and directing categories, with the customary top ten for Best Picture and top fives for original and adapted screenplays.

How To Fix Viacom

March 5, 2021

“Be aggressive. Be Be Aggressive.” It’s really that simple. And that complicated. Viacom has been stuck in Neutral for sixteen years. There has been a lot of great work by a lot of great people during those sixteen years. Please don’t misunderstand. Lots and lots of sensational trees have grown in that Viacom forest in […]

Mold and Globes

March 1, 2021

I love an industry rogue. Always have. George Christy died less than a year ago. Loved him. And I knew what an absurd pain-in-the-ass he could be. I understood his arrogance. I saw the man. Lived to 93 and still felt compelled to pretend to be straight. He carried a lot of baggage. He wasn’t […]

*Oscar Lessons

February 25, 2021

The greatest lesson of this *Oscar season is… how little imagination is now brought to Oscar season. There are literally hundreds of very smart people focused on the season for distributors, every one trying to figure out the next great thing to do, the key to opening the hearts and minds of The 10,000. Since […]

Gurus Guesstimate Globes

February 25, 2021

It’s the Globes, right? The Gurus spike the drinks, if not the night in their predictions of what the HFPA minds are on.

Gurus O’ Gold: Best Picture, Director, Original And Adapted Screenplay

February 18, 2021

Subtle waves of sentiment shift in the Gurus’ ears: some pictures drop off the charts, while predictions shift in both Best Picture and Best Director.

Review: Allen v. Farrow

February 18, 2021

I am a fan of Kirby Dick’s work; I like the guy personally and have for years. I met Amy Ziering a few docs ago and like and respect her. Allen v. Farrow is, sadly, not so much a documentary as a commercial. Unlike The Invisible War, The Hunting Ground, and On The Record, this […]

What is *Oscar 2021?

February 15, 2021

They are only 2 months away!!!! Well, 2 months and 10 days. That makes today the equivalent of the day after Thanksgiving 2019 before last year’s Oscar show. Happy holiday! That said, it is time for me to stop mocking the *Oscars and to accept that they are not only happening, but that there is […]

The Gurus Of Gold Go Picture, Supporting, Doc and International Features

February 5, 2021

With nutty nominations from the Globes and hot-hot-heat from the SAG, a real race is shaping up.

Review: John and The Hole (spoilers)

February 4, 2021

John and The Hole has lingered with me more than any other film at Sundance this year. I filled out a critics poll a few hours before writing this review and it was a very odd experience. How does one define “the best?” Is it the easiest to consume? Most pleasurable? Most enlightening? Most personally […]

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

THB #93: The Batman (no spoilers)

David Poland | March 6, 2022

THB #76: 9 Weeks To Oscar

David Poland | January 26, 2022

THB #73: Netflix Is Chilled

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

The New York Times

"Netflix, the great disrupter whose algorithms and direct-to-consumer platform have forced powerful media incumbents to rethink their economic models, now seems to need a big strategy change itself. It got me thinking about the simple idea that my film and TV production company Blumhouse is built on: If you give artists a lot of creative freedom and a little money upfront but a big stake in the movie’s or TV show’s commercial success, more often than not the result will be both commercial (the filmmakers are incentivized to make films that will resonate with audiences) and artistically interesting (creative freedom!). This approach has yielded movies as varied as Get Out (made for $4.5 million, with worldwide box office receipts of more than $250 million), Whiplash (made for $3.3 million, winner of three Academy Awards), The Invisible Man (made for $7 million, earned more than $140 million) and Paranormal Activity (made for $15,000, grossed more than $190 million).From the beginning, the most important strategy I used to persuade artists to work with me was to make radically transparent deals: We usually paid the artists (“participants” in Hollywood lingo) the absolute minimum allowable by union contracts upfront, with the promise of healthy bonuses based on actual box office results—instead of the opaque 'percentage points' that artists are usually offered. Anyone can see box office results immediately, so creators don’t quarrel with the payouts. In fact, when it comes time for an artist to collect a bonus based on box office receipts, I email a video clip of myself dropping the check off at FedEx to the recipient."
Jason Blum Sees Room For "Scrappier" Netflix

The New York Times | April 30, 2022

"As a critic Gavin was entertaining, wry, questioning, sensitive, perceptive"
Critic-Filmmaker Gavin Millar Was 84; Films Include Cream In My Coffee, Dreamchild

April 29, 2022

The New York Times

Disney Executive Geoff Morrell Out After Less Than Four Months

The New York Times | April 29, 2022

LA Times

"Responding to its dramatic slowdown, Netflix said it would test ways to encourage people to pay for sharing passwords; put out better shows, films and games; and explore a lower-cost, ad-supported version of Netflix — an option the company had long resisted. But the bleak subscriber numbers and the company’s response have stirred a mix of angst and uncertainty among many rank-and-file workers. Some are worried that the streaming heavyweight may have hired too fast and grown complacent as subscriber growth skyrocketed in the early days of the pandemic. Others are skeptical about strategic shifts and concerned that Netflix’s distinct culture is fundamentally changing, according to former employees who spoke with The Times and comments posted on a private Netflix group on Blind, an anonymous forum for people with company-verified email addresses."

LA Times | April 29, 2022

The Video Section See All

Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The Podcast Section See All